Essential knowledge for the military spouse

My post about the woman who did not know what a pair of pliers was got me to thinking. The first thing I thought of was that this woman's husband had

a.) never been deployed, gone TDY (temporary duty), or otherwise left the house


b.) the deployment gods must really like her and therefore, nothing breaks in her house while he husband is gone.

It's not like that in my house. In MY house, the car, the computer, and the garbage disposal are all in on a conspiracy together. The moment that McGyver is gone for more than 24 hours, at LEAST one of them breaks. AT LEAST ONE. Last time McGyver was gone, not only did the computer crash and the garbage disposal back up on me, I was 36+ weeks pregnant with Little Man and started having nasty Braxton-Hicks contractions. Such is life. At least the car didn't give out on me. Then again, I refused to go NEAR it until he got back. Not that I'm superstitious or anything.

Anyway, most spouses I know whose husbands have been gone for any length of time have encountered the deployment gremlins. My friend in Germany had a sewer pipe explode and pretty much take out her apartment while her husband was deployed. My friend in Kansas had horrible bouts of "sick kid" (times two) for months on end, not to mention a host of house issues. My friend in Alabama had a bunch of house issues and "sick kid" issues as well. Those deployment gremlins are the WORST!

I have yet to go through a deployment but I have been through my share of TDYs and have learned a few things. This list is completely incomplete (there's an oxymoron for you) so feel free to add your thoughts!


1. how to use basic tools - Reader's Digest published a list of 12 essential tools that every FAMILY toolbox should have in it :
- 12 volt cordless drill
- 16 ounce hammer
- angle square
- multihead screwdriver (Phillips and flat head screwdriver - a variety of sizes is a good idea as well)
- pry bar
- utility knife (if for no other reason than to cut open boxes after a move)
- tape measure - 25 foot is a good length
- adjustable wrench - a 10 inch model is a good size
- chalk line - not sure I would ever use this but it might help in hanging multiple pictures or laying out hopscotch
- non-contact voltage tester - again, not sure I would use it but McGyver has one and does use it
- circular saw - we have one, I know how to use it but I have yet to have the occasion to do so
- level - 24 inch is a good size

Now, some of those items may never be used by anyone in the family, let alone someone who doesn't know what pliers are. I'd add pliers to the list as well as a laser level, some plumbers' tape and a pipe wrench, an allen wrench for the garbage disposal, and a phone book with the names and numbers of trusted mechanics, plumbers, electricians, etc.

2. know where the circuit box is and how to reset the breaker if you blow one

3. know how to change a flat tire and your oil. If your spouse is gone for a year, you're going to have to get the oil changed at LEAST 3 times (more if you're anal like me about car maintenance) while he's gone. If you're not willing (or able...some people live where they can't do things like this) to change your own oil, make sure you know a reputable place to take the car for maintenance and repairs while he's gone.

4. know how to test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors

5. know how to balance a checkbook and pay the bills (this is a hard one for me to fathom - I've been paying our bills and managing the checkbook since McGyver went off to Basic in '98). Amazingly, as Teresa at Technicalities informs us, this is not something that all military spouses (or civilian spouses) know how to do.

6. Know how to navigate Tricare. And when you figure that one out, write a book.

7. Know where ACS (Army Community Service), AER (Army Emergency Relief), your spouse's Rear D (rear detachment), the FRG (family readiness group), the MP station, and the hospital are located and how to reach them. Sorry for the language but shit happens and it usually happens at the WORST possible time.

8. And if you leave to go home (or wherever) for an extended period of time while your spouse is deployed, make sure Read D and the FRG know how to reach you - just in case. See above.

I'm sure there is more - those of you who have weathered a deployment (or several) can add to this if you feel inclined. I know I would appreciate the knowledge. I'm pretty self-sufficient but there's always room to learn more.

- hfs


A day late and a dollar short

I meant to do this yesterday but my brain quit working sometime around 2pm and I forgot .

Yesterday was my brother-in-law's 26th birthday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY UNCLE K!!!

Currently he's up to his eyeballs in dirt fighting the remnants of the Taliban in Afghanistan so I am sure he would not only appreciate the birthday wishes but a few prayers for his safety as well. Seems the old 'Stan is heating up a bit.

Stay safe, Uncle K and we'll see you in August!!!

all our love!

The end is in sight!

The tests are done and out of the way. Not the most successful day of my life but it's over. I have a take-home test to type up, a project to type up and mail, and a paper to write - all of which I will do AFTER this weekend.

And then I am done! DONEDONEDONE!! Well, at least until Fall. Many of you might be wondering WHY I am taking classes - I'm not sure if I explained that or not. I have a degree in "Exercise and Sport Science" with a teaching concentration. This allows me to be certified to teach physical education. I can also teach health but, based on my BS alone, I cannot be certified in Health Education. In order to be certified (and therefore be able to apply directly for a Health Education position), I needed 18 credits of Health Education on my transcript. THAT is why I am taking classes.

As for Managerial Accounting...well, I save that story for another day. Right now, I am off to lounge on the couch and enjoy the momentary quiet while my kiddos nap.

- hfs


May I be excused? My brain is full.

Variances are the differences between total actual costs and total standard costs. When the actual costs exceed the standard costs, the variance is UNFAVORABLE (negative connotation). If the actual costs are less than the standard costs, the variance is FAVORABLE (positive connotation).
* Total materials variance : [Actual Quantity(AQ)xActual Price (AP)] - [Standard Quantity(SQ)x Standard Price (SP)] = Total Materials variance (TMV)

* Materials price variance : (AQ x AP) – (AQ x SP) = MPV

* Materials quantity variance : (AQ x SP) – (SQ x SP) = MQV

* Total labor variance : [Actual Hours (AH) x Actual Rate (AR)] - [Standard Hours (SH) x Standard Rate (SR)] = Total Labor Variance

* Labor Price Variance : (AH x AR) – (AH x SR) = LPV

*Labor quantity variance : (AH x SR) – (SH x SR) = LQV

* Total OH variance : Actual OH – OH applied = TOV

* price variance = overhead controllable variance
Actual OH – OH budgeted = OCV

* quantity variance = overhead volume variance
Fixed OH rate x (Normal Capacity in hours – standard hours allowed) = OVV

My God...managerial accounting is WORSE than the military with its damn acronyms. My head hurts. One more day and I'll be DONE DONE DONE with this class!!! I pray I make it that far.

- hfs

Not my day

Little Man decided that I didn't need sleep last night so I'm sure my reaction to this latest fiasco with my school is tainted by my exhaustion.

McGyver has started flying. Along with his other duties as the IMO (information management officer), his schedule is pretty tight and he can't just take days off now and again. I am coming to the end of the term (THANK GOD!) and have some loose ends I need to tie up - namely, 3 accounting exams and a nutrition final. All of which must be proctored.

The nutrition final, which was requested back on April 7, JUST got to the testing center - gave me a little bit of heart failure there. The professor (same one who decided to add an assignment 3 weeks before the end of the term), decided to re-write the exam and just now got it to the exam people and JUST NOW decided to post the review packet.

I sent in my request for my 3 accounting exams the other day and planned to take all 3 tomorrow - one right after the other. Not the BEST way to do it but tomorrow is the only day McGyver has off and can watch the kids. I have no one else to watch them right now. Working on it, but don't have anyone right now.

Well, today I get an e-mail stating that I CAN'T take my 3 exams tomorrow. I can only take one. Then I have to request the next and take it and then I have to request the last one and take it. Essentially, I have to blow THREE days to take 3 exams. That would be great if McGyver could take 3 days off to help me out but he CAN'T.

Trust me, if there were a way for me to NOT have to take 4 exams in ONE day, I would have gone that route.

So I'm kind of up the creek without a paddle right now. I've e-mailed the testing center at my school to see if there is a way around this decision but I'm not holding my breath. Each of these exams is 20% of my grade and I can't take an incomplete due to my federal financial aid restrictions.


I am SO ready for this term to be OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Edited to update : the school is allowing me to call and schedule the 2nd (and then 3rd) exams as soon as I complete the first one. So I CAN take them back to back, I just have to finish one before they allow me to access the next. *whew* I swear, I'm going to have a flipping ulcer before this term is over.

Yeah, what SHE said...

'For Love and For Country'

I can't say it any better than the author.

Military families make the conscious decision to be engaged in "extreme citizenship." When we are called, we will stand. We choose this life understanding that there is a constitutional role for the military. That role is not to make policy, but to respond with ability and honor when called to action by our nation's elected leaders. No one — war critic or advocate — could want the military to behave otherwise. It's called civilian control of the military, and it's a bulwark of our democracy.




I've been tagged

I'm IT so here IT is...

1) Total number of films I own on DVD/video:

Assuming that each episode of the box set of "Mork and Mindy" counts as 1, then 95. That does NOT include movies I have personally recorded off of the TV or home movies. And that's only the ones that *I* have on the shelf. Not all of the boxes are unpacked yet and I GUARANTEE McGyver has more videos in a box somewhere.

2) The last film I bought:

For the kids? Dora's Fairytale Adventure - in the span of 48 hours I have seen/heard that damn video at LEAST 10 times.

For myself? Ocean's Twelve. I LOVED Oceans Eleven - what a wonderful cast and a well-written/produced movie. George Clooney, Andy Garcia, Brad Pitt AND Matt Damon (and Don Cheadle!) all in ONE movie?? I love it! Now, ask me if I've actually WATCHED Oceans Twelve...

3) The last film I watched:

I honestly cannot remember. I don't count the kids' movies (well, except The Incredibles - another movie I love!) and I can't remember the last time I actually sat down to watch a movie. I'm hoping, once I'm done with these classes, to use my coupon for a FREE pay-per-view movie to see "Hotel Rwanda". And, no, I have not watched Oceans Twelve yet. Sad, isn't it?

4) Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me (in no particular order):

All of the original Star Wars movies. McGyver and I both are Star Wars junkies and we're turning Princess Trouble into one too (she LOVES Princess Leia).

L.A. Confidential - probably one of the best-written thriller/who-dunnits out there. And Russell Crowe is easy on the eyes.

Christmas Vacation/A Christmas Story - our Thanksgiving Day tradition (neither one of us is a HUGE football fan) is to sit and watch these two movies to get "in the mood" for the upcoming holiday season!

So I Married an Axe Murder - Mike Meyers is AWESOME! I love all of his characters. One of my college roommates had a Scottish mother and could quote lines from this movie perfectly. Had us laughing beer out our noses constantly!

Pulp Fiction - what more needs to be said? If you haven't seen it, you wouldn't understand.

5) Tag 5 people and have them put this in their journal:
Hmm...this might be tough. I'm not sure how many of my blogger friends are "into" this type of thing.

My friend, the Haole

My friend Gail

My friend Shannon (though I don't expect her to respond - she's quite busy these days...

My friend who is the mother of little presidents

And my friend who is recouperating from surgery and from the fact that the Army has decided to recall her to active duty even though she has no family care plan and should never have been placed in IRR in the first place...


Ignorance must be bliss

A few weekends ago, there was a post-wide yard sale so we packed the kids in the car and headed off in search of an air conditioner for the kids' room and a few other things. We found a kid's picnic table for the kids and needed to take it apart to get it in the car to take it home.

I usually have an "Action Packer" (that's the actual name for it, not just what I call it) in the back of the car with a basic toolset (among other things) in it but, because of the move, it wasn't in there. So McGyver needed to borrow a pair of pliers from the woman that was selling the table.

She didn't know what pliers were.

I kid you NOT. She looked at him - blankly - and then said "whatever my husband has in the garage, you are more than welcome to use."

HOW on Earth do you NOT know what a pair of PLIERS look like? WHO RAISED YOU???

Now I'm not Sally Craftsman or anything but I can handle basic tools and yes, I have my OWN Makita drill. I can change a tire (thanks, mom) and the oil (thanks, dad) on my car. I can install shelving, hang items on the wall with expansion bolts, do minor repairs on appliances (and go shopping for new ones when the repairs make things worse). Can't sew worth a darn (learning how to do so is on my "TO DO" list) but I can handle basic tools.

This woman didn't know what a pair of PLIERS were.

Good grief.

On our way to dinner that evening, McGyver looked at me and said, "I'm so glad you know what a pair of pliers is."

Me too. Me too.


Ever have one of THOSE days?

Have you ever had one of those days where, all day long it feels like you are running head first into a brick wall in your attempts to make ANY headway in life?

And no matter how hard you get slammed to the ground after hitting the wall you pick yourself back up, dust yourself off as you mutter a few expletives under your breath (so the children don't hear you and repeat you, word for word, at church that weekend), and try again?

And, after running into that brick wall all day long, all you want to do is run, screaming, from the building and not look back but your head is hurting too much from running into the wall all day long for you to really consider leaving the premisis?

THAT was my day today.

Please, God, tell me it's going to be a better day tomorrow...



Someone sent this to me and for the life of me, I cannot figure out who it was. Sorry. But I thought the questions were interesting.

- hfs

1. Go back in time; it's before 9/11 and Hubby wants to join the Navy. You know what will happen on 9/11; Hubby doesn't. Do you discourage him to sign up?

Yes but not because of 9/11 or what has happened since. I would discourage him from joining THE NAVY. I dated a former Navy guy for a bit and saw what his sister-in-law went through with WestPacs and such...no flipping way. Now, before the Navy people jump all over me on this one, let me say that I repsect the Navy and those whoe serve in it. I just don't see it as a life for me.

That being said, I would never stand in the way of my husband's goals and dreams. If he truly wanted to serve his country, I would never discourage him.

2. What is your ideal meal?

Shoot, these days I'd be happy with a meal that was still warm by the time I was able to sit down to eat it.

One that *I* do not have to cook, clean up, or pay for.

3. You have $1 million dollars to spend on anything you want...online. Where do you shop and what do you buy?

Oh man...this could be the toughest question of all...

Where do I shop?? Restoration Hardware, Crate and Barrel, Target, eBay, any clothing site I choose...you name it.

What do I BUY? There isn't enough room here to list it all. I know I'd buy a car (or two...) and maybe some property in Northern Colorado for when we retire. Maybe that would wipe out the $1 million right there...works for me!

4. Two parts: What do you DISAGREE with the most within your own political party? What do you AGREE with the most within the opposing political party?

Well, right now I'm registered Republican though I consider myself more of a Libertarian. I think the 2 points I disagree with most within the Republican party is the essential ban on stem cell research and the pro-life stance of the party.

With regard to stem cell research, we have thousands of embryos (for use in IVF) that will be destroyed unless another use for them is found. Before we take even THAT route, the possibility of uses for ADULT stem cells is there as well yet we cannot pursue it due to the ban on additional funding for stem cell research. I think we are missing a HUGE opportunity to make real progress in the fight against Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, and many other afflictions.

When it comes to a woman's right to choose...I don't think the government should be involved. Period. Personally speaking, I could not have an abortion. At least, I cannot imagine ever having to make that choice. But it is NOT my place (or the government's place) to tell a woman what she can and cannot do to HER body. That is between the woman and God. It is not my place to judge. I worry that, if we (the United States) allow the government to control THAT aspect of our lives, it will then take over the REST of our lives.

As for what I agree with most within the Democratic party...pretty much the antithesis of what I disagreed with above. I don't agree with much that the Democratic party has to say these days.

5. Name one book you've always wanted to read but never have. Why haven't you read it?

Oh, goodness. I have a LIST of books I WANT to read and I don't think Blogger has enough server space to list them all. The two that jump to mind right off the bat are Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Then there is The Art of War, War and Peace, The Bible (all the way through)...and on and on and on.

As for WHY? I can't read a magazine article all the way through in 1 sitting right now. What makes you think I have time to read a novel???

Another pet peeve to add to the list

For those of you who teach - especially those of you who teach classes in which at least one of your students is a mother with 2 small children and a house to unpack...PAY ATTENTION!!!

When you publish your syllabus, make sure that ALL of the assignments are on there. Don't think about ADDING TO IT 3 weeks before the end of the flipping semester!!!

It's bad enough that I'm swamped beyond belief and I'm struggling to get all of my work done (the work that was initially published on the SYLLABUS!) for all 3 classes before the term ends next month. But now you decide that a chapter summary for each chapter isn't enough...you have to throw on an additional point to discuss. Damnit - I have ENOUGH work to do for this damn class - don't make my life any more difficult.


- hfs



Yep - I'm procrastinating. I admit it. It's a cool, cloudy morning - slightly rainy - and I'm having a hard time getting motivated to tackle the "TO DO" list. Little Man is teething and therefore did not sleep well last night which means neither did I so I'm a bit tired. I'd give a large sum of money for a Coke right about now. Think I'll settle for a chai tea instead. Sometimes I wish I were a coffee drinker...

I'm sitting here, listening to Dave Ramsey. I love high speed internet (when it's working...). Anyway, it dawned on me how much I miss our routines. We're starting to get back into them but it's taking a while and it's driving me nuts. I thrive on structure and routine. That's not to say I am inflexible - I like variety too. But life goes a LOT more smoothly (for me and, therefore, my kids) if there is some structure to my life.

Along with all of the stuff there is to do on my "TO DO" list, I need to add "budgeting" and my cleaning schedule to the list. Both of those will go a LONG way in helping me feel settled.

Military life doesn't lend itself to routines and schedule at times. Moving really messes with routines and schedules. BIG time. Aside from the chaos of the move itself, you give up schools, doctors, known favorites, friends, etc. I think the 2 hardest things to have to give up (for me) is a hairstylist and a babysitter. Not that my hair is anything spectacular. It's not. But I don't put a lot of work into it and therefore I need a cut that works well for me. I had a great hairstylist back in Tennessee. And not only did she cut my hair well, my haircuts cuts me all of $12. Yep - $12. Plus tip, of course. But $12. Hard to beat that anywhere, let alone Hawaii.

As for babysitters, we ran into this problem last week. McGyver's battalion had their ball and we were going. Fine, but WHO will we get to watch the kids? When you're new to an area, you don't KNOW anyone. Makes it kind of tough to find someone you trust to watch your kids. Most of the people we know right now are IN the unit and they were going to ball as well.

We were lucky in that we know a few people NOT in the unit and found someone (wonderful) to watch the kiddos. We have been fortunate in that respect. One of the things I truly love about military life is that, with a little work, you can "know" some people wherever you are headed. Thanks to a few bulletin boards/chat groups I belong to, I have met some WONDERFUL people - both here and across the country and around the world.

Ok - I've rambled long enough. Time to get some stuff DONE around here. Really...

- hfs


A change is needed

We had our cable installed last weekend and I've pretty much had CMT (Country Music Television) on constantly for the past few days when the kids aren't watching Disney or Nick.


As I'm unpacking boxes this afternoon, the Sudafed commercial comes on. You know, the one that has all of the people coming up to the pharmacist's counter complaining of a stuffy head, a head cold, allergies. And everyone is pointed in the direction of "aisle 5" for their box of Sudafed.

There's just one problem. Oklahoma and Oregon both have passed legislation that requires Sudafed products be kept behind the pharmacist's counter. Something like 25 to 30 other states are considering similar legislation.

I think it's time for Phizer's (Sudafed's manufacturer) advertising company to retool that one.

- hfs


on many fronts.

I'm 2/3 of the way through my 3rd assignment (out of 4) in accounting. I'll be setting up a time to take the rest of my exams for that class tomorrow. I'm not sure that taking 3 exams back to back is such a good idea but you gotta do what you gotta do.

I'll be finishing up the diet analyses I need to do for my nutrition class today. That will leave me with a paper to write and 2 exams to complete. No biggie there.

Then, for my 3rd class - Drugs, Behavior, and Modern Society, I'll be spending the majority of the day Saturday completing the chapter summaries and position papers for that class. That will leave me with the term project but that shouldn't be hard - I just need to put together an example of my unit plan from my teaching materials and do up a summary.

THEN I will be done. The last day to mail in assignments is June 3rd (to ensure they get there by the 6th) so I'll be free as of June 3. THANK GOODNESS!!!

No classes over the summer and probably only 1 or 2 in the fall.

We've made progress on the unpacking front too. The living room is all but done as is the kitchen. All that's left is to put up pictures and such. The kids' room is all but done - still need to put up a shelf and some pictures. Our bedroom is essentially unpacked but McGyver needs to straighten up his dresser and put his clothes away.

I'm not TOUCHING the office until after I finish this term. Never mind the fact that the movers DESTROYED my desk so I need to find a new one. McGyver and I have always had separate desks but I think we're going to buy some new file cabinets and a hollow-core door and make 1 desk to share. The office/guest room isn't big enough for 2 desks AND the futon.

Yesterday, during the kids' nap, I started to tackle the garage. McGyver has been too wiped out by the time he gets home (not to mention the fact that I could use some "away" time from the kids so losing him to the garage isn't ideal) to really do much with it. PLUS, he's not the best organizer. I told him that I could get it really organized if he'd let me and he said to "go to town". YAY!!! So he set up his workbench and such the way he wants it and now I can put everything else (well, not his workbench stuff although I could organize that too) away!!! There are some nice built-in shelves in the garage that will help IMMENSELEY in getting stuff organized and put away. Works for me!

We may even be able to (*gasp*) park a CAR in the garage! I know!!! Novel concept, isn't it?

Bear with me for a few more weeks. Like I said, once I get through the next 2 weeks, I'll be back on more often.

Until then, have a great week!

- hfs


Still here...

I've knocked out the chapter summaries, one of the accounting assignments, 1/2 of one of the take-home tests for the Nutrition class, done a bit of research on how the low-carb diet craze affects sport performance, and decided to wait until the last minute to take all of my accounting tests (gonna take them all in 1 day) because McGyver is due to start flying again soon and it isn't feasible for him to take THREE afternoons off when he can just take a day. So I'll wait until right before the end of the term to take the 3 accounting exams as well as my Nutrition final. I still have a lot to do and plan to spend a large portion of Saturday at the library (and a few more days later this month) but I'm making progress.

There are still boxes everywhere. For those of you who don't remember, I HATE cardboard boxes. HATE THEM. With a passion. And the fact that my house is full of them (as is the backyard) is driving me INSANE. But I have promised myself that I will only unpack during the day - my evenings are reserved for homework.

I was unpacking our china yesterday and here's how the brainiacs packed the box (from the BOTTOM up...this is key) :

lightweight cardboard box with our crystal champagne glasses
Lenox dinner plates (12 of them)
Lenox cups and saucers
Lenox salad plates (again, 12)
Lenox bread plates (again, 12)
silverware box

Very little packing paper was used. UNbelievable. Actually the unbelievable thing was that NOTHING in that box was broken. They'll use 4 sheets of packing paper to wrap one of my kids' plastic toys but get stingy with it when they go to pack the china and crystal. Brain surgeons, I tell you.

This move won't be as bad - damage wise - as the move from Alabama to Campbell. THey bashed up the dryer pretty well (no biggie - the house we rented comes with a washer and dryer so we're going to sell ours anyway), crushed a few of the metal bookshelves we had in the garage, finished off my bronze horse statue (a gift from a boy named Steve for my 13th birthday), did a bit of damage to the entertainment center, and busted up a few other small things but NOTHING like the claim we had to file last year.

Ok - time for lunch and some more unpacking. And homework, if I can cram it in. I probably won't be on again until next week sometime. Have a good weekend!


Don't take it personally

I'm not going to be on much in the next few weeks.

I don't know what the hell I was thinking when I signed up for 12 credits this term. I am so far behind right now, it's not even funny. The term ends June 6 and here is what I have left to do :

* 3 chapter summaries
* 3 diet analyses
* a 10-page research paper on the negative health aspects of the low-carb diet craze as they relate to athletic performance
* 2 take home tests
* 3 accounting assignments
* 3 accounting tests
* 1 nutrition final
* 10 chapter summaries for my drug an alcohol class that I *just* got the book for
* 5 position papers for the same class
* 1 10-page project (my choice) paper for the same class

Add to that ball for McGyver's unit, a luau for McGyver's unit, and a "welcome home" overnight party at the beach for McGyver's unit - all in the next 2 weeks.

God, help me.

I may post now and then but probably won't be on much until after the first week in June. Pray for me!


Where does the responsibility rest?

Pilot Pleads Guilty in Afghanistan Crash

McGyver was a crew chief and a flight engineer prior to becoming a pilot. I've talked to him about this case because I wanted his perspective on it.

Here are my thoughts...

* at what point does it become the crew chief's responsibility to ensure that he is strapped in? If the crew chief gave an "affirmative" when asked if he was secure, should the pilot then go back and MAKE SURE? Or take the word of his experienced crew chief that he is, in fact, strapped in?

* what was the object that lodged under the collective? Where did it come from? Whose responsibility was it to make sure that all loose objects were secure?

* Why - in a time of WAR - was the pilot tasked to fly in a demonstration for higher-ups? If *I* were running the military, we wouldn't be wasting flight hours, fuel, or pilot time putting on private airshows for every mucky-muck that strolls through. Let them watch a video.

* and lastly, something that the military has a hard time comprehending...ACCIDENTS happen. Sometimes, a group of circumstances - each innocuous on their own but deadly when combined - come together and result in an ACCIDENT. Sometimes, assigning blame isn't feasible.

It is my belief that TWO lives were destoryed in this instance when the fallout could have been mitigated. This is unfortunate. I do not believe that the pilot should have been prosecuted in this instance. However, he WAS the pilot in command and ultimate responsibility for the aircraft and the people on board rests on his shoulders.

And so it has.

edited to add : the object that lodged under the collective were the chocks that are used to secure the aircraft while it is on the ground. The responsibility for securing those chocks rests with the crew chief. Had the chocks been secure - as they should have been - the accident never would have happened. Again - this was an accident resulting from the convergence of many circumstances - each innocuous on their own.



A wonderful trip, for the most part. I'll post more about the lessons I learned once we recover. In the mean time, I'll leave you with a few pictures...


Wrote this six years ago. Nothing's changed.  One of my favorite movies is 'Bull Durham'. And one of my favorite scenes in ...