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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

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Monday, February 21, 2005

submariner book review

i just finished reading R. Cameron Cooke's Pride Runs Deep. Excellent submarine book. i finished it in a day, so you can tell it was kind of hard to put down. it centers around a "hard luck" WWII submarine, and the shining star the commodore sends to square the boat away. it had a lot in common with Das Boot, the german war epic that ranks as one of the greatest submarine fiction i've read. Cooke is obviously a submariner. he has the language, the cadence, the subject matter, and the overall feel down pat. although the hero's journey is a pretty well trodden path, he winds his way down it with some solid submarine story telling. i could almost tell you word for word how the last two chapters were going to read before i finished the first third of the book, but then, being a voracious reader, and a submariner myself (quite often these two traits go hand in hand), perhaps i had an edge over the general public when it came to seeing what the story line was going to be. having said that, i still really enjoyed the book. i wish it was longer.
and here's a quote from the book for WillyShakes. he asked if other boat sailors knew of bad luck boats, with some commentary about recent events within the submarine community.

"I'll come to the point, Jack. You and I both know that this 'bad luck' line is bullshit. To claim "bad luck" is to simply shirk responsibility. It is simply a way to hide problems-serious problems lurking in the unit. The ultimate responsibility in any command resides with the commander I don't have to tell you that."

my take on bad luck boats is that bad luck can happen to any one at any time. case in point...SSN-711's recent collision with an uncharted undersea mountain. when these problems, or bad luck happens again, then it isn't the cosmic joker dicking with you, it's indicative of problems within the command. let me put this another way. if you get into an auto accident, and it wasn't your fault, well...bummer, shit happens. but if you get into several accidents, and none of them are your fault, then i think the definition of "fault" has to be examined. why? because the odds of those incidents occurring are against you. why did it happen? maybe you weren't paying enough attention, and even though you are "innocent" of fault, the fault really lies with your ability to drive and avoid those other idiots on the road. hey, the insurance industry and the dept. of motor vehicles have figured it out. in calfornia, a no-fault accident still gets you points on your record. 3 no fault accidents can still get your license revoked. why? because obviously you are doing something wrong, even though you are officially considered innocent of fault. works for me.

and to continue my new tradition of "how do you relax after...." here's how i relax after a memorable movie and a great dinner out on the town
a brisk evening on the back patio, a good submariner novel, an adult beverage made with Crown Royal and ice, and a romeo y julliet Cedros #2 cigar. note the cigars. i got a beautiful travel humidor full of a romeo y julliet sampler with a dozen of their top of the line stogies. life is good. life is damned good.

2 Comments:

Blogger WillyShake said...

Well said all-around, shipmate. I especially think you're right-on-the-money about the way a "bad luck" reputation can become an excuse for mediocrity (or worse). --Will

2/21/05, 4:03 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

When I was a boy a mate named Pete was always getting stitches and breaking bones. Pete's mum said he was "accident prone". Hah! Pete was simply an idiot, a live Bart Simpson. There is simply no excuse for carelessness, lack of preparation and not considering the consequences of one's actions.

2/21/05, 10:59 PM  

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