Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Command Presence

When I was in the Air Force, we could usually spot officers who were headed for the top. They had a certain swagger. They had a way about them that projected competence and confidence. An up-and-coming general was already recognizable when he was just a captain. We referred to that “thing” they had as command presence

Monday, February 23, 2015


Like many in my age group, my hearing gets worse every year. I’ve had my ears tested regularly for the past decade and the deterioration from year to year has been consistent, if not especially dramatic. Then, after my check-up last year, the audiologist suggested I get a hearing aid.

I tried one briefly. Very briefly.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Shemya - A Year at the End of the World

I spent 1966 stationed on Shemya Island, Alaska, one of the Semichi islands, at the end of the Aleutian chain. The Semichis are so far from the Alaskan mainland that the International Date Line zigzags to keep them in the same day as the rest of the United States. Shemya is about 1500 miles from Anchorage and 200 miles from Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Not Awesome

Every now and then a word comes into vogue and is used so excessively, or so incorrectly, that it grates on my nerves. Awesome is a current example. It’s reached the point now that I cringe whenever someone uses (or, more frequently, misuses) the word.  Awesome has become the new, nice. Trite to the third power.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Amijohn who?

In case you are wondering what an amijohn is - it has nothing to do with bathroom fixtures. It's a moniker I've been using for years.