Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"FOD" on a COD

We haven't had an "Ahhhhhhh" story in a while. This one is cute...well, if you like cute lil' owls, that is.

"USS Harry S. Truman Sailor Finds an Unusual Piece of FOD"

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- When the words foreign object debris (FOD) come to mind the last thing someone thinks about is an owl. On the morning of March 17 on board USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), an owl is exactly what was found. What might have been a mishap, ended on a happier note thanks to a few Sailors' attention to detail.

"I was the safety behind the 300 jet. That's why I probably ended up there first," said Aviation Structural Mechanic (Equipment) 3rd class Jeremy Smith, a Sailor attached to the "Ragin' Bulls" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 37.

He was called over by Aviation Electronics Technician Airman Apprentice Tony McJohnston, also part of VFA 37. What they found was a screech owl.

Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd class Zachary Gorman who is attached to Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (HS) 7, the "Dusty Dogs," is a licensed falconer in the U.S. He was called to the scene to check the status of the bird.

"When I got there, I checked him over to make sure he didn't have any broken wings and if he was dehydrated or malnourished," said Gorman.

Gorman and the flight deck medical team nursed the owl, or "Fod" as Flight Deck Control liked to call him, back to health by giving him a shot of sugar water to help rehydrate him.

Gorman said after treating the bird they found no life-threatening problems.

"For the most part the bird was healthy, just a little tired," said Gorman. He also made sure "Fod" was okay in a box the crew dubbed his makeshift "stateroom." Gorman has been working with birds of prey since the age of 12 and said he was more than happy to help the animal.

"I've worked with a lot of owls throughout the years, but I never thought I'd have to deal with one on a carrier in the middle of the Gulf" said Gorman.
The owl could not reside on board indefinitely so they came up with another plan.

"Since he was in a weak condition, flying to land would decrease his chances of survival so we thought we would give him a hand," said Gorman.

Preparations were made to fly the owl off the ship on a Carrier Onboard Delivery to land, where he was released safely and out of harms way.

"It was a free ride. They were going there anyway so we made it a little bit easier on him," said Gorman.

080318-N-1688B-002 PERSIAN GULF (March 18, 2008) Airman Jacob Larsen holds "Fod," a screech owl that was found on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). The owl was discovered in the left-main wheel well of an F/A 18 Hornet during a pre-flight inspection of the aircraft. Truman and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 are deployed supporting Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and maritime security operations.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew Bookwalter

Exit question(s): How the hell did that lil' guy end up there?! Screech owls aren't native to the Gulf region, are they?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

More Old Store Pics

I've been very busy with my latest project. I've found that's the best way to keep my head from exploding lately.
I'm just overwhelmed with the rampant stupidity nationally and my normal reaction is to just go into ostrich mode for a while, so my brain can process the new insanity that is passing for "normal".

So despite the constant come and go showers yesterday, I set out to capture some more old general stores in the area.

This is the old Noble store and post office, just a stone and a half throw from me. It is said to be the oldest store in the area, older than Souder even and that's a 100 years. It might have Souder beat by a couple of years.

This is one of the newer stores, relatively speaking. The Almartha store. Even though the town of Almartha is old, this building replaces the original store. It's cinder block and I reckon it's from the 40's or thereabouts. (the gas pump, however is from the 60's.)

Another thing I have noticed on my travels snapping pics is that these lil' stores all seem to be approximately 5 to 6 miles apart. The distance one could reasonably walk or go by horseback to and from in a day? Sounds about right.

And just for fun...here's my 'moneypit', so far. The sign ain't up yet, still refurbishing that. But it has a fresh coat of paint all around (except for the very tippy top peak, cuz I chickened out-too dang high!) and the old advertising signs I had ordered have been put on. Still need to finish the windows (new glass and glazing) and don't even get me started about the inside! But, it's coming along.
This was a color pic, I made a copy in black n white, to go along with the other pics in this post.