Monthly Archives: November 2014

Tales From My Youth –Final Installment

Mark 28 Thermonuclear Bomb

Tales of My Youth – Part 1

Tales of My Youth – Part 2

With Friends Like These…

…I’ll give him this: at this point, A1C Dumbjohn was doing everything according to Hoyle, with just a smidgen of Clint Eastwood thrown in. I had not taken my eyes off the little twerp’s finger – which was ON the trigger, though the safety was on – and I became aware of Captain Space next to me, with his hands in the air. Well, not wanting to be the odd man out, mine went up as well. With that, Dumbjohn motioned us outside and snarled, “Up against the wall!” as he called the SPs and notified them of a Helping Hand, the code at the time – and may still be – for a violation of nuclear security. There were some loud and most definitely urgent squawks overheard on the radio, and we settled down to await the Cavalry. I had been Jacked Up, friends – an incident that at best left an unpleasant taste in one’s mouth and at worst led to one standing tall before Colonels With Much Fruit Salad explaining just why you were such an idiot.

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Tales From My Youth – Part 2


Tales of My Youth – Part 1
With Friends Like These…

Now, where was I? Oh yes….

It was just a few days before Thanksgiving, and I was eagerly looking forward to the following Wednesday, when I was due to go home and marry Katherine, a beautiful and formidable young Lady from my home town of Cleveland. My future brother in law – a Loader, though I have never held that against him – and a hospital troop were of the party as well, and the three of us were looking forward to a week or so of happiness and comparative quiet.

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Tales From My Youth – Part 1


The following story came from one of the Lexicans on the Facebook page – known as AtlanticCoast. He was a Sgt in an elite branch of the US Air Force – Strategic Air Command – tasked with a very serious duty – the safeguarding of our nuclear weapons. I thought his story was so good  that Lex had to have been laughing somewhere.

With his permission here it is – the first of 3 parts. 

With Friends Like These…

Jacked up (jakt uhp): v., pop. 1: To be arrested, detained, or otherwise taken into custody by United States Air Force Security Police, usually in connection with a violation of nuclear security rules and standards. 2: Something you never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever want to happen to you. 3: Ever.”

Saying that Strategic Air Command was serious about security is a lot like saying Curtis LeMay (Peace Be His Profession Unto Him) was strict – it gets the point across, but unless you were there, you really can’t appreciate it. As it turns out, I was there for six years and believe me…I still appreciate it.

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Desert Wind……………..

Wind in the desert………………go figure.

Among The Joshua Trees

The wind was very strong today in California City and the surrounding areas…………….Missus ORPO said that the weather guessers were saying upwards of 60 mph……………………Sand was everywhere………………………

Here are a few pics of the afternoon and evening……………Enjoy


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The Dream Is Always The Same.

My Friend, skyye.
This is going to be good.
Hopefully she can become, one of us.

Waves of Effervescence

Remember that line?  (T. Cruise | Risky Business, c. 1984)  Not really a fan of his any more, but I always loved that opening monologue.

It’s so true though.  The dream is ALWAYS the same.  Variations?  Absolutely.  But I always wind up in the same place at the end.  “LIVING THE DREAM.”  That was to be the blog title originally.  However, I thought it to be a bit ordinary and, frankly, boring.  Yet that is indeed what this blog is about.  It’s about life;  in all of it’s silly, lovely, sordid, mixed-up random, wild and amazing glory.  Ups and downs (and hell, sideways even — I mean, I’m INTERESTING, damn it!) on this roller coaster we love to hate.

Waves of effervescence, experienced while living the dream…  I hope you like it.

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The Navy’s EA-6B Prowler Completes Its Final Carrier Cruise

Jeebus, I am beginning to think that I may actually be getting old……………………….

Among The Joshua Trees

From Jalopnik today.

They are pretty much gone now. I remember when the Prowlers came to The Good Ship Independence in the Spring of 1974. The squadron was VAQ-132, The Scorpions. My good buddy Darryl Hinkle was in that outfit. It was the first of four cruises that we made together over our careers.

The Garudas were the last.

At the end of my career, I was in VAQ-140, The Patriots who still have the distinction of having the most beautiful Prowler CAG Jet that ever served…………………….

Patriot CAG-1

Here is the link to the article………………………….

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Loose lips?

I know I’ve mentioned it elsewhere in this community of ours (recent publicity surrounding the revealing of a former SEAL team member involved in that  Op`) but I really am surprised at how that information was released into the public domain. I suppose you could say it’s been `bugging` me.

I followed up on a couple of well informed comments from some fellow Lexicans and I gather that there are some bad feelings over matters of military veterans benefits and other issues surrounding control of the story. Of that I have no constructive comment to add for I know little of the system under which your military operates although I suspect our respective doctrines are similar. I learned much of this having spent a working life liaising with our military, including a months attachment to the Army Staff College working alongside officers from many nations and all arms (yes even navy and air force!!), going through their year-long senior command course. As I mentioned elsewhere, this is something the British police do, working and exercising alongside our military on matters where our roles can sometimes blur and overlap ie `low intensity warfare`, nuclear accidents, counter terrorism etc. This type of police/military liaison will be unfamiliar territory to my American friends.

But `war`, it has been said, `is the continuation of politics by other means` and in that regard a very small number of my former colleagues and I have been at our own `pointy end` of counter terrorist operations. Those of us, comparatively small in number, that performed covert tasks to detain the potential perpetrators of heinous acts against our country and our military (rather than those of our police colleagues who provided a much broader protective/preventive screen) were more than well equipped and prepared to use lethal force if the circumstances demanded. Most of those operations are now in the public domain, but many are not, a lot of the preparatory work is not and were I to write about such things today, I would be very careful as to how I released fine details of those ops and would never disclose real names and detailed whereabouts without very careful consideration for the potential consequences. The people we were after, some foreign, some closer to home may, on paper, no longer be enemies of the state but I know the individuals, their mentality and what they are capable of. They have long memories and highly questionable morals and from my armchair I am surprised at how much information is released, officially, about individuals working in the US military that although may be deemed OK from an OPSEC perspective is not, in my humble opinion, good enough for an individuals PERSEC.

I have worked with the best of the best, British special forces both Army (SAS) and Navy (SBS Royal Marines). The SEAL teams, the individuals within and their army equivalents are also supreme warriors who are rightly heralded up there alongside. They performed an outstanding operation under pressures of an intensity that most of us will thankfully never be subjected to, but the code is the code and the rules are the rules. In my view both have been broken and time will tell whether good or bad will come of it.


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Sandy Eggo Stuff

Among The Joshua Trees

Blog Bud Jeff Hollenbeck from Parrothead Jeff and Friends had this little bit of Sandy Eggo Stuff up on Facebook this AM.

It is worth posting on my Regular Day Off, methinks.

Found online and too good not to share

You know you are from San Diego when…

~Your high school had a surf team~

~You can correctly pronounce Tierrasanta, La Jolla, Rancho Penasquitos, San Ysidro, Otay Mesa, Jamacha, Jamul, Cuyamaca, and El Cajon~

~There are four distinct seasons: Summer, Not Quite Summer, Almost Summer, and Oh Hey Look Its Summer Again~

~Chula-juana is a real town.~

~Your house is worth more than some small countries~

~You know what MB, OB, and PB stand for~

~Every street name is either in Spanish or Spanish related, and you’re surprised when other areas don’t have this~

~You can determine the accuracy of someone’s “I’m ghetto” claim by knowing their high school. For…

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The day after “Armistice Day”. One hundred years on.

It’s the day after Armistice Day. Yesterday, just before 1100hrs, my faithful Jack Russell, Monty, and I stood at our village war memorial alongside a few other local residents and a dozen schoolchildren, approximately half of our tiny primary school. The fourth stanza of Binyon’s poem, “For the Fallen” was spoken. As the church clock struck eleven, we observed a two minute silence. Then we left.

When I got back home I read the final paragraph and then the epilogue of the book I have been reading these past few months, purely co-incidental that I finished it on this day. It was about the British Redcoat in the era of sword and musketry. The final paragraph came as a footnote to the Battle of Waterloo, June 18th 1815. I shall share it:
“Thomas Pococke of the 71st did not care. Having survived the Peninsular and Waterloo, his only concern was to to be given a discharge and return home. He got his wish in the winter in 1815…….`I left my comrades with regret`, recalled Pococke, `but the service with joy. I came down to the coast to embark, with light steps and a joyful heart, singing, “When the wild war’s deadly blast was blawn”. I was poor as poor could be; but I had hope before me, and pleasing dreams of home`.
Arriving in Edinburgh by ship, he went straight to his parents’ home. They no longer lived there, nor did the new occupant know their address. Fortunately the landlord remembered Tom and took him to his mother for a tearful reunion, the first in nine years. Pococke spent the next two years completing an account of his time in the army and sent it to a friend in the hope that it might be published. It was in 1819. But by then his mother was dead and he, unable to find work even as a labourer, had disappeared. Having left the army sound of body and without the requisite twenty years’ service, Pococke was not eligible for a pension. He was last heard of working as a road mender `with a number of other poor labourers thrown out of general employment`. Thus did Britain reward `that best of all instruments…British Infantry`.

In the epilogue, the last words were fittingly a quote from a soldier whose Prussian (later German) Army would dominate Europe’s battlefields from the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries in much the same way the British Army had for the century and a half before that. `For battle`, wrote Baron von Müffling, Wellington’s former Prussian liaison officer, in 1816, `there is not perhaps in Europe an army equal to the British, that is to say, none whose tuition, discipline, and whole military tendency, is so purely and exclusively calculated for giving battle.` He added:
`The British soldier is vigorous, well fed, by nature highly brave and intrepid, trained to the most vigorous discipline, and admirably well armed. The infantry resist attacks of cavalry with great confidence, and when taken in the flank or rear, British troops are less disconcerted than any other European army. These circumstances in their favour will explain how this army, since the Duke of Wellington conducted it, has never yet been defeated in the open field`.

I feel sure that my Lexican chums will detect some empathy with more modern times, in some of the words I extracted from that book.

That is why I support the Royal British Legion.


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Among The Joshua Trees

This is a poem by a friend of mine in the Pacific Northwest.

Do you like me?
Do you care?
Do you understand
What put me there?

I was happy
Free and wild
I was carefree
Like a wondering child.

But then one day
The wind rushed in
The mailman came
Delivered sin.

He brought a notice
Black and white
It told me where
I’d be that night.

I opened it and
Read it straight away
Report for Duty!
Do not delay!!

I loved my country
And served with pride
I must admit, never really
Thought I’d die.

But on the field
With crimson stain
I lost my life
A victory gained

My best friend cried
Sitting there alone
Only 18, these feelings
He had not known.

He dragged me off
The field that night.
Collected things
I said I’d write.

I made him promise
As he laughed
The month…

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