Been a while, hadn’t it? And silence! You in the back row, about to open your mouth and say, “Rhythms!”
In due time, I promise.
So, Thursday was the Kat’s sixth grade graduation. I don’t know about you, gentle reader, but in my day we didn’t graduate from sixth grade – we just stopped going to that class at the end of the year and started up seventh after an interposing summer respite. But they do sixth grade graduations here in California, and it was something of a sight to see.
The good news: Learning that your number one son will join the crew of a guided missile destroyer for his summer NROTC cruise, during the course of which he will work, eat, berth and enjoy time ashore with the enlisted mess.
The rest of the story: Said man-o’-war will be at the time of his joining located in Thailand, where the crew will spend some number of days enjoying the local sights before returning home.
All your correspondent really wanted for his birthday * – which was very nice, by the way: Brunch at La Valencia in La Jolla with the whole clan, and 50 rounds through a borrowed H&K USP .45 at the American Shooting Center *** while Son Number One broke in his newest acquisition, a Rock Island Armory M1911 clone that sold at a price found hard to resist (and lucky to have found it, the store’s shelves utterly innocent of new firearms for sale, and nothing on offer but a few previously owned Glocks), a little R&R around the house (including the fabrication of a cat house [shush!] intended for the crazy old homeless man in the cat suit that hangs around the back yard muttering to himself, the creation of which was a task well within these our austere woodworking talents), and a slice or four at the Pizza Port, with a pint of their ESB that went down ever so kindly, followed up by cutting up a bit of wood for the fireplace, the better for to warm our creaking limbs in anticipation of the cruel, San Diego winter that stands a tip-toe on our doorstep – but all I really wanted, as I was saying, was full ownership of an Aviat Husky for to take us to the back places where a four-weight line might profitably be wet, and, quarter shares, say in a Pitts Special for those moments where we are feeling a little too well grounded.
That when you’ve come back from your morning run, and are taking a shower in the facilities provided, the water pressure from the shower head decreases when someone using the same facilities set for other reasons, em: Flushes.
I know, I shouldn’t be disconcerted: Fresh water, all the way ’round. There’s only so much of it. More required over here means less to be had over there. But still.
It doesn’t seem right.
When I was a midshipman, we went one summer to Quantico, Virginia, where Marine officers are tenderly brought to full flower in a process roughly analogous to the face-hugger/chest buster phenomenon made so popular in the “Alien” movie trilogy.
In the student barracks, not only did the cold water cut out entirely whenever someone in the western hemisphere “sent the army home,” the hot water, as though waiting for just such an opportunity, jetted out with vicious abandon. Strangely enough, in the instant just before the boiling water leapt out to wreak its savageries upon your exposed flesh, it was preceded by a tiny slug of cold water. In time, we mids came to understand what this was: All a part of the Marine Officer training program. A combat reactions course, if you will. The price of unbroiled skin was eternal vigilance.
And quick reflexes.
There’s no real point to all this. Just small stuff.