Aluminum Ornithology

As a plane geek, I love living near Pt. Mugu Naval Air Weapons Station. There’s always something exciting flying around. 

One day a Marine Corps OV-22 Osprey will fly over. Last week, it was an Air Force E-3 Sentry AWACS. Over the past month, I’ve seen a Coast Guard HC-130J, several flights of Navy F/A-18 Hornets, E-2 Hawkeyes, Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphins, and Air National Guard C-130Js.

Happy/happy/happy.

Patchology: Procrastinating Goldfish Patrol

My Life Scout son Aaron was elected as leader of his patrol in the contingent that our Council assembled to represent Ventura County at the 2017 National Scout Jamboree.

Soon after, the patrol named themselves “the Procrastinating Goldfish Patrol.”

Against all odds, I managed to find them appropriate BSA-regulation patrol patches. As you can see, the patch above shows a goldfish clearly in the act of procrastinating. At the Jamboree, the patrol wore this and all of their other insignia and regalia with slightly snarky pride.

Hoping the BSA can get back into the post-COVID game with a Jamboree in 2023. I won’t be there, and Aaron won’t, either, but at least that gives us a shot at going to one together in 2027.

Home on the Range

My favorite tent ever. Retro look, seven feet long, easy up, easy down, weighs two pounds, fits into a bag the size of a 32-ounce Nalgene bottle, and set me back a whopping $52 delivered.

I should buy two.

  1. A weekday outside
  2. Beautiful weather
  3. A great view
  4. A golf cart to tool around the hillside course
  5. Fellowship
  6. Food and drink

All without having to spend the day whacking a small white spheroid with a bent stick, only to have to chase it around for 10 kilometers.

It’s official

I am honored and humbled to report that the membership and the Executive Board of the Ventura County Council, BSA met today and confirmed my nomination as Council Commissioner for 2022-3.

In this role I will be responsible for supporting two District Commissioners, two dozen unit Commissioners, and over a thousand adult leaders spread out across 2,200 square miles.

Sadly, I will be compelled to step away from my role as Scoutmaster of our Troop, but I am blessed to be able to leave it I’m more capable hands than my own.

Onward.

On the Trail Again

It’s fire season, so I am avoiding all back-country camping for a few months. That said, we have Scouts and Scouters who need to break in backpack gear and get used to our packs.

So we took some of our Scouts out on a shakedown hike to Sycamore Falls in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. It was warm, a couple of our number did not bring enough water, and it was more strenuous wearing masks, but it was a lot of fun and a real confidence-builder for a Troop that has made car camping a habit over the last few years.

I can’t wait to head into the back country in a few months…

Retirement Goodness #2

Another nice thing about retired life: stepping outside each morning at 7:55am and hearing “The Star-Spangled Banner” playing over the loudspeakers at Naval Base Ventura County in the near distance, singing along under my breath.

It sounds corny, but it is a calming and edifying way to start the day.

Unpopular Opinion

Now hear this:

Wearing a tee shirt with the logo of a locally-based military unit when one has never served themselves is not a case of “stolen valor.” It is support for the home team.

That is all.

Early Morning, BSA Golf Classic

I swore my retirement would not be about golf, but here I am, not four weeks in, on a golf course at 8am Monday morning.

In my defense, I am here for a fundraiser for our local council of the Boy Scouts of America, and I am not playing, just carrying drinks and snacks to the foursomes as they work their way around the course.

I am more of a hiker than a differ, but on a day like this, with the temperature a modest 73F and a light breeze blowing off the Pacific onto the Spanish Hills, I see the appeal of the game.

Phase V: Back to the Store

Working during the Pandemic had a few upsides, one of which was that I could justify ordering groceries online and having them delivered. The tips, the service charges, and the higher prices could be justified by the extra layer of safety offered by shoppers and contactless delivery.

We may not yet be post-pandemic quite yet, but I am certainly post-career, and that means masking up and going back to shopping the old-fashioned way. I’m hitting one grocery stop per week, reading the store circulars coming in the mail, learning where to get the best deals, and buying in slightly larger quantities. At some point, we will probably add a freezer to take advantage of sales and overstock.

As much as I enjoyed groceries on my front doorstep, there is a deeper satisfaction in going out and picking out my own food and finding the better deals. 

In the months ahead, more bulk buying, coupon clipping, and leftovers.

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