Index – The Best of Neptunus Lex

On March 6, 2012 we lost Lex. He died doing what he wanted to do, teaching Naval Aviators how to be even better.

For many of us, the Lexicans, he became more than just a blogger but a friend.  Carroll “Lex” LeFon not only enjoyed writing, but he enjoyed the interaction of the “commentariat”, many of whom he called “the best friends I never met”.

Soon after his accident, his website, Neptunus Lex, went down. If it weren’t for one Lexican, who copied and pasted most (about 70%) of his posts for later reading, “the lightness of Lex”, all 9  years’ worth of his work, would have disappeared into the digital ether.

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In Memory of CAPT Carroll “Lex” LeFon, and the Wonderful Community He Fostered

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.

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Wrapping it Up

By lex, on February 7th, 2010

Last month, after much experimentation with hand-crafted Excel workbooks and casting about for freeware options, I somewhat resentfully purchased an electronic log book, in an admittedly Quixotic attempt to make some sense of my past life and combine its DNA with that of my recent endeavors. There are inconsistencies between the way that the Navy tracks flight experience and that of the general aviation world that require some creative thinking: Navy doesn’t track “Dual Received” or “Dual Given,” cross-country flights receive no special column of their own flying fast jets, instrument approaches are divided into precision and non-precision categories, further subdivided in to actual or simulated, and daylight hours are inferred from an absence of night time rather than explicitly called out.

On the other hand, civilian log books are wholly innocent of NVG hours and combat time, mission types (air-to-air or air-to-ground?) catapult launches and arrested landings, day or night.

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Airport Saturdaze

By lex, on January 23rd, 2010

Two hops today, and it was something of a blessing, for it’s been that wet and trashy down Sandy Eggo way over the last many several. Howling winds and rain coming sideways, the usual collapse of civilization on the freeways, as stolid commuters obtusely denied the possibility of rain slicked highways contributing to mishaps. After eight or so days, you’d think that maybe vehicular Darwinism would have been in effect, to teach the survivors that it simply will not do the careen down the highway at 80MPH with ten feet of separation bumper to bumper. That maybe the richest crop of morons gets harvested on the first day, with successive slaughters gracefully tending towards zero.

You’d have been wrong, for thinking that.

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Second Look

 

By lex, on January 20th, 2010

Courtesy of occasional reader Scott, a second look at the explosively actuated command pin bolt issue from Strategy Page:

Only a small percentage of reliefs have to do with professional failings (a collision or serious accident, failing a major inspection or just continued poor performance.) Most reliefs were, and still are, for adultery, drunkenness or theft. With more women aboard warships, there have been more reliefs for, as sailors like to put it, “zipper failure.” There may have been more than are indicated, as sexual misconduct is often difficult to prove, and a captain who is having zipper control problems often has other shortcomings as well. Senior commanders traditionally act prudently and relieve a ship commander who demonstrates a pattern of minor problems and who they “lack confidence in.”

Many naval officers see the problem not of too many captains being relieved, but too many unqualified officers getting command of ships in the first place. Not every naval officer qualified for ship command. Only a small percentage of the 53,000 commissioned officers gets one. The competition for ship commands is pretty intense. This, despite the fact that officers know that, whatever goes wrong on the ship, the captain is responsible.

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The Itch

By lex, on January 9th, 2010

We’ve been here in Sandy Eggo now for, what? Almost nine years. Which is three times longer than we’d ever lived anywhere else. Kids have grown up here, gone away to school. It all seems so unreal, after 20-odd years of living as gypsies. But it still feels like somewhere we live, not somewhere we’re from.

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Transformational

By lex, on January 1st, 2010

Two dog fight hops today down at Montgomery, and the news came as a bit of a surprise, what with today’s holiday being a federal and your correspondent already on the hook for three flights tomorrow. But it wasn’t like I had plans and between the five flights this weekend I might almost make enough to get checked out in that Citabria down Gillespie way.

Getting a hundred hours in her to satisfy the insurers at my weekend gig is something I will have to sort out over the course of the next several decades.

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Going Boldly

By lex, on December 31st, 2009

Weapons system acquisitions are fraught with danger generally, both from a programmatic perspective and professionally. I successfully dodged Pentagon duty for three decades, but when I was growing up, I often heard from grizzled veterans wearing Navy blue “inside the building,” that the Air Force had a tendency to beat the pants off the Navy in Congress by putting up slick marketeers to pitch their programs – professional acquisition corps folks who really knew how to deliver a pitch.

The Navy, on the other hand, had a tendency to advance bespectacled flag officers with engineering backgrounds who couldn’t quite come up with the same flash and dazzle as their brothers in bus driver blue, and who never quite seemed to understand why they would have to explain the intricacies of the nuclear steam cycle (just for one example) to the wet-behind-the-ears staffers who were the real power behind the congressional throne.

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The Faith of James Cameron

By lex, on December 21st, 2009

There is a kind of religion in Hollywood, Roth Douthat opines and it’s on full display in James Cameron’s latest opus:

“Avatar” is Cameron’s long apologia for pantheism — a faith that equates God with Nature, and calls humanity into religious communion with the natural world…

(Pantheism) has been Hollywood’s religion of choice for a generation now. It’s the truth that Kevin Costner discovered when he went dancing with wolves. It’s the metaphysic woven through Disney cartoons like “The Lion King” and “Pocahontas.” And it’s the dogma of George Lucas’s Jedi, whose mystical Force “surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together.” Hollywood keeps returning to these themes because millions of Americans respond favorably to them.

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