The Discomfort of Thought
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -J.F.K.-
11 January 2007
09 January 2007
Sign of the Apocalypse
So, while the US is bombing the snot out of a country that we were seemingly ignoring last week, what is the lead story on whatever news channel was on in the break room for the 10 minutes I was in there?
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, talking about Johnny Cash and Christopher Reeve, apparently because wildfires are near her house.
03 January 2007
Thoughts During the Sugar Bowl
We haven't finished a season right since the 1994 Cotton Bowl. Please?
Went for it on fourth down in the 1st quarter? There is aggressive playcalling, and there is showing zero faith in your defense. This stinks of the latter.
Zenon, a guy named Zenon is hurting us like this?
Clearly it is because he is from the future, that is how he knew when to go for the interception. Disqualify her, er, him!
Dude, when did Bubba Smith get reincarnated as a quarterback? Sheesh, that guy is huge...
Halftime - not as bad as I feared, so far... Coach Weis has not been exactly firing the team up at halftime - Let's see if he can pull a Holtz and come from behind...
Apparently, Brady Quinn -likes- passing into double coverage. Sure it looks cool when it works, but more often than not - ugliness.
The Admiral totally called me out - as I was yelling about some coaching call or another, she said, "You shout, but your heart just isn't in it." Yup, like the team, I am just flat - no fire after the half. They are watching it slip away, and don't seem to be fighting it. As I feared, not exactly a come-from-behind team.
*sigh* The 9 mo old mini-PBS decided she could not sleep. Missed pretty much all of the 4th qtr. But, hooray for DVR, I can rewind. ... And dern, there is really nothing in the 4th worth seeing. So, fast forward to make sure there is nothing ... nope. Again, hooray for DVR.
I can not say I am surprised at the outcome... but I will don my mourning ribbon anyway:
08 December 2006
07 December 2006
Dec 7, 1941
13 November 2006
10 November 2006
Vote today. Vote vote vote.
If you don’t like the way things are running, chances are that there is an election that affects whatever it is you have an issue with.
If you do like how things are going, show your support by voting for those who help the issues you like.
If you think your vote doesn’t matter, consider this:
Sure, in presidential elections, your vote is filtered by the electoral college middle-man, meaning that your vote may count for less than someone’s vote in a small state, or not at all if you are in a clear minority in your state, as most states commit their electoral college votes en masse. HOWEVER, these elections are direct – no middle-man. Besides, the only way for the president to execute policy effectively is with Congress. You can significantly affect policy with votes on off years like this, especially in a year like this where things are tight.
Besides, you might think that you have little say in presidential candidates, but consider – presidential candidates have to come from somewhere, and how they perform during the lower level elections greatly determines who ends up running for the big office. Help decide now who will run in two year.
Just VOTE dammit.
It is the only way democracy works.
29 September 2006
Where is it?
I was bemoaning the deliberate lack of detail in the overhead imagery available of U.S. sub bases (checking out old haunts), when I had a brainwave - might as well check out of country locales, as well. So, standby for random map searches, but one of interest.
First up, a softball, who can guess where this one is? (Dern cloud cover is somewhat obscuring)
Don't know? Check the comments for the answer ;-)
14 September 2006
Maintaining a Good Sound Silencing Program
So, a visitor reminded me, in a tangential way, of one of my more entertaining duty days.
We had just finished up an upkeep period, and were getting ready to get back to sea. We had gotten a lot of little things identified and corrected while in port, which was good, seeing as how we were going to get ridden by squadron and evaluated. This included some tactical evals, material inspections, and sound cuts. Sound cuts were useful for several reasons. 1) They told us just how quiet we really were. 688's are not uniform in their stealth, so figuring out just how noisy you were let you know just how you could be employed. 2) A noisy boat is a poorly maintained boat. Therefore, sound cuts were a way of judging just how well the crew was taking care of their boat.
Our boat had an excellent sound silencing program, one which had been commended by our squadron multiple times. So, we weren't sweating the sound cuts too much.
That is, until a couple sonarmen came to visit me at the beginning of my duty day. Now, I don't know about the rest of the fleet, but our sonarmen, while excellent watchstanders and great about telling other divisions what was too nosy, didn't like having to actually deal with such things themselves. Probably because they weren't very good at it - turning the wrench, writing the work package, or ordering the parts. The setback that brought the sonarmen to see me that particular duty day was, in fact, ordering parts.
You see, several of the doorknobs on the boat had broken internal springs. This meant that the doors would not latch properly. So, anytime the boat took any kind of angle or roll, a bunch of doors would simultaneously slam open and then shut. Not good for sound silencing.
As it turned out, the doorknobs were given to the Sonar division to fix. Unfortunately, they had forgotten to order new doorknobs to replace the old. So, when the “Replace broken doorknobs” tasker came due, they found themselves somewhat out of luck.
And so they came to me on my duty day, hoping I might have a suggestion. We were getting underway in less than a week, so we had to solve the issue ASAP. The parts were finally on order, but wouldn’t arrive for weeks – too late for us. We could try and cannibalize the parts from another boat, and pay them back with our new doorknobs when they arrived. However, previous experience with that particular tactic had proven to me what a fight that would turn into. No boat wanted to give up perfectly good parts to another boat.
So, with an overly developed sense of urgency, and not coming up with any good alternatives, we put our plan into motion. First, we went to control, where a SSSU (Submarine Squadron Support Unit – although they are called something else now I believe) team was helping us install a new periscope. When they weren’t looking, we snagged a couple of their ballcaps. Then, with a pat on the back and a sincere, “Don’t get caught!” I sent my two intrepid sonarmen to then next pier. They walked on board the boat, mumbling to the topside watch about some work belowdecks they were assisting with.
They then proceeded to switch out EVERY SINGLE DOORKNOB on the other boat with ours.
So we got underway, all our doorknobs in perfect functioning order. We did quite well on our sound cuts. And I sent an email to a power school buddy of mine on the affected boat, informing him, in a totally non-mocking way of course, that the slamming of his stateroom door would be fixed in a few weeks, when spare parts, erroneously labeled for us, but actually intended for his boat, would arrive on base.