I’m reading an excellent book – The Boys In The Boat – about the freshman class of the University of Washington who went on the win the Gold in rowing at the 1936 Berlin summer Olympics. The author really does a good job at giving us the background of the Great Depression, what people had to do to survive (one of the rowers was actually abandoned by his family at age 15), the background of crew and the Englishman who, out of economic necessity left his family’s home near Eton to eventually go to Washington (and really put crew on the map in the United States)
Monthly Archives: September 2016
By lex, on June 6th, 2007
It was late January or early February almost ten years ago when my wingman and I rattled down the cats, each of us carrying one of the then brand-new Joint Stand-Off Weapons (JSOW). In the best traditions of the strike fighter service, we were also carrying an AIM-120 AMRAAM mounted on a cheek station, with a forward looking infrared (FLIR) pod on its opposite. Each of us also had a pair of AIM-9M Sidewinders on our wingtips and of course a full drum of 20mm in the nose. We were ready to strut down main street.
September 23, 2016
Last January, I decided to post what I had considered some of Carroll “Lex” LeFon’s best posts over his 9 year period of blogging under his pseudonym Neptunus Lex. Were all of these his best? I am sure that I would get some discussion from Lex.
I had felt if a book were to be published, these would be likely candidates for inclusion. This is in effect a “book” in the medium that Lex helped to pioneer. To be more precise, it is my idea of what a book based on his blog posts would comprise.
If it weren’t for the foresight of one Lexican in saving most of his posts, we would have had virtually nothing as his website went down shortly after his accident. By my estimation, we have about 70% of his work. The rest went to the “bit bucket”, probably gone forever. However, if you look around, you will still see some of his posts around the world here and there.
Lex touched a lot of people.
By lex, on March 3rd, 2012
There are very few things to admire about a 0500 brief on a Saturday morning. The Weapons School lost some sorties during the course of the week due to weather, and quality being the measure by which all things are reckoned, they would have to be made up. But still.
Fifteen degrees Fahrenheit on wake-up. Pitch black skies. A division of sleepy fighters in the brief, and seven to eight sleepy bandits. My chief contribution was departure/spin procedures for the jet: “Controls neutral, pitch trim one second forward, check speedbrake in, throttle as set. Passing 180 knots recover, passing 6000 feet recovery not initiated eject. In a spin, stick full into the spin mark in the direction of turns, throttle smoothly idle, recover at 180 knots, passing 6000 feet recovery not initiated eject.”
By lex, on February 11th, 2012
Pax Americana has been pretty good for America, and the rest of the world as well. But battered and scarred by combat in inhospitable places, and with pocket book issues facing the electorate as we move ever closer to a crippingly expensive European style welfare state realizing the progressive vision, public men are openly predicting that a post-American world will be not merely a better place, but more of the same. Writing in the WSJ, Robert Kagan opines that the world that most of us have grown up knowing, one of relative peace and prosperity, one of “free minds and free markets”, is a historical anomaly that may not survive the removal of its foundation stone:
By lex, on January 21st, 2012
Sixty years later, the men on the Titanic – liars and thieves, wealthy and powerful, poor and obscure – found themselves called upon to “finish in style,” and did so. They had barely an hour to kiss their wives goodbye, watch them clamber into the lifeboats, and sail off without them. They, too, ‘ope’d it wouldn’t ‘appen to them, but, when it did, the social norm of “women and children first” held up under pressure and across all classes.
I was reading This Week magazine today (actually more of a pamphlet). It is a wonderful periodical published, I believe, by the people who publish the UK Economist Magazine. It has a summary of issues of the week, with excerpts on all sides of that issue by different periodicals.
Anyway, they have a weekly column entitled “Wit and Wisdom”, with quotes from people today to 100s of years ago. Among this week’s quotes:
By lex, on December 15th, 2011
Lion 6 hauls down the battle flag in Iraq:
After nearly nine years of war, tens of thousands of casualties—including 4,500 dead—and more than $800 billion spent, the U.S. military on Thursday formally ended its mission in Iraq and prepared to leave the country.
For years, commanders in Iraq have handed off to their successors the top call sign, Lion 6, along with the American battle flag adorned with a Mesopotamian sphinx. But on Thursday, in a tradition-drenched ceremony with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta looking on, the current Lion 6, Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, pulled down the colors and cased them for a return to the U.S…
At Thursday’s end-of-mission ceremony, Mr. Panetta evoked the most important battles of the war in Fallujah, Ramadi and Sadr City. He returned to a theme he has struck all week while visiting troops in Djibouti, Afghanistan and Iraq: American service members have given Iraqis the opportunity to make their own future. The hardships and losses endured by America’s military, he said, were not in vain because they led to a free Iraq.