November 11th, 2007


Veteran's Day

I should think about Veteran's Day. And about the veterans I know.

One of them's on my Friends List: stagger_lee77 has done a stint in Iraq and Kuwait and lived to tell the tale (as well as get happily involved with supremegoddess1 once she got back to the Carolinas). She has tales: harrowing and hilarious and horrifying, sometimes all at once.

I have veterans in my family, too. Dad served a full 26-year stint in the Navy: he served in a radar program, a missile program, RIO duty on five aircraft carrier cruises from 1971 to 1983 -- he was the back-seat flier on F-4 Phantoms and F-14 Tomcats, doing almost everything but fly the plane -- and Air Ops duty on his last cruise (U.S.S. John F. Kennedy, August 1988-February 1989, the cruise that included the second Gulf of Sidra incident). Dad was the air traffic controller for all of the Kennedy's planes that were on patrol (i.e. not launching or landing on the carrier, which is its own huge job supervised by the Air Boss). As far as I know, he never got shot at. He'd joined the Navy in 1968, after he and Mom had gotten married; at his 1994 retirement ceremony, Mom noted approvingly that Dad had "never turned in his 40 for two 20s." The two of them now live in Dundee, Oregon, about 30 miles from my home. He's fully retired, and does woodworking, cooking, serious exercise (with Adapt Training in Beaverton), and lots of reading.

His dad was a veteran, too. During World War II, Irv Walsh first got stationed in Alaska's Aleutian Islands, in case Japan ever decided to attack the U.S. that way. After V-E Day, Irv was dispatched to Europe, for clean-up duty and POW supervision. I wonder if he ever dealt with genuine Nazis. (My mom's dad was unable to join the military for the war because of his eyesight.)

One of the men in my office is a veteran in his 30s. I also work a couple of buildings and a skybridge away from the Portland VA Hospital.

And when I was in high school, an older substitute teacher of mine told my class about being among the first troops to reach Hiroshima after the bombing.

They are the veterans I can think of. I'm sure I know more people who are, and I'm just unaware of that part of their lives.

I'm thinking about the veterans. And when I went out this morning to get groceries, I briefly put my hand over my heart when I passed a flag set out for Veteran's Day.
  • Current Music
    Amy Winehouse, "Me and Mr. Jones"

To re-word Dr Seuss, this progress isn't progressing too fast

I didn't write much yesterday for National Novel Writing Month; I managed several hundred words today, reaching 5,493 words. I'm well off-pace, as I should average out to 1,667 words a day, but I'm still getting a bit at a time. And I was glad to remind myself back on November 1st that, seriously, typing 1,700 words really doesn't take that long. I need to do better than that; but the thing is, I know that I can.

(My big at-home accomplishment yesterday: destroying old receipts. Credit and debit card info is now at the bottom of my bacon-grease can, waiting to be entombed in bacon grease. Which turns nicely opaque.)

In my novel, I'm currently destroying a science fictional, not-of-this-world city. But it's getting very selectively destroyed, and I'm not yet totally sure why. But hey, that's what late writing will tell me, right?

What else was there about today: zarhooie called me from the road, as she drove back from Boston towards her home in Upstate New York. She said that shadesong said hi. Hi right back atcha, 'Song!

This weekend I only watched two football games, but there was enough football drama for the whole weekend in those two, 'cause one was the Oregon State-Washington madness (at least Locker was OK after that helmet hit he took) and tonight's NBC game was the San Diego Chargers really impressively running against the Colts. I actually feel a little bad for the Colts, but they can afford the loss; I'd say San Diego needed the win, and they earned it.

Oh, and I think I'm becoming a fan of Friday Night Lights...