Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

A Reblog!

 

Another exciting chapter in the adventures of Tim and Joanne! 

 

Friday, October 28th ~ Tagus Cove, Urbina Bay, Isabela Island Day 3 ~ Before we take off on todays excursions, I wanted to share more information of what day-to-day life is like on board the Santa Cruz II. There are several primary large areas where meetings, or lectures, or meals can be served, the Panorama […]

via Galapagos Islands, Ecuador ~ Tagus Cove, Urbina Bay — A Note From Abroad

 

The next edition of my reblog of the Galapagos Islands thanks to Tim and Joanne!

Thursday, October 27th ~ Galapagos Islands ~ Isabela and Fernandina Islands Day 2 ~ A ship wide wake up call at 7:00 and breakfast served at 7:15, with a planned departure (again via panga boats) promptly at 8:15. Our day will be divided up into two sections. The morning on Isabela Island with our sightseeing […]

via Galapagos Islands ~ Isabela Island, Fernandina Island — A Note From Abroad

 

My friends have made it to the Galapagos Islands and the ship they will be calling home  during their trip through the islands. Their first day is chronicled here, enjoy!

 

Wednesday, October 26th ~ Galapagos Islands, Ecuador Day 1 – Getting off of the airplane I was already wondering where I was and what had happened. This surely was not the Island paradise I had envisioned. In fact far from it. Can’t say why I had envisioned lush and tropical, but the reality was hot, […]

via Galapagos Islands ~ From disillusion to wonderment all in a single day — A Note From Abroad

A friend of mine was asking a question about remembering some of the old style things as kids, like eight track tapes, etc. Hell, I still have an eight-track player that works, and a box full of tapes!

 The first house I lived in that had a phone was the old crank style. Our phone number was one short, one long, and one short crank. There were about eight of us on the line. Anyone could pick up and listen in. We could only talk to those eight households or the switchboard board at Lucille Idaho, ten miles north of Riggins. Lucille had a permanent population of about eight people! The rest of us all lived up Cow Creek, which dumped into the Salmon River. The switchboard could call anyone and connect us to a regular phone. Oh yeah, we did have a radio that only got one station with elevator music on it, and then only when atmospheric conditions were right, no T.V. signal at all. We did have an old wind up Victrola with a few records like the Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze, some old German beer drinking songs, really great stuff! Not vinyl, the old hard platters that would shatter if you dropped them. Idaho is weird, even then all that was 50 or 60 years out of date. The water for the house came out of Cow Creek. It ran into a little catch basin with a screen on it so tadpoles or leaves did not come out of your faucet or plug up the plumbing, but no other filter. The electricity came off of a power pole, but that was kind of new, we still had a paddle wheel electric generator mounted over the creek that still worked. However it would only run the lights. The fridge and electric stove had to come from Idaho power connections. I had over an acre of lawns, a 3/4-acre garden, thirteen flower gardens, two wood stoves for heat, and just who do you think roto-tilled, weeded, harrowed, cultivated, mowed, and cut all that wood? All with a push mower, a two hand scye, one axe, (no wedge or mall) a hoe and shovel? Me, that’s who, I was thirteen! Rode my bike down the mountain to the bus stop three miles away every school day and pushed it back home at night. That was actually my best and most relaxed time. I would read a book balanced on the handlebars as I pushed the bike back up the hill, which was my entertainment time! There was always chores to do until it got dark, then homework! If I got done with homework before bedtime, or it was summer, I was allowed to read, which I loved to do! Oh, it rarely snowed there in winter over a few inches, it was too freakin cold to snow!

 This was the first family I lived with after leaving my mother and step-dad. We had some weird rules. First of all I admit to having some bad habits. I used words like dang and darn, tended to leave lights on after leaving a room, said pitcher when I referring to picture, evil stuff like that. So the rule was, for any infraction of rules to numerous to mention was a swat with pants down, bent over, with a wooden paddle with holes drilled in for speed. Second infraction was two swats, and then doubled again to four, then added four every time there was another infraction! Twenty swats became the limit. Oh I could be repeatedly paddled at the twenty limit, it just did not get added to once I got that far. I am not against spankings, just the sometime idiots who are in charge of the spankings. I also went to church four times a week. Sunday mornings and evenings, Tuesday was youth group, and Wednesday we had prayer meetings. You see I had run away from home and taken my sister, but that is another story. But since my mother and stepfather were sinners, well it was catching and I had it! So they prayed over me at all of these meetings, waiting for me to be visited by the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues. They were Pentecostal, you see, so no Ghost, no saving. Now my sister actually lived with the preacher of this church, he was the brother of the family I lived with, who was going to also become a minister, and did sometime after I left them. My point is, I can only imagine the hell she lived in!

 So one fine day, having memorized the Holy Ghost speeches of my little congregation, they always said the same gibberish, I proceeded to spout what I had learned, thinking they would now leave me alone. Well it appears my thirteen-year-old brain had not thought this through. Everyone recognized his or her part when it came up! I was literally thrown out of the front door and down the stairs of that church as the spawn of the devil. And this, as I said, at the ripe old age of thirteen! I was still required to go to church down the road at the Community Church. You could be any religion and go there. Not a bad church. The minister, a Mr. Prohaska was very understanding and made it plain from the git go that he did not consider me a spawn of the devil. He also never prayed over me. For me, but never over me. So I planned a new escape. Again, not really a plan, just figured no matter where I ended up had be better, at least that was the thought running through my thirteen year old head.

 So you must understand where all this was taking place, the Riggins Idaho area. One way in and one way out, no other civilization for miles and miles. So running away was a problem, whether north or south it had to be down highway 95 and I knew that would not work. Going overland to the west only got me up against the Hells Canyon, kind of a son to the Grand Canyon. Going east was what they call a primitive area, nothing doing there but maybe a meal for a mountain lion or bear! Or if you were lucky maybe just getting lost and starving to death, you know, the old fashioned way! But luckily the family I was living with had a reunion scheduled I was now fourteen. This took place in Greenleaf Idaho, southern part of the state, and all kinds of places I could head out to. So I packed a ditty bag, you know, with the toothbrush, the couple of bucks I had stashed away, the only other pair of jeans I owned, and some underwear. Which no one looked sideways at, basically what I would have normally packed! I took off in the middle of the second night there. It was a long dirt road and then some county paved roads leading to all kinds of exotic places like Caldwell or Jerome, I mean we were in Idaho spud country!

 So I am trodding down the road, ditty bag in tow around midnight or so. I did not have a working watch. I see a car pulled off to the side of the road. In it was a lady, a school teacher, related by marriage to this family. I had met her before, so knew who she was as soon as she started talking to me. So on that dark night, she convinced me to go back and keep my mouth shut! She said she was in the process of trying to get them to let me come live with her and her family. She told me if I could just wait a couple of weeks that should come to pass. Their resistance had been that she was not religious, so she had joined the Assembly of God church in Council, which was also Pentecostal. I did not know this at the time. She then made me a deal that I would be treated just like her kids, and I would have some say over what happened to me. If I did not like living with them, she would help me find a place that did not include an orphanage. So we shook hands and that was the best damn deal I have ever made! Most of you will know who this women is, but as this will go public, I am not mentioning names.

 So I moved to Council Idaho. This very decent person kept working until she also got my sister, and then abruptly left that particular church. I did well. I had only been to two years of schooling and I was going to be fifteen that fall. Part of that other story I mentioned! So I had some catching up to do. I got straight A’s my junior and senior year. I was class president my sophomore year, editor of the school paper my junior and senior years, on the student council, science club, main string in three sports, and one of the football captains, we went undefeated by the way! So let’s just say I loved school, Council, and everything about it. It was a thriving ranching and logging town with a large mill at that time. I worked in the woods during the summer my junior and senior year. Fibbed a little about my age, but I was a big kid! All of the logging is gone now, mill torn down, so the town is suffering, but still hanging in there!

 So I went to Boise State, but ran out of money second semester. I joined the Marines for four years to get an aviation school guarantee, plus I also did not want to get drafted and become cannon fodder! I scored high so got into avionics working on a computer warfare bird. I wound up in Nam for two tours because my particular skills were hard to come by! They would bribe me with meritorious promotions to extend. I did that twice. So had been an E2 about two weeks before going to Nam and then promoted to E3, but it turned out there were no NCO’s in Avionics electric shop, so they promoted me to E4, a corporal so I could run the shop. So in six months my original one-year tour was up, so they promoted me to E5 Sergeant if I would extend for a second tour. I loved my job, however I did not like stateside troop and stomp. They offered me Staff Sergeant with guaranteed chance at Warrant Officer, but I was going to have to give them 8 more for all of that or four if I only wanted the Staff Sergeant, I was not willing. I should have at least stayed in the reserves, but hindsight is 20-20!

 So got out. Was always planning on continuing my education. Had been taking courses by mail while in the service. It turned out, even though I was not a grunt, but having a high stress job and hanging out on mission runs in Danang, lovingly referred to as Rocket City, gave me PTSD. Not that I admitted to that. However all I wanted to do was race my motorcycle, go boating, trash my 4×4, and was crew chief on a professional race boat, had the odd sand rail, etc. By the time I calmed down I was a daddy and had a mortgage. I had turned my military education into a career as an automotive computer and advanced engine diagnostics tech. I got my master ticket, became a smog tech, but mostly what I did was five gas analysis under load on a dyno. I could look at your tailpipe emissions and tell you what system was down, and usually what part. Once I got proficient at the dyno and 5 gas, I never used a scope again. Just my diagnostic computer and the dyno was all I needed. I knew how to do all the rest, brakes, alignment, pull an engine or trans out of a class A, the whole pie so to speak. But after my first year I was the shop foreman and usually the service manager, so if it was a dirty job, or heavy, I pointed and ordered someone else to do it. I lost nary a nights sleep over it either!

 So ended up working one job after the Corps for just under 30 years. The place closed down due to the owner’s ill health and being bought out by the State. I ended up as service manager for a private set of five Bobcat dealerships! It was stressful but the monetary reward was very, very, amenable! I retired after seven more years. This career did allow me to raise a daughter who has a Masters degree who became a teacher an now an assistant principal. She is the love of my life. Well aside from my wife, who I still have not managed to understand how or why I got so lucky!

 So in closing, I am not in love with religion as some of you may have guessed. As a matter of fact I am of the opinion that religion is the most dangerous entity this planet has ever experienced. Christianity just as much to blame as any other. So I do not begrudge you your belief, my daughter is devout, but for now I am not a willing participant. I am a good person and a great friend to have! I do not lie, well let me admit that I am a storyteller and will embellish if I think the story is boring. This piece is not one of those however, and my moral character, for whatever it might be worth, is a choice I make and not because I am afraid to be punished if I choose immorality!

 

 

Fathers Day and my posting of my Dad’s picture got me to thinking about the man who gave me almost every picture of my Father that thankfully I do have! Watch for the video at the very end of this article, it is the one I am most anxious for you to watch!

Warren King is a famous photographer and teacher who lived and worked here in Southern California. He was paired with my father during WWII, 167 Signal Photographic Company. They were both combat photographers, Dad specialized in combat movies when the opportunity presented itself. Not as easy to print up in the newspapers back home, but very valuable to military intelligence. Almost all of the photos I have of my Dad came from this man. A very good friend who I did not find until late in life whose name I had seen in letters sent to my paternal grandmother. He and my Father were very close, but after my Father died he lost contact and did not know what had become of us. I came across a website in which famous Hollywood photographers that had been taught by Mr. King had set up a scholarship fund in his name. I sent him a message via the web site asking if he knew my father and he immediately responded. So there is a documentary about the man, even includes a photo of my Dad!  You can see my Father at 5:16 into the film. It is the picture I am posting with this article and the one I posted on Facebook. At least my adopted families should take time to watch it. It was of course fascinating to me, but for obvious reasons. As I mentioned, Warren and my Dad stayed close friends after the war. After a couple of false starts Warren was offered a teaching job, among his duties he  started a career teaching photography to high school students. He became very famous, his students won prestigious awards every year, and so some of them also became famous in the photographic world. Mr. King took his students to a different foreign country each year on photo shoots, not your average high school photography class!

My father went to work for Hollywood Technicolor Corporation. He mainly worked on special effects for animation. For example, he told me the raindrops in Lady and the Tramp are actually milk drops that were later painted frame by frame to resemble rain and integrated into the animated movie. That is why they look so thick and fat! He loved his job, unfortunately his career was cut short by cancer, the Beverly Hills home we lived in had to go, not one of those mansions, just a regular home. But that is another story. Warren King or J Heslop, another very famous photographer, took most of the pictures in this article that I am including of my Dad. They were all in the same outfit at one time or the other and took photos of each other. So if King and Heslop are in a photo the chances that it was taken by my Dad are pretty good.

H_Warren_King_and_J_Heslop

The fellow pictured above with the camera is Warren King, and J Heslop is sitting to his left. No I am not forgetting to put a period behind the J, his first name is actually just the letter J, no period needed. Anyway, both he and my Dad wound up taking pictures and movies of prisoner of war camps, notably Jewish prisoner of war camps. Heslop used a still camera while Dad used a movie camera. I doubt they were together or at the same camp, but I do not know that one way or the other. I do know that because technology at the time could take still photos and get them in magazines and newspapers Heslop became famous! So there is a whole section at the BYU Harold B. Lee library digital photo section dedicated to J Heslop’s photos, he was a Mormon, you see. But he wrote books, was a journalist, and so was famous for more than just his war photos. There are several pictures of my Dad also in that collection taken by Hislop, however finding them took me a while, and some patience. Now the pictures of J Heslop himself obviously are not taken by him as cameras back then required a human to focus, aim, and pull the trigger, so chances are that Mr. King or my Dad could have taken them, no way to know. I will give you a link to the BSU site for Mr. Heslop, there are 75 pages of photos for you to choose from.

http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm/search/collection/JMHes/

 

Christmas_card-2

This photo is of Sgt. Warren King

Christmas_card

 

2007-12-27-2239-24

2007-12-27-2239-24

Staff Sgt. Charles Love/Sgt. Warren King

Charles Edwars Love

Dad

2007-12-27-2247-49

2007-12-27-2247-49Sgt. King/Staff Sgt. Love

Sgt. Warren King, Staff Sgt. Charles Love

IMG_0151

Dad being awarded the Purple Heart.

Dec27$01

 

Below is the short documentary on Warren King. Warren told me that other than my Mother and Father he was the first to hold me when I was born. He was also the contact for the VA hospital and came to tell me my Father had passed away. Donna was too young, and no one could find my Mother that evening, so he came to make sure I was ok.  I honestly do not remember that night, or him, until I found him about 15 years ago in an Internet search, as I mentioned. Any of you from my adopted families, I highly recommend you watch the video. It does not talk about my family, but it gives you insight into the kinds of people my Father considered a friend. Thank you for watching, and thank you Mr. King for being such a good friend!

 

 

 

 

 

I travelled a lot from six to eleven, but not as a vacationing child of rich parents. So for this article, we will just leave that as a maybe blog down the line. For our purposes we will concentrate on my travels overseas courtesy of the Marine Air Wing commands. (By the way, all pictures are in Gallery format, so if you click on them they will enlarge and then you can arrow back and forth.)

My first stop after a year of boot camp, infantry training, Avionics school, and a short stint in a training squadron was landing on the Island of Okinawa. Now all of the marines I came over with were grunts, or infantry, with the exception of one other guy. They were all shipped out the next day, but they left me and this other guy, both of us to be assigned to an air wing somewhere, dangling for a week or so. This is where I met my best friend for my Japan deployment, he taught me how to play tennis, his name was Doc Holliday. To this day I do not know what his real first name was!

After a week and couple of days we both got orders to Iwakuni Japan. I was, at the time, a navigation computer tech, he worked in the photo lab of a different squadron. We kept in touch however. I eventually got myself transferred to his squadron by a lucky coincidence. They needed avionics techs on the flight line, and I wanted out of the windowless computer van that was my home 10 hours a day. I loved working on the actual aircraft. It was not long before I moved out of the barracks and into a small house with a couple of other Marines from my new squadron. This is where I met my other best friend, Neal Regan. We were not best friends yet, that did not happen until we went to the Philippines and Nam together.

Doc and I spent our time in Japan travelling. I was licensed to drive pretty much any tractor, jeep or 6×6 truck the squadron had. They also got me a license to drive outside the gate in Japan proper, so I bought a car. I don’t even recall the model; I just know it had a two-stroke motorcycle engine for power. It was a little miniature station wagon. Had to fuel up with mix gas, which back then was available at all gas stations. Ecologists would be aghast now! I was the only person in the squadron, enlisted or officer to have a license and car that was legal outside the base. Made me a popular guy. Mostly picking up officers wives at the airport in Hiroshima. They would even give me time off work to go and pick them up. They had some kind of agreement the officers wives could get a three month visa. We enlisted didn’t rate diddly.

This car allowed Doc and I to explore the country around Iwakuni and travel to places like Hiroshima regularly, and basically just get lost on a duty free weekend. We both had critical MOS so did not get assigned but the minimum duty required. (MOS is a job designator)

We made friends with a farmer by scrounging up a pump from the base, rigging up a transformer to make it work on his electrical grid and installing it at his water supply. He was a rice farmer packing water by hand. He spoke no English; we spoke basically no Japanese beyond hello, goodbye, excuse me, and thank you! The only other word I knew at the time was koko, which would get a taxi to stop and let you out! It means “here”. He had a niece that spoke English and he would invite her whenever he had us for dinner. Dinner was usually rice, fish, and a lot of Sake! At first we had stopped and proceeded to help him haul water. He had a fit. But we refused to go away, and when we installed the pump, well we were family! He turned us on to a little sandy beach we could pitch a tent next to a stream that had fish in it. I don’t know what kind of fish they were, they resembled perch. Cooked up well and had very little fishy taste to them. We fished by sitting legs spread in the shallows at the downstream end of a pool while someone else went to the upstream end and started slapping the surface vigorously and wading towards us. Fish would appear between our legs and we would scoop them up and throw them onto the bank.

About this time, Reagan and I had just made L/Cpl and got orders to the Philippines and then missions run out of Danang Vietnam. It turned out that we were both scheduled to go home, there were no NCO’s trained in our particular MOS, so they meritoriously promoted us to Corporal to extend for a second tour, which we did. They then bribed us again with meritorious promotion to Sgt if we would extend again. Best thing that had ever happened to either one of us! We were inseparable as much as possible, watched each others backs! We ran missions out of Danang, but due to reasons I will not go into now; we fixed the aircraft in the Philippines. Broke our little hearts.

When I was in Cubi Point in the Philippines I rented and lived in a three-bedroom house, one bath, complete kitchen. It came with a live in maid, gardener, and security. There were three of us sharing rent, Regan being one of the others. All included with groceries, I spent forty dollars a month. We lived in one of the nicer areas of Olongapo. Normal housing had no running water or toilet facilities. Were one or two rooms mostly, apartment houses were a little nicer, but had community bathrooms, but no bathing facilities. Our maid, unknown to us for a while, slept in a big round chair in the living room. She would stay in the kitchen until we all went to sleep before bedding down, and up and cooking by the time we got up! We increased the food allowance to include her and gave her a raise when we discovered this. We had no place to put her, so we just left the sleeping arrangement as it was. She was around 16, I think. We all treated her with respect, she was not flirted with nor were any remarks made. I had friends with morals, so did not have to police their actions. She cried when Regan and I had to rotate back to Japan and home. We tried to find good people to take our place with her employment guaranteed. It was all we could do. We were never able to find out who her parents were, or even if she had any. So back to Japan, everyone we knew was gone, then back to the world, that is what we called the U.S..

Had some leave in Australia, short hops and stays in China, S. Korea, and a few over nights in Europe, but very short, so I might include them in another blog, but I have let this one run to long as it is!

Short Stories

Aliens

Are there Aliens? Beats the crap out of me! Do I believe there might be aliens, well yes I do. Now whether or not they are a microbe or an intelligent being with his hand, paw, claw, or whatever, on the throttle of an intergalactic space craft, now that is the real question.

 So lets discuss a couple of basic theories, or facts, as I see them, that you also have to believe in to even fathom an alien! First you have to believe and understand that the earth is around 4.5 billion years old. Then you must believe that evolution is a fact of nature, and that nature will always try to find a way to produce life in any environment it can. So for those of you who eschew this statement and believe that the world is only around 6000 years old, well then just consider this a science fiction article!

 So lets say you agree with me about the age of the earth, evolution, the propensity of nature to promote life, and the advent of natural selection, then aliens on other planets is a foregone conclusion. Most scientists agree, with the vastness of the universe, the chance of planets having an orbit around a sun with a  similar makeup to earth is mathematically almost a certainty, and in credible numbers. So now we need to consider how life on our planet became self aware to the point it was able to leave the confines of the planet and start to explore the universe, albeit mostly by robotic means or deep space satellites so far, and how common an occurrence do we think this is in the galactic scheme of things.

 A couple of things to consider about how we did evolve, humans, that is. Dinosaurs, which were huge reptiles, ruled this earth for millennia. Their dominance would have very likely not have allowed the human race to develop, as any species as incapable of defending themselves against such an onslaught of predators would have been eaten out of existence before they really got a chance to start. So whatever catastrophe wiped the dinosaurs from the face of the earth, whether it was a normal or even abnormal natural climate change is unlikely as the extinction rate was way too quick. So I buy into the cataclysmic asteroid event, which created such a cloud of debris it blocked out the sun for a long period of time, and pretty much everything died. The new ecology that emerged allowed for smaller types of life to emerge as the huge amounts of tropical growth that existed in the dinosaur era of our history was not prevalent any longer. So without this earth-shattering event, humans might not yet exist, or at least may still be living fruit to mouth, as it were.

 So if what I surmise are the facts of our evolution, then how often do intelligent self aware beings of our caliber become a fact of life on other planets. No way to tell, but out of the billions of possible chances, probably at least a few, in my way of thinking. Maybe their planet was never capable of supporting such large creatures as dinosaurs, so smaller populations of life were allowed to take hold, thereby negating the need of a massive extinction event which gave us a chance to evolve. But then lets say something like us, or at least something as intelligent, or maybe even more so, has evolved? What is the likelihood they got in a spacecraft and came here? I think highly unlikely. The simple vastness of space, the fact that we are kind of out in the sticks in the galactic scheme of things would preclude being able to cover the distance. Now of course some aliens may have discovered a means to travel great distances with science way beyond our scope. This would also more than likely mean that these aliens would be, in the evolutionary scheme of things, far more advanced, making us seem to be unintelligent by comparison and not worth communicating with. Maybe snatching up and studying, so there is that!

 So I guess it comes down to one basic question, do I believe aliens have visited, no I don’t. Do I believe in life other than here on earth, yes I think that is inevitable. Do I believe that there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe; yes I think it is definitely possible. Lastly, I believe if they ever do get here one of two things will happen. They will not have a none interference clause like the Federation, so we would definitely hear from them in some fashion. Or, and also likely in my opinion, they would look on this jewel of a planet, see the infestation that is destroying it, and take appropriate action! Sayonara takes on a whole new meaning!

 1/17/15