Hasty Ruminations

Speaking out, to remove all doubt. http://hastyruminations.blogspot.com

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Friday, September 30, 2005

The RV Park and Campground

As soon as I drove Big Ride back into the campground, the fellow who helped me get my WIFI working and pointed me to the truck repair place came around and saw the error on the dual rear wheels. He spent a good 20 minutes fixing the problem, even donating two valve extensions he got for his motor home in Davenport, IA. Of course, I paid him for them. What nice people!

"PV Park" really means a place to park the RV. There are a couple of pop-up campers here; but the rest are fifth wheels, class A motor homes, and a few class B's.

Fifth wheel RV:

Class A Motor Home:

Class B RV:

Class C RV:

So, I started hummin the old Roger Miller song:

Trailers for sale or rent,
Rooms to let... fifty cents.
No phone, no pool, not pets.
I ain't got no cigarettes.

Ah, but, two hours of pushin' broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room.
I'm a man of means by no means.
King of the Road.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Red Letter Day!

Big Happenings today!

Big Ride got fixed today, and is in my parking place at work!

Short Round got me to work today on its fixed tire, and it is now in Big Ride's bed proudly waiting for a ride home!

Big Easy is finishing its third month as our Full Time RV home in grand style!

And Lacy the Wonderful Dog is sitting inside Big Easy in air conditioned (not snowy) comfort, looking out the window at 94 degree Vacaville waiting for the rest of us to come home!

I asked the Ford place to install the valve extensions I bought on the inside rear tires, so I can use a pressure gage and a compressed air hose on them. They installed them on the OUTside tires, so now I can't put air in ANY of the tires! Sure hope it wasn't the same guy who did all my brake work!! I'll have to do it myself after all.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Busier and Busier!

Very busy at the client now, and I'm holding my end up. The bicycle (Short Round) ate its front tire (thorn, from this country livin'), and the Ford place didn't get all of the parts in. I hitched a ride home last night, and in again this morning, but on the news that the truck will be another day, I decided to get the bike fixed. It's at work, and I need a tube and a compressor.

When I was a lad, I delivered newspapers in Chicago's suburbs, and I needed a bike. I got financing, and paid it off at $5.00 a month. $56 Schwinn. Great bike, and a satisfying experience.

Today, I had to call a cab, ride 4 miles to a bike shop with the flat wheel, get the guy to put in a new tube and the tape to cover the spoke nuts (which was broken), put it together and pump it up. Then, the waiting cab back 4 miles to work. All done and Short Round is my chariot again. It cost $46 for all of that.

Coulda almost had a new bike... if I could also turn the clock back 46 years.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Busy Day!

Where to start? Two days ago, Big Ride started chewing its brakes up, so today (Monday) I took it in. A friend in the trailer camp told me not to take it to the local Ford place - murder on brake jobs - but to one in Fairfield CA about 15 miles away. They made room for us, and the truck is in the shop now. I tried to rent a car at the shop across from the Ford place, but no cars. So Ford drove me back to Big Easy, where I cleaned up my mountain bike, filled its tires with the camp's air compressor, and rode to work with my computer in a back pack. Saturday, I had decided to start riding the bike and to explore getting a work out thing like a Bowflex; I just didn't know it would start so soon!

Three miles door to door, about fifteen minutes. I got so much oxygen I floated all afternoon! Then I got to do it again on the way home. Just the mildest of rises and dips. I oiled the bike chain and I always carry a few tools, but I didn't need them. The truck won't be ready until Wednesday, so I have a few more trips ahead of me. I will sleep well tonight!

Speaking of that, when I got home I took Lacy on her long walk. We got over to the leashes-off dog park inside the campground, where two dogs were running and chasing a ball. Their human invited us in - a nice lady from Florida. The dogs, Carson and Uhmano, joined right up with Lacy. Then, a nice family brought in their 40 pound five year old Corgi (a real little fire plug) named Sandy, and Lacy showed off her new trick: walking up the teeter totter until it tips, pushing it down, and running down the other side. Then, another camper lady brought in a very tall, thin black German Shepherd named Klondike, and the party was on! What a great time. Lacy got so worn out that her tongue hung out about 6 inches from her mouth! She will sleep very well tonight, too. That was very serendipity, getting five dogs together.

I wonder why I remember all of the dogs' names, and none of the humans'... Though these were all very nice folks. Sandy's family is traveling throughout the country in a mobile home (called a Class A in the RV world), the two girls being home schooled by their mom who is really a licensed teacher. They are from Boulder, CO, and their house is for sale now.

I made a prototype labeling machine for the client, to help apply labels by hand to the new pouched product they are launching. Once perfected, we will contract a machine shop to build 6 or more. They help the operators get the labels onto a lumpy pouch without getting it crooked or having wrinkles. The intern who works for me borrowed it to label 75 pouches today. He is, of course, well warned of what will happen if he breaks it. He's somewhat nonchalant about his bull-inna-China-shop approach to pharmaceuticals and those devices.

Just started paying my bills with on-line banking. What a great time saver!

Got wonderful books from John and Tina for my birthday: the making of the movie, "Master & Commander", and ships of the Royal Navy from the time of the O'Bryan books. One bore an inscription, "To Grandpa from Ciara" so of course it was good it had a water-proof jacket for my tears! Cool stuff!

I checked with Marriott in Orlando about my vacation club. Doesn't look like I'll have time to assemble the family there by December 31, so they extended this year's eligibility to April 2007. Double nice! With the next week I get in 2006, we can get two weeks together, or use them in any of 2100 other resorts!

More will come tommorrow. Friend Brenda said her blog is being deluged with visitors who want anything she has on the band Stryker or Slipknot (I think - the one whose concert - I use the term lightly, almost wryly - I nearly walked into by mistake in Norfolk VA when I was trying to find the RV show). So she told them to come over HERE to Hasty R.! Boy, with friends like that...

Oh, and I removed the silly word verification thing for comments. It required a degree of hand-eye coordination that I myself don't have anymore. No wonder I got no comments! Maybe I'll go to retina scans instead: "Put your cell phone camera to your eye; take a flash picture; when your vision returns, email the picture to Greg, and have a seat..."

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Montana: Less Than 2 Months Gone By

Logan Pass, July 21 2005 Posted by Picasa

Logan Pass, Sept 11 2005 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Katrina to Rita

Maybe Katrina taught them how to cope with a gulf hurricane.

One of the lessons learned: let folks evacuate WITH their pets. (Noah didn't need to be told twice.) Here's the story from USA Today:

"Rescuers in New Orleans heard from many residents that they didn't leave because they weren't allowed to take their pets to shelters or hotels.

"In Galveston, city officials let people know early that they should bring their animals along, and the city buses streaming out of town Tuesday and Wednesday were full of cats, dogs and birds. Candice Avery, 54, who has lived in Galveston since 1987, was relieved that she got a ride off the island with her two cats, Harley and Scooter.

"They're my babies," said Avery, who is divorced and disabled. If she could not take her cats, she said, "I would have stayed."


Delta Airlines is broke. They paid their Chairman Jerry Grinstein $382,207 plus 12,860 stock options in 2004 to put them in bankruptcy. He's gonna take a 25% cut. How about a 95% cut? He'd still be getting about $8 an hour. What he's worth. He's 72 years old; probably not paying tuition or first mortgages anymore.

Beer may increase the risk of colon cancer. Not the way we used to drink it. Drink a lot fast enough, and it will never reach the colon.

The wrong man is paying Amber Frey child support. DNA shows it's a different guy, and not Scott Peterson, either. So that's at least three men for the former massage therapist. People like Amber who practice serial sex should be outfitted with a bar code reader, and their friends / patrons should get their own tattooed bar code.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Windows 2000

When Windows 2000 Professional starts, it displays a screen, proudly heralding:

"WINDOWS 2000... Based on NT Technology"


When Windows NT came out, I think it was actually Windows New Technology.

So, the 2000 screen means:

"WINDOWS 2000... Based on New Technology Technology"

Probably based on, say Windows NT version 3.5 or 4.0, both of which are newer than whatever NT was in effect in 2000.

So, it really means:

"WINDOWS 2000... Based on New New Technology Technology"

Time for a new paradigm.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Outback Delivers!

Now, I’m proud of Outback Restaurants!

From the Navy web pages:

Outback Steakhouse Sponsors Meal for Nimitz Crew
9/20/2005 4:23:00 AM

By Journalist 3rd Class Dustin Q. Diaz, USS Nimitz Public Affairs

USS NIMITZ, Persian Gulf (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) were served a steak dinner Sept. 14 cooked by employees of Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s Italian Grill.

According to Joel Barker, director of research and development for Serious Food Operations, Outback sponsored the all-day buffet, known as “Feeding Freedom”, for the crew of more than 4,600 men and women in uniform as a way of saying thank you.

“When I was approached with this opportunity, there was no question in my mind about it,” Barker said. “I’m sure that sometimes being way out here for long periods of time, the troops might think people have forgotten about them. For me, it’s an awesome chance to come out and tell them, ‘Nobody has forgotten about you.’ It’s a way to give back and show some support to those who support and protect us.”

Barker said putting together the meal was a huge undertaking requiring cooperation between the Navy and 20 workers from Outback, Carrabba’s and National Air Cargo. He said the full expenses connected with the meal and trip totaled more than $290,000.

Outback’s goal, Barker said, was to serve everybody on the ship a meal prepared to Outback’s standards and to give the crew a taste of home.

One Sailor who sampled the buffet had glowing praise for the quality of the food.

“I had corn on the cob, a steak and some cheesecake,” said Yeoman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Kristina Carlon, from Yuma, Ariz. “The cheesecake was awesome, very rich and had the perfect amount of chocolate. And the steak was very juicy, seasoned and cooked just right. You’d never know it from actually going out to eat at the Outback, but the difference was that they brought it out to us.”

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (SW/AW) Leia DiBiasie said the meal was more than welcome after a long day of work.

“They went above and beyond in terms of serving the crew,” said DiBiasie, from Saugus, Mass. “It was supposed to end at 7 (p.m.), but there were people like myself who weren’t able to make it due to work, and they kept the line open, put together ‘to-go’ bags, and made sure everybody got served.

“It was really honorable of them to not just do it, but make sure it was done right, and they definitely did that,” said DiBiasie. “It showed that they do care about what we’re doing out here, and we’re really grateful for that.”

“It all comes back to us in the good words and the smiles on the faces of the crew, and we see that just walking down the hall,” said Bob Sherrill, business development manager for National Air Cargo. "We’ve collaborated with Outback to do this twice before, and we’ll keep on doing it.”

“It also showed us how impressive it is that they feed this massive crew three times a day, every day,” added Barker.

As the day concluded, Capt. Ted Branch, Nimitz commanding officer, thanked the visitors on behalf of the crew during his nightly address over the loudspeaker.

“In all my years in the Navy, this was probably the best dinner I’ve ever had at sea,” said Branch. “As far as I’m concerned, the Outback crew is welcome back on board any time.”

The Nimitz Strike Group is currently on a regularly scheduled deployment and is participating in maritime security operations (MSO) in the Persian Gulf.

MSO set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment, as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. MSO deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

10 More Microwave Uses


From the RV Gourmet
1. disinfect and deodorize sponges
Soak a dirty sponge in water spiked with white vinegar or lemon juice, then heat it on high for 1 minute.

2. toast nuts, bread crumbs, coconut
Spread them out on a plate and heat on high for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every minute.

3. get more juice from citrus fruits
To get the most juice, microwave citrus fruits for 20 seconds before squeezing.

4. cook vegetables
All vegetables can be steamed in the microwave without adding water. Place them in one layer (if possible) on a dish, cover tightly with plastic, and cook on high.

5. decrystallize honey
Honey that has solidified can be brought back to liquid life by uncovering the jar and heating on medium power for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

6. partially cook foods for the grill
Cook vegetables partway in the microwave before putting them on the barbecue, to cut grilling time. Heat new potatoes for 2 minutes (prick them first) (no, Stew, with a fork!), and bell peppers for 1 minute.

7. disinfect plastic cutting boards
Wash the board well, rub it with the cut side of a lemon, then heat for 1 minute.

8. roast garlic
It takes 45 minutes to roast garlic in the oven but less than 8 in the microwave.
Slice off the top of the head to reveal all the cloves. Place the head in a small, deep dish, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of good olive oil. Spoon 2 tablespoons of water into the bottom of the dish, cover it with plastic wrap, and cook at medium power for 7 to 7 1/2 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes before unwrapping.

9. warm beauty products
Warm up a hot-oil conditioning pack for your hair in about 10 to 20 seconds.

10. soften brown sugar
Keep the sugar in its plastic packaging, add a few drops of water, and heat on medium for 10 to 20 seconds.

BONUS: Does anybody still fry bacon in a pan?

We Have A Motley Cruer Down!

The headline reminds me of Mike Meyer's line in the "I Married an Axe Murderer" movie, "We have a Payper doon!" (i.e., "We have a Piper down!")

Vince Neil, singer for Motley Crue, fell off the stage in Atlanta last Friday, schmoozing with the crowd. Nothing on Planet Brenda about it; Brenda doesn't list the Crue on her honor roll of bands.

Also nothing on Stew's blog. Odd, because this was also part of the Neil story: "Police also responded to an unrelated incident involving a man who injured himself after jumping from the fourth floor of the arena into the audience. He was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital." Now, since Stew lives in Atlanta, I guess that explains the little limp since Friday, huh, Stew?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

NASA Rushes To The Moon: 2018


NASA says they can return astronauts to the moon by 2018, nearly a half-century after our last trip. They will use a combination of space shuttle and Apollo rocket parts.

Off the shelf stuff.

These guys proudly presented their ambitious lunar exploration plan to the White House on Wednesday and to Capitol Hill on Friday. An announcement is set for Monday at NASA headquarters in Washington.

Well, of COURSE these clowns need 13 years to re-do what was done for the first time ever in less than ten years. They are what's left after the real talent left, when we abandoned exploring space and started shuttle bus rides.

Get some veterans back, and it can be done in four years. Fund it by firing the current clowns.

Remember NASA's acronym now stands for Not Actually Safe or Accurate. So we'll need a new acronym, too.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


My clients headquarters are in Mountainside, Ca. I was there several times a week ago. They are in huge modern buildings, within the campus of Google. The people walking from building to building at Google are ... special. Ultra smart, but ultra dangerous around traffic lights! Drive avec soin.

This little trick came my way today. Go to google.com, and type the word failure in the search box. Then, click "I'm feeling lucky".

One of those sidewalk people is having some fun!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

More New Orleans Good News


I'm proud of my Navy!

Iwo Jima Feeds Joint Task Force Katrina Personnel
Release Date: 9/15/2005 3:39:00 PM

By Journalist Seaman Christopher Okula, Fleet Public Affairs Center Norfolk

NEW ORLEANS (NNS) -- Members of USS Iwo Jima's (LHD 7) culinary staff are going above and beyond their normal workload in support of military and civilian relief workers here.

Although service members involved in the hurricane relief effort are equipped with field rations, many have traveled miles from their posts to get a taste of what Iwo Jima's Sailors enjoy since mooring pier side in the Big Easy Sept. 5.

Senior Chief Culinary Specialist Lee L. Allen, Iwo Jima's senior culinary specialist, says their support has grown beyond the ship's crew to include a variety of members of Joint Task Force Katrina.

"There are people here from every branch of the military," Allen said. "Civilian officials, too. But we all respect the same flag and share the same mission - and that's to help the citizens of New Orleans."

Army Pfc. Jason Propst of the 782nd Main Support Battalion, Airborne Division, was excited about his first Navy lunch.

"We traveled 45 minutes to get our hands on some real food," Propst said. "These guys are doing a really great job."

Propst isn't the only one with that opinion. Uniforms of every color are turning out in droves for Iwo Jima's hot helpings, including local police and fire officials.

Chief Warrant Officer Martinez Miller, Iwo Jima's food service officer, says his crew is surpassing even its own expectations while preparing the more than 6,300 meals per day.

"Normally, when [embarked] Marines come aboard, we receive 25 additional culinary specialists as well as 65 or so food service attendants," Miller said, "These guys have been [working] without that, and they're still serving the same amount of personnel - while wearing a smile on their face."

Miller said his staff does all it can to ensure nobody tires of the cuisine, as variety is a chief concern for crew and cook alike. "We have to be creative,” Miller said.

For the latest Navy news on Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/hurricane/.

Gas Prices

My friend Stew has a very thoughtful article on his blog about how to solve the oil price problem. I recommend that you read it, to put the following discussion in the proper context.

FACT: We Americans built the Trans-Alaska Pipeline over 30 years ago.
FACT: It is over 700 miles long, 4 feet in diameter.
FACT: It is 7,926 miles from America to the A-Rab oil fields through the center of the earth.
FACT: We can surely make a pipeline a mere 10 times longer now than we did then. Even with declining math scores.

So, we dig a big tunnel through the earth to underneath the A-Rab oil fields. Then we turn the pump to "Suck".

BONUS: We may only need the pump to start the flow. The oil will flow by gravity DOWN to the center of the earth faster and faster, where it will be moving with so much momentum that it will probably pump UP to the good ol' U.S. of A. by itself.

And after we get all of the oil, the A-Rab economies will be ruined, so we can use the tunnel for tourism to their countries where vacations will be very cheap.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005



Yes, you saw it right.

The three star Coast Guard admiral commanding the New Orleans recovery is trying to push an electric wire away.

With his hat!!

People say W ain't too bright, but he's the only one who is ducking. The Mayor is kinda leaning out of the way.

13,800 volts.

Where do they get these guys?!

FEMA Part 2

Well, that didn't take long. Brown got home, and quit.


Now, there were two other parts to that deal: apologize, and give back the salary.

I trust he will inform us of both events.

I am almost holding my breath...

Los Angeles Power Problems

You heard of the loss of power in LA on Monday? Two items to note:

1. We had no power problem in northern California. Lacy luxuriated in the air conditioned trailer while I worked in air conditioned bliss in the client's offices.

2. Is it still correct to use the term "bl**kout" to describe a problem like loss of power for a whole city? Isn't it politically and racially "insensitive"? Am I gonna hear about it from Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, or Maxine Waters?

Inquiring minds...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Pirates of the Subterranean Caribbean

A terrible thought has taken my head;
A terrible, wonderful thought in my head.
I think of the pain, the suffering, the dead,
But that thought, that thought, well, it's just like I said.

Mike Eisner's in trouble with Disney, they say.
Too few good results for so very much pay.
To pasture he goes, as he's kicked by the Mouse
For not taking care of Uncle Walt's house.

Well, Mike is quite desperate, and you would be too.
Many goodies to pay for, and no chance to sue.
Katrina came through, all tough and mean,
But she skipped Orlando and the Ride Caribbean.

He thinks, 'Pirates the Ride is seen from a boat,
And New Orleans itself is now a big moat.
My thinker is hurting, what can I do
To make money for us from this terrible stew?'

He thinks and he thinks, a right jolly old thunk.
He thinks more and thinks of a ride he has sunk.
The Submarine ride, he thinks, what a waste.
Better to build Roller Coasters in Space.

'But now - hey, why not? It could fix up my mess,
If I could mix Pirates with a Submarine quest.
Take the boats out of Pirates, and put the Subs there
And pump in more water, as deep as you dare.'

And that's what they did, and now it's a hit.
See Pirates of the Subterranean, and don't care a whit.
It's under the water, like New Orleans is, too.
It's fun, it's different, and it's all in the news.

Eisner's fate is now fixed, no homeless retreat.
He made money from headlines, no little feat.
He's now on a roll, what will he do next?
Airplanes and buildings and terror, I'll bet!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Feeble FEMA Head Busted

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said that they dumped Brown, the incompetent FEMA guy, as the Gulf Coast efforts were entering "a new phase of the recovery operation."

I suppose that would be the phase where actual people receive actual help. Should be easier now; there are a lot fewer of them today than last week, thanks to Brown.

Let me be clear: there are great folks working at FEMA, and a few losers. Turns out the politically appointed boss was one of the losers. And, even Brown may be a nice enough guy (though he apparently padded his resume and didn't have the cojones to ask for help). But he made a bad disaster worse, so he should pay back his salary (probably low six figures), apologize and leave FEMA.

Chertoff said Brown would return to Washington to oversee the government's response to other potential disasters. Maybe Chertoff meant to say, “…to overlook the government’s response while creating more potential disasters.”

Brown said he was going back to address the lies everyone is telling about him. And to get a good stiff drink. Oh, and maybe when he is properly rested, some actual work.

Who is supervising this guy? Or, actually, these guys?

Summary: Loser #2 is fired by Loser #1.

Snort Your Insulin

An advisory panel has recommended approval of the first insulin that can be inhaled.

Those in favor of the drug, Exubera, say many Type 1 diabetics who refuse to take all their injections will be more inclined to use an inhaler.

(Don’t know yet if the powder comes with a handy mirror and a razor blade.)

Catch 22

I watched Catch-22 last night on TV. Remember Captain Major, who was promoted to Major Major?

Now we have Mikey Chertoff in New Orleans, appointing a Coast Guardsman to replace Brown from FEMA as the on-scene dude.

The article on CNN names him as follows:

“Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff named Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad Allen to replace Brown.

“Allen had been directing efforts in New Orleans as Brown's acting assistant. Chertoff said he informed Allen Friday morning that he would take over the entire FEMA mission in the region.”

Then, CNN prints his picture, with this caption:

“Vice Adm. Thad Admiral tells reporters Friday that all agencies involved are working together.”

I sent CNN an email pointing out the error about 7 hours ago. It’s still on the web site.

I don’t have the patience to wait for them to get around to fixing it. If they can’t report it right, how do I know they got it right?

Thursday, September 08, 2005


First, Cindy Sheehan was upstaged by Katrina. Result: Cindy is thinking about changing her first name to Katrina.

Then, Chief Justice William Rhenquist died and was upstaged when Bob Denver ("Gilligan") died. Result: "W" has to try to reprogram his VCR from Gilligan's Island to Night Court.

Still Scratching Your Head?

Everyone seems to be wondering why Muslim terrorists are so quick to commit suicide. Let's see now:

No Jesus.

No Wal-Mart.

No television.

No cheerleaders.

No baseball.

No football.

No basketball.

No hockey.

No golf.

No tailgate parties.

No Home Depot.

No pork BBQ.

No hot dogs.

No burgers.

No lobster.

No shellfish, or even frozen fish sticks.

No gumbo.

No jambalaya.

More than one wife. (HELLO! ARE YOU CRAZY?)

Rags for clothes and towels for hats.

Constant wailing from the guy next-door because he's sick and there are no doctors.

Constant wailing from the guy in the tower.

No chocolate chip cookies.

No Girl Scout cookies.

No Christmas.

You can't shave.

Your wives can't shave.

You can't shower to wash off the smell of donkey cooked over burning camel dung.

The women have to wear baggy dresses and veils at all times.

Your bride is picked by someone else.

She smells just like your donkey, but your donkey has a better disposition.

--- Then they tell you that when you die it all gets better!


(Thanx to Steve...)


"UNSAT" means unsatisfactory.

I was embarrassed to read this about my Navy in the New York Times:

Navy Pilots Who Rescued Victims Are Reprimanded

Published: September 7, 2005
PENSACOLA, Fla., Sept. 6 - Two Navy helicopter pilots and their crews returned from New Orleans on Aug. 30 expecting to be greeted as lifesavers after ferrying more than 100 hurricane victims to safety.

Instead, their superiors chided the pilots, Lt. David Shand and Lt. Matt Udkow, at a meeting the next morning for rescuing civilians when their assignment that day had been to deliver food and water to military installations along the Gulf Coast.

"I felt it was a great day because we resupplied the people we needed to and we rescued people, too," Lieutenant Udkow said. But the air operations commander at Pensacola Naval Air Station "reminded us that the logistical mission needed to be our area of focus."

The episode illustrates how the rescue effort in the days immediately after Hurricane Katrina had to compete with the military's other, more mundane logistical needs.

Only in recent days, after the federal response to the disaster has come to be seen as inadequate, have large numbers of troops and dozens of helicopters, trucks and other equipment been poured into to the effort. Early on, the military rescue operations were smaller, often depending on the initiative of individuals like Lieutenants Shand and Udkow.

The two lieutenants were each piloting a Navy H-3 helicopter - a type often used in rescue operations as well as transport and other missions - on that Tuesday afternoon, delivering emergency food, water and other supplies to Stennis Space Center, a federal facility near the Mississippi coast. The storm had cut off electricity and water to the center, and the two helicopters were supposed to drop their loads and return to Pensacola, their home base, said Cmdr. Michael Holdener, Pensacola's air operations chief.

"Their orders were to go and deliver water and parts and to come back," Commander Holdener said.

But as the two helicopters were heading back home, the crews picked up a radio transmission from the Coast Guard saying helicopters were needed near the University of New Orleans to help with rescue efforts, the two pilots said.

Out of range for direct radio communication with Pensacola, more than 100 miles to the east, the pilots said, they decided to respond and turned their helicopters around, diverting from their mission without getting permission from their home base. Within minutes, they were over New Orleans.

"We're not technically a search-and-rescue unit, but we're trained to do search and rescue," said Lieutenant Shand, a 17-year Navy veteran.

Flying over Biloxi and Gulfport and other areas of Mississippi, they could see rescue personnel on the ground, Lieutenant Udkow said, but he noticed that there were few rescue units around the flooded city of New Orleans, on the ground or in the air. "It was shocking," he said.

Seeing people on the roofs of houses waving to him, Lieutenant Udkow headed in their direction. Hovering over power lines, his crew dropped a basket to pick up two residents at a time. He took them to Lakefront Airport, where local emergency medical teams had established a makeshift medical center.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Shand landed his helicopter on the roof of an apartment building, where more than a dozen people were marooned. Women and children were loaded first aboard the helicopter and ferried to the airport, he said.

Returning to pick up the rest, the crew learned that two blind residents had not been able to climb up through the attic to the roof and were still in the building. Two crew members entered the darkened building to find the men, and led them to the roof and into the helicopter, Lieutenant Shand said.

Recalling the rescues in an interview, he became so emotional that he had to stop and compose himself. At one point, he said, he executed a tricky landing at a highway overpass, where more than 35 people were marooned.

Lieutenant Udkow said that he saw few other rescue helicopters in New Orleans that day. The toughest part, he said, was seeing so many people imploring him to pick them up and having to leave some.

"I would be looking at a family of two on one roof and maybe a family of six on another roof, and I would have to make a decision who to rescue," he said. "It wasn't easy."

While refueling at a Coast Guard landing pad in early evening, Lieutenant Udkow said, he called Pensacola and received permission to continue rescues that evening. According to the pilots and other military officials, they rescued 110 people.

The next morning, though, the two crews were called to a meeting with Commander Holdener, who said he told them that while helping civilians was laudable, the lengthy rescue effort was an unacceptable diversion from their main mission of delivering supplies. With only two helicopters available at Pensacola to deliver supplies, the base did not have enough to allow pilots to go on prolonged search and rescue operations.

"We all want to be the guys who rescue people," Commander Holdener said. "But they were told we have other missions we have to do right now and that is not the priority."

The order to halt civilian relief efforts angered some helicopter crews. Lieutenant Udkow, who associates say was especially vocal about voicing his disagreement to superiors, was taken out of the squadron's flying rotation temporarily and assigned to oversee a temporary kennel established at Pensacola to hold pets of service members evacuated from the hurricane-damaged areas, two members of the unit said. Lieutenant Udkow denied that he had complained and said he did not view the kennel assignment as punishment.

Dozens of military aircraft are now conducting search and rescue missions over the affected areas. But privately some members of the Pensacola unit say the base's two available transport helicopters should have been allowed to do more to help civilian victims in the days after the storm hit, when large numbers of military helicopters had not reached the affected areas.

In protest, some members of the unit have stopped wearing a search and rescue patch on their sleeves that reads, "So Others May Live."