Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
So 24 years ago today, I was getting off the bus to stand on the little yellow footprints at a lovely little garden spot known as Parris Island South Carolina. For those who don't know it is the home of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. On day similiar to yesterday I was in a van heading to the airport to get on a plane for the first time in my life and about to embark on an adeventure that would take me around the world and put me in company of some really great people. As luck would have it, the plane was overbooked and a few of lucky Marine recruits would moved up to first class. Since i was 19 at the time and the drinking age was what it was I had a few free drinks on my first plane ride , and thought hell this is pretty nice. Later in the middle of the night after killing a few hours at the airport in Savanah Ga. we were taken by bus to Bootcamp. So the bus gets there and it stops and you can feel the nerveousness and the tension, then this Marine Sgt gets on the bus and says: " Without running you have 7 seconds to get off my bus and standing on the yellow footprints and you just wasted 5 of them listening to me NOW MOVE!"
Some thing that i will never forget, i feel the heat and humidity of that hot sultry night in South Carolina like it was yesterday... the smell of the tidal creeks nearby...
So here i sit 24 years later, thinking about that time in my life and remember all the great and not so great things that have happened to me and realize that I have been truly blessed by the things in my life.
Posted by Paul at 8:46 PM
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
In honor of Memorial day, I wrote a post about Pat Mangan, today is the anniversary of Pat's passing. Today, I had the honor and privilege of sharing some stories and laughter with one of Pat's sisters. She just happened to stumble across my original post while "googling" Pat's name last night. So i thought i would share a pic of Pat that she sent me and to tell you that she and her family, miss Pat and his Marine friends and she remembers you all very fondly. Semper Fidelis Pat!
Posted by Paul at 10:18 PM
Monday, June 15, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
On recent lovely day I got to spend some time in a lovely setting and i enjoyed a lovely repast (lunch)in the meadows of Topsmead state park in Litchfield CT.
my lunch that day was sandwiches that icreated: Portuguese rolls, fresh Mozzarella cheese, baby spinach greens and some roasted red peppers and some garlic powder, and some balsamic vinaigrette dressing. These things were so good. So if you are tired of regular cheese on rolls, try this Delicious combination. You wont regret it!
Posted by Paul at 10:38 PM
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Today is the anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, where thousands of Men and Women fought to free Europe from the Nazis. Today, I remember those brave souls who fought and died there to do the right thing. To storm ashore with nothing but their GI shirts as their armor, shows the depth of character that this great generation had. I believe that we are all blessed by their willingness to lay it all on the line and yes they answered the call wether they volunteered or were drafted they did not shirk their duty. They were men and women of honor. Our world owes them a debt of gratitude that hopefully we will not have to see another war like that one ever. So if you know a veteran, thank them for what they have done. Remember this "Day of Days"!
Posted by Paul at 8:11 PM
Thursday, June 4, 2009
This lovely pine tree graces the grounds of Wisdom house in Litchfield Ct. The sky above it was the brilliant shade of blue as you see and clouds had that white cotton look to them.
Posted by Paul at 8:51 PM
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
As some of you are aware, I am a retired Marine, I was a KC-130 Loadmaster for 20 years and I loved it! This job was a great job as it taught me how to work as part of a crew and it instilled a responsibility in me because everyday i was responsible for the safe operation of a multi-million dollar aircraft and peoples lives depended on me and the other crew members doing their job.
One of my jobs was to act as an observer during aerial refueling, which is an interesting thing to watch, of course it does involve a pucker factor when dealing with helicopters. Of course there are inherent dangers of all kinds, the helo blades could hit the basket or the hose which is bad. the jets might ingest raw fuel into their intakes and auto accelerate which is bad. You might be doing this at night on Night Vision Goggles which takes away your depth perception. The hose may fail to retract properly and then you may have to guillotine it or land with it extended, not fun ! You might have to do this Emcon, which is military speak for Emission Controlled (radio silence!) or Emcon at night on Goggles! Not a lot of fun and not to mention downright hazardous when somebody is shooting at you. There are a ton of other things that can go wrong for sure, a fire in the refueling pod, hydraulic failures of one sort or another, leaking fuselage tank ( big silver tank inside some of the planes), engine failures, and about a million other things that can and do go wrong from time to time.
But when this is done properly it is something to see. I have seen 10 KC-130's refueling a whole gaggle of fighters and it is like watching a well performed ballet or a well executed play in football, the flow of jets in and out of the hoses to all the refueling aircraft seem to be this
well choreographed and well practiced display of men/women and machine.
there are several cool videos on You Tube if you want to see what it looks like for yourself in real time. Watch some of the normal ones then watch the accidents. That will give you a real feel for what can and will go wrong at times.
Posted by Paul at 2:30 PM