Tuesday, June 3, 2008

So what do you do when people want you to post new stuff to your blog but you haven't taken any pictures? Rearrange your old pictures to a cool song...enjoy! Two more days and a wake up!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

It's not a very good picture but it's something. From left to right we have AT2 Scaff (my nugget for the trip), Me (aka "mission commander")...kidding... and LT Moeser (brand new Patrol Plane Commander) and pretty decent pilot. Wait a minute...who's flying the plane!?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I was looking through the pictures I have taken during this deployment (and looking for something to post on my blog to make the women in my life happy) and I stumbled across this picture I took during one of the plane washes. I don't quite know why this picture stood out but I think it looks pretty cool. Like a happy accident, you never know when a cool picture is going to happen!
When it rains, it pours!!! I have seen this several times since I've been here but this is the first time I have thought to take pictures of it. The flooding you see here is after about 30 minutes of rain. In fact during the storm I couldn't even see across the street. This is the view from my room.

The base of this building is sitting in about 4 to 5 inches of water...

...this is the same building only five minutes later!! Surf's up dude! The funny thing is, some of the guys are complaining about going back to Washington because, "it rains all the time!?". Weird..

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ahhhh! There's nothing like a day on the golf course. This is the course on Kadena Air Force base, Okinawa; and here is the line up for twilight golf.

For all you golf savvy people out there, no laughing. This is my fourth time on the course and I'll have you know the second time I EVER played I shot two holes for par and out drove my buddy's two hundred some odd dollar driver with a set of cheap rental clubs!! For all of you non-golf savvy people that means I'm freaking awesome!!! Well, all until my tee-off on this 198 yard par 3 which ended up with a lot of top spin and barely made it past the ladies tee block. Note: also for all of you non-golf savvy people, if a man doesn't clear the lady's tee on the first drive he has to play the rest of the hole with his pants down! Hey, I don't make the rules.

Meet Aric. The man responsible for introducing me to this wonderful sport and teaching me the ways of the course. Under his careful guidance and instruction I have learned how to tee-off, hit a fairway wood, an iron, a wedge, and a putter. I can judge distance, choose the correct club for the occasion and sort of aim in the right direction. Next lesson: how to tell your wife you want to buy a set of golf clubs. Apparently there really is no tried and true approach to this lesson. It really is more about trial and error. (I love you honey!)

Observe the exquisite form and intense concentration as I try to crack my ball out of the rough to attempt 200 yards to the green. I also used this same method to trim the weeds on the back nine! There is nothing more satisfying than really connecting with a ball and watching it sail in the direction you intended it to go, and I'm really hoping to experience that feeling some day! I really did have a great time golfing and yes, I'm hooked. Speaking of being hooked I have noticed a striking similarity between golf and fishing...a bad day on the course is better than a good day at work...Go Navy!!!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

This is the view from the window in my room. I thought the sunset was pretty cool looking and I wanted to share it with all of you. That is the coast of Okinawa over looking the Pacific Ocean.

Annie, I want to thank you for the package you sent. I was going to post a picture of the contents of the package but they never left the hanger. You have made a lot of sailors very happy and slightly fatter;-D. All I have left is this cool card you made, and just to jazz up the picture a little I threw some of my patches in to the mix. You see, I always open my packages at work and share the contents. Noel has used this fact in the past to play some pretty funny tricks on me! You will have to ask her about that in a less public setting!! Anyway, when my fellow sailors peered into the box full of goodies you sent there was no holding them back, from my commanding officer on down, everyone enjoyed! Thank you for lifting the spirits of a few homesick sailors.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sometimes we need to take a moment and reflect on the things that are NOT; and be grateful! For example, I am grateful I am NOT a crewman on this HS-53. Although it is very cool and one of the most powerful helicopters in the world, its glide slope during an engine failure or heaven forbid a gearbox failure is not so impressive. They also have a wonderful tendency to roll over and sink quickly in the event of a ditch. However, these babies are impressive and are used to transport troops and equipment into battle. When I say equipment I mean like Humvee's, armored transports, large guns...you know, big stuff! The most impressive aspect of this aircraft...

...it folds up nice and neat to be tucked away when we are all done with it. Next thing you know it'll fold up into a brief case so you can carry with you on your way to work at Spacely Sprockets!

Friday, April 25, 2008

This is my "nugget" AE3 Jenson (that is how we refer to our unqualified engineers). She has proven to be a pretty good protege and is promising to become one of VP-1's better flight engineers. The book she is reading that looks a lot like a giant coffee table bible is our flight manual and we are required to have most of it committed to memory. My job is to make sure Ms. Jenson is very familiar with the contents of that manual. So our flights go something like this; "Hey Jenson, how many engines do we have on this plane?" "Hold on AD1, I'll look it up!". This dramatization was highly simplified to enhance your comprehension of the events that actually take place in flight!

Alright, some of you have been giving me a lot of grief because I haven't posted on my blog in a while. I won't mention any names Noel, but I am here to prove I have been busy protecting the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. For example, do you see the boat in this picture? We are flying about 200 ft above this boat. You know that the fishermen on this boat are going to have to clean out their undershorts after my GIANT plane came screaming by at 200 knots. And do you know what they saw when they looked up? "NAVY" painted right on the side of the aircraft. That fisherman will think twice before messing with us! Consider yourself protected.

I know, enough with the pictures of an engine shut down already! I just never get enough of the fact that this is a standard practice of ours.

This is from the back of the plane looking toward the flight station. I can't tell you what any of this stuff does so don't ask! Just kidding. The plastic cylinders with the brass nubs sticking out of them are sono-buoys. We shoot them out of the plane and listen for things in the water... you know, like underwater things...OK submarines!!

The best part of being a flight engineer is the rack in the foreground is the pilot's and the one in the back is mine! Works out well on those long 12 hour flights through the night. When you are responsible for safety-of-flight, you get a place to sleep!

I know what you are thinking, Stan is using his Jedi powers to levitate the aircraft so maintenance can repair the landing gear. Close! Actually the plane is on jacks; really big jacks, and this is a procedure that is required any time you change a component of the landing gear.

So this is all fine and dandy, but what actually happened to place an aircraft up on jacks, in the hanger, with its landing gear in a compromising position?

This is a landing gear door, and the rod that is broken in half is responsible for closing this particular landing gear door. The manufacture does not issue these rods in this condition; this one is broken. Guess who found it like this...yep and to think, I was getting ready to take the plane up for a test flight!

OK, I know this picture looks like I slaughtered my crew. Although the thought has crossed my mind I have decided against that course of action. This is what it looks like when you have preflighted your second plane for the night, it's close to midnight and #2 engine failed to start because it's spewing fuel all over the ground. Yes, the fluid on the deck is not blood, its fuel. So now you know why I have not had the time to update my blog. Remember; terrorist beware!!!!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Now don't jump to conclusions...this is not a modified P-3; it's a C-2 Cod. This is the plane you want to see if you ever find yourself floating around on one of those aircraft carriers. This aircraft represents either a ride off of the boat or transportation of mail onto the boat. Either way, these guys are a lot like Santa Clause year around. I know what you are saying, your saying, "Stan how good can a plane be if the darn wing is broken?". Well, believe it or not it's designed to do that! They can fit a lot more planes on a carrier deck if the wings fold up. Right, just one more thing to go wrong in flight! "Sir! we seem to be loosing altitude!" "Well no kidding, you forgot to unfold the wings!" That's a conversation I could do without; however, the P-3 does have a red guarded wing jettison switch in the flight station...hmmm, better leave that switch alone!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Well I promised to post some pictures when something exciting happened to me and out of the blue an opportunity to take a trip to a couple must see spots on Okinawa opened up. This is Shaikinaen, an Inn where royalty would house and entertain their guests.

This is one of the main rooms in the Inn. It looks pretty cool but the walls are paper-thin! HA!!

Outside I found Yertle the Turtle of Solla-ma-sond. I'm not quite sure if he is king of this pond!

In true Japanese, I'm sorry, Okinawan' style(the people of Okinawa do not consider themselves Japanese), shoes must be removed before going inside. I should have worn my flip-flops. Yes honey, my new socks already have holes in them!! :-).
I was fortunate enough to be there at the same time a wedding party was showing up. The bride and groom were gracious enough to allow me to take a picture. American tourists...man!

Before our next stop we had lunch at the mall. This my friends is fast food Okinawa style! Delicious noodles and beef with sprouts and ginger cooked up on the grill before my very eyes. The dish on the left is octopus balls. Now let's keep it G-rated gang! This dish has nothing in common with Rocky Mountain Oysters! Oh, and the drink is Green Tea Soda.
Shurijo Castle...perhaps the most rebuilt structure on the island. This structure has been burned down and rebuilt four times! Not to mention it was reduced to rubble when the Japanese invaded and again during WWII. What you are seeing here is what was rebuilt after WWII. It is an important symbol to the Okinawans' and is considered a national treasure. With this kind of history I'll bet it is real hard to keep an insurance company...maybe they should switch to Geico!

So my buddy Jeremy and I noticed that every time the locals take pictures of each other they flash the peace sign. So we thought we would blend in a little...Oh yeah, that's the King's throne in the background!
Hey! Who is that guy? I don't know but his face sure rings a bell! This bell is called Tomoya or the "Bridge to the Nations Bell".
This guy is the local sheriff in town keepin' law an order in these parts. He guards the Kobiki gate to ensure tourists strictly adhere to the law of the land.

Afterwards we went to the AC/DC concert and totally rocked out!! No these guys aren't AC/DC, they were the opening band, "Boys to Men";-). Alright, that's not true either. This was a little production of Japanese theater, don't ask me what it's called...I don't know, but it was pretty cool and I got to hang out back stage with the band after the show...right!
I can neither confirm nor deny allegations of impersonating a lion statue outside the Zuisen gate. I don't know what the definition "is" is and I refuse to comment further.
How to win friends and influence peo...well...water foul?? "Hey mister ducky you sure do have a nice bill!" Well, its a start anyway. So if you like to go sit in the park and feed the birds, who do you feed when the birds decide to sit with you? All in all it was a great day. I have been deployed to this area three times and this is the first time I ventured out to absorb this much culture. There is a lot of history here and I highly recommend it if you are ever in the area.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Alright! There is a nasty rumor going around about me not doing any work on deployment. You know who you are and don't even try to deny it! I would just like to prove with this simple picture that I am in fact working my tail to the bone. Do you see any toys or play things in this picture? NO! Just work stuff! Work, work, work, work!!! And this poor gentleman comes to me, why? Because he doesn't know how a P-3 works. So I'm showing him how it "works". See, lots of work...nothing but work. Man I'm tired.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ahhh...a meal fit for a king sitting atop a grand dining table with only the finest cutlery. By the way that is the same knife I clean fish with and perform light maintenance on my aircraft!

Now watch as the king rules his domain...all 70 square feet of it! Well, cheers!