The Bow Ramp

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Coming Soon to a Place Nearby?

Google's Street View feature has been slowly spreading out from the urban centers. As of now, it hasn't been available in my town. However......

From Bowramp

This Street View camera car pulled into the restaurant parking lot just as I got out of my van to grab some lunch. Thankfully I had my trusty smartphone to document the occasion.

Maybe soon Street View will come to Corvallis.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Sad Thing to See

I'm in Bremerton, WA this week to obtain parts from the ex-USS Constellation. On the one hand, I am happpy to be able to get the parts to help maintain the Comanche ATA/WMEC-202, upon which I volunteer. On the other hand, here are four of the Forrestal class carriers moored together awaiting the breakers, or a sinking. A whole lot of history here -- of which I played a tiny part as in days gone by, I was the Asst. Communications Officer on the USS Ranger.

Here is a video of all four carriers.

From Bremerton 8-2011

The above photo is of the ex-USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) the last conventionally powered carrier in commission.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Coming to you live from Nashville The lovely Mrs. and I are in Operyland for my Navy Gunboat Association reunion. Good friends and hot times. Temps around 100 degrees. [Posted with hblogger 2.0]

Friday, June 11, 2010

On The Road Again Well, I'm in Eugene having an early breakfast. How early tou say? 4:30 AM! I'm enroute to fabulous Reno, NV to meet up with some old High School buddies. I haven't seen some of these guys since graduation in '64. I'll be taking the back roads down the Eastern side of the mountains through Klamath Falls and Susanville. [Posted with hblogger 2.0]

Saturday, March 06, 2010

I'm A Grandad!

Zechariah Donahue. Born March 6, 2010. 8 lbs. 3 oz., 19 3/4".

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sometimes you win - sometimes you don't

Last Thursday, November 19th., five Coast Guard Auxiliarists spent most of the day perched on mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We were scattered along a 200 mile stretch of the Oregon coast listening on our Marine VHF radios. We were there to intercept any distress calls while the Coast Guard's Rescue 21 system in that area was taken down for scheduled maintenance. However, on that day, we didn't "win" in the sense that the system wasn't taken down, and we were never given the opportunity to perform the mission that we had been tasked to do. That was not the real reason we didn't "win" however. The reason the system did not go down for maintenance was that there was a Search and Rescue (SAR) mission in progress by the time we arrived at our respective locations. Two men had gone missing overnight while fishing from the cliffs about 20 miles South of where I was positioned. The Coast Guard dispatched two different helos and a beach rig from Motor Lifeboat Station Siuslaw River. The Lane County Search and Rescue, Sheriffs, and the local fire department were also involved in the search. Unfortunately, the weather conditions were too severe to allow the search teams to actually get down to where the helo had spotted a fishing rod and two backpacks. The search was called off in the afternoon and the Rescue 21 maintenance was postponed. On the one hand, I suppose I could have been a little miffed that I had to drive 200 miles round trip and spend all day essentially doing nothing. That was not the case, however. What I felt was a profound sadness for the two missing men and their families and friends. Listening to the father of the younger victim on the radio asking for help was gut wrenching. At the end of the day, I and my fellow Auxiliarists went home and at the very least, we had good practice deploying our assets. The two fishermen did not get to go home and there are empty places around tables and in the hearts of their loved ones. In the end, that is why we are the Coast Guard "Guardians." We try to save them all, but sometimes we can't - and that hurts.

Here are a few photos from where I was perched that day. Nothing particularly thrilling. There aren't any people in the photos as I was alone up there. That is the way it usually is for communications types. We don't get the heroic action shots like the rescue swimmers, but the part we play is vital none-the-less.

From Bowramp

From Bowramp

From Bowramp

From Bowramp

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another Blogging Drought

Well it has been months since I posted anything. The reason for that is a combination of a few different factors. I've been pretty busy with work and the Coast Guard Auxiliary. In addition, I have recently also done some volunteering aboard the former Navy / Coast Guard ocean going tug Comanche. However, I guess the main reason is that I have become so fed up with "NO". Everywhere I turn, government keeps getting in the way of doing things quicker/cheaper/better. The larger the government, the more obstructionist it seems to be. Unfortunately, since I work at a Federal facility, and am part of the Coast Guard, I am hit with a double whammy from the worst offender -- Uncle Sam.