Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas to All!!

I laughed at this one!  I was a CWO4 in the Marine hope of EVER reaching CWO5 (there is a certain Colonel in this world that I would not spit on if he were on fire).

But, in all seriousness....Merry Christmas to you and yours out there.  
I am truly hoping that your New Year is filled with happiness and joy.  
Hey!  One can dream can't he?


Friday, December 18, 2020

My kind of Christmas carol!!!!

















Monday, December 14, 2020


 Yep, it is time once again to sit back with a hot cup of coffee and thank the shepherds who brought he beans that were making their sheep act crazy to the monks to ask their guidance.  And to the wisdom of the monks to think..."Wow, those beans I threw in the fire smell awful good...wonder what they would taste like in a hot cup of water?"  

To those brilliant men I say "Thank you."  What would life be like without coffee?  Tea is not my style.  If I were a colonist back in the day, I would have been ready to throw the tea overboard just so I could get the shops to start selling coffee!!!

Is there really anything better than a cup of hot steaming coffee in the mountains, on the sea shore, on the prairie, the back porch, or even on the balcony of your condo? 

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Some of the finest historical fiction I have ever read.....

I am not surprising anyone that reads this blog with the above link.  Hell, I am not even sure which of the men that write that blog writes the stories...all I know is that I recognize talent and the art of story telling and they have it.  

Once you get into a story it envelopes you, it covers you and all you want is more.  

The link above is to all the fiction he has written on the blog.  Be prepared to immerse yourself into whatever world you choose, and be prepared to come away wanting more.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Just dreaming a bit......

Well, I tested positive for COVID so here I sit, at home again, working from home and sequestered from my family.  First two days were horrible.  Now?  Just a waiting game.  The four walls of this room really do suck after a while...and it has only been 3 days of the 10! 

I do thank the Lord that I have a job that I am able to do from home and still bring in a steady income to provide for my family.  There are a lot of folks out there that do not have that luxury.  


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Six Seconds.....

I was returning from visiting my daughter at her college and was in rural Virginia on the way home and saw this sign as I passed by.  i tried to stop but there are no shoulders and it is right in an area that narrows from two lanes to one and I had two cars behind me.  I circled around and slowed up so I could get a picture of this sign.  
Cpl Yale was a mixed race kid from rural Virginia.  He and his partner LCpl Haerter were standing post at Joint Security Base Nassar in Iraq in 2008.  What they did in the final six seconds of their lives was caught on video.  In their actions, they saved the lives of over 50 Marines and 100 Iraqi policeman they were training and patrolling with.  
General John Kelly was the Marine in charge of all Marines in Iraq at that time and the man that nominated them both for the Navy Cross.  Here is what happened in his words:

Semper Fi Marines......til Valhalla.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Best of Times


This holds true more than ever these days.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Funny Battleship Stories....

 So, I shamelessly "stole" this from another blog (I am sorry I do not remember who from though).  And it got me to many other funny stories are out there with regards to these behemoths of the sea?  Well, I looked into it and found a few.  First, the meme that started my quest:

"There was a Chief Steward, who for a while started giving nothing but bologna.  Someone told the Captain that they were going to throw him overboard.  The Captain assigned a Marine orderly with him for a while who followed him around for a few weeks.  They finally changed the menu."

"Never having been on a battleship and never seeing 16 inch guns fired, I was interested when we went to the gunnery range to fire our guns.  I stood behind the #2 mount to watch.  They fired a salvo and I did not have a hair on my face or arms.  I wound up in sick bay for burns and a reprimand."

"We were allowed beer on board to be doled out at the rate of 2 cans per man on beach party liberty.  We were in Noumea when beer was authorized and pressure was on me to get some of it.  I called in my two top Chiefs and told them I wasn't getting the beer because I did not think there was a place on the ship where it would be safe from pilferage.  They thought it over and came up with storing it in the brig.  "We do not use the brig to much anymore so why not lock it up there?"  We will pass the word that hte first SOB that draws brig time will cause all the beer to be thrown over the side."  They added that they would see that culprits could be taken care of other than being taken to Captains Mast where the punishment was brig time.  I bought their suggestion and we had amore than a few black eyes once in a while but no lodgers in the brig for months to come!" 

"I was a Gunners Mate striker.  Several times I was asked to put on the monkey suit (coveralls).  The first step was to get two lines from the chamber all the way through the (16-inch) barrel.  We would then use a hammock for me to lie on.  We would secure a line to each corner and tie a rag around my head and I entered the chamber feet first.  Someone would pass me a large rag with about a pound of grease.  When I was ready the men on the deck would start pulling me through and I used my hands to spread grease round and round the barrel.  I was glad when my feet came out the other end!"

From a sailors diary:  "On July 9th and 10th (1945) we kept up continuous attacks on the home islands.  We were very much surprised by the lack of opposition.  No enemy air attacks at all even though we announced our presence by running lights at night and no radio silence.  On July 17th we (US North Carolina BB55) made a bombardment on the Hitachi Industrial Complex.  The bombardment was made at night.  This is what we've waited two years to do.  We can go home now.  We've done it all out here.  The rest will be repetition."

"I was below deck when the Captain announced the war was over.  Boy, you talk about a roar that went up!  I think the whole ship jumped about two feet out of the water!!  Admiral 'Bull' Halsey passed the word throughout the fleet that 'Apparently the war is over, though nothing has been signed yet.  So in the meantime, if any enemy aircraft come in your area, shoot them down in a friendly manner..."

Monday, November 16, 2020

A link and a story....Brave Canadians.

Staff Sgt. Clark of the Canadian Postal Corps is on the left.

Private Stanley Cameron of the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps is on the right.

A postal clerk and a armorer....pull off one of the most audacious sabotage plots in WWII......and you have never heard of it.  

BLUF:  These two men stopped a major shipyard, one that was producing 8000 tons of shipping a month, cold.

These are the real super heroes....not some costumed clowns.  

Thursday, November 12, 2020

No Pics Today

 Just wanted to drop a line.  Veterans Day was yesterday and for once, I actually had the day off from work!  A buddy, retired Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant, texted and asked if I wanted to shoot 18 holes at the Oceana Naval Air Station Tomcat Golf Course.  But of course I do!  

With it being Veterans Day, all sorts of good stuff out there for veterans to enjoy so we started the day at Denny's for breakfast.  We shot our 18 holes (no....I will not let you know the final shot count!) and as we were cleaning up he asked "Where's lunch?"  Checked an e-mail I received from the VA and read of a list.  Got to Red Robin which was offering a double cheeseburger and endless steak fries and the decision was made.  Off we went.  Got there and there was a bit of a wait but soon we were inside enjoying the burgers and soft drinks (I was driving and Gunny does not drink).  Of course, in both cases, we took care of our waitresses.  

I did take a minute out of my day to remember the original meaning of the day...Armistice Day.  Hard to imagine the that the whole world celebrates the day that the "War to end all wars".  

In a small town in Kansas outside Wichita there is a tiny Catholic church with a cemetery.   To the left side my Grandfather, Grandmother, and other members of my family are buried.  To the right is a tombstone that has always stood out.  It is tall and on its face is a photo.  The photo is of a young man in a WWI uniform.  The date on the stone  states he died in October of 1918.  Forever young.  I often wonder of the sights he saw and the deeds he performed.  Either way, his life was cut short on some muddy field in France.  

I know the day is not to memorialize the dead, that is Memorial Day.  But in the original intent of the day, one cannot forget them.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Here's Health to You and to Our Corps!!!!!!

245 Years of proud tradition!!

If you happen to see a drunken Marine wearing Dress Blues and swaying to invisible music, just shout out "Happy Birthday Marine" and his day will be made!

There is nothing like dressing up in your finest uniform, inspection ready, medals gleaming, and partying like a rock star all night long!!  Terrorizing the regulars at Denny's after the "festivities" have completed is just the icing on the cake!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Captain America

Captain America was always my favorite comic book hero.  
The first movie: Captain America: the First Avenger was simply awesome.  The rest.....meh.

The Comic strip above sums up the feelings of millions of Americans that are simply fed up.


Monday, November 2, 2020

Rare Political Posting

 As you are all well aware of, tomorrow is the day that we chose to either 1) keep our country or 2) destroy it with a quickness.  I do not believe that I need to state which side of that I am on.

Yesterday in Pennsylvania there were over 57,000 people at a Trump rally.  There were 18,000 at the one I attended in Newport News Va.

The above pretty much sums up my feelings about the whole thing.  I would say something about being well stocked for the stupidity that is sure to follow this election but, tragically, all my items were lost in a deep sea fishing accident.  Pity.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Slopping hogs

I had a Great Uncle, Raymond, that lived in a small town in Kansas in the same house he was born in and on the same farm he grew up on.  He left once in his life when he was a medic in the 38th Infantry Division, the Liberators of Bataan, during WWII.  

Town in Kansas may be stretching the truth a bit.  Spot on map is a more apt description.  His house, the Catholic church, the Priests house, a Knights of Columbus Hall (burned down in 1973), and Kamplings General Store (complete with pot bellied store and pickle barrels) and the Kamplings house is the entire town.

Uncle Ray had a barn with a hay loft, a pigpen, an old Allis Chalmers tractor, and HUGE mulberry trees lining the property.  The place as close to heaven as all us great nephews and nieces that visited out there would ever get to here on earth. 

My dream, as a kid, was to be just like my Uncle Ray.  As far as I was concerned he was the strongest, kindest most gentle man that ever lived.  He was so strong, that when slopping the hogs, he carried TWO five gallon buckets full of slop to the trough twice.  7 year old me would struggle to help him carry one of those buckets!  He would chuckle a bit watching me struggle with that bucket but never helped, saying "You want to be a man, work like one" always with a kind smile.  That would make me struggle even harder to prove myself in his eyes.  

My Dad, a Marine fighter pilot, had just returned from his second tour in Vietnam and was given a "rest" tour to Hawaii.  I made a promise to Uncle Ray that when we returned, I would be older and stronger and would spend the entire summer there with him helping him on the farm.   

We got the phone call from my Grandmother that Uncle Ray, her brother, had passed away.  I remember hearing the news and running to my room burying my head in the pillow to stifle my tears.  My Dad, knowing how close I was to him came in and tried comforting me.  I had never felt hurt like that before.

He is buried in the Catholic churches cemetery, along with his mother and father, sisters and brothers, 200 yards from where he lived his entire life.  


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

A few of my collected links!

All the comic books you grew up with and some you never heard of!  Hours and hours and hours of good old fashioned fun!  I first discovered this site I felt like I was back at Renick's Drug Store sitting on the floor reading comics!!  My boss, however, wasn't Mr. Renick!!!


Truly....darn near ANYTHING you ever wanted to read.  If it is is probably available on one of these two sites!


Need a map of a beach or inlet or bay or...(you get the picture).  Use the above!


Historic maps of the US via the Library of Congress


Need a topographical map?  Used this site many times in my land hunt!


Cool old projects from Popular Mechanics and other sources.  A few of these are on my dream list to build!  


Survival and Prepping links.  Seriously, if it is not in one of the links hasn't been written down!

Friday, October 9, 2020

A couple of blogs

As a certified country curmudgeon, it's been said that I have an opinion on everything and a story for every occasion. Other folks just say that I'm a windbag. I, on the other hand, consider myself a purveyor of nostalgia, humor and social commentary from the country perspective. I also occasionally link to posts dealing with current events, politics, religion, prepping, history and homesteading. Please be aware that all entries are copyrighted and may not be used without permission. COMMENTS from anyone are very WELCOME, pro or con, as long as they aren't needlessly disrespectful. Any comments deleted after posting have merely been removed for privacy reasons. Many names or place names used in stories will be changed to protect the privacy of myself and others.

I have a list of blogs I read every morning: Gorges Smythe and Chant du Depart (below) are two of my favorites.  Gorges because of his embrace of the past and Chant because....face it...the man can write one hell of a gripping story!  His ongoing saga of the war in Europe is gripping.

The musings & rants of 3 retired military (2 USAF, 1 USN), 1 former WSO, and 1 AF brat. Old AF Sarge, Juvat, Tuna, LUSH, and Beans.

Thank you all gentlemen.  You help start my day everyday.  Of course, you two are some of the only ones who actually red my blog so......think of this as a fan letter!!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The word is out and unless you live under a rock, you know that Eddie Van Halen has passed.  

I remember back in the mid 70's, I was a HUGE Kiss fan.  Then I heard something so different, so remarkable that I stopped dead in my tracks to listen.  One of the "cool" older teenagers down the street was playing an 8-track while working on his car.  I risked my very neck and asked him who it was playing.  Looking up from his engine with a look of total disdain he said "Van Halen Asshole" and went back to wrenching.  

I stood and listened some more to a sound that was so unbelievable that it was hard to imagine it came from a human being.   That sound?  "Eruption" from the first Van Halen album leading into a supercharged rip roaring version of "You Really Got Me."  

I had a paper route and, after collecting the receipts for that month and paying the paper bill, I took the profits and bought that album.  My Dad never knew what hit him the first time he heard that album playing at sonic levels from the old console stereo system we had in the basement.   

Rest In Peace Eddie.  Your legacy and legend are secure.  


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

After watching the debate fiasco last night.....a few random thoughts

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all …

The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic …

There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.


Monday, September 28, 2020

Sensory Deprivation Chamber

Dilbert is the gold standard in explaining life in the corporate office setting.  We laugh at them because it hits so close to home.  Take the above for instance:  


Yep, welcome to my personal "sensory deprivation" cube! least I get paid!!

Friday, September 25, 2020

Ponderings about while getting old....

I sat down last night for a webinar concerning Social Security.....Social Security!  Isn't that what old people get?   Then it hit me...I am no longer 24...I am on the high side of 57 and not slowing down.  I am "becoming" one of those folks I have always said "Yes Sir" to when talking.  

I am becoming the "Sir".  That is a lot to think about once you realize it.  

My wife constantly asks me "How old are you?"  My stock answer is "12, because the same things I found funny at 12 I still find hilarious."  For the life of me I still think of myself as 24 years old...        until I look in the mirror.

Because, and I will be honest with you, this is what I see in the mirror in the morning when I am getting ready for work.  Then the vision shifts to "reality" and I see me now.  

And the words of the Dalai Lama haunt me.  
That eternal question.....have I "lived" the best life I could or can?   
I served with Honor in the United States Marine Corps for 21 years.  
I have been married for 23 years and have two beautiful, smart, and talented children (mothers influence obviously).  
I have provided for my family in the best way that I could.  

Have I driven a car 200 mph at Bonneville?  No.  
Have I hiked the Appalachian Trail?  No.  
Have I traveled the United States as a vagabond with no schedule or destination?  No.
Are those dreams?  Yes.
Are they the keys to "success" in life?  No.  

Have I "lived"?  I would like to think the answer is yes.