Monday, May 31, 2010
Much like I would steamroller them if the shoe were on the other foot.
But on Thursday, Dr. Miller's office called and asked me to move the appointment up. LOL! They really think I am going to flee the jurisdiction or something. So the appointment is tomorrow.
So I thought long and hard about driving in tomorrow from the Nook. What a pain considering my nearly homeless status. I still haven't spent one night at the new place. I have been sleeping in my own house - I know I am just putting off the inevitable. There are a few problems with this....for one thing the water is shut off, lol. So I wake up and dash to the gym or down to Jennifer's.
Between the drive on the morning of a Tuesday after a holiday weekend up from the South Shore....and no water in the house.....I decided to see what William Shatner could do for me.
So, I am in the Beacon Hill Holiday Inn. Normally $199 per night, thanks to Priceline, $60 for me. Whew!
After my grueling day of lifting bales and toting barges, not to mention the emotional toll.....it was nice to check in here and take a bath.
The room is so-so. If I had payed full price (which I could have afforded back in the day), I would NOT have been happy.
I told the favorite Naval Consort about this and he sighed "Maggie, you should let your sisters go with you." I told him they don't know and wouldn't unless he finked on me. Hehehe! He can't...he is cut from the same clothe as me.
So...keep quiet until after my appointment tomorrow.
Oh, by the way, this means the pool will close sooner. I will know my number by Friday.
I was talking to my ex-husband today. I found his Army uniform and asked what he wanted me to do. He wants it shipped down to Virginia! LOL! Now he takes the title of biggest hoarder! He told me that he has been watching my videos on YouTube. I said something, I forget what and he says..."There's talking? I was just watching!" Then he laughed, I know he was listening and he's just teasing me. It's uncomfortable, he knows I am making them for Tommy & Frankie to listen to later, when they miss me. Anyway, he put in his guess for the pool. He picked 6250! What? I told him that was the highest number picked and he was a bastid!
Alright, I have to go to bed. I was lucky enough to get a metered spot and not have to pay the outlandish $32 self parking fee in the garage! But I have to get to my meter by 8 am.
It came in the form of two boxes.
I opened an old dusty box and found a series of romance novels I read starting in '75 or '76. Innocuous really. I had packed them away when I left 88 Elm Street for my new married life. There was no where for them in our first apartment in Revere, so they stayed boxed. Then I lugged the box to Kingston and up into the attic. I had plans. there was a wall in the living room that would just be shelves. I had acquired more books. the living room would be like a library. But there were always more important things to do than my library, so the books waited.
Then I finally got to the point where I had some dough put aside. I hired an electrician to start rewiring the house. It was the first step toward the bedroom/living room renovation. The boys were getting older, why Tom was actually gone already. There were going to be tons of built-in shelves. I ditched my queen size bed for a twin so there would be more room for books. I had a guy who was going to build special shelves and this swing out contraption for my computer.
But then I was diagnosed and everything kind of spun out of control for a while. I was just starting to pull my shit together last summer.
Which brings me to the second box. I had packed it up last summer just before my brother and my Dad started working on my room. It was in the middle of that renovation that I found I would lose the house - July of '09. So I never got back to the attic to unpack it.
It's things from the boys mostly. They were going to have special places on shelves just like the books.
So I excused myself. I said I had to run down to my sister Jen's. She's not here. There's a blessing.
Alright, enough of this pity party. I have to get back.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Go read and sign this petition. I was 726. Then pass it along.
How easy is this? Go do it. And as a political aside....it is slightly more appropriate than naming something after Murtha.
Fading light dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar drawing nigh,
Falls the night.
Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the skies
All is well, safely rest;
God is nigh.
Then goodnight, peaceful night;
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright.
God is near, do not fear,
LTJG John Connors, USN is who comes to mind for UltimaRatioReg when he hears Taps
"Fund and develop the Reliable Replacement Warhead"
This may not be the day to think about nuclear (new-klee-ah) deterrence, but then, which day is?
"New Nukes!" at The Weekly Standard.
I asked My Marine for his thoughts.....
"When the Cambrian measures were forming, they promised perpetual peace,
If only we'd turn in our weapons, the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed, they sold us, and delivered us, bound, to our foe.
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, said "Stick to the Devil you know."
Today's plan -
Get up at 6.....reality? 7:25
Hit the gym for an hour at least.....reality? 35 minutes
Get to work by 9 - success!
Post part 2 - success!
I should just call it a day now, huh?
Friday, May 28, 2010
So, although my plan was to wake up at 6 am...I couldn't even roll over until 6:45! I got up, brushed my teeth, washed my face and brushed my hair. Then I stripped Jen's bed and washed the sheets. I grabbed my tea and headed for the deck. There is a part 2 because it's easier to upload in smaller chunks. I'll have it up as soon as I can. You have to turn it up, the audio is low.
I plan on making a series of these vids, that way when you miss me....you'll have these. Especially Tommy and Frankie.
Ok, and maybe something that will make your eyes a little wet...
From Mudville Gazette -
Graduation Night - Moon over Yusufiyah
A note from our friend Robert Stokely...
The Stokely family sat in a football stadium on a warm Friday night just before Memorial Day 2001 to watch Mike Stokely graduate high school. He already had boot camp / basic training and a year in the National Guard under his belt and would be heading off for Advanced Individual Training at Ft. Gordon in a few weeks. His little sister, Abbey, almost nine, couldn't let go of him, even to have a photo taken with Mike and their brother, Wes. She swung on his arm adoringly - her look of love says it all.
On the morning of August 16, 2005, as my wife Retta and I sat with Wes and Abbey just after breaking the news to them of Mikes death earler that morning, then 13 year old Abbey buried her head into my shoulder, sobbing these words: "he was supposed to chase away my first boyfriend, he was supposed to cheer at my graduation from high school, he was supposed to be an uncle to my children..." These words seared my heart, broken as it was. I shall never forget them. She lost her oldest brother that day, her "Bubs" which she called him short for his nickname, Bubba.
Tonight, May 27, 2010 at the football stadium for Northgate High School in Sharpsburg GA, Abbey Stokely graduated last with her class. She has had a rough five years that started with Mike's death in Iraq. Five months later, she and I were broad sided by a driver who ran a stop sign at 45 plus and rolled and flipped us several times, shearing her right rear passenger door away. She spent 18 months recovering from her serious neck, back, and head injury. Those two events might seem enough to cause a student to graduate last.
Ok, don't stop reading....go to Mudville Gazette. Read the whole thing. I promise you it is worth the trip.
Thanks Robert, thanks for sharing your family with us.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
I still have half a house to sort and pack or throw away.
I have three serious topics I want to blog about.
What am I doing? Surfing, listening to YouServed radio, reading about the amazing Lt. John Finn, USN (ret) and thinking "Sing it, sister!" as I read Mrs. P.
Oh, and in a few I am going to park my butt on the couch and watch "Fringe".
I myself have nearly fallen into this trap because of the move. I have been so caught up in which day I can do what. I just now, in opening this email from the US Naval Institute realized that I haven't made any plans to really observe it.
It began perhaps even before the close of our nation’s Civil War: Decoration Day, a time to tidy and adorn gravesites of the wartime fallen. What we now know as Memorial Day, associating final resting places – and memories – with those who gave their last full measure, demands our consideration of their character.
On Memorial Day 2010, the Naval Institute recalls an observation of a former British prime minister.
“The legacy of heroes,” said Benjamin Disraeli, “is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.”
We invite you to ponder the rich inheritance left us by so many, over so many years and conflicts. May their sacrifice be our inspiration.
Thanks! I needed that! Love the Memorial Day slideshow.
I have been asked on occasion to supply identification to a police officer secondary to another matter - traffic stop, etc. So I know there is nothing wrong with that. I know that a police officer can in certain situations compel me to properly identify myself.
I got this in an email from Bigg Bill (a neverending source of useful information) -
From pages 8 & 9 of
"Welcome to the United States A Guide for New Immigrants"
As a permanent resident, it is your responsibility to:
•Obey all federal, state, and local laws.
•Pay federal, state, and local income taxes.
•Register with the Selective Service (U.S.ArmedForces), if you are a male between ages 18 and 26. See page 11 for instructions.
•Maintain your immigration status.
•Carry proof of your permanent resident status at all times.
Permanent residents are issued a valid Permanent Resi-dent Card (Form I-551) as proof of their legal status in the United States.
Some people call this a “Green Card.” If you are a permanent resident who is 18 years or older, you must carry proof of your immigration status.
You must show it to an immigration officer if asked for it.
So, let's recap;
*I*, a natural born citizen of the United States can, by law, be compelled by a law enforcement officer to produce valid identification secondary to some other situation (i.e. traffic stop).
Legal immigrants are instructed to always carry their "Green card" and to show it when asked for it, period.
So, please explain what is wrong with the Arizona law.
Do not, under any circumstances cite your feelings about it or your prognostications about it's effect. Speak only of facts for which you can cite references. State what is wrong with it.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
John Adams, Defense of Constitutions, 1787
My children, my extras, my nieces and nephews, and every other kid that came into my orbit.
Last night while I was sorting and packing I came across snapshots of a Cub Scout ceremony for my Cub Den. My basic stuff is all set at the new place, I am just getting stuff ready to go into storage. This is taking forever because, left to my own devices, I am slow as molasses in winter. I stop and flip through books. I stop and walk over to the front door and look at snapshots in the fading light of day as I face the Coop. I ever popped a DVD in the laptop and watched the little thing Grace put together for Debbie's graduation. I teared up when I saw some of the pics, especially the one of my Tommy, Debbie and Mama Kelley. Then I couldn't make it forward to the next chapter. LOL I called Grace's house and complained to Genevieve that her mother was interfering with my packing.
It's going to take a while, I have lived in this house since July of 1982.
"I am going to bonk YN2"
"He is in Vegas and I am trying to hook him up with a free dinner at the Cafe de Lux in the Palazzo and he is not answering me"
"Ah... I thought that perhaps BONK was a euphemism"
"No, it's a Muriel-ism (my mother)"
Afterwards, I shrugged my shoulders in horror, YN2 is younger than my oldest son....ick! For pity's sake the BMCS is too young for me, nevermind the YN2!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
We set a date.
Just so you know. From USNI blog:
The point is this, and then I will get back to Naval blog stuff after our foray into exterior ballistics:There is a factor in bullet performance that does not neatly fit into measurements of velocity, projectile weight and stability, accuracy, energy transfer calculations, joules of energy at impact, ballistic coefficients, penetration ability, or other measures.
There was more, but I think I dozed off at that point.
So I sent an email beefing that this is supposed to be fun. He promised it would be fun. What's the deal with homework?????
His answer -
"Just feeding your head. I am WAY sexier than Brian Lamb. Or at least I can shoot better."
Yes, yes you are. Fine, I'll go read it, and while I'm at it, I'll read this too - "I Don't Want No Teenage Queen"
Monday, May 24, 2010
Churchill's Deadly Decision
About this Episode
July 3, 1940. After only 54 days into office, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered his Navy to take control of French ships, or destroy them if the French refused to relinquish control. What led to this unprecedented and controversial attack was a dramatic series of events that saw France being overrun by the Nazis in a matter of weeks, Roosevelt fearing that Britain would fall just as quickly, and Churchill needing a way to prove otherwise.
THIRTEEN’s Secrets of the Dead explores the dark side of Britain’s fight against the Nazis in Churchill’s Deadly Decision, premiering nationally on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings). With eye-witness accounts and testimonies from British and French sailors who were involved in the attack, recently unclassified documents between Churchill and Roosevelt, and actual notes from British War Cabinet meetings, the film takes viewers through the harrowing chain of events that led up to the attack, and into the crucial hours during which it actually took place. Actor Liev Schreiber (Taking Woodstock and X-Men Origins: Wolverine) narrates.
Read the rest here. I thought it sounded really interesting, so I have to catch the whole episode.
Basically, what I heard was the President of the United States speaking to the West Point graduates on this jubilant day and telling them "You're not all that!"
From the transcipt -
"Simply put, American innovation must be the foundation of American power"
Yeah, see, not you guys. Not you cadets who just slaved through four years to become the best soldier you could.
"As we build these economic sources of our strength, the second thing we must do is build and integrate the capabilities that can advance our interests, and the common interests of human beings around the world"
See? You thought this day was about you. Nu'uh....it's another stump speech.
I stole this from the wall of a new Facebook friend -
"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see......from Vicki Elam"
This is a great way to describe my plans for the summer. I am going to bum around and just be with people. My parents have two weeks in the family cottage in July and I will just hang there. I will read on the porch while Mum does jigsaw puzzles and Dad does "projects".
I am going to go to Kansas and spend time at the Castle Argghhh!!!, we will drink blueberry margaritas and lounge in the hot tub. I might even blow something up.
I am going to let My Marine take me shooting. He's dddyyyyiiinnnnggggg to do this. He swears if he teaches me I will love it.
If I can finagle it, I am going to dump myself on Mrs. Diva down there in the Southwest.
I am going to organize a visit to the Cold River distillery in Maine and visit the makers of my favorite vodka made from Maine potatoes! Grace, Jen, Mary Ripley, Beth Donovan and anyone else who wants to go.
I am going to go to LA with Gen and see her off on her adventure in Australia in late July.
I am going to visit the Garden state and meet my great blog friend Nichevo. While I am there the Fishmugger is going to take me for ice cream.
I will go stay with Jen a while and visit New York. I have never been to Ground Zero.
I will be in the Charlestown Navy Yard for every USS Constitution function.
Of course, I will be available for any thing the US Navy wants me for, including #NavyWeek.
If I can make Chicago, Blackfive and any Chicago-area bloggers and I will close a pub.
ConcreteBob, I want you to take me on a tour of the US Marine Museum.
I also want to see the Grand Canyon.
I am open to all invitations! Make me an offer.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
I am grateful.
Alright, now I am at Jen's to spiff it up for the open house. Jen's in New York so I am helping out. I have every window open. It is gorgeous here in Rocky Nook. Jen's right on the water. We will miss this house. I don't think Jen will miss mine, lol! I am only half serious, Jen has many happy memories of my house from when she was young. Crazy sleepovers with her Charlestown girls.....but that's another story!
But we still have our Nook connections. Our family still owns the cottage around the corner, so I am here whenever I like.
I have tons to write about last night. The "50th Birthday Party" rocked. I saw so many friends and had so many laughs. In particular I caught up with my friend Eileen. She is a fellow Townie and we have been friends fooorrreeeevvveeeerrrr. We married, had families, etc. But, once we are back together it was just the same as if we still saw each other every day. Except for one thing - Eileen was terribly shy when we were young. I was the bold one - surprise! Now she is more bold than me! I said "Where were you in high school! Can you imagine the trouble we could have gotten into?" Amazing.
I looked good. Eileen looked amazing. Some people...well it was sad. I have to get back to the gym, lol. the next real reunion (this was 32 years) will be 2013. I hope they do something before then.
But not to worry, I have email addresses of the people I want to get together with again. Eileen and I are going to shoot tequila. Mrs. Diva? Are you here? Is it Patron Silver I want? I think I remember that.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
All details are here.
Navy Week is celebrated in cooperation with Boston's Harborfest.
As events firm up, I will post details.
I had a GREAT time in high school. I watch all those movies about teenagers suffering through high school and I am bewildered. I have more happy memories than you can shake a stick at. The movies always dwell on cliques. But I know that when I walked into the cafeteria, I sat with whoever....my Charlestown friends, my Pope John friends, upper classmen, freshman. Whatever!
And I can't be alone in this because my class is always looking for excuses to get together. We have the normal milestone reunions, the last one was 30 years in 2008. And we have extra.
Tonight is the "Class of '78 50th Birthday Bash Summer Kickoff" for Pope John XXIII Central High School (me) and Everett High School (others). Pope John is in Everett so lots of my classmates had close ties to that school. I get to go even though I am not turning 50 this year, lol. I was only 17 when I graduated, so I am only 49 this year.
I have to find my yearbook, right now it's chaos in my house with the move. I will scan my pic. I was voted "Most School Spirited". You're not surprised are you?
And I was an honorary member of the football team. Senior year I was talking to some friends about the senior elections. One of the football players noted that someone from the football team was running for every office. I disagreed, I was running for secretary against Gretchen. I wasn't all that interested but Mr. Totten, my government teacher, had leaned on me. He said there had to be competition for every office. I didn't really campaign and was just as happy when Grethchen won. So I knew it was two girls running for secretary. But Keith listed them off office by office and when he got to secretary, he pointed at me. I laughed and questioned my "football team" status and he amended it to "honorary".
A few days later before the all important Malden Catholic football game, they were headed off to practice on rainy dreary day. I was standing outside the gym shouting nonsense that anyone who knows me now would be familiar with today. "Practice hard! Nevermind the rain! Play tough!". I might have teased them a little because I was headed into the nice warm dry gym where I was manager of the girl's volleyball team.
Volleyball was just about over when a breathless freshman stuck her hear on the door and told me someone downstairs wanted me. I turned to Sr. Cathy Mozzicato for permission to run downstairs and hopped up when I got the nod. The stairway was a tight square, when you came into the top of the stairwell, you couldn't see the bottom. But I heard a funny noise and more than one person calling "McInnis". I made it to the bottom curve and there was what seemed like the whole football team trying to squeeze into the single door at the bottom. They were wet and muddy........
And every last one of them gave me a hug. I felt hands in my hair and on my face. They were telling me that they wanted to share the experience since I was one of them. LOL! I had mud everywhere! All over my hair...my face....in my ears.... All over my starched white blouse (no, I didn't starch it!) and my legs.
You think I behaved after that? Hell no!!!
Friday, May 21, 2010
Some things are happening. I have had "the talk" with my coworkers. I have had "the talk" with my sisters - who laughed at the notion that this was *news*. Jennifer said she and Grace have been discussing this and trying to guess when I would talk to them about it. They have known for weeks. the signs were apparently very clear to them. Actually, Jennifer ripped me so bad that I was laughing too hard to defend myself.
In light of all this "truthiness", I have relented and made an appointment with Dr. Miller, my oncologist.
I called yesterday -
"Hi, I need to make an appointment with Dr. Miller."
"Have you seen him before?"
"Yes, it's been a while."
She took my name, asked for my medical record number and then my date of birth. Then she asked me to hold on.
"Can you come in on the 25th?" Seriously? Next Tuesday? When I made my first appointment in 2008, they were booking six weeks out. But now I can be seen in four business days? I explained that I couldn't do the 25th.
"What about the 4th?" No, sorry. That's the day I am taking off to get ready for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary party.
"Ok, yes, I will come in on the 8th. So....I'm on the bad girl list, huh?"
She just laughed. But clearly, my file is flagged with a note that if I call, get me in quick before I disappear again.
So.......shall we start a pool on what the number will be? The normal range of IgA for non-cancerous patients is 70-350. A chart of my numbers is here. When I was diagnosed on 06/10/2008, my number was 5948. My most recent NEMC result on 03/24/09 was 4190. I have not let them do a single thing to me since then.
I'm going to guess 5150.
Leave your guess in the comments....I'll have to come up with a prize for the person who comes closest without going over. Results can take 48 to 72 hours to come to me, so we will run this pool until Friday June 11th.
NavyCS is guessing 300. What a nice guy. But he is going to lose.
Pia comments with no guess, lol. Follow the directions!
Pat in work - guesses 4,568
My sister Jen says this is morbid, sick and twisted, so she guesses it fits.
It's ok people..... I think it's funny.
Pia takes 1971, hmmm....why would that be a good year, lol!
Scott the Badger takes 795.
AW1 Tim thinks I'm an angel, lol! And takes 2500
You do not want to miss this. Everyone who has the chance to listen to or meet CAPT Hudner should take full advantage. I have been this lucky on a few occasions.
When I first met CAPT Hudner, I wanted to post about it, so I Googled him. I read a bunch of stuff and looked at many pictures. I came upon this picture and I was struck. I actually got a little choked up think how hard this must have been for Mrs. Brown. She must have been so conflicted. I look at CAPT Hudner - he is literally beaming. As well he should be. He went on to make many more contributions to the Navy. But then I look at Mrs. Brown and my heart breaks.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
This is the latest - Get over and read them!
"Dispatches from Everest: Preparing for the final assault"
I think I could do this? What do you think? It's only for a few months. Sometime this fall I will be going back to my parent's because chemo will be so debilitating that I won't be able to live alone.
So zipping along on a scooter seems like a really good idea. Thoughts?
Everyone Draws Mohammed Day is also being celebrated at "This Ain't Hell" and National Review Online.
On Friday, May 14, 2010 District 1 celebrated a Change of Command and a Retirement
From the Web Journal of Admiral Thad Allen
D1 Change of Command and RADM Nimmich Retirement
Earlier today, RADM Dan Neptun relieved RADM Joe Nimmich as the First District Commander in an outstanding ceremony at Boston's historic Faneuil Hall. The Change of Command is a time-honored tradition that represents a transfer of total responsibility, authority, and accountability from one individual to another. VADM Parker, our Atlantic Area Commander, was the presiding official.
It was my honor to preside over RADM Nimmich's retirement ceremony. Having known and served with RADM Nimmich for more than 37 years, I had the distinct pleasure of highlighting his career of dedicated service and his unmatched commitment to the well-being of those that have worked both with and for him. His performance and the extraordinary work of the men and women of the First District is second-to-none.
Congratulations to RADM Nimmich (Ret.), and best of luck to RADM Neptun!
VADM David Pekoske
May I add my own best wishes for RADM Dan Neptun & RADM Joe Nimmich. Thank you for your service gentlemen!
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I am thrilled! I have met CAPT Hudner several times, the most recent being this past August.
There will be a countdown....I don't want you to miss it. CAPT Hudner is older now, but when he tells this story in that low key way great men do....I get chills.
Doesn't hurt that he was a drop dead gorgeous guy back in the day!
Fast forward 20 years. Last night I watched it again.
It was reeeeeeeeediculous how much more I understood!!!
Sunday, May 16, 2010
I'm reading a few things in a leisurely fashion.....
USNI blog has the first in a series of dispatches from Eric Kapitulik as he climbs Mount Everest. I've got to admit, I don't get the draw. But even so, it is might interesting reading.
Plus it's a welcome break from all the people in traditional media with low comprehension scores. Go read this letter. Go on, it's not that long. Don't be lazy.
Back? Ok, now tell me, do you think this headline - "Milbloggers Urge of 'Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell'" fairly represents the content or intent of the letter? Because if you do, then I fear you would not have done well with Sister Mary Esther up on the top o' Bunker Hill.
What the letter clearly says is that we believe a change is coming and we want to be sure that all the relevant voices are heard. If you get something else out of that, it is projection on your part.
Ok, I have sat here by the pool so long that a minor storm blew in....cooled the air by at least 15 degrees, and nearly cleared the pool area, Very nice. The very nice, eatern European waitress remembered me from yesterday and my pina coladas are accompanied by nuts and bar snacks.
SB says I just loved to be fawned over. I told him that he should fawn over me....he said NO!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
"Life as a Military Wife.....the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth..."
Friday, May 14, 2010
I put out a plea to one of my email groups asking if anyone could get me into CENTCOM and Carrie came through. She hooked me up via email with Lt Col. Mike Bodkin, USMC. Now I would guess not many people ask to come visit Mike at work, but he was very gracious and took time out of his busy day to talk to me on the phone and we set up a time for me to come by.
I was there at the gate barely in time. Do you know that it can take several days to travel just a few miles down Dale Mabry Boulevard???? OK, I am exaggerating just a little bit. Once I get there and have no credentials what-so-ever, I was redirected to the pass office. I'm used to this sort of thing and I know to have something on hand to entertain myself such as a book or the phone, so I can Tweet.
I got my stuff and headed for the gate again. Mike had told me to ask for directions to building 540. Easy enough, right? LOL, the guard at the gate looked at my day pass, walked around my totally cool Smart car that I had rented for the day and then started to wave me through. "I need directions to Building 540, please." my pen & wheelbook at the ready. "What is that?" the guard asked. "I don't know numbers" I almost laughed out loud, I was already way late for meeting Lt Col Bodkin....now I was going to be driving around blind. But the guard did know where CENTCOM headquarters was and I headed off.
I couldn't see anywhere to park, so I called up to Mike's office. He wasn't available, but I got his charming Brit coworker who guided me in by having me park at the "BX". At first i thought he was making fun of my perfectly proper way of speaking which some people feel compelled to comment on...... But no, Dave announced he was the Brit in the group and proceeded to give me better turn-by-turn directions than the navigation system in the car.
It was Dave, who is at CENTCOM as a coalition partner, that came down to meet me and get me in. He was a very gracious tour guide and ran through CENTCOM's mission, AOR - If you go to the Central Command website and click on the link in the upper right hand corner there is a nice interactive map of their AOR - "area of operation". Dave pointed out a picture on the wall of General David Petraeus....I didn't name drop and tell Dave that I knew who GEN Petraeus and had in fact had lunch with him on Wednesday!
I think the thing that Dave & Mike most clearly reinforced for me was the importance of the coalition partners and the value of jointness. Which is pretty funny since I would say that was one of the two biggest themes of Joint Warfighting conference. My two trips dovetailed pretty well. We discussed jointness & communicating with our allies in theory in Virginia Beach and I saw it in practice in Tampa.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
But I just found out the the MOAA Spouse Symposium is happening down the hall! They are livestreaming it here.
I've already gone and bothered the organizers and I am going back shortly. They were very gracious and gave me all their materials and a bag!
I will miss the afternoon panel with Andi Hurley (without Andi there is no Milblog Conference, so I owe her lots! Plus I really like her. She keeps my friend Mr. Andi happy.); Ruthie - AirForce Spouse (who I have hung out with) and Kate Horrell - Navy Spouse.
At 10:15 am they are having a panel on Social Media....I think I'll go and see what I can learn!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
How lucky are you that I found it?
Over on the Naval Insitute's website, Tony Germanotta explains what really happened yesterday while I was writing mash posts about retired Navy Admirals!
Joint Warfighting Conference Report - Tuesday, May 22, 2010
It really was as informative as Tony makes out...as opposed to my nonsense.
This post is from Paul Cleary and it's about the first speaker yesterday morning, LTG Michael Oates.
This post is from my partner in crime for this conference - Eagle1.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Sure there was all the blogging, tweeting and facebooking I have to do for the USNI
Sure there is networking to do.
But come on, we all know my mission here. To meet ADM Keating, shake his hand and not make an ass of myself.
I introduced myself, have him my silly little gift, didn't stutter, drool, or step on his foot. I also remembered to mention the person who wanted to be remembered to ADM Keating.
He laughed at my funny little offering. I went to M&M.com and ordered up several bags of customized M&Ms. They are all blue and they say - "US Navy" "Huzzah" & "Bravo Zulu".
I got bags to give CDR O'Malley at his retirement; Master Chief Twiford for his frocking;the person who makes all this happen for me - Mary Ripley, Media Marketing Director of the US Naval Institute; and ADM Keating. There are two more bags, but they are headed overseas and have not yet been received.
Bonus! The favor at each place setting from Booz Allen Hamilton is CHOCOLATE, thanks guys!
Monday, May 10, 2010
I've checked the schedule and I already know what I am looking forward to most....meeting ADM Timothy J. Keating, USN (ret). I have been a fan ever since SB picked him in the CNO Pool. If the favorite Naval Consort speaks...one must pay attention.
Since then I have had many chances to observe his calm demeanor and wit as he handled the press. I once had the chance to speak with him during a Bloggers Roundtable.
But I will be happy all day, there is plenty to see!
We will start the day at 0900 with a kickoff address from LTG Michael Oates, USA.
The keynote address will be given by my friend......ADM Harvey, USN.
Once again, thanks to the US Naval Institute for this opportunity.
I was up at 7:15 am, out to grab coffee for Mary and tea for me. Then on the phone with work for a bit. Now I am just wrapping up two days worth of emailing,etc.
We go to Norfolk Naval Base at 2 pm. So I think right now, even though no one is on the beach, I am going to go jump in the ocean. It's only 53, but come on! It's right there!
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Well in my best Scarlett O'Hara, I decided to think about it tomorrow!
I threw everything into the car and zipped off to Boston. Thank goodness it's a Sunday morning, because I was 45 minutes late leaving the house...no one was surprised. I get to my parent's house, haul all my stuff inside and ask to borrow a bigger suitcase. Of course, my Dad has every possible size suitcase....one inside the other like one of those russian dolls.
Taxi to Logan, the driver was a former Sailor, '68'to '76 from Somerville. The ride passed quickly even though we had to circle back from City Square and give my Dad back his car keys which were still in my pocket.
Sunday is quiet at Logan, so that was easy enough. More later....
Saturday, May 08, 2010
Check out this cool animated map that CDR Bullard sent me.
The Battle of The Coral Sea
I love stuff like this. I find visual aides very helpful. There is only so much I can absorp strictly through reading. Although I must be honest and tell you my preferred way of learning Naval history is through John Wayne movies...."In Harm's Way" anyone?
Friday, May 07, 2010
Thursday, May 06, 2010
2010 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Some 200 wounded active duty members and military veterans will compete in the inaugural Warrior Games May 10-14 in Colorado Springs, Colo., Defense Department officials announced today.
The U.S. Olympic Committee will host the games, and events will include shooting, swimming, archery, track, discus, shot put, cycling, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball, Army Brig. Gen. Gary Cheek, commander of the U.S. Army Warrior Transition Command, said at a Pentagon news conference.
Athletes will be recruited from each of the military services, including the Coast Guard, through an independent selection processes. Many already participate in some kind of training with Paralympics coordinators, but the competitors also will train with Olympic and Paralympics coaches at the Olympic training facilities in Colorado for about a month before the actual competitions, Cheek said.
The competition is open to military members and veterans with bodily injuries as well as mental wounds of war, such as post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.
The Army will be represented by 100 soldiers chosen out of a pool of almost 9,000 wounded warriors. The Marine Corps will send 50 competitors,the Air Force will send 25, and the Coast Guard and Navy will combine to send 25 more, Cheek said.
Go to the Burn Pit, read, spread the word, and if you are near there - GO!
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Godspeed, sir, and thank you for your service.
Go read this post at USNI
From Our Archive: Captain Jack Fellowes, USN (Ret.)
This from the fav BMCS - "And just so you know, I found myself a NAVY network and a NAVY computer here and it LOVES your blog."
Ahhhh, and the world is right again.
**UPDATE - This note from Uncle Jimbo
"Maybe they meant incomprehensible and just misspelled it.
Oh, someone is in trouble now!
I got this Facebook message from the favorite BMCS -
"And unfortunately, I cannot view your blog from here. The Army computers that I use say it is an "undesirable" site. Access denied. The Navy wouldn't do you like that."
There were a lot of words they could have used.....but "undesirable"????? Really?
That's just wrong! If the Army wants to say this site is full of swabbie doxie nonsense, well that's fine (and true). But "undesirable"!!!
On a happier note, this pic made another valued member of Princess Crabby's Navy Coterie, YN2, realize he was in close proximity to my BMCS. They will have a cup of coffee and discuss how lucky they are to be in my good graces.
I told the girls in the office and Rachael pointed out it was "The Six Degrees of BostonMaggie".
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Today, there were calls about the Times Square Terrorist - "Oh his house was foreclosed? It's George Bush's fault"
And #aquapocalypse - (to the tune of David Bowie's "Major Tom")
"MWRA to Mayor Tom.
MWRA to Mayor Tom.
Take your dys-in-tary pills before you turn your faucets on!"
I figure I need it through the fall. After that I will likely be living in Charlestown, where a car is not so necessary and can be somewhat of a pain - insurance.....parking....etc.
Since the house is beign foreclosed, my credit is "poor".
Ok, who's got some beater in their yard that will be me through the next 6 or 7 months?
My budget is about a grand.
Monday, May 03, 2010
There's video here.
From their website -
During May 3 – 9, 2010 the city of Boston will open its doors to hundreds of Marines for Marine Week Boston! This event will honor and recognize the contributions of Marines, including Boston-based hometown heroes and their families.
Spectators can expect to see Marines volunteering with community groups, hosting physical fitness challenges and sports clinics in city parks and showcasing state-of-the-art Marine vehicles, aircraft and equipment. Bostonians can also enjoy musical performances by various Marine musical ensembles throughout the week. The full Marine Week schedule of events will be posted here in April 2010.
Leading up to May 3rd, be on the lookout for Marines at local events, including St. Patrick’s Day Parades, and the Boston Marathon.
For the latest news and information follow Marine Week on Facebook and Twitter and be sure to regularly check the site for updates.
Sunday, May 02, 2010
We laughed and joked that it was their way of getting you to buy more beer by telling you not to drink the water.
But no, there was a huge water main break between the Quabbin and Boston. Boston and many surrounding communities were under orders to boil their tap water until further notice. We had no idea. Our day of hanging out and attending CDR O'Malley's retirement ceremony had left us totally out of touch with the outside world.
How ironic! We were just a mile from our parent's house.
My sister-in-law works at a supermarket in Charlestown and managed to grab two gallons of bottled water for my parents before heading home to Tewksbury where they were not affected. She told my parents it was the most boring, sleepy Saturday imaginable and then suddenly just after 4 pm.....chaos!
So this morning, I hear it for the first time on WBUR. I shower and dress and head out to Walmart. Kingston gets their water from deep aquifers and has never had a problem that I know of. As I left the Lane I pondered, left and south to the Plymouth Walmart or right and north to the Hanover Walmart. I chose Plymouth - good call.
As the Walmart employee was stocking a picked over shelf, I grabbed two cases of 24 ounce bottles and 6 gallon bottles. She turned to me and asked "Headed to Boston?" I told her I was. She just nodded.
At the checkout I started to pull the water out of the cart and the cashier said "Don't bother." She pressed some buttons and I was all rung up. "Headed to Boston?" I said I was going to bring this to my parents. She told me that every Walmart north of us was picked clean. Glad I went south.
Then it was off to my parents house. I chuckled as I remembered the previous night's discussion with Jennifer and the Bullards about peak oil and water shortages.
I knew Grace was fine.
I pulled up in front of my parent's house and started putting water just inside the gate. Then I pulled into a parking spot a few doors down. When I got out of the car my father was at the front gate laughing. "I was wondering who brought the water" He had seen the car, but not me and it's the rental car still.
So everything is fine - right? No!
Sam Adams brewery has announced they are shutting down production. I called Jen in New York - "I'll have to buy all the beer I can find in New York!" See.... #Aquapocalypse has consequences!
After the end of tour award and flag presentation by RDML Watters, it was time for "The Watch".
CDR William A Bullard III, USN, 70th in command of USS Constitution read "The Watch". I could be wrong about this part, but it seems "The Watch" is a Chief Petty Officer thing. This is of course appropriate since CDR O'Malley is a former BMC, which makes him a Mustang. CDR Bullard had to alter the script slightly to accomodate CDR O'Malley's longer service with the Navy. I also noted a friendly zing when he read the line - "Yes, even before some of us were born in this world".
Then the Chaplain, CDR Manual A. Biadog, Jr, USN gave the benediction, accompanied by "Eternal Father Strong to Save".
Finally, BMC John Goeden, USN, piped CDR O'Malley ashore.
In this short clip, RDML Watters presents the end of tour award and a flag that flew over USS Arizona on August 9, 1999.
Jen and I got there about 5:30, a half hour early, so I could scope out a good spot for the two video cameras I brought. I had my Flip video camera that Danny gave me aboard the USS Kearsarge. I also had my sister Grace's video camera which I had NO idea how to use, lol.
I checked in with the person setting things up and asked about placement of the cameras. I was apparently free to put them where I wished and settled on what I thought was an excellent spot just in front of the most forward mast. There was a solid thick rail & I settled the little Flip & it's tripod there. At first I assumed the podium would be centered in front, but it was actually off to the left. When I finally get the videos up, you will see at one point I adjust the angle. I thought about stay in the little cordoned off area behind the video, but Jen & I thought it wasn't necessary. Bad call number one! LOL I couldn't quite see the display so when I did adjust the angle, I stopped just short of the guest of honor! Of course!
The ceremony was just over an hour and I am hoping to grab pics from the others who were present. I am told that CDR O'Malley's sister Jayne is an excellent photographer and I know I want those pictures. Jayne totally rocked a awesome white dress, Jen noted that Jayne "knew the rule" and pointed to her beige shoes. Are Bostonians the only ones who adhere to the white shoes after Memorial Day rule anymore? LOL, we get it.
After the ceremony we went over to the Coast Guard Station in the North End for the reception. We were hanging out with CDR Bullard, his wife Sarah, CDR O'Malley when I decided this was when I wanted to give my gift. It was small and silly, but I liked it. Plus, if you looked at all the gifts he got, you would have immediately picked out mine. They were personalized M&Ms that read "Bravo Zulu" and "US Navy Huzzah!" Cool, huh?
Then CDR O'Malley decided this would be a good time to present CDR Bullard with a gift from the Stephen Decatur House. CDR Bullard is one of my favorite Navy History buffs. After admiring the gift, I told him that it was worthy of a blog post for the Naval History Blog....I've always got my hand out on someone's behalf!
I got to spend some time hanging out with Bill & Sarah, which was very nice. Jen liked them immediately. We really are the same person sometimes.
I gave CDR O'Malley a "Thank You" card instead of a "Congratulations" card. I know a lot of people look at it as something to celebrate, and certainly 31 years of Navy service is quite an accomplishment. But there is no way that guy is happy to be retired from the Navy. So my card just said "Thank you for your service. Fair winds and a following Sea, Sailor!"
Anyway, I am playing with this video and learning in stops and starts. All or part of it will be up as I can do it.
The only thing that was timed was CDR O'Malley's retirement ceremony aboard USS Constitution.
We got manicures and pedicures and went shopping and had lunch.
I was a little jittery about having volunteered to video the ceremony so some of his Sailors currently billeted in Afghanistan. I mean, come on....you know about the tremor, etc. Plus I am always biting off more than I can chew.
At one point I told Jen that I wished it were Sunday morning and I was looking back on a successful mission!
Now it is Sunday and it did go well. Jen & I had a great time!