Monday, April 29, 2019

#atoZChallenge - Zombies (of course!)

Hi, Welcome to my little corner of the Interwebz! I'm doing a pretty random theme this year - things that make me happy / are guilty pleasures / whatever makes me... ME!

What other word would I use for Z?  

My favorite monster truck.
I even have Hot Wheels versions of it...
The one on the right is the 2015 Halloween edition. 
 Zombie night at the local ballpark. 
 I even have custom painted zombie nutcrackers! 
And a nice zombie plant, too.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

#AtoZChallenge - YouTube and all the social media

Hi, Welcome to my little corner of the Interwebz! I'm doing a pretty random theme this year - things that make me happy / are guilty pleasures / whatever makes me... ME!

No shame - I skipped the X post. I had a crazy busy weekend! I'm hoping to get a real non-AtoZ post written soon. Ooooh look - and now I should already have the Z post ready! Nope.
Because a post NEEDS at least one photo - here's the latest picture from one of the truck drivers at work. I have a file folder dating from 2005 filled with pictures of Ron's Dogs in all sorts of costumes & occasions. He used to have 5 dogs of different breeds all lined up, but now he's just down to these poor little ladies. 

Carrying on.....

If you look over to the right sidebar, you can see I have a goodly number of social media sites listed. This is the same set up on my Halloween blog (aka MGC)

LinkedIn, I tend to follow people who are in my line of work (transportation) and US Navy and ARRL (radio) . There's a few bloggers in there, too. 

Facebook is a gimme. I'm on daily. I don't have this blog connected with my personal FB, since most of my family doesn't even know that I blog. They know about my Halloween one and that's enough. 

Instagram is mainly nature / scenery / my cats / randomness. The MGC Insta follows a lot of Chuck the Skeleton's adventures and the display itself as the time gets nearer. 

Snapchat is pretty random, too. If you want to follow me, drop me a note that you're a reader! 

Twitter I don't use much. I made an account to participate in the Twitter Chats we used to have for the A-Z challenge, but other than blog posts being automatically posted there, I don't use it much. I like to follow the local PD / FD on there since they're usually pretty funny. On MGC, I follow a lot of other Halloween displays who seem to use it like I do. Links to posts or videos. 

YouTube is my guilty pleasure. MGC I follow other bloggers / Halloween displays since I love to watch build tutorials & see other people's setups. I post videos of my display & projects, too. My personal channel doesn't have any posts this year, since mainly what I did have posted was Spawn's dance routines! Now that she's not competing..... I'm sure nobody wants to tour my messy house or anything. So my content is now iffy. But what I follow? This goes back to my wide variety of interests. Makeup people like James St. James and Jeffree Star. Woodworking channels (why is Norm Abram so interesting?). The Townsends which is 18th century cooking (don't judge!) World of Wonder since they post all the RuPaul's Drag Race content. One that follows an 18th century cook in a British manor house. Duluth Trading Company (OMG - their commercials are hilarious!!) Ten Second Songs - this guy sings songs with the style of other artists & he's pretty amazing. Bad Lip Reading. The occasional Bob Ross video. PriorAttire shows re-enactors getting dressed in Victorian era clothing. Antique painting restorations. I've gotten sucked into watching nail art videos and cookie decorating - I don't know why somethings catch my attention! 

Pinterest is the one I'm on least. I feel it's good for looking up recipes but I never got into linking blog posts onto there or anything. 

So what's your favorite social media?

Thursday, April 25, 2019

#AtoZChallenge - Weather spotting

Hi, Welcome to my little corner of the Interwebz! I'm doing a pretty random theme this year - things that make me happy / are guilty pleasures / whatever makes me... ME!

I love storms.  I have my dad to thank for that.  We'd sit out on the front porch and watch the lightning and rain.  

So why not put it this fascination to use?  I am a National Weather Service qualified Skywarn Weather Spotter.  I can also use my amateur radio to call into the weather service with any reports I may observe. 

Besides watching storms (I'm totally jealous of those people who are able to catch lightning in a picture!)  the sky can be an amazing work of art!
A hawk in the tree - taken while horseback riding.  
Glad I got such a clear shot!
This is actually the moonrise over Lake Huron in Mackinaw. 
I have this set as the wallpaper on my phone. 
 I used to get a lot of cool sunrise photos from the parking lot at work, until they added onto that building on the left.  Grrr.
My back yard. 


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

#AtoZChallenge - VFW

Hi, Welcome to my little corner of the Interwebz! I'm doing a pretty random theme this year - things that make me happy / are guilty pleasures / whatever makes me... ME!

Going along with yesterday's US Navy post - I have been a member of the VFW, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Old Settlers Post 4659 in Disco, Michigan since February 2018.
When I was thinking of joining some sort of veteran's organization, my brother who retired from the Air Force suggested AmVets, which is open to all veterans.  I looked into it, but saw they stick their female vets in the auxiliary with the family members.  Um no.  I don't feel that's a good combination.

I looked into the American Legion, and while I see a lot of females on their website, it was hard to find info for us specifically.  And while I spoke to a lady (a former Marine) from the local Legion at a blood drive who invited me to come visit / to join - I wasn't feeling it. 

For some reason, it just felt right when I looked into the VFW.   Back many moons ago, when Spawn was in Girl Scouts in elementary school and I was one of her leaders, we took the troop to this very same post for Veteran's Day.  I had a nice chat with the commander at the time and he suggested then that I should join.  But all I knew about any of these places was based on my grandparents who only went to "the Legion" to drink & play bingo.  

I was made to feel welcome as soon I walked in to meet the guy in charge of membership.  I could tell he was very proud of the post as he showed me around.  So yeah.  I started out with a one year membership, but this February upgraded to a life membership.  And there's only one other female who attends meetings with any regularity.  
Ya know, hearing about things that happened in Vietnam, Korea or even WWII on TV or newspapers is NOT the same as hearing it directly from someone who was there.   Every time I go to a meeting, I'm in awe of being in the company of these gentlemen who have experienced things that I cannot imagine.   I may qualify to be a member under a couple different bullets on the VFW eligibility list but my time in was cake compared to these guys who saw real close-up combat.

There is a WWII vet who still comes to meetings and when we all stayed after the last meeting of the year in December to have a drink to celebrate, I purposely sat by him.  I was expecting him to be casually sipping on scotch or whiskey or something totally bad ass.  Nope.  He had a nice white zinfandel!   But he is an absolutely adorable old man.  
Last August, we got a M-60 tank in front of the post!
I was really entertained when I heard a couple guys wondering if it still had a drivetrain and them looking at each other with raised eyebrows and winks.  But thankfully it is no longer driveable so nobody could take it out for a joyride, for old times sake. 
very funny lol GIF


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

#AtoZChallenge - US Navy

Hi, Welcome to my little corner of the Interwebz! I'm doing a pretty random theme this year - things that make me happy / are guilty pleasures / whatever makes me... ME!

I will never forget the 8 years I spent in the Navy.  Fun fact - most people that I know (me included) feel uncomfortable and don't know what to say when thanked for their service.  Usually I say thanks, but other times I'll say it was an honor and an adventure.  And it was. 

My 2015 A-Z Challenge theme was 26+ sea stories about my time as a US sailor.  That was a fun trip down memory lane, that I also touched on for my "I" post this year. 

So I dug thru my folders here on the computer and found some scans of old photos that are perfect for this letter. 
USS Canopus AS-34 
my first ship from September 1992 - November 1994
This is the saddest video I've ever watched - the Canopus being scrapped in I believe 2000.
May 1994 in Nassau, Bahamas
being dwarfed by that Carnival ship!
May - July 1994 in Norfolk, VA
This photo needed to come back out - my sisters from other misters. 
I'll never have another friendship like I do with them. 
We got split up after the Canopus was decommissioned and when we finally got back to together 23 years later, it was like we'd never been apart.  I wish we all lived closer - I'm in Michigan, Laura's in Ohio and Gin's in Texas.  
Baby Me & Laura at the decommissioning ceremony.
My second ship - USS Abraham Lincoln CVN-72
December 1994 - April 1997

There are so many stories & memories about my time on the Lincoln.  It was such an amazing experience being among the first females stationed on board an aircraft carrier.  
You can barely make out the Lincoln in Hong Kong harbor. 
Cables cars to Sentosa Island in Singapore. 
One of the many Sentosa dragons. 
The view of Jebal Ali. 
Hard Rock Cafe in Bahrain.  Apparently it's not there anymore since I just looked online to see if I could get a shot glass like I have from all the others I've been to - and nothing turned up in the search. 
Uniform of the Day for my Shellback Initiation was inside out & backwards.
At the end of West Pac '95 (around the western Pacific), we had a Tiger Cruise.  So my parents flew out to Hawaii and got to spend 5 days on the Lincoln as we came back to Alameda, CA.  
I'm so grateful I got to give them that trip, since they talked about it for years.  Mom still mentions it. 
 The first time I realized I look like Mom. 
I got to fly on one of these monsters from the ship into Bahrain.
CH-53E.  It can easily carry 30 troops and a lot of cargo.   

I spent a total of 6 weeks in Bahrain, loading and unloading mail for the ships out in the Gulf.
The first time I was there for a month, then the guy who relived me had to return to take the September advancement exam so I was sent back.  I won't get into exhaustive details, but once you advance a paygrade, you have to spend a certain amount of time there before and I'd just advanced the prior March so wasn't eligible to take the next exam yet.
One of my trips to and from the Lincoln was by C2 Cod. 
Launching & recovering was the coolest, yet scariest, thing ever!
Imagine sitting there - facing backwards - and being sent from 0 to 140 knots per hour in like 300 feet and on the flip side - stopping the same way.  
The night before I left to go to Diego Garcia, I helped celebrate with a bunch of Marines who had just come in from deployment and were heading back to the States.  I was still feeling no pain the next morning - in fact was laying on a bench in the locker room with one foot on the floor so I didn't fall off the earth - until I had to board this fine specimen of military aviation.   

I thought I was going to die. 

We flew from Bahrian into Fujairah International Airport - which meant skimming mountains & dropping down to the airstrip.  I know the high ranking Army brass who was sitting in font of me (I was last to board so I was sitting in a sideways jump seat with the one crew member) was happy that I didn't ralph because he was in my line of fire. 
 From Fujairah to Diego Garcia (good luck finding that tiny island in the Indian Ocean on a map without using a search bar!)  I flew in something slightly bigger.  Me & another guy were the only passengers, so we sat with the crew.  There's not a lot of seats on a cargo plane!
F-14s were may favorite planes on the Lincoln.  
Just super cool.
  Me in my dress blues about 6 moths before I got out. 
(Ignore the fact this photo is actually the very shiny & new USS Gerald Ford CVN-78)
In March 1996, I got to re-enlist between the rudders of the Lincoln.  
Simply awesome.