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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Thursday, June 29, 2006

and another bubblehead surfaces

there's a new bubblehead blogger out there, and he surfaced leaving a comment to a post on the community bubblehead blog. his response to a post by Rob brought him out of stealth mode. so i'd like to formally welcome a former nuke electrician, turned college professor of all things. hmmmph, i thought nuke electricians ended up doing things like being postman or running grocery stores like ron martini. (that was a subtle loving dig to one of my very favorite bubbleheads on the internet). so go on over and say howdy to Tim the Preretirement Professor.
an interesting observation, if i may. i've found a bunch of bubblehead bloggers out there, and so has joel. and you know what? most of them get found by leaving a comment on our blogs or over at the communal trough. most of them hadn't posted any sub related stuff on their blog, just popped up and left a comment. pretty soon, they start posting about submarine stuff, and eventually the boat posts become common on their blogs. i've been personally responsible for derailing at least one blogger from his intended purpose for blogging.
i wonder how long it will be before i can corrupt tim. any help is appreciated!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

finding little treasures here and there

backtracking my sitemeter (hey, i'm curious, that's all) and i found

He is in his boxer shorts and nothing else. I am pregnant, in a nightgown, no bra, wearing a pair of Crocs and a feverish glint of lunacy in my eyes. Throw in a pack of Marlboro's and a NASCAR flag flying proudly and we're every house in rural Mississippi.

the whole post is hilarious.
i'll have to go back and read some more posts. this lady is funny as hell

how do we get our nicknames?

i posted about the unfortunate turn of events when pud was left unattended in the engineroom.
well, how the hell does someone end up with a nick like pud? we had a pinky. because he once said he could kick all of our asses at once, and not use anything more than his pinky. and of course, we had "BIG". bolding intended. because he was a BIG sombich.
here's a shot of BIG holding, pinky tacking on my dolphins, and me grinning and bearing it.

and just for size comparisons, here's pinky and me in the engineroom. i'm 5'10", pinky is huge, but BIG was a couple inches bigger than pinky. submariners.

don't you just love those black plastic navy birth control glasses?

so anyway. why did pud get called pud? he didn't start out as pud. he was FNG. for you non-military types, that would be fucking new guy.
we were scheduled to get underway at O dark early, but things didn't work out. that wasn't unusual on the ustafish. as a matter of fact, we were a couple days late getting underway.
why is that important?
the supply officer and the chief cook would draw up the menus for the coming month, and stuck to them pretty religiously. and when we got underway, they would try to keep the greasy fried foods, or really odious dishes off the menu. that works. unless you get underway 3 days late, and the menu has sliders, fried shrimp, and chili. you saw the old timers eat very sparingly at lunch. and they warned everyone else. but pud, well, that boy liked to eat. he liked to eat a lot. so he did. a lot. of everything.
i don't know how many of you have travelled out the golden gate, but there is a stretch of water known as the potato patch. it's reputedly the roughest stretch of coastal water on the western seaboard.
and it lived up to its name.
pretty soon, there was a line to the heads. the newbies were discovering the old timers weren't so stupid after all. and poor pud, he left little puddles of semi-digested lunch everywhere. he really tried to hold on until he could get to the head. he really did. but the hydraulic pressure overcame the force exerted by his now very weakened fingers covering his mouth.
so he became puddles. later shortened to pud.
so, any interesting nicks on your boat(s) worthy of a story?

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

30 ways to use a cellphone without looking like an

a**hole. one of my very favorite blogs in the blogoverse is Waiterrant. i check it at least once a day, and if the waiter hasn't posted in a couple of days, i start to worry that maybe he's sick or got hurt, or finally just said f**k this. pathetic, i know.
but today's post really strikes a nerve. his 30 tips on how to use the cellphone without looking like an asshole and a 31st ping are spot on.
if you are an habitual cellphone user, please visit and read. if you get squinchy eyed every time some bozo takes out a cell and starts yelling into it in public, go visit for a little affirmation that you are not alone.

bo's quote for the day

i've been told that i have a "warped" sense of humor. that's a fair assessment. i suppose it comes with the territory. anyway, i was reading one of the 5 or 6 books i have in rotation last night, and came across this quote that just killed me.

"... wrinkling his nose at the used condom that lay on the bottom flight of steps, toeing it to the side of the stairs with distaste -- "Someone could slip on that. Break his neck" he muttered interrupting himself. "Like a banana peel, only with bad taste and irony thrown in."

Neil Gaiman in American Gods

Sunday, June 25, 2006

a sea story in its truest form is a cautionary tale

my last post triggered a memory. a painful, funny, scary memory.
when a nuke finally makes it through the pipeline and hits the boat, he's already qualified watchstations on a navy reactor plant. that plant is the prototype. nowadays, they use moored submarines too shaky to actually go to sea anymore, but perfectly fine for running and training alongside the pier. the navy spends a shitload of time, effort, and money to keep the engineering spaces in excellent condition.
here is a seastory some of you have already heard. (no, i'm not running out of stories, it's just that well, uh, oh, i see a different spin. yeah, that's the ticket)
we got a young nuke out of the training pipeline. nice kid, green behind the ears (and who wasn't?) naive and well, a little dumb. want to talk about artificial insemination of livestock, and the thought processes behind twisting the genetic makeup around to give you bigger, better, meatier critters? that dude was the one you wanted to talk to. want to talk about how to repack a 1/2 inch high pressure steam trap isolation valve? forget it. just wasn't happening. he got all the way through the system, and to the boat because he was "book smart". couldn't tie his shoes, but damn, could he take tests.
we finally got him qualified engineroom lower level. none of us were that happy about it, but hey, the engineer qualified him. needless to say, the engineroom supervisor spent a lot of time in ERLL. we were getting ready for our annual reactor safety exam, and i've spent a lot of time writing about ORSE boards, so i'm not going to bore anyone with those again. BUT, we were kind of screwing up by the numbers during drill sets. nothing too spectacular, but enough wrong to piss off the engineer. he'd spent a lot of time working these scripts up for various casualty scenarios, and while a good idea, they were a pain in the ass. the poor engineering officers of the watch were taking it in the shorts. two drill sets, and their communications from these scripts was junk. hard to revamp everything you've spent years training on a couple of weeks before an ORSE. good idea, bad time to implement. so, the eng decides he's going to show the young junior officers just how it's done, and relieves the third watchsection's EOOW for the drill set. the JO's didn't escape though. he required them to stay in maneuvering to watch the master perform.
remember where i said this was a cautionary tale? the engineer qualified the pud against his better judgment, but he DID qualify him as ERLL. and pud was the third section ERLL watchstander. one of the things you could count on during drill sets was a major ships drill, a couple of electric plant drills, a couple of mechanical plant drills, and a major radiological controls casualty and a major chemistry casualty. one major drill and a bunch of minor drills per watchsection, such that all scenarios were covered by the time the third section finished their drills.
we hadn't had a chemistry casualty yet. sooooo, the engineroom supervisor drops down into ERLL, and reminds pud that the immediate actions for a secondary chemistry casualty was to trip the evaporator drains to the bilge. then go do all the other stuff required. the engineering watch supervisor, just to be sure pud is ready, decides to drop down and give him a pep talk, and insure pud knew to trip the evaporator basket drains to the bilge. i was an engineering laboratory technician, responsible for steam generator and primary chemistry. i was on the watchbill as the engineroom upper level watch. i called pud on the voice tube, and made sure, you guessed it, that the immediate actions for the casualty we were all sure was coming was to trip the basket drains to the bilge.
can't be too prepared you know.

the drill monitors headed aft, wearing their red ballcaps to identify them as monitors (or snakes, as we called them. snakes in the grass, the bastids). one dropped into ERLL, and the others stationed themselves around various watchstations to observe our actions. then the master chief reached over and tripped the starboard ships service turbine generator...the thing that made half of the electricity on the boat while underway.
i got on the X60J and reported the starboard SSTG had tripped. the engineer announce the loss on the MC system, and pud, sure enough, ran back and tripped the evaporator basket drains. which were lined up to the PORT SSTG. which caused the vacuum to go away, tripping the port SSTG, shifting the electric plant to the motor generators, causing a huge power transient, which scrammed the reactor, oh, and gave a spurious reactor compartment air particulate detector alarm (i won't elaborate, but a real one is bad. really really bad). and pud is busy opening the condensate drain valves to the bilge, still working his way through the casualty response for a steam generator casualty, which caused the surge tanks to empty (into the bilges) and we ended up with a scrammed reactor, steam generator levels dangerously low because the surge tanks had drained to the bilge, a reactor compartment APD alarm, the electric plant twisted into a rat's nest knot, and the engineer is sitting in the EOOW's chair, wondering just what the f**k happened to him.
well, we lived.
and pud never stood another underway watch again as a nuke submariner.
so, the cautionary part of this tale. sometimes you can be too ready.

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link to a great speach at a sub school graduation

i was going to post this the other day, and saved it as a draft file, because i had a ton more to say.
well, i've forgotten what epiphany i was going to share, so here it is, a couple of days late.

Ron Martini, the king of submarine bulletin boards, as posted a commencement speach by the XO of sub school, given in 1964. it's at this link. go read it soon, because these messages scroll off into a black hole pretty quickly.

a couple of quotes, and my remarks:
You will find that your new shipmates have a personal interest in your qualification, and for a very good reason - they want to be able to sleep at night confident thay you know your job and your ship well enough to perform your watch in a completely reliable manner.

You will find that you are not competing against your classmates, but against a set of rigid standards. Standards that have been developed through many years of submarine experience.

there are few parallels in the civilian world to what the work environment is like in the military. i can only speak with a modicum of authority about submarines, but i've had many conversations with other military men, and they pretty much all have the same observation. in an office, the workers are supposedly working together to help advance the company. but really happens in many cases is that the individuals are constantly trying to one up the next guy, looking for advancement to the next level.
in submarines, at least in the land of the enlisted, that just wasn't the case. why? because we were training our replacements. you wanted out of engineroom lower level? you had to qualify upper level, and then get the new guy trained to take the lower level spot on the watchbill. the better they were trained, the safer you were. very little of the "dog eat dog" mentality is present in the enlisted ranks of submarines. if you can hack the constant harassment by your shipmates, and can remember simple things like "cut out basket drains on a chloride casualty" you were ok.

Friday, June 23, 2006

no..no... not THAT switch

here's a bummer way to have to start your day.

explain to the boss why you just lost the company $11million

that's why when i have contractors around work, one of us is with them at all times. it's a really bad thing to have someone throw the wrong switch around here.

i am so envious. really, really envious

Thursday, June 22, 2006

introducing another bubblehead - a boomer puke!

we have a couple of boomer types on the bubblesphere roll at the right. and now we have another.

Thanks to joel over at the stupid shall be punished we meet another submariner. welcome to Sonarman over at Submarines Forever. looks like he will be a great addition to the bubblehead blogosphere.

now, to introduce this guy, i'd like to send you to his web page, rather than his blog. i know that this is not the usual protocol for introducing a new blogger, but when you read his entry, you will understand. you can get the measure of a man by the men he respects. i dare you to read the entire post and not get a little catch in your throat. i double dog dare you.

clickity the link Tribute to a great man

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

a very cool picture

so any of my two readers geeks? photo phreeks? geek photophreeks?
i have a daily visit website that i visit without fail, assuming i am anywhere near my computer, and it's up and running that day.
where, pray tell, would that be, mr. bothenook?
why, the daily Astronomy Picture of the Day site hosted by NASA. today's picture is appropriate, since it's the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.

i'm linking the picture, because they don't provide thumbnails to use as links, and the picture is pretty big. so, here's a beautiful shot of the sunrise over stonehenge.


another post from an old man

ok, so that was a low level ping on ted over at Musings of an Old Man

he posted about what the nuclear submarine pipeline was like in the early 60s. it's a great essay about the path young pups took to get to submarines. my story parallels his, with a couple of very big differences.
he went to a pigboat to qualify after A school, on his way to nuclear power school.
me, i went from A school in Great Lakes (Machinest Mate A school) straight to Mare Island, and nuclear power school. not to go to school though. i spent 7 weeks learning how to run the navy's finest floor buffers and how to properly scrub shitters in the various barracks used by the nuke school.
and then i ended up in the idaho desert going to an aircraft carrier reactor plant prototype. did me a lot of good going to a submarine, but it was really all about the training process rather than the actual plant you trained on.

check out his post. he tells the story well.

some classifications are startling

a quote from The UK Times online

Cologne’s police chief confirmed that the incidents had been sparked by a group of known German football hooligans who were drinking in the Kulisse bar on the Café Alter Markt. Klaus Steffenhagen told The Times: “Our spotters recognised 30 category C football hooligans, some from Cologne and some from other parts of Germany."

ok. let me get this straight. "football hooliganism" is so rampant that they have classifications of just how "hooligan" a hooligan is. class C? WTF. see them, round them up, dry them out, and smack the sh*t out them on a weekly basis until they see the light.

is this what we have to look forward to as soccer gets more popular in the US?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

some funny stuff: pearls before swine

click for full size

ditto this one

i think that stephan pastis, the guy who writes Pearls Before Swine is either a blogger, or lives with one.

Monday, June 19, 2006

doing a little catching up

and found this post about a significant slip of the tongue. where is the reporting on this???

oh man, i want one of those

i guess they were flying somewhere without a whole lot of power lines around.

hey skippy, make you feel all warm and fuzzy? i was a submariner, and i sure fires me up!

crazy stuff from around the world

i've been keeping a pretty low profile lately. i flew my folks down for the father's day weekend, and the preps for "the in-laws" visit took a lot of my free time. (just a gentle dig towards my long suffering spouse. hiya sweets...)
so here i am, back on the web, after ignoring the world for a week. where do you go if you haven't been keeping tabs with the world? why, the oddly enough section of MyWay, of course. and here is my insightful analysis of the important news stories of the last 24 hours:

it seems that china is really advancing with the times. it's beginning to look like you won't be able to get fresh fresh cat or dog at the local restaurants anymore. you know that will put a crimp on all of the "wokking your dog/cat" jokes out there. and of course, that tune there's a cat in the kettle at the peking moon will just become a nostalgic novelty, and not a restaurant review, if the activists have their way. first it was foie gras in Marin county, and now this... no cat in China. what is the world coming to?

and another thing:
i know that europeans supposedly make the best beer in the world. that is what's known as "common knowledge". but what about the japanese? hey, they are experts at turning rice into an alcoholic beverage reserved for the gods, and those of us that can pay the freight for a bottle of saki at the local sushi restaurant. but what about beer? apparently they make beer bad enough to mobilize the bomb squad. i've had beer that bad before. we used to call it skunk beer.

and not to leave out ananov's quirkies :
here's a rocket scientist. hummm, let's see. can't get a ticket to the world cup games. steal a lady's ticket from her purse. go to game. sit next to lady's husband. what is wrong with this picture? a: the thief assumed he'd be safe, and b: momma lost her ticket. think dad will stay home? HELL NO! must have been an interesting conversation both before the game at home, and in the stands during.

a student in Turkey is TRYING to get into the record books by answering every question wrong on his college entrance exam. there's an over achiever for you.

oh, and here's one that i wish would spread to our campus. of course, i'm nowhere near the campus, but i'm sure i could find reasons to visit the boss on days protests were scheduled. for a better perspective, go visit the valparaiso chile newspaper El Mercurio and look at the galleries. here's a taste. chileans have a different view of what is or isn't proper newspaper pictures. we live in a repressed country here in the good ol' usa.
(and dear, this is strictly educational. it's all about protesting. honest)

and last but not least: i thought everyone knew this
A woman of 98 who's been frying fish and chips for 80 years says her longevity is down to never eating anything else.

Monday, June 12, 2006

good news from california courts...who knew?

california's state appeals court has ruled today that the excreable attempt to steal handguns from legal owners is illegal. cool. the courts actually worked in the favor of common sense for a change. usually it's the court overturning a "conservative" initiative here in Kahliforneea. for a readout on the ruling check out the link to the article in the sanfranceeeesco comical nuzpaper.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Originally uploaded by bothenook.
no, i'm not trying to tell you to kiss any specific part of my anatomy. it's just that this is probably the best and least scarey picture of me taken in a long time!

Friday, June 02, 2006

friday funnies, airplane humor

i get almost every joke known to mankind emailed to me. these are examples of one of the really funny emails i have received.

The pilot was sitting in his seat and pulled out a 38 revolver. He placed it on top of the instrument panel, and then asked the navigator, "Do you know w! hat I use this for?" The navigator replied timidly, "No, what's it for ?" The pilot responded, "I use this on navigators who get me lost!" The navigator proceeded to pull out a .45 and place it on his cart table. The pilot asked, "What's that for?" "To be honest sir," the navigator replied, "I'll know we're lost before you will."


"Flight 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 degrees." "But Center, we are at 35,000 feet. How much noise can we make up here?" "Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727?

read the rest of them at geezer's pix.

i decided to put them over there just to minimize the really long posts. especially since i haven't figured out how to make blogspot do a "fold".

Thursday, June 01, 2006

we made the news

want to see what part of my job entails? i'm a Level II neutron radiographer, along with all the other junk i do, and this is one of the latest projects we've been doing.

here's the gallery link. when you get there, check out images 4,5 and 6.

i have a cool job.

i don't know how long this link will stay up.