60 Minutes of Play

Pocket Monkey likes playing with his friend outside. I fall into the “60 minutes of play” camp. In my world, 60 minutes of playing outside is invaluable. Mrs. Snipe mentioned that it felt like neglect. My response, “He is playing outside. With friends. I love it!” In my world, if you use the buddy system, and play outside, you are ahead of the curve! I strictly enforce the buddy system. If your friends go in, you come in. PM is learning about football from his friend. I love it! I come from an era where parents only got involved if you did something stupid. We check on the kids randomly, because that is what responsible parents do.

In our apartment block, all the parents know each other. “Don’t make me tell your Mom” still carries weight. PM and friends play football and manufacture adventures.

Speaking of adventures, we had a decent snowfall Saturday night. We went outside and commenced snow related shenanigans. A fellow parent teamed up with me to chase kids with snowballs. I was hesitant to throw a snow ball at someone else’s kids until I was given the “A-OK”.

“Just throw it They need to learn!”

I love parents that are as mischievous as me. We teamed up in a proper pincer and got the kids with snowballs from both sides.

That is all. Fall out, and carry out the Plan of the Day!

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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.

Dad stuff

Pocket Monkey has been bored for the past couple of days. Apparently, being on summer vacation while your Dad is working is horribly torturous. Yesterday afternoon, we played catch with a baseball and a few neighbor kids started playing, too. Until the ball got accidentally launched into a briar patch that none of us were equipped to overcome. Today, we played pass the soccer ball. I am not a big soccer fan, but time spent with PM is worth its weight in gold. We also had some shenanigans in the local concrete swimming hole.

Tomorrow I get to help with a teambuilding clean-up project and play softball. I love softball. I have been known to play until I can’t feel my extremities.

We now have a neighborhood raccoon that my idiot neighbors like to feed. I want to nail it with a crossbow, but the neighbors are not convinced. Have I mentioned that Washington has a large amount of tree huggers? If the crossbow is off limits, I want to take Pocket Monkey and make a snare or deadfall trap. Because these are unattended traps, that will also leave fewer witnesses. Give me some parachute cord and an hour, and I will make some magic. Add a machete, and my creativity is almost Disney-like. I almost feel like they guy in Caddyshack chasing gophers. I want to dispose of the varmint. I briefly considered using the .22 because it tis the quietest gun I own. I live inside city limits, so that idea landed squarely in bad idea territory.

I shall keep you apprised. Fall out, and carry out the plan of the day.

More Washington Adventures

First things first, the political climate in this country has me pretty wound up. I hope we have someone like Cruz or Rand running in 2016. It sucks for the Marines that they lose their chance to see some fireworks while POTUS gets to act like a redneck lottery winner in Africa.

We went up north a few miles and saw a decent fireworks show a day early. We can go watch some tomorrow, also. We can see the Seattle fireworks from the Bremerton base. The show we saw today was crowded and a bit annoying. I’m not a crowds kind of guy, but I wanted to make Mrs. Snipe and Pocket Monkey happy.

I finally got to do some real work this week. The inspector we were assigned was a complete pain in the butt and got sloughed off on me because I am military and I MUST play nice. I really dislike the escape trunk we have to climb to enter and leave the tended units. My calves are still sore. Being an HT1 again is still pretty awesome.

Tomorrow is this country’s birthday. Do what you want, but do it safely. We are a country of FREEDOM. Some may wish to forget that, but I won’t.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. ~Thomas Paine

Fire Adventure

Apparently, I am not the only one in the Snipe household that knows how to perform rapid response tasks during an emergency.  Mrs. Snipe and Pocket Monkey contained a brush fire until the pros arrived.  I was at work late that night so I missed it.

Mrs. Snipe noticed a growing fire out the back window.  She directed Pocket Monkey to call 911 and report it.  Meanwhile, she filled a bucket with water and started dousing the fire.  She kept going until the fire department arrived.  That is US Navy Rapid Response 101.  She explained that her goal was to keep the fire away from the cars in the adjacent parking lot.  I teased her when she told the story later that night when I got home.  She used a bucket of water, which is a lot better than nothing.  There is a fire extinguisher about 10 steps from our door, that is hard to see.

As always, a crowd gathered.  Nobody was helping.  Mrs. Snipe is not trained.  She has basic adult knowledge of how a fire works.  She has heard some of my stories.  Whether or not that helped her at the time, we will never know.  Mama Bear’s cub was in perceived danger and she acted.

I am very proud of Mrs. Snipe, the one woman bucket brigade.  I wish I would have been home to help.  I would have started barking orders and doing work, much like the Good Samaritan story from a while back.  Training is good.  Training is not always necessary.  Untrained people do extraordinary tasks all the time.  To all the looky-loos, next time grab a bucket.

Un-American

Today, I took Mrs. Snipe and the Pocket Monkey to the USS Midway Museum in downtown.  It was mostly an early Mother’s Day present because Mrs. Snipe wanted to see Jessica Sanchez sing.  There were some good moments and bad moments.  The good was the general all around fun I have at museums.  A part of the crew of USS San Diego was present.  They looked sharp in their whites and represented the Navy well.  Pocket Monkey decided he wanted to be a “red guy”(crash and salvage/bomb squad) on the flight deck when asked by the tour guide.

Let us speak for a moment about respect.  I have learned since I was very young how to respect the US Flag and the National Anthem.  Ms. Sanchez is a Navy child.  Her papa is in the reserves.  Since she was on a US Navy ship museum, she opened with the National Anthem.  She sang it well, that is not my issue.  I put Pocket Monkey down and told him to stand up straight and face the flag during the song.  Since I was in civvies, I faced the flag and placed my hand over my heart(this called teaching Pocket Monkey by example), which I learned in Cub Scouts.  The sailors were in ranks, so only their Chief Petty Officer saluted, which is standard military etiquette.  Now for the civvies.  Over half of the men didn’t remove their hats.  WTH is this country coming to?  As is my custom, along with my hand over my heart, I closed my eyes and remembered those that will never return. That is what you do during the National Anthem.  According to custom and tradition, you may also sing along quietly if you so desire.  I suppose the emcee could have asked the men to remove their hats, but perhaps he figured they knew already.

That burr will be in my saddle for some time.  Until next time, fall out and carry out the plan of the day.

Friday Foodie

I live in a large city.  Any food you want is just a matter of a little research and usually no more than a 30 minute drive.  Mrs. Snipe has been wanting oysters.  Today, we were in the Filipino section to get some accessories for her Magic Sing karaoke microphone.  Seafood for extra cheap.  We walked away with a sack full of oysters, two decent sized tilapia, cheese rings, pork rinds, and two cold drinks for the road for about 25 bucks.  Good luck finding that at the commisary or Safeway.  We grilled the seafood for dinner and it shall be accompanied with frosty adult beverages.  Root beer for Pocket Monkey.