Category Archives: Life

One of those strange weekends

By lex, on February 26th, 2006

February 27th, 2006.

You know about the retirement on Friday, so: All caught up there. What I haven’t shared (because I’ve been, you know: Saving it) is the story of the other things that went on.

First a little trip backwards in time. On Wednesday I was desired and required to be up in the Front Office, for to speak with the actual Chief of Staff on a Matter of Some Import. While waiting to see himself (Himself not being in town at the moment) a female chief petty officer approached me hesitantly:

“You’re a pilot sir?”

“Why yes. Yes I am, actually,” I replied. Thinking that, you know: The wings on my khakis were a dead give-away, for anyone as had eyes to see.

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What Should it Profit a Man?

By lex, on December 4th, 2011

Some among you – admit it – would like to know how many fish I caught today, on the Little Truckee. What species they were, their length and weight. How long they fought for their freedom, their bodies writhing in the waters and shimmering in the sunlight. The bending of the rod, the reel screaming, the water flecks making transitory gemstones of the light.

But what would it matter if there were one, or four, or seven? Or even none at all? What would it matter ten thousand years from now, a decade even? Even tomorrow? What against the inexpressible beauty of God’s creation? They metronomic benediction of the rod moving from ten to two o’clock? The river burbling at your feet, the waterfowl making their low, mad dashes? The ephemeral beauty of a hatch, the waters boiling momentarily in the winter sun, the cycle endlessly repeating itself, day after day, year after year.


So, yeah: I got skunked.

But it was a grand day anyway.

“Know ye now, Bulkington? Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?” – Melville, Moby Dick, Ch. 24.

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Fallon Squiblets

By lex, on November 30th, 2011

Got in on Sunday afternoon. Flew once on Monday, twice Tuesday. Comfortable in the basic cranking of the machine, getting her flying, bringing her back again. More or less comfortable in the tactical phase; tallies at the merge, merge geometry, shot opportunities, kill calls and acknowledgements. Not so eager as once I was to hurl myself into a brawl. Not merely because we are restricted, as contractors, to “limited maneuvering”. But also because the fire is damped, the embers drowning.

I don’t mind shooting a man, should he turn his tail in front of me. Just don’t want to work all that hard for it, in a machine that is destined to lose, should he see me. And the Kfir, she is no Hornet. The Hornet, I could make her sing. With 50 hours of flight time, the best I can wring out of the Kfir is a groan.

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Happy Thanksgiving

By lex, on November 24th, 2011

The Virginia country ham arrived two days ago, and for a while there I feared for his prospects of making it to the table this evening. Salt-cured, so you’ve got to slice paper thin, but oh-so-good on a sweet potato biscuit. Not really a part of the real meal, but as an appetizer, oof. The Hobbit has been cooking down the cranberries for quite some while. And the turkey arrived right on schedule, unfrozen and patently unpardoned.

There are various efforts left before us, but the house still sleeps and we are more or less intact. Kids these days – there, I said it – get the whole week off for Thanksgiving, and I am not yet sufficiently curmudgeoned to resent it.

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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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Tactical Question

By lex, on September 10th, 2011

Our security apparatus is cycling up big time in anticipation of a terrorist strike on the anniversary of 9/11. Heavy weapons squads are to be deployed by the New York City police department in Manhattan. Citizens are advised to dial 311 if they see something suspicious, and 911 if they witness something dangerous.

The intelligence is “credible and specific,” according to news reports. At least one of the plotters is said to be an American citizen. They even have a name.

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This Post Contains No Content

By lex, on August 29th, 2011

So, after yesterday’s screed against the media elites, your host traveled first to Venice Beach with his youngest daughter and only wife, on account of the former hadn’t been and the latter wanted to have a look at Teh Crazy. From thence we had planned to navigate via the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Barbara, where the latter hopes to attend college school.

We took the new ride up the coast, the ancient BMW having been successfully sold. It was a ret pleasant trip, at least so far as Venice Beach, which quite lived up to its reputation. The Kat was unimpressed, while the Hobbit – an inveterate people watcher – was fascinated. For my own part, I felt more than a little out of place, the demographic consisting largely of 20-somethings with dreadlocked hair in various stages of deshabille, and pervy 60-somethings watching with creepy vigilance. Lunch and gone, and wouldn’t the PCH be a blast?

It wouldn’t.

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