Thursday, October 14, 2010

Triple Nickel

Bonnie and I just returned from our walk. We're up to a mile-and-a-half and we finished today in just under 25 minutes. Our ultimate goal is to do two miles a day in 30 minutes. (30 minutes being the "gold standard" of aerobic exercise current science says we need to maintain optimum health.)

We're not fast, by any stretch of the imagination, but today is a good day to celebrate speed, because 63 years ago today Chuck Yeager broke the speed of sound in the X-1 Rocket Plane built by the Bell Aircraft Company. The plane, modeled after a .50-caliber bullet and nicknamed "Glamorous Glennis," now resides in the Smithsonian.


Back in the 1950s when I was in the Air Force, nicknames were used to identify formation members. For instance, I was "Panic." A four-plane formation made me "Panic Lead," and the other jets were "Panic 2," "Panic 3," and "Panic 4."

However, when we weren't flying in formation, we simply went by the jet's identification number. My favorite plane was AF Jet 19555 or, as we called, the "Triple Nickel." Everyone loved to fly that plane. As soon as we took off, we were "The Triple Nickel."

I remember coming back to Laredo AFB one day after a cross-country flight. Feeling good, I contacted the Tower with, "Laredo Tower, this is Triple Nickel chromium plated stovepipe, space ace on base, boots down and laced, like to bounce and blow!"

Obviously the Tower had heard that kind of stuff before.

They didn't even hesitate in answering, "Rodger dodger, Triple Nickel, chromium plated stovepipe, space ace on base, with your boots down and laced. You've got the nod, hit the sod."

[The Clean Daily Joker via Ed Peacher's Laughter for a Saturday]


WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those that hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:30-31)


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