Saturday, September 26, 2009

Couple Dad pics from Khe Sanh

On patrol near Khe Sanh, likely a Bru Montagnard village. He customized a .45 holster to be a lefty since they didn't have lefty versions.

Dad enjoying some c-rations at Khe Sanh, 1967.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thank you dad, you helped make me who I am

Been a tough odd week. On Thursday September 17th my dad passed away from a sudden heart attack. I'm down in Florida now with my mother, older brother and his family. We've been going through dad's things, lots of treasures and quite a few surprises, even for mom.

My brother has been scanning pictures in for dad's memorial. We've gone through his workshop and got rid of all the hazmat stuff that he wouldn't get rid of. Also found his 'stash' of smokes that he wasn't supposed to have :D

Dad was a good guy, saw a lot of interesting things in his 67 years and dodged death and calamity many times. He was a USMC veteran, served 1959-1969 and in Vietnam in '67 and '68. He served at Cam Lo and Khe Sanh combat base. He was at Khe Sanh during the siege and battle in 1968, medvaced out shortly after the offensive started.

He made it through a major heart attack at 38 and kept on trucking. Stroke in 2001 and several other surgeries over the years but time finally caught up with him. Above all he showed me to always stick to your guns and to your word. Integrity was important with pops.

I'll have to write more later either here or in private, but he was a strong influence in my life and showed me a lot. I'll miss you pop, Semper Fi.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


In case you missed the MTV Video Awards, Kanye West pulled a tantrum out his butt again.
This site has some fun and welcomes one of the fastest growing memes to hit the internet since Rick Rolling. Just a clicky the picture.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

3 day weekends. I like them very much.

Had two three day weekends in a row. Labor day weekend and this weekend I took Monday off.

I had a lifelong friend in the Portland area for a Habitat for Humanity workshop and she was able to visit with us briefly. She had to fly back on Sunday for an early Monday doctor appointment so the visit was basically Saturday evening and Sunday morning, but it was fun. Her family used to live down the street from us and they moved when I was about 4 but they remained friends ever since. I visited with them this past May when I was in California for a work trip, I hadn't seen them since at least 1992 so it was great then. And great to visit some more this weekend.

She does want to come back up for another visit to see the sights of Portland. We stopped at the International Rose Test Garden on the way to the airport. It is maintained by the City of Portland parks and rec department and is really a neat bunch of gardens. Great views into town as well since it's up in the hills.

Monday was errand day, trading out a borked cable box and selling some books back to Powells books. Then a dentist appointment to finally finish up my never-ending root canal. This last appointment was to fix the hole in my crown so it was short and Novocaine-less.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Who's that in the background?

Spent this past Sunday/Monday doing some work as a background extra for the TV show Leverage. I got to be a Boston dockworker despite being in Portland. Through TV magic Portland locales are transformed into Boston. It was a long tiring day but a lot of fun.

Sunday I was up at 3:30am to make it to the set by 5am. By 6am we were getting our wardrobe checked out and props. I had some old blue coveralls with me and my steel toe boots so that was my outfit. They provided an orange safety vest and hard hat, voila, a dockworker! A lot of what we were doing was being the miscellaneous people you see in the background of a shot looking like we're busy doing shipyard/dock stuff. Some guys were carrying pipes around, others driving carts or carrying lunch boxes. Some were on bikes. I got to stare at a power meter a few times.

Other extras got to be FBI agents, Boston PD, Port Authority PD, Thugs, Gun Buyers. Neat seeing a shot come together. Helicopter, police and FBI cars racing around the docks. We did a lot of the same walkthroughs for different angles. The main actors probably had it worse though as they had to keep doing the lines for all the different angles and shots while being on a ship in 80+ weather with that heat just reflecting off the deck. And when we wrapped up at 8:30pm they kept going until almost 11pm.

Yesterday there were a few shots and then mostly just waiting in the holding area in case they needed some more background. Later call time so I didn't have to be there as early, plus they fed us a really good lunch before sending us home. The actors were all really cool people, the directors and assistants and other crew were all awesome. I don't think I could do a job like that full time like they do, it's pretty demanding, but it was neat to get behind the scenes of a TV production to see how it is done. I've been an extra on one film that hasn't been released yet, but I didn't get any camera time, it was also neat but the routine was different for it.

Extra work isn't glamorous but it is fun, you meet some neat people and you just might see yourself on TV for a brief moment.