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Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah... the regulars, and a Ramahannukwanzmas or a Joyous Festivus to those of you who saw the candles in the window and merely popped in here to get out of the cold.

*dashing in from running the sim for the Basic Instruments kaydets*

I was standing outside the hootch late last night watching the twinkling red and white and green lights and -- for a change -- they weren't tracers.

They weren't Christmas lights, either.

They were aircraft lights.

Black Hawks and KWs and Chinooks and Shadows and Caravans and Herky-birds and Hurryiahs and Antonovs. And they were twinkling in the night sky because the pilots -- US, Iraqi, and (probably) Ukrainian -- weren't concerned about being shot at, which is a huge change from 2004 until as recently as this past summer, when it was SOP to go blackout the instant you broke ground.

I'll write about more of the changes --and toss in some pictures, natch -- including one big change, when I get some time...

*dashing back out to play ATC and make the kaydets sweat through a couple of no-gyro PARs*


Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!
Merry Christmas, Bill!
Merry Christmas, Bill.  Stay safe!
Santas like Bill bring us peace to enjoy at home. 

Thanks, Bill, and all the rest of the folks who minimize the hazards to our way of life in America.
 Merry Christmas, Bill! Stay safe, and enjoy flying!
 Merry Christmas! Continue the good work bringing us Peace on Earth!
Merry Christmas to all the Redlegs, Crunchies, Rotarheads, DATs, Naval Infantry, Zoomies, Squids, Coasties and Staff Pukes here and all over the world.  You keep us safe from those who would do us harm.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night, especially to my rather large and extended family of Signal Pukes!   Do it till your Gigahertz!
Merry Christmas, Bill! May the Good Lord bless you and yours in the coming year!
Merry Christmas to all the rest of you. too!
 @Bill, Bouncing it back to you, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Respectfully, *Thank You*.
Merry Christmas, Bill! And the same to the rest of you, both here and standing guard whereever they are.
*Hey, thanks for the article post. Keep writing.
Marry Christmas one and all!!
Look, Rod - They may let you do that in the UK:
but over here we still frown on that.  Maybe not in San Francisco, of course, but...

Merry Christmas!  (always remembering He was prolly born in September in 3 B.C. Hey I'm a killjoy that way, and the Solstice has always been a good excuse for a party!)
 JTG, I didn't know we were going to get into this. According to his contemporaries' writings in Aramaic, which are still in existence to this day. Josephus writes that his birth was about 36 BC and he was crucified in 3 BC. Josephus was not a follower, but he was the most accurate historian of his time.

*Now do us all a favor, just enjoy your holiday.*
Merry Christmas.
 And happy Boxing Day, too!
Hope it was a good Christmas Bill. Here's wishing you a Joyous New Year!

Don't be too rough on the Kaydets.
Sorry I'm late to the party, but Merry Christmas, Bill!  Hope it was good!
It *was* a good one.

No presents from outside the wire, like the past few years, and there was some sort of celebration going on in town with lots of singing and drums and flutes -- we could hear it when the wind was right.

Boss: "That's a pretty upbeat tune. What's going on?"

Me: "Heh -- must be 'Iraq Concert'..."

[okay, okay, it only works if you pronounce it like they do here -- "Eh'rock"]
If today you got two turtle doves, UnkaBill,  for today I'd love to see what the locals think of *er* three french hens?
We got turtledoves all year round. Also rock doves, crested larks, magpies with tails 18-inches long, eagles, sakers (no relation), and wagtails.

French hens would wind up as supper.
"French hens would wind up as supper."

Huh, I woulda thought they'd be dessert.