The Best of Neptunus Lex


January 30, 2016


I came to know Lex through his writings. A longtime admirer of his, David Foster of, recommended a few of his favorite posts.

After reading the very first one, I was hooked. One could say that at that moment I became a Lexican. Some of Lex’s posts made you laugh and others made you think. He had the gift of showing people what life is like to serve on a carrier.

Until I read Lex, this old Army guy thought sailors had an easy life with clean, spacious accommodations and good food.  I just wondered if they were allowed to take their golf clubs while on a cruise.

I didn’t realize that it was for most  grueling dirty work with very little sleep from the Captain on down. Or that they are away from their families for 6 – even 8 months at a time.  Or that flying could range from a near ethereal experience in the clouds to the extreme pressure and fear of trying to land at night at 150 mph. In inky darkness on a  “runway” thousands of miles from shore about  the size of a postage stamp with little fuel remaining.

I learned a lot about the Navy through Lex. In fact, most of what I know about the Navy is thanks to Lex.

He was well accomplished as a naval aviator.  As a group, these people are not known for their humility or introspection, yet this described Lex. It is a profession for which no awards are given for 2nd place.

I believe of his professional accomplishments being the XO of TOPGUN (one word, all caps, don’t ask!) had to have been up there among his proudest  professional accomplishments.

I don’t think he approached any task without a full focus and dedication. “Blogito ergo sum” was his blogging motto. Since he chose to write in the relatively new world of Internet blogging, his success wasn’t as readily apparent as an author with book sales numbers.

And yet he had a wide influence.

I think he was surprised when approached by a sailor halfway around the world asking him if he was Neptunus Lex.

He kept his 2 worlds of Carroll LeFon and Neptunus Lex fairly apart from each other. One of the funniest stories I heard about him was told by his wife, aka The Hobbit, during a Lex get together at his favorite place.

As I remember the story, he was walking his dachshund Gus to get the mail when his neighbor stopped to talk with him. The conversation turned to the Internet and the neighbor told Carroll that he really enjoyed this blog called Neptunus Lex. Carroll listened and never told him that he was Neptunus Lex.

He had 2 loves in his life – his family and the Navy, in that order. Both are reflected in his writing.

Some of us today were discussing the fact that there are many people that have not read any of Lex’s writings. His website has been down since shortly after his accident. Fortunately for us, one of our group had been saving a good number of his posts to read off line at a later time. If it weren’t for him, all of Lex’s writings would have disappeared. By my estimation he saved about 70% of his posts over the years.  A  couple of years ago, I read through this entire collection and chronologically arranged what I thought were his “best of the best” – 288 posts. They span from his first post in 2003 to 2012.

I’ll arrange this span of 9 years in the same chronological order as he wrote them, with the exception of the first 2 posts. About a year after he started writing, he got around to telling the reader a bit about his background, and how he became known as Lex. After these 2 posts, we’ll start as he started with his very first post in 2003. There’ll be 1 a day, just as he had them.

On behalf of Lex and the Lexicans, welcome aboard.

Update – 1-17-2018 – After combing all of advokaat’s wonderful archives, I am going through the Wayback Machine and finding a few here and there. For those interested, these are denoted by the phrase after the “By lex” as “Posted on xx-xx-xxxx”, where the x’s are, of course,  the original posting date. The many posts from the archives here do not have the “Posted” prefix. ]

Update – 12-08-18 – There are an additional 600 posts added from the Wayback Machine. 

Update – 04-04-21 Compulsiveness is one trait I share with Lex, as I ended up going through advokaat’s archives twice, then the Wayback Machine twice. In both cases in the first pass I was looking for a “best of” type of post, and in both cases with the 2nd pass I thought it would be good to also repost those posts that were important to Lex. Posts of heroes fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq; many of whom gave their lives. Posts of the political issues of his time. And, sometimes just small posts to recreate the fullness of his blog.

In the end there were 4,219 posts of Lex that have been reposted. The Wayback Machine was sporadic in its capture of his posts of the days. If you look through their archives from 2004 to 2012, you will see a few days where the “spider” came 5 times in a day; and there are times where it didn’t come back for 6 weeks or so. There are a few of Lex’s posts that are irretrievably gone. One of which was called Ulysses. Lex was in love with the English language. I was told that within the Navy among his friends he was known informally as “Mr. Big Words”. Among those who remembered Lex when his blog was up, his version of Ulysses linked dozens of his posts.

But I am thankful for the Wayback Machine for preserving some of his posts that would have been lost forever. In the end, I reposted a bit over 1,500 posts culled from this source.

At no point did I ever consider this drudgery or simply work, but a joyful task. I was able to give back something to a man who shared so much of his life with us. Through it, I came to know Captain Carroll “Lex” LeFon.

Bill Brandt

To The Best Of Lex Posts 


Filed under Airplanes, Best of Neptunus Lex,, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, FA-18, Fighter Pilot Stories, Flying, Lex, Naval Aviation, Neptunus Lex

30 responses to “The Best of Neptunus Lex

  1. edwardolsen

    Hi Bill,

    I am looking forward to this, as I have been searching the internet for some of my favorites by Lex and have not been able to find them.

    If you do not have the complete “Rhythms”, I saved every entry and can send them to you.

    Best to all

    • Bill Brandt

      Thanks Edward – I have Rhythms.

      We were lucky that this particular Lexican saved so many of his posts – imagine them all being lost in the “bit bucket” ..

      It’s going to be a fun trip!

  2. Old AF Sarge

    I am looking forward to this trip.

    You’ve made a good beginning, Bill.

  3. I came aboard around ’04 I think. A cousin who had ridden motorcycles with Lex visited from SoCal and told me about Neptunus Lex. I am thoroughly looking forward to this, thank you.

  4. Bill Brandt

    You are welcome. It will be fun for me too and I suspect Lex will get another new audience.

  5. Don

    Thank You for the effort, Bill Appreciate You

  6. Jeff the Bobcat

    Thanks Bill for doing this. I was trying to find some more of his posts and failing, as his site had gone down. Recklessly, I only saved a couple that I liked and later wished I had taken the time to archive more of them.

    I will be pointing many friends here to read Lex’s posts starting today.

    • Bill Brandt

      As I was writing that preface I was going to write about the post that really got me on as reading Lex – it was the very first post I read. The whole post of just a few 100 words encapsulated who Lex was.

      But then I felt “why not let Lex tell the whole story fresh and let the reader discover him?” Just as we discovered him.

      There are a number of his posts that are really superb. And rather than talk about them I decided to let the new readers discover him as we did!

      There’ll be almost 10 months worth of posts – spanning 2003 to 2012. What I considered his “best of the best” – so I hope a whole new group of readers will come to discover “the lightness of Lex”!

  7. Bill Brandt

    BTW everyone they will be tagged with “Best of Neptunus Lex” so all should be accessible to anyone as they want them…

  8. Zeno "Pmuger" Rausa

    Stoked! Led was my CO. Looking forward to reading up.

  9. Thank you for the reposting. Bill, you’re a mensch.

  10. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 4 years since Lex departed this vale of tears. March 6, 2012 seems like yesterday. I hadn’t been on the net all day and logged in to check email to find an email from Bill Tuttle, who was in the AFG at the time, about Lex’s accident. Hit me like a punch in the gut.

    • Hi QM, I think that, which you have said, is something we all share. Sadly, the daily comments and banter between us has changed due to the fatal intervention, but the history thereof is part of the ethereal thing that binds us. t`is a wonderful thing. 😊

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  13. Erik

    I don’t know if you have heard of the Internet Wayback Machine, but it could be of help to you: it’s a website that allows you to look at URLs as they were in the past. I tried in there, and indeed it works. See for yourself:

    • Bill Brandt

      Hi Erik

      Yes I have gone there. As I have discovered it only sends it spiders out periodically-maybe once a week or 10 days. So there are many posts in the gap that are gone forever.

      As I have told people, if it weren’t for one fellow who liked to copy and paste these for later reading while sitting in court, virtually all that Lex wrote would have been lost forever.

      As it is I think we have about 70% of what he wrote over nine years.

      There is one piece that he kept referring to about undergoing a mandatory navy drug check, where he is at a urinal with a petty officer looking over his shoulder to make sure that the urine is his.

      That had to of been hilarious and I have not seen it anywhere

      But his posts to this day remain scattered around the world on countless websites.

      Neptunus Lex had an influence that I doubt that he was aware of.

    • Thank you Erik!
      I know about the Wayback Machine but if you hadn’t mentioned it, I would have not thought to punch it up for this.
      Neptunus Lex is great!
      (Tony the Tiger pun intended.)
      It -needs- to be restored as fully as is possible.

      I’ve spent many hours in the last week or so reading Lex’s blogs and I’m still reading them.
      I value his thoughts, wisdom, and seeing the world through his eyes.
      To his family and friends I like to give my belated heart felt condolences.


  14. Thank you for preserving and posting these.
    I’m having some trouble keeping the whole group in sequential order though.
    I want to read each one.
    Hoping his whole website can be restored; it is a treasure of wisdom and insight. Lex had a great writing style that is a true pleasure to read.
    I’ve laughed quite a few times reading these stories and shed more than one tear.
    Greatly appreciated.

    • Bill Brandt

      You are welcome Blackhawk. Lex’s website is long gone.

      There was a minor problem with it a few months after his accident, and nobody in the family could figure out his passwords. And then a mystery was solved when someone commented here a few days ago that he used to be Lex’s JO during his Lemoore days as commander in charge of IT.

      He said that Lex liked to use NATO codewords for Russian missiles.

      We were very fortunate that one reader had saved about 70% of his posts for later reading. Just think if he hadn’t done that all of the beautiful writing of Lex would’ve been lost forever.

      I wanted to put this back up on the website so new people could discover Lex.

      The index is arranged in chronological order and it contains what I consider “the best of”.

      Many other posts I still put in so people can find it via Google.

      Seeing people like you rediscover Lex with the joy that he gave in his writing makes it all worthwhile for me.

      My recommendation is to just start at the index and read from his first post.

      I think one of the funniest stories I ever read from anybody is his story of “sport”. The first time I read that I was laughing so hard tears were coming.

      Lex gave a lot of joy to the blogging world, and I am honored to be able to put this back up on his behalf.

  15. Dr. Tracy Baker

    I miss his blog Rhythms . When he was alive I asked him to write a book but he said that he tried and couldn’t get it started. If I had his material I would try. Oh well.

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  19. blackhawk

    Thank you. Lex was magnificent.
    He taught me important lessons and best of all he makes me laugh.

    • As I have gone through his posts what amazes me is it for much of this time in addition to normal family issues he was going to school to get a masters degree.

      In addition he had a full-time job. And then an hour or so he would write his blog post

      He was both a magnificent writer and a thinker and I wish I had known him when he was alive

      And eight years after his death he still makes people laugh and think!

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