STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The precepts are simple. Everything we do is apt to involve one of those 4 fields. Take cooking for an example. You use math to measure your ingredients. You use science to adjust the heat to the proper level. It takes science to grow your vegetables.

All of that to say this. The US is recently poor in those fields. The Cub and Boy Scouts have rolled out the NOVA Awards for STEM related activities to try and remedy that. I am a mechanical engineer for the US Navy. Our other Cub Leader is a Civil Engineer for the US Navy. To say that we have a firm grasp of STEM would be a colossal understatement.

We have decided to try and get the boys at least one NOVA award this year, in addition to their regular Cub Scout stuff. Pocket Monkey has decided he wants to be a military machine gunner when he grows up. You should have seen the look on his face when I told him that military shooting involves science and math. I am fired up.

We have decided, based on the boys’ input, that this will be an awesome chance to introduce them to STEM and the associated concepts such as the scientific method. When we began our Den scrapbook, every boy expressed interest in a science related field. When we asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up, we got answers ranging from firefighter and builder to teacher.

The takeaway is that most activities involve STEM. The trick is to present it in an interesting and relevant manner. As a hunter, I like the Map and Compass and Wildlife Conservation fields. As a pipefitter, I like the Math field. There are many more fields of study that match my other interests.

My challenge to you is to mentor a young person in STEM. If you are involved in one of those fields, pick a young person and teach them your part of that. The US invented the light bulb and the telephone, among many other great inventions. We can be a great and innovative nation again. It just takes engagement and leadership. I shall keep you posted on our progress and associated shenanigans.

That is all. Fall out and carry out the plan of the day.


Fall and autumn

I love fall. My southern ancestors call the weather that we encounter in fall gumbo weather. Wife calls it Kadu weather. Kadu is Guam’s spiritual cousin to gumbo. They use chicken and veggies. We(Southerners) use damn near the entire kitchen.

I love football and the associated fall sports. I am on a life long quest to interest Pocket Monkey in the sport of American Football. He is getting there. He still is unsure of which team to cheer for. Some days he cheers for my team, and some days against. I don’t mind. He and I had a massive Super Bowl party last year while his Mom slept on the couch because she felt ill.

Today, we are making “shortcut gumbo”. It is called short cut because it doesn’t involve making a roux(pronounced like roo).

The ingredients and instructions are as follows.

2 Tbsps. Olive oil
! large sweet onion
3-4 stalks of celery
1 large green pepper
1 large red bell pepper
1 large bag of frozen okra
2 Tbsp. thyme
2 TBSP. parsley
2 TBSP. basil
black pepper and salt to taste
Old Bay or similar Cajun Spice
1 large can of tomatoes or 4-ish fresh tomatoes
1 can worth of water( about 4 cups)
4 deboned chicken breasts
Add everything to the pot except the okra.
When the dish is nearly done ad the okra and the meat.
We add steamed shrimp to be semi-authentic to the Cajun culture.

We bring everything to a boil and then simmer for around an hour. Cooking is not rocket science. Adjust ingredients and procedures to your taste.

A basic gumbo involves vegetables, spices and seafood. Gumbo is the Southern version of chowder. Add what you have, spice according to your audience, and simmer for 2-3 hours. So easy a Hull Tech can do it.

By the way, going to work when it is under 6o degrees must involve coffee or hot cocoa. There is no other way.

Cracker barrel

In the many BSA camps I attended in my youth, Saturday night snack/fellowship was a mix of several snack foods. In that vein, this post will have several comments on the multiple thoughts in my head.

Constitution Day. I was once given a pocket copy of the US Constitution by a Master Chief I worked for. His unsolicited explanation was that every sailor should read what they have sworn to defend. I agree.

Military bases arming everyone!? It might surprise you to know that the military has a large number of people that remind one of Barney Fife. Fireman Pokey from the Auxiliary Ship for one example. During OIF, my CG considered arming the engineering rover and watch officer. That idea got no traction because some of the engineers in both watch stations had issues. COs can authorize personal weapons on base, but rarely do for the aforementioned reasons.

PRT and diets Ask any Southern or Southernish person you know, and they will tell you that no matter how much you church up a veggie soup, if it doesn’t have meat in it, it is tedious to eat.

Clearances. I have one. The screening was quite tedious and the process lengthy. I suspect that some “sacred” groups get more of a pass than others. There are several things that the check goes over, some of which would fail you for owning a gun under current law.

Race and other factors. Predictably, there was no liberal outcry over the skin tone. Their house of cards is falling down around their ears, and would be amusing if it wasn’t so perilous to this once great country.

Gun control and information control. There were a number of violations of current gun laws, presumably due to no one wanting to be called racist. 3 firearms misuses in 3 states would be enough to get most people DQ’d for any firearm purchase, as well as almost any government clearance. A certain Senator from Cali is realizing that “undocumented journalists” have the power to upset the liberal’s apple cart and is trying to compartmentalize and dissect the 1st Amendment in ways reminiscent of how they butchered the 2nd. Everyone laughed at gun guys when we predicted this. By the way, there is no such thing on the civilian market as an AR-15 shotgun. There is an under barrel grenade launcher with beehive rounds for the M-4 that is highly illegal on the civilian market. Dude used the VP’s preferred weapon, but no one in the propaganda arm of the DNC wants to make the VP look dumb(er). Instead of outlawing guns, why don’t we outlaw murder? Oh, wait, we have? How come there are still murders? That was a rhetorical question.

General food for thought. If you open carry, a revolver makes you look like a cowboy. Some guns make you look like a lunatic. I know that is dumb, but image carries a lot of weight.

That is all. Fall out and carry out the plan of the day.

The BS Meter

In the course of my training as a leader of sailors, I have learned a few phrases that make my BS meter beep uncontrollably. The two biggest offenders are basically and technically. Another pearl of wisdom is that if it takes a person longer than ten seconds to answer a simple question, they are full of it. It seems to me that the phrase, “Let me be clear” should earn a spot on the BS meter. After the POTUS speech on 9/10, I realized that my BS meter was on full beep. Every BS phrase I have ever learned was uttered in that address. I came away feeling misled and generally bamboozled. Mrs. Snipe, with no formal training whatsoever in the art of detecting BS, opined that POTUS seemed full of it and confused.

Gentle readers, please ensure that your BS meters are calibrated and in use. That is all. Fall out, and carry out the plan of the day.

Gun Stuff

I have been trying in vain to get a scope on my Winchester rifle. At the point of no return, I went back to first principles. If you can’t do the assigned task, stop and ask someone more qualified. So I gathered my various pieces of equipment and went to the local “Emporium of All Things Sporting Goods”. Because I bought the scope kit from them, install was free. While we were there, Mrs. Snipe found a few things for the Pocket Monkey and I on the clearance racks.

No fewer than 5 people commented on my rifle. My inner gun geek is still giggling like a school girl over that. My rifle is a Pre ’64 Featherweight Model 70, chambered for .270. My brother in law recognized it as a sniper rifle based on the description over the phone. I take good care of it. One old timer commented on the stock. One guy commented on the overall rifle. I was asked if I inherited it. I replied that I bought it from a gun show. The store guys wondered audibly how someone could luck into such a fine rifle. I was amused.

I got my scope installed and bore sighted. The 83 dollars I spent there was for other stuff. I got one pair of pants, one pair of shorts, a couple boxes of shotgun ammo, a parka, and some jerky for the above price.

Tomorrow, I plan to go and sight the scope. I want to get a deer with that rifle this year. The son likes all things sniper. He thinks that it is the coolest rifle ever.

The Model 70 is the Rifleman’s Rifle. If I ever get into Appleseed, it is the rifle I will use. I believe that it is one of the best bolt actions ever made. That is all. Fall out, and carry out the plan of the day.