Posted by: Roger | February 11, 2011

The First Open House of 2011

The Whatcom-Skagit Model Railroad Club will have its first Open House of 2011 tomorrow from 1100 to 1600, military time, or thereabouts.

I wonder if Imelda Marcos had as much difficulty deciding which pair of shoes to wear as I do deciding which train to run? Will it be the CBQ mixed freight, the Northern Pacific whatever, the BNSF local, or who knows what? You’ll have to come to the club house to find out. By all means, come and watch a bunch of old guys play with trains; we enjoy it as much as you. It’s a real shame that I had to get old in order to have enough money to play with trains instead of when I was young and BROKE with no home of my own. Sigh, that’s why I went into the Army, but I was happy to find the El Paso Model Railroad Club when I was assigned to Fort Bliss*, but a bit bummed when Uncle Sammy decided to send me to Germany (59th MP Company, Pirmasens) just as I was starting my NTrak module.

Directions to the club house are here (I truly hope the directions page works, not much else seems to.) http://www.bsme.org, yep, our web guys STILL haven’t gotten their act together. Well, maybe another six or seven years and we’ll still have have the same broken, dysfunctional web site, but the correct url, I hope!. We’ll call it progress! Yeah, I’m talking to you x, y and z. Either **** or get off the pot!

If I’m not too busy running trains, I’ll try to get some photos of the action.

WARNING: Rambling editorial nonsense follows.

*I was assigned to Bravo Battery, 4th Battalion, 1st ADA Regiment, 11th ADA Brigade, the “Gotcha Covered, Cowboys” (don’t blame me, I didn’t make it up, but I loved Marty Robbins’ introduction to El Paso and Fort Bliss) after I spectacularly failed, uh, did I say that I FAILED, airborne training at Fort Benning. I mean FAILED with the accent on FAILED!

Airborne qualification in 1981. Let’s see:

Two mile run in 16 minutes, 50 seconds: not a chance. I couldn’t do 17:55 in tenny runners. Well, I did ONE time at Fort Bliss.

5, yes, a measly FIVE, pullups: you’re dreaming. Excuse me, Sarge, old buddy? Can I do the ‘girl’ pullups that the chicks are doing over there for the SAME airborne qualification, for which I’M supposed to be qualifying? I can do lot’s of those!

“SHUT UP PRIVATE! Congress says we have to pretend they’re equal. Title 9, you know. Congress says that five girl pullups will pull those very same parachute strings just as effectively as five manly dead-weight pullups that you have to do, but you have a dingus and they don’t, so you get treated differently.”

SAY WHAT?

50 pushups: ooh!, your drugs are working overtime, Sarge. How about 20 like that guy in “Stripes?” I can do that many. Never was able to do 40. 38 MAYBE, 40, no. Maybe that’s why I ended up on on the WEST side of the Rhine River instead of the East.

50 sit-ups: I was great at those, but if they hadn’t made me run two miles in combat boots, and then try those stupid MAN pullups along with the damn pushups, I would have made it. Yay! One out of four, almost: LOSER!

And the man said, “If you want to wash out now, and FOREVER be prohibited from EVER attempting airborne training in this entire universe forever and ever amen, raise your hand.”

I had both in the air instantly and was jumping up and down so he wouldn’t miss me. Good-bye Fort Richardson (180something Airborne), hello Fort Bliss (11th ADA Brigade, eventually, after a wonderful week of guarding the parking lot and arms room of the Ranger training company; you guys are CRAZY. I mean the knuckleheads who gave us an M16 and magazine with THREE rounds, which we had to keep in our back pockets with the flap buttoned (remember those plain green fatigues). Those of us there were saying the only way they would know something was wrong was if they stumbled over our bodies in the dark; 3-round magazine securely fastened in our back pockets.)

Maybe it had to do with the guy I saw come off the static tower in his second week. He hit the ground and the sadist, sorry, I mean “Drill Instructor,” ran over to him and smacked him on top of his helmet liner (remember what those were?) so hard I thought the guy would need a hydraulic jack to be extracted from it. From 200 yards away, I heard the errant airborne wannabe yell, “THANK YOU, SERGEANT.”

Can I go home now? Well, with a PLATOON of more than 200 wannabes (that was more than the total number of bulletstoppers (11B) in World War 2 COMPANIES, for those non-military), they had to get rid of as many as they could as fast as they could. That means me.

With all sincerity, I salute ALL of you who truly earned the maroon AND black berets; and I despise the government pisant who gave berets of whatever color to EVERYONE and anyone just because they could breathe air and scribble their name on a piece of paper. PHOOOEY! A beret, whatever the color, should be a badge of honor; not a scuzzy piece of “headgear” for cannon fodder. I was cannon fodder, but I was going to be the best fodder for the cannon as I could be, and happy to wear my Woodland green cap to the end.

“Joint” Base. indeed. Sounds like Cheech and Chong looking for a thrill; we’re screwed!.

OOOPS, I should be saying this on my Rambling’s blog (http://rogersramblings/wordpress.com), but there it is.

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