Saturday, June 22, 2019

No One Sings Like You Anymore*

On this date in 1941, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. It was a clash of ideologies, both of which were (and remain) inherently evil. Two nations filled with ordinary people held in thrall to two of the most murderous dictators of all time. Millions perished, it was a titanic struggle. In the end the Nazis lost, they overestimated their abilities and they underestimated the will of the Russian people.

Enough said of that, I mark the event in history as it's important. It is wise to remember to be wary of politicians of any stripe. While they are not all evil, they seldom have the good of humankind as their number one priority. They think they know better, they seldom do.

Took some time on Friday to ponder the book I intend to write. I have a cast of characters and I have a stage for them to say their lines. I have a rough beginning, an old man remembering the days of his youth when the world was at war. I have an ending which will go from the ruins of Berlin back full circle to that same old man. Who did the old man fight for, who's uniform did he wear?

I haven't decided yet.

All I have to do now is fill in all the bits between those two points in time.

When I came of age some fifty-plus years ago, I had no idea of what I wanted to do in life. I felt that some day I'd go into the service, I bounced back and forth between considering the Army (tanks dontcha know) and the Air Force (it's always been about things that fly). Why just those two services? Family tradition.

Up until my generation, the men in my family were soldiers (not all of 'em, but quite a few), we weren't a seafaring folk to my knowledge. My older cousins served in the Air Force, one in Vietnam. So when I made my decision, it was the Air Force. One of the key factors in that decision was that the Air Force recruiter pulled no punches, told me what was what and made no promises. The Army guys were, to my mind, less than honest with me.

I guess now that with three kids (and two sons-in-law, one current, one to come - in October) who served in the Navy, we are a seafaring people after all.

Anyhoo, in 1975 I began a journey which lasted twenty-four years. I stepped off that "train" twenty years ago last month. Twenty years. Hard to imagine, but time seems to accelerate once you get to a certain age.

Air Force career over, I embarked on a second career, which is coming to a close within the next 18 to 24 months, I haven't really decided yet. When I step off this train, there will be no more trains to catch, no more ambitions to pursue to pay the bills and make ends meet. We won't be fantastically wealthy but we'll be comfortable.

Provided the world doesn't go to Hell in a handbasket before then.

There's times that I feel a certain sadness about all this. Where did all the time go?

Ah well, such is the fate of all living things, time doesn't end, merely our participation in it.

I'm thinking of actually paying for drum lessons, there is only so far one can go on one's own. Yes, The Missus Herself thinks I'm nuts and am having yet another "mid-life crisis." What some see as a mid-life crisis is me wanting to try something new. What the heck, why not? Once I leave the work force I'll need something to get me out of the house from time to time. We shall see...

Swapped a couple of emails with Harvey from IMAO, he asked how I got into blogging. I related the story of Lex's passing and my picking up the torch, so to speak, to continue on. I still wander through the archives from those times. Heck, I still visit Buck's place as well for the inspiration what's in it.

No one sings like them anymore.

More's the pity.

* With apologies to the late Chris Cornell...


  1. What's not to like...... Commies and Nazis killing each other? Drums are a cheap "mid-life crisis". A two seat four wheeler would be much more expensive eh? Once you close out your second career just think of it as "retiring to your estate"..... to pursue those interests you didn't have the time for previously. One thing though, you'll have more time for the honey-do jobs. Book sounds....... as Artie Johnson used to say......"veeerrry interesting".

    1. The honey-do list? What's that?

      Seriously though, The Missus Herself does not burden me overmuch with chores. If there is something heavy to move, then I pitch in. Most of her "chores" are things she prefers to do herself.

      I am blessed.

  2. CAUTION Rabbit hole ahead!!


  3. There is not end to doing what you like to do. If drums keep you happy for the next twenty odd years then so be it!

  4. "All I have to do now is fill in all the bits between those two points in time."
    I'm surprised you didn't hurt yourself when you stuck your tongue that far into your cheek.

    I'm still waiting for retirement to slow down enough to catch up on the honey-do list and make a dent in my reading list.

    As far as paying for lessons, I used to describe my welding skills as "On a good day I can crudely fuse metals."
    Early into retirement I stumbled onto a votech school near us that offered a course on welding training for the hobby welder.
    Money changed hands and a couple of months of Tuesday nights later my welding skills were much improved.
    A hobby that involves electricity, flying sparks, melted metal, and the risk of setting yourself on fire is a bunch of fun and also useful.

    We were at a Larry Correia book signing near us, and among the great things he said was that many authors spent a lot of time on their first novel.He then paused and told us that when the first novel is a success the author isn't well prepared for their second novel.
    As I fully expect your first novel to be a success, what else are you planning to write? (of course no pressure intended) :)

    A thought provoking post. Thank you.

    1. I do think I sprained something.

      Molten metal? Sparks? Flammable things? What could possibly go wrong?

      Not much if you know what you're doing, and it sounds like you do.

  5. High performers don't last long after retirement unless they prepare for it. Drumming sounds like a good plan. Your highly developed brain needs a place to focus. John in Philly has it right. Find what you like to do, and get with it. I like working metal and wood. I've built up my machine shop and tooling over the last 5 years or so, and I've got several years to go yet to retire. I hope it's seamless: stepping from IT dweeb into machining nerd. If you find yourself looking for things to keep busy, I can send you part of my list!!!!

    Write on!! A book from the Sarge about history???? I'm saving up my pennies as we speak.

    1. Mentally, I need to stay busy. So yes, I have a number of post-retirement irons in the fire.

  6. Hey Old AFSarge;

    Yep, Nazi vs communist...whats not to like, now only if we couldn't do Pinochet helicopter services on a vast scale, would save the world a lot of grief. but the problem is that if we did that we would be like them and people have the right of "choice" even if they choose badly. I know about the career thing, I am on my 5th career since high school, I started in the Army, did 6 years, got RIFted in 1991. got a job in with Kawneer as a commercial door fabricator, got laid off in 1992, got started as a Domino's Pizza Manager, tried as a career but got burned out in 1994. Then got a job with Ford Motor company building cars and got laid off in 2006, got hired 6 months later with my present employer and am now a chemtrail technician. Go figure....I want to buy an older car and tinker with it when the kid gets out of school. so I will see what transpires, I still have 13 more years until I retire.

  7. Your last two thoughts resonate.
    There’s always something that piques our interest.
    If we don’t answer it we’ll shrivel away(DAMHIK).
    Buck was a special kind of blogger and Lex was Lex, two who to whom any could aspire.

    1. Once we lose interest in new things, we start dying.

  8. Sarge, the whole world opens up when you step off the second train.

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
    In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.
    Proverbs 3

    Worked for me.

    1. The Lord has ever been my guide and a fortress in my hour of need.

      Sound wisdom, Dave.

    2. Good stuff, Dave. I'm with OAFS, sound wisdom.

  9. Actual human interaction lessons? Whoa, things are getting serious here! Next up is a soul-patch or maybe sideburns and a mini-pompadour (Rockabilly style...) Go for it, except the soul patch.

    Book sounds good. If you can spend this much time navel gazing, you should have scads for working on it once the Day comes.

    As to everything else, well, you only have a partial choice with the rest of everything.

    And regarding jobs, lesse... 8. With 6 being the company folding while I was there, or layoffs prior to being sold and then company closing. A friggin albatross, I am, job related that is.

    1. I know! Actually, I am pretty amenable live and in person, it's only behind the wheel of an automobile that I become a complete curmudgeon. Or something...

      Eight jobs? Perhaps we should call you "the canary." Like in the mines of old...

    2. I definitely become curmudgeonly behind the wheel.
      Recently I became aware that it also happens when I have some goal in sight... like getting ready to leave on a trip and others needs get in the way of my routine for getting ready.
      Fortunately, I learned some time ago that I can keep it from becoming an issue because I can control my attitude and actions.

    3. Yes, goal in sight, too many obstacles in the way. Most of the time I but grin and bear it.

    4. 8 meaning ones where I was there longer than 3 months.

      One was a job where I got riffed right before Christmas in order to shrink the workforce before the company was sold, and then the new company hired me back as a temp worker, for 3 years... Joy, not really...

      Admittedly, I am a great worker when faced with challenges and new stuff. Have me answering phones and doing the 'regular work' that only takes 10 hours a week to do? Um, boredom sets in... Bored Beans are bad Beans... Not that I typically wouldn't end up doing the job of someone 2-4 notches above me, without the corresponding monetary gain... Oh, well, such is life in the modern American Corporate World run by MBAs and failed LibArts Majors...

    5. Copy that on the "MBAs and failed LibArts Majors" - fun to watch, not so much fun to explain things to.


  10. "Once we lose interest in new things, we start dying."

    Agreed. We need to stay engaged. Hopefully, now we can choose when, where, and how much.

    "Where did all the time go?" Makes me think of this song--

    Some here may have picked up on the fact that I am a gun guy. I have been fortunate to accumulate enough "toys" and gear over time to keep me happily occupied. My wife asked me what I wanted for Father's Day. I replied "Nothing. Just the day". I especially enjoy passing on what I know to younger folks. Each gun I own comes with it's own story and history lesson.

    1. Stories and history lessons, that's right up my alley.

    2. RHT777 did you know that John Browning's orginal design for the firing pin stop on a 1911 was square on the bottom? Oh baby, does that change the character of that sweet heart.

      My favorite history is mechanically oriented, too.

    3. I did know that, although I have never seen one in captivity. As a gift to myself to celebrate escaping Kalifornia, I got one of these--

      Very pleased with it overall. Your comment reminds me that I need get my stones out. There is a bit of roughness when the hammer face transitions from the firing pin stop to the slide. A bit of a sharp corner there needs to be smoothed a bit.

      My only annoyance was, whose bright idea was is to stamp the last four digits of the serial number into the track on the slide for the disconnector nose? I understand about keeping matched slides and frames together during manufacture, and I'm all for it. But seriously, that's the best they could come up with?

    4. Looks like a great piece. This Kalifornia escapee is jealous.
      Remember to be sure that it warm enough before removing your stones out of their protective covering.
      I'm sorry, sometimes I can't resist.

    5. What was that Colt called that had adjustable sights? Dang, I got to shoot a mag through one once, and then cleaned it for the rich guy that owned it. Gold Cup.

      Here you got RHT:

      I've got one on a stainlesss GI lookalike SA 1911. It makes the recoil move straight back, no twist. Very different feel than my first one. I like the look of that Range Officer.

    6. STxAR,

      Thanks for the link. I will definitely look into that.

      I have another rig that is truly Kentucky fried. I started with a frame from Alex Hamilton at 10-ring Precision. I found a Colt series 80 9mm slide milled for adjustable sights at a gun show. I had a custom barrel chambered in 38 super by a local gunsmith. It is tuned for light loads as a paper puncher. I used it to shoot Bullseye competition for years. I cast my own bullets and loaded my own ammo.

      My favorite grips are Hogue--

    7. I used to say I was a blued steel and walnut traditionalist.
      And then INS loaned me a mostly aluminum Beretta and then took that back and loaned my a polymer framed HK.
      I'm not as much of a blued steel and walnut guy anymore.

    8. Often we don't know if we like a thing until we try a thing.

      That was me and Brussels sprouts. Not a firearm true, but analogous, a bit...

    9. The analogy to firearms and Brussels sprouts might be better than you think.
      Both may cause an explosive release of gasses! :)
      And unlike asparagus, no body in the bathroom can tell I've recently eaten Brussels sprouts.

    10. More firing pin stop discussion here--

      For those interested, a lot of good info on that site.

      John in Philly @ 7:34--

      If the Brussels sprouts take effect in the presence of innocent bystanders, immediately say "Hey, is that popcorn I smell?".

      Yeah, I know. Me and Dave, no restraint what so ever. Softball over the plate, and we're all over it.

    11. RHT, you are my kind of guy!! Love it.

      I'd like to have one. I've heard there are lots of Supers in Mexico.

      My old boss in college had a 38 Super from the 20's his dad bought. We went to the Downtowner in Longview before it was demolished. He had to get a door lock and room number plate off a "special room". He was packing that Super just in case we ran into any squatters. I made him bookends out of some walnut and inset the door locks with the knobs from each side of the door, with the room number on the front edge. He never volunteered why that room was "special"....

      I'd like to have one. I've heard there are lots of Supers in Mexico.

    12. oops... retarded edit timing....

    13. "I've heard there are lots of Supers in Mexico."

      From what I've read, back in the day a large part of the Super's popularity was because it was not a cartridge used by the Mexican military, thus making it legal to own for Mexican citizens.

      "I'd like to have one."

      Well, here is an out of the box solution--

      As I said, I used a 9mm slide. 9mm rim diameter is .394, 38 super is .406. If you were to find a hot deal on a 9mm 1911, this just might fill the bill--

      Before building mine, I had considered the S&W Model 52--

      However, for a number of reasons I wanted to stay with the 1911 platform.

      (There you go, Sarge. A story and some history).

    14. Dean Grennell told a good story about the Model 52.

      Thank you for the excellent info. Now, I have the wants.... oh baby....

  11. "What some see as a mid-life crisis is me wanting to try something new".

    The Fountain of Youth, so to speak, at least mentally. Not so long ago I was visiting with a mental health counselor at the Community Grief Center. Among other things she asked me, "What brings you joy?" Didn't have a ready answer but upon reflection, it is mastering (or at least becoming competent) new endeavors. Soon to be 75, the body is having issues but the mind isn't. For that, I feel blessed. Rarely do I wake up dreading the day ahead.

    1. When the mind is engaged and still learning, you're good to keep on keeping on (as Buck was wont to say).

      Hope you are well.

    2. I'm ok. After the death of my son, my niece and sister begged me to sign up with our local Community Grief Center. Doing so greatly relieved their minds. I'm getting more out of it than I expected. Six month program. First Tuesday each month is a formal classroom exercise broken down into six topics - one a month. The second Tuesday each month is a group discussion.

    3. Thoughts and prayers, brother.

  12. As to your book, I would be greatly honored to be either editor/proofreader or first reader. Or both. In any case, you write and I'll buy.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    1. Do I have your email address?

      How could I not have the Ogf be an editor/proofreader?

  13. Sven Hassel was there! Drums? Try YT Bonzoleum. And I was banned from IMAO because I used facts to argue against the site owner. Arrogant and stupid.

    1. Loved that series of books. Bonzoleum, I went, I listened, I subscribed, man is good!

      Banned? Using facts in argument? You're obviously a rebel, I like that.


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