Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Still alive, out on the big blue....

Here it's been about two weeks since I last saw Washington. The whole crew got a smallpox shot that you older folks probably will remember. It still itches and leaves a big scar. The good news is the weather's warming up a bit. The Man's been keeping me pretty busy and well fed so I haven't been bloggin' much. Here's a couple new pics. I shaved my head to protest Iran's nuclear program. I think it might make old I'mina jihad think twice after seeing my shiny whiteness.
The sunset was pretty darn nice tonight.
This pic really demonstrates why they call me "The Intimidator"

Sunday, January 21, 2007

It's Liz's Birthday

The oldest of 5 children born to Luther and Vivian Larson of Langford, SD, Elizabeth was raised on a dairy farm until she went off to college at SDSU and earned her bachelors in early childhood development. Yada yada yada then she had a little blonde bundle of joy named Ryan in 1985 and her life just got better and better from there. Today marks the 55th anniversary of her birth. She's loved by many, and besides being my favorite mother, she's by far the coolest gal I know. Happy birthday Mom.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The truth comes out.....

Monday, the day before the ship deployed, our CO came out and told the crew that all the cushy port visits previously scheduled have been cancelled. In other words we're not going on a tour for diplomacy's sake. Notice my disposition looks about as sunny as the weather on Tuesday, as we pulled out of Bremerton. In the background is the Seattle skyline from the Sound. It may seem as if I'm disappointed about our lack of port calls, but as long as we're able to protect those Soldiers and Marines with the finest air support the Navy has to offer, I see the greater good.

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Little R&R

Me, Faith, and Larry
Nancy, Joe and Sven

I got to spend my last 3 days before departing Washington doing the necessary pre-deployment errands and preparing my vehicle and barracks room for my long absence. However I did squeeze a bit of fun into my work schedule. Friday I had an opportunity to help Joe and Nancy with their basement finishing and ate some tasty pork sirloin afterward. Saturday afternoon I stopped by the Reiersons for dinner where I was once again wined and swined with a pork roast with all the fixings. Four hours Sunday morning were spent at Our Saviors worshipping, learning, and helping out before 9 of us went to a biker bar for BOGO free burgers. The Bears-Seahawks game was on and more than one patron was seen with a beer in one hand and a forkful of eggs in the other, all the while yelling at the TV screen trying to explain to the Seahawks QB what it was that he was doing wrong. That was the last time I'll see any of those great Lutherans for a long while.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

"Chicken & Rice Soup for the Sailor's Soul"

This Wednesday night community dinner was my last one for a while. Here's a couple pics of a few of the folks with whom I share my favorite night of the week. We made chicken and rice soup, steamed carrots and an orange/onion/lettuce salad. Patronage was a little down this week apparently due to a moderate snowstorm that started just before serving time. We had ice cream cake and I received a birthday card signed by the lot of them. It was very nice and I look forward to getting back and being part of the team again in a few months.Left to right: Gary and Lis
Nancy, Joe, Mick and Ethel Mae
Elaine and Pastor Paul

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Happy Bday to Sven.

Hey everyone! Today is my 22nd Birthday, and also marks 15 months of my 48 month hitch left. I would be celebrating but alas, duty calls and I'm stuck here on the ship. Maybe tomorrow I'll go have some fun. Anyway here's a couple pictures of me and Joe Caddy. Joe and I put together a couple of new walls in their basement last Friday. He and Nancy his wife have had me over a couple of times recently and they always cook really good food. The three of us all go to church together and also help out on Wednesday night community dinners . The short wall


Joe and the other new wall

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Looking Back on North Dakota

The last two days on leave were spent in Grand Forks ND, where we spent Christmas Eve and Day with the Hanson side of the family. The church service was worth every penny, and spending time with this bunch was definately priceless. The crowd was a little thinner this year, but this guy had as much fun as ever. I even got some home video footage that will become mere fond memories all too soon. This year's gang, santa hats included.
Uncle Ray "connesiouring"

Caught on camera- wine before noon. Tsk tsk.

-Jill and Barb-
I call this one "relatives relating"

I couldn't have asked for a better "backs of heads" shot.

Christmas day morning we took a walk on the new path along the Red River just down the street from the Pollard Pad.
It was a beautiful morning, and the beginning of the end of a great vacation.
-Ray Lynn Barb Crystal Karl Liz Bob Ryan-

What a cute trio.

"Jungle Juice anyone?" My last night in Watertown- for a few months.

This was my last night in town for awhile. I think I squeezed about 1 year's worth of fun into these days I spent at home with my buddies. I always regret not getting enough pictures with these guys. Lindsey Barthel reviewing her latest snapshot.
Ricki made it out to party with us a bit. Here's Travis "Big T" and I, halfway to tying one on. You should see the "after" picture.
As you can see Vaughn is a regular Casa Nova. He complains sometimes that he "can't keep the chicks away to save my own life!"

Larson family Christmas

Every year on or around Christmas the Larson side of the family makes the trip to Watertown where my folks live to celebrate the holiday. This year it was on Saturday the 23rd of December. It was nice to share the day with my mother's side of the family. The real treat was when Grandpa Luther took us grandsons on a trip back in time with the photo albums he put together from blown up slide pictures.

There's Brother Karl with his typical "Say cheese!" grin.

Who are these two roughnecks?

Somehow I got these 4 in the same spot smiling at the same time. If only Jenny had been in the picture it would really be perfect.

Happy 2007!

It's another new year and so much has happened in the past few weeks of the holiday season. Here are a few pics from around Christmas and New Year's.

One day during the week before Christmas, Adam and I went to the Larson homestead farm and enjoyed the company of Grandpa Luther, Grandma Viv and our Uncle Skip. We were dazzled with their ongoing construction/renovation projects. The grandparents cooked us up a fine chicken dinner, and we got a chance to see our sweet Grannie Annie who lives just up the road. Before the Cous' and I left for home we did a little rooster hunting which was surely a good bonding time for us both.


Can anyone tell me what is wrong with this picture?