Wednesday, February 18, 2015


On the left, Virginia. On the right, California.
Same day, Monday the 16th of February, 2015.

(Left courtesy of The Nuke, right 
courtesy of The Naviguessor)
There are days when I have multiple ideas for a post. Many of those ideas would look somewhat anorexic as a Twitter "tweet." (Is that right? The medium is Twitter, but one "tweets" on Twitter. Someone explain / correct / ignore as appropriate.) In other words, I don't really consider 140 characters to be enough for a post.

Unless I include a metric crap ton of photos. (For those who must know, a metric crap ton is defined here. The Nuke assures me that this is a "real" thing, extensively used in the nuclear propulsion world. She would know, she's a nuke and a mechanical engineer. Am I right?)

So a lot of photos plus a few strategically placed words and BINGO, you have a full blown post. Still though, I'd need more than 140 characters, that preceding paragraph is 274 characters all by it's lonesome.

While I do have a Twitter account (@OldAFSarge, of course) I don't use it all that much. Problem is, I keep forgetting that I have a Twitter account.

I think I'm digressing...

Why yes, yes I am.

Today's post is what you get when I have all sorts of stuff floating around inside the brain housing group. (No Juvat, it's not FOD...) Potpourri!

Before continuing, let's toss a definition out there (courtesy of Google, of course) -
potpourri : (1) a mixture of dried petals and spices placed in a bowl or small sack to perfume clothing or a room. (2) a mixture of things, especially a musical or literary medley. 
Origin : early 17th century (denoting a stew made of different kinds of meat): from French, literally "rotten pot" or "pot pourri" en français.
While this post is not a mixture of dried petals and spices (etc., etc.) which, incidentally cats enjoy getting into and spreading all over the place, it is indeed a mixture of things, though most certainly not a musical nor a literary "medley." Perhaps the French origin of the word explains this post best. But I will let you judge that...

Now the word "potpourri" has been used here at the Chant du Départ once before. Tuna used it in one of his recent trivia posts, as opposed to my many trivial posts, this one as a matter of fact.

I have been sore tempted in the past to use "potpourri" as a post title, but I was holding that word in reserve, so to speak. As Tuna has broken the seal on the de facto moratorium on the use of the word "potpourri," I will now use it to entitle a post. This post.

Oh dear, digressed again I see. In my former aircraft maintenance days, a radar system which continually drifted like this would be written up and adjusted and/or repaired as needed. Unfortunately, my system is no longer under warranty so you will just have to bear with me.

Say what?

I know, I know, cheap gag. But I'll wager Rumbear likes it.

So, potpourri.

Like I said, lots of stuff in the old noggin and a post over at 
Cranky's kind of led me down this path. Naming the post "Potpourri" that is. As to why he does not like Mr. Trebek, I cannot say. Don't blame my blog buddy Joe for the content of this post. He is blameless in that regard.

Now lately I have been accused of being a curmudgeon, though I prefer to think of myself as an incipient curmudgeon as I don't believe my condition has developed into a full blown case of curmudgeonry.

Though I am easily annoyed and/or angered and I often complain, it is only when I am behind the wheel of an automotive conveyance that that happens. Perhaps I could best be described as an automotive curmudgeon, normally jolly and forgiving, once I get behind the wheel, I turn into a raging lunatic. Though a raging lunatic who is an excellent driver. (Cue Dustin Hoffman in the movie Rainman.) Really officer, I'm not a danger to myself or others.


I have them. No, no, not the kind where I dream about becoming a cowboy / fireman / fighter pilot. (With me it was always the latter.) No, I'm talking about the phenomenon which occurs when one enters REM sleep. (Not the band, Rapid Eye Movement, a stage of sleep where dreams typically occur.)

My dreams will often depend on what I was doing before going to bed. Certain TV shows and/or motion pictures will cause weird synaptic connections in my brain once I enter REM sleep.

The other night I watched Monuments Men and then spent the entire night tossing and turning and dreaming about Russians. In particular, World War II Red Army Russians, dressed in those ugly brown uniforms and crawling across fields trying to beat me to some unspecified though obviously super critical objective.

Martina Navratilova had a bit part as a Soviet commissar. Odd isn't it, but I occasionally will see famous people in my dreams. Always in cameo roles.

Not sure how Martina made it in there. It has been a very long time since I've watched tennis. Of course, it's been longer still since she played professionally.

I really must talk to central casting, Ivan Lendl would have made a much better commissar. Not that I'm suggesting that certain Eastern European tennis players from over a decade ago would actually be commissars. It's a look more than anything.

Oh, my opinion as to the film Monuments Men? Meh.

Seriously, these guys are art experts, so why are they wearing idiot sticks, I mean crossed rifles, on their uniforms? What, did Hollywood run out of Signal Corps insignia? They are most certainly not infantry officers.

Also the movie jumped around way too much. I mean from D-Day to the fall of Germany took what, 15 minutes? It just seemed to me like they had a bunch of good ideas but tried to cram them all into a two hour movie. Throw in a potential romance between Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett and all I could say is that I've spent my time better than that in the past.

To be fair, I've spent my time in far worse ways as well. Just glad that I did not pay money at the theater to see it.

What's all that got to do with the Red Army? Seems the heroic team of art experts (not to mock the guys who did rescue a crap ton of art from the Nazis) was in a race against a Red Army group who were also dedicated to recovering stolen art. But they wanted to keep it, as reparations.

George Clooney at al, were, of course, the good guys. We wanted to return the art to its rightful owners. The Commies wanted to keep it. Bad guys, Russian Army, guys in ugly brown uniforms. Hence my bizarre dream.

I need to get out more.

Oh, one last thing!

Some of you are no doubt wondering what that opening photo has to do with anything. I just thought the juxtaposition of the two photos taken from different automobiles belonging to my two oldest kids, one on the East Coast, the other on the Left West Coast was interesting.

Also I wanted to use the word "juxtaposition" in a post. Mission accomplished.

Like I said, I need to get out more...

Jeebers! Are those Russian infantrymen over in that field? No, wait, false alarm, seems they are only very well armed art experts. Crawling through a field, dragging a Rembrandt behind them. Move along, nothing to see here...


  1. You're a funny man, Sarge! And a Superblogger! (able to take virtually nothing and turn it into a humorous post). Strangely, although I do not recall anything about the dream last night itself, Soviet soldiers had some role in it also. No more pepperoni pizza for me.

    1. Thanks Juvat.

      Pepperoni always makes for weird dreams.

  2. Do not fight the curmudgeonry. You have earned the right to be a curmudgeon...Wear it with pride. The only reason I am a cranky old man is I could never spell curmudgeon.

    The movie was entertaining, but not great.

    1. I am growing into the role. Though I won't be cranky. That job has been filled and filled very well I might add.

      Concur with you assessment of the movie, it was fairly entertaining.

  3. So...
    The Word of the Day at the Free Dictionary (.com) today is askance.
    That's kinda how I looked at this post... until I realized you were giving a language lesson.
    You've provided a metric crap ton of info.
    That said, I've used the same title for two posts and written about the stuff PHG has on the stovetop.
    It truly is a rotten pot.
    I was gonna comment about the term for the diametric opposite of metric crap ton.
    Then I thought better of it.

    Good post.

    1. Askance

      What an excellent word.

      (Oh, and thanks Skip. You have used potpourri as a post title. Though I also like your "Untitled" work as well. Very avant garde!)

    2. I was just looking at that.
      Untitled may be a bit overused.
      Then again, there are a lot of Odds 'n ends.

    3. But it works for you, sort of your signature blog title. So to speak...

  4. . Perhaps I could best be described as an automotive curmudgeon, normally jolly and forgiving, once I get behind the wheel, I turn into a raging lunatic

    Great stress reliever. True, the other drivers don't hear you but that doesn't mean they shouldn't.

    1. Excellent point WSF. There are days that I would love to share my running commentary with the other denizens of the roadway.

    2. Well, this 1950 cartoon sums it up pretty well.

    3. That cartoon could not have been that old! I'm sure the storyboard was worked out here in Ormond Beach (North of Daytona just enough). There are a lot of old people here in their large, metallic four-door sedans. They all are rushing towards the early bird specials or back to see "Jeopardy". You don't dare try to cross the street if one of them is on the horizon. Having lived in CA for the past fifty years, where the crosswalk is sanctuary, I have almost gotten killed by people who don't regard it as such and perhaps even think it merely outlines the target area. That skateboarder was prescient. And it is "Speedweeks" here. VROOM, go Logano.

    4. Ah yes, crosswalks. Or as they call them in Little Rhody "free fire zones."

  5. Sarge/

    Judging from the amount of snow up your way dare I suggest your fevered dreams might be a manifest of Cabin Fever? Just sayin'... :)

    1. Now there's a possibility.

      Could be the cold too!

  6. "Course in the days of yore when those Canadian trappers coined the term, if they had had the internet and a good sat dish + generator we might never have ever heard of the term, right? :)

    1. This is true.

      As long as I have power at Chez Sarge, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

  7. For some reason every time I hear or read that word I think of Harold Washington.

    And Martina recalls Navratilova-Evert, East vs West, Evil vs Good, Spetsnaz vs Blue-eyed Blond American Wholesomeness. None of which was entirely true, of course.

    And East vs West reminds me of the first time I saw real, live Rooskies, on the deck of a Kashin Class destroyer passing bow to stern down the port side of Nimitz. "Holy smokes! They look just like people!"

    1. Yeah, they're not really Klingons.

    2. Everybody knows the Russians were the Romulans, the Germans were the Klingons and the Chinese were the Ferengi. C'mon Sarge!

    3. Well, not all of them...

    4. Juvat - Everybody? I beg to differ.

      Perhaps in WWII the Germans were the Klingons, not any more. During the Cold War, it was the Russians who were the Klingons, they're trending back in that direction. Just my two cents.

    5. Shaun - There are some things that are hard to "dis-remember," that's one.

      Excuse me, I have to go gouge out my mind's eye.


    6. I don't have to imagine the bow to stern pass. . . lived one in far northern reaches of the Sea of Japan.
      The tin can I was in put us more eyeball to eyeball with them . . .and they turned about and shadowed us, taking station about 500 yards off our starboard quarter for awhile.
      Oh, and it was 1963.

    7. Rooskies!

      (Barstewards then, barstewards now.)


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Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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