Thursday, December 27, 2012


This little tree is known as the President or some such thing. It's just the second largest one around. I had mentioned it earlier today to an inquiring young mind. She thinks that the really old trees are all small scrawny things.

For her.....and you.


Ran across this tonight while browsing and it struck me. The world of today would go absolutely berserk if they saw this in today's light. This is the Great White Fleet taking departure from Hampton Roads, Virginia back in 1907. Later in the same century I would field interesting questions from the skipper such as, "how did you handle fines issued by the EPA for smoking black?" I had to confess to being wilier than all that since I always started the main engines at night in the dark when we were pierside in the States ran them long enough to warm them up to operating temperature and then secured them until light off again in the morning. That way we only showed a quick trace of black smoke to the beady little eyes watching us like hawks atop Point Loma. When I ran things we didn't get tickets. These guys didn't either.

Monday, December 24, 2012

LIGHTNESS AND JOY wired version

Spreading happiness one frame at a time.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


I'm kind of coasting this week but here is a nice picture of a print I bought long ago from the Toledo Art Museum of all places. Inspired to post somehow by a trip today to Mount Vernon and a visit to the old Post Office in Washington DC yesterday which revealed the news that Trump has bought the building and plans to gut the insides and turn it into a posh hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue where the elite can meet to eat, sleep and be indiscreet as the fancy takes them. Currently there are extensive bleachers set up on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the building for watching the coming prelude to the second apocalypse. The Park ranger said that the old tower and bells would remain intact and open to the public and that the new owners mustn't change the facade of the building.

Resurrecting digital images of my copy would take me so long to figure out how to copy files from a backup hard drive that it would take less time for me to drive to San Diego, retrieve the computers in question and drive back here with them. In short, only dire necessity would force me that far. This was taken from the Britannica Online Encyclopedia pages.

Defiant moors here late at night and heads back out very early before the sun rises.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Forecasts are great planning tools. We should make use of them and not just for planning our trips.

I'm taking sunblock 10 billion just in case this is the Virginia forecast too.

Monday, December 17, 2012


These are rarely seen but memorable for all that.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Those innocent young children never knew what kind of evil walked the earth until it confronted them in a kindergarten classroom and that learning cost them everything they had or ever will have. Their families are shattered and their schoolmates now know or have an idea what evil something that looks like a man can wreak in a very limited time.

I honestly cannot think of any method that will prevent this sort of tragedy. There are a million voices clamoring for all manor of meaningless and pointless things that won't have any effect on future attacks on children. Things attack children because everybody knows that they are the least touched with unreasoned fear of their fellow man and least able to defend themselves or their peers. I don't want to teach them to fear. They are too helpless to defend themselves and therefor fall into the category of those who are protected by those who are not helpless.

But what can realistically stop a lone gunman from getting into a school building and a classroom if that gunman accepts that it will be a one-way trip to hell? Locks, bars, fences have been tried. They don't work perfectly or hardly at all and when the wolves dressed in sheep's clothing come calling what is left but signs warning that it's a gun free zone and metal detectors that work about as reliably as the ones the TSA routinely fails to operate or even notice aren't plugged in. Armed teachers or aides in every classroom? That cries out for tragic accidents. I know guard posts that routinely have visitors come back out from the attached rest room and point out that the guard forget his/her gun on the floor the last time they used the loo. I don't think I want little kids, however well trained and responsible, to have access to loaded firearms in such situations.

Pass a law! Well, it's already against the law to carry a gun on school grounds and it is certainly against the law to shoot people unless you are a cop and then it's alright.

I will have to think about this some more. Obviously there are ways to make schools safe for children. Why, one could put schools on an island and raise the drawbridge everyday when classes start and not lower it again until classes end--who are we kidding? Norway and the world were shocked by evil's descent on an island packed with vulnerable children and unarmed adults. Of course there is a way to make it safe. It's late and I just can't think what it is.

Homeschooling could be the answer but far too many parents received a very expensive solid 2nd grade level education and so may be at a disadvantage in providing the schooling part. And then, there are the countless little tragedies that make the local papers all over the world every day. Annihilator parent.

Every  day.

Hold 'em while you have them.  Love them.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Found only moments ago in a most unlikely place.


On another blog today I was reading about the IPCC draft statement for next year's report to the UN on global warming. It seems that the team writing the draft have come around to the conclusion that maybe hubris and profit are driving the clamor of man induced global warming. Here is what I had to post:

"It takes a very special kind of moron to accept that ice covered the earth in the remote past, doesn't now and it is mankind's fault that the ice almost all melted."

I always accepted that the earth warms and cools but that cycle has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with mankind. Could it be something else?

Sunday, December 2, 2012


After a gentle day with a late arising and a leisurely stroll through the heart of town with brief forays into both the library and a new pie shop we returned home and rested a bit before heading further into the big city for a Christmas party followed by a couple of hours diversion with another couple at our favorite watering hole and restaurant. There was time for reflection.

It seems the fire is coming back into my world. It had been carefully banked 4 years ago and I was only reminded of it with a few flickers which were mostly dreams over the last few years but over the last seven days it roared alight. I feel the urge to conspire deeply and over the long haul perhaps for a generation maybe even two. Once again there's a good bit of joy in the world and both song and word lay a foundation on which another life may be essayed.

It has taken me two years to lose the pain of the old music and words that used to move me and found new ones that I never heard or read before.  I find that I enjoy laughing with the world again.

Friday, November 30, 2012


I was reading until quite late tonight with one of nature's best hunters asleep on the couch nearby who suddenly lifted his head towards the ceiling and with staring eyes carefully tracked the movement of a silent and invisible thing for more than a minute before closing his eyes and resuming his nap. There was nothing there because here in the depths of winter there are no bugs or mice. He clearly saw something. I wonder what it was.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I found this wonderful and informative video at "The Age of Sail" blog. It shows how indescribable conditions were on the gun decks of wooden warships of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic era.

Monday, November 19, 2012


It is now time for the Senate and House to negotiate a settlement to the fiscal cliff. I offer this in the spirit of cooperation: How to negotiate with democrats:

Thursday, November 1, 2012


28 years and a bit ago I was commissioned in the USNR. Today I received my US Flag in the mail and the anticipated letter with retirement orders dated 1 September 2012. All in all it was a great ride. I enjoyed it a lot.

 Just for the heck of it and as a test of ancient memory:

Commissioned Penn State 1983

USS LaSalle (AGF-3) Middle East Force Flagship - 1984
 OPERATION INTENSE LOOK in the Red Sea looking for mines with HM-14 - 1984

USS Harry W. Hill (DD-986) - 1985
  ASW OPS 85-6 - 1985

SWOS Department Head School Diesel Engineer - 1986

USS Pluck (MSO-464) - 1987

USS Esteem (MSO-438) - 1988

USS Pluck (MSO-464) - 1988

USS Esteem (MSO-438) - 1989

Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 107 - 1989

USS Fresno (LST-1182) - 1991

 Inshore Undersea Warfare Group ONE - 1992

US Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain - 1996

Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 104 - 1997

Surface Force Pacific Fleet 1998

Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 103 - 1998

Special Boat Squadron ONE - 1999

Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command - 1999-2002

Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 104 - 2000

Harbor Defense Force Western Pacific - 2003

Navy Coastal Warfare Group ONE 2005

Maritime Expeditionary Security Group ONE - 2006

Harbor Defense Force Western Pacific - 2009

Monday, October 22, 2012


This pretty much says it all:  TOTALITARIANS FLOCKING TOGETHER  When Chavez, Castro and Putin endorse an American running for President of the United States it ought to be all over.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Oh man, why didn't you bail out of the company aircraft?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


The Armed Forces of the US are now eating the seed corn of the next generation of warriors. As usual they try to implement the self destruction with the stupidity of the last iterations and want to use physical readiness standards of absolutely no sense or meaning. My proposal is to bring back the Sam Brown belt and arms and old uniforms. Fatties look totally stupid in such uniform and ridicule from their peers would drive them out. Oh well, never mind. We'd be left with an ocean of Courtney Massengales and zero Sams.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


There is this man and his wife Mary that I know. Both of them have a way with words. I'm still working on that. Short of my dad, Carroll was the best man I ever knew. He was Neptunus Lex and you can still find him there via google.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


How utterly amazing. An amazing star. I've always liked them.


It just struck me that the bible was not there. We all went to Sunday school and to church in the day but the bible was not there on the home front. Ever. We each of us found it in our way and read it but it was not part of the home. As I think about it, strange for an elder of the church. Went to Christmas service there a few days ago. My dad arranged to have a hymn book for me at hand but as I said, I had the wrong glasses and could not read hymns but knew them all from memory.

Listening to Norah Jones now.