Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Now That's A Fine Mess... A Couple of 'Em, Actually

OK, it’s from the Daily Report… but it ain’t about the Air Force, as such.

For Those Who Love McPeakisms: The Oregonian has published an ode to retired Air Force Gen. Tony McPeak, a former USAF Chief of Staff, who has opted--against what some would say is conventional wisdom for a military man--to support Barack Obama vice Vietnam War veteran John McCain in the upcoming Presidential race. The article touches on anecdotes from McPeak's early life and on his days as a Misty FAC (forward air controller) during the Vietnam War. There's more about McPeak on the campaign trail with the Obama crowd, who he says calls him to make an appearance with "about' five minutes' notice" McPeak left the Republican party, but as he describes it: "I was tossed out. I was tossed out by foolishness in Washington." Of Obama, McPeak says, "He has gut-fighting sidewalk smarts that have allowed him to prevail when people said he couldn't."

I subscribe to the “conventional wisdom for a military man” and I most certainly don’t love McPeakisms. As a matter of fact, I think Gen. McPeak might just be USAF’s worst chief of staff, ever. But The Oregonian article was interesting, if nothing else. I think the best part was in the sidebar, however, and I’ll quote:

Political: "Veterans for Bush" Oregon co-chairman, 2000; foreign policy adviser to presidential campaigns of Gov. Howard Dean, Sen. John Kerry and Sen. Barack Obama.

Note the highlighted bits; I think that’s a good sign. Let’s hope Gen. McPeak goes oh-for-three in his foreign policy advisor role, eh?


This is about the Air Force, and I think it’s a great idea:

Wynne, Rethink Split Tanker Buy: The Department of Defense should consider awarding both Boeing and Northrop Grumman contracts to build new tanker aircraft for the Air Force, former Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne told the Daily Report yesterday. Wynne said in an interview having each contractor supply tankers at a rate of about 15 per year--equal to the amount that the winning bidder would provide under the current winner-take-all scenario of the Air Force's KC-X tanker recapitalization program--would be worth the extra cost. And it offers a way past the current legal impasse caused by Boeing's successful protest of USAF's contract award to Northrop in February. "I think a split buy right now is something that we have to examine," said Wynne, who stepped down June 20 amid disagreements with Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Keeping two suppliers would strengthen the industrial base, replace the Eisenhower-era KC-135 tankers more quickly, and maintain competition "well into the future," he said. The latter point is not trivial since the Air Force intends to procure about 500 new tankers overall to replace the KC-135s. Wynne said, when asked, he would support applying some of the $5 billion in added procurement funds that the Air Force will reportedly receive in Fiscal 2010 to cover the higher costs of supporting two tanker lines. "I would be willing to do that provided that the Congress supports that," he said. (For more Wynne comments on the KC-X tanker program, read Come Together by Splitting)

This is an interesting potential solution with at least two benefits. First, one would think both Northrop and Boeing would be satisfied if USAF decides to buy tankers from both companies (I have NO idea what the Europeans—read as EADS— would think about this, nor do I particularly care). Second, USAF speeds up the tanker recapitalization program, which is already something like five frickin’ years behind schedule.

But… reality tells me SecDef Gates or John Young, the point guy for the tanker re-bid, are unlikely to take the advice of a recently sacked, newly-minted former Secretary of the Air Force. Especially given the fact it was Gates hissownself who fired Mr. Wynne. One can hope, though.


Quote of the Month (so far): Kinky Friedman, on Bill O’Reilly last evening: “I’m too young for Medicare and too old for women to care…” Said pearl of wisdom was just a throw-away line Friedman used to describe himself as “an older American.” And Boy Howdy, is he ever correct on the “too old for women to care” bit. Painfully so, I might add.

I really, really like Kinky. So much so I actually voted for him when he ran for guv’nor of Texas a couple of years ago. Why? Coz I like his politics. Yeah, I know… I threw away my vote, and shame on me for it. Don’t go drawing any parallels between the Tejas gov’nor race and the current presidential election, though. It’s apples and oranges, if there ever was such a case.


Today’s Pic: Something that didn’t make the cut last week: a right-royal mess. Pictured above is two pics of the aftermath of an exploding can of Dr. Pepper, and the clean up took me the better part of half an hour. You’d be amazed, Gentle Reader, at just how far pop/soda/coke can travel under pressure. I found Dr. Pepper inside my shower (how it squirted from in front of the fridge all the way into the bathroom remains something of a mystery) about a half an hour after I thought I’d finished the clean-up, and found a streak of same on the kitchen ceiling the following day. I previously cleaned the entire kitchen space but neglected to look up. Silly me.

So, how did that can explode, you may ask? I dropped it on the floor…the carpeted floor… while opening the 12-pack to put it in the fridge. I was holding the package on the back of the banquette (pic 001) while attempting to remove the perforated end of the box… and then…the package burst and ten of the 12 cans tumbled to the floor, one of which exploded. This was probably something of a freak accident, and it’s small beer in the general scheme of things. Which, of course, is why these photos didn’t make the cut last week when the event actually happened. This week, though, I’m scraping the bottom of the photo barrel. Lucky you, eh?

And now I think I’m gonna try and get some sleep. I’ve been up all night, yet again.


  1. Glad to see you posting! Was a little concerned. Hope all is well.

    Any can under pressure does weird and wacky things. You should see what it does when it's contained - inside a freezer.

    My brother was famous in my family for putting cans of soda in the freezer - to get them colder faster - then promptly forgetting them (he has a high IQ but absolutely no common sense, so he's an idiot most of the time). I can't remember anymore how many times he did that - and my mom made him clean it up. Soda, everywhere. On everything.

  2. I too was worried about you. Glad to see you are back!

    At least it was Dr. Pepper and not a beer (not that you would ever drink beer from a can, right?). I can attest that when a beer spills on the carpet, it isn't the stain that's the bad part. It's the smell of stale brewery that lingers afterwards. LOL!

  3. McPeak, is like many high ranking officers and Non-Coms(Chief Masters were the worst), that I delt with in my days as a Air Force one tour wonder....Not Very Bright, and with the dreaded head up arse disease.

    Now of course others...like you Buck(butter up attempt), were smart as whips, and smooth as silk.

  4. Dr. Pepper sure can make a mess!

    Nice boots by the way.

  5. Kris and Jenny: I put up two posts yesterday, so... ummm... worry? I didn't post over the weekend, this is true. I've been thinking of taking the weekends off for some time now; this past weekend I actually did it. Prior to that I took a Saturday off. So EIP is probably gonna be a six-day-a-week blog from now on. We'll see.

    I've done that "forget the can in the freezer" trick, too, Kris. It's MUCH worse if you don't have a frost-free fridge... there's no recourse except to defrost...NOW.

    And I hear ya about the beer, Jenny. Even Febreze doesn't seem to work on beer-in-carpet.

    Pat sez: Now of course others...like you Buck(butter up attempt), were smart as whips, and smooth as silk.

    Yep. That's me! ;-)

    Ash sez: Nice boots by the way.

    Thanks, Ash. And they were saddle-soaped not long after the pic was taken, too. They were in the direct line of fire, so to speak.

  6. Speaking of apples and oranges....odd that you never (like me) have any accidents like that with beer...merely an observation.

  7. I voted for Kinky for Guvnah, too. :) He seemed the only possible choice.

  8. Buck, Back in 1978, my two roommates and I had just finished cleaning our room for the next morning's SAMI when I returned to it, marching smartly because I was a SMACK at the time, and carrying a can of soda in my right hand. As I entered the door, I single-handedly popped the top, just breaking the seal before it slipped from my hand. It fell straight to the floor and landed upright. I had just half a second to think how lucky I was that it hadn't fallen over and spilled before the ensuing spinning, spewing, pinwheel soda-works began. It left nothing untouched. I'd never seen anything like it. I was not a popular guy in the room that night. So, been there, done that. ;-)

  9. Jay: I have had similar accidents with beer, but none lately... or even in recent memory. While there may be no reason to cry over spilled milk, there's EVERY reason to cry over spilled beer!

    Phlegmmy: Great Minds, eh?

    Doc: Wow. I just had to clean my carpet (and walls. and counter tops. and kitchen floor.)... not an entire dorm room. And I wasn't "under the gun," either!

  10. Well yuck, glad that's all in the past now :) and if you think that's bad, try dropping hot cheese dip just out of the microwave! Ha, now that's an explosion let me tell ya! I think we must have cleaned for a whole month in that kitchen, 'specially on the ceiling.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.