Navy: Chicken, Road


By lex, on July 30th, 2009

Subject: The U.S. Navy answers the question: “Why did the chicken cross the road?”

Naval Education and Training Command (NAVEDTRA): The purpose is to familiarize the chicken with road-crossing procedures. Road-crossing should be performed only between the hours of sunset and sunrise. Solo chickens must have at least three miles of visibility and a safety observer.

Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS): Due to the needs of the Navy, chicken was involuntarily reassigned to the other side of the road. This will be 3-year unaccompanied tour and we promise to give the chicken a good-deal assignment afterwards. Every chicken will be required to do one road-crossing during its career, and this will not affect its opportunities for future promotion.

Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC): This event will need confirmation; we need to repeat it using varied chicken breeds, road types, and weather conditions to confirm whether it can actually happen within the parameters specified for chickens and the remote possibility that they might cross thruways designated by some as “roads.”

Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe (CINCUSNAVEUR): The purpose is not important. What is important is that the chicken remained under the OPCON of COMSIXTHFLEET and did not CHOP to the theater on the other side of the road. Without Chopping, the chicken was able to achieve a seamless road-crossing with near perfect, real-time in-transit visibility.

Naval Intelligence: What chicken?

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIRSYSCOM): The chicken was instructed to hold short of the road. This road incursion incident was reported in a Hazardous Chicken Road-Crossing Report (HCRCR). Please re-emphasize that chickens are required to read back all hold short instructions.

Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWARSYSCOM): The “stovepipe” chickens of today will be replaced with a multi-function, supported, affordable, integrated and interoperable world-class chicken to warriors and supporting elements, enabling them to dominate the roads of today and tomorrow, as we move “Forward…From the Sea.” Comptroller holds and corporate taxes, however, will require delay fielding for two years, unless Congressional plus-ups are approved.

NAVSEASYSCOM’s Chicken Systems Program Office (PMS400CSPO): In a partnering relationship with the client, helped the chicken by rethinking its physical distribution strategy and implementation processes. The CSPO helped the chicken change to continue meeting its mission. However, the actual crossing of the road has not occurred due to the number of action items still open from the meeting.


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San Joaquin Travelogue

By lex, on July 17th, 2009

Flew the club Cardinal out of Montgomery yesterday afternoon for the flight to Hanford, California. The shoreline VFR transition route took me through LA’s Class B airspace and, having flown direct to Ventura to leave the Class B, I was free to pick my way across the low mountains guarding southern California from the central, San Joaquin valley. (For GA pilots planning cross-countries, AOPA‘s Internet Flight Planner is a lovely tool that, among other things, can show weather, winds aloft and route, both overhead and vertical profile. It’s nifty, and well-worth the annual $39 subscription service.)

Culture changes with geography out west, and as the densely populated coastal enclaves fell behind me a broad, and sparsely populated rural plain unfolded beneath me. The terrain is deceptively sere – the valley is one of the most productive agricultural regions in America – and breathtakingly hot.

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Data Flows

By lex, on July 14th, 2009

My work these days carries me into the networking field, significantly into an effort to extend global information grid connectivity to previously disadvantaged users like the E-2C Hawkeye. It wasn’t always true that command and control aircraft were considered disadvantaged – when I first started flying fighters on the tactical edge, I had very good awareness as to what was more or less directly in front of me at 30-50 miles, but much less situational awareness as to what was on my flanks, behind me or at extended ranges. The Hawkeye crews strove manfully to fill in the gaps between the picture I and my wingman assembled, and that which was out of our field of regard. We trained together, we trusted each other and we were held accountable for our actions.

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Saturday at the Aerodrome

By lex, on July 11th, 2009

‘Twas to have been three flights yesterday, which made bestirring ourselves from the manse not merely healthful, but also potentially remunerative. The Biscuit having asked for funds sufficient to support her planned entertainment for the evening, a musical cafe on the premises of UCSD. Certainly, I responded, and you can have the entire contents of my wallet, that sum amounting to $1 in folding cash and credit card receipts too numerous to mention.

Don’t spend it all in one place.

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Strangely Unmoved

By lex, on June 25th, 2009

There’s a fundamentally personal aspect to the end of a person’s life, one I’ve never spent much time peering into. It seems like some final invasion of privacy, something that celebrities (in particular) long ago traded away. It doesn’t seem like asking too much to give a little back at the very end.

Certainly there is always a deep impact felt upon those closest to them, but for my own part, I’ve never quite understood the imprint that celebrity deaths have upon the cultural zeitgeist. The Hobbit wept bitterly when Lady Diana was killed in a car crash – of course, she cries when the laundry goes out. But as for myself, I’d never met the lady.

We are all born, we travel through our allotted time the best we can and eventually come to the clearing at the end of the path. All of this is banal, the mystery starts where the tale ends.

But it is interesting, from a clinical perspective, to see the sudden upwelling of interest among people who share nothing else in common but the awareness that someone who had once been famous – or even infamous – is with us no longer. If you can take the common pulse by refreshing Twitter – I think you can, at least for the world that’s wired that way – you’ll note that the “trending topic” of #iranelection, which had been white hot for the better part of two weeks, has finally been thrust aside in favor of Farah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.

I wonder what the temptation is in this sort of behavior: Some sort of communalism, a shared moment in a world grown too large for that sort of thing? Or is it a way of attaching oneself to fame at its seventh echo?

Beats me.


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Howls of Outrage

By lex, on June 24th, 2009

Despite denying foreknowledge, the Bush admin took some hits from the perpetually outraged set when FEMA staged the set of a hastily called presser which drew No Actual Reporters. Jeff Gannon became the target of all kinds of personal calumny (and a fair bit of humor) from Actual Reporters (and the HuffPo crewe) for asking softball questions at Bush press conferences in 2005.

So it is with some relish that I await the howls of outrage from Actual Reporters (and the HuffPo crewe) to the Potemkin Village that the White House Press Room has become. Courtesy, you know: Of HuffPo.

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New Guidance for Strikers

By lex, on June 23rd, 2009

General McChrystal is concerned about the strategic effects of tactical actions:

The new American commander in Afghanistan said he would sharply restrict the use of airstrikes here, in an effort to reduce the civilian deaths that he said were undermining the American-led mission…

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