FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day October 2nd through 4th 2018

FOD Saying of the Day

(Prince Feisal to Lawrence after Lawrence of Arabia has taken Damascus with his Arab army)  There’s nothing further here for a warrior.  We drive bargains.  Old men’s work.  Young men make wars, and the virtues of war are the virtues of young men.  Courage and hope for the future.  Then old men make the peace.  And the vices of peace are the vices of old men.  Mistrust and caution.  It must be so.  – Prince Feisal

 

FOD Trivia Question

What vaccine was developed in 1955 while Dwight D. Eisenhower was President of the United States?  Hint – It’s been covered in FOD

 

Previous FOD Trivia Answer

As we gaze at the stars on a clear night, they seem to flash or twinkle.  What causes this? Answer: Uneven heat distribution in the Earth’s atmosphere.

 

Yankees, With A Convincing Wild Card Win Advance to Face Red Sox

There will be more historical Yankees – Red Sox games this season.  Wild Card games are exciting in that they are a winner take all.  It doesn’t seem quite far that your entire season comes down to one game, but that’s the current format.  I’m not in favor of more games that go on to dilute the overall play however.  Of course it’s much easier to accept the current situation when your team wins. This party started early on.  Aaron Judge staked starter Luis Severino to an early lead, belting a two-run home run on a rope to left field off of Athletics “opener” Liam Hendriks. Lou Trevino handled the next three innings for the A’s and pitched admirably, holding the Yankees scoreless. Shawn Kelley did likewise in the fifth.  In the sixth, the Yankees opened the floodgates. Facing veteran Fernando Rodney to open the frame, Aarons Judge and Hicks each doubled to plate a run. Rodney then uncorked a wild pitch while facing Giancarlo Stanton, allowing Hicks to move to third base. That prompted manager Bob Melvin to bring in Blake Treinen. Treinen finished off the at-bat by walking Stanton, who then stole second base. Treinen served up a two-run triple to Luke Voit (his first MLB triple), making the score 5-0. Voit was promptly brought home on a sacrifice fly by Didi Gregorius.  Severino wound up going four scoreless innings for the Yankees, yielding a pair of hits and four walks while striking out seven on 87 pitches. Dellin Betances pitched immaculately, facing the minimum over two innings with three strikeouts. He was great tonight.  David Robertson worked a scoreless seventh. Zach Britton allowed the A’s to get on the board in the eighth, serving up a two-run home run to the opposite field to Khris Davis. Giancarlo Stanton immediately got back one of those runs for the Yankees, smashing a solo home run down the left field line in the bottom of the eighth off of Treinen to make it 7-2.  Aroldis Chapman took over in the top of the ninth, tasked with protecting a five-run lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Marcus Semien, but rebounded to strike out Jonathan Lucroy and Mark Canha before getting Matt Chapman to ground out to end the game.  It’s a sad end for the A’s, who won 97 games during the regular season and are now out after losing one postseason game. Well not that sad.  One wonders what might have been in store for them had they been in the AL Central rather than the AL West. Meanwhile, the 100-win Yankees will gear up for a match-up with the 108-win Red Sox. It will be the first postseason meeting between the Yankees and Red Sox since the 2004 ALCS.  As usual the post game interview with Aaron Judge congratulated the A’s on their season, acknowledged the historic season of the Red Sox, pointed out the great play of his teammates and now it’s on to Boston.

 

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FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day August 12th through 15th 2018

FOD Saying of the Day

The most important thing a man can know is that, as he approaches his own door, someone on the other side is listening for the sound of his footsteps.   – Clark Gable

 

FOD Trivia Question

Who said, “My wife and I were happy for 20 years.  And then we met.”

 

Previous FOD Trivia Answer

Only one state of the United States has never had a foreign flag fly over it.  Which state is this that was never claimed by a foreign country? Answer:  Idaho

 

International Lefthanders Day

International Left Handers Day is observed annually on August 13 to celebrate the uniqueness and differences of the left handers. The day was first observed in the year 1976 by Dean R. Campbell, founder of the Lefthanders International, Inc.  International Left Handers Day was created to celebrate certain people’s sinistrality and raise awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed in a predominantly right-handed world.

It celebrates their uniqueness and differences, who are from seven to ten percent of the world’s population.  The day also spread awareness on issues faced by left-handers e.g. the importance of the special needs for left-handed kids, and also the likelihood for left-handers to develop schizophrenia.

Continue reading “FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day August 12th through 15th 2018”

FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day July 25th through 27th 2018

FOD Saying of the Day

Walk groundly, talk profoundly, drink roundly and sleep soundly. – William Hazlitt.

 

FOD Trivia Question

A new FOD feature!  FOD readers – answer the question.  The answer or at least the one I have will be published in the next edition.

Which Polish Astronomer, in 1543, located the sun as the center of our solar system?

 

There’s a lot going on today – I don’t want to have to have you add me to your weekend reading list – let’s get to it:

 

Remains of US Troops Killed In Korea Returned

The longest journeys must begin with the first steps.  While it’s not a giant step, it is a first step to advancing relations with North Korea, with the goal being the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.  The remains of multiple of U.S. troops killed in the Korean War more than six decades ago are headed back to America now after North Korean officials turned them over to military officials, White House officials announced Thursday night.  The move comes on the 65th anniversary of the armistice that ended hostilities in the conflict and about six weeks after President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong UnIn a statement, White House officials praised their North Korean counterparts for honoring a promise from that meeting to return the remains. “We are encouraged by North Korea’s actions and the momentum for positive change.”  (Fireball note:  Thank you President Trump making this a priority when dealing with North Korea.)  Military officials said the remains were loaded onto an Air Force C-17 at an air base in Wonsan, North Korea, and taken to Osan Air Base in South Korea. Service members from United Nations Command Korea and technical experts from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency were on hand for the event.  United Nations Command officials confirmed that 55 cases of remains were turned over by the North Koreans. A formal repatriation ceremony will be held on Aug. 1, with plans to return the remains to Hawaii after that for further analysis.  “The United States owes a profound debt of gratitude to those American service members who gave their lives in service to their country and we are working diligently to bring them home,” the White House statement said.  “It is a solemn obligation of the United States Government to ensure that the remains are handled with dignity and properly accounted for so their families receive them in an honorable manner.”  More than 35,000 Americans died on the Korean Peninsula during that war. Of those, 7,700 are still listed as missing in action, with 5,300 believed to be on North Korean soil.  U.S. and North Korean officials had previously worked together on the recovery of those casualties in the past, forging a repatriation agreement that lasted from 1990 to 2005. During that span, 229 fallen troops were identified and returned home.

 

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FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day July 18th through 24th 2018

FOD Saying of the Day

I never make the same mistake twice. I make it three four times, you know, just to be sure!

 

USAF Offers New Cockpit Only Career Track

There is a new program out there for USAF officers that would allow them to stay in the cockpit longer and thereby relieve some pressure on the ranks of pilots leaving the Air Force for other career paths.  Air Force Times is reporting eligible mobility pilots  can apply for Air Mobility Command’s new Aviator Technical Track that cuts out non-flying-related duties and lets you stay in the cockpit longer.  “This fulfills a promise to our airmen that we listened to them and wanted to implement their ideas,” Gen. Carlton Everhart, head of AMC, told Air Force Times.  In April 2017, Everhart reached out to airmen via email and social media to solicit ideas on how the Air Force can better retain talent as it deals with pilot shortages. The Air Force is down about 2,000 pilots, with about 1,600 mobility pilots eligible to separate in the next four years.  The four-star received more than 700 responses from airmen, and one of the top suggestions was a flying-only career track.  Everhart said he’s seeking a small cadre of active-duty mobility pilots who are majors or major-selects with 11 to 13 years of commissioned service. Selectees will still be required to maintain all Air Force standards, including health and fitness and readiness requirements, but professional development education and advanced academic degrees will be optional.  “We hope to retain pilots by reducing developmental requirements for officers not interested in command,” Everhart said. “Those things we have traditionally said were the stepping stones to move you into a leadership track to broaden your expertise … are now optional.”  There won’t be any required duties not related to flying, but those in the program still need to go through training, standardization and tactics. Since they’re flying-related billets, selected airmen can still continue to fly as they complete those duties.  Airmen can also decide to leave the program if they’d rather switch back to a leadership role or a leadership track, he said. Then there will still be enough time to catch back up with peers.  “We’re going to try to give the options back to the aviator,” Everhart said.  Pilots chosen for the Aviator Technical Track can remain in one assignment for up to five years if they so choose, which Everhart hopes increases predictability and a better work-life balance.  “We’re trying to guarantee them one specific location for five years,” he said. “We are listening to concerns about quality of life.”  There will also be opportunities for pilots in the program to explore avenues outside of AMC, Everhart said.  “You may not just stay in Air Mobility Command,” he said. “You may go to another [major command].”  The pilots chosen for the initial round can also help shape the future of the program, Everhart said.  After about a year of the program being in place, Everhart said he wants to get feedback from those pilots and see what needs to be tweaked.  “I think [the program] offers more flexibility instead of potentially constricting them into certain avenues,” he said.  Everhart said there’s a possibility of eventually expanding the program to other career fields, such as maintenance, air traffic control and cyber.  “Setting the foundation and seeing what we did right and what we did wrong will allow others to improve upon it,” he said. “This is just the start.”

Continue reading “FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day July 18th through 24th 2018”

FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day June 22nd through 26th 2018

Fireball Saying of the Day

If you know something will go wrong and you do everything to stop it from happening, then something else will go wrong.

 

SECDEF to Visit China

It’s expected we’ll see US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on the road to Asia this week.   According to the South China Morning Post, he’ll visit China next week as tensions rise between the two countries over Taiwan and the South China Sea. Mattis said on Wednesday that he would visit Beijing and then Seoul next week, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.  Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan confirmed that Mattis was “travelling to the region next week”, adding that details of the trip would be released on Friday.  Military ties between the United States and China have worsened in the last month, with Washington disinviting Beijing from the multinational RIMPAC military exercise in Hawaii in a response to China’s military build-up in the South China Sea. The Pentagon is also reportedly considering sending warships through the Taiwan Strait and increasing arms sales to Taiwan after Chinese military aircraft, including the H-6K strategic bomber, conducted exercises around the self-ruled island. The tensions between the two countries came to the surface that at the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in Singapore early this month, when Mattis criticized Beijing for its activities in the disputed waters, including its vast territorial claims and deployment of weapons systems that he said were designed for “intimidation and coercion.”   On the sidelines of the forum, Senior Colonel Zhou Bo, director of the Central Military Commission’s Centre for Security Cooperation, said Mattis’ remarks were ridiculous and the US, not China, was militarizing the South China Sea.  Zhou said China’s land reclamation in the waters was not prohibited by any international law and the US was the main factor contributing to instability in the region.  Mattis also pledged the US’ continued commitment to Taiwan, saying Washington would supply Taiwan with “the defense articles and services necessary to maintain sufficient self-defense.”  Beijing regards the self-ruled island as a wayward province, to be brought under its rule by force if necessary.  “We oppose all unilateral efforts to alter the status quo, and will continue to insist any resolution of differences accord with the will of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait,” Mattis said.  But Mattis also said “the US will continue to pursue a constructive, results-oriented relationship with China, cooperation whenever possible will be the name of the game.”

 

Continue reading “FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day June 22nd through 26th 2018”