Monthly Archives: May 2012

Getting mugged

Getting mugged

Suzann Rainone mugged me while Fire Surfing last weekend.


by | May 31, 2012 · 5:44 pm

The Ship

Originally published May 31st, 2009.


by | May 31, 2012 · 3:21 am

Among The Joshua Trees

Iowa, BB61 arrives off of San Pedro

She arrived after a four day tow from Richmond CA. She is bound for the Port of Los Angeles and life as a museum. This is a very good thing.


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Filed under Uncategorized

A Bittersweet Day

A little over 4 years ago, The Wife and I signed up to be sponsor parents for the Academy.  Sponsors act as a sort of home away from home for a midshipman, a refuge from life on The Yard.  Yesterday, we watched as 4 of the most extraordinary young women we’ve ever met walked across the stage to receive their diplomas and took the Oath of Office as commissioned officers the Navy and Marine Corps (hoo-rah).

A midshipman’s first, or Plebe, year is a tough, demanding ordeal, both mentally and physically.  There is also almost no escape from it.  The Plebes are only allowed liberty on a handful of weekends that first year, but whenever she was able, we brought her home for the weekend to relax.  And wear something other than her uniform.

One of the things we were told during sponsor orientation was “if you feed them, they will come”.  How true that was.  We love to cook, and are always looking for new things to try.  By the end of Plebe year, we had 3 additional Mids making semi-regular visits to our home.  The more the merrier.

So much has happened over the past 4 years.  Countless loads of laundry, dozens of trips to Brewster’s for ice cream, way too many episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (are you sure there’s nothing on the Military Channel you’d rather watch?), rugby games followed by washing the team’s uniforms.  Aggie had just learned how to walk when we med our mids on sponsor introduction day, and today marks her last day of pre-school.  She has grown up with the mids, and thinks of them as big sisters.  By the way, there’s nothing cooler than a sofa cushion fort made by a bunch of engineering students.  The Pirate arrived towards the end of their junior year, and all the mids were so helpful in those chaotic first months.  The Pirate is as comfortable with them as she is with us.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the mid’s “real” families, who obviously did all of the heavy lifting in raising these women.  We got more out of this experience than you did, and we’d be more than happy to do it all over again.

As of today, they are out of our nest, living on their own.  Two have already left Annapolis and are en-route to their ships, one heads out the The Basic School in July, and the last departs in mid-August for Pensacola to begin flight school.  That being said, there will always be room in our home and our hearts for them.

 Congratulations to our “girls” and the rest of the USNA class of 2012. Welcome to the fleet!


Filed under Family

Some Training Is More Fun Than Other Training

“Train like you fight; Fight like you train,” “Train hard, win big,” “If you’re not training, you better be fighting.”  Well, you get the picture, I trust.  Unless you’re doing a handful of jobs, when not engaged in kinetic activity addressed at nationally-determined belligerent entities (what we used to quaintly refer to as “war”) then you’re doing some sort of training to make you proficient at your trade.  It’s just that some training is, well, just a lot more fun than other training.  Anything involving the word “night” is not what we refer to as “fun.”  Night carrier landings, night terrain-following low levels, night tanking.  Those are NOT fun.  THIS, on the other hand, comes under the heading of “as much fun as you can have, with your clothes on.”  No loud and annoying sound track, no weird jump cuts, just pure fun on the southern half of Visual Route 1355, a.k.a. “The Million Dollar Ride” up the eastern side of the Cascade Mountain range in Washington State.  HD and a big screen is advised. 🙂




Filed under Airplanes, Flying, Good Stuff

Another biker yarn

Following on from my little pictorially supported jaunt through Suffolk, somewhere below, I have scribed up a bit more about me getting to know the new motorbike. It’s over at my place.  It also co-incided with the loss of a friend, the news of which I got this morning. Its a sad day, but at the same time I rejoice for him for reasons that will become obvious if you pop over to have a read. Cheers for now Chums, hope you enjoy the ride.



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The F-35 “Lightning II”?

Originally published May 30th, 2006.


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by | May 30, 2012 · 3:27 am

Blue Angels Solos Taking Off

Blue Angels Solos Taking Off

Yeah, it was hot and somewhat boring waiting for each act to take off and some of them used the other runway so I missed being close to the F22 low pass at the airport. However, I was able to get really close to the Blue Angels and that was cool.

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by | May 29, 2012 · 1:05 pm

Blue Angels Launching

Blue Angels Launching

Again, at FRG this past weekend. The Blue Angels diamond takes off.

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by | May 29, 2012 · 1:02 pm

Here Comes “Ernie”

This year the Blue Angels are using “Ernie” instead of “Fat Albert” as FA undergoes an overhaul or some such. Here’s Blue Angel #9 launching from FRG for the Jones Beach Air Show on Sunday.

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by | May 29, 2012 · 12:59 pm