4 Reach

Location: California, United States

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Saddle Blisters

Continuing with part three of the two part series:
As the Military Badge of Merit fell into disuse, the idea of a decoration for individual gallantry remained early in the nineteenth century. After the outbreak of the Mexican-American War, 1847, a Certificate of Merit” was instituted for the soldier who distinguished himself in action, with no associated medal. The certificate was abandoned following the War, leaving a void recognizing the nation’s fighting men.
A medal for individual valor was proposed early in the Civil War utilizing the lessons of the Purple Heart; however, the General-in-Chief of the Army Winfield Scott felt medals demonstrated European pretentiousness and refused the idea. The proposal found support in the Navy and President Abraham Lincoln, on 21 December, 1861, signed into law a Navy Medal of Valor to be bestowed upon Petty Officers, Seamen, Landsmen, and Marines. Signed into law on 12 July, 1862, a resolution worded similarly for awarding a Medal of Honor on behalf of the Army. In 1863, Congress made them permanent decorations.


Saddle Sore

Continuing with the second of the two part series:
General Washington, known for issuing field promotions and commissioning to gallant soldiers was ordered to cease due to the lack congressional money by the Continental Congress. Sound familiar? The General, always involved and available to his men, decided another avenue in rewarding those deserving soldiers; as he wrote the following letter to the Continental Congress.

“The General, ever desirous to cherish virtuous ambition in his soldiers as well as foster and encourage every species of military merit, directs that whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear on his facings, over his left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth or silk edged with narrow lace or binding. Not only instances of unusual gallantry but also of extraordinary fidelity and essential service in any shall meet with due reward. The name and regiment of the persons so certified are to be enrolled in a Book of Merit which shall be kept in the orderly room.” He continued, “Men who have merited this distinction to be suffered to pass all guards and sentinels which officers are permitted to do. The order to be retroactive to the earliest stages of the war, and to be a permanent one.” He concluded the letter with, “The road to glory in a patriot army and a free country is thus open to all.”

These are the words from our first President and one of our finest leaders, in beginning the country’s veracious path. After his letter to the Continental Congress, with only three Purple Hearts issued and over two hundred years in the history, two of the original medals are accounted for, not for display, and the Book of Merit remains unfound.
Following the Revolutionary War, a realization of error occurred in General Washington’s universally recognized historic order, by acknowledging the common soldier; in no location did he forbid the medal’s duplication, in part or in full. Clothing manufacturers began designing purple hearts in their selections; thereby, reducing the integrity of the medal and its value upon issuance. Thus, the medal became doomed to fall into disuse and no further medals awarded.


Saturday, July 15, 2006

Back in the Saddle, again......

Hello All,
This post is of a subject I hold dear and fully respect. Most Americans, to include myself, do not completely understand most foundations of our country. Considering the length of this post, it is my plan to make this in two parts. The following is only an establishment of my thoughts on this topic.
As part of my promotion process, I was required to attend the Academy and study portions of their curriculum. The following is information that I had learned and shared in one such class.

Having been the European practice to honor high-ranking officers who achieved a victory, the Aristocracy never considered presenting medals or badges to the regular soldier for valor, courage, or extraordinary service. Not surprising, the first awards for valor accessible to the conventional soldier was presented here in America.
The first and original highest Award for Valor by a Continental Congress Resolution was the Andre Medal, for the capture of Major John Andre. Major Andre, General Arnold’s British counterpart, became well known and respected by his captures, as he treated all personnel with respect and maintained the perfect Military Bearing in capture, captivity, and death.
Long recognizing the need to award those soldiers who distinguished themselves in honorable service and in combat; General Washington, two years later issued orders establishing two new decorations. The second award, “The Military Badge of Merit” was created to reward both soldiers and officers for “Singularly Meritorious Service in the occasion of unusual gallantry, extraordinary fidelity and faithful service”; and, is the figure of a heart in purple cloth, or silk, edged with narrow lace or binding. Those soldiers so decorated would have their names entered in the Continental Army’s special “Book of Merit”; and in today’s military, such honors are reserved for the famed “Medal of Honor”.

So, am I back on track?


recognizing success

Hello All,
As I began to write this piece on imagination, through the research I learned several new ideas today. These thoughts caused my reflection of the past week, carrying my sense of progression to new levels.
A deadline arrived and I was successful in meeting with the terms presented me. In that, I played my part and three individuals will now be promoted. As their careers flourish, I find the sense of pleasure knowing my insignificant role was productive.
As some of you remember, I had the opportunity to share one of my sports with some athletes, considered top in their field. During this time of instruction, I video taped the day for future remembrances. With this “Raw” footage, another friend shared his hobby/profession with me, as we used professional editing equipment and software to create a DVD movie version of that day. The movie is complete and I am now working to further my knowledge in this field.
Well, I will keep this short…


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Not what I was expecting

A beautiful woman called me a “Nice Guy”.
Talk about the kiss of death. Ladies, please remember, if you call any guy a “Nice Guy”, he may take it as insulting.

To prove a point, I decided to upload a questionable post and watch the reactions. I wondered, to myself, what type of slime ball names I would be called. I was certain that I had taken this to the line, without exceeding its limitations too drastically. I did not wish to offend, or be too humorous; and yet, still invoke a reaction.

We interrupt this post with the following visual:

Picture a podium before a group of unsorted characters. Each audience member dressed in such a manor, as to indicate a social, economical, or ethical background. As the microphone is switched on, every eye in the room focuses toward the speaker. In a humble, yet, confident voice, the speaker remarks,

“Hello, my name is Reach….
And, I am a nice guy!”

I was hoping for a- well, at the very least, more animated comments page on this last post.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Crossing the Line

Hello All,
From the fantasy pages of: “If I were a Reporter, in today’s standards of searching for distribution, my insignificant news would be”. In a true Donavan Booker illusionary disclaimer, none of the succeeding is true.

Census 2000- The U.S. population more than tripled from 76 million people in 1900 to 281 million people in 2000. The gender composition shifted from a majority male population to a majority female population around mid-century. Between 1900 and 2000, the number of states with a larger female than male population quadrupled to 44. From 1920 to 1980, the sex ratios of the 45 to 64, 65 to 84, and 85 and over age groups all steadily declined. Generally, the declining sex ratios over time resulted from greater improvements in female mortality rates than in male mortality rates during these decades.

The U.S. Government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are responsible for the Hazard Communication Standard 29 CFR 1910.1200. The purpose of this standard is “to ensure that the all hazards are evaluated, and that information concerning their hazards is transmitted. This transmittal of information is to be accomplished by means of comprehensive hazard communication programs, which are to include labeling and other forms of warning, Material Safety Data Sheets and training.

Facilities will properly display the following MSDS:


Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Hello All,
Today’s post will be a response to
  • Seven’s
  • article.
    In his post, he asked the questions:
    Why must airplanes fly so high, he referred to flight altitude 30,000 feet?
    Why do airplanes have such small wheels?
    Finally, why don’t airplanes have bumpers?
    As with most technical subjects, there remain several answers. I worded this response for the initiate in the aviation field, and not meant to imply that you the reader fit this category. Though my days of flight will become that of a passenger, I am still an aviation enthusiast wanting to continue its promotion. Statistically speaking, aviation still ranks one of the highest forms of safe transportation; and yet carries the reputation of the most feared travel mode. With education and knowledge, the general populace might learn to embrace the beauty, which Orville and Wilbur Wright once experienced.

    The intention of the aircraft designers is to provide maximum airframe integrity in the air and keep its total weight to a minimum. Fully utilizing personnel on the ground to avoid collisions would eliminate the need to install bumpers and assist in keeping the weight to minimums.
    As there are many factors dealing with an aircraft’s tire size, this is one area where size does matter. I will address a couple of reasons here, and continue in the comments section for a discussion board, if needed or desired. With today’s technology, smaller tires have the ability to carry higher loads, save on weight, and require shorter “spin up” distances. Additionally, the utilization of smaller sized tires will reduce the size of the fuselage wheel wells for tire retraction in the air, making the aircraft more aerodynamic. This reduced space will enable the designers to position other necessary equipment in that, now void, region of the airframe, namely fuel tanks and hydraulic systems- pending on the aircraft manufacturer.
    Atmospheric pressure is conversely proportional to true altitude and is measured as Pressure Altitude (PA), pending temperature. This information can be used in several designs, whether normal flight operations or emergency procedures. With a decreased PA, the fuel governor will reduce the fuel to air mixture to keep the engines running. This fuel savings will increase the flight distance (Range) capabilities of the aircraft and save on fuel costs for the shorter distances (Damned Management making more money and not spreading the wealth). Considering an aircraft does not have the availability to “pull off to the side of the road”, Range widens the opportunities to land in the case of an emergency. I have not addressed many other issues here, only due to the nature of keeping this short. Other factors will include the use of the “Jet Stream”, Air Traffic Routes, Weather Avoidance, and Equal Time Point, to name a few.
    It is my hope that I have either answered these questions in a basic sense, or, opened the door for discussions.


    Monday, July 10, 2006

    A Man(s) Got(s) tah Nose!

    Hello All,
    I remember when I first joined this game of flight. One of my Instructors/Mentors, once said to me, “To thy own self, be true”, he continued with, “What do you think this means”? After I fumbled for an answer that would appease his question, he then said, “No, it means- A mans gots ta knows-- his limitations”.
    As we drive our automotive vehicles on the highways and byways, we must observe the speed limit. Does this mean that is the designed fastest speed of the vehicle? No. I am certain most vehicles will easily exceed such speeds. Conversely, an aircraft must remain within many configurations with the careful observation to the airframe's limitations. For any aircrew to contravene one factor could be detrimental. A mans gots ta knows-- his limitations!
    With an inevitable doom, called unemployment, looming over my immediate future, I have been attempting to refocus all of my energy into procuring a potential income. This has been weighing heavy on my conscience and I have needed a break. Just short of a vacation, an item much prohibited in my current situation, I needed to take the Jeep out for a therapeutic drive. However, this form of meditative transportation has been sitting in the garage, housing a major repair.
    The engine that I have planned and built just distributes too much power and resulted in the shearing of a rear leaf spring centering pin. Tore one side of the axle completely off of the leaf springs and allowed it to shift in the wheel well. This was only the foundation of the problem, as the actual problem came from fear. A mans gots ta knows-- his limitations.
    My fear of the springs came at an early age as I witnessed a friend,
    A home style mechanic,
    A hobbyist;
    Receive a rapidly uncoiling spring with his head. This, to a young child, this young child, became traumatic, not to mention to that individual’s family. Therefore, I mustered up my will and made two separate attempts to fix my problem, by raising the frame and crawling under the chassis. Each time, I watched as the loosened springs expanded uncontrollably, demonstrating their dormant force, right next to my head. A mans gots ta knows-- his limitations.
    This last weekend I picked the Jeep up from the mechanic’s shop, and they did a great job of replacing two new centering pins and the Jeep is running fantastic.
    Following this rejuvenation, I happened to speak to somebody special from my past. We spoke of many things, of which, why we went our separate ways. I learned she has been harboring ill feelings, for more than 15 years, as to why she could not keep me. An Attractive and Intelligent woman, she has no problem on the topic of attracting and keeping any man. Of course, there is always the exception to the rule. During our conversation, I explained my emotional state- of the time we were as one; and how, with my focus being professional and my lack of maturity, I was never fair to her.
    A truly gifted and developed person, she is far more forgiving than I am, regarding this segment of my past personal history. Though I may not be happy with my prior actions, I shall be happy in never repeating them. A mans gots ta knows-- his limitations.

    To my Mentor, Instructor, and Friend, even in Boston it is fun to take the Jeep, not the "Caw", to the off road “Pahk”, and just relax. Did I mention I may be getting a Gold Wing, by Honda?


    Friday, July 07, 2006

    OK, it turned out long.....

    Hello All,
    The following may be long, or this may turn out to be a short post. Anyway, I say this to illustrate my confusion and uncertainty of this articles destination.
    I have been experiencing secondary problems with my legs, which has precluded my Physical Therapy. Knowing this, my limb continues to degenerate- and I feel the frustration from the lack of exercise. 30 June was the “deadline” for the Medical Board’s decision on whether I can remain in the military, or, be forced into retirement (with less than I deserve monetarily), or, plainly forced into civilian life with nothing to speak of these past military years. Well, I do have photos (Oh-boy).
    On 2 July, some friends decided I would find pleasure in visiting the San Diego Fair. As tradition dictates, not out of belief, but more along the lines of amusement or even humor, we visited the Physic Readers Tent. Many times in the past I have laughed at the explanations given by those who “Read”. On the second day of the month of July, I proclaimed, “Holy Shit”. This lady blew me away. Upon entry, and the first words out of her mouth, she said, “You have had a very tough, past three years”. I thought, “What the heck”. Ok, my mind may have said something more “vulgar”, but I have no need to write it in this forum.
    This woman completely described my life as I have known it to be; mind you, I made not one sound, smile, sigh, or gesture to her comments. I observed her to completely ignore my face. I do not know anything about this stuff, and really do not believe in it; however, if this was luck, she ventured beyond that point. So, we know understand my mind set.
    On 3 July, with no word from the board, I find out that I have been furloughed (laid off) by my civilian employer. This not only affected me, but everyone in their employment. The company is closing its doors due to the high cost of fuel. Damn!
    Today, I learned of the board’s decision regarding my future. I will be released back to full military service as soon as my Physical Therapy concludes. I am to be released back to my civilian employer.
    Please do not read this in a cynical mind set, for I am not there. I am completely amazed at these turn of events and how expedient a broken process can be, well, at least in my observation.
    I shall post again tomorrow, so, to all- a good night.