Friday, February 23, 2018

If It Starts to Feel Like Work...

An F-15E Strike Eagle takes off in Southwest Asia, July 7, 2017. The aircraft, assigned to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, is supporting U.S. Central Command's Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve.
Air Force Photo by SrA Damon Kasberg (Source)
I once told myself that if this blogging thing ever started to feel like work, then I would stop.

Now, now, don't panic, today is not that day. (For those of you who started cheering, sit back down and keep coloring.)

There are those days though where the Muse has decided to stay out late, have entirely too much to drink, fall in with a bad crowd, and leave me staring at a blank screen wondering just what the heck am I supposed to write about. Before you turn away thinking that this is one of those "I got nothing" posts, it isn't. Not really. It's just that from time to time I feel the need to blather on about whatever pops into my head.

That time is now. So here we go. (Stay tuned I may throw some military pr0n at you, maybe even a video, I dunno yet, I'm flying by the seat of my pants right now.)

One thing I want to say first is that occasional reader William (at least I think it's him) has been doing some excellent work over at The Lexicans. Especially this, a little thing I like to call "The Index." Pretty much the highlights of Lex's work over the time he was blogging. This plays into my (non) choice of topic for today's post. For various reasons, the Cap'n had thought of getting out of the blogging game, but (Praise the Lord) did not. So I read that post today. The second piece of that (which originally ran a week later) was what really struck me.

Am I obsessive about blogging? You betcha. There are times when The Missus Herself has mentioned that I needed to step away from the keyboard and take a breath. The Nuke considers me to be "part of the media." (Which I deny, vociferously.) The WSO just wants to know, "So is today's post about me?" To which the answer is sometimes yes. (Yes, I still remind her that we're all breathlessly awaiting her inaugural post, I mean after all, she is on the masthead.)

While I am not constantly thinking about what to post, no, really, I'm not, (okay, there are days where that is the case), I have, occasionally gone to bed perhaps a tad later than I should, writing what I hope will be an excellent post. Yes, that is rather a hit or miss proposition.

For instance, my last couple of posts were regarding current events, a topic I try to stay away from because I like to take the historian's long view of things. (Current events, by their very nature, are not yet history, not quite. Sure they're in the past, but not the "years ago" variety past.) So when I do address a recent event, it's because I feel rather strongly about it.


I have been working on a post about Poland (really Paweł, I'm working on it) but such a topic is "yuge." Poland has a long history, much of it of the unhappy variety. So when I'm chasing down things that I find interesting about a topic (and I hope you do as well), I will occasionally stumble upon an interesting thing which just blows my mind. Like this.

As you might have noticed that link goes to Правда, er, I mean, the New York Times. What really drew me in, and made me read the whole thing, was the headline -

Poland’s Nationalism Threatens Europe’s Values, and Cohesion

Well gee, isn't that special? If, like me (sometimes) you found the article to be TL;DR (too long; didn't read) I think these two paragraphs are what spun me up -
The tug of war has intensified as Eastern Europe becomes the incubator for a new model of “illiberal democracy” for which Hungary has laid the groundwork. But it is Poland — so large, so rich, so militarily powerful and so important geostrategically — that will define whether the European Union’s long effort to integrate the former Soviet bloc succeeds or fails.

The stakes, many believe, far outweigh those of Britain’s exit from the European Union, or Brexit, as the bloc faces a painful reckoning over whether, despite its efforts at discipline, it has enabled the anti-democratic drift, and what to do about it.
(Source)
So the European Union is worried about Poland actually being Poland. The NY Times is worried about it as well, I dunno, perhaps the Poles are doing something right? That bold underlined bit above really jerked my chain - I mean really, "the EU's long effort to integrate the former Soviet bloc"?

Integrate as in "dictate to them"? Is that what they mean? What do some of the ordinary "man in the street" Poles think?
Rafal Pstragowski, the 37-year-old mayor of Sniadowo, an independent in his seventh year in office, echoed the sentiments. “Poland is a traditional Christian country and Poland respects other religions,” he said, “but we want our culture to be respected, too.”

“There is a fear among people that Western secularism is a threat to our traditional culture,” he added. “If things in Europe keep going in the same direction, people think that the migration crisis and terrorist attacks could start here, too.’’

Slawomir Zgrzywa, 55, a local historian, said that Poland’s long history of conflict with Russia had made it skeptical of “any sort of left-wing or liberal politics,” and had enhanced the standing of a deeply conservative and politicized Roman Catholic priesthood.
(Source)
I'd be interested to hear occasional reader Paweł's take on what's going on in Poland.


So yes, there are times I sit down to write and the old noggin is as blank as a snowy field in Wisconsin (just to see if occasional reader Scott is paying attention). At other times, the posts seem to write themselves.

I'm not sure where today's post falls on that scale. But hey look, another Eagle! (Or three...)

Three U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles from the 44th Fighter Squadron train with Japan Air Self Defense Forces Nov. 17, 2010, off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan. Twelve jets and nearly 200 Airmen from Kadena Air Base, Japan, participated in an aviation training relocation program.U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Mike Tateishi (Source)
The weekend approaches, perhaps another historical post, perhaps not.

I'm about as predictable as New England weather...



72 comments:

  1. Interesting post.... hope Eastern Europe can hold the line for Western Civilization since Western Europe seems intent on national suicide. Dad's family came from Slovakia and he had stories of what the Communists did there at the end of the war. Good variety of postings Sarge.

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    1. It seems that Poland might be Europe's last, best hope. The Hungarians seem stout, especially as they've made the NY Times "anxious."

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    2. Cue the "Babylon 5" theme music...

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    3. Alas, the fields are brown and shiney, as we have had two ice storms in the last 4 days, with possibility of another Saturday night. It's a good thing my hair is already gray, or it would have changed this week!

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  2. It seems that in this country diversity is becoming the most important concept, except when it applies to opinions.

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    1. In Europe diversity is a big thing, except if you disagree with the EU. But it's okay for certain types of immigrants...

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    2. Yes, when you can get arrested for disagreeing with the Government's official view, then you know you are no longer living in a 'free' country. I'm not talking about calling for the bombings to start, I'm talking about posting on your blog that you don't approve of the way your nation is pandering to certain refugees. Oh, no. Off to the Gulag.

      I always thought Russia was the over-the-top authoritarian. But they have been surpassed by (formerly) Great Britain and Germany (guess they integrated communist East Germany too well) and a flock of other idiot nations bent on their own destruction.

      UP POLAND. Prepare the Winged Hussars to Ride to save Europe once again!

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    3. Replying to Andrew's comment on disagreeing with official view: it recalls Natan Sharansky's "Town Square" test for freedom:

      In his book The Case for Democracy, published in 2004, Sharansky explains the term: If a person cannot walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm, then that person is living in a fear society, not a free society. (as described by Wikipedia)

      Europe? I'm not sure the U.S. could pass that test today....

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    4. I know, and that scares me at times...

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    5. If the Democrats ever become dominat again, we can say farewell to most of our freedoms. There are already murmurings among the Left about removing certain amendments.

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    6. Away the ready huzzah cat, right?

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    7. Scott - the problem is that many of the RINOs are in bed with their Prog counterparts, I don't know who to trust. Rubio revealed his true colors the other day.

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    8. Yes, he certainly did, didn't he! There is a trecherous one in the Senate.

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    9. The HUZZAHCAT is stuck on his launcher. When I try and post a photo on Facebook, instead of asking Camera of Prime, it just brings up a screen that says Select Image, with the rotating arrow, and that's as far as I can go.

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    10. Hhmm, are you posting to FB from a cell phone? I just looked at FB here on the computing box, all seems normal, but the cell phone interface seems to change daily on the Android.

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  3. Hmmmm. good, a post. Well, I've written before that I'll read anything you post; I read this one.

    Really, it's not a bad post. I know that I'm too lazy to do a blog, so you are miles ahead of me for doing this blog no matter what you post.

    Now I'm going back to check out the links above.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

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    1. The article on Poland is interesting. The New York Times scares me.

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    2. The New York Times is scary indeed.

      PLQ

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    3. The NYT can be vomit-inducing.

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    4. The NYT is full of sychophants for the Progressive Movement. Intelligent people ignore the NYT, but alas, money and power do not require intelligence.

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    5. I think the NYT contains many leaders of the movement. The propaganda arm of the Progs.

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    6. I believe you are correct in that thought.

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  4. Dagnabit. That first link reminded just how much I miss him. Thanks. Gee, I need to break out the dust cloth, the dust in here is overwhelming.

    Paul

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  5. I took a jab at explaining the situation, but it easily extended beyond 4096 characters limit, so i posted it on FB and heres the link:
    https://www.facebook.com/Ewok40k/posts/10210700159812280

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    1. Tried to follow the link, but I am NOT a facebook member ( nor will I ever be one ), so I couldn't get in to read it. I'm sorry, as I would like to read your explanation.

      Paul L. Quandt

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    2. Thanks Paweł, interesting reading.

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    3. PLQ - When I get a chance I'll try and reproduce Paweł's post for the non-Facebookers.

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    4. will try to post it in parts here
      I can say much of the political mess on the Israeli-Polish hotline now... and most of this is because both sides prioritise internal populism over diplomacy.
      Israel has made Holocaust almost a secular religion, holding the Jews only "pure" victims untainted by agression or malevolence. This is almost mirrored by now-politics of nationalist government in Poland. Conflict was inevitable. Bloodlands shows but a fraction of real carnage that happened on Eastern european lands in 1940s.
      Out of 3 millions pre-war Polish Jews - all with full citizen rights, serving in military (where much of Israel later military has gotten their training), and own political party in the Sejm (parliament)-few survived ww2. Pre-war situation: There has been a strong antisemitic current in the nationalist right, as well as economic rivalry with peasantry and polish small business. But when in 1930s nationalists tried to instill quitas for Jews in schools and "desk ghettos" they were quickly quashed by military running the government under Pilsudski's oversight. Their main oraganisation was dissovled and leaders landed in prison. Few people even died in the skirmises with police.
      Enter the Germans. Between the 1939 and 1941 they steadily herded the Jews into ghettos, while Poles organised resistance centered on preparing general uprising in the rightfully predicted event of German collapse. By 1941 the German policy turned to direct extermination and Polish underground government took - mission impossible - to 1 with limited own means to save as many Jews from Holokaust as possible, and to alert the world. World didnt believe, but almost all surviving Polish Jews owe it to Polish citizens. Catholic church did great work of masquerading Jewish kids as Christian ones, despite popular catholicism being quite strongly antisemitc. Meanwhile a criminal industry arose of denouncing hiding Jews (which by the way also sentenced the ones hiding them to death). Underground took efforts to punish those criminals called "Szmalcownicy" and but identifying them was hard and hence only few were executed by agents of the underground. It is estimated that around 200.000 Jews were either turned in or slain by very Poles in actions like now infamous Jedwabno case.

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    5. part 2
      Meanwhile Jewish partisan-survival groups were not without violence themselves, raiding the villages for scarce food and coming to clash with various resistance groups that were reacting to peasants requests for protection.
      On the other hand 2,8 millions of Polish Jews ended up dead without any comlicity from Poles. Assuming acerage Szmalcownik turned in 2 -4 Jews there were 50-100k of them compared to hundreds of thousands that served in either resistance or Polish armies in the West and the Soviet aligned (Soviet after "liberating " Poland quickly mobilised some 500 thousand Poles into own-controlled "Peoples Polish Army" which took much action in 1945 Berlin operation.
      Poles understandingly are enraged when POLISH CONCENTRATION CAMPS make headlines and much of the Israel population seems to believe that Poles were worse than Germans.
      In Auschwitz itself there was a microcosm of German perceived enemies. Poles, Gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah Witnesses Russian POWs and of course Jews from all over Europe. All of them died by thousands but only Jews were almost guaranteed immediate execution on arrival. They just had the unluck to be top extermination priority... Had Germans managed tolast longer or win Poles were next in line....
      Overall in WW2 Poland lost about 6 millions citzens, though definite number is hard to prove with scale of death. Thats roughly 20% prewar population. Abouth alf of those who perished were Jews. Rest were vicitim of German and Soviet policies, hunger, disease and internecine warfare -post 1944 there was sizeable antisoviet resistance that was brutally put down by NKVD and local communist forces - as well as Ukrainian ethnic cleansing on prewar eastern fringes of Poland. (which also creates nowadays tensions - much welcome by Moscow- between Warsaw and Kiyev.
      I can notice one very good and fine action in the whole mess of today - Germans chimed in with notice that Holokaust was entirely German idea and endeavour, and blaming other nations is belittling the evil of true masterminds of Wannsee and their executors.
      https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/german-fm-calling-auschwitz-a-polish-death-camp-is-incorrect-1.5786931

      I myself being long-standing old-school liberal (in the old personal liberty meaning) i am appalled by my own governmanet trying to decree truth by law, but I can not but see that 70 years blurred the truth enough that many nations seem to develop their own visions of history, completely at odds with each other...

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    6. I always wonder a little bit when I see someone put something they think is important on facebook.

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    7. Thank you, Pawel, for telling the truth. It is a rather lacking subject lately regarding current affairs in Europe. Thank you for telling us your history that has never been spoken of here. Poland has too long been seen as a joke rather than the valiant nation fighting against the odds. I admit, I knew nothing about your nation's struggle to protect its Jewish citizens, as I was taught (and suspected it was wrong) in school that your nation 'supported' the Nazi plans (oh, how I wish I could go back in time and kick some of my teachers straight in their lying fat socialist asses.)

      I have been unhappily watching our Main Stream Media denigrate you Poles for believing in yourselves and for wanting the truth told.

      Thank you, yourself, and your country for all it has done to shield all of us from the horrors of the insane conquerors, those in the distant past, those in the recent past and those in these current times. Please make sure your fellow Poles understand that a good portion of US citizens support you and your country.

      Heck, the first few times I cried while watching TV was when Lech started agitating the Soviets and the news got out, when Pope John Paul II was elected and when he went back to Poland.

      And, when the Winged Hussars ride once again, I'll be cheering for you.

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    8. Thanks for reproducing that here Paweł, saved me some work!

      And yes, long live Poland!

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    9. Rob, and I know this will sound like heresy, but occasionally there is good stuff on Facebook. Paweł posted it there because the comments here are limited to 4096 characters, which Paweł is the first commenter to discover, I did not know that.

      And besides, there are all those cute cat pictures and videos. Are those not important? ;)

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    10. I rely on Paweł to keep us informed of what's going on "out east."

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  6. I definitely enjoyed your post. I've been rooting for the Poles!

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  7. NPR had a "concerned" article this morning about how terrible it was that Hungary was going after George Soros, that it was simply the latest in a string of Nationalist/Reactionary spasms against migrants, globalism, and the European Union - you know, the great march of progress. Said to myself "Right, Soros is behind a lot of that, so why wouldn't Hungary want to protect itself from his efforts to erase it as an independent country?"

    The East European's know about what happens when you have unimpeded "mass immigration". They've lived it for centuries.

    /
    L.J.

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    1. NPR, so socialistic even the Muppets left for capitalism at HBO.

      I wish our current administration would defund that communistic cancer, let it sink or swim on capitalism alone.

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    2. Yes Andrew, great idea. Won't happen though, too many "fellow travelers" in Congress.

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  8. The thought that comes to mind here is, “Too much government.”
    It’s amazing how some folks, who may be brilliant, can take simple concepts and develop so many rules for those concepts that they are nothing at all like the original idea... take my bog for instance.
    Oh, wait!
    That’s not at all what I meant.
    It’s when the second string comes in that everything get’s mucked up.
    It’s because they all want to leave a legacy by making IMPROVEMENTS.
    What’s scary is when it’s folks from another culture making them and I don’t necessarily mean different nationalities.
    Just an influx of suburbanites to a rural community can turn the world upside down.

    Then there’s whatever happens when the squirrels take over.
    Blogging goes to hell and you get stream of consciousness, if you’re lucky.

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    1. I should mention I was once married into a family of Poles.
      They were very protective of their culture, yet fully partipative in local custom.

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    2. Uh, and another thought...
      When pointing a finger at another, bear in mind that there are three more (providing one has all of their fingers) pointing back oneself.
      Instead of placing blame, which belongs so far in the past, measures to prevent a recurrence should be in the works.

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  9. When I saw "TL;DR" I smiled, it's not just me!

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  10. Oh, forgot to mention this. For a throw-away blog day, you managed to stimulate a huge amount of conversation before noon (Eastern time), larger than on many 'better blog days.'

    Quit discounting yourself. Your mind at idle is more active than most of Congress combined. Except for Nancy Pelosi, since I think they actually transplanted a ferret's mind into her. It's the only logical explanation for her actions in the last few years.

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    1. Just sprayed the monitor at the Pelosi-ferret mind implant concept.

      That is priceless!

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    2. Well, either her few remaining neurons are firing like a ferret trapped in a pachinko machine or the Imagineers at Disney have a rogue animatronics on their hands.

      The new 'West World' so to speak.

      Hmmmm. That, that might be a more reasonable explanation. They're using cheap knock-offs of AMD chips. Shoulda gone Intel all the way....

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    3. ROTFLMAO.

      (I had some neat emoticons here, which don't show up on some systems. Technology and I aren't playing nicely together today.)

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  11. Nobody is gonna balk at you cutting back. Post when you have something...or not. Your boss won't mind and you get to keep the same pay!

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    1. Hahaha!

      But, but...

      I need to blog, it's in my DNA now.

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  12. So many Poles, so little time. Seriously. There have been too many times that Poland has been a battleground and too many times that Poles have been significant actors in Europe's history that any history ignoring or slighting them is worthless. I suppose you could go earlier than Vienna in 1683, but that's a good start....

    Babylon 5 theme music? Which season? I loved that show...!

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    1. Andrew? Which season. (I need to watch that series someday, I feel like I'm missing something.)

      Totally agree on the role the Poles have played in European history.

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    2. The Babylon 5 theme music changed every season, signifying what was going to happen.

      The first was somewhat uplifting, with a hint of forlornness.
      The following seasons' themes got darker, until Season 4, when the Shadows were kicking ass, the music was downright Russian dark.
      Season 5's theme was militarily uplifting and full of hope, as the Alliance kicked ass and took no names.

      All season themes contain the same basic root structure and sound, they just get modified to express the emotional feelings of the seasons.

      Masterful works of art. I highly recommend y'all find copies of the music, at least, to watch. Watching Bab5 is much better, but it is much more expensive unless you're ripping episodes off the 'net.

      Really wish they would replay all the seasons, starting with the 2 hour movie and going straight into year 1, and follow it up with the Rangers episodes. Come on SciFi, do your damned job!

      So, the actual answer is: Season 1 - somewhat uplifting, with hope, but full of foreboding for the coming struggle.

      Man, what a solid, ground-breaking show. Too bad network execs kinda screwed it up. But what a cast. Who would have thought that Melissa Gilbert could play such a cold-hearted evil bi--female dog. Bill Mumy was so fracking great, and Stephen Furst as Vir Cotto just got the frustrated assistant down pat. And those weren't the main-main actors and roles. Geez, the episode where they follow around two frustrated repair techs during a battle was awesome. The whole K'za'dum episodes were awesome. The use of actual physics and vector analysis and stuff was awesome (Gee, you're in space, in a fighter and someone's on your tail. Oh, that's right, flip and shoot them in the face, flip again and accelerate the heck out of there.

      I miss that show. I gotta track that show down and get it, and the sound track (which I had but lost somewhere.)

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    3. And, OldAFSarge, sir, yes. You are missing something. Something great. One of the first shows to use CGI heavily. And originally designed to run... 5 seasons. The writer, J. Michael Strazinzki, wrote an outline for the whole production, with the ability to remove major characters if they left and insert new characters.

      It is full of real-politic, backstabbing, international relations, all the good stuff tossed into, onto, around a 5 mile long space station (the first four were blown up, or just mysteriously disappeared, ooooh, mysteriously.)

      Plus, watching Chekov from Star Trek play an evil telepath overlord is just frickin awesome.

      Man, I had a crush on Mira Furlon for the longest time.

      Yes, yes you definitely have to watch the show. Soonest.

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  13. 1. I like the Eagles pics. So close and life like!!
    2. Stream of conscious blogs are fun too, and many times informative. I learn lots of history from your history posts, but lots of times I will learn something new, or see stuff from a different angle with your other posts.
    3. Kick Lush in the tukis...what's she afraid of? Tell her to come on in, the water is warm. I, for one, am looking forward to her initial post, to be followed by others. She doesn't need to have anything deep or heavy...
    4. I had seen an article maybe 6 months ago about how Poland was holding the line against the immigration/culture issues and was happy one country over there is being run by adults.
    5. Thank you to Pawel for providing the concise history lesson. I learned new stuff!
    6. OMG! Ferret implants!! That is truly a very good line...and would explain a lot. I just thought she had Parkinson's...

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    1. I shall inform LUSH that her adoring public is starting to get restless.

      :)

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    2. Yeah! Plenty of port visits to write about, near mishaps, being a spousal unit that REALLY knows what it's like, how hard it is to be your daughter! haha just kidding.

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  14. I'm still waiting to see if your Tiger crew survived the Bulge.

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    1. And for that you may have to wait a while longer. (Not to be mysterious or anything, just that I've been very busy as of late.)

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)