Monday, November 28, 2022

Post-Thanksgiving After Action Report

 Well...Campers, a pretty darn good week this past.  The trip to College Station was mostly successful.  Avoided Austin (also known as Moscow on the Colorado) traffic, although my great plan to take State Highways and County Roads to avoid holiday traffic elsewhere in the State came to a screeching halt (quite literally) in Georgetown.  Seriously TXDOT, three cycles of a traffic light to get through a 100 yard long block?  Does the acronym YGBSM mean anything to you?

Stay on Target, juvat!

On Target, Aye, Sarge!

Arrival at MBD, SIL and MG's* house was otherwise quite pleasant.  Mrs. J reported the sotto voce comments to my fellow wayfarers was significantly less voluminous than usual.  The turkey (and the ham) did not give their lives in vain.  My Butternut Squash with Gorgonzola and my Baked Brussel Sprouts w/Bacon were well received and quickly devoured.  Although, adding Bacon to any recipe pretty much guarantees that result.  Even SIL's 87 yo Grandmother liked the Brussel Sprouts.

This is only one side of the serving line.


That evening I got a special "Welcome to College Station, juvat"  Brought tears to my eyes, yes it did!  Seems that A&M was playing LSU for one of the Thanksgiving Weekend "fight off the tryptophan" football games at home++.  The Flyby was conducted by a 4 ship of Aggie piloted Eagles!  Wednesday was their practice flight to get all the timing points figured out.  

Believe it or not, while it looks easy, arriving at the 50 yard line at the exact specified time is fairly difficult. Yet it is viewed by several million people, critiqued by most (who've never done it), explained (while standing at attention) to the CO and deeply appreciated by one Ancient fighter pilot. Unfortunately, the game was Friday, Mrs. J and I had other duties and RTB'd that morning, so all we got to see was the practice.


Taken from the back yard of MBD/SIL's home.

 Yes, the Jet Noise was quite cathartic!

On a separate note, LJD**  is continuing to improve.  Thanksgiving in the NICU on a holiday apparently has similar characteristics to sitting Air Defense Alert.  You make the best of it, praying for the best, prepared for the worst.  Providing your own entertainment is the task of the day, and your heart stops just as fast there when the alarms go off as it does when the scramble klaxon sounds.

Fortunately, this year's Thanksgiving was uneventful.  Which was conducive to an impromptu fashion show organized by the staff.

You want me to do...WHAT?

MG has Trade Marked those facial expressions and apparently has several comedians paying large licensing fees to use them.  Who knew?

All good things must end and this day ended with the usual event.  A long walk.

I'm not ready yet, Mom, help me put your shoes on me, please!

And, of course, a juvat family Thanksgiving tradition.

The Thanksgiving Nap! Yep, MG is a fully trained juvat family member.

Finally, we got a bit of a gully washer Friday night.  Can't remember if I emptied the rain gauge after last week's contribution, but waking up Saturday, this was its level.

A little over 4"?  That would be wonderful, but going to have to wait on my Good Friend Cletus for confirmation.  If I didn't empty it, we would have received only an additional 2" (Only?, YGBSM juvat! You're right about that, Sarge, at this point we'll take all we can get.) There was a bit more supportive data for 4" however.

We don't usually get that much puddling unless it's rained quite a bit.  

 So, based on this, I went and looked at our "up stream" stock pond.  Lo and behold...

Haven't had water in either stock pond in well over a year! The point where I'm standing is the downstream side and is about 12' above the bottom. That puddling is probably 3 to 4' deep.

So, who knows?


As mentioned last week, the "Gathering of the Clan" will start this Thursday, the same gang as Thanksgiving will gather here at Rancho Juvat.  Highlight will be the Annual Parade of Lights Christmas Parade.  Chili, Corn Bread and Tortillas (and, almost certainly, Adult Recreational Beverages) will be served from my Pickup's bed.  Wx forecast is currently showing a low of 60 for the parade, so fingers are definitely crossed.

We'll see.

Peace out, y'all!

Per request from Suz.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts.

Serves 4 as written. 

1 bag whole raw Brussel Sprouts

4-6 strips of nicely smoked Bacon

Salt and pepper to taste.

Wash Brussel Sprouts in bag and let dry.

Trim the stalk end as close to the leaves as you can.  (The stalk gets kinda growdy where it was cut from the plant, however, you want the leaves to remain attached.

Slice the bulb vertically 2-4 times (you'd like the slice to be about 1/4" -1/2" thick)

Spread in a pyrex baking dish and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Preheat oven to 425o

While oven is heating, cook bacon in separate pan until starting to brown but most of the fat is rendered. (You don't want it crispy at this point) 

Cut into square pieces and add to Brussel Sprouts.  Spoon a couple of spoonfuls of Bacon Drippings (doesn't that sound better than the "G" word?) over the Sprouts and stir in a bit.  Try not to separate leaves in the slices.

Cook until Bacon is cooked and Sprouts are browned (15-20) minutes. Season with Salt and Pepper.  It doesn't usually take much, the Bacon handles most of the saltiness.  But tastes differ...

Dish is easily up-scaled to fit larger groups.  Plan on 1 bag per 4 people and a similar multiplicative increase on the Bacon...Minimum.  More Bacon is better.  But you knew that.

*My Beautiful Daughter, Son-in-Law and My Granddaughter respectively.  (Need a better Nom d'Plume for SIL though. Suggestions encouraged.).

**Little Juvat's Daughter.

++For those that don't know. Aggies won 38-23!  Whoop!


  1. Well taking naps can be difficult so practice is required, much practice. I'm still practicing yet. Good to see you got some precipitation there

    1. Yes, some things in life require a lot of practice. With others, practice only makes them more enjoyable. Naps, IMHO, fall into the latter category and I try to practice them as frequently as possible. Retirement has helped that frequency a bit. For some reason, former employers did not appreciate a post-lunch practice session. Who knew?

  2. We join Juvat in welcoming the rain that dropped over Friday night into Saturday morning. We totaled appx. 1.7" inches for that event which brings us up to a monthly total of just shy of 3" and 14.6" for the year. Our normal annual rainfall is in the 24-26" range. But, we're wet enough to consider burning brush piles accumulated from the big winter event of 2021 when limbs fell due to ice/snow buildup.
    One short story for folks using propane for heat and running generators based on our 2021 experience. I have two propane tanks to get us through events such as the 2 degrees F experienced at 2am. We had two Co-op power interruptions and during the most lengthy, to insure the generator would run over night, I opened the feed valves on both tanks. At 2 am the generator quit running, and I'm outside wearing as many clothes as possible fumbling around trying to restart it. After appx. 20 minutes of accomplishing nothing I hit the starter one more time, it fired up and ran till the Co-op restored power. After event analysis revealed having both tanks supplying lpg vapor feed to the house and generator and the ambient temperature allowed the liquid propane to auto refrigerate to where enough propane was not vaporizing to run both the house heater and the generator. The lesson learned was don't do that in the future. Run off of one tank and switch when necessary.
    Reason I bring this up is I see the extended forecast contains info. regarding another polar vortex event in the offing for the first/second week of December.
    Cletus Valvecore

    1. One additional comment regarding rainfall. There is more than 6 miles between our location and Juvat's. In this part of Texas, that distance can account for a lot of variation in rainfall amounts.

    2. Cletus (the first), Good info there. Thanks. I'll follow up with an email with a few detail questions.

    3. Cletus (the second), yeah, but I'm pretty sure I didn't empty it. Our other side of the house rain gauge blew off with the wind from that storm, so couldn't corroborate. But, it was raining pretty darn hard. Was good, and gratifying, to see standing water in the stock pond. There are a lot of creatures that use it and besides it adds to the view. So....

  3. MBDH - My Beautiful Daughter's Husband. Says it all. Or label him by his school of training.

    Wish we got more than an inch. Both hurricanes this year veered off the track and failed to deliver much more than winds, so we've been dry here. Seriously, you can watch it on the weather radar, big rains come towards Gainesville, hit I-75, break around the city, reform on the east side and then go pound everywhere else. Like magic, though it's a combination of micro-terrain (Gainesville being higher than the surrounding area on all sides) and all the leftist bat-excrement-crazy heat emissions and brain farts. Le sigh...

    Miss hearing military jet engines, though we occasionally get Ospreys flying from Tampa-ish to Jacksonville-ish and those suckers are loud.

    1. Beans,
      Thanks for the recommendation. Distinct possibility on both although "The Rev" is singing to me right now.
      Similar topography issue here also. Some higher terrain within a mile or so west of us. That seems to cause the weather to divert north and or south as they get close to us. We call the terrain to the north west "California Hill" because, well, the houses look more like they were made for the temperate terrain of northern California and some of the Letters to the Editor in the local paper reflect a different mindset than what used to be common around her. Just sayin'
      Yep, the flyover was very cathartic and enjoyable.

    2. Though calling him "The Reverend (insert southern double-name like Jimmy-Bobby or such, just for fun) works, too, and can be shortened to "The Rev" or TRJB or something like that. Whatever gets his goat the most according to proper handle assignment laws.

    3. While it's not mandatory to hate your given callsign, it's usually a good sign that it will stick.

    4. A different version of what I was advised when I received my first callsign in the Juvats. Which I hated. Batman, the Squadron CC, advised not to protest too loudly or it would stick. Fortunately, it didn't.

      No...I'm not going to post it on this blog in front of the pack of jackals (L not S) we have in this crowd.

    5. Beans,
      He will be a key part of the "Gathering of the Clans". I think I'll drop "The Rev" into the conversation with all present and see 1) his reaction and 2) the clan's reaction. A strong reaction from either will suffice to seal the deal. (Negative on the first and positive on the second will enshrine it forever.)

  4. MG has a very expressive face!

    As to SIL's handle, how about Preacher? Beans' suggestion works as well.

    1. Sarge,
      Yes, she does.
      Preacher is good. Third place right now, but still within striking distance.

  5. I was just thinking yesterday that I could use a rain gauge out back ... when I saw the photo of yours I remembered and put it on my list!

    1. Rob,
      In my former life, weather was extremely important to me. Now, not as much. Rainfall numbers don't change anything. What we get is what we get. That having been said, the Gauge allows me to answer the conversation opener "How much rain didja get last night?" "4 points! AnJuu?"
      Which is important!

    2. I learned that I can't do anything about the weather other than move to someplace that had a better climate and hope for the best. I was wondering how much rain we had the other day and if I had a rain gage I could go look! Another cheap & easy fix... putting the gage on my list was a HUGE step in that direction :-) !

    3. Rob,
      It does ease the mind a bit. Just remember to empty it...occasionally!

    4. Rain out here in the Texas Hill County is a real conversation starter. Man without a rain gauge often times is left out of the discussions. Used to hang out at the feed store in Ingram and help empty the coffee pot with the other morning drop ins. Us regulars were always reluctant to bring up how much rain we'd gotten over night or the day before. First guy to bring the subject up always seem to have the least.

    5. Anon,
      Sounds like Friday Night at the Fighter Bar. First guy to talk scores loses! Texans/Fighter Pilots, not much difference.

  6. Beans suggestion would match the one you gave me a few years ago. I also agree with Sarge that he could be Preacher. When the nurse team sent us the cutie pie dress photo of LJD, it had Little Juvat and I laughing so hard.

    1. LJW,
      Yeah, my concern is the acronyms are so similar, I may get them mixed up and have trouble determining who's who. And, theoretically at least, I'm SUPPOSED to know who I'm discussing.
      Yes, those photos you sent were hilarious. Mrs. J showed them to me on our way home from College Station. Fortunately, I was stopped at a stop light when I saw that one. Otherwise...

  7. Crusty Old TV Tech here. You know, it is a proven fact that Air Force jets are quieter than Navy ones, at least that's what I tell my Base Commander when we get the noisy aluminum overcast!

    Somehow it's just not the same when it's Aggies/EllEssYou on Thanksgiving rather than Aggies/UT Or, at least my former CT workmates would so attest, though they would style it AGGIES/t.u. And no, I did not attend that fair school in College Station, rather one up in Ruston, LA, but the Ags, they do get around! It's kinda like when La Tech stopped playing NSU in the State Fair game, loss of a tradition. Always looked forward to beating the Purple Demons.


    1. CoTT,
      I've heard that about Air Force vs Navy Jets. I think that all started prior to WWII. Back then, Air Force (Yes Sarge, I know Army Air Corps) bases were located in the desert and swamps . The Navy was on ships. Nobody cared about jet noise in those areas. Then post WWII, the Air Force became cool and populated with suave personnel (primarily Pilots of course, but also the odd Radar Technician). While the Navy, well, "missed the boat" there.
      Because the AF couldn't just pack up and move to a different part of the ocean, they had to build quieter aircraft. An unforeseen advantge to that process was that their aircraft were quite a bit better looking as well as faster, more agile yet still populated by cool, suave personnel.
      "Fight's on, Fight's on" ! Remember Sarge's ROE, keep it polite!

      Yeah, Didn't go to A&M, but both kids did and while Texas Tech was the right place for me, A&M was definitely the right place for both of them. I also miss the Aggie vs t.u. Thanksgiving game. It was always a good, exciting game regardless of seasonal standings at the time.

    2. One tries to hit what one aims for!

    3. Crusty Old TV Tech again. Right on!

      However...nothing quite matches the rock concert screeching and shaking of a G-model BUFF at full takeoff thrust, unless it's 10 of the same on a MITO. I miss the smell of partially burned JP-4 in the morning.

    4. CoTvT,
      Partially burned? I seen zero/zero fog that had more visibility than a "Partially burned" MITO take-off.

    5. Part of the reason for louder Navy jets is the need for 2 engine redundancy, although it's not a hard and fast rule (JSF, A-4, A-7, F-8...) We're probably going to lose a few F-35s I'd expect. I had probably 4 actual single engine carrier landings which no F-35 pilot will be able to match.

    6. Crusty Old TV Tech here. You, sir Tuna, are a Steely Eyed Missile Man, in the vernacular of my world. Slamming a perfectly good airplane onto the deck of a ship without damaging either is truly amazing, but with OEO, man.

      Yeah, in the space biz too, redundancy is a big deal. Imagine being at the Moon with one string of comm, or attitude control thrusters, or...

    7. Tuna,
      I've only flown a one engine jet once. T'was an F-4E and a kamikaze seagull tried to take it out by ramming at the Eglin range. Was considerably outside of glide range when it happened, but I did say thank you to Mr McDonald and Mr Douglas for designing the jet with a spare engine.

    8. CoTT,
      Yes, I understand the need to dissipate energy when landing on a dinky ship in the middle of the ocean. I've just never understood the need when landing on a 2.5 mile long runway. It kinda screws up the airfield flow when you pull off onto the taxiway 1000' down the runway and are going nose to nose with the guys taxiing out to go fly.
      Just sayin'

  8. Well, here's hoping that when LJD doesn't need to have the O2 and NG tubing taped to her cheeks, she wont look quite, yeah that's the word!
    Glad that your Turkey day was a success on all accounts.
    Naps were mandatory when we kids were growing up...funny how all of us still enjoy them when we aren't at work...
    PS: if it isn't an old family recipe, would love to have you share your Brussel Sprouts al la Bacon recipe.

    1. Suz,
      She's getting closer to that going away. She's been down to 2.5L a couple of times this past week. Doc's are talking about moving to a new exercise therapy for her lungs. Not sure I understand it well enough to describe it, but they're very happy with progress. So...
      In any case, your wish is my command. See above.

    2. Thanks!! Like Brussel Sprouts and love copied it right down :)

    3. My Pleasure, Suz. Hope you enjoy 'em!

  9. The pictures of LJD are priceless. I love the attitude.

    And yes, bacon does make everything better - although The Ravishing Mrs. TB has been oven roasting brussel sprouts more frequently recently and I am forced to admit that they are pretty delicious.

    1. THBB,
      Thanks, yes, there's quite a bit of Fighter Pilot in that one!
      Mom would make Brussel Sprouts quite frequently, but since we were assigned to some way out there places, they tended to be frozen and hard to resuscitate to edible status. I don't remember what changed my mind about them with respect to this recipe (Bacon most likely), but I've been making it fairly regularly for a few years now. You're right, very delicious. SIL's Grandmother avowed that she wouldn't like them, I said she would. She went back for seconds. Score: juvat 1, Grandmom's 2 trillion. longer a shutout.

  10. So, does LJD have PCS orders yet? I'm sure she's antsy to pack up and ship out.

    1. Tuna,
      No, not yet. Numbers are still improving, but not at the level to go home much less travel. I'm learning a lot about patience.

  11. Glad y'all had a great time together! We got 2 inches up here, and I'm guessing y'all probably doubled that.

    1. OldNFO,
      Apparently we did not. However, what we got and have received since then has been pretty nice.


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

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