Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Cool July Breeze, Painting Project....and that "Dog" Gone Firing Range at Nha Trang

Well yesterday I started, finally started the outside painting project on the old house....the roof is finished, the gutters and downspouts are done{although the removal of the gutters from the driveway never was completed, so Patricia and I moved those to the side of the garage, out of site for now}, and it was time for me to get at the painting. A project I figure will take me 2 or more months....Could I get it done quicker? Would Patricia be glad to help? The answer to both questions is probably yes....but this is a project I want to do when I want to, take time off when I want, and move at my own pace, one designed for my 60 year old body....which means slow and sometimes steady.

I finished up the Green on the back side of the house, scarped some of the beige trim, and will get with some of the white trim today on the bare facing. The Amish crew put up white facing, so instead of 3 colors, the base green and 2 trims{beige and red}, this time around it will be 3 trim colors, with the added white. I still have to get some more green mixed, and hope it matches pretty close{meaning I will have to make sure that different sides of the house are painted with different 5 gallon buckets of paint{long story}.

Anyway, I'm about 15% done, and that only took 5 hours{using a brush, not a spray gun}....not sure if the rest will go so quick, and I'm betting it won't,

July weather____

53 this morning when I woke up...the A/C has been off all but a few hours for the past week...which is good considering the utility bill was almost $300 last month...THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA and the City of Celina...YOU REALLY DO SUCK! Anyway, a nice breeze and a high of 77 for today....77 for a High? On July 8th? I will take it! Good weather for painting, baseball, and getting in some road work. In preparation for the finish of baseball and the beginning of football season, I figure I needed to get back to walking and push ups, along with some light that began yesterday as well. Now about dropping those 25 pounds which I was supposed to do this spring ?.....wish me luck, or I'm gonna need it come football and especially basketball season.

That "Dog(s) Gone" Firing Range at Nha Trang, RVN____July 1969

I had been at Nha Trang for about a week. I had been assigned to "A" Flight Law Enforcement, and TSgt Phil Lange was my NCOIC....Law Enforcement at Nha Trang consisted of the following: Jeep drove the streets of Nha Trang AB, issuing tickets{seldom}, checking on the posts being manned by other LE guys, and giving them lunch or latrine was basically the "gravy" job of Law Enforcement, and probably every body's favorite. In addition to Jeep Patrol, the grunts of LE also manned gates, including the base Main Gate, entry control points for civilian workers, and some guard shacks sprinkled throughout the was by all accounts, the best job I ever had during my Air Force tour of duty.

One morning a group of us "Newbies", guys who had been in country less than a few weeks, were loaded up in a deuce and a half truck, with a boat load of weapons...Grenade Launchers. M-16s, M-50s, M-60s, hand grenades, etc, and were hauled off to the Firing Range north of Nha Trang City.....this was to be our baptism of fire and quick learn of the various weapons we would be handling in case of a manned attack on the Air Base. I kind of figured, if the VC got past the Green Berets at Camp McDermott, and our Security guys on the perimeter, we LE guys were shit out of luck anyway...but what the Hell? I loved firing these weapons.

After unloading, the dozen or so guys and the handful on instructors set up our "equipment" and began firing at marked targets on the rocks...I remember 2 things from that day that are as clear as yesterday in my mind. The sky was a mass of grey clouds, and it was humid....then there were the "Dogs". Wild feral dogs in Vietnam were not pets by any stretch of the imagination...the carried rabies, they were mean, and they were scavengers. This pack of 6 to 8 dogs of various sizes made the mistake that day of coming into the firing range area, while a bunch of Air Force Security Police guys were learning weapons training and doing target was the last thing most, if not all, would ever do.

Given permission by the lead instructor...a dozen or so trigger happy Sky Cops opened fire on these local mutts...the dogs never had a chance. Now given the fact I have had dogs all my life and raised Airedales for many years, speaks to the fact that I love dogs...but as I said, these "dogs" were really nothing more that "wolf lite". Did I feel guilty that I joined the rest of the guys in opening up on them? Not at the time, it seemed like the thing to do....all these years later, I probably would not do my share of shooting to kill, but at the time, I joined in....we seemed to enjoy it way to much.

After this I was fully "qualified" to shoot the weapons of choice...however, being in Law Enforcement, I was only assigned to carry my .38 S&W Police Special, and my M-16...but Hell, I did get to ride around in the V-100(See Photo of me leaning up against one at the top of the blog) on occasion...which contained some big guns.

OK, that's it for today...time to head outside and continue the painting project.

back later>>>>
Photos-The Vietnam shots are from my buddy Tony Niemotka, who was stationed at Nha Trang with the 14th SPS at the same time as me...he arrived a little earlier and was sent home about the time I was heading for Tan Son Nhut{Saigon}. The two photos are among several that Tony sent out yesterday...they show him firing a Grenade Launcher(top) and doing the prone position with .50 cal machine gun....both photos were taken at the same firing range that we "dogged" it a few months later.
And the back of the house after the main green part has been I will start with some trim before moving on to the area above the will be a roof work day.


Shrinky said...

I smiled at your observation that if your base came under fire, you would know how much trouble you were in!

Good luck with the painting project, it sounds more than enough to keep your hands full for the remainder of the summer.

Larry said...

Hmmm -- that sure looks blue on my new LCD monitor, Pat. Bush looks quite green. Anyway, I sure don't envy the project. Ah, the joys of an older house, eh?

The Hermit said...

It's hotter than hell here, and humid to boot. I envy you your weather.

PRH....... said...

Blue/Green Larry...the other owner mixed up the color, and I have for the past 15 years(3rd painting by me) have decided I'm gonna stick with each time I get it mixed it changes....


Shrinky....we knew our limitations, and hoped for the best :)

We are scheduled to get back to 90 and humid by the weekend Hermit, but will take this welcome respite, before Summer comes back.

Jerry in Indiana said...

Painting always takes longer than you'd think. Best of luck, Pat.

FHB said...

Hope the weather holds out for you on the painting job. And I loved the pictures and story. I think you've talked about the dogs before... or maybe that same thing happened to Mushy. Wouldn't be surprised.

Law and Order Teacher said...

I remember going to the range in a covered deuce and a half. I get motion sickness and sitting in the back covered made me sick as hell. I was happy I could even see the targets. I rolled out at the range and they started barking at us and giving us guns and rounds.

Once on the line it was strict protocol and safety. We fired a bunch of M-16 rounds, M-79 Grenade launcher rounds, M-60s,some hand grenades and the .38 S&W that all of us carried.

It looks you were firing the M-148, we didn't use those, but did fire them. It was all cool, until you were sitting in your bunkers and had to be ready to use them. Kind of a nerve-racking deal.