There's a cold air mass hovering just north of us this morning. When it moves through this afternoon, we're in for big storms again. Be that as it may, I'm ready for it to get here. The humidity has stayed in the high eighties for three days now, and the water is dripping out of the trees like rain. It condenses out on the leaves and then comes down in big drops. Everything is soaked. There's mildew or something growing on the concrete of the parking pads, covering them with a green sheen.
I had to go up to the next county to see my doctor, and it was an interesting trip. The rain came down in torrents. At the same time, the Sheriff's Department had a speed trap going on the county line. People were still speeding despite the low visibility and the danger of hydroplaning, so I didn't feel sorry for the line of cars pulled over waiting for their tickets. Our county Sheriff recently announced a big crackdown on speeding, and I'm all for it. Some of these idiots drive so fast they can't make the curves in the road, so you come around the side of one of those curves, where the view is blocked by the mountains, and here comes a BMW sliding into your lane. I'm getting too old for excitement like that.
When my mother in law died, one of the things my wife got was a big old shoe box full of pictures. Most of them were of her family, but there were a lot of our wedding pictures I had never even seen. That got me motivated to go out and plunder around in the climate controlled part of the barn, looking for a tin box of old photos I had never scanned. This was one of them. I know from the note on the back of the picture that it was taken in 1975, at my father's home. That's my youngest brother next to me. I was a newly minted Second Lieutenant back then.
This picture was taken at Naval Air Station Whiting, in Milton, Florida in 1976. I can tell from the helmet that I was flying the T-28 in VT-6 when this was taken. When you transitioned to helicopters in HT-8, you turned in a lot of your fixed wing gear for rotary wing specific equipment. The helicopter helmet was bigger and heavier than the fixed wing version.
The T-28 was used all over the world, sometimes as a trainer, but more often as a fighterbomber. It was solid, easy to fly, sturdy, and most important for a lot of third world countries, easy to maintain. When the T-28 was phased out of U.S. Service at the end of the 1970's, most of the airframes were expended in crash training for Naval Air Station fire crews. It was a real waste. If you go to the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, there's a T-28 from VT-6 hanging from the roof. I flew that aircraft on numerous occasions and she shows up in my log book as a result. It's good at least that Trojan was saved for posterity.
I flew a lot of different aircraft from 1973 through 1995. Started out in the Cessna 150 at Seven Bars Aviation in Albuquerque, New Mexico in November, 1973. The Navy paid for my civilian flight training under the reserve flight indoctrination program. I made my last flight as a pilot in command in the summer of 1995 , flying a Civil Air Patrol T-141 here. Somewhere on the right hand side of the blog there's a list of the different types I flew, both civilian and military. I got to fly a TA-4 Skyhawk, but not as a PIC, I flew in the front seat while an old friend was PIC in the back seat. That's the only jet I ever flew.
I wanted to fly fighters, but I didn't make the cut. Once you finished primary, at NAS Saufley, in the T-34B Mentor, you were sent to the fixed wing pipeline or the rotary wing pipeline. There may have been fellows who wanted to go fly something besides fighters, but I never met a Marine who did. I knew some Navy guys who wanted to fly patrol planes, or transports, but I never knew a Marine who wanted anything but the fighters. So only the very cream of the crop got fixed wing. It wasn't just flying skills, it was about aggressiveness and attitude. I was a careful flier, and I didn't socialize a whole lot off duty. If you've seen Top Gun, that's the kind of individuals who got fighters back in the 1970's and 1980's. Personality wise, I suppose I really was more the helicopter type, but it was a big disappointment. Worked out OK in the end though.
Well, the little T-34B's are long gone. So, for that matter, is NAS Saufley where VT-5 and VT-2 operated the type as a primary trainer. Naval Air Station Saufley was closed down as an active air station with squadrons aboard in the late 1970's as I recall. It's been a long time ago. Strange how much just one old picture will bring back to mind.
I got an American Survival Guide in the mail yesterday. All wrinkled up from the humidity but at least the rain didn't get in the mailbox this time. It's always nice if the carrier remembers to close the little hatch on the box during a thunderstorm.
EMP is the big deal in the survival magazines this summer. Probably because the North Koreans are going balls to the wall on their nuclear weapons. I remember Barack Hussein sniffing at a press conference a year or so before we got rid of him, saying that the NOK's couldn't have a delivery package that could reach the U.S. in less than 9 years. Surprise, surprise. Didn't work out that way. They've had the ability to put nukes in orbit for a long time, so EMP is less a science fiction subject and more a real concern these days.
The eternal squealing and shouting about what does or does not work as a Farady cage is addressed in this magazine. That's been going on at least as far back as the mid eighties and probably longer. The article in this issue specifically says that a galvanized metal trash can with the lid set firmly will protect your electronics. I hope the guy is right because that and old microwaves are what I'm using.
There's an article on equipment for your dog, and my mind was boggled. They seem to be making as much "deuce gear" out there for Fido as they are for people! My brother, the middle one, has been outfitting his Springer spaniels with expensive field gear like snow boots and UV protective goggles for years, but it seems like it's going mainstream now. Also an article on how dogs fit into a survivalist (or prepper) overall plan.
Lots of good reviews of equipment I'd love to have but can't afford. Still, I see this stuff for $100.00, then go to Sportsman's Guide or Major Surplus and Survival, and buy the military surplus equivalent for a lot less. Not as snazzy or prestigious , but fully functional and that's all I care about.
Today I have to go to town. Post office, bank, library , grocery store, pharmacy, Walmart, and to the park for a walk. I've been putting it off but I need to get up and go, so I'll finish up here.