Nov 27, 2013

The Bank I Didn't Buy (More desktop clearing)

But it was a serious thought for about 15 minutes last spring in Terril, about a half-hour away, a declining little town. My ideas were (1)  it would be dirt cheap and (2)  I could  do a quick and dirty rehab and use it for storage and a private indoor range.

The first notion was correct, the second not. Even at the auction price of about $2,000, she was just too tired. No intact windows, no mechanics, electricity, or plumbing, needing a roof job and a new main floor, joists and all.

It was all just too much work and expense, even for the smirky pleasure of answering the   "What  do you do?"" question with, "I own a bank."

Home of the real Sand Pebbles

Just clearing my desktop here. For some reason or another I once thought some readers might be interested in what is said to have been McKenna's real-life inspiration for the San Pablo.

Oh, to have been a China sailor before the Japs, before Mao, before Chaing.

ETA: USS Villalobos PG42. (PG=patrol gunboat)

Nov 26, 2013

Dang you, Bubba.

Okay. I know it's just a Carcano you bought from Joe Bob for eight bucks one Saturday night in the 60s when he was hurtin' for cash to take Emma Lou to the drive-in picture show.

But still.

The "SA" stamp identifies it as one of the Italian goofs in 7.35x51 (or 52, sometimes) that Mussolini palmed off on the Finns for their Winter War. The SA ("Suomen Armeija" or "Finnish Army")  didn't much like it, but they were desperate and issued most of them to REMFs. Still, they're mildly scarce and a nice piece of World War 2 history. Too nice to run through your woodshed chop shop.

At least you didn't fool with the metal, meaning I need to find only a stock and furniture to have a "correct" if not fully authentic rack mate for the other iron from the 1939-45 horror.

Errrr. Forty bucks when the hammer fell Saturday, if you must know, and that's why I'm grinning, regardless.

Nov 21, 2013

Sea Hunt!

As I may have mentioned, occasional insomnia has its rewards. I conked out early, exhausted by  a harrowing 70 minutes of telephonic registration for a new health insurance policy. I woke up about 2 a.m. You know the feeling. "So much for this night's sleep. What the Hell do I do until sunrise.?"

So I turned on the teevee. Lo and behold, there is Lloyd Bridges jumping off a boat. I couldn't have been more pleased.


A long time ago I had just returned to San Diego from my second WestPac cruise.  Loafing round my girl's apartment I'd occasionally glance at her 11-inch black and white television receiver and happened to catch an image of Lloyd Bridges jumping off a boat.  I couldn't have been more pleased.

While I couldn't claim that my girl possessed the center-fold sightliness of  Jan Harrison, Lloyd and I did share something. We were divers, SCUBA experts in the wonderful years before every vacationing data entry clerk from  Exit 12, New Jersey, became a "certified(!) diver" after a three-hour session in a Nassau hotel pool.

Strictly speaking, "expert" somewhat exaggerates my skills in those days. I was as adept as a guy could get after maybe ten or twelve wet hours, not all of them with breathing gear.

Westbound destroyers called at Midway Island en route from Honolulu to Yokosuka for fueling and one short day of sightseeing. That was plenty. When you've seen one Laysan Albatross, you've see them all. The same goes for long, hot air strips hearkening back to the rotary piston era.  So, on the second trip I checked out mask, snorkel and fins from Special Services and went reef gliding. Hooked.

In the middle of the six-month cruise we generally spent a few days on Guam, the world's second most boring island (after Manhattan).  The morale station there had tanks and regulators available, and all you had to do was sign a chit certifying that you knew what you were doing. It was my first and only lie, but I managed to survive a couple of afternoons on the pretty reefs. Later, back on Civvy Street, I undertook to actually learn something about it and, eventually, wound up with an instructor's card from the YMCA and some other documents from PADI and NAUI.

All of which is to say I have never gotten over the miracle of artificial gills, of going down there where, when the fish blew bubbles at me, I could blow back.   Just like Mike Nelson of Sea Hunt, which you can see on THIS channel.

Oh. Jan Harrison, you ask?

I'm aware that among my readers lurk a few degenerates who prefer more revealing images. Shame. This is a family oriented blog. Couldn't find one anyway.