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Tank birthday and I'm a Geezer

Paul B

NJRC Member
I took my Daughter and Grand Son freshwater fishing. There isn't many places for fresh water fishing here as we are surrounded by salt water but I found one. My Daughter caught this bluegill. Some millennials came by and the girl asked if we caught anything. I said Yes, we caught a barracuda.

She said "Really!. I know she believed we caught a barracuda in this little 4' deep pond.

Jodi Ted Fishing.jpeg

Teddy Fishing.jpg

Paul B

NJRC Member
Good Morning. Today it almost 80 degrees which I think is a record. But it will get colder and rain tomorrow. :confounded-face:

I took a picture of the mist over a pond right near my house on my morning walk.
Mist over golf course.jpg

Paul B

NJRC Member
I am going to Washington DC tomorrow. Hopefully, the cherry blossoms will still be in bloom. The "Honor Flight" people are taking me and about 100 other Veterans there for an Honor ceremony.

Some of my friends are staying with my wife to help her as I won't leave her alone for a day.


Paul B

NJRC Member
OMG I got home 1:00 this morning from the Honor flight to DC. Our plane landed here about 11:30 last night. It was amazing and some of it was almost indescribable. I even had a Supermodel companion assigned to me who was really nice. I couldn't be happier but I will get back to this as we are having a bunch of company coming today. :D

Paul B

NJRC Member
This homecoming was a very high point in my life. When people come home from the service or war now they are greeted with respect and maybe a party, parade or at least an ice cream cone and are rightly so treated as Hero's. It was much different when we came home from Vietnam.

I ETSed (Got out of the Army) in April 1971. I left the jungle in Vietnam on the Cambodian border and got on a helicopter to go to another helicopter, then to a makeshift airfield, still in the jungle for the flight on a fixed wing airplane to a Tonsunut (spelling?) Air Force base in southern South Vietnam. I was still muddy.

I had to remove all my clothes and walk through a "tunnel" naked (so I wasn't carrying grenades or a duck) leave my weapons and got clean clothes (but no shower) to get on the TWA plane home. (I was better looking then)

In those days the flight attendants were all Supermodels but the return flight Home we didn't have any of them. The flight was 24 hours with a stop in Japan and Alaska where I called home and reversed the charges (no cell phones then so this was the first call home in a year)

The plane took off and went almost straight up so we didn't get shot down. I thought we were crashing and didn't realize commuter planes could take off on such an angle. We all gave a standing ovation. No movie, and we had a bologna sandwich on white bread, no mustard, lettuce mayonnaise LRS food, mysis or anything else for the 24 hours. They couldn't even spring for a movie, not even a Bugs Bunny Cartoon.

We landed in McGuire Air Force base in New Jersey at 2:00 am with no fanfare. I got out of the plane, got on my knees and kissed the ground.

They wouldn't wake up the clerks to sign us out so they thought we would quietly sit there for 5 hours. Of course we started yelling and tearing the place apart until they woke up some people.

My girlfriend, now wife, filled out many discharge papers so most of my information, including my 2 Bronze Stars and other medals on my DD 214 (discharge papers) was missing until about 25 years ago.

They gave us all a 15 cent subway token and we were out of the Army. There are no subways in New Jersey and none of us had any money because we didn't use real money in Nam. We had MPC which was "Monopoly money" and fell apart when it got wet.

(I was still dirty)

Most guys had to hitch home but my wife and family drove me the 80 or so miles home.
The guys that had to hitch hike had a hard time because Vietnam veterans were for the most part "disliked" then and some were spit on and cursed at. (I think that's why they took away our weapons and grenades) We didn't tell anyone we were in that war as it was looked down upon so there was no recognition and was kept quiet. College kids especially were mostly rioting, sort of like now.

Anyway now to present day. On Saturday an organization called The Honor Flight took 50 Veterans from WW2, Korea and Vietnam to Washington DC all expenses paid. We had to be at the airport at 3:00am. I was the first one there as I usually am because I am never late.
I have no idea how they got my name.

They said they were giving each Veteran a companion and wheelchair for the trip. The person they assigned to me was a Supermodel and extremely nice person. I didn't need the wheelchair but many of the guys were older and did. You could use it to carry any of your stuff. I didn't need it so I left it on the bus.

Me and companion.jpg

(notice my spit shined boots)

We walked through the empty airport until I heard this loud band with bag pipes. There were about a hundred people there at 5:00am thanking us, giving us cards, screaming and welcoming us. It was amazing and we didn't know anything about it. We took off at 6:00am for DC.
at airport at start.jpg

We landed in Washington and had a full day of touring the monuments like the WW2, Korera and Vietnam
This is WW2 Memorial
WW2 memorial.JPG

KoreaKorea Monument.JPG

And of course Viet Nam
At the Vietnam Memorial (where I have been to before) I took a picture of the part of the panel where about 40 the guys I was with died in a battle we were in called Fire Support Base Ilingworth which was in on April 1st 1970. I lost it a little there.

We also went to the national Archives building where important documents like my book are kept. Oh, The Constitution and other documents are also housed there. The Constitution is housed in a 24 karat gold case with thick glass that is hermetically sealed with argon gas and has two armed guards around it with big guns.
OK, the constitution didn't load here so make believe the thing is here

I asked one of the guards if I could take it outside in the daylight to see it better. He didn't think that was a good idea.

We all got on the bus to the almost hour long trip to the airport and they yelled out "Mail Call". They gave all of us a big bag of letters. Many were from grammar school kids with drawings and crossword puzzles, really, really nice. The rest of them were from friends.

Reading mail.jpg
Changing guard.JPG

And we have many life long friends. Before this trip my wife told our friends to send letters to the Honor Flight people just for this occasion. I got so many heartwarming letters many from lifelong friends plus my kids and Grand Kids.

On the flight back one guy stood up. He was one of the Companions and yelled out. "HEY VETERANS" I need help and started to sing in a beautiful baritone voice "God Bless America" where we all chimed in.

We landed about midnight at the airport near here. The airport was dead silent and empty. No one in sight so we figured that was the end of the trip and we would go find our cars in the pitch dark airport.

As we walked towards the exit, I heard in the distance bag pipe music and figured it was piped in airport music.

We walked through the glass doors one by one and OMG, this blasting bag pipe and drums filled the airport. There were at least 200 people there screaming thank Yous, giving us cards and cookies, old people. young people, grammar school kids and adults.
They had a band plus about 25 bag pipe players in full regalia. AT MIDNIGHT

They were taking pictures and as the music was blaring, flashlights were flashing, drums were drumming, Honor guards holding flags were saluting it was the best thing I ever experienced in my life. Now I feel I had my home coming and I am so grateful.
I have no idea where they got all these people at that hour but it was fantastic.


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Paul B

NJRC Member
Here in New York we have to get our cars inspected every year. Of course as I was going to have it done, my "Check Engine" light came on and it won't pass inspection like that.

I have the Code Reader that you plug into the computer port in the car and it tells you whats wrong and what turned on that light. It's normally a pollution thing so it won't pass inspection. The tool told me it is an outdoor temperature sensor that the computer needs to know for a couple of functions and it also tells you the outdoor temperature. On my Jeep Renegade it is in the passenger side mirror and Jeep wants about $500.00 to repair it, the repair shop about $450.00.

150 years ago I was a General Motors Mechanic and I basically won't let anyone touch my car unless it is warranty work or I just can't physically do it any more (I am not a young chicken any longer) But I will do most things myself. I am not a snowflake and know how to fix most things except maybe a nuclear submarine. I may have a little trouble with that.

Anyway, the bad part is a thing called a thermistor and is a tiny thing about half the size of an LED bulb. They are also very cheap, much less than a Copperband Butterfly. For $10.00 bucks they sent me about a hundred of them.

It changes resistance as the temperature changes and normally you would replace the entire mirror to fix this problem. But I am not a Jiboni so I just took apart the mirror and soldered in a new thermistor.

Here is the opened mirror.
Side mirror.jpg

And with the new thermistor soldered in. It sticks out on the bottom of the mirror in a little rubber boot. Problem solved.

Well done on the sensor repair. It's amazing that they just don't have a sensor assembly that could be snapped out and replaced. Those kind of things go bad all the time. While it wouldn't have been a 10 cent part, it would be about a $10 part and a DIY project for anyone. No need to replace the entire mirror assembly.

This is one thing I consider when buying reef aquarium gear. The big question is, can I get replacement parts? If I can it's a big plus.

Paul B

NJRC Member
There are many parts that are simple to repair, but no one wants to do the work or save the money. How much could a repair shop charge you to change a 10 cent part? The mirror is much more difficult to replace and they could charge you $500.00. The mirror is a little difficult to take apart but thank God for YouTube which showed me how to simply do it because there are no screws on the thing.

My next door neighbors heat went out so he called a repair man. He found that the blower didn't spin so he replaced it. I took his old part and repaired it in 5 minutes and now I have a spare. There was a rubber gasket tangled up in the bearing. Simple and free to fix. The repair guy charged him $1,300.00.

I never hired a repairman in my life. :)


Staff member
NJRC Member
It depends some are nice and some rip you off. I had a great mechanic years ago. Would bring in the car and he would check it out and tell me go back to the dealer and tell them this an that and its covered under warranty and never took a penny.
Another repair guy for heat came out only charged me 4100 to replace something and clean a ceramic thingy, I know, that was a sensor of some sort and it was dirty. He cleaned it with emery cloth and left some. Told me to clean monthly and no issues after.

These types people I don't think exist anymore.

My car passenger rear window doesn't go up all the way. Brought it in 2 years ago and they said need lubrication and worked fine. Its still under warranty. Happened again 2 months ago, needs lubrication. Well here I am with the same damn problem and have to bring it back and act like a raving lunatic so they fix it properly. Anything to save money, don't now why I pay for extended warranty if not going to fix it.

Paul B

NJRC Member
I am lucky and know how to fix most things unless on a newer car where everything is computer controlled. But everything else on a car I can fix. I have re-built quite a few engines and transmissions and that leaves you with a practically new engine for a tenth of the price of a new one. I also rebuilt the engines on 3 of my boats. I am not sure how people live if they can't fix simple things because your boat or car will spend a lot of time in a repair shop and it will cost a fortune to have someone fix stuff.

I have spare parts for my boats, cars and furnace because those things usually break on Christmas day or in a blizzard and I like to be prepared.

Paul B

NJRC Member
So I got this new computer a few weeks ago and I love the thing. It looks and runs exactly like my 18 year old Windows 7 which was my criteria. Of course this new one has 6 times more computing power which is why I bought the thing. I may get my wife the same one today. She has a newish one but I can't even figure out how to save a picture of a clown gobi on it as it is way over my bald head.

Anyway, as I was transferring the old photos and articles from the old computer to this one I noticed that I wrote about 90 articles or stories, most of which had nothing to do with fish. I can't believe I wasted so much "ink" in these years since they invented computers.

If I get time, I will read those stories to see if I still agree with them. :)

Paul B

NJRC Member
This morning I took my first walk on the beach for the season. I can't go in the winter because they remove the bottom 10' of stairs and being I am not Spiderman, I don't want to jump that distance. But today I rescued my first horseshoe crab of the Spring.

Sunrise on Beach.jpg

For an animal that has been here for millions of years they are very stupid. They have billions of miles of water but they keep crawling into very shallow water until a wave turns them over on the dry sand until the seagulls tear them apart for lunch.

Horseshoe crab.jpg

Paul B

NJRC Member
So I walk every morning and I am in farm and golf course country here and being it rains in New York more then London I needed new hiking boots because my sneakers get all wet walking on the grass which I have to jump up on every time a car or school bus comes by.

All my life I lived either in or near the city limits so we always had sidewalks, something non existent here. So I ordered these "hiking" boots from Amazon.


They were very cheap, practically free so I knew they would not last very long but I figured for the 2 miles I walk every day in wet grass, they would be fine for walking or turning over horseshoe crabs.

I got them and tried to put them on but they are like cement. Very stiff with absolutely no flexibility or movement so I figure they sent me the plaster model of the boot that they put up in front of a store in a mall.

I sent them back