Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Leg Workouts

 I knew, boring title, isn't it?

But since our noble host is slaaaacking, and enjoying spending family time rather than keeping us entertained here, it falls to me to bore you.

And, no, didn't get out.  Wife was unwell, so no trips out for me, will try tomorrow.

So what about Leg Workouts?

Mrs. Andrew and I really love watching... equestrian sports.  Especially show jumping. And both of us have this... thing where when said horse jumps said jump, both of us curl our feet and pull our legs up. So badly that by the end of two hours of the finals of individual show jumping at der Olympics our legs and feet hurt.  Along with doing crunches for the same reason.

Oooh, feel the belly crunch, the legs pull up and the feet curl.

 do the same when watching the various fencing competitions, or watching HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts, yes, it's a real thing) and SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism, the idjits who whack each other with rattan batons and get sneered at by the HEMA idjits, even though the HEMA idjits don't know how to use shields right and the SCA idjits hit darned hard.)  I move my arms, shield arm and sword arm.

These are HEMA fighters
They tend to have better armor, fight with 'real' swords and have poopy shield work.

These are SCA fighters
They tend not to have as nice equipment, but they definitely have better defensive shield work
SCA doesn't allow offensive shield work as you can actually kill someone doing that.
SCA fighters also tend to have more fun, be more mellow, not have a stick up their bums
And, no, I am not biased at all...

Heck, I even do shield and sword motions when watching police incorrectly use their shields and batons.

Funny, though, I don't do the same when watching pre-historic NASCAR, otherwise known as Track (run straight, run left, run straight, run left...) or most other sports.

When I do watch football, I'll dig my shoulder in when the hits come.

But mostly I do it in weird sports that other people don't even think about.

Because, well, I'm weird.

Then again, I used to watch my dad do that pilot stick thingy when watching aviation movies, the ones he wasn't shouting at for doing a garbage job of aviating.

And then again again, I do the same thing when watching videos of boats go slamming out of Haulover Inlet down in Miami, and, yes, youtube videos of idjits stuffing their boats into waves they don't belong getting near is a thing, especially when idiots take lake boats like bowriders out into 3-4 foot seas, which means the inlet is running about 5-8.  

This is a bowrider style boat.
See that droop nose?  That's for calm water boating only.
Take one of those babies out into real water and you'll get real water over the nose.
And if there are people in the front area (the bowrider portion) they'll get drowned,
washed out, or break their bum when the boat comes down hard off a wave.

So.  What weird body motions do you do when watching sports or things occur?  Do you phantom feel pain when someone gets their fingers too close to a blade in a cooking show or doing woodwork?

Elucidate us.  Please.  Below, in the comments.  Don't make me feel even weirder than I am...

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

The Update

 All the plans in the world and...

So. I get up, answer the call of nature, respond to all the Chanters out there, fix lunch, eat lunch, get ready to go out... Take another constitutional run, and... God dropped His Artillery Barrage directly over my apartment. Not a registration round, nope, all four tubes on rapid fire.  While I'm on the library throne.

Now, I like thunder.  I like it like I like a lot of stuff, at a reasonable distance away.

But this?  This strike?  Right on top, sounding far louder than any firework Salute (that ker-POW one, not the sparkly firework one) or cannon fire or explosives (all of which I have, ahem, been privileged or stupid enough to be really danged close to.)

Of which, well, scared the poop out of me it did. Scared the poop out of the dog.  Scared the poop out of Mrs. Andrew.

In the midst of scaring the poop out of me, my back went 'YOINK!'  They say that the most painful thing is being stabbed in the kidneys, because it is so painful that it won't allow you to scream.  Well, dunno about that but having the muscles around the back and chest all seize up and all stability goes out of the lower back.

While not quite finished doing 'the business' and the follow-up for doing 'the business' if you know what I mean.

So.  Well.  Between God's Own Artillery being Spot On (and let me tell you, if I get my hands around that soulless angel who was calling fire, gonna choke birdman. Kid you not) and my back and having to complete the business while my back was seized up and barely able to breathe, well, so much for going out.  Didn't even need the complete white squall that dropped visibility to zero to convince me to wrap my back, lean on a heating pad, and stay stil  and take shallow breathes.  While God continued to drop the occasional harassing round directly over me and mine.

God must have been telling me to stay home.

Back has released, so will be shopping tomorrow.  I will sleep with the brace. And hopefully the Smite Button will not be pressed tomorrow (Wednesday) and I can get something actually done.

Update on the update on the update on the repair to follow.

Hopefully our noble host will spare us all from my tales of woe and angst and screaming back pain.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Ah, Poop. And Fried Rice! Not together!!!


Here we are...

Over a week ago, my kitchen sink sprung a leak.  Cleaned it up, made plans, bought stuffs, bought wrong stuffs.

And I still haven't been able to get to the danged store to buy the correct pieces.

But I did take the doors off the undersink area, and... I like it.  Will leave the danged doors off.  actually Seems having constant air flow helps dry things out and makes the undersink area much less stinky.  Will be even less stinky once I fix the sink.  

And I will be drilling 1" holes into the baseboard to get that area dried out.  Hopefully.

I will be going to the store to actually buy stuff tomorrow. 

I know, promises, promises.

But I have reasons... lame reasons maybe, but reasons.

Seems the latest round of wet weather has set off both Mrs. Andrew's and my allergies.  Bad enough we've had fevers, coughing, wet slugs sliming out of our sinuses, coughing up lung butter, you know, the typical bad crud that normally comes from bad allergies.  So exactly how am I supposed to know if I've got the Covidiocracy?  


So, well, by tomorrow evening at least the sink will work.

Else ritual seppuku will be performed, which will mean no ultra-vegetable fried rice for Mrs. Andrew, and she'll use her arkane powers to bring me back to life, clean up the ritual seppuku mess, fix the sink anyways and cook her the ultra-vegetable fried rice.

Ultra-vegetable fried rice is:

1/2 a large head of Napa cabbage, cut into small pieces.
About 2 cups of shredded carrots.
About 1 cup of frozen peas.
1/2 of a steamer bag of fresh Broccoli florets.
1/2 of a steamer bag of fresh Snow Peas
8-9 eggs
8 cups of cooked rice, refrigerated and then fluffed.
Badia tri-colored Sesame Seeds (not for OAFS or other diverticulitis sufferers)
Sesame Oil
Regular cooking oil
Soy Sauce

First, soak the fresh veggies before cutting them up and then let them dry. I do this at lunch time and let them dry till dinner in wire strainer baskets.

Whip the eggs with pepper and salt, whip them good.  Cook them omelet style in a nice pan. Once cooked all the way through, remove from pan and cut the omelet up into little pieces.

Take all the vegetables (after processing the cabbage, cutting the florets into manageable pieces, shredding the carrots and chopping up the snow peas) (I do this all while the omelet is cooking.)

Cook in a wok on high with a splash of cooking oil, stirring and flipping for 4 minutes, remove from wok.

Cook the fluffed rice in the wok on high with a splash of cooking oil, stirring and flipping for 1 minute, add as much Sesame oil as you want, cook for 1 minute, add Soy Sauce to a reasonable level, stirring an flipping for 2 minutes.

Add the chopped-up egg, the cooked vegetables and as many sesame seeds as you want or desire and stir and flip for 2-3 more minutes.

Makes 5-6 bowls of ultra-vegetable fried rice.

Add or subtract veggies as you want.  Onion, peppers, whatevers.

See?  This, this is what you get when Beans forgets to check the lineup at midnight, instead realizes after watching "Bladerunner - The Final Cut" and suddenly realizes Tuesday is missing.

Can't break the streak, Beans.



 So...While June and the first couple of weeks of July were unusually rainy for the area, the last couple of weeks have been much more Texas-Like.  

Yes, Beans, that means Humid and Hotter than Hades, but no rain.  I had gotten in touch with Tony DaHayGuy (I think that's actually his name.  That's how my phone ID's him anyhow.) and asked about his schedule.  He told me he was working a hundred acre job, but we were next on his list. Didn't hear back from him for a while, so called again over the weekend.  He said he'd finished the previous job, but it had taken a while as he'd harvested 500 round bales (at $30 per).  

But he said that he'd be here early this week, provided it didn't rain.

Which, of course, aroused the ire of the weather gods. So we shall see what we shall see.

On a different note, MBD is getting close to entering her third trimester.  At the time I am writing this post (Mid-day Sunday) she and SIL are attempting to fly to the Big Island, Hawaii for a "babymoon".  I guess this is something new as back when the dinosaurs roamed and Mrs J was "with child" we were not in a position to take a "babymoon".  Money and high risk pregnancies made that a non-viable option. 

But, circumstances are different for our offspring, so a planned trip to Kona is attempting to be executed.

Attempting?  Yeah, Sarge, and thank you Brother Fibbinauci and Walgreens.  Seems our overlords at the CDC still enforce the requirement for a Covid test within 72 hours of getting on an airplane to travel. The results of which must be electronically delivered to the airline in PDF format.

Sounds inconvenient, but doable right? Get the (insert Beans' favorite C word here in adjective form) -in' Test, have them email it to the airline, check in, put on your (insert Beans' favorite C word here in adjective form) -in' mask, board the Plane and travel to Hawaii, right?

They were scheduled to take off around noon, Sunday.  MBD's test results were transmitted to the airline at 6PM Saturday. No word on SIL's test,  MBD calls the Airline. No, haven't received anything. Calls Walgreens, gets told the test materials were delivered to the testing facility together, Saturday morning immediately after they were tested.  Called the lab.  Well, they're having computer issues.  The system keeps crashing and they haven't been able to transmit test results. No, we don't know when it'll get fixed.

Sunday morning,  Still no test results, so they haven't been allowed to board their flight.  MBD and SIL are fairly upset and called us as we were coming out of Mass. I immediately start planning air strikes on the various people involved in this (insert Beans' favorite C word here in verb form)  fest.  Mrs J, however, puts on her Travel Agent hat and starts looking for other flights. 

That's why I keep her around, she keeps me out of jail.

Hawaiian air  doesn't have another flight for a few days, so they would lose their AirBnB credits (several hundred dollars worth), putting Hawaiian out of the picture.  Alaska Air has a flight leaving in the evening to Kona via Seattle, so she makes a reservation. And life is returning to normalcy.

Not so fast...The Walgreen's (insert Beans favorite C word here in verb form) -up hasn't been resolved.  Their computer system is still crashing and it's been 18 hours since MBD's results were transmitted (and still counting).  The current plan of attack is to get another test for SIL at a different facility and get the results to the airline before they're forced to cancel this flight also.

Stay tuned for further details.  

Walgreens Delenda Est!!!!  

Using Roman terms of endearment, seems to have worked. The lab has fixed their system and SIL's original test results (yes, Beans, both are negative) have successfully been transmitted to Alaska Air. Now it's just a matter of a short flight to Seattle (~4 Hours), a 10 hour layover, a short flight to Kona ("only" 6 hours), and then "AAAAHHH, Paradise."

And our menagerie has increased by one for a week or so.

While her name is officially "Piper", the local fighter pilot callsign committee has deemed her "Splat"

Update to be filed upon confirmation of arrival.

Peace out y'all.

And, as luck would have it, as I finished this post, I heard a rumble outside.  

Tony DaHayGuy ain't coming for a few days.
Update#1 (2002 08012021JDST).  They're Airborne for Seattle.  Hotel room w/Shuttle service reserved.  Show time Departure for HI 0800 JDST.  Way to GO, Mrs J!

*SPNS - old school Pilot Training grade.  It stands for (insert another word that means crappy and begins with an S) Pattern, Nice Save.  AKA The student screwed up by the numbers all the way around the traffic pattern, but managed to get the aircraft on the ground successfully.  Yes, Beans, there are a few of them in my grade book.  No, you can't read it.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Weirdness Abounds

Weirdness abounds everywhere, doesn't it.  And Ima gonna share some of it with you all, just because!

Been watching, or trying to watch the Olympics and, well, it's weird.  Normal countries, supposedly, but... The Russians are at the games, but not as a nation.  As a committee.  But it's not the Russians, who've been banned because of all sorts of shenanigans.  It's the Russians, who haven't been banned.  Okay.  So the Russians, as a nation, aren't allowed to play, but the Russian Olympic Committee, which, apparently, has nothing at all to do with Russia as a nation (wink, wink, wink) is playing.  Got that?  There are no Russians in the Olympics but there are Russians in the Olympics.  Not Russia the nation but Russia the committee.

My head hurts.

And then... Chinese Taipei.  What?  Lessee, we have (takes off shoes, starts counting) the Communist Chinese (the big country) and Communist Chinese Hong Kong (the little country that Great Britain gave away, the rat bastids) and Chinese Taipei.  (goes to interwebs because head hurts more and more...) And... Because the ChiComs (the big country) and the ChiKongs (the little city/country,  but only the actual communists in Hong Kong, not the non-communists in Hong Kong, because, well, communists and now my head really hurts) got all butt-hurt over the Republic of China (also known as the Republic of Taiwan) telling the People's Republic of China to, not so politely, go Copulate OFF, well, can't have the Republic of China/Taiwan be called an actual separate nation, because the Communist Chinese have totally subjugated-NOT the Nationalist Chinese that escaped to Taiwan, but the ChiComs, and now ChiKongs, consider FREE-COPULATING Nationalist China (in Taiwan) to be just a bunch of fruitcakes who are really still part of Communist People's Republic of Communist China.

Thus, well, butt-hurtzzzzzz ChiComs and other commies and we have the Republic of China/Taiwan being called Chinese Taipei.  Because, apparently, the City of Taipei is the only place one can play Olympic style games on the island of Taiwan, which is occupied by the Nationalist Chinese.

Argh.  My head hurts.

And then, well, we have a US Olympic athlete who the governing body of Gymnastics says is too good so in fairness, the governing body of Gymnasts will penalize the US Olympic athlete because she's too good.  I thought all the copulating bull-scat from the good-old Cold War Olympic days was over.  But... nooooooo. Because butt-hurts and everyone hates America or something.

Between this and other personal stuff, well, I wish she'd decided to drop out at the US Olympic Trials and open up her spot for another gymnast or two.

Gaaahhhh... My head hurts.

Then, of course, we have a tropical fish-imitating fembot soccer star and others who dissed the US flag and then proceeded to lose a game and now are having to fight to stay in.

And then there is a US sportscaster who is flaming about the use of a symbol of hatred at the Olympics.  That symbol being the US flag.

Then, and don't laugh, watching Women's Trampoline Gymnastics, and come to find out that the great number of spectators in the stands are made up of athletes and their coaches and other team handlers and staff and.... Dignitaries.  We'un peons and family members can't attend and watch in real life, but the copulating rat-bastiges who have lied, cheated and stole from us for the last year or so are able to fly in and watch whatever they want in real life.  Just like some ancient feudal leader or some power-crazed warlord or something from some dystopian fiction, like "Mad Max" or "The Hunger Games."

My head has now split in two and I'm looking at myself.  Pain, oh the Pain...

The pain is so intense, it's to Dr. Smith level.

We have millionaire politicians who flew from Texas in order to stop legislation who are begging for care packages from home.  What the Copulation?  Buy your own damn chips and salsa.  Better yet, go home and do your durned jobs! (see, I spoke Texan there...)

Seriously, though it's been crazy for a while, I didn't realize that we've entered into "The Sytem of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether" (wherein two normal people go to visit an insane asylum and things seem normal until they realize the crazies have taken over the asylum.)

Alan Parson's Project (The System of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether
From "Tales of Mystery and Imagination"
If you aren't an Alan Parson's Project fan, please avail yourself of their musical catalogue
as the records are rather fabulous and good to listen to.

Added bonus, my favorite from the album
Alan Parson's Project "The Cask of Amontillado"
From "Tales of Mystery and Imagination"
My mother thought this was such a sweet song, until I read the lyrics to her.
Gotta love a whole concept album based on Edgar Allen Poe

I think I'll go read some Anime about monster girls  or the spirit realm or such fun madness.(yes, read, subtitles are great and the stories and artwork are really groovy.)

Peace Out!  Stay safe, and embrace your inner Rooftop Korean, or your actual Korean or whatever.

About Those Callsigns...

A question came up regarding callsigns yesterday. My youngest, The WSO, aka LUSH, has a classic callsign. But Ward Carroll explains it better than I can.

And there you have it.

Forgive me for going video-heavy for a day or so. But my brain is fried from work. Long hours, little sleep (my body insists that we're on East Coast time, we're not, but to my body 0400 is really 0700 and... ARGH!).

Anyhoo, I didn't even address all of the comments yesterday, juvat covered himself in glory in answering a couple of comments from his aviator experience. I guess it's why we keep him on staff. Besides he works for free with very little complaining. 🙄

At any rate, here's the story of how The WSO got her callsign, it was epic. Brought a tear to her old man's eye. (And not a few gray hairs to her Mother's head!)

Speaking of LUSH, she and her bairns will be visiting me for a few days. So I'll be even less productive here in Blogtown.

Bear with me. (Cue a bear...)

Friday, July 30, 2021



I remember when the guy in this incident came up for promotion to admiral. Not a good look for the Navy as I recall.

Sure, go read the article at the link above, but I like Ward Carroll's take on it as well.

Why yes, I got nothing!

Seriously though, check out Ward's YouTube channel, lots of aviation goodness!

Thursday, July 29, 2021

More Pics from USS Midway...

CH-46 Sea Knight, aka "Phrog"

When I saw that blue helo in the opening photo, it reminded me of The WSO's introduction to naval aviation. It was the summer of 2003, she had just completed her first year at the College of the Holy Cross and as a midshipman on an NROTC scholarship, it was time for CORTRAMID (Career ORientation and TRAining for MIDshipmen). This is the summer cruise¹ where the prospective naval officer gets a one week taste of: the surface warfare community, the submarine community, the aviation community, and the Marine Corps.

I can't remember where The WSO did her COTRAMID cruise (it was a while back after all) but when it was aviation week she was introduced to the mighty Phrog. It was a Marine Phrog and the first thing it's pilot asked the young midshipmen was where everyone was going to school. As luck would have it, the Marine pilot was from Massachusetts and as The WSO was the only midshipman going to school in Massachusetts, she got to fly first.

In fact, as I recall, she had about 20 to 30 minutes of stick time (stick and collective time?) and the others had quite a bit less. She loved it and made the decision to go the aviation route. Now she didn't go helos, she went jets. But still, that old helicopter has a place in our hearts.

The Phrog's cockpit.

The Phrog's cargo/passenger bay.

Vought F-8 Crusader
The Last Gunfighter

The view from the flight deck. The tall pair of buildings in the foreground is my hotel.
My room is in the tower furthest from the camera. I can see this part of the ship from my room.

Looking over at NASNI. That's USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) at the pier.
Couldn't make out the hull numbers on the two Fleet Replenishment Oilers forward of her.

The Shooter. How could I not take a picture of this iconic figure on the flight deck?

See the statue of the sailor kissing the nurse? An iconic image from the end of WWII.

The photo upon which the statue is based.

Okay, so there is rather a funny story about that statue. Well, not the statue itself but my perception of said statue.

Now I had been in Sandy Eggo for one week. Up every day at 0500 (or earlier) and out the door of the hotel by 0600. I'd been looking out my window at the scene below all that time and not once had noticed that statue. Until Sunday morning when I awakened after "sleeping in" until 0730.

Upon opening the shades I noticed the statue, perhaps it was a trick of the light, or just random synapses firing in my brain, but I wondered to myself, "Why is there a statue of a penguin in that park?"

You can see the statue in this photo, circled in yellow.

Now you might remember that I rather like penguins, as I confessed in this post. So I am perhaps fixated on that aquatic creature. (I am also the sort of person who, upon hearing hoofbeats, might think zebras, not horses. I am wired differently. Let's leave it at that...)

After breakfast, with two cups of coffee on board, I decided to look up why there was a statue of a penguin in Sandy Eggo. Imagine my chagrin when I discovered that it was not, most assuredly not, a statue of a penguin, but a statue known as "Unconditional Surrender" which is in Tuna Harbor Park. (I had no idea Tuna had a harbor named after him...)

Yeah, not a penguin...

Of course I had to visit the pilot ready rooms.
(Yes, the Phantom called to me...)

The WSO's first operational squadron was VFA-32. Back in the day it was VF-32.

We must never forget those who gave all...

The guy at the desk caught my attention. That's a very typical "cruise 'stache." Yes, Big Time grows one every time he goes on deployment. Yes, The WSO makes him shave it off. Well, "makes him" is too strong, convinces him to shave it off is more accurate.

Never forget...

Had to throw this one in for my buddy, The Steeljaw Scribe. I also appreciate the tough job the VAW squadrons² have. The eyes of the carrier they are!

So yes, you get more pictures, so I can get more rack time. Though today (Wednesday) was "only" ten hours, I'm still tired. I'm getting too old for this...

Until tomorrow!

¹ Midshipman at the Naval Academy and on a Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) scholarship will spend a month (or more) each summer learning about the Navy. The first cruise they visit each warfare community, the second they learn about the men and women they will lead someday, this is their "enlisted" cruise, and the final summer before their senior year is their "officer" cruise.
² VAW = Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021


Got off work a tad early on Tuesday, which gave me the chance to see USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) returning to NASNI¹, which was a neat thing to see. In the photo above, if you look real hard, you can see USS Carl Vinson just above and to the right of the aircraft carrier currently berthed at NASNI, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72).

I pretty much just sat next to my window while watching and snapping pictures. It was a neat thing to see. To give you an idea of where this all took place, I give you (TA-DA) a map.


Plenty of room for both ships.

Home again.

Pretty cool to watch her come in.

Now it's rack time.

¹ Naval Air Station North Island

Tuesday, July 27, 2021


What's a museum visit without a Corsair?

So I spend all week going up and down ladder wells, then spend hours sitting in front of a console in CIC¹, so what do I do on my day off? Climb around this venerable ship -

There are more pictures than this, many of which feature my finger occluding part of the lens, but I will cover that later, when I head back East. (And have more sleep accumulated!)

I've been to Sandy Eggo many times, this was my first time on the USS Midway (CV 41). Won't be the last.

A whale of a tale. (I'll leave that to Cap'n Andy.)

Paddles seems somewhat two-dimensional...

Tuna was right, she's in rough shape. (The Mighty War Hoover.)

But this old girl is in fine fettle.
(Looks like Murphy might have popped the canopy open. No, I didn't tell him how.)

An odd vantage point!

Loves me some Spad!

One of LUSH's old rides.

An excellent memorial to the men of Taffy 3.
Heroes all...

More to come, but I need to score some rack time...

¹ Combat Information Center, not what it's called on this class, but many still call it that.