Who’s That on the Roof?

IMG_7944A friend and fellow Hash House Harrier, Joe “2X4” Beam, passed away. Donna and I drove down to Fort Huachuca Friday for his funeral rites at the historic post cemetery. I don’t know the etiquette for taking photos at funerals but I’m pretty sure it’s a no-no. Nevertheless I took this quick snap with my cell phone.

Joe’s Army and I’m Air Force, but we have aviation in common and so I threw a nickel on the grass* for him as a mark of respect. You can see it in the photo if you look sharp.

*Oh hallelujah, hallelujah,
Throw a nickle on the grass,
Save a fighter pilot’s ass.
Hallelujah, hallelujah.
Throw a nickel on the grass and you’ll be saved.

Rest in peace, old friend.

October should fly by: already this month we’ve had a funeral; tomorrow lab work for me and in a few days a visit with the doctor. Later a pedicure and check-ins with the cardiologist and dermatologist. There’s a haircut somewhere in there and a book club meeting, which we’re hosting at our home. Donna’s dad’s ex-fourth wife Shirley’s daughter Sandy is coming for a week, which’ll likely entail a day trip to Tombstone and Bisbee. While she’s here I plan a couple of self-care days out of the house, staying out of Donna’s hair because she’ll be busy with Sandy. Perhaps a morning at the air museum for one of my twice-yearly photo shoots; later the same day a drive to my favorite roadside attraction, The Thing!, over by the Arizona/New Mexico border. On another day, a visit to the Comcast store, where I’ll try to corner a rep and get the lowdown on what it takes to cancel cable while keeping the internet connection (info Comcast doesn’t make it easy to get online). Oh, and did I forget to mention my birthday’s on Halloween? A big month, October.

Screenshot 2023-10-08 at 10.35.14 AMRacist crap like this has started popping up on Twitter/X. I blocked the advertiser after seeing it several times in my feed. It’s emblematic of the changes Elon Musk has wrought, racists and nazis out in the open, exercising what they like to call “free speech” (so long as they don’t criticize the wunderkind-in-charge, that is).

Really, what line does Elon have to cross before decent people leave Twitter en masse?

The problem is, and yesterday demonstrated it, that journalists and on-scene observers in world hotspots stubbornly cling to their Twitter accounts. Despite Musk’s inroads, Twitter’s still the place to go if you want to follow and get insights on breaking news. Like, for example, Hamas terrorists invading Israel and taking hundreds of hostages, and Israel’s mobilization and buildup to a massive response. Working journalists in Israel and Gaza, along with intelligent observers on the ground, are tweeting about events and developments most of us won’t learn about until the evening news or tomorrow’s papers, if then.

You don’t get this on Facebook, Instagram, Bluesky, Mastodon, and Threads. And you won’t, until the people who give Twitter its value decide to pack up and leave, and I don’t see that happening.

Horrible things are happening to innocent people in Israel and Gaza. No more horrible than what’s happening to innocents in Ukraine and Yemen and I could go on, and one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter, but this is a time when sides must be taken and I take Israel’s.

Speaking of events in Israel and Gaza, this is a bit of detail you might not learn on the nightly news or the pages of the New York Times. I’m betting the actual Hebrew-to-English translation is “roof stomping,” because roof stomping (a literal thing I’ve participated in) is a U.S. Air Force fighter squadron tradition, and the initial F-15 and F-16 cadres of the Israeli Air Force trained with us in the U.S. before returning home. Any of my former squadron mates care to weigh in on my hot take?

Never mind. You’ll not convince me otherwise. Its roof stomping, and with a vengeance.

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