Monday, June 11, 2018


Well, as some of you are aware, things are a tad hectic around Rancho Juvat (Rawncho Juvat, if you're a former President, pronounced like Paw-kiss-tawn), what with a large amount of technology to install over a shortened summer and a rapidly approaching wedding.

So, workdays are technology, weekends are weddings, nights are for rearranging priority lists in my head, and sleeping is for the weak.

Or so it seems.

This past weekend was my second trip to Dallas in the past months, which, truth be told, is more trips to Dallas than I'd had in the prior 20 years.  The Big D is not high on my favorite cities list.  Don't feel bad, tho' D, neither is Houston, Austin, San Antonio or El Paso.  Don't get cocky, Fort Worth, I lump you into the phrase "Big D".

But, with a few soon to be told excitements, it was a fun trip.  Purpose of said trip was to participate in the "I Do! BBQ.  The event was a "Couples Shower" for the soon to be Bride and Groom (let's use FSIL e.g. future Son In Law) thrown by the groom's extended family.

As I am well known for my Social Graces (RIIIIGHHHT, juvat, Social Graces!), I approached the occasion with a bit of trepidation.  One wouldn't want to step in a large pile of....offal and offend the soon to be "new side of the family."  Or, much, much worse, My Beautiful Daughter (MBD) and, by extraordinarily short extension, Mrs J.

So, I was on my best behavior.

Other than the FSIL's Parents, his Aunt, both Uncles and his Grandmother were there, with assorted Cousins and their spouses and children.  A fairly large crowd gathered in Mesquite (the town, not the tree).

Turns out one of his Uncle's spent time in the Air Force as a WSO on F-111s and was an air spare on the Libya Raid.  Fortunately/Unfortunately, he was not needed, so RTB'd,

Yes....There was quite a lot of shooting of hands and trash talk after that.  Turns out his son is also Air Force and is deployed to the SandBox. 

The FSIL's Aunt and her husband were hosting the shindig in their home which abuts a large park which was hosting a festival to celebrate the Fourth of July.


I was told, they didn't want their Fourth of July show to be lost in a bevy of other shows, so they went first.

Hey!...America is large enough, good enough and important enough to have an extended celebration of her Independence.

And they had fireworks!

I like fireworks.

A good time was had by all.  RTB Sunday Morning was uneventful and we avoided unnecessary delay at TX220 and US67, so a little less than 4.5 driving time and we're back at the Rancho.
This..... better than this

As Aaron is wont to describe, the trip was 9.1 hours, three interim stops (2 potty stops and 1 Lunch if you must know), and one terrifying minute in the log book

So....There I was* On ingress, driving east on I-20 about 4 miles from the intersection for I-635 and approaching an overpass.  I'm behind a sedan who's behind an 18 wheeler.  Traffic is moderate, and moving at about 75.  I'm starting to look for an opportunity to move into the lanes for I-635 when I see something that looks like a crumpled paper bag flying over the roof of the car in front.  I can't swerve due to traffic, but I think it's paper.

Suddenly there's a large bang.  This being Dallas (one of the reasons I dislike the town), my initial thought is somebody's shooting.  I glance around, don't see any holes, but Mrs J has got her arms thrown up in front of her head.  I ask her if she's ok.

She says she's fine, but the windshield's cracked.  I look, such as I can in traffic at 75, and sure enough, there's a crack all the way across the screen about an inch from the bottom.  I ask her what happened and she says a broken brick hit us. 

Now, I'm peeved.

We're only minutes from the hotel, so we press on.  Get to the parking lot and take a look, sure enough there's a circular impact right where the windshield meets the frame and no other damage.  However, it was centered up, left and right on Mrs. J's seat.

Which gave me a moment of reflection. Before we left, I had briefly considered taking her car, since it gets better gas mileage and is smaller and more maneuverable. However, it sits considerably lower to the ground.  If we had taken it and arrived at that exact same point in time, that brick would have hit center of the windshield, a much weaker portion and thus more prone to penetration. 
My truck is in the foreground,  Her car is in the back, you can see the impact and where it would have hit her car.

I had rejected taking her car because I just "felt" I needed the protection of the bigger vehicle.

Thank You, Lord!

BTW, Sarge gave me a little grief over my "assignment" to Okinawa at 18 months.  I was wrong.  I arrived on Okinawa the first time at 10 months old.
My mom received this certificate of arrival on Okinawa from the Captain of the Troop Ship aboard which we crossed the Pacific .
Ahhh, the finest in Air Force Housing.

In retelling the stories of this picture, my folks told me that the fence was to keep people from exploring Shuri Ridge, in the background.  1956.  Okinawa was a heckuva battle.
So...Given no choice (which is the definition of Assigned), my second assignment, but first in the Pacific was Okinawa, in 1956.


  1. FSIL. Maybe pronounced, FISSILE? Like missile, but with an F?

    For the last 25 years of my working career I drove I-95 near Philly, and that cost me several windshields.
    Replacing the windshield was one thing, but refilling the adrenaline reservoir after the thump was another.
    I can only imagine the WTFWT reaction when you are flying a large complicated aircraft and get an unexpected thump!

    I looked at the movement blurred yellow lights in the lower right hand corner of the fireworks photos and I wondered if they were the reflections of inordinately large watch faces.

    I remember when I was the FSIL, I did think that arranging all the lights in a circle pointing at me during the interview was just a bit overly dramatic.

    Good post.

    1. The lights were the candles on the backdrop behind MBD and FSIL in the first pic. We were close enough that you could feel the explosions of the fireworks. And, except for our gang, no crowds. Very fun eveninig.


    2. One hopes not. But...since we're at T-33 days, We'll be dropping the "future" soon enough.

  2. On being "that guy" with the inlaws...... My little brother married a girl in Borger. Her dad was a banker. I cleaned up a socket set (half inch drive), and packed most of it in the tuxes of the stand up guys. He asked for the ring, and got a socket set, piece by piece. I don't know how his pants stayed on......

    He was taking the FIL's car on their honeymoon, so we naturally broke into it to rig the lights to the horn... the FIL caught us, and started to change color.....

    We mobbed the couple as they dashed for the car, and as they wanted "bird seed, not rice" we dumped about 50 pounds down their shirts and pants. They shook that out in the FIL's backyard, and all kinds of weirdness grew in the perfectly manicured putting green over the summer....

    The final straw was at the BBQ that night..... I got a helium balloon and sucked it up, then thanked the FIL for the great wedding and overall fun time. He dropped my hand like it was slimy and stomped off. His wife on the other hand, hadn't laughed that much in 10 years.... She was okay in my book....

    1. Hmmmmm....Some interesting "party starters". Might have to try the balloon thing. I was told I'd have to get up and talk at the Rehearsal dinner. Could be the ticket! AND....Since I'm already known for my Social Graces, what do I have to lose?

      Just Kidding, MBD. I'll be on my best behavior. I promise. No. Really!

    2. If the wedding isn't ..... "eventful", then they may forget they had one.....

      I got along famously with the Bride's mom. She was a great gal. The dad was a pompous rectum. But my sister in law is a class act. So, somehow, he didn't screw up her raising too much!

  3. Most entertaining post Juvat. I have heard that wedding planning is very much like prepping for an ORI, though with less floor waxing and buffing (long story there). (Insert ORSE or INSURV for ORI if you wish.)

    As to windshields...

    First day at Offutt AFB, driving past the building where I was eventually going to work, they were doing something which required a jackhammer. As we drove past, a loud bang came from the windshield and I swear it looked like a bullet had hit the window. The base said, "Nah, couldn't have been the guys working in that parking lot. It was coincidence."

    Yeah, right.

    But hey, Welcome to Offutt Sarge!

    1. Thanks. You're right. And just like an ORI, most of the planning seems to take place behind the scenes and the operators are just told what to do and when.

      Both of which I've been well trained to do, both in the military and in marriage.

      I suppose I wouldn't have been quite so bothered, if we hadn't, immediately prior, been passed by a car filled with Utes all looking quite a bit like gang bangers. "Shooting on Freeway, film at 11".

  4. USNS Gaffey surely rang a bell. Following my 1981 cruise aboard the good ship USS Kitty Hawk to WestPac and IO, we sailed north from NAS North Island to Naval Station Bremerton WA for a scheduled major overhaul. As she was basically going to be stripped from stem to stern all ships company berthing was moved to the Gaffey. In addition to our shipboard space overhaul responsibilities, my boss was assigned as the "Mayor" and he appointed me "Asst Mayor" to ensure the comfort and well being of the crew while aboard. Years later learned and saw pictures where the USNS Gaffey was used as the target ship for Sinkex anti-ship missiles as part of a RimPac exercise.

  5. Interesting you made a troopship trip as a dependent. Reminds me of fourteen days of standing on the aft deck of the General Rose, January in the North Atlantic, and looking through a window where the important passengers were strolling around nice and comfy. The equalizer was the sea state was the same for all. Of course, at 10 months old it wouldn't matter.

    The ones I felt compassion were the forty or so airmen who hadn't joining the Air Force so they could ride in a troopship.

    Great looking couple, by the way.

    1. Thanks, WSF.

      I, obviously, don't remember anything. Mom, however, commented that it wasn't all that much fun.

  6. Yikes! Brick into windshield!! Glad you were in the truck!!! Road trash into windshields is why I always carry a large bottle of water as when a windshield shatters it really doesn't "shatter", it is more like "pulverizes into a substance the consistency of sharp corn starch." I spent the next 4 hours feeling like I had stuff stuck in the back of my throat, which led to the lesson of never open your mouth to say "OMG" as the large object is incoming directly at you. Because then you need water, and then bread, lather, rinse, repeat.

    It was so very hospitable of the locals to throw a fireworks party to celebrate MBD and Fissle's party. That is a very cool bit of pre-planning for sure!

    How is the dance practice coming?? :)

    1. Running out of time...playing telephone tag with the Dance school.

      I've always got water in the truck, but that's more due to this is Texas and breaking down miles from anywhere could be problematic. That being said, I'm now double glad I do, because If I'd have been a foot or so further forward when it impacted would have been much more of a problem.

  7. I’ve driven in Dallas (incl. Ft. Worth), Austin, and Houston. Drivers are pretty much the same all over, except Portland, OR.
    That comes to mind at the moment because we just drove through there an hour ago. It’s only worse when it rains.

    1. Oh, heaven forbid it rains in Austin during rush hour (San Antonio is even worse). The stupidity spreads faster than a nuclear explosion.
      So....Scratch Portland off my must visit list?

    2. Yes, by all means, avoid Portland ( at least the Oregon one ). Instead, swing by Vernonia and I'll buy lunch/dinner.

      Thanks for the post.
      Paul L. Quandt

    3. Important information for future reference (when I get a moment to catch my breath that is.)

    4. BTW:

      My wife will be ( somewhat ) in your neck of the woods, so to speak, She'll be in Austin from the 21st to the 26th of June. As you have earlier expressed your fondness of that city, this is informational only.


    5. Well, if she has time and wants to make a sidetrip, Fredericksburg is only an hour or so west. Nice town, lots of shopping, excellent museums, plenty of wineries. Take your choice.

    6. Thanks juvat. She likes wine/wineries, so I'll let her know about Fredericksburg.


  8. I'm so glad Mrs. Juvat is Ok!

  9. Glad things went well, other than the windscreen... And I think Kadena is STILL using those same houses! :-D

    1. Nah! The Navy might. Kadena renovated
      in ‘88. After the flood we moved into a nicely renovated house. Besides Dad was assigned to Naha. That base was given back to the JASDF a while ago. Not sure what happened to the Shuri housing area, but it wasnt U S in ‘87 when I got back


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

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