Sunday Bag o’ Dyslexic Orange Wreckage

My dyslexia’s not the normal kind. It’s not so much a problem with the shapes of letters as it is memory and mental associations writing over words in front of me. Take this, for example:

Screenshot 2023-08-27 at 6.44.53 AM

I know what it says, but my mind’s eye keeps replacing “Saudis” and “African Migrants” with “Nazis” and “Jews.” The part about us choosing to ignore it, though … that doesn’t change at all.

Our daughter Polly’s starting over again with Amazon, this time some sort of home-based online work she hasn’t briefed me on. I have no idea what she’ll be doing, but the job’s supposed to be full-time. They sent her a PC and laptop and she’s setting up a work area in a corner of our living room (which is otherwise filled with Donna’s sewing overflow). One of my many questions is how she’ll be able to get online. She says the Amazon equipment is self-contained, but unless it hooks into Elon Musk’s Starlink internet-from-orbit system, I don’t see how it’s going to work. And if, as I anticipate, she has to tap into our home internet connection via wi-fi, can our system handle the amount of data she’ll be pulling in and sending out? She starts tomorrow, so I guess we’ll find out toot sweet.

1000w_q75-1000x640-1A random memory: in the 1980s, during my local area checkout at Elmendorf AFB, I was told aircraft wreckage in remote and difficult-to-access locations was spray-painted international orange so that pilots flying overhead could easily identify old crash sites, ones that had been reported and investigated, and not mistakenly call them in as new crashes with survivors possibly needing rescue.

Aircraft wreckage, in rugged and aviation-dependent Alaska, was everywhere, and although I routinely flew over old crash sites and could often pick out the shape of twisted wings and fuselages from the air, I never once saw a hint of orange. I tried calling up photos of orange-painted aircraft wreckage on Google Images today and came up blank. Now I’m wondering if the story I was told, which actually made a lot of sense at the time, was more of an Alaska bush pilot legend; i.e., bullshit.

Along with that memory, another one: leading a four-ship of F-15s home to Elmendorf from a training mission, picking up an ELT (emergency locator transmitter) signal in a mountainous area west of Anchorage. We had plenty of fuel, so I circled our formation back to see if we could determine the location. The signal was strongest over a narrow valley between steep mountains, but we were too high to see anything on the ground. I reported the ELT to air traffic control along with the latitude and longitude, which I’d marked on my inertial nav. A day later, the Anchorage Times reported the helicopter rescue of four men whose Cessna had gone down in that area. The day after that, a followup story: all four men were drunk and not one of them had a valid pilot license. Never a mention of a passing USAF fighter pilot calling it in.

Betcha that wrecked Cessna’s not painted orange either.

3 thoughts on “Sunday Bag o’ Dyslexic Orange Wreckage

  • When I was 17 in 1968 I belonged to the CAP (Civil Air Patrol). The youth division was mostly cool USAF uniforms and USAF indoctrination, with close formation marching thrown in, which is pretty droll to do. But sometimes we drove our Olive Drab war surplus ambulance up into the Sierras to mark giant ‘X’ marks on old aircraft wreck sites with International Orange spray paint. So that was a thing, at least in the late 1960s. Some girl fellow member souvenired me my first cigarette at one meeting. I got higher than a Cessna 150. (Service Ceiling 12,650 ft, though my old, worn, taxicab-like rental trainer’s max altitude was 9,800 ft above Folsom Lake.) Cigarettes are fun! Thanks a lot, Cadet.
    Tod recently posted…Former Traitor-In-Chief Gets His Mugshot: Morning in AmericaMy Profile

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