Random thoughts, rants, raves and photo opportunities

2006 - Ladder Company 10, New York City, NY

While touring around Manhatten on foot, we stumbled upon Ladder Company 10, located less than a block from the World Trade Center Complex.  The Ten House was effectively THE first responder following the devastation on September 11th, 2001.  Many of the original FDNY firefighters were killed on that horrific day.  The fine gentlemen manning the station now went out of their way to be kind, answer questions, and let the kids snoop around.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2006 - Lair (GC5D2D)

Lair (GC5D2D) by ka0atu

My brother Chad and I took a break from turkey hunting today and decided to go hunt for this historical cache.  Driving up the Minimum Maintenance Forest Road was no problem for our high clearance vehicle as we found parking near the trail gate, which is as close as you're going to get while driving.  The hike to the top took quite the effort but knowing what was in store above made it all worth it.

Upon arrival, we tiptoed our way into the opening slowly as there are rumors that critters have been known to camp out inside..  big critters.. as in mountain lions and bobcats.  Luckily, the Lair was vacant for us today and we were able to explore around at our liesure.  We scored the geocache with little bother and took some time to run through the historical logbook.

Once we were finished within the cave, we headed for the summit to check out the view.  Spectacular.  The majestic view was gorgeous and the only thing that could have made it better was if summer were upon us rather than the drab, brown, look of spring.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2005 - Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Our first trip to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2005 - Badlands National Park, Wall, SD

During a family road cruise to the Black Hills of South Dakota, we made a detour through Badlands National Park to take in its beauty.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

1992 - Hase-dera Temple, Kamakura, Japan

Today we had time off from our work at FISC Yokosuka and took a day trip to Kamakura.  Kamakura is the former Samauri capital of Japan and is the home of many cultural attractions.  Today we visited the Hase-dera Temple, the Garden of Jizo, and the Great Buddha.

The Great Buddha here is the second largest Buddha in Japan, which was built in 1252.  Legend has it that in the year 1495, a great tsunami rolled in and washed everything away leaving only the Great Buddha standing.

The Garden of Jizo was named for the Patron Saint of the Departed Children.  I was told during my visit that the small idols lined up in the garden represented the souls of children lost to miscarriage, abortion or other premature death.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

1990 - Jungle Environment Survival Training

Jungle Environment Survival Training, otherwise known as JEST, is a course in the United States Navy originally designed for Navy pilots and Marine combat units.  On my last active duty for training at NSD Subic Bay, Philippines, I had the opportunity to take this course.  While it wasn't without trial and tribulation, it is an adventure I would repeat in a heartbeat.  After the United States left the Philippine Islands in 1992, the JEST camp was converted into a survival training facility for civilians and classifies itself as an amusement park.

Highslide JS
1990 - Jungle Environment Survival Training
Jungle Environment Survival Training Certificate

1990 - U.S.S. Missouri (BB-63) Port Call, Subic Bay, Philippines

While on duty at the tropical NSD Subic Bay, Philippines, I had the privilege of experiencing the historical U.S.S. Missouri (BB-63) as it pulled in for a port call.  In reality, the Mighty Moe was pulling in for replenishment on its route to the Persian Gulf in the middle east.  We had not been expecting the famous ship and just happen to be on "beach duty" as the Missouri ran through the channel into Subic Bay, where we watched it make its way to the harbor.

As suggested by one of our enlisted crew, our commanding officer arranged for us to visit and tour the ship.  It was not like any other ship museum tour.  We got the full tour from the working crew and could more or less visit any space that was not under security patrol (engine room, ammunition lockers, etc).

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..