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 admit...it 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 but...it 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 genius......here 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.  

Thursday, July 29, 2021

 Well, it is said that everyone has an excuse for everything...and I am no exception.  Truth be told, when I was working from home I had lots of time to do things on this blog...that no one ever read!  But, unlike many folks out there, I absolutely hated sitting at home working so, an opportunity came up in the company I work for and I jumped.  I am now a Program Manager overseeing contracts for the repairs to US Navy ships.  So consequently, my time for bringing you "fascinating" pictures and witty commentary is limited!

It is a pretty good gig and I enjoy it...for the next 3 1/2 years!  I plan on retiring at 62...which means that I will still work, just not doing this anymore!  My dream is an orange apron or red (camouflage for vets) vest at either Home Depot or Lowes running herd on the bolt aisle!  "Say, what do you have there?"  "A 2" long, 3/8" course thread  carriage bolt."  Come right over here...I got you covered"!!

Friday, March 19, 2021

Random thoughts....

 "Our forefathers’ worst nightmare has now come upon us. They created a free government, limited in its powers and a servant to the people. But today the United States has become an empire, fast decaying into tyranny, and we their children have become strangers and subjects in the land our fathers won. Instead of a free and just social and political order, today we are threatened by a Godless national culture and a corrupt, despotic federal government that knows no limits to its power.

We are NEVER going back to the America that was. The America we once knew is DEAD! Our children and grandchildren deserve so much better.

Freedom is not reserved for those unwilling to fight for it."

The above was lifted from the "Bayou Renaissance Man" blog, who lifted it from "NC Renegade".  

It sums up exactly what i have thought about for a very long time.  The America that I grew up in is long gone and my children will never enjoy what I was able.  Before my weapons were lost in a "tragic boating accident" to avoid controversy in my neighborhood, we used the secret hte "evil black rifles" out of the house to the open doors of a vehicle to go targe shooting.  

When I was a kid, maybe 12-13, I walked down the street with a .410 single shot shotgun over my shoulder and a pocket full of birdshot shells to go shooting BY MYSELF just out of the city limits.  Police drove by and did not even look my direction.  Try that these days.  

So many things have changed, not all for the better.  I do not even know the neighbor next door to me and i have lived in my house for over 15 years.  They are private and I leave them to themselves.  But still, growing up I knew literally everyone in a 3 block radius of my house.  

I am sure it is like that somewhere.....just not where i am now.  And that is too bad. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

No pics but I became intrigued....

 I have always read about war.  Something about it has always fascinated me.  How a country like the US can start from a full peace time standing and roll into an industrial powerhouse seemingly overnight.  How ships, tanks, planes, rifles, bazookas......everything could be built and sent off to fight in record numbers.

I think that is something that should have fascinated me but it rarely facisnates anyone....except professionals: Logistics.  The art form of getting everything required to where it needs to be at the time it is needed.  And having served in the Marine Corps as a logistician, I am surprised I never really focused in on it.  

A friend at work and I were talking the other day and he mentioned about how the US Navy got its collective ass kicked off Guadalcanal.  And he asked me why I thought the US did not pull any of the undamaged battleships down there to fight.  For the life of me, I had never thought of that.  

There were plenty of battleships available, in 1942 the Atlantic Fleet had:  the New York (BB34), the Washington (BB56), Arkansas (BB33), North Carolina (BB55), and the Texas (BB35).  

In the Pacific Fleet, of the 9 battleships, one was undamaged during that attack at Pearl Harbor: the Colorado (BB-45).  

The reason?  It came down to LOGISTICS.  What do ships require most?  Fuel.  How many fleet oilers were there in the Pacific in 1942?   11 total.  

Kanawha (AO-1), Cuyama (AO-3), Brazos (AO-4), Neches (AO-5), Ramapo (AO-12), Sepulga (AO-20), Tippecanoe (AO-21), Neosho (AO-23), Platte (AO-24), Sabine (AO-25), and Kaskaskia (AO-27)

Neches and Neosho were both sunk.  

Neches was sunk by a submarine while supporting the failed Task Force heading to support Wake Island.

Neosho was sunk during the Battle of the Coral Sea.  

Of all the Task Forces set up during that first year of the war, none included battleships?  Task Forces 8, 11, 14, 16, 17, and 18 were all centered around a carrier with its cruiser and destroyer escorts.  

Where were the battleships?  

One therory is that Nimitz held them back in the Pacific so they could support the Carrier Task Forces...not enough to go around.

I am now intrigued enough to dig deep into fleet oiler operations in the first year of WWII.

Down the rabbit hole I go!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Yep...could not agree more.

Wall Street seems to have taken over our country.  Business and the pursuit of the all mighty profit seem to have replaced governance for the good of all.  

I do not blame a single party.  Both  are complicit with this fiasco.  Republicans act like Democrats when they are in charge....they shout about limited government and downsizing, shrinking the budget deficet (no mention of the current trillions of dollars owed), personal linerties and other such things.  But when in power they enact things like the poorly named "Patriot Act" which allows the wholesale spying on the American public just like the Stasi in East German or the KGB in Soviet USSR.  

At least the Democrats tell you EXACTLY what they are going to do...they are going to raise taxes, they are going to open the border, they are going to cut oil production.  They do not lie to us.  You know EXACTLY where you stand with Democrats.

Both parties spend money like fools.  I was going to say they spend money like a drunken Sailor but even they had to stop when they ran out!  These idiot politicians are writing checks our Great Great Great Great Grandchildren will still be stuggling to pay off. 

Truth be told....I hate them both.


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

WWII continues to fascinate me....

 I am not sure whose blog I was reading (sorry...would give credit but I forgot!) and came across a story that seemed to fantastic to be true.  This story is about the pilot of a Piper L-4 Grasshopper observation plane that actually figured out how to, or convinced his crew chief to do it...however he did it...he installed 6  M1 Bazookas (2.36 IN rocket launcher) to the wing spars of his slow moving, low flying observation plane!  Not only did he install them, or had them installed, but he actually killed Nazi tanks with them!  He, Charles Carpenter, actually became an "Ace" at killing tanks having been creditited with 6 kills!  

I am blown away by the sheer audacity of the times.  I mean, there was Cpl Tony Stein who took 6 AN/M2 .30 cal machineguns off a wrecked aircraft, fitted them with stocks and took them into battle on Iwo Jima.  There is Sgt Curtis Cullen who started welding bits of scrap metal to the front of tanks to enable them to plow through the hedgerows in Normandy.  A General saw how effective this was and soon every tank had this modification.  Then there Charles Carpenter who made a anti-tank aircraft out of a lightweight observation plane.   And these are just a few examples!!

Can you imagine the brass these days if someone did that these days?  There is the story of the guys that began fitting acrap metal around the machineguns on top of HMMWV's during Iraq where none used to be ad being told to remove it by ranking officers no matter how good it protected the gunners because it was not "tested and approved".  

Rosie the Rocketer with Charles Carpenter

USMC Cpl. Tony Steins "Stinger" the AN/M2 .30 cal 

Sheridan tank fitted with a Hedgerow Cutter designed by Sgt Curtis Cullen

If there is one thing that Americans are is inventive and resourceful.  If there is a problem, we figure out a way to remedy it.  And to stifle that sort of innovation is counter to everything I was ever taught about being an American.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Friday, February 5, 2021

I do not know why but I laughed my butt off at this pic!!

My wife, bless her soul, has had to deal with me for 24 years this March.  When I start laughing or do something that she finds annoying, her standard questions is "How old are you?"  To which my reply is "12...cause the things I found funny then are freaking hilarious now!!"  
She shakes her head and goes about her business!


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Been reminiscing....

 When did it happen?  Does anyone remember the last time they went out with their friends and played?

I remember the first time I played a video game.  Space Invaders at the bowling alley for 25 cents.     But I was 14? 15? when that took place. 
I had a childhood filled with trees in backyards that filled in for B-17's on bombing missions over Germany, or playing paratrooper by jumping off the swing as high as you could and landing in you chute, or playing with our G.I. Joes (the 11 inch tall ones with the scar on the cheek and the "kung fu" grip).
Yeah, I grew up in a military family, in military housing, around a bunch of other kids just like me.