Archive for August, 2007

2007 Aug 11 – Johnboy

Monday, August 13th, 2007

Hey fellas!  What’s up? Sorry for the delay but I was out of town and internet-less! It really is great getting to hear from all of you each month and stay in touch. I am currently in the office getting ready for school to start next week. We had color guard duty for the district assembly this morning and that went well, so we started the semester not looking bad in front of the board.
It is about  time Brit wrote something!! Ha ha, glad to hear you are working on such an interesting program and having a good time doing it.
Say hi to the kids for me. 
Didn’t get to go on any vacations this year since we are building a house and it is way too expensive! We close in a month so I get to not live ina 1 bedroom apartment anymore! I was able to see Sherry in the middle of last month and she is coming to visit on Sept 6. So we average about once a month. (just enough to punch landing currency).
I interviewed fro a job as a personal trainer and aerobics instructor strating in Sept. I will do it just a couple of days a week to make some beer money and keep fit. I teach a boot camp class here in Orangeburg, but I won’t be able to anymore after I move.
My daughter Erika is going to get married in two weeks.  No she hasn’t told me yet… ex let me know.  I thnk she is too scared. I think she is doing it  so her fiancee can get a green card and work. Who knows……she is going to have to grow up fast (she is 19). Daddy won’t be pulling her out of the fire anymore!!
Just bought a new Dodge Nitro. Decent car.  Kinda cheap inside, but rides nicely for my 100 mile commute each way to work starting in Sept. My fellow JROTC instructor will be carpooling so we can save gas money.  He lives close to charleston also.
Have you heard Norm Balchunas is the PAS at Alabama? Great job for an 06. he will have a blast.
Alright guys, hope the rest of the month goes well and James I hope you Dad continues to remain stable so you can spend some time together. Take care and will look forward to next month. 
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2007 Aug 11 – Ponch

Monday, August 13th, 2007

Long week end working on the bathroom.  Andy who said the project was done?  Like you this remodel job is sucking all the free time out of my summer.  Also it;s sucking my bank account dry.  Oh well it keeps me out of trouble running the streets at night with the “boyz in the hood”.   I stopped to get a haircut the other day and three Mexicans were there each relating when the last time they got out of jail and who they knew in prison.  One of them was driving a new Lexus with fancy after market rims and tires.  All had tattoo’s all over their bodies (I understand they a’int cheep).  Of course this is over in Pismo beach in a very nice area of the planet.  Wish I could live there and drive a Lexus. Oh wait I got sentenced to a life of labor for being honest…yeah I guess I deserve what I get. It won’t be long before I’ll be paying for their health care too…mmm can’t wait; especially the one Mexican who declared he loved crystal meth. Damnnnnn!

Yes Chuck welcome back to the work force.  Work harder your fellow humans depend on the money you make to make their lives of leisure more comfortable!!!

On a happier note the bees are back!  Chuck I did talk to Ed a few weeks ago he gave me some pointers on what to do with the original hive that had invaded one of my surfboard bags.  I don’t know what happened but this time I’m just going to let them alone for a long while.  The hive is buzzing with activity.  I wonder if the last queen we dropped in there finally got busy (or is that buzzy…sorry) Any way looks like they are starting to expand their population. 

Work is still plodding along. I’m doing kind of a weird schedule.  The guy on night shift got really sick.. Started with Hep C followed by chemo then his gall bladder went bad… long story but he is out for a long time.  I am trying to cover both time periods so I come in at 10:00 and leave around 20:00.  It’s getting me spoiled as I get to wake with the family and get home before the tribe goes to bed. 

James, I feel your pain.  the last time my back went out that bad was on alert at Wurstsmith AFB. I wrecked my back shoveling snow off the driveway.  Well not snow more like boiler plate ice.  I was trying to slide the shovel under the ice sheet when it stopped smack into another sheet of ice that was still frozen to the ground.  The shockwave went through my arms and hands straight to my back.  Of course this was right before going on alert and I had to drug up to get to the shack then spent the week laying in bed praying the horn wouldn’t go off.  Lucky I haven’t had any reoccurrences that bad.  Of course haven’t shoveled snow in a while either.

Here is a history quote I saw last week.  I Always liked Churchill.  He has a way of cutting to the meat of a subject.
Winston Churchill on Islam

 Winston Churchill was arguably the most important personality of the 20th century. Had it not been for his steely will, for his steadfastness and his ability to mobilize the British people and to infuse them with his strength and confidence, the Second World War might well have been lost, and the Nazis — with all the horrible consequences that would have had — might have become the masters of the globe. Evidence of another aspect of Churchill.  Many years ago, in 1899 (!) he formed and published ideas about Islam that are fully resonant today. Here is a paragraph from one of his books, cited below.

by Sir Winston Churchill
The River War, Vol. II, pp. 248-50, London; Longman, Green & Co., 1899

“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live…The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities…but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa…and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.”

2007 Aug 11 – Andy

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

 I was wondering if I would be last or not…so I’ll settle for a day late.
James – take the time you can with your dad and treasure the moment…keeping you in our prays.
Surprised Brit’s teaching fighter geeks.  I guess they need to learn from the best – a bomber dude!
Chuck definitely loved the articles and cannot wait to the book deal goes through!

Wish I had the time like Jim or Reed to finish a project…kitchen still needs some work done; base boards need to be cut & installed and the trim work in the main kitchen.  O yes, the He-111 is still not finished.  Maybe before Christmas?!  I guess I need to set a deadline and see if I make it…LoL

The job at 8th AF is still in limbo.  After seven months, GSA said they would not be handling the contract.  8Th AF cried to ACC for help.  Acc is generating a contract that some be out later this month with a start work date of 1 October.  So in the meantime, I’ll relocate the old strip-mall CVS store into a new stand-alone store in Minden 9Grand opening 9 September), take on an inventory challenges on the 21st of September, and then quit!  Anything for a better quality of life…

O’well must retire for the night, long week ahead.  Three weeks out and I have a store to move.



P.S. welcome Bob!

2007 Aug 11 – Elwood

Saturday, August 11th, 2007

Wow, it is the 11th already, isn’t it?  How did we settle on this date—the 11th Bomb Squadron similarity?  Nah, musta just been the flying fickle finger of fate.  I digress…

Is everyone else about to die of heat exhaustion?  It hit 105 degrees here yesterday, usually around 103-104 all week.  Still, I think back to the short 3-month tour I had in Kuwait (some of you had much longer tours in the “sand box”!!)  Temps hit 130+ before I left in early June—that will suck the spit right out of your head, won’t it?  Still, every morning this week, I did get out and get the driveway cracks filled and resealed the entire driveway.  20 gallons of sealer.  Usually, by noon or one o’clock, I had to head back inside, but the effort looks great.  I’m going to let it cure then put a second coat on next week.  Then, hopefully, I won’t have to worry about it for a long, long time.

My sister Joy started a project to find out about our family tree.  I fell in as assistant, but she really has the passion and is the driving force.  However, I made the greatest find—another Blackwood who has been working on this for 20 years, and has our Blackwood family history back to 1790.  His name is Harry, and we met at the Spartanburg County Main Library.  There, they have a room dedicated to genealogy.  You must sign in when you visit, and it has census records, land deeds, birth and death records, books of different family histories, etc.  The librarian had given me the tour and I was sitting down at a table contemplating my first move when I heard, “Blackwood?  Is he still here?”  I looked up and the librarian was pointing to me, and a gentleman was looking and grinning at me.  I got up and we shook hands and made introductions.  His grandfather and my grandfather were brothers—I think that makes us fourth cousins or something like that.  We chatted for about a half hour, and he told me that he had all the family on a database for Family Treemaker, which I have just downloaded the beta version of their 2008 edition.  I’m getting together with his next week and will get his info and see how far back we “dirt farmers” go.  He had one interesting story from this so far—another branch of the Blackwood’s produced a governor of South Carolina, I. C. Blackwood (Ibra Charles), around the era of the Depression.  When he would visit Spartanburg, he would send his limousine and pick up our great-grandfather, John Landrum Blackwood, and they would talk for hours while he was here.  About what, I do not know, but it’s interesting that a governor would talk for hours with a poor farmer.  Sis and I will also be looking all other branches of the family, but it’s great to find out more about our past.

My thoughts and prayers go out to you, James, for your father.  And, ouch, about your back.  Are you sure you don’t have kidney stones?  Trust me, the pain is right in your back.  You’re probably the best athlete of all us “old men.”

My best wishes for everyone, and good luck, Chuck, on finding a publisher—I’m sure they’ll be missing out on a great book!


2007 Aug 11 – Bob

Saturday, August 11th, 2007

I appreciate the opportunity to get to say hello and read about a few old friends.  I remember almost all the names on the BOB list.

For those of you who do not know, I lost my eyesight in 1999 (blind) and after 2 operations I have become an attorney.  Thanks in part to Chuck, and a Navy WISO who recommended Law school after I lost my sight, I was able to obtain this rehabilitation.

I am currently at the University of Houston Law Center working toward 2 Masters of Law degrees (Health Law; & Intellectual Property and Information Law [IPIL]).  Most places just state IP.  That covers copyright, patents, trademarks and trade secrets.  Graduation and employment will complete my rehabilitation program.

 I just had my first issue reach the Board of Veterans Appeal and in turn be presented to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims.  The Judge commented very favorably on my submission to the Court and chastised the VA for their frivolous claim.  I think this is a good start.

 To be clear, I am leading the life of a student so I really do not want anyone to think I have accomplished anything yet.  I hope in the future to work as a Patent attorney and help veterans with claims and promotion appeals.

I hope everyone is well, thank you for listening and allowing me to say hello. 


2007 Aug 11 – The Chuck

Saturday, August 11th, 2007

My Brothers:

It’s hard to believe it’s been 23 years since President Reagan said, “I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever.  We begin bombing in five minutes.”  Of course he was joking, but it created great ire for the socialists-type and amusement for the liberty-types. 

 Funny how the socialists have gain ownership over the word “liberal,” when it has its roots in the word “liberty,” which of course is rooted in the word “freedom,” which really means the opposite of socialist ideals.  You know, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  I guess it’s a bit like the totalitarian nations using the word “democratic” in their names.  It would be the same thing is fat people started calling themselves “svelte” and insisted that everyone else should call them the same.  Oh well . . .

 It’s hard to believe it’s only been a month since we last exchanged emails.

 As you know my column about airmen-riflemen was published in the Air Force Times, then in the Army Times and the Marine Corps Times.  Did you catch in the news how the Air Force reversed it position during a 31 July meeting with the House Armed Services subcommittee?  The Air Force wants to get out the very missions that I identified in my column.  Before my column, all I had seen was the Air Force planning to build large schools to training airmen to be infantry riflemen.  Coincidence?   More than likely I’m sure, but it made me smile when I read about it.

 It is remarkable how many emails I received over this.  The reactions are a varied as there are people.  So far, I’ve been able to reply to each person once.  I don’t have to time to respond to their counter-replies, but I read them.

 My daughter starts school at LSUS in a few days.  The main reason we stayed in LA after my retirement was for her to finish school, she did that.  I’ve started putting applications in for “jobs” . . . that’s a four-letter word, isn’t it?

 Of course, with jobs, there comes that thing called “pay-check” . . . which is what I need to do since my kids keep coming up with surprises.  We’re doing fine for now, but one more “incident,” and I’ll have to borrow money, which is a slippery slope.  In the interim . . . I’ve started working as a technical support agent in Shreveport.  

Meanwhile, I am still still looking for a publisher for my novel.  It is currently with Broadman and Holman Publishers, they should be either sending me a rejection slip or something more exciting within a month.  Maybe I’ll be rejoicing about a contract in my next letter.  Yeah, right.

 I’m sure all of you were getting the failure notices on Vern’s email.  I try to call him on his old cell number, but alas he doesn’t have that anymore.  I’ll keep including his old address in these monthly communiqués until he lets us know his new address.  I guess he’s busy with the job, running around Europe, and all that.

 It was great hearing from John boy last month.  The pictures added to our joy.   Sherry is a pretty woman, and the house looks wonderful.  John, I enjoyed your comment about “feeling pain a little more” than you did a few years ago.  It took me back to the torturous workouts next to the gym.  The wind-sprints resulted in my legs tightening up on the next day, making it a challenge to walk.  A day or so after that, I remember the klaxon where I tore both my quadriceps during the first few steps toward the truck.  Vern Moore pulled a hamstring at the same time.   I felt that pain for a while.  

 John, you talked about inviting Doug Miller to our group.  Part of membership is the freedom to invite anyone you judge to be worthy.  I recommend you query him offline, so he can decline without appearing to “dis” us . . . that would be embarrassing.  If he wants to, just send him a public email like I did with you . . . like I just did with Bob Goss.   You can modify the text anyway you judge appropriate.  That a way, we’ll all get the new email address, so we can include the new guy in our next email. 

 For a while we had debated what the criteria should be to be in BOB.  We talked about things from the Castle mafia, to the Castle plus 11th clan, to the B-52 tribe . . . and the best way is to just leave it up to the judgment of any member of BOB.  We’re basically talking about our lives, sharing them with those we used to know . . . so that we’ll continue to know them . . . hopefully even get to know them better over time.   It’s like a poker club or drinking buddies without the cards and beer, or the pull-my-finger jokes.

 James, sorry to hear your father’s health is declining.  I admire your concern for him and respect the attention you’re giving to him in these rough times.  Looking through all those records and papers, will kind of make you think about how organized you need to be with your stuff . . . so when someone else is viewing them . . . well that line of thought can be depressing, but you know what I mean.

 I know that Brit is still reading our emails.  He is busy with work and life and will eventually bring us up to date on his life.

 Reed, I’m sorry about your bees.  Have you been talking with Ed Miller?   You said he was going to retire soon, I’ll keep an eye out for announcements but he most certainly needs to be in BOB.

 I submitted an article about the new OPR.  I’ll paste it separately on the Blog.  Until next month, take care.

The Chuck