Author Archives: parrotheadjeff

Ember Arriving!

Ember Celee when she was just minutes old

Ember Celee when she was just minutes old

My thanks go out to Glenn for posting Ember’s pic the day she was born 😀
My apologies go out to everyone for my absence, but I figured you’d understand 🙂

Cindy and I have been pretty busy.  Cindy’s been taking care of Ember and healing up from the C-Section while I’ve been busy working – especially since I found a steady job!  Everyone’s healthy and happy even if we are rather tired 😉

And yes, my perspective on many things and my understanding of some of Lex’s writings have changed a bit since 22 August 2012.

I should have a real internet connection at home soon, so I’ll be around much more often.  Have a great day, everyone!!!

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Filed under Family, Perspective

Memorial Day Aerial Video

H5 – WWII Bombers over Arizona Landscape from H5 Productions on Vimeo.

SaberCat1 filming in HD the B17 and the B25 WWII Bombers over and around Arizona's Superstition Mountains and Saguaro Lake. H5 Productions, in conjunction with The Commemorative Air Force filmed these aircraft during the Veterans Day Celebration on Saturday, November 13th, 2010. The B17 Bomber was flown by pilot Russ Gilmore and the B25 Bomber was flown by pilot Spike McLane. The base for these bombers is Falcon Field located in Mesa, Arizona. SaberCat1 pilot, Mitch Kelldorf. SaberCat1 aerial cinematographer, Mike Murray. Editor, Mike Murray.

Today is Memorial Day which is a somber holiday in my way of thinking. That’s why I didn’t use the normal term for visual material such as this. I thought it was a fitting video for today as we remember those who never came back and gave everything so that we could enjoy our lives. To them, I say thank you and I will remember you and what you’ve done.

I also feel that Lex should be remembered today as well. He might have been retired from the U.S. Navy, but he was still serving his country when he passed away in Fallon, NV. I’ll have a Guinness later tonight in your memory, Lex.

Of course, those who never returned often left behind family and friends who also made the sacrifice when they lost someone they loved. To them, Lex’s family included, I say thank you and you will remain in our thoughts and prayers as well.

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Filed under Airplanes, Flying, In Memoriam, Lex, Patriotism

Friday Plane Pr0n

I thought these would be good pics for today – They made me think of Lex 🙂

Aviation Nation 2009 - Legacy Flight - F/A-18F Super Hornet and F4F Wildcat

Aviation Nation 2009 - Legacy Flight - F/A-18F Super Hornet and F4F Wildcat

I’ve been a fan of Heritage Flights and Legacy Flights since they started.  Historic aircraft seem to be found on static display only in museums with increasing frequency these days with few exceptions.  While we can still see many of them fly, I think it’s important to show the latest generations the aircraft that made history and to have them fly in formation with the current machines which keep freedom alive.  There’s a huge contrast in the speed, the size, and the sound of those aircraft from bygone days compared with modern jets and I don’t know that kids these days could grasp nearly as well just how far we’ve come without seeing such displays.  Of course, it’s wonderful for aviation addicts like us to see them as well 🙂

Aviation Nation 2009 - Legacy Flight - F/A-18F Super Hornet and F4F Wildcat

Aviation Nation 2009 - Legacy Flight - F/A-18F Super Hornet and F4F Wildcat

Yes, I know the Hornet is a newer version than the jets Lex flew and that the Wildcat is in French colors, but I thought it was nice to see anyway and I wasn’t about to complain about minor details 😉

FLY NAVY and have a great Friday, everyone 😀 !!!

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Filed under Airplanes, Flying, History

Phantom Pr0n – Let’s Make It a Trio!

I can’t let OLDAFSARGE and XBRADTC have all the fun now, can I?  No. No, I can’t.  Especially when I have some good stuff in my archives 🙂

Crank the sound up for the beginning of that video for some sweet J-79 music!  It might not be quite as full of raw awesomeness as the video XBRADTC posted, but it sure was fun to film.  I just wish I could get the feeling of the raw power shaking my chest and the full saturation of sound in my unprotected ears to come through your speakers 😉

Aviation Nation 2005 - The mighty F-4 Phantom!

Aviation Nation 2005 - The mighty F-4 Phantom!

Aviation Nation 2005 - The mighty F-4 Phantom!

Aviation Nation 2005 - The mighty F-4 Phantom!

That first picture of the camouflaged phantom with the heat mirage distorting the tower as it climbs out over the runway at Nellis AFB has to be one of my very favorite images I’ve ever captured.  I liked it so much I put it right at the top of my blog!

For all the Navy folks - U.S. Navy Phantom on the USS Midway!

For all the Navy folks - U.S. Navy Phantom on the USS Midway!

Now, I might live in an Air Force town but as I’ve said before I grew up in a Navy town.  As a matter of fact, I grew up just a short distance from NAS Miramar back when it was Fightertown, USA 😀  Therefore, I can’t in good conscience let a Phantom Pr0n post go to publication without a Navy Phantom on a carrier deck if it’s within my power to prevent it.  Therefore, I’ll leave you with this example painted in the colors of VF-51 based on the USS Coral Sea which is displayed on the USS Midway.  I’ll leave it to the reader’s imagination to decide just how much graffiti and how many zaps would have been added to the jet prior to sending the crew home following an arrested landing on the wrong carrier 😛

 

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Filed under Airplanes

Ahoy!

Hey there everyone!

Before I go any further, I’d like to say thanks again to Lex and his family.  Lex was a big reason I got into blogging in the first place and was always one of the blogs I checked a few times a day.  I wish I could’ve been at Fort Rosecrans for his memorial in person, but I was there in spirit and I’m thankful others were able to attend.

I try to use my own pictures and videos whenever possible in my blogging.  It’s just one of those things if you know what I mean.  I wish I had video of the Blue Angels or an operational Hornet squadron performing a Missing Man flyover, but I figured people wouldn’t mind too terribly if I used my footage of the Thunderbirds at Aviation Nation 2007.

Lex, you will certainly be missed!

I also want to thank XBRADTC for setting this place up and for tossing me the keys.  I consider it an honor and a privelege to be invited to write here and I’m truly glad to be able to continue to share in the community of Lexians!  While I loved reading Lex’s writing, the comments were nearly as much of a reason to keep up with his blog.  I don’t know of any other place on the internet which enjoyed such intelligent commentary and which kept that discussion as civil as Neptunus Lex.

I guess I should get around to introducing myself.  I go by Parrothead Jeff around most corners of cyberspace and  I’ve been blogging since sometime back in 2005.  For those who don’t know, a parrothead is a Jimmy Buffett fan and that term most certainly works for me!  I was born in San Diego, CA and grew up just north of there in a little town known as Poway.

Poway (and most specifically the house I lived in during my early years) lies under one of the approach corridors for NAS (now MCAS) Miramar.  Looking up to see F-5s, A-4s, and many other types of airplanes from home was only one of the reasons I became interested in aviation.  My godfather (who was also one of Dad’s partners in the California Highway Patrol) was a pilot in VF-161 who flew Phantoms from the decks of the USS Midway and USS America during the Vietnam war.  I’m pretty sure it was a combination of Pete’s sea stories and Dad’s experiences seeing Air Force jets flying over the ranches he grew up on in the Arizona desert in the 1950s that got him interested in flying.

Between the Navy jets flying over my house all the time, Dad’s plastic models hanging from my bedroom ceiling, and going to the Miramar airshow every year from the time I was nine months old, I was hooked from a very early age.  TOPGUN (one word, all caps!) was something I knew about long before Tom Cruise and the rest of the bunch on the silver screen brought a Hollywood version of it to the masses.  I wanted to be a fighter pilot, but that was not to be for a variety of reasons I’ll save for later.

I moved from San Diego to Las Vegas in late 2004 and while I miss the weather and beaches, I can’t say I’m really all sorry to have left.  I’ve been in telecommunications doing technical support since early 2005, but all that’s about to change in the very near future.  If you want to know what’s going on with that, there’s a post over at my place that explains it 😉

Aviation Nation 2010 - F/A-18 Hornet from Lex's old squadron

Aviation Nation 2010 - F/A-18 Hornet from Lex's old squadron

OK, enough about me – Let’s get to a bit of Plane Pr0n!  I wanted to make this post an introduction of myself to all of you, but I also wanted to keep a good portion of it on the subject of remembering Lex through some of the pictures I happen to have in my collection.

I found this picture of an F/A-18 from the Mighty Shrikes of VFA-94 back in a post from Aviation Nation 2010.   Looking back over at Lex’s page explaining the title bar logos, I’ve been reminded that he served as both XO and CO of this squadron.  I wondered then as I do now if Lex had time in this jet, but now I only wish I could ask him.

Aviation Nation 2009 - Hornet and Hawkeye

Aviation Nation 2009 - Hornet and Hawkeye

This is the same Hornet as in the picture above, but I thought the perspective was funny.  With the Hornet seeming to take over every job for every other airplane flying from carriers these days, one could be forgiven for thinking for a split second that they’d put a rotating radome on its back and downlinked the signals back to the ship 😛

Note to the U.S. Navy – This is meant as a humorous observation and is NOT a suggestion!

Aviation Nation 2009 - Another F/A-18 Hornet from another of Lex's old squadrons

Aviation Nation 2009 - Another F/A-18 Hornet from another of Lex's old squadrons

Aviation Nation 2009 - Another F/A-18 Hornet from another of Lex's old squadrons

Aviation Nation 2009 - Another F/A-18 Hornet from another of Lex's old squadrons

Another of Lex’s squadrons was VFA-25 – The Fist of the Fleet.  This was actually his first squadron in Hornets.  According to Lex,

First squadron logo on the right hand side, reading from the left is from VFA-25, “the Fist of the Fleet,” my first fleet fighter squadron. Here is where I discovered that despite being the only male child in my family, I had twelve brothers. I was young there…

Aviation Nation 2011 - Panorama - Super Hornet

Aviation Nation 2011 - Panorama - Super Hornet

This Super Hornet belongs to the Black Knights of VFA-154.  It’s not one of Lex’s aircraft or squadrons, but I always wanted to ask him about his opinions on the newest versions of his older jet.  I know he flew alongside them so I figured he’d have a decent idea about what’s what with the machine.  This one just happened to be parked down at the south end of the static display area at Nellis AFB during Aviation Nation 2011, so I got what I think is a halfway decent picture of it.

F/A-18 Hornet aggressor on the USS Midway

F/A-18 Hornet aggressor on the USS Midway

Now, Lex always talked about flying F-16Ns, F-5s, and A-4s in TOPGUN so I’m pretty sure he didn’t fly this Hornet or at least not during that time.  I just wanted to post a picture of a Hornet on a carrier deck and this is the one I had available 😉  Still, I can easily imagine him climbing into a camouflage jet with a red star on the tail, red numbers on the nose, and U.S. Navy insignia in subdued colors elsewhere 🙂

View from the bridge of USS Midway - A-7 and F-4 on the cats, E-2 waiting, and another carrier across the bay

View from the bridge of USS Midway - A-7 and F-4 on the cats, E-2 waiting, and another carrier across the bay

This picture was taken from the bridge of the USS Midway in San Diego Bay.  No, it’s not one of Lex’s carriers and those aren’t his jets, but that could be one of his carriers over across the bay!  OK, you got me – I wanted an excuse to post a picture of jets on catapults.  Sue me.  Wait – Some of you are in California and around all those lawyers!  No, don’t sue me!!!

USS Constellation as seen from the Coronado ferry in 2003

USS Constellation as seen from the Coronado ferry in 2003

Now, that is one of Lex’s carriers and if memory serves from his written legacy it was also his favorite.  This is also one of my favorite pictures from before I left San Diego.  I grew up with carriers seemingly always across the bay at North Island and Old Glory always flying proudly in a town that loved the Navy and this brings all that together for me.

If you’re still reading this, thanks for sticking around!  I know this post ran a bit long, but there was quite a bit of ground to cover.  I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it and that you’ll enjoy all the rest to come 🙂

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Filed under Airplanes, Lex