Category Archives: Good Stuff

Mad Irish

Posted by lex, on October 30th, 2010

Last night the missus and I watched Ondine, a selkie-themed movie out of Ireland (and the holy land of Ireland), casting Colin Farrell in the decidedly unglamorous role of Syracuse (aka: Circus), a down-at-his-luck fisherman who drags an unconscious young woman out of his net. The identity of the girl is a mystery until the end, although Syracuse’s daughter Annie – played with elfin grace by young Alison Berry – clearly believes that the eponymous Ondine (the curiously accented and winsome Alicia Bachleda) is indeed a seal woman come to shed seven tears and live seven years with her father, the great majority of that time padding around in Victoria’s Secret underthings, not that your humble scribe objected. Annie also believes that Ondine has the power to heal her from a kidney condition that’s wasting the younger girl away, and although there is indeed healing of many sorts, it’s an Irish movie after all, so not everything ends happily for all involved.

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Neptunus Lex: Some Recommended Posts By Category

As I am about to finish reposting Lex’s posts, I thought it would be nice to offer some recommended reading by category. Lex had a lot of interesting posts – some humorous, some instructional….Some about life. I am sure that as I read through these I will pick some more categories. 


Stories & Essays of the Navy




Naval Aviation and Safety








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Europe In B & W, 1973-1974

A thought popped into my head that I have never shown you these photos. Or if I did, I can’t remember it 😉

But since I was 12 years old and found a grandfather’s old twin lens reflex camera – an Ansco – not a Rolleiflex – photography has interested me.

Anyway one of the first things I bought at the PX once arriving at my first station in Landstuhl, Germany was  a Pentax single lens reflex camera. I used a lot of Agfa color slide film, but once I got to my second station at Neubreucke – about 60 miles away – I soon discovered they had for our use a photo lab complete with Leitz enlargers.

Maybe I am getting ahead of myself.

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by lex
Posted: Sat – October 9, 2004 at 09:41 AM


While on the ship last month, I had some spare time between events and at night to read. Reading is a luxury I used to enjoy much more frequently than I have of late.

There are of course all sorts of time pressures in our daily lives, everything seems to happen so quickly these days. There seems to be very little space for contemplation and reflection. And reading literature at least, as opposed to email, ought to be a contemplative pleasure.

Where has the time gone? Sometimes I am subject to the gnawing concern that these “labor saving” devices we have built for ourselves have chained us instead to tyrants of “Better” and “Faster.”

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Thanga, and that

By lex, on April 29th, 2011

Your host is independently informed by two different sources that these our humble scribblings have been awarded “Best Veteran’s Milblog”, after the late unpleasantness with those submariners. Who, if they hadn’t have thrown the gauntlet down might have borne the bell away, etc. Ourselves being utterly unaware of the competition’s existence, even.

So much for the “silent service.”

And all in good fun.

So, thanks.


Editor: Unfortunately we do not have that earlier post of Lex’s (A Competition 4-26-2011) nor is it on the Wayback Machine. But I put this in for posterity’s sake. 


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Wasn’t Going to Post Today

By lex, Sat – April 2, 2005

Editor’s Notes* 

Was going to take the day, it being a Saturday, a day of rest.

But occasional correspondent DM wrote me a note, and like most of his notes, it made me think while writing back. And it seems a dern shame to waste good thoughts, or at least those I spent some time on.

So – we’re sharing, again.

First him:

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Friday Musings Feb 11 2005

By lex, Fri – February 11, 2005

Vodka martini (Ketel 1), very dry. One olive. With Brie cheese and crackers, if it do ya.

I save the olive ’til the end.

It’s raining again in Sunny SoCal. And in combination with the olive, I believe this has affected my mood.


Big day on campus today – we had a change of command. Out with the old flag officer (and a wonderful gentleman) in with the new (no one really knows, yet.) So we were all a-flutter in our service dress blues, and your humble scribe was the formation commander. If any of my USMC readers would have seen the appallingly random and shockingly inconsistent result attended by the command, “At a close interval, dress right – DRESS!” they would maybe forgive us more than they have already.

We’re just saying.


Driving down the 5 today (in the autovoiture, it being a rainy day), just south of the La Jolla swoop, I espied a single representative of the state of California’s finest pulled over on the shoulder, lights out. Which I took as considerate, knowing as I do the inevitable custom of SoCal freeway drivers to jam on their brakes and rubberneck at the sight of a CHP light show. Which, in combination with the rain, would have no doubt made for a pile up of epic proportions.

Very clever, these CHP.

Anyway, there was a car down in the holler off the road edge, a BMW M3 by the grille, in the brambles, facing the wrong way and with the blinker tapping out a slow dirge to eventual battery depletion. Nothing more could I see, but I imagined all in a moment the inevitable human drama – the slick road, the excessive speed, the panicked stop, the spinning of the wheel, the road edge flying up, the sound, the silence.

This goes on all around us all the time, and we do not see it.

It’s the rain, I tell you. Or perhaps the olive.


I cannot tie a necktie, and it drives me to distraction.

I hope I do not sound more than ordinarily arrogant (for a fighter pilot) when I say that I tend to be good at things. You know, stuff. I pick it up quickly, whatever it is. I’m not bragging, it’s just the way it is, and I have gotten used to it.

You should too.

Which is why my inability to tie a proper necktie drives me to distraction.

I don’t have to wear a necktie very often. It’s been flight suits, for the most part. Open collared khakis, for the rest. Sometimes I wear a tie to church.



I was getting dressed today for the change of command today, and as I buttoned up my shirt, I lifted up the (previously tied) necktie (that someone else had tied for me) and lowered it over my head, only to discover that the end of the tie did not quite reach down to my belt buckle. Which of course, it is absolutely supposed to do.

No – it fell short of my belt buckle by a measurable distance. Leaving me feeling, in my service dress blues, a bit like Popeye’s hamburger-chomping friend Wimpy. Which simply would not do, for so many reasons. Most of which having to do with his 1940’s attitude, mustache, waistline and name.


I determined that I would retie the damnable thing. How hard could it be?


I must have retied the thing a dozen times, trying to get the length just right. Never mind the knot. And the clock kept ticking.

I’d make the finest possible adjustment in starting positions, on my way to the essential half-Windsor – and find the tie end reaching to my knees. Or nearly.

A centimeter’s adjustment would I go in the opposite direction – and the thin end would extend below the fat end, neither reaching to my belt. Meh.

Finally, at the last possible moment, I created a knot that would not, by itself, shame the naval service. And that reached all the way to my belt.

Fully satisfied (may I say smug?) with my success, I came home, and in a moment’s distraction, pulled the knot apart.



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