Sunday, June 16, 2019

THE CHORDS OF MEMORY

I listen to the music on the car radio on the way in and out of Case and not ever the radio again for the remainder of the day. I used to have an extensive collection of records and CDs. All that was left behind without a backward glance. I used to listen to music a lot. To be honest, I still had my walkman and tapes even after I got my 6th dvd portable player, not one of which I have anymore. I go upstairs these days to listen to the rain and the music, quietly because the one I love most is sleeping below. I take the chance on bats flying in though I should really stir myself to put up the damned screen that is lying right there on the stairs but I love to listen to the rain.

As they do, my thoughts turned to the past as a I listened to the rain. My reading tonight led me to a past I had forgotten. I might have mentioned him somewhere near the outset but not since then. He was a rear admiral of the reserve navy and an architect. He was part of the rival organization mine was devoted to killing dead by any means but he was a good man.

The dirtbag then in command of that part of the Navy called on Mark one day and asked him when he planned to resign. What cemented the memory of him for me was his telling me his answer, never.

It really shouldn't take wars to clear out the dead wood at the top. To be honest, right now I don't know anymore. There is just one of my peers still in and he's a 3 star. I think the Army and Air Force have tested leaders who have led in battle, budgets and war. I'm afraid mine is going to be worthless. They got where they did like Dick Marcinko did and it's going to prove painful in the extreme. LCS, DDG crap, F=35, EM catapalts Carriers, Amphibs. Right now we are on a trajectory to the Brewster Buffalos at Wake and Midway.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

FISH AND BITS

I realize that some people call it sushi. It is very tasty. We only eat sushi at this one place and last night we ate at the bar wtih panache. Like we do.

Yes yes, I know you think that also means wasabi.

No, no. That stuff is very dangerous. Tasty though.

9 years of doing this blog thing and still I have not given up. Except now I have.

It was ever so nice to know you.

Go with God.


Josie and her mother

Monday, June 10, 2019

DONE PROPERLY

We used to have a saying in the mine battleforce. Done properly, a minesweeper can be used more than once. We also had a photo-engraving of this picture on the door to the Combat Information Center and home to the SONAR and other tools of the trade. We found that it focused the minds of those working in CIC in the Fields quite wonderfully. I reckon they'll be on to something when they figure out how to push the sweep gear in front of the ship.

South Korean Minesweeper YMS-516 Finding a Mine the Hard Way

A NIGHT IN STEAL TOWN

I moved out to the west coast to join a Destroyer and took along an adjunct little brother because, told to. So I did and we shared rooms together in Hillcrest, a neighborhood of San Diego. Yes, we were two lone guys living together in one of the gayest neighborhoods outside the Castro. Boy did we fit in.

I was on the ship in the header in the Persian Gulf when I got this confused letter from my brother explaining as how he tried to write an insurance claim on my account in pencil with USAA because he suffered the loss of his hasselblad camera which he stupidly left in the front seat of the car one night when he drove home in my car and carefully obscured the camera with his leather coat before he got out of the car and went inside for the night, like a complete idiot.

He got a lot smarter later on in life.

At any rate, this reminded me of his idiocy. Srsly, who does this? It shrieks STEAL ME!!!!!

OTGH, if you're not paying the insurance, what do you care when they do a smash and grab on your brother's car?

Sunday, June 9, 2019

SOMETIMES THE PRESS IS A LITTLE STUPID


You could put 19,000 pumps in there and not pump the river out. Still, a sorry end for wooden ship.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

ON THE KEEPING OF LETTERS

I know who did it. I won't say it's wrong. She kept every single one of my dad's letters that he typed and sent her from Vietnam and all of mine. Yes, he had a portable little typewriter that I would not be surprised to find still in the place they live now. I got a shoebox of all my letters that I sent home from all the way back and I wasn't much of a writer then but still, full shoe box, when they moved out of the family home of 39 years. An awful lot of stuff came out of the place you would not think there was room for. Old letters, old photos, old memories. She kept them all.

I would say I don't have anything like that but I'd be wrong. There's the 4 books, the sword, the dress uniforms, and now a shoebox of letters that go with the shoebox of Civil War letters from my cousin.
I will probably send them to the library where they can mingle with the letters of his company commander.

I was looking at Regensburg/Schweinfurt tonight. It was a very dangerous place to go.

CALIFORNIA

There was the open road, the Grapevine and 101 and 1 and Santa Monica and Malibu. IMHO, all best experienced in a VW.  30 years in that state and most of them with a Mazda, BMW convertible or the ubiquitous bus. I used to commute between San Diego and the Bay. Some people said I should marry. That proved a disaster. Away went the bus, the BMW and the mazda. Somehow, traveling to Dallas, Fort Worth just didn't have the same cachet.


Friday, June 7, 2019

Thursday, June 6, 2019

OMAHA

Flyover state, aint it?


ON DETROIT AND COLLAPSE OF CIVILIZATION

A harsh lesson:

Detroit under Coleman Young was a mixture of both philosophies. Young provided the distractions, the belief that the whites in the suburbs were the enemy – Detroit’s mass version of Emmanuel Goldstein. The rest took care of itself. In the link to his Trifecta segment on his PJM blog, Steve Green writes, “It’s Fahrenheit 451 in Detroit — minus the firemen.” There was need for them -- no reason to burn the books if everyone has been convinced that they’re not worth reading; you simply abandon the culture in place and let it rot.

WE WERENT' FUCKING AROUND




Just why it fell to us is the question. I guess now the colleges would say white surpremacy or white man's burden in a hurry.
SOME PLUCK FROM SOME CONSTANT ENROUTE VANCOUVER

WE NO LONGER CARE

I don't have any idea what it was like on the troop ships or the landing craft off that beach. Bravery is something in my experience that one finds in smaller pockets and yet laps around the larger pockets as time wears on and given some time to manifest. It doesn't just stroll in from long asunder and simply dominate the plain. There is a reason men like myself despise what American youth have become with their triggers and raw appeal to being frightened of ancient ideas.

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

England again gave up her young men to keep the stupid fucks on the continent free. And so did we.

Never again. Let them next march into night together and we don't care.

Thanks guys. You did your best and they threw it all away, like they do.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

THE INVASION

I like this movie. It captures the essence of going ashore into fire.

CLOCKS

When you look, it is staggering how many Americans died fighting to liberate China from Japan in World War II.

Still, we are counting down the hours to the invasion that set Europe on its present curse of German domination.



did I leave out an o?

THE RAIN BEGAN

RIGHT ABOUT NOW

A hundred thousand men were informed that they were invading the French coast and told to get some sleep before they boarded the assault craft and headed toward Normandy and a rendezvous with destiny. For some, the news came earlier but the following words were probably much the same, try to get some sleep. If there is one thing I can guarantee, the men storming those beaches in Normandy and parachuting into St. Mere Eglise et al were tired.

You have to spend days and weeks staring eternity in the face before you learn to sleep at such news. After you've done it for a month or two you just roll over and try to get a little more comfortable before falling asleep.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

WITH DECAPITATION SO CLOSE

I'm sure the SS were thrilled with President Trump trooping the line along with the Guard Commander standing within 3 feet of him carrying on unsheathed sword. I won't look because I don't care, but I'll bet the roiled mass of seething hate and fury over there on the coasts is just flipping out that the guy with the sword didn't do what they all tell themselves they would have done in that position.

I don't know how they pull off these sorts of thing but I'm sure they follow a very strict protocol at a level where all parties know better than to raise any issues or disagreements with the ruling elite.

Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards and the President of the United States
When you think about how many top leaders have been assassinated in settings much like this by the ceremonial troops, it's not hard to imagine that somebody from the SS had a quiet word with the guy carrying the naked sword.

It's not just the Gandhis getting killed by their guards, it's all kinds of people ranging all the way from Africa to Afghanistan. It goes without saying that this is not the sort of thing I expect out of the Old Guard or the Guards Regiments guarding the Palace and the Queen. I'm afraid that certain truths about current realities have to pass without being said aloud, even in a whisper so faint you couldn't hear it over the noise of a gentle zephyr playing across the swaying but undisturbed puff of a dandelion.

Monday, June 3, 2019

THE CRAZY EDDIE YEARS

The plunge into the crazy years is well underway. I got a kick out of reading this little trope from The Conversation where the final issue with drugging soldiers came down to this:
A final concern is when performance-enhancing drugs give troops advantages over civilians. Soldiers in the reserves, and those who serve on bases but reside with their families, have both military and civilian lives. What if they compete in sports or intellectual contests with civilians? One solution is to require them to disclose that they are taking enhancement drugs, but this could violate military secrecy and help enemies figure out ways of combating the drugs’ effects.
It's a strange stance to adopt given the current insanity of pretending that biological men can be women and compete against women just because they 'feel' like it and it presents no disadvantage to biological women who want to win.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

A GOOD MAN STEPS INTO THE CLEARING AT THE END OF THE PATH

I got sprung from the hospital Thursday afternoon which allowed me to come home and have dinner next door with my sister, her family, Pam and my parents who had come to town on Memorial Day to spend a week with two of their kids and three of their grand kids. They got some of that and Thursday I was finally able to join them for dinner. It was good.

I was up early Friday morning and went next door to chat with my dad over coffee for a couple of hours before they drove off with my sister, heading to the airport and home. It was a glorious morning here in metroparkcentralis. In light of my recent suffering, people assured me I did not have to carry their bags downstairs since they probably thought me carrying those same bags up the stairs on Monday was what set me off. Hah!

On that note, over the last 40 years my mother never traveled to visit her kids without first stopping at the commissary at Carlisle Barracks or Fort Myer and loading up a bag with 40 pounds of ham, bacon and steaks. She would then fly to visit us in California and leave much less lightly loaded then when she arrived. She always thought we were starving. We never disabused her of that idea since none of us are crazy.

After they left for the airport I dressed and we went to the memorial service for a very old friend of Pam's who died in the same hospital I was in, while I was there. He was a little over 90 and a Navy veteran and I was actually surprised when a Senior Chief and two Petty Officers showed up and took part in the service, as they do. They performed the flag ceremony and the the Senior Chief presented it to our friend on behalf of the President of the United States and a grateful nation. For the first time I heard the sound of Taps played with one of those newfangled electronic horns. It sounded good to me. I've been listening to il Silenzio for so many years I had forgotten the sound of Taps. I have no idea where they found sailors with well fitting Service Dress Whites here but they did an outstanding job.

Our friend was one of the classic Americans of his era and played that same role right up until his death. Not for him the long, slow, painless, slide into the dark. He played golf with his gang until he was 88 and only stopped because he thought he was slowing play and as something of a fanatic golfer all of his life that was anathema to him. We went to his 90th birthday party which seems like just the other day and he was as much in the present as he must have been as a Gunner's Mate on USS Dayton in the Mediterranean.

Fair winds and Following Seas, Bob.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

MY SECOND NIGHT IN HOSPITAL

Whatever it is hurts a great deal. The place that hurts has been scanned with everything but MRI. So far there  has been no improvement. Naturally my parents came to town on Monday and this has knocked many plans on the head. They leave for home on Friday. It would be nice to hear that it isn’t really a clot on my lung but they haven’t been very forthcoming.

Monday, May 27, 2019

IN MEMORIAM

Throughout the history of this country and the Continental Army and Navy before that, men have fought and died for this country. In the beginning they came from all over Europe and later they came from all over the world and always they came from the heartland and the edges of this country.

Here in the midwest and in New England, every town has a monument to the Civil War dead and many have monuments to their Revolutionary War dead. Almost all towns have amended those monuments to inscribe the names of the townsmen who died in World War I and World War II and Korea. Quite a few have added the names of those who died serving in Vietnam.

The South have and had similar monuments honoring the memory of those who fell in battle but the crazies down there are pulling them down as fast as they can. If anyone wants to know what incites violence and induces rage you don't have to look much further than what the social justice crybullies are doing in the South as they do everything in their power to dishonor the honored dead.

Not all of them went willingly and many of them vanished without a trace either in a rain of shells and explosions or into the waiting sea. All of them gave that last full measure of devotion and what they died for mattered. It mattered to you and me because this would not be the country it is if young men and old had not fought again and again for it against all enemies.

My family has been fighting in those battles and wars since the Battle of Lexington. My ancestor who fought in that battle was wounded in the morning and killed in the afternoon. He was the first and the last of us to die fighting for this country.  I spent almost 30 years in the Navy, my father spent over 26 years in the Army and his father spent 30 years in the Army. I think we had family in every war going back to the Battle of Lexington except, perhaps, the Barbary Wars and the Spanish American War.

Today we remember those who didn't come home to see their loved ones in peace and prosperity.











Today is the day to remember their sacrifice and pray that the time for such sacrifice has passed into history.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

BITTER HARVEST

The reaping begins as President Trump opens the investigation into the coup plotters who attempted to overthrow the legally elected President. What they did to General Flynn and all the rest that they destroyed under their fell sight will now be done to them. The plotters will all emerge from this scouring penniless as they spend everything they have, mortgage their houses, sacrifice their children and pay the lawyers anything and everything they have in order to escape long jail terms for attempting to overthrow the government.

I honestly hope that nobody is willing to offer plea bargains to lesser offenses. Every single one of these scumbags deserves their 2 or 3 years in Court fighting the charges they so richly merit. These people need to emerge from their crime impoverished and homeless. All of them.
Trump demands that the agencies 'shall promptly provide such assistance and information as the Attorney General may request in connection with that review' 
The order also allows Barr to declassify any information he sees fit during review

The memo included the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Energy 
It also included the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the CIA 
I find at this point that I'm sufficiently pissed off at the Deep State that I'm OK if the Attorney General goes after any and all failures to comply as "obstruction of justice" and pursues every lie of omission as a "process crime" and indicts them for everything they've done since they entered government service, or the communist party. Whichever came first.

Friday, May 24, 2019

A LINGUISTIC WONDERMENT

My better half has a newish phone that lets the GPS map directions on her phone be spoken aloud. The user gets to determine what kind of voice they want their phone to talk to them with when telling them how to get from point A to point B. She chose Nigel with his pommy accent and inability to pronounce a handful of words like College or Boulevard. We trust that voice quite a bit, usually.

Last night my sister and parents got in from Virginia at a little after 2200 and after unloading the rental car, my sister drove it to the local international airport a zillion miles away on the other side of metroparkcentralis in order to get it back before it turned into a pumpkin at midnight. The rental car return corral is in the middle of nowhere but you have to go around 6 sides of the square in order to get to the other side of the interstate that separates the airport from civilization. I followed in my car with my ancient non-talking iphone 4.

In the dark that's a challenge for people that don't do it that often and never at night so my sister engaged her talking GPS map with a loud female voice that shouted directions at us when she dropped off the rental and joined me in my car and her phone directed us as to when to turn and U-turn and go right, etc. A dismal contrast with Nigel. The new voice physically grated on my nerves.

So tonight I was wondering, is there out there a utility or app that allows the user to select other voices to shout at the operator? Is there the shrieking, outside-voice screaming rough English that is barely understandable and torture to the ears as the volume and pitch increase spoken by many in this country? How about an angry Scotsman screaming directions in something not at all like English? One could have some fun pulling those together and stealthily installing them on friends devices.

A simulator my brother had that we played around with long ago was, F-18. I used to hear, "terrain, terrain" a lot just before I crashed into the ground. I can hear the voice now screaming, "pull up ye daft bastard! Your crashing into the ground you stupid shite!"

Now that I have a nephew working in that realm for Google, I'll have to ask him if they've looked into 'diversifying' the voices and language skills employed by the apps they offer. I'm sure that they have because we all know that Google is all about Diversity.