Barstow, Ludlow, Newberry Springs

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

WB at Jimgrey 1
WB at Jimgrey 2
Meet at Newberry Springs
Meet at Newberry Springs
EB at Pisgah/National Trails Highway
EB at Pisgah/National Trails Highway

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.

I almost forgot…..

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……

Somewhere tropical-Boat Drinks

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.”

ORPO is not a fan of the cold anymore……..

11:11:11

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 am still here

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.

Thaddeus Kosciusko: The Polish Engineer You Never Heard of who Saved America

I learned some things that I did not know about a man who was deeply involved in the beginnings of our Republic.

The Angry Staff Officer

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…

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Something on the mind

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.

Day trip to Baker

We decided to run up the 15 to Baker. One of our favorite little places is there, that being Alien Fresh Jerky. I got a T shirt that after it is laundered will be posted.

I did take the Trusty Nikon and I did get a few pictures taken. It was an aim and fire sort of thing.

A day to remember our friend

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……….

ORPO sends……………..

Rainy day in the Southeast Kern County Desert

We had some pretty significant rain on Thursday. According to a friend of mine, almost an inch. The fire ravaged areas in LA, Ventura, Orange, Santa Barbara and Riverside counties really got it hard.

That aside, some of the cloud formations were a bit interesting. So without further ado, here we go. I took these at a dirt parking area at the junction of CA 58 and California City Boulevard.

ORPO sends.

It’s been awhile

Not the song by Staind.

I had to go to the Stater Bros in Mojave for the Missus. I took the Trusty Nikon with me. Here are the results of a mostly gray day in the Southeast Kern County Desert.

Among the subjects is a mineral hopper train that came from Searles Junction on the UP Lone Pine Branch.

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That L-1011 belongs to BAE Systems, I do believe.

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Someone is flying today. Small taildragger, I happened to hear him and this was the one good chance that I had.

 

Thanksgiving Greetings

The Old Retired Petty Officer sends greetings and best wishes to all this Thanksgiving. I hope all of you have a splendid day, truly.

Missus ORPO and I are at home with the usual although it will be delayed until tomorrow due to the effects of my flu shot that I received on Monday and the crappy work hours that I currently endure.

To all the First Responders, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coasties out there doing what they do away from home this day, we appreciate all that you do. Some of us have been there and done that.

I had my first Thanksgiving away from home at RTC San Diego. I had two aboard the Good Ship Independence while deployed to the Med and Nor Lant. Then there was the one on Ranger and one on Kitty Hawk.

Even in my ballast train days, I had Thanksgiving with the Eldest Son(SFC) at the Repple Depple at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

So please, enjoy the company that you have this day with family and close friends. I will crack open a Stone Go To IPA later and raise a toast to all.

ORPO sends.

Veteran’s Day at Marie Kerr Park in Palmdale

It was simple and touching. I think at times that most of us were teary eyed….. I know I was.

Darryl Juel and Reid Grayson were older brothers of two guys I played junior high basketball with in Scobey, Montana 52 years ago…….

Even though I was not in country in Vietnam, this was for all of us who served in the era.

The AV Vietnam Moving Memorial Wall is a fully volunteer organization. They along with Vets 4 Vets in Palmdale and Lancaster are the driving forces behind this.DSC_0003

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This dear lady lost a son in Iraq in 2004. She gave me the one pin. Tears were shed.

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Darryl R. Juel

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Frank J. Costantini Jr.

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Reid E. Grayson

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Remembrance Day

The text was posted at Facebook by my friend Scott Ruch along with the picture.

Today, however you chose to call it, Armistice Day, Rembrance Day or Veteran’s Day, is a difficult one for myself and my family. On this day 27 years ago, we lost my Dad to cancer. As an Airman and then Soldier, I suppose it was most appropriate.

“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.”

Dusty…

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Forty Five

Forty Five years ago on a Saturday morning no less, I put my right hand in the air and took the oath of enlistment from an Army 1st Lt. and enlisted in the US Navy.

“I, (Glenn Mark Cassel), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.””

It turned into a long run.

Forty five years already……..

Yeah, I cheated and did the copy and paste from Wikipedia. It was easy ya know.