Saturday, August 15, 2009

Inertia... and Related Stuff

So. A couple of things. In my previous post I mentioned "Inertia" and I don't want you Gentle Readers to think inertia is a bad thing… because it isn't. Not in the slightest. At this stage in life "low and slow," or inertia is most definitely a GOOD Thing. Mainly because things as they are these days are eminently predictable and safe. We've had our fill… and then some… of "experience" in this life; these days we are more than comfortable with the sedate and mundane.

Which brings us to our next point. Most of you are familiar with those Facebook or Blogger memes that ask you to list 25, 50, or 150 "things" that you may or may not have done at this point in your life's journey. I've posted a couple of them, and they're kinda-sorta mundane. But only in the sense that those things are ALL safe… meaning they are stuff that one could have done without fear of intervention on the part of The Authorities or condemnation from one's peers. I'm thinking it would be interesting to deviate (ahem) from the safe and predictable and post a list of stuff we've done that goes beyond the pale… things that transcend, in a manner of speaking, the usual "swam with dolphins" and "watched a meteor shower" sorta stuff. So, without further ado, a list of life experiences you may or may not relate to… but most probably do NOT… and in no particular order.

1. Reclined naked on a verandah whilst watching low clouds scud across the night sky... periodically obscuring a waxing moon... enjoying sweet sweat emanate from your body… and hers… San Miguel in hand, with a "for hire" sweetie in the wee small hours in the oh-so-sultry Philippine Islands clime. It don't get no better than this, Gentle Reader. But you hadda be there to appreciate the fullness of the moment.

2. Gone "window shopping" in Amsterdam… for a week or more… followed up with a sojurn in Prague, doing more of the same. The event was a combination of pleasures of the flesh and aesthetic pursuits (think: museums, architecture, food, drink), none of which I skimped on. A subject for conversation over many beers, this. (The photo is of a friend and I in Prague, never before published.)

3. Been run over by a motorcycle not 25 yards off the starting line of a race. And enjoyed every minute of it.

4. Let your competitors at said racing events in the wilds of Hokkaido, Japan get you shit-faced drunk the night before the race… and enjoyed every minute of it. But not so much the race-day that followed… when our racing endeavors were less than impressive in our hung-over state.

5. Rejected the gift of a rice-bug from yet another "for hire sweetie" whilst vowing never to kiss her again… ever… but going back on that vow not four hours later. And loving every minute of it. Ooh, yes… we DID love every minute of it!

6. Stood on The Great Wall of China. Nothing too deviant about this… but an experience, none the less.

7. Spent an evening discussing US politics into the wee smalls with a Turkish courtesan in the Black Sea port of Samsun whilst disposing a couple of bottles of raki and incurring the wrath of my buddy… who had previously negotiated an assignation with said courtesan… only to watch said assignation slip away into an alcoholic fog. And awakening the following morning to find my clothes gone missing and me in the bed of a woman at least 80 years of age who could ONLY be described as "coyote ugly." With a world-class hangover. And laughing about it later. Much later. Payback, as they say, is HELL. I can testify…

8. Rode Mad Sunday across the top of Mount Snaefell well in excess of 100 mph and broke no traffic laws (there aren't any speed limits on the closed portions of the public roads... which double as the race circuit... on Mad Sunday). This is deviant only in the sense that this sort of thing could NEVER happen on public roads in the US of A. Yet it happens every year in the Isle of Man, and I'm proud to say I both partook… and survived.

9. Watched a Tucson monsoon thunderstorm from underneath the eaves of the Davis-Monthan AFB BOQ in the wee smalls with a woman I thought might could be my life partner but later decided otherwise. But… Omigawd… what a night!

10. Committed three felonies before breakfast once upon a time… ALL of which were victimless crimes and did the participants involved much good, including YrHmblScrb… and not getting caught. We shall forgo the details of this adventure, even though I'm quite sure the statute of limitations has long since expired. It was the Best of Times, it was the Worst of Times… as Mr. Dickens said.

11. Sang karaoke in an after-hours bar in Singapore… in suit and tie… and lived up to the Capitalist Pig image in each and every respect. My co-worker and I delivered a spirited rendition of Barrett Strong's hit "Money"… and you hadda be there to understand where I'm coming from. (The "Singapore" link isn't karaoke related but it is me, pictured on that particular trip.)

So. Now do you see why we think inertia is good? We've "been there and done that" to an extent that causes me to wonder at my good fortune from time to time, not to mention marvel at the fact we managed to escape the foibles of our youth (relatively) intact. But I wouldn't change a thing, Gentle Reader. Not ONE. It is what it is… or was.


  1. Heh heh heh, If we had gotten caught for some of the stuff we we did we would just be coming up for parole about now. Although it seemed like a good thing to do at the time.

  2. Ran across your namesake son online- asked him if he was your son and stated you were a good man and a damn fine blogger.

    He had the good sense to agree.

  3. Damn. Just...damn.

    My life has been quite tame...maybe it's time for me to sow some wild oats! It's not too late, is it?

  4. Buck,

    Leave it there. Your life has been awesome. Compare to that of a pharaoh, you got him by several orders of magnitude. Just this snippet of text is inspiring. All future experiences are gravy on this mountain of fun.

    Christina LMT, this was uplifting, wasn't it?

    It's not too late. By golly I'm going back to Olongapo one of these days.

    Well, maybe the Jemez on a two-stroke motorcycle. I've already been to Olongapo.

  5. I'm going to have to mull this one over. Reading about your life experiences is one thing, but to post mine, well, that is another thing.

  6. That is some kinda life lived Buck. Sounds like taking advantage of opportunities - no matter the risk - has paid off with some interesting memories.

    I'm just not that adventurous. I have always lived - except for a very few exceptions - a quiet life. And that suits me.

    I leave the high-times to braver souls.

  7. Dan sez: seemed like a good thing to do at the time.

    Ain't that ALWAYS the case? But yeah, not getting caught is best. :D

    Mr Webb: I think SN1 is a good man, as well, as is SN2 & (hopefully) SN3... although SN3 ain't a man yet... he still has a few years to go. Thanks for dropping by!

    Christina: Like Bob sez... it's never too late. Unless you sorta run out of gas (desire), which applies in my case. :D

    Bob: Thank you for the good words, yet again. And the Jemez on a ring-ding sounds like Big Fun... not to mention right in your back yard, so to speak!

    Lou: I most certainly didn't mean to imply this incoherent rambling of mine was one of those "taggable memes." I just used the form as an example. OTOH... I'm more than sure you have a few wild stories of your own. We ALL have 'em, I think. Except, perhaps, for...

    Kris: The strange thing is I didn't think any of these anecdotes were particularly wild at the time. Except maybe for that experience in Samsun... :D

    As I mentioned: sedate is GOOD.

  8. Hi Buck. I am with you about the beauties of a warm evening in Manila, with a lovely partaking of the elixer of life.
    Remembering is great, ain't it?

    Oh, giggle. the "word" was ingleses.

  9. You got around so much more than I did. Mind you, you had 16 more years of active duty in which to get it done.

    I have yet to engage a working girl in anything other than conversation. I have been with a few strippers, but it was not a fee-for-service arrangement; rather it was a mutual attraction. Strippers, it turns out, have poor eyesight.

  10. Great post!

    Just remember, Buck; "The Memory is the last thing on a guy to go soft".

    Martin Mull on his album "Sex and Violins".

  11. Cat sez: Remembering is great, ain't it?

    That it IS. But ya can't ever go back... I've kinda-sorta tried and it ain't the same, on any number of different levels.

    Gordon sez: You got around so much more than I did. Mind you, you had 16 more years of active duty in which to get it done.

    I have yet to engage a working girl in anything other than conversation.

    About a third of these events were done as a civilian... but the stuff done while I was in the AF was arguably mo' betta.

    I've never engaged a working girl in these United States. I'm thinking about posting a follow-up that has something to do with the "when in Rome..." mindset in this space, but the subject is complex and I'm not one to go on at any great length about anything... in print. Blogging is ALL about the distillation, from my POV.

    Darryl sez: Just remember, Buck; "The Memory is the last thing on a guy to go soft".

    I've known many an Old Fart who would disagree with ya on that one, Darryl. Just sayin'. :D

    Thanks for the other kind comments!

  12. Magnificent!

    This is the kind of stuff that makes my rounds through the blogosphere a pure joy. Party on, Buck!

    (The Rice Bug, though? *shudder*)

  13. I thought that getting run over by a racing motorcycle sounded like the MOST fun, and, what the hell, you enjoyed it, so I'm outta here. I'll report back later--I hope.

  14. I'll echo the same comments though I couldn't ever imagine being a stripper or a prostitute. Obviously I cannot imagine being with one! Do you ever wonder what she is doing now the woman you spent the night with? It sounds almost romantic or maybe that's me being naive..(probably)

  15. I like a man who's been around the block, so to speak, especially the ones who, at the end of the day, truly like women for much more than that bit that lies between their legs. Those men seem so much less uptight and judgmental about womanly ways.

    I'd like to hear the long version of the Turkish courtesan some time. I'll bring the beer.

    Hey Alison, I bought a man once - so not worth the money. He was gorgeous handsome, but a lousy whore.

  16. Jim: Thanks, as always.

    Snowbrush: Thanks for dropping by. Getting run over by the bike wasn't as big a deal as it sounds, motocrossers being fairly light and the blow a glancing one, at that.

    Daphne: That Turkish war story is a corker, believe me. I've left out a LOT. And I find your perspective on life one of the most interesting... if not THE most interesting... I've come upon lately. You're a keeper, you are! :D

  17. Oh... and Alison... you'll note I promoted my reply to your comment to the main page. I love your take, as well. I hope that goes without saying but I said it, just in case.

  18. Buck - I conducted myself in an absolutely disgraceful fashion as a younger man, and I had an almost completely wonderful time doing it. Thanks for sharing these glimpses of your life. :-)

  19. virgil xenophon18 August, 2009 17:57

    Buck, quit trying to pretend and snow Daphne et al that you "truly love women for much more than that bit between their legs." You can't fool me with that thin veneer of civilization-- under neath you're just the true Cro-Magnon man that we ALL are! :)

  20. Barry: I'm thinking like VX, kinda-sorta, in that we ALL have had our wilder moments. Well, anyone worth his salt, anyway. :D

    VX: I'm beginning to think you're something of a reprobate. :)

  21. Man, I feel like I just got through reading a Harlequin romance.

  22. Now that's an interesting comment, Sharon.

  23. Buck --

    We seem to have frequented the same places at slightly different times.

    I came across your most excellent blog 5/6 years ago when googling Ramasum Station, Udorn Thailand where I was stationed 1970/1971. I read with great interest your story of your TDY in Udorn and the tragedy that befell one or your associates. I began to follow your blog and remember that you also spent some time in Sinop.

    Shortly after getting my discharge in 1971, I applied for a job with a government agency that shall not be named. After a relatively short song and dance, I was offered a well-paying job at either of two sites: Sinop or Shemya. I emphatically declined the offer. which, in retrospect, may not have been the best decision. One never knows, does one?

    Now I see you were on Hokkaido. I was there also, in Chitose, about a 30 minute train ride outside of Sapporo, for 4 or 5 months in 1970. After sending me there the Army decided to close the facility, and I made my way to Thailand -- no complaints there. Still, if I had stayed in Chitose I might have been able to extend my stretch there for a few months to take in the 1972 Winter Olympics that were held in Sapporo.

    With regard to this re-post:

    Number 1. substitute ChangMai or Vientiane, for the Phillipines and I have been there and thoroughly relished the moment.

    Number 9. staying at a small motel on a mesa overlooking Sedona spent two hours enthralled watching a thunder/lightening storm probably 30 to 40 miles distant. On the same trip saw a brilliant rainbow arching into the Grand Canyon. Two of the most memorable and beautiful thing I have even seen.


    1. Hey, J.R. ... thanks for your kind words. I spent four wonderful months up in Chiang Mai in 1976 and loved every minute, even when I was working up on top o' Doi Inthanon... so I KNOW from whence you speak.

      Sinop wasn't bad at all; I had a great time while I was there. I think you MIGHT have screwed up by turning that offer down... But Shemya? Not so much, LOL. There just ain't enough money in these United States that would entice me to go THERE.


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