Monday, November 4, 2019

Mos Eisley

Sir Alec Guinness got it wrong, but then he spoke before 3 of the 4 worst Presidents ever, had a chance to work their villany.  (That would be Jimmuh, Billy Jeff, and Obama-lama-ding-dong.  LBJ would be #4 IMHO.)

Nah, Mos Eisley was a Boy Scout Camp compared to what I'm viewing now.  (Actually, I had been looking at the building I had worked (slaved) in 20+ years ago. The five sided Federal Penitentiary for Wayward Fighter Pilots. )  Hadn't quite scanned to the current equivalent of the Mos Eisley cantina, yet.  That would be just off my right shoulder.  I think Mr Schiff would fit right in with all the bug-eyed beings in the original.

But....I digress.

As usual.

Last weekend we had made the trek to DC to rendezvous with Little Juvat.  He's back from the sandbox for some training, so we thought we'd go and visit him and rendezvous with some old friends to get caught up.  Unfortunately, our friends had a last minute family issue crop up so had to back out. 

Which was unfortunate, but we did get to spend time with Little Juvat.

I'm going to go a little out of sequence here, as Friday night is worth a post of its own. 

Saturday would be spent visiting a Museum, Mrs J and I hadn't visited yet, so we decided to rectify that.  Arrived at about 9:30 to this view.

An empty parking lot for the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum?  Are you kidding me? 

The next thought....Is it open?  Well...yes....At 10.  But, the doors are open and you can go onto the mezzanine and get a chance to scope out the situation.

Which we did.

A lot of goodness therein.

And the plane pictures are coming, just not today.

Nope.  Today is Star Wars.  Or, more appropriately it's Air and Scare day at the Udvar-Hazy Annex to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

While the Museum opened at 10, the Air and Scare program didn't start until noon.  Which turned out to be great for us.  We had no idea what the program was, only that the security guard advised us to see what we wanted to see quickly as things would get hectic shortly.

So we did, lot's of pictures of planes coming soon.  But as we're walking around looking at neat stuff, I'd heard about, but only seen in pictures, I noticed that there were a bunch of people very strangely dressed.

I initially wrote it off as DC Weirdness, but somethings you just can't dismiss.

One of the Docents was dressed like this.

Another couple were also dressed up.

Pretty soon, we were starting to pick up a theme.

Finally, the Storm Troopers "fell in" for Inspection and assignments.

The Droids were even in attendance.

There was even a droid repair facility.

These were actually remote controlled vehicles, the "driver" would be nearby and controlling the droid's actions and sound.  I didn't see it, but Mrs J relates seeing a kid of about 2 walking up to one by itself in the middle of the floor.  He walks up and looks at it, then give it a pat.  At that point, the droid lets out an electronic purring sound and lights up, and swivels to look at the kid.  Kid was astonished.  Parents were filming and thrilled. 

I suspect, somewhere on YouTube....

Even Princess Leia made an appearance.

As did Mrs. Pelosi.

A young Chewbacca.

And her sister, Baby Shark.  (You'd be advised not to click the link, Beans)

So, We've gone round the ground floor and moved up the the Mezzanine.  I'm over by the Enola Gay talking to a regularly dressed docent.  The museum is getting hard to navigate with people now.  He advised us that in a very short while, the trick or treating would begin and there were candy stations throughout the museum. 

Ok, juvat doesn't do crowds well on a good day, crowds of kids on a sugar high, I'm pretty sure that would be hell on earth.  So, discretion being the better part of valor, we bid adieu to the melee and continued on our tour of Mos Eisley DC's attractions.

Next Week:  Mos Eisley-The Cantina


  1. "kids on a sugar high = hell on earth".........ha haha....haha..... (gasp) heh heh..... Now waiting for additional photos juvat, as promised with (no apologies) baited breath ....courtesy of Baby Shark.

    1. Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo. C' know the words! ;-)

  2. I always wanted to do that. So much to see there. Thank you for documenting your trip. I really look forward to it.

    I loved the history of our founding, and always wanted to see the capitol, the monuments. Most importantly Arlington (one of my greats is rumored to be there), the Korean War Memorial, the WW2 Memorial, the Viet Nam War Memorial (thinking of you Uncle Steve), But..... From what I've read and heard, it's barely America there now. Can't carry the pocket knife I've carried for 25 years? 2A??? Are you joking???!?!? I trust them like they trust me.

    1. Yeah, I reach for my knife several times a day. Rarely in anger, and even then it's directed against some recalcitrant box or bag. Was no different in DC, except I didn't have it with me.

      As you may surmise from that first picture, we did visit some memorials. More to follow. New and exciting subjects need to be rationed or the well might run dry.

  3. Udvar-Hazy, one of my favorite places on Earth.

    For those who haven't been there, go. (Ignore the DC horror stories, they're overblown, unless you're walking the halls of Congress, then it's probably worse than you think.)

    1. It is a great museum and well done. Combining the museum with restoration facilities and allowing viewing thereof is a great idea.

      Depends on which DC Horror stories you're viewing at the time. Traffic? Not overblown. That was the worst of it for us.

    2. Do leave the knives with your luggage or your car when visiting any federal building and that includes the Smithsonian where they do conduct screening of bags and use metal detectors.
      I've been to the Udvar Hazy 4 times now. It's a great place to visit

    3. Yeah, I know. Makes me feel kinda naked though.


  4. (I somehow split a sentence in two and put the second half a few lines down. That error is fixed)

    That is amazing. I'd no idea that Udvar-Hazy did something special for Halloween.
    The museum has an amazing collection and very knowledgeable docents.
    I momentarily thought that I would like to see that in person, but then you mentioned crowds.
    For several reasons, I don't like crowds.
    When we were last there we watched the movie about the Red Flag exercises at Nellis. I rated it at a bunch of stars.

    I'm going to click the Baby Shark link in a second.

    Nice post and I await the follow up post (posts? Please sir may we have some more) Thank you.

    1. I saw that, figured you were posting from an iPad. I regularly have that happen when I use that infernal device. Wonderful for reading, games, and surfing. Not so much for communicating.

      I've starred in some movies about Red Flag, generally I was the guy in the center of the gun sight, flailing furiously to escape the camera. Sometimes I got to film someone.

      Thanks, yes there will fe followups.

    2. Red Flag. That must have been awesome, well not so much being a target, but the experience of flying in a Red Flag exercise.

      Sentence error. No tablet, I was moving the sentence and didn't proof it adequately. (First comment anxiety)

      Knives. I recently replaced my Kershaw Blur with another Kershaw Blur, I'd pretty much worn it out, and I found I didn't like the Tanto blade shape as much as I thought I would when I bought the first one. The replacement has a more conventional blade shape and the serrations on the new knife are less than half the blade.

    3. Red Flag and Cope Thunder really sharpened the steel. President Reagan’s Mil budget madesure we went to 3 or more Red flag a year while I was at Moody. So 10 -12. I felt much more confident that I had a chance to do my job and, maybe,survive. I don’t know how many Cope Thunder’s I participated in, we seemed to be down there every couple months. I KNOW we were good. Desert Storm reinforced that.

      I bought my knife kit about 5 years ago. Put Padauk grips on it. Still sharp, and my EDC. Looks sexy too. ;-)

  5. The last time I was in DC the greatest president of the 20th century (and so far the 21st) was still hanging out. Michael Collins was still running the Air&Space Museum. I enjoyed my visit quite a bit. These days I tend toward curmugeonry. I feel like I'd like to go, and I'd actually enjoy a museum full of sugar-fueled kids pinging off the bulkheads. Just ain't crazy about all the grownups, who often take up too much space and act as if they've never been introduced to Mr. Politeness, and Miss Consideration. That said, I love seeing images of the AviIron and I salute your efforts and look forward with anticipation and many thanks.

    1. Thanks PA. I'm afraid Mr. Politeness and Miss Consideration are fairly lonely in most parts of the country now days. More's the pity. As Sarge encouraged, you really ought to visit Udvar-Hazy. When I was at the Pentagon, it was just a workshop over in Anacostia (I think), you had to be invited to go. I never got invited. It's now quite well run and still actively restoring historic aircraft.

  6. Nope, FDR is #4. LBJ would be #5 or at least tied for #4............

    1. LBJ would be #6, Woodie Wilson and his regressive Progressive policies would be #5...

    2. Once could argue any of the above positions. However, two things come to mind. 1) Too (way too) many colleagues/friends of my Dad (a fighter pilot) lost lives and/or freedom due to LBJ's decisions and lack thereof vis a vis South Vietnam. 2) I am a fighter pilot. I knew some of them, and flew with many who did make it home. Ergo, in MY list of the top 4 worst, LBJ is #4. YMMV

    3. I defer to your wisdom, Juvat and I can agree with your reasoning............

  7. You had me at Pelosi appearing... :)

    As to sharks, well, as long as you can see the shark and they aren't doing the pectoral fin pointing down and the death-wiggle dance and they see you, meh. Unless they're bull sharks, bull sharks are the a-holes of the shark world.

    Now, moray eels...

    It looked like a fun event, for kids of all ages. But not a time for serious plane gazing and docent-talking. Better luck next time.

    As to knives, I pledged to myself after leaving the PD that, unless called for jury duty (or arrested,) I will never leave the house without a knife. And I don't, though my EDC knife, a cheap chinesium NRA knife, pocket-clippy-thingy just failed, so I'm now wearing my bedside knife, a Kobalt folder that came with a nice multitool, as my EDC and the NRA is now my bedside one.

    Just waiting for Constitutional carry to add to my wallet of doom, EDC, keys and phone.

    1. Actually, the initial two hours or so was pretty nice, very few families. I had seen pretty much everything I wanted to see, and taken pictures of the descriptions for later perusal. Will I go back? In a heartbeat.

      I thought you'd get a kick out of Pelosi.

  8. Always wanted to see the NASM. The Smithsonian published a big 'coffee table' book about it a couple of years after it opened, and I ponied up the big $$ to buy it. I treasured that book for years, and lost it in The Divorce.

    Ahhh....knives! Been carrying since around 1995, and used to carry one all the time back in Illinois. I have several I use for EDC, and have my Gerber with me right now. Nice blade, but I don't like the clumsy two-handed folding lock. Much prefer my assisted-opening Spyderco knives.

    As far as the "visitors" at the NASM, we used to see them all the time at the Hollywood Bowl when John Williams played.

    1. Re: visitors. I can see that happening.

      I've carried a pocket knife pretty much since I was ten. With notable exceptions usually involving airliners.

      I strongly recommend both museums if you get a chance, up close and personal is better than a book, although that's better than nothing.

  9. Damn. Next time you're in town shoot me an email. I can make it down, and that would give me a chance to visit Father-In-Law at Arlington cemetery.

  10. Doubt I will ever get to D.C. If airplane museum and road trips are your "thing" drive North and then West to Pueblo. Up I-25 to the Springs. North again to the old Lowry Field. Swing back via Liberal, KS.
    At one time or another I've visited them all.
    Would make a grand road trip!

  11. Lucky enough to be there for the 'military' opening, got to meet Col. Tibbets, and Col. Hill (the man that flew the P-38 on display). That was something special, even if everything wasn't completed. Been back a few times, always enjoy it, and helping other people understand it.

  12. While the Pentagon is no paragon of military virtue (wasteful spending on defense contractors that are ripping us off would be my primary gripe), it is not technically within the bounds of DC. So, I wouldn't necessarily put it in the Mos Eisley category. The House has plenty of villainy for the entire district.

    1. Mos Eisley is a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area. As is DC in my mind. Even 20+ years ago you could feel the sense of entitlement permeating people there. I played “We gotta get out of this place” by the Animals quite frequently while there.

  13. Pentagon is a tricky place for many reasons. I had to use the Purple Fountain as a guide in the Mezzanine levels. Seems like every time I had work there, walls and halls would mysteriously move.
    Udvar-Hazy is a trip. Love the opening view with the SR-71 foreground and STS background. I've got a now-retired boss who's got a plaque outside in the Wall of Honor: Foil: 20 Panel: 1 Column: 1 Line: 17. OldNFO would understand.
    If you haven't been, see the Spy Museum. I've been several times, though this year they opened a newer bigger one that my Wife reports is much better. I still wear my "Deny Everything" lanyard years later.
    Wandering Neurons

    1. Back when Little Juvat lived in Baltimore we visited that museum. Very interesting. While on the Air Staff, navigation was pretty easy, go to the A ring, go to the closest corridor (spokes) go to the appropriate ring, then to your destination. The in briefing included that tidbit along with the statement you could get to any office in the building in five minutes. When I transferred to the Joint Staff, which was in the basement, all bets were off. No discernable logic down there. (Navigation or otherwise)


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