Thursday, January 07, 2016

Resolutions...

res·o·lu·tion


ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n/  noun
1.
a firm decision to do or not to do something.
"she kept her resolution not to see Anne any more"

synonyms:intention, resolve, decision, intent, aim, plan; More
2.
the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.
"the peaceful resolution of all disputes"

synonyms:solution to, answer to, end to, ending to, settlement of, conclusion to
"a satisfactory resolution of the problem"


I have not been resolute in my actions to effect my resolution... but being a determined person, I'm working to remedy my current condition and find a rhythm that will allow me to post and meet my personal and professional obligations.  I've started this post a couple of times, but life being what it is... was side-tracked and pulled away by something (truly) more urgent.  I realized that the times I chose to write, were inherently prone to interruptions... hence the search for a better time of day to write and post... a better routine.


As I mentioned before... part of my strategy will be to include some of Dad's previous posts.  So... here's a snipet from January 7th, 2007:


Jules Crittenden says we’re at a Crossroads
Option One: Pull out. Achieve short-term gratification for those who believe our absence from Iraq will solve our problems. Watch Iraq descend into further violence. Watch a nuclear-armed Iran come to dominate Iraq and the world's richest oil fields.
[…]
More likely, a dispirited people, our army broken by defeat, we'll just wait to see who emerges as the new world power. It will be a while before there is one, and much longer before there is one we would care to live under. I predict a dark age, in which brutal second-rate powers such as Russia, China, Iran and North Korea do what they choose to whom they choose without restraint. An age of modern warlords, with no over-arching, feared power to keep them in check. We can watch the sick man that is Europe slowly succumb. We can watch small free nations try to fend for themselves. We can await the inevitable nuclear crisis.
Does that sound at all medieval or apocalyptic? It is. Don't think we can't go back to that.
Does it sound overly melodramatic and alarmist? If so, you're a fool with no understanding of history. I have bad news for you. The fight against evil in this world is business as usual. It never ends.
There’s more, of course. And you can probably guess what Option Two is.
This morning’s lead item on memeorandum: Revealed: Israel plans nuclear strike on Iran (from The Times UK).



I know hindsight is 20/20... but the foresight in the article above is remarkable.  Think about what North Korea has done... from the Washington Post today:
"The United States and other global powers sharply condemned North Korea on Wednesday, vowing to punish it for conducting a fourth nuclear weapons test. But it was not clear what more the world could do, short of war, to a country that for years has been impervious to international isolation and sanctions."


That's all I have to say about that...
I hope all Exile readers have a wonderful (warm, for those of us in colder climates) day... take wonderful care.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Track Santa!

NORAD tracks Santa.

Back when I was in the radar biz we used to do this sort of thing locally, for the families of the guys at the radar sites where I was stationed. Back in the day every radar site had a video mapping device that fed programmed exercise video to Operations; the normal output from the video mapper was "canned" and consisted of video blips simulating actual aircraft. On Christmas Eve we'd load up a special video overlay and route it to the intercept control scopes in Operations. While "exercise" video consisted of fake bogeys (simple blips) and tracks to train intercept controllers and technicians, the special Santa video showed a sleigh and reindeer on the scopes. Not nearly real, but real enough for the kids that saw it!

The kids always got a big thrill out of the radar displays. Doing the Santa video was one of the most fun things I ever did while I was a radar guy.

Updated on 12/25/2005 0215: correct typos and grammar plus add a small amount of content. I shouldn't post after I've been into the egg nog!

Reposted December 24th, 2015... I distinctly remember being one of those kids that saw radar overlays and thinking how cool my dad was cuz he could track Santa.

I hope all "Exile" readers have a warm, safe and very Merry Christmas. 

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

My dad's favorite carol... repost from Christmas eve, 2013.



It don't get no better than that.  Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Time keeps on ticking...


Benjamin Franklin was a wise man... he said many profound things; a few examples below

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

"In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria."

"Some people die at 25 and aren't buried until 75."

"Dost thou love life?  Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of." (my favorite!)

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us  to be happy." (possibly my father's favorite... despite being somewhat agnostic about religion)















Time is said to heal all wounds... but after a year without my father, I can't imagine ever being well again, not like before.  I spent some time today reading blogs my father visited... and I found some peace in the posts I read; I always worried my father was alone in Portales. But today I realized he had so many wonderful friends that he shared his passion for life with... you all (if you're reading this... you are VERY likely in the group I'm referring to) brought joy and purpose to my father's life. For that, I'm truly and immeasurably thankful.

I added a couple of pics of my Dad with a couple of his favorite motorcycles... or rather mo'sickles.

My brother and I intended to keep the blog going... and more quotes come to mind; the road to hell among the first.  My mother (TFMP) would often say, (when my brother or I asked where she was going) "To hell if I don't change my ways!"  So I am making a resolution to change my ways and begin posting here... I know I can't compare to my father's writing, so I won't even try to do that... my commitment will be to re-post favorite posts of his and to write about things that remind me of him or reflect his colorful personality.

I hope you are all well, warm and enjoyed my brief post... I promise there will be more to come.  In the meantime, have a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!

SN2

Monday, February 23, 2015

Things remembered...

I received my copy of "Road and Track" over the weekend.  The article comparing the new 2015 Chevyy SS and a classic BMW M5 immediately caught my eye.  Dad often said if he had a million bucks (non pun intended), he'd drive an M5.  A little background is in order here... one of dad's favorite cars was his 1983 BMW 320i, similar to the one below...

 Another favorite of Dad's was his 1996 Impala SS... when this car first appeared as a concept vehicle, one of the car magazines wrote a wonderful article that stated "Lord Vader, your car is ready."  Very appropriate, given the car was only available in black its first year of production and had a Vette motor and equally impressive handling upgrades.
So knowing my father had an affinity for Super Sport Chevys (he also owned a 1966 Chevelle SS with a 396 big block) and BMW's... I was immediately drawn to the comparison.  The article, like most in Road and Track, is very well written and conveys more than the numbers.  It succeeds in placing the reader in both cars as they drive down a foggy highway along the coast of California and with colorful descriptive language like "all that voodoo between its fenders..." it's a quick and enjoyable read.

Articles like this take me back to conversations with my father... about cars, motorcycles and other pleasures in life that enabled him to live a very interesting life.  I learned a lot from my father, but the life lesson I enjoyed the most and continue to enjoy, is to drive a car that makes me feel alive.  I will always own a car that I love to drive... life's too short not to.

SN2

Sunday, February 08, 2015

It's hard some days...


Watching the Beloved Red Wings was a past time shared by Dad and I. We would spend time together (virtually) watching the games and calling each other after good guy goals and wouldn't call when the bad guys scored. We'd talk about the team, player interviews, Don Cherry's ridiculous suits and ties and anything Red Wings related. If the Wings were obviously going to lose, one or the other would pick up the phone to say "Alright, I'm done, don't bother calling me if you stick with it." If it was a close one the understanding was we wouldn't call if we lost. No point in that! We'd just pick up at the next game. There were even a few superstitions we shared about when the Wings or the other team would score. We would call each other quickly after each goal, lest the other team get the chance to answer with one of their own and cut off our chance to talk to each other. Most of our calls ended with a phrase like "Alright, call you when we go up by two!" if we were leading by one or "Call you when we tie this up" if we were trailing by one. So many phrases were standard we would say them together at the same time, like: "There's still a lot of hockey left!" which was an interchangeable phrase used both when we were down or up. One of Dad's favorites when we were up by more than a goal was his emphatic exhortation to finish out strong: "Skate to the throat!"

Our Wings are doing well right now and I miss being able to call him after a goal. More than a few times I've reached for the phone after a goal, only to catch myself and stop. It's a sad feeling that.

The first game after arriving back home from saying goodbye to Dad was especially hard. I watched most of it through teary eyes and when the Wings won, I broke down and cried. Won't ever be able to share that post game celebration phone call with him again and it hurts.

Apologies for the sporadic and limited posting. We will strive to improve.

Just know gentle reader, that he's in our thoughts daily and is with us wherever we go.

The plan for his ash-spreading soiree is slowly coming together. More to follow on that.

Until then, please hoist an occasional toast and think of him fondly.

And cheer for our Beloved Wings!!

SN1

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year!






We said we'd keep it going. We will...

Many have asked about services for Dad. Sam and I are working out our plan.

You see, for those of you that know Dad at all, you know he was a particular kinda guy with a particular kind of style. Style, Dad had in abundance!

His wishes were to be cremated and have his ashes spread in various locales across the globe. These favorite places would require a small fortune to get to in a short amount of time, being the world traveler that he was, so for now, we're going to stick to the CONUS (continental US, for those of you not familiar with the military vernacular) locations for the beginning of his services.

This could be a party that lasts a decade!

Just so you know, Dad mentioned places like a favorite pub in London, a bar in Japan, New Orleans during Mardi Gras and a national park in California.

We will compile the list and hopefully begin to comply with his wishes as soon as practical.

Meanwhile, please feel free to visit old posts and leave comments as you wish. We are monitoring comments and working out a plan on how to best keep his blog alive.

SN1


Friday, December 19, 2014

Last Call...you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here...

About that title: Dad enjoyed the "Happy Hour" of his life to the fullest.

We (SN1 and SN2) were with him in his last days, reading comments to him from the blog and conveying the well wishes we've received from so many.  We held his hands as he took his last breath... he will be missed.

We honored his memory with a toast of 15 year old scotch. I'm sure he appreciated it.


We delayed posting this because we felt strongly about contacting loved ones personally... we apologize for any discomfort the delay may have caused.

Dad wanted us to keep the Blog going and we will.  We invite you all to share your favorite memories of our father in the comments below... just be polite, that's all we ask.



 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

No Post Today

I'm having a very bad day; motivation to do anything beyond fighting for my next breath is seriously lacking.  But I'm still here.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Not Much In the Overnight Mail

Well, not much that would be of general interest, anyhoo.  That said, there was this from the Usual USAF Source:

US Air Force crews ferried two MC-130J Commando IIs, assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command, including the one shown here, from the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facility in Marietta, Ga., on Dec. 5, 2014, to RAF Mildenhall, England. Lockheed Martin photo.

That looks like a giant slinky trying to eat a Herky-Bird.

The only other thing in the overnight mail was a link to a short article at NPR about catalogs.  The first grafs:
Many things made with paper have become relics because of computers and the Internet: the Rolodex, multivolume encyclopedias, even physical maps.

Now take a look in your mailbox or somewhere around your house. There's a good chance you'll see a shopping catalog, maybe a few of them now that it's the holiday season.
OK, I looked and found four catalogs... one from LL Bean, one from Land's End, one from cigar.com, and another cigar catalog from an outfit called Thompson's.  That was it, and I haven't cracked any of those as yet. That doesn't mean I don't use 'em; I do.  My catalog consumption is way, waaay down from Former Happy Days when I'd receive at least 15 to 20 of the things each and every month.  And I remember, quite fondly, the day the Sears Big Book hit our mailbox back when I was a kid... especially when the fam'bly was stationed overseas and we pretty much LIVED out of the Sears Roebuck catalog.  There was a reading/browsing hierarchy associated with the Sears catalog: Mom got it first, then Dad, then us kids.  Woe be unto you if you tried to browse the catalog before Mom said you could.  Death would have been preferable to what would have happened to you...

And so it goes.  I might be back with a video later; it seems The Tube o' You isn't functioning properly at the moment.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

♪♫ A Foggy Day In Portales Town ♫♪

The view from the study window a few minutes ago:



Which brings to mind this wonderful old tune:



They don't make 'em like that any longer and more's the pity.