|Try getting the camera to focus on the clouds, it so wants to focus on the leaves.|
Now I am The Sarge, more precisely The Old AF Sarge. I am, as my nom de plume might suggest, a sergeant who once wore the blue uniform of our nation's Air Force. Back in the days when jets made lots of noise, spewed lots of smoke out the back of their engines and we wore very plain work uniforms which were known as fatigues. They were olive drab in color and had a name tape above the right pocket and a tape which proclaimed that we were "U.S. Air Force." I reckon that was to make sure that we weren't confused with one of the other services. (Like someone could possibly confuse an airman with a sailor, soldier or Marine.)
Now the name tape was not so that we would know who we were but so that others might be able to yell at us using our rank and last name. (The rank was on the sleeves for we enlisted, on the collars for the officers in the maintenance units. The zipper suited sun gods wore, well a flight suit. Hence the "zipper suited" etc.) Rank, name tape and the service tape were all silvery-whitish lettering / insignia on blue.
These uniforms were neither fancy nor good-looking, but they were practical as Hell. No need for lots of fancy pockets, bloused pants, cool headgear or any of that. No need for camouflage, we worked on the flight line, so having some sort of woodland patterned uniforms was just kind of dumb.
My first hitch we were required to sew reflective tape onto our uniform shirts. A stripe down the back and one on the front. I'm guessing that's so we wouldn't get run over at night while plying our trade in the near dark. Most Air Force flight lines of my experience were not well lit. Not wise to show the bad guys where all your jets are. I guess. There were still lots of lights around the periphery of the field.
Now the reflective tape went away about the same time as somebody way up the food chain decided that our uniforms needed to be "subdued." I guess we stuck out too much, I mean if we had to go into the woods, or a jungle to work on an aircraft (how the Hell it would wind up out in the bush escapes me) then we would blend in better.
So off with the reflective tape, all the crap you had to sew on to your fatigues was now dark blue on olive drab. Now we could blend in a bit better. Blend into what though I'm not all that sure. (For what it's worth, the uniforms the Army wore in World War II blended nicely into the brush on a Colorado hillside. Our fatigues were of a similar color. Truth be told, I never needed to work on a jet on a Colorado hillside. But if called to do so, I would have blended in quite nicely, thank you very much.)
Eventually the fatigues went away and we were all kitted out in camouflage uniforms. Odd thing though, when we wore plain old olive drab fatigues, our jets were camouflaged with dark green, tan and olive drab mottling on the upper surfaces, pale gray / dirty white underneath. Once we were issued uniforms with a similar camouflage pattern, they started painting the aircraft various shades of gray.
Once I had been in the Air Force for a while, I noticed that about every four years we would get a new Air Force Chief of Staff. This is a four-star general who is the head airman and sits on the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, advising the President and all that.
Now our guy would make his mark by convening a uniform board. This
And those sum-bitches were not cheap! We enlisted pukes did get a uniform allowance (for maintenance, not to buy all new sh!t every four years) so it wasn't as painful for us as it was for the officers. They did not get a clothing allowance.
I just wanted to throw all this uniform stuff out there to let you know that back in the day the Air Force of my time did have it's quirks. Nothing like nowadays but still.
Now another thing on my mind (yes, this post is kind of all over the place and disjoint, and your point is?) is the number of "hits" we get on the blog every day. This is all over the place, some days we have trouble making 500, other days we'll get over a thousand. Do the spam-bots in Russia take days off? You'd think they'd be more consistent.
Oh yes, I said "we" for there are three of us who write for The Chant (I started on this way up above and then went off on that uniform tangent. I tell ya, this convalescing thing is turning my brain to mush. Not that it had that far to go to get there. But I digress...)
I am the proprietor, the Colonel of the Regiment so to speak, what the Teutonic types of old would call der Inhaber. That would be the guy who raised and equipped a body of troops for the king. He gets to be in charge and design the uniforms and...
Hhmm, didn't I just rant about that? (Don't worry lads, no uniform changes in the offing.)
So yeah, I am the head bull goose loony in charge. And then there are my partners in crime, Tuna and Juvat.
Tuna was the first of my co-bloggers, he sent me ideas and told me his tales and I would write 'em up. Eventually I smartened up and said, "So Tuna, why don't I give you a set of keys for the blog and you can write or not write at your whim?" He agreed and he will post from time to time. At the bottom left of each post the author will be listed, like this - Posted by OldAFSarge at 4:00 AM. Sometimes it's me, sometimes it's Tuna. Damn near every Monday it's Juvat. He'll do other days from time to time but Mondays belong to him. (Tuna has a lease with an option to buy on Tuesdays. He too will spring up on other days as the mood strikes him.)
Now the later addition to the staff is that fellow yclept Juvat. A former Phantom Phlyer and Eagle Driver. (He flew the F-4 Phantom as a lad and flew the F-15 Eagle just before he was exiled to a staff position at the Pentagon.)
Myself and Juvat are both retired Air Force. We were both assigned to Korea, same base, for a year. His assignment was a year, I kept extending my tour. The tricky bastards finally got me to leave by retiring the F-4 and replacing it with the F-16. I tried to cross train to the F-16 and stay but they weren't having that. Seems, like many of the guys in my old shop, I was starting to "go native."
At any rate I actually tuned the radar on all of the jets Juvat flew. (Actually all of the jets we owned.) As they all came back in one piece, I guess I did okay on the radar.
Juvat's nom de plume is derived from his old F-4 squadron the Juvats. Of which celebrated and storied unit I wrote here. Yes, at one point in his career, Juvat was a Juvat. There is sort of a difference, but not really, go read the post, it may or may not clear things up.
Now Tuna's nom de plume may be his call sign, for Tuna retired from the Naval Service where he served in a flying capacity. He was a Naval Flight Officer, a position which did not require him to learn to fly the aircraft just operate all the other systems on board. (My daughter The WSO is also a Naval Flight Officer.) Now Tuna used to comment over at Lex's place as "Tuna" so I'm guessing it was his call sign. (Nickname if you will, Tuna actually posted about this back in June, here.)
So there are three of us, just like the Three Musketeers, just like the Three Stooges. Well, not "just like" either of those really. Similar perhaps? On some days?
When I started writing this post I was going to whine and say "I got nothing" but I had something to say after all.
Oh, I took some pictures for you!
|Everything in Little Rhody has been lovely lately. All green and blue with some high wispy clouds.|
|The garden is producing tons of peppers.|
|The squash plants are starting to take over the entire west side of the garden. They cover the neighbor's chicken coop. The chickens seem to enjoy the shade.|
|The old Roman road through the water garden. Okay, not really old, not really Roman.|
Gee, I sort of went all "stream of consciousness" today didn't I?
Perhaps tomorrow I will have my thoughts more properly organized.
Then again, probably not.
As I convalesce and slowly go to seed...