15 June 2012

Friday Follies...

Welcome to the weekend,...finally.
I apologize for the "tardiness" of today's post, but Mrs. Bobby G. just LOVES to go out grocery shopping on FRIDAYS (instead of Saturdays) since school has left out, and apparently I must LOVE dealing with more traffic and dumbass drivers...LOL.
But, I'm back safe and sound and ready to bring you ALL the things you've been wanting to know...well, probably NOT, but I'm going to post about them ANYWAY...so there.
BTW, Joe's back, and he's got a fan for his dog, because we're back in the hot-box this weekend with the weather.
Meanwhile, back at the hangar...
*** First up, I always love to see AIRPLANE stores in the news...like THIS one:
Here's the link:
The ING's 122nd squadron is now fully "operation capable" with the end of the changeover from the F-16s to the A-10s.
Up to now, it was basically familiarization and training flights I've seen overflying our house (beats boomcars and big-mouthed neighbors ANY day).
The 20 A-10 Thunderbolt IIs have gone through rigorous inspections - from a maintenance standpoint, it's a lot better airframe than most of the pure fighter aircraft...and sometimes, SIMPLE IS BETTER.
The conversion from Fighting Falcons to the "Warthogs" was completed AHEAD of schedule, and to that end, the base commander, Colonel Dave Augustine says:
"This is yet another example of why we are one of the FINEST fighter wings in the country, and need to remain in fighters."
Captain Rebecca Metzger adds:
"We're still an A-10 fighter wing.
We're optimistic about the future."
Officials have said (as I ALSO did HERE) that the 122nd fighter wing ultimately hopes to fly the F-35 JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) that is undergoing development.
This wing is supposed to be one of the FIRST ANG units to have the JSF in standard, NON-VTOL configuration, when it is deployed operationally across the country.
*** And then we have this somewhat-related article about the F-22 Raptor:
In a high-tech fighter like the F-22, one might expect a problem to arise, yet sometimes the cause of a problem is NOT in the airframe, design, or function of the plane itself.
The pressure vest worn by Raptor pilots is coming under scrutiny for potential issues with pilot safety.
"G" suits have been around since after WW2, and the intent is to PREVENT a pilot from blacking out, or as we used to call it -  G-LOC (gravity-induced loss of consciousness. That's where the blood drains FROM the brain instead of a "red-out" where too much blood is forced TO the brain.
(amazing the stuff you never forget)
The USAF has been unable to ascertain the exact cause of pilot dizziness while flying the raptor for prolonged periods , and are checking everything from the hoses, masks, and now the g-suits, as well as the coatings of the plane's stealth technology to find the real cause.
It's sure got the "braniacs" in the Air Force scratching their noggins.
Even some ground crews have reported symptoms akin to a lack of oxygen.
Hell at this point, it could be the synthetic JP fuel they've been dicking with..at least that's one of MY guesses.
(so much for green alternative fuels perhaps?)
Prior to operational deployment of the Raptor in 2005, NO such cases of oxygen problems were discovered.
Current evaluations have found that the G-suit's upper pressure garment may be restricting the pilot's ability to draw a full breath.
The investigation is being handled in private and the source relaying the information is under anonymity.
-- And now for a change of pace...there's THIS--
*** I really LIKE eBay when it comes to finding the odd items the household needs...
Actually, I've grown to love it somewhat.
-- When we needed a replacement can opener (the MANUAL kind and not the under-counter ones that don't work) for cheap...I go onto eBay and GET me one...for like $2 BUCKS!
Saw a similar one at the grocery store for $7 and change...not cost-effective.
Or, when I see a model I know I MUST have...there it is. No trekking out to some hobby shop (we have so few here in Ft. Wayne..it's pathetic). I log on and find me one...or several.
And usually it's way UNDER retail price (which has risen incredibly over the last 2 decades...I thought PLASTIC was RECYCLABLE???)
-- I found one model that is about as old as I am...at least it's been on the market in some manner for that long (1957, actually).
It's called the Convair XFY-1 POGO plane...very cool prototype that failed to work precisely as intended.
It flew fine, but landing it on it's tail was a bit of a trick.
It DID fly ONE mission in the 'Nam too...out of Tan Son Nhut AF base.
Performed well (with Vulcan gatling machine guns in each wing), but was damaged in landing.
It still sits at a storage facility in MD.
Anyway, I might need a thumb drive to store pictures or data on (to free up computer disk space)...I can get one a LOT cheaper than bopping out to some store that has them (which are also few and far between down here in the ghettohood) for MORE than I would pay to have it shipped to my frigging front door!
-- I've even managed to find a replacement string spool for our B&D weed-wacker...which isn't that old.
Just recently, MENARDS has started to carry them...(sorry eBay).
-- I also got Wifey her own digital camera/camcorder MP3 player (Aiptek) which retails for around $89...for UNDER $20!
And her camera came with all the cords, the software CD and a cool carry case for everything.
So, you CAN get a decent deal...if you're patient...AND persistent.
-- I've purchased a 12 inch ELECTRONIC IRON MAN figure that retails for $25...for around $10, and a talking V FOR VENDETTA figure that retails for over $30, for less than HALF PRICE...complete and working...just no box (no big deal to me).
-- I've even bought Wifey some Hello Kitty stuff, and I found some CDs I really wanted to get.
I'm a huge Neil Diamond fan , and while I have a LOT of his music on VINYL, I wanted a compilation of the hits on CD...and found one.
I got it (used and in great shape) for UNDER $5.
Got a few ENYA CDs too...for WAY less than retail.
-- I've gotten some recent DVDs of movies I wanted, as well as complete sets (like Stargate SG-1 seasons 7 and 8 - each for UNDER $14) Got the complete FIREFLY series (16 eps) still in shrink wrap for like $13 (including shipping).
-- We've bought optical "mice" for our computers - under $5 a pop.
-- I've gotten digital watches for less than $5 each and they work just AS well as ones costing $30 at the mall.
In today's economy, it DOES pay to shop around, and if that means you take advantage of the ONLINE bidding processes...hey, whatever works.
And you CAN save a LOT of money.
Isn't that the name of the game THESE days, anyway?
*** Lastly today...Sunday is FATHER'S DAY, and I have to say that aside from the fact that it's one of THE MOST confusing days for ALL the kids in MY part of the "ghettohood", it still means something to me, even though I'm not a father (...that I know of...LOL)
For I remember MY father, and what he meant to me.
He was a humble man...who you never really wanted to piss the hell off, for although his stature might fool you (we was only 5'5" tall), his temper was larger, when he got angry, which wasn't all that often.
He was too busy jugging a job, and a household and a child along with mom.
That's one thing about Dad I will always admire...he had some of the strongest work ethics of anyone I've known, and through the years, I've tried to emulate that.
Dad always said what he meant, and meant what he said.
Yet, he had an incredible sense of humor...a marvelous combination.
Yeah, he drank (beer mostly, but sometimes a Manhattan) and tied one on some weekends, and he smoked, and he could swear REAL well (when necessary), but he was also a very sincere, loving, and charitable man. He'd give you the shirt of his back if needed.
And yet, he'd tell you to go to hell just as fast if you wronged him.
He was part of that "Greatest generation", and I think I know why we call them that.
Life was hard enough for them, and so their values were as uncompromising as they were simple.
They relied on themselves and each other to weather life's storms...and that worked.
They were never afraid to ask questions and get answers.
They were not restrained by government intervention when it came to their lives.
All these and more made them the people we came to love and cherish.
And that's why there is not a day that passes that I don't think of my Father, and try to always be the son he wanted me to be...EVERY day.
Father's Day can mean something to anyone and everyone, as long as you know WHAT a father truly is.
And I think that's a pretty good legacy for any man in that regard.
Have yourselves a great weekend.
Be well, make a difference to someone today, and as always...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


John D. said...

I like the F-22, but from what I've heard, it's a real "hangar queen," requiring a lot of down-time for maintenance.

Now the A-10 is the exact opposite. Tough and simple, that's what you want in a ground attack aircraft. I saw those in action when I was out at Ft Irwin, CA. Very impressive.

Bob G. said...

John D.:
I have to admit that I've been loving the F-22 since it was first proposed and they did that "flyoff" between Northrop (with the X-23) and Lockheed-Martin (the X-22). but with anything that has SO much technology wrapped up in it, there comes "issues".

I can't recall when we did NOT have a pure fighter that didn't have problems.

The F-16 was unstable and needed computer assist just to FLY.
The F-15 suffered fatigue problems in it's main structures.
The F-14 just cost too damn much to upkeep.
The F-111 didn't live up to the FIGHTER role (so they made it a "bomber")
The F/A 18 has been the least problematic of the current bunch.
NO issues to speak of yet.
The Av-8 Harrier was always tricky to land.

You'd have to go WAY back to perhaps Korea or even WW2 to find a REAL FIGHTER that was pretty much good-to-go "out of the box".

The standard version of the F-35 looks to be easy to maintain and hasn't seen major problems yet.
(aside from the gov't screwing with backup engine contracts)

The Warthog has been (and still is) a PROVEN design from the late 1960s, and it ALWAYS makes the bad guys duck for cover (for all the good it will do 'em...LOL)

Thanks much for stopping on over today and commenting.

You have a great weekend, Father's Day and always roll safe out there.

Jana said...

I have no problem buying things used. I buy used books all the time if they are in good condition. I get them anywhere from .99 to $5.00. Can't beat getting books for that price when they retail for $10 to $20!

Speaking of planes and Father's Day...

As you know, my father is retired AF, was in for 20 years. He was and still is proud of his days in the service. He was a mechanic and can still tell what kind of plane is flying over head sometimes just by the sound it makes.

One of the things he did that I am most proud of him doing, other than serving in the first Gulf War in the early '90s, was when we were at Clovis AFB in NM. He had found a leak on the fuel tanks on most of the jets there. My father grounded the planes until the problem was fixed.

All the pilots wanted to fly anyway. My dad, who was in charge, of course said no. A group of LTs came charging into his office DEMANDING that my dad clear the planes for flying. My dad, about to explode, told them no again and to get OUT of his office. I'm sure it was quite a scene, a MSGT telling a group of LTs off!

I like to think I get my sense of pride in my work and doing my work right the first time from my father. I know I got my temper and attitude from him... lol

Bob G. said...

SO happy to see you again.

Yeah, used BOOKS are a big thing with me on eBay...got a slew of them for a lot less than going to the Barnes & Noble...or even Amazon (my 2nd choice).

Your dad and I have something ELSE in common...we can tell the plane flying over by the SOUNDS...LOL!
(vintage warbirds are expecially keen to listen for)
And I know I will NEVER forget the sounds of a HUEY.
I can hear them MILES away.
I KNEW I really liked your DAD.!

There is an old USAF "rule of thumb" regarding AIRPLANES and the MEN who fly them.


The (groudn crew) SGTS are the ones who "own" the planes.
And it's the SGT that LETS the pilot "borrow" it from time to time, as long as he BRINGS IT BACK the same way he took it out.

Bet your Dad will gimme a big "ROGER THAT". there.

BTW, I was glad to see YOUR new product on store shelves:
(I'm not kidding - I was "OMG!" when I saw that...LOL)
Google it up.

I'd wager your Hubby drinks NOTHING BUT...right?

Thanks so much for spending part of your day here and sharing some really cool remembrances of your Father.
Made my week.

Have yourselves a fantastic weekend, and stay SAFE out there.