May 28, 2005

Memorial Day 

So I'm here just long enough to tell you I'm off... again. I'll be back after the holiday, but only for about a week before I return - again - to the big grey floatie. Workups and blogs don't seem to mix very well.

Anyway, while I'm out, enjoy a beer or three - like I am right now - and find some time to say thanks to a veteran - like I'll be doing in a few hours. Yes, I'm going home to Seattle to visit Grandpa, who is a WWII vet and retired Navy Captain.

I've already told you about Grandad's death last month. Grandpa is now 95 and I worry he may not be around when I return from deployment. Grandma died two years ago, and I know he misses her terribly. It can't be easy for him.

When my wife suggested a trip home for Memorial Day, at first I wanted to stay here with her. After all, I just saw my folks and my brother - they were here for Grandad's feuneral. And it's not like I've got a lot of time at home left. But then she pointed out that I hadn't seen Grandpa in about 18 months and I may not see him again. Thank God for wives who slap their husbands upside the head with the obvious. I'm on a plane four hours from now.

This Memorial Day, say thank you. It could be to a man or woman. They could be 99, or 19. But say thanks. And if their system can still handle it after nine decades, or if they are of legal age, find out what they're drinking and get 'em one... or two.


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May 11, 2005

Off again - but before I go... 

I promised some pictures, and some tales:

The ship is a strange place. I don't know how you Navy guys do it, but I cannot imagine living there on a permanent basis. God bless ya all. I took me two days just to figure out what the whistle for chow sounded like... I kept missing meals. Anyway, that's where I'll be for the next couple weeks, so once again, this blog goes on hiatus. I'm trying to figure out exactly when, how, and if I'll be doing any blogging once we actually deploy. We'll see how that works out.

What it's really all about is this:

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Marines loading onto a CH-46 for a training raid on southern California

Gotta love it.

And as an added bonus, check out this series of shots I got at CAX. (By the way, for those of you that went to Twentynine Palms years ago, don't worry... it's just the way you left it. Dirt floors in the hooches, and no stalls for the toilets. Like I said: gotta love it.) Some Ospreys showed up and were practicing hooking up external loads. This particular one is carrying a water bull (aka a big tank full of drinking water).

click for full size

Pretty impressive, but it still might take some convincing to get me to ride in one.

Well, that's all ya get for now. Be back in a couple weeks with (hopefully) some new tales of high adventure from the sea...

May 10, 2005

Today's moment of zen 

Greenpeace has been declared guilty on two counts of misdemeanor criminal negligence, for sailing a ship carrying more than 70,000 gallons of "petroleum products" on board...

without having an oil spill response plan filed.

Oh lord, how I do love irony.

Here's the kicker: they hadn't filed the proper paperwork, and were going to take part in an anti-logging campaign.

Now THAT'S funny.

May 8, 2005

Now I've seen it all 

I wish I had the stomach to link directly to a pile of vomit like the one on display at Smokin's place, but I don't.

If you want to go see "Forsake the Troops", Smokin' will provide the link. I just can't bring myself to do it.

I briefly pondered boxing up one of my dog's shits and sending it overnight delivery to this guy (his address is posted on his blog) but then I realized he might enjoy this and rub it all over his body.

I also used up my EXTRA-LARGE military paycheck that I STOLE from the taxpayers (of which I'm apparently NOT a member), so I don't have anything left to pay FedEx for the shipping.

I'd consider calling his phone number and giving him an earful, but what good does it do to scream at a mindless pile of fecal matter?

Instead, I'll just go to bed under my big blanket of freedom and sleep comfortably knowing that even though I'd like to yank the covers to my side of the bed and let assclowns like this sleep in the cold, there's still plenty of room under this big security blanket for everyone... even Chumpy the Wonderslug.

May 4, 2005

The long road home 

So, I shall regale ye all with many a tale of the sea-farin' life... when I get the pictures back sometime in the next couple days. Till then, you'll have to suck it up.

I've been home now for six days, but I had more important things to do than blog.

I had to bury Grandad.

My Grandad was a Sailor through and through. He was a veteran of Peleliu as a corpsman attached to the Marines, and retired as a Master Chief Hospital Corpsman with over 27 years on active duty. He was tattooed, salty, used nautical terms in his everyday speech, and in 1945 you could have put him on a Navy recruiting poster. He was also perhaps one of the kindest, funniest, and most caring men I have ever known. I will miss him dearly.

He wears his blues now, was laid to rest by a detail of Sailors, and was honored by a 21-gun salute from a Marine firing detail. His flag was folded tight, and almost on cue two F-18's from MCAS Miramar thundered overhead as the last note of taps faded into the distance. My brother looked at me and asked if that was supposed to happen. I told him no, but in the cosmic scheme of things... maybe...

He lays at rest, next to my Grandmother, (a veteran herself of both the Coast Guard and the WAVES during WWII) a woman I never got to meet - but who by all accounts was incredible, and the love of his life.

He has checked into his final duty station.

Fair winds and following seas, Doc. Till we meet again.

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