Monday, November 30, 2009

TNT 2009

Annually the Langley Ward holds a Thanksgiving Talent no Talent event. Affectionately called TNT by the ward members. We have a potluck Thanksgiving type dinner followed for talent acts by our favorite people.

This year was great. There were some amazing acts.

Some of my favorites were The Sloppy Joe song, Baby it's Cold Outside, performed by Kendra and Josh and the Harry Potter Puppet Pals.

A new addition to this years festivities by our table was our table art. Mel and I had been helping Jess put together baskets for the DC foster Care program and had been drawing Hand Turkeys and however that didn't fill my Hand Turkey need and I started drawing some of our paper table cloth and then insisted that Reed, Brian and Melanie draw some as well. Unfortunately the pictures were lost...  We shall have to try to recreate them at some time...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Day we Didn't Die

Veterans day - November 11 2009

Reed and I had the day off today. We decided to go visit Melanie at work...not to rub it in the we had the day off and she didn't, but to take her to get lunch with us.

We went to Pei Wei...good food, good times and fun company. It was getting late and we decided to head back to Melanie's work. It's important to note that it was raining.

On the on-ramp to 66, Reed decided that it would be fun to hydroplane into 360s (if you want to know how many degrees we actually turned around you'd better ask Reed or Mel...they figured it out...I believe it was about 640 degrees or something like that)

It could have been a LOT worse. We just turned around and were facing the wrong way on the on ramp. Mel and I talked about it later and were a little surprised to realize that both of us had kind of the same reaction...a kind of detached attitude. My thought process went something like this. "Oh we're turning...Look a light pole...I really hope we don't hit the pole. Oh good we missed it. Shouldn't I be more freaked out by this?" (yes I really thought that). Reed, based on observation, was a little more freaked out...but he was the driver.

So we ended up facing the wrong way on the on ramp and that's when other cars started showing up. The first two just went by not waiting for us and the third one kindly waited for us to get turned the right way keeping other cars from coming upon us suddenly.

And that my friends is the day we didn't die. Like I mentioned could have been a LOT worse. We were VERY blessed. Our guardian angels must have been working overtime.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The National Museum of the Marine Corps

My friend Mel, as you know from previous posts, just finished a Masters in Military History and has been wanting to visit the National Museum of the Marine Corps forever and finally the stars aligned and the fates agreed that it could happen and we headed down to Quantico.

I will say. I was impressed with the museum. Interactive and informative. And I'll be honest, one of my favorite parts was the open space and natural light in the middle of the museum (the lighting in museums give me headaches and it's nice to get a break from the headache inducing lights and therefore enjoy the museum more.) I also really loved the helicopters...I LOVE helicopters. Ask my family. I lived near Fort Hunter Liggett as a kid and would have to point out every helicopter that went by, and usually loudly as only a little kid can do.

Melanie and her plane - Okay...she doesn't own the plane, but she wishes she could. The corsair is one of her favorite planes.

And in her own words, a brief history -
"The Vought F4-U Corsair, the bent winged bird, or the “Whistling Death” according to the Japanese was used extensively in the Pacific Theater of WWII & during the Korean War. The Corsair was built around a powerful 3 blade 13 ft 4 in propeller to take full advantage of the Pratt-Whitney Double Wasp air-cooled radial engine. Given the size of the prop, the engineers were faced with a dilemma: either shorten the prop or lengthen the aircraft’s landing gear. If they shortened the prop, they’d lose much of the engine’s power & therefore much of the plane’s speed & climbing power, but if the landing gear was too long it wouldn’t be able to withstand the forces placed upon it during a carrier landing. The engineers solved both problems with the Corsair’s distinctive inverted gull-wing design, which raised the nose of the plane & allowed for both the large prop & the short landing gear. To make additional room on the carrier decks the wings also folded up. Once in service, a new problem was found. The raised the nose of the airplane caused the pilot to lose about 12◦ of the horizon which made carrier landings hazardous. The Navy therefore gave the bulk of their Corsairs during WWII to the Marines, who operated them off island air bases. The British Navy actually figured out how to land the aircraft on carriers using a curved approach which allowed the pilot to see the LSO (landing signals officer) & the deck until the last possible moment. This was quickly adapted by the USN & Corsairs operated off carriers throughout the end of WWII & the entirety of the Korean War. They were a favorite of the soldiers, providing close air support, & were particularly appreciated during the Chosin Reservoir Campaign. "

One of Mel's favorite Marine quote "Retreat Hell! We've Just Got Here!"
(Attributed by MajGen Ben Fuller to Col Frederick M. “Dopey” Wise, CO 2d Bn., 5th Marines, 2dDiv, AEF in France, whe told that the French troops were retreating and advised to do likewise)

Mystics Game

Kara had a few extra tickets for the Mystic basketball game. She gave me 4. Mel and I invited Slade and Reed to come with us.

We went to 5 Guys before.

Slade got an Everything Regular Hamburger. WOWzer!

I think the home team lost, but we had fun anyway.
Doesn't it look like we're having fun....?

Most definitely!

Ward Campout - We're SO Cool!

Our ward made its way to Maryland once more for a little weekend getaway.

The weather didn't completely cooperate. It rained a little, but the morning fog sure was impressive!
There was a small miscommunication regarding the kitchen implements available and so those of us with Breakfast detail were a little surprised to find we had no mixing bowls, no utensils...basically nothing, but never doubt the determination and ingenuity of hungry campers.

We found a plastic container that had had brownies in which to mix the pancakes up and cut up a cardboard box to use as a flipper... Yup! We SO cool!

And it worked really well too! And people ate and where happy :)

Good times!

Halloween 2009

We didn't go all out this year for Halloween, but we did dress up :)

Mel went as a page boy and me as an artist... Mostly I wanted to wear my beret.

Reed came over for a little while....guess who he is? Ron Weasley? good JOB!
Isn't she cute?

Mel and I stayed home and handed out candy and watched some fun Halloween movies. Hocus Pocus and The Legend of Sleepy Hallow to name two.