Tuesday, November 30, 2021



That picture above is where The Missus Herself and Your Humble Scribe went for Thanksgiving dinner this year. Good food, good company, and in a very nice setting. Though the company was far smaller than past years (thanks PRC), it was still a good time. The benefit of the smaller company was not having to yell down the length of the table if you wanted to talk to someone at the other end.

Okay, we weren't literally yelling down the table but it was often necessary to get up and walk down to the other end to hear (or tell) a story being related down there. With a group of five it was far easier to converse. As the only reservation I could get was at 11:30 or noon (I chose noon) it was surprisingly uncrowded. The receptionist said that most folks like to start around 1:30, 1:00 at the earliest. As I can eat virtually any time of the day, I had no problem with the time. Hey, lunch, amirite? But I did get a couple of raised eyebrows from a couple of the clan.

The only way my better half can tell if I'm truly ill is that I won't eat. Which is seldom. Remember the old saying, "Feed a cold, starve a fever"? Well, I believe in feeding everything. But if the fever is high enough, then I won't eat. I'm talking 104°, which I've hit three times, then I get strange. Probably because my brain is boiling, I suppose. (The docs never did figure out what caused that, hasn't happened since I was on Okinawa.)

After my most recent stint in Sandy Eggo, I resolved to take a bunch of days off, twelve to be precise. Two of which were covered by the Thanksgiving holiday (yes, we get the Friday off) and only two required vacation time. Working a lot of extra hours on the ship does have its benefits. Returning to work on the 28th of November was somewhat surreal, I hadn't been in the office since the 4th of November.

Okay, I was going to bitch about the WuFlu and masks and stuff but decided against it. Hey, it's the holiday season, f**k the government. (I almost spelled that out, but I have qualms about doing that here on the blog. I use it enough in real life that it could get out of hand here. Yes, I see it occasionally in the comments, it makes me grit my teeth, but hey, 1st Amendment, etc.)

So yes, work, back to. For three weeks, four day weeks I might add, I have enough comp time to make that happen. Then three full weeks off for Christmas. I did that last year for the first time, rather enjoyed it I did, so I'm doing it again this year.

The plan is to visit Maryland for a week or so, if they don't throw us out sooner. Well actually me, if they don't throw me out sooner. The Missus Herself will cook and clean and generally make herself useful. I'm good for asking questions like, "Hey, are there any donuts left?"

Which leads me to this, is it "donut" or "doughnut"? I can go either way. What say you?

Moving right along ...

I'm still not ready to write any fiction, I blame end-of-the-year-laziness. Not run-of-the-mill -laziness, but the other which is linked to "it's almost Christmas" and "Holy Shit, this has been  a long freaking year."

Christmas means, among other things, time off away from work, time spent with family. I'll get to the other meanings sometime in the next fortnight, I'm in the midst of a theological impasse with the letter and the spirit of things. Not quite along these lines ...


But close ...

It's getting close to that time of year when I get to recharge my batteries for the coming fiasco year. I'm seeing indications in these parts that juvat's saying of "We're winning!" is closer to reality than the spew I've heard in the Meejah.

Carry on, and let's go you-know-who.

Monday, November 29, 2021

The Week that was!

 So...There I was... * It's Thanksgiving week and the excitement level at Rancho Juvat is rapidly rising.  The youngest member of the juvat clan is approaching an important milestone (one month old) and is going to celebrate it with us.  

No, Beans, this isn't her first away from home trip.  The week before, she had accompanied her Mom and Dad to the DFW metroplex and assisted her Dad with a job interview.  The after action report says she wowed them.  Her Dad?  We'll see.

But this will be her first time at our place and we're excited. Lots of coordination has been made at command levels well above me.  Apparently, at MBD and SIL's wedding reception the two commanding generals got together and negotiated an agreement on holiday visitation principles.  Unless changed by prevailing circumstances or verbal agreement, whomever get's visited ON Thanksgiving does not get visited ON Christmas and vice versa.  

Mrs. J and MG get reacquainted

This works out well for us this year as Little J and DIL will arrive for their "Get reacquainted with the USA" visit the last couple of days of December.  So, we're celebrating Christmas on one of the 12 days thereof and since it's not being celebrated ON Christmas, we get to have them for OUR Christmas.


Ain't Mrs. J smart?  

Because of the agreement, MBD, SIL and MG packed up on Friday and went to visit SIL's family. However, that personnel reduction was offset by the arrival of another part of the family, my Favorite Niece, her husband and my Grand Niece and Grand Nephew ages 5 and 3 respectively.  Good folks, in spite of living in Austin, but we haven't seen them since you know what hit.  

In another aspect of this past week, Mrs. J and I are working hard to bring our second cabin on line as a guest house.  It had been my sister's home for a bit before she moved into our old house when our new one was completed.  At that point, bureaucrats intervened and DIL had to move into it with their dog, TEX to keep him out of prison.

Bureaucrats? Prison, juvat?

Apparently, China has a law that if a canine arrives in China from a country that has a history of Rabies (Kuwait for example), the dog must go to quarantine for 6 months.  However, if he arrives from a country he's spent a minimum of 6 months in that doesn't have a Rabies problem (the USA for example), he can go right in.  So, she and he lived on our property Feb-Sep this year.  

That's a lot of wear and tear on the building so Mrs. J and I have been fixing things, refinishing wood floors, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.  We were pretty well finished and wanted to have a fresh set of eyes live in it as guests for a couple of nights and make notes of things we missed or other suggestions.  My Niece and family worked perfectly.

Busy, busy, busy.

But, the day before Thanksgiving, I had a little extra treat.

Mrs. J's Christmas present to me last year was a ride in a Stearman.  I had misplaced the paperwork in the post move unpacking exercise, but found it a few weeks ago.  Got on their schedule and damn was that fun!

Photo taken after flight, notice bigger smile!

Prior to the flight, the pilot  was chit chatting with us while a mechanic checked something.  Asked me what I did, you know, the usual stuff.  What I knew he was really doing, because I'd done it myself many times when giving an incentive ride, was checking me out to see what the probability of me puking in his airplane was.

I told him I was retired and that the last aircraft I was at the controls of could accelerate straight up on takeoff and was capable of pulling 9 g's.  I also told him that the last time I was at the controls was 30 years ago.  (I didn't want to not have an excuse if...)

He said "Great, I'll give you some stick time."

We hop in, fire it up, do all the pre-takeoff checks, and because of a fairly strong crosswind, took off from the grass.  A lot less bumpy than I thought it would be.

We haven't even cleared the fence and we're maybe a hundred feet up when he wiggles the stick and tells me it's mine.  

I take the stick and level it off at about 1000' AGL, give it a couple of turns, realize that the torque of the motor requires a bit of rudder to compensate.   I also realize I don't know airspeed or G limits, stall characteristics, spin propensity or recovery procedures, so, I make an executive decision to stay as far away from the edge of the flight envelope as possible.

That having been said, we took a tour of the town, down main street.  Looks quite a bit different from above.  Then we flew out to our property and did a couple of turns around it.  We have the greenest pasture in the area.

It was getting to the end of the half hour Mrs. J had payed for, so I started pointing at the airport.  He then shook the stick and I stuck my hands in the air.

At that point, the Acrobatic phase of the ride started.  We started with an easy Chandelle which turned us away from the airport and gained us some altitude. We did a few clearing turns to insure no one else was nearby after which he demonstrated quite a bit more of the aircraft's capabilities.

My grin at that point made the Cheshire cat look like a grump.

But all good things must pass.  We re-enter the traffic pattern and do a spacing turn on downwind to allow another aircraft to land.  Then did a low pass to impress the crowd, pulled up and did a full stop, again on the grass.

Even now, I'm still grinning.

Hope your Holiday was as good as mine and MAN am I thankful for my wife!

Peace out y'all.  We're winning!

*Standard juvat Caveat

Sunday, November 28, 2021

You Watched What?

Screen capture from the clip below
So lately I've been watching a lot of foreign films, preferably in the original language (unless I'm really, really tired and can't keep up with the subtitles). The latest film is 1944, an Estonian film about World War II. Specifically Estonia's role in that conflict.

Lest you think this is some high level historical documentary, let's lay that idea to rest immediately -

It's a film about the people most impacted by war - the soldiers who fight the battles and the civilians who get caught up in the midst of battle. This film had a very interesting twist, which I won't spoil by telling you about it, you'll need to watch the film yourself. I will give you a hint - Estonians were caught up on both sides on the Eastern Front. It was a real lose-lose proposition for them.

Estonia is one of those smaller nations which always seems to be caught up in the struggles of the larger powers around her. Usually between nations which speak either German or Russian. World War II was no exception. (The Poles and the Swedes were also prominent in earlier struggles in the Baltic region.)

Estonia is one of three Baltic nations: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. I've always been interested in that area of the world as there was a small community of Lithuanians in my hometown (along with a much larger contingent of Poles). One of my best friends in those days was of Lithuanian descent.

So Estonia (Eesti Vabariik for you purists out there) was, for a century, part of the Russian Empire, the Estonians regained their independence in 1918. For those of you familiar with European history, you might recall that Hitler and Stalin ended Estonian independence in 1939 with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, which cleared the way for the Germans to invade Poland. (And allowed the Russians a "sphere of influence" in the Baltic, not to mention being able to stab Poland in the back some two weeks after the Nazis invaded.)

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Estonia regained her independence in 1991. Estonia joined NATO in 2004, which I'm sure the Russians don't care for.

The Estonians have one of those odd languages in Europe which aren't part of the Indo-European language family, it's most closely related to Finnish. Speaking of language (pun intentional) here's a rather attractive lady explaining Estonian -

(She's from Latvia, though she is a native Russian speaker. She explains this elsewhere on her YouTube channel. What can I say? I'm a sucker for foreign languages ...)

The one disappointment I had with the film (which I watched, with ads, on Amazon Prime via IMDb) was that it was dubbed in English. I would have much preferred it be in the original language with subtitles in English. Ah, but if wishes were horses ...

As an aside, the Russians have a number of fairly good WWII films out, my favorite being T-34, even if it is a bit overblown. Amazon Prime has a bunch of 'em, some really good, others not so much. But hey, it's a break from Hollywood and all that entails.

So that's a new thing, kind of, Sarge as film critic. But mostly war movies. Some Russian films are far too depressing. Which led me to this meme ...

Sound familiar? (FWIW, Tolstoy drives me crazy, not in a good way either. Solzhenitsyn is almost as bad.)

Saturday, November 27, 2021

I Have Returned ...

... from New Hampshire that is. (Nothing nearly as dramatic as MacArthur's return to the Philippines, I'd be back in one of the landing craft, probably searching for the general's corncob pipe, ya know how those ossifers rely on us enlisted swine to keep 'em organized.)

It was a good holiday, rather on a smaller scale than past years, five of us as opposed to a baker's dozen or so. Some of the tribe was up in Maine with the new babies which qualified the Olde Vermonter and Mrs. Old Vermonter to claim the title of grandparent. Twins, a boy and a girl born to my niece City Girl and her man, a fellow who needs a call sign I suppose at some point.

Anyhoo, we want out to an inn in the wee town of Chester, Vermont, where they did a rather nice buffet in past years. But this year, due to the Wu Flu I suppose, the meals were ordered off a menu, a number of Thanksgiving choices being available, though to my surprise, no ham. Oh well, it was turkey I was after anyway.

Meal was really, really good. Breast of turkey done to perfection, mashed taters, whole berry cranberry sauce, and a potpourri of root vegetables which went perfectly with everything else. For dessert there was a choice of pumpkin pie, apple crisp, and chocolate mousse. Yes, I know what you're asking, could you get all three?


And more's the pity, but we did have a pumpkin pie, which The Missus Herself and Your Humble Scribe had hauled up from Little Rhody, back at Mom's house. Which we had sampled the evening before (and which I sampled again during the Buffalo-New Orleans game).

Well sated we were.

What? What did I drink? The non-traditional Von Trapp Bohemian Pilsner was my choice of beverage. A bit hoppy for a pilsner but it went down well. (What, you didn't know that the Familie von Trapp emigrated to Vermont after the filming of The Sound of Music before World War II? Well, now you know.)

The trip to the Fullerton Inn is a new tradition in the family, no one wants to do all that cooking on Thanksgiving, and I don't blame 'em. This is the third time we've been there for Turkey Day. It has been, and remains, a neat thing to do. No doubt we'll continue doing this as long as the matriarch still lives. I hope for many more years, but at 91 she's starting to slow down. Not sure how much longer this new tradition will last.

Time moves along, whether we want it to or not.

You may note that I have been pretty absent over the past three days. No internet at Mom's house, damn weak cell phone signal as well. It's kinda nice in some ways, but I did feel rather disconnected. Some of you like that, I don't. I need to be in touch with the far flung enterprise which is my family. We literally stretch from sea to shining sea.

But I'm back and looking forward to Christmas, a trip to Maryland is in the cards once more. The new grandson is quite a prospering young fellow, talking up a storm and curious as the day is long. Can't wait to interact with the little guy in person again.

I shall keep you posted.

It's good to be home.

Friday, November 26, 2021

A Colorful End to the Day (aka Jets and Sunsets)

If you've followed my posts over the years, you've probably seen a few of my Jets and Sunsets posts.  I really enjoy a good sunset, or sun - rise.  Hey, I don't discriminate!  The red, orange, and yellow hues just grab my attention and have a calming effect on me. Sunsets signify the end of the day, and if God took out his paintbrushes and got creative, they can somewhat make up for what might not have been such a great day.  As for the pictures, being 11+ years retired, I'm not exposed to as many military jet sunset shots as I once was, but the internet is as good, if not a better source, than Navy MCs and PHs* (and the occasional NFO).  

The San Diego Embarcadero with the ships of the Maritime Museum

San Diego is a pretty good place to see some amazing sunsets, and to find pictures of them that others have taken.  A few of the ones here are shots I took, but they usually pale in comparison to how they really look.  The human eye is far more advanced than the camera in my Android phone so I'm usually disappointed in how they turn out.  Sometimes I use the phone's setting to enhance the photo though to get it closer to what I saw.  My wife's Samsung does a far better job.  I hear that iPhones are the ones to beat though.  

I'm not sure where I found that picture, maybe on the Navy's Farcebook page.  It looks cold and unforgiving on that flight deck, not really matching the idea I have that sunsets are warm and inviting.  Although the shot does remind me of one particular post from 2015 which has several great sunset pics in it, and some good memories.  You can review it here.

San Diego's Mission Bay

Shot from my street one evening this fall.

Sister-in-law's photo of the Caveman Bridge over the Rogue River in Grants Pass Oregon.  Why Caveman you might ask?  About 30 minutes south is the town of Cave Junction where one can head up into the mountains to find the Oregon Caves National Monument.  

I'd like to take credit, but I only took this one off the interwebs.  This photo is from the San Diego Zoo, looking west towards Balboa Park with a Jet Blue aircraft on final, and one of the zoo's gondolas.

This has gotta be a really old photo, since we haven't flown Phantoms off carriers since March of 1986 when VF-151 (one of the squadrons my dad was an Ordie in) launched off the USS Midway and landed at NAF Atsugi.  That bird and 8 others then transpac'd to North Island as the squadron transitioned to Hornets at NAS Lemoore.  However, this could have been taken from a Brit carrier, but I can't find out when they last flew them off their CVs.  

I don't remember why I was down on Breakers Beach as NAS North Island, but it was an opportune time.  This shows Point Loma and a cruise ship framed by a fiery sun.

There's a huge album of "Airplane Window" on Pinterest with shots like these.  Pinterest is an easy source for my pics on these posts.  

I liked how the sunset looked through the rigging onboard the Maritime Museum's San Salvador replica, the ship Juan Cabrillo sailed on when he "discovered" the region.

The two above were taken from "Mr. A's" restaurant where we spent our 28th Anniversary dinner a couple months ago.  The Sunset wasn't so good that day though.  Mr. A's has an outstanding view of the bay, NASNI, and the airport.  The airplanes come even with the restaurant on their approach.  Up until the pandemic, you could catch a British Air 747 flying by a couple times a week.  Mr. A's is the kind of place people go to get engaged or celebrate big events.  We saw one couple get engaged, and another reveal to her parents that they were pregnant.  Great restaurant, but you definitely pay extra for the ambience. 

Random sunset as I rode down the 15 freeway.  For those overly concerned that I might have been using my cellphone while driving, don't worry Karen, I was a passenger.

My cousin, an aspiring military or commercial pilot, took this one from Palomar Airport in Carlsbad CA earlier this week.  No jets, but cool nevertheless.

As far as I know, this is the lone sunrise shot in the group.  This was from just a few days ago looking east out my sunroom.  

Well, I've exhausted my more recent collection of photos, so, like a sunset signifies the end of the day, this photo of my little neighborhood village will signify the end of this post.   I'm clearly just vamping** to help out Sarge over the holiday weekend, but I don't think you'll mind all that much.  I hope you're enjoying leftovers.

 *MCs-  Mass Communications Specialists, formerly known as Journalists.  PH's are Navy Photographers.

**An entire post and I didn't whinge about politics?!  

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Once upon a time, there was a group of obnoxious religious whiners who left England and went to Holland and stayed obnoxiously whining about religion and eventually decided to go someplace where they didn't speak civilized languages so nobody would really be bothered by all of their obnoxious whining nor their religion and then the place they were supposed to land wasn't where they landed and they kind of messed up and almost died, and to top it off they wanted to become communists and as we all know, good communists are dead communists and many of them became good communists and then they figured out communism sucked rocks, sucked so bad they could swallow the Plymouth Rock itself and became capitalists and survived and thrived and whoohoo we get to celebrate them surviving pre-English Civil War England and then oh-so-corrupt Holland and then landing in the wrong spot during the wrong season and then surviving communism at its finest.

Ah.  Thanks, great-unto-1620 grandma for surviving.  Whoohoo!

Yeah, one of those.  Explains so much, doesn't it.  Now, go cook, go eat, avoid stupidity and especially communism in all its forms and have a great day.

As to what's for dinner?  Turkey breasts (neither of us like dark meat) with candied sweet potatoes and cornbread dressing with pumpkin pie for dessert.  Plans are to cook, mellow, eat, mellow some more, take apart the turkeys and pack the bones for later boiling down and that's it.

Hope your day goes well.  And hope you all enjoyed a true synopsis of the wonderful foundation of our beloved holiday.  Which is more true than the bland unleaded version taught to us by our bland unleaded education system.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021


 So, there I was, Saturday, planning on holiday meals and planning bills (like car tag renewals and such) and while reviewing my bank statement (on-line, I'm not a total Luddite) and lo and behold, something was missing.

Utilities - check.
Cable/Internet - check.
Rent - check.
Death insurance - check.
Scamazon - check.
Food, food, food, food - check, check, check, check.
Drugs (legal variety) - check.
Car insurance - 
Car insurance - 

Lo, and behold, the wondrous USAA of which I have been a valued and happy member, thanks to Dad and Mum, for a very long time, has not dunned my account for October or November.

(twing, left rear spinal area, over left rear kidney, twing.)

Call USAA (the best insurance company in the world, trust me, I've sampled all of them) and closed till Monday.

(twing, left rear spinal area, over left rear kidney, twing, gurgle, gurgle...)

Sunday, wake up, and my old Irritated friend Bowel Syndrome has started creeping into my life again (a bad response to stress, last two years at last job I felt like I spent more time in the jakes than at the desk (TMI, I know, TMI.))

(Twing, left Rear Spinal Area, over left rear kindey, Twing, gurgle spurgle murgle...)

Monday, wake up.  Go to bathroom, say hello to my little friend the plunger as IBS has returned with a vengeance.  Take doggo out for his walk and call USAA.

Me. (bip-boop-bingle-bongle)(traipse through phone tree and get a human (USAA has the shortest phone tree ever, but it's still a phone tree.)

USAA lady - "Hello, how can I help you?"  (By the way, USAA has the nicest, actual English-speaking, clearly-speaking phone people I have ever heard.  No weird sub-continent accent, nope, good old American-accent English with a slight Southern spin.  Clear voice how wonderful.)

Me.  "Why have you not dunned my account for October and November?  And does this mean I no longer have car insurance?"

USAA lady - "Well, (goes onto short but clearly understandable explanation of how USAA has gone to new computer system and they migrated most data over, like phone numbers, addresses, email addys, shoe sizes, but not billing info."

Me.  "Just my billing info?  Because that would be my usual luck."

USAA lady - "No, a lot of billing info."

Me.  "So you've been answering a lot of these calls?"

USAA lady - "Yes."  Deep remorseful sigh...

Welp, got all that fixed, got rebilling set up, yada yada yada... 

Seriously, USAA is the best.  They give you a dividend on the money they charge you, and often it will pay a good portion or all of one month's bill for the year.  Great people, great service.

And... if you have USAA, make sure they're pulling money from your account.  Just saying....

So, I go out, get last of holiday shopping done, peeved because no chicken livers are available anywhere (since we only do turkey breasts here, there's no bag of livers and neck to boil up for dressing or dirty rice, so I normally use chicken livers, but no chicken livers so chicken thighs I'll try instead.)  Back is hurting, feels like someone punched me over left kidney, oh, boy, I know what's coming now...

Fix dinner, settle down after same, get up to take dog out for late walk, and my back goes... Urk.  Uh-oh...

Trying to walk dog, back goes "Urk, urk, urk, urk."  (sound of back twinging)

Dog gets interested in smell, he goes one way, I'm heading in the other direction, upper torso gets rotated to the left and... "UUUURRRKKKK!!!!!"  A twinge so bad I actually cried out in pain.

Get back to the apartment.  Get dog unhooked, go grab the stretchy back support thing from when Mrs. Andrew had back surgery many moons ago.  Tighten it up as much as I can, gingerly get into bed, and now I've got a day or two of unstable back to deal with.

Yay. Stress. It's a killer.

Long history of stress.

Back in college, had a very bad day, one of those days that is just... bad.  Almost died on the way to a final, don't remember taking final, don't remember getting home.  Woke up two days later, feet were flat, back was 'thrown out,' and a white spot appeared on the back of my head, about a quarter size.

Since then, any undue stress, like, oh, my cow-orkers trying to actively kill me or put me in prison (several times) or the business I'm working with closing without warning (several times) or in-laws moving in uninvited (several times) will cause the same reactions, from IBS to foot flattening and back-throwing out.


Thanks, USAA, for the holiday gift.  I love you all, but...

On the other hand, I still have car insurance and they (USAA) HAVE NOT reported lack of car insurance to the State of Florida so the State of Florida hasn't cancelled my DL or my car tags.

(Seriously, have you ever shifted car insurance?  The cancelled company will immediately call the state where you have your car tags registered to neener-neener on you to say you don't have insurance with ex-car company.  Meanwhile, at new car company, it's on someone's 'to-do' list to get done in the next month or so to inform the state that your car is indeed insured with new car insurance company.  Been there, done that, gotten pulled over and paid fines and, oh, my back, my aching back.  The pain, oh, the pain.)

Seriously, as lame as this show was, even as a kid I identified more with Dr. Smith than the rest of the space knuckleheads, well, except that Dr. Smith was a traitor to the free people of Earth and I'm not that, well, except in the eyes of certain leftist jackwagons, but who cares about those people, Brandon (cough, cough)

Needless to say, with the current economic and political shenanigans going on outside my door (nationally that is, for the most part) it doesn't take much additional stress to take my poor body from 'Handling things okay-ish' to 'URK!!!! gurgle gurgle'

On the other hand, my governor, Governor Ron DeSantis, is trying to get the state of Florida's gas tax repealed for the duration because he says we're already paying too much and we all need some relief.

Can you imagine if other states (looking at you, California) cancelled their gas taxes for a while?

That's my governor.  Making sense out of a senseless world.  Now if he'd only allow oil exploration and exploitation off of Florida's coasts...

Other than that, Happy Thanksgiving all you Chanters out there!

And here's just a tad bit of music, that explains so much my view of myself...  especially when I look over at Mrs. Andrew and marvel at me lucking out so darned much.

"Creep" from Radiohead

When you were here before
Couldn't look you in the eye
You're just like an angel
Your skin makes me cry
You float like a feather
In a beautiful world
I wish I was special
You're so fucking special

But I'm a creep
I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here

I don't care if it hurts
I want to have control
I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul
I want you to notice
When I'm not around
You're so fucking special
I wish I was special

But I'm a creep
I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here

Oh, oh

She's running out again
She's running out
She run run run run

Whatever makes you happy
Whatever you want
You're so frucking special
I wish I was special

But I'm a creep
I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here
I don't belong here

No, I don't have a bad self-image, just sometimes, well, what the hell am I doing here?  And then I look to my side and she's there and life is good.  And she willingly stays with me.  Whoo-hoo on my part.  (but in the back of the brain lies a Smeagol-class negative image that...)

On the other hand... She stays with ME!  Hah!  Suck it, everyone else who had a shot at her and blew it! HA!

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Odds and Ends

While out in Sandy Eggo recently, I started watching pro football again, well, to be honest I watched some college ball as well. After a long week of work it was relaxing to sit, vegetate,  and watch some football. I used to play some thousands of years ago, we actually still had a couple of the old leather helmets around, friend of mine wore one as a freshman. He grew up to be a Master Chief Petty Officer, so you can imagine the pounding his head must have taken in that old helmet.

Speaking of pro football and the Navy, son-in-law Big Time had the opportunity to do another flyover during the pregame festivities. This time over Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, new home of the Oakland Los Angeles Las Vegas Raiders. The stadium has one of those new-fangled "can be opened or closed" roofs (rooves in the U.K. from what I gather). From the opening photo I would guess the roof was closed. Why you'd do a flyover over a closed roof stadium boggles my mind, no doubt it's shown on the big screen inside the stadium, but still and all, Big Time got to do it. His previous flyover experience was at a Dodgers game. I guess when you're stationed at Lemoore you get to cover the west coast games.

Yes, one of those Super Hornets above was being piloted by my youngest son-in-law, which I find cool and impressive. There are worse ways to spend your time.

Anyhoo, the lad is doing well at his chosen profession (he puts on Commander in the spring) and is probably glad he didn't get out to join the airlines. Which would have happened just before the Wu Flu became a thing, that timing would have sucked! He's well on his way to joining Tuttle and Your Humble Scribe in the world of the military retired.

Speaking of airlines, Your Humble Scribe got to ride the B737 MAX 8/9 (bloody safety brochure applies to both models apparently) and was initially kind of freaked out by that. Me picturing all sorts of ...

Actually no, I didn't freak out. I just found it interesting that that model aircraft was back in service. I always operate under the assumption that when my number is up, it's up. Whether I'm sitting on the sofa at home or flying in an airliner at 32,000 feet, when it's your time, it's your time. Of course, on an airliner it means that a bunch of people all hit their time at once. Odd way to think, I know, but it's the way I think. YMMV.

Lately I have begun to question everything. Sometimes it's just me being contrary, sometimes it's me wondering just what the Hell some people were thinking when something was written down/promulgated/sold as absolute truth. Which leads to the paradox -

Yeah, why?

Or why not, now my head hurts.

I'm looking at the rest of this year, blog-wise, and am up in the air as to what the management types like to call "the way forward." (The peasantry likes to refer to this as a "plan," but I guess "way forward" is more correct corporate-speech-wise. A language I love to hate.)

Do I coast into the New Year, knowing that I'll be taking a lot of time off (well-deserved and otherwise) and want to spend time doing things other than blogging? Or do I resurrect some of the unfinished fiction, one colonial, the other being what a friend referred to as "civil war porn," or do I start something new?

Truth be told, I don't know. I need to finish the WWII novel, I checked, in a month of not touching it, it did not become self-aware and start editing itself, more's the pity. Do I start something new? (The Eastern Front beckons, as does the Pacific. Probably because I'm reading a very good biography of Chester Nimitz at the moment, with Bill Halsey's biography waiting in the on deck circle.)

I could just continue this current string of musings, ramblings, and disjointed accounts of "what's going on with me," or I could just chuck it and walk away until January. The latter, while tempting, probably won't happen. Mostly because I enjoy blogging and also because we have this string of "every day with a post" going. I didn't used to be so anal, especially back in the day of maybe 200 hits a day, now that we're consistently topping a thousand a day, my ego would suffer were that to drop. (Not really, but I am kinda OCD about the blog.)

As to the colonial era novel mentioned above, I ran out of steam on that one, also it seemed (to me) that most of the readership really didn't care for it, not being enamored of that time period as much as others. I know, some of you really liked it, and I feel bad for halting production on it, but we shall have to see what the future holds. I want to get back to it, but not if people don't read it.

The aforementioned "civil war porn" also has rather run out of steam. It was a way for me to blow off steam but too many readers took it far too seriously for my tastes. We might live in scary times (not really, you want scary times, live in Europe during the early '40s, or Africa in damned near any century, we have it easy compared to some) but I like to escape from that shite when I'm "off duty," so to speak.

At any rate, this is Thanksgiving week, for which I'll be heading into the land of limited cell and non-existent WiFi for much of the week. I'll be spending time with my Mom and kid brother, The Missus Herself as well, of course, and won't have much time for writing.

If you don't see me in these spaces in the next cuppla, it's because I'm off to the north, or I've decided to lay low, or I'm just too lazy to write. I do, after all, have the entire week off. So I've got that going for me.

If I forget, may all of you find something to be thankful for.


Monday, November 22, 2021

I've been Aced!

So...There I was...* Sunday Morning Breakfast (Yes, Beans, same location as last week, and the week before, and...), happy because it's been an eventful week and I've already got a solid idea for this weeks post.  Pull up the blog in preparation for logging in and notice a new post published and it's in MY usual font (Sarge uses the default blogger font.  I use a Sans Serif font named Helvetica.  The reason for this is, back in the day when I was teaching Web Mastering, computer resolutions were so low, the little curlicues in Serif fonts made them difficult to read on the monitors.  That has changed, but so have my eyes and not for the better, so I still prefer the Sans Serif type fonts.  YMMV, but I can read them better.)

In any case, I see the post is in Helvetica.  I think to myself "Did I post last night?  I certainly don't remember doing so, but....".  Well another thing that's not quite as sharp as my eyesight is my memory.  I begin to read the post.  Yeah, I had intended to mention that, and that and that and that.  Maybe I did.

I must have scheduled it for Sunday by mistake.  Then I look at the Posted by line.

I've been ACED by Tuna!

What does that mean juvat?

Watch this little video.  

Guy's rolling in on a target.  He's lined up on the engine, he's gonna be a hero and destroy the target, then from out of nowhere comes another P-47 and blows up the train in front of him.  That's being Aced.

The full video, which is quite good, can be found here.

So, since Tuna "stole" my idea and, quite frankly, did a better job talking about it, I will switch to some other topics that I have "borrowed" from my usual internet hangouts.  

BEANS! Get your mind out of the gutter!

From Steven Hayward's "The week in Pictures" feature at Powerline.

I thought that improbable, but was in error.
Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826 (July 4th, 1826 to be precise and perfect)
Harriet Tubman 1822-1913
Ronald Reagan 1911-2004

I also enjoyed this picture from the same source.

Hmmm, for some reason, Mr. Binger isn't pictured.  My trifecta regarding that miserable POS is "Disbarment, Damages and Prison." One can hope.

On a 'nother, 'nother note:

Mrs. J, being the thoughtful person she is, decided that my current workshop was not up to OSHA code and therefore should be returned to its prior life as a storage shed.  She was also not of a mind to allow me to continue using the Garage in our current house as a temporary workshop. It is where all the "tweaks" required by the ongoing Operation "Everyone move one dwelling clockwise" occur.  The operation is now in its 14th month and rapidly approaching completion. Completion will occur when our second guesthouse is up and running.  It's now looking like that will happen by the end of the month.  We only have to replace the canes in one chair to reach that milestone.


True words, very true.

But, in any case, Mrs. J has decreed that once the chair is completed, the garage will become a storage space for her automobile and riding lawn mower.  My truck will either have to fit or freeze.

"But, but, but,  what about woodworking, My Dear? I can't go back to my old 10X16 shop!"

"Not to worry, Dear.  Santa's elves are working the issue and the result should arrive in 4-6 weeks."

Yes, Beans, I've got graph paper out and am figuring out the 12X24 layout.  Imagine! I'll be able to cut a sheet of plywood without opening the doors. That is IF I can afford the plywood.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and Peace Out, y'all.  Lots of victories this week. We're winning.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

A New Hope- an Empire Starts to Crack

Some Red, White, and Blue for my Muse.

While Sarge and his Muse are taking a little fiction break after his SanDog visit, mine is feeling pretty good despite the train wreck that has been the last 9 months. Monkeys and Footballs come to mind.  My Muse bleeds red white and blue and walks proudly, head held high despite the fact that it seems that the nation's deck is stacked against her.  

It has been a rather eventful last couple of weeks which I will touch upon, highlighting the fact that despite my frequent negativity with the way our nation is going, there are some hints of sanity that bring me a modicum of optimism.

Now mind you, there are still plenty of reasons for me to be torqued off.  Biden's presidency began with a lightning-fast paced rollback of everything that Trump touched.  Even some of the good things that could be considered popular on both sides of the aisle. One that's near and dear to my family was Trump's Executive Order regarding insulin and EpiPens- I have family members that rely on these to stay alive.  My nephew has juvenile diabetes and his family is of meager means, so that executive order on pricing helped them immensely.  For Biden to roll that one back showed just how vindictive the left really is, and possibly how in bed they are with big pharma.  More on that later.

Then came a massive self-induced border crisis followed by a complete and possibly dementia-induced pull-out of Afghanistan, leaving fifteen of our brothers and sisters to die, and 10 innocent civilians caught up in the knee-jerk attempt to make up for that and unsuccessfully save face for the administration.  The careerists at the top of our defense refused to admit that Biden did the opposite of what they had advised, but it was clear that he acted on the belief they they agreed with a complete pull-out.

Then, upsetting Adam Smith, we had a very visible hand interfering with the economy, stifling our oil production, putting people out of work, and creating massive spending bills that are now causing Americans of all classes to reel from the effects.

None of these are good things but I tend to be somewhat of an optimist, believing that Americans are starting to wake up a little.  The media is actually starting to get some spine back, 
questioning the administration on some of those policies, and realizing that middle Americans (and those everywhere else) are hurting.

Over the past few years we've seen far too much gaslighting, with reporters claiming violence is peaceful, voter fraud is nonexistent, and a treatable viral illness is universal death for everyone not seeing how big pharma clearly has our top leaders and the media in its back pocket.

I'm still quite upset at our media, who seem to have lost all sense of curiosity with regards to anything.  There has been no query about what's in the bill, what universal Pre-K really is, what the impact is of these massive spending bills, and why our level of federal debt is at the highest ever recorded in history for any nation on Earth, and if that's a good thing or not.  The media also hasn't asked  why we saw the clear promotion and unquestioned support of false narratives regarding dossiers, investigations, 
FBI biases, international funding of leftist campaigns at the highest levels, and the like.

So America is reeling.  Savings were diminished during COVID shutdowns for those forced out of work, mainly small businesses.  School kids were "protected" from being adequately educated for over a year.  Right now our turkeys and beef and gas are nearly at the highest price levels ever seen in our history, and our spending power for everything is significantly diminished. 

However, on November 2nd, we watched a state that was clearly and deeply blue during the last election, vote for what might be a coming wave of non-politician Republicans, showing a career politician the door.  We have recently had parents push back hard against our schools teaching that everyone of a certain color is a victim and has no way out.  And that transgenderism and gender dysphoria do not need to be allowed into our kids' bathrooms.

And finally we have a Not Guilty verdict on all counts for a young man in Wisconsin who was clearly needing to defend himself, despite prosecutorial misconduct and a biased vitriolic media.  The jury saw the video for what it was, and applied the law as it is supposed to be applied, clearing him of all charges since his life was definitely threatened.  So justice has prevailed.  Why it was ever brought to trial is very clear of course, a knee-jerk attempt to convict before being proven guilty.  And because of a distaste for anything on the right that we hold dear, including justice, the right to bear arms, and common-sense law and order.  That last point may be a little redundant, but we have seen little of it over the past few years, with multiple impeachments based on fraudulent claims, convictions of officers for medically induced deaths, and most recently, a 4 year sentence for a costumed fool for simply walking into a federal building.  The fact that his co-defendants are all in solitary confinement, mostly because of spiteful anger, proves that guilt is too often in the eyes of the beholders (and Justice Department officials) on the left.  Look!  America has political prisoners too! Just like Russia and China!

Media Finally Notice Just How Terrible Kamala Harris Is Doing Source

Something else that gives me hope is that the left, and even Biden's own cabinet, is realizing how incompetent, vapid, and unlikeable our Vice President is.  They now understand how a campaign pick clearly based on checking-the-block demographics, one without a scintilla of political skill and intelligence, has put not only their chances in 2024 in Jeopardy, but it risks the safety and security of our nation.

For the record, Harris has plunged to a 28% approval rating in one recent poll, the lowest in modern history.  So perhaps it’s no surprise that Harris is, as CNN said, citing alleged White House sources, being “sidelined.”   -  Daily Wire

They will of course, have to prop Sleepy Joe back up 
for an election* in a few years, and continue to inject him with whatever chemical lucidity they can find in order to prep him.  But before that, they will lose their shorts at the midterms, since this Congress clearly rubber stamps all those bad ideas that have hurt regular Americans.  I think regular people on the left are starting to realize that their pet projects, like race-baiting and Green New Deals don't help Mom and Dad put food on the table.  People on the right always knew it, but for some RINOs among them, and most moderates and independents, they just might be realizing that a mean-tweeting businessman was probably better than what they have now.  

Maybe there's reason to be hopeful.  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

 Lunar Eclipse 11/18/21 Chris Mannerino Photo

*If they don't think Biden's up to it, they sure don't want the VP to be the heir apparent, hence them sidelining her.