Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday Afternoon Miscellany

'Tis a cloudy, somewhat dreary day here in little Rhody. Autumn is here, winter can't be too far behind. I offer the following evidence in support:

View to the Southeast from Le Château du Vieux Sergent

View to the West-Southwest of Le Château du Vieux Sergent

To the Nor'east

The Leaves, They are a' Falling
As today's post title might indicate, I will be "all over the map". While there is much in my head these days (as evidenced by the very political nature of my last few posts), I decided to try and keep things on the lighter side. While that is the "plan" who knows where my muse may take me today?

Yesterday's weather looked much like this throughout the day. Towards afternoon, it felt more and more like rain was on the way. And of course, it started raining just as I was leaving work. A veritable downpour ensued. It let up a bit, allowing me to dismount my vehicle and proceed with great dispatch towards the castle gates without getting completely soaked. Just a bit damp I was.

Later in the evening it poured buckets. Felt more like a typhoon (minus the wind) than an autumn rain shower. Which takes me back in time to my days in Tech School at Lowry AFB in Colorado. (Picture one of those reminiscing type scenes from film, where the protagonist looks up and away and goes all glassy-eyed as the screen dissolves to a scene from the past...)

We marched most places in Tech School when in a group, when proceeding solo, we just walked. I seem to remember a lot of rainy days in Colorado in the Fall of '75. So on very rainy days I remember trudging across the base in my fatigue uniform, rather cheap issue raincoat and fatigue cap, going from place to place in pursuit of entertainment. With the rain pouring down, soaking my fatigue cap and, of course, my head and neck. Not exactly a bad memory per se, I was young in those days and the rain didn't irk me so much back then. Not sure why, but there it is. (Dissolve back to the present...)

But on Friday night I was inside my dwelling, my humble abode, my place of residence, (ya know, my house) and settling down to watch the season premiere of one of my favorite TV shows, Blue Bloods. And of course, because of the rain, the satellite dish was having a great deal of trouble pulling a signal out of the ether. Before starting to rant and rave (as my Missus will tell you, I am wont to do) I figured I'd just go read if the signal didn't return. But I was in luck, just before my show started, signal was up, reception was good. So I watched my show.

Now I don't watch a lot of TV. Just a few select programs for entertainment purposes. I seldom watch the so-called "news". The local stuff is alright I suppose, the national stuff blows. Not to put too fine a point on it. My "respect" for the MSM has always been somewhat lacking. They're trying to sell me that Id-jit in DC for President, and I ain't buying. (Ooops, went a little political there didn't I!)

Enough about television. Suffice to say that I spend maybe four hours a week in front of the idiot box. Unless it's football season, then the time wasted spent watching TV goes up quite a bit. What can I say, I enjoy football, especially the professional variety. I am also pleased that members of the current administration the replacement officials have returned to their day jobs. (Perhaps we can send the other inefficient, clueless boobs packing come November. Ooops, political again. Can't help it, still awfully steamed about what those a$$hats and their fellow travelers have done to my country. The boobs in the current administration that is, not the other boobs replacement officials in the NFL.)

Oh, while I'm thinking about it, I'm also completely pi$$ed off at SECNAV (Secretary of the Navy for the acronym-challenged).

Now, I'm a smoker. A terrible habit, I know. A habit I picked up while serving in the military, didn't start smoking until I got to Okinawa. But I digress. I went down to the Navy Exchange (NEX) this Friday last, for to purchase a carton of cigarettes. There to discover that SECNAV had, some months ago, decided that as smoking and the consumption of alcoholic beverages were "bad" for us, prices would be increased. No longer would I pay a cheaper price for my very bad habit than what the civilians have to pay. No, SECNAV decreed that the NEX would now charge prices of a competitive nature with the civilian economy (i.e. a lot higher than the prices were). Figuring, I suppose, that our sailors and Marines would now (being unable to afford smoking) stop smoking. Ergo, producing a much more healthy force. I suppose.

(Hhhmm, I wonder where that extra money will go that the NEX now gets for a carton of cigs? I do know, and am here to tell you, that most of the money spent for a "civilian" carton of cigarettes is tax. Money to the politicians and other "do-gooders", money that doesn't go to those who grow tobacco and make cigarettes. Whom I'm sure are viewed as "minions of Satan" by those trying to impose a "nanny state" on us reprobates.)

What will probably happen is that those who smoke will bitch about it, spend the extra money (out of an already not-so-large paycheck) and keep smoking. I'm sure a small percentage of the force will actually stop smoking. A very small percentage. That way they can stay healthy and go on to man ships with names such as USS Murtha, USS Cesar Chavez and USS Lyndon B Johnson. (That last name really fries my not insubstantial derriere. LBJ should have his picture in the dictionary next to the definition for "King of the A$$hats".) (What? That's NOT in the dictionary? Well, that sucks.) Oh, and while I'm at it, let's just start naming all of our ships, USS Useless Politician. We could then just number them, you know

  • USS Useless Politician I
  • USS Useless Politician II
  • USS Useless Politician III
  • ad nauseum...

Yes, in my humble opinion, the SECNAV is a political hack, a jerk-off of the highest order and a complete a$$hat. But that's just my opinion and certainly NOT the official position of the Department of Defense nor any other Officially-Sanctioned Organ of the United States. (Looks like a cool name when you capitalize every word, doesn't it?)

No smoking? No drinking? The next thing you know they'll expect the Navy and the Marine Corps to not blow things up and kill bad guys. (Oh wait, that doesn't meet the image of the "Global Force for Good" does it? Arrgghh!)

So, it's time to ramble on (as Led Zeppelin might put it). What's next in these senseless, absolutely random thoughts running through my brain?

Ah, I have two new blogs which I follow daily and which you should too. (No, not you, the guy behind you. Yes, I see you, the dude in the blue t-shirt and the Yankees ball cap. I'm talking to you. Oh, hey lady! Yes, you too, stop chatting with the lady next to you and pay attention. There's going to be a quiz later. What? No, the quiz is NOT going to be about hamsters. But I'll tell you now, hamsters will be on the final.)

Yes, the two new blogs. One is, written by a Naval Aviator who flew the unfriendly skies over North Vietnam. Well written and excellent. And yes, okay, it's about fighter aircraft, flying and aerial warfare. Three things I have a passion for. Check it out. (Yes, lady, you'll get extra credit. No, Yankee-ballcap dude, there are no hamsters in it. To my knowledge.)

The other blog is The DiploMad 2.0 written by an honest-to-God retired diplomat. A diplomat who also (it must be said) is most unlike other diplomats of my experience. He doesn't have his head up his you-know-what. Obviously he must have retired before the current batch took over Foggy Bottom and became Official Diplomatic Embarrassments to the Planet. He has a lot to say about the "current regime" in DC, mostly not very flattering. He also has a lot of insight into the way things work in that world. Having "been there, done that". Many of his recent posts concern the murders of American citizens in Libya and just how badly DC has been lying to us about that. (Darn, went political again, didn't I?) Anyway, check him out.

Both of the preceding fellows are solid writers with many (excellent) tales to tell.

Well, that's it. My fingers are getting tired from all this keyboard bashing and I've about run out of steam. "See" you all next time, enjoy the day. (Or seize the day, if you prefer. Just put it back the way you found it when you're done.)

Old AF Sarge is bingo fuel and is RTB at this time.



  1. Your neighborhood is quite picturesque and VERY leafy. I suppose you have an app for that leafy thang around this time o' year. I really miss Fall in the northern climes, for its beauty. I DON'T miss having to rake all those damned leaves, though. Or the snow that follows.

    I haven't checked the price o' ciggies in the commissary lately, but they used to be about half of what the things cost in the civilian world. The downside was the commissary didn't carry my brand so I didn't save a damned thing, buying my smokes on the civilian market as I did. American Spirits were running a bit over 50 Yankee Dollars when I quit five years ago. That's a big chunk o' change.

    Briefly: agreed on all counts with yer comments on our political hacks.

    1. That would be 50 dollars per carton, of course.

    2. Our neighborhood is VERY nice. Lot of Portuguese families, so when they have cook-outs, the neighborhood also smells incredible. (Portuguese food is downright AWESOME!)

      I guess I need to seriously look at quitting. The Missus is always on me about that, considering the price hikes lately it's probably gonna happen. I think one way of motivating myself to quit is thinking of keeping that money out of the a$$hat, useless politicians' hands.

      Oh yeah, the snow. Fortunately it's usually fairly moderate in our neck of the woods. Now watch us have the snowiest winter on record. I love the four seasons though.

  2. Made me just a little nostalgic for that New England weather..maybe one or two Fall days where you feel the chill coming and thoughts of wonderful winter food (Beef Stew,Homemade Biscuits New England Boiled Dinner & dumplings, fresh, hot Apple Pie or Apple Dumplings....sigh) come to mind. or maybe the first day in spring when my mother would finally relent & let me wear rubbers over my shoes instead of those buckle-up overshoes...couple of summer nights when it stays light quite late & its so warm, even after dark, with crickets singing....anyway I would much rather daydream those thoughts than consider the direction our country's 'leadership' is taking the way, your neighborhood looks peaceful and welcoming...stay warm

    1. I hear ya Greg. I've lived in lots of different places, different climates etc. When I retired from the AF, first thought was coming home to New England. Haven't regretted it at all. Love the four seasons. No matter how harsh the winter gets, thoughts of spring keep me going. No matter how hot the summer gets, we have fall and the crisp air and changing leaves to look forward to. It all balances out. And our neighborhood? Nice and quiet, good neighbors and it's just downright pretty.

  3. Oh, and as far as the SECNAV (please note I used the acronym!) jacking the price of cigs...aint it great when someone tells you something is for your own good when you know they're lying, they know that you know they're lying, but they still stick it to you and nothing you can do but take it...Thanks

    1. I'm proud of you Greg, using acronyms and everything. Amen on the "you know that they know that you know". Term limits for elected officials, that's my solution. Let the bastards get real jobs! When their time's up, they can take their pet bureaucrats with them. People ask me, "But how would the system work with that kind of turnover?" I ask them, "How's it working now?"


  4. You forgot USS Gabrielle Giffords- LCS 10. Not a useless politician, but one of little consequence other than being tragically shot by a lunatic. No real link to the Navy either, except her former Astronaut husband/Naval Aviator. I'm not a fan of the guy naming these ships either. No sympathy here on the cost of your cigarettes. I wish they were $100 a pack. Lost my mom to lung cancer so I'm a huge non-fan. I almost drive myself to anger seeing young sailors smoking- wishing I could shake the stupid out of them. You may have started before we knew the horrors of them, but these kids KNOW it's the worst possible thing you can do to your body, but they still start and get hooked. No excuse- so effing stupid. Please Sarge- give quitting a chance, and another, and fifteen dozen more chances if that's what it takes. I've got a daughter who barely remembers her Grandma. You've got a new one who deserves to see you at her graduation, wedding, etc.

    1. I actually did remember the "Gabby". But I didn't think the lady should be mentioned in the same breath as the other three (ahem) "gentlemen". I hear you on the smoking thing. It's a filthy habit which I should have never started. Oh, to be young and invincible once more. And to have more than three brain cells firing. I really do need to quit. It's tough but I've been through tougher things. It's just making the start.

      However, wasn't really looking for sympathy on the smoking thing. Just pointing out yet another incursion into our lives by the "Nanny State". If the government was really serious about people not smoking, they'd make it illegal. But we both know that'll never happen. (Too much revenue generated therefrom and the tobacco lobby is big and well-financed.) And yes, I've been getting pressure from the kids and the Missus about the smoking thing. I would like to see my great-grandchildren someday. I'll keep you posted on that.

      Oh, and Tuna? Thanks for caring. You're a true gentleman.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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