Friday, August 20, 2021

Sweet Maggie Dog RIP 08/18/2021

Monday morning we could tell Maggie felt well enough to go to the beach. Once on the beach, as we walked to her favorite place, she played in the water like a puppy. Her favorite place is where the beach butts against Cape Lookout and forms deep tide pools to swim in, dig for rocks, and retrieve sticks. Which she did until her tongue was hanging out. Tuesday night she started going downhill. Here is a photo of Maggie in one of her "safe" spots Tuesday evening:

  You can just make out her gray nose in the hollowed trunk of the tree. The tree is next to the fire pit where we usually have our evening drinks. By Wednesday Morning we knew it was time and called the Vet. At the Vet's she lived up to her name to the very end.

We will miss you sweet girl, the best dog ever.


Tuesday, August 17, 2021


 I did a couple of short Afghanistan tours flying a Learjet for the UN and returned several times in the GIV when Evergreen had business there. I was on Bagram Airbase one time when we used the GIV to look at a penetration type approach to be used by our cargo 747's. 

The UN tours were early in our involvement in Afghanistan and it was reasonably safe for expats.  We could go out to eat and shop in the markets with little danger. In fact one of our pilots married a women he met there.

We lived in a house off the airport with guards and had a driver to go back and forth to the airport. The last time I talked to one of the pilots on the Afghanistan contract all the UN expats had been moved into a large dorm like compound near the airport that they never left except to go to the airport. 

This is a photo of the cook and the station manager:

    Before the U.S. invaded Afghanistan the station manager spent over a year in prison because he didn't have a proper beard. The cook, according to the station manager, fought against the Russians and was a very proficient killer.  I'm sure both are in danger now for no reason other than they worked with a U.S. company.

My bedroom was behind the door the station manager is standing in front of. My last night in Kabul was extremely cold. I was scheduled to fly out on the UN Lear to Dubai then on Lufthansa to Portland and the Truckshop to McMinnville. I forget how many time zones I crossed but it was a bunch. Anyway I had every blanket I could find on the bed and was still cold when about midnight I heard a whoosh boom just out side the wall followed but the rapid tat tat tat of small arms fire. The sounds of a firefight moved around the compound until almost daylight. Needless to say there wasn't anyway I was going to miss the morning flight out.


Sunday, August 15, 2021


Fat, dumb, happy, and illegal as hell. Headed to Central America in a LearJet 25D at FL450 and not a O2 mask in sight. Click it to big it and you might be able to see MsBubba in the back. The happiest times of my aviation life were with a LRJET 25 strapped to my ass. I loved that airplane, if you thought it, the Lear did it and did it immediately. No more, no less, what a beautifully flying machine. On top of that it had enough power to peel your foreskin on takeoff. If flown correctly, the thrust levers went forward two times. First time was on takeoff with power reduction to stay under the speed limit once airborne. The second time was setting climb power once clear of the airport. Reaching FL410 you started reducing thrust to stay under MMO and from then on the trust levers would be moving back. First big reduction was leaving altitude for landing. You reduced thrust to hold a 500'/minute rate of cabin descent until reaching around FL300, at that point the thrust levers could go to flight idle and if you did it correctly (mostly only possible if flying "Life Flight") never to go forward until the wheels were on the ground. Even better you knew when you lit the fires in three hours you would be standing in front of a FBO's urinal taking a leak. That airplane was a soulmate.
A few years older at the Kabul War Museum with a MIG (I believe 17) in the background. Afghanistan has handed a lot of folks their ass and a good bit of their left behind military equipment is in the museum.

 A must do when in Sturgis. Not much to say other than I was there for the 69th Sturgis Motorcycle Week.

That's it for today, see you on down the road,


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Photos For Safe Keeping

More photos recovered from PhotoBucket. The blog is a good place for safe keeping.

Isam, our driver in Khartoum, Sudan:

Isam was not as bad as most of the Sudan drivers with saying "yes, yes I know" and then driving all over the city showing that "no, no they didn't know". Khartoum traffic was total chaos with a mix of trucks, buses, pickups, cars, a few scooters, camels,  donkeys with and without carts, and folks on rugs having afternoon tea in the middle of the road, it was wild. BTW, roads were just kinda a general path going in the direction you wanted to go. 

Cell phone store in Khartoum:

This was typical of most areas of Khartoum once out of the city center.  Our Khartoum flat was in the same area as the bin Laden family compound.

Buying cell phones and sim cards:

From left to right, Isam, the station manager, my F.O. John, salesman, and Frank the mechanic.

John and Frank in the lobby of the main expat hotel in Khartoum:

After I left the pilot that replaced me and John were busted for smuggling booze from Kenya into The Sudan. It worked pretty good for awhile with over a $1000 USD profit per Nairobi trip.


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

More From PhotoBucket

Posting miscellaneous photos from PhotoBucket. 

Finial approach for landing EIOB in Sub-Saharan Africa (North Sudan) 

The street where I lived in Kubul, Afghanistan. This is one of the better neighborhoods. The fighting in Afghanistan has been going on for so long there is not a wall or building that is not scarred or pockmarked by ordinance.

Even in war zones folks still live life, sometimes guarded by a guy with an AK47. Our helpers flying a kite in the back garden of our house in Kabul.

Last for the day, UD back in Tucson sawing a dovetail:

That's all for today, see you guys on down the road.


Sunday, August 08, 2021


 Several years ago Photobucket changed their terms of service and slapped a "Photobucket" logo across the stored photos unless you paid a fee to download your photos. I figured my stored photos were lost as I refused to pay the fee. I don't know what changed but recently Photobucket is allowing the photos to be downloaded without the logo.

I've downloaded many of the stored photos. It is still a slight problem because of the extension, Gimp does not recognize the file as a photo but at least I can view the photo and even publish them. Over the next few days I will post some of the recovered photos.

Maggie in Rocky Point, Mexico asking for anybody to play her game:

Another of Mags and the Ugly Dude:

One more motorcycle photo, the bridge over the Salt River: