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May 27, 2006

The Snoot

I can, with great accuracy, spot a snoot.

I was standing in the only checkout line open in the electronics/computer/stationary section a few days ago with my son. Technically, you can stand in this line even if you have products from other areas of the store. It is a well-known exploit I have been taking advantage of for years because the line is usually shorter than the ones at the front. I have picked up a package of AAA batteries just so I could feel better about myself for using this line to buy the other products not found in this section of the store- clothes, automotive parts, children's toys, etc.

I was fourth in line but I could see that the three people in front of me only had a few items. The lady at the register was busily checking a large pad of data looking for something that the customer evidently needed before moving on with her own life. This process was taking an unusually long amount of time was foiling my speedy checkout. I was holding a can of carburetor cleaner but I had picked up a coloring pad for my son along with some magic markers and a box for all his assorted artistic utensils.

Too many minutes had slipped by but it was only after I realized I had watched a lengthy clip of Hoodwinked on the huge display in the huge television section of the store. Children of assorted colors were standing, kneeling, lying in front of the 20 monitors used to make up the composite movie screen. There were no parents around, obviously content in the sense of safety this electronic babysitter provides.

My annoyance with the customer was compounded by her small child who was crying in a notable rhythm, heard by anyone within 50 feet of this check out counter. A crying child, in my opinion, is the most nerve grating sound the brain can process. It is one of the many feats of intelligent design that astounds me because no matter how long the child cries, eventually, someone takes notice and something must be done, perhaps not for the benevolence of the child but for the sake of the sanity for all those within ear shot.

The woman directly in front of me, and third in line, was in her mid twenties, attractive, slim and abnormally tall for her build. I noticed that she was wearing platform sandals that added at least 3 inches to her stature. I was able to get a glimpse of her face as she turned away from the woman ignoring her crying child in front of her. Her look of disgust was outdone only by her short nasal expulsions of noticeable grunting sounds coupled with a hint of smugness. I could easily see what this woman would look like in 50 years, mouth pursed into a contemptuous but tight frown, crows feet around the eyes from all the self-righteous squinting and several other mean thoughts I whipped up at her expense. I identified this woman as a snoot immediately after I saw her profile- she had too much hair pushed behind her ear for my taste and the hair that wasn’t tucked away was pulled back tightly into a bun on the back of her head. Oh yeah, she had snoot written all over her.

The parent with the crying child, after all this time in line, was told that she would have to go to customer service. Thanks, jack hole, for making us all stand here and watch you ignore your crying kid for 7-8 minutes. The man in front of the snoot was efficiently processed through and sent on his way with his box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts, DVD, and unknown, from my perspective, a bag of something. I turned to my son who was watching the crying little girl walk away with her mother who was nonchalantly waving a summoning had to her daughter.

“That is the definition of ‘ignore’”, I said.

“Ignore?”

“Yep.”

The person behind me made a little snicker but the snoot would have nothing to do with my social commentary. She gave a half-turn glance in my direction, lips pursed, as my son started his own commentary about the small boom box on display right next to us. At first I was thinking about how she should be fucked in the ass by some black dude with a freakishly huge penis. Maybe that would get that look off her face and loosen her up in the process.

It was now the snoot’s turn to check out and I tried to get a glimpse of what she was buying but it was slid across the bar code reader and shoved into sack too quickly for my prying eyes. It was at this point that I saw God’s sense of humor and Buddha’s law of karma and the snoot was going to take the full brunt of the deity’s attention. After the snoot grabbed one of the many credit cards she had neatly lined up in a fold of her pocketbook divine intervention to grasp- her card was declined. Her upturned nose and pursed mouth suddenly turned in to a look of exasperation as the clerk handed her card back. The snoot quickly but nervously slid another card from its slot.

Declined.

She took her second failed attempt at exercising power as a consumer as a direct hit and expeditiously packed up her pocketbook and replied that she would not be coming back for her iPod accessory, which I got a look at as I place my things on the counter. While the snoot was still within earshot I made a comment to the clerk, “I know this card will go through”, as I held it up between my first and middle finger.

The snoot couldn’t get away from that counter fast enough as she made a compensatory throat clearing noise.

May 25, 2006

A day in the life of a bubblehead

24MAY01 0115

Slow midwatch* today with hardly any sleep oncoming. I got to the rack last off watch at 1400, watched a movie and went to sleep. I was woken up at 1515 because our forward-looking sonar wasn't transmitting and they wanted me to fix it. I got dressed and went up to Control only to find out that the dipshit sitting there didn't know how to operate it.

I went back to the rack but was woken up again at 1640 because Martin had to yak, guess he isn't feeling good. Can't really get too pissed of at that. But for fuck sake, I need some sleep before I have to go on watch at midnight for 6 hours...

Got to the rack about 1700. The messenger didn't wake me up for my midwatch so I was a little late relieving Senior Chief Ratti, not that I care. That guy sucks at relieving the watch on time. Actually he just sucks in general- as a sonarman, a leader and a human being. Sonar rider #1 let Ratti have it when Ratti started bitching about sonar rider #2 (names have been hidden to protect the innocent). Rider #1 shit on Ratti for: passing out system lockups to Control while the towed array was stowed (civilian equivalent: calling tech support about a monitor problem when the thing isn't plugged in), relieving the watch late, lying about a data package that he said we turned in but was actually hidden in the back of the safe and then whining like a bitch for having to stand one port and starboard watch while his techs spent 40 hours troubleshooting the sonar system so the ship could stay at sea. One of those techs was me, by the way. What a tool.

I would love to hit the rack after the midwatch (6 hours, of watching green sonar screens just sucks) but I have an hour of cleanup starting at 0600, Department Training at 0700, Sonar training at 0800. Nope, no sleep until 0900. I will be one tired puppy.

We are supposed to surface tonight or tomorrow morning, but for what nobody knows. Well, at least I have a choice of halibut or pork for dinner before I go back on watch. Think I will bust out some rack rations and get a spaghetti MRE and wash it down with a Georgia coffee. Yummy!

The Recreation Committee is in some deep shit right now with their money situation. Thank God I got rid of that bag job while I had the chance. Inaccurate record keeping, and LTJG Knope being an idiot, caused a massive internal audit. This came about because the COB wants to start planning for our Christmas party (in May, in the middle of the Pacific?) but found out we only had a few hundred dollars in the Rec Committee funds. He suspects foul play but when I reminded him that the Captain would not support highly successful selling products, like Zippos, for fear of promoting the image of a smoking navy. Of course that was preposterous to the COB then I reminded him of the $5000+ I made last deployment as the Ship Store custodian selling those kinds of things. Everyone was shitting daisies when we had enough money for picnics in Guam and a killer holiday party at the Hale Koa upon our return. But when the well runs dry the witch-hunt begins.

The Rec Comm meetings are formalized now instead of a bunch of guys sitting around throwing out ideas to better the morale of the crew. The process reminds me of the scene in Animal House when they are at the hearing for their possible charter revocation. New business, old business, stupid business- come on. Seriously.

24MAY01 1600

The rack spit me out so I decided to take a shower and hang out in crew’s mess for a while. I love taking showers underway; it is the one true thing that breaks the strangling grip of this place. There are a few caveats: finding massive amounts of body hair, mostly pubes, clogging the drain; being in rough seas and bouncing back and forth off the cold, stainless steel walls; a clogged drain (noticed only too late) with massive amounts of body hair (mostly pubes) floating on the surface of the water around the ankles; having the evaporator break thus resulting in all showers being secured- the absolute worst possible scenario.

We are leaving our operational area (OP Area) to pull into Sasebo for a few days. Frankly, I could use a few days in to recharge. We’ve been on our own for a few weeks now and everyone is stressed, especially the brand new junior officers; they truly scare me. The C.O. made an announcement and woke everyone up earlier today to inform everyone that LT Sicola passed his Engineer’s Board. Great, another officer who’s been in half as long as me but making 5 times much.

I am hoping to have some time off in Sasebo to restock my rack rations. I blew through my Hershey’s miniatures way too fast. I also need to send some letters off and perhaps even get some mail when we pull in. I have yet to have a bundle of letters in wait.

*Editor’s note
I only received one letter from my (now) ex-wife that whole deployment and it was the Dear John letter so common in Navy relationships. The punch to the gut that accompanied this kick to the dick was the fact that she sent it to me 3 weeks before I was to pull back in off this 6-month deployment. She couldn’t wait 3 fucking weeks?! WTF? Nothing like being abandoned by your significant other when you are 5000+ miles away and no way of reaching them except for a few phone calls every now and then. I used to be bitter about it but I think I am over it now.

Sasebo is one of those ports that is always on the list that nobody really wants to go to. There really isn’t anything to do, nothing is close and we are moored at the very end of long ammo pier separated by a humongous shipyard. I remember seeing portion of an enormous tanker in its last stages of construction- truly a feat of modern engineering.

There are a few bars that we frequent- Bunny’s and Grammophone- and I think I will those places up and leave the cultural shit for next time. I just need a shitload of Jack Daniels shots.

Side note: We are pulling in the day after we run out of fresh salad. Coincidence? I think not.

May 24, 2006

Dried up stinky dick licker

I freely admit to stealing that descriptor from Tollbooth Willy but it just so accurately depicts my feelings for Tommy Chong.

I heard the old Cheech and Chong standup this morning "Let's Make a Dope Deal" on the classic rock station as I was driving in to work. When it was over the DJ said something to the effect of that piece being a great piece of rock and roll history. I fail to see the connection between a famous, only-one-movie-roll-having pothead and rock and roll history.

Today is Tommy Chong's birthday, a testament that even though you can be brain dead your body can still function. I see Chong on local television ads for a store that sells bongs, incense, and pot head t-shirts. He looks like he just smoked a bowl before the shoot and I would venture to say the dweeb in the commercial with him got a hit or two off it.

Pot, or pako lolo, as the locals call it, is an inherent part of the culture in Hawaii. Last year at the Kokua Festival the smell of cannabis was as thick as the incoherent gibberish of the bastardized English locals use to communicate. Although I was flattered to have the tap on the shoulder, I declined to partake because all I can think about are the tools I saw smoking the weed who were acting like jackholes.

There is a big movement to legalize pot but I think the campaign is using the wrong people to promote it. Tommy Chong as the face man for the legalization of pot is like having Al Gore as the environmental protection protagonist. They both do nothing but turn me away from their cause.

Chong is scheduled to do his Marijuana-logue this week here in Waikiki. From the commercial spots, it looks like the same lame jokes he has been doing for 30+ years that only the stoners can really find funny nowadays. Chong needs to get current with his illegal substance jokes- it just seems like good marketing to me and would appeal to a broader druggie audience. Crystal meth is popular here in Hawaii and cocaine is always the drug of choice for big business upstarts.

May 18, 2006

Not that it makes any difference but the Senate voted 63-34 in favor of making English the national language. This is probably going to ruffle the feathers of the pro-illegal immigration who say that people who live here don't need to learn English because "It's not actually our official language- nyaaaaaaaah!"

So now people can't use that as a talking point. Big whoop- the English only amendment is tacked onto the immigration bill and that thing has to be voted on.

If it does pass, 'English only' will be used as ammo for intolerant assholes who will point their finger and say "Learn English or get the hell outta here!" I'm not onboard with kicking item out because they can't speak English but if your doing business with me you need to be able to speak my language.

I'm sure Francis Scott Key will now rest in piece knowing his arrangement might soon be the officially correct language.

May 16, 2006

Spanish Guitar


I bought a book on Spanish Guitar about a year ago and decided to dust it off and give the songs a go.

The collections in this book have a true Spanish sound or character and some of the songs I recognize. I decided to try and play Lagrima by Francisco Tarrega.

Tarrega, considered by many to be the father of modern classical guitar, was born in Barcelona in 1854. Long before the British nanny's held the title for abusive and neglectful caretakers, Tarrega's nursemaid allowed young Tarrega to fall into a polluted irrigation ditch. This caused almost permanent blindness to the young boy. The word Lagrima means "tear" or "teardrops", and this piece obviously had a deep meaning for Tarrega.

In the 15th century Spain gave birth to what would be known as the modern guitar. The typical Spanish chord progression- E Major, F Major, G major, F major, E major- is derived from the Phrygian mode and strengthens the natural tones of the guitar. The E Minor and A Minor is a favorite progression of mine and captures the essence of the flamenco when I play it reeeeeeally fast with a pick.

Gypsy, Hebraic and Moorish influence combined with the Fandango, Soleares, and Buleria rhythms made Spanish guitar an easily identifiable sound. A great example of this influence can be heard in both jazz and rock- the Eagles' Hotel California on the Hell Freezes Over album is genius and I have been trying to learn the opening for 3 years now.

Nobody has done more with the guitar than the Spanish and, in my opinion, the last 500 years have seen the greatest guitar makers, composers and performers carry Spanish surnames. It has been said that the guitar is the heart and soul of Spain, and Spain is the heart and soul of the guitar.

Tarrega's Lagrima is done in 3/4 time and is light and wistful containing only 16 measures. I have the first 4 measures down so far but I had to find a recording of this piece so that I could hear what it is really supposed to sound like. I am thankful I did because the open B string played in the first four measures as accompaniment and then again in the 13th measure is not played as loudly as the melody. When listening to the song the open B is barely distinguishable.

I don't plan on cutting my fingernails down to stumps as Tarrega did but I still hope to play the piece, if all goes well, as a recognizable arrangement of the master's work.

May 12, 2006

The Burning Bush

Political pundits and bullish bloggers have had a great time over the last 6 years with our President. I have enjoyed the clips of his Bush-isms but as the years rolled on, especially after September 11 (Sorry, but I refuse to call it 9/11 for the sake of having a clever retrospective buzzword), the coverage turned nasty- WMD doubts, troop safety, Patriot Act, and most of all Bush’s perceived reckless and ‘above the law’ attitude towards National Security.

Although I am still waiting for a fair amount of tritium for my time travel device, I can honestly say that I would vote for G-dub again if I were to travel back to November of his first and second terms. And here’s why:

Bush didn’t win by a landslide; his winning, period, was controversial. He isn’t the most eloquent orator that has ever graced the pressroom at the White House. There is a laundry list of things that could (and do) put him at the top of people’s shit list. But even after all his shortcomings I still have to give the guy props because he is the first president in this hypersensitive and politically correct country to take on the challenge of rebuilding a fledgling nation after an onslaught of attacks we had yet to suffer.

In the submarine force, most of our policies and regulations concerning ship handling and workmanship are written in blood. We owe the safety of our boats to our shipmates who came before us and, through their errors, paid with their lives. The Scorpion, Thresher, Montpelier, Greeneville, and San Francisco gave the submarine community pause. The attacks on us in 2001 gave our country pause.

We learned the hard way that we weren’t ready for such an attack. We had no infrastructure. We are reminded time and time again that we are vulnerable not only to man made disasters but also natural ones. Bush has had a trial by fire initiation into the Presidency and I think he has handled it as well as any man could.

We, as a nation, are developing our own procedures and regulations from the events that have happened in the last 6 years. They are by no means perfect but like Monday-morning-quarterbacks it is easy to sit back and throw criticisms for why this idea worked or why that idea wasn’t entertained. It will take some time to figure this out.

As much as people bash the Republicans and their figurehead there just doesn’t seem to be an antitheses for the Bush haters.

“Bush lied!”
“Bush sucks!”
“Bush this and Bush that!”

Who did the Democrats have in their corner to counter the outlaw cowboy from Texas in 2000 and 2004?

Soggy douche bags.

Our nation, as always during the voting season, was forced to choose (using the eloquent words of Stan, from South Park, Colorado) between a giant douche and a shit sandwich. The Democrats couldn’t, and still haven’t, gotten their shit together. They packaged Kerry up with Botox, 3 Purple Hearts, and fancy clich├ęs in hopes to sway voters from the values Bush seems to honestly embrace. It’s not about packaging or Bush would surely have taken a nosedive considering his hack of the English language.

The Bush haters are gloating like Paris Hilton after a 3-day orgy over Bush’s 29% approval ratings. Big deal; Hillary’s are down too. Both party’s talking heads just aren’t enough any more and after the slim margin of victory in the last election and declining ratings on both sides it appears to me that the American people are looking elsewhere for some political substance. Third parties perhaps? Who knows, but one thing is certain- the People are in want and like a fat kid in a donut shop they will run toward whomever offers the tastiest filling.

May 9, 2006

My last word: Illigal Immigration

I’ve been thinking about this for some time now, formulating a both response and an opinion on the whole subject. I will now make a blog entry to emblazon my point of view onto the annuls of Internet commentary.

I realized that the whole ‘illegal immigrants marching for their right to be citizens’ movement had a similar parallel to someone breaking into my house then demanding that I put them on the lease. Moreover, I feel insulted that they would take advantage of our American hospitality and track dog shit through our house by demanding, not asking, that they be made citizens of this country solely on a proxy of living here illegally in the first place.

After watching and reading about the movement of illegal, who comprise more than just our neighbors to the south, I became morally miffed when they started to liken their cause to the late Martin Luther King. Forgive me if I do not see a parallel between a man trying to give U.S. citizens what is due them based on the Declaration of Independence they grew up under and border jumpers who demand equal rights to our nation’s resources because they illegally work, live and consume benefits in our country.

There is also no figurehead for the illegals to rally under. The blacks had Dr. King and Bill Clinton, the gays have Rosie O’Donnel and Dick Cheney’s daughter, the Alliance had Luke Skywalker and his sister Lea; hell, even the environmentalist crackpots have Al Gore. The horde of Green-Card Challenged individuals have no figurehead and no one to bring them together, at least not on the scale MLK did.

Why is it so important for a movement to have a leader that is recognized? The leader provides goals or at least the representation of the party’s interests. For that matter, what are the goals of the illegals? Will the U.S. submission to their demands: 1) Give us a Green Card, 2) Stop keeping us from illegally entering this country, and 3) Stop taking advantage of our status to further your company profits – stand as a precedent for more of their family members to jump the fence and claim immunity to our immigration laws or is this a one-time deal for the ones already here?

What would your attitude be if you found a bum living in the backseat your car and demanded that he be allowed to stay there because he does the job you don’t like to do, ie. clean your windshield with a dirty newspaper and scrape the bugs off the grill. The analogy is no different when compared to the illegal immigration issues.

The tiresome bleating from pro Illegal immigration supporters shows a level of Lilliputionist thinking rivaled only by the cads who think we invaded Iraq for the oil.

“We were all illegal immigrants at one time”, they say. “Native Americans are the only ones who aren’t really immigrants”, they purport.

I don’t remember reading the Indian’s illegal immigration manifesto. The many cultures and nations that founded this country, and eventually kick the Indians asses, setup strict immigration rules, after they kicked Great Britain’s ass and became the United States of America, and everyone after that who wanted to come here must do so by our laws and regulations. Period.

If you do not follow established laws you are breaking those laws and in legal terms that person is considered a criminal. Why do people give a politically correct gasp when calling illegal immigration violators criminals? They are the same hypersensitive people who also think most people should not be held accountable for their actions, that there is always someone else to blame for the misfortune or direct actions of others.

To both examples, I tell these people to go shit in a hat. By all means, bring your poor, your tired, your hungry, your oppressed. Just get your fucking papers in order so that the government can keep track of you. Why should illegals be exempt from the impending brain chip the government will install to keep track of us?

I will comply...
I will comply...

May 8, 2006

And knowing is half the battle...

No, not some G.I. Joe after school lesson of life, but a lesson in Sonar of which I have been a big fan of for the last 18 years.

I have studied the effects of sonar in seawater since March of 1988 and have prided myself in knowing a lot about the subject since I am a submarine sonarman. I taught junior sonarman-wannabees, guys just starting their naval careers, and I taught seasoned salts. I have taught officers and even sonarmen of foreign navies. Today I learned something that I had skimmed right over in the "Sonar bible" a hundred times and never thought to really think about it.

An essential part of sonar propagation theory is sound velocity, or how fast sound travels in the water. I know there are 3 things that directly affect sound velocity- temperature, salinity and pressure- and by how much each has an effect as their properties change.

We have a unit in sonar that is a repeater of a transducer face that measure the actual sound velocity in the water we are in; it is limited by ownship's depth but it a good place to start to understand how sound is traveling around our boat.

We can shoot a probe out of the boat that measures sound velocity (SSXVT) to a greater depth than the boat can go to, but they are expensive.

But all this knowledge of sound velocity, all the terminology we use to describe sound velocity, is wrong, and it has been wrong for quite sometime in the sonar world- even the sonarman's bible says it, but so quickly that you skim right over it like you are reading a credit card app.

Sound doesn't actually have velocity. To have velocity you must have mass and sound, in and of itself, is massless. Sound is created whenever something rotates, vibrates, or reciprocates. The molecules around the sound source excite the molecules around it which then expand outward in pressure waves. This is why there is no sound in outer space, no molecules in the empty vacuum of space to help the pressure wave expand. So, if a star exploded and nobody was around, would it still make a noise?

The correct terminology for the movement of the pressure wave is sound particle velocity.

But this would take too long to write down and we would have to change a lot of labels on sound velocity measuring equipment. We will just continue to use the wrong terminology and just know what is really happening.

If this is foreign to you do not fret. Most people could give 2-shits about sonar theory, including the hundreds of sonarmen in the U.S. Navy. to further complicate things I am including this daigram of a sound velocity profile, something near and dear to a sonarman's heart.

So there it is. Sonar Theory 101 completed.

May 5, 2006

Moussaoui is a tool



This convicted Al-Qaeda member, tried as the lone gunman on the grassy knoll for the September 11 attacks, will be rotting in an isolated prison for the rest of his life. Denyed martyrdom, this Frenchman of Moroccan desent is nothing more than an ambulance chaser- a loser that wanted some attention to make up for his stupidity and failure as a terrorist, a solo act of the Three Stooges.

He came into this country legally on an approved visa, something more people coming in to this country should take note of, but because the dumbass let his visa expire he was arrested and jailed before the September 11 attacks.

The FBI started to dig a little deeper on this retard after the attacks and basically came up with the idea that since Moussaoui had bought knives, been to flight school and attended Al-Qaeda training camps that he must be a failed hijacker who didn't complete his mission on that fateful day.

The FBI maintains that had Moussaoui told them the truth of his intentions that perhaps just one flight hijacking could have been prevented, although the FBI doesn't know which one.

Moussaoui wasted no time in seizing the opportunity to associate himself with AQ and pledge his allegance to every despotic and/or crazed asshole that the media was covering (and that we were bombing) in hopes of becoming a martyr since he couldn't cut it on his own accord by his own actions. Guilt by association was his mantra.

He jumped up and yelled out, "I'm guilty!" at his July 2002 hearing. Apparently, that was all it took for the prosecution and the American public to condemn this jackass with the death penalty.

Fortunately, Mistress Justice prevailed and, although it was a long road spanning 4 years, Moussaoui got what he deserved- life imprisonment for being a stupid asshole. He did not conspire to commit the acts on 9/11 as evidenced by testimony from AQ leaders themselves!

AQ tried to put as much distance between Moussaoui and their organization as they could. Evidently they think Moussaoui is a tool also, "crazed in the head" to be speicific, as does the Britain shoe bomber who Moussaoui claimed he knew but later was found to be another bullshit claim.

Additionally, his piloting skills were so bad that it is discredited that he could have even hit the broad side of a hangar with a fuel-laden 747 while parked inside the damn thing, nevermind flying a hundred miles or so and crashing into the Twin Towers.

It is now widely believed that he was trianing for some mission, just not 9/11.

So what now...

Lefties rejoice at the newfound faith in our justice system, Righties weep with the victims of 9/11 because Moussaoui is not getting an I.V. of Clorox through his veins, and the rest of us look on as we did at the end of the O.J. and Michael Jackson trials- befuddled and frightened that another retard has split the American people into sides.

The cartoon shows a bleak foreshadowing of the rest of Moussaoui's life. He will end up like Mansen, left to rot in his hole but remembered as a lunatic whose actions stressed not only our legal system but also America's belief system.

May 4, 2006

Memories of my first submarine

I was digging through my huge Rubbermaid box and found a memo pad from my first boat, circa 1990. Most of memo book, affectionately referred to the pocket brain, was falling apart and still had the smell of amine, the chemical in the submarine's atmosphere used to take out moisture. This keeps electrical components free of humidity as well as making your nose as dry as a box of Triscuits.

There were 3 entries under Funny/Disgusting things that happened. It immediately caught my attention and I now share a day in the life of a submariner.


1. Karl Kreulach pulled my pen out of the shitter.
This may sound disgusting but what made it funny to us all was the fact that I still had a turd in the shitter. For those of not familiar with fast attack submarine toilets I must go into their design for just a moment. The shitters are stainless steel and the flushing mechanism is a handle that opens a ball valve at the bottom of the bowl. A pressurized tank pushes seawater through the pipes and into the shitter which is then released into a sanitary tank when the ball valve is opened.

My pen had fallen out of my coveralls as I was pulling them back up and I was trying to figure out what to do. Flushing the pen was out of the question as it would inevitably clogged the sanitary pump used to discharge the sanitary tanks contents overboard. Plus, if any of the Machinist Mates found out they would beat my ass.

Karl stormed into the stall, pushed my turd out of the way and picked up my pen. He tried to give it to me but I told him to just throw it away.

2. Mike Holmes shoved a pencil up his ass and the XO sniffed it.
This statement seems unbelievable but the amplifying information will soon put it into context.

Mike Holmes was a Radioman and I saw him come to control from Radio, grab a pencil off the Quartermaster's plot (contains the chart which shows where we are), and disappear back into Radio. I was standing watch on the fathometer and saw the whole thing unfold before my tired eyes.

A few minutes later Mike returned and without saying a word clandestinely put the pencil back on the plot and shut the Navigation Center door behind him. I looked at the red plastic window on the door and could see 3 or 4 different heads all jockeying for position to get a look at the pencil.

I didn't know what was going on yet but when the eyes saw me looking at the pencil one of the Nav-ET's came out and told me not to say anything but "...Mikey just shoved that pencil up his ass.. up to the pointed lead part." The guy went back to the other space and closed the door.

As Murphy's Law would have it, the Executive Officer (XO) came out to control to make his rounds. He looked at the sounding on the fathometer and told me to keep an eye on it- the civilian equivalent of the CEO coming up behind you as you are filling out your TPS Report and says, "Don't forget to fill out your TPS Report."

The XO made his way to the plot and picked up the tainted pencil and started tapping it on the chart as he went over the ship's track with scrutinizing detail. He eventually had the pencil scratching something on his scalp.

The tension was building behind the door with the red window.

In slow motion, like Hasselhoff running out the water on Baywatch, the pencil made its way to the side of the face for a few taps and then, at the crescendo of the movement, became horizontal and moved directly beneath the XO's nostrils.

The next thing that happened could be recorded in the prestigious annuls of submarine practical jokes. The look of disgust on that man's face could have been the finale of a "Priceless" commercial; the pencil was tossed onto the plot and the XO ran away to his stateroom, undoubtedly aware of what had just happened.

Pandemonium and guffaws erupted from the other side of the door with the red window.

3. Phipps knocked Securo out with the water tight door.
Kai Phipps wasn't a smart man but neither was Securo, an overweight and obnoxious IC man. Securo was on the forward end of the only water tight door on the L.A. (water tight like the doors on submarine movies with the wheel that tightens the door against the bulkhead to keep flooding water out) and Phipps was on the after end walking forward. Securo was seated on the steps next to the WT door (for some reason), the equivalent of sitting at the bottom of an escalator, and as Phipps started turning the handle on the other side to open it the handle on Securo's side swung around in a counterclockwise motion and knocked Securo unconscious.

Phipps completely opens the door and steps through to see this lump of shit lying on the floor. Phipps kicks him to wake him up, not knowing what had just happened. Eventually Securo comes to just as someone is sent to get the Corpsman- the blood on the floor next to Securo's head was the bellringer something had happened.

This wasn't the last time Securo would get a KO. He was at the bottom of the forward escape trunk when, from 15 feet above, a rubber mallet was accidentally kicked into the hatch. The mallet dropped and hit Securo square on his mellon.

May 1, 2006

eFax Customer Service chat

eFax was dodging my request to cancel my account for weeks and I finally had to log on and have a chat session with a representative. I think this person is a used car salesman on the side.


Welcome to chat.
The session has been accepted.


{Megan F.} Hello, Greg. Welcome to j2 Global online support. I am Megan, your online live Support Representative. How may I assist you?

{TK} Evidently my request to cancel my account 2 months ago has not been processed. looking back at some emails it appears that my spam filter grabbed the email that said i need to contact you to cancel my account

{Megan F.} I'm sorry to hear that you wish to cancel. Could you please provide me your Fax number and PIN for verification purposes?

{TK} yes, hang on I have to look at the email you sent with that info.
{TK} 1-808-867-5309 0909 (changed to protect the innocent)
{TK} It was a great service; I just don’t need it anymore. My job has changed and i no longer require your service

{Megan F.} Thank you for the information. Please give me a moment while I quickly check your account.

{Megan F.} In the current situation as a special consideration, we will waive off the monthly fee for two months. You can use the fax service with no monthly fee for the next two billing cycles. Please feel free to contact us at any time. This way you will be able to keep your local fax number, which will enable you to send and receive any pending faxes with your number.

{Megan F.} Your eFax account will be credited with $25.90 so that you may utilize our services without being billed our monthly fee for the next two billing cycles.

{Megan F.} Since you will not be charged any monthly fee for the next two months you may keep the account till then. If at all you find that you need our services during this period, then you will still have the account. If however, you still feel that you do not have any use for our services by the end of the two months credit period, then you can always contact us back anytime.

{TK} Thanks, but I don't need a fax service. Just cancel my account.

{Megan F.} I do understand that you are not using the service much. I suggest you to use the service for another 2 months as you will not be charged any monthly fee for this period.

{Megan F.} As a good will gesture to continue our association we will offer you an additional gift balance of $10.00 along with the monthly credit which will enable to send up to 100 additional fax pages free of cost. It could indeed be very helpful to keep the account during this period to see if the need ever arises for our services. If so, you will still have the account.

{TK} Stop reading from your customer service book and just cancel my account

{Megan F.} Okay. I will cancel your account immediately.

{Megan F.} I'm sorry that you are leaving eFax. At eFax, we are continuously improving our products and services. Please do consider us if your faxing needs should change in the future.

{Megan F.} Is there anything else, I can assist you with?

{TK} no, there isn't. have a nice day.