Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bravo Zulu, Albert Snyder!

Albert Snyder, the grieving father of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, USMC, sued those assclowns at the Westboro Baptist Church. Today he won on EVERY count. Congratulations to the panel of nine federal jurors who returned the correct verdict with a 10.9 million dollar bang!

Mr. Snyder testified ""They turned this funeral into a media circus, and they wanted to hurt my family," Snyder testified, according to the Associated Press. "They wanted their message heard, and they didn't care who they stepped over. My son should have been buried with dignity, not with a bunch of clowns outside."

You are entirely correct, sir. Mr. Snyder, please accept my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your son. Please know that I sincerely appreciated his service. I further appreciate the service you have rendered in filing this lawsuit. This verdict will not wipe away your pain, but you are helping to make sure that other families do not suffer what you have gone through.

The Sea Chase

This is my all time favorite John Wayne movie. Yeah, I know SB, "In Harm's Way".... I'm not saying it's his greatest work that was "The Searchers". I'm saying that when young Maggie watched Lana Turner throw herself in John Wayne's arms (1:21 in this clip), ahhhh. If I had the ability to rewind and replay back then, I would have just sat there all day. He shuts the door and the next scene is the two of them talking and smoking in a darkened room. The lights were on when she came in. I didn't know what I knew, but I knew something. Most importantly, I knew I wanted it!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Valor-IT Snail Mail Address

For those who are not comfortable donating on the 'Net.

Soldiers' AngelsProject Valour-IT Fund - Navy Team
1792 E. Washington Blvd
Pasadena, Ca 91104

Please be sure to write NAVY on your check.

Monday, October 29, 2007

White House names 2007 'Medal of Freedom' recipients

White House names 2007 'Medal of Freedom' recipients
The White House on Monday announced the recipients of the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest US civilian honor, including a Cuban dissident, Liberia's president, and a beloved US author.
US President George W. Bush was to honor Cuban anti-abortion and pro-democracy activist Oscar Elias Biscet, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and "To Kill A Mockingbird" novelist Harper Lee at a ceremony on November 5, the White House said.
The other five winners include the 1992 Nobel economics prize winner Gary Becker; Human Genome Project leader Francis Collins; US civil rights leader Benjamin Hooks; former House Foreign Affairs committee chairman Henry Hyde; and groundbreaking television executive Brian Lamb.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom, established in 1963, is awarded for an honoree's "especially meritorious contribution" to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, or for their accomplishments in the areas of culture or "other significant public or private endeavors."
Congratulations, Brian! Brian Lamb is the sexiest man on TV, it says so right in my profile!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I Haven't Said Much........

Jonathan Papelbon celebrated on the field as the Red Sox won the World Series. (Getty Images Photo / Jamie Squire) .........cause I don't like to jinx things. So now, I'll just say SWEET!
And I like the sound of this - "Red Sox Have the World at Their Feet"

It Begins

Click on the pic, baby!

Thank you Henri Bendel

I've been such a good girl today.......laundry.....dishes........posting about Valor-IT.
My reward?
A long shower with some delicious Moulton Brown Rose body wash. Then I explored my bedroom to find some body cream to compliment it. I am diligently trying to use stuff I already have before buying new stuff. There is a body cream/body butter/body scrub/etc. moratorium going on here. I already have enough of this stuff to cream/soften/scent a small island nation. So, I poke and move and open until....sure enough.....I find Henri Bendel Rose Petals body cream.mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Saturday, October 27, 2007

This Is Why The Armorer........

won't get me on the MilBloggers Roundtable. He thinks this is what would happen if I met MG Rick Lynch.

September 27, 2004

The Boston Red Sox ended an 86-year drought and buried the "Curse of the Bambino." They won the World Series! Their sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals was almost — but not quite — anti-climactic. The pivotal battle had taken place in the American League championship against their nemesis, the New York Yankees. Down three games to none, and facing elimination, again, Boston did what no team had ever done before in baseball history. They came back to win the series 4–3. Then they took on and dispensed with the Cardinals. Jubilant Red Sox fans around the world celebrated. Three days later, an estimated 3,000,000 of them lined the parade route in Boston and cheered themselves hoarse as the victorious team passed by.

In my email this morning from Mass Moments. There's more here.

Happy Birthday, Toni!

Happy Birthday, Toni! I love you very much. You are the nearest thing I have to a daughter and I'm glad you are part of my life.

Randolph Airmen line streets, pay respects to fallen Soldier

Randolph Airmen line streets, pay respects to fallen Soldier
by Tech. Sgt. Mike Hammond
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs
10/26/2007 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Hundreds of Airmen, Air Force civilians, and their family members lined both sides of Harmon Drive here to pay their respects to a Soldier killed in Iraq.
U.S. Army Spc. Vincent A. Madero, 22, of Port Hueneme, Calif., died Oct .17 in Balad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV.
Word spread quickly across the base that a warrior was making his final flight home this morning. The crowd filed past the Taj Mahal and began lining up along the route that would take the Soldier's body off base.

When Specialist Madero's body arrived just before noon today, members of his family were present to receive him. As the funeral procession slowly drove from the flightline, uniformed members saluted and civilians held hands over their hearts -- showing respect for a fallen comrade.
The specialist was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas.
Final respects
Hundreds of men and women at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, line the streets of Harmon Drive Oct. 26 as a show of respect for U.S. Army Spc. Vincent A. Madero, a soldier killed while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Specialist Madero died Oct. 17 in Balad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV. Specialist Madero's body was flown to Randolph Air Force Base and received by his family. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joel Martinez)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hall of Heroes Ceremony

Maggie's Favorite Bubblehead

Writes about this day in 1944. Go read.

USS Hornet

The Battle of Santa Cruz Island took place 26 October 1942 without contact between surface ships of the opposing forces. That morning Enterprise planes bombed carrier Zuiho. Planes from Hornet severely damaged carrier Shokaku, and cruiser Chikuma. Two other cruisers were also attacked by Hornet aircraft. Meanwhile, Hornet, herself, was fighting off a coordinated dive bombing and torpedo plane attack which left her so severely damaged that she had to be abandoned. Commented one sailor, awaiting rescue, when asked if he planned to re-enlist, "Dammit, yes — on the new Hornet!" Captain Mason, the last man on board, climbed over the side and survivors were soon picked up by destroyers.
The abandoned Hornet, ablaze from stem to stern, refused to accept her intended fate from friends. She still floated after receiving nine torpedoes and more than 400 rounds of 5-inch shellfire from destroyers Mustin and Anderson. Japanese destroyers hastened the inevitable by firing four 24-inch torpedoes at her blazing hull. At 0135, 27 October 1942, she finally sank off the Santa Cruz Islands. Her proud name was struck from the Navy List 13 January 1943.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

October 25, 1944

During the Battle off Samar, 25 October 1944, while commanding Samuel B. Roberts, Lieutenant Commander Copeland led his ship and crew in an attack on a greatly superior Japanese battleship and cruiser force. Though his ship was lost, this action helped defeat the Japanese counter-offensive against the Leyte invasion. For this, he was awarded the Navy Cross.

"This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can." With these words, Lieutenant Commander Robert W. Copeland addressed the crew of the destroyer escort USS Samuel B. Roberts on the morning of October 25, 1944, off the Philippine Island of Samar. On the horizon loomed the mightiest ships of the Japanese navy, a massive fleet that represented the last hope of a staggering empire. All that stood between it and Douglas MacArthur’s vulnerable invasion force were the Roberts and the other small ships of a tiny American flotilla poised to charge into history. Read more."This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can."....LCDR Robert W. Copeland

Lawmaker under fire for Marine T-shirt order

Lawmaker under fire for Marine T-shirt order
By Sarah Skidmore - The Associated PressPosted : Wednesday Oct 17, 2007 5:41:17 EDT
PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Rep. David Wu fought criticism Monday following a report in the Seattle Times that he got the U.S. Marines to buy shirts that can melt in battle, causing severe burns.
The Times reported on the T-shirts Sunday as part of a story about the links between campaign contributions and earmarks, which are appropriations lawmakers tack on to spending bills that often benefit specific companies or organizations.
“These are difficult, cynical times and frequently people look for the worst,” the Democrat told the Associated Press Monday.
Wu helped get a $2 million earmark in the 2006 budget for InSport, a Beaverton company in his district. The report found InSport, parent company Vital Apparel and executives from both companies donated more than $7,000 to Wu.
But a year after the earmark was set, the Marines banned polyester T-shirts for use in combat after finding the fabric melts in intense heat, adhering to the skin.
“This essentially creates a second skin and can lead to horrific, disfiguring burns,” Capt. Lynn E. Welling, the 1st Marine Logistics Group head surgeon, who conducted research in Iraq, told the Seattle Times.
After the ban, Wu inserted another $1 million earmark into the next defense bill to make the Marines buy the InSport shirts again, the Times reported, noting the company was working to develop a heat-resistant shirt for combat use.
The Oregon congressman and the company denied any wrongdoing Monday.
Wu, who noted that no InSport shirts have melted on a soldier, said he wasn’t aware of the problem until his staff brought it to his attention, which was after the $2 million contract was in place.
The ban on synthetic fabrics took place in the middle of the purchasing process, InSport said. The company said the Marines decided to use the product for training instead.
InSport has worked with the military for about a decade, InSport spokesman David Costello said. The Marines have since gone on to buy other products from the company without earmarks, although the company did not win the bid to provide the fire-resistant T-shirts.
Both InSport and Wu said there was no link between the reported earmarks and campaign contributions.
“There are a lot of people who ask me for earmarks and the vast majority do not give campaign contributions,” Wu said. “There is no link.”

HatTip to Jim Bishop at the AOSHACK where they believe "IYAOYAS!"

I Am Exhausted!

And it's only going to get worse.
This afternoon at 1500 my boss sprang a little surprise. Could I go to a conference tomorrow? Could I pull together some documentation for it? Even though it's getting late in the day. Even though people are starting to leave. Even though I am wayyyyyy far behind already today because I had a lunch date??????????


So I am still in the office at 2127 when the text messages start coming in from Jen.
J: "Meet me here."
M: "Maybe, I'll try."
J: "Now meet me at East Bay."
M: "Soon."
J: "Dick (the bartender) is asking for you."
M: "I'm hurrying."
So I wrap up my project..............skip the gym and head for East Bay where Dick is nice enough to introduce me to the bartender I kissed good night Sunday. I like to know their names, I'm old fashioned that way.
So we stay for end of the Sox game and now I am home to catch 6 hours of sleep.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How Much Trouble Am I In?

So earlier today I post about this crazy story on Yahoo. Some crazy thing about Washington having the best dressed state troopers. Whatever. I explain why it's impossible:

"What utter nonsense! There is nothing hotter than a Massachusetts State Trooper. Good kissers too!"

This post gets picked up by Universal Hub, thank you Adam. This, of course, pushes the number of visitors up.

Visitor #35,503 guessed it, someone from the Washington State Patrol!
IP Address 167.72.240.# (Washington State Patrol)

Hehehe! Don't worry boys, if you ask real nice I'll give you a chance to prove me wrong on the kissing part.

I Am So Far Removed........

........from the author of this piece on the editorial page of the NYT. I can't even grasp how this person's mind works. I read once that a liberal is someone who's interests aren't at stake at the moment. (I don't remember where or I'd attribute it.) I can only surmise that's what we are seeing here. This is someone who doesn't have to worry about paying their bills and taxes. This is someone who isn't working every angle to get their own kid into college.

A Chance to Dream

The Senate has a chance today to pluck a small gem from the ashes of the immigration debate. A critical procedural vote is scheduled on the Dream Act, a bill to open opportunities for college and military service to the children of undocumented immigrants.

Roughly 65,000 children graduate each year from high school into a constrained future because they cannot work legally or qualify for most college aid. These are the overlooked bystanders to the ferocious bickering over immigration. They did not ask to be brought here, have worked hard in school and could, given the chance, hone their talents and become members of the homegrown, high-skilled American work force.

The bill is one of the least controversial immigration proposals that have been offered in the last five years. But that doesn’t mean much. Like everything else not directly involving border barricades and punishment, it has been branded as “amnesty,” and has languished.

But this bill is different, starting with its broad, bipartisan support, from its original sponsor, the Utah Republican Orrin Hatch, to its current champion, Richard Durbin, Democrat of Illinois. Repeated defeats have forced Mr. Durbin to pare away at the bill’s ambitions. It focuses now on a narrow sliver of a worthy group: children who entered the country before age 16, lived here continuously for at least five years and can show good moral character and a high school diploma. They would receive conditional legal status for six years, during which they could work, go to college and serve in the military. If they completed at least two years of college or military service, they would be eligible for legalization.

These young people — their numbers are estimated at anywhere from a million to fewer than 100,000 — are in many ways fully American, but their immigration status puts a lock on their potential right after high school. They face the prospect of living in the shadows as their parents do, fearing deportation to countries they do not know, yearning to educate themselves in a country that ignores their aspirations.

The Dream Act rejects that unacceptable waste of young talent. The opportunity is there, provided the votes are there in the Senate.

What nonsense. The most ridiculous part is "The bill is one of the least controversial immigration proposals that have been offered in the last five years." It's like a criminal assaulting you and saying "Hitting you in the arm is ok, it was the least painful."
I'd call my Senators and Congressman, but Good Lord what's the point.
I'm getting in the shower now.

Ridiculous Item of the Day

In this handout photo provided by the Washington State Patrol, troopers display a variety of their uniforms, including SWAT, K-9, sergeant, winter (also known as dress, with a long sleeve and bow tie), honor guard, summer (short sleeve), bicycle and motorcycle, June 28, 2007, in Olympia, Wash. The troopers are, from left, Detective Orest Wilson, Trooper Kerry Kinzley with K-9 Buddy, Sergeant Johnny Alexander, Trooper Shannon MacCormac, Sergeant John-Paul Sager, Trooper Bryan Ensley, Trooper Sherman Fox, Trooper James More and Trooper Curty Boyle. The look that lead-footed drivers know all too well: the crisp black bow-tie and blue 'smokey bear' hat of the Washington State Patrol troopers are, according to a national trade group, the best-looking state police uniforms in the country. (AP Photo/Washington State Patrol, Weldon Wilson)
What utter nonsense! There is nothing hotter than a Massachusetts State Trooper. Good kissers too!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sharp drop seen in US deaths in Iraq

In this photo released by the U.S. Army, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of the U.S. army's Third Infantry Division, second left, speaks with Sunni Sheik Emad Ghurtani, right, in Haswah, Iraq Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007. October is on course to record the second steep decline in U.S. military and Iraqi civilian deaths in as many months, a testament, American commanders say, to the U.S. troop increase and Iraqi disgust with al-Qaida and Shiite militia extremists. Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch points proudly to what the military calls "Concerned Citizens," Iraqis, both Shiite and Sunni, who have joined the Americans to fight militants. He says he's signed up 20,000 of them in the last four months. (AP Photo/ Capt. Allie Weiskopf Chase, U.S. Army, HO)
Even the Globe has to acknowledge how awesome Rick is!
By Steven R. Hurst, Associated Press Writer October 23, 2007
BAGHDAD --October is on course to record the second consecutive decline in U.S. military and Iraqi civilian deaths and Americans commanders say they know why: the U.S. troop increase and an Iraqi groundswell against al-Qaida and Shiite militia extremists.
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch points to what the military calls "Concerned Citizens" -- both Shiites and Sunnis who have joined the American fight. He says he's signed up 20,000 of them in the past four months.
"I've never been more optimistic than I am right now with the progress we've made in Iraq. The only people who are going to win this counterinsurgency project are the people of Iraq. We've said that all along. And now they're coming forward in masses," Lynch said in a recent interview at a U.S. base deep in hostile territory south of Baghdad. Outgoing artillery thundered as he spoke.
Read the rest here.......

Lt. Michael Murphy - MOH Ceremony

October 23, 1983

Beirut Death Toll at 161 Americans; French Casualties Rise in Bombings; Reagan Insists Marines Will Remain
Truck Loaded With TNT Wrecks Headquarters of a Marine Unit
By Thomas E. Friedman
Washington, Oct. 23 - President Reagan, voicing outrage over the ''despicable'' destruction of the Marine Corps headquarters in Lebanon, called on the nation today to be more determined than ever to keep a force in that country and resist ''the bestial nature of those who would assume power.''
The President, plunging into a day of emergency strategy meetings on the bombing, denounced the unidentified forces behind the attack and said the nation ''must be more determined than ever that they cannot take over that vital and strategic area of the earth.''
Administration officials, emphasizing that there would be no change in the United States' military role in Lebanon, said there was ''circumstantial evidence'' that fanatic terrorists aligned with Iran may have been responsible for the truck bomb that razed the four-story Marine Corps headquarters in Beirut, leaving 161 dead and 75 wounded.
The White House spokesman, Larry Speakes, said this evening that the Administration was also ''looking into'' Syria's possible role in the incident, but he did not cite any evidence.
Read the rest here.
Also, visit the Armorer's post from last year.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pentagon Channel Update

1415 - Medal of Honor Ceremony: Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush presents the Congressional Medal of Honor to Navy SEAL Lt Mike Murphy's family, for his valiant actions in Afghanistan. (Live, VoD)
Encore presentation at 1900hrs.

Related post here.

My Bad Boyfriend Gets A Standing Ovation

Please, how can you not love him!

Hey SB

I'm sorry you're missing this, baby!

This was the angle I liked the best of all the stories I've seen so far.

Red Sox Roll, Make Date With the Rockies
By Dave SheininWashington Post Staff Writer Monday, October 22, 2007; Page E01
BOSTON, Oct. 21 -- They will tell the story of 2007 for generations in New England, along with all the others, the great Game 7s in Boston Red Sox lore -- 2004, 1986, 1975, 1967 and on down the line, some wins, most losses. They will tell of the way Fenway Park bulged and creaked beneath all the drama Sunday night, the way the players gladly performed duties beyond their normal calls, and the way all those blessed rookies, too young even to remember most of the previous Game 7s, took to this grand stage, sent the Red Sox to the World Series and became part of the never-ending story.
Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched five innings, Hideki Okajima added two. Dustin Pedroia had the night's biggest hit, a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring Jacoby Ellsbury ahead of him. Matsuzaka, Okajima, Pedroia, Ellsbury -- rookies, every one.
Read the rest here.....

Sunday, October 21, 2007

This Is Difficult

Can you keep a secret?

I am watching the Sox, but I am flipping over to the Republican debate.

My bad boyfriend got a standing ovation.

Don't tell Jennifer.

I couldn't stand for the ovation.

I've been drinking. Jen drove me home.

USS Constitution 1797, USS Constitution was launched in Boston. It took three attempts to set the immense ship, reinforced with heavy diagonal planking and copper sheathing, afloat. Shipyard officials warned townspeople to be prepared for a great wave when the boat was finally launched, but none appeared. Her greatest moment came during the War of 1812, when in less than 20 minutes her guns turned a British warship into a hulk, not worth towing to port. When British cannonballs appeared to bounce off her thick wooden hull, a sailor exclaimed, "Huzzah, her sides are made of iron!" Ever since, people have referred to the ship by her affectionate nickname "Old Ironsides." Berthed at the Boston Navy Yard, she is the oldest commissioned warship in the world. Read more.....
If you visit Boston, and you should, you can still climb aboard "Old Ironsides" dow in the Navy Yard. There is also a Museum that is definitely worth the visit, very family friendly.

This pic is from my favorite CPO's visit during CPO Heritage Week, 2007.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Weather Suits The Mood

I am off to drive to the top of New Hampshire for a memorial service. Maureen was a lovely woman and when she lived near me we had lots of laughs. I loved all her children too.

This actually wasn't so bad! Sure we cried, but we laughed a lot too. Maureen lived a good life and a few of her children, two of her in-laws and even her hospice worker got up and spoke and it was really nice. My favorite part was that no one tried to make her out to be what she wasn't. They all explained she was crazy. She was! She was that kind of crazy where everyone was just excited to be around her. I'm sure she had sad moments, but they never showed. She said and did crazy things. She would write me letters that were just like she was in the room and when she was in the room it was usually like a stand up routine.

She had 8 kids ranging from 5 years older to 9 years younger than me. I was closest to Paul. Even after the family sold the cottage, Paul came around regularly and stayed at my house. When Tommy and Frankie were little he and my ex redid the bathroom. I explained that the part I liked best was that of all the people who ever worked on the house (not that many, it's falling down) Paul was the one who listened to me. Most people listened to what I had to say and then explained why they couldn't do it. Paul listened and said "OK".

Anyway, Paul met me outside and walked in with me to his Dad. His Dad faintly made the connection between me and the cottage, I hadn't seen him in 20 years. Then on to his youngest sister, Jennifer who didn't remember me at all. I told her that was fine, I was much older. His brother John remembered my ex, I think I only met him once. Then onto Dave who I saw frequently, and I had to completely explain who I was before I got my bear hug. I have changed, it's gratifying. LOL Then onto Doug. He ran with my sister Jen's crowd there were several summers where my house was packed every weekend with their friends. Again, the polite smile and the nodding and then - "Oh my God, you're beautiful! How did that happen?" I laughed. His sister Jen who hadn't recognized me asked "You remember her?" He replied of course he had lived in my house for a couple of summers. He turned to me again and said "When you get old, you are supposed to get ugly." I laughed and told him it was on the inside like the portrait of Dorian Gray, I got meaner. He asked how that was possible.

I told Grace later about all this. When I got to the part where Doug said I was beautiful, she said "Well it was the top of New Hampshire. they're like hillbillies."

If my ego ever gets too big.......I have Grace. I made the mistake of telling Jen while she was driving. We could have been killed - she nearly drove off the road.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Admiral Crowe

Former JCS chairman Crowe dies at 82
By Philip Ewing - Staff writer Posted : Thursday Oct 18, 2007 14:21:53 EDT
Adm. William J. Crowe, a naval officer whose long career included stints as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. ambassador to England and even an appearance on the TV show “Cheers,” died early Thursday, the U.S. Navy Memorial announced. He was 82.
Crowe died of cardiac arrest at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., said Navy Memorial CEO retired Rear Adm. Rick Buchanan. Crowe was being treated for pulmonary disease.
“He was an outstanding man, a dedicated naval officer, a wonderful American, a scholar and a teacher. He will be missed,” Buchanan said. Crowe was chairman of the Navy Memorial’s board.
A 1947 Naval Academy graduate and a submariner, Crowe served as an assistant to President Eisenhower’s naval aide, as executive officer of the Tang-class diesel/electric submarine Wahoo, captain of another Tang-class boat, the Trout, and then a string of other command and staff assignments, culminating with his appointment in 1980 to be commander in chief of allied forces in Southern Europe and his appointment in 1983 to be commander in chief of U.S. Pacific Command.
President Reagan tapped him to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1985, a position in which he served until 1989. During his tenure Congress passed the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, a sweeping measure that unified many aspects of a then-disconnected military and formally made Crowe, as Joint Chiefs chairman, the senior-most U.S. military officer.
On March 16, 1989, he appeared as himself in an episode of “Cheers” that took place on the USS Constitution in Boston Harbor.
After Crowe endorsed then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton during his presidential run in 1992, President Clinton asked Crowe to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, and he served until 1997. In 2000, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the highest U.S. civilian medals. That same year, he became chairman of the Navy Memorial board, taking over from Adm. Elmo “Bud” Zumwalt.
Crowe is survived by his wife, Shirley Grinel, and their three children. According to Buchanan, a funeral has tentatively been scheduled for Oct. 31 at the Naval Academy.

He's Gone

Richard Lovelace
TELL me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.
True, a new mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.
Yet this inconstancy is such
As thou too shalt adore;
I could not love thee, Dear, so much
Loved I not Honour more.

Of course, you must substitute a sidearm, a small boat and kevlar for "a sword, a horse, a shield."
But, I'm fine. I'm never alone. Every bed you are in is mine, even if it's a bag.....even if it's a bunk. You are with me and I am with you. I am never alone.

Fair winds and following seas, my love, and safe home to me.

Of Course!

So last night I take the new Maritime Strategy to the gym and read the first 10 of 20 pages on the treadmill. I didn't have a cigar or whisky.

Then, this morning the Phibian says don't bother with the first 9 pages.

Of course!

LOL, I did need to read them though, my only hope of coming close to keeping up is to read everything. Fortunately Galrahn's got all kinds of helpful links posted.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower

So, if you were also skipped on the list of invitees for this symposium, you can go here and download the first day's presentation.

Why Wasn't I Invited?

So Monday night was a fabulous adventure in Groton. I got no sleep and had to make up for it last night (12 hours). So now I sit here catching up on emails to find the CNO is in Newport (a hop, skip and a jump for me). I've missed watching him live on the webcast but it will be rebroadcast on the Pentagon Channel at 2000. He will be discussing the new Maritime Strategy which fits nicely with the current discussion over at the Phibian's place on the 1986 Maritime strategy. Of course, I am drowning over there and said so.

Anyway, I've strayed from my point. Admiral Roughead is in Newport this morning.

Why wasn't I invited?

********UPDATE - In case you don't read comments, I'm pulling up the one left by SJS. If you go to his site you can get the new Maritime Strategy. I have printed mine and will read it at the gym tonight while I'm on the treadmill.*****

*******Another Update******this comment was left by some troublemaker
"As I was lunching with Gary today at the O Club he asked me to tell you "Hello"

My response?

On A Slow Boat To China

I like it better when SB sings it.......but that version is just for me.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Impertinence!

Honestly, I don't know where some people get the nerve!

There is some hooligan, who, on occasion feeds me information. Everyone in my orbit must provide a service.
I hadn't heard from him in a couple of days, so today I email him.
"Clearly I am being ignored! I thought for sure I would get some kind of comment on the job I did with the Navy's 232nd birthday this past weekend.
Fine, time for me..........needs of the Navy and all that.

This is the incredibly impudent reply.
"Such a chick. In need of constant affirmation. Fine! I'll look. Just sec...."

To which I fire off:
"Chick? Chick! I am so much more fabulous than a chick! What impertinence! You would never make it in the Rotation!
I wrote "needs of the Navy" because I wanted to convey that I do understand that "the needs of the Navy" come ahead of paying attention to me."

The Hooligan's comeback?
"LOL..."needs of the Navy" is a phrase used in so many situations, always to the Chief's advantage. And what the heck is the Rotation?"

Oh? Nice. Be disrespectful and then want something? It's not that easy! I send:
"What do you care? You can't make it anyway. LOL"

I get back a little pleading.....I love it when they beg!
"Dammit!!! Now you've got me curious. C'mon..."

Trying to get on my good I have one!
But I'm having a good day, sooooo......
"Well, normally I am described as a cruel and despotic wench........however, just this once.........I'll take pity on you and direct you here."

I don't know if it helped him though. In a subsequent email he made the suggestion that I be flexible. LOL Flexible? I don't think so.
Dear Maggie :
There are less than 30 hours left in the campaign and I need your help NOW! Sign up to volunteer by calling my HQ at (978) 269-5080 or by emailing Peter Towey at
Before this weekend, we all knew that Niki Tsongas supported amnesty for illegals and in-state tuition for illegals, but I can't tell you how surprised I was to learn from the Boston Herald on Sunday morning that Niki supports giving driver's licenses to illegals.
I strongly oppose giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants - it makes it too easy for them to board our planes or gain access to our financial institutions. That's why my campaign is now airing a new Radio Advertisement - "Illegal Immigrants," which you can listen to by going to my blog.
I believe that true immigration reform does not include giving amnesty, in-state tuition or driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. As the descendant of legal immigrants, I believe we must reafirm our legal pathways to citizenship, secure our borders, and enforce the existing immigration laws.
GET THE WORD OUT! Tell the people of the 5th District that you don't want to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Let people know the truth by calling in to radio shows and talking to your friends:
Call WRKO-AM 680 at (617) 266-6868
Call WTKK-FM 96.9 at (617)822-1969
To Learn More about Niki's radical positions on Immigration, check out these sources:
Red State
The Boston Herald
The Everyday Republican
I will be pounding the pavement over the next day to get out the vote. I ask you to join me and my team. Call our HQ at (978) 269-5080 or email and sign up to volunteer. Whether it's knocking on doors or making phone calls, every voter you contact can make a difference. If you have a few minutes, please read this story about the final push I am making to get out every last vote.

Jim Ogonowski

Just the Facts...

NIKI SUPPORTS GIVING DRIVERS LICENSES FOR ILLEGALS: “Immigration: supports driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants and a ‘path to citizenship’ for illegal immigrants.” (“5th District Candidates All Fired Up”, The Boston Herald, 10/14/07)

NIKI SUPPORTS GIVING IN-STATE TUITION TO ILLEGALS: “Ogonowski said he opposes in-state tuition rates for children of illegal immigrants - something the Legislature failed to pass last year. Tsongas, a dean at Middlesex Community College, said making school affordable would help those children become productive taxpayers.” (“Bush’s health care veto, Iraq war dominate 5th District debate.”, Eagle-Tribune, 10/6/07)
Video on YouTube of Niki On NECN - Says We Are “Punishing American Citizens.”

NIKI SUPPORTS THE BUSH AMNESTY PLAN: “Tsongas favors a plan similar to one endorsed by Bush, which would include allowing undocumented immigrants in the country to earn citizenship” (“Fifth District candidates stuff mailboxes as election looms”, The Boston Globe, 10/11/07)

NIKI WON’T HOWEVER, SUPPORT CALLING IT LIKE IT IS! REFUSES TO REFER TO LAWBREAKERS AS “ILLEGAL” PREFERS “UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS” AND “FAMILY”: “Speaking about immigration this week with WBZ radio host Dan Rea, Democratic congressional hopeful Niki Tsongas reinforced her illegal-coddling platform. During the segment, Tsongas defended using the term ‘undocumented workers’ to describe illegal immigrants. Pressed by Rea as to what she considers an illegal who doesn’t work, she responded: ‘family.’ And as everyone knows, family comes first.” (“Pols & Politics”, The Boston Herald, 10/14/07)
Video on YouTube: Undocumented Non-Workers Are “Family”
Want a Live, Up to the Minute View of the Campaign? Check out our Blog

ADM Ulrich Pops Up

(Eastern Times)
1000 - Pentagon Briefing: ADM Harry Ulrich, Commander of US Naval Forces Europe, and GEN Kip Ward, Commanding General of US Africa Command, speak with reporters at the Pentagon, announcing the Africa Partnership Station Initiative. (Live, VoD, Podcast)
Encore presentation at 1800hrs

If I actually make a concerted effort to get in the shower now, I can be at my desk for this one...........

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Happy Birthday To The United States Navy!

So clearly today will be all Navy, 24/7! You understand, I'm sure.

Today is the 232nd birthday of the United States Navy.
"On Friday, October 13, 1775, meeting in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress voted to fit out two sailing vessels, armed with ten carriage guns, as well as swivel guns, and manned by crews of eighty, and to send them out on a cruise of three months to intercept transports carrying munitions and stores to the British army in America. This was the original legislation out of which the Continental Navy grew and as such constitutes the birth certificate of the navy."
U.S. Navy Band Celebrates the 232nd Navy Birthday

CNO's Birthday Message to the Fleet

MCPON Birthday Message to the Fleet

From Navy Times "Happy birthday, Navy!"

And Some Fun On The Water...........

071012-N-6710M-009 OKINAWA, Japan (Oct. 12, 2007) - A landing craft utility prepares to enter the well deck of dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) while transiting equipment. Tortuga serves under Commander Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7/Task Force 76, the Navy’s only permanently forward-deployed amphibious force. ESG 7/Task Force 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brandon Myrick (RELEASED)

What's A Birthday Without A Cake?

071012-N-8704K-134 ATLANTIC (Oct. 12, 2007) - From left, Capt. Bruce Boynton, commanding officer of hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) medical treatment facility and oldest crew member, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead, and Fire Controlman Seaman Christian Demarzio, the youngest crew member, celebrate the Navy's 232nd birthday with an traditional cake-cutting ceremony on the ship’s mess decks, Oct. 12. CNO was aboard Comfort to congratulate the crew after completing a four-month humanitarian deployment to Latin America and the Caribbean providing medical treatment to patients in a dozen countries. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Karsten (RELEASED)

The Navy on Wall Street

071011-O-2529G-001 NEW YORK (Oct. 11, 2007) - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Joe R. Campa Jr. and Rear Adm. Michael A. LeFever, director of Military Personnel Plans and Policy Division, ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange in celebration of the Navy's 232nd birthday. Sailors from the Bronx Naval Operational Support Center joined Campa and LaFever for the closing bell. Photo courtesy of New York Stock Exchange Media Relations (RELEASED)

Admiral Roughead Assumes Office as 29th Chief of Naval Operations

Admiral Roughead Assumes Office as 29th Chief of Naval Operations
Adm. Gary Roughead assumed office as the 29th Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) during a ceremony held at Leutze Park aboard Washington Navy Yard Oct. 11.

A “Thank You” From the CNO

A “Thank You” From the CNO
Story Number: NNS070928-239/28/2007
From Adm. Mike Mullen, Chief of Naval Operations

Hello everyone. I wanted to simply say thanks. Thanks to all our great Sailors and to your families.
You are the best I’ve ever seen in my four decades of service, and we simply wouldn’t be the Navy we are today without you.I’ve been asked by several people over the last couple of weeks what it is I will miss most about this job and about the Navy. I tell them pretty simply, it’s the people. It’s all of you.
It’s people like Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Morgan B. Bradley.
I met Bradley back in January of 2006, when I was on a tour of the Haditha Dam in northern Iraq.
While serving with the Mobile Assault Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment in the fight for Fallujah in November 2004, Bradley had repeatedly braved enemy fire to care for his wounded Marines.
At one point in the firefight, he sprinted more than 50 yards out in the open, fully exposed to reach two Marines wounded by snipers. He pulled them to safety behind a covered position and calmly treated their wounds.
It happened in an instant. But everyone who witnessed it agreed it was an act of incredible courage not uncommon for the young man from Sacramento. Bradley himself was a little less sure about all that.
“I was just doing my job,” was all he would say.
Just doing my job.
If I've heard that once, I’ve heard it a thousand times since becoming CNO. And, it hasn't just come from Sailors like Bradley, though I’ve certainly pinned many medals on the chests of deserving hospital corpsmen.
It came from Seabees as they worked to dig out Gulfport, Miss., in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Most of their own homes had been obliterated, their own families evacuated, and yet they rolled up their sleeves, picked up their hammers and helped put that town back together. It was just like something out of a John Wayne movie.
I heard it from a group of ombudsmen there as well.
Many of them had lost absolutely everything. They were hurting, barely getting by, and yet there they were at the Fleet and Family Support Center looking for ways to help other Navy families. And, in so many ways families have made a difference in these last couple of years. The support of our families has been at the highest level I’ve ever seen it. I and my wife Deborah are incredibly appreciative of that support.
I’ve heard it from Sailors and Marines stationed far away from home in Japan, Korea, Guam, who know their presence in that vital region helps preserve the peace.
“Just doing my job” is what the Navy security personnel who assist the Iraqis guarding the oil platforms in the Persian Gulf told me.
I heard it from explosive ordnance technicians working hard to find and disarm those IEDs, which are killing our other men and women in uniform.
From the men and women of Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, who know that setting the conditions for security there is vital to eliminating the threat of terrorism. And, from some of our finest young naval officers commanding Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan.
They will all tell you they are just doing their jobs.
Many of them, in the places I just mentioned, are individual augmentees. Some 50,000 or so, over the last several of years from the Navy -- individual augmentees. Their families, and supporting them, is a critical mission for all of us, and they have performed at an exceptionally high level. Many of them tell me that’s the best year they have ever had in their Navy career.
Doing incredible jobs, like the doctors and nurses aboard our hospital ships USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) and USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) or the crew of USS Peleliu (LHA 5), which just returned last week from a four-month Pacific Partnership mission during which they helped provide care to more than 31,000 people.
Speaking of doctors and patients, I ran into a Navy doctor by the name of Saleem Khan during another trip to Iraq. Khan is a reservist. He was 59 years old at the time, with 18 years in the Navy.
Raised in Pakistan, he can read Arabic and speak Persian. He was on his fifth tour in Iraq.
On the day I visited him he was trying to save the life of an insurgent who only an hour or so before had been trying to kill our Marines. Khan said it was his job to save that life, and he was proud to do it.
A reporter who was traveling with us asked him why he joined the Navy at age 40.
He said, and I quote: “I never wanted anybody to look at me and say, ‘Hey, you came over here and made a lot of money and you didn’t pay your dues. My kids were born in the United States. I want them to know their father paid his dues."
He was, he believed, just doing his job.
I’m convinced it’s more than modesty, though it certainly reflects a good deal of that. It’s a quiet, resolute pride that all of you harbor deep within, pride in doing what this nation has called you to do -- pride in service and duty and honor.
For my part, I want you to know how proud I am, incredibly proud, to have had the opportunity to serve with you these past two years and to watch you at work, just doing your jobs -- active, reserve, civilians.
It’s been inspiring to me and to my wife, Deborah.
My tour as your CNO may be getting cut a little short, but my gratitude for all that you and your families do, every day, will endure the rest of my life.
Thank you for doing your jobs so well. Thank you for your service. And God bless.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Miller High Life Commercial - $11.50 Hamburger

"$11.50 for a hamburger.....ya'll must be crazy!"


I know sometimes certain phrases can seem overused, like "Never Forget", but for the USS Cole DDG 67, it fits.
I really can't write anything better than what I wrote last year.
*******I did forget one thing
God Bless CDR Lippold!

For The Love Of God!!!!!!!

Gore, U.N. Body Win Nobel Peace Prize

Although considering 1994, 2002 and 2005.........I don't know why I am surprised and disappointed.

I know, I beefed last year and no one cared then either.

SB actually laughed at me.

I put this in the H&I Fires at The Castle.....they will laugh at me too.

Well, I suppose not every year can be 1979, 1964 or 1953.

Lt. Michael P. Murphy, USN

Go over to Chuck's place and read his very well written tribute to this American hero.

*****UPDATE******The picture I put up originally was the Army's version of the MOH. Pogue, (former squid and current National Guard pogue) sent me the correct, Navy version. Thanks, Pogue.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Former Rep. Chester Atkins

I have been reading in several places (Hub Politics especially) about the low, base, contemptible statements made by former Massachusetts representative Chet Atkins regarding Jim Ogonowski.

Ex-Rep. says Ogonowski strays from brother’s immigration legacy
BOSTON - Former Rep. Chester G. Atkins, who once held the congressional seat being sought by Republican Jim Ogonowski, said today the candidate is tarnishing the legacy of his late brother, John, with a stance against illegal immigration that borders on racist.
Jim Ogonowski responded by calling the charge "a new low in politics," while Peg Ogonowski, the widow of John Ogonowski, said she was never aware her late husband had met Atkins.
Atkins, a Concord Democrat who lost his 1992 re-election campaign in part because of a backlash over his support for Cambodian refugees resettling in his Merrimack Valley district, said John Ogonowski was an avid backer of his efforts because of his family’s heritage as Polish immigrants.
John Ogonowski later supported a program in which he let Cambodians use a plot of his own farmland to grow specialty crops for Asian markets
You can read the rest here.
Suffice to say that:
a) Chet Atkins forgets himself. You do not use a man's dead brother against him in a campaign. I don't care how many times Jim mentions John......his opponents don't get to, period.
b) Like most Democrats, Atkins can't distinguish between "legal" and "illegal" immigrants.
c) Playing the "pig fucker" card worked for Lyndon Johnson and you, Mr. Atkins, are no Lyndon Johnson. So I hope that you calling Jim a racist comes right back and smacks you in the ass.
d) Mr. Atkins says that he lost his seat because of his support of the Cambodian refugees, lol, good one. That fairy tale is shredded here.

I think the Wikipedia entry for Mr. Atkins tells you everything you need to know -
Atkins ran and was successfully elected as a Democrat to the 99th Congress in 1984. He served there for four succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1985–January 3, 1993). In his 1990 reelection bid, Atkins won by a surprisingly thin margin for the heavily Democratic 5th district, and as a result, in 1992, Democrats backed Democratic challenger Martin T. Meehan, fearing the seat could fall to the Republicans. His last campaign was riddled with accusations of check-bouncing and mis-managing his own finances.

That's right, even the Democrats wouldn't back him. Niki, I know politics makes for strange bedfellows.......but how desperate are you? I thought the Emily's List commercials were low for being misleading......but this is much worse.

Jim Ogonowski

I don't live in this district, but if I did, this would be my guy. Not just because he's a Republican, because he's a stand up guy based on everything I've read and heard. If you live in this Congressional district I strongly encourage you to go and vote for Jim.

The district is comprised of the following municipalities:
Andover, Haverill, Lawrence and Methuen in Essex county.
Acton, Ayer, Billerica, Boxborough, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Dracut, Dunstable, Groton, Hudson, Littleton, Lowell, Maynard, Shirley, Stow, Sudbury, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, Wayland and Westford in Middlesex county.
Berlin, Bolton, Harvard and Lancaster in Worcester county.

OK, this was the nice post. It was positive. The other post won't be.

MCPON Birthday Message to the Fleet

A little birdie sent me an advance copy, lol. Apparently he understands how competitive and immature I am. The message was "You have a scoop."

MCPON Birthday Message to the Fleet

Our birthday is a celebration of our rich heritage and of the men and women who proudly call themselves United States Sailors. Our Navy was born on the crest of a wave. We have changed much over 232 years, but the spirit of those who serve our nation at sea remains strong, proud and forever connected to those who have served before us.

October 13th we celebrate our customs, traditions and a culture unique to those of us who leave the comforts of home for the challenges of sea. There is a character to the United States Sailor, a language all our own and a shared sense of pride in being part of a crew.

Our leaders must impress upon our youngest Sailors that wearing this uniform has always been more than just a reflection of what we do. I don’t believe you can be an effective leader without understanding who we are, and who we are is tied directly to our heritage.

We have branched out into other capabilities. We’re leveraging your creativity and your ingenuity and providing your abilities to combatant commanders around the world. But we will always be, first and foremost, a maritime service. Sailors will be forever identified by their courage in the face of danger and the moral conviction to stand up for what’s right. The term “ship, shipmate, self” was created at sea. To a United States Sailor, there is no better description of our culture and our character.

When I consider our Navy heritage, I think of Sailors working in the harsh environments of our world’s oceans just as we’ve done for 232 years. You’re making the same sacrifices, serving our nation at sea. It is the common bond we share with those who have gone before us. Our history was forged at sea and every one of our separate communities has contributed to that legacy.

On our birthday we will recall the sacrifices of our forefathers. It will be a day to search out a veteran from World War II or Korea or Vietnam who still remembers every face and every name of his shipmates lost in battle. Those veterans will tell you that their ties to the Navy have never been stronger, that the pride they feel in what you do fortifies them.

Like the rest of the nation, our veterans are grateful for the blanket of protection you provide this country. On our Navy’s birthday I join them and all of America in thanking you for what you do, and thanking your families for the support they provide us all.

You are all members of the greatest Navy the world has ever known and it’s an honor to serve with each of you.

Happy birthday Shipmates
I know that the favorite Naval consort is an officer, but Princess Crabby loves allllllll Sailors! LOL After all, my Dad was QM2 and really...he's the favorite!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I was disgustingly good today.

Laundry & dishes - check Worked more than 8 hours - check Stuck with Atkins - check Was on time for my hair appointment - check Picked up everything on the shopping list at Walmart - check Did my time at the gym - check Did you know that Nadler spits when he talks? I watched him on CSpan as he spoke on the FISA thing. What do I have to show for it? I had to call ahead to the house so Frankie and his friends could come out and unload the car. There was no way I was going to be able to lift the jug of Tide.
I'm going to bed now.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My Tuesday Night

I worked late. I love when everyone leaves and I can really focus. Loud music. No phones. No questions.
After work I headed over to the gym. I love this new gym. I popped on the treadmill and turned on CSpan. Guess who was on? My bad boyfriend. I smiled the whole time.
Then it was into the yoga room where I breathed in the good energy and exhaled the bad. least until I had to stop because I had a terrific charlie horse in the arch of my foot. LOL
Now I am home and I am going to eat my cheeseburger (sans roll) and watch "Desperate Housewives". MMMMMM decadence.........
Laundry is rolling. Dishes are washed. I feel pretty virtuous. Of course, I've been good before, as Trias reminds me in the comments here.
600 feet huh. Sounds like the Aussie tradition of driving to your neighbours.Good to hear you've found a nice gym. You were doing this for a while already?
My answer?
Yeah....I do this all the time! I go on the diet, I join the gym.......I fall off the wagon. The last time I lost a serious amount of weight, the favorite Naval consort was in the ME. He's headed there again. If this works, I may have to make him stay in the ME! LOL

You're always looking for a reason to go back to Dubai, right?

That's the subject line of an email I got from Ry (in the Castle dungeon).
Maybe we can talk John into springing for this, you know, you being Castle Correspondent at the conference and all. ;)

Guess it's true confession time here......Dubai was fabulous, but it was the favorite Naval consort that was always the real draw. sites will be set elsewhere in the near future. Anyone know a good place to stay in Bahrain? How about Kuwait? That's where Tommy's next deployment will be.

October 9.........

1934, today's "This Day In History" is very personal for me...........

Today is my Dad's birthday. I will call later but we are not celebrating it tonight. That will come when everyone can get together at once. But here's something that SB emailed me for my Dad that I printed out and gave him (can't email it to him, my mother won't let the internet in the house).

I like the Navy.
I like standing on the bridge wing at sunrise with salt spray in my face and clean ocean winds blowing in from the four quarters of the globe - the ship beneath me feeling like a living being as her engines drive her through the sea.
I like the sounds of the Navy - the piercing trill of the boatswains pipe, the syncopated clangor of the ships bell on the quarterdeck, the harsh squawk of the 1MC and the strong language and laughter of Sailors at work.
I like ships of the Navy - nervous darting destroyers, plodding fleet auxiliaries, sleek submarines, powerful cruisers and steady solid carriers.
I like the proud sonorous names of Navy capital ships: Midway, Lexington, Saratoga, Coral Sea - memorials of great battles fought.
I like the lean angular names of Navy "tin cans": Barney, Dahlgren, Mullinix, McCloy - mementos of heroes who went before us.
I like the tempo of a Navy band blaring through the topside speakers as we pull away from the oiler after refueling at sea.
I like liberty call and the spicy scent of a foreign port.
I even like all hands working parties as my ship fills herself with the multitude of supplies both mundane and exotic which she needs to cut her ties to the land and carry out her mission anywhere on the globe there is water to float her.
I like Sailors, men and women from all parts of the land, farms of the Midwest, small towns of New England, from the cities, the mountains and the prairies, from all walks of life. I trust and depend on them as they trust and depend on me - for professional competence, for comradeship, for courage. In a word, they are "shipmates".
I like the surge of adventure in my heart when the word is passed "Now station the special sea and anchor detail - all hands to quarters for leaving port", and I like the infectious thrill of sighting homeport again, with the waving hands of welcome from family and friends waiting pierside.
The work is hard and dangerous, the going rough at times, the parting from loved ones painful, but the companionship of robust Navy laughter,
the "all for one and one for all" philosophy of the sea is ever present.
I like the serenity of the sea after a day of hard ship's work, as flying fish flit across the wave tops and sunset gives way to night.
I like the feel of the Navy in the darkness - the masthead lights, the red and green navigation lights and stern light, the pulsating phosphorescence of radar repeaters - they cut through the dusk and join with the mirror of the stars overhead.
And I Iike drifting off to sleep lulled by the myriad noises, large and small that tell me my ship is alive and well, and that my shipmates on watch will keep me safe. I like quiet mid-watches with the aroma of strong coffee - the lifeblood of the Navy - permeating everywhere.
And I like hectic watches when the exacting minuet of haze gray shapes racing at flank speed keeps all hands on a razor edge of alertness.
I like the sudden electricity of "General quarters, general quarters, all hands man your battle stations", followed by the hurried clamor of running feet on ladders and the resounding thump of watertight doors as the ship transforms herself in a brief few seconds from a peaceful wokplace to a weapon of war - ready for anything. And I like the sight of space age equipment manned by youngsters clad in dungarees and sound powered phones that their grandfathers would still recognize.
I like the traditions of the Navy and the men and women who made them.
I like the proud names of Navy heroes: Nimitz, Halsey, Perry, Farragut, Spruance, John Paul Jones.
A Sailor can find much in the Navy: comrades in arms, pride in self and country, mastery of the seaman's trade. An adolescent can find adulthood. In years to come, when Sailors are home from the sea, they will still remember with fondness and respect the ocean in all its moods - the impossible shimmering mirror calm and the storm tossed green water surging over the bow. And then there will come again a faint
whiff of stack gas, a faint echo of engine and rudder orders, a vision of the bright bunting of signal flags snapping at the yardarm, a refrain of hearty laughter in the wardroom and Chief's quarters and messdecks.
Gone ashore for good they will grow wistful about their Navy days, when the seas belonged to them and a new port was ever over the horizon.
Remembering this, they will stand taller and say:

Just the other night, SB said "Well, I'm not as sentimental as you are, Maggie." Yeah. Okay, boyo! If you say so.

My father read this and exclaimed over how it really captured his experience years ago. He said it had to have been written by someone on a destroyer like his. He loved it. But he's not sentimental either.

But of course, that's why they are both so special. My unsentimental Navy men.

Monday, October 08, 2007

What A Disaster!

Jen had to drive me home. Do you understand we are talking about a maximum distance of 600 feet? I am so carbed out I didn't think I could make it up the hill and carry the leftovers back to the boys. I am headed to bed momentarily. I popped out to check email.

Today was more food but no booze. We took them to our favorite breakfast place which was great except for the new waitress. Lot's of reaching and leaning and I could have done without that. But the chocolate chip pancakes make it worthwhile.

Then we hit the Cranberry Festival at Edaville Railroad. There weren't many crafters (it was the last day and it was rainy) and that was fine with me because I am not the crafty person. Plus, my mum wasn't up for a lot of walking. The was some girl singing under a tent and we joked about the next act being "POP!" which was a joke from last night's movie.

We watched a really good movie called "Sweet Land". There was supposed to be a game of hearts, but Mum was coaching Jen on some new crocheting thing. Did I mention I wasn't crafty?
We finished off the night with Prison Break and a pizza. She swears we will be good tomorrow. LOL We swear a lot! But seriously, I have a new motivation. Next summer there will be something special for SB and I have to look devastating. I have eight or nine months. If this weekend is the end of carb binging for a while, I should be able to do it. I love the new gym and it couldn't be closer to work.

I bought myself a consolation prize.........
What? You didn't think I'd buy something crafty, didja? I bought something for Grace and something for Jen and something for Deb. I thought I was getting something for my Mum, but upon closer inspection, I passed. Of course, she could care less. LOL My parents are at that stage where when they want something, they just go get it. There is no wish list. Oh well.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Girl's Weekend

My mother........sisters.....niece and I are hanging for "Girl's Weekend". What is "Girl's Weekend"? Well, there is shopping, because it is always right before my father's birthday. There is eating out. We went to Red Robin and had awesome burgers. There is bad food...chocolate.....Fritos....popcorn. Movies....we watched "Music & Lyrics". Not a redemming thing about that one. 90 minutes of my life I'll never get back. I voted for "Disturbia" but my mother had veto power that can not be overidden.

And....liquor..........Cape Codders for for Grace and Mum......Sam's Summer for Jen.

Scratch tickets........we are always losers. We throw money in the pot, buy the tickets and scratch and turn in tickets for more tickets until we are losers. We are always losers.

You know, I have been so good on Atkins this past two weeks. I went to the gym and did my time..........and's blown.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Paul Cahill

Here's why it is colossally stupid to believe that Paul Cahill had a blood alcohol of .27 at the time of his death.......

Paul couldn't have been doing his job, drunk as a skunk and not been noticed. I am well aware that the scene would have been chaotic. However, you are talking about a man being stumbling drunk. Hard to miss, no matter what else is going on. And while we would be overwhelmed at that scene, this is what the BFD train for. His fellow firefighters would have been focused and they would not have missed it.

Anytime someone makes a charge like this, I say "Why?" and "How?". Is anyone asking these questions? Not that I have heard. Not seriously.

Please tell me why the other guys from that house would take a guy who was so drunk to a fire? I have heard many say in recent days that they were "covering" for him. What nonsense! That's not covering. That's lunacy. "Covering" is leaving him at the firehouse to sleep it off. "Covering" is leaving him in the truck. "Covering" is not sticking a hose in his hand and following him into a burning building.

I am a good friend. I am there for my friends. But I would not follow my friend into a life-threatening situation to save their job. Especially not when there are lots of other ways to save their job....none of which involve endangering my life or theirs.

If you are sober and your friend is drunk, do you let him drive you home? But if you take his keys people will know he is drunk! See the lack of logic in this argument?

I have friends and family for whom I would lay down my life................but I wouldn't throw it away. Well, that's what you have to believe if you buy this story. You have to believe that rather than embarrass Paul Cahill................rather than cost him a rip with the higher-ups.......rather than have him be written up and sent to a drug and alcohol abuse program, the men of Engine 30 and Ladder 25 instead chose to put a nozzle in his hands and send him into a fire. Not just send him, mind you...........but follow him.

Cut it out.

Friday, October 05, 2007

They Miss Me....I Miss Them

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Across destinations in India, Australia, UK, US, Maldives, Mauritius, Malaysia and Bhutan. Private plunge pools, intimate candlelight dinners, gourmet meals at the Chef’s Table, yoga on the beach, meditation, spa treatments that embrace the healing wisdom of a 1000 year old tradition, adventure sports, excursions, sightseeing, activities for children - Taj Holidays indulge you and your loved ones.
Just click on the holiday you want - and leave the rest to us.
Goa & West India Kerala & South India Rajasthan & North India International
We promise you a Holiday you will cherish for a lifetime.
Happy holidays,
The Taj Holidays Team