O'Dark Thirty - My Favorite Time of Day

Monday May 30, 2016 Roll Call for Clark AFB, the Philippines is 8:40am. It's recommended you arrive at the terminal 2 hours early to make sure you're on the list with everything in order. The caveat of leaving Okinawa is that once manifested on the plane one will have to go to immigration to be released from the country. This is about a 30 to 40 minute taxi ride if there is no traffic, so there is some anxiety attached to the process. There is no guarantee the plane will wait for you if you’re held up in traffic. We decide we need to wake up at 5:00am to leave by 6:15am, so we woke up at 4:00am. Who needs an alarm? Arriving at the terminal it appears we will definitely get on the plane, a

Should a Tourist have a Conscience?

As we considered where to go and what to see in Okinawa we talked about the devastation of the country in 1945 during WWII. While I didn't precipitate, participate in, or instigate WWII, I do feel I should be conscious of what my country has done to other nations. If we spent more time in Okinawa, I would explore the memorials to that terrible event. However we decided to skip the Suicide Cliff where many Okinawans plunged to their death rather than be captured by the Allies, choosing instead Shurijo Castle which traces its heritage back into the 1500's. History tells us this castle burnt down at least 5 times in its history, the most recent occurring during bombing at the height of WWII fig

Mis-Information Confounds Us; Good Information Saves Us

Sunday May 22, 2016 We made arrangements for lodging on the base on Andersen Air Force Base in Guam and Kadena AFB in Okinawa - the two locations on the flight docket for Sunday. The 5:00am roll call for the flight to Guam was delayed and then cancelled but we had to show up at 4:30am in the morning to learn this at 8:00am. A flight to Kadena AFB, Okinawa was on the docket for roll call at 3:00pm. Around 1:00 they told us it slipped 24 hours so we cancelled one night in Kadena leaving the balance of the reservation "just in case". Oh well, there was another flight to Guam at 5:00pm but only 17 seats which looked like poor odds for us. However with no other choices, we switched our names to

What do You do when the First Plan Doesn't Work?

Wednesday May 18th 2016 found us in line at the Air Military Command (AMC) Terminal for a flight traveling Hickam AFB (Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii); Yakota AFB, Japan; Kadena AFB, Okinawa. And whoopee, we made the cut! *Aside* Traveling Space Available (or Space A) is an interesting process. If a military flight has space available after it loads its cargo, crew and any related military passengers it opens up the remaining seats to anyone within the military "family": active military on orders or leave; immediate family of deployed military; compassionate leave and so forth. In the final category is retired military personnel. That's us, Tom and Rebecca. Often only a few seats are availa

WHEN DOES IT BECOME REAL?

Tom asked me today, "Is it real yet?" And the answer is: "No." Ostensibly The Big Adventure has begun. Monday morning at "O'dark thirty" (according to Tom) or 3:30 am according to the alarm clock we arose, took up our luggage and in 38°weather were delivered by my daughter and her children to Port Columbus International airport. 6:44 am found Tom and Rebecca winging their way to Sacramento, California via LAX, Los Angeles. *Aside* 7:45 am found my requested cup of water sliding right off the airplane tray table into my lap. I hoped the less-than-absorbent airline blanket would catch and retain the liquid and for a couple minutes it seemed as though indeed it had. Then a trickle of cool dow

Big Asian Adventure Begins: The Back Story

Why does a person decide to run away a join the circus? Cause that’s kinda what we’re doing, right? We are going to Southeast Asia. The only definite is that we will be in the Philippines from June 18 to July 1. We hope to visit at least Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Rebecca is hoping for Bali, and maybe New Zealand, Australia and Fiji if the money holds out. We have no return ticket. If Tom finds a job teaching Scuba Diving Instructors, who knows when we’ll come back. *Note to reader: be prepared throughout this story for extraneous information working its way into the narrative. I’ll attempt to give you a head’s-up with an *Aside*but be warned my definition of extraneous and your defin

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