Thursday, January 9, 2014

Heading to Houston


Sarah and I flipped the mattress around and we haven't been sleeping as well.  That's not weird though. 

Last night we both woke up around 0230 in the morning and the house was filled with the smell of cooking bacon.  We were at an RV park in Mobile AL, if that makes a difference.  Just a quick overnight.  It was below freezing outside and the furnace was working.  For some reason I got the image in my head of a homeless guy cooking bacon over the furnace outlet just outside the front door.  We never did get up and try to find the source.  Made it hard to get back to sleep.  But that isn't what this post is really about. 

It was a good thing that today was a short drive, what with the heavily interrupted sleep.  We didn't have to wake up as early as usual, we did though.  Which was actually an hour earlier due to crossing back into the Central time zone.  We woke up an hour earlier than usual, or really our normal time, and got things ready to go.  After I went and took an emergency urine drug screen for work, we got out and went sight-seeing. 

We went to see the USS Alabama.  The kids loved it. 

Poor old ship doesn't know what's coming.

They had a smashed penny machine.  We had to.

Our collection is the envy of all who see it.

Then we went aboard and I tried to answer what questions I could about what life was like aboard a Navy ship.  I have some experience so I answered what I could and made up entertaining stuff about what I didn't. 

All Navy Seals are cooks.  They just stand there silently until you try to take two cereal boxes...then...

Back in my day, we slept three to a mat and we liked it!

Nothing I could make up was as cool as being in the gun turret of a battle ship.

Just kidding, I told them I didn't know about lots of things on the ship.  My ship was made decades after this one.  It was interesting to contrast the two.  We had fun looking around and the place fired up the boy's imaginations. 

The kids pretending to aim and fire the 16 inch main guns from inside the turret.

Murderous little bugger.

He looks far too happy with mayhem.
Michael taking aim on downtown Mobile. 

Parade REST!

It may have fired up an adult imagination too.
Good advice.  If you only wing them they crash into you. 

The main guns fired that projectile 21 miles.  I wonder how far they could launch a kid?

Then, in the building you can see behind the boys up there, they had a hangar filled with aircraft displays.

They had some cool stuff in there.  The kids loved it.

Tuskeegee airmen plane.


The kids got caught up watching a video on dogfighting.

Daddy got caught up in the A-12, a precursor to the SR-71

Oh yeah, and then, behind this building, there was yet something else to see.  They had a WWII submarine! Sow we climbed aboard the USS Drum and I got to make up stories about what it was like on a submarine.  OK, so I just read signs and then we listened to a crew member talking to a small tour group.  Pretty cool stuff though.

Michael taking aim on Mobile again, I don't know what he has against that city

Shiny torpedo tubes

Hard to get lost on a submarine.
Oh man, we are working this thing!
Gotta check out the periscope.

Max was trying hard to launch this thing.

They had a great time and we all learned a lot, but that isn't really what this post is about. 

This is what this post is all about.

In the gift shop, on the way out, this man was sitting there and autographing his book.  He is Col. Glenn D. Frazier (Ret).  His book is titled, Hell's GUEST.  He fought in WWII and was captured by the Japanese.  He was in the Bataan Death March. 

You're damn right I bought the book.  I can't wait to read it. 

If you want it, you can get it on Amazon or through his website:

He was also featured in Ken Burns documentary about WWII. 

Of all the things we saw today, he was the most impressive.  It was an honor to shake his hand.