Sunday, December 30, 2012


L'Étang à Chez Sarge
As I mentioned in my last post, we had a bit of the white fluffy stuff on Saturday evening. You can see the result of that in the photo above. This is the pond at Chez Sarge, said photo being taken from atop the northern ramparts (that is, the bathroom window on the second floor of the manse).

In the background, patrolling the fence line, is the neighbor's dog Hercules. He's a fine lad who does security work 'round these parts.

Here's another pic of the white stuff, looking to the northeast:

La Clôture Nord-Est
It was some snow, not a lot by New England standards but enough to make things pretty. We always seem to get a snowfall a week or so before Christmas, or a week or so after Christmas. We never seem to get it "just right".

Now my idea of "just right" is approximately this much snow (as shown above), but no more. Just to give that White Christmas look. I've seen White Christmases that went a bit too far.

The Christmas of 1982 springs to mind.

We were assigned to Lowry AFB in Denver, Colorado and the Missus Herself was nine months pregnant with the Nuke. Substantial snowfall was predicted for Christmas Eve. According to competent medical personnel, the baby could come at any time.

I remember the day of the 23rd, I had to drive out to the Post Office to pick up a package. It was overcast and the air had this heavy feel to it. You just knew that something was brewing weather-wise. For those that know, an impending snow storm has a "feel" and a "smell" to it. Those who understand this need no explanation, for those who don't, it can't really be described. I guess you have to be from snow country.

So the day of Christmas Eve dawned and oh my Lord was it snowing!

Christmas in Denver, 1982
That's a "day after" photo. Just to give you an idea.

Now by Christmas Day, it had stopped snowing. But Denver had received over two feet of snow. The parking lot of our apartment building looked like an open field. The cars were literally buried. If you looked closely you could just see the tops of some cars. My little VW Beetle was completely buried.

So of course, Christmas Night, the Missus Herself announces that "It's time". Now of course, I respond with "Time for what?" That's when my eyes got really big as the light came on. My wife is NINE MONTHS PREGNANT, and she's saying "it's time". Holy Crap!

The city is buried. Very few roads have been plowed at all. The news is announcing that in case of emergency, make your way to the nearest main road after calling the police. "Someone in a four wheel drive vehicle will pick you up." (Sure they will...)

So there I was, bundling up to determine where the closest main road was. Well, I knew where it was, I had to get there and see if it had been plowed. Off I went into the dark, snow up to my knees and higher.

I found a path which some intrepid soul had blazed before me. Headed in the direction I wished to go, which made the trek somewhat easier. Not easy mind you, just easier.

'Lo and behold I arrived at the nearest main road to our humble abode. (Perhaps a quarter of a mile, not far on a sunny day. Try it at night, in the cold, many 6-foot snow drifts and the wind blowing. Oh, and did I mention that it was COLD!) And 'lo and behold it had actually been plowed and there was vehicular traffic moving thereupon. Not a lot of traffic but enough to let you know that the town wasn't completely immobilized.

While I didn't feel exactly like Lewis and Clark did upon arriving at the Pacific Ocean, the feeling of "well, I made it, now I just have to get back" must have been similar. So back I went.

On the trek back I was calculating what I would need to do upon arrival at the apartment. Call the police and inform them of my wife's condition, bundle up the 3 and a half year old Naviguesser and the Missus, put them both on the Naviguesser's sled and start hauling. I figured I was in for a rather long night.

But upon arrival, I was informed that the forthcoming birth of the Nuke would not be occurring that day. She was not to be born Christmas Day of 1982. No, that wondrous event would take place six days hence, on New Year's Eve.

By that time Denver had been plowed and life was somewhat back to normal. I do remember that the base was closed the entire week and that most of Denver was shut down as well. Seems that the Mayor of Denver made a number of foolish decisions in relation to the storm. He ordered trash trucks out to "compact the snow on the side streets". Seems that Denver only had 45 plows to deal with this massive snow fall.

The trash truck idea? Yeah, I remember driving through the resultant "snow potholes" for quite a while after the storm. Bill McNichols lost his reelection bid the following year. The Denverites were less than impressed with his performance during the Great Blizzard of '82. Can't say I could blame them.

So that was a White Christmas where we got a little too much snow. So to speak.

Yes, it looks pretty outside.

View to the North
But it would've been nicer last week at this time.

I'll be "off the grid" for a couple of days at the start of the New Year. Heading up to New Hampshire to visit me Mum. So to all of you and your families, I wish you

A Most Prosperous and
Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Drifting and Dreaming

Whitetails in the Mist
I have been quite "out of it" lately. I suppose being away from work for an entire fortnight will do that to you. I am currently in the middle of said fortnight and  quite frankly I have intentionally divorced myself from the "real world" over the past week. I don't really want to know what's going on "out there". "Out there" is the place inhabited by idiots, lunatics and those who want to inflict their beliefs on others. And stick their hand in our pockets to pay for imposing their beliefs on others. I'm staying out of it for the moment. Screw them.

Really, when you think about it what does one's world consist of? The people you interact with every day. People at the coffee shop, co-workers, friends, family. That is one's world. And for me, it's a very pleasant world, very few ee-jits live in my world. Oh, there are some goof-balls and pains in the butt, perhaps for comic relief but very few you-know-what-holes. I prefer it that way.

In my world we don't discuss politics or sex, though we do discuss religion. So it's kind of like a Navy wardroom where one is allowed to discuss religion. Primarily because in my world, everyone believes in something. Most of us believe in God. Maybe I live in a foxhole, for their are no atheists in my world. At least none who will fess up to being an atheist.

So for me these few days at the end of one year and the start of the next are rather unreal and rather floating. I'm staying out of "reality" and in the cocoon of my home. Just me, the Missus and our two feline daughters. Yup, I call them my daughters, though they be of a different species. It's a cat-person thing I suppose.

Now my brother, the Old Vermonter, grew up, like me, as a cat-person. Later he became a dog-person. He has had some marvelous dogs in his time. I have no problem with dogs, some of my best friends have been and are dogs. If you get my drift. I happily co-exist with my fellow (non-human) mammals. I will have some dog stories at a future time. About my maternal grandmother's dogs, Tippy and Bimmy, two of the best beings I have ever known. But that is for another time.

For now I'm staying in my own Dreamtime, not the Dreamtime of the Australian Aboriginal creation, but the Chez Sarge Dreamtime of being closed off from the "real world" of politicians, tax collectors and big business. There will be plenty of time for that crap in the new year to come. For now I will enjoy my cocoon. Besides which, it's snowing right now and it's awfully pretty out there.

And last night I had a dream wherein I was driving to Virginia for to see my children. Of course, none of them live there now but we've had many a wonderful trip there in the past. And in the Dreamtime the old days may live again, those who have gone on before live again. There are days I want to stay in the Dreamtime forever, but not right now. For now I'm content with visiting. Back to the "real world" soon enough.

For now I'll watch it snow.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Bad News from a Friend

Well, I fired up the old computational device today (a device upon which I do very little actual computing) and went to Facebook. Saw that General Norman Schwartzkopf had died at the age of 78. Thought perhaps that I would write a post about that. Decided not to.

Yes, I'm somewhat saddened that the General had passed away. But it's not like we were good buddies or anything. Also, as I fired up my own blog to perhaps write on this, I checked my other blogs (ya know that stuff in over there on the right, "Stuff I Like to Read") and saw something which hit a little closer to home for me.

Seems that my blog-buddy Suldog has lost his job. Three days after Christmas and just a few days before the New Year. That sucks.

Now there's something I have never, ever understood. I've seen it at my own place of employment as well. What in the name of all that's Holy possesses employers to lay-off/fire/downsize employees around holidays like Christmas? Are they completely ignorant of all human emotions? Are they truly imps of Satan and evil as the day is long? Or are they simply, completely stupid?

I vote "none of the above". Why, you ask? Well, because I think most employers of other people simply just don't care. They care about their own bottom line sure. But they truly do not care about their employees. Oh they may say they care, but trust me, they don't.

Letting employees go for economic reasons follows a "process". There are certain things to be considered when deciding which employees the company can afford to lose. I get that. But where in this heartless, soulless process does it say to do this kind of crap around Christmas? I'm betting it's got something to do with taxes and end-of-the-year balance sheets and such. In other words, it's probably the "government's fault". I'm fine with that, governments are evil. Ours is just less evil than everyone else's. But the ee-jits in DC are working hard to make us Number One. As in Most Evil.

But that does not change the fact that my buddy Suldog lost his job. In a bad economy. I also have the feeling that with the morons we have currently running the country, his job will not be the only one lost in the next month or so.

What's that fluttering noise I hear? Oh, that's just my holiday spirit flying out the window.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day

That's what they call today in the United Kingdom (I still call it Great Britain, but I'm "old-timey"), Canada and other parts of the Commonwealth. According to the Pedia of the Wikis:
"Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their superiors."

In Germany today is the 2nd day of Christmas (zweiten Tag von Weihnachten) also known as St Stephen's Day.

However you wish to view it, Christmas Day itself has passed. Much to my wife's delight and much to my dismay. It's a day I wait for with anticipation every year. It has been this way for as long as I can remember. I am always sad to see it pass astern, but I need to remember that for another Christmas to be, this one must pass.

Now the Christmas Season has not ended, not that you'd know from the "After Christmas Sales" and other post-holiday hulabaloo on the idiot box television. And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is what irks Your Humble Scribe most of all. It's like the capitalists have sucked every dime they can out of Christmas, now it's time for all of us peasants to flock to the stores and spend whatever we have left on all the stuff (now marked down of course) with which the big stores overstocked themselves.

Now before you label me as some sort of wild-eyed leftist Commie radical e-jit, let me explain. I am a big fan of capitalism. Buy low, sell high. Charge what the market will bear, et cetera, et cetera. What I don't like is advertisements.

What I don't like is the assertion by the advertisers that "Christmas is Over". Sorry buttheads, Christmas is NOT over. Christmas ends with Epiphany, traditionally observed on the sixth of January. According to (again) the Wiki-ites:

Epiphany, which traditionally falls on January 6, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. Western Christians commemorate principally (but not solely) the visitation of the Biblical Magi to the Baby Jesus, and thus Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles.
When we lived in Germany, we were privileged to see this:

In the German-speaking lands, groups of young people called "Sternsinger" (star singers) travel from door to door. They are dressed as the three Wise Men, plus the leader carrying a star, usually of painted wood attached to a broom handle.
Often these groups are four girls, or two boys and two girls for the benefit of singing their songs in four-part harmony, not necessarily three wise men at all. German Lutherans often note in a lighthearted fashion that the Bible never specifies that the "Weisen" (Magi) were men, or that there were three.
The star singers will be offered treats at the homes they visit, but they also solicit donations for worthy causes, such as efforts to end hunger in Africa, organized jointly by the Catholic and Evangelical-Lutheran churches. As a sign of gratitude, the young people then perform the traditional house blessing, by marking the year over the doorway with chalk.
In Roman Catholic communities this may be a serious spiritual event with the priest present even today, but among Protestants it is more a tradition, and a part of the German notion of Gemütlichkeit.
Usually on the Sunday following Epiphany, these donations are brought into churches. Here all of the children who have gone out as star singers, once again in their costumes, form a procession of sometimes dozens of wise men and stars.

So, speaking for myself (in other words, hush, don't tell the Missus) Christmas continues, at least for another few days. Our tree will stay up until after New Year's and our lights will be lit for the same length of time.

For me it is, in some ways, always Christmas. It retreats to a little place inside of me for most of the year. That place where I am still six years old and will always be that age. The place where hope and magic lives. That place which remains unstained by the later tragedies and sorrows of life.

It's a place where ALL of my loved ones are still present, those I knew as a child and those whom I met later in life. It's a place where there is music, laughter and great love. It's that place inside of me where it's always Christmas. I like to think that it's a little bit like Heaven. Or Heaven as I hope it will be. And for those of you who may wonder at Your Humble Scribe's religious inclinations, Jesus lives there too. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

During your celebrations, please say a prayer for our troops who are far away from home.

Spare a thought for the first responders here at home who are on duty over the holidays. 

Especially spare a thought and say a prayer for those who are alone, for those folks who have no one to share this time with.

And may God Bless us, every one...

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas
and a Prosperous New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Quiet Night at Chez Sarge

Not much is going on here at Chez Sarge tonight. Christmas is just around the corner, the kids are all scattered to the four winds so this year the holiday is going to be quiet. The Missus indicates that a quiet, no muss, no fuss holiday is just fine with her. Considering the amount of work she puts into family gatherings, I can see her point.

I seriously am shy of material tonight as well. But while visiting over at Buck's place I was reminded of this truly outstanding lady. Went out, found a bunch of her stuff on the Tube of You-ness and decided to share this one with you. Enjoy.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Pas de Sujet, Pas de Problème

of the "Red Green Show"
Oh no, he's using French again!

Even worse, he's got a lead-in photo referencing an obscure (OMG!) Canadian TV show.

At some time after the passing of the (ahem) drop-dead time for the alleged Mayan Apocalypse I suddenly realized that my "goofball" setting had been engaged. Feeling all loony and such, doncha know?

Before I continue, I simply must send you over to Home on the Range for a très amusant look at sports. Sports of all types. (While I'm at it, if you're not reading Brigid's blog every day, you are missing out on some unbelievably good writing. Not to mention recipes. Most of which involve bacon. And some awesome gun prOn. Trust me, I go there every day, twice on Sundays. Oh, did I mention that the lady used to fly jets? How cool is that?)

So yeah, I mention the Red Green Show (that link I gave you triggered that, what do you mean you didn't follow the link? Geez. Well, just don't forget). That show was a favorite back-in-the-day, when I could catch it on my local PBS station. Stateside, no problem, Europe, err, no, couldn't watch it. But I digress.

One of my favorite things about the Red Green Show was "The Man's Prayer", reproduced below:

I'm a man,
but I can change,
if I have to,
I guess.

(Best done while sporting a hangdog expression and with lots of pathos in the voice.)

I had many an occasion to use this back when the progeny were young and scampering about the house doing youthful things. Especially when the Missus Herself would issue some command which required me to do some particular feat of child raising which I felt particularly unqualified to do. I would groan and roll my eyes (a trick, I might add, which the Naviguesser has perfected and which drives his wife, the DIL, to distraction).

Now the chilluns would comport themselves with amusement when I would recite the Man's Prayer accompanied (as it often was) with the "groaning eye-roll" (said maneuver not recommended for the untrained or faint of heart, especially when in close action with one's "better half") when I was faced with the wifely command to perform some action RIGHT NOW.

The Missus Herself was, more often than not, less than amused by these, my prayerful activities. Okay, she was never amused. In fact, as I recall, her wrath was most often directed at our offspring, along with the phrase "Stop laughing at your Father, you'll only encourage him!" Leaving three authentic children and one overgrown and "should know better" child (uh, that would be me) rolling about the floor in various stages of merriment while the Missus Herself would withdraw to her quarters muttering various imprecations and less than motherly threats. If you get my drift.

All that being said, the Mayan Apocalypse has come (and gone) and we're all still here. Suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and other such calamities NOT involving the reversing of the Earth's magnetic poles or some bizarre reversal of the Earth's gravitational characteristics. (How those two disparate phenomenon were ever conjoined in the mind of some Madison Avenue advertisement type eludes my powers of cogitation. As limited as those may be.)

So the weekend approaches. The holiday season is upon us and I am faced with the delicious prospect of two weeks off. That's right. TWO. WEEKS. OFF. I am overcome with joy. I'm sure something will occur to perturb this good feeling. Some rain will no doubt fall on my parade and I have no doubt that someone will, at some point soon, "pee in my Cheerios". But for the moment, je suis content.

Like I said at the beginning: No Topic, No Problem.

And yes, I am planning on updating (read starting) the brand new "Under Construction" Acronym Page mentioned above, sometime over the next two weeks. Sigh...

Je vais revenir.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Christmas Card


In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.

In this season of Christmas, may the love of God surround you and protect you.

May you be with family and loved ones, may the cares of the world fall away and may you find Peace.

And Love.

Tale of A Christmas Past

Amidst the madness and the rage and the hate plastered everywhere due to recent events, it can be hard to remember just what time of year it is. I must admit, I was adrift in that sea of sadness and anger.

Then I read a story of a Christmas long past which brought tears to my eyes. A story told by a man with a great sense of humor and an amazing talent with words. A story of a Christmas from his past which resonated with me on so many different levels. It reduced me, a grown up, retired, crusty old Master Sergeant to tears. Tears of joy and hope. The story is that good. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Go and see for yourself, over at Suldog's place..

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why We Need Assault Rifles

After listening to all of the idiots, lunatics, so-called experts and just plain stupid folks over the past few days, I thought I'd just clarify why we, the American people, need assault rifles.

No, I don't need it for hunting.

No, I don't particularly like to fire off multiple rounds just for the hell of it. That gets kind of expensive and simply wastes ammunition.

I'd also like to point out that the right to keep and bear arms is not granted by the Constitution. The Constitution simply bars the government from taking away that right. Also note, if the ability to do something is given to you, that's not a right that is a privilege. The right to keep and bear arms is an inalienable right.

All that aside, what is the primary reason why the American people need assault rifles?

Simple, protect ourselves from the government.

Requiescant in Pace Frater

Another American hero steps into the clearing...
1Lt Daniel K. Inouye

On April 21, 1945, 1Lt Inouye was grievously wounded while leading an assault on a heavily-defended ridge near San Terenzo in Tuscany, Italy called Colle Musatello. The ridge served as a strongpoint along the strip of German fortifications known as the Gothic Line, which represented the last and most unyielding line of German defensive works in Italy. As he led his platoon in a flanking maneuver, three German machine guns opened fire from covered positions just 40 yards away, pinning his men to the ground. Inouye stood up to attack and was shot in the stomach; ignoring his wound, he proceeded to attack and destroy the first machine gun nest with hand grenades and fire from his Thompson submachine gun. After being informed of the severity of his wound by his platoon sergeant, he refused treatment and rallied his men for an attack on the second machine gun position, which he also successfully destroyed before collapsing from blood loss.
As his squad distracted the third machine gunner, Inouye crawled toward the final bunker, eventually drawing within 10 yards. As he raised himself up and cocked his arm to throw his last grenade into the fighting position, a German inside the bunker fired a rifle grenade that struck him on the right elbow, severing most of his arm and leaving his own primed grenade reflexively "clenched in a fist that suddenly didn't belong to me anymore". Inouye's horrified soldiers moved to his aid, but he shouted for them to keep back out of fear his severed fist would involuntarily relax and drop the grenade. As the German inside the bunker reloaded his rifle, Inouye pried the live grenade from his useless right hand and transferred it to his left. As the German aimed his rifle to finish him off, Inouye tossed the grenade off-hand into the bunker and destroyed it. He stumbled to his feet and continued forward, silencing the last German resistance with a one-handed burst from his Thompson before being wounded in the leg and tumbling unconscious to the bottom of the ridge. When he awoke to see the concerned men of his platoon hovering over him, his only comment before being carried away was to gruffly order them to return to their positions, since, as he pointed out, "nobody called off the war!" (Wikipedia)
Senator Daniel K. Inouye
September 7, 1924 - December 17, 2012
 Rest in Peace Sir.

It Saddens Me, It Sickens Me

Tragedy stalks the news cycle these past few days. The ghouls of the Main Stream Media (MSM) are milking the shocking carnage which took place in Connecticut for every last drop of sensationalism. The professional mourners and victims come forth to show everyone just how sad they all are. Vigils are held, candles are lit, tears are shed.

At the end of the day the families are once again left alone in their grief. Left alone to face that howling emptiness that can never be filled. Left alone to face the agony of the coming years with thoughts of what might have been and now will never be.

Something is wrong with our society. We're seeing the so-called experts crawling out of their sewers now to tell us just how truly evil firearms are. We're seeing the same flaming idiots and their fellow travelers who caused the problems with our society in the first place spewing their ignorance in the MSM. The proponents of the nanny state, the paladins of Big Government who "know what's best for you" are at it again.

Let me say that first of all, this is most emphatically NOT a gun control issue. This is first and foremost a mental health issue and secondly it is, to me at any rate, another symptom of the abject failure of our society thanks to the socialists and Progressive Elements in this country.

Now that I've said my piece, head on over to Blackfive and read this. Froggy has "been there, done that".

Friday, December 14, 2012

Where My Head is At Tonight

Saw this picture, heard this tune. My morale is up, the holidays approach...

In times past this was sometimes not such a good thing.

Like the song says, "something's gotta go wrong, cause I'm feeling way too damn good"

We shall see.

One more week of work, then I'm off for two weeks. Two. Whole. Weeks.

Think I'll have a Guinness. For the strength that's in it.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

DoD Drops the Ball, Again

Sgt. Rafael Peralta
United States 
Marine Corps
Go read this. It's a story of incredible bravery and sacrifice by one of our country's finest. And a story of abject failure in our nation's capital.

It seems that the a$$hats who run the Department of Defense (DoD) can't trust eyewitness testimony. Eyewitness testimony from the Marines whose lives were saved by Sgt Peralta. It makes me sick to my stomach.

Sgt Peralta, you earned this by giving your life for your fellow Marines.

You will not be forgotten.

Semper Fi!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I've Probably Gone Too Far...

LT (JG) Boots "Furball" Felix
Rolls Inverted Over the Nevada Desert
Purr-haps the newest member of VFA-31?

I know, I know. One can take a gag too far.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

When Ya Got Nuthin'...

         ...count on a buddy to provide material.

Staying with the canines as aviators meme:

Seems the PIB (Pooch in Back) wasn't properly strapped in.

I blame the crew chief (that's plane captain for you brown shoes naval aviation types).

H/T to good buddy and fellow Master Sergeant, Buck. After you watch the clip, get on over to his place, I do believe he's got some ZZ Top queued up for your listening pleasure.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sharing. It's What I Do...

Saw this "out there" and as I'm all about the aviation meme, I thought I'd share it.

I found it hysterical. But then again, I'm a bit of a loon.

Hhhmm, See Figure 12b...

There's a time and a place to read the instructions...

Now is probably not that time.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

For My Jewish Brothers and Sisters

חנוכה שמחה
My Jewish friends have never hesitated to wish me a Merry Christmas. I will never hesitate to wish my Jewish friends a...

Happy Hanukkah!
The Hanerot Halalu
We light these lights for the miracles and the wonders, for the redemption and the battles that you made for our forefathers, in those days at this season, through your holy priests. During all eight days of Hanukkah these lights are sacred, and we are not permitted to make ordinary use of them except for to look at them in order to express thanks and praise to Your great Name for Your miracles, Your wonders and Your salvations.

Hanukkah 2012 begins in the evening of Saturday, December 8 and ends in the evening of Sunday, December 16.

'Nuff Said

Navy 17 - Army 13

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

USS Arizona Memorial
She is still there, in the same place she was on a balmy Sunday morning back in 1941. The daily routine was underway, sailors were doing the things sailors do on a quiet Sunday morning in port.

All that changed forever when aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy slid into their attack profiles. Bombs fell, torpedoes entered the water, strafing runs commenced. Americans began to die.

When it was over, a heavy pall lay over this most beautiful of islands. Death and destruction were left in the wake of the departing Japanese.

USS Arizona lay shattered on the harbor floor, most of her crew still on board. Dead on her bridge were her captain, Franklin Van Valkenburgh and the Commander of Battleship Division One, Isaac Campbell Kidd. Both of whom were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions that day.

Also awarded the Medal of Honor was Arizona's Damage Control Officer Samuel Glenn Fuqua, who survived the war and eventually retired as a Rear Admiral (Lower Half).

But she is still there, as is her admiral, her captain and her crew. Spare a thought this day for them. For the USS Arizona and the 1,102 men who still lie entombed within her. Spare a thought for all those who lost their lives that day in defense of freedom.

December 7th, 1941. Indeed a date which will live in infamy. But back then we Americans knew how to shoulder the load. We knew how to fight back with pride and with honor. We stood together in those days.

Nowadays, not so much. I pray that we are not living in a time which will live in infamy. But I think we are.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Well It WAS Unseasonably Warm...

...until today.

The day after my boiler decided that it no longer wanted to heat my home and no longer wanted to provide me warm water in which to shower. Yesterday it was in the mid-50's (warm for these parts at this time of year), today I believe it may have reached the low 30's. So yes, it's cold. Last night the house felt pretty chilly. This morning it just felt downright cold.

I'm not saying that we're living at Ice Station Zebra, none of these guys were present when I woke up...

...but I swear I saw Patrick McGoohan slip around the corner of the house. Apparently in somewhat of a hurry.

So a new boiler for Chez Sarge is gonna set us back about 9000 simoleans, 9K, 9 grand, all in authentic US of A currency. Small bills, unmarked. (Actually no, they will take a check.)

Unfortunately they (and you know who I mean) will be unable to install the new boiler until Friday. So I will be another day (and night) sans the mansions organic heating capability and sans hot water. But as the Missus is Korean and I did live in Korea, where the winters can freeze the you-know-whats on a brass monkey, we are prepared.

We have this awesome ceramic Korean heating device which warms a room nicely yet does not feel hot to the touch. That will keep the designated shelter nice and warm. And we still have the capability of boiling water with which to clean ourselves.

So while we'll be roughing it for a couple of days, we're prepared. Although I did almost not shave this morning. Then realized that just because we were lacking some amenities, there was no need to go all uncivilized. So I boiled water, shaved and went forth to work. Clean shaven and civilized. Mustn't let the troops see me all disheveled.

Before I forget, I have a reading assignment for you. I've been following this chap for a while and his writing is simply top drawer. Today's post is particularly inspiring. Packed with action, gun play, guerrillas and Marines. So go thee thither and enjoy. This is an Old AF Sarge "Must Read".

Run along, we're done here. (Now where is my batman, I need another shave.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Moving Right Along

Hermie and Rudolph
Let me be up front about this, I am most definitely a sentimental old fool. I'll make no apologies for this because it's part of what makes me tick. I like to think it's my French blood that makes me this way, but who knows? And really, who cares? I am what I am (not to steal Popeye's thunder but I will).

So anyhoo, after all of the bitching and moaning I've done over the last two posts, I felt it was time to move along, get back to doing what I do best. Which is to be funny and goofy. And perhaps overly sentimental. (Hhhmm, I think I mentioned that already.)

So last night I watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for the umpteenth time. Before going further, I did a little research (as I went to Wikipedia, that's very damn little research). Here is what I found:
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a Christmas television special produced in stop motion animation by Rankin/Bass. It first aired Sunday, December 6, 1964, on the NBC television network in the United States, and was sponsored by General Electric under the umbrella title of The General Electric Fantasy Hour. The copyright year in Roman numerals was mismarked as MCLXIV (1164) instead of the correct MCMLXIV.
The special was based on the Johnny Marks song by the same name; the song taken from the 1939 poem of the same title written by Marks' brother-in-law, Robert L. May. Since 1972, the special has aired on CBS affiliate television stations, with the network unveiling a high-definition, digitally remastered version of the program in 2005. As with A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph no longer airs just once annually, but several times during the Christmas and holiday season. It has been telecast every year since 1964, making it the longest running Christmas TV special in history, and one of only four 1960s Christmas specials still being telecast—the others being A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Frosty the Snowman.
So that's the "tale of the tape", so to speak. Now I have been watching this since the very first time it aired in 1964. I have missed a few years while I was on active duty, primarily while stationed in Asia, but for the most part I try to catch it every year. In the Wikipedia article there is mention of a great many changes made to the show over the years. Most of the later ones seem to be directed towards making more room for commercials.

<WARNING - RANT> If any of you TV commercial types out there read this blog, here's a clue for you. Most TV commercials annoy the heck out of me. There are a number of products I absolutely refuse to try primarily because of some TV commercial that set me off. Just in case any of you TV ad-types are paying attention, which I doubt. <END RANT>

So for me the Christmas season is "officially" underway with the airing of this holiday classic. I've also decorated the old blog mast head with some festive stuff. (Kind of a lame effort but better than naught.) Now I'm looking forward to A Christmas Carol, I like seeing this closer to Christmas Day rather than in early December, but that's just me. As to my favorite version? It's this one:

YMMV. I know some who prefer the 50's version. I really don't much care for anything from the 50's. I was born in the 50's and spent my pre-school years therein, not sure why I don't care for 50's era stuff, but there it is. This is MY favorite version.

May have something to do with my being a big George C. Scott fan. Who knows?

I'll be back...

Until then, a little Christmas cheer to tide you over. This one's for Buck's Dad and the boys of the Mighty Eighth.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Now What?

I read some rather "disturbing crap" over at This Ain't Hell which I just had to share, and discuss. Or perhaps "share my disgust" would be more appropriate. I ranted quite freely over there. Go read and come back here (feeling free to vomit if you're Air Force, laugh if you're not).

Political correctness, sensitivity, let's all hold freakin' hands and sing Kumbaya. After Costas' idiocy and this, it's shaping up to be a crappy week.

OMG. What's next?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Public Service Announcement

For those of you who perhaps didn't know, here is what a pompous, self-righteous, self-important, ill-informed a$$hole looks like.

If you have the stomach for it, you can read more here.

Entertainment types generally pi$$ me off. Why anyone would think that the opinion of some idiot on television has any more weight than anyone else's is beyond me.

Of course, it does go a long way towards explaining how we got our current government.

Disgruntled in New England sends...

Saturday, December 1, 2012


December is upon us. Like they say, "Tis the Season". But the season for what? I humbly ask.

Inundated with car commercials and other products hijacking the month of December, I am OUTRAGED. Outraged I tell you. Here is what the season is for me:

I keep Christmas in my heart the year 'round, but especially now. It's not about sales, it's not about conspicuous consumption. It's about the Birth of the Messiah, the coming of Our Lord, Jesus the Christ. Just wanted you all to know where this Old Air Force Sergeant stands. I stand with that wee bairn in the manger and the Man he grew to be. I stand with Jesus.

May your lives be blessed by God, may you know love and happiness!