Saturday, November 5, 2011

Nothing doing or doing nothing?

Mount Washington New Hampshire - click to enlarge
source: Portland Press Herald
  I've been doing things, but they just about amount to doing nothing.  Oh, I get a list to pick up a couple of items, whatever they may be, and that's about it.
  Maybe that's all I need to do, or maybe people don't want me to do more, go figure.  Oh and I pickup and wait for Peggy, Hollie and Flo (hey! them are all "girls" names!) and this week I've done that two or three times.  This morning I'm picking up Harry and his wife for a trip to the airport.  Now this one is difficult; I drive from here about four miles, turn in to a driveway, pick them up and go three and a half more miles to Bangor International.  I'll be so tired out after doing what I do every other day I won't know which is up or down!  These people need to stop asking me to do the same thing over and over :).
  So, you see, things are going about as easy as anyone could expect, but it's kind of fun to do just the little stuff - I'm out there all the time anyway!
  Well, I've got to go rest up; so I can drive 7 and and half miles!

Friday, November 4, 2011

What are the odds..

Page heading
  I'll go back to a subject I used to nag about almost every day.  The page header of has changed and has added two more spots.  If you hadn't already noticed that, then let me give you the news.
  The object is to visit one of the web addresses for these and click on each of them every day, it's pretty simple, open up on of the items, click the button, done.  It's just that easy, and click on them all by the way.
Hunger:  One of every six Americans (that's us) is a victim of hunger.
Breast Cancer:  One of every three women will have some form of this.
Animals:  Care about animals?  This is your free way to support shelters.
Veterans:  Help locate and shelter homeless vets, there are almost 106,558 among us.
Autism:  One in one hundred fifty: those are the odds of having a child with Autism, we have one.
Child Health:  Most kids don't have health insurance, kids are missing getting shots, and other preventive threatments.
Literacy:  I have noticed that McDonalds still has picture menus for those who can't read, and there are more than you know, it's pretty common.
Rain Forest: There is now only 11% (eleven percent) of the rain forest left that was here in 1900.

So how about spending 15 seconds every day clicking on some buttons, quick, easy, and FREE!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

That old thing?

Electro-mechanical instruments
  First I'll tell you what I know about aircraft instruments, not a hell of a lot is the answer.  In the Navy I worked in aviation supply so I know the names of some of them, I was on a flight crew for 5 years so I got to look at some, but they weren't really any of my business, I was there to make sure the cargo was in the right place and tied down good, do weight and balance calculations so the pilot knew how much fuel we would need or could load - no instruments there at all!
  But I dreamed the other night that I had to tell people all about the different kinds of instruments, the difference between the electro-mechanical (analog) or the electronic (digital) kinds.  Now I've seen an electronic instrument maybe ten times, in other words I know as much about atomic fission as I do about them.
  Dreams are funny things, but you do get to do things that you'd never do while awake.  I have dreams where some Navy people and some civilian people I've worked with are doing things together.  I have dreams where I'm in really improbable situations.
  Yesterday I fell asleep for about 20 minutes in my chair dreaming that I was up at the store in the village, I woke up in my chair and was surprised I was home.  Go figure.
Electronic instrument

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'll sleep on that.

Oil Filters
  Just about every time I doze off now I start to dream.  When I sleep in bed they are easier to remember.  I still remember pretty much all I dreamed about Sunday night; oil filters for older cars and the distribution of them, and the difference between old aircraft instruments and new ones.
Those two subjects aren't even remotely joined in anyway; I probably woke up in between - who knows?
  Oil filters for older cars doesn't concern me when I'm awake, I don't own an older car.  Older cars in the dream where from the 1960's and older.  Anyway, I was deeply concerned that there weren't enough of those particular filters, so I "dreamed up" a plan to take care of the problem.  I was going to build little "mom and pop" corner stores, all over the country, and sell nothing but oil filters.  I know that's not a solid business proposal without giving it too much thought - but I can dream!
  Tomorrow: Aircraft instruments - another thing I don't know much about

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Mosquito War

Seminole War in the Everglades
  There have been, over our history, nine separate incidents called a "Mosquito War", that term applies to different times when the Navy was involved and was using shallow draft boats.
  On November 1, 1839 LT John T. McLaughlin led Navy and Marine Corps personnel on a mission into the Florida Everglades during the Seminole War.  Using a variety of craft including barges, and pole boats the Unit attempted to cross the Everglades.  All went well until the Seminole caught up with them at Cape Sable during which a fight occurred there were no military casualties, the Seminole always took their wounded with them
  For the next few months Lt McLaughlin and his crew explored the shore and rivers of Southern Florida, in 1841 they finally crossed Florida using dugout canoes.
  The Seminole War lasted only a period of months during 1839-1840.  No Treaty has ever been signed between the two parties.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Night Birds

F4U-2N Corsair
  On October 31, 1943, Navy Lieutenant Hugh D. O'Neill destroyed an enemy plane at night aided by Radar; it was the first "night kill" ever recorded, radar had helped the United States gain an edge in the hard fought Pacific Theater of World War Two.
  Assigned to VF(N)-75, a "night fighter" squadron aboard the USS Enterprise CV-6 LT O'Neill made naval aviator history, also on board Enterprise was another "night fighter" squadron, making the two The Night Birds of the Big E - probably the spirit of those two squadrons, and the men and machines that made them up, might have shortened the war and saved a few lives.
  It was a "victory" of sorts for the engineers and technologists who had been working since 1939 to make Radar a military aircraft tool. 
  LT O'Neill went on to become Commanding Officer of VF(N)-74 for a period of March 1944 until the unit shut down and was De-commissioned in October 1945.
USS Enterprise CV-6 at sea
More history recorded

Sunday, October 30, 2011

USS Reuben James DD-245

Maiden voyage, October 1919
   A "four-stacker" destroyer, built by New York Shipbuilding Company in Camden New Jersey, just in time for the end or World War One.  Her first "tour" overseas was to Yugoslavia and Russia (my, how times change), it was a humantarian mission.  She left France as a guard to the Cruiser USS Olympia who was carrying the remains of the Unknown Soldier, a high honor.
  Decommisioned in 1931 she was put into the "mothball fleet" in Philadelphia, re-commisioned in 1932 she patrolled the water off Cuba during the overthrow by Fulgencio Batista.  Transferred to the Pacific Fleet where she took part in the evaluation of Aircraft Carriers, just had to see if those things could work.
  As World War Two was breaking out in Europe, the ship was transferred back to the Atlantic Fleet for patrols.  Based in Hvalfjordur, Iceland she sailed to protect Convoy HX 156, which was eastbound from Newfoundland, Canada, the Reuben James was torpedoed by U-552, a German U-boat.  She had positioned herself between the "wolfpack" of submarines known to be in the area, and the ammunition ship sailing to Iceland.  The torpedo sunk the Reuben James when a magazine exploded.  Of a crew of 159 men, only 44 survived the sinking.  The USS Reuben James was the first United States casualty of World War Two.