Sunday, July 28, 2013

Barco Action Photo!

Barco, as viewed from 500 feet sometime around 1530, Saturday afternoon. We were passing the Black Creek bridge on the way to Six Mile Creek.

I saw the blue plane pass in front, you can't see it but I was waving out the port side.

Click to enlarge!

Photo by Bill D. (USNA Class of '82) from Navy Flying Club airplane.

P.S. We had a very nice evening at the Six Mile Creek!

Have a great week!

Friday, July 26, 2013


End of the week, yet again.

Dropped off the dry cleaning, stopped by the Barco to look around and ran the diesels for 15 minutes just to keep them lubed up.

Beautiful day in Jax, not too hot or muggy, bunch of fluffy white clouds waiting to join up with each other to make the afternoon thunderstorms. They will be here by 1500, or so. After 1700 we should be clearing up for a pleasant evening which of course, will find us on the edge of the river for dining and socializing. Barco will be the nightcap for the evening out.

I watched a documentary on the Appalachian Trail (while trudging along on the treadmill!), only thee quarters of it was actually about hiking the other quarter was the subtle propaganda of the Final Solution Gang, otherwise known as environmentalists. The Trail looks like an incredible challenge and aside from the sermonizing, the camera work of the documentary was superb along with the personal stories of some of the hardy hikers who took to the trail. Sounds like a noble quest for anyone in reasonable shape from 16 to 80!

The Barco will get underway sometime tomorrow, depending on weather conditions. I'd like to get at least a few hours under the keel and enjoy my new visual acuity while checking out the goings on around the St Johns river. Wish you all could come for the ride, but we all have to be where we have to be, right?

Stay safe this weekend...

Barco Out!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Snooping around the net

Google knows all.

I was looking around the Google Earth app and thought I might be able to remember how to find my buddy's home in Coolongolook. Just by typing in the name of the town, I found the Highway 1, in New South Wales. I then looked for the river which is near the freeway and moved the view onto the little settlement and switched to street view.

Just who. Is. This?


At least the photos I stole are in good taste. Sometimes the Google car finds the locals in some sort of indelicate position as they drive by, as noted by this famous (stolen from elsewhere!) photo from five years back;

Just napping. (Hopefully...)

We will get better photos when we get there, middle of next month.

See you later.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I am busy.

Just finished 55 minutes in the dreaded gym and discovered that the afternoon thunderstorm is chillin' muh barbecue!

I am smokin' a boston butt!

Ten AM, smokin' away!

Two Thirty, rain is cooling down the smoker. Still need a couple more hours, or so.

Guest of Honor at the Monday Roast.



Lesson learned. The smoker will not keep in the proper temperature range while rain pours on it. Duh!

Pulled the pork out and checked the inner temperature, 136 F. So I brought it inside and placed it into the oven which is set at 250 F. Give it a few more hours, I don't think any more/less smoke will change the outcome of our dinner. In fact, I hacked a small excess piece off and found it spicy and very fit for eating.

Have a fine rest of the day!

Friday, July 19, 2013

End of the week!

And glad to be here!

The summer is doing its normal ninety degree blast on the First Coast, those who can stay indoors to avoid the humiture, at least until after the everyday thunderstorm. Cool air from the daily storm will reduce temps to something tolerable and this is how we can be outside in the evenings, around these parts.

I went to see the Eye Doc yesterday, my next visit will be in mid-September. Until I leave for Oz, eye drops will be a part of my routine at mealtimes. It's real nice to wear normal Rayban's while running about town and to be able to look people in the eye without them looking worried. (Magnified eyes are scary!)

The Commissary was its normal craziness, today. I picked up a Boston Butt and some cat food/litter to last us for the next few days. I think smoked pork will be on the menu in the very near future, because we can.

That's it for now, until next time we visit, please think positive thoughts and Keep Calm. And Carry On!

Tell me you didn't get a smile from that catchy tune, huh?

To the Barco!,  we ride...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Seven days later...

Without glasses. Still have to put eye drops in both eyes but they feel like the healing is complete. I no longer need to reach for anything in the morning for clarity, and Mao cannot walk on the night stand and kick my glasses to the floor for attention.

The near vision thing is tough to get used to, I wear store bought reading glasses for the computer and general book stuff. But the intermediate (cutting food on the counter) is a bit challenging. I think I will order some cheap progressive  glasses for kitchen work and night time boating. The lenses would be clear when viewing ahead but gradually come to reading strength for close in stuff that need immediate focus, like a chart plotter, compass or navigation system in the car.

"Didn't you go through all that crap to eliminate glasses from your life, doofus???"

Yeah. But these glasses won't weigh a pound and be over a half inch thick. And the cost will be about $90 for two pairs, (Vice $800! for one pair) of which I can leave staged on the boat or in the glove box. And I can squint my way just about everywhere else, too.

Next follow-up with the eye doc is tomorrow, and I will be trying to get my eye drop usage reduced to a few times a day. Nothing like applying what feels like vinegar into the peepers, every four hours. I comply because there is no choice, these eyes are all we get issued, so I better take care and quit whining, right?

Another thing I am back on is walking. The Doc did not want me getting sweat in my eyes and risking  an infection, so I went two weeks without doing my daily three miles which has made me add a couple pounds to the old girth.  We have a treadmill now which keeps us safely inside and away from the outside risks of walking, like traffic and urban outdoorsmen from down the street and so forth. Ahh, and rain...

So now I can walk in Central Park and a number of other places with all the hills added in for our hiking and jogging pleasure! (The treadmill really does everything! and it even keeps your feet moving for you in case you can't do it for yourself. Only in 'Murica!!!)

I watched a film yesterday while doing an hour long treadmill course called the Maui Taco. The movie was called "Expendables 2"on Netflix. It was a real hoot of an action comedy (Without any of the drama you come to expect in good films) and it was fun to see what looks to me to be a modernized remake/version of 1977's "The Wild Geese", which itself was a film of old unemployed actors getting together for a good shoot-em-up drinking party. But The Wild Geese is still fun after all these years, and I can watch that one over and over. Not so sure Expendables 2 will stand for repeated viewings, but your mileage may vary. Expendables 2 is worth a watch if just for some of the comic lines and not so subtle jokes about past film glories.

Notable Quotable:

Stallone: I heard you were bitten by a king cobra.
Chuck Norris: I was. And after five days of agonizing pain, the cobra died.


Stay healthy out there!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday look back in history...

The following is a face book telling of a big day in my life,  04 Aug 1991. USS Deyo, (DD-989) had a major fire that put the ship in serious danger. It began at 0430 and the fire burned until about 0800.

Read and be entertained... I was the person on the flight deck manning the 2 1/2 inch hose.

  • Martin Jones after reading all these comments and ideas let me give my story on what happened that morning. as we all know the boiler casing had a leak in it and we were already down one generator. that evening on the 3rd the temperature started to rise in the bo...See More
    13 hours ago · Like · 2
  • Martin Jones following that DCFN Kelly Aguero came down and woke me and John Evans up and told us what was going on while that was going on it flashed into a fire. we went to repair 3 and got some gear and headed up to the aft decon area and manned a fore hose and checked it and we went around the corner toward the stbd torpedo mag and saw flames shoot through the overhead. some how we had no fire main pressure and backtracked to the fantail to see flames coming out through the boiler room door and into the passage way. we grabbed a 2 1/2 inch hose and started to bounce it off the bulkhead into the boiler room while the flames were shooting out. shortly after that the torpedo mag sprinkler heat sink in the p-way at the end of the horseshoe passageway melted at 165 deg if i remember right and filled the mag and the ship started to list to the starboard side.
    12 hours ago · Like · 2
  • Martin Jones once that happended some of the fuel started floating out of the flooded p-way and over the side. then we felt hot water falling on us from up above on the missle deck. we dropped the 2 1/2 hose and found the air detatchment spraying foam on the glowing missle deck. they gladly gave us that hose and kept feeding us foam till we were relieved by the fire team from repair 5. John help me out if I missed any details. i used to have a copy of the safety report where we got slammed for how we did it, but at the end it said if not for the first responders the damage would have been much greater. i am not bragging in any way but it is an event and details i will never forget. what a way to start off a Sunday morning holiday routine. the most comforting thing to me was the teamwork of the crew and as we were on the fantail we saw two red lights moving quickly towards us and next thing you know the USS Yorktown was next to us ready to assist. That is the event as I remember it.
    12 hours ago · Unlike · 4
  • Martin Jones then later in the day CO CDR Barber came over to me and John and thanked us for all we did. I don't think he knew the grave danger that was going on. we were just tring to put out the fire and save our house. thank you and God bless.
    12 hours ago · Edited · Unlike · 3
  • Chris N Tammy Penning ^^Good shit. I got there in Aug of 95 and many of the CTs in our berthing back aft probably owe you their lives. I heard about that fire often. To the day he walked off, Ray Patterson would grab his EEBD the moment they lit off NR 3 and walk out of the berthing. He'd sleep in SSES until they shut it off. He'd say "I got lucky once, not chancing it again".
  • Chris N Tammy Penning And for what it's worth, "Trip" made some SIGNIFICANT contributions furthering the interests of the U.S. Navy (and still does). Just like Martin pointed out, it's easy to arm chair QB an event. I could never be a CO of a ship. I'd wake up and throw up every morning knowing my career is in the hands of a group of 18-23 yo's on the bridge. That shit ain't easy. And by the way, "Trip" is a member of this page so I think it's probably rude to speak of him in the third person.
    3 hours ago · Unlike · 1
  • Ken Oliver Martin - Thanks for the rundown, thats what I remember as well....I was running Repair 8, us "topsiders" never had much action, so being for real on smoke boundaries, and sending teams to man hoses was something I'll remember forever; I have a ton of p...See More
  • John Evans In the end after all is said and done this chain of events changed the way other ships conduct training they include more fire fighting drills from repair 3 and it caused fleet wide inspections of boilers so that something like this doesn't happen agai...See More
  • Maogwai Cat  I was the airdale on the nozzle of that 2 1/2" hose on the flight deck. Facing the Sea Sparrow Mount... The torpedo mags were flooded at one point and one of the torp's started running. Scared me into praying for all those down below, doing the hot work. I remember some pressure tanks (Acetylene?) going off, too. Not trying to correct Martin's narrative, but it was the Cruiser Dale that pulled alongside. Thanks for telling the tale, Martin!
  • Robert Craig Always letters and metals for being placed in a position where you have to fight for yo life then get called a hero. There is realitively no difference between what happened thatday aboard the Deyo and what happened on the beaches of Normandy with the exception of the number of people doing their best to do what was needed to survive.
  • Maogwai Cat Yes, Robert, I think that fire was when I became proud to be a Tin Can Sailor and I never wanted to be on a big deck ship again. ('Ceptin' I was glad to be an AW, though...)
    21 minutes ago · Like · 1
  • Robert Craig Notice how many eye witness stories come from an incident and how much they vary. I sat in on a jury once and was convinced every eye witness that testified had an agenda to prove how incrediably accurate their memory was. Unlike Navy investigations wh...See More
  • Maogwai Cat Differing focal points, that's all. Important thing is that we are able to be here to remember, 22 years later. No bad actors, just a tough moment and Deyo came through!

I received a Flag Letter of Commendation from the Two Star from the USS Forrestal.

I believe that is me on flight deck in my flying suit. Summer '92 leaving Charleston.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Second day of no glasses

I had the lens replacement session on Tuesday, the person doing the anesthetic gave a little less happy juice than last week and the aftermath was the eye feeling a bit more stingy. I took four tylenols over the evening and managed to get some sleep overnight. Went in for the follow-up and asked the Doc why the different experience? He 'splained it.

Oh well.

Yesterday was a lot bit better, the left eye is at 20/20 for distance, not bad. Was up at 0400 this morning to help the Spousal Unit do the traveling thing, me and the cats are now in our routines, them are in the sun room and I am on the 'web getting the daily news. Sometimes I wear reading glasses for this, sometimes not. Depends on my eyes feeling too dry or  if they get tired.

By the way, I look older without glasses. But I can see wider. (Glasses made my scope of vision fairly narrow and constrained, like looking down two cardboard tubes.) I mean a full left to right bi-nocular field of vision! No more moving my head to accommodate the narrow view of glasses, oh no! We can now just move the eyeballs, oh yes! Good for the lazy viewer.

For this morning's accomplishing activities, Visas have been procured for the upcoming big trip. Twenty bucks a piece to go to the land of Oz, which is just another tax to keep the gubmint employees over there well paid and so forth. At least it is a smoother application process which is all completed online. Remember when you had to mail applications, or even, (Gulp) stand in line??? Well worth the $20.00, I say.

I bet if we overstayed our visa, the local government would find us and kick us out, not like here. There would be a little uncomfortable period in the jail too, just to make us not want to break the law again.

Perhaps the Australian Government would want to call us Undocumented Labor voters and let us stay in Oz on the down-low?

Naahh! That only happens here.

I'm happy, hope you're happy too. Have a fine rest of the week!

P.S. I am donating all of my old glasses to the Lions. Good outfit doing wonderful things for those in need. (Wait! I'm an Elk, won't I be in danger???)