Archive for the ‘Nostalgia & Fun’ Category

Just Too Funny!

I met a wonderful lady recently whose son is a Marine Corporal serving in Afghanistan. She, like millions of us is burdened with an imperious, tin-eared, nanny state, myopic Democratic Congressman. In this case, it is Ben Chandler of Kentucky’s 6th District.

Ben refuses to hold town hall meetings and disparages the folks who want to get his ear and demand he vote for their long term interests instead of rubber stamping the Obama agenda. Eunice is fighting back with a wonderful website showing what a dilfarb Mr. Chandler actually is. One of her best works is a craftily photo shopped video demonstrating where her Congressman is when he should be travelling his district listening to the will of the voters.

Just imagine your Senator (Murray for instance?), or Congressman (Inslee, McDermott, Baird, Larson, Smith?) in this clip. Please accept my apologies as I am not nearly as savvy as Eunice, or I would have blatantly copied her work with one of our current Obama sycophants.

You may want to watch this more than once. The sappy music fits the scenes perfectly and you will get a real kick out of where Ben manages to appear in the photos.

It would be wonderful to find a creative computer whiz that could knock something like this out for those of us here in Washington. Email me at oldironjarhead@live.com if you are that person.

Eunice’s website is:
SeeBenSpend.com

Enjoy!

Jeff

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Summertime!

It’s late June. School let out a couple weeks ago, the Little League season is in full swing; the days are warm and long. Months of delivering newspapers at five in the morning is about to pay off. The fireworks stands just opened!

Carefully counting out a stack of dollar bills from the drawer, I set out on a well used Schwinn to purchase my treasure – bottle rockets, Zebra firecrackers, whistling chasers, aerial flash bombs, and those wonderful 2” salutes. Back in the neighborhood, boys get together to compare their purchases, trade this for that, and prepare to do some serious pre-holiday testing.

We prefer balloon sticks to punks because we can puff on them and it looks like we are smoking; drawing stares from the adults as they drive by. We range the streets and blocks for hours enjoying the dull thump of a salute dropped down a manhole cover or a bottle rocket launched at a tree full of starlings. No dog or cat is safe from a good scare should we spy it skulking across the road or in a bush. An occasional harsh word from a resident sends us a half block away to resume our ecstasy. By the time the real Independence Day arrives, we are down to about 1/3 of our stock.

Ike is President, the nation is at peace, Detroit is humming and the tailfins get more ostentatious every year. We can hardly wait to become teenagers and dress up to apply for an appearance on American Bandstand. We want to join the Army or Navy the minute we finish high school so we can learn to parachute or ride in a submarine.

Enjoy this catchy little tune from the time that made the Top 40 in both 1958 and 1962 by the same group – The Jamies:

The Intro

When I started this web log with a tremendous amount of assistance from a loyal and very smart attorney friend, I resisted anonymity. My principles tugged at me to proudly sign anything and everything I wrote. I was convinced to remain behind the curtain for the time being, but still had a very hard time accepting that status. All my work that is submitted to various news publications is always accompanied by my name and city. It made little sense to me to stay under the covers – especially since one of the worst features of internet publishing is the ability of cowardly types to viciously attack without identifying themselves. Click on the link to expose the past status as “humbug”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWyCCJ6B2WE]

The truth finally came out when my attorney editor admitted that she was concerned at first about the tenor and content of what might come off my keyboard. What if my posts sounded like some Lyndon LaRouche stuff, was rude, disrespectful, or full of various inflammatory comments? She was attempting to protect myself from myself in case myself would manage to shoot myself in the foot – or worse.

My main purpose in engaging in this endeavor is to gently persuade a few members of the voting public to see the situations facing our nation, state, and local governments, and the impacts on future generations if these things are not addressed soon. I hope to help them be prepared and motivated to vote in the upcoming primary and general elections knowing the issues and candidates. Observing the direction our governments at all levels are moving in at this time, it is my belief that the fall election – an off year one at that – may well be the most important of our lifetimes.

My background includes combat commands at the NCO level, management positions over the years, line haul tanker truck operation, real estate brokerage, and political involvement as a Precinct Committee Officer, newly appointed. My interests lie in history, politics and economics. I was born without the “sports gene”, so must spend my time watching national & world news, perusing editorial pages, and reading books on the above subjects.

You may go to the “About” section for a little more information if you wish. I sincerely hope you enjoy some of the posts whether you agree or disagree. Please feel free to comment on any and you will see a reply in a reasonable time.

Jeffrey S. Howard
Redmond, Washington
oldironjarhead@live.com

Unnatural Disaster

Back in olden times, Washington had a Governor named Dixie. She is best remembered for not much of anything. One of her few redeeming social values was that she did exercise her executive power to declare a state of emergency after this happened:

This video cannot be embedded so you will have to click on the link to watch. It is a stitch!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbMjkueFv7U

I wish Godzilla would pop by soon and eat up the hideous City Hall and a bunch of the ugly condominiums in Redmond. The City Planners are on a fad called “modulation” along with being enthralled with festooning everything in sight with various vomit inducing pastel shades of off the wall colors. In a few years they will appear so dated that folks will wonder why in the world they were built. They are the architectural equivalent of a leisure suit.

Much thanks to artist Dave Phillips for the song, and Reaganwannabe for ginning up the video and posting it on YouTube.

Freedom

As a Conservative, I take it as my duty and a challenge to discuss issues politely with Liberals in an attempt to help them see things in a more positive light. A very good and close friend since childhood is of the incurable type, and we have disagreed on politics vehemently for over 40 years. Our favorite pastime is drinking scotch and arguing about economics, domestic policy, and elections. Since he moved far away, I feel he is slipping badly without some extra scotch and informed persuasion. Therefore I must travel to his home in hopes of helping him begin his long recovery.Freedom on the Oregon Coast

There will be no new posts for a few days, so please feel free to peruse the site. I am certain you will find something to interest or enrage you depending on your point of view. Thank you so much for your support over the past several months. Let me leave you with a favorite quote that moves me deeply every time I think of my 7 little nieces and nephews:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

Ronald Reagan

Graceful Bird

As a kid, I had the fantastic good fortune to experience air travel as it used to be. Growing up in the ‘50s was a true gift. Those who came along later will never have the thrill of racing a huge steam locomotive along a 2-lane highway adjacent to the tracks. They will never experience the neighborhood excitement of the day the family down the street brought home their new ’55 Buick. Above all, younger folks have completely missed the excitement when air travel was a truly wonderful experience laced with a bit of adventure or tension.

Probably the most beautiful example of utility and grace of the period was the Lockheed Super Constellation. With its dolphin shaped fuselage and triple tail, it combined form and function with power and allure. The shaking, snarling, belching-to-life of its 4 huge radial engines totaling 13,000 horsepower would stir the blood of pilots and passengers alike as they announced we were about to “slip the surly bonds of earth. ” As a machine; it represented a technology at its zenith, soon to eclipsed by the evolving jet airliners that would sweep the Connie from the skies.

Here are a few minutes of shots of the Breitling Watch Company Constellation that was restored from junk and now flies the air show circuit in Europe.

An air trip was a magnificent pleasure when these planes plied the continental and ocean routes at about 340 MPH. Tickets were expensive because the government prevented much competition between airlines. Only the well-off or business traveler could afford an air journey. The middle class took a car, train or bus to go cross country.

We endured no security lines or metal detectors. Bombs, hijackers, and terrorists were not a threat. However with thousands of individual moving parts in powerful, temperamental gasoline engines, there was always a chance of some heart palpitations enroute. The Wright 3350 engines on the Connie had cut their teeth in B-29s during WW II, but still had their quirks. Occasionally one would not just expire peacefully. Throwing a prop blade or a master rod could lead to nail-biting emergency landings or an occasional spectacular crash.  An old pilot joke about Connies goes like this:

“A DC-6 is a 4 engine plane with 3 blade propellers. A Constellation is a 3 engine plane with 4 blade propellers.”  The main difference being the DC-6 had Pratt & Whitney engines, and that often one of the Connie’s Wrights would toss its cookies along the way.

Once aboard the Connie, the seats were well spaced and comfortable. The food was good, and there was even a small pack of cigarettes served with each meal so passengers could light up after lunch. We kids would slip them into our pockets to show off when we got home.  The vibration and monotonous drone of the engines had an affect of lulling one to sleep, which was beneficial as the trips lasted a lot longer than now. Flight Attendants were called “Stewardesses” who acted and looked the part. Passengers were pampered as honored guests; not crammed in like cattle.

These days air travel has all the unpleasantness of a long bus trip complete with hygienically challenged fellow passengers; some so big they must be greased with Crisco to fit in a seat. Adding to this are the hassles of crowded airports, security screening, minimal food service, packed seating, baggage fees, robot check-in, and the occasional frowzy and grumpy flight attendant. Contemplating a plane trip is about as pleasant as heading for the dentist’s office. Yes the fares are much lower, and millions more people can enjoy the speed of air travel today, but the trade-offs may not be worth it.

Personally, this writer has reverted to land travel whenever possible. The moment that new toll bridge to Hawaii is opened, my old ’93 Jeep shall be the first in line.

If you are really interested, check out the first few minutes of this old California promo film. You will be amazed at the comfort, treatment, food, and some beautiful in flight shots. Flying into LAX, my little brother and I were astounded to see the “Daily Planet” building from the Superman TV series. It appears at about 8 minutes in if you have the time.

http://www.travelfilmarchive.com/item.php?id=11994

The Rallyer

There he stands with a woman about his age; he holding a sign, she an American flag. His apparent age reveals the fact that he probably grew up subject to the draft. If his hair is completely gray, he may have stormed the beach at Normandy in 1944 or suffered the freezing weeks at the Chosin Reservoirin ’50. A little less gray, he may have experienced Khe Sahn in ’68 or the heat of Iraq in ’91.

He probably worked hard all his life. Maybe he spent endless hours as a line haul truck driver. Perhaps he riveted aircraft wings for 40 years. He could be an engineer designing machines to improve our standard of living. There is a good chance he may be a doctor, accountant, manager, or mechanic. His life profession does not matter. His purpose here is to show his concern for the direction his beloved country seems to be headed.

He has served with and worked alongside others of all races and creeds and is not a bigot. He respects anyone with a work ethic and a spirit of self reliance. He believes in private and government support for those unfortunate enough to have been dealt the hand of disability. He has little understanding or patience for those who seek support to alleviate difficulties brought on by their own actions of lack thereof.

He was raised understanding that opportunity in America is boundless and limited only by the abilities and efforts of the individual. He paid his taxes, paid his bills, bought a home he could afford, saved some money, and raised children always believing that their future would be brighter than his. Now this belief has been shaken.

The many thousands he paid into Social Security were spent – never “saved” – and his kids will now be taxed to pay his benefits. The extravagant promises of Medicare appear to be slowly dissolving before his eyes, and whatever benefits he is to receive from that program will also be financed by his children. He is stunned by the trillions being added to the national debt for the purposes of propping up failing business models and retaining government workers.

The man is angry – angry at the spending with no apparent end or means to pay for it. Angry; at the certainty of higher taxes on the horizon. Angry; that the Administration and Congress wasted over a year on a health care fiasco instead of concentrating on the economy. Angry; at the dilution of US defenses and the de-emphasis on the opposition to terrorists. Angry at the shabby treatment of staunch allies like Israel, Columbia, Honduras, South Korea, and Poland. This paragraph could go on for many lines, but the point is made.

He is “angry” but does that make him “dangerous”?  No.  The man has probably seen more than his share of war and bloodshed.  He loves his country and its people far too much to even consider taking up arms.  He cherishes our Constitution and the protection of rights it enshrines.  He is exercising those rights at this very moment and quietly treasuring the fact that he can do so here while billions in other nations can not.

The Administration and its media sycophants fear this man, and with good reason.  His opinions are spreading across the land in opposition to the reckless policies mentioned above.  As the weeks pass toward Election Day, his quiet, courageous stand against the devolving of the American dream are being taken up by millions of like minded citizens. This man, with determination, dedication, sinew and guts helped defend and build this nation and he will not sit idly by and watch it rot from within. He is to be revered – not denigrated. We owe him our deepest gratitude for answering the call once again to preserve America and our way of life.

The only thanks this man desires is that you stand up and join him.