20 January 2006

The Sound of Freedom has a new Sheriff

Hey, I finally got first post! Heh.

Yes, I know, so has every other blogger on the face of this planet. Thanks for letting me down easy. I'm new to this side of the blog, but I've participated on blogs, so I'm not totally clueless. I'll warn you, tho, some days I'll be pithy, witty and in the zone, commentarily speaking, and other days will be...not so good.

Such is life, and ideally this will be a learning experience. On the other hand, I've survived on Usenet and held my own, so this is just different expression of that concept: to share thoughts and ideas, to have them debunked and shown false, or to have them reinforced and refined. Sometimes fiercely, sometimes not.

One of my passing interests is all things military. Part of that stems from my computer gaming - does anyone else remember Harpoon? - part of it stems from reading many of the mil-fiction novels by Clancy and Coonts (Flight of the Intruder), and part of it is because I desire knowledge and understanding of things that interest me. And the military interests me.

Which leads me to give explaination of my title. Anyone who has ever been associated with the US Air Force will tell you, military aircraft are noisy beasts. A very distinctive sound. And when air bases get calls from irate neighbors complaining about the noise, the response is that's the sound of freedom, ma'am.

In the city I live and work, we're at a kind of crossroads for military aircraft. I've seen various T-37 and T-38 trainers out of Tyndall, as well as F-15 and F-16s, the occasional Navy F-18 out of Jax, and plenty of Herky-birds - I'm also a meteorologist, so I naturally will doff my cap to the fine folks who are Hurricane Hunters.

So on Thursday (18 Jan 2006) I was minding my own business and walking back to work from lunch when I hear the sound of a military aircraft approaching, low and not particularly fast. I look up in the direction I think I hear them, and there is a flight of two fighters. But not a type I'm immediately familiar with. Then it hits me. This is a pair of F-22 Raptors.

Here's a pretty good set of pictures of what the F-22 looks like - yes, I went and double checked to verify what I saw. I pretty much got the view of the belly - they didn't wait around for me to send signals that I wanted an impromptu air show, nor did I have my digital camera immediately at-had. Rats, I did have my cell phone with it's mostly worthless camera which would have been better than nothing...sigh...

Needless to say, I was impressed. They look graceful, and a great deal of fun to fly. And exceedingly lethal. Yes, the Air Force has a new sheriff, and his name is Raptor. And I'm pretty stoked to have seen them in-flight so early in their deployment.

Yes, it was good week. :-) Ok, no Spitwads of Wisdom today, but like I said some days are better than others, and this blog is about what interests me. And my interest now is food! Later y'all!

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