Sunday, November 26, 2023


Early Thanksgiving morning in east Texas, 2023. It was as quiet and peaceful as the photo below depicts but for a lone rooster in the distance.

If Butterball sold 37 pound turkeys, my wife would opt for that turkey. She has a thing about always buying the biggest turkey available, even for just the two of us.  But this year, she made the decision on a 15-pounder and come to find out, that whole turkey fit inside the turkey pan. A first!

 Yes, there was a whole turkey inside.

Thanksgiving was also an excuse for her to set a proper table, china, silver, cloth napkins and crystal. Even if it was only for three. Years of family history alive and well. Most thankful for family and all the new very close friends in our lives.



Friday after was to be a road trip along Interstate 30 into Dallas. Was to be an after holiday visit with brother-in-law. We thought leftovers with more time to visit outside the busy day of large family gathering on Thanksgiving day. Then a phone call from brother-in-law mid afternoon explaining the power had gone out, then later back on. The oven was off and displaying a "fatal error" message. 

One of the worst things that can happen to the chief cook of a Turkey day meal. A brief while later, a reset button was found, pushed and all was back to order. But their meal was delayed to later afternoon. 

Having been the chief cooks a few times for large family gatherings, my wife and I realized they did not need another day added following their large family gathering on Thanksgiving. We called, opted out for a rain check giving them back a relaxing Friday free from more family coming for a visit and feeding. 

My wife and I also realized that driving into Dallas on Black Friday was probably a poor decision on our part. Traffic on a normal day in Dallas ........ yeah.



One of the many first lessons learned in the Army helicopter flight program in 1966 was recognizing the onset of Ground Resonance and what to do about it.

The term "light on the skids" refers to getting the helicopter settled in a well controlled vertical liftoff from the ground up to a hover. In that interim, the helicopter becomes lightly setting on the skids as it lifts off the ground. 

If the helicopter is left in that "light on the skids" condition, one skid can briefly bounce off the ground and cause a transfer of forces through the helicopter structure and flight controls. It will then bounce off the other skid sending another set of increasing vibration forces through the helicopter. The helicopter, if left in that condition, can start to go into ground resonance with each "bounce" sending larger disruptive flight inputs into the helicopter systems.  In a very short period of time, well--- the two videos below best describe the outcome. 

The cure in learning to fly for the new helicopter pilot is to recognize when ground resonance is starting to occur and to either set all the weight of the helicopter back on the ground (land) or pull the helicopter into the air (fly). Immediately.

The two videos below were set into motion by the Army to show what happens if the helicopter is left alone in that condition. Increasing oscillations occur to the point of complete out of balance failure.

Figure below from Google

Ground resonance - Wikipedia

Video One

Video Two



Just sailing. Sights, sounds and new technology at work. I think the center hull has a lifting foil in use. To design and build a boat like this; to to see it perform in these kinds of wind and ocean conditions! And add a video like this...Has to be a rush and an enormous feeling of accomplishment!



I should have quit this weeks post while I was ahead. But I cannot.  I apologize.

Maybe all we really need is an idea, be dedicated to it and and then act on that idea. 


The 2023 Thanksgiving holiday is in the books. 

I cannot shake "hinky" feelings during times of our lives, worrying if another holiday season will "occur normally" across our nation. Head and gut feelings at odds. Winky-eyed! Everything seemingly disconnecting. Elephants filling the room(s). Way too quiet/distractions inside all the noise.

Soon, the new year day have come and gone, winter will be in full blossom and 2024 will be in the starting gates. The racetrack ahead.....well, if I was a jockey, I might want to walk the course instead of full steam ahead. I will be most interested in finishing the race intact.

I, too, will be milling around in the paddock, looking at horizons and over my shoulder. reading people, economy and lands for change. What am I forgetting; not seeing; not planning for?

Pot of beef rib soup was on before daybreak this morning. It is cold, windy and damp outside. Brothy beef soup for dinner plus the house will smell very homey all day. A good afternoon for a movie.

Thanks for the visit. You know I appreciate it.


Sunday, November 19, 2023


 ....... departed Mt. Vernon in Texas and headed due north on highway 37. The roads are straight as an arrow but for a few bends. Through Hagansport, Bogota, Clarksville, Negley, Idabel, Broken Bow and Beaver's Bend. Finished the trip north along 259 through Hochatown with a few miles of eateries, craft breweries, wine shops and gift stores. A destination in and of itself. There are many older cabin rentals available along the way that draw folks from the bigger cities for peace/quiet, the beauty of the rolling hills and a get-away from the hustle - bustle of busy days. 

Our destination that day was Beaver's Bend, an Oklahoma state park. 

The road north out of Mt. Vernon had no traffic to speak of. We commented that here we are in the northern Piney Woods with roads seemingly just to ourselves. Further on, the land turned flat with large open fields, sparse trees and working homes along the highway.

Hazy morning with no traffic on north Texas highway into Clarksville.

We turned off the highway to take a quick tour through town. 

The town square well represented many of the smaller towns we have traveled through. An old-west-looking walk way of sistered stores and shopping fronts. Brick roads in good repair but matching the times of those bygone days.

My wife ogles the court house neatly maintained and tucked away on one of the corners of the old town. She says, "the last train to Clarksville" which opened the door for us trying to remember the words of the song.  "Clarksville" in the song  exists only in the song. But it easily could have been this one when local boys were being drafted into the Army and then sent off to war.

We soon crossed the Red River into southern Oklahoma and the Choctaw Nation. A coffee break and stretching our legs was in order. 

I crossed paths with an older local man at the coffee "bar." We said good morning to each other. He set his coffee cup down and said "brother, can you watch this for me, any kind of running water changes my life immediately." Off to the restroom he went and I guarded his coffee as I was learning the newer technology of getting one's own cup with all of the new coffee machines. No more glass pots freshly brewing or just getting old, sitting in the coffee makers.

Find cup, fill cup with creams that squirt from nozzles, colored sweetener buttons also squirts a foggy mixture of one's choice. Only straws available for stirring, I thought. Taste testing so that the wife too would enjoy the late morning coffee as we would soon hit the road again. 

The older gentleman returned, apologizing for how long it took him. "Takes longer now, I gotta go when I have to go, the medicine helps but it just takes more time." I laughed because he was me. Any running water seems to flip switches in side this 78 year-old frame that are out of my control. It just is. Listen closely to old folks talking and you will hear similar stories. The fellow had me laughing out loud and it felt grand.

He headed to the pay counter as I was finishing up the final taste test and searching for a lid that fit. Standing behind him at the pay counter, he looked back and asked what I was getting and I replied just a cup of coffee for the road. He told the gal behind the counter to put it on his bill. A most kind gesture from a stranger in Oklahoma. And anyone paying attention would realize this kindness offered is best answered with similar, from the heart, kindness. I put my hand on his shoulder and said thank you and what a kind gesture. "My pleasure brother."  Softly spoken. I teased that I wondered if I could get a rib eye with an order of fries, too. He yelled to the kitchen, "put on a rib eye and fries." He called my bluff and again had me laughing out loud. 

I doubt that I would ever encounter moments like this in the Pacific Northwest or in the New England states. The Texan and Oklahoman human grains of openness and kindness to strangers runs deep and are infectious.  So, in the car and off we go.

Crossing the Red River heading for Broken Bow and Beaver's Bend should have been on my bucket list. And the town of Idabel just for the saying out loud of Idabel. No matter how hard I try, Idabel does not roll of my tongue like it does the locals.

Broken Bow was busy. Traffic of working folk. Again, a normal bigger smaller town of this area. Beaver's Bend State Park was just up the road. 

The back roads were bending up hill, downhill and tunneled by late-waning autumn leaves. They were narrow, no room for a good photo or two. Besides, we both enjoying the brief beauty of the short loop drive. Many cabins for rent and one guy, alone, fly fishing in the river. 

This was a great photo opportunity, but absolutely no way to get on the bridge for photography. From the car had to be good enough. Pictures like this are found in outdoors magazines. But, in Beaver's Bend, there is a guy who stands in waders with the river above his knees, lost in a real-world of fly fishing.

Back to 259 to finish our trip.  The highway drives straight through Hochatown. Both sides of the highway run with off-road gravel driveways, lined with any and all kinds of shopping. Craft breweries, wine tasting, doodad gift shops and restaurants for any wanting. Two-way traffic was challenging for me and made it difficult to look at the sights. My co-pilot called out areas to turn off for our inspection. 

An hour touring was just fine and we did come home with some locally made chip dips and two new BBQ sauces. The one we opened when we got home (on the left) will become our go-to sauce, so good it's worth another trip north if need be.

From Mountain Man Meat 

War Pigs is a veterans-owned company and Mountain Man Meat carries their brand.

We arrive back home an hour before sunset, as planned. We had FUN.



My bet is you will watch this short video of an eagle catching fish, twice

Another Thanksgiving this week. I have doubted the coming of holiday seasons now for a few years. However, it appears that 2023 turkey bird and "fixins" are in order. 

Have a happy Thanksgiving day. Tell someone you love them this week and when you hug, hug!! No fake standoffish hugging.

Days in our lives for which we are grateful. 

Thank you for the visit.


Sunday, November 12, 2023



"My good friend,

It has been 57 years and I want you to know that you are not forgotten in this little corner of the world. Never have been, never will be. You played a most important part in my life, good friendship with a zest for living every moment to its fullest. 

We started the Army's Helicopter flight school together in class 66-15 Ft. Wolters Texas and then volunteered to hold over a month upon completion of that stage of our training because the Ft. Rucker slots were full. We fully enjoyed that month doing odd jobs at Ft. Wolters and then reported to class 66-17 where we finished flight school and both received our Warrant Officer Bars, Wings and orders to go to Vietnam. By the order of the President of The United States, we were officially declared Officers and Gentleman.

I fondly remember you and me doing one of the team "solo" cross country flights at Ft. Wolters and during my flying portion of our route, you needed to relieve yourself and decided to unbuckle your safety harness. Then turned to stand on the skid,  outside of the flying helicopter and while hanging on to the inside of the door frame, did just that.

I knew better that to try to dissuade as that had yet to ever work; once you made up your mind, there was no turning back. Those few seconds, holding the helicopter in straight and level flight took forever.  Then back inside, sitting down, reattaching the safety belt and turning to me with that grin of "mission accomplished". 

..I think one of my most favorite moments happened on one of our weekend trips to Panama City during our training at Ft. Rucker. . We were released Saturday morning at 09:00 and instead of hitting the mess hall for something to eat, we decided to get in the Corvette and head south to Panama City. Shortly after we got on the back roads, we decided to stop at a gas station to pick up a quart of cold milk and a package of Oreo Cookies. Our breakfast for the road trip. 

A few moments later, sharing the quart of milk back and forth, we drove into a  Sheriff's road block where he had everyone pulled over for "inspection." We were in a dry county. The (Jackie Gleason) sheriff had everyone stopped ahead of us and out of their cars. He walked up to us, seeing us drinking from a milk carton with a package of opened Oreo cookies in our laps. We told him we where flight candidates at Ft. Rucker headed for a weekend in Panama City. He asked what we were drinking and we said milk.

He took the milk carton, smelled the milk, returned it to me and sent us on our way. We were the only car, a bright red 1963 Corvette, that got to pull out of the inspection line up. God how we laughed, sun in faces, wind in our hair and a 5th of unopened whiskey tucked under your seat.

Then every day learning to fly Huey helicopters, you in the jump seat while I flew and then vice versa. Flight instructor in the left seat. Close formations flying, quick touch down landings followed by immediate take offs, life fire gun ship runs and other tactical flight maneuvers.

Not a day went by that you were not painting life in bright colors that were so fresh and new to me. To this day Arnie, to this day!!

I love ya brother; forever."

To the other brothers of Army Flight Class of 66-15 and 66-17 it was an honor to to serve with you.

To the 2nd of The 20th ARA, 1at Air Cavalry Division (1967) and the 7/17 Cavalry (1969) it was an honor to serve with you.

God Bless all this Veteran's Day, 2023.



Photos taken and compiled in 1967 serving with The 2nd of The 20th, ARA, 1st Air Cav. We flew out of An Khe, Bong Son, The An Lao Valley and Phan Thiet. Lyrics and music by Joe Galloway "God's Own Lunatics" from "The Shadow of The Blade" 





'Tis the season in New Hampshire

Thanks for the visit this week.