Made in China, obviously

And let it remain so. Please keep the idea within the country, and do not export it!article-2398264-1B60B323000005DC-651_636x382

Chinese go undercover in Darth Vader-style visors as fear of exposure to the sun sweeps country All it would take is for one air head ‘celebrity’ to fashion it at a swanky hip bar on the boulevard… It may well happen!            Yours Aye.

China And Russia Go Out on a Date

I’ve participated in a couple of naval exercises and they were arduous, interesting affairs. That said, China is getting set up with Russia on a blind naval date for its largest-ever maritime drill with a foreign entity. Should be fun to see how the two bond:

Russia, China Set Dates for Summer Joint Military Exercises. (Archive) © RIA Novosti. Vitaliy Ankov
Russia, China Set Dates for Summer Joint Military Exercises. RIA Novosti. Vitaliy Ankov

Exercises are intended to deepen co-operation between militaries, says Chinese army chief

China will join Russia later this week for its largest-ever naval drills with a foreign partner, underlining deepening ties between the former cold war rivals along with Beijing’s desire for closer links with regional militaries.

China has long been a key customer for Russian military hardware, but only in the last decade have their militaries begun taking part in joint exercises.

China’s defence ministry said on Tuesday that its navy would send four destroyers, two guided missile frigates and a support ship for the exercises, which start on Friday in the Sea of Japan and run until 12 July.

Ah, the Sea of Japan again. Good sushi out that way. . .

Penny Arrow toffee, Risk Assessment and a Chinese Mountain

From an early age I have done some pretty stupid things, resulting in broken bones, dislocated limbs, and catching up a few deep cuts that required stitches. The majority of my injuries were always of my making, certainly not of my choosing. Without being a drama queen, I can honestly say that under the age of twelve I cheated death twice, both incidents were created through my own actions, they remain fresh in my mind to this day. (Each one without my parents knowledge, which would have seen me well and truly grounded had they known about it, and possibly placed in front of a ‘trickcyclist’)!

For a bet I once run full pelt across a field to slap a bull’s arse as it was grazing. As I raised my arm to slap it I slipped on a fresh cow pat and slid between its rear legs-through-under its belly and out along it’s side. I was up and gone with my legs going like steam pistons. As I ran one way the bull fortunately spooked and ran the opposite! I was 11, and I earned my bet, which was that of five ‘1-penny Toffee Arrow bars’, one from each of my friends present, who laughed hysterically about the whole thing as we walked home. They witnessed me banging my face against the bull’s ‘cojones‘, which is some thing that just flashed by me as the incident played itself out! Needless to say I caught it up for that one, as some stains as well as the fragrant smell just can’t be washed away in a stream.Penny Arrow bar

There is risk that has to be taken due to forced circumstances, and there is risk that requires an assessment before undertaking an action. The following sits within a category of ‘follow the leader and blind stupidity’… I definitely would have been grounded for this one!

What could possibly go wrong? The tourist trek thousands of feet up a Chinese mountain along wooden boards that were nailed together 700 years ago

Chang Kong cliff road

Yours Aye.

Mr X’s Anti-Americanism

Mr. X's arm at the Comic-Con International 2012 - "CZ12" Panel
Mr. X’s arm at the Comic-Con International 2012 – “CZ12” Panel

Your Friday night mission, if you choose to accept, is to figure out who said this:

Mr X: The New China. The real success has been made in the past dozen of years. Our country’s president also admits they have the corruption problem, and some other stuff, but we are making progress. What I can see is our country is continuously making progress and learning. If you talk about corruption, the entire world, the United State, has no corruption?

Host: America.

Mr X: The most corrupt in the world.

Host: Really?

Mr X: Of course. Where does this Great Breakdown [financial crisis] come from? It started exactly from the world, the United States. When I was interviewed in the U.S., people asked me, I said the same thing. I said now that China has become strong, everyone is making an issue of China. If our own countrymen don’t support our country, who will support our country? We know our country has many problems. We [can] talk about it when the door is closed. To outsiders, [we should say] “our country is the best.”

Host: So he can’t get enough of his more than 20 ambassador titles. I think the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should ask him to be the ambassador to the United States.

Mr X: Seriously, I am always like, when the door is closed, “Our country is like this and this. Who and who is not good.” But outside, “Our country is the best, like so and so, is the best.” You cannot say our country has problems [when you are outside], like “Yes, our country is bad.”

Interesting. I don’t blame him for standing up for his country. But he better watch out. Whatever flaws we may have in America, we don’t touch China in terms of corruption.

Randy, Is That You?

A visitor interacts with a 3D painting during the 2012 Magic Art exhibition in Hangzhou, China

Top Four comments on the above:

1. (From the guy) Officer, I was just running on the trail and this rhino stopped right in front of me!
2. (From a bystander) I’ve heard of having your own head up there, but never up a rhino’s.
3. (From the guy) Could someone turn on the lights, please?
4. (From the rhino) Randy, is that you?

Dear Astronauts of the Space Station,


I am going to switch to normal blogging for ease of communication with our more earthly readers. Can we talk about the International Space Station, your current home? Word in our atmosphere is: you are in big trouble in little Milky Way come mid-November.

International Space Station, Not made of LEGOs

Astronauts will abandon the International Space Station, probably in mid-November, if rocket engine problems that doomed a Russian cargo ship last week are not diagnosed and fixed.

Even if unoccupied, the space station can be operated by controllers on the ground indefinitely and would not be in immediate danger of falling out of orbit.

Three Russian astronauts, two Americans and a Japanese are living on the space station.

Yikes, what got us into such a predicament? One reason: Vladimir Putin (aka: The Hairless Bear) and his Ruskies can’t get all of their rubles in one sock:

Oopsie doopsie Comrade. We are staying in Siberia, and not the Motel 6 (мотель шесть), but in Motel Gulagiski

On Aug. 24, Russia’s Progress 44 cargo vessel crashed in Siberia after the third stage of its Soyuz rocket failed. That rocket is similar to the one NASA and other space agencies depend on to loft astronauts, raising doubts about whether the issue could be fixed in time for a new crew to get to the station before its three remaining residents depart for Earth on Nov. 22.

Headlines from the Muscovite music mag Popski indicate that the Britney Spears song Ooops, I Did It Again enjoyed brisk sales after the disaster. . .

Space issues appear to be a world-wide phenomenon. Even the Red Dragon can’t figure out the right music to play after its launch two weeks ago:

The lift-off was flawless. The orbit immaculate.

But while China’s leaders were celebrating the triumphant launch of Tiangong-1 space lab on Thursday, viewers of state television footage were treated to a bizarre choice of soundtrack: America the Beautiful.

America the Beautiful, China’s Official Space Song

Or was that a subtle (like a jackhammer), Eastern poke at the cloddish West?

Not that our space program is any better. Unfortunately, we have to deal with shenanigans like the one alluded to above with an asterisk*, regarding Lisa Nowak.

Why do we stress cultural outreach over replacing the Space Shuttle with a more advanced vehicle to travel to Mars and beyond? (Please don’t try to tell me that a capsule is more advanced.)

Who is this wacky Nowak person? Glad you inquired, her boyfriend was in the news recently and her story bears repeating. Especially for Junior Officers, as a classic, textbook case in what not to do.

Ensign Bobby, Lieutenant Sophomore Grade (LTSG) Betty: put down your sextants and listen carefully.

First and foremost, Ms. Nowak is United States Naval Academy graduate. As in the USNA or the Academy. Yes Ensign Bobby, we can refer to it as Canoe U. And she was once a Captain in the United States Navy and a former NASA astronaut.

Why former astronaut? Good question, LTSG Betty. From her no-wak-apedia entry:

Lisa Nowak, Academy Grad

According to police reports, Nowak drove from Houston to Orlando, Florida, on February 4–5, 2007. She packed latex gloves, a black wig, aBB pistol and ammunition, pepper spray, a hooded tan trench coat, a 2-pound drilling hammer, black gloves, rubber tubing, plastic garbage bags, approximately US $585 in cash, her computer, an 8-inch (20 cm) Gerber folding knife and several other items before driving the 900 miles (1,400 km) to Florida.

Early police reports indicated she wore diapers during the trip, but she later denied wearing them.

On February 5, 2007, Nowak went to the Orlando International Airport, waited for about an hour in the baggage claim, and then proceeded to the airport parking lot, where she located and confronted Shipman, who had just arrived from Houston by plane.

Lisa Nowak, Ring-knocker

So our space program is in shambles and we have to deal with the above drama. So what happened to Ms. Yes-wack? She was drummed out:

Capt. Lisa Nowak will retire with an “other than honorable” discharge and her pay grade will be knocked down one rank, Assistant Secretary of Navy Juan Garcia said in a statement.

Nowak’s conduct “fell well short” of what is expected of Navy officers and she “demonstrated a complete disregard for the well-being of a fellow service member,” Garcia said.

A Dependable Love Triangle (of terrible haircuts): Nowak, Shipman, and Oefelein

As for Commander Nowak’s love interest, Commander Bill Oefelein, he married the lovely Air Force Captain Colleen Shipman, whose Wikipedia page has been mysteriously wiped clean. And he was in the news several weeks ago for possibly saving a big-time biff in Alaska:

Oefelein and Shipman are now married and living in Anchorage, according to Florida attorney Kepler Funk, who has represented Shipman in the past.

In the Sept. 15 crash, Oefelein managed to skillfully steer the stalled small floatplane into some alder bushes and land without any injuries near Judd Lake, about 50 miles northwest of Anchorage. None of the three on board was injured, but the six-seat Regal Air plane was heavily damaged when it went down in a swampy area of alder bushes about 200 feet from the lake.

A friend of the Commander searches for answers on the Lisa she knew.

I can rant and rave about declining standards. But, I will let the facts sit. All in all, Ms. Nowak has issues and requires professional help. Not as a punchline, which she has dependably become.

And perhaps this post can be construed as mean, but shame is a powerful motivator to our incoming junior officers. And Ms. Nowak forgot that her actions have ramifications. She was a Captain, an astronaut, and a representative of our country, after all. Oh, did I mention she’s an Academy grad? A ring-knocker?

Please Repeat, Over

Cartoon from Theo

A pair of silver balls being driven by Marines

Tigerhawk and Instapundit on bad luck

Polished Polish Humor

Blue Screen of Death

Go to Basic Training, do not pass (the ball)

Combat Garden Gnomes

Flying Flamingos (and more gnomes)

Holy Russian Batman, wake up!

Tracers work both ways (hand salute to ExAFCrewDog)

Projectile dysfunction.

Our friends, the French

Our good friends, the Pakistanis

Our best friends, the Chinese

Shoot twice, Swiss Miss

Poisonous books

Cute Warthog

Moral courage

Woodpeckers: y’all are on yer own

No more flat sheets

How dumb can you get and still breathe?

JGs, how we love them