Monday, December 29, 2014

Weather Forecasts

I decided that weather forecasters needed an interpreter, so here I am.

20% chance of snow. This essentially means either it will snow in 20% of places, or everywhere 20% of the time.

Flurries: This means that it is possible but not probable that a few snow flakes will drift down.

A bit of snow: This is a British understatement for: "YOU GONNA GET BURIED!

Snow at times: This is an attempt to show that they really know what is coming, but don't.

Occasional snow: Usually, this means "Look out, the sky may fall."

Snow: Snow without a qualifying preface, means You need to find your snow shovel before it gets buried.

Clear and cold: This is the interval between snow storms.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Hawaiian Christmas song

This as a remarkable song sang and played by Jesse Tinsley, a Spokesman-Review Photographer and my friend.
or this one:

Christmas Eve 2014

T'was the night before Christmas quiet all around,

not a creature was stirring except at J.D.'s
The Waters of the bay were still,
but snow decorated the hill.
If it weren't for the lights it would look like a ghost town,

 but here and there, a drink went down.
A white Christmas is not to be,
 unless you look yonder at the snow covered tree.

Merry Christmas, Y'all

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Eagles, Eagles N' dead fish

This picture taken by Ralph Jones of Ralph's Coffee House was taken in Echo By just around the corner from Bayview. He took another with Sharon Findlay, his guest's better camera which has been seen on Facebook and the Spokesman-Review. This kind of looks like a tree decorated with eagles for Christmas.

I talked with Ralph this morning about a visit from Scott Maben of the Spokesman-Review. They got some good pictures and shots of a lot of dead Kokanee. Ralph sez you can almost walk across the bay with the entire surface covered with spawned out fish.

The wind yesterday, drove thousands of dead fish into the harbor near the Navy Base and MacDonald's, where it is hoped they are consumed by the thousands of Seagulls which appeared from somewhere. The shore spawn comes later in the season than The one at Granite Creek.

The Granite Creek spawn is routed into Sullivan Springs where they are milked for eggs and milt. The shore spawn is heaviest From Vista Bay Marina, past the navy  into the JD's and Scenic Bay Resorts. All shore spawn is natural, as the Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer starts around the front of the Navy Base, cleaning the gravel which is prime spawning turf.Come on down with your camera, and an appetite where our three winter Cafes are. Ralph's, whose historical pictures span the walls and good food to boot. Mario's is the new Mexican Restaurant and The Captain's Wheel where food and cocktails abound.

We also regained the Bayview Mercantile, newly named Bayview General Store. Their prices are competitive with anyon so be sure to use them for some of you shopping.
after losing the stor for a year the new owners are doing a great job and if we want to keep them they need your business. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014


It is difficult to have a balanced discussion about race relations due to the aforementioned knee jerk reactions from the far left. Thursday's post was an attempt by me to allow a balanced look at this very difficult subject. Fortunately, only one person predictably labeled me a s racist. It is these name calling events that cause many to avoid any discussion on the subject. This person repeatedly and exclusively jumped the conversation in such a way.

Balanced people will outnumber the flame throwers every time if given the opportunity by the community. I started this discussion because at my age  don't fear these hate mongers that outnumber many. As in a famous movie, "frankly, I don't give a damn." What comments were offered numbered about 18 at last count. Only the one shrill voice repeated the mantra over and over. The rest were thoughtful expressions.

There are many other ways to discriminate other than color. How many Idaho residents of the past 15 years haven't shown derision when faced with a new emigrant from California. The sad truth is most people show prejudice when another person isn't just like you. Politics, location, blond vs brunette, on and on. Even minor differences become personal. The key is to respect opinions other than your own without personal attacks.  

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."
George Orwell

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Recently a chain store recalled wrapping paper because it had an intertwined design that included what could be construed as a swastika.  Lakeview, across the water from Bayview once a thriving mining town, had a Swastika Hotel. It too was pre-Nazi. The history of the hotel describes the symbol as a Greek Good Luck thing. Could our society with strict PC be floundering under inherited guilt?

I grew up during the 1940's and 50's. It was a simpler life. Your behavior was either polite or rude. We didn't have all the sub-divisions of behavior that the media invented term, "political correctness." This of course means whatever your critic says it means. No longer can we tell ethnic jokes because it might hurt someone's feelings. Heck we all laughed at jokes about our own. We were a hardy class that had much thicker skin that the societal perverts of today.

An obvious example of racism that currently abounds, like Ferguson, Missouri, is that of black rabble rousers like Sharpton and others that immediately and in lock step side with the black criminal that tried to beat an officer to death. It was alright though, because the cop was white.

None of the black community objected when the media printed a picture of the criminal at a much earlier age. None of them paid any attention to the forensic evidence that proved "hands up don't shoot," was and is a misplaced and misused lie. But hey, it was convenient as a battle cry from the hoods that live on the streets of Ghetto America.

Stop paying attention to stats showing a high percentage of blacks are stopped by traffic enforcement, or the stats that show a large majority of prisoners are black.  The assumption that this is born from cop prejudice is in and of itself racial prejudice, but from the black community and of course the ultra liberal apologists that believe the minority community is always right and we whites are automatically wrong. Could it be that there are more inmates that are minorities than whites?

Rather that make defensive excuses for their grown kids, how about if the black community police their own neighborhoods of dope dealers and such. If these habitual criminals are a statistical majority of jailed blacks or Latinos, perhaps it s because they commit more crimes. To blame the criminal justice system for jailing little johnny, they should blame the perpetrator for a change.

I am sick and tired of the guilt trip the mainstream media is inventing for shock value. Clean your own house and the police ignore you. Show a high crime area in which you live that is primarily black or any other high crime ethnicity and that neighborhood has residents that are living a live of crime.

Stop making excuses for near-do-wells. They will always choose crime if they can rationalize why they are forced to that lifestyle because of the man. Force them to get a trade, dress like they might be straight and take responsibility for themselves.

If you want to point at any group that is suffering persecution, try law enforcement which never seems to be right. The cop in Ferguson will never work in law enforcement again and they didn't even give him severance pay. All because being right doesn't protect you. The city threw the cop under the bus because they wanted to defuse the anger and weren't even embarrassed  about it.

Such is the dilemma where all of us have inherited guilt, and none of the guilty. So much for PC.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Nouasseur AFB Part 2

During the time I was stationed at Nouasseur Air Force base in Morocco, it was an historic time. On a given day in 1957, you could see B-36's, B-47's and B-52's all on the same ramp.

The B-36, easily the largest bomber we ever built, was the first long range aircraft able to hit the Soviet Union, bomb them with nukes and return. It featured six R4360 reciprocating engines and four jets, two outboard on each wing. It was configured with pusher, rather than the standard puller props.

The next SAC bomber was a radical departure from typical aircraft layout. It flew with a two man crew and had bicycle landing gear. A dual aft and another dual forward, with outriggers on each wing. When fully loaded with nuclear weapons, it needed Jato bottles to assist in takeoff. These were independent rockets which were mounted near the tail assembly, ergo, Jet Assisted Takeoff. Once in the air the bottles were jettisoned, mostly over water to protect the innocents. Once airborne she could cruise at over 600 mph.

The B-52 which was flying in 1955 was our principle vehicle for MAD, or mutual assured destruction. If Russia bombed us we would obliterate the most of their country and likewise if we bombed them, the same would occur to us.  It sped along at a cruising speed of 644 mph. Many are still flying, 60 years later. Thus while I wasn't involved with Korean or Vietnam service, we won the cold war.

 These were the primary SAC aircraft of my day in the 1950's. SAC dispersal s. which were called Reflex Alerts and were designed to move an entire wing to other countries such as Morocco for asset protection in case of attack. Yes, they were fully loaded with nuclear weapons at all times. We also had some F-86D fighters and of course my unit, 1603rd Support Squadron. Were were MATS. Military Air Transport Service. Essentially we were a military airline serving as a passenger and freight organization.

We supported SAC in their Reflex Alerts, transporting spare parts, food, ground personnel and pretty much everything needed to operate. Two of our Moroccan bases were essentially empty until SAC arrived, then the skeleton crews that maintained the facilities would open them to the sac troops.

This Howard Hughes invention and built by Lockheed was the best airliner ever built prior to the jet age. It cruised at about 360 knots and was the first pressurized aircraft in production. The prototype was built before WW11ended but didn't go into production until after the war. While most airlines were buying surplus C-54's and C-47's, a couple of forward thinking airlines like TWA and Pan American bought the aircraft, along with the Air force.  These were stationed at Charleston, South Carolina AFB. Part of Atlantic Mats, they frequently visited us for fuel and necessary repairs.

The C-124's that flew in were from Dover AFB, Delaware. On the west coast Travis AFB, California and Mchord AFB in Tacoma, Washington, where I spent the last year and one half of my four year enlistment.   We also had C-118s which were the civilian DC-6. It flew about 100 knots slower than  my favorite, the C-121, or known as the Lockheed Super Constellation  in civilian use.

                                                            C-124C Globemaster    

Wednesday, December 03, 2014


It ain't Miller Time anymore.

In an article published this morning, David Cole of the Coeur d'Alene Press interviewed Steve David, former driver of the Oberto boat is now president of H-1, the sanctioning  body for unlimited hydroplane racing.

So that there be no mistake, I am printing precisely the words of Doug Miller,

"Miller said he and his group have a state permit to use the lake."

"If H1 wants to race on Lake Coeur d'Alene they will have to work with us," Miller said. "Our intention is to have a race during Labor Day weekend - with or without H1."

This simply not true. They have a permit from the department of lands for racing 3 years. The permit is not exclusive, excepting Labor Day Weekend. It is also subject to cancellation if the Idaho Department of Lands   deem it necessary due to the shaky financial state of the Diamond Cup.

Steve David, in an interview with Cole, stated that Doug Miller is not now nor will he ever be given another permit to race the unlimited hydroplanes.

As to the claim that they own the lake for racing, that is ridiculous and false. Perhaps even delusional. Any other organization that has the financial strength and aptitude can get a state permit to race anytime but Labor Day Weekend. They can also get the blessings of H-1. At this time it is believed that Miller's reputation with boat owners and crews will prohibit anything faster than a rowboat race.

Attorneys are lining up to sue for the debts not only to H-1, which is reported to be more than $50,000, but virtually all from the crane company to security, and bus company, much of it allegedly guaranteed personally by Miller and Kroetch. I am a friend of Keith Kroetch. I bear him no animosity. He invested in Doug Miller, withouth any control over the money. I consider him a victim even more that the vendors that were not paid. Keith has bet his fortune on a guy that alledgedly cannot find the truth with all fingers and toes. While Doug can sell refrigerators to Eskimos, he has problems with collecting the money.

The person supervising the bus transportation from the fairgrounds to the race course, swears that he transported 20,000 people with either tickets or wristbands Where did that money go, Doug?

The pigeons have come home to roost for the diamond cup committee, such as it is. H-1 has without reservation, killed off the feeble attempts at talking their way through this mine field of stiffed creditors and broken promises.

It is now open to those that held back until H-1 was heard from to organize, perhaps under a new name and on an alternative date. Interesting days are ahead for Coeur d'Alene summer activities.

If you are wondering why I am being negative toward Miller, it is simple. I was his public relations guy. When it became clear that the whole thing was suspicious, I got out, so my credibility would not be ruined.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Nouasseur AFB

I thought I would share some experiences I had while in the air force, stationed in Morocco from January 1957 through July 1958. I will be breaking it down in parts starting with a snowy January in New York City, waiting for my scheduled flight to mysterious Casablanca, Morocco. I hung out with a guy from Spokane, I think his name was Donald Eggers. I lost track of him but if he still lives, I would guess he would still live in Spokane, where there is a sizable clan of Eggers. He would be about 75-77 years old now.

I arrived in Morocco at Nouasseur AFB to a bright sunny day, leaving the snow and ice behind. I was assigned to the 1603rd Support Squadron, a maintenance squadron for MATS, Military Air Transport Service. It is now MAC, Military Air Command, which was simply put, an airline owned by the air force with passenger and freight services. Probably our main mission was to support SAC in their logistics. More on that later.

Some facts about Morocco is that they were the first country to recognize the new country called the United States of America in 1777. The the Sultan declared the US as a treaty nation and prohibited pirates from attacking our ships as we were under his protection. Sliding forward to 1953, Sultan Mohammed V was exiled to Madagascar by the French. While Morocco was a protectorate rather than a territory such as Algeria, it was still controlled by the French. The Sultan was stirring up things hoping for independence.

The United States were also a power then, having stayed after World War two. Since Vichy France had sided with the Germans during our invasion of Morocco, relations were somewhat tense at times. We had built a large airbase just 21 miles south of Casablanca in 1951-52 which was primarily a SAC base with Mats in support. It was called Nouasseur AFB, the place that would become my home in 1957. This base was activated by the US and used as a divergence site in case of war with the Soviet Union.

It was a notable time, since the Sultan was exiled two years later, then brought back in 1956 where he was crowned as king and granted full independence by France. I arrived just one year later.  We added two more air bases which served primarily as temporary home to various SAC wings which performed Reflex Alerts where the entire wing would pack up, move to Ben Guerrir AFB and
 Sidi Slimane, in Rabat, the capitol. The SAC crews  would fly their B-36, B-47 and B52s over to our alert bases, which consisted of the above, plus Wheelus AFB in Libya and Diahran in Saudi Arabia. (sp) MATS would then fly the parts, equipment, enlisted mechanics and food service troops to reform as a complete unit, only to be returned to the ZI, (zone of interior) after 90 days to be replaced by another unit.

My memory is fading fast, so spelling may have gone by the wayside in these places. In 1961, King Mohammed V died and his son, Hassan ascended to the throne. Hassan was concerned over the Soviet Union possibility of attack, since Morocco was our prime dispersal destination in the event of war, which is what the practice Reflex Alerts were all about. He asked us to leave,, which we did in 1963.

More in my next installment.