Thursday, May 31, 2007

Blue Moon

Once in a Blue Moon
Fact and Fiction Behind May’s Second Full Moon

Thursday, May 31, 2007
By Ethan Stewart

Fog permitting, get yourself outside tonight and check out the full moon rising over Santa Babylon. Though it won’t necessarily appear different in color, the moon, for the first time since the summer of 2004, will be casting the age-old mystical glow of an ever rare blue moon along the shores of the Pacific. No doubt parties will rage to celebrate the occasion and countless others will have “weird” nights as the combined powers of two full moons in one calendar month work upon their brains, but before you go off the pagan ritual deep end, a little history is required—especially in this instance as our May moon experience is a phenomenon of hugely odd and certainly confusing circumstances.

The phrase “blue moon” has been with us for well over 400 years thanks to an arcane piece of poetry found in a 1528 pamphlet titled Rede Me and Be Not Wrothe. But it wasn’t until the Maine Farmers’ Almanac started, in the 1800s, using the phrase to describe the rare occasion when four full moons would occur within a quarter of the year. Specifically, the term was used to describe the third moon of the four moon string and it was special because quarters of the year typically see only three moons. And while the standard three moons would have mythological names associated with them — like the Harvest Moon and the Hunter’s Moon — the random extra moon had no such name and thus “Blue Moon” was adopted to describe this seldom experienced sight.

Furthermore, it was also during this time that all sorts of cool legends — like the blue moon’s ability to talk to you and tell you your future or infect you with love — started popping up. Unfortunately, as time marched on and the Almanac writers passed away, the meaning of a Blue Moon was lost and a newer, much more widely understood definition began to emerge. For some reason, a Blue Moon became the second full moon in any given Gregorian calendar month — an occurrence that is far from commonplace but, thanks to the various lengths of said months, is guaranteed to happen 41 times over the course of a century. That being said, when our moon goes blue tonight, you better enjoy it because it isn’t happening again until December 2009. (That is, unless of course you consider yourself an old school type of person and go by the Farmer’s original definition, in which case the next Blue Moon will occur coincidentally in May of next year.)

Confused yet? Well, it gets worse.

Because of our wonderfully mind-blowing construct of time-zones, much of the world is walking around right now thinking that June is the actual month for the Blue Moon. For most of them, they are right. Because they live life varying amounts of hours ahead of us here in the Pacific time zone, they get the actual full moon on June 1 and then another later in June, thus making June their Blue Moon event. Alas, for us living under the tick and tock of Pacific Standard Time, the moon reaches its ripest point before the clock strikers midnight, giving us the dubious distinction of having a blue moon before the rest of the world.

**Just scroll down a little and look to your left to see a real time display of the moon. - Joynt

Friday, May 25, 2007

Memorial Day

This isn't my favorite holiday of the year but I do want to wish all of you an enjoyable and safe 3 day weekend.
Just a little while ago it dawned on me that it was May 25th. On that day in 1969 I lost a couple of good friends, Ralph Vitch and Mario Lamelza, during Operation Lamar Plain. Just a few weeks before I had been thier squad leader in the third platoon but in early May I was given the job of company commo chief.
At the time it was easy for me to beat myself down with thoughts of "if only I was still there with them they might not have died". Well that's a crock of shit of course and if I had been with them maybe I'd be dead too. Memorial day will always remind me of that point in time though and I will hoist a few cool ones this evening in memory of Ralph and Cool Breeze.

I'm ready to get into grilling this weekend with some salmon fillets, some Johnsonville brats as well as some chicken breasts and a couple pounds of ground beef. We got NASCAR on saturday night and the Indy 500 on sunday and I got plenty of Miller Lite in the fridge. On monday evening I'll finish things off with what has become a tradition of mine. I mix a stiff Tangueray martini, go out on the patio and while thinking about it all I get a little too drunk and have a good cry.

God bless all the vets!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Week Of The Eagles

Screaming Eagle namvets have been gathering at Ft Campbell's Week Of The Eagles a couple decades now. Traditionally held every two years on the even numbers this event is now being held every year. The Division is back from Iraq and WOTE will commence next week.

Here's the schedule from Jim Hallums forwarded to me by Dave Reinheimer:

Tuesday, May 15

Welcome Center Operations

Division Run

Brigade Open House Activities

Wednesday, May 16

0630 – 0900 Division Review Rehearsal

0800 – 1830 Welcome Center Operations

0900 – 1600 Brigade Open House Activities

Thursday, May 17

0330 – 1800 Toughest Air Assault Soldier Competition

0600 – 1830 Welcome Center Operations

0700 – 0900 10K Fun Run Race

0900 – 1600 Brigade Open House Activities

0900 – 1600 Combatives

0900 – 1600 Power lifting

Friday, May 18

0800 – 1700 Welcome Center Operations

1000 – 1200 Division Review

1330 – 1530 Combatives Finals

Saturday, May 19

0700 – 2100 Welcome Center Operations

0800 – 0900 Memorial Ceremony

1100 – 1700 Air Show

1900 – 2200 MWR & VFW Present the WOE Concert on the Budweiser Stage

Sunday, May 20

0700 – 2000 Welcome Center Operations

0800 – 1700 Legacy Golf Tournament

Although this does not provide exact details, it is the public information we have received. You might also try the link to see if there are any more details.

edit by joynt: The 101st Vietnam Veterans Org and our 101st 2nd Brigade Namvets Org have been attending WOTE on the even number years in the past. While it may be a little slim on Namvets this year the Week Of The Eagles is definately worth checking out. The Airshow on Super Saturday with Airborne, Air Assault and static displays alone is worth the trip. Check it out if you have the chance and circle your calendar same time next year for probable Namvet participation commemorating the 40th anniversary highwater mark of the 101st in Nam, 1968.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Testing...1 2 3

Greeetings fellow Namvets and friends.

I've decided to give the blog another run as the sit-rep page. A lot has changed since I last used it and I had to switch to the "new" blogger version. It has a lot of nice features but I'm bound to screw this up for awhile until I get the hang of it again.
I will attempt to post timely messages of interest to A 1/501 namvets specifically as well as to the Vietnam Veteran community in general. Please note that there is a "comments" function should any of you care to add more info or just want to put your two cents in.

Thanks, Joynt