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Omaha Steve

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Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 05:03 PM
Number of posts: 54,726

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I flew in a B-17 warbird yesterday, my great uncle died in one in the Pacific Theater Sept 24, 1942

For more info on these flights and more: http://www.collingsfoundation.org/

I haven't grabbed my phone pix yet. I've been so busy. Good thing I'm retired. My camera photos are in chronological order here: http://tinyurl.com/o7z7otk

I had no breakfast yesterday in case I might get airsick. This would be one exciting carnival ride.

There was a break in the weather after the last couple of days had been so hot and humid. It was 70 when I left the house.

While driving to the private plane side of Epply Airfield I looked to my left. It was just in time to see a Red-tailed Hawk (think Tuskegee Airmen) take flight from the top of the security fence. A good omen I thought to myself.

As I pulled into the parking lot I saw dozens of happy faces getting out of their cars and walking to the assembly area. After getting inside there was a room full of excited people, a souvenir table, and registration table. Through the glass I saw TWO vintage warbirds out on the flight line in pre-check and fuel mode. The excitement builds.

The check in table worked with color coded tags by plane and flight number. I was on the second flight of Nine O Nine. Two older Veteran's tried to buy a ticket, only to find out all the morning flights were sold out. They got tickets for the 5 PM fight. During the day there are tours through the planes.

The first flight taxied out. The smell of high octane and burning oil were in the air. Our group was assembled and given our pre-flight info. This included mentioning IF you stick your head in the air stream in the open radio gunner position (# 6 below) take off your glasses and hats. Hold on to your phone or cameras tightly.


Talk between the passengers drifted to what the crews of these planes had to endure while under fire and damaged.

The P-51 was now being towed out of the hanger. I mentioned former NU football All American Wayne Melan's P-51 was destroyed in his fatal crash in 1987.

All of a sudden there was some obvious radio traffic of concern between the crews on their handheld. The B-24 had developed a problem in flight an was returning ASAP. Below is the work that started immediately on the down engine. Nine O Nine is landing in the background.

We were going to board with the propellers running, so we got some more safety instructions. This photo shows the other passengers in my flight. Our instructor that doesn't make the flight is facing us from the left

Below is a passenger on my flight grabbing the overhead bar to load and unload from the plane.

I was the last to board and had the seat closest to the tail. After a little trouble with the seat belt (a vintage model, unlike a car) our flight engineer gave the pilot the thumbs up to taxi out.

We came to a stop. The engine started reving up for flight and we started that slow bumpy ride down the runway. Suddenly the sounds and "feel" indicated we were weightless. A couple bumps and we knew we were airbourne. Our flight engineer immediately gave us permission to unbuckle and wonder in the plane. A father and son in front of the bombay.

I took phone photos inside the plane. I stuck my head up in the air stream to take some camera photos. Remember that warning about cameras in the airstream? Yep. The strap blew off my neck and I almost lost the camera to the force of the wind. Marta would extremely upset if I had let go of her camera.

Our mock bomb run on the rail yard somewhere over Germany in the photo below.

As you can see in the photo the bomb racks are a tight fit. I decided with my bad neck and shoulders not to get injured wiggling my way through. So I didn't get to the navigators area at the front of the plane. My great uncle's (navigator 1st Lt. Leo M. Eminger) downed plane was located during the war: http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/b-17/41-2420.html

This was the point my mind drifted to family history. My cousin Leo that grew up next door to me was named after him. Meet my uncle (spitting image of my maternal grandfather) the navigator, 1st Lt. Leo M. Eminger (KIA).

About a 1/2 hour after takeoff we were headed in. Buckle back in and a flew bounces later we were on the ground. Everybody had huge smiles. The father in the photo asked his son if he had felt air sick at all. The son answered "no". I thanked him for not getting airsick. He smiled. I said back to him "well I pooped my pants". The rear end of the plane broke out in loud laughter. His dad told me "We're not going to thank you for that".

As we got out of the plane the passengers from the B-24 flight that got cut short lined up to ride in Nine O Nine too. I'm sure the cancelled flight was next.

I smelled of gas and oil till I got home and showered. A badge of courage maybe?

I went in to buy souvenirs. A hat, several T shirts for family members, and a 50 cal round notched into a bottle opener, and some clearance items were what I selected. You can buy online here: http://www.collingsfoundation.org/shop/

These flights and souvenirs help pay for maintenance to keep these historical treasures flying. It was worth every cent. And it got me out of Marta's hair for a couple hours.

I crossed one item off my bucket list. IF I'm healthy enough next year, Marta and I are in the early stages on planning to go to Normandy and London.

Omaha Steve ...Over and out!

Bernie in Council Bluffs, IA 7-3-15 photos

I have not had time to write up the event yet. I hope to do so tomorrow. I have over 1,000 personal emails that have piled up since Wednesday

Top photos are about 45 minutes to showtime. I'm sitting in the second row just to Bernie's right. These crowd photos are panning from my left to right. Look at all the young faces.

Several Bernie photos.

The last four photo Bernie gets treated like a rock star. The first of these photos is a member of the Sarpy County Democrats, but I don't remember her name. She got an autograph.



Photos of Bernie in Indianola, IA 6-14-15

On the way there I got a little lost. GPS doesn't work when there is no cell service in the sticks. It was pouring rain and dark. I kept wondering if I would be hearing tornado sirens. I'm glad I had a map. But with all the rain road signs etc were very hard to see. Service came back when I got just outside Indianola. By then I already knew where I was.

About 1/2 hour before Bernie arrived (a little late) the rain stopped. I'm sure the weather kept many people away. It was very sticky by the time Bernie got there. Everything was soaking wet. I was standing next to a bee hive built into a hole in a wooden support of the pavilion. I didn't bother them, they didn't bother me.

Several people were wearing union t shirts. I had my easy to ID yellow AFSCME shirt. There was another AFSCME worker from the next county over. His son is a student at NU in Lincoln, NE and made the drive just to see Bernie. There was a UAW that works at John Deere. Others were SEIU, IBEW, Teamsters, AND NEA that I saw.

I met one guy that drove down from Chicago to see Bernie.

Bernie is still hiring Iowa staff. Two were working their first day at the event. This was Bernie's third and final stop of the day. His third day in a row in Iowa.

Since there are videos already posted, I'm just putting up a few pictures.

I got the hand shake. He was happy to talk to a DUer, retiree, and union member all in one. No photo of it. I hope one shows up in the videos or other photos posted on other web sites etc.

And he knows the DU!


Bernie arrives and waiting to be introduced.

The overflow crowd in the wet grass. Standing in the blue shirt is Phil Fiermonte Bernie's Field Director. Remember that name. No hints. Let me just say we networked.

It happened so fast I missed the shot. As he was leaving Bernie stopped on his own to bend down to say hello to somebody special. Look at the smile left on that face.

Bernie Sanders fans put down those $5 footlong sandwiches and read this!!!

Event: Warren County Democrats 12th Annual Summer Picnic

TIME: Sunday, June 14, 2015 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT

HOST: Bernie Sanders

LOCATION: Veterans Memorial Park (Indianola, IA)
Corner of G Street and West Euclid Avenue
Indianola, IA 50125

Next Sunday afternoon, June 14th I'll be at the Warren County Democrats picnic in Indianola, IA. I've pulled a few strings (those same strings got me in photos with John Kerry just before the 04 Dem Convention & John Edwards in Oct 07) and will get a moment to talk with Senator Sanders.

I'll be mentioning whatever the total is in our DU Bernie Sanders Group Act Blue account at noon on the 14th for some good DU PR. If you have $5 (Bernie has said several times $5 is great) or whatever to add to the total by then, that would be wonderful. As of this moment our total raised is $3,706.00 in just 6 weeks. We are solidly in 4th place by the amount raised from ALL PACs & groups. That is way above where I thought we would be at this point.

Here is the link to donate: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/duforbernie

You can check here anytime to compare how our fund raising compares: https://secure.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/39795

To share the donation info you can use FB or Tweet below.

New Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.actblue.com%2Fcontribute%2Fpage%2Fduforbernie%3Frefcode%3Dpromote-share%23.VUXiK8m85wQ.facebook

Tweet: https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=check+out+our+new+%40ActBlue+page+%27Democratic+Underground++for+Bernie%27.+https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.actblue.com%2Fcontribute%2Fpage%2Fduforbernie%3Frefcode%3Dpromote-share%23.VUXo8Ohnyn0.twitter

Bernie's campaign uses Act Blue too. This just keeps a total of $ donated by DUers and friends.

All the donated $ to Bernie goes to Bernie except for the actual charge card fee by law: http://support.actblue.com/faq#q15

Fees all vendors pay to use your credit card from a vendors perspective: http://paysimple.com/credit_card_rates_explained.html

IF you give a tip it goes to Act Blue, the most successful Democratic $ raising PAC for their in house expenses like rent, payroll, IT, etc.

NYT: How ActBlue Became a Powerful Force in Fund-Raising: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/09/upshot/how-actblue-became-a-powerful-force-in-fund-raising.html?abt=0002&abg=1

It takes a few minutes for the tote board to show your donation on the now semi-live goal o meter just below.

Can you kick in a little

That is me listening to John Edwards. I also did a couple interviews with the press. Video below the photo.

Uploaded on Oct 24, 2007
John Edwards talks about the importance of rejecting money from Washington lobbyists at a community meeting in Glenwood, Iowa on October 24, 2007.

When Illness Makes a Spouse a Stranger Part II...I saw the specialist today

Original post: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026641619

Marta took me in this morning. I have been dreading this visit. Cut to the chase.

I DO NOT have ALS.

Some other things going on besides my FTD. But this was great news to me. Funny when somebody has a fatal disease thinks something is good news. Thank you all for the support the DU community has shown me since I made my diagnosis known.

Recommended watching is the documentary on Roger Ebert's fight for life: http://www.ebertmovie.com/


When Illness Makes a Spouse a Stranger (can we talk?)

First I want to thank the 40-50 DUers that knew about my condition and kept my deepest secret.

Why OS doesn't really exist anymore is in an old NYT article below.

I had it long before I was diagnosed with FTD (I prefer to call it brain atrophy from the article below) just before Christmas 2013. I guess I'm lucky, some victims get this in their 20's.

My new symptoms point to me having a second deadly disease (ALS) that will shorten even more the quality time I have left. Projected lifespan 2 years. I'm just waiting to see the specialist for a confirmation diagnosis. I'm in no hurry to get there.

I so desperately wanted wanted to stay on the DU through November of 2016. But I've overstayed my time, it is so obvious. All I have done is ruin what OS used to be on the DU. My own fault for wanting to stay.

On current events. I was asked to do something by a DU Hillary supporter earlier this week. I spent the time and effort. It was pointed out to me point blank this morning because of something I did a few weeks ago, a huge "stick it" was the way it was treated by many. I had already heard it through the grapevine. It still hurt. Since then I haven't been able to stop crying.

And this morning an OP brought this reply: "I think you should delete this thread, because it sounds demented."

On the money in my case.

"you don't have Nixon to kick around any more, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference." (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/richardmn116455.html)

I've enjoyed being a part of the DU and all the friends I've made here.

As far as OS and life in the future. I won't go out violently. I won't go out on FTD's terms.

A glass to the good old days. To a win in November 2016...

OS AKA Algernon or Don Quixote

PS Make a copy before this gets locked.



When Illness Makes a Spouse a Stranger



He threw away tax documents, got a ticket for trying to pass an ambulance and bought stock in companies that were obviously in trouble. Once a good cook, he burned every pot in the house. He became withdrawn and silent, and no longer spoke to his wife over dinner. That same failure to communicate got him fired from his job at a consulting firm.

By 2006, Michael French — a smart, good-natured, hardworking man — had become someone his wife, Ruth, felt she hardly knew. Infuriated, she considered divorce.

But in 2007, she found out what was wrong.

“I cried,” Mrs. French said. “I can’t tell you how much I cried, and how much I apologized to him for every perceived wrong or misunderstanding.”

FULL story at link. Video: http://nyti.ms/1jY2ew8 via @nytvideo

Looking back, Mrs. French thinks her husband's mind began to slip a decade earlier. Credit Béatrice de Géa for The New York Times

Good news...bad news

People that read the DU are still learning about my health. A couple weeks ago I started having new symptoms. This morning I got hit with a sledge hammer. I was having having a bad day. It is why I haven't been on much today.

It is possible to find joy in the simple things even when your terminal. We have been waiting for the rest of our feathered friends to show up. We have a huge evergreen tree right outside our front window. It is 71 with a slight breeze. I had the window open. Suddenly like an old song playing on the radio I heard a distinct song.

I called Marta at work to tell her our first Baltimore Oriole is here. I then went out to put out more jelly. My day is much better now. The simple things.

I may not be on much the next few days while adjusting to this new twist.


Dear friends PLEASE remember Ludlow today..19 men, women, and children killed in the Ludlow Massacre

2:00 minute audio story here: http://laborhistoryin2.podbean.com/e/april-20-1429540569/#

For the 19...

Ludlow Massacre Monument Junction of Del Aqua and Colorado and Southern Railroad tracks, Ludlow, CO. This monument marks the site where striking miners and their families were killed in their tent colony on April 20, 1914.


The date April 20, 1914 will forever be a day of infamy for American workers. On that day, 18 innocent men, women and children were killed in the Ludlow Massacre. The coal miners in Colorado and other western states had been trying to join the UMWA for many years. They were bitterly opposed by the coal operators, led by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company.

Upon striking, the miners and their families had been evicted from their company-owned houses and had set up a tent colony on public property. The massacre occurred in a carefully planned attack on the tent colony by Colorado militiamen, coal company guards, and thugs hired as private detectives and strike breakers. They shot and burned to death 20 people, including a dozen women and small children. Later investigations revealed that kerosene had intentionally been poured on the tents to set them ablaze. The miners had dug foxholes in the tents so the women and children could avoid the bullets that randomly were shot through the tent colony by company thugs. The women and children were found huddled together at the bottoms of their tents.

The Baldwin Felts Detective Agency had been brought in to suppress the Colorado miners. They brought with them an armored car mounted with a machine gun—the Death Special— that roamed the area spraying bullets. The day of the massacre, the miners were celebrating Greek Easter. At 10:00 AM the militia ringed the camp and began firing into the tents upon a signal from the commander, Lt. Karl E. Lindenfelter. Not one of the perpetrators of the slaughter were ever punished, but scores of miners and their leaders were arrested and black-balled from the coal industry.

A monument erected by the UMWA stands today in Ludlow, Colorado in remembrance of the brave and innocent souls who died for freedom and human dignity.

In December, 2008, the U.S. Department of the Interior designated the Ludlow site as a National Historic Landmark. "This is the culmination of years of work by UMWA members, retirees and staff, as well as many hundreds of ordinary citizens who have fought to preserve the memory of this brutal attack on workers and their families," UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said.

"The tragic lessons from Ludlow still echo throughout our nation, and they must never be forgotten by Americans who truly care about workplace fairness and equality," Roberts said. "With this designation, the story of what happened at Ludlow will remain part of our nation's history. That is as it should be."

The dedication ceremony was held at Ludlow on June 28, 2009.

We put out grape jelly today for our bird friends (many photos)

Edit: These photos are from previous years, not this season.

It is time for our oriels to show up. This Saturday we will put out the hummingbird feeders. We get a great selection of birds because Fontenelle Forest is on the other side of our back fence: http://www.fontenelleforest.org/

Last week raccoons ruined an old Shepard's crook hanger. I had to go buy another heavy duty version. That gives us a place to put a hummingbird swing.

The new heavy duty top looks like this.

We use this jelly because it has no HFC. Be sure you get the label marked natural.

Delicious, bold fruit taste
No high-fructose corn syrup
No preservatives
No artificial flavors or colors
Also available in convenient, kid-friendly squeeze package

You can find this at the local bird store. It is no longer available in gallon cans. We would go through 2 every year.

Here is the feeder we got at a democratic fund raiser auction. Hand made by (Gardens by) Nancy. The next year by coincidence Nancy took care of my mom in hospice. The mushroom top used to be straight across. It got pushed up by a Pileated woodpecker. We left it like that for when he comes back for more.

Oriels, Tanagers, and more come in for the jelly.

Rescued Florida dog now recovering in 'protective custody'

Source: AP

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A dog rescued after being shot and tied to railroad tracks in Florida has been released from a veterinary clinic to continue its recovery.

Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Service posted a message on its Facebook page late Friday saying Cabela had "left the building to go into super secret, never to be revealed, protective custody." The 1-year-old mixed-breed dog was in hiding to "heal, socialize and begin her transition to a new life," the post said.

Tampa Police have said that Cabela was shot, tied to railroad tracks and left to die earlier this month because it wouldn't fight.

The Tampa Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1x6iItO ) that a Hillsborough County judge on Friday denied bail for two men accused of using Cabela for fighting.

FULL story at link.

Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_DOG_TIED_TO_RAILROAD_TRACKS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Two previous stories at this link: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10141037705

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