Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Old Military Worries

Today, it came out that an article appeared over several Air Force women, who were breastfeeding in public, while in uniform.  Naturally, this bothered a bunch of folks, and then made a bunch of folks all happy.  I looked at the picture, and figured I'd avoid using it.....because too many guys from Bama would freak out over such a picture.

After twenty-two years in the Air Force, I retired in 1999.  I've kinda been around the installations for the past thirteen years, and can attest to the fact that things just aren't like they were in 1977 when I joined.  There were typically ten big worries for a commander or the superintendent.

First, there was the worry that Airman Snuffy would show disrespect to the retreat ceremony at 4:30 PM each afternoon....while walking from the office to the dorm.  Typically, the disrespect meant that he just kept on walking when he was supposed to stop and salute.  Or, you'd have a case where Snuffy just stood there in uniform but wouldn't salute.  Or you'd have a case where Snuffy was pointing the wrong direction from where the base flagpole was located.  This would get Colonel Guffy and Sargent Peacock.....all disturbed.

Second, there was the worry that Airman Jones would be seen at the BX by Major Monty at 2:00 PM.  The Major would call up and report the Airman, who obviously was not at work, and screwing around.  This would disturb Colonel Guffy and Sargent Peacock terribly.  Course, they never bothered to ask Major Monty what the heck he was doing at the BX at 2:00 PM.

Third, there would be the episode where Airman Perkins was seen at the commissary with hair touching his ears.  Some retired NCO would call up Colonel Guffy and Sargeant Peacock, and they'd get all disturbed about his hair length.

Fourth, there would be lustful Airman Prince, who was seen with a military skirt that was higher than three inches above her knee.  Someone would call Colonel Guffy or Sargeant Peacock up.....getting both gentlemen to to pull out their tape-measure and check out the top of her knee to the actual hem of the dress.  She'd naturally grin at both guys as they were doing this.  Both gentlemen would argue over the extra half inch and if it was worth getting after her.

Fifth, there was always the guy who acquired a vast amount of wood paneling over the weekend and completely redid the walls to his barracks room in wood paneling (strictly illegal), and some dorm manager would inspect to discover this....then call up Colonel Guffy or Sargeant Peacock.....and there's be this fifteen minute viewing episode where they'd ask how he did all this....before they blasted him.

Sixth, there's the airman who bought a ultra-light at some sale with a busted motor.  He spends all weekend rebuilding the engine, and then ties the ultra-light up to the end of the barracks and runs the RPM up to maximum with forty people watching in disbelief at the ultra-light which might lift off at any moment.  Naturally, some idiot calls Colonel Guff or Sargent Peacock.....and there's some massive regulation that was broken in doing this repair out back of the barracks. (note: this actually did happen at Barksdale).

Seventh, there's Airman Vargas who is on his day off.....in the barracks while an inspection suddenly occurs. As the door flies open, there's some officer's wife in the Airman's bunk and in a state of undress.  Naturally, Colonel Guffy or Sargent Peacock get a call, and spend an hour trying to figure the fine details to this, and who the woman was.

Eighth, there's the drunken fight between three female airman on a Saturday night.....which starts from a argument over who stole one young ladies $10 panties from the dryer.  Colonel Guffy and Sargent Peacock both get called out and eventually discover that some male airman actually took the panties.

Ninth, both Colonel Guffy and Sargent Peacock get called out at 1AM on a Saturday night, where sixteen fire extinguishers were used in a massive barracks fight.  From everyone's memory....there's only six fire extinguishers in the entire building.....so there's this long night of trying to figure where the others came from.

Tenth and final.....Colonel Guffy and Sargent Peacock get called at 9:00 AM that twelve of the squadron's vehicles are at the back of the bowling alley on base.....with folks eating breakfast when they were supposed to be working.

In those days.....you got into real trouble.....for real stupid things.  Today?  Two woman at a bench on base, nursing babies, and Colonel Guffy and Sargent Peacock really lacking ambition to get involved in a mess like this.

Might Not Be a Bad Thing

Over the past couple of years, the news media has piped up about folks having to move back in with the parents.  It's a terrible thing....in some ways.  But I suspect in the long run....it may be the best thing that could happen to an individual.  They get picked up and put into a safe environment, recover from their status-fall in life, and hopefully rebuild themselves to leave the house.

I sat and pondered over this.....if I were the guy (at age 53) having to move back into parent's home.

First, I'd likely be watching Andy Griffith, Judge Judy, and Seinfeld in the afternoons.  This might not be a bad thing.

Second, my dad would likely already be up by 4AM and asking if I wanted beacon or sausage for breakfast.  Naturally, I'd be falling asleep by 8PM in the evening hours.  There'd be fresh baked biscuits with the bacon.  This might not be a bad thing.

Third, other than milk, water and ice tea.....there wouldn't be anything else to drink.  This might not be a bad thing.

Fourth, there'd likely be at least four hours of farm work everyday as a minimum.  This might not be such a bad thing.

Fifth, I'd be eating most beef for every lunch and dinner, and going through a bottle of A1 Sauce each week.  This might not be such a bad thing.

Sixth, my dad would likely toss out forty or fifty bits of wisdom in any average day.....which might not be such a bad thing.

Seventh, on any given day....the septic tank might finally reach maximum capacity or need replacing, which means a full day of some type of physical labor.  This might not be such a bad thing.

Eighth, the obsessive compulsive dog.....might demand that I repeat things as much as possible and not create new trends.  This might not be such a bad thing.

Ninth, most folks who stop by and chat with my dad.....would be literal characters out of the TV show Green Acres.  This might not be such a bad thing.

Tenth and final, with the lack of excitement....my blood pressure would likely decrease by fifty percent and this is really not bad thing.

Just Observations

It's a minor thing of no real value....but CNN delivered it's lowest month of viewing over the past week...around 389k viewers out of 300 million.  Even for prime-time viewing....they somehow found 114k viewers.  I would imagine most folks haven't seen a pay raise in several years with CNN.  How would they reverse the trend?  They probably need to generate real aggressive journalism.....something they haven't seen in twenty years.  Basically, they'd need to outfox Fox News, and I just don't think they have it in themselves.  In a couple of years, I think some diet-drink millionaire will buy the organization and probably Oprah-ize them into nothing.

Out of West Virginia....a Pentecostal minister of known fame.....messed around with his serpent (his most favorite rattlesnake).....got bit on the leg.....and died.  Rather than seek treatment, he felt God would come through in the end, and is today six feet under.  I don't usually slam religious folks because strong Bama ethics.....but a guy handling snakes as a religious "thrill"....is probably deserving of an end like this.  Don't worry, there's a replacement somewhere down the line for this guy already.

Up in St Paul, Minnesota....there's this church.....Grace Community United Church of Christ Church.....where the minister decided that he was confident in a new direction for the church.  He announced that the church would throw itself behind gay marriage, which is coming up on the state election business this November.  Well....apparently two-thirds of the church membership decided that wasn't the direction they wanted to go, so they up and quit.  Normally, a church wouldn't care and just grin about things and proceed on.  In this case....they owed $200k on loans for the church building.  They apparently have around a month before the bank steps in and probably takes over the building.  Where did the membership run off to?  Well....none of the news organizations got into details like that.  The problem in moving to a direction like this....is that you end up politicizing the church in some way.  Some folks are conservative and just aren't going to sit in a pew and listen to your message.  Obviously, the minister and deacons didn't care.  The interesting thing here....is that the deacons, when kicked out of this church....won't have good standing for another deacon position at a new church.

We had this odd airplane accident a couple of days ago here in Virginia.  Two small single-engine prop planes....collided.  Two guys dead on one plane....and the third guy in the second plane survives but in bad shape.  The thing is....all three were related to the FAA in some fashion.  The odds of two small planes colliding and all three guys FAA-related?  It's like one in a billion.  This triggered what locals are fairly amazed about.....US FAA folks stepped aside and invited Canadian FAA folks to come in and analyze what went wrong.  So, we've got Canadian visitors here in Virginia.... investigating an odd airplane accident that our own FAA can't check out.  Probably a script for a movie, if you ask me (with Sandra Bullock as the Canadian FAA gal of course).