Saturday, June 28, 2008

Iran And Japan Have A Lot In Common

Yep, both attacked. Though the attack on Iran was a proxy for the US, the attack on Japan was directly US. Iran was holding US hostages and Japan would not give up (even after Hitler's defeat).

As hard as it was to make the call on Japan, I would probably do the same. There is no respect in Nuclear war. That is exactly why the Neutron bomb was discarded. I do see one current application for a Neutron Bomb strike, which is the Pakistan/Afghan border area. Clean that up and a lot of good could come of it, really quick. I am just a peon though, with a brain.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Answering your comments;

David, no the priest tried to dump the ashes over the side, but the swirling wind and suction drew them up into the Snorkel Mast intake. I will keep posting, but the Navy story is done now :( I have some fiction I posted earlier that you might like. I am working on my first Sci-Fi short story now). Thanks for the support dude.

Wizz2u, you are 100% right about the situation in Zimbabwe being in the hands of the people. They have no fight left, as far as I can tell. The UN or AU will step in and make it worse, I am sure.

In The Navy (On the Boat), Part 29 (the end)

The Boat was soon slated for overhaul at Portsmouth New Hampshire. I had no desire to do that and was considering changing Boats (easy enough to do if you want to stay at sea), when I was called to volunteer for ILO duty.

ILO stands for Integrated Logistics Overhaul and was a nice way of saying you would be a paper pusher. Myself, JT and a few others from other departments on the Boat were given the task of getting all new tech manuals for the new systems that would be installed after overhaul was done.

I took the job, sounded like skate duty, which it was. It took us some getting used to, having a “day job”. We spent weeks searching through Micro-fiche slides for manuals. Once we had the part numbers we had to fill out the paperwork to order them and send that off to whoever. We learned all about the Navy’s purchasing system, which was kind of interesting. I think since then, all of the branches of the Military consolidated all of the systems into one, which makes perfect sense, considering a lot of things are common between all of the services.

Once the manuals started coming in, we had to get them all onto the shelves and insert any changes or revisions that came along with them. This was a never ending process, because changes came out all the time. Later, I was actually writing changes for several parts of the Weapons System when I was working for a DOD contractor.

There were other people getting all of the new spare parts that would be needed and they stored these in big bulky cardboard boxes for shipment later. Some parts were small and others were huge, valves and the like. My Boat was being modified during overhaul to include a bank of Tomahawk Vertical Launch (VLS) tubes (this is on a Destroyer, but it’s the same stuff on a Sub, except the outer hatch). More;

One guy there doing ILO for a different Boat liked to play Chess, so he and I started playing. It was immediately evident that he was much better than I was, so things turned into Chess training for a while. He was a good teacher and I learned pretty quickly. JT got into it too and soon we were all playing. We got pretty good and would have great Chess parties where a bunch of would drink ourselves silly and play stupid chess.

To continue getting Sea Pay like everyone that went to Portsmouth with the Boat, we had to go up once a month and spend a few days doing whatever. Usually we wound up standing a watch at a barracks or on one of the barges. I only went down to the Boat if I had to, it was messy and everything was torn apart.

If we had free time, we would go exploring the town and the old prison there on base. There were signs all over to stay out because of asbestos, but would that stop us?? No.

The prison was what you basically see in any Alcatraz movie, but in a much messier state. We almost got caught in there a few times by base patrols, but got out through a side exit away from the threat.

I was nearing the end of my time in the service and had decided to get out. I was already a 1st Class Petty Officer and didn’t like the idea of moving up to Chief. I started identifying DOD companies and began sending out resumes. I went to a small firm in New London to help with the Resume and I still use the format they gave me today. There was no internet back then, so all of the searching was done manually. Just calling companies that I had heard of that did business with the Navy.

I must have mailed out 20 or 30 resumes and finally got a hit from a Company in Maryland. They flew me down and put me up at a nice Hotel. Everything went great and I got the Job offer. I had no clue what the cost of living was in Central Maryland, but the offer was a lot more cash than I was making in the Navy. I didn’t account for that fact that the housing I was provided by the Navy would go away. My family was in financial distress for quite a few years after I got out.

I won’t take credit for this; I heard it from someone else. The day this guy was leaving the Navy, the Captain asked him to reconsider and the guy said he had already done that. Then the Captain asked what he would do when he got out and the guy answered “Cartwheels”. That’s funny.

The Navy paid for my move to Maryland and the family got setup in a small apartment, not too far from where I would be working. I was done with the Navy, so I thought. The DOD contractor I worked for and bounced around within, was knee deep in Navy work. I worked on a lot of different projects and learned a lot of different technical skills, including some of the first PCs and the early internet days, which lead me to where I am today.

The Navy is not for everyone, nor is any branch of the military. If you don’t like guns and being bored most of the time, stay away.

The End.

PS, if you liked this little tale, please leave a comment and if you include an email address I will get in touch with you. I will remove the comment so BOTs don’t get your email address. I hope everyone reading enjoyed this. It was a great and terrible part of my life.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Phoenix Tune

I like this;

NSFW 2D2F (think about it)

I can't condone this;

Not bad;

Cool, Erlend Oye;

In The Navy (On the Boat), Part 28

While in Dry Dock, everything is supplied by the shore connections. All of the water, electricity, food, everything comes from the tender/shore. It’s worse than just being tied up to a pier, even the connection to pump out sanitary and bilges goes through the Dry Dock.

One very nasty night, I was on topside watch and I noticed that the hose tied off at the end of the dock (feeding into the Thames River) had come lose. Whatever they were pumping overboard was making the hose jump around like a viper.

Dyke wound up having to go down and secure it. I don’t know why they didn’t stop pumping whatever tanks they were working on while he went down to do this. Dyke went down and wrestled the hose into position and re-secured it to the side of the Dock.

When he came back topside to come on board the Boat, the smell preceded him. Someone had aligned a valve wrong and Dyke had wrestled a hose spewing atomized shit and piss. He was covered in it and smelled like a latrine. To this day I tell the story and use the phrase “Wrestling the Shit hose” whenever I am talking about a crappy job to do. That was the worst, but we were able to laugh later.

One other thing I will mention about Dry Dock, was the deck crew having to replace hundreds of bars of Zinc that were bolted to almost every free flood part of the Boat. These were placed in locations where corrosion would/could be likely and were meant to attract the free ions in the water, which would minimize corrosion impact to the actual Boat. Never thought about that, have you? Nasty work that is.

We only made a few more runs after that point. One of the more memorable ones was a burial. We had someone’s ashes to dedicate to the sea (which is how I want to be buried, but not by Submarine though). We headed out to sea, but never submerged. The COW had us line things up to ventilate, which was pretty normal stuff.

The parties involved in the ceremony were crowded into the Bridge at the top of the Sail. All of us below were doing our usual business in the Control Room, tracking targets and where we were. Then a dusty mist started blowing into the room through the ventilation ducts. It was everywhere.

When the Priest had said his words and dumped the guy’s ashes, they were promptly sucked into the open snorkel mast and distributed all over the Boat. Whoever the guy was, he was now a permanent part of the crew for all time. An honorary “plank owner”, which is normally only given to the crew that first takes a ship to sea. It was pretty disgusting to be breathing some dead guy’s ashes. I held my breath as long as I could for a few minutes.

We tied back up and had another priest get a tour one Saturday when I was on below decks watch. I saw the guy and entourage come through the control room, escorted by a Lieutenant JG (Junior Grade). They left and I waited a bit there, taking my log readings, which is all the watch really consists of (that and giving other people a piss break).

After I figured the coast was clear and I was the only one in the Control Room, I grabbed the 1MC microphone (which again, broadcasts all over the Boat) and in my best Exorcist impersonation yelled “Get Out! Get OUUTT!!!” Then I hung up and went about my rounds. I heard laughing from the Galley below, but did my best to stifle a laugh. Everyone got questioned about the infraction and the beautiful thing was there was no way to tell who did it or from what part of the Boat. J Dyke was the only person I told, that I was the one who did it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

In The Navy (On the Boat), Part 27

The Boat was clean as a whistle as we headed into Groton. It was clear and sunny that day and we tied up around noon. All of the families were there waiting at the end of the pier.

It was nice to be done with this run and be able to get off the Boat on American soil, home. I should note that while we were tracking the Diesel, we spent a total of 72 days in a row submerged. It was not that big of a deal because we were at least kept busy, but it was an eye opener when I heard that. It was a long time, but SSBN (Boomers) spend a longer time under, by design. People’s jaws drop when I tell them about the 72 days.

Dyke went away to some “special” school that he couldn’t tell anyone about. I assume it was training for the few on board who could scuttle the Boat if we were in a situation of possibly being captured. This also included assassinating a fair number of the crew, those that carry national secrets.

I assumed I was on that list, because of what I knew about the weapons and had a Top Secret clearance. And it was strange when Dyke came back, he wasn’t the same. He didn’t talk to anyone much and I hardly spent time with him for a while after his return. I am guessing at his training though, he never fessed up to anything. We got back to normal after some months and I was fine with thinking Dyke would cap my ass if the shit hit the fan. It’s just a job.

The Boat later made a trip to Portsmouth England later (we were out on another “training mission”), which was interesting. It was beautiful weather when we went, late summer and the place was crowded with tourists and locals.

On our way into the port, we had a feeling we were being tailed and apparently we were. The morning after we arrived, there was a story in the local paper that the “Yank Sub snags Trawler”. Which had not happened. We were on the surface and were not capable of snagging an underwater trawler net. I had to have been a Russian Boat trailing us that did it. We had fun in port, but a tourist town is only so much fun. Lots of arcades and warm beer, hookers for a few.

Out of the blue one day back in home port, we were told we were doing a Liberty Run to Halifax, Nova Scotia. We packed up the next day and left a lot of people behind, we were down to bare bones as far as crew went. Dyke and I were on “Port and Starboard” duty, which meant ½ the time on watch ½ off. It was a short run up to Halifax and we had plenty of shore time to explore the city. It was a good time of year to be there, early fall.

The city was bustling and very bright. The nights were cool and the air was crisp and clean. The clubs we went to were huge and had lots of patrons, kids and a few older folks. By kids, I mean they let 16 year olds and above in. I don’t know what the drinking age was, but these kids were drunk before long. I walked one girl home fairly early and found out she was 16 about ½ the way there. I couldn’t wait to get back, gather up the others and head to another venue. It was a very pretty city, nice to visit. I will go back some time.

We later did a stint in Dry Dock, which means you drive the boat into a floating U shaped chunk of metal. Here’s a pic of the USS Helena pulling into (maybe out of) one;
These “floating Dry Docks are actually about six stories tall, but sink themselves to let a Boat or ship drive in/out, then pump out the water to lift the vessel up. We managed to smash an external staircase near the entrance of the Dry Dock (see pic below) and screw up our sonar dome in the process. It was a good thing we were going into Dry Dock!

Here’s a pic of the Dry Dock after they pump out their ballast and lift up a Boat (that’s the Miami in there). That is the same Dry Dock we were in, and I hated it. I hated the height over the deck when you walked across the Brow to the Boat. I hated climbing all the stairs to get to the top desk to get on board too. The Dry Dock personnel seemed to enjoy holding us at the entrance while they checked a crew list before they would even let us on board the floating fork lift. It just sucked all around and the only benefit I can think of is an easier topside watch duty.

His Boss Must Have Been A Real Ass

Too bad about the co-workers, unless they were jerks too?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dark On Fire

My copy of the Turin Brakes CD Dark On Fire arrived today. Solid good damn music and lyrics, as usual. Their first CD since 2003 (this was released in late 2007).

Check out
Dark On Fire is a kick ass song! The video is a narrative on aboriginal people being displaced, I think.
Last Chance is an interesting video.
New Star is great, I don't get the fat baby in the video, anyone?

In The Navy (On the Boat), Part 26

There was this one test box on board that was in the middle of the central berthing compartment, that we (the FTs) had to maintain. It was called a Tritium monitor. Scroll down to the bit about Nuclear Weapons…

We had to do this test every couple weeks (in port or at sea) where we took a tin cup, peed in it and placed it in the Tritium Monitor. The concept was, any leaking Tritium on board would show up in our urine and thus be detected. Part of the test was to put these crystals into the cup (which made a horrible smelling smoke). I think the smoke would be what set off the monitor if levels were too high. Yes, I like being a guinea pig sir!

Taco again amazed me with an act of sheer stupidity. One afternoon when I was off watch, I was leaving the Galley and heading forward, which takes you right past the Doc’s office. Also in the Doc’s office is the 3” Launcher. This is a mini torpedo tube that you use to shoot out flares, dye markers, Bathermogragh sensors (these sink to the bottom and record temperature and salinity as they sink, and report it back to the Boat via a wire) and Countermeasures.

As I passed the office, I saw it was empty besides Taco and another TM (the 3” Launcher was their equipment). They were wrestling the breech door to the Launcher. This thing can be taken off completely, is made of solid brass and weighs about 25 pounds. I asked Taco , “What’s up, you need a hand?” He just snorted “No”, without turning around.

So I watched these guys and it seemed like the Breech door was stuck bad. The other guy asked Taco if the air pressure was vented and Taco kept pointing to the indicator on the wall that said to him it was. So he wrestled at this for a few minutes and then started banging the handle on the breech door with something heavy. It started to move after a few hits and he kept it up. I guess it was instinct, everyone besides the two in the room felt something bad was about to happen and backed away from the ruckus.

Once Taco had the breech fully free, it shot straight into his chest with the force of 700 pounds of air pressure behind it. The strike was enough to send Taco hurtling across the small office and into the bulkhead on the other side of the hall, outside. He hit hard, right in front of me. The noise from the air escaping was so loud (like a car tire exploding), everyone came running to see what happened.

Taco slumped to the floor unconscious and I went into the Galley and called for the Doc to report to his office over the 1MC. He showed up quick too. The Doc checked to see if he was breathing and he was. We told him what happened and then the Doc unbuttoned Taco’s shirt to check for damage. He had a pulse too, so he wasn’t too far gone. A lucky break if ever I had seen one. By all means, he should be dead.

Taco was restricted to the bunk and was given pain meds. He had bruised ribs and maybe some breaks. It wasn’t enough to call in a Helivac (Helicopter Evacuation), which was good. Those are precarious at best. Choppers and Submarines don’t mix well at all.

I looked at the 3” Launcher control panel later and found the lights on the indicator that show the tube is pressurized were burned out. Taco had ignored the gauge on the wall that showed tube pressure, or thought it was faulty. A tough lesson to learn.

As we neared home port, we surfaced and had a “Field Day”. Sounds life fun, right? That is the term for scrubbing the Boat top to bottom. You want it pretty when you get in to port; you never know who might drop in.

It was kind of a joke, all I had to do was sweep forward berthing and wipe up any spills that might be on the tiled deck. Not too tough. I spent the rest of the time packing up my Sea Bag and if anyone came in, I would look busy cleaning any of the many pipes and cable runs that were attached to the ceiling. You would usually wind up shooting the shit with whoever was cleaning the space next to yours. The Chiefs liked to pipe in music when we had a Field Day. It was usually late 60’s stuff, like Jim Croce or The Mamas and The Papas. It was ok, I grew up on that stuff.

After Field day was secured everyone lined up for a last meal before we set the Maneuvering Watch. This time the line snaked through the middle aft berthing area. Sheppard must have done something stupid because as I went past his bunk, someone had lifted the lid of it with him on top and secured the lid locking bar (which holds it up so you can get to your stuff under the mattress. This is a guy on the mattress and the mattress cradle below, lifts up on hinges;

Sheppard was freaking out and had pulled a small knife and was blindly and wildly swinging it at everyone going by. Most of the guys were laughing, but I yelled at him that he was going to hurt someone, then I laughed. I kept going and moved towards the Galley. One of the Nukes had a blowup love doll that he was tossing around. It never left the berthing area though. People get strange right before you get back home from a long run.

Later, one of the Chiefs went and let Sheppard out. The Chief had to yell at the kid to put the knife away or he would stay there for the next week. I think he got written up for pulling the knife too.

Later that day, the Blowup Doll appeared in the officer’s mess deck seated in the XO’s chair. A handful of us got to see it sitting there before it was noticed and only heard through the grapevine later, that the XO was only moderately pissed at the prank.

Friday, June 20, 2008

In The Navy (On the Boat), Part 25

I think all the rocking and rolling we did on the way into Scotland resulted in a Periscope problem. The “torque assist” was burned out, so you had to pull the heavy assed scope around manually. The Nav ETs figured out it was a blown transformer. It was just a little thing, the size you might see in a mid sized transistor radio. No big deal right? The problem was; we had no replacement part on board.

The ETs didn’t know what to do, but one of the Nuke ETs got word about the problem, and took the faulty transformer back aft. He was able to rebuild the transformer, but because we didn’t have the exact same sized wire to rebuild it, he had to count the turns as he unwound the old wire, and recalculate the turns to put on the transformer with the ever slightly heavier gauge wire. Amazingly, it worked. Before we left Scotland, we had a functioning Periscope (this thing was a beast to turn without the torque assist).

I think the Nuke ETs name was Gilbert? and he wound up winning an individual award for fixing the Periscope. He was a strange guy. He had a long gray beard and wild eyes, sunken behind his tiny wired rimmed glasses. He wore painted chicken bones on a string that hung loosely around his neck, very Haitian Voodoo like stuff. He liked to shake the bones at people who pissed him off.

The trip back home started off quiet, then we got word that we had to do something “on the way” and headed north. We were again “extended”. After a while and some more “intel”, we headed south. We would sprint for a while, then come to a stop and circle, listening. It was pretty obvious we were looking for another Boat and it was probably transiting south out of the Norwegian or North Sea.

We kept up this cycle of sprint, stop and listen for a few days. We were off the coast of northern Spain when we went into one of the stop and listen cycles. I was almost off watch and was sweeping my area, joking with Bart.

It came out of our baffles; the area behind the Boat that you can’t listen to with the Sonar…because that listening stuff is all up forward and the propellers make too much noise back there anyway.

Another Boat was going active with its Sonar dead astern. The Sonar guys identified the type of Boat based on the frequency of the active sonar. The Control room went a bit crazy and just then Dyke walked in to take the watch. He asked me “What’s up?”

I told him “It’s 3.5 kilohertz active in the baffles.”, laughing.

The Russian we had been looking for had found us first. The Russians were nuts back then, they didn’t care if they gave away their position, and they would go active to just shock the American or Brit Boats when they stumbled onto them. It worked, we panicked.

The Captain appeared on the Con in seconds. He relieved the OOD and took over. He told the Dive to come to course 270, ahead full, do not cavitate.”, which means run away quietly. I should explain our Captain had commands on Boomer Boats before our Boat and was used to just “evading”. Pussy.

I think any real bad ass Attack Boat Captain would have turned around and gone active right back. Instead we ran away like a dog with its tail between it’s legs. The Cap lost a lot of respect with the crew after this. Honestly, he did what he was trained to do. I guess we all did.

After a while we turned to an intercept course and actually caught up to the Russian Boat. We trailed him into the Straights of Gibraltar, where we broke contact. Thank god. We were getting low on food again. This tracking party was not in the plans.

We had gone from such cold water to such warm water; all of the equipment on the Boat was starting to overheat. We had to kill half of the Fire Control System and the other half had the doors open to try to air cool them. Other electronic systems were in the same condition and the reactor was even running at a reduced capacity because it was too hot.

One other "off the wall" thing of note about the trip back home was the Torpedoman Donnie creating a piece of art. One by one people were being relieved of watch and lead down to the forward berthing Head (bathroom) to take in a viewing of Donnie’s enormous crap. Totally out of the blue.

It was gigantic and wrapped around like a Chocolate soft ice cream dish, spiraling upward to a perfect tip.
It’s a strange thing to be proud of, but Donnie was. At the least, it was a spectacle that we would never see again. Sick, I know…

A few more incidents during the trip back will follow…

Aid the AIDS??

Um, someone tell me this is unreal.

If 1/3 of those who know they are infected keep having unsafe sex and 40% of the infected don't know they are, well you guys are doomed. Stop the same sex marriage argument, it won't matter in 10 years.

I used to think gays were better than straights, because they could get so much done in a day. It turns out, they are just hornier than straights, right? I hate being "right".

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What Women Should Know About Sex NSFW

31 Flaming Hot Sex Tips For Women

1 Learn how he likes his penis to be handled

His penis is not like your clitoris - it's not highly sensitive and delicate. So he'll want you to go straight for his penis during sex, and once you're there he'll want you to apply a firm pressure (though you can make sex last longer by teasing him and working gradually down his body towards his penis). Learn how he masturbates, if necessary by watching him, and you'll soon see the kind of stroke and pressure he appreciates most.

2 Play with his balls

Because men are so penis-centred, they and their partners tend to forget how sensitive and erotic his scrotum and testicles can be. Play with his balls as you give him fellatio, for example, and he'll be in heaven. You could even try taking one at a time into your mouth and gently rolling it around.

3 Play with his perineum

If you haven't discovered the erotic potential of his perineum yet - that's the area between his scrotum and anus - then another treat's in store. You can press, lick, stroke and tease this area, right up to his anus, and increase his sexual excitement enormously.

4 When he comes, stimulate his anus

A finger on his anus when he comes can make a man's orgasm feel much more intense. If he's near his orgasm, it can make him come there and then. And if you put a (well-lubed) finger inside him and press his prostate gland when he comes, he's likely to have a massive orgasm!

5 Talk dirty as you make love

A lot of women are too inhibited to talk dirty during sex, but I'd say most men like it - a lot. If you tell him to "fuck my hot wet cunt" when you're both enjoying sex, he's most likely to come there and then!

6 Do something different

If you always employ the same old routine during sex, do something different. For example, try a different sex position. If you usually have sex with him on top, roll over so you're doing it on your sides, facing each other.
If you haven't tried woman on top, get up there and ride him. If he likes rear entry (and which man doesn't?) then let him enter you from behind while you lie in the spoons position on the bed - that's more intimate than rear entry but probably just as exciting for him. Or take the initiative, and seduce him in the kitchen, making love on the table or the floor! These positions are especially fun to try when you're feeling horny.

7 Try watching porn together

Men like porn, and whether you appreciate it or not, it's here to stay, and he's most likely using it to get off. But the good news is that there is some nice erotic stuff around that isn't abusive to women. One name to watch out for is Femme Productions. Sharing a sexy DVD before you go to bed can really add a spark of passion and excitement to your sex.

8 Wake him up in the night for sex

A woman can always seduce a man subtly if she puts her mind to it. So see what happens if you press your buttocks up against him in the night, or if you press your hot vulva against his cock as he slumbers. Move your hips around a little as you do this, and he'll soon be raring to go. This might be best reserved for the nights you don't have an early start next day.

9 Use lube if you need to - or even if you don't

Even if you have a nicely moist vagina, a little extra lube is often a revelation. Just a squirt of Astroglide or Probe can change the feel of sex completely, making it seem like a new experience.

10 Try lube inside the condom

Just a little lube inside the condom can make sex much more pleasurable, but don't use too much or it might just slip off when you least expect it!

11 Be assertive during sex

Take the lead during sex, act like a sex goddess, and do all the work for a change. Men like their partners to be assertive and sexually dominant from time to time, because having the responsibility for always initiating sex is tiring and involves at least some rejection. It's a refreshing change when a woman acts as the dominant partner.

Yes, girls, men want you to sometimes take the lead and be sexually assertive. If you aren't sure how to do this, start by climbing on top of him - the woman on top position can be very empowering for you, and he's sure to love it. You can control the depth and speed of thrusting, especially if you tell him to lie still and enjoy it while you ride him!

12 Let him masturbate between your breasts

Ladies, you just don't appreciate how much men like breasts. Even if you're used to him making a bee-line for them when you make love, you still don't know....just take it from me, it's like being in heaven when you fold them around his penis and let him thrust between them.

13 Alternate shallow and deep thrusts during vaginal intercourse

Men often like deep thrusting because it feels more powerful and sexy - and it makes them come quicker. But a good plan is to switch between deep thrusts and shallow ones as you make love, because shallow thrusts delay his orgasm, stimulate his glans and frenulum (the most sensitive bits of his penis), and they also hit your G-spot.

14 Press back against him as he thrusts

You don't have to be passive during sex. Even in the man on top position you can thrust back against him, buck your pelvis, and add all your sexual energy to his. If you're having sex in the rear entry position, get him to stand still while you move back and forth along his penis.

15 Tell him you how much you want him to fuck you

Assuming your man is just like the rest of us, he'll want to be told how much you admire, like and desire him. Whereas women want to be cherished by their partners, the corresponding desire in men is to be respected. Telling him how skillful and desirable he is as a lover will press all the right buttons.

16 Masturbate in front of him...

If you feel inhibited about masturbating in front of your partner - don't. Seeing you bring yourself off is just about as exciting as it gets for him.

17 ...then make love to him

If you masturbate in front of him, he'll get so turned on, he'll be desperate to fuck you, and he won't last long when he does!

18 Teach him how you like him to masturbate you

Men aren't the most subtle creatures in the world when it comes to masturbation, so you may need to coach him in the best ways for you to reach orgasm. Show him what you like, how you like to be touched, and how this changes as you get more aroused.

19 Have your orgasm before he enters you

This is especially good for men who come quite quickly. If he goes down on you (or masturbates you) until you have an orgasm, the pressure on him not to come quickly during sex is much reduced.
What's more, making love to you after you've had an orgasm means your vagina will still be hot, wet and swollen, and this will be a real turn-on for him, not to mention the fact that it will feel absolutely wonderful for him when he penetrates you.

20 Undress in front of him

Yes, we know you're self-conscious about your body. But here's the good news - he likes it. He knows it intimately, he makes love to it, and he sees it as a thing of beauty; he doesn't look for the flaws in it, like you might be tempted to do. So he'll love watching you undress, and if you add a little innocent seduction into the process, he'll get turned on and show you how much he appreciates your body when you do make love.

21 Buy some sexy underwear and wear it like it was made for you

You don't have to feel like a tart if you buy some sexy lingerie and act like a tease. High quality, pretty underwear is a turn on for both men and women.

22 Be wanton

It's a common male fantasy to be bedded by a wanton woman who'll act dirty and uninhibited. You can help him fulfill that fantasy by unleashing the sex goddess in yourself for a night. For example, try whispering to him when you're having a night out that you aren't wearing any underwear and that you're oozing with desire for him. See the look on his face and you'll know what I mean - but be prepared to have sex the moment you get through your door when you arrive home!

23 Ask him about his sexual fantasies - and perhaps act them out

But don't laugh when he tells you what they are. He may not have shared his innermost fantasies with you for all kinds of reasons; they may even be some of his deepest secrets. Even if you don't want to act them out, respect the fact that he shared them with you. If you do act them out, have fun, and don't take it too seriously.

24 Don't alienate him from the bedroom

Pretty frills and bright patterns and colors are all very well, but it's his bedroom too, and he may appreciate being consulted about how much lace you want around the place. In short, don't make your bedroom too feminine for his comfort.

25 Let his penis calm down after sex

Some men have such a sensitive glans after sex that they can't bear to have it touched for quite a while. So be careful of his penis after you have made love.

26 Explore his body

Despite being so penis centered, men do like being licked, touched and stroked all over their bodies. For example, a man's nipples are likely to be just as sensitive as yours - so encourage him to let you play with them. Some other places to stroke, tickle and lick him: his legs, buttocks and armpits; his neck and scalp; his toes; his that's just about all over his body, really!

27 Know how to kiss

Yes, it's nice to enjoy gentle kissing, but he'll certainly appreciate a bit of full-on mouth work from you from time to time. It hints at penetration and breaks down barriers to intimacy and familiarity.

28 Discover his favorite sexual positions

All the sex positions have something in their favor, but like most men, he'll have his favorite. It might be man on top for the deep penetration and feeling of dominance; it might be rear entry for the sheer pleasure of fucking you from behind; it might be woman on top for the pleasure of lying back and enjoying the ride.
Most likely, it's all of them! But there will be ways in which you can make it even better for him, perhaps by squeezing his penis while he's inside you, or wrapping your legs around him when he's on top. Take the time to find out what turns him on, and he'll show his gratitude both in and out of the bedroom!

29 Don't fake orgasm

You're not a charity, and it's disrespectful to both of you to pretend you're sexually satisfied when you're not. If you don't make it to orgasm during intercourse, have your orgasm from him giving you oral sex before you have intercourse. Remember, very few woman actually reach orgasm through intercourse, and most they like it for other reasons such as feeling loved or giving their partner pleasure.

30 Learn to give great head

Nothing you can do for a man shows you love him like oral sex. Women think men like it because it feels good - and that's certainly true. But men also like it because it's the ultimate symbol of acceptance by their partner - that she will take his most precious part and accept it into her mouth.
Good oral sex is at least as good as vaginal intercourse for me, and many other men as well, I'm sure. And when you know how to do it well, you'll have a lover keen to pleasure you in return

31 Develop a tight vagina

Apart from the fact that a healthy set of PC muscles is good for you, it does make a difference to men during sex whether their partner has a tight vagina or not. Some men say that making love to a woman who's had a child is much less satisfying - well, if the woman has toned up her muscles, with Kegel exercises, that need not be the case.

So there we are! Some simple tips to make sex great for men. Like it or not, sex is incredibly important to most men, and most relationships go a lot better when the partners are enjoying fulfilling sex. If you as a woman get satisfaction from seeing your man happy in bed, then the tips above go a long way towards making that happen.

Rod Phillips is a sex therapist and writes for Sex and Masculinity This article may be reproduced free of charge as long as an active html link is included to Sex and Masculinity (which I didn't do, so do a search for it).

In The Navy (On the Boat), Part 24

Before we got into port, we were all called to a meeting on the Mess deck. We were instructed that we were considered “US ambassadors” in this country and had to behave as such. We were told not to try to mimic the accent or language, we would just make people mad. We had to go to a certain bank to get the right currency and got a crash course in what a Pound and Pence were. We were also warned about thieves and hookers. Come in groups (pun intended there) and be wary of the locals in general.

We arrived in Faslane without any fanfare. The first day it was late, so everyone just headed up to the Base pub. They had music and it was really crowded with all of us in there. The warm brew was new to me, but it was ok. It didn’t take long before we were talking to some of the British (Scottish) sailors that happened in and everyone was getting along great.

If you don’t remember me mentioning Red before, he was the tall blonde A-Ganger. He was the first one to get out of control, usually was. He started getting loud and belligerent with our hosts. It wasn’t long until some brit MPs came in to take him back to the Boat. Of course a few guys had to oppose that and mayhem ensued. Some of us were trying to calm things down and others were stirring the pot. Soon the lights were turned on very bright and the music was shut off.

We got tossed out. All for the best I think. We had collectively completed the mission for this short night and headed back to the Boat. I hung back with a few Brit sailors as we walked and found out their names and what Boat they were on. I said we would come over and visit before we left.

The next morning, the weather had broken and we headed into town. After a quick pit stop at the local bank for some local currency, we were on our way. I will note that a lady at that bank was the first rude Brit to call me a “Yank”. A 20 minute train ride and we were in Glasgow. We caught some breakfast in a small side street restaurant, it was different. Never had a ½ green tomato, pan fried. It was all greasy, but very good. We needed the protein anyway having practically starved to death.

We walked on the outskirts of the city, hitting little shops along the way. We picked up some nice knick knacks for gifts when we got back. I snagged a special edition large paperback of Lord of the Rings. It had all three books and a ton of unique references and an extensive glossary. The book was about 5 inches thick. I still have it.

Dyke, Pete and I wandered till mid day and grabbed some Fish N Chips near a wharf. It was wrapped in news paper and doused only in malt vinegar. It was the greatest and freshest thing I had ever eaten.

I have glossed over Pete up till now (an oversight). He was a bit taller than me and was also on the FT team. He joined after I did by a few months. Dyke and I knew Pete from school. He was a simple guy and was always smiling. It didn’t take much to make him smile or frown, but he smiled much more often. I don’t think he was capable of lying, if that explains him at all.

We were out taking in the City. As we moved closer to the center we were struck at all of the historical looking sites that were just average businesses and shops. Some looked like they should be in a Museum. I suppose it’s the difference of coming from a country barely 200 years old and one that is10 times that and more.

We stayed out of trouble the whole time. We hit a few good pubs, got headaches. Had some dinner. Hit more pubs and got more headaches. It was great fun! The train ride back to the base seemed to take forever and there were some punks on there (yes, like out of the Sex Pistols days) that wanted to be menacing. They failed though.

We got back and crashed. The next morning I had to work on the Boat, but got off in the late afternoon. I grabbed some junk off the Boat (literally junk) and a few guys and I headed over to the Brit sub to do some trading. I think JT was with us, because I was new to this trading business.

I had a nearly worn out green foul weather coat, American smokes and a few odds and ends. We came on board and got a tour of the Boat. It was painted much brighter than ours was, lots of white and cream colors. I was a bit shocked to see Mk 48 torpedoes on board, but got the low down on that deal later.

We got to business trading and this red haired Chief kept showing us medals and other trinkets. He had taken a liking to the coat I had brought. He kept adding things to what he wanted to trade and I kept passing. I wasn’t interested really. Then he pulled out an Ensign (flag) and I was ready to deal. We made a straight up trade for the flag, with the coat. A few trinkets got tossed around, but that was the main thing. Did I mention we were drinking beer out of a keg while this was going on? They keep kegs ON THE BOAT! I joined the wrong Navy….

I wound up going with the Chief back to his house to meet the family, which was interesting. His kids kept giving me words to say, so they could hear a Yank say it. I guess it was ok. We had a snack there and went back to the base.

We had to load stores for the trip home the next morning, so I turned in.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

In The Navy (On the Boat), Part 23

Submarines have to make their own fresh (Potable) water when they are out to sea. My Boat had one main distiller and a smaller secondary unit, these turn sea water into fresh water by cooking it. On this run, the main distiller broke down and broke hard. It was down for over a week.

The secondary distiller didn’t have the capacity to produce enough potable water for everyone’s needs. The first thing they do in these situations is secure the showers for enlisted men, not officers. They literally shut off the water feeds to the showers and hang up tags announcing that they are off line.

Being sailors, we had no choice but to have a stink contest. We asked the Chief of the Boat (COB) to officiate. Since none of the enlisted men were going to be showering any time soon, all of us were contestants.

Some of the heavier guys had a natural advantage and the guys who worked back aft in the Engine Room and the A-Gangers did too. They worked in the hottest spaces on the boat. I forget who won, but the whole Boat was very stinky for good while, you got used to it though. A few of the guys got reminders from their Chiefs to go wash once the water was back on. It was like we enlisted didn’t care about it anymore.

Showering on a submarine is real different. You get instructed on how to do it. You get in, get wet, shut off the water and soap up. Turn on the water and rinse quickly. Water conservation was a major issue. Water run time on the boat was about a minute total for a typical shower.

As this run progressed, all of the canned food in the berthing areas was used up. We were still an Ocean away from home and the food was getting tight. We were having “sliders” a lot. These are frozen hamburger patties that get tossed on the griddle en-mass. They call them sliders because they slide around in the lake of grease when you cook them and on your plate. At least they could make the bread and buns fresh, though it’s not the same when they are made with powdered eggs. Still, the baking made a nice smell around the boat.

We ran out of salt too, which is key to a lot of cooking. The Nukes took to distilling sea water and made sea salt (probably with the brine from the distillers). It was green, but tasted ok, just a little bitter. I didn’t want to think about it…you just make due.

We were finally told we were being relieved of tracking the Diesel and everyone sighed when we broke contact for the last time. Another Boat was on station, ready to take over our chore. I assumed they had all of our intel and background on the target (seems logical right?).

We headed towards Scotland, but were quickly called back to that station, probably 15 or 20 hours after leaving; the Boat that relived us couldn’t maintain contact with the Diesel. I think this boat that relieved us was mentioned in a movie with Sean Connery, maybe. We stayed a few more days and I guess relayed more detail on how we were able to do this, to the other Boat, via transmissions (not Boat to Boat, over the satellite and through operations back on land…secret stuff).

Finally, we had to leave, we had no more food! We were eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches almost exclusively, until the jelly ran out. Then just peanut butter sandwiches. I like those, so I didn’t complain. That and Iced Tea and I was good to go. I will note that the peanut butter is was normally real heavy and dry, like the middle of a Reese’s Cup. We ran out of that and the cooks blended up canned peanuts and added a little Vegetable Oil to make more peanut butter, it was better than the regular stuff. Navy cooks HAVE to be creative.

I never heard if the Boat that relieved us ever figured out how to track the Diesel, but I figured that they couldn’t have lasted much longer anyway and would have to head home to refuel and restock them selves (the Diesel that is)..

We made it to Scotland, though through some very horrible seas. We had surfaced as we headed into Faslane. I recall being in my rack and the Boat was rocking side to side so bad, that when I looked directly across from my rack, I was actually looking straight down. I had never been so sea sick in my life, almost everyone was feeling ill, even the tough guys. It’s hard to explain I guess. The Boat wasn’t rocking up or down, but side to side, like an elongated bobber. Nor-Easters are a bitch!

The farther inland we got, up the Firth Of Clyde, the better the seas got. If you look here;,-4.658203&sspn=1.279073,2.834473&ie=UTF8&t=k&om=1&z=12&ll=56.030814,-4.796906&spn=0.079418,0.289764&iwloc=addr
you can see all of the locks (not like Panama Canal, just different lakes) we had to navigate to get to the base. If you click the Map button and zoom out, you will see it was a short 20 mile train ride to Glasgow.

The morning brought sunshine and the landscape we sailed by was the most beautiful lush green hill sides I had ever seen, as we went up the Firth. Really, ever seen. The water in contrast, was dark blue. I want to go back there some day in the summer and see it again.

Monday, June 16, 2008

All Hell Breaks Loose

We have flooding, then a power outage and today we get word that the water may be contaminated. Been a great month. I am trying to figure out where to move to, I hate my job anyway and my kid is out of school, so the timing is perfect. They may miss me at work, but they won't bother much over my departure.

In The Navy (On the Boat), Part 22

Getting back to that pesky Diesel Boat…

We spent weeks in close proximity to this other Boat. Periodically, we would break contact and move some distance off while it was submerged, so we could catch a satellite position fix and send/receive messages.

One of these times came when I was on watch and the seas were fairly nasty. We came up to Periscope Depth (PD) and I think we blew the sanitary tanks, maybe the bilges too. What wound up happening was, we got too light. The back of the Boat broached the surface (A major No No). The Chief of the Watch (COW) was trying desperately to get us back under. I was on the scope and called out “Aft decks awash.” which means we are sticking out of the water. This aggravated the COW a little and he shot me a look.

Then we rose even higher out of the water, I don’t know what the COW was trying to do, but it wasn’t working. I could see the propeller sticking up! That was a first. I started counting, “One, two, three, four, five six seven.” After a short pause I said, “Yep all the blades on the screw [propeller] are still there.” Most of the Control room cracked up. The Dive Officer barked back at me, “Not funny Petty Officer “ which made everyone laugh, louder this time.

We finished our messages and were ready to get back under, but the COW couldn’t get us down. He kept taking on water into the different ballast tanks, with no effect. I think we must have hit a patch of warmer or saltier water, which is much denser than cold less salty water. It causes you to become more buoyant.

The COW finally got us under and the OOD ordered “Make your Depth 400 feet.” This was so we could trim the Boat. The Dive took us down and then tried to level off at 400 feet. The only problem was, the Boat wasn’t stopping at 400 feet. Even though the helm was trying to drive us up to 400 feet, we kept sinking.

The Dive is of course going insane trying to pump anything he can overboard. The problem is, the deeper you get, the higher the outside pressure is and the less water the pumps could pump out of the trim tanks. Down we went, deeper and deeper…slowly. We were probably back into another colder layer of fresher water and picking up momentum.

I popped down to the Galley to grab some Iced Tea real quick and told the guys there what was happening. A modest crowd had already gathered, watching a depth repeater tick off as we went deeper and deeper. I think they were waiting for the Damage Control Party to be posted or worse. This was certainly a bad situation and word spread fast. No need to sound the alarm, people were getting woken up in all of the berthing areas by other who were awake.

I was relieved of watch, but hung around to see what was going to happen. We just kept sinking. The OOD kept going over to the COW making suggestions. The COW was flustered big time, almost panicked, which is never good. I was ordered out of the Control Room for laughing and went to the Mess Deck. After a bit I crept back into the aft part of the Control Room and stayed out of site.

I can’t say how deep we went, because it would land me in jail. The official max operating depth for a 688 that I found is listed as “greater than 800 feet”, and some report it at over 1400 feet. Use your imagination people; I am not going to the lock-up for a dumb ass blog.

I don’t know for sure, but the Captain must have been awake and watching the situation from his quarters, just a few steps way. He waltzed into the Control Room from the Forward door, buttoning his shirt and yapped “Office of the Deck, when were you going to tell me there was a problem?” He didn’t wait for a reply, he turned to the COW and said “Chief of the Watch, perform a 5 second blow of all main Ballast Tanks.” Then he turned around and left.

The COW did the blow, which makes a lot of noise…very bad timing. We leveled off almost immediately. The Dive was able to drive the Boat up shallow enough to pump out the extra Ballast and we went back to PD to vent the main Ballast Tanks (less noisy that way). Then we went back to 150 feet and waited a long time while the Boat got trimmed up proper by a different, more seasoned COW. To trim the Boat you have to move water from tank to tank (forward/aft/port and starboard) so you are not heavy on any side.

I think that was the closest I came to actually sinking on the Boat, that I know of.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

In The Navy (On the Boat), Part 21

I am going to fill in some miscellaneous items here…

We had been on task for over a month, when to my surprise, a Fly appeared on the Boat. Fly’s have a very short life span, a week at most. But here was a fully grown one, wafting around the mess deck. It always baffled me, but it was probably a dormant larva in some flour or somewhere else and just got the urge to get up. This was actually a regular occurrence during long runs and everyone on the Boat would be trying to kill it, if possible. We should have had a lottery! Never did.

On more than one occasion, I was given the undesirable task of waking up JT. It was well known all over the Boat that you just don’t wake him up. I had heard he was a terrible person to waken, from the messengers that had to go do it before me. This time, we had a light out on the Launch Panel and the Weps told me to go get JT (he was the boss).

I reluctantly went down to his bunk and tried asking him nicely, to get up. “John?” nothing. Then louder, “John?”

Still nothing. I guessed at which way he would be facing in the bunk (you don’t want to reach in there and grab someone’s privates when you shake them awake). I reached in, grabbed and shook what I hoped was a shoulder and called again, “John, get up.”

“What the fuck are you doing!” came back at me, garbled. He wasn’t wake yet, but he flailed his arms at me. I ducked the punches and backed up.

I tried again, louder, “John, we need you in the Control Room. The Weps does!” Again I got expletives and he actually leaned out of his bunk a bit and told me to go fuck my Mother.

Once he settled again, I decided to use the flashlight (bad idea) and shone it into the bunk, towards his head and asked him to get up again. JT jumped completely out of the rack and was face to face with me now. He was still not awake, somewhere in between awake and sleep, but he was staring at me quietly…still.

As consciousness overtook him, he settled down. We had woken up several sleeping neighbors who just muttered “Shut the fuck up”.

JT was awake and I repeated that the Weps wanted him in the Control Room. I headed up there and tried to look busy. JT arrived a few minutes later.

We walked up to the Weps and JT just said “What?” very belligerently.

“There’s a light out on the Launch Panel, you need to fix it.” The Weps quipped.

JT walked over to the Panel and noticed which light was out. He rapped that part of the Panel with his fist and the light came back on.

The Weps got angry, “Petty Officer Norman, that is NOT how we troubleshoot problems on a Submarine!” he barked.

JT calmly, though with clenched teeth, “Sir, I didn’t troubleshoot it, I fixed it!” and with that , JT calmly walked out of the Control Room the same way he had come in. I laughed out loud and got a stare for it.

JT was a character, but he had the respect of the rest of the crew and could get away with that stuff. Most enlisted men would have been written up for something like that.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Keep The Troops In Iraq?

Yeah, Afghanistan is going great, let's keep our Army tied down in Iraq.

1000 prisoners walk out to freedom. What could possibly go wrong?

Keep turning things over to Iraqi and Afghanistan forces and things will go fine, right? Just get the hell out or over-run both damn countries. Initiate a small draft and double the US Army. Get it over with, either way!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

In The Navy (On the Boat), Part 20

We continued the grind of tracking this Boat for almost all of the rest of our deployment. After a few days we all began to notice the repetitiveness of the transient noises and their patterns began to emerge. We figured out what times they were serving meals. When they were going to blow sanitary tanks (dump their crap), when they would surface and almost every other facet of day to day life for them. It was like being a peeping tom, I felt almost guilty (not really).

I did wonder if the Diesel Boat knew we were there, watching, but didn’t care. They showed no sign of knowing, ever. More than once we had close calls with the Diesel Boat.

The first came one quiet and monotonous day, when out of nowhere, we had a slew of active sonar signals flood the very water we were in ..If you remember the old Godzilla movies, you remember Ghidrah. It kind of sounded like that.. Times 12.

It turns out a huge Russian task force, including a Kirov Battlcruiser was plowing through the area and just wanted to say “Hi” to their little buddy. It shocked a lot of us when Sonar reported that the Diesel went active too. That was not expected; they were saying “Hi” back. Now the bad news; as all of these surface ships approached, all going active, there was a real good chance that they could detect us.

The Captain had come to the Control Room and took in the plot and Fire Control situation really quick. He had obviously had intel about the visitors and just never told the enlisted men to be ready for it. A "Need to know" thing.

In the one moment of genius I ever saw out of the guy, he ordered a course and speed change to place our Boat perfectly in the shadow of our target.

We would appear as a ghost, which is commonly caused by layers of water with different temperatures or salinity. We would be seen as a faint excusable echo. It worked. The fleet of Russkies departed without slowing down and we had remained undetected. We did nothing, but waited while the much anticipated Sub Escort(s) for the Task Force passed too. We never heard it (them), but figured it was there, sniffing for anything before heading off to its main duty of shadowing the Surface ships.

After a few hours, things relaxed a bit and we got back to the target. Things at this point got boring, very boring. It was week after week of the same thing, over and over. Track the dummy, dummy eats Breakfast at 8AM, Lunch at 2PM, Dinner at 8PM. Dummy surfaces and recharges. It was a cycle, over and over.

We got complacent, sloppy. We had several occasions where someone dropped something and made a huge clang noise from below, but no one ever fessed up to it, when asked. At one point, we were below the target a bit and it was lucky that we were (there would have been a collision otherwise). We snagged a chain of whatever the Deisel was dangling down to the bottom of the Ocean and had that chain scrape down the side of the hull. Everyone heard it as it passed over their part of the Boat (ssccRRAAPpe). I can only imagine what was going through the minds of the people on the Diesel? How could they not know we were there? How else could they justify what just happened?

We had to make a quick turn to keep the chain from getting caught in the screw. That would have made for a bad day for everyone.

I was convinced we were busted, but we just broke contact for a few hours and moved away slowly. The Diesel kept up their routine, like nothing had happened. I figured the next time they surfaced, they would report what had happened. Then it would just be a matter of time until a state of the art Russian Boat came snooping for us. If found out, it was SOP that we would just run away…as quietly as possible.

Nothing happened though. Either they were stupid, or we were lucky. Toss a coin.

Monday, June 9, 2008

In The Navy (On the Boat), Part 19

We were safe for now tracking the Russian Diesel on the surface, while charging its batteries. We were dead astern at periscope depth and it was heading dead away from us. I had my best guess as to the range and the OOD gave me an update on that visually. I updated the solutions in all of the machines and since we were behind it and it was heading perfectly away from us, all of the bearings were 000, for a while.

I noticed two bearings from Sonar came back right around 357 (slightly to the left), but then settled back on 000. Everything was tracking along fine, then I noticed the contact seemed to be getting a little louder…then more and again more. There is an indicator on my console that displays the ratio of background noise to target noise. It’s called Sound Noise Ratio (SNR).

I sat and watched the SNR climb for a minute or two, then called out “Possible target zig”. This gets everyone’s attention whether the FT, Sonar or whoever’s on the scope calls it out. It means you think the target has changed course. In this case, I figured the Diesel Boat had spun on a dime and was heading back towards us.

The OOD called to Sonar for verification, but they said no to the idea (I don’t know what they were smoking that day). The OOD then told me to take the scope and went over to my station to analyze the data on the Weapon’s Control Console.

We were in heavy swells, but small waves, which meant you only caught a glimpse of the target when we were both riding high on swells at the same moment. I would just catch a glimpse of the dim single light on the sail of the Diesel once or twice a minute. The OOD went back to the Sonar shack real quick and I ran over to the WCC to see the SNR up higher, then ran back to the scope (so I wouldn’t get busted for doing that).

The OOD came back in and went back to the WCC. I was still on the scope when I suddenly caught a perfect glimpse of the bow of the Diesel Boat heading straight for us. I called out, “Confirm angle on the bow, 000”. This meant the target was heading straight for us.

It is a basic concept taught to any cadet that when you are tracking something from a Sub, don’t do it from directly in front or behind, be off to one side. Why, you ask? It is to avoid situations like this. We had been tracking this target the whole time surfaced, without a single course change on our part. A major fucking blunder.

The OOD almost knocked me off the scope and I told him, really calmly and quietly, “We should go deep”. He called it and we did sink the boat.

We were less than a 1000 yards apart (I would estimate 700) and closing when we changed course and dove. Collisions are bad. We only dove a little and then came up to PD again once we had passed the target. I had a rock solid solution locked into the FCS at this point.

Now we watched the target with a little comfort, trailing along side, far enough away so our periscope wouldn’t be noticed. Like I said, the seas were pretty bad and it was raining too, we weren’t worried about it. And those were the basic weather conditions we stayed in for the next 6 weeks. There were breaks here and there, but mostly crappy rainy weather.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

In The Navy (On the Boat), Part 18

With Blue Nose over, we were able to get back to the matter at hand. Only a select few crew members were briefed on what we were looking for, the rest of us found out after we found it (news like this spreads quickly on the Boat).

We first did a brief period of time actually under an ice sheet between Greenland and Canada, which was creepy. Icebergs were a concern here. You could look up through the scope when you were at 150 feet and see the ice above the Boat. Icebergs were a concern here, did I already say that? Our boat was not designed to surface through thick ice, so this must have been pretty thin. We tested some new fangled sonar equipment and I don’t know how well it performed or what it was looking for or doing. Then we were off to find our target.

We obviously had a good idea where to look and at least the officers and the Sonarmen knew what that was. We crept into our target zone; I won’t say where or when, just that we went in there really slow. The ship was rigged for quiet, which means if you don’t have to be up, get in your bunk and be quiet.

The unwritten law on the Boat is, If you make a loud noise (say dropped a large wrench on the deck), that is bad. Make that loud noise again and you are screwed. Any “transient noise” like that can travel a long way under water and once heard by a bad guy, they would listen on that bearing for more noise. If you make a second loud noise, they will likely lock in on you.

So being very quiet, we sauntered into our zone and listened. We mostly heard fish, shrimp, seals and dolphins. The “biologics” in the area were horrendous and played hell with Sonar. We finally heard a few clank-like transient noises and zeroed in on the target. It was too close for comfort, so the Captain set the Tracking Party. This brings a few extra people into the Control Room to assist with special plots (a way of recording events for historical reference).

One plot that you only see during the Tracking Party is the Contact Evaluation Plot (CEP) plot. It is just a big ass scroll of paper that you record relative bearings on, to every target being tracked at regular time intervals, 30 or 60 seconds. Fun stuff, I did it for weeks. They use it later for recreating the incident.

Part of the time, one of the Nuke ETs came up and spent his time minding the CEP plot. I trained him on how to do it and he was a bit sloppier than me, but he got the data down, which is what mattered. He was a little older than me (name was Dave, I think). We got to know each other a bit and he got me to try Snuff. It’s a nasty habit (you see it in movies depicting the “Old Colonial” days) where you take a pinch of finely ground tobacco and sniff/snort it. No straw needed like cocaine. It works well, you get a nicotine buzz, but the crap hangs in your nose, I just sneezed a lot and decided to have a smoke instead. Dave laughed at me.

We listened to our target clank and clunk along. It was basically staying submerged in one place (almost hovering) and being very quiet except for the transient noises. After a while, Sonar called out “Hull popping”. This meant the target was changing depth and the hull was creaking from the pressure change. We found out pretty fast that it was surfacing, because it started up its Diesel Engine.

A Diesel Boat has no other power than its Diesel and the Battery, when charged. When it’s running on the Battery, it’s almost invisible. When the Diesel is on (charging the Battery) it is very loud and has to come close to, or actually surface. This guy surfaced. I was tracking my first Russian Diesel Boat! It was exciting and very scary at the same time. These things are so quiet when on Battery, that you don’t know where they are and can easily have a collision.

It looked a bit like this, which I can say as I was one of three people who actually saw it while surfaced.

My Youngest Son Graduated High School!

He may have just barely made it, but he beat the statistics and finished.

Click image to Enlarge

He is off to his mother's for a week and it was nice of Mom and Grandma to show up to support him.

Now on to College.

I Can't Support Obama

I would like to, but based on the web site, I am not allowed because I am a Federal Contractor.

What the hell does that have to do with anything in a Presidential Election? It's not like I am getting kickbacks if I donate. I am a peon. Good luck anyway Barak. You have my vote.

Discovery Launch Video

Cool stuff.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I Know Where I Am Vacationing This Summer

Anywhere outside of Africa.

Hide And Seek (2005)

I watched this with a friend tonight and Oh my god.

Deniro has really lost his mind. Just stay away from it if you haven't already wasted 2 hours of your life on it. Just step away from the DVD player and take it back to the store. Stop, bad actor...bad.

In The Navy (On the Boat), Part 17, Blue Nose

Before we acquired our prey, we sauntered north into the Arctic Circle. That is an imaginary line at Latitude 66° 33′ 39″ and everything above it is “inside the Circle”. Once you cross this on a Boat (or ship) it kicks of a historic celebration, called the "Blue Nose". Once the ceremony is done (and you only have to do it once, thank god) you become a member of the “Order of The Blue Nose”. I still have my card and poster sized certificate to prove I had gone through it.

The celebration is basically an initiation (hazing). Anyone who is not a Blue Nose already is fanatically urged to participate. Anyone who does not participate is loathed. If I remember right, we had only one guy do that. He caught shit for the rest of the time on the Boat.

Those of us who do partake are lined up and stripped down to our mighty tightey whiteies and a tee shirt. We form a line back in berthing and are blindfolded with some cloth. The next thing you know the guy in front of you is gone and it’s your turn. Someone guides you up to the mess deck, which has been covered in plastic and decorated in a very bizarre manner (I saw it after all this).

The room has a sick smell about it and the odor alone almost makes you vomit. Next thing you know, you are drenched in ice water and pelted with ice cubes from all sides. Next comes the slime, something really nasty gets poured over your head, like syrup with fish in it, and that is all mashed into your hair. It’s very disgusting and again the smell hits you hard. Someone had already puked when I went though, so I had that to contend with too.

More ice water followed, which was welcomed, it washed off some of the crap in my hair. It was freezing and treading on the wet plastic while barefoot was difficult. I half felt my way along and was half guided. Whoever was running the show was making sure no one got seriously hurt, which was nice of them.

At the end of the gauntlet I was force fed an extremely vile concoction that burned bad, some hot peppers mixed with some kind of fish, probably anchovies. Trying not to puke, I was lead to the final part of the ritual and was un-blindfolded.

I had to eat a cherry out of the belly button of the King! The King is the person on board who has entered the Arctic Circle the most times. In this case, it was a proxy King, because the actual King was a civilian, who was along just testing some new fangled Sonar gear. He was still the King technically, but was a thin small man. He had deferred the throne to a fat bellied Nav ET that more than fit the part.

I used my tongue to pull the cherry out of this guys belly button (the cherry had been cured in hot sauce). I chewed and swallowed. Next thing I know, I had a splotch of blue ink painted on my nose and I was pulled to my feet. Snap went a Polaroid and I was lead out of the mess hall to the head, to take a shower.

The first shower was really a rinse, to get all the crap off of me, with my undies still on. Something was inside the undies, I didn’t want to look and just shook off all the crap I could. I went to my bunk in forward berthing and got a change of clothes and came back to take a real shower. It didn’t get the smell off, but cut it back a bit. I still don’t know what all was used in the ritual, but it was certainly potent. I can still remember the odor and have never smelled it since. It stuck on me for almost a full month. That may have been mental trauma?


I finally got a copy of Grow Up And Blow Away, by Metric. It's a really good CD.

Soft Rock Star is great (ignore the video and just listen);

Again, ignore the video...

I don't think they do real videos.
From another CD:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The CIA Needs To Assasinate Mugabe

This 82 year old ass and his supporters are raping the country and killing any opposition. Even the ones who try to vote for a change. It's insane and can easily be stopped. Come on CIA, do that thing you do.

They will have to wait until the upcoming after elections (I say jokingly); because the government and their supporters have killed, beaten or raped almost everyone who voted against Mugabe the first time around. Nice place to live. Get out of Africa people.

In The Navy (On the Boat), Part 16

As we headed North (quite lowly I might point out) I was spending more time on the scope than usual. We seemed to have a lot of message traffic to send and receive (which you can only do at Periscope Depth, or surfaced). This was OK by me, I liked looking out the scope most of the time.

One night I located the North Star..well, because I could. I muttered “Polaris”.

Bart, the QM asked me if I had the North Star? I said yes and he asked me to mark a bearing.

I called out ”Polaris, bearing…mark!” and hit the button on the scope that sends the relative bearing to the Fire Control System and to a visual repeater that displays the info.

Bart quickly pulled a huge book out from under the plot table and started flipping pages. I would have to find out what that was about later and went back to scanning the horizon (I really shouldn’t be looking up at stars).

Once we submerged, I went over to Bart and asked what was up? He explained that with the book, he could use the bearing to Polaris to triangulate (estimating our location) and use that to verify we are where he thinks we are.

It’s pretty complicated and the Nav Sat system we used to get locations is also way too complicated to try to explain here. I will say that “Dead Reckoning”, which is what you do when the Boat is submerged, is an art. You take your best guess at currents, drift, course and speed and try to figure out where you are when you are totally blind. It is always a reset when you come up to PD and a Nav Sat passes over and updates the computers with your actual location. The good QMs will have very little correction to make once you get that position fix, most of the time. Bart was good and a good friend.

I started shooting other stars for him and we had a good system of getting the data he needed to fix our position. It was valuable; because there were a lot of times we went to PD and never got a Nav Sat fix. This was going great until one day Chief K. noticed us doing it and came over and smacked me on the back of the head. He said “You are supposed to be watching to make sure we don’t run into anything, dumbass!”

I told him “I just did a sweep and was doing another one now.”

He scoffed and said “Whatever.” and walked away. He loved saying that, “whatever”. He seemed to like being mad.

Bart and I discovered we both had some musical interests in common and we were busted more than once muttering lyrics from The Dead Milkmen and Suicidal Tendencies. Some people liked silence in the Control Room, unless there was a need to speak, but we didn’t get too much grief.

I saw a lot of funny and strange things in the Control Room. I saw people get mildly electrocuted. We had one “cool” Weps for a while, who liked to take a nap on the deck (floor) with his feet propped up against the forward door (that was so the Captain or XO couldn’t surprise him. He was cool and smart and rare. I saw terrible decisions made and moments of genius.

I saw people laugh, cry and cheer. You would think the Control Room would be a strict place and it usually was, but there were moments on every run.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

In The Navy (On the Boat), Part 15

Getting back to Qualifying, I worked on this as much as I could during this run, but we soon had no spare time for such things. I will acknowledge that I was able to get help from every Division and will be eternally grateful for that assistance. I got a lot of signatures, but didn’t finish my “Quals” until another run. I can go over the tail end of the process though.

Once you get all of your signatures for a group of systems, there is a review that is done and signed off on by a Chief or Senior Petty Officer. Once you have completed all of the signatures, you typically get a pre-test Board. It can be a few different people or just one Qualified person, usually more though. This identified any weaknesses and gives you time to re-study if needed. Once you are ready, you go before a Qual Board. It will have an Officer, at least one Chief and sometimes a Senior Petty Officer. Mine had all three.

We sat down at the table in the Chief’s quarters (one of the rare times I had entered here) I had question after question hurled at me. There was paper for me to make diagrams if asked. There were a lot of ventilation and air systems questions, which were tough. I had to diagram the reactor system, which was easy. I liked learning all the Nuke stuff.

In short, I passed and was awarded my Dolphins!

The Silver are Enlisted and the Gold are for Officers. This was great and everyone was really happy for me, or just happy that they now get one chance to clock me.

The tradition of getting your Dolphins is; once you have them pinned on by the COB, any other Qualified person on board gets to “Tag” them. That means punching you directly on the chest where the Dolphins are attached to your shirt. Some guys took this sadistic tradition to heart and even if they liked you, hammered you. Other pranksters would pretend like they were going to sink the Dolphins into your ribcage, but actually only tapped them. Depending on how many people had already hit you, a tap can be as bad as a full punch, because you would be sore anyway.

Ya know those little American Flag pins that have the sharp shaft with a metal fastener at the back? That is what these have two of. It is certain that you will be bruised badly. It is probable that you will be bleeding. It is possible, you will need stitches. I just had a little bleeding, but it hurt for days. A few days or weeks could go by before someone from back aft noticed you had your dolphins and tag you completely out of the blue. It eventually stopped.

One of the new messengers in the Control Room was this guy, Eckman. He was blonde, had glasses and was the kind of kid you figured would excel in Chemistry, but suck at wood shop. I never got to know him well enough to find out what his deal was, but I will say he was naïve. Seemed like a nice enough guy too.

One day as I came up to take over the watch, JT was sweeping up (a must at the end of every watch) and Eckman came over to our side of the room, for some reason. John, looked at him and looked around the left side of his head and said “Your ear’s Blue.” Then John went back to sweeping.

Eckman was baffled, he got John’s attention and asked him what he was talking about. He just said back “Your ear’s Blue.” And pointed at the left side of Eckman’s head.

The messenger was baffled now and I was trying not to laugh. His ear was not Blue and he had just come on watch, so he couldn’t run to a head to look in the mirror. Some background on this; It is a common prank in the Navy. A substance called Prussian Blue is normally used to die metal so you can scribe it before you cut or mill it. The prank is putting some on the periscope eyepiece or on a headset. Whoever uses it, gets a blue shiner or blue ear…for days.

So Eckman looks at me very seriously and asks “Is it Blue?”

“Yes, it is.” I replied.

Now the kid is flustered and he goes back to the Dive station and askes the Chief of the watch too. It’s darker over there, so he looked for a long time before saying “Your ear’s Blue”.

Eckman was visibly upset now and asked everyone around, the Quartermasters, the Nav ETs and everyone said yes.

The Captain came in to look at our location on the Nav charts, we were heading North to our target “patrol zone”. Eckman walked up to the Captain as he was heading forward to leave and asked mousily “Captain, sir. Is my ear Blue?” craning his head to the right.

“Yes, your ear is Blue” the Captain replied, even looking around at Eckman’s left ear. Then he walked out. I almost peed my pants trying to hold back the laughter, we all were. I have to give the kid credit, I had never had not yet had chance to address the Captain one on one like that. Once Eckman was relived of watch or had to go wake someone up, he ran out of the Control Room, probably to the Head (the bathroom) to see for himself in a mirror.

He came back into the Control Room after a few minutes and quietly told each of us that we were liars. I told him it was a joke and to not be mad. We were stuck in this tube for a long time and have to do something to break the monotony. It took him a while, but be understood this eventually. He was a good guy.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

In The Navy (On the Boat), Part 14

I have to explain the Towed Array that let us hear this exceptionally loud target. What we do is string out a long microphone way behind the ship and it picks up vibrations in the water, not really sounds. Things like the hum of a fluorescent light, which is 60 HZ here in the USA. In Brittan and most of Europe and eastward, it is 50HZ. That includes most foreign submarines. The Captain liked to call them “enemy” Boats, but I didn’t like that at all. We were not in a declared war and not a single shot had been fired (by the Military anyway). It was the Cold War.

So we had this target of interest right off the bat. After a few course changes, it became very clear that the target was very far away, because its true bearing never changed. We started heading towards it, as we were going that way anyway. A full day passed and we still had no clue how far away it was, but it was far. This was a real mystery.

Another day passed and we had other contacts always (trawlers and merchant ships), but this one was really nagging us. It was just sitting there drawing us in. More than once I went over to the Quartermasters (QMs) and had them plot the bearing out and it was pointing in the area of Brittan. Their Boats all ran on 50 HZ, so it could possibly be a really loud Boat of theirs.

We were just a few days out and Sheppard started nagging everyone who smoked, for smokes. I wanted to rip his stupid ass head off, we all did really. He had decided he would “quit” on this run and had brought no smokes with him. Then he didn’t have the will power to do it, to quit. We all wanted to keel haul this ass. I would wind up giving him one to get him to just leave me alone. He was begging like a person near death and it was pitiful to listen to. I loathed him.

Another day went by as we slowly approached our mystery target…we were on the lookout for other things too. When I came on watch that night, there were bangs going off at regular intervals. There is a small audio repeater that you can turn on right next to the FT station, and listen to what the Sonarmen are hearing. They were little booms, about every 10 or 15 seconds. I stuck my head into the Sonar shack and asked them what they were and they explained it was seismic explosions, so someone could map the bottom of the ocean. Pretty cool, I thought. It got old though and I switched off the audio repeater after a while.

We got closer to our target and we actually started seeing a slight change in bearing when we changed course. I really wanted to find out what this thing was. It was obviously in the ocean and not on land, we weren’t that close to England yet. We crept in slower.

The XO had taken interest in this contact also, he was always looking for a chance to stick a feather in his cap and was grasping at this one. He was there when we had gotten close enough to be able to see it visually. He took us up to PD, very unlike him to be doing this himself. Once there he raised the scope and looked around (you take a quick sweep around first, to make sure you are not about to run into anything).

He asked for a bearing to the target and I called it out. He looked at the bearing indicator on the Periscope and called me over to take the scope. He announced to the Control Room and Sonar that we had lost the contact. He even had it written into the ships log, because it had been mentioned there before now.

I swung the periscope around to the bearing and was not surprised to see an enormous BP Oil Rig there, brightly lit in the dark night…like a Christmas tree. That solved the mystery for me, but not the sense of loss for the XO. He turned the Con over to the regular Officer Of The Deck (OOD) and stomped out. The OOD came over and took the scope from me and certainly noted I was smiling and holding back a laugh. He looked out the scope and laughed too.

I had a good time breaking the news to the rest of the crew about our mysterious contact, but made sure to emphasize the XOs excitement, until he saw what the target was.

Bored On A Sunday

As I often do when I am bored, I flipped my browser to the Mount Sain Helen's channel;

Normally pretty riveting stuff, but today the Mountain seems to be gone. I suspect the whole State of Washington may be missing, which will be a blow to Starbucks fans. I bet Oregon is next.

This Is Pretty Fascinating

I don't get why people think her doing an interview show is a bad thing?

The Simple Things....

I guess my concern is that the people in the US that seek this are religious freaks. Sounds great though.