Friday, July 31, 2009

Military Escort

So, I dropped by the 4th Battalion, Bravo Company HQ today. I took pictures of the T-72 tank there. Built in the Soviet Union and captured in Iraq during the Gulf War (Desert Storm), it was the much touted main battle tank that our forces...or at least the talking heads on the news...were worried about. Turns out they did not need to worry. Our M1A1 tanks, often outnumbered, took the fight to the enemy and knocked them out every time! At one point, 5 M1A1 Abrams encountered an enemy force of about 35 armored vehicles (Tanks, too) and destroyed them all in a matter of 20 minutes. Often, our forces would show up and the Iraqis would jump out with their arms in the air, surrendering...

I had to be buzzed in. I was escorted by a marine. I had to sign in, wear a visitor tag, and was instructed to avoid taking photos of vehicles in the parking lot, the fence, the gate, the buildings...basically, if it was anything other than the tank, I was to avoid taking pictures. For security reasons. I then had to walk back in, sign out and return my tag. Still, the Sergeant who escorted me was most helpful and very friendly. I was surprised he looked so young...guess I am getting old.

I think I did pretty good avoiding other things.

Note the bullet holes in this tank(below), it was knocked out. Note also the wheels...chipped rubber. I could not identify a place where it was hit by an anti-tank round, but, it is still interesting to look at. I will be posting these on my airplane/history site when I get a decent article wrtten up.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jack Russell Terrors

I love my dog. I never thought I would love an animal THAT much. Toby is SO human, he just terrifies me at times. We are all about habits. One of our habits is letting Toby come to bed with us in the morning. He used to spend the night, but there was too much growling. He has since been banished to the kitchen, where he sleeps until morning and then comes to sleep with us for awhile when one of us comes to get him. He is spoiled, obviously. Still, he is mighty cute and mostly adorable. his morning, he gave the normal "wake-up" whine at 4:45AM. I woke up and told him to SHUT UP...then I wobbled back to bed where I examined the clock with one eye, then realized I would need to get up soon...crap! So, I gave up and went back out, let Toby come to bed and then made coffee. I walked into the bedroom later to get some clothes. Toby lay under the covers on my side of the bed. I lifted them enough to verify his presence. I left. When I came back to tell Cora I was leaving, I noted Toby had pulled himself out of his covers so he was partially covered and still, had his front half out, most of which was overhanging the side of the bed, but only exhibited Toby's cuteness to the extreme. He loves sleeping next to mom...even if she snores! LOL!

He is SUCH agood looking dog!

I worked today and got hot doing it. still, I survived! Tomorrow is my day off!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


OK, I have been and always shall be...a Trekkie! I have been getting a bigger than normal dose, too. The new movie came out. We bought a few of the old ones and they have been playing Voyager and Next Generation on TV quite a bit lately. So, now it comes naturally for me to think (I don't speak it aloud, that would be silly, since so many around me are ready to pounce and make fun when I do something silly) "Scotty, beam me up," when I am in a spot where I don't want to be. For instance: In this unforgiving roasting furnace also known as Eatern Washington, or around certain of my coworkers.

Of course, I would not mind having phaser banks in my truck...I get annoyed with other drivers easily. Sometimes it would be so comforting to fire a photon torpedo at offending traffic! ah, well. At least I have not taken to jinxing them with my wand, a la Harry Potter! (I won't say it has not occured to me though!) Jeez, I am a nerd.

Another day in paradise beckons. All the mowers seem to have something wrong with them, so I imagine today will be spent trying to fix them. Could be considerably worse, though!

We are finding more and more ripe veggies! The heat is good for that!

carry on!

Monday, July 27, 2009


I have horrible teeth. I assume mostly due to DNA since I do my best to keep them presentable. I had one crack the other day and had to go in and get a temporary crown put on it today. Feels better now, except for the bill...which remains to be seen. I understand that dentists and dental techs and all those other ladies milling around in there need to eat, but can't I be on a special list of people who only have to pay $25.00 for whatever I want?

Oh, and the dentist and the dental assistant got into a mock argument over my open mouth. The Dentist had a syringe in his hand and asked me if I agreed with him...given the proximity of the sharp object (IN MY JAW) I did my best to communicate my complete and utter agreement with him. He chuckled and said all of his patients agree with doubt. On the bright side, I no longer have to be careful about which side of my mouth I chew on.

I have another day of mowing ahead of me. We have two guys on vacation. There are two of us left. I am doing one of their jobs and the other guy is doing the other guy's work and his own (Which should not be a problem, because two weeks ago he did it all in three days). Still, the one that remains wanted me to help him out today instead of what I had planned...too bad for him, I had a dentist appointment. I still have to finish what I started today, so he'll just have to make do. I am a busy man!

I made tacos tonight and used tomatoes, cilantro, and tomatillos from our garden to make salsa...yum!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Saturday Was Fun!

I used my considerable charms and skills of deduction and observation to locate the place where the aircraft to be used for the airshow at the Tri-City Water Follies were being kept when not in use.
Though not a huge number of aircraft, often fewer is better. It allows you more time to appreciate the ones you have. The B-25 was the only one really open for the public to look at. There were supposedly $5 tours, but the aircrew was absent when i was there, so no luck there.

Here are a few photos, though. Below are the F-16s, one of which made a demonstration for the public down by the river, and then flew wing on the P-51 named Val-Halla. From left to right: Soviet Yak-11, P-51, F-16s.
Below you see a better view of Val-Halla, which appears to be dressed in early 1950s colors. Probably as an Air Defence fighter, or as an ANG bird (Air National Guard). Given the buzz numbers, I think the former.
The B-25's bomb bay was open, so I stood there and took this photo looking aft through the plexiglass.
For more aircraft pictures, see my other site.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

More of the Same, with a Dash of History

I am sitting having coffee as I write this. We plan to go to the 3cities to watch the boat races and airplanes. Well, that is MY plan, Cora intends to do some major relaxing next to the pool.

I cracked a molar yesterday. I was chewing on a peanut...not even a hard one. It is a tooth I have been needing to put a crown on, so I will make an appointment for this week and have the damned thing fixed. In the meantime, I will chew on the other side of my mouth...see, the cracked part did not exit my mouth, nor the gum, and it has the potential for being uncomfortable. Still, I am unwilling to pay the extra emergency fee. Since it is not horribly painful and merely an annoyance, I will wait.

I had a decent week. I sat on the tractor and mower for a good part of it. Yesterday, I worked on the house. Mowed the lawn, weeded, etc. Last night we had BBQ steak, steamed zukes and squash, and boiled baby red potatoes. I think it was a success.

I have decided to attempt an article on the Iraqi tank that Bravo Company brought back with them from the first Gulf War. I will put it on my other site, since it is a piece of Washington history. For those of you who don't know, Bravo Company is part of the 4th Tank Battalion of the Marine Corps. It is spead out all over the western US. Yakima has Bravo Company, a reserve unit that was recently called up again. Given the nearness of the Yakima Training Center, it is a perfect marriage. I decided to do the article because it is not well known, apparently, though at the time they brought it back from Iraq, there was quite a media fuss. Amazing how living in one place for awhile actually makes you a place where history is stored. Still, when asked if they knew about i, a few people gave me a blank, might as well do something about it.

That is something I have been taking advantage of, the ability of people to absorb histoy simply by living. A lot of the people I run into have lived here for quite awhile and they have stories and knowledge I have yet to tap. For instance, a month ago I ran into a gentleman who had served aboard the USS Gudgeon during the Cold War. He was aboard for a collision with another ship (Soviet) which is described in one of the books I have read. I plan on going back to pick his brain. Another might have more information on that local gunnery range. I hope to ask about the Pasco Naval Air Station (NAS) while in the 3cities, assuming I can get to the local Museum. So, now I have some places to go with the other site...I am a bit more excited about it. Oh, and if you have not had the chance, click on over to it, I still have that article written by the gentleman from Brazil about the wreck near Stehekin!

Anyone have information on Washington History they would like to see on my blog? E-mail me and I will do my best to hook you up.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cute Knee On The Bounty...

OK, Cora did not want to donate her cute knee, so I was forced to use my own somewhat knobby one. I hope you all aught the play on the title...did anyone get it? Nah, thought not.

These are some of the goodies I pulled from the garden on Tuesday. Those green things next to the tomatoes, for you uninitiated white people, are tomatillos (Toe-matt-tee-yos) you find those in Salsa Verde (Green Salsa). Yes, I plan on making some Salsa Verde in the near future. I'll keep you posted.

Today was my friday. Tomorrow lots of cleaning, nd then we might go see the boat races in the 3 cities. Again, pictures and more to come...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Good Day

So, this weekend Cora and I visited the local Museum. We also had a nice lunch and basically looked to do something cool but not sitting in the house under the AC!

Yesterday evening, as I sat checking the email, I found a nifty little complement concerning my airplane site. A guy who runs another wreckchasing site found my site and wanted to complement me! The funny thing is the way he found it. I wrote a short article/write-up on an F-104C crash back in May. That article was discovered by some people from the International F-104 Association...according to the email, my article has been making the rounds among those folks. The way this guy got it was even better. A German F-104 pilot forwarded it to him. Like he said in his email, it is amazing how the internet works.

So, with my head slightly swollen, I intend to head out to work here in a few minutes. I suppose I should do a few more posts, but I just have not been into it lately. Must be the heat...or maybe it is my extreme lack of ambition...I am always misplacing my ambition. Could someone send me some more ambition? I mean, IF you have some laying around.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009


I walked out to the bck yard the other evening and took a few pictures. I had intended to post them immediately, however, I seem to have caught the LAZIES in reguard to my blog. I think I have been just too tired to do much.

So, enjoy these pictures of summer...I keep getting little reminders that Autum is on it way...stupid stores and their bck to school sales that start in early July!
Squash and Zucchini in the unmowed part of the lawn...since it is now garden. Cora's brilliant idea was to use part of our yard for growing nicely!
above you see Tomatoes, Cukes, and Corn...if you look closely you might be able to see peas growing up on the corn and cilantro and basil growing in the spaces in between.
When I returned to the back door, I heard a loud little bird in the tree,I looked up to see this little fellow enjoying our thistle in that sock thingy. He was abou 6 feet away and unbothered by my presence.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Deere John Letter

Deere John Deere,

I love your product. In this case a tractor. I enjoyed my day yesterday, which entailed me driving your product around in large, lazy circles towing a large grass vacuum in the mid-day sun. While this partiular tractor does not retain a comfortable seat, it does run as advertised.

The downside to this is that conditions combined to lull me into a state of stupor. In fact, I was very drousy for quite awhile. I retained ear plugs and sat on my wife's knee pad that she uses for weeding the garden (remember, no seat cushion). I had a bottle of water wedged between the hot transmission and some sort of pedal. The running of the engine and the slight dips and bumps in the large lawn combined to rock me to sleep. The sun pushed down upon me, gently baking my flesh. I was unaware of this because of the nice breeze that wandered across my brow at just the rate to keep it from overheating and, of course, I think I may have slept through some of the experience. When I made it home, my wife told me I should be careful and put sunscreen on so I don't turn into a redneck-then she looked at me and said, "Too late."

Now I know how farmers get their tans...and I have to say, it is not unpleasant. Thank you for your tractor!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


What a BLAST! 500 posts!

According to our illustrious friend Blogger (and why wouldn't I trust it?) this is my 500th post. It seems odd that just a year and 4 months ago I started this silly thing. It seems like yesterday, and yet, I have done so much...and so little.

We had a good Fourth of July and the weekend was spent doing less than we had originally intended. We must have put our ambition down somewhere and forgotten where it was, because we were sure lazy.

Friday we had steak and Zucchini. Here is a photo to get you hungry(I had just put the Zuke on, and NO, the zuke fillets were not cut that pretty, but they sure tasted good).

Since then we have had Cora's wonderful pork chops and my Chicken Enchiladas...though it did turn out to be Chicken/Steak Enchilada...still, it was decent, and some other delicacies.

So, as 500th posts go, this isn't going to be a doozy, just more of the same. I simply wanted to note the takes dedication...and nothing else to stay with a blog this long.

Or is it I simply like to put things down on the screen and call them mine like a non-celluloid, non-digital Abominable Snowman... "Oh, LOOK! I have a blog! I have always wanted a blog. I shall pet him and squeeze him and name him Planetruth!"

And the beat goes on (in my head, it's Sonny and Cher)...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Summer Macros

The view from the yard is green. I don't know if you knew it, but Green has always been my favorite color. I don't know why, but it is.

I took this picture of the corn in the garden...I rather like the concentric shapes.

Maple leaves backlit by the sun.

and here is a macro of a maple leaf. I think this one is a keeper!
Other than that...well, we went shopping today. We sweltered in the 100 degree heat(...something around 38 C for my Australian reader). Ah, summer! We also grilled some steak and zucchini.
Now we are relaxing watching a movie.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Amazing. I just checked my Google Analytics, which shows how many people stopped by my blog and what keywords they used to find it. I am in the big leagues now. I used to get between 10 and 25 hits per day. I am fine with that. Today I logged on and it showed on the little graph that all my previous hits were a strait-ish line on the bottom, then it got to Sunday and BAM!! a peak, then yesterday and BAM BAM BAM! A huge peak! I thought, great, Google's broken. Then I looked at the numbers...Sunday: 162, Yesterday: 481 WTF?

I looked at the keywords and found out why...

It turns out, if you are interested in the death of Billy Mays...and HOW he died...and you use Google to search for that information...well, my site came up as number nine this morning if you search for "How did Billy Mays Die" and that particular post is not...well, it does not speak well of him. I can't believe the traffic. On the bright side, most only stay an average of 13 seconds.

This is an interesting way to lead up to my 500th post. Maybe I will break the 500 people in a day mark simply by having hated Billy Mays commercials! Wouldn't that be funny? By the way, if you are counting...Blogger says this is post 498.

So, I have to go to work now, but I have a three day weekend!! Hurray! I hope all of you who found this site via a search for Billy Mays will forgive my dislike of the man's style of selling, and stay for awhile and enjoy...for you regulars, have a good day!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ah...An Idiot By Any Other Name...

is still an idiot.

I worked with the district idiot today. I am certain that all businesses have their share of idiots, but ours is particularly sinister.

He is, underneath it all, a decent guy. Really...I am fairly certain of this. He offers to help with no hint that he expects a return. However, he tends to deliver monologues of mispronounced, mal-reasoned diatribes attempting to foment mistrust of liberals. His idea of satanic worshippers would be a group of Democrats. He lives to listen to Rush Limbaugh. He attempts to emulate Rush's arguments, however, his mispronunciations and obvious lack of knowledge provides for some entertainment. If Rush did not say it...well, you are wrong.

For a time we kept track of his mispronunciations and "new" words. I think we even had some of them written down. I can only remember their gist, however. The ones I DO remember are here: Spermacise: The fertilization of fish eggs by fish and wild life persons, however, he supposes all you have to do is have a bucket of fish eggs and fish sperm...and stir them together...presto! BABY FISH! Bat Out of Fire: Apparently a bastardization of bat out of hell. Still, it's interesting.

Last week he said something about a "tale boat." I assume he was talking about a boat that uses the wind for propulsion. Today, he butchered the English language so badly I simply had to leave. His arguments are circular and his logic is skewed. His facts...well, they don't seem to be what others would agree are facts.

Last week he walked into a room, occupied by men discussing the next step in an arduous day, and stated, "The Democrats have done it again!" I left the room. I imagine the others circled him with the intention of strangling didn't happen...but I imagine it.

Another down side to him, is his apparent lack of personal hygiene. He smells. BAD. Ughh!

So, today he showed up and helped me and Twinky move some pallets...then he pushed himself into the cab of the truck and sat his odiforous body within smelling distance of both of us. UGH!! "I'll help you guys! No one else wants me." this said with a straight face...because NO ONE wants him!! ARGH!!!!

Fortunately, all bad days must come to an end!

Ah, tomorrow has to be better!