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solstice ... about this time 22 years ago
Reporting for Duty as ordered, Sir!
I have no idea what duty I'm reporting for at the Public Affairs Office, my orders didn't give a hint. I was expecting a Forward Combat Control Unit.
The Captain hands me off to a Lieutenant. "Oh, good, you're the Engineer!" (Huh?) He leads me to a backroom with a rattling AC, filled with reams of paperwork stacked on dusty file cabinets. On top of a wobbly table are headphones, a microphone and a simple record player connected to an ancient apparatus not much bigger than a breadbox with huge dials on the front and just one on/off light, dating from some previous war? Wires snake between the file cabinets, a heavy cable disappears up through the ceiling. "Watch the wires! There's feedback and we'll be knocked off the air."
Seems DJs, reporters, are due to arrive soon and engineers are set to built a new radio station in a couple of weeks. In the meantime Public Affairs staff and I rotate, spinning freshly pressed records and radio programs flown in daily by the Armed Forces Network. We patch in live news from Saigon several times a day and rearrange wires frequently whenever feedback jams the airways. I try tuning the apparatus but the manual is of no help.
The real engineers arrive and produce a cinder block air conditioned palace in seemingly days, the coolest place on Base, two offices, two small recording studios, a main control room with bays of built-in state of art tape decks, audio controls and of course a huge transmitter. With many lights to blink when something's not right. A tall antenna rises outside. We wire everything together, they hook up the last power cable, pack up their tools and shake my hand as they leave. "It's all yours." Since it's all new equipment I expect few problems, I should be able to handle this. A built-in tape deck goes up in smoke almost immediately. I trace the problem to a transformer and manage to replace it with backups without having to rewire everything..
a few fading photos:
In the meantime the talent flies in, young troops, freshly minted Armed Forces Broadcasting School graduates. They take over spinning the records and entertaining the troops, greatly influenced by '60s counterculture tapes of WBAI's Bob Fass, sounds and thoughts I never heard of. A Sergeant records local color for the Network, but makes few appearances after two pilots in a row go MIA right after he interviews them.
The world is spinning apart ever faster every year:
It's cold in the city today, too cold to do much running around, but I did find this nice bit of East Village holiday spirit on a wall around the corner.
we live in interesting times ...
Yet ... Still ...
I that rather held it better men should perish one by one,
Than that earth should stand at gaze like Joshua's moon in Ajalon!
Not in vain the distance beacons. Forward, forward let us range,
Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change.
Thro' the shadow of the globe we sweep into the younger day;
Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay.
Tennyson: Locksley Hall
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Carousing on a visit down to Mexico I watch the bartender mix my Batanga, a tall glass half full with ice, a squeeze of lime over the ice followed by a generous portion of tequila and topped with coke, stirred with the knife used to cut the lime. Slice of the lime. No salt, please.
What to have for dinner? I notice a sizzling, scrumptious looking platter being served at the next table. Not only did it look good, the smell was wonderful. Tempted, I ask the waiter what it was he served. The waiter compliments me, "Ah Señor, you have excellent taste! Those are testicles from the bull fight this morning. A delicacy!" Aha! The local version of Rocky Mountain Oysters and y'all know I'm a sucker for local dishes. "Let me have an order!"
The waiter apologizes. "I am so sorry Señor. There is only one serving per day because there is only one bull fight each morning. If you come early tomorrow and place your order, we will be sure to reserve this delicacy for you!"
Appetite piqued, I return the next morning and place my order in time. That evening I am lucky to be served the one and only special delicacy of the day. It is delicious. The texture is perfect, a bit like tender squid, with just a hint of barnyard. After a few bites I hail the waiter. "These are delicious, but they are so much smaller than the ones I saw you serve yesterday?"
The waiter shrugs his shoulders, "Si, Señor. Sometimes the bull wins."
Eew! I like the vegetarian choice best. Sounds really creepy to have snail crawling around!
I am not crazy for creepy little creatures from the sea, but hey -- whatever floats your boat.
You gave me a great laugh!
Happy New Year!
Wow, cool picture!
From 1987 when I still had brown hair:
ZinZin got a lion cut ...
The news reports don't go into details other than the blanket statement that the beast masturbated. How does a huge walrus .... never mind.
In what has to be the greatest New Year's Eve story we've ever seen, a town in the UK was forced to cancel its fireworks display because of the presence of a masturbating walrus. Scarborough residents missed out on the chance to see a display after an unexpected guests arrived in the harbour on Friday night (December 30).The Arctic walrus is named Thor, and is thought to be the same creature...Read more from indy100copy
During the winter?