Archive for January, 2008

Yak checking in

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Gents,

Just taking a quick minute to update my profile and check into the site. It is Friday and I’m off to hanger 2 to congratulate the new Major selects. I used to say, “I made it to another Friday and they still haven’t fired me”. I don’t say that any more. Those of you who know the whole story understand. For those who don’t…not enough time to explain right now. There’s free beer with my name on it…and my other favorite quote, “beer still tastes the same” is still true. Have a good weekend, be safe. I have my designated driver lined up. Cheer, Yak

Testing

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

Howdy guys,

 Just testing this BLOG thing.  Never done it before, but it seems easy. 

 Later,

Haulass

2008 check-in

Friday, January 18th, 2008

Greetings to all,
 
Sorry that I did not write sooner, but been pretty busy doing network warfare stuff here at FT Meade.  No time to play darts here!!!  Ted (the Mayor), your post bought a tear to my eye as I remembered almost all that you wrote about.  I miss the flying terribly and the camaraderie that we had.  Although I have raised profits at the Gdunk (Navy for snack bar) by having many flips for sodas, it is just not the same.  I would like to go back to flying, but I have to prep for the transition (14 May 2010) so that I can provide for my family in the next phase of our lives.
 
Audrey 8 is doing great in school. She is in third grade and in advanced math and reading (got that from her mother).  And Emma 4 loves her preschool and may test to start kindergarten a year early (again her mother’s fault).  Lucy (not allowed to disclose her age) loves her job as a high school councilor in one of the best school districts (public) in the country.
 
We built a house and we moved in 6 weeks ago and did the entire move myself.  I would not recommend that to anyone.  We are finally at the hanging pictures stage (almost mission complete). 
 
I have really enjoyed reading the blogs when time permits.  I’ll write more soon.  I hope that all of you have a prosperous year.
 
Take care,
Haulass
 
ARMAGEDDON!

Book review contextual element

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Dang … I just discovered that you have to have an active Amazon.com account to comment … which means you have to buy something unless you already have an active account.  Oh well … if you already have an account, I’d appreciate your review.  FYI Amazon.com has about a billion things that it sells.  Sorry for the misunderstanding ….

The Last Dragoneer

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

My first novel, The Last Dragoneer, has made it into the semi-finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest.

Charles D. Sutherland Speaks About The Last Dragoneer Learns to Fly – Official ABNA Entrant:
“Did an unknown daughter of a famous shipwright alter the course of human history? She lived in an ancient civilization that predates the pyramids of Egypt, yet it was more advanced than you could ever imagine. In a world that is now lost to us, dragoneers defended the ancient Garden of Eden from those who coveted it secrets. Come experience the adventures of Susah, the last dragoneer.”

You can download and read the first 14 pages of the novel and write a review at Amazon.com, if you like.   Amazon is running a side-contest on the reviews: 

“The three customers who provide the most high quality reviews will be qualified to win one of three customer prizes, including an Amazon kindle reader, $2000 in Amazon gift card value, and an HP photo printer.”

There will be tens of thousands of reviews written on the 1000 semi-finalists, so the field will be large, but good luck with that anyway. 

You can go straight to the page with my novel’s information at this link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001200CF0

The number and quality of reviews will have impact on how The Last Dragoneer will be rated against the other 1000 remaining competitors.  Based on the judges and the reviews the field will be culled down to three survivors for a final decision later this year. 

This is a big deal for me.  I would appreciate it if you’d take a few minutes and experience the opening of my novel and then write whatever nice things you can about it.

 And I don’t mean on this Blog as much as I like seeing your thoughts, ideas, and dreams … for a critque to count it has to be made at Amazon at the link I gave. 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001200CF0 

Here’s some guidelines to help you win the reviewers contest if you want to put the energy into it (this was copied from the Amazon rules page)

  What Makes A Good Review?

In the semifinalist round, we’re breaking new ground in our customer reviewing community: this is the first opportunity for customers to play an active role in the publishing process. The criteria for judging an unpublished book are a little bit different from the norm. Keep these pointers in mind as you’re reading and remember: your voice counts.

Be persuasive. Experts at Penguin will be relying on customer reviews as they prepare to select the finalists, so don’t hesitate to tell us what you really think. The reviews that provide the most thorough, thoughtful feedback are the ones that will help Penguin choose the Top Ten.

Quantity and quality help. The more reviews you write, and the more helpful each review is, the more likely you are to win one of our three prize packages.

Discuss. As with customer reviews for all our products, you can comment on others’ excerpt reviews and rate them. Any discussion and activity we see around specific titles will only keep us coming back for more, so feel free to speak up and banter with your peers.

One quick heads-up: Per the contest rules, every excerpt is a maximum of 5,000 words in length. As a result, you may find that excerpts vary in length or end unexpectedly. Consider yourself warned–and happy reading!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001200CF0 

Ed

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

Been so busy avoiding the computer.  Looking for a job.  Supposed to be a vacancy soon at the Minot WST.  They hired a pilot two years ago, radar last year, I’m hoping they are looking for an EW next…of course I need the job’s current occupant to retire.  He thinks he’s going to retire in April.  Kathy doesn’t think I should sit around the house with no income till then.  Been working on my woodshop lately, I’ve almost completed the insulating.  It hasn’t been too expensive since I’ve been working on the project off and on for about 10 years I just have to find the materials I’ve already purchased and rat-holed.  I’m hoping this weekend to actually produce meaningful sawdust on projects that don’t involve constructing the shop.
 
Take care,
Ed

Britt’s Latest

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Hello All and Welcome,

I have been busy with the Christmas holiday and just got my password reset, so sorry, but here’s an update.

All the kids came out for the Holiday and everyone got along. Amazing! So all is well in the family side.

Donna and I are still adhering to our original agreement, “If we are together in 5 years, then we will get married.” 1 more to go!

I am transferring to Ft Worth at the end of Feb, taking a job within my group to train (classroom instruction, academics) the test pilots of the F-35. It is good in many ways. In the contracting world, I am told, “always stay close to the airplane.” So, I will be as close as you can be without being in the cockpit. I also have some issues with 2 female subordinates. I was called to HR (Human Resources) for not being sensitive and I found it very difficult as the Leader of my production team to get work out of them without confrontation. My boss (who thought that it was a small problem if it was happening to me), did nothing until it became insubordination to him and another manager. Then the sh*t hit the fan and both people were disciplined, but nothing really happened and I have to go for sensitivity training! This affects my career, 2 reports with my name on them from 2 nutty women.  I cannot work in an environment where I have to tiptoe on eggshells or work around these 2 freeloaders who will only do what they want, the way they want. I am ranting!

So I’m moving to FTW. The benefits are: same pay and benefits with a much lower cost of living (rent), no state tax ($320 a month) (is retirement pay taxed in TX?), commute (20 min vs. 1+20), possibility of reserve flying in SPS, END, RND or DLF. I gave up on BAD and I wouldn’t want to deploy anyway, but I would fly training.

Has anyone heard about any of the retired guys flying in the Reserves? I know of 2 fighter-types only. The biggest benefit to being in TX is being closer to family, it is more convenient to drive home to KY than fly. Donna’s family is in JAX and SHV, so that is doable also. So, I may see you sooner than our reunion!

I may not write much, but I always read your BLOGs and I think of all of you often.

Britt 

11 January – I’m home…I think!

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Sometimes I wonder about the holiday seasons and why they can be depressing – passing of loved ones makes it very hard…

As for the Bloom household, it was an enjoyable time; finally sleeping in on Christmas day.  Although I do miss the kids coming in at o’ dark thirty and jumping in the bed to wake us…maybe not!  But having them here this was great – espceially since I’m NOT with CVS, I could actually enjoy things.  I just wish I could get my mom over her phobia of flying or better yet just traveling to visit here.

I started my new job here with Rockwell Collins in the WST as their B-52 mission planner and customer rep on developing new missions for the WST; i.e. when the new targeting pod is added to the Sim, getting the visuals/targets to work to meet the “needs” of the AF, etc.  When I went into the Sim for the first time and started pulling up the different menus on the MFDs, well it felt like I’m finally home.  After meeting with the Det 3 folks, I have a pretty good vision and where to go and hopefully get the WST where it can provide good training for the crew dogs.

 I left the AOC in capable hands, SAIC hired the “master” – The Chuck…

Ducking hunting ends on base this weekend and Reed, it was a good season!  I made my journey, with the same group of folks , north of Abilene, for our yearly goose hunt.  Although the group may have been too big, we still manage to shoot a bunch of geese.  See the images at the end…

James – sadden to hear of you loss just wish there was more I could do in giving comfort at a time like this.

Elwood – WOW, I better  to get those covers on our gutters to keep out the leaves.  From sound of things, the Lord was truly watching over you…

Johnboy – I wish I could convince my mom to move here as well, but she has a pretty good network of friends in Montana, that it wold be hard to get her to move…

Has anybody seen Vern?! or is he doing his impression of “where’s Waldo” routine…

As for Yak, Ted, Ed, and Steve – welcome to our motley Band of Brothers!

Until we meet again, may the Lord continue to watch over us as we age.

 Andy

Goose Hunt Dec 2007 #1 Goose Hunt Dec 2007 #3 Goose Hunt Dec 2007 #2

11 Jan Bob

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Dear BOB,
Happy 2008. I want to wish each one of you a very Happy and successful year. James’s spirit and demeanor are inspiring, and I will start this letter off with an interesting encounter I had this week.
On Thursday, 10 November, I met an old ACSC student of mine. He is now the USAF Chaplain at Arlington. As we discussed just how fast 11 years has flown by, he asked about James Dad. Col Charlie Stutts performs all the USAF burials at Arlington, and he asked me to see if James’ Dad was in the Army of USAF. He told me that the majority of veterans he sees are originally Army Air Corps folks. Charlie informed me that because of the purchase of new land that Arlington would be open for us. At least until 2050-60. For me that was nice, as I have stated that is where I would like to go.

On a happier note, I was truly blessed to see James, his wife and daughter, Sarah the UH graduate. James looked marvelous as he beamed ear-to-ear thinking about not having to write any more checks to the University of Houston.

As far as my life, since Dec 13th, I have only been off 4 days as my Intellectual Property Professor allowed me to convert a paper into a thesis. This will enable me to graduate with both Masters in May. May 9th to be precise.

I have also been receiving a bunch of requests for legal help. This week I spoke and accepted representation for a client who was not paid properly, another claim about appealing denial of Unemployment benefits (I had to get an affidavit from the Texas Partner of the company), asked to do a will, accept a case (recommended by the VA) on having someone committed, seek repair to a home air conditioning system (geothermal) that was done in a negligent manner (breach of warranty issue), seek legal recourse against a business that was paid to repair a boat and has not hidden the boat, and tried to recommend help for two other people.

After sending certified letters to the Florida Company that did not properly pay the client, I have received letters from their attorney. The Texas Wage Commission has also responded within 3 days of the letters going out. The client has tried since October to get a response. She was laughing, that having an attorney makes a difference.

I know it is not fun like flying, but it is nice to help people. I am even getting movement from the VA on my disability and non-payment of my school issues. I write Senator Hutchinson bi-weekly it seems, and filed an IG complaint on Jan 3, 2008. My counselor told me today his bosses told him to “make the issues go away” which he told me would if the VA paid for the school items they told me to pay for and they would reimbursement (a little over $4,000 now). The US Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims issued a REMAND in July on my eye appeal (disability) and that is helping now too.

I am still amazed on how bad the VA seems to be with certain issues, and received an e-mail from a local investigative News Team stating they would like to talk to me about the VA issues I have faced.

Ok, I apologize for the litany but I do not have anything exciting to report, such as flying. Just a new line of work. I think it is interesting and fun that I can help. It amazes me, like today when someone who is an attorney tries to bluff a legal point. Alternatively, dismisses a claim until you recite the statute that allows you to make the claim. It is like the Dash 1 (-11) and the SAC OIs and regs. Learn them and you control the flight and mission.

As I stated I will graduate with the 2 Masters in May, and I am already trying to get clients. It does look as if the best possibility for me is to open my own firm. I am currently calling my Practice the Law Office of Robert B. Goss. I hope to specialize in Intellectual Property, Veteran Law and Health Law.

Lastly, I wish each of you a wonderful weekend, January and 2008. It is nice to see everyone, at least in the e-mails or BOB Blog. V.R, Bob

11 Jan 08 – James

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Yak, Ted and Steve.  It’s great to reconnect with you all.

 Thanks to everyone for their condolences on the passing of my father.  It has been very difficult these past few weeks, but already the healing process is well under way.  I visited my father on New Year’s Eve for a couple of hours at the home and he was relatively fine.  I brought Krispy Kreme doughnuts and he really enjoyed the chocolate covered one.  I took him outside in the courtyard and he liked the blue sky and warm breeze.  Later that night he went into the hospital for severe pneumonia.  There were ups and downs, but he finally succumbed on 4 Jan at 0130.  Thank God the suffering and indignity is over.  It still hurt though. 

Here’s the obituary that my brother, sister and I collaborated on.  We were happy with how it sounded:

Paul E. Osborne – SAVANNAH – Paul E. Osborne was born in Glasgow, WV on August 1, 1923 and died in Savannah, GA on January 4, 2008. He entered the US Army in 1943 serving with the 7th Infantry Regiment 3rd Infantry Division and participated in the liberation of Europe fighting in the Rome Arno, Southern France, Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns. Rising from private to Technical Sergeant he earned the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action, 3 Bronze Star Medals for valor and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Following his war service he received a direct commission and spent the 1950’s in Germany as the Cold War heated up. His US tours of duty included Fort Knox and Fort Hood with a final combat zone assignment in Vietnam in 1962 as one of the earliest military advisors under the Military Assistance Command. After serving as active duty advisor to the Maryland National Guard he concluded a distinguished career at Hunter Army Airfield in 1969 and retired with the rank of Major. He is survived by his wife of over 62 years – Mary Gwendolyn Osborne; his daughter Paulette A. Quinn and her husband Carl S Quinn; his sons, Richard Hays Osborne and James David Osborne and his wife Annette Osborne; granddaughter, Sarah Rachel Osborne; and sister, Gloria Moats.. His family and friends will suffer the loss of a yet another member of the Greatest Generation to whom we owe so much as husband, father, brother, friend and warrior.  Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

The idea for an Arlington burial just popped into my mind when my brother and sister were upset that my mother wanted to put him in a plot in Hagerstown, MD that they bought in 1947 when their second baby died.  They didn’t think they would ever get to visit the grave in a small town 700 miles away in a town we no longer have a connection to.  After some research and phone calls to the office at Arlington, we were given a 20 Feb/0900 date.  We are all very happy and we know he would have been greatly honored to rest there.  He certainly loved the Army.

In other news my daughter, Sarah, did graduate the University of Houston on 14 Dec and is now starting a job with a small hotel in Houston.  It’s not exactly what she wanted, but she realizes it’s a start.  I’m very proud of her.  Bob Goss and I had lunch while I was in Houston and it was great to see him again after many years. 

Anyway, I hope all of you are doing well and I’ll talk to you again soon.

 James

11 Jan 2008 – Elwood

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Well, it’s been a couple of months since I wrote, not a lot to tell about recent times.  But, one big event occurred three weeks ago.  On 20 Dec, I broke my wrist and fractured my elbow in a fall from a ladder while cleaning my gutters over my driveway.  In whatever way you can call it good fortune, it was my left wrist and elbow.  I had already cleaned all the gutters up to the driveway, had the ladder properly positioned and balanced on a firm (hard) surface of the driveway.  However, the driveway has some slope, and when I was about halfway complete cleaning that portion of the gutter, the ladder started to slip.  I grabbed at the gutter, bent it some, but then fell 10 feet down to the asphalt.  I hit leg, hip, and then hand, with the elbow bent.  The pain was excrutiating.  I laid there a moment, then got up and walked around a little with the left arm hanging down.  After a few moments more, the pain started lessening, and I decided to drive myself to the hospital.  May I recommend that you not do this if you should ever be in this unfortunate circumstance; about 5 miles down the road, I started getting some shock.  Dizziness, flush, shortness of breath.  I turned on the air and controlled my breathing.  I never felt faint and made it to the ER OK.  X-rays confirmed the break, and I’m seeing a local orthopedic surgeon.  No surgery required, but setting it was almost as painful as the break.  Unfortunately, the orthopedic doc does not participate in TRICARE, so I’m uncertain how much of the bill I’m going to get stuck with.  However, I am healing well–I’ve got the use of my fingers back somewhat, since I’m able to type now.  For a while, I could only move my fingers with my other hand.  I still can’t squeeze very tight with them, and my elbow only has limited range.  The first 12 days, I slept on my recliner to keep the arm elevated and avoid rolling over on the injured arm, but I’m back in my regular bed and for the most part sleeping soundly.  My brother, who just retired from the Air Force, was in town and helped to finish cleaning the last ten feet of gutters and fix the gutter I bent.  In case you are wondering, all my relatives were at work or out of their houses.  I’ve got another 3 weeks in a cast then unknown time for rehab.  Overall, it could have been worse, so you have to give credit to God for his intervention, because it should have been much worse.
 
We are finally getting some much needed rain, so there’s not been a lot of work to be done outside, and I’ve just been doing enough to keep the house clean.  One thing I did discover–when you hurt, you really do not want to eat.  Actually forced myself to eat the first week just because I knew it was important to the healing to have proper nutrition.
 
My brother who retired from the AF had been a flight engineer, but he wants nothing more to do with flying.  He did not have the good experiences I did with flying, although he says he enjoyed ops better than he did maintenance, where he had been a crew chief on A-10s and T-37s.  In his last 8 years of a 20 year career, he accumulated 4000 hours flying, including many in the Middle East.  He did get a bachelors in Business Administration and started a Masters degree.  He’s looking for a job in management or operations supervision.  He’s had several leads and interviews, nothing exactly in what he wants.  He had a lot more hits from NJ (where he lives) than down here where he wants to retire.  He really wants to move to NC, where military retired pay is not taxed.  At any rate, the family is happy that he will be closer to home.
 
Glad to hear from everyone, but don’t expect a long letter like this in return, my arm is starting to hurt, so I’ll close for now.  Happy and prosperous New Year to everyone!
 
Elwood

11 Jan 2008 – Ted

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Hello to all,
 
Its good to see you all are in contact.  We do build a bond and have fun in CFIC, along with just being BUFF crew members.

  Doug Miller we still have one of your Tech Orders in the office. 

Glad you are situated in SC John and that your Mom will be there soon.  I still think of John talking to Italian controller one sortie. 

Britt’s CFIC sortie lesson during ground ops still gets mentioned at reinforcing cross checks. 

Miss Steve Hollis’s humor and role playing. 

Vern, Reed, Chuck office conversations about politics, world events, religion, and military. 

Chris Knights and I were talking not too long ago about Larry Woods and Radar mentoring he did in the FTU. 

TDYs with Blackwood. 

Radar Nav discussions with Andy Bloom. 

We take the best from those around us and pass those words/lessons learned onto to others. 

You all continue to contribute to the crew force even now.
    Good to make contact again with you all.
 
Captain Ted