Monday, March 12, 2018

Buried Treasure

As many of the readers here know, Rancho Juvat is an animal friendly location. Unless you're a member of the mephiditae family, anyways.  We have 2 horses, 4 dogs, 3 indoor cats and 3 or 4 outdoor cats depending on who shows for dinner.

So, this just about sums it up.

But not always.

Cooper and Mushka settling in for a nap

However, a few weeks ago, on the gentle "suggestion" of my wife, I added a row of shelves above the existing shelves in our closet with a ramp too steep for the dogs to climb but very suited to the feline climbers in the family.  This serves two purposes, first and foremost, it's a place for the felines to get away from it all and chill whilst pondering the world outside through the window.  Second, it keeps them from climbing the clothes hanging from the clothes rods.

As Sarge might say "T'was getting a wee bit expensive."

To improve the airflow throughout the house, the closet has open spaces on the opposite wall from the cat perch.  The cats have discovered that, if they leap very hard, they can land on the opposite shelf, then climb out onto the headboard of the bed and then....

Mrs J have come to learn to listen for that tiny whistle the air makes as they leap onto the bed from on high.  Achieving the fetal position within 1 microsecond is essential to being able to return to sleep without considerable crush damage and/or puncture wounds.

However, this ability is not without its unexpected rewards.

A week or so ago, Schmedly attempted the first leap, but failed to achieve launch velocity.  I believe the naval aviators in the readership call it a cold cat launch.  Seems applicable, so we'll use it here.
Schmedly seen here in the Alert 5 position (requires Cat Launch within 5 microseconds)

In any case, Schmedly's cold cat launch failed to provide enough lift to reach the opposite top shelf, and as she began to claw for altitude, rear drive motors in full grunt, tried to find purchase on a box on the second shelf.

Said box had been assigned there for the también!

No, I don't mean "Also", I mean "Tam Bein", you know when you put something in place for a short while expecting to do something with it shortly, then forget about it.  Usually, that is how priceless artifacts are found by archeologists millenia later.  "Honey, what should I do with this bag of coins Caesar Agustus gave us?"  "Put it in the closet for the Tam Bein."

In any case, Schmedly must be studying to be an archaeologist, for, as she clawed for purchase on the box, it fell to the earth (followed shortly by the cat) and burst opened.

Relieved, in a strange way, that the cat had not made it across and thus necessitating my remaining vigilant for the expected Kamikaze attack on the bed, I fell back asleep.

The following morning, failing to be able to open the closet door, I walked around to Mrs J's side and entered.

What to my wondering eyes should appear, but a box of old photos and a couple of VHS tapes.

I think the Naval Aviators would call them "Cruise Tapes".

However, this was back in the day, when Men were Men and VHS cameras weighed 20Lbs (at 1 G, effective weight is 20 * X where X is number of G's pulled).  No GoPro camera's here.
Guys, who had children in the '80's spent most of the decade viewing life like this.  You can figure out whether they are left or right handed by which shoulder slumps.

So, not a lot of dogfighting, a nice burner formation takeoff, some formation flying and a very nice demonstration why Air Superiority Gray isn't all that spiffy when penetrating weather on recovery back at Kadena.

Enjoy. Yes, I'm in it, anytime you see the back of a helmet, that's me, and I might be briefing the mission out on the veranda.


  1. Sprayed the monitor picturing Schmedly in full grunt trying to achieve flying speed. Old school video, yes, I had that exact camera. Spent much time watching life through the viewfinder, damn thing was unreliable. Sometimes you'd get good tape, sometimes you'd get nothing but static. I will watch the video tonight as the connection at work isn't all that wonderful.

    1. I'm trying to clean up some of the other scenes on the tapes. Busy learning the vagaries of ShotCut.

  2. I still have marks from one of those infernal devices.
    Wish I could still view some of the tapes.

    1. Rumor has it that Walgreens has the capability to transfer them to a DVD (or it does at the one here anyhow). I think the fee was $10 each. Fortunately, the school district, specifically my office, has a machine to do it also.
      It's amazing how many teachers still use VHS tapes to present content. (I'm not sure amazing is the right word though.)

    2. Costco does, too.
      However, the tapes are no longer in my possession.

    3. That would definitely complicate the issue ;-)

  3. I had a tape like that from a USAF PR 2LT, only it was labeled Missile Mishaps! Soundtrack was similar....brings back memories anyway!

    1. Yeah, the soundtrack was pretty standard throughout the USAF in the 80's. But then digitizing it was still difficult and therefore expensive, so easier to steal someone else's stuff.

      I'm not sure I'd enjoy watching a film entitled "Missile Mishaps". Too many bad things can happen there, regardless of the size of the missile. Probably a safety film.

  4. Yep, that was a cold cat... ROTF! And Cope Thunder was a PITA! We got kicked out of Eielson because of one of them, and we were on OPERATIONAL real world tasking... sigh

    1. Never did one in the Cold North, strictly PI. Much more pleasant. Well, except for the getting robbed or murdered part.

      Somebody needed to be kicked out. Whomever made that decision would have been my choice. Sheesh!

  5. Very nice post and films, juvat. Was that a C-141 in the background early in the film?

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

  6. The one you can see in the distance in the dawn FOD walk sequence is probably a C-5, they've got a slight downward cant to their horizontal stabilizers, the one taxiing during the formation takeoff is definitely a 141, then a couple of parked tankers then a couple of parked 141's. Clark during Cope Thunder was a VERY busy place. Typically there'd be 4 to 5 squadrons deployed there, plus 2 F-4 squadrons and the Aggressor Squadron. It was also one of the main MAC terminals in the area. Coming in to land there was always sporty and the runway was horrible. Every single time I deployed down there immediately after touchdown, I had a fleeting feeling that I'd blown a tire (severely entertaining at about 130K), then I'd remember "Oh, yeah...Clark!"

    My pleasure Paul, as always.

  7. So, if the back of your helmet was visible, you were flying the camera bird, right?

    Loved the video, I've walked that flight line at Clark, a million years ago. Did one Cope Thunder, learned that man does not live by bread alone, gotta have San Miguel as well.

    (Now that I've had the chance to watch the video...)

    1. OAFS:

      Heard of the wx report that you are getting another major storm coming in. I hope you got pumps and batteries for them.

      Stay safe, my friend.
      Paul L. Quandt

    2. Yeah, the tail number with my name on it was a D model. I'd flown with someone in my pit most of my career, so it didn't bother me much.

      This Cope Thunder was in 88. We'd just received intel that the NK's had received Mig-29s. Our Sister Squadron the 13TFS, had gone operational in the F-16. We were both scheduled to deploy to the same Cope Thunder. They wanted to train against a 4th Generation Fighter (Mig-29), so we both deployed a week early.

      This mission we were acting as Red Air on a Defensive Counter Air mission (hence the low altitude CAP route we were flying). The 13th was flying as an Offensive Counter Air (pre-Strike sweep) mission.

      The female Captain in the briefing segment was their Flight Surgeon. Since they didn't have any D models assigned as yet, she flew with me and did most of the filming.

      I was on my Mission Commander check ride. I made some mistakes and had to repeat the ride the next day. Ah well. Nobody died (for realsies). Got to repeat, things went better the next day, and got blessed.
      That's what training is all about.

  8. I don't think I have any old cruise videos lying around. That's probably a good thing. Being on USS Independence (CV-62) with an all-male crew led to some not-quite-PC videos, like 32 squadron guys running down a passageway, Full Monte style. Foc'sul follies videos were great fun, but NSFTW (not safe for today's work).

    1. I'd hate to see videos of my tour in Kunsan, there was definite non-PC activities going on. Apparently, in today's world, something that was not illegal and happened 40 years ago, could still get you persecuted (not a misspelling) today.

    2. Had an exciting wakeup this morning. Woke up flat on my back and as I opened my eyes and started to focus, I see the entire 3 ship of felines peering over the top of the headboard at me. Slowly and carefully, I rolled out of bed and stood up.

      Then I woke up my wife.


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