Showing posts from April, 2018


According to Universe Today and astronomers throughout the globe, the standard way to pronounce Uranus is to put the emphasis on the first syllable “ur” and then say the second part “unus”. This is the standard literary pronunciation. The more common way people have pronounced it is u-ra-nus, with the “ra” sounded like “ray”. The average person uses the latter, and that leads to all sorts of childish jokes.  Thus an article meant to broadcast a wonderful discovery heads south into the potty humor zone:

"Yer anus smells like farts and rotten eggs", proclaimed the local online news feed. "Scientists discovered that yer anus has clouds that..."

I paused to wonder how that insult squeezed past the FCC's authoritarian guidelines, and then took it upon myself to find an actual article. In all sincerity, the planet (and not the viewer's bottom) does carry those odors in its clouds. It's the reporter that can't pronounce the name.

Uranus Smells Like Rotten E…

BARBARA BUSH: some pensive reflections

I didn't watch Barbara Bush's funeral.  I wanted to remember her as the lively person, and not see a casket.  I should have watched. Jeb Bush delivered a powerful eulogy.

I realize some of my younger readers see in only black and white.  Republicans bad, Democrats good - or vice-versa.  They hear "Bush" and loathing rises in them. They weren't alive when Bush was President. They base their emotions and opinions on what they've been told by liberal society and their college professors.  They disparage Barbara for being married to "an idiot" (frequently mixing her up with Laura and G.W. Bush).  They call her frumpy. Fat. Too old. An example of male oppression because she advocated family first. They never took the time to hear her heart.
Some of my generation felt the same way with Michelle Obama.  When President Obama first took office, they looked at her and thought she was too harsh and angry.  Too thin. Too black. Too tall. They couldn't see …


Nobody ever said command was easy.  It usually isn't too rough, if you have a supportive command staff.  I do. In fact, I have four outstanding gentlemen that I turn to when things need done right.  
Three of them were at the National Guard facility today for Wing-wide training.  Our squadron is hosting.  I was absolutely confident things would go well with them on hand.
No battle plan ever survives contact with visiting squadrons, however.  And so it was, as I was leaving squadron this evening, two of my staffers rolled up to get signs for the road. They relayed information about an incident involving a visiting squadron.  
Apparently the colonel driving the van pulled behind the Guard facility - and onto the flight line.  Not only did the Guard bark at him, but my Advisor to the Commander did as well. Well, good! Safety first, people. 
Satisfied that things would go more smoothly, I left to retrieve some things accidentally left at home.  It's an hour drive - two hours roun…

BARBARA BUSH: my favorite First Lady

Younger generations probably don't remember Barbara Bush in her prime.  They may have been born while her husband was in office, but most didn't hit their early strides until the Clinton era.  To be fair, those under 40 didn't live during the tumultuous 60's, and have a child's perspective of the 70's.
That's not to say that people that young don't have an understanding. However, they can not explain the 60s and 70s from an adult's perspective - they gleam insight from books, or from listening to their parents talk about that era.
Some are old enough to remember the 80s. They recall the Reagan years with clarity. They remember sitting in front of their televisions as teens or young adults, and listening to the President's speeches. They can tell you about the odd shivers that tingled their spines as the President stood at the podium in West Berlin in 1987 and said, "General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity …


After 25 years apart, Better Half finally had an opportunity to visit with his brother.  It was a happy and laid back reunion.  Brother D was returning home to Texas for a month, and his leg from Boston took him fairly close to us.  He called on Thursday, and was here by Saturday.

It's remarkable to see how many physical traits are shared. The same crisp, blue eyes lined by similar care-worn wrinkled, the smiles, and the facial hair.  Though BH is sporting a full beard (as is his daddy), Brother D rocks a handlebar mustache.

He's fantastic. I love him already.  Though he's more quiet than BH (to be fair, wailing tornado sirens are more quiet than BH), Brother D has a fantastic sense of humor.

We sat down for a simple dinner (papikosh and salad), and then the boys went out back for key lime pie.  My parents, worn out by then, adjourned to the living room to catch some TV, though mom was a great help with getting all the dishes done.

We caught up on family news, he shared s…


BH and I were shocked when we learned that R. Lee Ermey passed away.  His personality was larger than life, and his contributions to the world are far too extensive to list.  Nor could anyone make a full list, really.  It's the small stories coming from everyday people that are the most poignant. There isn't any way to accurately capture what he meant to those he inspired - and he inspired thousands.

Ronald Lee Ermey (March 24, 1944 – April 15, 2018) was an American solider, actor, and voice actor. He achieved fame when he played Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in the 1987 film Full Metal Jacket, which earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Ermey was also a United States Marine Corps staff sergeant and an honorary gunnery sergeant. During his tenure in the U.S. Marine Corps, he served as a drill instructor.
Ermey was often typecast in authority figure roles, such as Mayor Tilman in the film Mississippi Burning, Bill Bowerman in Prefontaine, Sheriff Hoyt…

CHANNEL AWESOME: #changethechannel campaign

At times an odd dissonance resonates through the Internet, playing out in social media and on popular forums.  It's annoying but to be expected, given the anonymity granted to Internet users. It's hard to avoid if it occurs at one of your favorite Internet haunts. 
In this case,  it revolves around the online media production company Channel Awesome and some of its former contributors. 
Unfamiliar with Channel Awesome's content? The most popular series offered by them is Nostalgia Critic.
Nostalgia Critic is an American review comedy web television series created by, directed by and starring web comedian Doug Walker. The series initially launched on YouTube in July 3, 2007 before moving to Walker's own site That Guy with the Glasses, then to Channel Awesome. The show follows Walker as the titular Nostalgia Critic, a bitter and sarcastic critic who reviews films and television shows from his childhood and recent past, usually with comically exaggerated rage. The show …

RAMBLE: Friday the 13th, Visiting Brother, and Cleaning

BH's brother is visiting us tomorrow! These sibs haven't seen each other since the early 90s, so it's a pretty big deal for us.  I've never met him though I've talked to him on the phone before. He's been hereby dubbed Brother Shipwright, for blogging purposes.

We didn't learn the news until yesterday so, per my normal "guests are coming" protocol, I spent the entire day spring cleaning the downstairs. EVERYTHING got my attention, minus the room where the parents watch TV. I just don't have the stamina to wash and polish all the stuff in there. The kitchen, however, looks glorious, if you'll pardon my bragging. All the seldom-used stuff got purged. I organized the rest.  Now it looks bright and open.  My bones and joints ache now.  Ugh.  So worth it, though.
I'm hoping to get the bathroom and our bedroom knocked out tomorrow.  I doubt I'll have the energy to do both.  Hey, we can always shut the bedroom door.  
Tonight, we ran out t…

TRUMP: War Before Coffee

Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018
Trump, you idiot. It's poor policy to threaten other nations via Twitter.  You don't use social media to taunt a nuclear power. You don't brag about bombing "Gas Killing Animals" without giving any consideration to the innocent civilians that will also be affected by our missiles. This isn't a video game. The use of deadly force should be solemnly undertaken. Is the use of that force warranted? Yes, perhaps.  However, it should not be used as a means to prop your own power up.
He tweeted at 6:57 AM EST, probably well before his staff rolled in for work. He most likely heard the news on Fox and, per norm, did not consult with anyone before going off on a typical tweet-rant.

TRUMP: We, the People, Deserve Better

I'm not going to bother recapping the details regarding the raid on Trump's lawyer. You can read about it yourself:
New York Times: Raids on Trump’s Lawyer Sought Records of Payments to WomenCNN: Cohen raid ignites Trump's rage and sparks speculationEsquire: Watch Trump React to the FBI Raid on His Lawyer: 'It's an Attack on Our Country'Fox News: FBI raid targets Trump attorney Michael Cohen, under scrutiny over Stormy Daniels payments
What concerns me more are the cacophonous responses from Trump. A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 10, 2018 The news broke in the middle of a press conference regarding America's response to Syria's gas attack.  Trump flapped, per norm.  The special counsel's investigation was a "total witch hunt."  The seizure of evidence was "frankly, a real disgrace." And the investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia amounts to "an attack on our country in a true s…

CAP GUS: Adventures at HQ

Few people realize that I'm a member of CAP.  I don't normally broadcast it on my personal blogs, mainly because my opinions do not reflect the opinions (political, social, whatever) held by organization and should not be interpreted that way.

However, given that I've driven an hour to squadron HQ, and I'm waiting for my finicky Deskjet to actually scan two pages (it's been ten minutes), I thought I'd share a snapshot with the world.

He looks so thrilled to be here.

"Momma, why for you bring me into this cold building?"

Simple, Gus. Momma didn't realize she had to upload a scan of a monthly report.

"Make your transportation officer do it, Momma."

He wasn't able to. As the commander, the buck stops with me.  Besides, it was a nice truck ride for Gus. He has his favorite bed.  He's happy.

Or bored. Hard to tell with him. His only excitement today was chasing a mouse.

Our facility is located at a county airport, as are many CAP squ…