Friday, January 31, 2014

"ACKNOWLEDGE NOW" *** Div (Strategic Air Command subsection)

When I entered active duty lo these many years ago, I was assigned to the 490 Strategic Missile Squadron, 341st Strategic Missile Wing, Malmstrom AFB, Montana. Seems that the folks who have followed me almost 50 years later seem to have really "stepped on it while wearing track shoes."

In many ways, I can understand what drove these young men and women to cheat. We had several sayings among the "crew dogs," one of our favorites was, "in SAC the reward for a job well done is less punishment." (this applied equally to the missile and aircrew force - believe me, I worked both sides).

Failure wasn't really an option if you intended to make the service a career. One mistake and you were pretty much assured of never being considered for advancement.
Most of the written tests had minimum passing score of 100% and if you busted one, you got a trip the the head shed and were permitted to tell the "Wing King" just why and how sorry you were. Believe me, "To err is human; to forgive is not a SAC policy" never strayed far from one's mind. And even God couldn't help you if you busted a check ride. (We were constantly reminded that even he/she answered directly to CINCSAC). You were finished. Yeah, you'd be retrained, re-certified and put back on duty, but you better start looking for another career field (and don't expect to get a good FITREP or a "gong" as the door hit ya in the ass).

Pulling alert (and I've been in every 10th, 12th, and 490th capsule in Montana) was quite different than today. Recreational reading was frowned upon (you've got your dash-1 and numerous technical pubs available for your enjoyment). No one was allowed to sleep underground (you never know if that other guy is going to go bonkers or do sumpin stoopid)  - - though our duty consisted of three eight hour shifts with "sleep shifts above ground in-between. There was no entertainment radio or TV (Hey, you've got HF, VHF, UHF, and phones to keep you entertained). And, oh yeah, there was no way a woman was ever going to be allowed on a crew (the wives would have revolted).

Face it folks, it was downright, mind numbingly BORING !!! 
Yes, there were the occasional moments when you were required to use your training in handling the day-to-day routine or off-the-wall situation, but it was mostly simply waiting ……. well, you know what for, eh ?

Everyone bitched and moaned, but when it came right down to the nut-cuttin' you pulled your weight. Sometimes you dragged your crew commander or deputy, kicking and screaming through a successful check ride despite their best efforts to screw the pooch. Other times as an instructor or evaluator you tried like the devil to keep from failing someone - and yes, I've been there too.

As I said at the start: Been there, done that.

I have no doubt that the "Culture of Fear" still exists; though I wonder how it can be an effective motivator considering today's geo-political situation. However, there can be no margin for error when dealing with nukes. Just give Command and Control a read and find out just how lucky we've been.

I don't know the answer, but I fully understand the pressure that these young men and women are under. I'm just sorry that their character just wasn't up to the challenge.

*** Every voice broadcast over SAC's Command and Control system ended with those words - and, as you've probably figured out, woe betide anyone that didn't.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

RIP Pete Seeger Div

One of the most important influences in the revival and continuation of the popularity of American folk music has finally laid down his sword and shield  - -  both of which, ironically, were a banjo. He continued to use that weapon 'til yesterday. He will be missed, but remembered.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Geography Div ….. (Celestial Body subsection)

Look up in the (Night) Sky !!!!

I'm sure there's a way it can be Gerrymandered to keep some of them Moon Men (and Women) from voting, eh ??

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div ( jazzy subsection )

Special Consensus Doing the Irving Berlin song Blue Skies.

Special Consensus: Dustin Benson - Guitar; Greg Cahill - Banjo; Dn Eubanks - Bass
 and Rick Faris - Mandolin

Monday, January 20, 2014

Instructional Div (Morning Coffee subsection)

A delightful lady treated me to the theatre on Sunday (the Washington Shakespeare Theatre Company's performance of Oscar Wilde's  The Importance of Being Ernest ). Maybe I'll think of some clever Bearish way to make it up to her.
Anyway, while there, I bought a coffee mug (one can never have enough mugs) slathered with Shakespeare's insults (mostly about Republicans I think, but then, I digress). Inside was the website to a wonderful instructional video.       I never knew it could be so complicated ………..

Ain't it the Truth Div (Graphics subsection)

What more can one say  ???????????  

(H/T  - - AB)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Far Eastern Subsection)

One of the states I visited on the recent road trip …… few folks resembling this band tho ……..
Sugar On Top doing Tennessee. 
I'm sure the banter at the end is funny, but it could be something about someone's mother, eh ??

Sorry, couldn't find any info on the members.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Just finished a 1700 mile road trip this week. Thanks to Sirius/XM radio, had Bluegrass Country whenever I wanted it. Heard this one several times  - - catchy tune and true sentiments. Sometimes, the journey is as important as the destination.

The Boxcars:
Adan Steffey - Mandolin, Ron Stewart - Banjo, John Bowman - Fiddle, Harold Nixon - Bass
 and Keith Garrett - Guitar

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Geography Div (Damn Foreigners subsection)

Suppose you were given a map of the United States and told to fill in the State names …….. Betcha many Americans couldn't do it, but at least they'd have probably heard the names.
Now suppose you lived halfway around the world and were given the same project …….
   ( 10% ….. not bad, eh ?)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Might as well start off the New Year with one of my favorites Cherokee Shuffle.  Here done by (L - R)
Andy Falco, Josh Williams and Chris Eldridge.