A Carroll “Lex” LeFon Primer

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Who was Carroll LeFon?

The best description of Lex that I’ve heard is “Imagine Hemingway flew fighters…and liked people.

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Rhythms the Compendium

Welcome to the “Rhythms” home page, a blogvel of sorts in several parts. The author’s attempt was to reveal elements of life aboard an aircraft carrier on the line. He had no idea it would take so long, and leave so very much untold.

Carroll F. “Lex” LeFon

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Index – The Best of Neptunus Lex

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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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DIYing*** – A Cautionary Tale In Car Repair

(in the introductory voice of Rod Serling)*

This all happened probably 20 years ago, but when I detailed my tribulations to a now-defunct Mercedes-Benz internet list, I achieved my Internet 15 minutes of fame. I was known far and wide as “that guy”. I have, for much of my adult life, derived some pleasure and satisfaction in fixing things on my own cars – starting with my 1967 Camaro back in the late 60s.

But lately, with my accrued years, I am seeing the wisdom in letting a pro, with the proper training, tools, and a lift, just do the job.

This attitude started, I think, when I changed the motor mounts of my 1996 Mercedes SL500. The car was on jack stands, I am on my back for a week cursing all the junk I had to get out of the way, just to replace a simple motor mount secured by 2 small bolts on the bottom, and one bolt on the top. And of course, with it all apart, you aren’t going to throw the parts in a box, tow the car with your tail between your legs and plead with a shop to fix your mess! You are committed to finish it one way or another!

But!

I was saving close to $1000 in labor costs! These days I think I’d be glad to let someone with the proper tools do it.

Today’s cautionary tale involves another set of motor mounts on another car. It was a 1986 Mercedes 300E. There was no “junk to get out of the way”, being a simple inline 6 cylinder engine, just a stubborn bolt that would not move.

For starters.

By the way, the reason these had to be changed is that Mercedes has fluid-filled mounts, to cushion the vibration of the engine and over time and miles, that fluid will dissipate. When you notice a vibration at idle, that is usually a good sign that they need replacing. I can’t speak for the rest of the automotive world, but I believe most of these mounts are solid – rubber?


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PDR – Paintless Dent Removal

I thought I’d give the Net a couple of tips I have used for years on some cosmetic repair of your cars. One is an economical (and better!) means of removing small dings and dents, and the other is to repair cracks and repainting your color-coded bumpers. That too is far more cost-effective than letting the traditional body shop do the work.

I had heard of PDR from my nephew John, who decided to learn the trade some years ago. Before I got to learn more about the industry, I thought as a trade it would be pretty much a dead-end as far as the ability to make some decent money.

And that assumption was wrong.

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Ted Lasso

I am still getting used to this new means of watching television – streaming. I joined Netflix a good 5 years ago…and felt that it had such a reservoir of good programming, I thought I would never leave it.

But competition with new streaming venues have affected them. When Disney, who owns the Marvel franchise, started their own channel, Netflix lost a number of great series, such as Daredevil, The Punisher, Jessica Jones….

Anyway, last month I left them and apparently I wasn’t alone. Over 200,000 have left them recently, and a few days ago, their stock prices was down 36% in one day.

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Sisu

The Finns are an interesting people. Lex had an interesting and funny post about his visit to Finland, and having “Good Lex” having to battle “Bad Lex”, and prevailing, but nevertheless having to do some ‘splaining to The Hobbit back in Sandy Eggo.

I had a Finnish business partner for 20 years.

Estel wasn’t even a Finnish name, but her parents named her that in gratitude to a Mr. Estel from Missouri who, immediately after the war, sent her family provisions during a time of devastation and deprivation.

She emigrated to California with her brother in the late 60s, first settling in Redondo Beach. She must have become a Californian, because when she would come into our office before the heater kicked in, she would complain of the cold, it being all of 60 degrees or so.

I used to kid her about that.

Because it gets cold in Finland.

Real cold.

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Lady Be Good

Lady Be Good, as discovered 16 years later, in 1959

She was named after a popular song that had been written by George Gershwin. It had been turned into a movie.

She was a nearly new B-24D, just flown from the States to serve in the 376th Bomb Group at Soluch Airfield, Libya where the Group was tasked with bombing Italian ports feeding Hitler’s war machine.

Her crew of 9 were typical of men during that time, all in their 20s, some leaving young wives and fiancées. They had never been on a combat mission previously.

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Spies Will Doom Putin

I have long felt that the effects of the clandestine services have been under-appreciated in world conflict. But then, they are clandestine. Certainly the efforts to deceive the Nazis during D-Day – convincing Hitler that the landing would be at Calais – probably meant the difference between success and catastrophic failure. If Stalin had paid attention to his master spy – telling him about Operation Barbarossa – perhaps the Nazi invasion wouldn’t have been so catastrophic. In today’s WSJ, a veteran CIA operative is explaining what will happen as a result of Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine.

I thought it was worth repeating.

BB


By Douglas London

March 23, 2022 1:12 pm ET

After invading Ukraine, he’s tightening the screws the way the Soviets did—and that will help the CIA recruit Russians.

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Robin Olds Telling LBJ How To Win the Vietnam War

I have enjoyed my latest book, and I’m almost done. I ordered it based on this talk Christina Olds gave about her famous father, Robin.

Olds had always intended to write an autobiography, but it was not even started by the time he was dying. Christina promised him that she would do it, and I think her father would be proud of her. I believe that, like many in the 1940s, he kept a journal or diary because it is very detailed. One would think that General Olds himself wrote it.

Olds was the kind of leader that anyone would aspire to emulate, and he tells you his secrets in this book. When he came to Ubon, Thailand, he changed a lackluster Wing into a Wolfpack, no pun intended. One time, upon leaning that he was on the list to become a Brigadier General, he deliberately did something to sabotage that promotion, realizing that it would mean no more flying other than a desk.

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Porsche – A Few Stories from The Early Years

A few days ago, on Facebook I posted of an experience I had in the late 70s. I was traveling the state of California, making cold calls to promote the family business. I think in sales, that is the toughest – meeting people who weren’t expecting you to make your pitch. And that is why many people can’t do this – they get discouraged. But I treated it like a numbers game – a couple of times I sold 5 accounts in 1 day, while there were a few times I would go for a week, or even longer, making no sales.

On the bad days I vowed to make 10 calls – no matter how it was going, slog it out.

Anyway there were some good aspects to this travel – seeing things I never would have seen, and meeting some memorable people along way.

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Ukraine – A Bit of Recent Alternative History

A Lexican recently made a post on the F/B page that surprised me.

We just past the date where the number of days since the Berlin Fell was equal to the number of days that it was up.

10,316 days.

From August 3, 1961, when I was 11 years old, to November 9, 1989 when I was 39 years old.

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Tuition for a Taco

Have you ever had a friend you have known for a long time – 30 years or more – for which you could always reconnect no matter how long you hadn’t seen each other?

I had 2.

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