Saturday, February 18, 2012
Me and JB heading to the beach
Old school crew
Me and Tammy
Heather and her friends from VA
The 118 1st Ave South Crew
I am an artist
I am pretty upset at myself for not documenting my summer a little better. Every day or night we went out was an adventure. We loved theme parties, or even just dressing up for the hell of it and going out like idiots. I would bring out the cooler I built with a stereo in it to the beach, and we would just rock out during the day. The ridiculous kegerator that I acquired got much use in the evenings and then again after the bars closed. I think in the 9 months that I was in Jacksonville, we killed 10 kegs. Pretty impressive if you consider our core group was about 7 or 8 people. I miss my friends in Jax Beach a lot. They are a solid group of guys/gals… we had our “Melrose Place” moments, but for the most part, I think we all get along really well and looked out for one another. My next door neighbors Roger and Norma were pretty much saints. Well, maybe Roger isn’t a saint… lol, he is a little crazy. Jack and I got an opportunity to reunite with Mike Postel and Jason Dalyrumple for a weekend. It was pretty epic. The picture in this post was a remake of a picture we have from when we were all about 20 years old. Sorry these pictures are weak, hopefully the Tour de Franzia and 80’s going away party will satisfy the need for party pics.
Best looking dudes I know
Inside joke (ask Jack to pull his pants down...)
Who would have thought?
Jack's EOD crew
One of my best buds, Jack Hanson, found out he was selected to Chief recently. This is a big deal. I have known Jack for 11 years. He was stationed with me in Sicily, and we have a lot in common. Besides the facts that we joined the Navy with a couple weeks of one another, our birthdays are a month apart, we both started as ETs (Electronic Technicians), and have ass tattoos (not matching), Jack has just always been a good friend to me. So his wife and I threw him a little surprise party. Thanks for everything Jack, congrats on making Chief brother!
Me and Jack
She stole my hat, obviously the wheels were falling off, look at the emblem...
I wanted his hat
One good thing about having an awesome friend who is EOD (Jack Hanson), is that they get some pretty nice hotel rooms for some events. Fleet week Ft. Lauderdale here I come! This was such a debaucherous weekend I can’t post all of the photos, and the ones I do have I can post were pretty much before we started drinking. Ft. Lauderdale did a great job of opening up to us… especially the strip club. I will take all the blame for forcing the 3 married men I was with into going into a strip club… but I’m glad they came with me. Upon walking in the door the best looking dancer in the joint walked up to me and asked me if I wanted a dance. I said “No thank you.” Very politely… and then she proceeded to tell me that the dance had already been paid for, at this time there was two old men in the corner of the bar who waved and gave me a thumbs up. God bless America. After the club I decided (pretty sure we can put the emphasis on “I”) that we hadn’t had enough… so we went to a local bar named Cheers. I can say with conviction that the quality of women here, wasn’t exactly what one would call a “target rich environment.” Lol, but we had fun regardless. When I woke up I was totally out of it and confused. I didn’t have my wallet, or my camera. Thankfully the woman who had it dropped it off at the hotel and they mailed it to me. I guess I spent some time with her that night that I don’t really remember… hopefully she was as pretty as her handwriting.
Me and Pete "Money" Mooney
Taking off from Mayport
Pete Mooney taking all day to put it on the deck
Flight school… isn’t over? Lol. Well now that I have finished flight training, I am here at my first squadron, HSM-40. Which is… a training squadron. I wish I had more photos and posts to write about the actual squadron, but I don’t. I can say that I was pretty busy with studying for flights and briefs, but I think I didn’t take a lot of pictures because it was actually a lot of the same. I can say that I actually started flying my fleet aircraft, the SH-60B. I can say that I successfully passed a NATOPS check, and subsequently an instrument check and a 9X. The 9X is an Anti-Submarine warfare checkride… think about (insert deep movie voice here) 1 helo vs the world, short on time, protecting those on the big grey ship he loves the most… the SWOs. Haha. Well, it was like that in my mind. I did get a call sign at the FRS, not one I am very proud of… but it was a good one I guess. The instructors and even CO and XO knew me as “Casual Friday.” I’ve heard of worse call signs, so I wasn’t too butt-hurt over that one. When not at the squadron I spent a lot of time at the beach, and made even more good friends. I will speak to them in future posts.
Had to throw this in there... this old dude had me rolling. He was working it out though, way to go pops. This was a special area of Isla Isabela just to preserve these guys...
Am I not turtley enough for the turtle club?
Beach next to the bar we frequented
Climbing around in a volcano
Putting in work on the volcano
Me and Jo
Cute little dude... I named him "Bosco"
And… one mo’ gain. So these are the last of the photos, I wish I had something witty to write in here, but it was almost more than a year ago… just enjoy the pics and keep reading.
Johann's facility... IOI
Getting ready to go SCUBA
Cute little dudes
Not so cute little dudes
They like to bark when they aren't doing this
View from IOI
Well since I have more pictures I guess I have to write a little more… The facility where we stayed is Johann’s baby. I mean that in every sense of the word. He is backed by UM (University of Miami) now, but when he started IOI (Isabela Research Institute) he was on his own. He would go to the states before a new semester, get into his Dad’s old Golf VW, and sell seat by seat all over FL. And that was after he slyly worked himself into a position on the island with a facility and staff. So… that’s about the end of my pitch, but if you are going to school (mainly biology fields) and want to do a semester in the Galapagos… hit up Johann and IOI. It is a great program and place.
Johann and Junior checking out the surf
Random shot of the beautiful water
2 hour ride in this to Isabela
Good times with Johann
The Galapagos! I had been itching to take a trip out of the states for a while, and after completion of flight school, I thought I’d go visit my buddy Johann. Johann is my best buddy, I’ve known that dirty German since he was 11. So I flew down to South America into Quito, Ecuador. After one night, I took another flight, about 4 boats and just as many taxi rides to finally end up on his little island paradise. Isla Isabela is the name of where we stayed. There wasn’t much to do there except outdoor activities. Internet was slow, TV was kind of non-existent… it was great. The Galapagos is probably one of the more beautiful places I have been. We surfed pretty much every day, well Johann surfed- I busted my ass trying to get back into it after about 5 years of not surfing at all. We went scuba diving and saw everything from hammerheads to manta rays, and sea lions to penguins. Yes I said penguins… it was wild. Google it. After almost 2 weeks on the rock it was time to head back, thanks for a great time Johann!
Steve and I
My boy Josh
Steve taking a nap
Mitch, Me, Jackie, and Jan
Me and Jackie
Finally. Complete with flight school. Kinda. In March 2011 I received my wings, after completion of HT-8 Advanced. It was bittersweet. Sweet because after 2 years of training I finally got to wear my "Wings of Gold." Maybe a little bitter because I had made some fantastic friends in Pensacola, most of which I stay in contact with and soon after the winging I was to report in Jacksonville, Florida. I had quite a few people come out to see me get my wings. My mom and sister came, along with a whole bunch of my friends. Josh McCormick actually drove all the way from Ft. Bragg, NC in order to attend. CDR Scott brought his family from Jacksonville, but he flew down from the War College up in Rhode Island in order to do that. I was very honored. I gave Steve Gorham the honor of pinning me, if it wasn't for him I would have never went to college. The party lasted all weekend... I rented a house on the beach for my family and friends to stay in, and we had a blast. I am glad everyone came out, pretty sure I cried a few times that weekend. I have the best friends, and even though I don't get along with my family most of the time... it was great to have some of them there supporting me.
Ok... I am back. From the dead. Lol. It has taken me for ever to get not only the motivation, but the time in order to start this back up again. Hold on... first post back after a long hiatus, let me go grab a beer..........ok. Dos Equis is what's in the fridge right now, stay thirsty my friends. I have quite a few posts to catch up on before I can start rambling on about Japan and the stuff that is going on over here. Let me do a quick sum up of the past 11 months, and there will be many posts to follow. Flight school complete. FRS (called the "rag") complete. Trip to South America to go surfing with my best buddy Johann complete. And now I'm in Japan, about an hour train south of Tokyo. My house (which I haven't signed the lease yet, hopefully next week) is at the beach, Kugenuma-kaigan. Ok, I'm off to pillage my computer for what pics I can find of the past 9 months. Hopefully there will be some worthwhile reading in the posts to come.
P.s. Yes, the photo is from Heavy Metal the movie, the dead pilot scene. Never seen it? Gogogogogo.