Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The recent SCOTUS decision is going to be interesting.

They have just told the states they now have to permit gay marriage. Personally I think that is government over reach. I think it's a state issue but I won't get into that.

It looks to me like they have just opened another can of worms and it will be interesting. It won't be long before some troublemaker demands that a church that believes marriage should be between to members of the opposite sex perform the ceremony.

Personally I think such a troublemaker-or pair of troublemakers-should simply be beaten by an angry mob until they are a small stain in the pavement. Not for wanting to get married, but for trying to force a church to perform a ceremony against their beliefs.

It is one thing to permit gay marriages. I have always said the government should get out of the marriage business entirely. However, since they have decided to stick their nose where it doesn't belong I have taken a pretty Libertarian approach of 'marry who you please'. Just don't ask me to clean up your mess. 

I would imagine that the next part of the gay agenda is to have the tax exempt status taken from any church that refuses to perform the ceremony. If that happens I imagine the Catholic Church will cave in because that's a lot of money.

Of course, Pope Francis will come out and bless it and carry on. Truth is if he doesn't he'll likely have his arms twisted by the boys in the back room that run the financial end of things.

Some churches won't cave in, I imagine.

The way I see it, is that with rights go responsibility and it is the responsibility of the gay couple that wants to get married to find someone that is willing to perform the ceremony.

As a Universal Life minister I might be willing to perform a marriage ceremony but it would be strictly civil. God won't even be mentioned. I haven't decided if I would do this yet. Truth is I haven't decided if I'll perform ANY marriages yet.

I look at this pretty much the same way I look at abortion. Abortion is between a woman, her physician and her maker the way I see it. She's the one that will have to answer for it in the afterlife.

It's her responsibility to find a physician to perform the abortion. She doesn't have the right to charge up to a doctor with religious beliefs and demand one. It's her duty to find a willing physician.

It's also the duty of a gay couple to find their own official willing to marry them. I'm pretty sure it won't be all that difficult.

Still, there are a few gay $hitheels that want to force the gay lifestyle on people and make a point or just stir things up and force clergymen to marry them against their will. That plain just ain't right.

Gays have the right to get married. They do not have the right to force anyone to perform the ceremony except for maybe government officials acting in the performance of their governmental duties.

As for my attitude toward the gay community, it's simple.

I respect your right to be gay and pursue happiness. I bear no ill will toward the gay community. I wish most of them happiness. Their business is their business. I will stay out of theirs and in return I expect the same. 

Please do not ask me to 'celebrate the gay lifestyle'. I won't. I won't persecute you for it. I will accept that you are gay. I will defend you from harm. I will not love you any less for being gay. However, I will not celebrate it. It is what it is. You are what you are. I will take you for the content of your character and that should be good enough for anyone.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Monday, June 29, 2015

I hate Illinois Nazis.

So does Joliet Jake Blues.

So do a lot of other people.

Still, right about now I wish they would emerge now and start raising hell. I would certainly fight for their right to assemble and maybe have a parade or something.

The reason I would like to see that is because I am sick and tired of the people that have screamed for toleration not giving any in return.

Take the Chic Fil A people that got boycotted because they are of a Christian faith that prohibits gay marriage.

Yet in their mission statement they bear no ill will towards anyone. 

Some time ago I was asked about my stance on gay marriage and I replied that I felt the government shouldn't be in the marriage business at all. 

He, of course, asked me if that included gays and I said it most certainly did. I don't see where it made any difference. I believe in equal treatment of people under law and gays are no different than anybody else.

Of course he came back by asking me why I was against gay marriage. 

What a cheap shot!

He obviously wanted a bigot so I gave him one. I went off on him and he got pretty upset. He wanted to be miserable so I obliged him. I'm glad I could be of help. I made him happy as some people are happy being outraged and insulted.

Anyway, the so-called toleration people are not really tolerant. In fact they are likely the most IN tolerant people in the country. 

Frankly right about now I'd love to see some Illinois Nazi run the swastika up beside the rainbow flag and demand his right to fly it. I'd support it, even as much as I hate Nazis.

After all, Fair is fair.

The other thing I'd like to see something happen to is to the mayor that wants General Nathaniel Bedford Forrest up. He says it is because blacks are uncomfortable having a picnic in the same park alongside Forrest's grave.

If you don't like it then go somewhere else.

OK, fair enough. Dig him up. While we're at it let's dig up Martin Luther King because the Nazis and skinheads don't like him and they got right, too. While we're at it we can dig up a whole lot of other people.

Maybe we can dig up Henry Ford because the cars he made contributed to pollution or Elvis Presley. Elvis gave a lot of the older generation a headache with rock'n roll music. That's as good a reason as any. 

Maybe dig up Mark Twain for writing those awful books about a couple of boys growing up along the Mississippi River. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. I suppose that rates an exhumation.

The truth of the matter is that people of all races have had get-togethers in that park for generations. Most people pay the Forrest grave a single whit of thought. It's just that the mayor is looking for something to start trouble with to kiss the ass of the black community.

I guess the Illinois Nazis are like the police. You can't seem to find them when you need them. Still, maybe some skinhead gang will step in to take up their slack.

While I will deplore their politics I will defend their right to assemble and fly their flags. 

Besides, the intolerant party of toleration is a little over due for a good ass kicking to remind them that toleration is a two way street.

Besides, I can use a few bucks. I'll open up Piccolo's popcorn stand and maybe make a little extra scratch.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Sunday, June 28, 2015

No fishing.

There is a sign above my toilet at home that says 'No Fishing'. 

Shortly after I put it there my wife removed it. She replaced it after she walked in and found me sitting on the edge of the tub with a fishing pole in my hands and the line going into the toilet.

I suppose it would have made a better story if I had been pulling a two-foot steelhead out of the toilet when she walked in. 
Unfortunately I didn't have one handy.

Still, sitting on the edge of the tub with a line in the bowl was enough for me to get my sign back.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Time to read a few banned books.

Think I'll reread Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn again after a several decade absence from Mark Twain.

During one of the Confederate flag discussions someone mentioned that Tom and Huck had been banned from most schools for a while.

That sparked an interest.

There is no better way to ruin a book  than to put it on the required reading list. On the other hand there is no better way to spark interest in a book than to ban it.

Of course, there is no faster way to get me to buy something than to make it politically incorrect to own.

While I am not a Confederate flag in the window kind of guy, it is politically incorrect to own one. So of course, I bought one. It will likely get put in a trunk and be left there but that's not the point. 

It is politically incorrect to have one therefore I had to get one. 

Now that you mention it, I might put together a collection of flags. I think I just thought up a new international signal.

Old Glory upside down and below that you fly the Israeli flag followed by the Swastika. Below that you put the Rainbow flag. Under that goes the Confederate flag under that goes the ISIS flag and beneath that the Syrian flag, followed by the Earth flag.

You now have the International signal that a family fight is in progress.

But I digress...

I do not think I am a whole lot different than a lot of other folks. If I was living in Connecticut I likely would not have registered my firearms, either. This does not make me some sort of an individual because about 90% of the Connecticut residents didn't, either.

This doesn't make me some kind of a rebel, really. It just makes me fairly normal.

I'll remember this when I reread Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Friday, June 26, 2015

One of the things coming up is ARRL Field Day.

 This mans that all good hams set up in the field and work out of doors.

It's SUPPOSED to mean under emergency conditions as a field exercise but there are a lot of people that simply hook things up to an extension cord and set up on the porch.

I have a portable military manpack, a true field rig and the necessary stuff to go on the air virtually anywhere on extremely short notice. It has a generator to recharge the battery so I can run virtually forever with no infastructure whatsoever.

At a local club meeting one of the officers started in on explaining how the club laptops were to be used to record all QSOs. I guess he must have read the dour look on my face and asked me something was wrong.

I explained that we were supposed to be able to go on the air and operate without infastructure.

He replied by asking me how I had planned on recording my QSOs. I held up a pencil and said that perhaps some of the older hams could teach the youngsters how to use such a primitive device.

I guess he wasn't amused.

Truth is, I consider a lot of Field Day to be a joke for an awful lot of operators. Extension cords on Field Day don't cut it as far as I'm concerned.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I suppose you can dig

 through the previous several years worth of posts and you will find that I fought the Russians once under the Confederate flag.

It was a real zoo in the Bering Sea where neither side was actually willing to fire the first shot.

A lot of people watch The Deadlist Catch on TV. While the fishery is still a rough way to make a living, I do believe they keep clear of certain areas.

There is an old saw that a sign that says 'Fine for fishing' means that the place is just that. It is a fine place to go fishing.

Having discreetly fished in a few places like that as a youngster I can confirm that this is generally true. I can also confirm that there is nothing faster than a 12 year old boy running from some old goat that is chasing him out of a good fishing hole.

There is also nothing sneakier that a 12 year old rturning to catch a few more fish. I do believe the services can learn camoflauge and concealment from such a kid.

That being said, we noted that there was some disputed water in the Bering Sea and it only made sense that the crabs we were chasing were hiding there.

On our government printed charts the water in question was listed as United States real estate. That ws good enough for us.

Now I was one of two Yankee boys on a crew of five. The other Yankee didn't count because he knew how to keep his mouth shut.

Of course, I simply reveled in the good natured chaos I created when I cooked breakfast  by substituting grits for cold B&M baked beans. They would moan and wail terribly.

Of course when grits were served it ws my turn to moan and wail. Needless to say I took my turn moaning and bellyaching over grits.

One morning as I was seated next to the skipper I took a second helping of grits. I looked at the skipper. "I hate grits!" I said.

"So why are you eatin' em?" he asked.

"I'm just making sure I get my fair share," I answered, indignantly.

He had a pretty good sense of humor. He laughed like hell and then winced as I added maple syrup to my grits. Then I ate them. Truth is I like grits for breakfast but I would never admit that to those guys.

It just gave us something good natured to fight about.

So anyway, we're fishing in disputed waters and up pops some sort of Russian gun boat. We hove to and sat there dead in the water as they approached.

When they were alongside we quickly put out fendering and quickly threw a line up and caught the Russian gunboat's anchor. 

We were now literally under the guns. They couldn't lower them enough to bring them to bear on us.

Everyone scrambled for their hunting rifles and one of the southern boys looked at the skipper. "Let me run up the Southern Cross," he said. "They'll have one hell of a time figuring that one out."

"Good thinkin," said the skipper. "Do it!"

So up went the Southern Cross. 

"Too bad you ain't got one a them Dukes of Hazzard air horns that plays 'Dixie'," I shouted up to the skipper. He grinned and shook his head. 

"We'll get one next trip," he said.

There appeared to be confusion in the Russian wheel house as they were trying to figure out what the flag was. This was long before computers and I would imagine they had to break out some sort of list of flags to determine our nationality.

Meanwhile the skipper was on the sideband calling the Coast Guard who passed word on to the Air Force who scrambled a squadron of fighters.

A standoff developed as there were a couple Russian Marines or something on board that wanted to board us. As they were making up their minds what to do one of the guys gave a rebel yell to add to the confusion. I won't get into details but a Russian wound up in the freezing waters and they had a hell of a time fishing him out.

I have already posted the details of the stand-off earlier. It was a case where nobody wanted to fire the first shot. Truth be known a couple of grenades would have cleared our deck but we stood fast anyway.

Eventually the Russians figured out the Air Force was coming and decided to leave.

That's how I came to fight under the Southern Cross.

Truth is, if that dopey flag produces such scrappy Americans that's fine by me. South Carolina can keep it up or take it down as they see fit.

I just hope the south keeps producing guys like that scrappy bunch I stared down the Russians with back in the early 80s.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

With all of this crap

 going on over a damned flag in South Carolina I figure I ought to tell a couple of tales of woe of my service under the Stars and Bars.

Back in the 80s when I lived in Kodiak I worked part time for a local air service. They were a rag tag bunch and were a lot of fun. I pulled a lot of shenanigans with the guys and would wind up getting fired about twice a week. This was immediately followed by getting hired back with a final warning.

One time I handed a two month old baby to a pilot and told him to drop it off at Old Harbor. His jaw hit the floor and he demanded to know where I got the baby. I told him the baby was left behind on the Ship's Bar and the mother forgot it. It was going to be a COD deal and they were back in Old Harbor waiting.

Of course, I was immediately fired. I shrugged and handed the pilot the baby and started to walk off. 

"What am I going to do with this infant?" demanded the pilot. I immediately quoted the Three Stooges.

"Hold him for thirty days," I said. "If nobody claims him, he's YOURS!" Then I walked out.

He stood there aghast wondering what to do with a two month old infant for about a full minute when the mother stepped out of the broom closet laughing herself silly.

I was instantly rehired and then we saw one of our other planes land. "Pic, put the baby on your desk and she and I will hide in the closet! Lets watch Dave deal with it!"

Anyway, it was the most professional yet unprofessional rag tag outfit I ever worked with.

One day the subject of the (then)Confederate (now Commemorative) Air Force came up and about four or five of us joined up and were immediately commissioned as colonels. Three or four of us also sent in for the CAF blood chits which we sewed on our leather flight jackets.

Here's what a CAF blood chit looks like:

If you don't know what the CAF is then Google it.

Now this was long before the days of the internet and things were harder to look up. Occasionally someone would ask me what the blood chit was all about. I'd explain to them that it was a group of guys that kept a bunch of WW2 aircraft up and running.

One day a familiar face came up to me when I was working on a housing frame-up. It was pretty chilly that day and I was wearing the jacket with the CAF blood chit on it. The face was Norm Wingate, the local building inspector.

He was an old timer on Kodiak, having been posted there during WW2 and assigned to an all black segregated unit. He liked what he saw and returned after the war to make his home there.

He was well likes and respected and was really a pretty classy guy. I liked Norm even though visits from him were sometimes a pain in the neck.

Norm didn't go charging into things when he saw something out of place. He knew a lot of things were not as they appeared. 

He was one of the truly decent government types I have ever met. He has been the only government type, state or federal to listen to an argument and actually say, "You may be right. I'll have to look into this."

He was THAT kind of guy.

In a voice that emitted curiosity he asked me about the Confederate flag on the back of my jacket.

"I'm a colonel in the Confederate Air Force," I replied. "The patch on my back is in case I get shot down." Then I grinned. "Don't worry, Norm. It ain't no KKK. They keep a fleet of WW2 warbirds flying...supposedly in case the south has to rise again. There's a lot of tongue in cheek. They're out of Texas."

"Really?" he asked. "Sounds interesting. Why Confederate Air Force?" Norm asked. 

"Probably like a lot of stuff the name came out of an inane conversation or something. Who knows? You have to admit it IS pretty funny. They had no airplanes in the Civil War," I answered.

"It does sound kind of odd." he said. "I had to ask. How come you're a colonel?"

"Tell you what." I said. "You're well worth atwo bit stamp. I'll send them a letter. Tell your wife to expect a package from the CAF sometime in the next month or so. Tell her NOT to throw it out. Read it...Hey, you were a WW2 guy and stationed here, an enlisted guy in a segregated unit. Wanna become an Air Force colonel?"

He laughed shook his head and wandered off. That night I wrote for an information/application package and had it sent to him.

A couple of months later I ran into him again. He was grinning which was nothing new. He always grinned when he saw me because he never knew what to expect from me. I always kept him guessing.

"Hey, Colonel," he said. "Can I buy you a mint julip at the Village?"

I laughed. "What's the occasion? You a colonel in the Confederate Air Force or something?"

"I want to wet down my new rank." he said with a big grin.

From Wikipedia: 

"In 2002 it changed its name to Commemorative Air Force after a vote of the membership. Many felt the name Confederate Air Force was confusing, did not accurately reflect the purpose of the organization, and was detrimental to fundraising efforts.[7] This name change was deemed by some fans to be a move of political correctness. According to CAF chief of staff Ray Kinney, "In many people's minds, the word 'confederacy' brings up the image of slavery and discrimination. We, in no way, are associated with that kind of stuff. So, it gives us, in a way, a black-eye."

Personally I agree that changing the name made sense. Had I still been a voting member I would have voted for the name change because it made it easier to raise funds. A lot of people have no sense of humor. Still, when they did that it lost a bit of its charm.

Somewhere in my goods and garbage is an old Confederate Air Force blood chit. I don't remember if I took it off of my old jacket or not. I'll have to look.

I'd love to sew it on but living in Pittsburgh would make it too much trouble. I was recently given and AVG blood chit reproduction and sewed it on the INSIDE of an A-2 jacket. Besides being historically correct on the inside I did it because there are too many people in Pittsburgh that would keep asking me what it was.

Lord only knows what kind of unwanted attention a Confederate Air Force blood chit would draw. Wearing it in Philly is absolutely out of the question. 

Still, I see the humor in the origins of the organization and I rate the old name right up there with the Jamaican Bobsled team for its 'What the....?!" value. Both the CAF and the Jamaican Bobsled Team are things I follow, but I am a perverse person anyway. 

Incidentally, in my ham radio logbook there is a QSO I made with "FiFi", the only flying B-29 in existence. I can thank the CAF for that one, too.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY