Welcome to my world. Such that it is. Out here, Among The Joshua Trees.
Husband to Sharon for 37 plus years.
Dad to four.
Grand Dad to six, four of them girls.
Sometime Mechanic, Railroader, Airplane Builder.
Currently a Civilian Employee of the USAF at Edwards AFB.
Survived Renal Cell Carcinoma.
A walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction,
Taking every wrong direction on his lonely way back home.
Counted the stars on the 4th of July
Wishing we were rockets bursting in the sky
Talking about redemption and leaving things behind
As the sun sinks west of the Mendocino county line
I rolled in this afternoon/evening after I had left over turkey, lumpy mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberries(whole ones) followed by pumpkin pie with that pressurized whipped cream…… I was gonna enter something profound and highly literal and kaboom, I suddenly realized it had been five months since I had been here…. So here goes ladies and gentlemen……
I have been working because we are considered mission essential. I know some folks who are not that lucky especially given the edicts of our not so esteemed governor, Greasy Gruesome Newsom. He is a reason that makes a repeat of 1776 a rather splendid idea at times………
We had a bit of a stressful event at Eddie’s Airplane Patch relative to the 412th AMXS in the July-August time frame that did cause some consternation in the unit. In a nutshell it was a possible contact with a possible contact of a confirmed case in a member’s family. To several of us it was an option to get the quick nasal check for the said China Virus. My flight chief at the time was sort of pushy about me getting it done. He worried about me due to my age and the fact that I have had some health related issues and having had cancer being one of them. I wound up being placed on administrative leave from Mid August to Mid October. Full pay and regular leave and sick leave still being earned. At least Missus ORPO and I were able to take a trip to Wichita, Kansas for the First Birthday of our Grandson, Grayson Austin Green. Add in that your humble Crew Dawg was also rolling Sixty-Six in that time period. My New Flight Chief was in a bit of a tizzy when he was informed about said vacation. I had already forecast it in January before he moved into his current position. I don’t even think I got charged the full amount of leave. Missus ORPO and I had a splendid time with the family.
I also had a fun event in August that required my old friend, the prep. You know THAT PREP! I also had the endoscopy done and that was a first. Polyp in the transverse colon and rectum, both of which were negative on the biopsies. The upper tract had some items that also had biopsies done and those were negative as well. The diverticulitis is there and it is being dealt with as I would prefer the surgery to be done after I retire at Edwards and we return to Kansas. Then I will have all the time in the world.
No Hockey yet. Supposedly the AHL is going to start the new season next week but no one knows anything because the above named elected official is being his usual 24 carat ass wipe self…….
There, caught up, I think. I am still thinking on whether or not to keep ATJT going or not. I am up against the free amount expiration soon. I have considered doing the Pinch Paisley thing and just calling it good because of the social media thing taking over.
33 years ago today, the Good Ship Kitty Hawk tied to Pier 7 at Naval Station Norfolk marking the end of a 6 month cruise around the world. Little did I know that it would be my last deployment of six. I served with a lot of good men in Attack Squadron One Four Seven even though I was TAD to the AIMD Hydraulic/Pneumatic Shop. BTW, we were the best Hydraulic/Pneumatic Shop in the United States Pacific Fleet in 1987.
Upon arrival every C-9 and DC-9 in the Naval Air Reserve was at NAS Norfolk to take the Air Wing personnel home. We were all home by 7 PM Pacific Time.
As an Intermediate Level guy, I was transferred to a new unit that was at each Naval Air Station with deploying squadrons called Sea Op Det. It had some severe teething problems in the beginning. It was not set up for a PO1 with almost 14 years of service. That is a story for another day.
Wednesday was a trip to the West Los Angeles VA Hospital Dermatology Clinic. I had this shit break out on the webbing between the fingers and it sucked balls….. I got an Rx for a topical ointment and was out quickly. One hour to Sand Canyon Road in Santa Clarita and the In-n-Out.
Friday had me going to the Sepulveda ACC for an imaging appointment. It was to look for an aorta aneurysm check. Age and having been a smoker caused my primary provider at the VA clinic in Lancaster (CA) to order the said procedure….. It was a snap. The stop for chow was the Denny’s at the Sand Canyon Road exit in Santa Clarita.
Next Thursday is the Chronic Pain Clinic at the West Los Angeles Hospital. That one is one of those….. Hmmmmm things ya know……..
Those places should key the reader’s mind to something near and dear to ORPO’s heart and that is trains. Yes, my friends, I took a jaunt to the East along the Mojave and Needles Subdivisons of the BNSF. The pictures are in order, sort of. I started by attempting to get some from the 58 which has become interesting as it is now four lanes from Bakersfield to Barstow… Took em long enough…….
Please bear with me as I learn how to use the new block system that WordPress has decided to switch to from the old platform……… Grrrrr
It was a good day all in all. The worst day chasing trains is better than the best day at work…….
I did manage to get a bite to eat at The World Famous Peggy Sue’s 50s Diner in Yermo and grab some neat things for Missus ORPO for our upcoming 37th Wedding Anniversary.
That being said, It is a much lower rate than when I went through that weight loss fun and games in the period from 2015 to 2017.
The one that I have been to lately is at Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley. Awesome place. The staff is great. I will not have to submit myself to those eleven hour and plus trips to Palmdale.
I have not kept count of the total number of ER visits in the last five years as that is a bit on the morbid side, ya know. The fun with the diverticulosis and the issues with the digestive tract is not something I enjoy. The imaging technician at Adventist and I are now on a first name basis. Nomar is my bud, ya might say.
Yeah, ER visits are a part of the normal for me these days……. It sucks bigtime……….. Oh, my blood pressure was in limits. OK, it was toward the high side but nevertheless it was in limits.
I still have this thing going, sort of anyway. I need to go ahead and pay the forty eight bucks a year to keep it going as I am running out of free space after ten years. You read that right, ten years. I started it just a few months after arriving in The Mojave Desert and a new job at Eddie’s Airplane Patch.
I have gained so many friends as a result of this here blog… Channeling our dear departed friend, Buck…. So after I make my medicare quarterly payment, I think this is the next thing on the agenda.
BTW, I am sitting here in the sort of wee hours watching After Hours with Alex Salvi on One America News Network and nursing one or two or three Belching Beaver Deftones Phantom Bride IPA. Yeah, work sucked ass tonight. The new Falcon AMU is a disaster and not the shit hot one we had before the merger of the two F-16 test outfits. Those of us from the Old Ramp Seven Falcon are disillusioned and downright angry……. We got a new OIC(Major with an attitude) and a CMSgt(same) that are pretty much micro managing things especially in the support section where I have worked for the past four plus years. The Old Retired Petty Officer ain’t impressed……
What passes for early winter is here in the Southeast Kern County Desert. Highs in the low fifties and lows around freezing. The area is probably going to get hit by the big one on it’s way from the Northern Pacific. Interstate 80 is closed between Sacramento and the Nevada Line at Donner Pass. Interstate 5 over the Grapevine may close as well. From where I live, I will be able to see the snow on the Southern Sierra Nevada Range, Tehachapi and possibly the San Gabriel Mountains…..
Suddenly, I have the urge to go somewhere warm…
“Lately, newspaper mentioned cheap airfare. I’ve got to fly to Saint Somewhere. I’m close to bodily harm.”
Maybe not Saint Somewhere but the Florida to Texas Gulf Coast would work….. Lord knows that I could never deal with a winter in North Central Montana or Southern Alberta, where I grew up.
“Boat drinks. Waitress, I need two more boat drinks. Then I’m headin’ south ‘fore my dream shrinks.”
This day is known in the United States of America as Veterans Day. In my childhood it was called Armistice Day by the wizzened, white haired old men in the little towns that I grew up in in Montana. When I lived on the Prairies of Southern Alberta in Canada, it was Remembrance Day. On our first Remembrance Day north of the 49th parallel, we watched the Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau lay a wreath at the Tomb of The Unkown at the Cenotaph in the Capital of the Dominion, Ottawa. The current PM, Justin Trudeau seems to be a no show for this and it pains me. That is all I will say about that “gentleman.” At the precise moment of 11 minutes after 11 Eastern Time, the entire country of Canada came to a stop….. Let that sink in. Bill Paisley would understand being a former resident of the Maritimes.
The Poem, Flander’s Fields has meaning for me in that a Great Grandfather of mine came to the United States from Ypres in Flanders, now the present day Belgium. I do not consider that blood to be Belgian but Flemish to this very day.
Whatever your background and political persuasion, always remember….
There are those of us who did our time in Forces, whether it was a four year hitch or a twenty year plus career, we give you our gratitude this day……
For those who are no longer with us is this.
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.”
I have been neglecting this here blog that I have kept. I am running out of free space on it. When Missus ORPO returns from Wichita, Kansas where she has been with the youngest daughter for the period before, during and after the arrival of our new grandson on 17 September 2019 I will do the upgrade at forty-eight bucks a year to keep this project going.
I must admit that I have been occupied over the last few years with scans, blood work and other sundry indignities concerning my medical status. So far nothing bad has been found. The weight loss that began in 2015 when I was moved into the tool room on a reasonable accommodation was a tough go. When I was surprised with a reveal in May in Wichita by Missus ORPO, The Darling Daughter and Eldest Granddaughter, I started looking up. So without further ado, I give you all a few pics of Grayson Austin Mark Green.
So, we know all about the heroes of the American Revolution, right? George Washington, John Adams, Paul Revere – OK, well, not him, he was a good silversmith, an average errand rider, and a godawful general. But odds are you probably haven’t heard of Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kosciuszko. Nor can you spell it or pronounce it; join the club, but we’re working on it.
Thaddeus Kosciusko was born in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (long story, don’t ask) in 1746, the youngest son of a member of the nobility, aka, “not going to inherit anything, might as well join the army.” Accordingly, he popped off to Warsaw in 1765 to go be a cadet, commissioning in 1766, and made captain by 1768. Which was an awkward year to make captain, because the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth decided to celebrate his promotion with a civil war to overthrow the king. Kosciusko decided that discretion…
Well since all are pretty much aware that the youngest daughter is with child, a grandson who is due in September, there is some decision making in regard to the lad’s naming. Missus ORPO is pushing for his middle name to be the same as mine which is as most know is Mark. It is hard to not try and have any influence in this process as in reality, it isn’t my decision. Straight up, it is not my decision in any fashion. I have never thought of leaving any legacy as it were at any time in my life. Would I like the grandson to have my name in some manner? Yes I would but I have absolutely no control over that.
On my part, I am glad that I will have a grandson whose early years I will be a part of. In around 18 to 24 months or so, we will be going back to Wichita, Kansas when I retire from the civil service at Edwards AFB. Let’s face it, I ain’t getting any younger and the mileage, wear and tear have taken a toll. I will need every moment that I can get.
I want to be able to take the boy fishing and shooting just like my Paternal Grandfather did with me. He also taught me how to run a bottling line in the days of glass bottles.
Please pardon the ramblings of an old man who now has much on his mind.
We got the news this day, seven years ago. Kfir down at NAS Fallon. We all had our fears of what happened. It couldn’t be….. But sadly when the details came out it was. Somehow, I knew when the news initially said the jet was down. I don’t know why but I did.
Lex was gone. An amazing level of hurt came over me. It’s still here as I write this. When I went to work, I did the most thorough of pre-flights on my jet that I had ever done. It was almost like he was watching me. It was that pilot to crew chief link that we had. That was how our relationship was. I was glad to have had it that way.
The following of Lex has led me to a group of friends that I treasure with all my heart.
Sorry, it’s getting hard to see the keyboard and screen……….