Sunday, January 22, 2006

We're Number One!

SEA-HAWKS! SEA-HAWKS! SEA-HAWKS! SEA-HAWKS!

I was calling for a 28-24 Seahawk victory, but they kicked Panther butt throughout the game. This is the first time a Seahawk football team made it to the Superbowl and we're all excited here in the great PNW. Can we beat Pittsburgh?

Damn right we can.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Freedom Day

I wanted to post this yesterday, Jan 19, because it's a special anniversary for me. It was on that day in 1969 that I got my discharge from the Army. Never was I so happy to get rid of an obligation. Not that I minded the Army during my regular duty, but when I got out I'd been cooling my heels at West Point awaiting said discharge. It took two weeks to have it approved (I was getting a hardship discharge, allegedly as the sole support of my mother) and another 2 1/2 months to make it happen. Those 2 1/2 months, during which I had no idea when my paperwork would come through, were awful. By the time I got out I had a burning hatred for the Army and just about anything else connected to the government. That made going to California and becoming an antiestablishment hippy a few months later very easy for me.

Because it was 36 years since I re-entered civilan life, you might think I'm a bit long in the tooth. But the truth is that I joined up as a drummer boy when I was six years old and was mustered out a year later. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

All this might seem odd considering that I now work for the Air Force and have for the past 26 years. Well, that's what I do for money, and the BS that I faced back in my Army days is still evident in today's action Air Force. On the other hand, I'm glad to have the job and there are even times when it's interesting and fulfilling. Like a couple of weeks ago when I was part of a team that supported a Medivac mission. A baby was flown in from Kadena AFB, Japan, for treatment at Madigan Hospital on neighboring Fort Lewis. There were a good 20 people involved in getting that infant from Japan to here, not to mention the load planners, air crew, ground people, and whoever had to authorize the use of the aircraft. When I went out to the plane I knew we were doing a Medivac, but I was expecting an adult on a gurney to be aboard. Was I surprised. The infant was in something like an incubator, and that was covered by a towel, so I never laid eyes on him or her, nor do I have any idea what its problem was, but my heart went out to the baby and I hope Madigan can help.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Another Year? I Haven't Used Up the Last One.

It seems that if I don't have a broken down car to report I'm out of conversation. Well, the car was in the shop again, but that was a couple or three weeks ago. Thank goodness it was something expensive. I'd hate to see my mechanic miss out on a first-class, around-the-world cruise on my account.

Christmas is over with and I enjoyed it. I didn't even let the crowds, lack of parking, and imbecile drivers bother me. I bought Steff a computer desk and spent most of the evening putting it together. I think there were 500 screws involved, and my power screwdriver was dead. I got Kristine a printer for her computer but beat it out of town before I had to deal with the installation. She probably did it herself; I ought to check.

The day after Xmas, I joined four other old reprobates for the annual gathering in the wilds known as Tankon. The venue is a cozy cabin belonging to Frank Denton. When I arrived this year Frank was there, having arrived a short time before me, and announced there was a problem with the electricity. We had enough to use the two overhead lights, but no more. No fridge, microwave, heaters, DVD player, or laptops (other than the limited battery). We kept the cabin warm using a wood-burning stove, but once we went to bed the fire died and my head and shoulders, not being inside my sleeping bag, were ice cold. I slept little, and finally got up and fired up the stove. Later that day the guys from the power company came and fixed the lines, and we were back to normal. We still don't have running water, but we're used to that.
We did the usual: ate too much, read, watched movies, chatted, argued, slept, wrote. At the end of six days I packed up and left, glad again to have had the isolation of Bestafar's Hut. I was also glad to get home to a hot shower and shave.
My New Year's resolutions are the same ones I break every year: read more, eat less. Maybe this time I'll keep them a bit longer than usual.

One of the movies I watched at the cabin (on my laptop, knowing the others wouldn't appreciate it) was BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA, with Sammy Petrillo, Duke Mitchell, and an aged Lugosi. Petrillo's claim to fame, or infamy, is that he's a dead ringer for Jerry Lewis. Looks like him, sounds like him, and annoys me like him. I like Jerry Lewis impressions that exaggerate his goofy mannerisms, but to see someone act exactly as Jerry would act doesn't work for me. About the only thing that made this movie endurable was the pretty island girl. Better was THE ASPHALT JUNGLE, with Sterling Hayden, Jean Hagen, Sam Jaffe, and a very young and breathless Marilyn Monroe. This is a classic noir with dark streets, tough mugs, despair, lost innocence, and every bad act destined to doom the perpetrator. I loved it, with the possible exception of John McIntyre's lecture towards the end about the importance of cops.

Today ends the regular football season. The Seahawks are well positioned for the playoffs, but I wonder how they'll hold up against some of the teams they're apt to face. Sure, they beat the Colts last week, but the Colts' head coach was gone and some key starters were benched after the first quarter. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. Seattle has never had a team in the Super Bowl or World Series, and this is the year it might happen.

Dinner awaits. May you have a safe and prosperous 2006.