Monthly Archives: February 2017

Twilight years – confessional

By lex, on July 5th, 2006

I’m starting to feel the clock wind down, just that little bit. I’ve had my last cat shot, my last trap, I’ve dropped my last bomb and gunned my last JO. Two more years makes 26, and 26 is a good place to get off, if you’re not going any further, and the truth of it is that I’m not: Took myself off the up-track last year, not that I was moving very quickly down those rails. Which pretty much leaves me on the “out-track,” once I’ve finished the tour I’m in. Not that I couldn’t hang around for another set of orders, if something extra special came up. Just that I probably won’t. You’ve got to make hay while the sun’s shining, and old Sol’s getting pretty low on the horizon.

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Happy Fourth

By lex, on July 3rd, 2006

This should be an easy post to write, but somehow it isn’t. Despite the fact that we’re living in times of prosperity unimaginable even twenty years ago, there’s still a kind of fin de siecle feeling in the air, a feeling filtering down somehow from our elites. Peggy Noonan wrote a dreary piece some months back about how families are taking their children to the mall to buy them one more pair of faded jeans – not that they need any more jeans, mind: It’s just that they’re doing what they can while they can. Getting it while the getting’s good. As though it might soon be over. We’re at war overseas. We seem to be at war with each other. What’s to celebrate?

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Somebody else’s sea story

By lex, on June 26th, 2006

So anyways, when SNO came back from Everett yesterday, one of the questions I asked him was what his running mate was like – a “running mate” is the enlisted Sailor who’s primarily responsible for making sure that his mid doesn’t hurl himself to his death going down the scuttle, knows where to muster, sleep and eat, etc. I still remember my running mate from youngster cruise in 1979 – STG2 Caz Rampey was his name. He still owes me money.

“Oh, he was a good guy,” replied SNO, adding, “kind of a joker, though.”

“Really, how so?”

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Home is the Sailor

By lex, on June 25th, 2006

Home from the sea, and the hunter is home from the hills:


The Phuket thing fell through, alas. His government sponsored passport didn’t come through in time. A disappointment, to be sure, but not the first. It isn’t all beer and skittles, is it? I cannot tell you how many “round the world cruises” I sailed out on that ended up stalled in the North Arabian Sea.

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On patriotism

By lex, on June 19th, 2006

Something ASM826 wrote in comments the other day, and inspired by the latest bit of insipidity set loose upon an amazed and often embarrassed world set me to thinking:

I have been thinking about this interview since I read about it a few days ago. Patriotism is not a uniquely American trait. Others have held it. It makes the most sense when there is a clash between societies and someone believes that theirs is the superior.

For example: Winston Churchill was questioned by cabinet about negotiating a settlement with Nazi Germany, and his reply was, “ if this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground.”

Not much question where he stood, eh? No matter what problems his country had, compared with the alternative he thought Britain was better. Not much question where U.S. patriots stand, either. This country is better. The things we share and believe are better. Even our problems are better.

Flying the flag, loving my country, and feeling contempt for people who can, see the obvious value of the things that I love about the United States isn, pandering. It’s my personal response, welling up out of who I am.

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Homework, part II

By lex, on June 7th, 2006

Long, repetitive and boring, but the work’s done and maybe one reader may enjoy it.

Or not.

Now give me my “A.”

Abstract: Over the course of the first decade of its lifecycle, the FA-18 Hornet aircraft evolved from a troubled acquisition program designed to fulfill a limited, albeit crucial role on a few aircraft carrier decks into the most successful aircraft program in US Navy history. It did so not by exceeding expectations in any one area, but by being “good enough” in every area, by using modularity in design and by answering cultural and political issues effectively.


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By lex, on June 4th, 2006

The Brits have a small island and a thousand year navy. They’ve got Camperdown and the Nile and Trafalgar and Jutland.

Us? We’ve got Midway.

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