31 January 2006

Random Rounds

All of these deserve more than just a few lines. I will follow up if I have the time later:


A soon-to-be submariner has come out of the closet to the Sub School Chain of Command (via the New London Day – annoying registration required). He claims it was not a political stunt, despite the fact that “prior to enlistment [he] worked on Democratic political campaigns, including Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean's bid for the presidential nomination.” Nope, no politics here, he just “resent[ed] not being allowed to be honest about his sexuality, especially when honesty was a major military virtue.”
Hmmm, major military virtue, eh? How about your enlistment contract:

9. FOR ALL ENLISTEES OR REENLISTEES: Many laws, regulations, and military
customs will govern my conduct and require me to do things a civilian does not
have to do. The following statements are not promises or guarantees of any kind.
They explain some of the present laws affecting the Armed Forces which I cannot
change but which Congress can change at any time.

a. My enlistment is more than an employment agreement. As a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, I will be:
(1) Required to obey all lawful orders and perform all assigned duties.
(2) Subject to separation during or at the end of my enlistment. If my behavior fails to meet acceptable military standards, I may be discharged and given a certificate for less than honorable service, which may hurt my future job opportunities and my claim for veteran's benefits.
(3) Subject to the military justice system, which means, among other things, that I may be tried by military courts-martial.


Or his enlistment oath:

I, <state your name>, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.


Emphasis on both mine. Guess what, buddy? DADT is a terrible rule, but disobeying orders will get you tossed. Every time. Plenty of others have tried it this way. Don’t get me wrong here – I have no problem with gays in the military, I have served with my share. And yeah, some shot the breeze about it (midwatch, man, conversations range all over), and some kept it quiet. As long as they did their job, though, no one really cared. So yeah, I call BS. Please make you point in a more effective and less grandstanding manner, if you truly want to affect change.



The explosion at Unison in Florida – I have very little to add except to ask, “When will the media learn the difference between radiation and contamination?” *Sigh* Sadly, I know the answer, “But ‘radiation’ just sounds scarier.”



Indonesia is looking to buy 12 more subs. That will certainly shoot them towards the top of the list I put together here. If twelve sounds like a lot, it is – especially considering where they are located – the straits of Malacca are a key navigational chokepoint. One or two conventional subs could shut it down. Twelve makes them a big player in the Pacific, at least in their theater. Now we’ll just have to see if the sale actually goes through, and what type of boats they buy if it does happen. I’ll speculate on what they might buy in a later post.



Buy Danish. Like from here, for example. Why? Because we should be able to joke about what we want without threats of economic embargoes. Especially when the so-called offended parties can tolerate jokes from people who share their faith.



Another $1.1B for the VA-class might sound like spiraling costs, but not if it is the planned increment for the next bit of sub building. Electric boat gets a big chunk of it for their portion of the new construction (0.5 subs a year - *sigh*), but they are took such a hard hit from other losses that they are still moving forward with their plan to lay off 2,400 workers, or over 20% of their workforce (NL Day registration again, H/T The Sub Report).



As we all already know, Exxon had a record profit. But have you heard their explanation? Really, it isn’t do to arbitrary price jacking, but because they “identify world-class projects” and have a “disciplined approach – riiiight. It has nothing at all to do with this:

Oh, and the comparison that they only have half the profit margin that pharmaceuticals do is bogus. When was the last time an oil company had to sink most of their profits into R&D to develop the next big thing?



UPDATE:
Yes! The guys at Silent Running rule! Buy Danish indeed.


Thanks for pointing it out, CDR Salamander.


30 January 2006

Introducing Your Military-Industrial Complex

Just in case you were wondering where the DoD Budget all goes, here is a major source:

The Top 10 DoD Contractors: (Amt in contracts this year, in Billions)
10. Computer Sciences Corp. ($2.8)
9.  L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. ($4.7)
8.  United Technologies Corp ($5)
7.  BAE Systems ($5.6)
6.  Halliburton Co. ($5.8)
5.  Raytheon Co.  ($9.1)
4.  General Dynamics ($10.6)
3.  Northop Grumman ($13.5)
2.  Boeing Co. ($18.3)
1.  Lockheed Martin ($19.4)

Total, the DoD contracted out $269.2 billion worth of work, $38.5 billion more than 2004.  The top ten comprises $94.8B of that – so there is still a decent amount of contracting to smaller companies, before anyone thinks that the contracting process is totally broken.

But what's this, Halliburton didn't even crack the top 5?  Geez, so much for Cheney taking care of his old buds.

The article goes on to say that Lockheed is making strides in recasting itself as an "integrator", the guys who make other contractors systems play nice with each other and the military-specific equipment, and they have definitely done so, at least in my arena of SONAR.  This has the added benefit for them of ensuring they have a finger in every pot, and are up to speed on every development any other contractor brings to the table.  Clever, really.


28 January 2006

No respect

The Commodore gave me a jar to open, because, as she often reminds me, opening jars and getting things off high shelves are my most useful functions.

The jar was rather tight.

PBS: "Aaarrrr! There, it is open."

Comm: "What was that?"

PBS: "The jar required my barbaric yawp in order to get it open."

Comm: "I was just worried your barbaric yawp was about to be followed by a barbaric aneurysm"

*sigh*


27 January 2006

I give up...

… I will never understand Germany.

A minister resigned after saying something that various Catholics have said for years, *not* for promoting an attack on a foreign head of state?  Because of the political fallout?  Apparently, threatening to kill the US President causes nary a ripple there.  Imagine if the “non-offending” statement were made on this side of the pond.  Oh the outrage…


25 January 2006

Look out! It's Nook-yoo-lar!

This report sounds like a nuclear-boogeyman story.  Ok, there was a tritium leak – bad. But what is tritium, you might ask? Basically, water. Water with a few H2O's that have heave H's. Not that dangerous, actually. Helk, nuke-urban-legend even has Hyman Rickover drinking a glass of it in front of Congress to prove it is safe. But it is still abnormal, so therefore worrisome, right? Well, levels outside the facility were well below EPA standards – so we are now, what, going to be more stringent than the experts say we should be?  Hmmm, in that case, let’s take another look at pollution from coal plants.  However, I could be way off base – I suppose we’ll have to wait and see if any other info pops up.  (H/T Drudge)


Just a Question

So do you buy a radioactive cookie with radioactive dollars?


The All-Lockheed post

Some LCS notes:  Lockheed recently was awarded another $144M for the ADS system that will be deployed on the LCS, bringing the total for this system up to $243M (On a contract originally slated for $21M).  The ADS system sounds spiffy – a bunch of acoustic arrays on the ocean floor that then process and transmit their data to the nearby LCS, making them a portable, little brother to SOSUS.  Disregarding the enormous technical hurdles, though, I am left to wonder – when was the last time *you* got good contact info from SOSUS?
Lockheed (again) also reports that their version of the LCS is still on cost and schedule for a Feb 2007 debut.  However, they list the cost for a LCS hull at $220M – no doubt to promote the “faster cheaper” that the Navy is pushing.  However, I am left to wonder if that is just the hull cost?  It seems probable, in which case this figure is deceptive, as one needs to consider the cost of the modules that the LCS will need to have available to meet its ever-growing mission requirements.  These include not only the ADS module mentioned above, but also the minehunting module ($200M [at the moment – overall additional $10M-$15M per pod, so $20M-$30M per hull] for the Airborne Laser Mine Detection Systems – although it will not be quite as capable as one would like to base the choppers that will carry this system [as discussed in the link]; $55M for Low-Rate Initial Production of the AQS-20 system [final cost = ??]; and the WLD-1 UUV to carry it all [$55M for LRIP, final cost per unit = ??] ), and the SUW and Land Attack modules (can’t find a cost for these, but they are using piece parts of the Lockheed designed NETFIRES system, another project for which I cannot find public info on the cost – although it is a little out of my wheelhouse – it is part of the Army’s FCS), not to mention the module integration effort ($159M for something you would think would be a requirement for the module design teams – make sure this works with the ship).  So what is the true cost of the LCS?  Good question.

On a different note, Lockheed is bidding on a contract to run the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which is up for bid following a string of security breaches there and at Los Alamos.  The Los Alamos contract, as you may or may not recall, was recently awarded to the University of California, the original manager of the labs in question during the security issues, in conjunction with Bechtel.  UC also managed to hold on to its contract to run Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Lastly, This report, if true, is potentially quite disturbing.  Large contractor costs, especially after the initial contract has been let, is an often overlooked, and ugly truth in government acquisitions.  I am not to the point of seeing a conspiracy, but a ticked off superior smacking an employee who went over his head the first chance he gets sounds likely.  Oh, and the contractor this guy blew the whistle on?  Yeah, Lockheed.


23 January 2006

Hopefully, it will be just as helpful...

So Syria got a KFC. Whoopee. Lebanon already had a quite visible one, thankfully.

And that's all I have to say about that.


13 January 2006

Fixed Today's Dilbert

Ok, so maybe "unsupervised" is a bit strong. But still...


12 January 2006

Who has Midwatch in the Prison Yard?

I vaguely recall, some months back, finding an article on how prisoners in Britain were getting stress relieving massages, and used it to wryly note that the oft-lamented boat truism that prison had a better quality of life than a submarine might just be true.

…And then comes news that prisoners just might have to hot-rack.  Heh.  Oh the hardship.


11 January 2006

News from Abroad

Yup, it is still a coalition, and although their contingent is small, the Czech’s are looking to double its size.  Oh, and they were helping out in Pakistan, too.

They may have withdrawn their troops, but at least Spain is still fighting the good fight on the homefront.


Chart Geekiness

This may have been online for a while, I am not sure (I really don’t go looking for charts all that often, really), but I admit, there is just something about seeing the “going home” chart that still makes me happy. Especially seeing The Race, The Thames and Ledge Light, and pier Norwich, where we always seemed fated to tie up. Ah, sweet frustration, to spend how long prepping charts just to have the OOD’s ignore the planned track and come in based on the Nautilus and that house’s flagpole? But no one cared, as long as we tied up. Hard to get ticked off on homecoming day…


Unofficial Afterparty

I can’t help it, when I read the phrase,
Officials participating in the opening ceremony included:  Rear Adm. Charles B. Young, Director, U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Programs; U.S. Representative Dave Weldon  (FL-15th District);  Brig. Gen. Mark Owen, Commander, 45th Space Wing, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station;  and Capt. Jeff Gernand, Naval Ordnance Test Unit.
From this press release about Lockheed’s new boomer bullet facility, I cannot help but append the sentence,
”Afterwards, the officials retired to Lido’s to celebrate.”

I am so wrong.


10 January 2006

News From Afar, Yet Close to Home

We are, a nation defined by our unum, not our pluribus. The nation's great seal, proclaiming e pluribus unum, was adopted in 1782, five years before the Constitution was written and six years after the Declaration of Independence, with its declaration of equality of rights, made us, as Lincoln was to say at Gettysburg, a nation dedicated to a proposition.
George Will

A news article I spied today repeated what I have heard several times in various parts of the blogosphere with respect to integrating different cultures into a cohesive unit, this time focusing on the barrier of language:
At a more philosophical level, can there ever really be a "Community" let alone a "Union" when its supposed citizens actually speak only to others of their own nationality?
What is most interesting about this sentiment is not that it is being expressed.  As I said, I have heard it often before.  This time, however, it is the Europeans (Hungary in this case) who are continuing their path to understanding that a melting pot is much more harmonious than a salad bowl (as I delve back to 5th grade social studies).

Not only are they realizing that to be economically viable they have to integrate more, with the understanding that “the biggest barrier to the EU Single Market is language,” but that they really have no choice, as “Europe's language is emerging in a resoundingly "bottom up" way, through voluntary choices in school, media and exchange programs.”  For, while “English does not replace, but complements European mother tongues,” it “inexorably becomes Europe's lingua franca,” with “all the new member states preferring English, some 70-80% of EU documents are now produced in that funny language.”

Language standardization may seem trivial when the full scope of cultural integration and assimilation is considered, but it is still quite significant.  With a common language, even if it is not the only language, you can break down some of the communications barriers that would otherwise so easily isolate different segments of society.


On a slightly different note, still out of Budapest (yes, I enjoy surfing other nation’s news sources):

-The US is not the only country that is lawsuit happy.  US$94,000 for a successful surgery?

-Look, the US military is doing good things all over!  At least some media outlets report it.


From One Box to Another

One of the downsides to civilian life that I rediscover every day is the Dilbert-esque cubeville I currently reside in.  What with half a dozen conversations audible from my desk at any one time, it is easy to get distracted.  I actually remembered with fondness my cramped little desk in my stateroom, quiet and free of disturbance.

Several of my coworkers listen to music to try and block out the cacophony, but I quickly discovered that I can not use this method.  One can unintentionally start quietly singing on humming along only so many times before your coworkers get really annoyed.

But ah, finally, a solution, and it is because of my reveries concerning the boat.  I was in the lab area of my workplace when one of the ventilation fans stopped, which made me glance upwards as it often did (but at least I don’t hop up to head aft anymore when equipment suddenly loses power).  This of course sparked the recurring conversation one of the retired Senior Chiefs and I often have, that of combating casualties on board ship, always trying to one-up each other on who has seen worse.  Later, however, as I thought of the fans, I realized that it wasn’t that the boat was that quiet (The Eng’s snores could be used for echo-location), but that it had a nice, soft background noise that evened everything out.

So, after doing a little bit of searching, I realized that I wasn’t really looking for white noise, but something more along the lines of pink noise or brown noise (no, not the sound the Chop in his rack after a bean-heavy meal).  So now, I have software from this company running on my computer (it was free, and it works on my NMCI box, my two biggest requirements), and by playing a mix of pink, brown, and various quiet nature-like sounds (surf, rain, etc) I get a nice full-spectrum noise without it being so repetitive as to be hypnotic.  And I descend one level further into old-fart-ness as I try and recreate the boat in my cubicle.


Google THIS!

Gotta love the search engines:

- I am #17 (and the first listen blog, nyeh) for the search “SRC rescue procedure submarine” – Ok, that makes sense.

- #10 (again, first blog) for “Admiral Donald NAVSEA” and #2 and #3 for “peo submarines hilarides” – Again, makes sense, I blog about work a lot.

- #7 for “access blocked hotmail dod” – Ok… come on now, didn’t anyone else notice access get restricted?

- But I am #1, for “navsea fraternization policy.” Really, #1??? Ewwwwwww. It couldn’t have been something cool, oh no. Some NAVSEA engineering hot monkey love curiosity ranks me as the top source for information. Sheesh.

Ok, done navel-gazing now.


09 January 2006

Acquisition Training

I love it when the DoD doesn’t update their courseware for a long time.

The course says:
Another DoD program that has successfully implemented the CAIV strategy is the Space Based Infrared Systems (SBIRS) program. CAIV was implemented on the SBIRS program through a user-led Integrated Product Team (IPT). This team identified the major cost drivers and evaluated the user utility associated with each cost driver

Approval cycles have been reduced and the EMD RFP was reduced from the expected 1000+ pages to 60 pages. The net result of these actions has been a reduction of the cost estimate by about $300 million.


So is the program still chugging along at a high speed and low cost? Let’s see:
The troubled Space Based Infrared System High program, which has suffered at least a $2 billion overrun during 2002. Under the December 2002 draft of program decision memorandum for the fiscal year 2004/2009 budget, the program would receive more than $1 billion. However, the document also proposed slipping the launch of the third, fourth and fifth satellites by about two years, further delaying the program already mired in financial disarray. As of September 2002, the first geosynchronous SBIRS satellite was scheduled to launch in October 2006 and the second a year later.

On November 18, 2003 the Department of Defense released details on major defense acquisition program cost and schedule changes since the June 2003 reporting period. The Selected Acquisition Report (SAR) submitted reported schedule slips of nine months (from May 2003 to February 2004) for [the first iteration of the SBIR] Delivery and 10 months (from November 2004 to September 2005) for the [next step]. [The first iteration] has slipped due to a series of design deficiencies, technical issues identified during final performance testing, and problems meeting the Electromagnetic Interference specification.

[Edited for some measure of clarity, and emphasis mine]

Yeah, and this is the example the DoD acquisition workforce is being given as a successful cost-controlled program. Ahhh, irony.


I ain't going out like that

So, I hope neither of the two people who actually read this finds me too annoying.  Because I plan on staying anonymous, and frankly, I do not plan on going to jail for it.  Stupid, stupid lawmakers….

In reality, they were just trying to criminalize cyberstalking, but they did it clumsily, by just amending the Communications Act of 1934, that’s right, 1934.  Does it not fall under current stalking laws?  I do not know.  However, I am disappointed to see the small-government party piling restrictions onto a bill without careful deliberation.


07 January 2006

UCMJ Bingo!

Ok, so Bubblehead got me thinking about the UCMJ, and all the different ways it can be violated.  So, accordingly, I present my entry into UCMJ bingo, concentrating only on Article 134 offenses:

-Assault - indecent (Witnessed, not participated.  Oh what awful things people will do to others coffee, etc.)
-Bribery and Graft (Ok, I admit it!  I agreed to sit the MS's qual board after he assured me pizza and cookies would be available!)
-False or unauthorized pass offenses (Did you know that pre-9/11 that to get on base, all you needed was a base sticker on your car and to wave your ID in the window.  Interestingly enough, an AMEX card looks a lot like an old green ID.)
-False pretenses, obtaining services under (No, I did not tell that yardbird that his supervisor had ok'd putting extra LAN drops in the wardroom.  He must have misheard me.)
-Fraternization (I think almost all of NavOps and a goodly number of Engineering was at my going away in Xania.  The upside - I didn't pay for a single drink.  And I don't remember much after the first 90 minutes... But I am told it was a hell of a party)
-Gambling with subordinate (I invariably bet on Notre Dame, and almost always lost)
-Impersonating ... official (Lesse, over the phone I have been the Weps, Eng, XO and CO.  Over SATHICOM I have been the CO [Ok, he told me to], and in person, with a different ball cap on, I have been from the Squadron, to name a few.  And, no, despite what my XO claimed, my last name was not McHale)
-Indecent exposure (No comment)
-Indecent Language (I would just laugh this one off, too, but a certain bilge rat, err, LCDR, actually tried to get the XO to start an XOI because of this charge, among others.  The XO, thankfully, laughed him out of his stateroom.)
-Indecent acts with another (The explanation says, "“Indecent” signifies that form of immorality relating to sexual impurity which is not only grossly vulgar, obscene, and repugnant to common propriety, but tends to excite lust and deprave the morals with respect to sexual relations."  Hmm, most midwatches a majority of the watchteam could be charged with this.)
-Jumping from vessel into the water (Swimcall?  Oh, wait, the elements include, "That such act by the accused was wrongful and intentional."  Well, the divers always went nekkid during swimcall, and that was just wrong...)
-Misprision of serious offense (Hmm, well, let's just say that while it was not a good thing that this shipmate did, it allowed us to undock on time, and it did not endanger anyone or damage anything...)
-Straggling (Don't have submariners PT with Marines is all I am saying)
-Threat, communicating (I submit that saying "I should donkey punch you," does not express "a present determination or intent to wrongfully injure the person")
-Unauthorized Insignia... (The uniform regs kinda went out the window back aft on deployment.  Unfortunately, I only got back there twice a month to maintain proficiency).


06 January 2006

Found Links

Just as a point of interest, found a former bubblehead's site.  Doesn't look like it has been updated in a while, but it does have a few sea stories and some Tautog info.  The site is here:
 
He also had the list comparing McDonald's to sub life, which I remember making the rounds on the boat:


It's a Small Fleet

I admit it - I am terrible at keeping up with people once they or I move. So I often hear about how folks are doing from unlikely sources, rather than the horse's mouth. For example, I found out that my old A-Gang MMCS, after having left the boat to head up a recruiting station and from there to supposedly retire, as he was told he would need at least one more sea tour before even being considered for a COB billet, is back on the boat. Yup, not only back at sea, but on the Ustafish. And how did I find that out? The Day ran an article on the Ustafish's last deployment, and his picture was in the article. That triggered some of the worst nostalgia I have had in a while. And now The Day reports that another old shipmate is the P.O. of the month for the Sub base. In addition to the accomplishments the paper lists, I have one more: He was one of the best dam helmsman to sit the chair in my time on the boat. Congrats ET2(SS) Baptiste.

-And here is the body of the article, as it will expire on The Day soon:

Published on 1/1/2006
Groton— Lordnell Baptiste Jr., a Electronics
Technician Second Class, has been selected as Service Person of the Month of
December.
Baptiste, who enlisted in the Navy on Aug. 18, 1999, reported to
Naval Submarine Support Center in September 2004. He attended William E. Grady
Technical Vocational High School and Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn.
Baptiste has coordinated more than 450 submarine arrivals and departures to
the submarine base, His diligence in maintaining the Port Operations database
ensured the submarine movements to and from Groton submarine base are conducted
with the utmost professionalism.


05 January 2006

Nuclear Ooopsies - Be more careful Hugo!

I was recently reminded of the worst radioactive contamination accident the Americas have ever seen, second only to Chernobyl.  Three Mile Island?  No.  Goiania.  Never heard of it?  Not surprising. It is a town in the south-central interior of Brazil.  At an abandoned cancer clinic, scrap metal scavengers took apart a mistakenly abandoned radiotherapy machine.  About a week later, the contamination spread came to light.  A week after that, 4 people were dead and approximately 34,000 people had to be decontaminated (partially due to sloppy measurement and decon practices.  So much for just rubbing the hands together, eh?), with 250 suffering various affects from the contamination.  Why did this come to mind?  Because a news article today actually mentioned it in passing, because “thieves in Venezuela have stolen equipment containing radioactive material used in the oil industry.”  This was the fourth such theft in Venezuela in the last nine months or so.  Yet the general public insists that reactors are the most dangerous source of radiation and contamination.  I doubt this news will change that view, because it is much more comfortable to think that the danger comes from the large, strange buildings, rather than more “common and everyday” sources like medical equipment and test equipment.  Ah well, someday, perhaps, we will figure it out and stop painting nuclear power as the boogeyman, while simultaneously being more careful with the other sources that are out there.  And on that day Howard Dean and Rush Limbaugh will go golfing together and share a friendly drink afterwards, and I will have trouble sitting down due to the monkeys flying out of my backside.



Where have I been?

So, just in case anyone was wondering, I am, in fact, still alive. The truth is, a couple of things have interfered mightily in the time I usually used to post here.

The first impediment was the sudden resurgance of NMCI vigilance, which cut me off from the hotmail account I use as the primary email address for this blog. So, no more posting on my lunch break. To simplify posting and admin from home, I am thinking of setting up a more easily accessible email address, because, honestly, using Thunderbird for all my email accounts *except* my blog account pretty much guarantees that I hardly ever check my blog account. So, new email address will have to happen.

The second drain on my time is a much happier development. There is a new mini-PBS in NewCon. Pretty soon we are going to go from a squadron to a full on SubGru. (My wife, by the way, grits her teeth every time I start up like this. It is a miracle she has not damaged me yet.) Here is the wee one.




Baby was shy during the sonogram, so we don't know the gender, but around St. Patrick's day we should find out =) As you might imagine, though, my domestic duties have increased, especially since the wife was ordered by the OB to stay off her feet as much as possible. This is new territory for me (the kids are learning to like Thai food for dinner, though. Ok, no they aren't, but at least they don't all start bawling when they smell me cooking it anymore), so my blog-time at home has taken a serious hit.

Thirdly (yes, they are starting to pile up), I got busted. As some of you may or may not have noticed, I have tried to remain anonymous to the general public. However, there are only so many former bubblehead officers working in my office (2, to be exact), only so many with three kids (just one), who attended ND (again, just one), etc... As I work for Team Sub at NAVSEA, it means there are plenty of people that like their work enough to read blogs that relate to it. So, it was bound to happen, someone figured out who I was. Thankfully, it was a friend, but it made me think twice about posting again. There is no specific policy that I know of, and I try to be very concious of classification and business sensitive stuff. Even so, I was worried. So I took some time to rethink it all. Obviously, I feel like I am morally and legally in the clear, so I will continue. I am not going to trumpet who I am (why advertise?), but I am a little less concerned about being secretive about my identity. So, in that vein, how about a boat pic? It is the JOs just before they started making pizza (we tried to do it at least once an underway - once a month if we were underway that long). Can you guess which one PBS is? Bonus points if you can identify the insignia on the collar of the guy in the foreground. For answers, click on Read the Full Post.

-
And here are your answers:

In reverse order of asking. A - A mid from the Merchant Marine Academy was riding us for this run. He couldn't believe how clean our engineroom was, and kept commenting on how dirty the MM enginerooms were - they never field day'd. Many nukes considered trying to transfer.
B - No, the devil horns are not me. The guy in question had just gotten his orders for his shore tour - NAVSEA(08). I got him the horns so he would fit in at his new job.
C - Yup, that is your intrepid PBS, showing affection for his sea dad. Notice the big smile on sea dad - he seems to be enjoying it. Well, we had been underway for many weeks at that point.

Read the Full Post