Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Stuff That Falls Out

It's been several weeks since I've written a piece here.  Nearly a month actually, right after my Norway trip.  However, despite what seems to be a complete absence, I comment on Juvat & Sarge's pieces regularly.  That's actually where I get some occasional inspiration for my own posts, with 99% of them never getting written.  I have sometimes held back a complete comment though, not wanting to share too much.  I usually want to save it for a post of my own, yet I am not inspired enough to actually carve out the time.  I apologize for that, but only slightly- Sarge being quite accepting of me acting like a cat- only coming around when I feel like it.  Unlike a cat though, I don't feel like I'm gracing you with my presence.  Sorry Sarge, I know how much you love your cats.  And heck, I'm posting more than the rookie around these parts so I've got that going for me.

With that pent-up inspiration comes a mental or chicken-scratched list of possible potential posts. a peck of them with a passel of pithy political points.  Ok, I'll apologize right now for that last sentence- sorry.  I'm at the end of a week-long vacation to Park City Utah and I guess I'm feeling a bit plucky.  So I'll give you a few items from the list of things that are falling out of my brain.

Sarge recently wrote about folks passing on.  Not a perky post, but a topic that affects us all.  I commented that I have experienced the same thing as he has- friends, family, and fellow servicemen leaving this world for another.  Some of them were old and having lived a great life, their loss is felt, but with a little bit of acceptance.  Others, like close family, hurt no matter what, and the loss is never forgotten.  Although the pain will subside over time.  Others, like young men and women, a 12 year old family friend in particular, are far more tragic and we not only mourn his loss from our lives, but the potential that is missed- the man he would become.  Fallen Aviators?  They left us too soon as well, but it's a dangerous game we play and it's part of the job unfortunately.  A small part, but an ever-present one.  There was a time well into my 30's when I had only attended a grand total of two funerals.  No one else I knew or cared about had passed on.  Now?  I've lost count.  And when you join a fraternal organization of which the average age is 60, many of your friends are old.  And unfortunately, the funerals are a little more frequent.

I mentioned I'm in Utah.  Beautiful part of the country I'm tellin' ya.  Other than driving to/from Florida and Washington State a few times for PCS moves, I haven't seen all that much of this country.  We drove up here- 12 hours on the road, which is a long trip.  I'm glad we did though because of the phenomenal scenery, which is sampled a bit today.  Juvat wrote about his Alaska trip and it got me to thinking about my own travel bucket list, but also how beautiful that state is too.  I would like to do an Alaskan Cruise at some point in the next few years, as long as I can convince my wife that it comes Juvat rated, and highly at that!  My family drove through Utah back when I was a kid, but I didn't appreciate it then.  I didn't appreciate a lot of things back then, and I'm making up for lost time with my travels now.  Just today my wife and I decided to visit Utah again- with Bryce Canyon, Arches,  and Zion on that expanding bucket list.  We're going back to Europe next year for our Silver Anniversary, a river cruise which I'll surely document here, but other than that, I really see ourselves hitting several National Parks.  This country just has so much to offer.

The drive to Park City was a beautiful one, but a little frustrating.  Sarge has lamented the annoying Rhode Island drivers in posts before.   Who doesn't get irritated by crappy drivers?  Not me, and I saw plenty in Utah.  One particularly bad one was an elderly lady who upon entering the three-lane freeway from an on-ramp, almost aggressively moved over to the fast lane where she cemented herself at just 5 miles over the speed limit.  In my fleet-of-foot Mustang, I'm not allowed to drive in any lane other than that one so I quickly came up on her.  Not one to tailgate, she made it difficult to keep from doing that, but I slowed and hung back, although still close.  I had hoped that my presence would let her know that I wished to pass.  After 30 seconds I stepped it up with a quick flash of my lights.  Then again.  Still nothing.  With my wife in the car I didn't want to move to plan C, a short tap of the horn (never have actually), so I gave up on principle and blew her doors off from the middle lane.  (Insert completely irritated emoji here).

Some other driving thoughts I've had.

What's with all these convertibles in San Diego with their tops up?  It's San Diego for pete's sake, the weather is awesome.  Even with my dermatologist on speed-dial I'm regularly running around topless.

Prius drivers.  I hate you.  Econ Mode is the devil.  Going up hill and you're trying to stay in Econ Mode so you don't even touch the gas?  You're practically going backwards.  I hope you die a painful death surrounded by all your vegan eating, hemp wearing, Bernie stickered brethren.

Three lanes merging slowly down to one?  Listen lady, don't honk as I drive up the right lane.  The zipper merge is the most efficient and wasting 300 yards of road because you decided to hold up the line by merging early just makes you a bad driver.

Hey Gramps, I realize that you have to go slow for the semi-truck in front of you that's passing an even slower semi, but once he's moved back to the slow lane, couldn't you possibly accelerate a little, heaven forbid, aggressively, to allow the quarter mile backup of cars to get on with their day?  And even if you're going 3 or 4 mph faster than him, common courtesy says you move over and not hog the left lane until you pass the next series of trucks.

Yeah, I know I should be more relaxed in the cockpit car, but since I got my Mustang, I am really enjoying the horsepower.

Sarge's post here roused my ire when he mentioned politicians after he quoted First Timothy, 3:3 from the King James Version with the following:

Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

I got all up on my pithy political high horse when he wrote that it would be nice if our politicians were of more noble virtue and not the fargin sneaky greedy bastiges that many of them are.


Since the last election, I've lost the taste for purely political posts, but that doesn't mean my ire doesn't get raised on a daily basis.  Greed is going to be the downfall of this country.  From the unions that are conning city councils and state legislatures to approve larger and ever-growing pension benefits to state workers, (Story here) to power-hungry progressives demanding an ever-growing government to transform us into a welfare state, to the sheep who listen to the lib politicians, we're on a path that can't continue.   While the Dems all have their eye on the Russian story, or possible story, or please god*, let there be some kind of story there (they seem almost desperate); Some of the adults are concerned with items of substance.  Like the economy for instance.  Our current National Debt is over 19 TRILLION, with no signs of stopping, Trump or no Trump.  On their current path, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare will consume over ONE HUNDRED PERCENT OF OUR GOVERNMENT BUDGET by the time my son is 65.  And that's from the Congressional Budget Office.  Completely unsustainable, but everyone, including a bunch of supposed conservatives, only care about the short game.  ACA repeal?  Oh, no, it will leave millions uninsured!  They didn't have insurance before, and they won't have any after our our economy collapses.  We need to go on a serious benefit diet YESTERDAY!   Reform our insurance industry to correct why it's so damn expensive in the first place, then worry about how you can extend medical care to those without it.

I'm in Vegas for the night, about half-way home.  We're not going to walk the strip this time, but we have in the past, avoiding the folks flicking cards, trying to hand you one.  These are cards showing barely or completely nekkid women, advertising strip clubs, call girls, or "massages."  That thought reminds me of a story I saw in my "news" feed.  Seen the cover of this month's ESPN "The Body" Issue?  I'm all for women being empowered, and especially for Marine vets who had a leg blown off in Afghanistan, but at some point, empowerment just becomes titillation and exploitation.  Google Kirstie Ennis if you're interested.  Beautiful woman, but really ESPN?  Same thing, but less questionable and deeply into the sick and disturbed category are the shows about little girls dancing, or participating in pageants.  They're being sexualized and nobody says a thing.  We keep moving the line on morality or what's acceptable that we forget where the line originally was.  And soon, the only morality is a personal morality.

Ski Jumps from the 2002 Winter Olympics.  We went down them like this: Video
 Getting old is not for the young.  I wake up and I have aches for no reason.  And it's become increasingly evident that the older I get, the less gracefully I deal with being sick.  It used to be that I could have pneumonia and still find a way to rally for a few hours at the local bar.  Now, I sneeze once and I'm writing my own obituary.  And my vision?  That went downhill fast.  I had both eyes lazered back in '98 as part of a study for Naval Aviation.  20/10 and 20/12 was the result.  Then one eye was retouched in '08 after it fell to 20/20, so I've had great vision for a long time.  Now, I can't read a newspaper without cheaters and I can't read the road signs until I'm on top of them. It's like I've been watching Ultra-HD TV for years and now my cable company forces me back on regular definition.   Time to give up and get some bifocals I guess.

Ok, I've emptied out the dormant residue from my brain and my chicken-scratches are all scratched out so, see you around the Chant. 

*Lower case was intentional as their god is not my God.


  1. I love it when you do a brain dump!

    Great post Tuna!

  2. Stay with the single use glasses, unless you like to look like a unresponsive idiot. Always looking repetitive. Ie..at your feet.
    Guilds have been the saving grace of humanism. But, which came first? The idiot boss, that kills the worker, or the guild that trains the worker to a art.
    Pension plans create a more effective worker turnover then old workers. States underfund their plans hoping to attract votes. But is the underfunding logical? Not usually. By underfunding, they create a debt. We are not Muslim or Jewish, and have no debt holiday. So it must be paid. Was it the underfunded employees fault? Or the Masters? Just as in bibalic times there were cruel masters and " money" lenders, there are now. After not all are created equal. But the ideal master shares his with the workers. A dedicated workforce makes the difference.

    1. True, but the underfunding comes from promising too much to attract the votes. Which appeases the all-too-powerful public sector unions. The promised medical coverage in retirement is enough to bankrupt a city alone most likely.

  3. I see a lot of promise in young Americans. Not the ones you see on tee-vee, but the ones who are out there doing their best and thinking about how to fix this mess. History will savage the majority of grownup AILO's who sold everything they had of value to become mindless drones beginning in 1988. If it's to be fixed, the youngsters will fix it.

    Johnny Dangerously! Brilliant cruise flick! Marilu Henner was, well, you know.

    1. I'm not seeing it. Seems like the majority of them are just wanting to know what's in it for them, not caring who pays for what. Ignoring basic economics is so prevalent these days, from the young, to the old libs. Just borrow, just raise taxes, etc. And they wonder why companies flee to overseas locales.

  4. Nice rant! Pretty much like a ball turret on a B-17, firing in all quadrants, but right on target. Well done. Glad you had a good trip.


    Blowing the doors off a left lane vigilante, is perfectly acceptable, indeed expected. Carry on!

    1. Unfortunately it doesn't change anyone's behavior.

    2. no,it doesn't. But the reduction in blood pressure is important for those of us in our age range.

  5. The things drivers do once they've entered their cocoons ....makes me wanna scream, "GET OFFA MY LAWN!!!"

  6. Sounds like cataract time. If you haven't check it out (at your old age) do so. A marvelous few minutes spent under the (insert whatever they use). Makes the whole world more colorful and clear.

    1. No problems with that yet- just normal aging says my doc. My vision is only 20/30 now, but it seems worse since it's been so good for so long.

  7. Utah is an exceptional place to visit, with much to see. Should you be able to visit Utah again, include seeing the North rim of the Grand Canyon and Corral pink sand Dunes State Park.

    1. We've already booked the Grand Canyon trip for next spring- staying in Flagstaff so we're also near Sedona.

    2. The South Rim is also great along with Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. Enjoy your trip.


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