Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Hour...

… came early today (at approx 1330 hrs), and one is simply glad it arrived at all… given as how it’s late December. To put it another way… although 70-degree days in December ain’t unknown here on The High Plains of New Mexico, they are somewhat rare. So, one takes advantage when one can. And I most certainly did… take advantage.
Happy Hour was a mundane sort of affair. I sat outside and had not one but two cigars, accompanied by a couple o' three brewskis (of course). I spent the first hour in relative solitude, listening to the cries of the mourning doves and enjoying the (relative) silence here in Beautiful La Hacienda Trailer Park, today being a work-day for most. That got old fairly quickly… and by the time I opened my second beer I tuned my very expensive radio (aka my peesee) to Pandora’s Santana station and proceeded to kick out the jams. Much better. Excellent, in fact.
I spent most of my time looking up, watching the fast-movers etch brilliant white vapor trails across the robin’s-egg-blue skies. Well… let’s be accurate. If we’re gonna use the vernacular we should use it properly: I was watching trash-haulers, not fast-movers. There IS a difference, “trash-haulers” being transports and “fast-movers” a synonym for fighters. We don’t see too many fast-movers in these parts of late.
Anyhoo. The winds aloft must have been pretty brisk today, as the vapor trails disappeared almost as quickly as they were created. Here are three pics… taken in a span of about five minutes, give or take a minute or three:
I found it interesting that the west-bound traffic outnumbered the east-bound traffic by a ratio of about six-to-one. Here’s a pic of one of the east-bound aircraft as it streaked across the sky.
I amused myself wondering what the occupants of those big-ass aluminum tubes were doing at the exact moment I looked up. Watching a movie? Napping? Reading a book? On their third drink? Looking out the window and wondering just who the Hell would live in country as desolate as this? The mind does wander… and I imagined myself in one of those tubes west-bound, headed home after vacation, or after the conclusion of a job, or on leave... whatever. That might well have been me... in another time, long ago and far away.


  1. Wasn't it nice out!!?? I enjoyed throwing open all the windows in the house, even leaving a door wide open. The kids had a ball outside riding bikes and climbing their favorite tree.

    Of course, all closed up now, since it will be down to 25 tonight. Where else can you get nearly 50 degree difference in night and day temps?

  2. re: nice out. Absolutely. I did the same thing: all the windows open and the door, too. I left out one of the BEST parts about sitting outside today, tho: ZERO flies. None. Nada. ZIP! I figured most folks, present company excepted, wouldn't get it. But I sure did!

  3. I wish I had been there, Buck. One of my favorite things to do is sit on the porch in the late afternoon and get a buzz. It's always better with some good company, though.

  4. You would have been most welcome, Daphne. Good company is always welcome (and appreciated!) here at El Casa Móvil De Pennington!

  5. Wow- two cigars. Guilding the lily?

  6. You're out by Cannon, no? Or are you closer to Holloman? What do they fly out of there?

  7. Phlegmmy: The first was a torpedo (a smaller-sized cigar) and was gone with the first beer. So I lit another one, mainly because I can. ;-)

    Andy: They fly F-22s out of Holloman, Andy. Or will... once they get their full complement. I think they're up to four aircraft now... maybe six. Cannon flies several SpecOps variants of the C-130, including gunships, Compass Call, yadda, yadda. We're also gonna get CV-22s, beginning in 2010. And Predators!

    I'm about 13 miles from Cannon and 216 miles NE of Holloman.

  8. Gotcha. I've called for fire from an AC-130 gunship once. Wow. A 105mm howitzer pointed straight down is something else.

  9. Beautiful pics! Sounds like a glorious day. Notsomuch here, especially today. It's a total whiteout blizzard right now with wind chill tonite slated to be around 10. Below Zero.


  10. Andy sez: A 105mm howitzer pointed straight down is something else.

    I envy you being "up close and personal" in this space. I've seen the AC-130s on the range down at Eglin (at night! WOW!), but it was from MILES away. Maybe I'll be able to get closer once they begin training in earnest on the Melrose range... but I kinda doubt it.

    Kris: "GACK" is right! I feel for ya, believe me. And you know I have history in this space. We'll be somewhat cooler today... it's only gonna be about 55 or so. Not to... ummm... rub it in. Or anything. ;-)

  11. Hi Buck!

    Can't imagine 70º on New Year's Eve. (Sounds like our old days in San Antonio.)

    It's 40-something here in Santa Fe, and I think that's too "hot" ...

    Are there more brewskis and cigars for this evening -- are you going to watch the new year come in?

    I will be up eating some posole that is now on the stove and drinking a margarita or two .... and wondering what the new year will bring -- I am a bit nervous because with the new year comes the new president.....

  12. Sharon sez: Are there more brewskis and cigars for this evening -- are you going to watch the new year come in?

    Single-malt and a cigar last night, but not TOO much of either. I watched the New Year roll across the US and then went to bed in the wee smalls. It's nice to have a clear head on New years Day, unlike SO many "low and slow" New Years Days past!

    I'm adopting a "wait and see" attitude towards The New Boss. Let's hope and pray he's successful and doesn't screw things up TOO badly... and too often.


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