Monthly Archives: October 2017

Happy Thought of the Day

By lex, on October 25th, 2011

I got back late last night from Pensacola *, and if I never fly aboard the C-word airline again it’ll be too soon. A 1.5 hour delay on deck at my origination, on account of weather, so I was told. Which there wasn’t any, yesterday. So there’s that. An egregiously underqualified technician spent half an hour puttering on her workstation before confessing to the congregation that she hadn’t a clue what to do. Her more experienced co-worker flipped her hair, sighed and made things right in three or four keystrokes. Maybe five. Which still left us with a three hour layover in Houston, and arriving in Sandy Eggo at 2230. Wherein the baggage handlers apparently decided that offloading the first twenty bags from the 757′s cargo hold was a sufficient accomplishment to reward themselves with a 15-minute smoke break, for the Hobbit had to go round and round whilst my backpack – whose loading fee worked out to a little better than $1.50 a pound – sat forlorn and unworn somewhere in the great ughknown.

But! Today is a new day, one spent chiefly wondering how in the world I will catch up on all my domestic duties left dangling, lo! These many weeks. And plausibly bill my non-flying work hours, file a travel claim, reconcile checkbooks, &c.

And! Quite at a loss at where to begin, I took Gus the dachshund for his morning constitutional. Which he was desperately in need of, certain requirements of his own insensitive to the workload that has accumulated Chez Lex in hizzoner’s absence. And especially inasmuch as the little feller had only two nights ago come off a self-imposed hunger strike we correlate to the Hobbit’s absence from the house, there being little if anything the Kat could do while in charge of the inner and outer demesnes to induce the cross-grained bugger to, you know: Eat.

Whereupon: I espied two Marine Corps Hornets launching off into the morning air, their departure flight path placing them but a little way above our heads before climbing into the sun-scorched blue.

Living as I have here in the Crushing Burden of Debt for nigh on ten years, such sightings have become commonplace. In the past I have watched them with a professional eye, coupled with a tinge of bittersweet regret. For I flew them aircraft once, and it has long felt as though I was watching my old girlfriend stepping out with a younger man, like. The temptation to stalk the old girl was strong. Maybe drunk dial her late at night, ask soddenly if we couldn’t get back together again, whether she’d reconsider. After all that we’d had together.

As I walked the sun-dappled park with my disembouging dachshund in tow, that feeling was conspicuously absent, and I turned a wry smile to the retreating fighter section’s tail. See you around, I thought to myself. Check six.

It’s my sky too.

** Lex and The Hobbit had just returned from seeing SNO graduate flight school – Ed. 

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By lex, on October 26th, 2011

Abusive language, it appears:

The commanding officer of Norfolk Naval Shipyard has been reprimanded for “conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman” and permanently relieved of command.

(The captain) will be reassigned to administrative duties, the Navy said Tuesday.

This is the second such shakeup at the Portsmouth shipyard in just over a year.

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By lex, on October 26th, 2011

What goes around comes around:

A group of several dozen “Occupy Las Vegas” protesters camping on Clark County land located under the final approach to Runway 19 at McCarran International Airport today narrowly missed being injured when a 50 lb. slab of “blue ice” reportedly landed within feet of their tents.

According to witnesses, the slab fell to earth seconds after Air Force One passed overhead while landing.

Blue ice is the frozen material formed by leaks in commercial aircraft lavatory waste tanks, a mixture of human waste and vivid blue liquid disinfectant that freezes at high altitude. The ice generally dissipates long before the aircraft lands, but there have been documented cases of blue ice clinging to aircraft surfaces until the aircraft reaches warmer air on approach to landing, then the ice may separate from the aircraft and fall to earth.

Clark County Director of Aviation Randall Walker was immediately notified and dispatched airport personnel to the campsite, but witnesses report that the blue ice had melted by the time officials arrived leaving only a smelly brown residue.

I’m glad no one was hurt.

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Ground Abort

By lex, on October 18th, 2011

Was to have been a two-hop day, and during the first your humble once again led to and from the battlespace. With a shade less buffoonery than before, so that – hey, presto! – he is now a two-ship lead. Sing halleluiah!

The weather here is as perfect as possible. Winds right down the runway – the two-miles and a bit long runway – visibility unrestricted, nary a cloud in sight. The potential existence of such things as “clouds” a subject for philosophic debate. Angels on pinheads, and so on. Anti-matter. Dark matter. The Higgs boson.

I digress.

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By lex, on October 20th, 2011

Yesterday was my last day in Mountain Home, and my last flight was a kick. The Marines were fighting a low altitude war, and your humble was right there among and amidst. Started off in company with a two-ship of Singaporean F-15 Strike Eagles, flew through the merge as the smallest and only third generation aircraft among four fiercely maneuvering fourth generation strike fighters and eased my way out of the arena for to set up for their off-target run. Zorching around so low that our ground controller was unable to provide any, you know: Control. My aircraft being below his radar horizon. Somehow managed to blunder into a merge with a solo FA-18D off target, passed him head on and right-to-right close aboard, briefly considered the wisdom of a turn to engage at 500 feet (or so) from a neutral pass, wisely – I think – forewent that opportunity. Accepting a neutral start in the Kfir nothing but an opportunity to prolong an agony. There was a valid reason why Vietnam era fighters and attack jets were advised to check six off target, for that is where the savvy bandit prefers to attack from, if they hope to one day cash retirement checks.

Bugged out for Boise after, joining occasional reader Idaho Joe for dinner and an adult beverage (or two) at a restaurant he recommended. Met his lovely wife, had a charming conversation with the pair of them, dined gladly (thanks again, Joe!) and am today set to travel to Pensacola.

I haven’t seen Son Number One for months, the Hobbit for weeks, and doings around these parts may be rather more noticeable by their absence than otherwise.

You are invited and encouraged to talk amongst yourselves.

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The Big Day


By lex, on October 24st, 2011


The Big Day

By lex, on October 24th, 2011

Training Air Wing Five puts on a pretty damned good show, when it comes to a winging. We drove up what ought to have been a familiar track from the northern Pensacola suburbs to NAS Whiting Field in Milton, Florida, apart from the fact that even here progress has left its mark. If by progress your definition is broad enough to include strip malls, gas stations and traffic lights where once there had run a country road. Things move on.

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False Flag?

By lex, on October 16th, 2011

I didn’t comment on last week’s story about the Iranian government’s purported plot to assassinate a Saudi ambassador here in the US because I was pressed for time, and the story didn’t immediately make a great deal of transparent sense to me. In the millennial campaign between Saudi Arabia’s majority Sunni branch of Islam and the Persian-led Shia minority, it was clear that somehow the US had come to be a battlefield. But who were the players in this contest, and what were their aims? It wasn’t clear to me at the time, and still isn’t.

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Random Thought of the Day

By lex, on October 17th, 2011

So yesterday our fighters – who had deployed to Boise for the weekend – got weathered in there, and since they couldn’t fly, we didn’t fly. After making my morning preparations today, I turned to the closet where my flight suit was hanging and thought to myself, well: It’s been a while since I’ve worn you, old friend.

Nearly 36 hours, in fact.

It’s amazing how quickly one adapts to the new normal.

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By lex, on October 18th, 2011


The country has been plunged into a constitutional crisis, as Americans woke up today to learn that the Teleprompter of the United States of America (TOTUS)  has been kidnapped.

It is being held in an undisclosed location:

A van containing President Obama’s teleprompter and podium were stolen from a Virginia hotel parking lot on Monday, NBC12 in Richmond reports.

The truck was parked at the Virginia Center Commons Courtyard Marriott near Richmond before the president’s scheduled Wednesday appearance in Chesterfield, the Richmond station reports.  In addition to the teleprompter, $200,000 worth of audio equipment and presidential seals mounted on Obama’s podium were inside the stolen vehicle.

NBC12 reports the truck was recovered on Monday at 12:30 p.m. at a Holiday Inn Express near the Richmond airport.

While this act has all the markings of a professional job, the kidnappers’ ransom demands have not been made clear. The recovery of the truck near the Richmond airport has led some investigators to believe that TOTUS may have already been spirited out of the country, perhaps even to Madison, Wisconsin.

I ask my fellow citizens to join me in a moment of prayer for the safety of TOTUS, remembering that only by remaining united will we get through these dark days together. I also call on the agents of our federal government to not give in to these despicable agents of mayhem. I ask them to hold fast and not give in, however long the struggle, however great the cost.

Or else the terrorists win.

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Zuckerman Speaks

By lex, on October 16th, 2011

The musings of a lifelong Democratic billionaire on our current political leadership:

Mr. Zuckerman maintains that America will solve its problems over the long haul—”I am not somebody who’s pessimistic about this country. I have had a life that’s been better than my fantasies,” he says—but he’s certainly pessimistic about the current administration. That began shortly after inauguration day in 2009.

At that time he supported Mr. Obama’s call for heavy spending on infrastructure. “But if you look at the make-up of the stimulus program,” says Mr. Zuckerman, “roughly half of it went to state and local municipalities, which is in effect to the municipal unions which are at the core of the Democratic Party.” He adds that “the Republicans understood this” and it diminished the chances for bipartisan legislating.

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