Monday, September 11, 2017

Remember

Life is a bit topsy-turvy and I don't expect it to return to normal for at least another week (I'll explain upon my return).

That all said...I'm going to once again share my own personal "Where I was" story of a day sixteen years ago.  A day which forever changed my country and our world.

If you've read this before, feel free to give it a pass.

But, don't feel free to forget this and the innumerable tragedies which have happened since.




    It was just before one o’clock in the afternoon on September 11th (a sad commentary: we don’t even need to identify the year anymore) when my maintenance supervisor stuck his head into my room to wake me.

    “Sir, someone just flew a plane into the World Trade Center.”

    Minutes later, I watched, horrified, as a second plane struck the South tower.  And then, as both of the monstrously huge structures tumbled to the ground as if kicked by a petulant child.

    My unit and I were participating in a multi-nation exercise at the Naval Air Station in Keflavik, Iceland (this explains why it was the afternoon).  A round-the-clock operation, the Keflavik Tactical Exchange gave us a unique chance to evaluate each other’s capabilities should we ever needed to flex our respective militaries.  Little did we know that we were preparing for a type of war which belonged to the past.

    Because the 21st Century came roaring into each of our lives on that late summer day.

    Naturally, the exercise was immediately cancelled.  Foreign aircrews (funny that I call them “foreign’” since we were actually foreigners, too) beat hasty returns to their home bases.  We, on the other hand, were told American airspace was closed for an indefinite time.

    Station security forces went into their highest readiness posture.  Watch teams at the main gate beefed up, rings of barbed wire cordoned off perceived sensitive areas, and armed patrols roamed the perimeter.

    My watch teams and I, on the other hand, remained at our billeting.  Only in Iceland for the exercise, we were considered non-essential personnel who’d only get in the way.

    And so we spent the next few days.

    I received a worried phone call from my wife during this time.  She fretted over my safety.  I assured her that I was fine, but omitted the fact that I was more concerned for her and the kids.

    You see, my family lives only a couple hours from New York and only a few from Washington.

    The ensuing few days was a frantic search for whatever updates we could glean from the news and how in the world we’d get ourselves and thousands of pounds of equipment back home.

    Most importantly, we desperately wanted to know how we could get into the fight.  Whatever the fight was.

    Four days later, U.S. airspace was opened to military traffic.  As I glanced through the window of the Navy patrol plane which took us home, I was struck at how empty the sky was-with the exception of the one plane which approached us as we crossed into the United States.  It came no closer than a few miles before it disappeared.

    I think it was a fighter aircraft.

    What’s more, the radio circuits, normally full of the cacophony of countless air traffic controllers, were eerily silent.  The only ones “on the air” were the handful which guided us home.  All else were hushed into silence.

    Our route of flight took us just south of Manhattan, well out of sight of land.  At that distance, even at the altitude at which we were flying, it was impossible to see any of the city skyline.

    But, we did see a huge pall of gray-brown smoke lingering in the air like the death shroud that it was.

    As we touched ground at the air station we called home, there was nobody to greet us.  There was really not much of anything by way of an acknowledgment that we were back.  Somehow, it seemed fitting.

    After all, we all had something much more important to do.

    Go home to our families.

In memory of:
Commander Bill Donovan, USN

AW2 (NAC/AW) Joseph Pycior, USN

and the thousands whose only crime was going to work that day. 


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Time Out

    I know I've done this in the past, but this time is a little different.

    Instead of storming off in a bit of a snit, I'm going to be "off the air" for a few weeks because things are ramping up around here.  I just won't have the time to bring you whatever it is I do here quality posts.  
    The big difference between now and the last time I went away for a little bit is that I will be returning.  I just need a little time to let the dust settle as Penwasser Place relocates.

"Did I read that right?
Quality posts?"

    Upon my return, I'll explain what's what.  For now, though, I'm in hunt of cardboard boxes.  I hope my homeless pals at the back of the liquor store can hook me up.

"Take whatever you need.  I'll be here."

    For those of you unfortunates who follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter (you gluttons for punishment), you probably won't see much of a difference for a couple weeks.

  So you have that going for you.

"Which is nice."

See you in a few weeks!

"Great!  He's gone!"



"Shit."

Thursday, August 24, 2017

A Rose By Any Other Name

    Is probably dumber than shit.

    A South Carolina woman went into labor twelve days early on Tuesday morning, bringing into this decidedly effed-up world a six pound, three ounce baby girl.  So enthralled was she (and possibly delirious from any possible drugs to deaden the pain.  Or her higher cerebral functions) that this blessed event took place on the day of a dramatic astronomical event, she named her new daughter, "Eclipse."
Coulda been worse.
Coulda been 'Shrek.
'

    Yes, Eclipse.  To be fair, this moniker is not the silliest we've seen.  After all, Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter "Apple" and Former Black Man and Living Person, Michael Jackson, named his son, "Prince" (who was nicknamed "Blanket" and later changed his name to "Bigi").  Plus, who can forget "Moon Unit" Zappa?

    So, "Eclipse" is probably the more normal of the goofy.  But,
Or "Totaled Eclipse."
being named for a gum or a car from Mitsibushi is probably ill-advised.  If nothing, the kid is probably going to suffer significant ribbing in middle school, undergo counseling, and eventually change her name, as well (let's just hope it isn't to 'Bigi.'  Or 'Bigly.').


"And I won't rest until all of
our daughters are named...FREEDOM!"
    Then again, Mom's name is "Freedom,' so...uh...I guess her parents had a penchant for silly names, as well.  Or a bizarre fixation with Braveheart.

    Lost in all the commotion, Eclipse's older brother, Caesarian, shrugged off all the fuss.  "Meh," he said.  "It could be worse."
The baby was going to originally be called Violet.
Until the Estate of Charles Schultz intervened,
claiming name infringement.

********

    This entire episode reminded me of an old joke...

    An Indian son asked his father why he was named what he was named.
Wrong Indian.
Get back to the Microsoft Help Desk.

    Stroking his non-existent beard, the older man replied, "It is the custom of our people to name children after significant events happening at their birth."

    "Is that why my sister is called Summer Storm?"

    The man nodded, "And why your brother is named Running Wolf."

    "And the baby that Mother just had is Grey Thundercloud!"

"It is so.
Why do you ask, Two Dogs Fucking?"

    

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Captain Caption CXLVI

"I dunno about you, but I sure am grateful
for all this goofy statue talk.
It sure has stopped a lot of people from riding my as...hey!
You gonna eat that?"

Sunday, August 20, 2017

In the News

Protests intensify calling for the removal of the Rocky statue after allegations that the Italian Stallion colluded with 
the Russian Ivan Drago to murder Apollo Creed.
Developing...

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Karma

Lowes
Charlottesville, Virginia
Friday, August 11th

"Hey, everyone!  Did you hear?  I sold one HUNDRED Tiki torches!"
"Way to go, Stewart!  YOU ROCK!!"

Lowes

Charlottesville, Virginia
Saturday evening, August 12th

"Hey, did you hear?  They let Stewart go."
"Yeah, that dude was a real A-Hole."

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Captain Caption CXLV

"We were told there'd be a barbecue.
What the f...did EVERYone bring a frikkin' tiki torch?
Didn't ANYone bring burgers and dogs?
Stupid GD Nazis."