Inspection Ready

Can you imagine an NCO meeting a Colonel, let alone a five star general, shirtless and greasy today?


My how times have changed.

There’s very much a place for spit and polish in the service. But there’s also very much a time for senior officers to see past the dog and pony shows and see what the actual conditions are.

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Tulsa Air and Space Museum

The Tulsa Air and Space Museum was a nice find.  A retired American Airlines MD-80 is parked outside, and an F-14 Tomcat is among the aircraft inside.


The museum pays homage to Oklahoma aviators and astronauts, including a large display about Wiley Post, Will Rogers, and their ill-fated flight in Alaska.  Another display described the last B-24 built at the Douglas plant in Tulsa, the “Tulsamerican”, which later went down in the Adriatic. Art deco pieces of the old airport building are preserved, as well as a couple of old Spartan airplanes. Oklahoma astronauts include Apollo 10 and Apollo-Soyuz commander Thomas Stafford, Skylab astronauts Owen Garriott and William Pogue, and Shuttle astronauts Shannon Lucid and John Herrington.

Mr. RFH liked this, the Jumo 004 turbojet engine for the Me-262.

The kids liked the interactive displays and the knowledgeable docent.
mini me

Last but not least was the planetarium, which had a number of shows. I liked this display, an Eagle project made of a couple of thousand Rubik’s Cubes.
2000 rubiks

They also had up-to-date stargazer news, including the rendezvous with the Dawn mission to Ceres, the solar eclipse earlier in March, and updates on the James Webb Space Telescope.

On the same road, not far from the museum is Evelyn’s Soul Food Restaurant. This was a nice place to have lunch then return to the museum.

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Filed under history, Personal, planes, space, World War II

Air Canada Flight 624 crash lands in Halifax; 23 sent to hospital |

HALIFAX – The chief operating officer of Air Canada says the weather was safe for landing when a plane flying into Halifax early Sunday morning had a hard landing and skidded off the runway.

Klaus Goersch confirmed at a brief press conference at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Sunday afternoon that the incident, which occurred during a snowstorm, could technically be described as a crash because the plane did not reach its gate. He said he had never heard of a similar accident occurring previously with Air Canada.

via Air Canada Flight 624 crash lands in Halifax; 23 sent to hospital |

That’s not a hard landing. That’s a crash. A hard landing calls for an inspection to make sure nothing broke on the plane. This one is a hull-loss.



Egyptian navy has fired shots at Iranian warships | Defence blog

Egyptian navy has fired warning shots at Iranian warships near Bab el-Mandab Strait.

Early four Egyptian naval vessels to secure Gulf of Aden, Reuters reports citing Suez Canal sources, reported

Four Egyptian naval vessels have crossed the Suez Canal en route to Yemen to secure the Gulf of Aden, maritime sources at the Suez Canal said Thursday.

via Egyptian navy has fired shots at Iranian warships | Defence blog.

Looks like they’re pretty serious. Of course, this is pretty thin sourcing.

The straits are one of the critical chokepoints in international shipping.

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Thoughts on Palm Sunday

I just returned from spring break, and while I usually write about space, this post will be a little different.

Athiests are trying to remove the cross of burned steel beams from the World Trade Center Museum. Somehow, the Islamic crescent of red maples at the Flight 93 Memorial is hunky-dory. History has been whitewashed so that God is not mentioned. Mayflower Compact? Washington’s first Inaugural Address? Lincoln’s second Inaugural Address? Fuhgeddaboutit. My husband’s liberal cousin and her friends lamented the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case with “Who would want to work for a Christian anyway?” (Uh, me, please.)

So imagine my surprise in finding a national monument, part of the National Parks Service, that was not cleansed by the politically correct. I almost hesitate to talk about it, lest someone in DC yell, “We missed one!” and hustle out there to “fix” it. Still, I think it’s worth bringing to your attention.

10 miles off Interstate 44, near the town of Diamond, Missouri, is the George Washington Carver National Monument. Dig this: (click to embiggen)


Carver’s Formula for Success


Carver believed in God and described his conversion when he was ten years old. He said, “I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.”

Now, zoom in on that picture for this:

Tell that to the yahoos on the other side of the state in Ferguson, waiting for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to make their lives better. This was said by a man born a slave, who walked eight miles to attend the school in Neosho because the school in Diamond was for whites only. A man who was accepted at Highland College in Kansas, only to be turned away when they found out he was black. A man who went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Iowa State (yay, Jay!), the first black man to do so, without quotas, without affirmative action, probably fighting every step of the way. A man who witnessed one lynching and was nearly lynched himself for traveling with a photographer who was a white woman. A man invited to speak at conferences where he had to enter through the service entrance and eat meals with the hired help. A man recognized for his contributions with the establishment of a national monument despite the days of Jim Crow.

A museum true to the man it’s dedicated to – it was indeed a delightful find. I wish we had more like him.


Filed under history

Salient Visible Characteristics of Fighting Ships

from Fahey’s “Ships and Aircraft of the US Fleet

I have a knack for finding interesting militarily historical artifacts and after reviewing my purchases at the second annual Pritzker Military Museum and Library booksale, this is a lesson I keep having to relearn. I had that feeling I should purchase that copy of Fahey’s  “The Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet“, in this instance, available there as a 5 volume set, which already having a tendency to listen to feeling, I purchased.

I found a document from the Office of Naval Intelligence dated 11 March 1942 titled: “Salient Visible Characteristics of Fighting Ships.” It provides an interesting glimpse of what the US Navy was like during World War 2. Thusly:

Hesitation caused by the uncertainty as to whether a vessel is friend or foe may lose for the aviator his opportunity to attack, and for the naval officer may result in the loss of a ship or failure to discharge a mission or destroy an enemy vessel.

Heady and still very relevant stuff especially for those currently deployed.

Below you’ll see my pictures of some of the document. Enjoy:











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Filed under ARMY TRAINING, history, navy, ships, veterans, war, World War II

The hills are alive…

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