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May 26th, 2008 | 4 Comments | Posted in History, Support the Troops

It was almost midnight when my world exploded and everything changed forever.

I was 22 and my squadron was out on deployment overseas. I remember very clearly that we were floating in the Indian Ocean and the night sky was perfect, you could see every star in the sky and I remember wishing that my parents and friends back home could see the sky that I got to see out here in the middle of nowhere.

I was heading up to the flight deck to join my shop on one of our birds that had a radar problem. I had to thread my way around all the airplanes on the flight deck because we had packed all of them up on the bow so that the fantail would be clear for our ‘unrep’ the next day – underway replenishment – food, band-aids, bullets and fuel. I was walking past an A-6 that had been pushed up into the beginning of the bow when the explosion hit and blasted me back and slammed me to the deck.

It was an almost surreal moment, I had my cranial helmet on so I didn’t crack my skull open on the deck and I remember looking up at the growing ball of fire and thinking “No, this can’t be real. This kind of shit only happens in the movies.” The fireball had extended across the entire deck in front of me and, I noticed later, had burn my exposed hair and smoked my clothing.

My training kicked in the next moment and I grabbed hold of a fire hose with a bunch of other guys who I didn’t recognize. The hose that came up on our left fanned the water over our heads to try and keep the fire from coming over the top of us and we aimed our hose and the deck and started sweeping back and forth. As soon as we got a layer of fire retardant down the burning fuel pouring out of the destroyed aircraft would just wash it away. We would sweep to the right and a river of fire would race in on the left, sweep to the left and it attacked on the right.

The image that will never leave me though is as we raced towards the fire shouting to each other I saw a person come out of the fire. He was engulfed by the flames and was quickly knocked down by some fellow sailors and they proceeded to smother the flames. I could hear him crying for someone to help him, crying for his mom and for god, but there was nothing I could do so instead I kept running. I ran at the fire and held onto the hose because I knew if I let go my courage would break and I would run as far away as I could get.

It seemed like forever but eventually the fire was out.  From first explosion to the time that the deck sprinkler system went off was fifteen or twenty minutes.

It was the next day I learned that two guys from our A-6 squadron were killed in the blast, and the guy that was burned was a kid from my squadron who I helped train for the flight deck.  His name was Chad Henderson and he had a girlfriend at home and had been planning to marry her when he got back. He had been saving all of his money while we were out so that he could afford the wedding. He was flown off and taken to Germany where we have one of the best burn centers in the world, but the burns were too bad and he passed away a few days after he got there.

The flight deck had been my playground for all that time, but from that day forward I knew that I was really playing in a minefield. When your 22 you think you are immortal until something like this brings you back down to earth. I won’t go into what caused the blast, it’s not really important now but I know that if I had been just a few steps further up the deck I would have been joining Chad. I think someone was watching over me that day.

Chad, I miss you buddy. TJ, Clay, Ron, Gonzo, Chester – take care my friends, our paths have parted but I still remember. Peaceful Memorial day to all of you

Animation Sunday

May 25th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Animation Stuff

Thought I would start trying to use Sundays to bring you all some animations you may not have seen.  so, today I present Kozo the Hippo from Duck studios.  It’s an old one, but still fun.

This shows what a really gifted group of animators can do, the body motion is perfect

Happy Birthday

May 24th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in The wife and I

Happy Birthday to the Wife-Woman.  Life is good  :)

New Hotness

May 23rd, 2008 | 3 Comments | Posted in ramblings

Just got a new case for my computer.  Well, to be honest I got the case a while back, but a very significant part was missing to hold the hard drives in so now that I finally got it I have migrated all the components from the old case to the new.

Old case had 5-80mm fans in it and sounded like a jet engine.  The new case has 4-120mm fans and is quiet as a whisper.  Plus it can hold 5 more fans if I want.  It’s sweet  😀

So – Old and Busted


New Hotness

And yes, that is a Marvin the Martian alarm clock on the desk – don’t make me shoot you with my Iridium P32 Space modulator

Schools Out for Summer!

May 14th, 2008 | 3 Comments | Posted in music, School

The last day of school is today and after this I’ll just have work and working out to deal with for about 3.5 months :)

Or course, I will still be working on Dawn of the Veg over the break because in the fall I have to do my review and that includes having all drawings, turnaround drawings, references and ideas mounted up professionally for display, I also have to have it in book form so the panel can look at it there as well as on two CDs.

Essentially the review is what gives you the green light to go ahead and do your senior thesis project. If the panel doesn’t approve it, you have to go back and do it again until you come up with something that they think is not only a doable project, but cohesive and meets the requirements for graduation. I have all the pieces for my project, now I just have to get them all polished up and ready to show to the world. I think I can do it in three months between work and workouts.

Now, you would think that because of the title to this post I would be rocking to Alice Cooper, but not this time. Right now my mood is more along the lines of Butthole Surfers.


Cuddle Parties?

May 11th, 2008 | 2 Comments | Posted in wimps, WTF

Apparently there is a segment of the population who needs to get in touch with their ‘inner child’ or, have not fully embraced their inner furry yet so they go instead to cuddle parties. What is a cuddle party you ask? Well, pop on over to Michelle Malkin and she can explain.

Three years ago, I blogged about an inane trend called “cuddle parties.”Yes, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds: A bunch of adults in pajamas getting in touch with their touchy-feely inner selves by snuggling up and spooning with strangers. (I know: Sounds like something the press corps groupies are dying to have with Barack Obama.)

All I can do is respond in my best Dr. Cox voice to this stupidity:

Oh. My. God, Nancy! I know that you never, ever really recovered from that fact that your parents didn’t get you that Barbie dream house you wanted for your 10thbirthday and that no one understands how much that scarred you, and while you TRIED and TRIED to make daddy love you just as much as he loved that guy Steve who he always went with on those long weekends, he never, never did.  Mom always said they went hunting but you wondered why they never took any guns with them but she didn’t seemed to mind because she spent the weekend tanked up on Valiums and vodka while bringing home strange men who were always your ‘daddy for the weekend’ so now you’re trying to recapture that lost magic you once had by curling up with a bunch of complete strangers in flannel but here’s a news flash – grow the hell up.

In a world full of Brittney’s and parents who have to find a babysitter so they can get to the prom this self indulgent crap is so far off the deep end that I have no words to describe how incredibly stupid it is. If you were to take every utterance by Michael Moore, combine it with almost every thought by Al Frankin and then top the whole thing off with Operation: Code Pink, it would STILL not equal the level of narcissistic, childish and 100% dumbass stupidity that this represents. So, take off the diapers and your footie pajamas and quit sucking your thumb and start acting like an adult.