Search My Blog

December 4, 2005

Blast from the past

Suffering from boredom I entered my name in a Google search and came across some Letters to the Editor for the Honolulu Advertiser.

I read this letter titledStop trying to change Hawaiian history by Kealiimahiai Burgess. After reading it I was thoroughly pissed and fired off my own letter to the editor.

In my letter,

Complaining Hawaiian has wrong perspective, I constructively deconstructed his points. Several days later I was rebuked in another letter by Cliffored Wassman, who's blinders prevented him from seeing my point and only the word "slavery".

Wassman took one sentence from my letter where I show a similarity in the brutality of slavery in America to the brutality in King Kemehameha's rule when he pushed people off a cliff who had a difference of opinion. >Wassman letter jumped on that small comparison and just couldn't see the bigger picture of my argument.

My friend Mike wrote a letter in my defense, and without me knowing it, to Clifford Wassman entitled Don't forget the past, but concentrate on the future.

I wrote another letter to the editor about Wassman's shortsightedness but I received a call from the office stating that only one letter a month can be published by submitters. Oh well. I guess it is better to leave that dead horse alone anyway.

Interestingly enough, my first letter was picked up by Angelfire.com in an article entitled Red-Shirt Pro-Apartheid March of September 2003 and Follow-Up Newspaper Articles.
There was a march down the middle of Waikiki where the particpants wore red shirts to symbolize the blood spilled by past Hawaiians during the overthrow of the Hawaiian government.

They want sovereignty so badly that they will organize huge rallies and attend meetings on the subject and spend time and money on court costs (Akaka Bill) and legislature, but yet they can't get together to make the schools better, fight illiteracy, keep their kids out of trouble, build a public train system, fix the retarded road system, or have some other kind of lucrative commerce and industry here beside tourism to jump start the economy during the off season.

Hawaii's Major DUUUUH's:
Hawaii has had some opportunities to cash in on some high profits but turned them down. Disney signed on for a marketing campaign for Lilo and Stitch for 3 years. After just one year, the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau dropped the program. Disney was shocked becasue this was their highest paying marketing program ever. Hawaii droppped them so they could focus on "...golfers, active vacationers". So instead of visualizing the worldwide reach Disney has (there were Lilo and Stitch dolls in Narita, Japan airport for crying out loud) Hawaii flushed the deal after just one successful year to try and get people to come to HI and pay out the ass to golf? DUUUH!

I had heard several years ago that Disneyland wanted to make a park here in Hawaii but it was voted down. I couldn't find anything to support this but it wouldn't surprise me. There is a waterpark here in hawaii though- complete with wave machine. This place can be so frustrating. Infact, I think I will end this post now because it would take all day for me to research and post more goofs by this place.

December 1, 2005

Last month of 05

So many things to talk about, so little time. Actually it isn't a time factor so much as it is a motivation factor, specifically, I have none.

I wanted to write about the 5 boys that raped an 11 year-old girl last week in a park in Honolulu but decided against it. Not really in the mood for that subject.

Was going to talk about Bush's new plan for victory in Iraq and then bash that fuck-tard Kerry for his unintelligible response. I'm so glad I wouldn't have to look at his Frankestein face for 4 years. But I don't feel like writing about this topic because it just really isn't fresh and I really don't have anything new to say on either one these guys.

I have been trying for 3 weeks to write an essay for the Naval Institutes annual essay contest. The topic is kind of dull, though, but the grand prize is $15k with good money for runner ups so I figured I would give it a shot. Just not motivated to write on a topic that doesn't interest me though.

I don't really play my online game much anymore since they totally changed, without warning, how the game is played now. It isn't fun anymore. Maybe I'll find a new one.

I spent the better part of the morning google searching the WWW for my name and various screen names I have had over the years. I found some pretty interesting stuff, and posts I had made back in 1995. I blasted some people on that forum and realized that I have changed since then. My writing is better and although I do blast people I usually do it in a more constructive manner instead of the ad hominem attack onslaught.

I am looking to post some letters to the editor from a local paper. I was surprised to see that one of my letters ended up in an angelfire.com article about a sovereignty march the Hawaiians had a few years ago. Perhaps I'll get around to that.

November 24, 2005

"No more buh-wets?"

In the immortal words of Bugs bunny as he watches Elmer Fudd dry fire his shotgun, I too am out of bullets. Well, in a few weeks it will be official but I will dedicate November 21, 2005 as my own V-Day.

I had a vasectomy, long overdue in fact, and I am now recovering from the 'minor surgery'. It was a fast process, only 20 minutes, and surprisingly 800mg Motrin keeps the pain at bay.

There is no anesthesia involved with the procedure and is much safer than a woman's tubal. Guys, it is a myth that it is easier for the woman to get her tubes tied after she has given birth. The only thing that is easier is that she is already in the hospital for her delivery. That's it. If you are thinking of getting a permanent solution to not have any more kids get a vasectomy.

I will spare you the details of the procedure but it is safe to say that when the doctor said after he bee sting feeling of the needle piercing the top of my scrotum I would feel a kick to the nuts as the needle numbs the nerve that it certainly was a kick- by a freakin mule. I rose up off the table and clinched the paper mat I was laying on. The pain subsided as the numbing effect of the local took over but I was really dreading the shot to the port side of my scrotum. Surprisingly, the shot to the left side hurt even more and the doctor said that was normal.

He showed my the pieces of my vas deferens that he cut off and told me that it was the largest vas he'd ever seen. Yeah, baby, props to the vas! Unfortunately, I couldn't keep them as they get sent off to pathology to verify that they are indeed vas. So what happens if pathology says that it isn't vas? What the hell else could it be?

The shot was the worst part of procedure but the recovery is just inconvenient. I walk like Fred Sanford with a log in his pants, it hurts when I cough, sneeze, talk loudly, walk, stretch, laugh, or breathe deeply. Other than that it isn't so bad. I kept ice on my sack for 15 minutes out of every hour and it really helps with the pain and the swelling. There is a little bruising but nothing too bad. It was a scalpel-less procedure and too my surprise there were no stitches. I'll have to get rid of a few pairs of underwear though- I can take a few shitstains but blood is nasty.

I learned a lot about my anatomy during this process and realized that there is a very complicated set of tubes and valves down there. In fact, I have to abstain from sex for at least 10 days- hey Doc, no problem, buddy. I have to whack off in a specimen cup and run it to the lab in 6 weeks after "approximately 15-20 ejaculations" to ensure there are no dudes swimming around. 15-20? That's it? Phht, I can do that in a weekend. Surprisingly, the sperm that is made is missing the tail and then after a while the testicles are like, "What the hell am I wasting my time with this for?" and stop making sperm all together.

That's it for the scoop on vasectomies. I'll be glad to get in to more graphic detail that you wish to help clear things up. I had a private party with my wife the night before my surgery to say goodbye to my little swimmers but I plan on having a going away party for my sperm at Buca de Bepppo's as soon as I can walk again. I am torn between having everyone wear either black clothes (like a funeral) or white clothes to commemorate the good times me and my sperm have had over the years- starting in my adolescence with a Penthouse and a few squirts of Jergens.

Oh, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

November 17, 2005

Homecoming 2005

After 6 months the USS LOUISVILLE returned to Pearl Harbor yesterday- another successful deployment to the Western Pacific behind them.

Watching a submarine fade off into the distance from the pier is one of the most sombering experiences for me. Although I have only missed one underway in the 12 years I have been riding subs, I have seen them on many occasions at sea and from the shore going off to protect our waters. A surfaced submarine one of the most loneliest-looking things I have ever seen, if there is such an anthropomorphic sight. It looks out of place, the only sign of life perhaps a few figures on top of hte sail poking their heads up and the white wash following behind.

It is an especially uplifting sight to see one pull in. The environment that we submariners operate in is in a constant flux of conflict- the ocean around us always trying to find a way in, the hydraulic, air, water, and steam systems always trying to find a way out of their captive piping. It is an unforgiving environment, one of the most dangerous in the Navy, and our policies and procedures are literally written in blood from the fallen comrades who came before us. A homecoming represents a victory for the crew against all elements that are in a perpetual battel to do us harm- this includes those enemies of the world who patrol the oceans for whom we must be on guard.

It was good to see old friends return from a journey marred with internal struggles and opposing outside forces. You could feel the tension in the air from the wives, girlfriends, soon-to-be wedded girls, and family members.

It seemed like an eternity to watch the sub bounce off the pier bumpers and get tied up, to wait for the brow to go across, and for the red carpet, barrier ropes, and arhway at the end of the brow to be set up. it seems like a nice welcoming gesture but it just holds up the people who just want to get off that boat and see their families, have a beer, and take a shower in their own home.

No Hawaii homecoming would be complete without the lei around the sail, ukulele players, hula dancers, and food and drink waiting on the pier. I had something special for my old sonar division- Jello shots in syringes (yes, real Jello 'shots'). Ironically I was told by a LCDR, prompted by a civilian woman (who I basically told to go shit in a hat when she said myae that wasn't a good idea to pass out) that since a photographer form the Honolulu Advertiser was here taking pictures that maybe I should wait until he leaves.

With as much respect as I could muster for this officer, I told him that there was a keg of beer in the direction of my finger and that there were people hanging lei's with Jack Daniels, Jose Cuervo, and Stoly wrapped in them. Jello shots were the least of the problem. He started to say something but he trailed off as 3 of my old shipmates ran over to me and grabbed the shots which I had promised 2 months earlier.

I went down when things got a little less hectic and grabbed a few things that I had left when I transferred. My wife was there and even though I wasn't returning form the deployment with them she still got a little teary eyed and realized that this is how a homecoming should be. I was comforted that this was the first and last homecoming my family will ever have to endure while I am in the Navy.





November 14, 2005

the torture debate

I must give credit where credit is due. Tonight I had an almost epiphanic realization on the use of torture by the U.S. to gain information vital to national security.

The US Senate voted 90-9 early last month to attach an amendment authored by Republican Senator John McCain to a defense-spending bill that would prohibit “cruel, inhuman or degrading” treatment of detainees in US custody.

I am a big fan of Jon Stewart's The Daily Show and tonight’s episode had Senator John McCain as a guest. Stewart briefly mentioned the Senator’s captivity and abuse in Hanoi but McCain’s focus was on his bill to prevent torture. McCain made a point that made me step back and reconsider my stance on pro-torture.

First, I must clarify that I think torture, however you want to interpret it, should be able to be a tool to gain information that could prevent harm or death to others, more specifically, administered to terrorists. The Geneva Convention already has a law in place to protect POW’s. The back of my military ID says Geneva Convention Category 2, which I assume translates to a chart that my captors would have taped to their wall in the interrogation room.

McCain’s amendment extends that courtesy to “detainees in US custody”. Let me see, where do we have detainees in US custody?

The Senator from AZ commented on a parallel between the use torture and the State of Israel. Specifically, Israel does not use torture and it passed a law in 1999 prohibiting its use. McCain goes on to say that if Israel can refrain from torture, given the environment they live in where terrorists attack them daily, then why can’t the US?

Stewart then brought up that torture only works on TV and in the movies. It seemed like a good argument but, as I always do when I run into a conflicting opinion, I decided to check some of the facts from the interview.

I was surprised to see the amount of returns I got when I did a google search for “Israel torture ban”. To my surprise I found a lot of articles to the contrary. I thought that this claim seemed a little Pollyanna-ish. That’s like saying rappers have united to strike the “N” word from all their music.

In reference to torture not being effective except in Hollywood I would also have to disagree. Although McCain is a testament to the strength and resiliency of POW’s not all POW’s are the same. And now I must step back and use some proper terminology. You see, the GC reserves humane treatment for POW’s and terrorists do not fall under that category of wartime prisoners. Perhaps we haven’t been attacked in 4 years because of the techniques we are using to extract information?

The more I thought about it the more pissed off I got at the Senator. I can hear the rebuttals now:

“If we use torture we are no better than the terrorists”
Wrong. This is an argument meant to divert thinking away from protecting ourselves and turn it towards a pseudo-moralistic code or even worse, to instill an almost insane sense of guilt. Are we to be no better than the person who is executed for raping and killing a 10-year old girl? Of course we are. Imposing or enforcing capitol punishment does not put that person on the same level as the person who is being executed.

“We have an image to uphold to the rest of the world and using torture tarnishes that image.”
Why should we give a shit? Seriouysly, how many countries help us when our asses are handed to us? The help we give the world is grossly out of proportion to the help we receive.

Show me a moral objection in the use of torture for self-defense. People are quick to lie, cheat, steal, and kill in the name of self-defense. Why do people get so bent when it is used to safeguard our nation? I addressed this issue in a previous blog post so I will let that horse lie.

If torture is used, however, for crying out loud people leave the cameras at home.

Apartments can really suck

I know this probably isn't news to anyone who has lived in one. Whenever a group of people are in close proximity to each other there is always conflict. For crying out loud, I rode submarines for almost 12 years- you can't get any closer than that to a group of people.

My bathroom ceiling has rotted out because the guy above me has a leak from his shitter. It took weeks to convince him that it was actually his toilet however, even after a contractor ripped a hole in my ceiling to see the underside of his floor.

The issue is money (isn't it always?) and who's insurance will cover the cost of the repair. An interesting caveat arose when the contractor pulled wet rotted newspaper from the pipes around the toilet. It was obvious to me that the people who renovated my bathroom (inlcuding new drywall ceiling tiles) saw the leak, and in true Hawaii work ethic fashion, just tried to cover up the problem instead of fixing it.

So, I have a hole in my ceiling with a plastic bag taped over the hole to prevent the debris and water that falls into my bathroom from above. Last weekend this jackass that lives above me, still in denial, poured a mixture of blue water all over his floor. Fortunately, my wife heard the water dripping and the plastic bag taped to the ceiling was about to come down. I ran upstairs and told the guy what was going on and this ass clown says, "Well, I thought if you ran up here then I guess the leak really was coming from my place." He then told his wife to sop up the water and wring it out in the tub.

Who the hell does a leak test at 9:00 p.m. without telling the people below? A freak from Neptune who is here collecting data on the human race by living among them.

November 12, 2005

Veteran's Day splish-splash

It's nice when you get a day off, especially in the military. We went to the water park (yes, I know, "What the heck is a water park doing in Hawaii?") and realized a few days before that it was military appreciation day. It was packed to the hilt and the lines were long but it was a good time. Especially frustrating was the long line to the Cliffhanger (not to mention the 30 minute wait outside the park to get in), a 50 foot or so drop straight down, because after a 20 minute wait the ride was over in about 2 seconds. Oh well, fun is always as fleeting as Jessica Simpson's acting career.

If I may be shallow for a minute, and I will since this is my blog, I do feel better about my little potbelly after a day at the waterpark. My wife keeps telling me it's not that bad but then again she also says she wouldn't do Brad Pitt. I just can't trust someone who's judgment is that misaligned.

Maybe I'm just getting desensitizing to the cottage cheese legs and bellies jiggling around like Santa after an all-you-can-eat buffet a week before Christmas Eve. And the men were almost as bad. One good thing about being that fat is that you really build up momentum on those slides! I just couldn't beat them; I had to race a borderline anorexic girl on the Cliffhanger to get some self esteem back.

I took this shot the other day mid afternoon and it has been the same scene for 2 days now in a row. I'll never get tired of looking off my lanai at this.

November 7, 2005

Dirty White Boy

I had my first racial slur hurled at me yesterday by some kids who live in my neighborhood. I will admit that I am suprised it took this long before I caught one- just over 12 years living in Hawaii.

As I was driving back home after a ice day at the zoo with my family I noticed some kids in their mid-teens throwing a footbal around in the street at the entrance to the cul de sac to my apartment building. I have seen these kids before and watched them run in front of traffic chasing the football.

I slowed and then stopped at the entrance as this kid with the football ran close to my truck not paying attention to what he was doing. Five or six of his friends were in the middle of the crosswalk but only half of them noticed I drove up. I gave a quick honk to let them know I was there.

I didn't look at htem as I drove by and as I got a few truck lengths away from them one of them yelled "Who are you honking at, white boy?"

I put my breaks on and was going to jump out and say something, anything, I guess, but the voice of reason, who was sitting next to me, told me to keep going.

At first I was pissed but then I thought that this kid was just trying to save face in front of his friends because he got honked at. Then I realized that maybe he was just shit-talking but maybe he is just that ignorant. As a side note, I have had the Foreigner song Dirty White Boy stuck in my head ever since.

When faced with confrontation some people have nothing to fall back on but racial epithets or slurs when it is apparent they are in the wrong. A heated conversation falls apart when the loser resorts to "Yeah, well screw you nigger!", or "Oh yeah? Go suck a dick faggot!"

It is thse people that ensure race, gender, sexual orientation, or religious preference will always be at the forefront of the attack, but never the issue or courtesy of talking to someone like a good human.

Unlike the 8 year old kid I heard at the at the zoo asking his parents, "Get me something for drink", the ignorance of these teens will be harder to fix. It is already rooted in them and eats away at the 'Aloha Spirit' I hear so much about on the islands.

I don't know what this kid was mad at, but it wasn't me. It was something far greater than the honk of my horn.

November 2, 2005

Tricks and Treats

The family dressed as someone different this year but since I spent so much time on this costume last year I figured I would get some more mileage out of it.

A Tusken, not a Storm Tropper, not a Sand trooper, not a (if you can believe th is) a mechanized Samurai. It is hard to believe kids and parents can be this clueless about Star Wars. This one lady said, "Nice costume! What are you?" It is a good thing she couldn't see the What-are-you-A-dumbass? look under the mask.

October 26, 2005

For crying out loud- beat his little ass!

Yesterday I was at my computer playing a little SWG when I was disturbed by some screaming outside. From the 8th floor this screaming sounded like it was 2 inches from my head. I sounded like a kid, male, and extremely pissed off about something.

Normally I just wait for the screaming to subside and go about my business but this shrieking by this kid was followed by several expletives, the one that caught my attention and caused me to get up and go to my lanai- "You are a bastard!"

I looked down 8 stories to see a 10? year old kid, his mother and father all standing on the sidewalk in front of the apartment building and their car, still running, with its doors wide open. Looking around the apartment lanai's I was not the only one gathering to watch the upcoming spectacle of neglective parenting.

"I hate you! I hate you!", said the screaming kid with his mouth wide open and tears streaming down his face.

He then proceeds to run into the street with his mother grabbing at his shirt. The kid turns around and smacks his mother like a pimp slapping his girl for holding out on the money. Now would be a good time for someone to do some of that parenting thing, you know, like you read about?

I can't even imagine hitting my mother as a kid mainly for fear of my father wailing on my ass with a belt like a pissed off stripper in Guam. A very narrow analogy, I know, but very apropos.

The father of this kid finally raises his hand and points to the kids after he just watched his wife get smacked and said something half-assed like don't do that. At this point you are probably thinking "Those people must have been white." I say that because there is no way a black or Mexican person would have put up with this shit for as long as it has been going on. They were of Asian decent, I would guess Filipino, not that it matters but my point being smacking the shit out of your kid for acting like an asshole should cross all racial barriers.

A woman came out of our apartment building and started talking to this kid who, evidently, was going to be dropped off with her. The parents jumped in the car and took off. I heard his screaming for about 10 more minutes before I was able to get back to my game in relative peace.

My wife and I talked about this pathetic display of parenting and, really, a disgusting display of just being a human. These parents ignored this kid and actually acted embarrassed by his actions but did nothing about it- kind of like the DNC nowadays. I understand that there is a big movement away from spanking that pschologists and other soft sciences are pushing for. For all you "time-outters" reading this I challenge, no, I dare you, to have tried that shit with this disturbed kid. I don't think that anyone would have minded if this kid got popped for how he was acting.

But even as apeshit as this kid went off, I find the fault with his actions in his parents. Nobody just does this kind of berserked behavior unless there are some serious mental problems or dysfunction at home.

I can't help but to think this kid is going to be the next burden on the health care system with all the treatment he is going to need. But then again, I am an asshole.

October 24, 2005

A week before Halloween? It's time to put up the Christmas tree!

I met my wife and today at the NEX food court, a first we have accomplished since we have known each other. I enjoy going to eat there because there is a mural which covers the entire walls and ceiling of the place that Wyland painted in 2003. It is relaxing and I just can't help but to get taken away by the all the sea life, like I am swimming among them.

This vision was quickly disturbed as we walked into the food court by the 25 foot metal frame of the lighted Christmas tree that will be going up. For fuck sake, people, October isn't even over with. Every year the date for the Christmas decorations gets pushed ahead more and more. There are retards in our neighborhood that haven't taken their lights down from last year- probably from that lazine-- err, Aloha spirit, but for crying out loud enough already.

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas (yes, I still call it Christmas, not 'festivities', or 'holidays' or some other politically correct term. If you don't like it, pick another date to celebrate your shit. We had it first.) but I hate all the commercialism that goes with it. I could interject here with a comment about the local Filipinos but I will forego it.

I'll just do all my shopping online and leave the shopping experience to the people that really dig it.

October 21, 2005

It is time to make an example

Lashaun Harris should be made an extreme example in the case "It Isn't Right to Kill Your Children"

This woman told police that there were voices that told her to strip naked and throw off a bridge her 16 month, 2 year and 6 year old children. Ah, gotta love the old "The voice told me to do it" routine.

Friends and relatives knew this woman was metally ill and knew she would stop taking her medication when not around her doctors. Great job at the intervention people.

It is really time for the courts to dismiss the psychobabble bullshit of postpardom depression as an excuse for women to kill their children.

"It's a mental illness, chemical imbalance... that's their world and that's what they believe," says Psychologist Cristy Lopez. "They end up having delusional thoughts and think they're doing something good or helping their children or helping the situation."


So why are these fucking head cases allowed to keep their children? Shouldn't htey be put under observation or something? I understnad that this condition can be treated with medication, but when a person has a history of not taking the meds something should be done. For the love of God, how many more kids are going to have to die before someone wises up and takes some drastic measures?

Andrea Yates, Susan Smith, and now this pathetic fuckhead all have special places in Hell waiting for them involving, at best, an ass fucking with a pineapple.

Out of focus

Homosexual boy, Matthew R. Limon (19 at the time), is sentenced to 17 years in prison in 2000 for having a homosexual relationship (charged with sodomy) with a 14 year old boy. If it were a 14 year old girl, however, the sentence would have only been 15 months under Kansas law. Of course the ACLU jumped on this and now Kansas has changed its laws so that harsher penalties towards gays will be unlawful. He will now be resentenced after the new law goes into effect and his supporters are rallying around him.

That's great he is getting a lesser sentence but the underlying fact is that this guy had sex with a 14 year-old person. People have lost sight of the original charge of sodomy and that there is something wrong with having sex with a 14 year old kid, gay or straight sex aside. The punishmenht, severe and unfair as it was, has been the focus instead of what happened.

October 19, 2005

Navy sonar vs. whales

A group of tree hugging asshole is suing the Navy for using its active sonar and killing marine life, spefically whales. I remember earlier this year when we went to San Diego to train with the Battlegroup we had to all read this message from the DOD about using active sonar when marine life was present. Basically, we had ot not use sonar if anyting was around, well, if anything cute like whales or dolphins (fuck the rest of the fish), and basically we had to dodge anything that showed up on our passive systems.

It is real easy to blame the Navy for 37 whales grounding themselves on the east coast when an exercise was going on 100 miles away. There was no proof that the active sonar killed these things but the Navy, and the military in general, is always the scapegoat for environmentalists if any exercise occurs within the vicinity when an animal dies.

From the lawyer of the tree huggers:
NRDC attorney Joel Reynolds said the group recognizes the Navy's need to detect enemies, and he noted that the lawsuit seeks limits on sonar during training exercises, not in war.


Hey asshole, how the fuck are we supposed to train for war when you cut our dicks off in peacetime?

Eh, here is the reality- the Navy ships and submarines will use active whenever the fuck they feel like it, especially the subs, because there is no way of civilians knowing, outside of having your head dunked underwater when an exercise is going on, when the military is using active sonar out there.

October 18, 2005

Pissed off Hawaiian... What a surprise

Every so often there is a Letter to the Editor in the Honolulu Advertiser from a Hawaiian that is pissed off about: 1)How the white man stole their ancestral lands, 2)The Akaka Bill not getting passed (again), 3)How "stupid" mainlanders should accept Hawaiians and their way of life instead of complaining.

I have lived here for 12 years and really got into the Hawaiian culture, folk lore, and customs. I treat them, and everyone I meet for that matter, with respect until they do something to piss me off. It is letter like this LEAVE WESTERN ATTITUDE BEHIND WHEN IN ISLANDS that I usually just skim over and dismiss as "just another pissed off Hawaiian crying about something that is never going to change" and go on about my business, but since I haven't bitched about this topic in a while I decided to talk about it on this blog.

I will not get into the debate on Hawaiian sovereignty because there are plenty of opponent and proponents who live their lives for their cause and I will not waste my time with this dead horse. Instead, here is a fair and unbiased overview of the situation from Wikipedia- Sovereingnty.

I will not deconstruct this letter but, instead, point out a few key sentences that drew my attention. In the first paragraph the guns are blazing as preface to the discovery of Hawaii by whites is placed in quotations, a common tool of desperate people who try to use the quotation marks as method of demarginalizing or neutralizing a word. Nice try, but those of us with more than a 7th grade education, and know the futility of semantics, also know that it was Cook who "discovered" the Hawaiian islands as the first non-Hawaiian. It's like how Columbus discovered America even though there were Natives all over the place. These people, and all the other explorers throughout history, weren't the first to arrive in the lands but they were the first technologically advanced explorers to arrive and share the location with the rest of the world. Whatever, this is the least of the problem with this letter.

Without any foreshadowing, but with little surprise, the alleged illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy is always questioned in these types of letters. It doesn't matter how many times the claims are refuted Lengthy but good) the same stale argument always floats to the surface of the printed page like a turd in a swimming pool.

I especially like her smokescreen logic about racism and the use of the Hawaiian word "ha'oule". The word means 'foreigner' but it is used by some locals in a derogatory sense much like the words honkey, cracker, nigger, spick, chink, or whop. Her statement:

Like any term that denotes race, it is not the use of the word that makes it racist; it is how you use it. Don't tell us what words to use.


I just have to shake my head at the stupidity of this argument and would like to encourage any young readers who happen upon this blog to disregard this prattle as ignorant and the type of reasoning that ensures race is the first and only issue by people who believe it. It is this attitude that should be hung up and flushed from our society.

Here is another gem from the letter:

For those who perpetuate such colonialist rantings, take your intergenerational ignorance and get over it.


Who? Who perpetuates this attitude? Most Peale that live here just want to do their thing. People that visit here don't give a shit about colonialism. It sounds like she has read the agenda of OHA and has the handy-dandy pamphlet with her with all the catch phrases and buzzwords like so many organizations in the minority who beg for attention to their soporific causes. Come on, "get over it"? What is this, high school?

The letter closes with some outdated nautical references to boats, I assume as a pun to Cook's landing? Regardless, I think we should give them some kind of compensation- I guess Clinton's apology in 1994 wasn't enough. After the United States kicked the Indian's asses, after a long and blood soaked struggle, we at least made them tax exempt and able to open casinos on their reservations. The native Hawaiians (less than 1000 purebloods perhaps?) deserve that much.

I think the thing that really irritates me is that after all the tragedy that happened on September 11 the illegal occupation of Hawaiian lands over 150 years ago is what is bothering the author of the letter. Nobody is alive that had anything to do with that but because there are white people who live in Hawaii now they are lumped into a perpetuating group of racists and land grabbers.

Screw you lady, seriously.

October 15, 2005

This dude's got balls

While research a ton of work for a sociobiology paper I ran across this article while trying to tie in the works of Richard Dawkins and Jonathan Kozol. I had to read their works The Selfish Gene and Savage Inequalities, respectively. I am sick of reading radical hippie movement books for my Masters class.

This article is about Professor William Shockley and I will only post the beginning paragraph from the article and then post the link afterward. Basically, this guy says that Negros cannaot survive in the worls by themselves unless there is some white intervention. He gives a few examples to explain. And I thought Dawkins and Kozol were douchebags...

"Professor William Shockley, 1947-1989, inventor of the transistor and winner of the 1956 Nobel prize for Physics: His views on race so incensed the so-called liberals that he had to be escorted by guards as he went to give lectures on campus.

‘Man is a mammal and subject to the same biological laws as other animals. All animals, including Man, have inheritable behavioural traits. The concept of complete environmental plasticity of human intelligence is a nonsensical wishful-thinking illusion.’
"

A good friend of mine brought to my attention a flaw in Shcokley's theory. George Washington Carver was raised by whites but surpassed them in intellect. I would imagine that Shockley would call Carver an "anomoly" or some other dismissive descriptor.

Here is the rest of the article entitled The Facts of Race

October 11, 2005

Order Up!

Today I got a phone call and it is official: I will be going to my old training command as an instructor to finish out the remaining few years of my Navy career. What a relief, to be sure. I was worried that I would be stuck in the Endentured Servitude Division, better known as Transient Division, and more widely known as the dreaded "X-Div".
My main discomfort with being associated with X-Div is that it has such a negative conotation; of course, I can't blame anyone for having those notions since the division is comprised of people who are on restriction for being fuck-ups on their boats, people who are off restriction for being fuck-ups on their boats and are now being processed out of hte Navy, and people like me who are medical hold for either legitimate or nefarious reasons. No matter, they can all burn in hell as I am off to bigger and better things. I guess they will have to find someone else to "provide leadership" to people who are picking up trash and raking leaves on base.
"So, what's next for you?", both of my readers ask. Finish my Masters and my Network Certifications in the next 2 years so I can get a job when my time is up. I hope the process is as easy as the statement.

October 9, 2005

New "Anti" Lemon Law?

It has been a long time since I've written anything about the fine state of Hawaii. My travels abroad and the travels of my kidney stones have focused my posts to a miserable and narrow scope.

It will take further research but I beleive Hawaii is the only state implementing a stopper law for used cars. In short, if you buy a used car from someone who has unpaid traffic tickets then the registration process for your newly purhcased vehicle will be "stopped" at the DMV.

There are a few options:
1)Get the previous owner to pay up.
Good luck there. This is the only state that I have seen that has continuously running commercials for dead beat dads. If these douchebags won't pay child support then why the hell would they pay for a parking ticket? If, for some infinetesimal chance the previous owner refuses, then attonrey's could be involved driving up the cost of the fiasco higher than just paying the tickets off yourself. Which leads me to...

2)Pay the fines yourself.
How messed up would this be? I guess it depends on how cool your new ride is how much you like paying for some other fuckhead's carelessness.

3)Fight the tickets in court.
This adds up to more money lost in fees, time off work, etc.

It seems to me that in keeping with the laziness, err, "Aloha spirit" of this state that the legislative body has yet again settled for mediocrity. They have taken the easy and thoughtless way out to get their due revenue. Looking at works in progress- Akaka Bill, road construction, etc.- it isn't suprising that lawmakers stoop to this kind of fiscal irresponsibility.

It makes me wonder if there is a lawmaker with a relative that is a used car salesman since it appears these shysters (the car salesman, not the lawmakers, err, wait a minute...) have the most to gain from this new law. People will go to dealers now to avoid any potential problems with buying a used car.

Why should people continue to pay for someone else's mistake? What's next Hawaii, making abortions free across the board so that people can pick up the tab for that too?


BLOG UPDATE!

I recieved a phone call today from the Honolulu Advertiser and they would like to print this blog entry. No, The Advertiser isn't reading my blog; I snet them this entry as a Letter to the Editor and they wanted to pick it up. Well, that makes 4 for 4 letters that I have sent and subsequently went to print. Too bad you can't make a living writing to people and bitching about stuff. Or can you....

October 3, 2005

Real LIfe JAG

I attended a Courts Martial today, my first one in my 18 years of service, and it was quite a show. I'm almost afraid to say it was just like a trial on television or maybe even a far cry from A Few Good Men sans a hot prosecuting counselwoman and a General shouting "You can't handle the truth!"

From the start I knew this guy was screwed because 1)he was charged with something to do with drugs, and 2)he plead guilty to all charges. What was amazing was the judge's careful and methodical sequencing of the charges. He actually asked this guy why he thought he was guilty of all 12 specifications under the two charges.

This guy was a piece of work: accused, charged, and sentenced to 5 years in a federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison, $5000 fine, reduction in rate to E-1, forfeiture of all pay and benefits and dishonorable discharge. Pretty much the whole enchilada.
He was found guilty of possession of a controlled substance (cocaine, meth, and E-TC) onboard a naval vessel and off base/in the barracks, use of the above substances, and distribution of the above substances. Even after this guy was busted on a piss test for cocaine he still used the drugs while on restriction in the barracks. During a Helath and COmfort inspection they found coke residue in his backpack and then after a search found meth on his person. What a shithead.

I kept thinking during hte trial, "Where did this E-4 get all this money to buy this much drugs?" According to him, he started taking these drugs in July of this year and then he was finally caught in Spetember. That's a lot of blow to be snorting (he claimed 2-3 uses per day) and a lot of Ice to eating and smoking. I found out later that he did suck dick for coke and even had his own calling card that he passed out to potential customers. Douchebag...

I found it disturbing that the drugs had such a hold on him that he smoked meth and snorted coke in the torpedo room in the early morning when nobody was around. There were 5 other people involved with this ordeal but I don't know to the extent each was involved. What a bunch of retards.

It was an educational experience and I think that all the junior guys should have to watch at least one courts martial to see how it pans out. Maybe that will be the deterent that keeps just one of these guys straight.

October 1, 2005

End of the line

I should be at sea right now on a submarine heading towards some undisclosed location in the Pacific. Instead, I am at home 2 months early from a deployment, not because of technical difficulties with the boat or some kind of family emergency- circumstances normally associated with a premature return home. No, I was sent home early because of medical reasons, more specifically, I pissed another kidney stone about 3 weeks ago and will now be submarine disqualified.

Yes, after a rigorous change in diet, plenty of water, and medication I created a stone in 1/4 the time between my first and second instance than I did eating McD's, drinking a fucking huge nightly glass of chocolate milk before I went to bed and taking multi-vitamins with 2 billion times the recommended amount of daily calcium intake and making this 3rd stone in less than a year.

No sweet talking the doctors this time like I did last year to get to a boat after my second stone; when the boat pulled into Yokosuka, Japan my fate had already been decided.

I am still looking at this hand I have been dealt and wondering how I will play it. With only 2 years left in the Navy before retiring my options for a new command are small. It should only be a few weeks until this issue is resolved and for both of my readers sake, I'll keep the updates painless and free of medical specifics.

I appreciate the comments and continued reading of my blog while I was away on deployment. I will be posting some travel related stuff in the next day or two. The highlight of my travels was definitely Japan where my lovely wife flew out to meet me. It was a first for my 18 year naval career to have someone I love waiting for me in a foreign port.

/end mushy talk

Stay tuned folks!

August 3, 2005

Another pic of Guam

It looks like the strangle hold Guam has on us is starting to loosen a bit. This might be the last post for a while. I took this picture as I was walking to the boat this morning. The big grey thing in the background is the USS Frank Cable, a submarine tennder that has been supporting us since we got here.



** New addition. What I have been doing most of the time here.

July 30, 2005

Overdue Pictures

So I am extremely tardy in showing off the deployment so far, and I apologize, but I was trying to find a way to resize these shots to conserve bandwidth. oh well. Guess I"ll have something to do when I get back to Pearl.

Brisbane at a cargo loading/unloading pier.


Brisbane at a grain pier. There were seeds everywhere!


Our friendly neighborhood Greenpeace.


Notice anything unusual about this shot? Where else but on a submarine would you have to worry about this happening to your Koolaid?

July 28, 2005

The long arm of Guam

Well, after a short 24 hours underway we are back in port for a while. I guess Guam just doesn't want us to leave. Our last visit was pretty good but people are starting to just hang out on base more and use the facilities here.

I guess the strip clubs start wearing pretty thin after a while; I know I can only stand "Buy me drinkie" for so long. I spent about 6 hours in one the day after we got here last week but that was only to get there early because the Nimitz battlegroup was pulling in and there was going to be an extra 5000 people running around. About 9:00 pm that night it was standing room only everywhere downtown-restaurants, 7-11 stores, clubs, etc. What a freakin sausage fest. I remember looking at the floor on the stage at the strip club we were in and it was covered with one dollar bills. A lot of the strippers flew in for the weekend just for the carrier group- they expected to clear $2-3k in that short amount of time. I was the equivalent of the shore patrol last port visit. We call it "Courtesy Patrol" so that we don't have to be so formal when we are out. We basically just walk around the strip and go into he clubs to make sure our guys aren't getting into trouble. It is a tough job to sit in the strip clubs all night but it is a sacrifice I am willing to make. AAMOF, I have duty tomorrow night- bummer!

This second time in Guam we weren't moored next to the tender. That makes it so much nicer to leave the boat. I hate dealing with all that skimmer protocol and having to walk an extra 80 miles just to reach the shore. We are moored across the harbor from it now next to the San Francisco. Every time I see one of those guys I think I am seeing a ghost. They really are lucky to be alive.

The E-7 results are not out yet but word on the street is that it will be tomorrow sometime; I'll believe it when I read it for myself. Everyone is on pins and needles. It sure would be nice to put it on but I won't cry about it if I don't. I sort of wish I was at sea when they came out because there is only so much they can do to me. In port I'll have to get up early and run/exercise in this humid stinking weather. Of course, on a sub there is no room to hide.

We are about 1/3 of the way done with this deployment and I can't believe how fast the time is going but on the other hand it does seem to be dragging. Not really sure how that can happen but other people are in agreement with me on it. Our schedule has changed so many times and there is some uncertainty in our future but hopefully our time in port when Jacqui is supposed to fly out will be secured. People are jokingly calling this deployment Guam Pac 2005 and I think we will even get some t-shirts made. I, for one, am not amused. I think I will go on a dive this weekend though, the one thing Guam does have going for it. The water is absolutely gorgeous and the visibility is the best I've seen.

That's about it for now. I am still trying to figure out how to get my pics up here. They are really big and I don't have a program to reduce the size. I guess I just feel guilty about taking up all that server space when I don't have to. Later!

July 12, 2005

First Duty Day in Guam

I take the duty section topside to do a little firefighting training with some hoses that are connected to a Y fitting from the tender. It is a pretty good size hose, about 2" in diameter, and shits through about 200 gallons a minute.

I tell a guy to flake out the hose for use, it was coiled up topside, and then a booming sound scares the shit out of everyone. The hose had popped off the Y fitting and was dancing around like a possessed cobra topside. It slide about 20 feet across the deck before wrapping up on itself and a smaller hose that was hanging off the side.

A guy stepped off the side of the boat the went down to grab the Y fitting while there was a lull in the action. Common sense would have said "Screw it, let it be and secure water to the connection" but I guess instinct took over. In all fairness, you can walk over the side of a round submarine before actually falling over. I didn't want this guy to fall in or get hurt if the fitting came loose off the other hose so I instinctively grabbed his arm which slid down to his hand because we were all wet from the initial spray. This guy lost his balance and got a death grip on my hand so we fell off into the water together. That scene from Backdraft comes to mind where the guy is dangling 40 feet inside a burning building and the guy holding him said, "You go, I go."

I felt someone grab my hand but it slipped out. The spray was secured before we fell over and he was pulled up by the hose that was already over the side. I waited my turn as people were yelling "Get the Jacobs ladder", "The Duty Chief fell over board", and dreadfully heard over our announcement circuit, "Men overboard port side!"

I grabbed onto the hose for support as I rubbed against the algae that had already started growing on the side of the boat in the 88 degree water. People topside started to pull me up and my knee must have opened the fitting. I was lifted out of the water as the hose came to life and as the end of it ran up the front of my body I let go of it and pushed it away but not before getting sprayed in the face with the full force of the blast. I turned my head away and dove under the water but I couldn't get very far in coveralls and the boots I was wearing.

By this time someone had run up onto the tender and secured the water to the connection. People were yelling and I managed to see the boat hook dangling in front of my face. I grabbed onto it and was pulled up. Topside was littered with people and the COB pushed his way through to me. I told him I was alright but I still couldn't see and I was out of breath and spitting up salt water that was forced down my throat. Someone on the tender asked if we needed medical assistance but I said I was ok.

After I got my eyesight back I noticed I was still seeing flashes of light which I thought were from getting smacked in the eyes with water. Nope, someone was taking pictures of the event. Didn't bother throwing a lifering or anything, but brought his camera up. Admittedly, I probably would have done the same thing. Speaking of which, I had just taken my camera and cell phone out of my pockets about an hour prior to this happening.

My hat went over board too and was floating about 20 feet from the boat but when I got below and was stripping down in the lower level head someone brought my hat that had been fished out. Unfortunately, the keys to the duty van were not in my pocket when I emptied everything out. Hertz will be getting a call in the morning....

Other than that, it was a pretty good first duty day as the Duty Chief. And before I get the flood of emails, Duty Chief is just a watch that a First Class is allowed to stand if given the OK by the C.O. E-7 results should be out in a few more weeks though.

July 10, 2005

Enroute to Guam

After we left Australia we stayed for a while to play around with some Australian combatants and a few other submarines in a joint exercise. It was fun for about a week then it got old fast.

We had a crossing the line (Shellback) ceremony on the way up to Guam as we crossed the equator. We did this event for 6 midshipmen who rode us from Australia to see how submarine life is. It is a big P.R. stunt the Navy uses to lure unsuspecting officer-wannabe's to the submarine force.

Now, the trip down to Australia was especially fun because we had a crossing the line ceremony but we did it at a specific place on the equator. We crossed the equator at the exact point where the Internationnal Dateline (IDL) crosses the Equator. This is called a Golden Shellback because when you cross the IDL you get a certificate called the Golden Dragon. It is a time honored Naval tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Existing Shellback play roles during the ceremony: King Neptune, Davy Jones, and assorted members of his Royal Court. There is a format involved in turning the non-shellback (Wogs) into full fledged shhellbacks. I played the part of Davy Jones, Neptunus Rex's secretary, and had a blast. Photos are on the way.

Do a search for a shellback ceremony to get an idea of what goes on. Of course on a submarine, away from prying eyes, we can step it up a notch.

Guam. Why bother?

We arrived at the Pacific Island of Guam, Where America's Day Begins, on Satruday and I think I can speak for the entire crew when I say it is already time to go. In all fairness, however, I have been here no less than 20 times and it got old the very first time I got here. I think the biggest factor in creating my dilike for this place is the weather- 90+ tempertures with about 99% humidity- humidity so bad that it takes your breath away when you walk outside.

This is a working port and we hit the ground running today. Just about every division has a month's worth of work that has to get done in an extremely short amount of time. If we get it all done I'll be suprised.

The nightlife is really good if you like strip joints (raises hand) and the ones here are some of the best I've seen, err, heard of. One of the local favorites is the Viking Club so named because of its theme inside and the huge helm that sticks halfway out of the stage at the back. When the wheel spins, watch out. It is customary for a "Friend" to give the stripper a $20 bill and set up someone for the ass beating of a lifetime. The unsuspecting (sometimes) shmuck is brought on stage and made to place his hands on the wheel. The "dancer" proceeds to take down the pants and rip off the underwear. As this is happening, the audience is throwing belts onto the stage. The stripper then grabs one and proceeds to beat the ass cheeks of the poor shmuck until the cheeks looks like road kill. Fun for us, not so fun for the victim. And that's it- the guy walks off stage and can't sit for a week. Yay Guam!

I have eaten at The Outback and TGI Fridays and went to a Dave and Busters knock off for some video games and a few beers. And that is it so far. I have duty only once in this port because I am on the Duty Chief watchbill- more responsibilkity but less days of it.

The are several other boats in now and we were not able to get barracks roooms so we were hooked up with a berthing barge. Our boat shares it with onother and we have half of the bunks. There is a lounge and separate bathrooms so that we only have to walk on the pubes of guys from our own boats.

Before this gets too long I'll end it now because I wanted to talk about some things we did on the way down here. Hafa Adai! (Guamanian for "Good Day")

* Late Entry

It occured to me as I have spent the last 3 days packing up everything for upcoming 6 month deployment that the world will go on here. People will be oblivious to my abscence except my wife and son, of course. But for the most part things will go on like they have been but there will be so many changes when I get back.

I remember past deployments would bring me back to a new parking lot where a club used to be, a new park, or new restaurants. It about the only good thing that a deployment brings upon return to homeport excluding the family homecoming.

I think that this will probably be the hardest deployment of my career and hopefully my last. 20 years in the Navy is plenty for me despite whether I make Chief this time around or not. I think it is time to move on and get a taste of a new life and a new job.

So, aloha and check back every so often because we are supposed to hit some really good ports pending any unforeseeable circumstances. That's Navy-speak for "Our schedule is written in crayon on a piece of toilet paper and can change at any minute".

June 10, 2005

Australia Memories

My first liberty port ended on Monday, June 13 and we departed Brisbane, Australia with mixed emotions: sad because we were leaving, but happy because one month of our deployment had gone by.

It was a fun stay despite the fact that 2 of my days there were spent on the boat for duty. But even the duty days were all right and gave everyone time to recuperate. We were moored at a grain pier and had to do a berth shift on Friday to make way for a ship that was due to get loaded out. There was some debate as to whether we would stay another few days or just get underway. Everyone was hoping to stay of course, and it all worked out good in the end.

The piers we stayed at were a major international stopping point for tankers and other large ships to off and on-load their wares. These ships were so big and they just dwarfed our little submarine as they drove by. On my first duty day I saw a 900-foot tanker moor in front of us at about midnight, offload some containers, and get underway at 4 a.m. The side lifters used to take the cargo boxes off are controlled by GPS and setup by grids that the crane will use to offload the containers. Only one guy sits up in the control tower but does not control the cranes. It was pretty impressive.

Brisbane is a beautiful city and the people are very hospitable. I stayed at the Marriott the first 2 nights and then checked out not knowing if we were staying or taking off for the weekend. I had duty Thursday so getting underway the next day wasn’t such a bad deal. When we got the word we were staying I actually lucked out and got another room for the last 2 nights I was there which was paid for by the boat. I had duty on Sunday and it was a long day as we headed out of Brisbane. We are sticking around for a while to play with the Aussies and then we head out for good.

The shopping was really good and I got a few souvenirs for the kids. I had already loaded out on souvenirs the first time I came to Australia in 1999. I did get Jacqui some opals though since they are so cheap here. I didn’t have to pay taxes and got a 10% discount on them too! It will be a nice surprise for here and I am anxious to see her reaction since the only piece of jewelry I have ever bought for her was her wedding ring. A friend of mine bought a didgeridoo and I showed him how to play it at the hotel room. Everyone was amazed that I knew how to play that thing. Boomerangs, music sticks, and even kangaroo scrotums made up the majority of purchases for the boat. A few guys got some rugby footballs and it didn’t take long for the command to say no rugby playing.

There were several tours lined up including an overnight stay in the outback complete with horse rides. Some of the guys went to the zoo and saw the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. The locals don’t seem to care very much for him. The nightlife was really fun there were a ton of things to do. The women really take a liking to American men and needless to say there are a few guys on the boat who have permanent pen pals.

The weather was really nice and it only rained for a little while 2 nights while we were there. It reminded me of Florida weather- 70’s during the day and then it colder at night. I was shivering most of the time walking around at night. I did manage to see the last Star Wars movie my last night out and I loved it. George Lucas did a very good job of wrapping up the loose ends from the other movies and tying them all together. There were a few scenes that were definitely not intended for kids and rightfully so gave the movie a PG-13 rating. Australia bumped up the rating and made it for mature audiences.

For the most part the shopping was reasonably priced and at $1.30 exchange rate our dollar went a little further. I bought a travel guitar for $230 AU, which was a lot lower than the one I was going to get in Hawaii. Although I didn’t eat any McDonalds, a breakfast value meal was only $4AU and they had a deli menu. I thought that was neat. I ate out at a few different places and the food was reasonably priced but there were a few times that I thought it was a little pricey. I got a bowl of Singaporean noodles that cost $14AU. The Australian beef is excellent and some of the guys ate at the same steak house 2 nights in a row. It was called Cha Cha’s and was the place to go. A few guys in my division got tattoos but I didn’t hang around for them when we went out. We used the buddy system exclusively to cut down on liberty incidents and it worked. We made it through without any problems.

Well, that’s about it for now. I’ll send another update as things progress and try to get some photos up. I got some really good ones of sunsets and some night shots of Brisbane’s riverfront.

June 7, 2005

First Port- Brisbane, AU!

G'day from Brisbane Australia! It took us a hwile to get here but we finally made it. Just wanted to drop a quick line and let everyone know what I am up to but will have more time to make a more detailed entry later.

The last 30 days

The first long underway at my new command has come and gone but the 6-month deployment looms on the horizon.

It has been an interesting experience being back on sea duty after being gone for 3 years and so much has changed, especially the security requirements after September 11. It doesn't really affect us at sea but inport it is both a blessing and a curse. The major watches on the boat are all armed and ready to go at the pull of a trigger, and after my pathetic passing of the gun shoot last month I hope I am never on watch when the insurgent horde decides to take the pier. The downside to all these loaded weapons is the extra set of rules and procedures that the Navy places on even the simplest of tasks, like turning over the weapon to your relief. Oh well, a bit of inconvenience for the chance to blow someone’s head off in the drop of a dime is worth the trade off.

The underway was plagued with material problems which made life even worse than the normal situation of being locked up in a submarine. Compound these problems with crew morale and attitude and it became a freak sideshow.

Know anyone that stinks like a foot? Try living in close proximity of a handful of guys like that. Guys that work in dirty places and then don't bother changing their clothes for a week or showering. I saw a guy finally get in the shower, rumor has it his division ordered him to do so, and after he got out, still smelling like a stink ass, he put the same stinky clothes back on. The T-Shirt he was wearing had turned black; it was white a week earlier. There are many stories like this from just a 30-day underway- I can't even imagine what it will be like when we are away for 2 months. I was denied a shower a few times because the Officer of the Deck thought it would be a good time to blow shitters at turnover. Nothing pisses me off more to get woken up for watch then get to the head only to find that the showers and sinks are secured for this evolution. One third of the crew will stink longer now because the OOD can't plan something as simple as blowing san tanks.

Like I said before there have been many changes since I was at sea last. We have a huge screen monitor in my space that allows us to see what the periscope operator sees. Besides the wonders of the ocean that I am privy to listening to on a daily basis, I am now able to see what goes on above the water even in the middle of nowhere. We came up to periscope depth (at an undisclosed location between CA and HI) and I saw a couple of sea gulls following the scope. One of them even tried to land on it. We were hundreds of miles from any type of land but these two gulls were in the exact same spot of ocean as we were.

Speaking of animals and CA, before we reached San Diego I was required to read then train my section on the Marine Mammal and Endangered Species message we received prior to reaching our destination. I was so pissed after reading it but in short it was obviously drafted and forced upon the Navy by the CA tree hugging liberals to "protect" whales, dolphins, and turtles from the mean old Navy ships. Because whales and dolphins have beached themselves along CA coasts en masse the only possible explanation was that the active sonar from the Navy caused it. Yeah, whatever assholes. Besides logging all of our active transmissions we were actually supposed to perform turn away maneuvers from the whales to prevent us from hitting them, like we can actually "see" them while we are submerged. Jackasses.

The head (bathroom) in lower level overflowed with shit from the sanitary tank because the level indicator for the tank was off by about 500 gallons. The shit came up from the deck drains and fumigated the whole forward compartment. I was in crew’s mess at the time and the Chief of the Boat came in and wanted to know what the fuck was for chow. The Executive Officer came in shortly after and looked to see what was in the soup pot. That is pretty bad when the smell of shit is confused for the food the cooks are preparing.

That is about all for now, although I have plenty of new material for the blog for about 3 months. Here are a couple of shots from the underway.

The Control Room:



"I got your back."

May 12, 2005

Back Home Again

So after an extremely nasty underway for our last certification before deployment I decided to take a week off and fly back to my homestate of Arkansas to see some family.

It is depressing to find myself getting pissed here in AR at the very same things that annoy me in Hawaii. I guess retarded people are everywhere (no surprise there) but I was hoping to get away from all the ridiculousness at least for a while.

I read in the local paper (Log Cabin Democrat, 5/12/05, Rural Schools Get Poor Marks, pg. 1B) about how southern schools suck as far as standardized test scores- my home state ranked 7th on the suck list. Coincidentally, I was just talking about the school systems in HI and AR yesterday with my family. The only thing Hawaii schools have going for them is that at least they aren't Mississippi who continually ranks as having the shittiest schools in the U.S. The ironic thing about this edition is that there is an article about the once thought to be extinct ivory billed woodpecker on page A7. This bird gets $10 million annually to protect the areas it lives in. So, screw the schools, protect the woodpecker. People can be so stupid.

Another thing that has really chapped my ass for as long as I can remember is the concept of "wet" and "dry" counties. This has to be something the Bible thumpers came up with. Being a religious person myself I use that as a term of endearment. The strategy is that if you only make certain counties "wet", or able to sell alcohol, you will keep the sales down and therefore people won't be drunk all the time. What kind of ill conceived logic is this? Here's how it really works. People are pissed off that they have to drive to another country for booze so they stock up on it when they do go consequently getting shit-housed whenever they can. I guess this is another law that will require the old farts to die who keep this law in effect.

The last thing I will bitch about is a Catch-22 concept many states have adopted to raise revenue for the petty cash drawer. Tunica, MS is a popular casino for people to throw their money away. Yes, a casino in Mississippi to help raise money for stuff and the schools suck ass. So there is a cases against how cool casinos are for the state economy. My mom said AR should get casinos going here to help the state out but I made the point it is always the borderline "bad" things that are proposed to help the state economy- getting rid of dry counties, bringing lotteries and casinos, etc. Don't get me wrong, I like throwing the dice when I go to Vegas but I think that Vegas has a lot more experience in that area than the bum-fuck southern states do. I just get the feeling that these southern states want to rip off the Sin City capitol.

Sheez, haven't gone on a rant like that in a while. I'm going to open the back door to my parents house and fire off a couple of shotgun rounds. Just because I can.

Long Overdue Props

I am ashamed of myself, really, for not giving this extended congratulatory handshake to my good friend Saucy Sauce who had a little baby boy not too long ago. My busy schedule has even prevented me from seeing him to give him a baby gift or something.

Anyway, Saucy, you know I'm happy for you brother. As a father of 3 boys I can safely say you will have your hands full.

April 17, 2005

Kokua Festival '05

The Kokua Concert last night was freakin awesome. For those of you not hip to the Hawaiian language "kokua" means cooperation and is at the end of every public service announcement- "Please Kokua". What, you don't know the Hawaiian word for please?

I have been waiting to see Jack Johnson for a while but his concerts usually sell out pretty fast. G Love was there and that was a bonus since I have been waiting to see him as well for about 3 years now. I got turned onto these two artists by a friend of mine when I started teaching myself to play guitar. Their music is fun to play and it isn't that hard, although G Love does have some riffs and harmonica playing that is out of my league.

Jackson Brown was also there as well as a few local guys that put me to sleep with their slow-ass style of music. I love the slack key guitar playing but dude, play that slow shit during the daylight hours. Besides the fact that there was so much weed floating around we were getting sauced and the mellow music wasn't helping. As soon as Jack got up the crowd went apeshit. He is a local white boy who made it big with the easy going surfer music and people out here love him.

Here are a few shitty pictures of the concert. I was 23 rows behind the grassy area in front of the stage and it was dark so my cheap 2 megapixel camera couldn't hang.

G-Love and Special Sauce tearing it up


Jackson Brown


Jack Johnson. Yeah, shitty pic but I know who it is.


Us with some stoner chicks in the background

April 15, 2005

attempt #3

This is the 3rd time I've tried to make a post and due to technical difficulties I have had to restart my computer and lose my half written posts. I was going to just skip it but then I would terribly disappoint both of my readers.

Nothing like a fire to bring the boat in early; today is a boat holiday so I finally get 2 days off in a row! My only duty-free weekend since February was flushed when we found out we have to support another boat's inspection. This almost makes up for it.


Despite the retarded watch rotation this last underway it was pretty mild. A few drill sets, some training, nothing too bad. Our usual underway watches are 6 hours on and 12 hours off- we basically run on 18-hour days. Last underway we were in what is affectionately referred to as "Vulcan Death Watches", named after the Star Trek Vulcans who had an unusually high tolerance for pain. These watch rotations go like this: 4,4,4,6 and 6. They suck and do nothing but cycle the crew but for some reason the upper level management of the Navy thinks they are a good idea because they maximize the amount of time the crew can drill. What it really means is that the crew gets it in the ass with no time to sleep. I'll really jump for joy when the people in the high places figure out the VDW don’t' do anything but cycle the crew.

Besides the watches and the fire we had that brought us in the underway was uneventful. I had the midwatch again before we pulled in and then had duty after we moored. Ho hum, par for the course. I'll be glad when that rotation is turned over to another duty section.

Here are a few pics~

The new guy's first time wearing a SCBA. We wear this to fight fires.


Throwing a heavie.


Getting ready for an early morning underway.

April 8, 2005

Clubbing

Darn, Anna Nichole Smith has cancelled a trip to Canada with some PETA assholes to protest seal hunting. Read about it here Evidently the sealers are getting more and more violent and PETA could not guarantee the blonde bimbo's safety. Too bad, she could use a good clubbing herself.

Although I don't wear seal fur, or any other fur for that matter, it isn't because of a moral issue I have, it just looks stupid. It is kind of a social status thing for me, kind of like how the locals out here in Hawaii see how high they can lift their trucks. Although equally as retarded of a practice, at least the trucks are used for something practical, or could be used for some kind of off roading. Fur wearing is lame. And so is Anna Nichole Smith.

March 1, 2005

In for a day

So we pulled in today a little earlier than expected. I guess when the periscope leaks during the deep dive it is time to get that pesky problem fixed. Of course the C.O. took almost 2 days to pull in but we are in nonetheless.

I might feel a little better about it if he hadn't decided to get underway while Sonar was down, knowing that it was down before we left. To put this in perspective, would you get into your car wearing a blindfold and go to work? We stayed on the surface for 15 extra hours while me and my techs got the system working again.

I forgot how much fun this sea duty shit is.

I don't think the junior guys who had no place to sleep for 30 hours because the torpedo men had to move a whole room of weapons around shared my enthusiasm. Squadron riders took pictures of guys sleeping in spaces with makeshift racks because they had nowhere else to sleep. A Chief took pity on a guy and let him sleep in his rack. This would be like a first line manager in a civilian job letting employee sleep in his bed for a night.

So we are in for a while waiting for the shipyard workers to fix this periscope that they worked on previously. That doesn't give me the warm fuzzies.

The image below was taken about 10 miles from Pearl Harbor.

February 23, 2005

Prank 'O the day

A fire on the submarine is probably the most feared casualty and it is this premise on which I based my prank.

After a previous night's dinner of boat food and with 3 guys in Sonar, I cut loose a silent but violent fart that had been brewing for a while. As it escaped its dark prison I said with a straight but concerned face, "Does anybody smell smoke?"

Everyone started taking deep breaths to overcome the blanketing smell of "the boat" and see if they too could smell smoke. Everyone of them got a full nose full of my ass. They have so much to learn.

February 21, 2005

Meeting new people, sharing...

Conversations have a funny way of evolving into crude bodily functions here at my new command and I am having a blast meeting my fellow crewmembers. I have duty today, for you civilians that means I have to stay onboard this boat for 24 hours, and a smokepit conversation got me cracking up.

I was telling these guys about my colon blow pills that I take and how they make my farts smell like a stockyard in the summertime. One of the guys, let's call him Fred, told a story about his uncle who would eat this concoction of milk, cucumbers, vinegar, salt and pepper, and some other things that you normally wouldn't think go together with each other.

So, Fred asks his uncle why the hell he's eating that nasty stuff and his uncle says, "I got court tomorrow." So this guy eats a foul mixture of a witch's brew so that he can fumigate a court room with his ass.

I love this place.

UPDATE ON DOGHOUSE:
When I came in for duty today the doghouse had been fished out of the drink. It stunk and was stained from the shit that is on the bottom of the harbor.

February 17, 2005

First duty day

My first duty day was full of suprises. Promptly after turnover there is the following announcement on the General Announcing Circuit, the 1MC:

"Man overboard!"

I'm thinking that this is a drill to test the duty section's response time. Wrong. The ship's duty officer had fallen off the port side of boat when he stepped off the non-skid. A civilian worker was there when he fell off and immediatley fished him out using a firehose as a line. Hey, at least he had the forethought to do that much.

The duty officer was relieved to change out of his wet clothes but not before another officer ran topside with the camera from the ship's office and rattled off a few shots.

About 3 hours later the cover to the weapons shipping hatch, AKA the doghouse, blew off the hatch when a gust of wind lifted it up and over the hatch. The ironic part is that the doghouse had just been untied and rotated. Whoops, guess they should have tied it back down?

Evidently, this is the 4th man overboard in a month. WTF? That harbor water is nasty and I go out of my way to make sure I will not fall in.

February 14, 2005

Futurama Alien Alphabet

The Futurama Alien Alphabet appears in Matt Groening's animated series Futurama. It is used mainly to write signs which appear in the background of some scenes and which are often in-jokes. Why is it on my site? Because I have all four seasons and I will now rewatch them and pause the DVD's to read the signs written in the alien language. Do I know how to party or what?! I post this image of the alphabet so, if like me, you have nothing better to do, you can get a fresh look at an awesome series.

February 12, 2005

They just don't get it

Yep, I bet the people on the right have a kickass time during Valentine's Day. They look like they are really in love.

/sarcasm off

comparatively speaking, the people on the left displaying this minor display of affection are on the same moral equivalency of a live sex show in the eyes of the onlookers.

Maybe the guy on the right can give his wife her clitoris back for Valentine's Day. Nothing says "I love you" like a reattached clitoris.

February 8, 2005

Update to Story on 2/2

Remember the guy who had his girlfriend staying with him in the barracks? They are getting married tomorrow morning at 8:00.

I guess they got tired of moving around; hellloooooooo government housing. I mena what a great alternative to mooching on your friends- just get married and let the Navy pay for your house.

We leave soon for 6 months. ANy bets for how long this marriage will last and how much debt this guy will be in when we get back from deployment?

Ahhh, true love.

February 7, 2005

The Infamous Email

Here is an email that got sent out to everyone on the command mailing list concerning smoking in the government van. This email has not been altered in any way to ensure the pureness of the original message. The names have been deleted in order to protect the stupid. The sender is a local and just adds to my dementia concerning the illiteracy of this place.

-------------------------------------------------------------------


-----Original Message-----
From: xxxxxx, xxxxxxxx
Sent: Friday, May 30, 2003 11:43
To: All
Subject: FW: Smoke in Govt Van

Sent for your information. Please do not smoke in the "government van" or near the "government van" as the smoke will get my mail clerk sick.

Your cooperation is appreciated.

R,
Xxxxxxx

-----Original Message-----
From: Xxxxxxx, Xxx
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2002 1:05 PM
To: Xxxx, Xxxxxxx
Subject: Smoke in Govt Van

This morning I was in mailrun but smell awfully smoke in govt van, make me SICK and complain so should you information XO that Don't Smoke in Govt Van but I didnt like this, make me against. I really upset myself that reason Somebody use govt van during smoking.

Thanks,
Xxx

-------------------------------------------------------------------

I guess the "4" in GS-4 doesn't stand for "smart". What scares me the most is that the individual complaining about the smoke is in charge of official mail.

February 5, 2005

Frog Invasion

The Carribean coqui frog was introduced to Hawaii back in 1990, probably due to the ever so vigilant eye of hte local customs inspectors. The frogs are on the Big Island and Kauai and have made local news stories again. Originally, a $10.5 million plan to control them was proposed but the State dragged its ass for so long that the frogs have now taken over. they compete with local birds and lizards for beetles and bugs but this isn't what the big deal is about with the residents. The frogs make too much noise.

Whah, fucking whah. So let me understand this: The Hawaiians want to completely erradicate a pesky frog because it is noisy and bothersome but when a girl gets her arm bitten off by a shark the locals go apeshit and prevent a fisherman from heading out to kill the shark because of some retarded superstition that the dead return as sharks.

These people are fucked in the head.

....

First, I must apologize for the lack of a title for this post but I just couldn't come USB with anything.

I am learning more about my new group of coworkers everyday- some good, some not so good. For example, I found out that one of my coworkers paid for a hooker when he pulled into San Diego. No big deal, I guess. People do it all the time. After some prodding from others, however, I got the full story (there always is more to the story, isn't there?).

After procuring the services of a hooker, she then asked him if he wanted to get funky and have her urinate on him. Being an adventurous guy, he agreed to the golden shower. Again, this still didn't surprise me because I know guys that have urinated on the bar girls they paid for when we pulled into various countries overseas. What did surprise me about this whole pee-pee event was when the hooker asked him where he wanted it and he said, "In my mouth".

I think this guy is just wanting to experience some alternative forms of erotica and I'm all for that kind of stuff. I just learned from this guy that he wants to have a chick (hooker or otherwise) jam objects into his ass. I asked him to be more specific and he listed things that were mostly sex toys- dildo's and such- and suppressions enough, I asked "How big?".

I have said it before and I think it bears repeating: Sex is like weight lifting- it is not a spectator sport.

February 2, 2005

It can only get better from here

My first day as the "boss" was interesting and I guess I have forgotten how much fun the sub can be.

I had to counsel one of my guys last week for being late and in the session I found out that his girlfriend from TX has been illegally staying with him in his room for 2 weeks now- she planned on leaving the 20th of February. I told this guy he needs to find somewhere to stay besides the barracks before someone walks in and sees his girlfriend all by herself one morning. Well, guess who walked in at 8a.m. while he was at work and the girlfriend was still in bed? The barracks petty officer (BPO), some second class knucklehead.

The girlfriend is worried that this BPO will turn my guy in but the BPO tells her not to worry about it and she can stay as long as she wants- if she shows him her breasts. I guess semi-annual sexual harassment training just isn't enough in the Navy. So, this young, dumb girl flashes this guy for the sake of her boyfriend. As if things can't get anymore messed up, the BPO gives her $20.

She calls her boyfriend to relay the fact that she can stay in the room and for him not to worry about it. She tells him the story and he leaves the boat to go get her. Now, I am oblivious as to what has happened at this point but I get suspicious when my guy comes to me and tells me that the barracks problem has been taken care of. He tells me what the BPO said and it just didn't sound right; why would the BPO knowingly break the rules and let her stay? About 20 minutes later I get the full story from the guy who drove the boyfriend up to the barracks. At this point I have no choice but to bring this to the attention of the command. The Chief of the Boat flips out and gets my guy, his girlfriend, the BPO, and my boss in a meeting with the base master chief. That BPO is fucked in every sense of the word- sexual harassment, extortion, failure to obey lawful order, etc.

So this was my first day. I can only hope it can't get any worse than this.

January 29, 2005

Careful what you wish for...

I have subscribed to the local newspaper chat boards and I am already pissed. It is the same stuff people are bitching about- high property taxes, shitty roads, shitty drivers, shitty politicians, and, my favorite, how Hawaii should be a sovereign nation.

In every topic I can find something that would bite these people in the ass should they decide to actually get off their asses and participate in something. But I won't hold my breath when it comes to the political arena; Hawaii had the lowest voter registration in the U.S. in 2002 and in this last, probably most important election 100 years, the voter registration was down 10% from 2002. My point here is that the local complain about how shitty things are but either a) keep voting the turds in or, b) don't bother voting at all. Talk about a vicious circle.

I find it ironic that the same posters in the Hawaiian sovereignty thread also post in the thread about how the U.S. should stop helping other countries and focus on our own. Uh, hello? If Hawaii is granted sovereignty, then by your own retardedness, we wouldn't have give you jack. Then we'd have to listen to you bitch about how the U.S. doesn't do shit for people. Make up your mind assholes.

I know I have lived here for a very long time, but please tell me, this level of stupidity isn't just confined to this 600 square mile rock, is it?

Geek out 2



Beating some ass with my pig sticker

January 23, 2005

I, Jedi

It only took a year and a half but I finally did what I set out to do in this game: become a Jedi.

Although I didn't have a little green guy riding my ass every second of the day I had a lot of help from people who play this game too. I do have to give my wife a hand for putting up with all this Star Wars nonsense for so long.

Below is the screenshot every Jedi hopeful wants to see.

January 13, 2005

Running late

After 12 years of living in Hawaii I would think that I would be used to the lackadaisicalness, err aloha spirit, of the locals. I was running late today and I should have just slowed down and just tried to not be in such a hurry; but I got pissed off instead.

To start, I had to wait for 3 stops to get to the bottom floor on the elevator. This didn't bother me because people have to get to work, kids have to get to school, the old Asian lady needs to park her ass on the lobby bench first thing in the morning. What irritates me is the slow shuffling feet and the brain dead movements. Get your fucking asses on the elevator for crissakes.

My next blunder was being nice and letting them all exit the elevator while I held the "door open" button for them. What pissed me off about this is that I directly violated my own rule- never inconvenience myself to show a random act of kindness because it usually ends up getting broken off in my ass. Now I had to wait for the shuffling zombies to exit not only the elevator but also the lobby door that leads to the parking garage. The only person that went the other way was the old lady but she was the last one off. I promptly zig-zaged around them and got to my truck and fired it up so that I wouldn't get stuck behind any of them.

As I get to the first light to make my left turn I have to wait for some kids to cros the street with the light. I don't want to be one of the assholes that barrels through the turn before the kids get to the middle of the road but when the kids fuck off while crossing the street my patience starts to wear thin. Three of them stopped directly in front of my truck to paw at each other's backpacks. I rolled down my window and honked my horn while yelling "Move your ass!".

Because I was stuck behind all the parents and other people running late I had the pleasure of waiting for these same kids to cross the street down the road in front of the school. They didin't mess around this time but they sure didn't have any haste in their steps. I don't expect them to sprint across the crossing but the constant feet shuffling like a man headed towards the electric chair is frustrating.

To make matters worse, the crossing guard lady is a borderline grape jelly stain. She likes to walk out in front of cars making the right at her corner with her stop sign when the opposing traffic gets the yellow light. This is to get the maximum number of kids throgh the light, I guess, but it prevents a car or two from making the right hand turn when there is no oncoming traffic.

The next feat is making the next left hand turn without the benefit of an arrow for safe passage. I get my vehicle out in the intersection with my blinker on so that when a 4 or 5 car gagp presents itself I am in position to jet through. Not these people. This morning a mini van with an Asian woman driver waited at the white line for our turn lane. I guess she didn't feel comfortable going through the intersection with anything less than a 1/4 mile gap between oncoming cars so, as I predicted, this asshole was the only person who made it through light. I also had the pleasure of following this twit at 20mph in a 25mph zone.

To make matters even worse, this minivan had the "Drive with Aloha" bumper sticker.

Asshole.

January 10, 2005

Silent Service

I don't know if you have heard in the news about the submarine that ran aground over the weekend but here is a link to the article.

Our C.O. gave us a brief on the incident today and while much of the information is classified, and will not show up in the papers, there are a few things about the incident that have hit the sub community pretty hard.

The accident that has left this boat in serious damage, as well as many injured personnel, also claimed the life of a 24 year old sailor. His name is Joe Ashley and I knew him, not very well, however, just as a friend-of-a-friend when I was on the L.A. He was a nuke and was on watch when the grounding happened. He was thrown against some valves and hit his head; he never woke up. He stopped breathing and he died in the bridge hatch as they were preparing him to be helo transferred off the boat.

I have told my friends and family on many occasions that I feel extremely safe onboard the sub when the hatches are closed. I never worried about a melee attack with another sub because of the technological superiority of my sub over theirs. I never worried about hitting anything because what is there to hit at 800 feet except another sub but what are the odds of that? The hull is extremely tough and can withstand the extreme pressures of the ocean depths, depths that would instantaneously crush us if there ever were a hull breach. I slept with my head less than 8 inches from an air valve that directed 3000 pound air; a pinprick hole in that valve has enough pressure to cut through a 2 inch board. But I never worried about it. I never even worried about getting too much radiation- I have received little more than 5 hours equivalent of a day on the beach in 17 the years I have ridden on submarines.

I don't feel that way anymore. I realized today that no matter how tough that outside hull is I am still flesh and bone. I realized that no matter how much technology we have and no matter how accurate we think our navigation charts are that there is still room for error. I feel like a kid that just found out Santa Claus isn't real.

The submarine force makes up a small percentage of the Navy and we are very small and tight-knit. We have to be because of the unforgiving environment that we live in. I see and hear about soldiers and marines dying in Iraq and I get frustrated and sad to hear that news. I think it is expected to have casualties in a war so unless you know the person the casualty report doesn't have as much impact.

This boat wasn't in a wartime scenario, it wasn't running from anything, there wasn't any Hunt for Red October stuff going on- just a bunch of guys going to Australia for some well-earned liberty. They were traveling on a route, that presumably, many submarine have used before, a hundred times before. What would have been the outcome if the track they laid down was just 500 yards to left?

There is the romantic, but gallow-humored, scenario that is jokingly talked about on boats- that if we were to ever go down, that we would go down fighting and shooting weapons as long as we had the air, that when our time had come and as the sonar from the incoming torpedo got louder and more frequent, that we would go out in a blaze of glory. At least the letter to the next of kin would give the reader some sort of comfort that the death was not in vain, that is was necessary to preserve an ideology. Joe's parents received a phone call and perhaps told the circumstances of the accident. I just know that I would have a hard time with knowing my son died because he hit his head while on the way to Australia.

The Navy flew Joe's father out to Guam and he was there when the boat limped into the harbor. As Joe's body was taken off the boat by his shipmates, shipmates with broken bones, he was given military honors. Dozens of people from Pearl Harbor shipyard and investigation teams were also on the pier waiting to assess the damage to both the boat and to the crew. I am sure there will be new procedures for the submarine community; tragically, it always happens after an accident of this magnitude. This is absolutely the worst navigational accident in U.S. submarine history.

I guess I just needed to get this off my chest and the best way I can express myself is through my writing. This event has opened my eyes to the frailty of human life when I thought that, in at least one place, I was invincible. Whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere else around the world, including 500 feet under the ocean, the men and women of the U.S. military are always in harms way.