Welcome. The idea was floated that a ‘talk amongst yourselves’ blog would be a good addition to for the Non-Facebook Crowd. Here it is.
By lex, on June 25th, 2011
While back east last weekend, your host had the opportunity to chat with an occasional reader about a number of things, among which was my transition to general aviation after two decades and change of pushing fast metal around at taxpayer expense. My interlocutor was a general aviation enthusiast himself, and operated chiefly in the Midwest I gather, a region where weather effects comprise a similar, if seasonal, risk to flying that terrain does here on the west coast.
By lex, on June 4th, 2011
I can’t remember if I’ve told this tale before, which means you probably don’t either. But in any case it came to pass one warm summer day in the San Joaquin Valley that an FA-18 squadron commanding officer of my casual acquaintance stood at the podium in his dress whites, sword at his side, opening the event book for to begin his change of command speech, the assembled sailors roasting at parade rest in their own whites, the guests fanning themselves with their programs, for if you’ve never been at a midday speech in Lemoore, California in the summertime, then you’ve never been truly hot, maybe.
By lex, on May 15th, 2011
Apart from being the principle breadwinner at Chez Lex, among my household chores includes picking up the mail from a drop box up the street. In this duty I am inevitably assisted, accompanied and abetted by Gus, the dachshund.
By lex, on April 20th, 2011
There have been a lot of bad GWOT movies. A lot of Hollywood executives greenlighting frank and open anti-Americanism and enthusiastically endorsing hostility to the military forces whose mission includes protecting their own right to hold fashionable opinions that condescend to middle America and its bourgeois values, even as they profit lavishly from their exploitation. Values like honor, patriotism and valor.
Old fashioned stuff.
Nearly all of these directors, producers and screenwriters have done so from the safe distance of coastal California, content to place equally vapid marquis faces above their tired tropes and timeworn prejudices.
By lex, on February 19th, 2011
Marine Corps General James Mattis is no one’s idea of a soft touch. Just reflect on his speech to the tribal leaders of Fallujah. But it turns out that the warrior monk had a soft spot in his heart on Christmas Day:
Back in 1998, (USMC Commandant General Charles Krulak) was making his final delivery (of holiday cookies) to Marine Corps Combat Development Command headquarters at Quantico when he asked the Marine on duty who the officer of the day was.
By lex, on January 27th, 2011
There are many petty irritations in the service that we are taught to disregard. “You can die on that hill if you want to,” a senior mentor might advise. “Or you can save your ammunition for when you’re in a powerful enough seat to make meaningful changes.” As a flag officer, maybe. Maybe even a senior one. Keep your head down, your shoulders in the traces and pull your load with a smile on your sweating face, and when the time comes, you can really make a difference.
I just finished a book that was a New York Times best seller almost 20 years ago, Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea.
In 1857, the steamship SS Central America in a hurricane sank in 7,200 feet of water 160 miles off the coast of South Carolina. Before the Panama Canal, travelers from California bound for the east coast would take a ship to Panama, cross the isthmus and board another ship at Colón on the Caribbean side for the trip up to the east coast. In addition to the passengers carrying a small fortune in gold from their times in the California gold fields, the ship was carrying tons of gold coins minted in San Francisco and gold ingots to the east coast banks.