Sea stories

I feel we must take a break from the doom and glom to tell a funny anecdote.

I believe that sea stories have been around as long as the Navy. I was telling a sea story to my guys one day when work was slow.

The most recent cruiser I was on was on a 3 week mission to test some equipment, and generally antagonize a certain foreign power. That much is routine. As a snipe, I was given broad and unclassified strokes of the big picture. Fast forward to present day and a general purpose bull session. My story involved phrases such as “secret squirrel shit”, “all spark”, and classified beyond my clearance and pay grade”. One guy snidely remarked that it sounded like a movie, and asked if we had dropped a robot alien in the ocean.

Our CO had been walking around our area, and stealth entered into our shop. He motioned the guy that saw him to skip the formalities(attention on deck, e.g.). When one guy finally addressed the CO, he seemed disappointed that he didn’t get to hear the conclusion of the story.

Lucky for us, we weren’t talking about anything untoward.

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.

A right good story

One of my buddies from USS Last Ship is taking my spot when I leave.  He is also an HT2.  We were swapping sea stories and news of mutual friends one day, and I remembered a doozy of a knee slapper.  This is a good place to remind you I was more fresh air than snipe on the last ship.

I was on Shore Patrol with a Chinese-American EM.  She spoke Chinese.  I was picked because of my size.  She was very well endowed for a female of Chinese ancestry.  We were tsked with walking around and “showing the flag”.  Junior sailors could ask us for directions, or we could help them make proper decisions.

Late in the evening, the Officer in Charge (OIC) tasked us to wander into the various no-tell motels and herd the E-4 and junior back to the ship.  We walked into the first one, and the mama-san spoke to my partner in Chinese.  I speak about three words of Chinese.  I am fluent in pissed off though.  And EM1 sounded pretty pissed off when she replied.  We finished our assigned task and went back to patrolling. I asked her why she sounded angry when she was talking to the mama-san.

“HT1,” she said, “She thought I was a hooker!”

I cracked up.  Lucky for me my brain to mouth filter kicked in, or I would have probably been in trouble.  I wanted to point out that her extra large chest region may have led to that assumption, but I kept my mouth shut out of decency.  I laugh about that incident often.

Man your ship and bring her to life

My ship has been receiving the nautical equivalent of a high mileage tune-up.  Many major systems had been shut down for safety.  We have started bringing everything back online and it has been a pain. For the last 5 days, we have been working late.  A lot of water pipes ruptured when we pressed the systems up to check for leaks.  Apparently, breakers don’t like large volumes of water being sprayed on them.  I had duty for that one.  In this kind of situation, when the alarm goes off, the emergency party is all a-holes and elbows geting to their appointed place.  I called that one early in the AM at roll call.

“If you are on the Inport Emergency Team, expect problems and don’t go far.  We are bringing firemain back up today.”

I spoke those words first thing in the morning.  The water rupture happened shortly after lunch.

My shop owns four tanks and two major systems.  Several sensors had rusted toward stuck and needed freed.  We found an old way.  When one of the Engineman saw the contents of my tool bag, I think he grimaced.  It contained a pipe wrench, a cheater bar, and a big friendly mallet.

To summarize, we have been hammering stuck sensors free, activating major systems and cleaning up the mess that results when you bring big equipment out of lay-up.

Victim Intervention

Today, we got to sit through a seminar on how to prevent people from becoming victims.  The videos were predictably cheesy, and allegedly based on true stories.  There is a major PSA campaign right now about “No sailor stands watch alone”.  That is true.  The ultimate question that arises is, would I help?  It was presented as a duty, which stands equal to being a sentry, to prevent and/or report attempted sexual assault.  As a former, and hopefully, soon to be again, CCW license holder, the question comes to would I use my weapon to prevent a sexual assault?  What if I read the situation wrong?  Do I chance losing my CCW?  What if I am so scared of losing my CCW that I don’t interfere and someone becomes a victim?  Do I keep my weapon concealed and use my wits?

I believe the safest course would be to keep the weapon holstered and try some verbal shucking and jiving, and then elevate levels of force as necessary. I decided to look at it from a clinical first aid/emergency responder scenario.  Perhaps along these lines,

“Miss, are you OK?  Is this man bothering you.”

If she answers that she is being bothered, confront the offender from a safe distance (survival gap).  “Hey dude, she ain’t interested. Take a hike”.

After that, everything depends on how the offender answers/reacts.  Remember, though, a gun in your pocket doesn’t make you right, nor does it make you law enforcement.  That being said, one of the reasons to use deadly force against someone is to prevent a serious offense(rape, murder,etc) against persons.  Let us analyze further.  You were unprovoked.  You could have walked away.  Nobody is the wiser.

When I put my Mrs. Snipe or Pocket Monkey as a victim, I hope to God someone will intervene.  On that level, I feel it is only right for me to intervene on someone’s behalf.  I believe in that case, it would be prudent to leave the weapon concealed until it becomes necessary.  Feel free to add your .02 in the comments section.

Final thought, if the female has a concealed pistol, she can say no very convincingly, and up to 10 times(CA compliant magazine).

The Daily Grind

Day to day operations are as normal these days in the Snipe household.  I work, Pocket Monkey goes to school, and Mrs. Snipe does her homemaker thing.  The tempo at work has slowed down and I got voluntold for a mantenance assessment team when we go to dry dock.  Tonight’s dinner was chicken wings with a homemade breading.  Work is a lot of making metal stuff to fix or replace things.  We did a major metal onload the other day and my back is still bitching at me. I must say, it sucks to get old.

A smorgasboard of new things

I have had a busy end of the year. Marriage, inspections, vacations and more inspections.  We dang near aced one.  We almost aced another. High 80s and low 90s. Very unusual for a ship of my same class.  Elections are coming up and I don’t like it.  The Republicans need a better candidate. I’m not sold on Romney, but I would vote for my housecat Cody to do better than Obama.  We drove to MS from CA. It was a long but beautiful drive. Never again will I do that with only 11 days.  The in laws were fun and pleasant to meet.  Soon, I will be on the way to the Midwest to be an instructor for sailor pups.  I am looking forward to be out of the land of fruit and nuts.