Thursday, August 17, 2023

 Had to take a tour of a ship today.  My old stomping grounds, the USS Wasp LHD .  Retired of her 12 years ago last month.  Served as the Combat Cargo Officer on her for almost 4 years!  

Good to be back and see her.  She looks good.  I had some good times on board her.  Some great experiences.

She was sharing a pier with the USS Dwight D Eisenhower CVN-69. 

Friday, July 28, 2023


Well, I got to the point I just could not work on the old Mustang anymore.  I got her running and then the enormity of all the work remaining just overwhelmed me.  I had to cut her loose.  There was a young lad, 25, that really REALLY wanted that car.  So, with a heavy heart I passed it onto him for a pittance.  I was happy to see it go to an enthusiastic admirer of the car.  I have no doubt he will enjoy the hours working on it.

But, that left a large hole in my driveway.  And while it was nice to park my Ram off the street for a while.....I was missing something.  My wife noticed it too and she said "Why don't you get a new Mustang?"  My love for that amazing woman soared to new heights with those 7 words!!!!

Thus began the search for my new Mustang.  I searched through the Ford website for a very specific car.  The car had to be blue or white.  It had to be a GT 5.0, and it had to have the Performace Package.  The performance package includes bigger front brackes (6 piston Brembos), bigger sway bars, bigger radiator, a torsen differential and other upgraded suspension components and those amazing wheels.  I want to go road racing and auto-crossing and this is the car to do it in.  

Finally, after a couple of weeks of searching....I found it.  The car you see in the pic above.  I found it a 4 hr drive away in Manassas Virginia.  I was in love the moment I laid eyes on her.  The name "Elsa" came to mind the moment I saw that glorius white paint in the sun. A few signatures and I fired it up for the first time.  That rumble.....a sound long forgotten since my youth.  

I bought her in March just before my 60th birthday.  She has just over 2000 miles on her and the smile is still not off my face every time I hit that start button.  

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

June-Nov 1776

 With hope of reconciliation fading away at the opening of 1776, in June, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, offered a resolution in the General Congress declaring all allegiance of the colonies to the British Crown, at an end. 

With that offered resolution, the work began to sever the ties the bound the Colonies to the Crown.  

A committee was formed to draft the declaration: Thomas Jefferson (of Virginia), John Adams (of Massachusetts), Benjamin Franklin (of Virginia), Roger Sherman (of Connecticut), and Robert R. Livingston (of New York).

The declaration was completed on 28 June and presented to the Congress.  It laid on the table until 01 July.  It was taken up by a committee of the whole and, after several amendments were made, nine States voted for Independence.  

The Assemblies of Maryland and Pennsylvania refused their concurrence; but conventions from the states were recalled, majorities were obtained and, on the Fourth of July, votes from all the Colonies were counted, and the thirteen united Colonies were declared free and independent States.

The Declaration was signed that day, only by John Hancock, the President of the Congress, and with his name alone it was sent forth into the world.  

On the morning of the adoption, the bell-man ascended the steeple with a little boy stationed at the door of the hall to give him notice when the vote was concluded.  The old bell-man waited long in the bell tower saying 'They will never do it."  Suddenly, a loud shout came from below, the little boy jumping and clapping yelling "Ring!  Ring!"  The bell-man grasped the iron tongue of the bell, hurling backward and forward 100 times, proclaiming "Liberty to the land and to the inhabitants thereof."

On the 2nd of August, the Declaration of Independence was signed by all but one of the 56 signers.  That one was Matthew Thornton (of New Hampshire), who upon taking his seat in the congress in November, asked for and was granted the privilege of signing the document.

The signing of that instrument was a solemn act, and required great firmness and patriotism in those who committed it.  It was treason against the home government, yet perfect allegiance to the law of right.  It subjected those who signed it to the danger of ignominious death, yet it entitled them to profound reverence of a disenthralled people.   

Friday, November 19, 2021

Been quiet round these parts lately.......

 Well, it has been quiet.  I changed jobs and this new one has me jumping.  I am doing things I "thought" I had done before but apparently not.  It is different being a Program Manager and having to fly a desk than being the Superintendent out there on the deck plates making things happen.  i figure i have about 3 1/2 more years of this in me.  Why you ask?  I turn 62 in 3 1/2 years and I am done doing this.  I won't quit working...that leads to an early grave.  i am just not going to do ship repair anymore.  

Truth be told, it is the last thing in the world I wanted to do when I retired from the Marine Corps.  The agreement between me and the commander in chief (wife unit #1) was that upon retirement, we would move to where the job was.  I did not get the memo apparently because i soon found out that the job was here...she wasn't moving.  Who would have thought that 8 moves in 10 years would do that to someone?!?So, after 3 very frustrating months of job searching.....ship repair it was.  I got to is a steady career.  The US Navy breaks them faster than we can put them back together.  

So, enough about that nonsense.  I was perusing the used books for sale at the local DAV thrift store and came upon a reprint of a book written in 1848.  

The original title of the book is "Biographical Sketches of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence: the Declaration Historically Considered; and a Sketch of the Leading Events Connected with the Adoption of the Articles of Confederation and of the Federal Constitution." by B.J. Lansing.  

The Signing of the Declaration of Independence.  
(not exactly how it went down I am reading)

Have you ever noticed that titles of books from back then have LONG titles?  It is almost like they invented dust covers for books so they could print a brief synopsis of the book on the flap instead of having these long titles on the cover!

Either way, I thought to myself "What a great thing for a post on my long ignored and suffering blog....I will read this book and write a brief paragraph or two about each of the signers: what they did before signing and what happened to them after they completely and thoroughly pissed off King George III with their impudent behavior.  

                                                           King George III of England (boo hiss)

Aside from giving me something to do, it will provide all 3 of the readers of this blog with some insight to how the signers of the declaration faired after basically telling the most powerful nation in the world at that time to pound sand.  Did they lose their fortunes?  Were they hunted down like treasonous swine and imprisoned?  I suppose you will have to wait for the answers to those and other burning questions until next time.  I will endeavor to provide my dear 3 readers with prompt updates as I read this book.  So...stay tuned.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Working on old cars

Well, it is true I have not been posting.  The new job as a Program Manager is a "bit" more involved than my old 'sit in the cubicle and stare at computer screens" job!   Makes me look forward to weekends so much more!

i have never mentioned it, but I am a bit of a car nut.  have been since I was a pre-teen, drooling over cars in Hot Rod and Car Craft magazines.  At 18 I owned a 1970 RoadRunner (383 w/4-speed), a 1971 Cuda (340 w/ auto), and a 1970 Barracuda (383 w/ auto).  so here I am, 40 years later, and i can't afford a single one of those cars without taking a 2nd mortgage out on the house!!

To "feed my need' I have been carrying around a 1986 Mustang LX convertible, with a not so fancy 3.8l V-6, for the past 20 odd years.  It was my daily driver when stationed in Camp Lejeune, and then went into a 12 year hibernation in a storage unit is SW Kansas.  My son and I took a trip across the US and brought it back so we could work on it again.  And we did!  we replaced the fuel tank, all the ignition components and, with the help of the auto shop down the street, go it back up and running again.  Then the fuel injection system, an antiquated POS gave out.  

this leads us to where we are now.  The car sat, under a car cover in the driveway, for a couple of years.  I slowly acquired the parts and knowledge to dive back into the project, only this time I am converting the engine from that god forsaken fuel injection computer controlled garbage to a much more simple carburetor and electronic ignition.   

So, this posting is not to tell you that "HEY!!!  ITS ALIVE!!" but to give you an idea of what i have been up to lately.  The fuel system is completely redone.  I have made the wiring loom and installed the new distributor.  Now I have to do the most scary part......wiring.  I am not real comfortable with wiring and electonically issues is my car and I am going to do it!  Of course, I have a guide to do it!  I follow a blog called 'Four Eye Forum" which is dedicated to 1979-1986 Mustangs.  A great source of information and assistance.  

so...a few pictures!

When she first got home to Virginia

Wearing her new shoes!

I always wanted one of these gas pedals!!!

That is a lot of the old computer controlling nonsense that I removed.  Swear, after all of it was gone the front end of the car raised an inch or two!

This is the new fuel regulator and the ignition box.  I am using an old Ford Duraspark box as "disguise" for the GM HEI ignition module that is inside it!  Turns out they are easier to wire in and use than the Ford piece!  

Before you get the idea I am some sort of mechanical automotive is the schematic that i am following to do this!

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Rainy Day Dreaming

 Ever just day dream about getting away?  Find yourself looking at real estate ads for cabins on 5-10 acres of land in a rural part of the state?  No?  Just me?  Well, you should try it sometime!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Let me see your WARFACE!!!!!


Marine Corps Ball 2004.  Probably the best I ever attended be cause of Gunny.  Damn happy I wasn't on the ceremonial guard detail for this one as the man in the pic on the right, R. Lee Ermey, had the entire place laughing and having a damn good time!  

Afterwards, he stood in the back and took pictures with every person who wanted one...and of course, every one did!  The man had so many beers lined up on the table behind him he could have stayed looped for a week!

When I got to see him I told him I wanted to see his warface.  He looked at me, smirked, and said he thinks we could do that.  

Rest In Peace Gunny.