Sunday, October 29, 2017


I had come to grips that there was not going to be a post this week. I sat here, face against a brick wall.

I had such little faith.

(Earlier this past week, I found Kaleidoscope Zephyr Starbeam rehearsing.)

I am guessing that you have heard of "Screaming Helplessly At The Sky" by now If you haven't, I apologize for bringing it to your attention. 

A smile came across my face and it has been awhile since that has happened in the readings of other morning blogs/news. A smile for sure. I could feel a happy skipping motion in my chest, a desire to try a hopscotch pattern. I knew this event ranked right up there with gathering friends on the lawns of government to clean toe nails using sharp objects. Who in their right mind could turn down public events such as these? 

My mind touched quickly on other readings I have browsed and that these folks are now arming themselves for protection against those whose mere existence is life threatening to them. It becomes difficult here to write, think and shake my head at the same time.

And in the for what it is worth department, there are people, in all the scary corners of our current days, that just ought not carry nor handle guns. Left, right, up, down, big, small, skin color, sexual orientation, identity, or persuasion. While studying some of the information currently in print and photography, their learning and use of guns to provide protection against an invisible enemy might just find folks of like minds, shooting someone in the ass or worse.  

My bet that taking away our guns does not mean taking away their guns. Understandable!! 

If staying away from crowds is preached here constantly,  then I want to put forward that staying away from crowds carrying loaded guns is paramount.

But I admit I have a strong desire to attend this gathering. I would practice what I preach though, staying close to buildings, out of the frey of the mass, practicing situational awareness all the while watching folks scream helplessly for an hour.

I could join in here at home at the noted time. I would raise my arms in the air and scream, taking a page from Ms. Starbeam. Maybe take the dog outside and encourage her to howl too. Running naked in the woods also seems apropos.


It rained and blew biggly this past week. Color has fallen to the ground and the forests are in the last throes of fall. Highways and byways are squeaking out the last days of a most wonderful change of season here in the north east.


Stay away from forests this week too! 

Some folks you ought not to mess with!!


For those who romance war.

Historical moment this week.

No worries!!

This is why!!!


Complete winter bug out bags/grab and go bags for everyone in your family  this week. Take time to get family on board of said items.

I appreciate the visit this week.


Saturday, October 21, 2017


Nope, not promoting a brand but rather leading into rights of passage. To me, the Buck knife represents any small pocket knife young boys received early on to have and call their own.

Often given by the father or grandfather when the young boy showed sensibility to own a man's cutting tool. Moms were aware, too, that son was soon to receive his first pocket knife. I suppose a few band-aids were stowed in her purse as a matter of course. Come to think about it, band-aids always seemed to appear any time and anywhere someone cut themselves. Along with the first pocket knife came the first cut.

Pocket knives were not given out willy-nilly. Just because the young boy was of age to own his first knife was, in of itself, not enough.  He had to have been taught in earlier years whittling and use in the proper ways while in the company of elders. 

The boy's first knife was rarely new out of the box. Most often a hand-me-down, long ago acquired or set aside for the moment. The knife had wear character as proof of worth and dependability. And most likely, the knife had been lent to the young boy earlier to whittle or carry with the elders on a trip into the woods. The young boy knew not that it was his knife and it was only time that had to play out before it could stay and be trusted in his pocket and daily travels. That first knife was no sharper than it had to be.

After several weeks had passed, dad or grandpa would ask to borrow said knife from the young boy.  The boy would reach in his pocket and hand his knife over to help with the tangled twine in the garden, or peel an apple fresh from the tree. Men shared their knives in the course of days' events.

These knives traveled to school, playgrounds and the back hills. Boys would compare and share such things as how to sharpen, throw, carve and cut. These knives were seen and used as tools in their young world.

Has been an easy 65 years now since I received that first pocket knife.  Today, I cannot go through a man-store with out stopping at the knife aisle and shopping.  So hard not to purchase another knife from time to time for reasons I cannot justify. Nor can I just PASS a knife aisle. I am stopped for minutes by some unknown force that allows me browsing and wonderment.

My throw-and-go bag above has everything from soup to nuts and this Gerber hunting knife and sheath are attached to the shoulder strap. Most likely overkill for a knife, but if this is the only bag I can grab in an emergency moment, this knife will serve many purposes. It is razor-sharp and yep, there are band aids in the bag. Like yesterday when I was young, this knife is a tool.

I received the top-pictured Buck knife this week from brother-in-law in Texas. A gift. One of our recent discussions while walking down an aisle of knives together was remembering our first pocket knife. It is still a memory for both of us and he still carries a pocket knife like the one pictured at the top of this post. 

This new Buck knife in a sheath replaces the slightly larger sheathed knife I carry. For every day carry, this little knife will prove just fine. 



I came across this in a post I read this past week. I think it cuts deeper in this old man than it may in younger folks. I do not know. But stories like this should be seen by everyone as it can become a life-saving reference to draw on, especially for the young worldwide.

I seriously doubt that parents or folks alike share anything like these days with youth.

My grandparents and parents came to this country, in part, fleeing for the safety of their lives and their future.  Trust me and Give yourself these 13 minutes. You will notice that this story is also worn on the face of the story teller. Stay with it till the end and share.


 "A bit of kindness is more than worth it." Her gets credit for this quote.

Draw old friends closer this week and laugh. I appreciate your visit.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


Fall colors

After dinner, sun was on the set this past week and these two photos are examples of country living painted by Mother Nature. The highways are lined with color that magnifies in direct sun and dims under passing clouds. It is a magnificent time of the season and leaf-peepers that are visiting now have timed their days perfectly. 

As of this morning, and ready to publish, fall colors have gone. The dull color of  rust nestled among the green tells again another brief time in the on-going changing seasons. First dropping of temperatures to overnight freeze hints of cold coming. A week still blessed with wonderful cool nights changing to comfortable days that beg to be outside. 

Hands are cold this morning typing final thoughts. Very early in the season for me to notice this.



Her and I drove to the coast the other night for a gathering of some friends. A simple invite to all to bring something to the dinner table, to look out over the bay as the sun sets and visit. It  was a longer drive, 90 minutes one way, for us than we are use to. Our state's highways are well maintained as compared to other states that border us. Traffic was heavy, but moving without issue. This ease of travel only changes a few miles of nearing other bordering metropolises. Once inside those envelopes, traffic slows to congestion and maintains that pace through out the immensity that is every big city.

We saw more people and traffic in this round trip than we have seen in a half-year of local travel. We concluded that we have unconsciously well-insulated ourselves. We have become used to the quiet of country living. We can dip our toes into the hustle bustle like we did that night and step out just as quickly. Our quiet most likely would drive the younger generations to migrate as the big city drives older folks to the quiet. The times of our lives.

But the company was worth it. The laughing was worth it. Sitting on the floor with the dog was worth it. And the different foods brought to the dinner table was indeed a "box of chocolates." I can still see the smiling faces and hear the laughing.



It is difficult to blog w/o some thoughts and mentioning of the world around us. I repeat myself here and apologize for talking of the constant nagging of worldly catastrophes at our doorsteps.

NFL      multi-millionaires trying to have everything every way at the expense of a fan base that once loved you. A wanton desire to piss off and act out in childish tantrums w/o consequences. So, expect networks to no longer show national anthem?? Doubling down and other sports and teams taking a knee.  

STORMS AND FIRES     Old news and downgraded to "B" roll. 

NORTH KOREA      Hanging over our heads.

ONE MAN'S LIFE     Celebrities running for cover and apologizing for being constant assholes. This story ought to have enough energy to run one more week.

GUNS   OMG OMG. Disarm America again on the high. I recently saw a statistic that there are 80 guns for every 100 Americans. The parking lots were full this past week at local gun shops. Scream loudly with excess and the next day gun shops have lines waiting for the doors to open. 

LOUDER DRUMS OF WAR     each week this news is pushed to the edges of our plates as a child pushes the last of the cold green peas. Still there and gotta be dealt with before leaving the table. War looms large when there seems no more possibilities of kicking the can down the road and onto the next administration to deal with. 

But TODAY there is still freedom of thinking, travel, action and purchase.



 a wonderful warm up for a cool October lunch
30 minutes from start to serving
comfort food
  •  I used a small 2 quart stainless steel pot as it was soup for one.
  • a cup and half of homemade chicken stock. 
  • a cup and a half of water
  • your choice of noodles and amount
  • one garden carrot
  • a couple spoons of chopped green onions
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  • squirt of catsup (out of tube tomato paste)
  • rolling simmer for 15-20 minutes
  • serve with buttered hot roll(s) for dunking
No limits what can be tossed in soups like this. I used what I found in the fridge and the final carrots from the garden. I was also impatient, cold and hungry.




If I have told this story before, indulge me.


February or March of 1969. Second tour of duty and fairly new to the outfit. First missions were flying aircraft commander wing-man off of Cobra lead. Those first early missions found us out searching for trouble. Our flight gaggle was made up of a UH-1H command helicopter, two Cobra gun ships and two LOH (light observation helicopters). The two “Loachs" flew low and slow, looking for someone to shoot at them OR were flying low and slow re-conning areas of enemy intelligence reports.

A Major or Lt. Col in the command and control helicopter was in charge, gave the orders and led the missions. The Loachs marked targets and the Cobras brought in immediate fire suppression as called for. Single strike or multiple strikes. 

If contact was heavy, six to a dozen lift ships with troops were not far away and could be inserted as required.

Home for dinner if all went well.

Those were the days when the war was changing and it was necessary for us to call for permission to return fire. Yep, when fired upon we could not return fire w/o calling for permission from higher up. I can still see a moment while inside the cockpit, several hundred feet off the ground and at speed. Looking at the ground passing under me, I looked at a tree line and knew that if I was fired upon, I could no longer return fire. The meanest gunship helicopter at the time reduced to scrap iron in the air by the politics of a changing war.

I should mention here that my first tour of duty was flying gunships for the 1st Air Cavalry out of An Khe, SVN. I was groomed that year to be a young combat pilot flying several enemy contact missions daily for a year. It was war flying and fighting like you might see in a war movie. So, I brought that mindset and experience with me to duty tour #2.

And so it was, going that day, searching for trouble.

The command and control helicopter called us all for landing in a nearby friendly zone to shut down and review the mission. He landed, followed by the two Loachs. As lead Cobra turned final approach, I received a call from a pinned-down group of GI's, maybe within 10-15 minutes flight time. I replied back to the call saying we had a fire team close by and had to land to report their need for our help.

This is what we did. This is who we were. We had the equipment and skill sets to clean up the mess they found themselves in.

I set the Cobra down in the dusty field, idled down, flipped open the canopy and ran to the commander. I told him that I had just received a call for help from a group of American troops pinned down and in a fire fight, just minutes from our location.

My expectations and previous experiences were to become airborne within minutes and on the way to do what we did best. And we were good; very good at all of that.

That is not our job today” said the commander.

To this day, that response still stops me in my tracks. I cannot now and could not then wrap my head around that response. AND it was that exact moment when I finally grew up and fully grasped the futility of war from within our own ranks. Fighting the enemy was hard enough and fraught with challenges; but how do you fight the politics of war? How do you fight the utter stupidity of leadership, higher-ups and so forth. I knew not then and know not now.

I made a conscious decision that day that fighting and dying in Vietnam would never be worth it to my country. It would never be appreciated nor looked upon as for God and Country. Hard to put it into words, but I knew and better grasped the big picture missions becoming impossible from within. And as important, no one higher up had our backs if push came to shove. 

When I returned to base, I looked into and opted for becoming an Instructor Pilot in the Huey Cobra. I was accepted, went through a weeks training and returned as a Cobra IP. I was assigned to the Headquarters company and spent the rest of tour of duty with shined boots, clean uniforms and milk runs. And for a few months of my life, I could execute a full emergency landing from altitude, land on a dime and give you 9 cents change. The Cobra and I were one. 

To what end? 

After all of these years and the experiences of that day, I understand Benghazi. I get the stand down orders we see in the news of days past. I think I get the same things listening and looking at Las Vegas, gag orders and cloudy stories. Somewhere in the bowels of the decision making process, men - whose jobs are to fight a war or stop bad things from happening - are co-opted from within. It is not the war fighter or the first responders. They are there and always have been. Somewhere up the chain of command!! The enemy with-in.


Seasons are changing and Winter is Coming.  Be very happy with yourself, reach out a helping hand if called upon and watch your own back. I appreciate your visit this week. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017


The problem with starting this blog early in the week, is that by Sunday morning publishing time, the news cycle has come and gone. Last week, it was paragraphs tossed into the trash bin, more from disliking the NFL subject matter and a final desire to toss it. I really do not care or as one friend puts it so eloquently; “I have no more F***s to give!” 
This week the media will be owned by the tragedy from Las Vegas and every talking head will chew all of this to dust. Agendas will surface rapidly, "caring elite" will dance on the dead and who knows by the time Sunday morning comes. Early in the week though and all still developing. One thing seems to be consistent for me and that it so much of what is going on these days tugs deeply inside of hearts.



Mid-year, 1969. Second year of combat flying in Vietnam and doing time to complete my four-year obligation to the military. Good duty as compared to most. Instructor in the Huey cobra giving check rides for pilots to maintain their annual flying requirements. Headquarters flying duty, people moving and milk runs. A trip or two into Cambodia with specialty ops on board for briefings in dark corners. Steak and beer at the local officers' club at night and a safe, good night's sleep in real housing. All in all not a bad way to finish two tours of duty in Vietnam.

I had time to become close friends and comrades with many pilots. Some were flying low-level combat operations daily. Low and slow looking for bad guys. War stories every night at dinner. My daily flight board schedule was different every day allowing for some late morning sleep ins.

On one such morning I was awakened by several enlisted men coming into our room and starting to remove all of the personal items and bed coverings from a roommate's bed. From out of my sleep I awoke to outrage that his items were being collected and gone through by strangers. A young enlisted man told me that he had crashed and was killed just an hour earlier. “Sorry, sir.”

That silenced me into a confused stupor. In the blink of an eye I had lost a good friend and watching his personal items being stuffed into his duffle bag was out of context for my normal days then.

There were not words then and there are no words now that can cover the emotions of loss and the gone of a good friend.

Quite often in life, things just happen. Good people, close friends and the events that take them from us. None of us are exempt.

There are no safe places. Maybe some folks think there are today, but there are not. Each of us has to grieve in our own ways, take time and move on. Sounds cold, uncaring, but in the end that is what we have to do as life does go on. Tuck the memories in a corner of our hearts and visit the goodness of those times. 

I do not want this to sound like a cliche, but we the people care deeply about the loss of life and all the families grieving at senseless loss of life in Las Vegas this past week.  



Chainsaw works great for projects like this. Cutting into sand and rocks results in the same chain damage requiring sharpening to cut properly again. But that was part of this work environment. One battery recharge required. All in all, I think I will be very happy with the addition of this tool to the shed. Will try a falling and limbing a few small trees later this month.



We have had some of the best Fall weather this season. Cool, clear nights, comfortably warm days and a little breeze for personality. Again I find sitting in my lawn chair surveying the kingdom brings time for relaxation and worldly pondering. No earthshaking epiphany but full appreciation of these days being a perfect transition between summer and winter. As usual, the dog is by my side and stirs when I do.

When the wife is off and doing her girl things, I find extra minutes to indulge myself in the luxury of doing nothing and an abundance of soaking in the simplicity of quiet outside noises, muffled traffic from the road below, birds coming and going and the barn cat rolling in the sun close to our protection. No concern for guilt because I am sitting doing nothing and I have yet to tire of the wonders of this solitude outside.



Long fingers of weather from tropical storm Nate, stretch from the gulf coast all the way past us here in New England. Rain and thunderstorms pass through us late this Sunday morning and early after noon.

The long, long fingers from the fallout from the Las Vegas shooting have taken root now and will continue through national and state new laws/ regulations on controlling guns (gun parts) in the name of saving lives. The clouds from all of this can be cut with a knife and keep the final goal of confiscations of guns from the Dirt people, in high gear.

There are more questions now surrounding this Las Vegas event and I doubt seriously we may ever know the exact intent of the criminal. Stay away from crowds and doubt the truth on all first, second and third media reports on anything and everything. 



They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen!” … adding, “like the world has never seen before.” ...”Maybe it is the calm before the storm?”... “Five options to solve North Korea in 18 months.”... and “you will find out.” (referring to what the storm is)

Today it is up to you and me to figure it all out. We are guessing and what the hell, no worries, right? But it will not be a storm passing in the night.

When all is said and done, all I can gather this day that makes any sense, is to start revisiting parts and pieces here around the land. Band aids, drinking water, canned soup, rice, extra dog food, clean up, pick up, put away and list the is long from lots of little things. Best I get to it. “Winter is Coming.”

Keep your sense of humor and always take it with you; always! 

Keep your sense of trust in your family and friends and always take that with you; always! 

Be ready when folks look to your for help and advice. Do not let them down!!

Do not back peddle, wane or ever become a victim. 

Make the week ahead a very good week.

Thanks again for the visit.

Sunday, October 1, 2017



Click on the picture of the chain saw, in the link above and go through the photos and brief reviews.

I have said before here that I am a Ryobi fan of battery-powered tools. I own a slew of them and have been collecting now for well over 15 years. Son, too, has a beginning set to include a few he uses on the job as a lineman. It helps to stay with the same brand for battery usage, charging and variety. 

There are many other excellent brands and all work wonderfully. I/we have chosen Ryobi.

We have been waiting for Ryobi to come out with one of these saws and after looking at the above review from Popular Mechanics, I ventured to town today to take a look. Sure enough, Ryobi does have this tool now and the price was most reasonable; under $200. Saw, battery and charger.

We added some bar oil this afternoon and each test cut the ends off of a few rough-sawn 2x4's. A job I have wanted to get done for awhile. 

The saw cut wonderfully and became an instant hit with both of us. He said it would be perfect to have in the bucket truck for cutting and trimming. No need to start up a saw; have gas and oil, etc. Simplicity, lighter weight and function. 

Tomorrow, the new saw is going help to me chunk up an old rotting raised vegetable garden and make it easy to get the tractor in to remove the dirt. An end of season chore to get done.

I gave son the old Husqvarna chain saw and told him that I do not have the shoulders to pull and pull on it. He will bring it back to life and get many more years of use out of that older saw. But for me, it is another plug and play tool out of the box, no worries of winterizing for storage.  

The story of Rick Monday.



First Fall chill in the air after a long streak of warm dry weather. It has been great for being outside and working chores. Thick sweats, waffle shirt with sweat shirts on this morning as I tidy up here before publishing. Texas girl says no turning on heat yet and she, too, is in double layers of warm fall/winter wear. 

I think it is our way of extending the warm days of summer into fall. But the worm again turns this month and by month's end, everything of importance that needs to be ready for winter must be done.

Main throw and carry bug-out bag was emptied on the bed yesterday morning, cleaned out and up-graded for the cold ahead. Larger bug-out bin in each vehicle will also be reviewed and up-graded. We do this twice a year and provides some solace that we are walking the walk. 

Have a good week, come back and visit when you can, keep your heads up and get one more thing done for you and your family being self-sufficient.