Posted by lex, on Febuary 13, 2006
I know that some of my readers are young officers and midshipmen, and because nothing ever really changes in the service but the faces and the names, you are by now, or very shortly will be, very likely tired to death of senior officers telling you how envious they are of what you have in front of you. I know that I was, back in the way-back. It was always some grizzled and graying captain – maybe at a winging ceremony, maybe at a “tie cutting” after the first solo, who’d look out into all the fresh faces and say, “I’d give it all up and trade with you in a minute.”
Posted by lex, on August 31, 2006
Something potentially ugly.
Back when the storm clouds gathered in late 2002 and early 2003, heads attached to graying pony tails, heads filled with grandiose memories from 1970’s street demonstrations remembered the pride of their youth and once again took to the protest ramparts, augmented this time by the organizational power of committed paleo-reds from International ANSWER, side-by-side with bored housewives who believed in a woolly-headed way that “war is wrong, and we really oughtn’t have any” and an assortment of “activist” college students looking for a little whiff of the tear gas perhaps to lend them an aura of jaded euro-gravitas.
Posted by lex, on February 1, 2004
In fighter aviation:
- Never do anything for the first time, that you have to do absolutely perfectly to survive.
- Unless you have to.
- Train like your life depends on it – it does.
- It is not true that everyone is trying their best to kill you, but it’s useful to act as though they were.
- The three most useless things in naval aviation are: Runway behind you, altitude above you, fuel you’ve dumped, and girls you used to know.
- Wait, that’s four.
- Murphy was an optimist.
- If you can keep your head while everyone else about you is losing theirs, you’re not seeing the full picture.
- Speed is life – more is better.
- AAA is bad and SAMs are bad, but the ground has a Pk (probability of kill) approaching 1.0.
- You can only tie the low altitude record, you can’t beat it.
- Push forward on the stick and the houses get bigger. Pull back on the stick and the houses get smaller. Keep pulling back and the houses start to get bigger again.
- If you fly long enough, you will eventually have to cope with a major emergency. You don’t get to pick which one, so you have to be ready for all of them.
- Priorities (in descending order of importance): aviate – navigate – communicate
- If in doubt, wind the clock. It might not help much, but can’t do any actual harm either, and it keeps your hands busy while you figure out what you should be doing.
- You are expected to bring the jet back when you’re done with it. If you can’t do that, the least you can do is stay alive and explain to the rest of us what happened.
- One way to tell if the landing gear are not down is that it takes full power to taxi after landing. A better way is to use the landing checklist.
- When you’re out of altitude, airspeed and ideas, the most important thing is: Never give up – ever.
- You don’t want to fly with someone who has a habit of saying, “watch this!” or “it’s probably just the gauge,” or “just throw it in the back there.”
- Fight to fly, fly to fight, fight to win. Finishing second means you lost.
Other people’s rules.
Posted by lex, on January 11, 2006
(he said, and she nodded knowingly)
Can’t watch the SCOTUS hearings on account of the fact that I don’t have a TV at work, do I? So I’m pretty much forced to follow the show on the SCOTUS blog and occasionally over at the National Review online. The NRO folks are cheering Judge Alito on of course, which is to be expected I suppose, but the SCOTUS bloggers seem to be fairly even-handed about the whole thing.
November 21, 2005
Don’t want to go into any details, suffice it to say that a thing which had been sufficiently worrying took a dramatic turn for the worse this weekend. I’ve been stretched a little too thin for quite some time now, and it’s time for me to shed some workload and re-prioritize my efforts. This has been fun, but faced with what I’m up against it’s far too time-consuming and a far too guilty pleasure.
Posted by lex, on October 22, 2005
From the London Times:
THE United Nations withheld some of the most damaging allegations against Syria in its report on the murder of Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister, it emerged yesterday.
The names of the brother of Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria, and other members of his inner circle, were dropped from the report that was sent to the Security Council.
The confidential changes were revealed by an extraordinary computer gaffe because an electronic version distributed by UN officials on Thursday night allowed recipients to track editing changes…
Remembering the Cole
Posted by lex, on October 12, 2005
Five years ago today al Qaeda-linked terrorists brought a small boat alongside the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Cole, and blew a hole in her side. Seventeen Sailors died, and the rest struggled like heroes in horrible conditions to keep her afloat.
The dedication of her crew, as well as the US Navy’s hard-won experience in ship construction and damage control, ensured that the ship would survive this test, and return to the fight.
Posted by lex, on September 21, 2005
Severally, in combination.
I’m in the mood for a right good screed tonight, the stars having combined in their splendid variety. And anyways, I’ll share a secret with just the two of you: I like the screeds that Lileks puts out the best, and go there looking every day or so as a guilty pleasure. Not because there’s not enough of that in the world (heaven forbid) but because nobody does it better. If asperity had a copyright, you’d be begging him for permissions.
Posted by lex, on September 7, 2005
Bill Whittle has another of his characteristically long, passionate, well-written posts up today. Give it a read when you’ve got the time. Summat to do with tribes, wolves, sheepdogs and sheep, pinks and grays. Very well received.
Posted by Lex, on September 7, 2005
Your Navy has moved thousands upon thousands of Katrina refugees across the country (with press accounts attributing their efforts to the Air Force, so it goes) and this is how we get press: *