Good Morning Campers,
Welcome to the Memorial Day weekend issue. It’s Saturday Morning for me. I woke up early … I’d like to say I woke up early to work on this for you, but the truth of it is, that I woke up early because I’ve had a rough couple of days. To tell you the truth I’ve been a teensy bit worried that I might have the COVID-19 virus, even though logically, I know that I don’t. It’s like the logic side of your brain says, “of course you don’t” while the terror side of your brain says, “YOU MIGHT! YOU MIGHT!”
No, I’ve had this wicked-assed headache the past two days that I’m 90% sure is related to a bad tooth that’s exacerbated by sinuses/allergies and high pollen right now. Got almost no sleep Thursday night that even copious amounts of Jameson didn’t help with. Worked through it yesterday and was supposed to do a bunch of stuff after work yesterday and couldn’t – which means it all gets pushed off till today. Slept poorly last night through sheer exhaustion and woke up this morning feeling a little better, but the damn headache is still there a bit but wouldn’t allow me to sleep in like I really needed. Hence, here I am up early and sharing my time with you. And that’s how I tell a story the second way.
So … Memorial Day … is a federal holiday specifically for honoring those members who have died while serving in the military. There is a long and convoluted history involved with Memorial Day. In fact, the VA’s own website cites at least 25 different possible claims of origins of Memorial Day that stem back to the Civil War. None of that really matters.
The bottom line is that we take this one opportunity to honor the fallen men and women who have served this country. Who have served us … each and every one of us.
As I get older, I’ve more and more friends that I’ve lost in uniform. Or friends that I’ve lost who used to be in uniform. Or both. I can sit here and tell you stories of my own military career. Of the countries I’ve been to and the places I’ve seen. And I am very thankful and very blessed. I’ve seen things and done things that a kid from south Jersey would’ve never gotten to do if it wasn’t for the United States Air Force. Oh my God, the things that I’ve gotten to see and do.
LOL, not that it was all one sided. I paid a price. I have a metal hip and a metal knee on the right side, and probably need both on the left, plus arthritis and constant pain throughout my body because of slamming bombs onto airplanes in all kinds of crappy weather all over the world. My body is beat to shit. I have a constant and continuous ringing in my ears from over exposure to jet engines for so many years and can no longer hear certain sound tones and the tinnitus is unbearably annoying at the best of times and makes you want to blow your head off at the worst.
Wow, I sound like a whinny little bitch. Because I have it easy…EASY. Remember Lethal Leprechaun. My friend and brother Jeff. He spent so many years in so much pain. That he finally died from his injuries after so many years of suffering. And he didn’t bitch and whine. It’s not my place to tell you of his suffering, some of you know. But so many of our brothers and sisters come home with missing body parts – arms and legs blown off. Or they come home with stuff missing on the inside and they can’t cope and they end up on drugs and they end up homeless and they gave up a regular life for you and for me.
And others gave up the ultimate sacrifice. They gave up everything. They signed that check and the government cashed it. All of us who join, sign that check, knowing the possibility exists that it can be cashed, but Memorial Day is set aside for those who do. Yeah, my sacrifice was easy. Easy peasy. I’m sitting here writing to you on a beautiful Saturday morning, looking back fondly on the things that I got to do while I was stationed overseas, remembering friends, while my wife is asleep in the next room, my daughter is asleep upstairs, my grandkids may even give me a call this weekend.
Yeah — I’ve got it DAMN Good!
This is a time to remember those that made so that all of us can say …
We’ve got it damn good.
Okay, one last thing, then we’ll move on to happier things for a while…
The Final Inspection
The soldier stood and faced his God,
Which must always come to pass;
He hoped his shoes were shining bright,
Just as brightly as his brass.
“Step forward now, soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you turned the other cheek?
To my church have you been true?”
The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
“No, Lord, I guess I ain’t;
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can’t always be a saint.
I’ve had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was rough;
I’ve had to break your rules my Lord,
Because the world is awfully tough.
But, I never took a thing
That wasn’t mine to keep;
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear;
And sometimes … God forgive me,
I’ve wept unmanly tears.
I know I don’t deserve a place
Among the people here;
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.
If you’ve a place for me here, Lord,
It needn’t be so grand;
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don’t, I’ll understand.”
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints often trod;
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
“Step forward now, soldier,
You’ve borne your burdens well;
Come walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets,
You’ve done your time in HELL!”
~ Author: Sgt.Joshua Helterbran ~
Took me a little while to find the author of that great poem. The copy that I’ve had for quite a many years now didn’t have any mention of who the author was and I wanted to give credit where credit was due.
We may get back to some Memorial Day stuff later … I may tell you some stories of my time in the service … of getting kicked out of a whole country … I know some of you have been kicked out of bars, some of you may have even been kicked out of town, but how many of you can say you’ve been kicked out of a whole country … lol!!! Anyway … stories. Maybe later. Gotta check with my lawyer and see if the statute of limitations is up yet. But for now, let’s do some of that laughing stuff, shall we?
I don’t know … right now, that might be considered showing off your wealth.
Let’s shut down the media for 3 months! That will clear a ton of shit up!
You really gotta hand it to short people …
Because they usually can’t reach it anyway.
Last year I joined a support group for antisocial people.
We haven’t met yet.
Out grocery shopping, I tried so hard to suppress a sneeze so I wouldn’t get glares from people. I couldn’t hold it so I tried to “internally” sneeze which caused me to fart, pee a little, and cough violently. Peoples’ faces went from glares to total concern for my life.
“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.”
Only cause of the look on his face.
The US standard railroad gauge (space between the rails) is 4 feet 8½ inches.
That is a very odd number. Why was that gauge used?
Because that’s the way they built them in England and the US railroads were built by English expatriates.
Why did the English build them that way? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.
Why did they use that gauge? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that were used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.
So why did the wagons have that particular spacing? If they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England because that was the spacing of the wheel ruts.
So who built those old rutted roads? The first long distance roads in Europe (including England) were built by Imperial Rome for their legions and they have been in use ever since.
And the ruts in the roads? The ruts, which everyone had to match for fear of breaking their wagon wheels, were first formed by chariots. Since the chariots were made for (or by) Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the manner of wheel spacing.
The US standard railroad gauge of 4 feet 8½ inches was derived from the original specifications for the Imperial Roman war chariot.
Specifications and bureaucracies live on forever!
So, the next time you are handed a specification and you wonder what bureaucratic horse’s ass came up with it, you may be exactly right, because the Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two horses.
There we have the answer to the original question but now for a new twist to the story.
When we see the space shuttle sitting on its launching pad, there are two booster rockets attached to the side of the main fuel tank. These are solid fuel boosters that are made by Thiokol at their plant in Utah.
The engineers who designed the boosters would have preferred to make them larger in diameter but they had to be shipped by rail from the factory to the launch site. The railroad from the factory had to pass through several tunnels in the mountains that are, you guessed it, just slightly wider than the railroad track which is about two horse butts wide.
Incredibly, a major design feature of what is currently the world’s most advanced and technologically sophisticated transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse’s ass.
Don’t you just love engineering?
Working with a bunch of engineers currently, it surprises me not at all that it is all based on horses’ asses.
Have you ever really thought about how when you look at the moon, it’s the same moon Shakespeare and Marie Antoinette and Van Gogh and Cleopatra looked at?
They all looked at the moon and they’re all dead.
The moon is killing people.
Wake up America.
Here’s an oldie but goodie:
Q: I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that’s it… don’t waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that’s like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.
Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.
Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Alcohol is just another means of consuming fruits and vegetables! Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer and vodka are made out of grain. Corn (a vegetable) is whiskey’s main ingredient. Bottoms up!
Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.
Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can’t think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain…Good!
Q: Aren’t fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU’RE NOT LISTENING!!!. Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they’re permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?
Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.
Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO …… Cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It’s the best feel-good food around!
Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.
Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! ‘Round’ is a shape!
Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about maintaining a proper lifestyle!
A noted biologist, who had been studying little green frogs in a swamp, was stumped. The frog population, despite efforts at predator control, was declining at an alarming rate. A chemist at a nearby college came up with a solution: The frogs, due to a chemical change in the swamp water, simply couldn’t stay coupled long enough to reproduce successfully. The chemist then brewed up a new adhesive to assist the frogs’ togetherness, which included one part sodium. It seems the little green frogs needed some monosodium glue to mate.
I have a nephew named Violence who’s terrible at math.
Violence doesn’t solve anything.
Got a quick note from H.M. that said:
We live in Wa, just on the Idaho border. The beauty shops opened there on Monday. We drove over and had a 3 hour wait to get a haircut!
But then the first picture I got from H.M. was this one:
I don’t know why you had a 3 hour wait H.M. lol. Thanks for sharing! Actually 3 hours does seem a bit excessive…although after as long as everyone’s been shut down, maybe not. But, thanks so much for writing. I love hearing from you guys.
If kinetic energy is converted into thermal energy, how hard do I have to slap a chicken to cook it?
Apparently you can’t use “beefstew” as a password.
It’s not stroganoff.
Here’s two great stories sent to us by Brenda C. that have … kinda … a Memorial Day theme. Thanks Brenda.
I found this very interesting story considering we are coming into memorial weekend .and you working on base ..maybe you have seen this story or heard it but it is very interesting
STORY NUMBER ONE:
Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. Capone was famous for notoriously enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.
Capone had a lawyer nicknamed. “Easy Eddie.” He was Capone’s lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie’s skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long time.
To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but Eddie got special dividends, as well. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City block.
Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.
Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object.
And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was.
Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn’t give his son; he couldn’t pass on a good name or a good example.
One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done.
He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al “Scarface” Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son some semblance of integrity. To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great. So, he testified.
Within the year, Easy Eddie’s life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street … but in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay. Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion, and a clipping from a magazine. It read:
“The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in time.
For the clock may soon be still.”
STORY NUMBER TWO:
World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare.
He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.
One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank.
He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship.
His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet.
As he was returning to the mother ship, he saw something that turned his blood cold; a squadron of Japanese aircraft was speeding its way toward the American fleet.
The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn’t reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet.
Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber’s blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another.
Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent.
Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible, rendering them unfit to fly.
Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction.
Deeply relieved, Butch O’Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier.
Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event surrounding his return. The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch’s daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft.
This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy’s first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Medal of Honor.
A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O’Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.
So, the next time you find yourself at O’Hare International, give some thought to visiting Butch’s memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of Honor. It’s located between Terminals 1 and 2.
SO WHAT DO THESE TWO STORIES HAVE TO DO WITH EACH OTHER?
Butch O’Hare was “Easy” Eddies son.
What a great story!!!
Thank y0u ever so much for sharing, Brenda!
Always take a receipt. You may need it as an alibi.
Me: You have school tomorrow.
9 year-old: Real school or school with you?
Me: School with me is real school.
9 year-old: Real teachers know math.
Not bragging, but I’ve closed down a few bars in my day.
Didn’t even need the governors approval.
It’s another hot day, so I’ve taken all my clothes off and opened every window …
I feel so much better, although the other people on the bus don’t seem so pleased.
I got another one of those really sweet letters. This one from Deborah C. This is what she had to say:
Dear Mr. Dragon,
I have been reading Dragon Laffs for about 15 years. I have enjoyed each and every one! My little brother introduced me to you. I really enjoyed Lethal’s recipes.
I still am working full time as an essential worker. It has been rough, I work at Walmart, on the front lines as a customer host. It was really strange… since they told everyone to stay at home, we have never been so busy!! And when the stimulus checks started being sent out.. wow! My bonus for the first quarter was more than double what I usually get. And it hasn’t slowed down yet.
Keep up your good work and know that you are appreciated.
Yeah, I really enjoyed Lethal’s recipes, too. I miss that old bastard so much. Every single solitary day.
Wow, you’ve been reading since the very beginning … or just about. That’s a lot of dedication. And it sounds like you’ve been pretty busy at Walmart, too. Thank you so much for writing. You made my whole day.
Things I thought I would have as an adult: A thriving career, an amazing social life, an impressive retirement account.
Things I actually have as an adult: A plastic bag filled with with plastic bags, a favorite spatula, crippling anxiety.
F-15 Strike Eagle from RAF Lakenheath in England. The USAF rocks!
Thanks to Donnie G for sending this to me!!! I just opened it up and I have to share it right now!
And I think that is the perfect place to end this issue. I’m not sure if there will be an issue on Monday or not. Kinda depends on how my day goes tomorrow. So…until either Monday or Tuesday, until we meet again. Love and happiness to you all.