Friday, April 20, 2012

Miscellaneous Thoughts on a Friday Evening

As I mentioned in my last post, the WSO has been on me about posting more. I had assumed that she was well satisfied with the last one as it was all about her.

Apparently not. That just whetted her appetite.

About two hours ago, the WSO rang me up and said, "What, no post today?"

So here we go. I am now officially chained to my computer until I get another post out.


The photo is of yours truly, at the coffee bar of "my" hotel. I must say this picture came out unusually well. Normally when I smile for the camera I tend to look rather silly. For instance, the following is part of a photo taken at the New England gathering of Lexicans.

I think I look like some crazed old goofball.

Hhhmm, maybe this is a more accurate portrait of me than I realized. I am kind of a crazed old goofball, now that I think about it.

Oh well.

(To the WSO: Yes, today's post isn't about you. It's about ME! Ah-ha!)

Trust me, that will annoy the hell out of her. I'm her Dad, that's what I do.

You may notice that I've changed the frontispiece of the old blog. Still have a VFA-32 Rhino featured. I've also included the patches for three of the units I served with. The top one (18th TFW) is when I was on Okinawa. The next (and all time favorite unit, the 8th TFW, or "Wolf Pack") was from my four years in Korea. The bottom one is, of course, the patch of the late, lamented Strategic Air Command. I wore that one for four years at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

Lex's picture is still there. But I enlarged it somewhat. Lex's picture will always be prominently featured near the top of the Chant du Départ. He is the reason I became a blogger in the first place.

So today was exciting. I mowed the lawn. Fed the cats. Twice. (Fed the cats that is, only mowed the lawn once.) But it was a gorgeous day up here in Merry Olde New England. Sunny, warm but not excessively so. But enough of the the Old Sarge and his chores, time for some...

Gratuitous Armored Fighting Vehicle Pr0n!

Glad I got that out of my system.

As you can see, today I'm all over the map.

Speaking of photographs, I had a great uncle who hated to have his picture taken. Would go to extremes to stay out of the way at family gatherings when the cameras came out. The only picture I remember from way back was taken by my Dad. Seems my great uncle had just gotten settled down at a cook-out over at my grandparents' farm. No cameras were in evidence.

So my Dad announced that he was going inside to attend to a "call of nature", in reality he crept out front to the car to grab his camera. So there we were, a beautiful late summer afternoon in New Hampshire, everyone just chatting and having a good time.

Then around the corner of the house comes my Dad, camera in hand. Sneaking up on my great uncle for to snap a photo. When one of my kid brothers yells out, "Hey Dad, I thought you went inside to tinkle?"

Well of course everyone turns around. Including my great uncle. He almost managed to avoid getting his picture taken, but not quite. To this day I remember that picture. There's the back of my great uncle, desperately flinging his lawn chair aside, trying to make the haven of the barn I guess. Picture was kind of blurry but I remember it well.

Being a Vermonter, I have to relate my one maple syrup story. That same camera-shy great uncle and my grandfather would make maple syrup every spring. My brothers and I loved to go over to the farm and watch. We learned much about maple syrup making, from the tapping of the trees to gathering the sap in a big tank mounted on a trailer towed by my grandfather's tractor, to the boiling it down to make syrup.

I related this story to a colleague of mine at work at one day. He mentioned that he recalled that the amount of maple sap required to make maple syrup was rather large. And did I know what it took to make maple syrup?

Of course, I said. It takes 40 gallons of sap, one bottle of whiskey and a great deal of swearing to produce one gallon of maple syrup.

At least that's the process my ancestors used.


  1. Love the new look, a military aircraft should look used, and deadly.

    1. Thanks Scary. I fully agree with you on the appearance of a combat aircraft. They should look MEAN.

  2. Military Pr0n!!!

    Maple Syrup!!! Hogday scared me the other day with tales of some gold syrup they put on pancakes in England; then he said he'd had something he thought was maple syrup, made and served by the Amish. Heaven forbid! The only true Maple Syrup (two words, both capitalized, don't ask) comes from Vermont.


    1. Maple Syrup (two words, both capitalized, don't ask) - I love it, if I ever steal/borrow/misappropriate this phrase you'll get credit Kris. But I'll only use this for the Vermont kind, nothing else. Promise.

    2. Sarge - the credit for that phrase doesn't rest with me - it is, of course, a Lexism that I tweaked a bit. The man was a bottomless pit of these things, thanksbetogod.

  3. AH SAC!!! Gave them four years of my young life. Hydraulic mechanic, [42172] on KC-135's, B-47's and what ever else they could drag into the hanger. Served my time at PAFB, right across the lake from Vermont. Beautiful area, mountains, the lake, clear skies, lots of good memories.

    1. Plattsburg. I've been up in those parts, being a Vermonter myself (though I'm a southern Vermonter). It is beautiful country. Way prettier than the area around SAC HQ at Offutt. But I'm a mountains and trees kind of guy, rolling cornfields aren't bad, but they're way too flat for my tastes. Though I have to say, the folks out in Nebraska are some of the friendliest on the planet.

  4. Hmmm, most everything about the recipe is good, but the whiskey part. Some rate it in cases of beer. Other than that, a-yah. Finest kind. One of my coworkers is a backyard sugarer, they make some every year with just the trees on their property. My neighbor on the street corner taps his as well, not sure how much he gets though. Vermont has some of the best, but northern New Hampster makes it as well as Maine. Even those hosers up north in Canadia make some good Maple Syrup as well. I've discovered over the years that the best Maple Syrup came in quart cans or larger, though they're starting to move to plastic jugs now. Times change I guess. We have other friends that do it for a living and we've already taken delivery of this years order, with quarts for each of the kids and other family members.

    Spent some time at Plattsburgh in the 80s. One year we staged out of there during our annual Winter Warfare training. Got to ski Whiteface Ski Area that year and had a great time. Did some other cold wx stuff that was not quite as much fun, but still enjoyable.

    Yah, nicer pic at the top of the page. I prefer birds of prey to look menacing, not cute. Good choice.


    1. I think using either beer or whiskey has something to do with the "grade" of the syrup. My brother will use nothing but Grade B. I have to add that he is very much an old school Vermonter.

    2. We use the Grade B as cooking syrup, used in recipes. The Fancy we use in the more traditional ways, over flapjacks, french toast, drizzle for deserts, etc. My wife is from up here in New England and has family history and recipes for using the stuff. Me? I'm the one sayin' y'all, you do the math. :D



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