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At Least One Post Per Day

As I have mentioned in previous posts, life has not been very easy or relaxing of late. Loved ones are going through much worse times than I am and while I’m doing my best to keep my spirits up, there are times I can only describe as uninspired. That said, I have a personal goal of at least posting one item per day. Writing here on Parrothead Jeff has helped quite a bit, but the comments I have received have helped even more :) . Thanks everyone :D !

Now that that’s all out of the way, here’s some gratutious Tomcat pictures for those of you who miss the beast as much as I do 8) .

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Atlantic Ocean (July 28, 2006) – An F-14D Tomcat, aircraft number 100, assigned to the “Tomcatters” of Fighter Squadron Three One (VF-31) makes a near supersonic fly-by above the flight deck of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The F-14 will officially retire in September 2006, after 32 years of service to the fleet. Theodore Roosevelt is completing Joint Task Force Exercises with USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Laird (RELEASED)

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060619-N-0490C-006 Atlantic Ocean (June 19, 2006) – An F-14D Tomcat assigned to the “Tomcatters” of Fighter Squadron Three One (VF-31), performs a fly by past the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). For the past 30 years, the F-14 Tomcat has assured U.S. air superiority, playing a key role in ensuring victory and preserving peace around the world. The F-14 Tomcat will be removed from service and officially stricken from the inventory in September 2006. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Miguel A. Contreras (RELEASED)

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060106-N-7241L-004 Persian Gulf (Jan. 6, 2006) – An F-14D Tomcat prepares for an arrested landing aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) as the guided- missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56) conduct plane guard duties. Roosevelt and embarked Carrier Air Wing Eight (CVW-8) are underway on a regularly scheduled deployment conducting maritime security operations. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Apprentice Nathan Laird (RELEASED)


Disposable Aerial Resupply Method

DropMaster, Inc.

Copter Box kit

A Lightweight, Disposable Air Cargo Delivery System
CopterBox can deliver up to 100 pounds of emergency supplies from a wide variety of aircraft with drop speeds of up to 140 knots. The corrugated paper box employs three rotor blades that use the principle of autorotative lift to slow it and its payload to a gradual descent prior to ground contact.

Great idea if you ask me 8) . The Copter Box has got to cost a lot less than a parachute, is easier to pack, doesn’t require periodic repacking or climate controlled storage, and won’t drag its payload across the ground due to wind. Oh yeah, you don’t need a large cargo aircraft or a parachute rigger, either – any relief pilot in a Cessna or news helicopter could use this to drop supplies in the event of a disaster like Katrina. Even if it’s just MREs and water, it’s more than what those people had sitting on a roof :)

Dowload link for the Copter Box spec sheet here (pdf)

Hat tip to Gizmodo for the link.

Hit the jump for video. Continue reading Disposable Aerial Resupply Method


The Battle of Palmdale

Steeljaw Scribe » Chronicles of Naval Aviation: The Battle of Palmdale

PALMDALE – Some old-timers may remember it, and a few local history buffs jokingly refer to it as the Battle of Palmdale. But those who moved to the city as part of the post-1980 population boom may not realize Palmdale is one of few Southern California communities to have suffered through an air-launched rocket attack…

Steeljaw Scribe comes up with yet another gem of a story from the history of military aviation. I’d read this story before, but it’s one of my favorites and I just had to share it :) . I’m just glad everyone was OK in the end!


Valedictorian Files Suit Against School Over Religious Freedom

Stop The ACLU » Blog Archive » Valedictorian Sues School for Religious Liberty

During her 30-second message Erica spoke about her faith in Jesus Christ. Afterwards, she was escorted to see the assistant principal, who said she would not receive her diploma because of the speech she had given. Principal Brewer later indicated that her comments were “immature.” He said that she could only receive her diploma if she apologized to the school community. Erica prepared a statement saying the message was her own and was not endorsed by the principal. Brewer insisted that she include the words: “I realize that, had I asked ahead of time, I would not have been allowed to say what I did.” Erica complied because she feared the school would withhold her diploma. She was also afraid that the school would put disciplinary notes in her file and would generate negative publicity, which could prevent her from becoming a school teacher. Principal Brewer sent out Erica’s message in an e-mail to the entire high school community. Soon after, Erica received her diploma.

This is a phenomenon which has grated on me for quite some time. Anyone who dares to mention God or Jesus in a graduation speech at a high school risks losing their diploma and possibly a law suit because some people say it amounts to government approval of religion via the school. My personal opinion is that they should be able to say whatever they want about their religious beliefs. You know, it’s that whole First Amendment thing :wink: .

Just a thought – wouldn’t a simple disclaimer prior to the speech or in the program suffice to sever the perceived ties between speaker and organization?


Luke Skywalker’s Light Sabre Bound For Space – Report: Shuttle Discovery to Carry Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber Into Space – Science News | Current Articles

As part of the “Star Wars”‘ 30th anniversary celebration, NASA has agreed to carry the prop weapon into orbit and jettison it in space, according to

A quick Google seach of failed to turn anything up about this, but I think it’s for real. Gizmodo has a post about it, but I think they need to get off the caffeine – they just don’t get it if you ask me.

I think taking Luke Skywalker’s light sabre up on the Shuttle is a great idea. It will generate much needed positive publicity as well as creating an interest in space again. I don’t know why they’d want to jettison it, but it’s not my prop. Personally, I say bring it back and put it in the Smithsonian 8) .

Great job, Nasa :D !


A Little Something to Make Lex Smile

Tailhook Daily Briefing: Thumped at Swim Call!

This video showed up the other day on the Tailhook Daily Briefing and it immediately made me think of good ol’ Lex :wink: .

For those of you out there who have yet to read the written works of Neptunus Lex, you’re missing out – big time :) ! Lex is a former F/A-18 Hornet pilot in the U.S. Navy and one of my favorite milbloggers. His writings should have attracted publishers by now, especially “Rhythems” which led to no small amount of sleep deprivation as I tried to read it all in one night.

Go have a look – It’s “The unbearable lightness of Lex. Enjoy.

Big time thanks go out to the Tailhook Daily Briefing for the link to the vid 8)


Australia Shows How to Deal With Drug Runners

Got a problem with drug smugglers? Australia knows how to handle it :D ! – Royal Austrlian Air Force F-111 sinks North Korean Drug Ship

No, they didn’t bomb the ship while it was manned, they had seized it earlier and decided to use it for maritime strike training. Great idea if you ask me 8) .

Official information from the Australian government can be found here.


80,000 Cans of Silly String Waiting for Troops in Iraq – Mother of U.S. Soldier Needs Way to Get 80,000 Cans of Silly String to Iraq – Local News | News Articles | National News | US News

Shriver got the idea from her son, a soldier in Ramadi. Before entering a building, troops squirt the gooey substance, which can travel about 10 to 12 feet, across an area. If it falls to the ground — that’s an indication there are no trip wires. If it hangs in the air, troops know they may have a problem.

I never thought of silly string as a military tool, but this makes sense. It’s also a great example of just how innovative soldiers can be when they need to. As Gunny Highway said in Heartbreak Ridge, “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome!” :D
Continue reading 80,000 Cans of Silly String Waiting for Troops in Iraq


Iran Ready to Fill Power Vacuum in Iraq – President Ahmadinejad Says Iran Ready to Fill Power Vacuum in Iraq – International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News

TEHRAN, Iran — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned Tuesday that a power vacuum is imminent in Iraq and said that Iran was ready to help fill the gap.

Some people say that the best thing the U.S. could do in Iraq is to get out. I disagree. This is one of the many reasons. I see no reason for the U.S. in the Global War on Terror to abandon Iraq to the influence of a nation which has been on the list of state sponsors of terror for decades.


U.S. Troops Nearly Got Bin Laden… Killed – Report: U.S. Troops So Close to Bin Laden His Bodyguards Considered Killing Him, Themselves – International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News

NEW YORK — A patrol of U.S. soldiers was so close to stumbling on Usama bin Laden’s mountain hideout along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border during the winter of 2004-05 that his bodyguards considered killing the terror architect and then themselves, according to a report published in the Sept. 3 issue of Newsweek.

Reminds me of playing the slots here in Vegas only we didn’t find out until now how close we were – that if that one reel had only gone 1/2 a position further down we’d have won the Megabucks. So close…

My message to the coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan? Keep up the good work and Godspeed :D ! You’ll get him :) .