Saturday, September 12, 2015

Administrative Saturday

And the award goes to...
In olden times I would have pointed out that I won an award. These days that would be false, I now have two superb wingmen: Juvat and Tuna. Those guys allow the blog to maintain its aviation street-cred as they post a lot more aviation stuff than I do. I mean I used to post a lot more airplane pr0n but these days I'm all over the map.

Besides which, I only ever maintained aircraft. Juvat was actually an honest-to-God fighter pilot and Tuna was actually an honest-to-God Naval Flight Officer. So they have a lot of aviation stories, both were in for 20+ years, all (more or less) in aviation.


I was in an aviation related service (the Air Force) but my direct contact with aircraft and aircraft systems was only from 1976 to 1983. So I may have another flightline story or two floating around the old noggin but I have to find them first.

Anyhoo, thank you for the award Joe. Juvat and Tuna worked very hard for that. Me? Well, this writing thing is getting easier, the ideas sometimes are hard to come by, but I can string a word or two together in an entertaining fashion. Most days.

If I have to.

I guess.

I think it was last year that The Nuke gave me an Amazon gift card for Father's Day. I just got around to using a chunk of it for all these books I have on my want to read list. Really it's my "want to own and read" list. I love libraries and even have a library card. But I find it hard to part with a book I enjoyed. So I buy a lot of books. Much to The Missus Herself's chagrin. She will often throw her hands heavenward and say "Where are we supposed to put all these books!?"

Um, um, moving right along (nothing to see here...)

Here's the latest batch...

I've read two of Dan Hampton's other books - Lords of the Sky (which the late lamented Buck arranged for me to get for free!) and The Hunter Killers. I enjoyed both immensely, so Viper Pilot was a must buy. Didn't see it at the local B & N so Amazon got the nod.

I think I've been on myself for three years now to pick up Ed Rasimus' book When Thunder Rolled and while I was at it, how could I pass up Fighter Pilot, The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds? Which you'll note Ras had a hand in the writing of that book as well.

In fact, the last time I was at Arlington I made it a point to visit Ras' final resting place. Left a nickel on the grass and promised that I'd buy his book. Sorry it took me so long Major, you know how we Master Sergeants can be.

Oh yeah, note to Amazon: when you pack the books, try not to bend the effing cover!!!

(Look close, you'll see what I mean. Yeah, that really pissed me off. I used to work in shipping, it ain't that hard to put stuff in a fire trucking box and then seal it up. Really.)

I may have mentioned it once or twice (or more) but Bernard Cornwell is a favorite author of mine. Last time I read The Nathaniel Starbuck Chronicles was when I was stationed in Germany. Got them from the library over at AFCENT, which is now called AFNORTH, though no tectonic plate shifts occurred displacing said base further towards the Pole. At least not that I noticed. (The "AF" bit stands for Allied Forces, CENT is Central Europe, NORTH is Northern Europe. The kids all went to AFCENT International School, The Naviguesser is a graduate, and they renamed that to AFNORTH International School. But yes, I digress...)

So when I was browsing the Bernard Cornwell section at Amazon I jumped on getting my own copies of these books. Think "nice Northern boy from Massachusetts, son of an abolitionist preacher gets involved with a shady actress, robs her boss and flees south where the lady hooks up with her boyfriend stranding our hero." Well, seems Nate likes the South better than the North so he sticks around and fights for the Confederacy. Which, as I understand it, happened a lot back then.

Research for the book I wish to inflict upon my adoring public (stop looking around, I'm talking about "youse guys" - a phrase guaranteed to make a certain fine Texas lady grind her teeth, I'm sure) continues apace, I have just finished reading these...

And this one is in the hopper. So to speak.

As I am still "med down" for another couple of weeks, I have lots of time to research and scribble, both here and on the book. Seems I have time for video games as well. Not a surprise really, as I can't seem to get more than five or six hours of sleep a night, gives me lots of time.

I try to write when I'm coherent. Whether or not I've succeeded, I leave for you to judge.

À bientôt mes amis!


  1. Don't buy your books at Amazon. Go to I buy all my books there and if you don't mind
    buying used books, you'll usually pay more for the shipping than the books. They sell new books also
    but every used book I've bought has been in new condition and I buy a lot of books. I know there's a lot
    of e-books available but I'm old fashioned enough that I like the feel of a real book in my hands!

    1. I used Amazon because my daughter gave me an Amazon gift card. I didn't have to pay anything. But for future reference, AbeBooks will be checked out.

      Thanks for the tip Russ. (I like the feel and smell of an actual book too!)

  2. Back before ...?
    Before anyone heard of Bernard Cornwell, there was Kenneth Roberts.
    I'm pretty sure I read all of his offerings, even the non-fiction.
    He was a New Englander, too.

    1. I did not know of Mr. Roberts, so I looked him up. Seems I need to update my library.


  3. Don't forget Ed's second book, Palace Cobra, the story of his second tour in Vietnam.

    1. I knew I forgot something! Fortunately there's room left on the gift card!

  4. Great books. SWMBO bought me a Kindle--so I've been mainly using that for reading these days--instant gratification and adjustable font size being two real attractions.

    1. The adjustable font size sounds great.

      I have an older Nook which the kids got me, I used it while on travel for my job. Very convenient.

  5. "aviation related service". Yup, that's what it seems to be evolving into. You'll love "Fighter Pilot". 8TFW was a good place to be in the sixties. I didn't get to serve under Col. Olds, but I was privileged to have flown one of the Phantoms from California to Korat AB, Thailand. I used one Phantom up, so I guess I didn't really add much to the effort.
    Amazon's used book resource is good too. $0.01 for the books (mostly), $3.99 for shipping. I have had good luck with their vendors.
    Check six, I have the feeling that they're really out there now.

    1. The 8th was a good place to be in the late 70s, early 80s as well!

  6. Never noticed the similarity of Walter and Joe. Made me gigglesnort.

  7. Golly, I wish I had a daughter to shower me with books!

  8. Sarge/

    I once related this at Lexs' place, but have you ever read the story of a Belgique WW II RAF Typhoon pilot entitled The Big Show by Pierre Clostermann. Great read.. Now $34 dollars used, $105 new, on Amazon--was 35 cents when I bought it new as a teenager in 50s--unbelievable!

    1. No, I haven't read that one though I do know who Monsieur Clostermann is. I certainly didn't know that he had written a book.

      That's a fairly steep price for a used book. Probably out of print for quite a while.

  9. PS: Mine was paperback--but SO IS AMAZONS!!!

  10. My reading list keeps getting longer and longer!

    For a breath of really, really fresh air, check out Ray Jones' Dynamite Check Six. A great tale with a couple of revealing human glimpses of fighter gods.

    1. That looks good.

      My reading list keeps expanding as well!

  11. Surprised more people aren't suggesting additions to your reading list. You have some excellent ones picked out; Olds and Rasimus - don't get much better . Try Thud Ridge: F-105 Thunderchief Missions Over Vietnam by Col. Jack Broughton if you get a chance.As an aside, went flying with my son's GF a week ago. She flies FA-18s out of Lemoore ( unfortunately, I didn't get a ride in a Rhino). I mentioned I regularly read a blog from an Air Force guy that had family in Lemoore. She said, "must be Lush and Big Time." Seems your reputation precedes you out here.

    1. I read Thud Ridge when I was a kid, great book. I need to dig through the archives and see if I still have it. Probably not, which means I'll need a new copy.

      Which squadron is your son's GF with? What's her callsign? If she knows The WSO and Big Time I might actually have met her. Hard to say.

      The WSO once mentioned that her old DCAG read the blog from time to time. I do seem to get around!


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

NOTE: Comments on posts over 5 days old go into moderation, automatically.