Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Visit To The Skunk Works

This Steven Trible story reminds me of when I was in Air Force ROTC. I went on a trip to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. As part of the visit we had a tour of the Foreign Technology Division (FTD). As we toured the facility at the height of the Cold War, a person preceded us through the halls ringing a bell, you could see people closing up work as we passed keeping the secrets safe...at least from our prying eyes. It was a fascinating peak into a world that I had no clue (at that time) about.

To aviation aficionados the Lockheed Skunk Works founded by the legendary Kelly Johnson has always held a certain fascination. I'm sure Mr. Tremble had the time of aviation loving life there.

PALMDALE, Calif. -- I suppose getting invited to enter Skunk Works shouldn't make much sense. The secret-squirrel types like it that way. You can ask the public relations office repeatedly for several years, as I did, for a site visit, and get nowhere. Then one day you ask for a phone interview about a semi-obscure project, and -- voila! -- they ask you to come to Palmdale to see it in the hangar. If the Skunk Works organization has a motto, it should be: "Don't call us, we'll call you. ... Really, don't call us."
Actually getting inside the Skunk Works site is fairly straightforward. There's a "visitor control" building, which also includes a bank and Palmdale's coolest gift shop. I gave the clerk my driver's license and she gave me a visitor badge. The PR representative met me outside the door, and we drove inside the sprawling complex. Lockheed used to build the L-1011 Tristar here. Skunk Works arrived only in 1994, relocated to the desert from Burbank.

I had come to see the Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft (ACCA), and interview the program manager. On paper, this is a project with enormous significance to the future of aerospace manufacturing, but I'll post more about that later. The aircraft I saw inside the hangar is a Fairchild Dornier 328Jet modified with a widened, mid- and aft-fuselage and all-new vertical tail. It is about to receive an X-plane designation from the Air Force Material Command as the next aircraft in the long-dormant XC-series for experimental cargo planes.

Walking around a Skunk Works hangar can be tricky. You never know what you might see. As we turned to leave, I looked up at a makeshift wall dividing the hangar. Just over the 30ft-tall barrier, I could clearly see the bulbous top of an enormous aircraft. It could only be one thing. "Hey, that's the P791!" I said. A worried look crossed the unfailingly polite program manager's face. "Is he supposed to see that?" he asked the PR rep. She assured him it was okay. He smirked at me and said, "We might not have let you leave." I decided to interpret this as a joke, and laughed...

Go read the rest HERE

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They Call Him Dr. Lame

I am sure that some member of the KISS "Army" is going to call me out for this...but is there nothing this guy won't shill for?

That being said this commercial is kind of "cute". But I really didn't think "cute" was Gene Simmons stock in trade.

Drink Dr Pepper!

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Who You Gonna Call? Alyssa Milano?!?

In my e-mail in-box this morning was an e-mail from Atari telling me all about the new Ghostbusters game featuring Alyssa Milano.

Alyssa Milano Ain't Afraid of No Ghost

ESRB Rated EVERYONE - TEEN: Fantasy Violence, Comic Mischief, Mild Language

Surprise! Atari announced to the world that Alyssa Milano stars in Ghostbusters the Video Game. Head on over to Gametrailers.com and listen to Alyssa wax poetic about acting, video games, and Peter Venkman.
Check out the Alyssa on GameTrailers.com

I'm sure you're like me and think that the only thing missing from the Ghostbusters franchise was Alyssa Milano (even though she had to be maybe 6 when the movies came out). I mean when I think of Ghostbusters I say to myself, if only they would have been able to include Alyssa Milano it would have been perfect. I'm guessing Anne Potts or Sigourney Weaver weren't available?

I'm thinking though that the Alyssa from the movie "Embrace of the Vampire" might be what they are looking for...but then the game wouldn't be rated "E" for everyone now would it.

That's about the only picture of her from that movie I can safely post...but you get the idea. To quote a review of that movie, "Embrace of the Vampire wasn't even really about vampires. It was an excuse to see Alyssa Milano's big boobs, (and)watch her kiss a girl..."

The rendering of the characters are quite striking though.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Girl Friday, 27 MAR 09

It's Friday and my leave is almost gone...which means I'm getting ready to pack everything up and go to the sand box again.

This Friday's Girl Friday is Miss April '09 Hope Dworaczyk (I'm pretty sure that's her real name). You get to see Miss April 5 days early...who says there's nothing worthwhile posted here?

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Japan Has Outdone Themselves This Time...

According to the YouTube page, this will be release in the USA as Apocalypse Meow.
Consider this your WTF moment for today.

H/T CDR Salamander

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How The Goverment Decides What To Do

If you ever wondered how they decided who to bail out and who they let go bankrupt, Southpark revealed all last night.

One of the best episodes ever!

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This Is For My Next Door Neighbor

...I'm the bear.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Today Is National Medal of Honor Day

From the website Above and Beyond

Abraham Lincoln created the Medal of Honor which was first presented on March 25, 1863. But too few are aware of this momentous date and all that it stands for, so the Above & Beyond creators proposed that March 25th be set aside every year as a national holiday to commemorate Lincoln’s historic act and remind the American public about the Medal of Honor’s history and ideals.

This idea quickly gained the support of the 105 living Medal of Honor recipients who constitute the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, and legislation was drafted up to put this new holiday on the national calendar. The Bill was introduced in the House of Representatives on January 30, 2007, and was unanimously approved on February 27, 2007. A concurrent Bill was unanimously passed in the Senate on March 1st, 2007, and Senator John Warner announced the creation of this annual day to the American public on March 21st 2007.

March 25th 2007 was the first official National Medal of Honor Day in the United States. Perhaps Gary Littrell, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s President, summed it up best when he stated; “I do not view the 25th of March for the years to come as a day to honor ‘we’ the Medal of Honor recipients,” he said. “I view the 25th of March as a day that we the Medal of Honor recipients can give back to our youth.”
In my youth the Medal of Honor meant one person to me, Audie Murphy. A native Texan, Auide was a legend in Texas even when I was a child in the 70's. If you have seen his biographical film "To Hell and Back" you are somewhat familiar with his exploits on the field of battle. That being said when one reads the citation for his Medal you know the movie doesn't even being to tell the "whole" story.

Audie Murphy
Audie L. Murphy

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company B 1 5th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Holtzwihr France, 26 January 1945.

Entered service at: Dallas, Tex. Birth: Hunt County, near Kingston, Tex.

G.O. No.. 65, 9 August 1945. Citation 2d Lt. Murphy commanded Company B, which was attacked by 6 tanks and waves of infantry. 2d Lt. Murphy ordered his men to withdraw to prepared positions in a woods, while he remained forward at his command post and continued to give fire directions to the artillery by telephone. Behind him, to his right, 1 of our tank destroyers received a direct hit and began to burn. Its crew withdrew to the woods. 2d Lt. Murphy continued to direct artillery fire which killed large numbers of the advancing enemy infantry. With the enemy tanks abreast of his position, 2d Lt. Murphy climbed on the burning tank destroyer, which was in danger of blowing up at any moment, and employed its .50 caliber machinegun against the enemy. He was alone and exposed to German fire from 3 sides, but his deadly fire killed dozens of Germans and caused their infantry attack to waver. The enemy tanks, losing infantry support, began to fall back. For an hour the Germans tried every available weapon to eliminate 2d Lt. Murphy, but he continued to hold his position and wiped out a squad which was trying to creep up unnoticed on his right flank. Germans reached as close as 10 yards, only to be mowed down by his fire. He received a leg wound, but ignored it and continued the single-handed fight until his ammunition was exhausted. He then made his way to his company, refused medical attention, and organized the company in a counterattack which forced the Germans to withdraw. His directing of artillery fire wiped out many of the enemy; he killed or wounded about 50. 2d Lt. Murphy's indomitable courage and his refusal to give an inch of ground saved his company from possible encirclement and destruction, and enabled it to hold the woods which had been the enemy's objective.

This is but one of hundreds of citations like this. Go to THIS SITE and read a few for yourself and wonder like I do...where do we get such men?



Saturday, March 21, 2009

Stupid is as Stupid Does

I am re posting a comment a guy going by the name "Andero" posted last night in reference to THIS VIDEO, I posted a year ago about Vets for Freedom.

The war against Iraq was not a legitimate one, this makes Bellavia no hero, just an ordinary killer.

By Andero's reckoning not only is David Bellavia an ordinary killer, but I am as well. Needless to say Andero is now banned from commenting around here.

But Andero brings up a point that others randomly do here and there on sites I frequent about the legitimacy of the war in Iraq. So it might be helpful to go back in time and recount all the things that led up to this "illegitimate" war.

On 2 August 1990, Saddam launched the invasion of Kuwait. After two days of intense combat, most of the Kuwaiti Armed Forces were either overrun by the Iraqi Republican Guard or escaped to neighboring Saudi Arabia. Within hours of the invasion, Kuwaiti and US delegations requested a meeting of the UN Security Council, which passed Resolution 660, condemning the invasion and demanding a withdrawal of Iraqi troops. On 3 August the Arab League passed its own resolution. The resolution called for a solution to the conflict from within the League, and warned against outside intervention. On 6 August UN Resolution 661 placed economic sanctions on Iraq.

A long series of UN Security Council resolutions and Arab League resolutions were passed regarding the invasion. One of the most important was Resolution 678, passed on 29 November giving Iraq a withdrawal deadline of 15 January 1991, and authorizing “all necessary means to uphold and implement Resolution 660,” a diplomatic formulation authorizing the use of force.

The United States, especially Secretary of State James Baker, assembled a coalition of forces to join it in opposing Iraq, consisting of forces from 34 countries: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Kuwait, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Spain, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States itself.[16] Although they did not contribute any forces, Japan and Germany made financial contributions totaling $10 billion and $6.6 billion respectively. US troops represented 73% of the coalition’s 956,600 troops in Iraq. Many of the coalition forces were reluctant to join; some felt that the war was an internal Arab affair, or did not want to increase US influence in the Middle East. In the end, many nations were persuaded by Iraq’s belligerence towards other Arab states, fear of the US, offers of economic aid or debt forgiveness, and threats to withhold aid.

On 12 January 1991 the United States Congress authorized the use of military force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. The votes were 52-47 in the US Senate and 250-183 in the US House of Representatives. These were the closest margins in authorizing force by the Congress since the War of 1812. Soon after, the other states in the coalition also followed suit.

The 1991 Gulf War ended in a cease-fire agreement, ratified by the UN Security Council as Resolution 687. The cease-fire was conditional upon Iraq's acceptance of the provisions of the Resolution. Some of those provisions included:

Requiring Iraq to dismantle all WMD and all long-range missiles *under international supervision* (article C).
Requiring Iraq to abandon all future WMD programs (article C)
Comply with UN restrictions on the importation of conventional weapons (article F)
Permanently abandon support for terrorism (article H)

there was no peace treaty following As the cease-fire, the Gulf War coalition retained the right under international law to resume hostilities if Iraq violated the terms of the cease-fire.

The United States and Coalition Forces were well within their rights under the cease fire agreement signed in 1991 to go into Iraq in 2003 and enforce that agreement. Now if one makes the argument that the USA was less than articulate in making its case for the invasion you then may have a valid point. But there are many justifiable reasons based on international and US law to the war in Iraq.

So in short just because you hate America, George W. Bush, Coke, McDonald's or whatever else gets your panties in a bunch has nothing to do with the facts behind the legitimacy of the war in Iraq.

Emotionally I refuse to allow someone to enter MY INTERNET HOME even for one second and presume to infer that I, David Bellavia or any other Solider doing their duty is a murderer. What passes as rational thought for some in this country and the world at large is often fueled by hate and the illogical reasoning based on assumptions that simply aren't true.

For those emotionally equipped to handle rational thought there is more on the war in Iraq specifically the UN Resolutions involved HERE.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Girl Friday, 20 MAR 09

Another week gone from March. I'm on leave so every day is Friday, but just for you here is that end of the week special presentation at least some of you have been waiting for...Girl Friday!

This Friday, Nicole Marie Lenz graces us with her presence.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mustangs, Mustangs, Mustangs!

Check out the latest from the "Cat in the Hat". Jack Roush's gang has released pics of the 2010 Roush 427R Mustang. Looks pretty good...

Here are the specs from the Roush website:

The ROUSH 2010 427R™ Mustang will be the first in the lineup of new ROUSH® 2010 Mustangs to have a ROUSHcharger® installed which boosts the horsepower to 435 and offers 400 lb.-ft. of torque. This is the first time that ROUSH has been able to offer a supercharged vehicle at the launch of a new body style.

Under the hood customers will see many differences in the ROUSH 2010 427R Mustang compared to previous years. One of the biggest changes is that the long air induction tube that wrapped around the engine was eliminated making a much cleaner appearance under the hood. The intercooler reservoir has more than twice the volume of previous generations, and the intercooler itself is a single core cross-flow radiator which means more efficient cooling. It is substantially larger than on prior model years, and is now raised higher off the ground which should offer much less potential for road debris damage. Even the hoses on the ROUSH 2010 427R have seen an upgrade; they are all now 100 percent molded rubber with abrasion resistance and have imprinted markings for things like the clamp locations. This makes for even more of a true OEM appearance under the hood, and ROUSH has taken this factory appearance to the degree of matching the Ford grain on the OEM radiator reservoir and duplicated it on the one used by the intercooler. Although much of the 4.6L, 3V powertrain components are a carryover from that used on the 2005-2009 ROUSH Mustangs, customers will notice much more refinement and OEM-level quality materials and appearance on the new ROUSHcharged™ engines. This new 427R™ is be covered by a 3-year/36,000 mile warranty...

...This package also includes an all-new suspension package to greatly enhance the handling of the vehicle and turn that daily commute into a slalom course. The ROUSH chassis engineering team has driven tens of thousands of miles on the streets and tracks to create the best blend of comfort and handling, and claim that this is the best suspension package they have come up with yet for the Mustang. A ROUSH wheel hop reduction kit will be included with all vehicles that have the upgraded ROUSH suspension package installed at the factory

You can get all of that for around $43K.

To downside for me is that even though the car looks really good (better than mine, I think) and it produces more power, it still doesn't have IRS and it's heavier than my '03 SVT. If I didn't have a 'Stang already, I'd definately think about one of these. It's compairable to the Shelby ones and you aren't paying out the wazoo for the Shelby name. Pretty cool car.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I've Got Friends In Low Places

I'm sure the safety nazis just love this video.

NSFW...gratuitous swearing included in this at no extra charge. If you are around sensitive ears I would suggest muting the audio...but you'll miss out on the Ozzy soundtrack as well. Yeah, it's a trade-off.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St Patty's Day!

I can't send you green beer, but I can provide a hot Irish babe singing...

Fixed with new video.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

A Good Bad Movie



All Hail Voodoo Warrior

If you are in the mood for some interesting commentary go see my good friend '67 Cougar at his new blog Voodoo Warrior.



Sunday, March 15, 2009

Is This Guy Still Alive?!?

Via The Mudville Gazette.

If we could be heroes
by Greyhawk

Yes - Andy Rooney is at it again:

We don't have many heroes these days because there isn't much opportunity to be a hero and most people aren't usually heroic anyway.
It may be helpful to understand Rooney's definition of a hero. "Being heroic," he says, "means doing something that risks your own life while you're saving someone else's." I'd add that perhaps doing something you don't have to do that risks your life while you're saving someone else's (or even just trying to save someone else's) could be a better definition.

"In World War II we had a lot of heroes because there were a lot of opportunities to be heroic" writes Rooney, but as for now "we all must have the same attributes we've always had but I guess people don't have the opportunity to be heroic in peace as they do in war."

And if you're tempted to shout that we are indeed at war today - save your breath. I said "at it again" because Rooney dismissed today's soldiers as potential heroes back in 2004:

Treating soldiers fighting their war as brave heroes is an old civilian trick designed to keep the soldiers at it....

We pin medals on their chests to keep them going. We speak of them as if they volunteered to risk their lives to save ours, but there isn't much voluntary about what most of them have done. A relatively small number are professional soldiers. During the last few years, when millions of jobs disappeared, many young people, desperate for some income, enlisted in the Army. About 40 percent of our soldiers in Iraq enlisted in the National Guard or the Army Reserve to pick up some extra money and never thought they'd be called on to fight. They want to come home.
We must support our soldiers in Iraq because it's our fault they're risking their lives there. However, we should not bestow the mantle of heroism on all of them for simply being where we sent them. Most are victims, not heroes.

I don't how you can live to be as old as Andy Rooney and still be that stupid.

Are all soldiers heroes? No, they are not. I'm here to tell you just like the rest of society there are some reprehensible characters in our armed forces. But, by and large we are a force of dedicated individuals who signed up to do a job most people would never even consider.

If Mister Rooney wants to see some heroes there are plenty of them. You can read some of their stories in places like THIS.

Really these stories aren't that hard to find...If you WANT to find them.

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Name The One Thing Men Want To See...

I don't care what you say...that is funny.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

I Wanna Be In The Cavalry

Pretty cool stuff...even if I really don't like that musical genre. He has a couple of others especially one called Horse Soldier that are worth a listen especially if you are into the history thing.

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Girl Friday, 13 MAR 09

Good morning, everyone. It's another weekend and it's little over a month until I'm off on another adventure.

To celebrate the end of this week Amy Sue Cooper stops in to say hello.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Appearances are deceiving

While you may think I have been doing absolutely nothing in the blog world...there is another option I would encourage you to check out.

Threedonia.com, yeah these clowns gave me the keys to the site and while they engage in often boring discussions involving politics and religion (yeah, I know try to stay awake), I still revel in the same low-brow rank stuff you've come to know and love around here. SO check it out and comment if you feel like it.

Rest assured I will still post here as well...this site remains open for business and will stay that way for the foreseeable future. So stay tuned for more Girl Friday and other assorted affronts to selected sensibilities.



Sunday, March 08, 2009

Hot Laps?

As many of you know, I have written many times about my appreciation of the charms of one Pilar Lastra, Playboy Magazine's Miss August 2004. She also has a continuing series on Playboy.com called "Hot Laps" where she lets us in on current automotive happenings.

As you may also be aware of, I am a Ford aficionado, I own Fords and have owned Fords my entire driving life with the exclusion of a short stay in Korea where I was forced to drive a Diawoo or some sort of locally made auto. I currently own an '03 SVT Mustang (see below) and an '09 Escape.

Why mention all of this, that you may or may not find the least bit interesting?

In the latest edition of Hot Laps, Pilar takes us to the Chicago Auto Show and in the entire 6 minute 56 second presentation fails to mention a Ford vehicle or take her clothes off. WTF?!?

Honestly I didn't expect or demand that she take her clothes off. But if you are at an Auto Show and producing a show about the auto show isn't there at least some responsibility to show at least one product from all the major participants? Was Ford not present? Does Playboy have something against Ford? At least Ford should be given props for not taking any bailout money. If I wasn't already a Ford man that alone would push me in the direction of buying a car from the blue oval. Her taking her clothes off may have made up for that oversight with me...not sure though.

Why would I choose to even notice or comment on this? Hell, I don't know but I did notice and while it isn't the end of the world...things like this usually have a reason, and I wonder what it might be. Curious.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009


At a social event a couple of days ago, I was chastened as to my lack of production blog-wise. My apologies.

I was in order of march, in California at the National Training Center, At a command post exercise at Fort Rucker Alabama and most recently packing my office and loading a container in preparation for overseas movement.

In the near future there will be another break in service...for that I apologise in advance.