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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

sorry dude, probably not what you were looking for

looks like i got the referal page script running properly. my last visitor probably didn't expect what he got. his search string was "huge melons" and was directed to this entry. i can imagine his disappointment.

Friday, August 26, 2005

what site counter do you use

and are you happy with it? does it slow your page load like the TLB universe did? that's why it's not linked to my page anymore. slowed me down too much.

i'm using the sitemeter.com freebie counter. it's ok, but it's a little weak in some areas unless you cough up the bucks. i find that the one thing i'd really like to have is the refereing page listed. i can find out what service the visitors have, with some work, and what part of the world they are in, again with some work. but i can't figure out where the refering pages are. not usually a big deal, but take yesterday for example. i had a 3 hour spike of visitors to an older entry. someone linked it. i'd like to go visit. hey, if they are perceptive enough to be reading my site, and linking to me, i'd probably like theirs as well.

any thoughts?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

sometimes you have to wonder

at the press's ability to figure out the truth obvious.
i posted about our seatrials fire before , and alluded to the local newspaper running a front page picture of the boat steaming up the channel towards mare island. here's a link to the picture and the front page. the file is too big to post here.
anyway, if you look at the boat close enough, you can see the starboard list caused by the vent valves malfunctioning.
i don't know about you, but if i saw folks topside, some of them laying down, and a heavy list, i doubt i'd caption the picture as "successfully completing seatrials" without at least a couple of phonecalls to the yard.
this is just one example that i've lived through that shows the total cluelessness of most of the media out there regarding accurate reportage.

and then chap posts link to another example, albiet not submarine, but certainly military. read the comments. they say what i think better than i can.

need something to occupy your mind for a while?

then check out the very best of varifrank. i've been sending folks over there for almost a year, and he's compiled a list of what he considers his best postings all under one entry. have some time? need your fix of insightful and well reasoned opinion? check it out. one of these days he's going to figure out that i'm a mini-lanche originator, and he'll stop by to figure out what i'm all about. yup, that's me, blogdom's kingmaker.

finding new blogs like this one is like

putting on a freshly laundered pair of pants, and finding a $20.00 bill in the pocket.
you do what you normally do, and there is a killer payoff, totally unexpected. that's how i feel today. i was surfing my very favorite spots, and over at varifrank's i came across this link.
a taste from one of her very first posts back in september of last year
As a lifelong liberal Democrat turned neocon, I feel ashamed of my former naivete. After all, I used to actually believe liberals were above such dirty tricks. And so I feel the intense anger of a person whose lover has been unfaithful: long ago, I trusted these people, and they have betrayed me, over and over, in a time of grave danger. I'm not likely to forgive them.


in another entry so why neo neocon?, she states the following, and i have to say it resonates
"Neocon" is used by critics as a code word for a lot of things, among them: imperialist, unrealistic dreamer, and scheming puppeteer (along with its subset, scheming evil Jewish puppeteer).

I am not using it in any of these senses. I am using it to mean a person, socially liberal, who espouses a foreign policy that includes the vigorous support of the spread of democracy and freedom around the world. Neocons usually believe that such a spread of democracy would be both a good thing in and of itself, and a practical thing as well, since the belief is that it will lead to greater peace and prosperity for everyone, including the US.


i've been reading a scattering of entries on this site, and am now convinced that i will be spending a couple of hours this evening reading the blog from cover to cover.

thanks varifrank, you done good amigo.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

welcome to a new T-hull blogger

say howdy to a new bubbleblogger. howdy 4 knots to nowhere. i don't know why there aren't more boomer bloggers. he joins an elite group.

thinking about reunions

i've been silent about my reunion so far, mainly because i've been busier than busy lately. but i've also been quiet because i'm figuring some things out in my head. i've lost a couple of really good friends since the last reunion, and it was kind of sad to realize that i'm getting to the age where my friends will be dieing from diseases and aging rather than stupidity. i don't know where the transition point is for most people, but i reached it sometime in the last 7 years. at our big dinner, we started the festivities out with some general horseplay, and then a solemn reading of the names of shipmates that have passed away since the last time we got together. some of the names shocked me, probably because in my mind these guys were still young and vital. i was saddened to hear their names, because a couple of them were dudes i really wanted to reconnect with. bummer.
the other bummer is seeing how age and time have conspired to lay low those i hold in high esteem. one of my skippers has always been a giant of a man to me. he showed me by example what it means to be an adult in an adult world. his intelligence and quiet courage were so obvious that nobody even remarked on it. it just was, like the sky and the sun. seeing how time has crept up on him shocked the hell out of me. i've always seen him as larger than life, i guess. hero worship in it's purest form. when you are a young pup out in the mean world, finding someone to admire and emulate can be as important to your growth as time's progression itself. there have been two men in my life that i can state unequivocally have made me who i am today. the first was my pop. the other was my skipper. pop took us under his wing when i was a tad, and from the first day there was no doubt we were his kids. he showed me how a good and decent man lived his life. my skipper did the same at a time in my life where i could have gone off the deep end into terminal stupidity. i received the most thorough and painful ass chewing in my life from him. i deserved it, and earned it with bells on. and when i walked away from it, i saw the world in an entirely different light. i went from being the lowest rated E-5 in the command (earned that too!) to being "mister squared away". he probably doesn't remember, but i do.
thanks skipper.

Friday, August 19, 2005

a little too damned late, doncha think?

you go to the doctor. you get told you're a transexual. hmmmmm. do you dress up in women's undies all the time? get hot and bothered by a lifegaurd in a skimpy suit? think 2 inch heels are just a little too low? why, yes, yes, he must be a transexual. now, i'm not too sure about the procedure in australia, but around here, they remove the external plumbing, shoot you full of hormones, and send you on your way.
Alan Michael Finch was 21 when he underwent a sex change operation to become a woman in 1988. By 1996, however, Finch said he was "a mess" and struggling to live life as a woman named Helen.

if you ask me, this guy really is a woman. why? because he can't make up his mind which fixtures to wear.

now this is a pretty damned good way to go

leave it to H.S. Thompson. the man lived by his own rules, died by his own hand, and now, will be scattered to the winds from a cannon. what this man did not lack was an imagination. i've often thought of how i want to be disposed of. just toss my ashes off the golden gate bridge. that was my landmark as a sailor. we'd pass under the bridge on our way west, and under it on our way home. it has been one of my favorite landmarks. but, now that the father of gonzo journalism is having his ashes spread by cannon fire, i'll have to scratch using a cannon off my mental list of possibilities. i suppose i'll just have to be put into a water ballon, and dropped on the deck of a freighter heading west from the walkway above. hey, i don't want to be a copycat.

Monday, August 15, 2005

home again, home again, jiggity jig

oh man did i have fun at the USS Seawolf (SSN-575) reunion. a good time was had by most, a great time was had a some, and then there was me...can't even describe how much fun it was.
i do have to say that i was a little disappointed in the Horse and Cow Submarine Bar and Museum. no skivvies tacked to the overhead, the sink wasn't full of puke, and there were actually paper towels in the head. i don't know about these young whippersnappers. i'll have some pictures up when they hit the web.
i stayed out of trouble. really. my wife was a good keeper!

Friday, August 12, 2005

howdy from the hinterlands

here we are, in SLOW dialup land. sitting here looking out over Seabeck Bay, and marvelling at how beautiful our world is in places. BHD understands, living just north of here. it's pretty funny listening to mom. she's telling me that it's going to be HOT out, maybe even in the lower 80's later today. when we left vacaville, it was crowding 100, on it's way up. i'll take it. nice relief from the heat.
off to hang with my buds, some of whom i haven't seen in almost 30 years.
yeehaw. already warned the wife that we may all be rounder and grayer, but for the next couple of days, you'd think we were a bunch of 19 year old on liberty in a foreign port. expect no maturity until we get back on the plane on sunday.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

hitting the road.

bagging out of here for a couple of days to revisit my youth. yup, the seawolf reunion is finally here! so that means i'll be hanging out with the dudes i used to be rowdy with years ago. probably get that way this time too. except my bedtime is a whole lot earlier than it was in those days

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

the internet really does connect the world.

Notoriously Nice Mike noted that he had readers from all over. i've noticed the same, ever since sitemeter started putting not only the IP address but the city/state/country of the visitor.
i noticed last week that i had visitors from japan, hong kong, britain, france, russia, and many in the u.s.. so i thought i'd just give a rundown of the last 20 visitors.
Boise, ID (gee, can't guess who that is)
Sheffield UK
London UK
Round Lake, IL
Sheffield UK (probably the same visitor, back for more)
Saint John, NB, Canada
Kingston, RI
Boone, NC
Mountain View, CA (a google dude looking in on me, i suppose. No nekkid pix here)
Youngstown, OH
China Grove, NC
San Francisco, CA
Greenville, SC
Raliegh, NC
New York, NY
Germany
Alexandria, VA
Grand Junction, CO
Manchester, UK
Vista, CA
that is a list of the 20th to the most recent visitor to the site. pretty cool. some are submarine related entries, some food, most just surfed into the blog.
to all my visitors....welcome. if you find something that you like, or that pisses you off, or inspires you, or frightens you, leave a comment. always happy to discuss.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

i know i can't be the only one to laugh

They were all presented with a watch and given a big 'thankyou lunch'.

"They went and met the men who had been on the submarine. Unfortunately communications have not been working very well so we don't know exactly what was said."

The Scotsman

i hope the watches these guys get work better than the one my daughter bought me for my birthday several years ago. it was part of the initial dump of soviet militaria about the time the wall came down. it was a submarine officer's watch. it worked exactly 3 days.
the watchmaker laughed his keister off when i asked if he could repair it, and how much it would cost. his reply: "put it in your shadow box. it's not good for anything else." i still have the watch.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

welcome to a new sub blogger

welcome to loddfafnir over at WTFO. man, how many times have i used that acronym? anyway. howdy dude, and let me say that you are living at least a chunk of my fantasy life. i've been to alaska a couple of times, and would live there, at least part time!, in a heartbeat. what an incredibly beautiful place. my screen saver has over 300 images i took between a couple of trips up there, and it's always inspiring to see the rugged wilderness again scrolling by.

thanks for the link amigo

i just got a link in the mail that kills me. apparently someone out there enjoyed my little writeup about Make Magazine. hell, if i knew it would be this easy to get some of the greatest video links about geek stuff, i'd have written something a lot earlier. but be that as it may, Here is a link to a short video clip starring an amazing amazing little humanoid robot. to tell the truth, i had a little shiver run down my back during the last couple of seconds of this video. it's almost frightening what is being done. and that's too cool for words, because if science doesn't frighten you a bit, and advances don't give you a moments pause, then you have neither the imagination required to connect possible futures to the current events, nor do you have the spark of exploration and wonderment that is required to push the boundries of knowledge forward.
this is so cool. i want one, just to have the chance to tinker with it. wonder if it could withstand the recoil of a 22 long rifle. nah, we have enough weapons systems out there. i'm thinking rodent abatement using the lil' dude's recognition program.

reflecting on the russian sub rescue

i, like most submariners i know, had one fear when at sea. that fear: having the boat sink, and still be alive. that sounds grim, but it's true. to be trapped in a steel can beyond rescue, with no chance of getting out alive? to slowly freeze to death as the internal temperature drops to that of the surrounding sea? to begin to gasp and hallucinate as the oxygen levels drop, and the CO2 and CO levels rise? please. i'd rather die quickly as the hull crushed than slowly suffocate, watching my brothers and crew mates loose the mortal coil.
imagine being trapped, knowing that the vessel you are trapped in was probably your only hope. sinking in the only submarine rescue vehicle available in that theater of operations has to be a true test of one's sanity and courage.
the russians had their chance to change these circumstances. after the kursk sank five years ago, the russian navy proclaimed they would embark on an aggressive r&d program to upgrade their rescue capability. but their navy is cash strapped. so what was done? apparently not a damned thing.
the sf chronicle had a pretty good article on this today. a quote from the chairman of the Norwegian enviro group bellona shows i'm not the only one that sees this as a problem:
The accident and the drawn-out rescue operation showed that faulty equipment and a lack of specialists in the Russian navy -- once the world's largest -- made it ill-prepared to carry out rescue operations, experts said.

"The Russians don't know what they're doing when it comes to a lot of the technology they have," said Charles Digges, an expert on the Russian navy at the Norwegian environmental group Bellona. "I hate to speak about it so cavalierly, but it's just horrible. They'll never learn. They don't have the technology to rescue their own vessel."


but i must hasten to add that the us navy isn't a whole lot further ahead of the russians. when i was on the seawolf in the 70's, we did a lot of DSRV work to help the navy refine its underwater rescue capabilities. if you sank in shallow water, you might get lucky. if you are out in the big blue sea, you might as well hang it up. submariners understand that, and it's part of the acceptable risk when the boat pulls away from the pier. we rely on well designed and built submarines, using the best materials and rigorous inspections, as well as comprehensively written and reviewed work and test procedures. even then, the chance for an accident is always there. our friend murphy doesn't take vacations, unless it's to go along with you on yours.

what have we learned from this? first of all, we are seeing another opening in the wall that surrounded the soviet union for decades. we know that there was a submarine in trouble. 25 years ago, this would never have made the world's news. secondly, there was free and open discussions about what the boat was trapped in: an underwater submarine monitoring system antenna. tell me we would have heard that 25 years ago. not bloody likely. so perhaps there is some good beyond the actual rescue. it can not be a bad thing that the two main western powers rushed to aid a former enemy. and thirdly, the russians recognized they were in need of help, and asked for it. that must really rankle some of the bigwigs in the admiralty, but think of the positive press this will garner the west in russia.

and i think one other thing we can learn from this. submariners don't care what nation you sail for, or class boat you are on. we may have hunted each other in deadly earnest, but when the chips are down, even former enemies can hope and pray for the rescue of a fellow submariner in trouble. i'm sure there are other branches of the military where this is the case. i only know submarines. and it gladdens my heart to know that we are compassionate and human enough to care and worry about those that we might have once launched a torpedo against if necessary.
finally, a deep bow, and a hat tip to the brits. good job guys. we were getting there, but you got there first. good on ya.

Friday, August 05, 2005

how novel, a western government actually doing something

about the radicals in their midst.
Blair said the government also would compile a list of Web sites, bookshops and centers that incite hatred and violence. British nationals involved with such organizations could face strict penalties. Foreign nationals could be deported, he said.

"They come here and they play by our rules and our way of life," Blair said at his monthly news conference. "If they don't, they are going to have to go."


looks like the brits have finally had it with the radicals they so warmly embraced over the last 25 years. good for them, bad for the radicals.

if we tried something like this it would be tied up in the courts so long that the radicals would die of old age first.

i've been reading a mind numbing book called Zarqawi:The New Face of Al-Qaeda. of the many things i've read that make me scratch my head is that England accepted and tolerated several known and hunted terrorists. the thread followed by the author shows that tugging on one end in jordan, or afghanistan, or anywhere else in the middle east associated with terrorism will get movement at the other end of the thread in britain. we are not talking sunday school teachers here. we are talking about people that have put their money and their lives on the line to overthrow non-islamic law governments. bad actors, the lot.

something else i've gleaned from the book so far... these dudes use a bunch of aliases, and all of them are almost unpronouncable by my western tongue. it would be a hell of a lot easier to read this book if the author had given all the players a psuedonym like joe, sam, or teddy. then he could have added an appendix matching the names to the real person. when a sentence starts out something like "First, al-Mulqiki, who is also known variously as Mohammud al-zulawka, Amad al-turallani, Amir al-Whozitsa, called Assan al-Anawna, also known as......"
yeah, difficult to read. but frightening beyond belief.

thanks to my buddy dwardo and mrs. dwardo, who gave me the book as a birthday present last week. very informative, but it sure makes for some uncomfortable nights while trying to fall asleep.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

i admit i'm a geek

but honestly, who on earth, with even a slight interest in things scientific, wouldn't think a home built solar deathray cool as hell.
really, what boy born after the advent of plastic army men didn't yearn to do something this destructive?


yeah, we tried with lighter fluid, magnifying glasses, and in my case, some of my dad's gunpowder he used to reload shotgun shells.

but this. maaaaan, would i have had SOME FUN with one of these babies.

if you are a total geek, or a geek wannabe, or just interested in tinkering with stuff, i completely recommend Make Magazine. i have had some pretty cool fun tinkering in my life, and it's instructional to see how many other folks out there like geeking stuff.

an example:

how would you like to have your very own lab in your recx room. i mean, your very own scanning tunneling electron microscope, and your very own cold fusion reactor experiment to tinker with? there's an article in this issue (#3) about someone who does!

how about building an automatic cat feeder with an old vcr? yup. set the timer, and let the motor drive a dispenser.

there's so much to cover that we'd be here all day.

find it. buy it. read it. try it!

what's fair for the goose

is hardly ever fair for the gander. WTF you talking about there nook old buddy? how about the recent non-bruhaha over Air America? the columnist certainly got it right that had any non-profit in the country had funneled government money to a conservative radio syndicate, all hell would break loose. remember the flap over the govt. paying radio hosts to talk about specific ideas and programs? and the stink that came out of that?

Monday, August 01, 2005

Bandwidth theft alert...i'm doing it again...

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of freedom.
J. F. Kennedy, 1961


go check out the series of pictures linked from Howard's blog. very inspirational, and very well executed. that kid can come paint my fence with any message he wants.

if you want to go directly to the pictures, click here.

howdy howard!

i got a comment from a true american hero. i'd like to direct your attention to the blog of Howard Davis, a combat medic in the 82 airborne. check out his blog. good stuff. some of it is so good, i'm stealing it, and posting it next.
HD, i salute you, and thank you for your service.

Howard Davis at Ft Sam Houston Combat Med School 1949
now, i won't go into how i think you were a crazy sombich, jumping out of those perfectly good airplanes. i already had that conversation with Macbeau, the storm trooper of love.
as somebody famous once said: "there are more airplanes at the bottom of the ocean than submarines up in the sky".