Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How Much Is An Alternator?

Car is dead.

They say it's the alternator.

This may mean the Milblog is out.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sometimes I am Simply Weighted Down With The Stupidity Of Others

There are some stories I am following out there about people stepping up to the plate and doing the right thing. But for some reason, I am getting bogged down in the thought that if some people weren't such one would need to step up and fix their messes....

First there is the #McTeaching thing.

A lot of great bloggers have written about this. They are out there protecting our country's history. Keeping the flame alive. Making sure that when someone tries to mislead students about historical events, there is a consequence. People are writing and emailing and calling the people who are involved in the Langley High School system - the principle, the school board, etc.

And that's great. You should read all about it at these fine blogs.

Chuck's is just really, really good - First, we hang the lawyers. Immediately thereafter, we teach revisionist teachers how to breathe vacuum.

CDR Salamander's Fullbore Friday

From A Soldier's Perspective - "Langley High Teaches Revisionist History"

Uncle Jimbo over at Blackfive "Mc Iwo Jima- Lefty BS at Virginia HS"

From Laughing Wolf - "A Teacher? The Hell It Is"

But all I can think about is that someone out there with teaching credentials thinks it's ok to use their position as an English teacher to spout hurtful nonsense about our veterans.

I am personally offended by this picture. My grandfather's youngest brother Danny Kelley fought and died Iwo Jima.
In a similar vein, many people have written and donated money to assist Mr. Snyder in paying the court costs in his fight against the Phelps crew.
From the Burn Pit - "Put Yourself In His Dad's Shoes"

From Blackfive "American Legion picks up tab for lawyers in Phelps case"

From the USNI blog "A Nation Shows It's Gratitude"

And Bill O'Reilly is picking up the whole tab....

But still, those vile disgusting Phelps people are out there bothering the families of fallen American heroes. You could write him and his ilk off as crazy, but then a judge orders poor, heartbroken Mr. Snyder to pay the court costs???


Thank You Mum & Mama Kelley!

I have to go buy my mother a present. Once in a while when my kids were growing up & making my CRAZY! I would buy my mother a present. You see, I was a horrid, horrid little girl. Whenever my children were difficult, I would think "Wow, my mother put up with this shit and let me live????" So I would buy her a little something. After a few presents, I remember an occasion where I handed her a wrapped gift...a book I think...and she looked at it and laughed "What did they do now?"

Like those episodes I am now thinking how well my mother prepared me for other things in life. I was already well aware of how lovingly I was raised. I know people whose parents rarely had a kind word for their children, much less praise. I am so very lucky. My upbringing was totally different. I was constantly told I was smart and funny and pretty and could do anything I wanted to. My mother, my father, Mama Kelley (my mother's mother who we moved in with when I was 11), my uncles were all a Greek chorus sounding a constant hum of approbation. And not just for me, but Grace and Frankie and Jennifer. I often heard my grandmother relay some success on the part of my cousins or uncles with an added "...well of course, my children/grandchildren are so smart!"

So let's just say, low self esteem was never my problem.

But just in case there were any doubts on my part as to how I should be expected to be treated by a man, there was a talk the night before my wedding. My mother, my grandmother and I sitting in the living room. Mama Kelley said "If John ever hits you..." I interrupted to protest, but she just held up her hand. "...if he ever hits you, don't fight back, don't argue...." Now I was completely bewildered. These were two women who didn't take guff from anyone and had raised us in the same way. "Then when he falls asleep, take this...." at this point she reaches down and pulls up a cast iron skillet. This is like the Twilight Zone, how did this skillet, that I have never seen anyone use, get in the living room? "....and whack him in the head as hard as you can! Then call your father to come get you."

Then we all laughed. My mother, father and grandmother had known John all his life and loved him. They were very happy about the wedding. But this was an important lesson, no matter who the groom was.

So, why am I bringing this up? Well I just finished reading the story of a woman who endured 15 years of spousal abuse. For a long time she felt she deserved it.

I know that the way I was raised saved me from that danger. The men I have had relationships have all been wonderful. They might not have been right for me, but it was never *bad*. That wasn't possible because I would never have accepted even minor abuse. I joke that no man has ever looked at me cross-eyed and it's true. If you don't think I am the greatest thing since sliced bread.....well then...I have no time for you. I have never understood how anyone puts up with anything less. I have always thought that the first time someone hits you, you should have my complete sympathy. But the second time? Not so much. However as time passes, I see that it's different for so many people. While the first time would surprise anyone....the second and third and twentieth could actually be a surprise for someone if they weren't raised as I was.

So....what should we get for Muriel?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I'm All Better

It's time for MIDRATS! Blog talk radio. Right now. 1700 EST 5 pm here in Boston

Nothing like some Sailors to cheer me up!

Come and join us. For a description of today's show, pop over to Eagle1.

Fearless Navy Bloggers Take to the Air: Episode 14 Multilateralism at Sea 3/28/2010 - Midrats on Blog Talk Radio

I Am Bummed

I used to attend the Flower show sponsored by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society faithfully. Then they stopped it. Now I find out they started it up again, but I've missed it. There's an hour and sixteen minutes left, lol.

Well that goes on the calendar for next year.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fair Winds & Following Seas, CAPT Garbuzinski, USNR

From the Sun Chronicle
North victim 'true patriot'

NORTH ATTLEBORO - A local man killed by a wrong-way driver on Interstate 95 in Connecticut was remembered Friday as a dedicated family man and a "true patriot" who trained hundreds of submarine crews as an officer in the U.S. Navy.Terrence Garbuzinski, 46, of 56 Laurie Lane, was on his way home from work Thursday night when his car was struck head on as he travelled on I-95 in Stonington, Conn. Both he and the driver of the other vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene.

"He had the highest integrity and ethics," said his brother-in-law Ed McDade. "He was a dedicated husband and family man and he was completely dedicated to his country and the Navy."

He is survived by his wife Jennifer, whom he met 23 years ago in Boston on St. Patrick's Day, and their sons John and Michael. He and his wife would have celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary in June.

A 1985 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., Garbuzinski was a decorated nuclear submarine officer while on active duty and traveled all over the world for the past 15 years in the Navy Reserve to train submarine crews.

"He was a person of the highest caliber. He basically dedicated his life to the U.S. Navy and the U.S. submarine force," said Capt. Dennis McKelvey, Garbuzinski's immediate supervisor.

"His contributions to the submarine force cannot be overestimated. He literally provided leadership for and trained hundreds of submarine crews before they were deployed. He was a true patriot," McKelvey said.

Garbuzinski was a Tennessee native but his allegiance as a "sports fanatic" was with the Boston teams he grew to love and support, especially the Boston Red Sox, according to McDade and McKelvey.

Garbuzinski was the Red Sox's biggest fan in Groton, Conn., which McKelvey said is considered a "demilitarized zone" halfway between Boston and New York, where the fans are divided in half between the Red Sox and Yankees.

A captain in the Navy Reserve, Garbuzinski worked closely with the Navy as an engineer at Sonalysts Inc., a company based in Waterford, Conn., with a dozen offices around the country with clients in government, corporate and entertainment industries.

He was also proud of his award in 2008 of the Robert M. Thompson Award for Outstanding civilian leadership from the Navy League of the United States, the highest national award the group bestows on civilians.

McDade said his brother-in-law was a proud father and husband. He and his wife Jennifer traveled all over the world through his job and personal trips and packed a lifetime of memories in the two decades they spent together, McDade said.

The couple was together in Boston at the opening Red Sox game with the Yankees in 2005 when the Red Sox were presented with their 2004 World Series rings.

In a sad bit of irony, Garbuzinski remained late at work for a raffle for Red Sox tickets before traveling home, McDade said. Garbuzinski was traveling north on I-95 when he was struck by a sport utility vehicle traveling southbound on the wrong side of the highway around 7 p.m., according to police.

He and the wrongway driver, Lance Lewis, 36, of Batavia, N.Y., were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Connecticut State Police. Lewis' SUV briefly caught fire before it was extinguished by firefighters, police said.

A third driver, 55-year-old Veronica Crowley of Stonington, Conn., who was traveling behind Garbuzinski's car, suffered non-life threatening injuries when her car hit Garbuzinski's car, police said.

It was unknown why Lewis was on the wrong side of the highway and the cause of the accident remains under investigation.

Despite the recognition he earned through his work, McDade said his brother-in-law would be embarrassed to hear people talking about him.

"He was a quiet and unassuming person. He was very humble," McDade said.

Visiting hours will be held Tuesday evening from 4 to 8 at the Dyer-Lake Funeral Home, 161 Commonwealth Ave. in North Attleboro.

A funeral Mass will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. at St. Mark's Church on Stanley Street in North Attleboro.
Terry's passing was also noted at the Navy blog "The Stupid Shall Be Punished". In the comments someone post this -
There is a port of no return,
where ships May ride at anchor
for a little space
And then, some starless night the cable slips,
Leaving an eddy at the mooring place...
Gulls, veer no longer. Sailor, rest your oar.
No tangled wreckage will be washed ashore.
Leslie Nelson Jennings
"Lost Harbor"

Remembering Jordan Marsh

From Mass Moments -

On this day 1947, Jordan, Marsh and Company announced that it was going to build "the greatest department store in the world" in downtown Boston. Almost a hundred years earlier, in 1851, Eben Jordan and Benjamin Marsh had gone into business together. They began by selling linen, silk, and other dry goods to wholesale customers. Ten years later, they expanded into retail sales. After the Civil War, Jordan Marsh introduced the concept of "department shopping." The store offered a wide range of goods, personal service, easy credit, art exhibitions, and musical performances. It soon became a treasured part of middle-class life in the Boston area. Many people mourned when the company was sold, and the Macy's name went up on Jordan Marsh stores.

I have many fond memories of shopping there with my mother and my grandmother, Mama Kelley. When I was very young it was the best place for window displays at Christmas, and the Christmas Village was legendary.

We would ride the EL in when I was young, later the "93" bus would take us in.

I spent tons of time there with Eileen or Kathy, so grownup and on our own at 16. Fascinated with all the make-up and perfume counters....believing everything they told us, lol.

When I worked in the phone company, many of us would run up on our lunch hours to dash through looking for a deal on a blouse or sweater.

Of course it wasn't always fun for some of my shopping companions......

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fun Friday

I remembered it was Friday and had eggs for breakfast. Lent is almost over and I have been good.

I went to the gym last night hoping to do 30 minutes on the treadmill and a little yoga. I am madly disappointed by how far down hill the gym has gone. When we joined there was a different manager and everything was very clean. Now Laura is gone and things are just steadily declining. The point of the gym is that it's open 24/7. I like to go late in the evening and there is no one there to beef to.

Well I ended up doing well over my 30 minutes because I have this new book - "One Second Later". You know I have books stacked everywhere and I am always acquiring more. I bought this one after hearing about it on some news story I think. I stuck it in the gym bag and forgot all about it.

Last night I cracked it open....after cleaning my I said, it's going downhill....I might not go often, but I pay regularly. Anyway, my plan was 30 minutes and then downstairs for yoga.

150 pages later I wondered why my legs were wobbly, lol. I didn't want to put it down!

I went downstairs to do yoga in front of the big screen TV, but I couldn't find the no soothing TV teacher. Nevermind, I just headed home to shower and read more of the book.

At some point while reading in bed, I closed my eyes for a second and opened them eight hours later.

It's back in my gym bag for later tonight after Stations. I was sorely tempted to sit down and finish it this morning, but I had a DOD Bloggers Roundtable.

I made it into work just in time to be first on the call!

We got to speak with Ken & Nathan of 30 Days Through Afghanistan. If you haven't checked out their blog, you should. The blog posts and videos are a fabulous glimpse into our mission in Afghanistan. Their Facebook page is here.

They'll get their own blog post later....I have to get to work now. You know, that thing I do that finances all the rest of this nonsense.

I have a new book on the list - "Watership Down". No, I never read it, so you might as well stop yelling at me. Now I have to....a "gentle suggestion" from the favorite Chief Boatswain's Mate.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Some Smiles From The Past

My Google Group often presents timely and insightful topics. But sometimes it's just fun.

Yesterday Chuck wanted to make a point about advertising vs. education so he asked us to name - without Googling - the 3rd ingredient in a Big Mac, then the 3rd amendment to the Constitution. Of course, this is easy for our group, but it brought back a funny memory from Pope John.

In the mid to late 70s Mcdonald's ran a campaign where people would recite the Big Mac ingredients really fast - "Two all beef patties, special cause, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun!". My friends and I would practice saying it backwards. Kathy could do it really well, but then again she could sing "Life Is A Rock". I found it was good for calming the nerves before a pop quiz that one hadn't studied for.....which, for me, was all pop quizzes!

Then - and again I think this was Chuck - there was picture posted of Mr. Peabody & his boy Sherman.

Back in '80/'81, when I sometimes covered the last real switchboard in the New England Telephone & Telegraph Division of AT&T, a man called to order new phone service. He was moving north of Boston and actually needed the Peabody office and I told him that. "What? Where?" he stuttered. "You need the Peabody central office" I replied.

He asked me if I ever watched Rocky & Bullwinkle when I was a kid. Now it was my turn to be baffled. Why would a grown man ask me this? I said yes and then he asked me who was with Sherman.

"Mr. Pea-body"

"And the town I need to call?"


He laughed and said I was charming.

Pia Has Done Me In!

She sent me this link -

"Awkward Family Photos"

My day is shot. I keep telling myself, "Just one more page and I will stop."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Smart Strategy

D. Patrick Mahoney is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and president of Iraq Veterans For Congress PAC and he has written this commentary for The Washington Times.

If elections were held today, many Democrats would lose. Many people are angry. However, november is a good way off. We (Republicans) can't blow this with stupid "business-as-usual" moves.

Business as usual is the way to blow the 2010 opportunity
By D. Patrick Mahoney
Since President Obama was sworn in, the Republican Party has won surprise statewide victories in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts. But in a big year for the party, Republicans lost all five special House races, including two in ruby-red districts because House special-election candidates are not chosen by rank-and-file Republicans in a primary but rather by a handful of party insiders in a back room.
Read the rest here. Mahoney finishes up with a discuusion of the race for the late Congressman John Murtha's seat. I found that most interesting since I am a big Russell fan.

How's Your Irony?

March 23, 1775

No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free-- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Patrick Henry - March 23, 1775
Virginia House of Burgesses

Monday, March 22, 2010

I Am Chloe O'Brian's Polar Opposite

Just wrapped up watching "24" with the favorite Naval Consort via a telephone line. It took this long because as much as we both love Jack....we just had a lot to say to one another tonight. After he dozed off, I went back and started the episode from the beginning.

I had to laugh at Chloe. She had just made a major save and Hastings tried to commend her. She interuppted him and said "I don't do well with praise."

Ha! When it comes to praise, I will paraphrase Dewey....."You may fire when ready!"

What???? How Come No One Told Me???

May 3rd to the 9th is Marine Week in Boston.

Why was I not informed?

Bed in Two Minutes - I Swear!

Just back from Jen's. I am exhausted!

I was up with the birds to do laundry & get to CCD. Then into work for a bit.

Then a meet-up with my good friend, CDR Junge who is in Boston for a seminar/symposium thing. There was a "welcome-to-the-conference" reception....I crashed it. I got a seriously awesome birthday present....I'll get Rachael to take a pic of it tomorrow at work, my hands are too shaky now.

Then down to Jen's for The Pacific

I wasn't disappointed! I watched it live while she was at dinner, then we watched the added content in "On Demand" & Episode 1 (my 3rd viewing). Then at midnight, I watched Episode 2 for the 2nd time (Jen's 1st).

Now bed.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Birthday Wish From the Other Side of the World

Old Blue of Afghan Quest, a favorite milblogger, sent this -

"Happy Birthday, Maggie! The stars in the sky over Kabul are twinkling just for you tonight."

Ok, So Help Me Out With This.....

Tom Hanks says something stupid about WWII and our military and racism.

OK, you are mad. I get it. I was peeved too. But it's his right. His right to make assinine comments is actually why those men fought.

Ironic, huh?

Now move on.

People are dismissing "The Pacific" because of Hank's statements. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face!

So help me out here.....are you really going to miss out on this excellent series because Hanks is an assclown on this subject? Really? He is still the same guy who made Band of Brothers. He is still the same guy who made John Adams. Are you never watching them again? Did you stop loving them?

Every pre-review I read for "The Pacific", loved it. I watched episode 1 last Sunday....TWICE. I loved it.

Now suddenly people are saying that it's not that good. Rubbish!

You know, Roman Polanski is a rapist I wouldn't spit on....but "Rosemary's Baby" is scary.

Catch up over at the USNI with "Naval History's Guide to The Pacific". Episode 2 is tonight at 2100.

Wrap-up Report on 1st LT Bergan Flannigan, USA Fundraiser

Video from the March 6th Tupper Lake community fundraiser for 1st LT Bergan Flannigan, USA. Bergan is recovering from her combat injuries at Walter Reed.

Please follow the video link back to YouTube and leave a comment of support for Bergan and her family.

I have written about Bergan before.

If you can help with a donation, here's the information -
Bergan Fund
PO Box 1200
Tupper Lake, NY 12986

Saturday, March 20, 2010

…”man, you never fail to catch me,”

I love everything this kid writes, but this is a standout post.

"Blast from the Past"

The shower trailers on FOB Ramrod are small, cramped, and typically filthy. Or at least they were the last time my platoon and I were tasked with serving as the Battalion QRF during our most recent battalion mission. I stood in the shower with my head hanging low and eyes closed. The flowing lukewarm water soothed my skin as I felt it splash upon my shaven scalp. Drops rolled down my forehead, off my nose and splattered on the plastic floor. I stood alone and relaxed, pondering the luxury of hygiene. God this feels amazing…it was a wonderful end to a rather busy day.

My meditation broke with the sound of the wooden door slamming the trailer frame. At this hour, there was no question in my mind what was coming.

“Hey LT!” Shouted SGT Lays from the entrance, “We’re gettin’ spun up! Big XO needs you in the TOC!”
Go read the rest here.

I Loved This Movie!!!

So after my great birthday party broke up, we were just hanging and decided to watch a movie. There was the usual happy/scary/romantic/serious movie debate. We ended up with "Law Abiding Citizen".

1st off - Gerard Butler....totally hot! Although you know how picky I am, I wish he would shave.

What a feel good movie. Grace & Jen said I was scary. My brother-in-law Dave came in from the other room after the movie and said he could hear me cheering. But seriously, watch it and come back here and tell me that if you were Clyde Shelton and you *could* do what he did that you wouldn't.

Hell, I would have helped.

Plus, how can I not love a movie that quotes von Clausewitz?????

And it ended just as it needed to.

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Marine Came In First

...with the 2010 birthday wishes on the blog. He commented in the post below and is officially first.

Can't believe the Navy let that happen.

**UPDATE** The Navy is responding in the comments...they are still my favorites!


Wow, there's nothing out here on this blog.....must belong to some slacker.

I only have a million things to write about!

I was deposed yesterday. First time ever. Hated it! LOL Excrutiating details to come later.

I got my new license - 90 minutes of my life spent in the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles that I will never get back.....thanks Gov. Patrick and Rachel Caprellian. And these people want to run our healthcare system???

This weekend is the USS Franklin reunion.

My coworkers got birthday weekend off to a roaring start - Bertucci's pizza, rolls and salad. Chocolate cake and cards. Yummmmmm!

Leaving soon for Stations. Kath says we are going to be in the second row this week.

See you later!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Who Is This Wench????

I was out online looking for a pic for tomorrow's High Holy Day when I came across a blog post that peeved me.

A young lady, born in Amherst, Massachusetts and currently residing in Charlestown wrote about her Bunker Hill Day picture.

Here's a quote -
"I’m a little paranoid now. After all, these people know what I look like.Today, when I went to my neighborhood Johnny’s Foodmaster to buy my organic arugula, I felt like all the bag boys were glaring at me. How dare I mock their traditions by impersonating a townie (and so convincingly!)

In my defense, I would like to clarify again that a) as much as I value organic produce I don’t make enough money to be considered a yuppie b) although I may sometimes make fun of townies, you may notice I that enjoy making fun of yuppies just as much and of myself even more, and c) even though I cross the street at night when I see a white man in a hoodie sweatshirt, the townies are a huge part of what gives Charlestown the unique character I've come to love"

Seriously? You cross the street when you see a white man in a hoodie???? Any white guy in a hooded sweatshirt? Dad?

She's whining that someone lifted the pic of her watching the Bunker Hill Day parade for the Facebook profile. Poor thing! Sorry someone liked your pic. The horror! Of course, guess what happened when she asked them to take it down...they took it down.

Anyway, in the post she links another and I go there too. (Right now, you're thinking "Why?" - LOL - I don't know!) The second post is worse than the first!

"Another shadow over Charlestown’s past is the race riots of 1775, in opposition to the busing of African American students to Charlestown from Dorchester."

Really? I hardly think there were buses in 1775, much less race riots involving them. But if you mean 1975, again, there were no race riots. As I explained in the comments over there - "Charlestown was one of the victims of a vicious propaganda war waged by liberal, white outsiders like the late Senator Kennedy. Something that could never happen in today's electronic age."

I know that blogs are opinions and this ignorant little thing is entitled to her opinion. Just not her own unchallenged alternate reality. As I stated in the comments of her post - "Your ignorance is appalling and you eagerness to share it is hard to believe."

What an assclown. Remember, that's just my opinion. LOL! what kills me about this nonsense is that she writes about a parade that she viewed while sitting on the steps of MY OWN CHURCH!!!

USS Kearsarge In The News

Kearsarge Sailors Help Feed the Community
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Cristina Gabaldon, USS Kearsarge Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors from amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) volunteered at the Foodbank of South Eastern Virginia March 10.

The foodbank is a service that feeds more than 330,000 individuals each year with food donated by major distributers, farmers, wholesalers, supermarkets and food drives. More than 3,300 people donate their time throughout the year.

"We completely rely on the public for their help. Over 90 percent of what we do is because of the volunteers, many of them being military," said Angel Caraballo, Foodbank Sorting Room supervisor.

In three hours, 11 motivated Kearsarge Sailors sorted through 15,000 pounds of perishable items, throwing away anything expired or opened. They also put together 108 food boxes that will be given away to the working poor, homeless, disabled and elderly.

"It is amazing what a small group of people can do in just a few hours when they truly have the will to help," said Caraballo. "Thanks to Kearsarge volunteers, we will be able to supply 108 families with a box of groceries, and thousands of pounds of food for soup kitchens in the Hampton Roads area."

Chief Yeoman Gaelakeyshia Porter was honored to participate.

"As a mother, I feel very fortunate that my children always had a packed lunch or lunch money if they needed it. There are many children who come from low-income families who don't have the opportunity for a balanced diet, and the Foodbank has programs to put food on their tables and in their backpacks," said Porter. "It's very easy to get wrapped up in the convenience of everyday life and take things for granted that we're very fortunate to have. This experience has put a lot of things in perspective for me, and I look forward to going back and helping out in any way I can."

Kearsarge has plans for more volunteer opportunities with the Foodbank in the near future, and will kick off a program with the Norfolk Animal Care Center next month.

For more news from USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), visit

Monday, March 15, 2010

For The Birthday Girl

Tomorrow is Greta's birthday, so let's give her an early birthday present.

Sign into Facebook and fan two pages related to Milsupport -



And then maybe Greta will pull the pins out of the red-headed voodoo doll and I can sit right in this chair. She's really a fellow New Englander, but she's picked up some tricks down there in NOLA!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"The Pacific" Starts Tonight!

I am soooo excited. I loved "Band of Brothers". I love history. I love the Navy. So, how much will I love this???

Get ready with the USNI's "Naval History's Guide to the Pacific"

Ok, I have to go do things so I am ready for this afternoon.

1700 - Midrats - We're having chinese...or we're talking about China...or something.

2100 - The Pacific - part 1 of 10!

Off to do my errands and laundry and stuff.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What A Pleasant Suprise!

Gen & Deb wanted to see "Alice In Wonderland". I am lukewarm on Tim Burton myself and it was a rainy Saturday....I thought my goose was cooked. But...surprise! I liked it.

We saw the 3D version and as opposed to some of the earlier incarnations of 3D glasses, these were good.

Even though it was fairly crowded, there was not much talking.

Debbie made me try a corndog. First ever for me, lol! That's southern food, you know? Wasn't bad.

Now I am back at Grace's. You know she is going to make us watch "Cops".....but what can I say? She made my chocolate chip cookies.

I told them we have to begin conducting scientific experiments to see what treats travel best. We will have to send stuff to my Seabees - NMCB 21 and Massachusetts National Guard 379th Engineer Company.

OK, they are making me sign off the computer.

So What If It Was 39 & Raining

Did you think I'd miss a Navy ship coming to visit me here in Boston???? Of course not! This is the Boston skyline from the USS Halyburton FFG 40 - on a rainy Saturday morning here in the Charlestown Navy Yard
A view of USS Constitution where workers are restoring her at a furious pace even on the weekends.
A favorite site - Bunker Hill Monument behind Building 5.
I was a tiny bit late, because I didn't read my own directions and headed over to Pier 4....where the German Naval ship is!
I was met by LCDR Brawley who was nice enough to get me onboard - thank you, sir! Once aboard, I was folded into the Navy League tour where Navy vets with caps that read USS Wasp, USS Clarke, USS Fred Berry, and USS Whale were reliving happy memories and in some cases showing grandkids about.
While our tour guide, a young ensign was showing us around the bridge...the CO joined us. Thanks for popping out to say hi, CDR Schmidt.
I'll write more later, but right now, Jen knows I am blogging and she is texting threats. I am off to meet my sisters and goddaughters for some rainy day fun.

Friday, March 12, 2010

From The Sniper

Here's a guy who always gets to way or another. Usually it's making me laugh, but today....

Guess Who Came To Visit?

*ding ding* USS Halyburton.....arriving!

Happy St. Patrick's Day weekend kids! Welcome to Boston for the High Holy Day!

From LCDR Brawley we have a media advisory -

March 10, 2010

U.S. and German frigates to arrive Friday for St. Patrick’s Day weekend

BOSTON, MA –The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Halyburton (FFG 40) and the German frigate Hessen (F221) will arrive in Boston at 10 a.m. on Friday to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day weekend festivities. Halyburton will be berthed at Pier One in front of USS Constitution at the Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston National Historical Park. The ship, with a crew more than 200 officers and sailors, is commanded by Cmdr. John R. Schmidt. The German ship will be berthed at Pier 4 just outside the Navy Yard.

Halyburton’s most recent visit to the area was in 2002 when she participated in the Gloucester Schooner Festival. She was also one of the escorts for USS Constitution on July 21, 1997 as "Old Ironsides" celebrated her 200th birthday and her first unassisted sail in 116 years. Last April off the coast of Somalia, she, along with USS Bainbridge successfully rescued Captain Richard Phillips of the U.S.-flagged merchant vessel Maersk Alabama who was held captive by pirates in a lifeboat. Maersk Alabama First Mate, Shane Murphy, of MA will be recognized along with USS Halyburton’s honor guard at the Celtics/Pacers game at the Garden Friday night.

While in Boston, members of crew of the Mayport, Florida-based Halyburton will participate in a variety of holiday weekend activities including marching in Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in South Boston (Hessen crew members will also march in the parade).

Halyburton will conduct free public tours on a first-come, first-served basis Saturday and Monday, 10 a.m. - 4p.m., and Sunday from Noon to 4 p.m. Hessen will conduct tours Saturday through Monday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. No reservations for tours will be accepted. All visitors to the ship will be screened and are subject to search. No weapons, bags of any kind, or drinking containers will be allowed. Small purses and cameras will be permitted. Visitors are welcome to photograph the exterior of the ship only.

The ships are not handicapped accessible. Due to the number of steep ladders required to tour the ship and because of her limited emergency medical capabilities, people with heart conditions, breathing difficulties or other medical conditions will not be permitted to board.

USS Halyburton is the thirty-fourth ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry class of guided missile frigates. Built by Todd Shipyard Corporation in Seattle, Washington, the 3,800-ton, 453-foot long warship was commissioned on January 7, 1984. Surpassing 20 years of commissioned service, she continues to provide invaluable service to the fleet.

USS Halyburton utilizes two LM2500 gas turbine engines (the same engines as those installed in DC-10 aircraft) capable of sustaining speeds in excess of 28 knots and are controlled by state-of-the-art computers resulting in a “ready to go” status in less than 10 minutes.
The real heart of the ship’s fighting spirit is her crew. High technology systems demand skilled technicians and professional leadership. Halyburton meets the 21st Century challenges of modern naval warfare with approximately half the crew as older warships.

The ship is named after William David Halyburton, Jr. (2 October 1924 - 10 May 1945), who was a native of Canton, North Carolina, and a graduate of New Hanover High School in, Wilmington, N.C.. His enrollment at Davidson College, Davidson, N.C., where he planned to prepare himself for the ministry, was put aside to enter the United States Navy during World War II.

Petty Officer Halyburton was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism while serving with the 5th Marines during the Battle of Okinawa. He is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

LT Bergan Flannigan

On February 24th, Army Lt. Bergan Flannigan lost her right leg below the knee in a bomb blast in Afghanistan. She is recovering at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington D.C. It's going to take a lot of hard work, but people who know Bergan say she can do it.

But she is going to need a lot of support and so is her family. Many people are reaching out to help Bergan and her family. I'd like to highlight some of these efforts.

This past Saturday the The Veterans Organization of Tupper Lake, along with the local Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Marine Corps League, ARISE and Big Tupper held a fundraiser to benefit Bergan and her family. The money raised will allow her parents, Billy and Amy Arsenault to spend as much time as possible by their daughter's side.

This is a link to a YouTube video describing the fundraiser which raised $25,000. Congratulations to the people who particpated in this great community effort!

Tupper Lake, NY has a Facebook page and if you fan them, you can read more about this great community reaching out to help one of their own.

Bergan also has the love and support of her husband Tom who is also in the Army, he is an MP (I am unsure of his rank) and a fellow alum of Norwich University - where they also have Bergan's back.
But Bergan and her family have a long road ahead of them, so donations will be needed in the future too.

Donations can be sent to:
Bergan Fund
PO Box 1200
Tupper Lake, NY 12986

This is a link to pics of Bergan's Purple Heart presentation ceremony.

Good luck Bergan, a lot of us are pulling for you!

Rep Patrick Kennedy

Let's Try to Get Back On An Even Keel Here

Jen's feeling better. We hung out last night....pasta, wine for her, "Criminal Minds" for both of us.

My foreclosure was postponed from March 10th to April 14th. Thank you Ed, the collegue of my sister's friend who took this on for me. He knows I am stalling until I get to chemo. He knows I am dead broke. He is helping me anyway.

And the US Navy is sending me Sailors for St. Paddy's day!

My friend Commander Cooper has resolved Cannon-gate over in the Navy Yard to his satisfaction. BZ Commander Cooper!

And we have just a few short days left until "The Pacific" on HBO. You need to bookmark the US Naval Institute's "Naval History's Guide to "The Pacific" to get the most out of this awesome event.

And my friends at "30 Days Through Afghanistan" are going into overtime!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Jen's Car

Guess you can see why the firefighters on the scene were surprised her injuries were minor. Narrative here. So Jen's back. My tire is fixed.
The washing machine just broke and the laundry room is flooded.

I have mini-eggs.

So, First Off, Jen Is Fine

Next I'm New York.

Jen came back for the weekend and she and Grace and I hung out. Hence the light blogging, Twittering, etc.

We had a great time. Friday night after Stations at Grace's. Then Saturday Grace met us at our parent's house.

Jen's house is being worked on, so she slept at my house. We stayed up late watching episodes of "Criminal Minds" that I saved in the DVR. We have really missed just hanging out.

This morning I faced that crucial decision....shower or sleep an exra 20 minutes. I chose sleep. I got to Charlestown in time, but the joke was on CCD. Yeah, I know, I should pay more attention to the schedule. Anyway, I dropped the power saw off at my parent's house, so I wasn't a total waste of a trip.

Back home, I woke up Jen and we had breakfast. Neither of us was under pressure to do anything. She was driving back to New York and I needed to do some serious sorting of my belongings. The time to leave the house is drawing near.

So off she went to New York and I started sorting and packing. It seemed silly to shower then, I'd do it before MIDRATS at 1700.

I got a lot done, but time got away from me. I just made it into my spot in the chatroom in time with my, not bologna on white bread as Salamander keeps telling me is the proper MidRat.

MidRats was great...piracy in the Gulf of Aden; US Navy forces; international cooperation...the US Coast Guard presence vs. the US Navy presence.....the "Mullen Doctrine" vs. the "Powell Docrine".....Adam Gadahn's capture & the prospect of a trial for treason. Then in the second half, Dr. Norman Friedman was the guest. We also had an impressive chatroom, Henry Hendrix, Professor Claude Berube...and the usual suspects. LCS took a lot of knocks.

It was a great show and afterwards I was getting ready to switch over to Pundit Review Radio on WRKO. Kevin was scheduled to interview the author of a book on Yalta, then Bruce would come on for "Someone You Should Know" followed by Jeff Perry.

A shower could's not like anyone can see me as I tweet and blog and Facebook....right?

Then my cell phone rang. Jennifer had been in a serious car accident in Connecticut. There was only time to find the car key and my bag. I called Frankie and told him what was going on.

"Do you have money? Do you need money?" LOL! Good thing someone is on the ball! I just switched banks and have no ATM card. No, I didn't have money. So I drove by where Frank was and got cash.

Then it was off to New York. Jen called, the cops had finally arrived on scene, nearly a half hour after her call. I thought that was ridiculous and it must have been awful for her.

Next call was to say she was in a hospital in Greenwich. Treating her took up most of the drive through Rhode Island. I was over the Connecticut state line, but still 90 minutes away when they discharged her and she took a cab to her apartment.

She wanted Cadbury mini eggs. No problem.

When I got to the exit just before her accident, traffic came to a dead stop. I clearly saw where she had been based on her description. All traffic was routed off the exit and we had to detour around 95 for some unknown reason.

Finally, I got to White Plains. As I pulled into the Stop & Shop - I guess I was more tired than I knew - I hit the curb and bleew my tire.

I made it to her apartment on the "donut" tire and delivered the mini-eggs.

Jen is fine. She was pretty shook and the stress aggravated the MS. She has a million tiny cuts on her head and she said there was glass from the windshield everywhere.

Apparently a truck tire came flying over the median and struck her (brand new) car, shattering the windshield and buckling the part of the roof above her head. So besides the cuts and abrasions, she has an egg on her head.

But we've both had showers. Tomorrow, I will get the real spare put on the rim and bring her back to Boston.

I'm typing in her sweats and t-shirt, which is not that big a deal. The other funny thing is that my gym bag which could double for an overnight bag is always in my car....always. I pulled it out this afternoon to sort through it.Of course the super prepared Jen had a tooth brush for me and we use almost all the same stuff.

Next Saturday, the 13th, Mama Kelley would have been 97 years old. Between that and hanging in my parents house, which was Mama's house first, she has been very "present" lately.

I know she is shaking her head. Jen said it was the first thing she thought of when the nurse asked her to get undressed. "What did Mama always tell us!" Jen told the nurse "I haven't showered today!" but they just laughed. It was the first thing I said as I walked in the door of the apartment.

So Jen is fine, asleep in the other room. We are both showered and my clothes are in the washer.
Mama, I promise I will never so that again. I will shower every Sunday no matter how messy, sweaty or dirty my Sunday plans are.

Friday, March 05, 2010

US Navy in Haiti

An in-depth look at the Navy's earthquake relief efforts in Haiti aboard the USS Carl Vinson and the USNS Comfort.
From UnitedStatesNavy YouTube channel
The United States Navy - A Global Force for Good

240th Anniversary of the Boston Massacre

If you are in Boston tomorrow night, the Bostonian Society stages an excellent re-enactment. It's right on site and part of couple of events.

The Bostonian Society is located right near Faneuil Hall at the corner of Congress and State Street. They maintain a treasure trove of Boston history. There are exhibits, papers, lectures. But this is their big annual thing.

There is a kids re-enactment in the afternnon, but unless your kids are really young, do the night time one at 7 pm.

Boston Massacre Reenactment
7:00 p.m.
Free; in front of the Old State House, at the corner of State and Congress streetsWitness the event that sparked the American Revolution! Join us and become a part of this infamous event as it is reenacted in front of the Old State House, in the very place where it took place in 1770. Decide for yourself if the soldiers fired into the crowd in self-defense or cold-blooded murder. Before the action unfolds, hear from patriots, loyalists, and moderates who will talk about the events and attitudes that led to that fateful night.

You know me....history is important....Boston history is more important.

Seriously, today is the anniversary of the actual event, but tomorrow night is the re-enactment. It's a Boston "Don't Miss"! I am hoping for a little snow for the proper mood since it was a rough winter that year.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Navy SeaBees Do It All

You think all Sailors are out at sea?Of course not!
NMCB 21 is out here training in the dirt. Because Navy SeaBees do it all!

You know, we gotta do better on the snack issue though.....

It's Not My Fault

All complaints should be addressed to my Marine.

At last night's meeting of the Kingston Republican Town Committee there were four candidates to talk to us.

I wrote about one - Jeff Perry.

I'll get to the others, I promise.

So, if I am not productive......take it up with him.

Although someone is happy with me - my fav BMC told me "you are the best internet hook up EVER. Got the pax you sent me today. Thanks, girlie pie."

Here's my tip of the day....if you want some Facebook love from anyone who has to use night vision, send them some of these.

My Friend, Sr. Chief Twiford On The Road

100224-N-0001K-063HELM PRESENTATIONGREAT LAKES, Ill.--Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collection) (SW/SS/AW) David Twiford, USS Constitution command senior chief, presents a helm used aboard “Old Ironsides” to ship six during a ceremony at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes. Ship six is also known as USS Constitution, and the helm will be on display aboard their quarterdeck.

Are you a fan of USS Constitution on Facebook?

Jules Crittenden on the Story Behind "The Pacific"

There are actually lots of stories behind HBO's "The Pacific", so you should be using the USNI's "Naval History Guide to The Pacific".

In "With the Old Breed" Jules brings us the story of Eugene Sledge, his experiences in the war and his writing afterwards.

Go on over, it's a good read....all his stuff is.

Jeff Perry for Congress

Jeff is currently the State Representative for the 5th Barnstable District in the Massachusetts State Legislature. But now he has set his sights on the Massachusetts 10th District Seat in the US Congress.

And good for us that he has!

Go check out his website.

Friend him on Facebook

Follow him on Twitter.

Read his book.

Donate to his campaign if you can.

Lend him whatever support you can.

And please vote for him in November.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Greta Says "Get HBO"

....and be quick about it!

Greta if "Kiss My Gumbo" attended the New Orleans premeire of "The Pacific" on Tuesday night. Her blog post is here.

I think her recommendation that you secure a subscription to HBO post haste should be taken as two thumbs up!

"The Pacific" premeires Sunday March 14th. An excellent source of information on this event is the USNI's Guide to "The Pacific". You can click the link here or you can click on the pic at the top right of the blog anytime.

Shutter Island

Monday night Grace and Debbie and I went to see Shutter Island. We were all looking forward to this. The downside is that with Jen in New York and Gen at school - we were Gen/Jen-less.

I remember reading the book in 2003 and being very moved by it. I am, of course, a Lehane fan. How could I not? We are both of Boston. His book "Mystic River" affected me greatly. I've never read a book that reached inside and touched me the way that book did. Lehane gets it and more importantly, is able to convey it when it comes to the uniquely tribal experience of being from Charlestown, Dorchester and Southie. We are more the same than we are different. The movie didn't do it justice, but was good nonetheless. Conversely, "Gone Baby, Gone" was a good book, but a great movie.

I liked this movie for several reasons. First, as I said I loved the book. I read it on the same vacation that I also read Stephen King's "Bag of Bones", coincidentally a book about a man dealing with the loss of his wife. Everything about that vacation is a fabulous memory. Sitting at the rooftop pool, drinking Coke from glass bottles, reading....waiting for Tommy to return from work.....everything was perfect for those ten days.

I also appreciated that they didn't give a every character a Boston accent - just the ones that could pull it off.

Movies that are supposed to be set here....should be filmed here.

Next, Scorcese said he filmed this as an homage to Hitchcock....and I am a huge Hitchcock fan. As a cinephile, I appreciated certain screen shots and the haunting score. This piece really brings home the Hitch feel.

Two thumbs up!

CDR Lippold USN (ret) Keeps Me Waiting

So, you know I am still waiting for CDR Lippold to jump in the Nevada Republican Senate primary. The deadline for filing is March 12th.

Baby! Ya makin' me crazy!

Why do I want this so bad?

Click this link - listen to him speak.

The link takes you to the keynote speech at the February 26, 2010 Lipscomb & Pitts Breakfast Club Signature Breakfast event at Memphis Botanic Garden.

H/T to @lpbreakfastclub for posting the link on Twitter

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Fates Conspire Against Me

So, I've got this head cold despite my best practices vis a vis hygiene. some rogue germ won out over all my listerine, lysol, chlorox and hand sanitizer.

All this coughing strained a muscle in my back, which was just about better from the stupid car accident in December.

So I didn't go to my Marine's symposium....I'm not altogether sure he missed me.

Rachael reminded me's birthday month. My birthday is in 18 days. And I have no plan....

I have to get rid of this cold! I am taking too many over the counter remedies. I am either going to end up in detox or get better.

And the internet has been down at work since Sunday at 5 pm....which is why I missed MidRats! Boo!

I hope tomorrow is better in terms of my head cold and my internet connectivity at work.