Friday, October 30, 2009
Are you onboard?
First off, if you are a blogger who comes here, you should be on #TeamNavy. Once you are added to the Blogroll, you should automatically be directed to the page that lets you add a widget. If you have any technical difficulties with the widget, email me, I've got people. And despite what SJS says....they are not chained in the hull of a ship.
Next, do you have a Twitter account? You can add a #Valour-IT Twibbon to your avatar to show support. Then please retweet #Valour-IT tweets and use the hashtag.
Ok, maybe you don't have a blog....but I bet you have a FaceBook account. That's great too! If you go to this page, select the FaceBook icon and fill in your FB info. It will post to your Facebook. We also have an event page on FaceBook, go and RSVP.
There is an official Valour-IT blog and of course, everything you could ever want to know is on their webpage.
So you've looked at everything above and you've decided that you are not comfortable with clicking through to donate online.....no problem, here's the mailing info
1792 E. Washington Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91104
I would simply request that you mark your check as being for #TeamNavy.
OK, that was all the technical stuff. There will be posts below where I write about the accomplishments of the charity, post testimonials from Valour-IT technology recipients and link to other bloggers' Valour-IT posts. We have until November 11, 2009 to raise a pile of money to help bring this technology to our wounded military......raise awareness of the whole Project Valour-IT (it runs year round)......and to beat the snot out of the Army Team.
Here are some suggestions -
Valour IT: Giving in Action
Valour IT: The story should be told. Again and Again and Again
Voice From The Noise "Valour-IT Fundraiser 2009"
From NavyCS "ECI at 1.5% and Valour-IT Reminder"
And if you are a blogger who hasn't yet signed onto #TeamNavy....well get over there and do it!!!
Well the later request is no problem, but the former....you are anonymous and you didn't leave an email address. So I can't contact you.
Why don't you try this, BostonMaggie at Yahoo dot com
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
"I know all of the organizers who are eager to have it covered in the blogosphere…and would arrange interviews."
Great, another totally cool thing I have to say "Thank you for the offer, but I can't."
And I know General David Petraeus and Col. Buzz Aldrin are bumming because they would have had the chance to meet me. I have to go buy a lottery ticket. Because really no one should have to suffer like that.
If I win, my life will be nothing but a never ending series of lectures, conferences, visiting ships.....and Drink-EXs.
You have EagleSpeak with - The facts, just the facts.
"Project Valour-IT: Join The Navy!"
From the Spinosa Factor
Helping The Lives of Those That Defend Our Freedom
From "The Scoop Deck" over at Navy Times
Help Team Navy sink the online competition
Monday, October 26, 2009
Some people do it out of gratitude.
Some people do it to honor of their friends.
Some people do it to support people they've never met and likely never will.
Some people do it because they fear the Goddess of the Naval Blogging Strike Force!
So pay attention as CDR Salamander tries to warn you of the consequences should you fail to comply. Join Team Navy and help out......or else!!!
Ok, this is just us playing, but seriously, Project Valour-IT is a very worthy cause and if you follow this link and read my friend Chuck's post and his wife Carren's post ....I know you will want to join us and help as many others as possible.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
This pic is from October 20, 1944 when, courtesy of ADM Halsey's 3rd Fleet & ADM Kincaid's 7th Fleet, GEN MacArthur lands at Leyte Island.
The Japanese commence Sho-Go (Victory Operation). The fleets of Admirals Nishimura, Kurita, Ozawa and Shima come at the Allies with their last ditch effort to defeat us or die honorably.
What happens between October 23rd and October 26th is the most incredible display of American determination, ingenuity and courage.
Lieutenant Commander Robert Copeland, skipper of USS Samuel B Roberts (DE 413), addressed his crew October 25, 1944 "This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can."
Other great posts -
From EagleSpeak's archives
The Battle of Leyte Gulf: 23-26 October 1944 & new Sunday, October 25, 2009
Sunday Ship History: The Battle of Leyte Gulf
From SteelJaw Scribe
65th Anniversary of Leyte Gulf
From Chaotic Synaptic Activity's archives Thursday Maritime Matters: Special Edition and from CSA today 10/25/44 the Last Great Naval Battle
The next time I opened my eyes it was 8:51 am. Yikes! I rolled out of bed and tried to think. It hurt. LOL But I realized the most important thing was getting here. So I literally pulled on my most disreputable sweats (the ones with the holes) and socks and a t-shirt and slipped on a pair of clogs. I went directly to the car. Drive through at DD for tea and was here at 9:05.
I walk in the door, shut off the alarm, take the phones off forwarding and get undressed!!!! LOL I went into the ladies room. There is a hairbrush, a tootbrush, tooth paste, mouthwash, face soap, moisturizer.....everything I need. Out of my gym bag I have good looking, non-holey sweatpants and sneakers.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Come on! Guess! Guess who has a white card with blue lettering and a red border that reads -
There wil be more about The Battle of Leyte Gulf in the next few days.
October 23, 1983 - Terrorist bombing of Marine barracks at Beirut airport in Lebanon kills 241 members of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit
To read more here are some links -
UltimaRatioReg posts at USNI blog
23 October 1983; A Blast that Still Echoes
The Armorer posts at The Castle Argghhh!!!
23 October, 1983. Some people you should remember
Arlington National Cemetary Website
Terrorist Bombing of The Marine Barracks, Beirut Lebanon
My post from last year had a list of links to blogs commemorating the 25th anniversary of the day.
October 23, 1983
Thank you Sister Ernestine Marie, Sr. Bernadette, Miss Ranaghan, Sr. Mary Esther! (It took a lot of nuns and even some lay teachers to keep on top of me!)
After dinner, Jen & Ed decided to have just one more glass of wine and wanted to try something different. Jen picked something from the wine list. Ed and the waiter had a discussion. When the wine arrived, Ed clearly didn't like it. She doesn't have a poker face. The waiter asked if she wanted to send it back. She demurs. He leaves. Jen tries it and says it's awful and use my water's lemon wedge to get the taste out of her mouth. One of the other waiters comes by and I flag him and say "Take this away." They bring her something else. The waiter removes her wine and Jen's wine from the bill. The last thing you'll ever catch me doing is putting something nasty in my mouth for the sake of being polite......it's ok for me to be risque...it's after midnight.
When I got home I realized that it was still very warm.....by the standards of a New Englander in late October. I have several windows open. I love the little bits of Indian Summer. I feel like I am getting away with something!
I am supposed to be blogging about this morning's DOD Blogger's RoundTable with RADM Landolt. It was at 0800 this morning. I rolled out of bed, brushed my hair, brushed my teeth, turned on the computer and called in wearing my favorite green silk wrapper....I don't think the admiral knew. I enjoyed the call. I always like it when I feel the person truly enjoys the subject matter. And I loved his attitude on social media.
Instead I am fooling around on Twitter, reading about net neutrality (thanks Tom) and listening to LifehouseIsn't she beautiful? There was a time when she represented the whole of my Navy experience in Boston. But now that the Navy has been kind enough to have me aboard several different types of ships....I can say that instead of being my only ship.....Old Ironsides is simply one-of-a-kind. Everyone should be as lucky as I was.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I never made it below decks for the grog, but Senior Chief Twiford found me and gave me this!
Can you even imagine how swelled my head was over this!!!
Jen & SouthieBoy may have to call in re-enforcements.
I had a marvelous time. I have been aboard Old Ironsides countless times, but never when she was underway.
I was sweating the time on my drive to the Navy Yard. Can you believe....I got up at 0500 for this! As you can imagine, there is a very short list of people that I would do that for. But traffic conspired against me and I was white knuckled that last few minutes between the North End and City Square.
I dashed up to the gate and as I approached the gate, fishing out my ID, the Sailor with the clip board addressed me by name and told "You're all set".....you'd think I go there a lot or something!
I boarded and casually made my way to the starboard side aft (or is it aft, starboard side?). I had already decided where I wanted to be standing and I wasn't disappointed. The weather was perfect and before we started out, I got to enjoy a beautiful sunrise over USS Cassin Young.
Ok, I promise more tomorrow, but I have to go to bed now. The plan was to blog this evening...here....the Castle and over at the Navy Memorial. However, at the last minute I had to go do something with Frankie. I may write about it. I may not. But I am exhausted, so this and the next post with some pics is all you get tonight baby.
Let me write in response to your comment in another post -
I'm 14, I live in Seattle, and I found your blog by searching good and plenty the candy on google images and it brought me here. I'm eating some right as I type and I love them. I read some of your blog and I think your pretty cool and was wondering if you would marry me.
While I greatly appreciate the compliment.....even Princess Crabby has limits....and you, my dear, are exactly half as old as my son......
USS Constitution was christened October 21, 1797 and today we celebrate the storied 212 years of the oldest commissioned ship in the United States Navy.
Old Ironsides is undergoing an extensive renovation that you can see pics here.
But today, for her birthday we will be taking her out for a spin. That's right - we!!! I get to go. This will be my first turn around cruise and I can't tell you how excited I am!
This is my favorite sort of thing...........it's history....it's Navy...it's Boston. Beat that!
You can become a fan of USS Constitution by clicking here.
You can visit the newly revamped (courtesy of the Navy History and Heritage commend) website here.
You can follow @USSConstitution on Twitter.
You can.....and you should!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
But for now, go here and listen to one of the Milblog track panels about the future for Milblogs.
"Getting The Picture: What’s Next for Milblogs?" It's moderated by the very subtle Matt Burden of BlackFive. The panelists are Scott Henderson of MediaSauce, CJ Grisham, Bouhammer. Scott Kesterson was supposed to call in, but unfortunately that didn't happen.
We discussed Twitter quite a bit and how it can be used to help Milblogs and the causes dear to our hearts. Then we were discussing how we needed to be more proactive and pulling in people and getting our message out. In other words, not to be so insular.
Sooooooo, I got up to explain that I felt Twitter was invaluable in keeping us from being trapped in our own bubble. This is something I feel deeply about. Only 1% of American have a real connection with the military. We really need to reach out.
However...some people are really immature. As you can imagine when someone with perfect Bostonian diction discusses "Twitter" and "insular"....people fell on the floor.
I pouted to my Marine and he said "Them fuckahs. Laughing at ya like that. Bastids."
The rest of you should go listen and see if you don't agree that I'm right and my fellow attendees were bastids.
You Served Podcast - Episode #60 "Blog World Expo Special - October 15, 2009"
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
But today is more than all that.
Take a moment to remember.
Nine years ago today, half a world away from my safe, secure life, 17 Sailors perished.
Non Sibi Sed Patriae
Thank you for Your Service, Command Lippold
So take that minute, say a prayer.....do whatever it is you do in your secret heart or when no one is looking....
And then read this post and smile. Smile because you see that flying that ensign from the USS Cole caused those Sailor's hearts to swell with pride. Smile because we are never going to forget.
Lastly, I never pass up the chance to say - Thank you for your service CDR Lippold.
Friday, October 09, 2009
Last night Jen & I cooked up a half-assed plan to bring a cake up to surprise my father. Today, the 9th, is the actual birthday. We had dinner on Wednesday at the Chart House. This was because my parents don't like to eat out more than once in a day and Friday is a standing date. On Friday's they go out to lunch with my mother's brother (who was my Dad's BFF, that's how my parents met) and his wife. They usually go to the Warren Tavern. Now sometimes they go somewhere else, or one or the other couple is on vacation. But 9 times out of 10...it's the four of them at the Warren Tavern. Which by coincidence was mentioned in an article in the Herald recently.
So we decide to leave work, bring a cake, say "Hi" and go back to work. I text my boss "Is this ok?" and she says yes. Jen is clear for take-off as well. It was late, so we waited until this morning to ask Grace. But she couldn't because her car was in the shop.
I go grab a cake at the Plympton Bake Shop, which was out of the way, but Nic is always raving about it....and she was right. Great cake.
Jen & I head in but we already know it isn't going to work because traffic headed south out of the city was backed up and it was just 1 pm. So I called the office and apologized and we called Grace and said that we would be over to her house later and she was responsible for us.
It was great, we didn't just drop off the cake. We stayed and had lunch with them and it was very enjoyable. If you go to the Warren Tavern for lunch I reccomend the "Tavern Burger".
So, the bullshit flag......
On the way up I was....of course.....ranting about the stupid Nobel Prize and Jennifer is yelling at me that it's my own fault that I care. I said that I didn't necessarily need to agree with the person's politics to approve and cited Shiran Ebadi. I heard her speak a few years ago at Tufts. She was blaming America for all kinds of nonsense. I didn't participate in the standing ovation for best in class Bush-bashing. But she won the NPP for her accomplishments as an advocate of civil rights for women and children. It was an accomplishment.
Jennifer countered with the true statement that I am often yelling about this, why do I still expect good results if I only applaud one winner. I said there was more than one. She challenged me to name the ones I agreed with in the last 25 years. I named Lech Walesa, Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel and Muhammed Yunis. I said that I had just about given up on the prize when they awarded it to Yunis. She asked who he was and I gave her the very sketchy outline about micro-loans that I knew. I was suprised that she didn't know about him because Jen is so smart about all things accounting and banking. But I explained that Yunis's award sucked me back in like Lucy telling Charlie Brown that she wouldn't pull the football away. She said "Five? Five in twenty-five years? That's pathetic. That's a failing grade. If you still believe it's a sign of a mental defect."
So on our way home I was repeating an ironic line about how the Nobel Peace Prize winner declined to meet with the Dalai Lama. This led to a discussion about the Dalai Lama about whom we know very little and his situation vis-a-vis the Chinese government. I said every country over there has some dissident/house arrest/government oppression situation. Like Aung San Suu Kyi. then I said "Six! She makes six I approve of in the last twenty-five years!" Then I told her about the reporter than got her in trouble by swimming over to her when that violated her house arrest conditions. We agreed that we would have held his head under water. I said he was an American and someone had to go negotiate his release...Gore...Clinton....(turns out it was Sen Webb - I knew it was someone I didn't like).
That's when Jennifer yelled (and yes, she yelled, we yell at each other all the time) "Wait, this is getting ridiculous! How do I know you aren't making these people up? Muhammed-something..." "Yunu" I interject. "Whatever and now Sue-see and people swimming to her island. I might have to throw the bullshit flag."
"How is this any different than you knowing all the ins and outs and players to do with Sarbanes-Oxley?" I ask.
So here's the question - Which are you more likely to know -
OK, this doesn't move me ahead really. However this morning while I was making my bed I remembered about the lady who worked against land mines. I went to the Nobel site to get her name. Jody Williams of Vermont. She won in '97 for her work on the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. But then I noticed that Lech Walesa was 26 years ago....so one in/one out.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Despite getting ourselves turned around on Lincoln Street when we tried to cut through the city, we arrived at the Chart House FIRST at 6:25 for a 6:30 dinner reservation.
Grace and Dave were six minutes later....6:31.....LATE! My brother Frank, his wife and my parents at 6:42!
Damn Big Dig! It's so funny because we all spent lots of time in this area. Especially when my mother worked for the Phone Company (back when there was just one) in the building across the street. But now everything is different as far as driving goes.
No matter - we had a fabulous dinner and lots of laughs. We liked our waitress. We ate off of each others plates. I told my Dad about my latest US Navy graft and then some other interesting tidbits I have picked up here and there. Jen laughed and said to my parents "This is what I get all day! It's like the news feed that runs across the bottom of the screen on Fox News...only with her, it's all Navy" What's her point?
When the waitress came over to Jen to asks whose birthday it was (they knew it wasn't Jen or I because we had brought the cake) Jen pointed discreetly at my Dad. The waitress said she'd be back in a minute with cake and candles. At that point Jen asked for the check and the waitress looked distressed. She said my father had already told her it was to come to him.
LOL! What a troublemaker! Trying to buy his own birthday dinner.
I said "You know what - let's just take what we would have paid for the dinner and get him a BlueRay player. He doesn't have one yet. We'll probably be able to get some movies too."
So, he got the check and he was happy. We have a work-around so we are happy.
Now I can rest up from that fabulous Konditer Meister cake - chocolate with raspberry chambord creme filling, chocolate frosting and fresh raspberries as garnish. Next cake is Sunday when we party again - this time with grandchildren.
The actual birthday is Friday, but they have standing Friday plans....lunch with my mother's brother and his wife. Probably the Warren Tavern. I wonder how I will sneak a cake down there?
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
A Primer on Population-Centric Counterinsurgency
I got it in an email from the Warrior Legacy Foundation but Uncle Jimbo has it up at BlackFive
There is an important debate underway about what strategy we should pursue in Afghanistan. This decision is important for all Americans, but many don't have a very good understanding of the Population-Centric Counterinsurgency strategy advocated by Gen. McChrystal, the new commander there. The Warrior Legacy Institute had three of it's fellows write an explanation that doesn't require a military background. It is designed for you and anyone you want to share it with. We have not taken a position advocating one strategy over another and we will be releasing a primer on the Counter-Terror option soon as well. We believe that educating the public about the choices will allow them to make informed decisions about what they think is best.
So read it. It's only five pages. Then get ready to answer my questions.
One of the problems with the nonsense I spew is that once in a while, people take me seriously. I was pushing the Frontline Afghanistan episode, "Obama's War" on FaceBook and posted a link to the Bouhammer post that contains a preview. I had watched the preview and intend to watch the actual show. One of my Facebook friends popped up and asked me for my opinion. Not my "rah-rah" go "Sailor, Soldier, Marine, Airman and Guardian" cheerleading stuff. But my "You've-watched-it-now-discuss-it-in-a-coherent-way" with COIN in Iraq. He gave me another link about COIN as it was executed in Iraq. It was a different episode of Frontline - "Insurgency"
Remember, especially my Navy Coterie, your purpose is to make sure I look good.
From the new spot I've moved the bed to in the still unpainted bedroom I been enjoying the full moon these past two nights. The bed is right next to the back window. Because the new bed is higher, the pillow sits parallel with the window sill. It also faces the side yard instead of the front yard. On the whole, a much nicer view. The grass, the willows, the bushes which in the dark seem impenatrable. I can see my chaise in the side yard waiting for me to come out with a book. It was warm last night and I had the window open. It's like being out in the yard.
In the moonlight everything is black and white. At first I didn't realize it. I lay there and looked at the green grass and brown tree trunks....my dark blue bottle of pillow mist on the windowsill....my red nails........ And that's when I realized that the bottle was black in the moonlight and so were my nails. I only knew that the grass was green, but in the moonlight it was gray.
I looked at my hand on the yellow cotton sheets dotted with blue flowers that were only varying shades of gray. Jane Greer in "Out of the Past" sprang to mind.
It was delicious and secret. I hope tonight's clouds and rain hold off.
Monday, October 05, 2009
Valour-IT: Team Navy So Far
Are you listed? If not....why not!!!!
Seriously, please join us. Project Valour-IT is a very worthy cause and 100% of all money donated goes directly into purchasing technology for wounded Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Guardians.
We are looking for bloggers, FaceBook pages, and Tweets to spread the word and pull in as many donations as possible for Team Navy (oh, all right, for every team) to benefit Project Valour-IT.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Pacific Fleet Helping American Samoa, Indonesia, Philippines
10/3/2009 11:29:00 AM
From Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The U.S. Pacific Fleet is deploying personnel and units to provide humanitarian aid in the wake of natural disasters that have stricken the Philippines, American Samoa and Indonesia.
The United States extends its sincere condolences to the people of these areas in the wake of the recent natural disasters.
The United States has military capabilities positioned in the affected regions that are ready to support emergency relief efforts and minimize human suffering. Because of the forward deployed presence of the U.S. military, it is poised to help as much as possible
Read the rest here.
I rest my case.