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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Friday, May 25, 2007


i was just digging through the fridge, looking for a little something. and while i was, i was thinking to myself, "hmmmm, wonder what's for midrats."
midrats. that quasi-meal between supper and breakfast, served underway, or when we were in port working shiftwork.
typically, horsecock sandwiches, and some reconstituted dried gack like chicken noodle soup, or some other mysterious concoction the cooks cobbled together.
one advantage of midrats at sea was that the bread was usually fresh out of the oven. god, how many huge chunks of fresh boatbread, buried under a slab of butter did i eat while underway?
midrats were a ritual on the ustafish. bleary eyed sailors stumbling out of their racks stopped by for their first meal of the usually 18 hour day, midshift, around 2300 or so. fueling up for the 00-06 watch. and you needed to fuel up, because the decks were always cleaned on the midwatch. on all fours, scrubbing with a greenie and wiping with either "nylon reinforced paper absorbents", or fire resistant treated non-absorbent rags. the rags were brought down to the boat in burlap and wire wrapped bundles, and were squirreled throughout the boat, waiting their turn. i don't know where they came from, but the rags yielded hours of stupid midwatch activity trying to find the biggest and ugliest piece of cloth in the bunch. that piece then became your headband, bandanna, pirate cap. enough frilly pieces gathered over the first half of the run ended up being stapled sewn together for a humpnight skit.
if you were lucky, the night baker finished baking some fatpills before you went on watch. there were a lot of names for what they baked, but the generic fatpill covered all bases.
the grossest midrats sandwich i ever saw put together was done by a sonarman. he was later busted whacking his tool in his vehicle on base, so it kind of explains his actions. he dug through the bench lockers, scouring the stored goodies for something, anything, to build the "best sandwich in the world" with. the final product included bologna, mustard, peanut butter, dill pickles, shredded coconut (which really pissed off the cook), marshmallow cream, smoked kipper snacks, and to top it all off, heinz 57 sauce. i still shudder at the memory of watching him eat that thing.
midrats. think i'll go build me a sandwich.

here's a link to an older post about midrats: Joel's magic sandwiches

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

me too! me too! i'm in really great company

Chap isn't the only one!

i wonder if it was my takeoff on cat recipes? or could it have been, oh, i don't know, my general demeanor?

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

patio phase 3: DONE!

i finished the last phase of the patio project today. this has been an experience with a near vertical learning curve, but i can't bitch about the finished product.
i was going to build a cover for this, but with all the shade, it just seems like a waste to do so. putting a structure up around the patio would make the area too enclosed. i really like the way it is open, with the trees above, and the creek below. now all i need to do is spend a couple of hours tamping in the dirt around the border.
as usual, click on the picture for other sizes

here's a link to my Phase 3 Flickr set

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Monday, May 14, 2007

hey buddy, spare a duck a light?

buddy got a lite

click for other sizes
Took this photo Friday evening. By Sunday afternoon, we had 13 or 14 ducks milling around the area. the mallard hens have a beautiful blue flash on their wing, but the lighting and their movement prevented a decent shot.

this photo cracked me up. it looks like the duck is wandering around with an unlighted cigar, and is trying to cadge a light off of me.

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staring into a campfire

letts lake0052
Originally uploaded by bothenook.
one of the very best things about camping is sitting around the fire at night, adult beverage in hand, rotating to warm the chilly side every so often.
as usual, click picture for other sizes

here's a link to my Flickr set for Lett's Lake.



Originally uploaded by bothenook.
who says truckers don't have a sense of humor, or a well defined list of life's priorities?
saw this on the back of a truck heading down I-5 near Williams on Mother's Day. I just HAD to slow down to get a picture
as usual, click picture for other sizes


Thursday, May 10, 2007

heading out for a little camping

the wife is giving me grief over how much junk i'm packing. my son, a couple of his friends, and i am going up into the mountains for a couple of days. i'm leaving directly from work, to get up, get a campsite, and get dinner started. that's why i'm taking so much junk. i know my son. and i have a pretty good idea about his buddies. so i'm not taking any chances, because there aren't any convenience stores nearby.
meat, spuds, a case of beer, beans, and a 1.75 liter of Crown Royal (that's for me), and all the camping gear needed to make sure i don't have to share a sleeping bag with one of them.
so have a good weekend. i know i am. hell, i'm taking enough firepower to overthrow a small third world nation, all by myself. should be a lot of fun making lots of noise in the woods.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

your tax dollars at work

by now, i'm sure everyone has seen at least a couple of the tax dollars at work photos. you know, the yellow stripe painted over the dead 'possum in the middle of the street, the white lines painted over a dead armadillo, the road painters standing around a freshly painted "SHCOOL" stencil.
here's my addition to the lot. this is an intersection in Sacramento at Watt and Airbase Drive. i'll post all three signals, just for reference.
as always, click the image for a selection of sizes.
red 2

notice there is a ONE WAY sign on the far right pole. also notice that there is a TURN LANE sign, pointing in the opposite direction. and on the post the turn signs are on? a "BOTH DIRECTIONS" arrow on a big yellow sign. oh, and you can't turn left in the far right lane because the arrow is red, but does that mean you can go right without slowing down?

yellow 2

now, are you confused yet? look at the yellow arrows. there are three signals. then look at the signs. there are two of them. which way are you supposed to go?

green 2

and the best for last. now we have three lanes, all going in the wrong direction. the far left one giving permission to go straight into the wall is the best yet.

yup, your tax dollars at work. perhaps the city hired dyslexics as a means of satisfying some EEO quota.
these photos were taken today at 1130.

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today's emailed humor

If you ever testify in court, you might wish you could have been as sharp as this policeman. He was being cross-examined by a defense attorney during a felony trial. The lawyer was trying to undermine the policeman's credibility....

Q: "Officer -- did you see my client fleeing the scene?"

A: "No sir. But I subsequently observed a person matching the description of the offender, running several blocks away."

Q: "Officer -- who provided this description?"

A: "The officer who responded to the scene."

Q: "A fellow officer provided the description of this so-called offender. Do you trust your fellow officers?"

A: "Yes, sir. With my life."

Q: "With your life? Let me ask you this then officer. Do you have a room where you change your clothes in preparation for your daily duties?"

A: "Yes sir, we do!"

Q: "And do you have a locker in the room?"

A: "Yes sir, I do."

Q: "And do you have a lock on your locker?"

A: "Yes sir."

Q: "Now why is it, officer, if you trust your fellow officers with your life, you find it necessary to lock your locker in a room you share with these same officers?"

A: "You see, sir -- we share the building with the court complex, and sometimes lawyers have been known to walk through that room."

The courtroom erupted in laughter, and a prompt recess was called.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

i'm not sure i want to know

what is behind this search.

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morning thoughts

is there anything quite as pure as a meadowlark's song at sunrise?