Wednesday, December 27, 2006

CNN article!

Ladies, it is for your own good.

This may have been posted before around here... but CNN wouldn't lie!

Two steps forward, one step back...

Test Drive # 1 : Fiat Spider

I had the whole thing together and it was time for a real test drive, or least around the block. Around the block... so far so good... now out onto the main street... so far so good... get it up to speed. Well it was going well from what I could see until I looked in the rear view mirror. I saw a billowing cloud of white smoke and cars swerving to get out from behind me. "Ah shit!" I said to my self. My patch of the leaking crack in my valve cover must not have worked.

I started heading directly for home when I got caught at the light. As I was sitting at the light, smoke is oozing from every hole in the car; out from the hood seems, the wheel wells, radiator intake... everywhere! I almost couldn't see the traffic light anymore there was so much smoke surrounding my car. I was even starting to get that carbon monoxide stomach ache. This guy pulled up to me and shouted, "Hey man, I think you are on fire!"

I said, "Naah, I think I might have a little bit of an oil leak..."

At this the dude in the pick up gave me that funny look people give you when they think you are completely crazy and rolled up his window. Maybe he wanted to avoid the stomach ache...

Anyway I was only a block away from home and it would have done no good to park it there in the middle of the busy street. Plus I would have had to still drive it home to fix it, might as well keep going. The light changed and I emerged from my personal smoke screen and drove the half a block to my parking lot and popped the hood. (I was pretty sure that it was just the oil leak but I was ready with the fire extinguisher anyway.)

As it turns out it was just the oil spewing onto the exhaust manifold... and the rest of the engine compartment. Right now there is enough oil that you could deep fry a turkey on the top of the engine. (That is a little bit of an exaggeration, but in all honesty you could deep fry at least a chicken breast.)

So what did I learn from all this? First of all, I for sure need a new exhaust valve cover. Second and more importantly! I now know exactly how to build a 007 style smoke screen generator for any car. I plan to build a metal shroud out of stove pipe around the exhaust manifolds. Then put in there little nozzles that will squirt oil or hydraulic fluid or something that will make a lot of smoke when it hits the hot manifold. To make it useful, I will duct the smokey air to the back of the car with dryer hose! I think I'll begin this project as soon as I get the fiat running for real!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Self propelled... though not road worthy.

As you see here, the top half of the engine is now back in the Fiat. Unfortunately I didn't take this picture before I started running the engine. Almost immediately after getting it running it started spewing oil all over what had been meticulously cleaned cast aluminum. It was a lot shinier half an hour before this picture. That will teach me. Somehow a crack developed in my valve cover. I am thinking JB weld or gluing gasket material over the crack along with stop drilling the ends of the cracks.

I also moved the car to a different spot in the parking lot so that all of the other people in my apartment will know that this car is not completely immobile.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

If you don't like your tires...

Perhaps you should practice your driving!

or for those of you with front wheel drive...

and if you are completely insane...

Monday, December 11, 2006

More improbable pictures....

This makes the left over warp drive fields look like nothing at all on the weirdness factor. Chupakabra... as common as a fire hydrant!... compared to this!!! it is a baby, in my arms, in the squadron bar... this is one of those marriage inducing babies I was talking about. Moments before this picture was taken I got a lecture from the kids mother on the benefits of birth control.

Who wants to come and visit Montana! Snow boarding should be good. I have open couches for New Years!

Actually it is better now. It was in the high 40's this afternoon. We have colors here again!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Flying through worm holes...

Now I have to say that a lot of my friends around here who are locals have hinted that it is probably us doing all the cow mutilations. I assure them that we have nothing to do with it... but then they point out that we are the ones that fly around in blacked out helicopters and practice sneaking everywhere. They have a point, but it isn't us.

I do have some very unusual photographic evidence of aliens. I believe that several weeks ago on a routine training mission we flew through a worm hole... most likely left from a UFO with gravity drive engines. You will notice in this photograph that the tail rotor is being temporarily warped by the residual gravity fields. Also, the shadow from the main-rotor is not lined up with its shadow. Lucky I happened to have a camera!

You haven't lived till you try and maintain position on lead as he goes through a worm hole!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Press this button.

I know Chestocrates already posted this link, but I want to spread the word too. Tell your friends... make some friends and then tell them. What ever... make it happen, should be fun anyways!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Four Years, Fire

Interesting few days.

The Air Force is going to try and save money by not moving anyone till they have 4 years on station. This puts me here till June of 2008. By far this will be the longest place I have lived continuously ever in my life.

My apparment building caught fire and I had to evacuate in the middle of the night. If you where to have stood up, you could only see people's pants below the smoke on my floor. It was worse on the 2nd and 3rd floors, As I passed through those two floors below me, one had to breath the air down along the bottom 6 inches from the floor. When we got outside, it was literally -5 Deg F. Luckily I had somewhere else to spend the night rather than standing in the parking lot. My stuff suffered no direct damage, but it smells a little like camping in here now.

Also...this kind of thing is apparently on everyone's to do list.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Living alone.

The best thing about living with no mothers around... or any girls at all is that you can assemble engines on the dinner table and not hear a peep of complaint!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Better to spill your seed.

At lunch today someone did the math... of the people I directly work with,(Weather dudes, Fire Teams, and Aircrew) there have been eight unplanned pregnancies. Four have resulted in unplanned weddings. This works out to somewhere between one in five to one in eight guys have knocked someone up... depending on who you include in this statistic.

Fertile SOBs.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Commander's daughters.

Apparently leadership types can have very attractive daughters. I met one tonight out a cowboy bar here in GF. I was trying to order a drink and this very atractive blond says to me, "I know you... I am not supposed to talk to you!" This peaked my interest... so I asked her how does she know me. She says, "You work for my daddy." I though about that and figgured that she wasn't either of Bush's daughters... there is a lot of people between me and the commander in chief, so which boss's daughter is she? Well, apparently a very close boss that effects my daily existance. So I bought her a beer... and said, "I heard you are a born again christian and about 12 years old... what are you doing here?" Her answer was that her father is very protective of her and don't worry about the details. As it turns out, I am dinner conversation around her house. We danced a few songs. She said I was not a very inovative country western dancer... I countered by showing off some john travolta style disco moves, she was impressed. Meanwhile, in the hall of justice, my fireteam dudes where pissing off her friends. It all ends with her making me promise not to tell her 'daddy' that she was in a bar, and a pissed off friends team of Charly Bravo wisking her away. I already had her number from the roster at work...

In other news, The University of Michigan experiments with replacing football cleats with banana peels. The results where quite conclusive, though desidedly negative!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Iraq, "probably" not this time.

Some of you may have heard that it looked like I was about to pack my bags again and go visit Iraq. Then, out of the blue, my commander decided to send someone else. I guess to share the fun. To be honest I am a little disappointed, the job was so insane that the idea of it was really growing on me. If another tasking comes down, I still might be sent, but for now... it looks like I will be in Montana for another year and a half... so all you slackers that have been planning to come and visit but haven't made it yet because what ever your excuses... you still may have some time... (but that is like declaring that it will be sunny on the 4th of July in 2007)

This picture showed up in my mailbox today. I don't remember it being taken, but it clearly demonstrates the power of a cheesy mustache! The only thing that could be improved would be if I didn't have a t-shirt on! It may have been cold out, it was last march.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Cattle mutilations and wasting your life in 23 second intervals.

The leading headline in today's Great Falls Tribune is "Cattle Mutilations Resurrect Recurring Mystery." Personally I think the wierdest part is that nothing touches the carcasses for a few weeks after they appear. The ETs gave themselfs away this time with the drop and bounce marks! I will for sure be checking out the next dead cow I see that isn't being eaten by scavengers.

And in other news, after not touching my truck for about 6 months... It still runs just fine. Got in, turned the key, started right up. All I had to do was add some tranny fluid and away I went. It even seems to have stopped leaking from the rear transmission seal... which was the reason I parked it in the first place. I never really belived in self healing machines untill now.

Waste your life in 23 second increments here. I practiced for a few minutes but it gets a little insane after 23 seconds. I could see the slippery addictive slope I was sliding down and closed the page. I hope you have the same fortitude. Good luck.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

High marks for 6 day personel extraction mission.

Aparently the cosmos come together and bestowed increadable weekends on everyone!

So two entries ago I envied a guy who was making his way by himself all the way to LA from the border of Canada and Montana. I think I am just about cured for a wile after my own cross country endevours.

I assigned myself a Personel Extraction mission. The intent of this mission was to go to Detroit by the fastest and most flexable means available. Find and assertain the health and well-being of objective personel and extricate them to Montana. If the situation dictates that this is not possible, facilitat their self-extraction as much as possible. As always, engage any targets of opportunity along your route of flight... and be back by tuesday.

Mission Sucsess Rate: Undetermined as of yet. Some objectives achieved, some failed, some still waiting for the new Sat photos. Mission has moved into the self-extraction phase.

I know it is a little cliche, but I am going to use the 0-10 scale for rating the many random events of the last six days.

Droping in on your parents in the middle of the week unexpected: 9

Your parents not getting home till 11:30 because they don't know you are there: 7
(I was happy to see that they don't always go to bed at 8:15 every night.)

Quasi low level ingress to the detroit area in questionable weather: 8.5
(the 8.5 is based on excitment not on ease or fun)

Detroit's weather in general: 1

Greek guys with connections: 9.5

A keg with good beer in it (Blue Moon): 8.5

Talking to girls who are not so gunshy from being hit on all the time so that they can still be nice to talk to: 9

Boobie owners playing with other boobie owners boobies: 9
(on the dance floor)

Greenfield Village and Henery Ford Meuseam: 10

Tom Hanks movie "The Terminal": 10.2

Detroit Radio stations: 9

50 knot headwind from Chicago on: 2

South Dakota Weather: 0.5

De-iceing a plane by yourself with a paper towel: 1

Dead Batteries because of South Dakota Weather: 1

Figureing out how to "Hand Prop" a modern airplane: 10
(this is what you see in the movies where a guy stands in front of an airplane and one guy yells "Contact!" and the other guy zings the propeller around. When the engine starts he hopefully jumps out of the way of the next blade of the propeller.)

Having a farmer with no fingers hold the "contact" switch while I zinged the prop around: 8
(Though quite ominous, it worked and I have all my digits... Don't worry, I was thinking about safty, I had tied the plane to the ground when I thought I was going to have to do it by myself... though I should have told him how to pull the trottle back to idle after the start. The farmer just jumped away from the plane. It was a good reaction on his part... glad I tied the thing to the ground though!)

Overall, excellent ways to spend 6 days.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Detroit or Bust!

I have told a few people about my plans for the next five days... There have been a variety of reactions:

First and my favorite... Obviously from a few girls I have told;
"Awe! That is the most romantic thing I have ever heard of in real life... I wish some guy would do that for me!"

Most dudes at work;
"Well, good luck dude... What is the weather forecast?... you going IFR or VFR?"

The fire team guys;
"Rock on Captain! Maybe you should arm-up, never know. If you make it back to Montana and it turns out you have pissed someone off, call us if you need back up."

"You get points even if it completely fails!"

"Well... hmm... I'll have beer here for you."

Note: Some of these may be paraphrases, and not quite actual quotes... but this is my story!

Friday, October 20, 2006

An Aventurer

So today I was up in Cut Bank, Montana. In WW2 there was a B-17 fuel stop there for the aircraft that we gave to the Russians in the lend lease program. All that is left of the old base is a WW2 hanger, the control tower, and a small shack that used to be the operations building. There is also a fuel pump and a hairy guy that sells fuel... The hairy guy magically appears to sell us gas, but otherwise disappears into thin air. That is all. Other than that the airfield is slowly being reclaimed by the prairie. My crew and I were sitting in the shack, eating our lunch, discussing lofty subjects like girls and video games, and pretty much waiting for the phone call that would make us heroes. Instead of the phone ringing, the door blew wide open and in stepped a 18ish looking Asian kid. I got up and helped him close the door. (there was an approximately 39 knot wind blowing it open at the time.) He immediately asked me if this was the airport. I told him that it was, and asked what he needed. His most strange answer was "a plane ticket to LA."

Now comes the part where we find out that he is an adventurer in the middle of his adventure.

I told him that he probably wouldn't be able to get a ticket to LA, but that I thought a cargo plane lands here a couple times a week... that is about it. I didn't even know where that plane came from... it isn't marked in any standard way and doesn't stay long. I could tell that this didn't check out in his mind at all... so he asked again where the airport was. I just pointed out to the windblown cracked overgrown grassy tarmac that he had come over to get to our shack.

Still confused...

We talked to him for awhile and were able to ascertain that he was from Southern California, and that he and his cousin had driven up from LA to go work in Calgary. At the border his work visa had been declined, but his cousin's hadn't. He told his cousin to just keep going and he would make his way back to LA. This was proving more difficult to accomplish than I believe he expected. It turns out that he had just walked 20 miles back to Cut Bank from the Canadian border. (It was snow showers with 40 knot winds today.) He had assumed that he would just go to the airport and get a ticket home. Needless to say, there are not regluarly scheduled flights in Cut Bank... Hell! there are hardly even regularly scheduled runways in Cut Bank!

We recommended that he go into town (about 4-5 miles away) and find the train station. We were all pretty sure that Amtrak goes through Cut Bank... pretty sure...

Without even a disappointed look he turned around, opened the door, and with a whoosh of wind and sleet he was back out onto the prairie headed for town.

I honestly don't think that as a visitor he cold have been much more out of place if he had blown in and told us he needed dilithium crystals for his spaceship. An Asian kid from Rodondo, California in a shack on the prarie trying to buy a plane ticket to LA?!?!?!

After getting the door closed I thought about what he has ahead of him. I almost envy him. He is in the middle of a crazy random trip across the country with almost everything ahead of him completely undetermined and anything that happens to him almost completely unexpected.

The guys on my fire team figured he must be a drug dealer or something and have a lot of cash on him if he had planned to buy a plane ticket to LA from Cut Bank, Montana... they wanted the chance to roll him and liberate all his dead presidents. I guess that is another reaction!

El Torro's LZ, Explosive potatoes, Hotties with guns!

I am back from Camp Guernsey, Wy. Though I thought that we where going to get to fire the Mark 19, we didn't for several reasons... but I did get to fire the 203 Grenade launcher. The best way that I can describe what it is like is to say that it is a potato cannon... with high explosive potatoes! When you fire it, it makes that potato "POOP!" sound, then you can actually watch your round all the way to the target... then there is a very gratifying Kaboom! when your potato sized slug impacts in a small white sphere and shockwave. It is very intuitive to use and I was able to send my first round through a truck window at 200 yards. It may have been luck... but I don't think so.

I also learned that I should pay more attention to livestock in and around my LZ's. There was a valley we where going up looking to insert our "sniper" types... all of a sudden I spotted a beautiful LZ right out the right door. It was fairly open with almost no obstacles, into the wind, and oriented out the descending terrain. Perfect except that there was some livestock... cows or horses or something nearby. Not my problem, they will move! I flipped a "U"ee and put her in there. My guys jumped out and I pulled pitch and flew out the valley. The flight engineer called out on the intercom that one of the cows was looking at us the whole time. I naturally assumed that the cow was very impressed by my heavy weight, 180 turning approach into that great LZ; maybe he wanted an autograph! As I found out later, that was not a cow, it was infact a Bull! I had accidentally dropped my team off in a literal bull pen! There was a Benny Hill style chase between my guys and the bull. They eventually got out of the pen, but gave me a lot of shit about it at the end of the day. I gave them some beer.

Hotties with guns. During the exercise, I was shot down several times. (Simulated) I was in a bar after the end of the exercise and I ended up meeting one of my adversaries who shot me down. It was a very cute little 21 year old blond! We talked for a wile and I tried to figure out how we could have done things better to prevent that sort of thing...(my shoot down) Eventually I told her that it more than a little turned me on that she had shot down my helicopter. She laughed and took that as a huge complement and made me say it again louder so that her friends could hear! I then leaned close to her ear and told her that in real life I would have survived the crash unscathed, secured my wounded, then found the biggest gun I could and hunted her down! After initially looking quite shocked; she smiled, laughed, and leaned close to my ear and told me that her only job that iteration had been to kill the helicopters, so that by the time I would have gotten my seatbelt unstraped, I would have had a bullet from her gun in my head! So I gave her a beer! (It is like flirting!)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Out of the Office

The next two weeks I will be away from the huge metropolis of Great Falls and will instead be living with the army at Camp Guernsey, Wyoming. Word on the street is that we will get to fire all the weapongs that our fire team carries, to include this bad boy!!! It is for knowledge broadening. The theory being that how do I know how to best employ my "assets" if I don't have some first hand knowledge of what they use. Hopfully there will be plenty of pictures... that I can show you.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The wierd and wild west...

I was recently in Wyoming... where I had both the best and worst martini at the same time. I was in a bar in Guernsey, WY. where I ordered a vodka martini... The bartender said... "We don't make mixed drinks here... only beer or shots... no pussy mixed drinks here buddy." So I told him that a martini is not a mixed drink... it is bar code for Vodka in a cup... so he said, "I can do want olives?" So that is what I got... a plastic cup of popov vodka with 4 olives thrown in... just swimming in there! (you can even see the "coors light" printed on the outside of the cup. At this point I considered this the worst martini ever. I haven't drank popov out of a plastic cup since 1998 in Chestocrate's dorm room. Then the bartender told me the damage... $1... At this point it became the best martini ever!

The next picture I took with my phone while I was sitting at breakfast Sunday morning. This is a restaurant on main street in the middle of town. The local Montanan that I was eating with looked out the window and said, "Now that is something you don't see everyday! A brother on a horse." Notice that the guy riding the horse down the sidewalk at ten in the morning was not the weird part!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Life is short...


At least death is supposed to come only in threes. Most recently, today, one of my fire team members and friend... Survived by a wife, daughter, and "a bun in the oven.(Due date: 15 Sep 06)" I don't even remember the last conversation I had with him... I think it was about how we are out of pizza and we need to go pack for the trip home.

I guess always leave everyone on good terms.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Birthdays, fish, and the back of a cop car.

My last week was not so impressive as A-S's... no free car, and extra drive train... no exchange of body part viewing, and no completely rocking parties... but...

I am now 26 years old... as far as I can tell it is exactly the same as 25. It has occurred to me that the advantages of birthdays are exponentially decreasing. Do they still give free drinks at bars on your birthday?

Fly fishing... I had pretty much considered this the silliest activity on the planet. You are trying to catch a fish with a hook disguised with a feather as a bug. I had believed that fish were to smart to be tricked by this. I had even tried it out... one can't catch a fish with a feather and a hook. Apparently I was wrong! I went fishing on the Missouri with my dad while he was here. Fish are not smart... I didn't know there where that many fish in the river... let alone that they could be tricked into eating a feather... not even a worm!

Well conservation of greatness came into effect later that day, those fish needed to be paid for cosmic payback style. My dad and I where driving to the Sip n Dip... (The hotel bar with the mermaids.) Well I got pulled over... It may have had something to do with the crappy red sports car I was driving with no muffler and intermittent lights... I also accidentally turned down a one-way... then immediately turned into an ally after realizing my mistake. But anyways, I was pulled over and accused of drunk driving. I was taken out of the car and made to perform all sorts of counting and balance exercises. After what seemed to me like passing all of them with flying colors, I was put in the back of the cop car. This is the point that they lectured my dad about being such a crappy father and me how weird it was to go to a bar with my dad. They also implied some odd things about a father and son going to a hotel with each other... never mind that it is the most famous bar and restaurant in Great Falls... Anyways, I was breathalized anyways... passed, then released back into the wild. I honestly thought I was about to be arrested in front of my dad... I found out later that he was already making plans to spring me out! I was making similar plans and was systematically searching for weaknesses in the cop car design.

So the point of all this... the cosmic balance, or Karma, or what ever you want to call it must be maintained. So after catching and releasing all of those fish, we were ourselves caught and released.

Thank god we didn't keep any fish!

Monday, August 21, 2006

The UN needs more beer!

Training is complete... I am now an "Instructor Pilot, Helicopter, UH-1N" This new designation now makes me elegible for some supper pimp assignments in Florida near Pensacola when I am done here in MT... as well as puts me on the short list for another trip to the desert.

My observations are that US foriegn relations should focus more on beer and food... apparently spicy food. In the dorm that I was living in down in Albuquerque (that is spelled right) there was only one communal kitchen. What ended up developing was that quite a few of us would end up making food for each other and eating together.

This is the night I left...Everyone tried to bring thier spicyest food. Though it wasn't a competition, people noted who had the most painful food to eat. The Europeans and Arabs had nothing for spice. There was quite a close competition between the Indians and Pakastanis but the Tai's kicked total ass... though I don't know about the medium of boiled chicken as a delivery method for spice. This was the only time in my life that I will be considered a culinary genious for melting some cheddar cheeze on some nachos and througing on some hot sause. This really impressed the Tais who wanted to know where they could get "Franks Hot Sause." I told them the condiments section of gas stations... which is actually where I got mine.

This whole excersice even had the romanian fighter pilot drinking water... which he had clamed he had never drank before in his life!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Arabs... zen masters and total playa's, who knew?

So I was sitting around my dorm talking to some of the exchange officers. We ended up talking about mideast politics. My arab friend was absolutly possitive that the late King Hussain of Jordan could have solved everything.

N=Notorious, Y=My buddy who will not be named here.

Y- "the leader of the country should always be passed from father to son... and father to son again... it is the best government."

N- "Why, what are the advantages of that?"

Y- "Then the leader will have the loyalties of the whole country. The king will make the best desision for the whole of the country always."

N- "What happens if a father is a wise leader... but he has a son who is an idiot."

Y- "This is no problem... he will have many wise men around to advise him..."

N- "You don't think a democracy or republic would be better so that everyone gets a hand in who would be the best leader? That way the people could choose the best and wisest leader."

Y- "Well... no, it is a horrable idea. Half the country will not have wanted to have this man the leader... and they won't be loyal. To have a loyal country, don't give them a choice."

N- "What about the possibility of a son who is so complete an idiot so that he won't listen to his advisors?"

Y- "What about the possibility that the people voting for their leader are idiots..."

Tue-shay dude, Tue-shay.

Now the same man on girls...

Y- "Are you married?"

N- "No... (followed by a quick run down of my current situation)"

Y- "We don't have these problems. We would never have a girlfriend."

N- "Interesting, not a bad idea... so how do you meet girls?"

Y- "Coffee shops, class, or if you can not find a girl that way... you can always ask your mother or sisters or aunts to find you one, but it must be a woman who finds you a girl."

N- "Why a woman who finds her for you?"

Y- "It is the best way. You can never know the girl's mind like another girl."

N- "What if you don't like her after you have already been married?"

Y- "Well I think that you should like her. ---- But you can always get divorced."

N- "Is there a lot of divorce?"

Y- "No, almost never. It is better to take another wife."

N- "If you are already having women problems, why would you want another one around... doesn't that make it worse?"

Y- "Ha Ha ha... No my friend, a man with more than one wife will always have the sweetest most attentive wives. A man with one wife must work for her attention, a man with two wives, the wives work for his attention!" (This comment was followed by a wink and hearty laught.)

"A man with two wifes is free... and if he gives them children... he is completely his own man, all he must do is have the roof fixed and pay for food."

I have been over it in my head... I think that is some genious shit... Oh well, off to study my Qaran.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Flying again!

I had my first flight in an actual aircraft yesterday in about a month. A minorish in-flight emergency terminated the flight. At a fairly thrust and power critical moment the #1 engine didn't want to play anymore and desided to just chill out. Luckily we were fairly light weight so we didn't hit the ground... I just flew out of it and brought it gently to the ground. Like a typical machine, when we showed the maintainance dudes... it wouldn't do it again, but the scary part was that the mechanics didn't seem very surprised. They went right to the problem part and said..."yea, we replaced the fuel control unit yesterday... guess there are a few bugs in it yet." WTF?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Rain and Naivity

I saw the CV-22 fly for the first time a few days ago. That is an ungangly beast! See the bottom aircraft. I have flown the simulator for it. To be honest I was hoping for something inspiring and graceful, but it turn out it is just really cool.

In other more green news. It has rained here for the last 6 days strait. I had never seen it rain here before at all... now I can practially watch the plants grow. What was dirt a week ago is now almost golf course green. I really like rain!

On doomsday predictions... hmm... it turns out that 2012 looks like a good number doesn't it.

As naive as it may sound, I think if people took the time to get to know each other, we would all get along. There are a bunch of exchange pilots here in my dorm. They come from all over to learn the secrets of effective and safe aviation. Apart from always making wierd smelling food, they are pretty cool guys. Everybody sits around smoking and telling stories about shitty co-pilots that almost killed them, thier own mistakes and how to ovoid them, how dumb regulations are, and chasing women. (Even the guys from Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, and others that one wouldn't expect here,) Person to person, we all seem to like each other. If on the smallest level we seem to get along, how the hell do we end up in mortal combat against each other?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


So far so good. I have checked out the Lotus Dealership here. Impressive cars... If you are going to get a super car, I recomend them.

Chestocrates has put me in contact with some of his assosiates... I will possibly describe more when I have met with them in person.

I hitched a ride on a training flight for a special ops C-130 Shaddow. Very interesting.... but only the first 4 hours...

Gentlmen... keep your bears looking for fresh caves.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Detroit = Success

I think that all things considered, the up out numbered the down. The Amature-Sophist's car is completely unuseable and disassembled, the strippers didn't want our money, the pontiac has two bald spots, and several other unsuccesses... but on the up side, there is a partially disassembled fiat in a detroit junkyard, we wern't killed by bouncers, we turned poniac tires into huge amounts of smoke, and the potato cannon can make normally level headed people laugh like sinister mad scientists!!!

Now it is off to Albuquerque (that is actually spelled correctly) for instructor training. Hopefully the adventure will continue.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

There is a tear in the universe!

And I found it.

I went to Bozeman this weekend because I heard they had beer down there. As it turns out... they do. But in addition to that, they have the most awesome/insane bar sceen I have ever seen! The girls all look like they are super models... and are dressed the part. I thought there had to be some sort of event going on. Short skirts, high heels, done hair and nails... they all looked like the kind of girls that the russian mob would pay just to hang around... and all the dudes looked like they had just wandered out of the mountains for the first time in 3 years. They all had scragaly beards and dirty flanels on. There was some old dude that was ordering a drink next to me that looked like he had been panning for gold that morning. He even had the crazy old miner cackle when he laughed. Man... and I did some numbers sampling... I would say that at least 70% of the women were take home with 0 beers hot... of the ones under 30... probably close to 95%. I have never seen anything like this in my life. There was just so many hot chicks!!! with almost no dudes that appeared to be competitive. Also, the girls were so nice to talk to... no bitch or vapid ones...

(There is also the possibility that I have been hanging around in military towns to long and that this place is actually nothing special.)

On top of that, it is about 0 seconds drive to the mountains... and Yellow Stone National Park is only about an hour away.

If anyone is looking for a place to move, just to change it up... you can not go wrong with Bozman Montana.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Killers, bears, and captains

This week I saw two Bears. They were either brown bears or grizzles. Either way... They looked hungry. They were hanging out together and they were huge. Definantly one of those times that a personal fire-team comes in handy.

I got promoted... I am now a Captain in the Air Force. What this really means is that if I screw up really big, it goes on my permonant record instead of being chalked up to being a new guy. I think I would have rather stayed a lieutenant. I might have to start doing actual work now.

I was at Lewistown Montana's airport today. There was two guys that rolled in in a Hughes 500. (this is the Ferrari of helicopters) One was the pilot and the other the gunner. I went over to talk to them. As it turns out... thier entire job is to kill coyotes, wolfs, and bears. They work for the Federal Government for the Fish and Wild Life department... (that may not be exactly right... but it is close) anyway... all they do is fly around all day and shoot preditors here in Montana. They are out to protect the livestock! At 10am this morning thier total was 0 bears, 3 wolfs, and 30+ coyotes.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"Crazy" is a tool for survival!

Last week I spent a few days on a Search and Rescue Mission. Let me chronicle to illustrate.

22 y/o son comes to visit his father in Montana. They go walking in the woods looking for elk antler. Father thinks son is with father's friend... Father's friend thinks son is with father.

It is discovered that they are both wrong and nobody is with son...

Sheriff is called. They track son to road where son's tracks disappear. They search for the rest of the night. Night time temperatures get to about 20F.

The squadron commander calls me, interrupting my video shoot of Nick vs the Victoria's Secret Brazilian Mafia. (this may have been just a dream... it is so hard to tell some times.) Normally it is no good if the commander calls me but he tells me he has a SAR... and I am on the list to go.

We arrive in the search area to find the sheriff and deputies drinking coffee and planning their day. We find out that the man that is lost has mild scitsophrinaia but still has the mental capacity of a 10-13 year old. Also the only thing he is Warring is a t-shirt...

We are running out of fuel, day light, and crew duty day and decide to bug out. We depart the search area with the guy's father in tears knowing that his son's chances of surviving a second night in the mountains with no shelter in just a t-shirt decrease exponentially.

Trackers and dogs continue searching till almost midnight. They track the guy over one mountain pass and up towards a second 7000' mountain pass. At midnight the quite because the terrain is getting to dangerous for the searchers at night.

We arrive at the search area again... After two nights up in the mountains... We kind of figure we are looking for a body and not a guy anymore.

Weather == Shitty

We creep our way up a few valleys toward the last place that he had been tracked. The snow is coming down; slowing ground searchers movement, making us a little nervous as to the location of huge chunks of granite, and beginning to obscure the tracks above the treeline over the pass.

We cross the 7000' pass and find the tracks continue on the other side.

Weather starts to force us down the vally away from the search area.

We land in a clearing several miles away from the search area to wait for the weather to lift a little so we can get back up into the top of the valley.

Weather continues to get shittier... it is heavy sleet now... We opt to get out of the valley completely and head back to somewhere that we arn't going to become the objective of a second SAR.

45 seconds after takeoff out of the clearing the flight surgeon looks out the window and says, "look at that guy waving... who would be crazy enough to be out in this blizzard in just a t-shirt?"

I blow a motorcycle over into a brand new truck in the parking lot outside of the hospital. (don't park a motorcycle next to a helipad!)

It all turned out alright... but is shouldn't have. This guy was out for two and a half days... it wet, sub freezing weather with nothing but a t-shirt, no food, water, or shelter of any kind, whith huge physical exertion. (Not only did he go over two mountain passes, he also traveled about 14 miles strait line distance) When asked by the flight surgeon where he slep the last two nights, he said, "I just layed down on the snow."

The best we can guess is the fact that he was a bit crazy and had no idea that people are supposed to die in those conditions is what saved him. His core body temp was only 95... Actually not to bad, and his feet where pretty tore up from hiking wet in the snow so long in tennis shoes. His mental state made him immune to the elements. After all that he was still walking and talking.

So lessons to take from this:
1. Mild craziness makes you immune/impervious to the elements and possiblely death.
2. It is much easier to hid in the mountains than I had ever hoped! Thanks for proving that dude!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I can see in color again!!!

(Click the pic for better detail)

This is Montana in it's normal brown monochromatic state. The whole place is either brown or yellow.

Some time in the last 3 days, the whole place turned to an increadable lush green!
(I realize that to those of you reading this in places with regular rain and non-tundra like weather, this may not look so impressive... trust me this is lush. It makes me smile just to see the color green!)

This is the green one. (incase you didn't pic up the subtle difference.)

I think Green is becomeing my favorite color.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

It is show time ladies and gentelmen.

I hope all of you have been training and making yourselfs as survivable as possible.

I think we have peaked and the real shit has started. I doubt things will fall apart so fast that I wont get to see all of you folks this summer, but you never know.

Stalker Chick - get the heck out of the suburbs and start studying edible plants.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Some times the bar eats you.

This Saterday and Sunday where to be the first races of the season. Things started out with a lot of potential, but... sometimes...

The fifth turn of my first run this season. I departed the paved surface and snaged my wheel on the edge of a ditch. The lower driver's side A arm got pulled right off the crossmember and bent backwards. (Who doesn't love suspencion work.) So... I get to take it all apart again. This delays speed again for drivability. Well... at least my tranny didn't disassemble it self publicly! I also just got my first ignition timing light. This bears further investigation, but I think someone set things up backwards and the ignition advance actually runs backwards... Another reason to go for electronic ignition.

In other vehicle news, I put my truck in park last night and just as I did that, all the transmission fluid "drained" out. Things are looing grim.

"Drained" is a euphomism for a movement of fluid akin to kicking over a bucket.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Cell Phone Reception Experimental Results.

For those of you who understand the implications of this experiment... "SHIT"

A few weeks ago I did an experiment with cell phone reception vs altitude. (Sorry I forgot to publish the results untill now.) I was testing the possibility for use of cell phones at verious altitudes...

First of all, I made sure that at the surface level I had good reception.

-Full bars at 500' AGL, (Above Ground Level)

Second, I also made sure that I had line of sight to at least one if not more cell phone towers throught the course of the experiment.

-Trust me, I am very aware of where the towers are!

As I climbed reception did indeed go down.

-By about 3000' AGL I was down to about 1 bar.

-I had absolutly no reception at 4500'AGL

-Several of us checked our phones and there was ablsulutly no inkling of sevicability at 5000'AGL for any brand of phone or cell phone service provider. This was the case even when holding the phone out the window for optimum reception and least iterferance from the Feraday Cage like properties of the aircraft.

I was only able to climb to 6000' AGL due to the service ceiling of the aircraft of 10,000' MSL and ground elevation of about 4000'MSL, but I think that it is very unlikely that we would have been able to re-aquire signal by climbing higher.

RESULTS: It is very unlikely that cellphones could be used above 5000' AGL.

If anyone has questions about my methods or sees flaws in my experiment, please comment. I will be able to retest if needed.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Cars and a Courts Marshal

The Fiat is back on the road... sort of... only temporarily. You see, the thing is that there is a dude up here from the squadron in southern california. The air forced issued him a big blue AF pickup truck to use while he is up here. Well he parked it at a cigar shop, someone saw it and called their congressman.... bla bla bla... now he cant leave base with it. I lent him my truck so he could not be stuck on base. Then today my buick started clunking signifiantly when I shifted from reverse to drive... you are exactly right... it is the u-joints. So I went to the parts store and got myself 3 u-joints figuring I was in for an afternoon of cold metal... but I sould be back on the road by evening.

Shit... it didn't work like that. It never does.

I had never seen U-joints like this. I need a press to get the old ones out... and on a saterday afternoon I am fresh out of hydrolic presses. So then I am looking at my other broke ass cars. The brown buick hasn't moved in 6 months and hasn'tb been registered since jan of last year, the blue one is up on jacks with no driveshaft, and the fiat is massivly out of alignment and has no front anti-sway bar. That was the easyest to fix... so I put on the old sway bar and drove it around the block. It is a little sqirrly to drive with shitloads of toe out alignment... and the back has about an inch and a half higher springs. It looks like someone kicked it in the ass and now it is stuck up in the air.

I suspect that the girls will still all want rides. I'll have to move the greasy suspention parts to the back seat for that.

Also, I have been selected to be a member of a Courts Martial. (Essencially I have military jury dudy.) I don't have any idea what the guy did... it could be anything from a muder-rape to sleeping on duty. I guess I'll find out Tuesday. I guess I should find my shoes and shine them.

Monday, March 06, 2006

I got my cherry popped today!

Yes it is true... My AC cherry was popped by Lt Ben Brown today. It was very nice and gentle. The weather was great, the mission was a milk run, and he only made me nervous once.

My road trip to Gladstone, Detroit, Spain, and Madison is comming together. It is looking like all events will take place between 1 and 17/18 July... can't know for sure anything because the guy that approves leave... is on leave. Makes sence really. If that was my job... I would be on leave too. Tenative schedule is as follows:

30 June - attempting to seduce mermaids.
1-2 Jul - fighting grizzly bears in Glacier National Park... (unfortunatly no .45 cal Bear repelent alowd in the park)
2-3 - Land speed record accross the flat parts
4-5/6ish - beer and fireworks in G-town
6ish-8ish - Detroit... Hot cars and fast women, also My grandmother lives there so I should stop see and her.
8 - 14 - Ibiza, Spain... I know there are no full weekends in those dates... but I don't think that will be a factor...
14 - 16 - Detroit to Madison; obviously guns, booze, and strippers...
16 - 17/18 The flat parts again... passage back to real life

All are welcome to join me on any/all/some parts of the journey. I know there is a lot of travel in this plan... possibly a detrimental amount... but if you arn't going somewhere, what are you doing? That's right... then you're not going anywhere.

The morning fast approches...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Holy fuck!!!!

Ok... Kids... I have had a very shitty week... Granted I have been flying my ass off, so I can't complane to much... But "Holy Fuck"

Monday, there was a broken helicopter and maintainance asked for some willing pilots to see if they fixed it correctly... NO... they didn't get it right. Don't worry it was just the engines that didn't work right... ouff!!!

Tuesday, I flew with the dude that I went throu Air craft commander upgrade with. I was on the schedule as the Aircraft Commadner, but he out ranks me so he pulled rank and took the A-code and I was his yes man. He didn't try to kill me so it was all fine.

Wenesday, I few with the worst pilot in the 40th Helicopter squadron... Ok... i survived and didn't get embaresed on the radio to bad... good enough. But... come on man! Listen and look!!!!

Thursday, I had the Aircraft as my own... and the weather was so shitty, that maintainance didn't want to come out to man the fire extinguishers for the engine start... I started the helo anyway... then, as I was watching my co-pilot run up the engines and out side the widsheild I couldn't see the end of the taxiway... my first act as an AC was to cancel myown flight for Weather... FUCK!!!!

Friday, the weather was even shittier... but there were some O-6's that wanted us to go... so we took off as the "weather ship," (that is an expendable aircraft to check the weather) Well, the weather was shit- ... but they told us to keep going... We went. Holy shit! At the worst point all I could see was powerlines and ice fog. I honestly thought we were going to have to climb into the ice or take it in the face with a powerline. I was resigned. We spent all day in a gigantic laberinth of ice fog and streambeds. (as in we would fly up the stream beds under the fog looking for a way through the helo killing moisture.) We made it... but I think I sucked up a seat cushion into my ass.

Well don't worry sports fans, next week will happen anyway.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

My Favorite Merc's

I know these guys... in general they are assholes. But they always looked like they were having fun! They used to do "wiferdills" and "return to targets" right over the trailer park I eventually lived in in Baghdad. When they were flying over random lead would fall out of the sky from people taking potshots at them. I wish I could have gotten a ride...

The LZ you see in the video is where I spent a significant amount of time. I think I am going to have to look into the mercinary biz... Why not?

On a surprizingly very related topic... Tomorrow is the first day of Mustache March! This means that every female that sees me for the next month will be slightly grossed out by my apperance. On the positive note... it will be very easy to make little kids laugh.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Air Force's Newest Aircraft Commander!

Yesterday, I passed my forth and final checkride as part of the upgrade to Aircraft Commander. Each check ride is designed to test one particular aspect of being the incharge of a crewed helicopter. First was Emergencies... they take you into the air and throw a bunch of malfunctions at you and see if you can handle them in the most survivable maner. Next is instriments... this one they just check if you can fly the aircraft safely in the US air traffic controle system with out the used of the windows. Third is "Remotes," This they check your skills at search, rescue, and recovery in a nonhostile environment. Last of all, they test your tactical employment of multiple helicopters. It is to see if you have the menal abilities and hand eye coordination to take a formation of helicopters behinde enemy lines and use them for what ever god or the president desided helicopters should be used for. I passed all four check rides... so starting monday (after some paperwork) they will give me a copilot, the keys to a helicopter*, and a fire team and tell me to go and exact the will of the american public upon the enimies of the United States (that make it to Montana.)

*yes they do take keys. All UH-1's have needed keys to start the engines since the late sixties when a disgruntled student pilot washout stole a huey gunship and landed it on the lawn of the white house.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Convertable Caddy... almost.

Ladies and Gentlemen... I have known about a particular 69 Deville convertable here in Great Falls for the entire year and a half+ that I have lived here. It just sits happily in this old dudes driveway. I have litterally been thinking about it for a year and a half. Well I finally got my shit in a sock and went over to the guys house with the money and a friend. (to drive my other car back home.) Honestly... I got in the car to test drive it around the block... and something wasn't right. It drove beautifully... no complaints in any physical feecher of the car itself (Though I wan't thrilled with the AM only radio) But there I was, in the car, with the money, driving with the top down and a big smile on my face... and by the end of the drive, I don't think I would have bought it for half the price he was asking. I am completly shocked at myself, but I have to say this was a pure instinct move on my part. I had almost no reason in the world not to come home with that car. The mind says "YES!!!" but the heart and gut say, "hmmm..."

So, we will see... My insticts have proven themselves in the past I will continue to trust them untill they prove otherwise.

Shit... a 1969 Caddy Deville convertable... Does anyone else want one?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Weekend lessions... so far.

First of all, My computer was over heating... So I started by placing in up on pens so that the vents would be completely unrestricted. It worked well for a few months, but eventually even then it would still over heat and turn itself off. I figured it must be dust decreasing cooling, so I desided to take it part and clean it. Well... I have no idea what unknown physical force is holding the labtop upper and lower halfs together. I must have taken about 30 screws out of the thing... removed the screen, every possible removable panel and card... yet this buger would only space about a quarter inch from its self. I couldn't open it up completely. (well I could have... but) So then I remember some compressed air in a can that I had seen at work. Well I just put the little straw in the fan vent.... WHOOSHSSHSHSHS!!! Dust every where! I think that got it! The cloud is still disapaiting in my living room. Great! now just to put it back togeather. I can only assume that I am more efficient than the folks at Dell... because I didn't need 30 screws to put it back together. Only 28. I have no idea where on earth the extra screws came from. I can only assume it was the underwair gnomes playing a joke on me by placeing extra screws in the pile wile I slept. Either way... the point is don't take apart your computer to clean it. just blow some air in it. Unless you want a visit from the underwair gnomes.

My second lesson is Air Soft (tm) is not so soft. My buddy and I were in the sporting goods store examining air soft style style training weapons. After looking for a wile compairing feet per second rateings... we knoticed that though most were between 120 to 180 fps... execpt one style which was only $5 more... but had a fps rating of 300+ fps. Why would any rational american male go for anything else. Well about 30 minutes later I have a good argument against it. (See the picture below. We were (training) in his house... when his first shot hit me right in the forhead from across his house. (About 30+feet) It hurt like a mother!!! I am thinking, this dosn't seem like the friendly air soft game I remeber from Madison... this is much more sinister. Well after a several more iterations... the basterd goes for another head shot! Again it hurts like a mother! I look in the mirror. Those little plastic bbs are breaking skin... and it looks like I just got double tapped in the head. So we called of the training untill we could do some experiments. First was a popcan. Plink! right through the side. Ok next a glass bottle. Clink... it cracked the bottle. Amazing! So for further exersise iterations we dressed for out door winter sports and there was significanly less broken skin. This is an amaising piece of technology!

Air Soft... not so soft...

Friday, February 17, 2006

Mustache march is coming! In only 2 and a half weeks I will be looking like this again. I know they are so sexy I should probably stock my frige full of wine coolers for all the hotties that are garonteed to follow me home.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The dangers of the man.

Well it has finally come to this. I have so much knowledge and experiance it is now leaking out of my brain and onto the internet. I also thought the world could use some alternate spelling techniques. As you can see I have started my own blog... I appologise ahead of time.

As per the title, my job is not all guns, booze, and is also the man. The problem is that I work for the real "proverbial man..." Most of the time it is a nice sybiotic relationship. Unfortunatly about once every few months "the Man" re-asserts and kicks me in the nuts or stabs me in the back. Today it was a small amount of both. I was warned about my "anti-athority attitude and style in my flying." To get a good idea of what it was like today, imagine the scene in Top Gun where Maverick was getting chewed out by the CO with the cigar only instead of a screaming CO with a cigar it was the boss from office space.

So to celebrate my official status as "anti-athority" I am having one of the dead guy's beer. (There was a guy that died in my appartment, the landlord gave me his beer when they cleaned out his appartment.)