Category Archives: Small Stuff


By lex, on June 23rd, 2006

Well, interesting reaction to yesterday’s post, and my sincere appreciation to those who insisted that being en banc was just the proper place for me. I did try my level best to promise to be fair and unbiased throughout the process, that being what duty required, but was nevertheless the recipient of either a challenge for cause or peremptory challenge, from, I presume, the defense.

It turns out that during a rather extended deployment aboard USS Last Ship I had served together with one of the NCIS agents who serviced the case, which fact was revealed during a mass Q&A session, and expanded upon during a solo appearance in front of the rest of the court. Also excused were a female lieutenant and a female Information Technologist, second class for reasons upon which I do not presume to conjecture.

The presiding judge was himself a captain, and it would have almost been amusing, our cool exchanges of formality: “Captain,” “Captain” except that of course the case in question was anything but a place for amusement, the crime alleged – but, it must be noted, not yet proven – being both monstrous and unnatural.

I hope you will not consider it less of me, but I accepted my excusal with something very near to relief, for their were to be graphic photos of the alleged crime entered into evidence, and there are some things which, once seen, cannot be un-seen.

So. Back to work.

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The glories of shore duty

By lex, on June 22nd, 2006

Begging your indulgence perhaps over the next several, but your correspondent – having already served this week on a Board of Inquiry for one poor, benighted soul – has now been summoned for to serve on a court martial. It appears that he has won the Navy Legal Service lottery, and of such are the joys of shore duty made.

It has been plausibly forecast that this court martial – about which no further details are known, nor, if they were known could they be publicly shared – will last the rest of this week and all of the next. This is the military equivalent of the OJ Simpson trial, for duration. I’m knackered just thinking about it, and the day job’s not going anywhere, is it?

No. It is not.

So, unless I can get my superannuated rump excused by one or the other JAGs during voir dire – and I’m hoping that rattling the Captain Queeg-style steel balls around in my sweaty palms will do the trick, because I’m not sure, but I’m thinking, that the crocheting needles and knit hangman’s noose might just be over the top – the blogging may well be even lighter, and if possible, more trivial, than even before.

So, until next we meet, I remain your most humble, ob’t servant, etc


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This captain gig?

By lex, on May 11th, 2006

I could get used to it…

Walked not once but twice – TWICE! – into the belly of the naval beast, yesterday. First trip had summat to do with my new-fangled, up scale, high tech, non-functioning ID card. Went over to the “Personnel Support Detachment,” which, depending on where you put your breath stop in that three word name, is either a very descriptive statement, or an ironic oxymoron. PSDs ordinarily being the military equivalent of a no-appointment drop in at the local DMV.

I’d had high hopes, too! The officer-in-charge is an old shipmate – called ahead, because a shipmate cannot turn you down, but no: The OIC is in a meeting all afternoon. How can I be… heh-heh: of assistance? Muah-ha-ha!

Still, such are the burdens of the service that the thing had to be done. Nothing for it but to square our shoulders, and march bravely in, hoping for the best, expecting the worst.

In and out in five minutes. Best. PSD stop. Ever.

Then on to medical, to get permission to run the physical readiness test. A mission not unlike begging for a root canal, even before you factor in the joys of socialized medicine, military style. I realized a long time ago that they get paid by the day, over at the medical clinic. Not by the patient. And by the time you’ve earned the right to be a curmudgeon, you get issued a hospital corpsman that wasn’t even a gleam in his father’s eye the first time you flew in combat, gazing up at you from behind the security of his desk with reptillian indifference, to provide you curmudgeonly ammunition.

Except that yesterday, there wasn’t. In and out in eight minutes, three of which I yield back to kismet, charging them to my own predilection when the opportunity arises to converse with fetching female flight surgeons.

So, yeah. I could get used to it.


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Just for the record

By lex, on April 10th, 2006

Been doing some of that cross-training thing. Trying not so much to turn back the hands of time as slow them down, just a little. Running, cycling, swimming and a little bit of weights thrown in for good measure. It’s been working, too.

Three weeks ago I went back to my collegiate roots, found a local fencing club, hit the piste.

Starting to, you know: Regret it.

Turns out that a couple three generations of younger fencers have come up since last I was at the nationals. Some of them quite good. Some of them right here in Sandy Eggo. And the first week I was reminded of leg muscles that you don’t use for anything else, except for fencing. Vividly reminded. And then last week I got back spasms trying to keep from falling after 25-year old synapses wrote a check 45-year old legs are apparently unable to cash. That was with me all week.

This growing old gig? It’s not for sissies.

But tonight? Tonight was the worst yet.

Because just for the record? A sabre cut to the wedding tackle is this whole other class of pain.



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I Hate This

By Lex, on Sun – August 28, 2005


But I’m doing it anyway. It’s because I trust you.

Don’t let me down…

What is it that I hate? This:

I’m asking for advice.

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Physical Courage

By Lex, on Sun – August 28, 2005


Saw an interesting sight today, coming up the 805 from Miramar.

There was all the usual dogfighting and jockeying for position, as apparently invincible drivers of seemingly indestructible Japanese cars weaved and gunned for advantage. Suddenly, just ahead I saw brake lights come on, all across the five lanes of traffic, and just beyond that a CHP motorcycle patrolman weaving rapidly across all of the lanes with his flashers on, like a crazy man.

The drivers in their cars fell back from speeds in the mid-80’s to the low 40’s, looking like nothing more than large and dangerous animals being tamed by a little man on a circus bike. It looked incredibly dangerous, a feat not merely of skill, but also one with great initial risk. He herded us all back, and down, even the Speed Racer invincibles, and just after the 805 joined the 5, his reason became more clear: Just around a small bend in the road, a car was running in the rightmost lane on three tires and a rim at maybe 15 MPH. His tire had come apart somewhere further back, and he only had a few hundred yards more to go before he could clear the highway. The CHP officer’s actions ensured that no one racing around the curve at 80+ MPH would rear end him, no doubt setting off a multiple vehicle accident, complete with horrible injuries and probably fatalities.

How the CHP guy had known about the crippled car I cannot guess, but he had to have known how dangerous such a maneuver would be to him personally. It would have been too easy for one of the knuckle-heads in the traffic flow to try to dart around one of the slower cars in front, and rear-end the CHP bike before anyone could react. The officer did it anyway, to save other’s lives.

There’s just all kinds of courage, is all.


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The Races, Dinner and IVF

By Lex, on Thu – August 4, 2005


Was in a bit of a funk yesterday, as the post below reliably attests. Sometimes you just want to stop the train here. And get off. Before anything gets any worse.

Do you ever feel that way? A sense of some impending… not doom precisely, but something maybe slightly less forbidding. The feeling that your nose has not quite yet been punched, but that something is on the way to do so. You can almost feel the blood trickling…

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