Sunday, September 22, 2013

Reunion Time

Hey, Peeps!  Judy and I are heading out to Virginia Beach, VA, today and will be at the Holiday Inn.

It is my ship’s Navy reunion and I will be spending time with some of the greatest guys walking (some rolling) and their wives and families.  I will be hobnobbing with men from WWII (hopefully), Korea and Vietnam as well as all the peacetime sailors like me (well, they aren’t like me.  They are great men.)

Stories (no lying allowed), laughs, and a few drinks will be had and heard.  And a tear or two will be shed for our Lost 74.

I will be checking in as much as I can, and I will try to remember to take some pictures. 

Anyway, y’all have a great week, and say a prayer for the guys and gals serving all over the world.  They are truly some of America’s best.

Later, Peeps!   

John's Nuts

I was over at Jim’s place,, and told him I would post a picture of my nuts.

It is kinda dated, but the jewels are there.

Chill, ladies, and don’t worry, they are a bit larger now.

You’re welcome, Jim.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No! 35 children is enough.

Q: I’m two months pregnant now.  When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he/she finishes college.

Q: What is the most reliable method to determine a baby’s sex?
A: Childbirth!

Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she’s borderline irrational.
A: So what’s your question?

Q: My childbirth instructor says it’s not pain I’ll feel during labor, but pressure.  Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you’re pregnant.

Q: Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: Not unless the word “Alimony” means anything to you.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.

Q: Do I have t have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby’s diaper very quickly.

Q: Our baby was born last week.  When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Questons by Steven Wright

If you're not familiar with the work of Steven Wright, he's the famous erudite scientist who once said: "I woke up one morning, and all of my stuff had been stolen and replaced by exact duplicates. His mind sees things differently than most of us do. Here are some of his gems.  Some are funny, some are stupid, and some are quite mind boggling!

1 - I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
2 - Borrow money from pessimists -- they don't expect it back.
3 - Half the people you know are below average.
4 - 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
5 - 82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
6 - A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.
7 - A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
8 - If you want the rainbow, you have got to put up with the rain.
9 - All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.
10 - The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
11 - I almost had a psychic girlfriend. But she left me before we met.
12 - OK, so what's the speed of dark?
13 - How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?
14 - If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
15 - Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
16 - When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
17 - Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.
18 - Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.
19 - I intend to live forever. So far, so good!
20 - If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
21 - Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
22 - What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
23 - My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
24 - Why do psychics have to ask you for your name.
25 - If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
26 - A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
27 - Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
28 - The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.
29 - To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
30 - The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
31 - The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.
32 - The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.
33 - Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don't have film.
34 - If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
35 - If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?

Truly an amazing and unique person!   Maybe he should be a comedian…

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Today is 12 years since that infamous day of 9/11, and below is a fascinating account of a couple of unsung heroes of that day.

The events of Sept. 11, 2001, put an F-16 pilot into the sky with orders to bring down United Flight 93.

Late in the morning of the Tuesday that changed everything, Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney had her hand on the throttle of an F-16 and she had her orders: Bring down United Airlines Flight 93.  The day’s fourth hijacked airline seemed to be hurtling toward Washington.  Penny, one of the first two combat pilots in the air that morning, was told to stop it.

“I genuinely believed that was going to be the last time I took off,” says Maj. Heather “Lucky” Penney, remembering the September 11th attacks and the initial U.S. Reaction.

The one thing she didn’t have as the F-16 roared into the crystalline sky was live ammunition.  Or missiles!  Or anything at all to throw at the hostile aircraft – except her own plane.  So that was the plan.

Because the surprise attacks were unfolding, in that innocent age, faster than they could arm the war planes, Penny and her commanding officer went up to fly their jets straight into a Boeing 757.  “We wouldn’t be shooting it down.  We’d be ramming the aircraft,” Penney recalls of her of her charge that day.  “I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot.”

For years, Penney, one of the first generation of female combat pilots in the country, gave no interviews about their experiences on September 11th (which included, eventually, escorting Air Force One back into Washington’s suddenly highly restricted airspace.)  But 10 years later, she is reflecting on one of the lesser-told tales of that endlessly examined morning: how the first counterpunch the U.S. Military prepared to throw at the attackers was effectively a suicide mission.

“We had to protect the airspace any way we could,” she said last week in her office at Lockheed martin, where she is a director in the F-35 program.  Penney, now a major but still a petite blonde with a Colgate grin, is no longer a combat flier.  She flew two tours in Iraq and she serves as a part-time National Guard pilot, mostly hauling VIP’s around in a military Gulfstream.  She take the stick of her own vintage 1041 Taylorcraft tail-dragger whenever she can.  But none of her thousands of hours in the air quite compare with the urgent rush of launching on what was supposed to be a one-way flight to a midair collision.

She was a rookie in the autumn of 2001, the first female F-16 pilot they’d ever had at the 121st Fighter Squadron of the D.C. Air National Guard.  She had grown up smelling jet fuel.  Her father flew jets in Vietnam and still races them.  Penney got her pilot’s license when she was a literature major at Purdue.  She planned to be a teacher.  But during a graduate program in American studies, Congress opened up combat aviation to women and Penney was nearly first in line.

“I signed up immediately,” she says.  “I wanted to be a fighter pilot like my dad.”
On that Tuesday, they had just finished two weeks of air combat training in Nevada.  They were sitting around a briefing table when someone looked in to say a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York.  When it happened once, they assumed it was some yahoo in a Cessna.  When it happened again, they knew it was war.  But the surprise was complete.  In the monumental confusion of those first hours, it was impossible to get clear orders.  Nothing was ready.  The jets were still equipped with dummy bullets from the training mission.

As remarkable as it seems now, there were no armed aircraft standing by and no system in place to scramble them over Washington.  Before that morning, all eyes were looking outward, still scanning the old Cold War threat paths of planes and missiles coming over the polar ice cap.

“There was no perceived threat at the time, especially one coming from the homeland like that,” says Col. George Degnon, vice commander of the 113th Wing at Andrews.  “It was a little bit of a helpless feeling, but we did everything humanly possible to get the aircraft armed and in the air.  It was amazing to see people react.”

“Things are different today,” Degnon says.  At least two “hot-cocked” planes are ready at all times, their pilots never more than yards from the cockpit.

A third plane hit the Pentagon, and almost at once came word that a forth plane could be on the way, maybe more.  The jets would be armed within an hour, but somebody had to fly now, weapons or not weapons.

“Lucky, you’re coming with me,” barked Col Marc Sasseville.  They were gearing up in the pre-flight life-support area when Sasseville, struggling into his flight suit, met her eyes.  “I’m going to for the cockpit,” Sasseville said.

She replied without hesitating.  “I’ll take the tail.”

It was a plan.  And a pact!  “Let’s go!”

Penney had never scrambled a jet before.  Normally the pre-flight is a half-hour or so of methodical checks.  She automatically started going down the list.

“Lucky, what are you doing?  Get your butt up there and let’s go!”   Sasseville shouted.

She climbed in, rushed to power up the engine, and screamed for the ground crew to pull the chocks.  The crew chief still had his headphones plugged into the fuselage as she nudged the throttle forward.  She muttered a fighter pilot’s prayer.  “God, don’t let me fuck up” and followed Sasseville into the sky.

They screamed over the smoldering Pentagon, heading northwest at more than 400 mph, flying low and scanning the clear horizon.  Her commander had time to think about the best place to hit the enemy.

“We don’t train to bring down airliners,” said Sasseville, now stationed at the Pentagon.  “If you just hit the engine, it could still glide and you could guide it to a target.  My though was the cockpit or the wing.”

He also thought about his ejection seat.  Would there be an instant just before impact?  “I was hoping to do both at the same time,” he says.  “It probably wasn’t going to work, but that’s what I was hoping.”

Penney worried about missing the target if she tried to bail out.  “If you eject and your jet soars through without impact…” she trails off, the thought of failing more dreadful than the thought of dying.

But she didn’t have to die.  She didn’t have to knock down an airliner full of kids and salesmen and girlfriends.  The hijackers did that themselves.

It would be hours before Penney and Sasserville learned that United 93 had already gone down in Pennsylvania, an insurrection by hostages willing to do just what the two Guard pilots had been willing to do: Anything and everything.

“The real heroes are the passengers on Flight 93 who were willing to sacrifice themselves,” Penney says.  “I was just an accidental witness to history.”

She and Sasseville flew the rest of the day, clearing the airspace, escorting the president looking down onto a city that would soon be sending them to war.

She’s a single mom of two girls now.  She still loves to fly.  And she thinks often of that extraordinary ride down the runway a decade ago.

“I genuinely believed that was going to be the last time I took off,” she says.  “If we did it right, this would be it.”