holidays

pink boxers and war

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every year the memorial day holiday seems to come around with ever increasing speed. other holidays do too. it’s one of those getting older things. however, memorial day
is somehow a much more personal holiday to those of us who served in one of our never ending wars.

this first appeared a number of years ago and was re-run a couple of years ago. yeah, i have other tales of my time overseas like, the old west meets the old east, and others still unwritten. however, desire and and the muse must first meet for them to see daylight. which may or may not ever happen.

at any rate, happy memorial day to all who’ve served especially to all who gave everything. to my nam brothers and sisters, welcome home. once again.

jmh

while noodling around yesterday i came across the yahoo, and elsewhere, story of a young soldier over in the middle east who went to his firing position in his boxers and flip flops, during a fire fight.  seems like the secretary of defense, robert gates, is all a gog over the situation.  he’s happy about it.  well, it’s memorial day weekend or more to the point, dead soldier weekend, and i guess they needed to sound pro troopers and military.  plus, i’m sure folks everywhere are getting a kick out of the story. 

it makes me think back to my time in nam.  i’ve written any number of things about that experience here and other places.  if you are a regular, i have no intention of bothering you with details you may or may not remember.  if you aren’t a regular reader, you can always go through the archives or rummage through the vault.  or just wait for me to trot the old stuff out again.  but i digress. 

while attached to macv advisory team 48, in nam, we had this major on the compound.  he was either s-3 or s-1 or s-2.  military jargon for stuff.  not really important to this story.  other than the fact, he got his pink boxers all tied up in a knot about us peons and other soldiers hitting our firing positions in levi’s and flip flops, bermuda shorts, flip flops and no shirt(my personal favorite) or other variations of civilian attire, or maybe just our regulation gi boxers and flip flops, during alerts. 

yeah, civilian attire.  it was macv and they didn’t care what you wore on the compound if you weren’t on duty or working.  well, most of them.  any the ways, this particular major was not happy about the way we fell out during those alerts.  he made it his mission to see that we all hit our firing positions and bunkers in full regulation military gear.  yes, sirree.  no more of this civilian attire or gi boxer nonsense.  there was a war going on after all, and said war, demanded we be properly dressed for the occasion because mr charlie might not like it.  boy, howdy.   

said major, even held a few ‘practice alerts’ and those ‘practice alerts’ weren’t over until he personally inspected each position to see if things were being done to his strict liking.  yes, indeed.  practice alerts for dress code violations in a war zone.  no showing up with your weapon and ammo in boxers.  nope, not for that major.  not good enough.  thank you jesus.  thank you, lord, for some damn fine smoke and drink to help us all through the night.

well, we suffered through a couple of his practice alerts held in the middle of the night.  a lot of pissed off troops and lifers as well.  yeah, he wanted every swinging dick on board for his madness. 

as it turned out, things were very quiet during the time of his practice alert stuff and everyone passed with flying colors.  like what else were we gonna do?  frag him?  it was bullshit but it wasn’t worth a capital crime and/or offense. 

one night, a few weeks after all the hoopla about the dress code and fighting charlie, i was working the night shift in the commo bunker.  at the time, macv was using our commo bunker for their toc(tactical operation center) while their toc was getting a face-lift.  charlie or the nva, lobbed a few rockets or mortars into our general vicinity. 

the alert was sounded and it was all hands on deck.  everyone was to go to their alert positions and deal with whatever in full military uniform.  thankfully, due to the practice alerts, it was decided, by my signal sargent, my alert position would be in the commo bunker.  lucky me, i was already up, working, in uniform, where i was supposed to be and with my m-16 and ammo.  woo hoo!!

the incoming rocked my little world but i just opened my secret area door and casually leaned on the door jam to watch the deal go down.  a total lapse of military protocol but whatever.  i was probably somewhat loaded and had been listening to, ‘spooky tooth’, and reading porn at the time.  another breech of protocol i’m sure.

on a side bar drift, the secret area was a perfect place to have a nice non-legal smoke.  or take a nap.  we had it set up so even if you were dead an alarm of sorts would wake you.  though in hindsight it wasn’t necessary.  incoming was incoming and could wake a dead man.  count on it.

the drifts just keep on coming.  WD40.  the perfect weapon cleaner, for us lazy folks, was also a very good and efficient smoke cover-up.  better than incense.  yeah, ok.  i did take my m-16 down to the firing pin assembly at regular intervals and properly cleaned it.  so there.  i could be a good soldier if i felt like it.  my life depended upon it.      

at any rate, i was just waiting for orders and THE word to send something to somebody somewhere about something or another via my secure radio teletype.  real alerts were always something.  some worse than others.  but always angsty and an adrenaline rush regardless.  while i was standing in my doorway watching stuff, in came the major of dress code and practice alert fame. 

ah, yes, goddamn.  he was resplendent in his steel pot, m-16, ammo, un-tied jungle boots, gi issued undershirt and boxers.  yep.  that’s it.  nada mas.  no one, of course, said a word about his poorly dressed alert apparel.  lots of subtle snickering to be sure but not a word.  after that night, it went back to come as you are for alerts, and the only thing that mattered was the m-16 or some other weapon with plenty of ammo when you got to where you were supposed to be.

it’s interesting to see how things have or haven’t changed.  i wonder how melvin laird would have felt?  or perhaps dean rusk?  or macnamara?  at any rate, it’s dead soldier day weekend.  a time to say a prayer for those brothers in arms who never made it back.  a time to say just how much you appreciate the sacrifice of those who didn’t come back and those who are serving or have served and did come back.  whole or not.  seems like none of us ever come back whole.  a tragic veer if there ever was one. 

dead soldier weekend.  a proud american tradition since the civil war from whence it got it’s origins.  you may not like war, this current one in particular.  you may even be in the support the troops but not the war politically correct crowd.  tell you what.  god bless the child that wears his boxers to a fire fight.  at least he showed up and was ready for trouble.  god bless anyone who even shows up for the coming fire fights.     

make no mistake, it’s not what you wear to a fight.  it’s what you do when you get there.  happy memorial day weekend!!  light a candle for america. 

jmh

2013-14 college football bowl game picks & predictions

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at long last we finally see the BCS BS drift out to sea with the tide on a flaming funeral pyre worthy of king odin himself. adieu, sweet BCS. we come not mourn it but to bury it. ah well, cheap prose aside, the brinks trucks will still be backing up to off load their small, used, and completely laundered cash to all the deans, AD’s, conference commissioners, TV executives, and all the other assorted college football hangers-on across this once great land. however, one of the great axioms of life, be careful what you wish for, looms around the corner. though that corner won’t be around till next year at this time.

bowl season. the extracurricular college football season meant to line the pockets of everyone far and wide in the land of the halls of ivy. of course, if you haven’t played your cards right you’re left out in the bowl cold. no golden cash cow for you, pilgrim. perhaps next year. or the year after. the carrot is dangled. hope springs eternal in the gloomy halls of the have nots and wannabes. next year, kids. next year.

i used to love bowl games. not anymore. yeah, there’s a handful i’ll tune into every year but the list grows shorter with the passing of time. plus i have a new wrinkle, this year DISH has added HBO on demand to their menu. woo hoo. ‘the sopranos’ in their six seasons of glory all there for the viewing. i have something else to watch now instead of my meager few bowl games. works for me. pass the dago red. i only have until december 31st or that’s what they say before tony and crew vanish. sure, i’ve got the whole thing in a boxed DVD set. but who knows how to run a DVD player anymore? ours just sits there like some brick-a-brack collecting dust so the cleaning lady can make the occasional feeble stab at dusting it.

yes, i know. you aren’t here for that. you want a bowl line-up run down. fine with me. you’ll get one. not all of them but a few i may or may not actually tune into while waiting for the next episode of ‘the sopranos’ to download. another sad fact of life is most of the bowl games are junk junkets at best. crack whores dressed as sexily clad sirens luring hicks and hucksters alike to warmer climes. come. spend your cash. watch your team play some other 6 and 6 team. either team may or may not be into said bowl or even playing football this time of year. but who cares? not us. bring your money on down. be drunken sailors on leave for a few days or better yet, a week. so what if you end up with a DUI or herpes or a six inch gash on the back of your head from that full can of PBR lobbed in your general direction during half time while you stood in line for 25 minutes so you could pee in a trough urinal with 10 or 15 of your new best friends. sweet. it doesn’t get any better than that. right? boy howdy, i’ll wager not.

it’s all about the money, kids. with some other stuff thrown in for good measure. football is on the list. somewhere. you may have to do some digging and if you’re very lucky you may even find it. off the top of my head i’m thinking you’ll probably find jimmy hoffa before you’ll find any football.

i don’t waste my time with points or spreads or whatever with the bowl games. just straight up picks. for those that are still reading and maybe even care a tad my overall percentage for my picks this season ended up at 61.3%. a good 10 points above my usual mediocrity.

rock ‘n’ roll.

12-21 las vegas bowl. fresno st vs usc. i may watch this game. or some of it. to bad cajun ed isn’t still around. the sark hire by the trojans is a head scratcher for sure. take the trojans. FIGHT ON!!!

12-30 alamo bowl. oregon vs texas. the ducks need to win this game in order to quell the ‘it’s a coaching problem’ talk. QUACK!!! QUACK!!!

12-31 sun bowl. virginia tech vs ucla. coach mora got a wagon load of money to stay at ucla. if he hadn’t he would have replaced sark in seattle. take ucla.

12-31 chick-fil-a bowl. miami vs texas a&m. one i’ll probably watch. it’s either johnny boys last college game or he begins his heisman campaign anew. hopefully, the month lay off hasn’t raised more issues with his off field behavior. take the aggies.

1-1 capital one bowl. s. carolina vs wisconsin. i’m hoping the capital one guys will be trotting out some new commercials as they’re generally good for a few laughs. the game? take the badgers.

1-1 the rose bowl. michigan st vs stanford. the grand pappy of em all. one i usually watch or at least some of it anyway. though no matter how snooty the bib and tucker crowd in pasadena tries to make the day it’s just another lackluster stab at debauchery and the dry heaves while running for some faded roses who’s smell was bred out of them years ago. there’s a kentucky derby simile in there some place. le gran pooh bah. the stale old vichy french could do no better. as the day drags on i suppose a game lurks about somewhere. the PAC(8)(10)12 vs the BIG 10(12)(?). the storied rivalry of your great grandparents played on the first day of the new born year. the san gabriel mountains glisten in the winter sun as a backdrop. they actually do turn purple as the sun sinks into the pacific. every year i pray for a deluge of biblical proportions if only to stem the tide of snowbirds fed up with their snow and cold. sadly,rain hasn’t happened in decades on jan 1. besides it’s already to late. that train left the tracks back in the early 60’s. however, it won’t stop me from my yearly ritual. the game? screw it. at this point who cares? not i, pilgrim. not i. however, if you do take stanford for the win.

1-6 BCS championship game. florida st vs auburn. the last one of it’s kind. ever. or that’s the thinking. though i guess there’s a possibility of it returning if the next deal doesn’t pan out. get real, that is a possibility. lots of stuff returns. kinda like the ‘touristas’ if you aren’t careful. hmmm. i don’t much care for this game and haven’t watched it in years. neither should you. why? it happens way too long after the season is over. plus, i’ll be busy getting ready for elvis’ birthday on the 8th. come on over. there’ll be drinks. way way to much fattening food. bowl upon bowl of all manner of pills. maybe even some demerol. that by the way is all a joke. i digress. the game itself is one long TV commercial with a few moments of football tossed in every once in a while. you could DVR it and watch it later but why? meh. let’s see. the rose bowl committee, escorts, and strippers from all over the world get another shot at fleecing the poor folk who come into town for the game. yeah, it off loads plenty of cash into the local economy. but you have to ask yourself, is it all worth it? probably not. yes, the chambers of commerce scalawags would argue otherwise. that’s their prerogative. and job. mine is to avoid them and their ilk whenever possible. i won’t be watching but i’d take florida st to win.

thanks for reading this and all my other football insanity this year. some of you get it. others, well, you know. i hope all of you have a joyous and merry christmas season. i hope santa brings you everything you want. sure why not? right? i also hope you have a healthy and prosperous new year. be safe. be semi sane. i’ll see you in nine months or so.

jmh

sex and/or theatre(?) pt 4, the coda

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for those of you who’ve stuck with this insanity from my past this is the final chapter of my guerrilla theatre days. ah, actually that isn’t true there is one more story. but not for today. ok. so, in addition to the lipstick i’ve added a photo at the end to give some perspective to the story. thanks again for reading. i do appreciate it. from exactly 44 years ago and some other fourth of july weekend, the final chapter.

jmh

this is it the long awaited conclusion to this old sad tale of mis-spent youth. oddly just a short demented portion of said youth. i think it might be a bit anti-climatic at this point but, whatever, it must be done and finished. for whatever reasons, if nothing more than to make me stop thinking i have to finish the fucker. clear the decks as it were or is.

the jfk theatre sorta evolved over a couple or 3 years into several things. it morphed into the abe lincoln deal a few times and that really was theatre on a couple of levels. we tossed in mckinley, as well, which was a short and sweet sorta jack ruby type thing. speaking of jack ruby, we stayed away from that one. i suppose there just wasn’t enough drink to bring us to the point of reeling that one off for the viewing public. tangents and an industrial strength mall coffee jazz working here.

regular readers may remember a certain lady, who for a number of years was a weekly source for buying us all the booze we wanted and gave us a place to drink it. any the ways, at different points she would do road trips. the more famous of them were trips to rosarito beach in ensanada, baja california. i never made one of those as i was usually working for my walking around money. those trips were famous for their drunkenness and upon occasion their almost deadly fireworks. however, i did manage to make one of the road trips though. 4th of july, 1966.

not baja but carlsbad state beach here in south socal or north san diego county. a nice beach campground that sits up on a cliff above the sand and water. i spent an easter holiday there in 1964 during and after the great alaskan earthquake. we sat up most of the night waiting for the tidal wave that turned out to be only inches high. thankfully. carlsbad is not one of my favorite beaches because the water sits at the foot of the cliffs and there isn’t much breeze or air down there on a hot summer day. generally it gets hot enough to melt the wax on a surfboard. that’s hot. though up on the top of the cliff there’s usually a nice stiff ocean breeze. well, the beach deal was set up. seemed like everyone was going. a large contingent indeed. i think we all knew this was probably going to be the swan song for a number of things and it turned out to be so. after all who doesn’t want to miss a swan song?

several people who didn’t have to work, made it down a day or so before hand to set up the encampment. encampment was what it was. the lady was a marine during ww2 and once a marine, always a marine. a very nice camp site. several very large tents, one for the ladies and one for the boys to men, and windbreaks, plus all the almost comforts of home. even a list of ten or so dos and don’ts for the camp site was prominently posted. we arrived on the scene late in the afternoon. several carloads of us. they almost didn’t let us in. some of the group were not 18 and no one in any of the cars was 21 to act as chaperon or responsible party. the lady had to be found and then come down to the main gate and get us in. the only trouble with that was, it put us the park ranger’s radar screen. bad juju, indeed.

the campground was packed as it was the 4th and a long weekend. we unloaded our stuff and for some reason or another, the muses again i suppose, we decided to give the assembled campers a nice rousing rendition of the jfk dallas deal. stone cold sober. in and of itself a first. we had a nice stretch of straight narrow road. several cars, no the chocolate bomb was not one of them. sadly. though we did have a vw with a sunroof. it became the lincoln. squirt guns. a captive audience as it were and the stupidity of youth to pull it off.

i must say the performance was inspired. so inspiring that some of it wasn’t even a part of the original tragedy, like secret service agents being shot and falling off the cars into the sand. yes, indeed, a true spectacle of youth gone insane and wild. mouths were agape. some strange sort of weird madness had fallen across the collective camper consciousness of mr and mrs america that late friday afternoon. something they had not been prepared for in the least. something that made their heads swirl with utter befuddlement and wonder at the crazed scene unfolding right before their very eyes. a scene they had not counted on ever seeing i suppose. yes, well, what can i say? other than the park rangers were far from amused.

in hindsight, i’m glad this was before the time when california park rangers started packing side arms. they probably would have shot us just on general principles. i also imagine when it was being debated as to whether or not rangers should have a side arm the, ‘carlsbad incidents’, (yes, there were more, incidents) were brought up as proof positive park rangers needed guns to save the unsuspecting public from brain addled youths. yes, of course, i whole hardily concur now a days but that’s a drift.

ah, johnny law, at his most perturbed is at times a sight to behold. even to this day. they swooped, from it seemed, everywhere all at once. a very almost swat like tactic. they probably didn’t realize they had it in them but the true spectacle of human weirdness was upon the campground and it was their duty. we were collared and they demanded to know who was in charge. of course, the lady marine was not happy. she was ready for our stupidity when we were drunk but sober was another story. now she had park rangers tramping through her fire base, as it were. looking around.

then one of them spotted the posted ‘list’. he demanded to know what it was, who put it up, and just what the hell was up with number 9. you have to remember these were simpler times and things were just beginning to come unglued at the hinges for america. for you see, rule 9 on the list, in bold print, stated to all concerned: NO FARTING IN THE TENTS. god, the horror. but none the less a simple and common courtesy for your fellow campers. drunk or sober. a rule that should be known to all in the camp. anyways, the lady marine had had it with us, now she’d had it with the rangers. she went ballistic. the rangers retreated but put everyone on super secret probation and handed out a stern warning.

well, with all the pre-dinner sordidness everyone was walking on eggshells at dinner and clean up time. when it came time for drinking, it was a very somber affair indeed. there’s nothing worse than somber drinking for underage drinkers. it adds to the already pent up youthful anxieties and all the angst needs to come screaming out at some point. scream out it did at 0600 hrs the next morning.

there were so many of us there wasn’t room in the tents for all of us to sleep. i was one several who slept outside the tent by the edge of the cliff nestled nicely in the arms of cold beach sand. i was still asleep when i was blasted awake by a squirt gun and screaming. everyone’s 6am wake up call was a re-enactment of the storming of the beaches of iwo jima. yeah, it was in reverse as those doing the show were running, shooting, screaming, and jumping off the cliff only to land a few feet below on a nice sandy lip area. then scampering back up and doing it again. yes, indeed. early morning madness.

the only thing saving the day was the fact that the rangers hadn’t arrived for work as yet. though of course, when they did arrive they paid the camp a visit. technicalities were back then, as they still are today, rule the day. they had not actually seen the rampant insanity with their own eyes so we were granted a stay in being asked to leave the park. post haste. more super secret probation and dire warnings all around should we fuck up or around any further.

yep, we were little angels for the rest of the day. lady marine was not camping happily. especially when we started to mess with the ladies in the group. telling them stories of the dreaded snapping sea land crabs that infested the beach down below. it kept them up on the cliff and out of our hair. though the marine was not happy with them in her hair all day. night came again and more drinking was in order.

that evening it was more of the drinking on a usual basis type deal. vast amounts of whatever. we maintained a sort of decorum however. nothing untoward as we knew it meant an early departure if we screwed up or around. though some of us couldn’t help but go down to the surf line to watch the fishermen do their night surf thing. we would chat one up for a bit and he would gather his stuff and leave. being to drunk to notice we’d just shrug and wander off to the next fisherman. who after a bit did the same thing. this went on until we were the only people left on the beach. left to our own devices. left to our own insanity.

what better way than to show our drunken disregard for the rangers and everyone else’s lack of a sense of humor, then to write stuff in the sand in letters 3 feet high, in order to let everyone know just how fucked up they were or are. the tide was gonna come in an wash it away, right? so what the fuck? rock and roll.

the next morning we awoke to large groups of folks standing on the cliff pointing down toward the water. uh, yeah, the tide had already come in the night before so our insane pornographic ramblings were still visible for everyone to read that morning with their coffee. another visit from the rangers, of course. technicalities once again saving us. no one could prove anything. no one could prove we were the culprits. ipso facto we got off. however, the lady marine was livid. making the rest of that day and night almost unbearable. so unbearable we plotted against the lady marine. what else is a poor boy to do?

it was decided we would sabotage the move out when it came. one of us was to stay with the ladies and help with the tent striking stuff. the rest of us were leaving in the morning. that night we rigged up the main tent so that whoever was inside during the take down would end up underneath the collapsing tent. a sure fire knee slapper that we would not be around to see. as for the guy that was supposed to be helping, he would be off wandering the beach having forgotten it was time to decamp the camp. brilliant. it worked perfectly. only trouble was the poor lad had to drive home in the same car with the lady. she was so pissed she had to let him drive. something she never did on any outing. lady marines always drive.

ok. there it is in all of it’s mad glory. the completed story. it’s out there now and i can forget about it. well, writing about it anyways.

carlsbad state park as it appears today. there was no fence back in 1966.

jmh

a memorial day video

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my friend ozark sent me this video in an email this morning. musically it kicks some ass. emotionally it kicks some ass as well, especially for us vietnam vets, whom the song is about. and for our vietnam era brothers and sisters. i hope you watch it and pass it along this memorial day weekend.

there are many veterans out there that need our help. it seems that the feds, the folks that start the shit, want to cut us out of the herd more and more every day. fine. so be it. let’s all try and do more for each other.

raise a glass and remember the fallen this weekend. remember them every day.

to all of my vietnam vet brothers and sisters, i hope we all one day find peace.

watch here

dead soldier weekend (another phase[?])

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dead soldier weekend is this coming weekend. time to honor those that gave their all for this once great nation. i was thinking about just trotting out an oldie from the vault and adding something about this sad sacred weekend. it is sad to some of us in many ways. maybe it should be for you as well. lift a glass to those who’ve fought and died for this nation. it’s the least you can do.

on a lighter note, for this dead soldier weekend instead of a repeat i’m going to give you a small and maybe semi amusing story from my time in vietnam. the astute among you might notice that the title of this epistle is the same title from a few years ago. the only difference here are the grammatical marks and the story itself.

i was attached to MACV Advisory Team 48, located in Ham Tan, South Vietnam. i’ve been down that road many times before in this blog. and i’ve written about various things over the years concerning my time spent there. i hadn’t thought about this particular incident in a long time. i got to thinking about it while the brown eyed girl and i were watching ‘army wives’ the other night. yeah, it’s a soap and i’ll sit and watch it on occasion. some episodes are pretty good. like the one ann margaret was in a few weeks ago. if you don’t know who ann margaret is you should google her. but i digress. the show we were watching was about USO shows and the iraq war.

during my year in ham tan we had a few USO acts come out every now and again. no one famous. usually just some filipino rock band trying to play top forty cover tunes while trying to stay in tune. ah, well, enough alcohol and smoke will make just about anything seem palatable on any number of levels. plus, it was good PR for the americans to welcome some of the local vietnamese onto the the small compound, at night, for some free grub and music. which of course, was all well and good.

just down the dirt road from us was a Navy Seabee unit. a great bunch of guys if there ever was one. sadly, i can’t remember their unit designation, if i could i’d give them the props they deserve. the seabee detachment was Seabee Team 03-21, many thanks to terry at http://www.seabee-rvn.com, i do appreciate it. at any rate, some of them would usually come up into our compound at night to drink and watch the nightly movie. some of us, on the other hand, were invited to drop by their place on the weekend to hang out and eat some decent chow for a change. a few of us even volunteered to ride shotgun for them several times. all in all, things worked out rather well. a very nice army/navy relationship.

the seabees would also always come over for the USO shows. why not? well, after a couple of the filipino band shows, several folks began to wonder about some other acts that might be available to venture out to us for an evenings entertainment. wonder indeed. wonder say, why not a band and a stripper? yeah, why not?

when the wonder actually got around to the asking it became very clear that the province senior advisor, an army bird colonel, would not have any such action taking place on army property while he was in command. no ifs and or buts, soldiers. sure we grumbled and bitched and figured, well, that was it. or so we thought. always remember, kids, that it ain’t over till it’s over and the stripper gets naked.

the seabee guys found out we couldn’t get the deal done so they cranked it up on their end and got a band, with a stripper, signed up to come out a few weeks down the road on a saturday afternoon. it had to be held in the early afternoon due to the logistics of getting them back to saigon before dark. the other bands stayed over as guests of the locals. but they didn’t have a stripper in tow. ah, yes, catholic and buddhist sensibilities along with proper decorum.

all of us army guys were, of course, invited to the up coming show. however, when the colonel found out he told the seabees they could forget about it. they then told him to kindly fuck off. they were navy and the show would be on navy property, thank you. and you, colonel, are not invited and have no further say in the matter. yes, siree. a regular dust up with a bunch of telephone traffic between the colonel and some higher ups in the navy.

as it turned out, the army colonel made a minor inroad. he got the navy to agree that there probably shouldn’t be a stripper involved. and the seabees agreed to this new wrinkle. wink wink. they would follow their officer’s wishes. officers who would be no where near ham tam come time for the afternoon show. the colonel? he was still missing from the guest list.

when the day of the show arrived the seabees got an early start and set up a stage. then they proceeded to line every piece of their heavy equipment along the wire that separated their compound from the road. a virtual wall of road graders and water tankers among other vehicles, thus pretty much sealing off the compound. and making it very hard for any lookie loos to get a good look, if any, at just what was going beyond the wire inside the compound.

we all showed up early for the festivities. eager to see the band and more importantly the stripper. who turned out to be a very lovely filipino lady. while we sat around drinking beer waiting for show-time, the colonel made at least three passes in his jeep trying like hell to see just what the fuck was going on inside the compound. he may or may not have been told to fuck off even further by the seabees but he never did see any of the show. and a fine show it was. i can assure you that amazingly enough, no gaudy debauchery occurred, before, during, or after the show. just your usual band with a stripper and a bunch of semi tanked up soldiers appreciating their show.

i wish i could tell you that the story had a happy ending. but, sadly, after the show, the colonel told the seabees they weren’t going to be allowed back on the army compound. his compound. and he told us we weren’t allowed to go on to the navy’s property any longer. what a fine mess. and what a fine ass hole he was.

yes, yet another anti-climatic true nam story from yours truly. just another of those, it is what it is stories, brought to you by the now defunct san bernardino county, ca draft board.

raise a glass and toast all the dead soldiers from all the wars. honor them all. they gave everything so we would still have the freedom to raise that glass and toast them. a simple thing to be sure and something that needs to be done more often than one weekend in may.

jmh

the following is a cut and paste from http://www.usmemorialday.org thanks to my friend, dfr, for turning me on to it.

HEADQUARTERS GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868

The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.” What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of
time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from hishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation’s gratitude, the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.

It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.
By order of

JOHN A. LOGAN,
Commander-in-Chief

N.P. CHIPMAN,
Adjutant General

Official:
WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.

christmas cheer and/or i’m the trashman

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i hadn’t planned on writing anything else until after christmas.  i thought i’d be too busy today.  turns out things are well under control at the brown eyed girls place so here i am.  lucky me.  at any rate, i’ll go back there later today and spend christmas eve drinking euro-lander beer and eating tamales with her and kayla the cat.  i’m not sure how that’s going to work out taste wise but whatever.  we need the space in the reefer for christmas day stuff.  the beer has to go.  no, the cat will not be fed beer and/or tamales.  though on the other hand some beer might chill her out.

i may have a bit of christmas cheer before the beer.  then again maybe i’d better not.  never mix.  never worry.  a good credo to live by if there ever was one.  long time readers know i’m a big fan of absolut vodka.  what can i say?  over the years i’ve always heard that grey goose is the vodka of choice among the truly hip and delusional.  i mean guys like howard stern and colin cowherd sing praise about gray goose.  had i been missing something?

maybe if i started drinking gray goose i would become truly hip and even more delusional.  maybe i’d get a sirius radio show or espn or sports illustrated would come a calling with a nice fat sports writing contract.  well, shit.  it was time for me to buy me some of that grey goose stuff and get the money train a rollin’.  so that’s what i did.

a few weeks ago we were at costco, a big warehouse store here in so cal.  it’s just like a sam’s club or something.  we were wandering around in the place and i spotted some grey goose.  honey, i’m gonna get a bottle of grey goose.  babe, it ain’t cheap.  yeah, i know but if i’m ever gonna be truly hip and more delusional i’m gonna have to at least try the stuff.

grey goose is twice the price of absolut.  twice the price so it must be twice as good.  right?  one would think.  but trust me it isn’t the case.  i don’t like the stuff.  absolut is much smoother and tastier.  grey goose sucks.  oh, i’ll finish the damn bottle but i won’t have to like it.  no, siree.

what does it all mean?  it means that the truly hip and delusional are just that, delusional.  they may be hip but like tower of power sang years ago, ‘what is hip? tell me i want to know.’  jumping on the grey goose vodka wagon might be hip but it turns out to be just delusional at best.

are you reading this absolut vodka?  i strayed but i’ve seen the error in my ways.  i’m back and i’m still ready to go on that absolut vodka road trip and be a shill for your fine swill.  call me.  we can work it out.

i’m lucky enough to live in a town where you can recycle stuff the easy way.  you get a blue trash can and load it up with recycle able crap.   stick it out by the curb on trash day and the trash guys come around and dump it.  thus saving valuable space in the landfills for more important stuff like real trash.

i’ve gotten heavily into the trash recycling trip.  i spent years living in places where you couldn’t do that.  years of just going fuck it and throwing whatever into the trash can to be taken away.  mea culpa, as it were.  no, i’m not a global warming the sky is falling kinda guy.  nope not me.  i’m just sayin’ i’m happy as a clam to be doing something about trash.

now if i could only do something about paris hilton and her pink bentley.  but that’s a drift.  i fill my blue trash can up every week with all sorts of stuff from junk mail to used up vino bottles and crapola in between.  i’m happy to do it.  i even load the trunk up with stuff from the brown eyed girl’s place and drag it back here to toss it out in some sort of algore inspired delusional frenzy.  hell, he prolly doesn’t even recycle a damn thing.  wouldn’t surprise me at all.  nope.  he just flies around in his private jet making a gazillion dollars per speech about how we are fucking up the planet and we should be ashamed about that very idea.

hell, i’m more ashamed of the truly hip and delusional.  regular folks will eventually work shit out.  count on it.  the truly hip and delusional never will.  count on that as well.

my point to all this stuff?  do what you can.  do it as often as you can.  it’s as simple as that.  while you’re at it have a very merry christmas eve and day.  i wish you all peace.  may you find it this holiday.

jmh