29 July 2014

Tuesday Tidbits...
It's another very nice day outside, and even if it DOES smack a bit of feeling autumn-like out there, it's a LOT better than waking up to sweltering heat and oppressive humidity, isn't it?
The Hoosierland weather to this day will find us with mild temps, which will each into the mid-70s...yeah, we're warming up a wee bit, but it'll still be a great day to air out the humble abode, so toss those windows open.
Always wonder why they "say" that - TOSS the window open, or THROW the window open...crazy stuff.
Anyway, fair and partly cloudy skies will follow us about today, and we even have a chance of rain later on.
So, let's get that morning cup of whatever poured so we can celebrate another day of living (sounds like some good song lyrics there, hmm?).
*** First out of the recycle bin today...the local trash-tossing morons were busy yesterday evening...I went out close to midnight and "retrieved" a Mountain Dew bottle, a Bud Light can (20 oz, naturally - the ghetto swill of choice), and a nice chunk of CONCRETE which had been moved from a pile we have at the end of our driveway to keep other idiots from cutting the corner and wearing away our property line.
We're not THIS bad, but some are working on it.
It's THIS type of crap that becomes bothersome, as there ARE those out there with NO sense at all in their bodies, as evidenced by their willingness to litter with abandon. Every single "distressed" neighborhood  has this, but it's mostly found in neighborhoods primarily filled with minorities. Those are the worst of the bunch, but those of the "white trash" persuasion live up to THAT moniker well enough, too.
We do...in our own way.
What possesses people to carelessly toss refuse from their primate paws baffles me...like no one will notice this crap.
We can have a street sweeper run through our street on a Monday, and by Wednesday, you'd never know they came through in the last 6 months.
Now, I have my OWN way of dealing with lawn trash - I "recycle" it onto a lawn across our alley, and the only reason I do THAT, is because those people are (ghetto) trash to begin with, so a few more pieces won't bother them.
Sometimes, I will toss a beer bottle into the intersection and watch it shatter. The "locals" will drive through enough to "take the shards away", as it were...lol. And if some boomcar gets a flat out of it...oh, well...them's the breaks (when you mess with me).
I'd prefer to not even do these things, but if there were no trash to speak of, the problem would be rendered elementary, would it not?
Thing is, I can pick up one MORE piece of trash than they can throw, so I will always get "the last word" there.
Moving on...
*** Bill O'Reilly had a good topic last evening - had to do with the legalization of pot (which I am also against).
The point was made for not wanting to introduce another intoxicant into poorer neighborhoods, and I have to agree.
There are plenty of "items" available to the POOR (mostly illegal) that it boggles the mind when you see people chase after this garbage, rather than feed and clothe themselves.
Never did understand this mystique over illegal drugs, and I admit to having tried pot a few times (LONG time ago) in another lifetime. sure I got buzzed, but it wasn't worth my time OR money to foster that lifestyle and pursue being a stoner.
And even though I've got some nice large veins, I have this aversion to hypodermics, so that's a lost cause, and I simply detest snorting anything up my nose...pollen is plenty, thank you, and I didn't even do THAT on purpose.
Not to mention, you ever try DRIVING and SNEEZING at the same time...without closing your eyes? Damn hard thing to do, isn't it?
Such a WASTE...
But O'reilly and his guests argued the point about intioxicants in these neighborhoods, and it was stated that the HIGHEST number of LIQUOR STORES can be found in such neighborhoods where income is low, assistance is high, and crime is even higher.
I can vouch for that...the SE side of Ft. Wayne has the highest number of liquor stores, convenience stores (which also sell beer), gas stations and dollar stores, but this (as something else I've said before) does NOT a retail hub make. If anything, it keeps those with existing financial problems, societal problems and mental problems "well-fed", and that's why we see the crime rates we do in such areas.
Sure seems a bit "biased", don'cha think?
Here's an example - When they used to have billboards for ciggies, you ALWAYS saw a ton of them in the "badlands" in Philly, and they were almost ALWAYS a billboard for (you guessed it)...NEWPORTS, so that immediately tells you WHO was smoking them (even to this day). And there were the LIQUOR billboards for  SEAGRAMS, as we had a distillery in Philly, and guess what brand sold the most in those bad neighborhoods? Give 'ya 3 guesses, and the first 2 don't count.
To this day, you rarely see that many billboards, but when you do, how many are reflecting POSITIVE values, rather than some "thing" to be chased after?
You never win ANY "war" by legalizing an aspect (or the reasoning) OF that war...it's THAT simple, people.
*** And now, for something quite a bit "different", and something I've a somewhat personal tie to.
We have a visitor in Ft. Wayne, and it's from an era of that greatest generation...aka WW2.
A Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortress" bomber has flown into the FWIA, and will be there through this weekend.
But, she's not just ANY B-17...this one was restored and was featured in the 1990 movie MEMPHIS BELLE (a very good flick, btw, based on a factual account of the crew from that aircraft).
Here's the Frank Gray column (with video) from today's J-G:
(nice photos there, too)
Now, WAAAYYY back in the year 1991, out at our local airport in NE Philly, we had a "fly-in" with more than a few warbirds there, including a Lockheed Hudson, Grumman TBF Avenger (navy torpedo plane), A B-25 Mitchell, a B-24 Liberator, AND, a B-17, named "Memphis Belle", fresh from the movie.
Hard to take "pictures of pictures" - 1991 Philly
Got to take a self-guided tour of the plane, too.
Sure glad I'm only 5'7" tall, as being much taller would prove a bit claustrophobic...and give me a sore noggin from whacking it on something hanging from overhead.
Yes, the planes are that confining INSIDE. On the OUTSIDE, they are impressive enough.
A LOT younger "me" at the radio ops position.
The J-G story talks about the 8 inch wide "catwalk" that allows access to the rear of the aircraft (through the BOMB-BAY), and I'd sure hate to have to walk that with all those 500 pounders strapped to the racks, ready to dropped onto whatever target you were trying to get to WITHOUT being shot the hell down along the way.
The movie chronicles the LAST mission of the "Belle"...the 25th mission, which, upon completion, a bomber crew would have finished their tour of duty. and be sent stateside.
Good movie AND soundtrack.
During such daylight bombing raids over Europe, there were few (complete) aircrews that made it TO that magic number.
The exploits of the 8th Air Force over Europe is a part of our history that needs to be read about...and remembered.
Here's the website of the organization behind this aircraft:
Tours of the B-17 are free, although you can DONATE whatever you want for the upkeep of this aircraft.
Rides can be had for $450 (they can take up to TEN people with the aircrew), and THAT money also goes to the preservation of this fine example of aviation history and technology.
Still flying...after all these years.
The story says the cost per hour to keep the "Belle" in the air comes to $4500...and that's mainly due to fuel consumption, the replacement parts when required...and THEY ain't cheap, if you can find them.
These engines demand a more frequent maintenance schedule due to the age of them, and they often run into thousands of dollars per unit.
Again, they don't make these anymore...talk about your "classics", hmm?
I might consider taking a run out there...just to see her again, and walk through where I once walked before.
Kinda like seeing an "old friend" in some ways...heh.
Chances like these don't come along all that often as the years fly by.
*** Last back to the hangar today...those societal contrasts I spoke about yesterday are never more apparent than in the items I highlight today.
One the one hand, you have a survivor from an era where everyone dripped with patriotism, and the brave young men that manned aircraft like the Memphis Belle and took to enemy-filled skies over Germany knew what the score was, and knew that they might not return from a mission...a mission that was to remove fascism and the axis threat from the world.
Back home, women and minorities worked side by side to BUILD the war machines that would aid in our victory.
Everyone pitched in, and although rationing was mandatory, we took it in stride, so that our TROOPS would have enough to get the job done.
Could we even think of having to do something similar today? I think it would be a stretch to think so, as we are not the people we USED to be.
That doesn't mean we cannot BECOME those people again...it takes time and commitment, and a willingness to do what is right.
Maybe those trash-tossers and drug-users would be wise to LEARN a thing or two about our HISTORY and who we used to be.
Anyone CAN be taught...even those I just mentioned.
After all, what was done throughout our history (by those brave men and women) made it possible for the litterbugs and druggies to be idiots...the least THEY could do is educate themselves as to why they're that way...how they can become decent individuals again.
And that might lead to a change for the better in our society...they'll never know unless they try, right?
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


John DuMond said...

I'm with you on the pot legalization issue. The libertarian in me says, "Sure, go for it. Nobody's business if you want to smoke it." But the realist in my has seen too much damage done by intoxicants of various types, legal and illegal. I don't see anything good coming from legalization.

Always loved the B-17. That is one tough aircraft. And it had to be for the mission it was given.

Bob G. said...

John D.:
There can be forms of decriminalization (whatever you do INSIDE your house) kinda things, but get caught OUTSIDE with it, you're busted.
That might work.
But NO laws for OR against have ever stopped those wanting to waste their lives from getting the OTHER items that were STILL illegal to obtain.
And it does drive neighborhoods (and families)into depravity.

As to the B-17...damn nice ship. But to be in an electric flying suit and flak vest with an oxygen mask at "angels 20" around 0900 hrs and having enemy planes punching holes right alongside of me in the fuselage is something I cannot imagine.
Yet, we had young men do it almost every day during our bombing campaigns in WW2.
Truly amazing stuff.

Thanks for winging on over to day to comment.
Stay safe out there.

CWMartin said...

The trash- GOOOD JOB! I'd give the plastic ones a bit of "toilet water" too, if'n you know what I mean...

The pot thing- Just see the item in this week's MWN for my thoughts.

Bob G. said...

Believe me, if there is a need for some "eau de toilet", my kidneys can easily oblige...lol.
Got a feeling we're on similar pages with the MJ gig.
Be checking it out shortly.

Thanks for stopping on by today to comment.
Stay safe (and dry) up there.

Slamdunk said...

Haha, I can picture you smiling during your regular "sharing of the shards ceremony."

With the legalization, I just don't care. I do get a kick out of the wanna be do gooders whose legalization argument is based solely on getting the terminally ill their meds. Yeah sure--that is the big push.

I can't remember seeing a B-17 in-person; that will be quite a sight. The $4500 an hour is mind-blowing though. No wonder you don't see much of them.

Bob G. said...

LOL..."sharing of the shards"...I like that.
Gotta kinda poetry to it.

Getting MEDS to those that NEED them is one thing...making pot "legal" is another.
In Colorado, dropout rates in high school are CLIMBING, as is HOMELESSNESS. Guess the reefer-madmen didn't see THAT one coming, did they?
(but Stevie Wonder could)

As to the B-17...well, we made over 13,000 of them during WW2, and today, LES than 100 are still around, with fewer than TWENTY still air worthy.
And that's around the world!
Like I said, replacement parts AND maintenance don't come cheap (and I thought BETA VCRs were an issue w/ costs).

Hey, thanks for stopping by to comment today.
Much appreciated.

Stay safe out there.