Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Target

***I am not fussy!!!!****
****2nd UPDATE Detailing weapons, etc. Scroll to bottom***
***UPDATE - My Marine commented and I pulled them up and posted them at the bottom*****
Ok, turns out I was completely wrong about shooting a pistol. I am not bad. I was positive I would be atrocious.

I will let My Marine come out here and give you the details about that part.

Yesterday, I got up at 6 AM!!! Just to be on time for My Marine. Do I get credit for this? Noooooo. I still didn't leave as early as I wanted to. You see, I had to borrow my sister Jen's car. But there is a light on the horizon. My great friend Mike has scored a used car for me. It's the upper end of my budget, but I'm happy...and grateful.

So I make it up to the far reaches of New England....I thought I was going to need a passport if I had to go much further.....but I made it. And there is.....My Marine.

First was lunch at Molly's Restaurant. We enjoyed sandwiches and coloring on the butcher paper covering our table. We discussed Russian spies and wounded Marines and fabulous Bosun's Mates. Then we were off to the range.

Yeah, I know. I tell you that I am not interested. I tell you that the profile pic is a fluke. But's just that people who are in my circle like it and I am just tagging along. Plus I had to prove a point. My Marine was adamant that if only someone taught me to shoot and I hit something....I would fall in love with it.

At the Milblogger's Shoot-Out I shot 3 different weapons. Each time, a man would stand behind me, put his arms around me, hold my hands, holding the gun. I would close my eyes and scrunch my face...bang. Well, that's all wrong, doncha know. My Marine would *instruct* me. He has taught so many people, he knows he can make this work.

It's not often I actually do anything for anyone else....but what can I say? He's just so damn cute! So I said "Ok".

So I get in his truck and we are off....further into the woods. The roads grew more narrow and sidewalks disappeared. There was actually a father and son walking down the middle of the road with fishing poles a la "The Andy Griffith Show". Then we turned off the paved road and drove some more. Then we can to a big, forbidding gate with signs cautioning us that it was private property and it was monitored by CCTV. He got out to unlock the gate - "Hey, if I hear Dueling Banjos, I am outta here!" I called, but he just laughed.

Once we drove through and the gate was locked behind us, the truck climbed a path meant for mountain goats. Then we pull up to the pistol range. There should be more pictures, but please file complaints with My Marine who brought a camera...and didn't use it.

There were several weapons demonstrated and you will be happy to know that I was well educated on them. Their purpose, their ammo, pros and cons. I know how to stand and grip and where my thumbs go.

After we had our fun and he was dropping me off at Jen's car....there was a problem, but that will have to be another post.
Comments from My Marine
Actually, your Marine left his camera sitting on his desk. Ah well.

You omitted a couple of very important points:

1. You were pretty good at it, despite your assurances to the contrary. You weren't afraid of the weapons, even the .45 and the M-14, and had a very steady and solid trigger pull.

2. You listened, which I knew took all the self-discipline you had, as you usually have a problem with authority (except yours).

3. You really enjoyed it. About magazine number two from the .45, when you put two consecutive in the ten-ring, you looked over your sights and decided you wanted to do well. And you were hooked.

4. You would never admit you enjoyed it as you didn't wanna give me the satisfaction. But I could reads it like a book.

5. If MA was not such a commie gun-hating state who thinks the 2nd Amendment doesn't apply to their citizens, there would be ranges a hell of a lot closer to you that we could go to, and you WOULD, because you enjoyed shooting.

6. You and SWMBO are now members of the elite sorority of Chicks Who Shot At Stuff. Congratulations.

Oh, and of the car portion of the story, be sure to let your dear readers know that my 1964 LeSabre will start as long as you have the damned key.

More info - My Marine's remarks are in red/mine are in blue

Let's run down the weapons which our Maggie got a chance to handle and fire on Tuesday, shall we?

I started her off with a S&W .22 revolver that is precisely the size and weight of the Model 10 (.38+P) which was the quintessential cop sidearm for decades. She did fine, learned the stance and the grip with a low-recoil, manageable piece.

We next transitioned to a Ruger New Vaquero in .357 mag, firing .38+P wadcutters. Again, a bit more but very manageable recoil. (Even .357 mag out of that gun is very manageable, but I am low at the moment.)

She really hit her stride with the M1911s, one a 3.5" carry piece and the other a standard 5" weapon. Maggie was not afraid of either pistol, managed recoil, and "squoze" the trigger like a pro. It was here that she had her "I LIKE this!" epiphany. (*Note -this is My Marine's interpretation. I never said those words)

After a couple of boxes of .45 ACP were send down range, it was over to the rifles. There she fam-fired the venerable M-1 carbine (with paratrooper stock, a la Don Malarkey) and sent three magazines out of the M-1A (civ M-14 equivalent). After nailing the target downrange a bunch of times, like Tin Cup, we ended on a good shot.

So it was back to her sister's car. And more adventure.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'm Back...I'm Late...You're Not Surprised.

I missed my 1900 R deadline...but you aren't surprised.

I will be writing about today which was loads of fun and almost ended wit a big headache......but My Marine wouldn't let that happen, would he? Of course not.

But for now there are emails and FB messages to answer. The response to the post below has really blown me away.

Thank you to everyone who read it and linked it and responded. I am terribly grateful.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Listen Up! I Want Something!

**UPDATE I will be off the grid from 2200 06/28/10 until approximately 1900 06/29/10 I will answer everyone as quickly as I can. Thank you so much for this tremendous response.**
Yeah, yeah, I know I am demanding all the time. But for the moment I am serious.

My fav BMCS has found a particular problem in Khandahar. His unit has come across a group of wounded Marines who have slipped through the cracks so to speak. They come in straight from the field with the clothes on their back. In most cases, these Marines have suffered a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). They are in this location to see the doctors at the nearby facility, which is top-notch, before being shipped out to other facilities.

So, what's the problem? Well, for one thing, the Marines have none of their own gear. Except for seeing the docs, they are sitting around bored silly. So, my BMCS has rounded up some stuff for them (cumshaw, anyone?); a TV, a DVD player and an X-Box. But he needs more stuff.

It's a specific list and as much as you might want to embellish, should you decide to help....and I hope you do, stick with the list please.

New twin bed sheets sets.
Inexpensive comforters.
Shower shoes.
X-box games.
and finally......
IPods/Mp3 players. Most of these Marines have their own, but they are back with the rest of their gear, which won't catch up with them for weeks. I can't emphasize enough how much these Marines miss those IPods. Do you have an old one in a drawer at work or at home? Send it over!
Come on! Would you want to be hanging around here without some tunes & clean sheets?

There are 10 to 20 Marines hanging around at any given time. They stay about 3 to 5 weeks.

If you have a specific suggestion, email me (BostonMaggie at Yahoo dot com) and I will check it out for you. But please note; they have plenty of toiletries already.

If you want to send a package, especially an Ipod/MP3 player, email me (BostonMaggie at Yahoo dot com) and I will give you an address.

Please help. Please send whatever you can. But just as important, post it on your FaceBook, tweet it. Post it on message boards you belong to. Send it out to your family and friends via email.
Thanks to

Navy Doll
Theo Spark
Steeljaw Scribe
Some Soldier's Mom
The Castle Argghhh!!!
Uncle Jimbo at BlackFive
for helping out with blog links!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I know I have been AWOL.

Family stuff, still hunting for a car, reading about all the news.

But here I am. I'll do better.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fine... I Lost McChrystal....

...but I've got Petraeus.

Now give me Crocker.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Son Tom's Take on McChrystal

So Tom stopped by my office on his way to meet friends and asked me what was up with GEN McChrystal. I handed him the Rolling Stones article. He went off to read. When he came back he said -

"It's as if GEN McChrystal and his staff spent the afternoon hanging with "Maggie"* and then went out and thought he could talk like "Maggie"!"

*My name isn't "Maggie" and my family only uses it when they wish to highlight some idea or behavior that is particularly outrageous.

Monday, June 21, 2010

OK, The Cold River Distillery Tour Date Is Set

What - A tour of the Cold River Distillery followed by dinner somewhere nearby.
When - Saturday August 14, 2010 between noon and 5 pm

Where - 437 US Route One, Freeport, Maine 04032

I have loved Cold River Vodka for a while. For me, everything is a foreign policy decision. So in choosing vodka I thought "Why not an American brand?" After some research and with some good luck.....I found Cold River Vodka and I love it!

I wanted to go see the distillery since it was just Down East of me..... and we are turning it into a Girl's Weekend plus.

Who can go? Anyone who would like to.

Right now it is Jennifer, Grace, Debbie (Gen will be in Australia) and Mary Ripley. I am asking Bette, Pat, Rachael and Nic from work; Eileen, Kathy and Peggy who are school chums; and some of my cousins.

I have mentioned this to a few other people in the blog world and we are going to see whose schedules we can sync up.

There is a Comfort Suites within stumbling distance.
Wanna come? Let me know.

My Friends End Up In Strange Places

Does this look like someplace a Sailor should be??? But it is someplace they need my fav BMCS, so he is there. BTW, Senior @NavyNews sent out a "Happy Father's Day" greeting for you to his more than 11K followers.
From @NavyNews -
"RT @BostonMaggie Happy Father's Day BMCS Dotson serving in Af'stan instead of being home w kids & his Dad today. Thank you for your service."
Can I even hope to do as well when I go shooting with My Marine next Tuesday???? Hell no! Despite that fact that I will have the best possible instructor. Like the pic? Here's the post that goes with it over at Op-For. My friend in the pic...she's a fellow member of Red Sox Nation.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

To my Dad -

I adore you!

Friday, June 18, 2010


Did you just say "What?"????? Really? Here at the most loyal of Navy blogs you don't know "HUZZAH!"?
In America's military services there are many rallying cries - "HOOAH" for the Army, "OORAH" for the Marines and even "AHROO" for the Air Force (sounds a bit confused, doesn't it?)
But "HUZZAH!" is what you hear when you hang with the crew of USS Constitution!
Friends at the US Naval Institute forwarded this pic of a real license plate in Maryland. I want to know whose it is, lol.
In the email My Marine questioned the meaning and I replied "Baby! It's a Navy thing!"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Want To Visit A Ship???

Two are coming into Boston for #NavyWeek!

USS Whidbey Island LSD-41 (First in Her Class, First Always!) and USS Hawes FFG-53 (Ever Ready, Ever Fearless!) - arrive in Boston on June 30th and there will be public tours beginning on July 1st.

Both ships plan to offer general public visiting from 10:00 AM to 4PM on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

USS Whidbey Island will be in the Boston Marine Industrial Park, North Jetty Pier, 660 Summer Street, South Boston.

USS Hawes will be in the Charlestown Navy Yard, berthed at Pier 4. From Pier 4, it's a hop, skip and a jump to the USS Constitution Museum, USS Cassin Young DD-793 berthed at Pier 1 and USS Constitution.

There's Going to Be A Delay At the Gate

With those words Jennifer confirmed she was worried about the same thing as me.

Last night my boss, Bette, asked if Jen & I wanted to go grab a bite to eat with her. But Jen was going to be kinda late. Recently, I have needed to go to bed earlier and earlier just to function. So we tossed this around for a bit and finally decided on East Bay, but promised ourselves it would be quick.

We sat at the bar and had my favorite bartender, Dick. Although I am usually the designated driver, Jen frequently asks if I want to drink before she orders her first. Not last night.

I was in kind of a hostile mood. I think it was just me reacting poorly to the pain in my ankles. As we were walking up the side path to East Bay there were people waiting for the valet, not unusual. There were two women taking up the whole width of the path and I would have had to step up on the stones lining the path to get around them. So I said "Excuse me." Ok, right then I am aggravated. She saw me walking toward her, she knew she was in my way. Why didn't she move on her own? Why did she need my prompting? Even then, she doesn't actually move, she just pivots a little. I said "Are you kidding me? Get the eff out of my way!" Not loudly, but only a foot away from her. She moved. Jen was hysterical. So when Dick asked if I was drinking, Jen said "Coca Cola! She's already hostile!" Bette, Jen and I discussed it for a minute. Jen had been behind me and she thought that it didn't register with the woman immediately because, while she moved, she didn't look up or stop talking. Jen said "It was probably a delayed reaction, she just realized now what you said and she'll be in her to confront you in a second" then we really laughed. The thought of "Miss Path Blocker" coming back in mad and looking for me....pretty funny. Like she would have gotten anywhere near me without Jen laying her out on the floor....and probably not spilling a drop of her Sam's Summer ale.

So we were kitty corner at the bar, me, Jen and around the corner Bette. Next to Bette were two guys who were pretty involved in their own conversation. It was an hour before there was any interaction between us and them.

Dick was very entertaining as usual. He wanted to know about my adventures. I told him how jam packed the end of June is with #NavyWeek Boston, the "Restrepo" showing at the MFA, shooting with My Marine and my THREE invitations to USS Constitution events.

Then just as Bette's food arrived she ducked out to the ladies room to wash her hands. One of the two guys made a joke about stealing her chicken wings. We started kidding back and forth. We teased the other that we had seen him on "Cops" in the back of a squad car. Bette came back and this friendly banter continued. Some jokes were slightly off color. Some blue language was used. One guy was from Southie - well it actually turns out he is in Southie now and not "from" Southie. We called him out on it. But before we realized that and we thought he was from Southie I asked him which parish. You see this is how we further identify ourselves in the city. I'm not just from Charlestown, I am from St. Francis de Sales parish. I have a friend who is not just from Dorchester, she is from St. Mark's. I have a friend who is not just from Southie, he is from St. Augustine's.

So I asked.

And he laughed and said "Actually, I'm a priest and I'm assigned to ....." I don't even remember what he said. Jen and I were yelling at him for lying. He produced ID. We were still yelling.

We reviewed the previous conversations......

He laughed at us and said we were screwed, no Heaven for us. No, no, no I protested we went to Catholic schools for 12 years. He laughed and said so what! He wasn't impressed and said he was a "Public". That's what we say about kids who go to public schools and CCD. Not "You go to public school." or "You go to CCD". Just "You are a public." It's a little idiom.

Jen turns to me and says "There's going to be a delay at the Gate"

He and his friend were a riot and he knew our priest. But that was a very surreal evening.

Then he rolled up his sleeve and showed us a US Marine Corps tattoo. I asked if he knew who Col Ripley was. He got all excited and began explaining to everyone who Col Ripley was and described him as "bad ass". He was very proud to announce that when stationed in DC years ago he had met Col. Ripley.

I smiled and explained that I had never had that honor....but I was good friends with his daughter, Mary. He was genuinely impressed...who wouldn't be? Jen chimed in and said "I know her too! We were talking to her last night in the car." So that seals that deal, Mary is an honorary McInnis sister now.

But seriously, how are we explaining this to St. Peter? I threatened to take him out back and toss him off the Town wharf! I must have been hemorrhaging points. I can never be good enough to make up that many points.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Have Arrived!

Last night I came home to three envelopes from USS Constitution...... This is a long way from ambushing CDR Bullard in 2007, huh?

It will be my pleasure to attend the July 2nd Sunset Parade - which is open to the public, so you should too - and the July 3rd reception and the July 4th Underway Demonstration.

Thank you so much!!!!!

My Apologies, I'm a Day Late

Twenty five years ago yesterday, June 15, 1985, SW2 Stethem was murdered by terrorists. Some people think America's involvement with terrorists started on 9/11....some of us know different.

SW2 Robert Dean Stethem, USN was tortured and murdered by Hezbollah because he was American.

People say we should talk to Hezbollah. Yeah, whatever. You talk to them, I'm not.

I'll pay attention to this instead - Not for nothing, but this is how you do it - you name a fighting ship after a hero. We will not forget.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Remembering Trooper Paul Barry

June 15, 2006 we lost a man I remember often and fondly.
This is pretty much what I write every year....and it's still true today.

One of the saddest things I was ever a part of happened. We lost our friend Paul Barry in a tragic accident. He was a very good man who left us too young. I blogged about this time in my life here and here if you care to go read it.
I still think about his funeral and it hurts today.
I think of you and your children often, Maryellen.

Monday, June 14, 2010


A little something I picked up from my Italian-American classmates at Pope John. It means "Enough!".

To Michael Yon - Enough! Stop it.

To those who don't know what this is about, go to the Castle Argghhh!!!, read this post -

Just when you thought the milblog intramurals were over...

There are links. Follow them and read them too.

There was a time I admired Michael Yon. I remember pro-ordering his book for my sister Jen. I followed him faithfully. But he needs to stop. He needs to stop before his blatant OPSEC violations cause a serious problem. He needs to stop before his current actions undo all the good he has ever done.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Happy Bunker Hill Day!!!

Great shot of the crew of USS Constitution just cresting the top of Bunker Hill Street.You can see this and other pics from today on USS Constitution's Facebook page - "Bunker Hill Parade 2010".

Are you a fan of USS Constitution???

We yelled and cheered & stomped & whistled. "GO NAVY!"
Always a good time in Charlestown on Bunker Hill Day.
We went back to my parents and had lunch after the parade and then up to my Uncle Frank's to admire the new bathroom.
But I have to admit....this was exhausting. Between the medical stuff on Friday, driving to New York on Friday afternoon...driving back on Saturday. Sheesh! I could sleep for a week!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ted's Restaurant!

So today, I dragged Grace, Jen and Genevieve on a "La-la-la!" on our way back from White Plains. A while back during a Girl's Weekend we saw something on TV about roadside diners, etc. One of the places featured was "Ted's Restaurant". The show raved about their "World Famous Steamed Cheeseburgers".
So once we had both cars packed, we programmed 1046 Broad Street, Meriden, CT 06450 into the two respective GPS systems and we were off!
We passed through some rainy patches that slowed us down, but right around 2:30 we pulled up, dodged the raindrops and got four seats at the counter!

Viola! Cheeseburger with sauteed onions and hashbrowns.This is Gen's cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato.
And......Gen & I were excited to see they had the soccer game on!!
We loved our burgers and got one to go for Debbie who couldn't make this trip with us. Grace bought me a T-shirt to remember this adventure by. Thanks Gracie!
If you get the chance, you should stop in.

The First Few Adventures of the Summer Are Set

First off.....June 29th, My Marine is taking me shooting. Yeah, I know. But you remember, he thinks if only someone trained me properly I would fall in love with it and give up spa-ing to spend all my time at the range. LOL!

June 30th begins #NavyWeek Boston! This will include the Sunset Parade in the Charlestown Navy Yard hosted by the officers and crew of USS Constitution. Cross your fingers now for good weather on Friday evening, July 2nd!

Next, Genevieve and I are flying to Los Angeles on July 21st, arriving before noon. We are going to spend the day hanging out, then staying at the Crowne Plaza at the airport. The 22nd will be spent seeing stuff in LA & then at 2230 (10:30 pm) I put my niece Genevieve on a plane for her Perth Australia for a semester abroad! Then I fly back to Boston on the 23rd at 11:30 am.

So.....Stella & are on notice!

Leaving New York

Everyone is showered and dressed. Nearly everything is packed. We are taking Route 84 back and having lunch at Ted's!!!

One time during a Girl's Weekend we saw a story on the Food Channel or the history Channel about famous roadside eateries. Ted's in Meriden CT is famous for steamed hamburgers.

Debbie, my goddaughter is missing it!!!!

Ted's Restaurant - get ready! We're coming!

My only regret is that Jen is leaving White Plains before I could use it as a launching pad for a few New York City adventures. I was planning to stay here for a week or so later this summer. I wanted to visit Ground Zero, the USS Intrepid Museum, etc.


In New York.

No milk or cream for tea!

Slept on couch - Crick in neck.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This Will Be A Quickie

I popped back into work for a second because I wanted to shut down the computer. I had set all the virus scans and cleanups to run and snuck out for a massage. Someone very nice, who was apparently worried about my frail state of mind sent me a gift certificate for a massage. It was a for a place quite close to work, a hop skip and a jump away, Relaxation by Rae. I brought my own massage oil, the Lavender Chamomile from Bath & Body Works that is supposed to calm my nerves. Then I snuck down to Enoteca di Vino for a little tagliatelle bolognese and read my book - "The War After Armegeddon" - I'm nearly at the end and should be finished tomorrow. I am scheduled for a skeletal survey for the myeloma. They will be looking for bone damage. I figured I needed a relaxing evening. Right after the survey, Grace & I are headed down to Jen in New York to help her with a last minute project....McInnis sisters to the rescue!

Don't worry, we will be back in time for the Bunker Hill Day Parade on Sunday the 13th - if you want to come, drop me a line. You can stand next to me and then I am sure there will be enough food to feed you back at my parent's house!

Anyway, I popped in here for a minute and you know I can't resist checking my email. There was a message from My Marine. He wanted me to go read his latest -

Why We Fight

During the Second World War, the United States Government funded a series of films, directed by Frank Capra (It’s a Wonderful Life) and narrated by Walter Huston.

The films were intended to show the US Soldier, Sailor, Airman, and Marine, as well as the American public, the evil nature of the enemy with which we engaged in that epic struggle. Looking back at those films is educational, as nothing in them was conjured. All of it, every bit, was truth. It was propaganda, a word we assiduously avoid today. Because we lack the perspective that Strategic Messaging is indeed propaganda. And the most effective propaganda is truth.

Perhaps it is time to revisit our ideas on the subject. We can start here.

At a time when we are hesitant to label our greatest terrorist threat Radical Islamic Jihadism, despite the fact that those engaged in that terrorism are radical, Islamic, and waging Jihad, we need to be reminded of the true nature of our enemy.

This is their vision of how we should live (From the AP):
Suspected Taliban militants publicly hanged a 7-year-old boy for spying in the militant stronghold of Helmand province, an Afghan official told the Associated Press.The child was placed on trial by the Islamic extremist group and later found guilty of working for Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government, the local official said.
Karzai on Thursday condemned the alleged act, calling it a “crime against humanity”.

Read it again. A 7-year old boy. Hanged after a trial for spying.

For those who think coexistence with these bloodthirsty creatures is possible through some sort of accommodation, or that such evil does not need to be destroyed, and destroyed by force of arms, let them see a 7-year old child on any street in America, and envision them hanging at the end of a rope.

The destruction of tyranny is as noble a goal in 2010 as it was in 1943.
It needs to be said. We need to stop hiding behind a wall of political correctness. Not every Muslim is a terrorist. We don't need to wipe out Islam. But we need to take the threat of Radical Islamic Jihadism seriously. We ignore it or placate it at our peril.

A 7 year old child. Jesus wept.

A Soldiers' Angels Bleg

I know, usually I am out here in the fall, heating up the Inter-Service rivalries for Project Valour-IT.

But today we'll just do a hit-n-run for the San Antonio warehouse.....cupboards are getting bare, people!

Get over there and do what you can please.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Movie Night For Maggie

So last night was another escapist adventure. I wanted to go to the movies, but couldn't decide between I saw both.

First I went down to Plimoth Plantation. (You can "friend" them on Facebook) They have a cinema that shows art films and foreign films. This week they are showing "The Secret In Their Eyes", the 2010 Academy Award Winner for "Best Foreign Language Film. It was BRILLIANT! I loved it. The ending had me cheering. Of course, I was cheering alone....

When I arrived I was early so I brought my book. The general admission price is $9.50. There are discounts available with membership. I was met at the door of the theater by one of the volunteer ushers. He joked he was there for crowd control....and gestured toward a completely empty theater. He also informed me that since the movie was long there would be a point where the screen would go dark for less than a minute and not to panic. LOL! I jokingly asked if that's when he would come and kick my seat and make it a horror movie?

I read my book "The War After Armageddon" by Ralph Peters, I am carrying it everywhere! When 7 pm rolled around the woman who was running the movie stuck her head in and joked that they had arranged for a private screening for me. No one else had shown up....what a shame! If you have the chance to see this movie I can't encourage you enough. Seriously, when the denoument came.....I said "YES!" right out loud!

Then I headed up to the local mall and checked in for the 9:45 pm showing of "Robin Hood"......and again, I was the only person in the theater. Again, super movie. Russell Crowe was great and Cate Blanchett was surprisingly good.

I must be honest....when Russell Crowe says "Ask me nicely"...yikes!

Also, this is a movie best seen in a theater.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

USS Constitution Hosts Wounded Warriors During Battle of Midway Ceremony

Did I miss out or what???? I was so bummed that I couldn't be on the Navy Yard for this on Friday. It was a resounding success!

USS Constitution Hosts Wounded Warriors During Battle of Midway Ceremony
By Zona T. Lewis, Navy Safe Harbor Public Affairs

BOSTON (NNS) -- In recognition of the observance of the Battle of Midway, approximately 125 Wounded Warriors from all five branches of the military joined the crew of the USS Constitution for a morning at sea June 4.

"Today we honor Navy history, celebrate past victories at sea and recognize the sacrifices service members have made, and continue to make, in support of our ongoing fight for freedom," said Capt. Key Watkins, program director of Navy Safe Harbor, the Navy and Coast Guard's Wounded Warrior program.

The crew of the Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world, hosted a Wounded Warrior underway for service members who had sustained injuries in the course of duty.

"I can actually call myself a Sailor now," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Max Rohn, of Longmont, Colo., who has spent his entire Navy career serving with Marine Corps units. Rohn, a Purple Heart recipient, experienced his first opportunity to get underway aboard the Constitution.

Rohn was serving with the Marine Corps in Iraq when his patrol was hit by a grenade. As the unit's medic, he had to perform first aid on himself before he was moved to safety.

For some, being a Wounded Warrior is humbling.

"I ended up in the Wounded Warrior program because of cancer," said Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Lorne Dunnells, a native of New York and currently the recruiter-in-charge of Navy Recruiting Station West in Lebanon, N.H. "The true Wounded Warriors are here with combat wounds. They are the real heroes.

"The crew and guests of the Constitution commemorated the Battle of Midway by laying a wreath in the ocean.

"These three pieces - the ship, the day, the Wounded Warriors - may at first seem disconnected, but they are not," said Rear Adm. Robert O. Wray Jr., deputy commander of Military Sealift Command, at the ceremony. "The ship, the day, the warriors are all connected by one thing – heroism in defense of our homeland."

He reflected on the significant role that Constitution played in the morale of a fledgling nation during the War of 1812, how the Battle of Midway was the turning point in the Pacific during World War II and what an honor it was to sail with Medal of Honor recipients and Wounded Warriors.

Following the ceremony, the Wounded Warriors and their guests were offered "Tours of Duty" aboard the ship for a better glimpse in to the history of the ship, its crew and its current mission before she exchanged a 21-gun salute with Fort Independence on Castle Island.

"It is important for people to know the traditions and history of the Navy," said retired Force Master Chief Dave Pennington, anchor program director for Navy Safe Harbor, commenting on the important role Constitution and her crew serve today. "Sailors have been making a difference in the lives of people across the world, not just those close to home, for a very long time."
For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit
To the crew of USS Constitution, the USO, Navy Safe Harbor and everyone who made this possible - Bravo Zulu!

You can see pics on USS Constitution's fan page....are you a fan?

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Best Gift From My Parent's 50th

There were lots of lovely and thoughtful gifts yesterday...but my Uncle Kevin's present tops them all. This is the back of Grace's vehicle where we tried to fit them all. The 50 roses are from my Dad to my Mum. But the best came from my Uncle Kevin, my mother's youngest brother. He is a huge music fan. When Grace and I were little, he confiscated my mother's 45 record player. Grace and I were none too gentle with it. He saved it from sure destruction.

In March when were planning this party, of course, music was part of the discussion. I left Kevin voice mail asking who sang "Honey Love" & "Shaboom". This gave Kevin a gift idea. He dug out the player and found a company in Ohio that restores such things.

By the time he gave her the gift, my mother was inside, resting in the AC. It was a long, humid day and we spent most of it in Frankie's back yard....have I mentioned it was a perfect party?

My niece Genevieve came out to get me and when I walked into the living room I was shocked. I told Kevin it looked just like my mothers and I wondered where he got it. Several people were delighted to tell me that it was my mothers...perfectly restored!

So I went up today and shot a video of the player on the buffet of the dining room. "Honey Love" was "Banned in Boston" and my mother had to drive to Rhode Island with her friends to get her copy!

Look At This!!!

Cripes, the stuff you see *after* you're bankrupt!

*$59 -- 1 Week Only: Boston Area Aveda Spa Packs at 60% OFF*I get the TravelZoo weekly email so I can find bargains and possibly afford more adventures. I am watching like a hawk for cheap airfare to the Castle Argghhh!!! - although part of me wants to drive there. So each week I scan their offerings, Kayak too. At the bottom after all the airfares, hotels and cruises, there is a "local deals" section. It's usually tickets to a show and I am not even remotely interested.

But this week it is deeply discounted gift certificates to the Aveda spa in Foxborough. Back in the day I would have dropped a couple of hundred and talked Jen into making this a girl's day with our sister and nieces. I had heard good things about the spa and it's much closer than Foxwoods. They are offering the Chakra Balancing Massage and a gift bag for $59, you can not beat that! Yeah, yeah, I know it sounds hokey and what's a Catholic school girl doing talking about chakras, but it's awesome. I don't know how my chakras are, but I know for yoga class that when you do the things they tell you for your chakras you feel fabulous. I don't achieve enlightenment....but I am happy!

Spa Epoche is a 10,000-square-foot Aveda Concept Salon & Spa that opened last year in the Renaissance Boston Hotel & Spa at Patriot Place. Aveda salons offer a holistic experience. Featuring plant-based products, custom treatments are designed to relax the mind naturally and activate the body's repair and recovery mechanisms.

So I want someone to go get one of these, you have to buy by June 9th, but you can use it anytime this summer until August 31st. Then come back here and write a long descriptive comment or better yet - guest post! I want details on the whole thing!

The one part that made me laugh was the "Boston area" in the's near the stadium where the Patriots play.....50 miles south of the city.........."Boston area"...ha!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

It Was Awesome

Everything on me hurts....but tomorrow there will be pics and blogging and hopefully some video too.

I love my parents and I am so happy they love each other.

We Ended Up In Maine!!!!

****This is from Thursday. Grace & Jen wouldn't let me publish it then...OPSEC on the cookies.****
I am kicking myself I didn't take the video camera and record this adventure. I also wish we had grabbed Grace.

Since the meal Saturday - 50th Anniversary party for our parents - is chinese food we wanted "outside the box" on the favors.

This anniversary party has gone through many iterations as first my father and then my mother changed their minds about what they wanted.

First it was a party in a hall run by the four McInnis children. Then my father announced it was his anniversary not ours and he would make decisions. Whatever you say, Dad. Then it was a cruise with the them, their four children and spouses. Whatever you say, Dad. Then it was a few days in a family resort in Maine with children and grandchildren. whatever you say, Dad. Then it was dinner for 50 at the Venetian. whatever you say, Dad. Then it was dinner for 70 at the Chart house with room for them and their children at the Marriott Long wharf. Whatever you say, Dad.

Then my dad had his stroke in August and he wanted everything shelved. Whatever you say, Dad.

Finally around Christmas he came back around and said he wanted a cook out at my brother Frank's house. Whatever you say, Dad.

The final curve ball came from my mother....not a cookout....chinese food. LOL Whatever you say, Mum.

So we needed a favor that complimented that. Jennifer found it. She heard about a company that made gourmet fortune cookies - Fantastic Fortunes . She forwarded the website to us and we agreed, they were perfect. We decided that for the actual fortunes we would select favorite sayings from our parents -

"If all of your friends jumped off the Tobin, would you?"

"If you are too sick to eat, you can't play!" (there's a story with that)

"Why can't we be just like the Waltons?"

"You can't pierce your ears. if you put holes in you head, you'll sink when you swim." (I don't have pierced ears to this day)

So we drove to Rollinsford, NH...and you have to go through Maine to do it!

Friday, June 04, 2010


The IgA number is 5060.

I won my own pool.

Last number was 4190...but the first number was 5948. Normal is between 70 and 350.

I'm elevated. But not out of control.

I told Grace first....cause she is scarier than cancer when she is mad.

The Pool Ends Today

So today I find out my number. This is your last chance to get your bets in here.

I am still cleaning the house, but the end is in sight!!!!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Just So You Know....

....I will be offline most of today, but not because anything is wrong.

Jen & I are picking up favors and centerpieces for our parent's 50th anniversary party on Saturday.

Lately I have been being secretive, so everyone finds my actions suspect.

How much do I love @NavyNews????

He put up this Tweet -
"What's your favorite Navy flik? Go behind scenes on how it happens: Wow - we're ready 4 our closeup!"

The link is to a story about #USNavy cooperation with Hollywood to make sure the Navy parts are right. It was short and interesting. You should watch it.

So I responded -
"@NavyNews How do you beat John Wayne in Navy whites in love with a woman named "Maggie"?????? You can't!"

And this is the reply that made my day -
"@BostonMaggie Yeah... but we ALL love a woman named "Maggie" ~ back in the day PHMRON 2 (hydrofoils) motto was "In Harms Way"

Awwww, that warmed the cockles of my teeny tiny heart!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The Midnight Baker

Back in 2008 when I was aboard the USS Kearsage for my blogger embark, so much stuff happened that I couldn't write about it all.

Before the embark I asked several people to advise me on how to make the most of my time aboard. I posted about "The List" here. It was written in one of my two nifty USS Constitution wheelbooks. I lost that particular wheelbook on the trip from Walter Reed to the Pentagon in April.

My Dad's contribution to "The List" was "Meet the midnight baker." So, that's what I did!

I grabbed someone who was in the wardroom late one night and asked him to take me to the midnight baker.

I met a very nice young man who couldn't understand why anyone would think he was important enough to seek out. He was making a massive batch of chocolate chip cookies. the place smelled like Heaven! We talked about the things that I asked most of the people I met; where are you from, why did you join, will it be a career, did you leave a girlfriend/boyfriend behind.

As we talked and he moved about making batches and batches of cookies, the midnight baker casually mentioned that he didn't do his own laundry.....people did that for him. I gave him a pin from USS Constitution, I had brought little souvenirs with me to give out to people aboard USS Kearsarge who met with me, helped me, etc. I got a cookie....a warm gooey cookie.

Then he mentioned that he didn't do certain other duties, other Sailors did them for him. People liked the treats he would bring back for them.

Then the light went off! "That's why your father thinks I am important!"


So, why am I thinking about this story? Well last month when I was down in Virginia Beach for #JWC10 I was Twittering all my meetings and seminars. @ChrisAlbon who was my blogger shipmate aboard USS Kearsarge replied to a Tweet with this -

"I am seriously at a loss at how you get into all these things. You are the midnight baker of the DoD."

Hehehe! I like it! To paraphrase the Garrett Morris character from Saturday Night Live "Blogging been berry berry good to me!"

This Is Just Devastating

Yes, other Presidents golf.

Yes, other Presidents take vacations.

Yes, other Presidents go to dinner.

Yes, other Presidents go to fundraisers.

But Obama and his team are purported to be such geniuses that it always takes my breath away with they come up with something so very, very tone deaf.

If I liked Obama I would be pissed at his staff for creating the opportunity that PolitiPage took advantage here. This photo essay is just devastating. The only way you could more clearly paint Obama as uncaring would be to get him on tape saying he didn't care.

This is not to say he doesn't care, maybe he does. But perception is reality. This looks bad. PR wise this is as stupid as Obama passing on being at Arlington National Cemetery for Memorial Day. You can agree or disagree that he should have been there, but you can't argue that *not* going was bad publicity.

It's one thing to get beaten. It's another to hand your detractors the club with which to beat you.

Go look at the pictures and see if you don't agree that he should fire everyone connected with creating and preserving his image.

h/t BiggBill

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

I'm A Brave Person

I am a sheepdog by nature. I am a person that runs to the danger. If I had the discipline, I probably would have joined the military. I am the person who never leaves you in a tight spot. I am the first in the fight. I am also the person who steps in to break up the fight. I was a lifeguard. I am the person who ran into the water to grab the little kids when someone spotted a shark (and probably dislocated some shoulders as I flung them up onto the beach). I am the person who steps between the man with the cocked fist and his cowering wife in the supermarket freezer aisle. I am the person who looks you dead in the eye when you're scared and tells you I will never leave and I mean it.

Ok, so I knew I was a little more jumpy than normal this morning. The car thought my suitcase was a passenger & Nic was calling on the cell just as I put the car in gear. I had ringing & beeping. I jumped a mile. LOL

I went to my appointment. (Side note to My Marine - I was 10 minutes early, thank you very much). First there's check-in.....several things had changed. But hey, I haven't been there in 15 months and a week.

I dropped my labels in the blood work box and sat in the waiting area. There was a guy explaining to a woman that he knew several people "between L Street and there" who had funny things going on. We were called one right after the other for our blood draws. I said "You're from Southie?" and he said "" I smiled and said "Charlestown". He looked around the waiting room of people speaking foreign languages or heavily accented English and replied "Close enough!" Yeah, I know that's parochial and xenophobic. But I am very tribal, you know that.

Then it was off the next station where they take your blood pressure and other vitals. My normal is 115 over 75. It was 151 over 90. The tech remarked on it and I laughed and said it was only because I was there. She said most people weren't that honest. Yeah...maybe not so brave.

Then it was on to the exam room. First I met Kate, the nurse practitioner. She took down all the notes on what's been going on since I was last there. I ran it down pretty matter of factly until I got to the part where we were discussing my local oncologist, Dr. Hochstin. I was explaining that in the fall I would be moving in with my parents in Charlestown because I just had my house foreclosed. Kate got this look on her face and I almost cracked.

Next up....Dr. Miller himself. I forgot how much I liked him.

So I gave him my little speech. Joint pain. Fatigue. It's been going on for months.

I wanted him to say "Well that's nerves. Multiple Myeloma doesn't work that way. Here's some anti-psychotic drugs. Go away."

Yeah, no, he didn't.

Instead, he started to talk about treatment and Revlimid. I reflexively said "NO!" when he mentioned it. LOL I wasn't even listening to what he was saying. I calmed down, we worked out a plan.

I go back next Friday for a full skeletal survey and some more blood work. Then the week after. He is going to become my primary oncologist. Good thing I like him.