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Everything posted by older

  1. I couldn't find anything credible on the origin of bell bottoms. Apparently, they go back a couple hundred years. Hey Geezer, I also had a military driver's license. I got mine at my reserve station, which was a wise move as they were very difficult to get at other places. At those other stations the exam was long and beyond reasonable; I think they were looking for reasons to fail you. And if you failed, you couldn't re-take it for a period of months (I want to say six months, but I'm not sure). So most guys didn't get them. But having one worked wonders for getting the holder out of crappy duty. My first month of duty was at NS Long Beach, waiting for orders. This place was a mess. They had hundreds of guys coming through the transient section enroute to other duty, and there was nothing for us to do. But since we were all little more than the lowest grades of seamen and airmen, they weren't going to let us hang around the Exchange. So on the first day, when the chief came out to take muster, I went up to him and told him I had a military driver's license and that I could type. His eyes lit up and he asked my name. After the muster he passed out trash bags to everyone. Then he said, "OK. All you guys go fill your bags with trash and don't come back until they're full. All I want to see is elbows and assholes. Older, you come with me." So while the rest of the guys wandered around in the hot sun (it was summer) I sat in the chief's office and once in a while typed something, or ran an errand into town. That lasted for about four days until I got an even better assignment, which I'll tell you about later.
  2. Hm. Annoying, for sure. Makes one wonder if they are doing this to try to get you back into the fold or if their social life is inseparable from their religious life and they just don't realize that you aren't part of that any more. Some folks just can't see beyond themselves.
  3. older


    Sounds like my wife's uncle's funeral. The preacher preached on and on and little was said about the man. (Although there was little to say....) Most of the family, even being fundies, were not impressed. Augustus, the first Roman emperor, said, "Have I played the part well? Then applaud as I exit."
  4. My first assignment was as a janitor's mate in the squadron HQ building. I was to be there every day at 0400 to empty the trash, shine the deck, and make the coffee in the chief's lounge. One morning I forgot to make the coffee. It would have been much better if I'd forgotten to empty the trash and shine the deck. In fact, it would have been better if I'd shown up naked. But I was lucky as it only took about a half-hour to brew and I was able to disappear until the caffeine took effect. I did not forget that again. BTW, I was living in the barracks at the time and in order to be up and on duty at 0400, I had to hit the rack at about 2000 hours (8 p.m.). Now there were about 50 guys living in my wing of the barracks, which was just one big room, and it was therefore quite noisy. I learned how to sleep regardless of what was going on around me, a skill that has served me well to this day.
  5. It's easier to just cut and paste from the other thread, which was about the Navy pilots who, late last year, drew a penis in the sky. I told of my flying in a C-47, which was LOTS of fun: "I got some flight time in a C-47 with an old E-9 left over from WW II when they made chiefs pilots for supply and support runs. This guy had a face like a bulldog, a stub of an unlit cigar permanently punctuating his jowels. His cap was folded down from the headphones, and his gruff demeanor was all show. He’d been flying for at least 30 years, and had been through most everything in the air. His seniority let him get away with his rumpled uniform and I'm sure he took no guff from the young punk jet jockeys. I had no fears going aloft with him; he’d been everywhere and done everything a pilot could do. Central Casting could not have found a better character." While the Navy mostly sucked, there were times when you got to play with some very expensive toys. Unfortunately, those times were few and far between.
  6. Dude: Picking at my brain will produce no usable results. I don't have anything I can think of that would be a good history of sub warfare. What I know comes from the guys who were there. One told me that there wasn't storage space for all the needed food so the large cans of food were just stacked on the decks in the passageways. Even the short guys had to bend over at the beginning of a cruise. Then there was, as mentioned, the hot racking. There was only one or perhaps two heads for the entire crew, and showers didn't happen and clothes didn't get washed. When submerged there was no air conditioning and it was always hot inside. The guys worked partially clothed and just learned to live with the stink. As to the bell bottoms, I don't know of any reason for them. The legs narrowed at the thighs so getting them off over shoes wouldn't work that well regardless of the bell bottom. We were taught to use pants as flotation devices by filling the legs with air, although this would only work for a short time before the air would seep out. Better than nothing, though. We were also taught how to abandon ship by jumping overboard. You don't dive. You go in feet first, crossing your legs and arms. You do not hold your nose as the impact with the water could force your arm up and by grasping your nose, you'd break it. And if there is oil on fire on the water, you use your hands before coming up to spread it out and try to make a hole for yourself in the oil slick. I've written on this site in other threads about going flying in a C-47. If I can find the link I'll post it here.
  7. Over on the "History of the F word" thread a couple of us drifted off topic and got into stuff about the Navy, as that's a place where the F word is perhaps the most commonly used word. Duderonomy asked a question and rather than hijack that thread, this is a new one. Anything you have to say about the Navy or your experiences in it belongs here. Here's where we left off: [From Duderonomy]: You didn't hijack anything. Damn the fucking torpedoes, full speed ahead! I've read some good books about subs and the Navy and so on, but I wasn't there and you were. Not to put you on the spot, but can you recommend any good books that explain what it was like? Speaking of uniforms, can you settle an argument? Not one I've had but one I read about a long time ago. Why did Navy uniforms have bell bottoms? Was it so they could get the pants off easier in the water if they had to swim a long way and didn't want to be weighed down, or another reason? Wow older, I'm really picking at your brain here.
  8. And take it slow. Seeds take time to germinate and sprout. Keep watering them, not too much, not too little.
  9. While little that happens in Texas surprises me, this one did. This judge needs to be sent off to find a new line of work.
  10. ^ ^ ^ Wish I could up-vote this one twice. Great advice.
  11. The social factor in religion is a strong one — there are people who, deep down, don't buy into the dogma but go for the social aspects. So breaking away also includes finding new friends. Consider hobby or political clubs, night classes, exercise classes, etc.
  12. Yup. It's fear. Fear of death, fear of the unknown, fear of things beyond the individual's control, fear of sex and the human body. As Mark Twain once wrote: “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”
  13. Note that the author is Valerie Tarico, a contributor to the main blog of this site.
  14. Having worked for a newspaper, I can say that that is what it is. No one wants to work the holidays.
  15. My dad was a screen writer whose work got produced and I wrote four non-fiction books that sold the expected numbers so I think I can say that what the o.p. has written above is good advice. Dad and I both made some money but the odds of scoring big are similar to winning the lottery. We both had inside advantages, but we did lots of research on what sells before lighting up the word processor. I had contracts in hand before completing a manuscript. To get those I submitted a proposal which included a detailed outline and sample chapter. For my first book, I had made a connection to the publisher though one of their established writers, so I wasn't going in cold. I also had numerous magazine articles on the same subject to point to so they knew I could write. A useful reference is Writers' Market. At one time there was a hard-cover version you could get at most library reference desks, but I see they have an extensive website: http://www.writersmarket.com I would strongly encourage anyone looking to write to take a course in newswriting at a local community college. Even if you're not planning on writing news, there are benefits to the experience regardless of what you plan to do. Creative writing classes are fine, but the newswriting will help you in many ways. If there is a feature writing class in the journalism department, take that too. One thing I would add is to establish your grammatical style and stick with it. I use the Associated Press Stylebook for decisions on usage as it's aimed at making things readable. In some professional fields the styles may be traditional but cumbersome. Don't let those creep into your work. And it is said that even Hemingway was edited. You need an editor, not just for mechanics, but for content; to insure that what you think you have said is what readers understand, and that what you wrote on page 237 doesn't conflict with what you wrote on page 42. Finally, if you go the d.i.y route, look at a number of professionally done books before you start laying out. Buy yourself a book on typography and book design. Having taught the subject on the college level, there is more to this than you might think. A seemingly small detail can make your work readable or not. And regardless, do NOT use Times or a sans serif face. I recommend Caslon or Garamond (it is said, "When in doubt, use Caslon."). But type size, line length, leading, letter spacing, use of small caps, italics, and more are matters that separate the amateur from the pro and make a work readable or not, so don't jump in without some study.
  16. older


    Sorry. It's so hard to lose a good friend like that. One of the things about pets is that they accept you for who you are. They never criticize, insult, or demean you. They don't try to make you over into something else. No matter how rotten your day was, your dog will always be glad to see you when you get home, and your cat will curl up in your lap and keep you company without asking for anything more than a few head scratches and a can of tuna.
  17. I remember when I was in 9th grade there was an English teacher who was totally hot. She was most likely in her early 20s. There was quite a bit of conversation about this among the boys at the school, and I think there were some guys who would have quickly jumped in bed with her if given the opportunity. Some probably suffered physical pains while sitting in her class.
  18. The grandson of my wife's best friend got caught up in this. When he was 17, he had consensual sex with his 17-y.o. girlfriend. The affair ended while they were both 17. But after he turned 18, the law found out and put him in jail. He finally did get out but it was a first-class nightmare for him and his family.
  19. Just because they drink the Kool Aid doesn't mean they don't like to do it. The teacher was a she. It seems Hubby walked in on them, took some snappies and emailed them around. What a gal. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/12/19/husband-catches-christian-school-teacher-bed-student-police/963972001/
  20. Wohwies were quite rare in my corner of the NAV. I only encountered one W.O. and he got there from enlisted. He was quite the goof off and the commanders kept him in harmless positions. W.O was the end of the line for anyone at that level. As to the E-9s, you are right. It is said that the chiefs run the Navy, and that's true. They make the impossible happen and can make life miserable for anyone, including officers. If an E-9 wants it done, it will be done regardless of bureaucracy or regulations. I got some flight time in a C-47 with an old E-9 left over from WW II when they made chiefs pilots for supply and support runs. This guy had a face like a bulldog, a stub of an unlit cigar permanently punctuating his jowels. His cap was folded down from the headphones, and his gruff demeanor was all show. He’d been flying for at least 30 years, and had been through most everything in the air. His seniority let him get away with his rumpled uniform and I'm sure he took no guff from the young punk jet jockeys. I had no fears going aloft with him; he’d been everywhere and done everything a pilot could do. Central Casting could not have found a better character.
  21. While they were on their honeymoon, we filled the bedroom of my wife's newly wed cousin and new wife about waist high with balloons, and stuffed wads of newspaper between the mattress and the box springs. They laughed at the balloons but we remained anonymous until they moved out of that apartment two years later and only then discovered why the mattress was so lumpy. For two years they had been sleeping on what they thought was a cheap mattress.
  22. Hey Geezer: As I recall, back in the late '60s, it was either "up or out." IOW, an officer had to either get promoted or his commission was not renewed. While this was a disciplinary thing, it was also for those who just didn't measure up for whatever reason. (And I would think that internal politics and schmoozing would be a part of that, too.)
  23. As Florduh wrote, perhaps jokingly, there is nothing you can do to make him shut up outside of a restraining order. About all you can really do is to walk away, shut the door, hang up the phone. Once when I got cornered I replied, "I want to go to hell so I can be with my friends." That ended the conversation.
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