Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Military Unit ID Help Sought

Does anyone know anything about this unit patch? Branch, era, etc.

My master scrounger mother had it in some other stuff we are sorting. Trying to determine if there is a family connect or if it is "stuff".

Any help would be appreciated.

Monday, May 30, 2011

You Will be Sorry

Driving around my small town this Memorial Day, I saw no more than twenty flags being flown at residences without permanent flag poles. In the business district, four flags displayed. Seems to me few of our citizens see themselves as “stakeholders” in the country as a whole.

Shamelessly taken from Thunder Tales http://thundertales.blogspot.com/2011/05/whoda-thunk-it.html

Is this Gallup Poll
He looks at some of the data, especially the prior service by age distribution.

My solution? Bring back the draft, universal, male and female. No exemptions, Yale or Mississippi Delta, Berkeley or community college. Criminal record? That is a tough one. One year service, no GI Bill, auxiliary force. Basic military skills.

We need to get back to where being a citizen is more than a birth certificate. We need it for a our basic security. Does anyone think we can fight a world war in our present state of readiness? Or repel an invasion? Do it without nukes?

Military service creates a sense of unity, of cohesion, of mutual respect. I have a first cousin, a screaming Massachusetts Liberal Democrat, who did a hard Vietnam tour as a dog handler. Saw the elephant up close and personal. Despite the gulf in our political beliefs, we can communicate and cooperate.
It is both being vets that makes this possible. There is a shared belief and shared commitment to our nation, hokey as that might sound to some.

We, as a nation, are losing our common ground. We are fragmented into our communities of interest. Universal military service could bridge that. My opinion; your mileage may vary.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Grumble, Bitch, Hating on UDOT

Twelve miles of I-70 in Eastern Utah. Both directions. Nobody working. Utah Department of Transportation does this constantly. When they finally get around to the paving, they manage to slow traffic to about 10 mph. Lots of fun on a motorcycle in 110 degree heat, I bet.

A few years ago, was Westbound in a pickup, at night, with an "Elk Killer" bumper. Barrels only, no pavement work started. Relocated about five miles of barrels. Very satisfying drive.

This gets real old when you are stuck behind an over sized load doing 45 mph. My work involves meeting a close schedule (think Instrument Flight Plan). Speeding is not allowed and the vehicles are all recorder equipped. Damn inconsiderate of UDOT to the traveling public.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

How Do You Like Us Now???

Recently the world has seen two sides of USA justice. First, Seal Team 6. Second, NYPD putting the cuffs on Strauss-Kahn. Wonder which impacted world opinion the most.

Got to think the NYPD and DA Office are enjoying getting an international asshole with his diplomatic immunity down.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MOVE IT!!!???

Was recently involved in a situation with an ambulance and am wondering if any LEOs or EMTs can tell me what I should have done.

I was at an intersection, stopped for a red light in the right lane, when an ambulance, lights and siren going, came up behind me. As I waited for the light to turn green, the driver continuously honked a very loud horn. In my mirror, I could see her and the passenger waving their hands. I waited for the green, then pulled forward as they made a right turn. I had to wait for the left turn arrow before my light turned green. With all the commotion, it seemed like a long time.

Because of the raised curb, I couldn’t pull over. A truck was to my left. I had nowhere to go but straight ahead.

What should I have done? My street was four lanes and the cross street four lanes. For those of you who know the Denver area, this was on South Santa Fe (PO Danny Dietz Memorial Hwy), speed limit 50 mph. Cross street speed limit at least 40 mph.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Helicopter Flying Story

A friend requested another flying story. This goes back to my few hours of bootleg dual helicopter lessons.

First, a bit of background. The Engineer Group I was part of had an Aviation Section. One of the pilots, a Captain, had serious career aspirations. He was embarrassed by his rifle qualification, Marksman, and was eager to qualify as Expert. He offered to give me unauthorized helicopter lessons for shooting instruction.

In every unit I served in, I was always one of the top three shooters. In one of the units, there was a Camp Perry champion. I couldn’t best him, but could hold my own. In high school, was in the NRA Junior program, and a state champion. My weakness was the near total inability the detect camouflage. Hell on paper.

We had Sunday access to a range and access to inexpensive, often free, ammo. Started the Captain on a .22 and started on his problems. His mechanics were all wrong, he had a serious flinch, and no grasp of “squeezing” the trigger. Took four sessions before he was ready for center fire. He used my personal rifle, a Model 39A Mannlicher Schoenauer .308, with a very thick butt pad. Four more sessions and he was ready for a M-14.
Two sessions with that and he was ready for qualification where he shot Expert. Not by much, but he made it.

My lessons were in an H-13. Ignorance is bliss. His first lesson was one power off autorotation after another. I didn‘t know their purpose was to scare me. In total, he was able to give me five lessons. I flat couldn’t master hovering; couldn’t even come close, and never got any better. I’m glad I had the opportunity. Later, I was encouraged to apply for the Warrant Officer program but was then a “short timer” and they couldn’t guarantee me fixed wing training.

Hope this wasn’t too boring. A word about the M-14. Whatever that weapon is today, the first ones the Army received were crappy. The balance was wrong. The stocks would break at the pistol grip. When they got hot in sustained fire, they jammed. Never fired a full auto M-14A. We weren’t issued the neat stuff, being Engineers.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Haven't bought duck tape for a long time but needed some. Went to Lowes. Decent, brand name, tape from $6.00 a roll! Walked around looking at common stuff, glues, roof patch, paint, etc. All much higher than six months ago.

Given most of this stuff is imported, I suspect the price hike reflects the weak dollar.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mississippi Floods

Living in the arid West, floods rarely affect us. These Vicksburg photos were taken last September and three days ago. As I understand, the crest of the current flood is still upriver.

Business takes me to Florida and Alabama several times a year. My favorite way to bypass St. Louis is to head down I-55 to Sikeston, MO then back road to Paducah, KY. Saves about 40 minutes and a lot of aggravation. After watching the levees being blown on TV, decided this wasn't my best option. Terrible decision to be made; farm land and small towns flooded to save Cairo, IL, one of the least attractive places I've seen. Somewhat like the headline, "Tornado hits Aurora (CO), does $5,000,000 in improvements". Might have a different opinion if I lived there.

Those big rivers always impress me. Give me my mountains. Tis a privlage to live in Colorado.

Things Are Bigger in Texas

Back home after a week on the road with no computer. Much catching up to do tomorrow.
Past this train in North Texas. From the crossing where the pictures were taken to the grain elevator in the distance is 1.9 miles.

Maybe Milepost 154 can identify the type of locomotives. Sory for the duplicate photo. Someday I will learn how to do all this (Yea, right).