Monday, November 30, 2015

Haze Gray, but not quite Destroyers

The kids were visiting friends and other halves of families on Thanksgiving proper so we gave thanks as a family last night.  As a result, my mind is experiencing a triptophan induced stupor and creativity is at bingo.  

So, scurrying for ideas for my Monday scrawl, I read through Tuna's post, entitled Jets and Sunset. I thought to my self "Well....I've got some of those.  I'll just do a Part 2."
Jet and Sunset.  Jet is just above the ridge line right center.  Sidney Harbor Bridge just above ridgeline near the setting sun.  Taken from rear of Solstice as we sailed out of Syndey Harbor.
Then I read in the comments from Tuna's post a heart rending plea from Skip, one of the long time friends here at Sarge's place.  He'd like more Destroyers.  Now, as Readers are well aware, I'm an AF Fighter Pilot (Ok, I was, when I was young, skinny and had hair). Sarge is an AF Aircraft Maintainer, and Tuna is a Navy NFO.  Where are we gonna get Destroyers?

Being ever so resourceful, I reach deep into my clue bag and find the next best thing. While I don't have any actual destroyers, I did manage to capture images of some ships our English speaking friends from the Southern Hemisphere sail.

HMAS Sydney

The first time we saw her was on a water taxi from Watson's Bay to Circular Quay.  The taxi made a stop at the pier seen just in front of Sydney's bow in the picture above.  From that perspective, she looked fairly large and I wondered what kind of ship she was.  According to the source of all completely verified knowledge,  HMAS Sydney  is an Adelaide class Guided-Missile frigate.  She was constructed in the US based on the Oliver Hazard Perry Class frigates. Commissioned in 1983,  She participated in both the 1990 and 2001 Persian Gulf Festivities  and unbeknownst to me, she was decommissioned on 7 November 2015, 5 days after this picture was taken.  

HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide
HMAS Canberra (L) HMAS Adelaide (R)
Both ships are Landing Helicopter Docks and are based on the Spanish Navy's Juan Carlos I.  Let's get the important stuff out of the way first.  They ARE capable of conducting fixed wing operations. Yay!  But the Aussie Navy is not planning on doing so.  Boo!  

Also, interesting in a Down Under sort of way,  Canberra is the first of the two to be commissioned, but her pennant number is L02.  Adelaide is expected to be commissioned this December, but her pennant number is L01.  

You know Navies and their traditions.  Evidently, because the prior HMAS Adelaide, a Frigate, had pennant number 01, subsequent ships with that name would have the same number.

Anyhoo, (to quote a Rhode Islander we all know), the ships will carry 8 helicopters in a standard load, but can carry up to 18.  They can be loaded with 110 vehicles and over a thousand troops.

Taken from the Restaurant on Solstice, Deck 14.  

HMNS Te Kaha is one of ten ANZAC class Frigates and one of two serving in the New Zealand Navy.  The ships came about as a result of the mid-80's lovers spat between the Kiwis and the US.  The Kiwis decided they needed to shore up some relationships in their local area, so, instead of buying new ships from the US, they entered into an agreement with the Aussies to by two of the 10 ships with an option to buy two more.  The decision raised considerable protest based on cost as well as ship capability versus the assigned mission.  The Kiwis were looking for more capability to enforce their  Economic Exclusion Zone, more but less capable ships was the counter argument.

Te Kaha, in Maori, means Fighting Prowess or Strength and the ship has shown that by participating in Operation Enduring Freedom

Earlier this year, she sailed to Gallipoli to participate in activities marking the 100th anniversary of that debacle.  More of which to follow on that subject.
Te Kaha in the lead.  Never got a good enough look at the trailing ship to ID.

Finally, an unidentified Patrol Boat in Sydney Harbor rounds out my retinue of pictures of Navy Floaty Thngs.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Jets and Sunsets

I hope you all had a nice holiday weekend.  I found just enough time to put a post together. It's a recurring theme for me, and I don't have much to say right now, but I thought I'd share some pics- some taken, some collected.

Just out of the gate and I'm already off track- this is a sunrise, taken from my dining room.

In addition to sunset and sunrise pictures, I like jet photos that have something unique about them- usually by what's in the background. Not sure where exactly this is though, and the Pinterest page where I lifted it didn't say.

Another sunrise, from just down the street.

A Jolly Roger Rhino nearing sunset, or maybe just low ceilings.

Another neighborhood pic.  A sunset this time I think.

It's not everyday that the T-Birds fly over a carrier- probably just a handful of pics like this out there.

Sunset at La Jolla Shores back in October.

Ok, not a jet, but I do like how rotorblade tips seem to glow when spinning in dusty conditions. 

People in my neighborhood are fighting the undergrounding of these wires, but I don't think they realize how much nicer my pictures would be without them.

Still not a jet, but a nice sunset.  I think this Destroyer is in Pearl Harbor.

The Blues don't get out to the Far East very often.  I've had this one saved for about a year, but coincidently, I saw it posted on the NepLex Facebook page- after this was written. Not that it matters of course, but I wouldn't want anyone to think anything less of my posts than they already do.

The neighborhood I live in.  Quite a few of the San Diego 'hoods have their own signs like this. 

I like the gray paint of old- not as tactical, but better for pictures.  These are RF-4Bs. 

This is a sunset from the beach backyard of the CO's house at PMRF in Kauai. He gets this every night and his wife posts the best of them.

Another morning sunrise from my house.  Morning sunrise?  I suppose that's redundant and repetitive. 

Jets and sunset in the same picture!

Another PMRF sunset.

Some Devil Dogs over Devil's Tower.

Another title picture.

 The California Tower in San Diego's Balboa Park.  It reminds me of the Eagle's Hotel California album cover.

A Destroyer off Point Loma about to enter the channel for San Diego Harbor.

More Phantoms, just no blue.  The opposing solos must be elsewhere.

US Navy Photo

More tales from the hood.

KPBS Photo

The Ocean Beach (aka O.B.) pier.

Did you see the one of the Blue Angel framed by the Golden Gate Bridge?  I think this one beats that.

Anyway, that's all I have for you.  Have a good day.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Usually the top web sites are full of junks. (Er, what?)

PT Boat Spam
A while back I had emails from a few concerned readers, seems they wanted to post comments but weren't real clear on the best way to do so. Rather than write a long (potentially boring) post describing the many ways to create an account, then use that account to post comments, I decided to throw the doors of the blog open to the world.

So far that has not proven catastrophic. I have yet to receive comments promising me larger parts of my anatomy (thank you I am content with my parts), no doubt that will happen soon enough. One of the reasons I shut off Any Mouse comments a while back was that I was receiving really bizarre promos and just plain disturbing crap as comments. Yup, the spam-bots ruined it for everyone.

But in due time, I decided to throw the doors open again. Oddly enough, nothing disturbing has landed in the comments (yet, knock on wood) but I get strange comments from obviously non-English speaking spam-bots on old posts. Posts which will not get revisited (unless it's by a spam-bot). The only reason I noticed these is that all comments show up in my email box. (Those of you who might have left an insulting or otherwise not-intended-to-be-seen comment must know that I still get to see those comments. Once "Publish" is hit, all bets are off. Teh Interwebz is forever. Sort of.)

Anyhoo, I found the following samples somewhat humorous...
Usually the top web sites are full of junks. Perhaps it is time to use other search engine.Thank you for the useful info! I wouldnt have discovered this by myself.You made an amazing post. Put up more content soon! I will bookmark your blog. I want to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blogpost. I am hoping the same best blog post from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own blog now. Truly the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it.When I click on your feed it seems to be a ton of garbage, is the malfunction on my reader.I think that is an exciting point, it made me think a bit. Thank you for sparking my thinking cap. Sometimes I get so much in a rut that I just sense like a record.
Ya know, I couldn't agree more...
  • I wouldnt have discovered this by myself.
No, I'm sure you wouldn't have. Note that - "wouldn't" - not "wouldnt." And seriously, you could have theoretically discovered this blog all by yourself, eventually. It's the old "fill a room full of monkeys and typewriters and eventually they will produce the complete works of Shakespeare. Or the Affordable Health Care Act. That's known, BTW, as the Infinite Monkey Theorem*. According to Wikipedia, the sum of all human knowledge typed up by people with no agenda whatsoever. Or so they claim.
  • I am hoping the same best blog post from you in the future as well.
Well, that makes two of us. I have to say though, it would be tough to write a great post in the past. Though you seem to have no problem commenting on old posts, in the past as it were, thinking that somehow your poorly produced pitch for a piss poor product will somehow get promulgated to the proletariat. Or the plebes. Pick your own non-alliterative (or alliterative) synonym for the downtrodden and under-informed.

Now these next few lines just confused me.
  • In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own blog now.
  • Truly the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly.
  • Your write up is a fine example of it.
  • When I click on your feed it seems to be a ton of garbage, is the malfunction on my reader.
Um, what?

I inspired you to start your own blog?

Hate to tell you, but blogging seems to be on the downturn, not the upswing.

Seriously, when you click on my feed "it seems to be a ton of garbage"? If you're trying to get me to click through to a link on a server somewhere in the former Soviet Union, insulting me is not the way to do it. Trying to cover it up with a "malfunction on my reader" is just confusing.

But some days, yeah, it could be a ton of garbage. But hey, it ends on a high note...
  • Thank you for sparking my thinking cap. Sometimes I get so much in a rut that I just sense like a record.
I'm glad I was able to "spark your thinking cap." I too sometimes get in a rut, but I have never had the experience of sensing like a record. Whatever that means...

Another I found amusing, in an auto-generated translated random text from Serbo-Croatian to English kind of way was this...
  • Im so interested in your article. Could you mind if I used a few of your ideas for my weblog? Ill obviously mention you as the authentic source and set up a hyperlink pointing back to your blog. Many thanks.I do agree with all the ideas you have presented in your post. Theyre very convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are very short for newbies. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.This blog has a lot of extremely helpful info on it! Cheers for informing me.e. Who knows maybe it really is just my cell phone. Great post by the way.Great stuff.Id like to recommend checking out a lot around the idea of french fries. What do you think.These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content.
What can I say? I will certainly do that French fries thing. I like French fries.

Apparently contractions are a very hit or miss kind of thing for a spam-bot. Yes, I'm sure it's just your cell phone.

A couple that I pulled out of The Lexicans spam filter were very interesting. In a garbled, nonsensical, yet whimsical kind of way.
  • I simply desired to make a quick comment in order to express gratitude for your requirements for people wonderful pointers you are posting at this site. Time consuming internet investigation has towards the end for the day been rewarded with high-quality strategies to present to my guests. I would claim that many of us readers are really endowed to happen in an incredible network with biggest reason so many marvellous those with useful hints. Personally i think quite privileged to have used your webpages and check toward really more fabulous minutes reading here. Thank you for many things.
Yes, that one made my head hurt.

Here's my favorite -
  • Its such as you learn my thoughts! You seem to grasp a lot approximately this, such as you wrote the e book in it or something. I believe that you simply can do with a few % to pressure the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is excellent blog. An excellent read. I will certainly be back.
Well yes, that was my intent to "pressure the message home." Again, I don't see anything from you to help me do that. Then again, I am not going to click on a link from a person with the moniker, xvideos. While I act it at times, I'm not really an adolescent.

Ah spam, it can be interesting and annoying all at the same time. I have been going back to those old posts which seem to be so favored of spam-bots and turning off the comments. (A skill I just figured out on Friday.)

But it's like killing cockroaches. Smoke them out in one post, they show up in another.

Those apocalyptic visions where naught remains on earth but cockroaches? Nope, the spam-bots will be there too, posting bizarre comments from some subterranean server in the hopes that someone, somewhere, will click on that link from Mr xvideos.


*The Infinite Monkey Theorem refers to the former thing, not the latter. The latter is known as The Infinite Politician Theorem. Oh, wait a minute. I can't see the difference either...

Friday, November 27, 2015

Gone to the Dogs

Bear Patrols the Fence Line
Kodi On Overwatch

Hope you all had a great holiday, mine was awesome and continues. This is just a short post to let you all know I survived.

Ate far too much food.

Watched far too much football.

Had far too much fun with my granddaughters.

But I built up my strength the night before Thanksgiving.

Guinness at the Atlantic Beach Club, the eve of Thanksgiving. One of two with the meal. Had an Irish coffee for courage afterwards.

I was ready for anything.

Seeing a lot of spam coming in over the transom lately. I reckon that always follows when you open up the comments. Most, so far, are très amusant, though très ennuyeux. I'll share a couple of those this weekend, probably, POCIR.

Odd thing though, all the spam is coming in on older posts. Older posts about tanks and the Army. Perhaps they're friends of XBradTC?

Nah, he speaks English (quite well, I must say), the spammers obviously cannot.

More, later.

(BTW, Bear and Kodi are two of my granddogs.)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Freedom from Want by Norman Rockwell (Source)
Have a wonderful holiday. Let's not forget those who can't be home this year...

Not everyone can watch football on Thanksgiving. (Source)

Or curl up with a loved one in front of the fire place. (Source)

From all of us at the Chant du Départ...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Of Pins, Travel and Granddaughters

My buddy Shaun had a link in a comment yesterday for something like this CVN-69 pin. (Yeah, three links in one line, I'm outta control!)
I say "something like" that pin in the photo, because what I am holding up in that photo is the real deal, given to me by The Nuke back when she was part of Ike's reactor department. That's the "officer" version. The enlisted version (which I wish I had) is blue with gold lettering.

Here's what that link offers:


Not quite the same innit? But if you don't know a member of the crew, that button would suffice. Like they say, it's the thought that counts.

As mentioned earlier this week, two of the grandchildren are in town. Within 24 hours we were having quite a time.

Things didn't start that great.

First off, The WSO's flight into Detroit (from SFO) sat on the ground for an hour before a gate opened up where the passengers could disembark, sprint down the concourse to their connecting flight, only to watch it lift off, gear up and disappear into the gloaming.

Secondly, The WSO's flight was supposed to end in Boston. Some 60 miles to the north-north-east of my position. Not a terribly long drive but much farther than the 25 miles to T. F. Green airpatch just south of Providence. (The aerodrome is actually six miles from Chez Sarge as the crow flies. Crows can cross Narragansett Bay with ease, my car cannot.)

Alright, are you with me so far? As I suggested above, The WSO was late disembarking, through no fault of her own, her connecting flight to Boston was long gone by the time she and the granddaughters got off the plane.

Way to go Delta.

That, by the way, was the last flight to Boston.

Queue Big Time's Mom and Dad. They live in Michigan, not far from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW in airline speak). They were overjoyed that perhaps they would get the grandkids for an overnight stay.

Cruel fate intervened at that point.

Seems there was one last flight out of DTW bound for New England. Just so happens that The WSO could make that flight and Delta booked her upon it. Also, wonder of wonders, said flight was going to T. F. Green (PVD in airline speak).

Big Time's Mom and Dad? Bummed, they'd have to see the grandkids later.

The WSO's Mom and Dad? Ecstatic, shorter drive, no need to drive in the environs of Boston, which can be a real PITA. Even late at night. DAMHIK.

So the grandkids arrived, less stress on Your Humble Scribe and I get to hear conversations like this, all week:

The Missus Herself: Are you hungry baby girl?

Little Bit: Yes, but no Korean food. I don't like Korean food.

Your Humble Scribe: Little Bit, you do remember that grandma is Korean right?

[Eyes shift back and forth, looking for an out...]

Little Bit: Oh wait, I like Korean food, it's Chinese food that I don't like.

Your Humble ScribeLittle Bit, you know that grandpa loves Chinese food. Right?

[Eyes shift back and forth, looking for an out...]

Little Bit: Yes, grandma, I'm hungry. Let's eat. [Adopts a look of total innocence, as if the previous exchange had never happened.]

Later that day we discuss boogers.

I love being a grandfather.

Our tribe's newest member.
(The one on the left, ignore the geezer with the crazed look.)