Thursday, May 31, 2018

Die Brücke


So yes, there is a brand new bridge at Chez Sarge which The Missus Herself and I assembled and painted on Saturday, then emplaced over the pond on Monday. (Had to wait for the paint to dry, then it rained Sunday, so we didn't play outside at all.)

The old bridge was of metal and was badly rusted on one side. More air than metal really. So a new bridge was requested, ordered, assembled, painted, and emplaced. All in the space of a month.

Now for a real bridge (okay like a bridge over a river or something, our bridge is a real bridge, but it's a rather small bridge as bridges go), a month would be amazing. For our bridge it might leave one asking, "What took so long?"

Well, it was ordered on a Friday and arrived on a Monday. Yes, of course FedEx left it on the deck, in the rain, with no one home, no cover, nothing. Which destroyed the box and, more importantly, reduced the all important assembly instructions to a wad of tattered semi-goo.

Now the bridge material is cedar, so wetness wasn't an issue, tattered instructions on the other hand...

Well, suffice to say I managed to salvage enough of the instructions to actually assemble the bridge. (As the photo above would suggest.)

But in the meantime, twixt the ordering and the assembling etc., Mr. Diverticulitis paid a visit, then it was off to New Hampshire for Mothers Day, and before you know it, nearly a month had passed between concept and execution.

Hey, stuff happens.

Now I thought long and sort of hard about what to call this post, to wit -
  1. The Bridge not on the River Kwai
  2. Sur Le Pont d'Avignon
  3. A Bridge Too Far
  4. The Bridges of Bristol County
  5. Building Bridges
The first I rejected due to the inevitable comparison of myself with the Alec Guinness character and The Missus Herself with the Sessue Hayakawa character. I built the bloody thing, she supervised. Not that I look like Alec Guinness nor that she is anywhere near as cruel as the commandant of the POW camp. I mean not even remotely. Besides, we didn't have anyone to play the William Holden character, you know, the guy who wants to blow up the bridge. (Thing cost me a pretty penny, not gonna let some Yank blow it up.)

The second was dismissed because it reminds me of a wee French ditty we were forced to warble as youngsters, something about people dancing on a bridge in France, at Avignon to be specific. Which sends me off on a Men Without Hats Safety Dance thing which is, trust me, not pretty. (I cannot sing to save my life, but it's okay, I can't dance either. With or without a hat.)

The third was, by far, my favorite. I could take my action figures (not dolls, damn it) and reenact the whole bridge at Arnhem thing, cursing Monty all the while. But then I realized that the love of my life would certainly put the kibosh on me playing with dolls reenacting battles using action figures in the back yard.

So, the fourth idea for a title. No, just no. Don't ask. I hate that movie.

And five just sounds so, blah, so New Age and hipster-like. No, just no.

So I just called the post "The Bridge." But in German as I know y'all love it when I throw foreign stuff at ya.

Anyhoo.

The bridge building itself taught me, or perhaps re-taught is more accurate, the concept that once one reaches a certain age, and after a very sedentary winter, engaging in any sort of odd physical activity requires that one stretch first. There are certain muscles I don't really use a lot, so they need to be coaxed into participating in said activity.

From the waist up, I feel fine, however, my thigh and butt muscles feel as thought I had my ass kicked over the weekend. From the waist down I feel like a 90 year old man, waist up, fifty-ish, give or take a decade.

For you see the bridge is a rather low affair, low to the ground that is. Assembling it required a lot of bending and maneuvering while in a bent over position. Yes, a work bench would have been just the thing and yes, I do have one. In the shed.

I should mention that Saturday was rather hot and steamy here in the 401. Working in the shed would qualify as cruel and unusual had it been used for punishment purposes, not to mention which that the work bench is crammed with The Missus Herself's gardening stuff. It's what she does, she gardens. You can see some of her work in the opening photo.

After the bridge was assembled, my better half asked me if I wanted to paint it that very day. I, drenched in sweat and strongly desiring a beverage made with hops and barley said, "No."

"Why not? It's supposed to rain tomorrow. I want to paint the bridge today."

'Twas then that I realized that the "Do you want to paint the bridge today?" wasn't really a question at all, rather it was a suggestion, a thinly veiled command, in other words, what she said was directive in nature. Part of me said flee, part said fight, what happened was I said "Okay, let's paint today."

So we did.

Did I bring out my sawhorses to place the bridge upon while painting so as to not have to bend over and maneuver awkwardly once again? No, I did not. I didn't remember that I had those until my better half indicated that it would nice to somehow get the bridge up off the ground so the paint would dry overnight and it wouldn't be resting in the wet grass on Sunday. It was only then that I remembered the sawhorses. I'm not exactly stupid, but I'm not exactly smart either. I learn, but it takes time, oh so much time...

I really need to exercise more. Not that I'll be building another bridge anytime soon, but when you need to stretch to walk to the kitchen, it might be time to get out from behind the desk and go walkabout a bit more often.

Hey, it could happen.

Why the gratuitous Phantom pr0n? Why not?
'Tis my bridge to the past...
(Source)


76 comments:

  1. More than once got half-way done on a project and...D'oh! Should have done it THAT way! Bridge looks good and fits right in there, now don't forget to budget for the yearly safety inspection...... four-pack of your favorite ale whilst walking the backyard, got to stretch those muscles eh?

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    1. Good idea on the safety inspection. But if it involves ale, perhaps the periodicity needs to be increased.

      Monthly?

      Delete
  2. Maybe the word bridge, but in a different language.
    Le Pont De.... At this point, inspiration failed me.
    Suppose you dropped some of those furry creatures from a long ago Star Trek episode into the water.
    Then you would have A Bridge Over Tribbled Waters.

    Any thoughts on adding some lighting to the bridge?

    It looks very, very nice.




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    1. Re: A Bridge Over Tribbled Waters...

      Brilliant!

      Delete
  3. Looks good. At least the courier didn't heave said bridge over the fence into the bushes.... I imagine his 'stops per hour' metric were a might dented by the weight of the box. You can always ask them to leave it under the door mat. That makes for some great pictures.....

    It looks really good. My backyard looks like Mad Max's dystopia. There's a reason I don't read this blog in my bride's presence. She'd have mad envy at your garden spot. And the 100 plus for 2 weeks running has deflated my to do list. I'm just panting and scratching like the rest of the dogs around here.....

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Panting and scratching...

      While it isn't that hot here, yet, I know it's coming. Outdoor activities might be seriously curtailed.

      Mad Max dystopia? Sort of like northern New Jersey, around Newark.

      Delete
    2. Believe me STxAR, I feel your pain. No really. Frickin' hot here and it ain't even June yet. August is going to be some kind of special if this keeps up.

      Delete
    3. I've experienced hot on Okinawa, in the Philippines, in Mississippi, in Florida, in Louisiana, in South Carolina, in Virginia, and in Texas. (Yeah, yeah, it gets warm up north, but not that searing, "Oh My God my brain is melting" hot.) Can't say which is the most intense...

      Okay, the Philippines is the most intense of the lot. There's just something about a place where it will rain hard for 15 minutes, flooding the streets by the way, then stop and have all that water evaporated nearly as soon as the rain stops and the sun comes back out again. I mean, that's a special kind of hot.

      I've heard the jungles of SE Asia and the southwest Pacific are hotter, no, I don't want to visit those places...

      Delete
    4. O. M. G. I must live in the Phillippies (looks out window, scratches head.) Nope. I just live in on a very large oak hammock surrounded by swamp. Where, during the hottest part of the day, it will, as OldAFS said the PI does, rain torrents for 15 minutes and then get steamy.

      When I first moved here, in 1985, the backside of August saw 6 days over 100 degrees. So, conveniently, these numbers got lost somewhere, as every summer since about 1993 (during the ascendency of the Gore of Tennessee) the newsies have continually told me "It's the Hottest Summer EVER!!!" as the temp tops around 95 to 98, with a spike (Oh, We're gonna DIE!!!) around 99.

      Yes, those temps do suck, but not the hottest summer in a long time.

      But it's the humidity that will kill you. When there's enough water in the air that fish can survive outside of, well, water, then it will seem deathly hot at 80 degrees. And colder than Nancy Pelosi's bosom at 40 degrees, especially when the wind blows.

      Like those idiots, and Tuna, who live on the west coast and complain about it being hot when it is 85 and about 10% humidity. Meh. Here, when it's 85 and 95% humidity, with no breeze (oak hammock, basically a big 'island' sticking out of wet soggy mucky swamp and the damned trees block the winds, plus we have a few humps that we call hills, well they are hills for Florida) then it gets hot. Steam Bath hot. Hold your lobster outside and it gets cooked hot.

      The coastal areas get warm, but they get nice breezes (and not nice breezes) so those areas stay cool-ish feeling. North Central Florida? Steam Bath. Think Biloxi Blues.

      Parts of me mildew during summer. Bleh.

      But it is much better than putting up with that falling white stuff that turns to ice and will KILL YOU!!!

      Delete
    5. I can put more clothes on, there's only so many one can take off.

      Got my four seasons, happy with them.

      Delete
    6. Yes, Sarge, and for the sake of Humanity, please, we beg you, comply with the second clause!

      Delete
    7. Hahaha!

      I'll do it. For the children...

      Delete
    8. Oh, I've got 4 seasons here, also. Just all of them come with 75% humidity. Cold, wet winter with winds that cut through you, because of the moisture in the air. Psycho-Spring temps with high humidity, so that you walk out of your house in the morning bundled up like Nanook of the North, and come home in a t-shirt, shorts and sandals. Humid, stifling Summer, where you have to use a string-trimmer or a chainsaw to cut the thick, humid air so you can move forward. And Fall, where it is the inverse of Spring, just as Psycho with the temp ranges, and the pre-winter winds, and all while experiencing Summer levels of humidity as the ground does evaporative drying from all the rain during the Summer. (We even get leave color changes.)

      I love this place, but the oppressive humidity is about as thick as the oppressive socialism. And it's illegal to fight either one with FIRE!!!!!!

      Delete
    9. Beans - my lovely manly humpsMay 31, 2018 at 1:19 PM

      I am highly offended when drunken guys shout "Show us your (teats)!" and then they throw up when I expose my moobs and rub them together. Some people. Thought we lived in a more inclusive, diverse and understanding world. I think I need to go find a crying room somewhere to have a melt-down.

      Delete
    10. The four seasons of Florida...

      Reminds me of a story told to me by a German colleague:

      "How do you know it's summer in the Rhineland?"

      "The rain is warm."

      (Yes, lots of rain where we lived, but when the weather was nice, it was breathtaking!)

      Delete
    11. Hhmm, good thing you told that one after the callsign review board.

      Not saying callsigns can't change, not saying that at all. (Insert evil laugh here.)

      😉

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    12. There's a reason I acquiesced to the callsign review board. It's like dealing with the Mafia, refuse once, and their counter-offer is not going to be as magnanimous.

      Delete
    13. Hahaha!

      Thou art wise beyond thy years gentle soul.

      Delete
  4. Like the Deutsche. Thoughts returned to days of bridge building in the 814th Pioneer Kompanie (Schwimmerbrueken).

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    1. There was a lot less heavy equipment involved with our bridge construction then I'm sure there was with yours back in the day.

      No mud either, none at all.

      Delete
  5. Loved the picture of the Phantom. Never got to fly a clean D, but a clean E is swift enough to get the attention of a small Georgia Town. If you know what I mean.

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    1. The bird in the painting is a C-model, tail number 7680, about which Joe Baugher's site says:

      7680 (MSN 806) shot down MiG-21 Jan 2, 1967, flown by Col Robin Olds and 1st Lt C. Clifton. Shot down MiG-21 Apr 5, 1967. Shot down MiG-17 May 13, 1967 flown by Lt Col. F. A. Haeffner and 1st Lt M R. Bever of 433rd TFS. Shot down by AAA Nov 20, 1967 with 480th TFS, 366th TFW while attacking suspected SAM site. Rear seat ejected safely and was picked up, but pilot not seen to leave the aircraft before water impact. Pilot declared KIA. Plane marked as 63-7680 on display at Lackland AFB, Texas is actually US Navy 149421.

      The Collings Foundation's F-4D was painted up as 7680 for a while (before that she'd been painted as 7463). Both birds had red stars on the left vari-ramp. 7680 killed three MiGs, 7463 killed six. Captains Ritchie and DeBellevue made ace while flying 7463. (I featured her on Tuesday and she's in the mast head.)

      Delete
    2. And now you know why there's always a (HISS) after the word AAA. (HISS)

      Delete
    3. And just for the Halibut....
      The Phantom is in a great position, however if not already within, he's rapidly approaching min range for the Aim-7E. I can't see any wing pylons on the jet, although they may be blocked by the wing, but you can't see them on the left wing either, so probably no heater. Because it's a C model, he quite likely wouldn't have a gun, so....He needs to take the Radar shot now, because if it doesn't guide, or the MIG defeats it he'll be faced with trying to out run him, which he's got enough angle on the MIG to make it work.
      So if I were the Artist, I'd have a pair of smoke trails about half way to the target, pulling lead. But that's just me, being blood thirsty.

      Delete
    4. Not being blood thirsty. It's being prudent. When you're not a gunslinger, stay out of gunslinger range.

      When you have a lance, don't let the guy into knife range.

      Thanks for the excellent critique of the painting. I like it when an expert weighs in and gives us the reality.

      Delete
    5. Juvat - I can't quite make out the bird to 680's front, might even be another Phantom, it doesn't look "MiGish" to me. (But if you kind of squint, it could be a -21?)

      Delete
    6. Beans - I'm with you. Escalate early, escalate often.

      Delete
    7. Based on the tail, I think it's a Fishbed (MIG-21). The nose isn't right for an F-4, besides, why would you paint a picture of a rejoin of F-4's? Undoubtedly, the artist painted the target to create interest, but I'd say the Phantom is on the inside of the turn and within 4K'based on the apparent target size. So he's outside Heater parameters (Angles), probably inside fusing distance (Radar missile), but setting up nicely for a gun shot if he's got one on board. If he doesn't he needs to be exiting the fight. Fast.
      Were this in an Eagle, the Aim-7M would be within a couple of seconds of impact. An AIM-9M would be uncaged and slaved to his heat seeker, just in case. I'd be doing a quick Check Six. No bandit, continue and if the bandit doesn't ignominiously expire, launch the Heater. Check six again. Bandit? Reverse turn and exit the fight. No Bandit? Saddle up and ride. 3 seconds (300 rounds) of High Explosive 20MM should put paid to his communistic ways. Reverse turn and exit the area at a great rate of speed. That's just me, being cautious.

      Delete
    8. That's a painting done by Lou Drendel published in the book "Aircraft of the Vietnam War" (1971). The painting is entitled "Bolo Kill" which shows Robin Olds rolling in on a MiG-21 during Operation Bolo.

      The MiG-21 was shot down by an AIM-9 (2 were fired). In the painting the wings are blocking out the view of the wing pylons. Is this accurate from the perspective used in the painting?

      Yup, it's the humidity that sucks....I live in the PI.

      - Victor

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    9. I think you're right Victor, the inboard pylons could be loaded with 'Winders and that angle in the painting would obscure them.

      What say you Juvat? Sound about right?

      Thanks for the note Victor, I spent 17 days at Clark for a Cope Thunder. I remember the humidity very well. Other things too!

      Delete
    10. Juvat - Missed your comment, got excited over someone commenting from the PI.

      I don't recall seeing gunpods on the Cs, definitely remember them on the Ds though.

      Delete
    11. A cursory search of the web seems to indicate that the Cs could, and did, carry a gun pod.

      Just don't remember seeing them at Kadena, where we had a squadron of Cs, some Wild Weasels among them.

      Delete
    12. I can go with that. Pylons were mounted forward and the nose angle could have blanked it out, which I said. If the Fishbed didn’t turn , a heater would have been within parameters. The Fishbed isn’t turning, the missile would not have had incresasing angles, therby improving probability of kill..

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    13. Good data from our resident fighter pilot. As always!

      Delete
    14. As for the Gun Pod, I flew both C's and D's with one on some range missions. It meant giving up the centerline tank of course, which depending on the mission target could cause a fuel issue. I never got real good at strafing with it though, course I only had a couple of hundred hours in C's and D's by the time I got to Moody and the E, so it could (read "probably") have been the operator instead of the weapon. The gun on the E because it was out front of you was always fun to shoot. The noise was loud and there was visible smoke. Always fun.

      Delete
    15. Lack of an internal gun on the early Phantoms was a BAD IDEA.

      The boffins think that NOW the internal gun might not be useful.

      Idiots all.

      Delete
  6. Nice work... coulda done without the reminders about how no good deed goes unpunished

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  7. What? No names to invoke your beautiful bride's heritage? With a cute sign, in Korean, saying who and what date it was built?

    How do you say, "The bridge of my back's despair" in Korean? Something like, 내 뒤로 절망의 다리

    Or in honor of the house felines, "Tiger Bridge." 타이거 브릿지

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pro Tip#2: Google Translate is fairly unreliable translating to Korean. Too many nuances and varying levels of politeness. It also tries to translate phonetically, "tiger" in Korean is not "타이거," that's the phonetic pronunciation of the English word. "Tiger in Korean is "호랑이," unless used as part of another phrase such as the Korean Tiger Division, which is 맹호사단,"맹호" being the "tiger" portion of the name ("사단" being "division").

      Asian languages are more complex than European, Google Translate isn't always your friend. "내 뒤로 절망의 다리" translates to "The bridge of despair behind me."

      Thus endeth the lesson. ;)

      Delete
    2. Wow. Just... Wow. So schooled... I figured that the translation was poo-poo, but no stars for trying?

      So what's the best translator out there? Or do they all suck snail shells?

      Delete
    3. I've found it humorous to use Google, then take the translation and run it back through to Engrish. Pretty hilarious most of the time.

      Delete
    4. Hmmm, will have to try that. Can't be worse trying to understand Walmartian.

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    5. Beans, I did come across all pedantic didn't I? Apologies, you get an A for effort. 😁

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    6. Juvat - that works in many cases. Again, not so much for Asian languages. But yes, great fun!

      Delete
    7. Beans - Seriously, the Walmartians have developed a spoken language? OMG, before you know it they might learn manners and culture and, and...

      Nah, probably not.

      Delete
    8. No, you did not come across pedantic. This site is all about learning and sharing, which is what everyone here does. Such as, "a sugarloaf helm, how 13th Century." See? Not pedantic at all.

      Smart-assy? Well, that's just one of your many charms.

      Delete
    9. And I need to toss in some emoji crap when I use dripping sarcasm. In this case, it was dripping sarchasm, as there was definitely a deep cleft between meaning and sending, if you know what I mean. ;)

      Delete
    10. Pretty good YouTube channel: The Hardest Language to Spell
      The Hardest Writing System
      and many more by a linguist. Aztec/Nahuatl? Basque? Etruscan? He covers them and more in a light, humorous fashion. I lost a couple of hours last week watching them...

      Delete
    11. Hangul is so very sane compared to all of its neighbors.

      Delete
    12. Wow, good stuff Larry.

      Hangul is easy, it's an alphabet with only 24 unique characters. Well, relatively easy.

      Delete
  8. I think that perhaps AW has inspired you to heights of eloquence. Not that you haven't had good posts in the past, but today's offering is ( in my opinion ) one your better ones.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

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    1. The infusion of fresh blood into a unit often inspires the grognards to greater efforts.

      Or I'm just feeling especially loquacious lately.

      Delete
    2. I just think your diverticulitis and other issues diverted you from being yourself.

      I've gone back to reading the blog from the start to see when Juvat shows up (Tuna appears right away), and when I showed up commenting, and you were definitely loquacious back then (especially the Penguin Post because it's all about LUSH, right? Every post is supposed to be about her, right?)

      Delete
    3. That is her take on things.

      😉

      Delete
  9. I learned long ago what is meant when MiLady says "We".

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    1. Oh yeah. It's like being voluntold.

      Delete
  10. Hey, Sarge, you're a blogger--call it the Troll Bridge!
    --Tennessee Budd

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  11. You know, with a good backhoe you coulda filled in that little ditch in an afternoon and then you wouldn't have needed a bridge!
    Problem solved!

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    1. That's my boy Proof! Always thinking outside the box.

      Now get back in the box...

      😄

      Delete
  12. Statue next to the bridge--"Is that you, Horatius? Is this me...?"

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    1. Or the lone Viking on the bridge. He'll be okay until a boat of Anglo-Saxons come along.

      Delete
    2. It would have to be a pretty small boat as it's a pretty small pond.

      But I like the concept.

      Delete
  13. My father, an ex Japanese pow, walked out of Bridge on the River Kwai as he was so utterly disgusted by two things..he said that any prisoner speaking to the Japs with such disrespect would have been beheaded immediately. Secondly, British officers sat in the shade and were not made to work. Australian officers shared the burdens of the enlisted men.

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    1. Yes, the utter brutality of the Japanese is often overlooked.

      In the UK in those days, class was everything. Not so much with the Aussies.

      Delete
  14. Since we flew both in-country and out-country out of DaNang, we fooled around with putting THREE (3) gun pods on our C models for in-country CAS msns where center-line fuel pod not always vital when operating in I-Corps. Vibration could be problematic, tho. (The all-guns conf. was how the 366th got the name "Gunfighters")

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    1. Damn! Now that must have been a sight!

      Delete
    2. FYI "Factoid" Sarge/

      The pods on the C-model were pneumatically powered by a ram-air turbine (the "RAT") while the D-model ones were electrically powered. This made a difference when strafing on land ranges near civilian communities because pulling off tgt in the C model could cause a few rounds to be tossed off-range as there was sometimes residual pressure in the system to trigger rounds even tho trigger relaxed..

      Delete
    3. Interesting. Bit of a design flaw that.

      Delete

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