Things to be grateful for of a Sunday morning

By lex, on May 27th, 2007

The fact that an EMT technician was available at the Del Mar Show Park this weekend.

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The even more improbable fact that his services remained uncalled for. And that people tell your correspondent that, no, really – he looks fine in gray hair. Really.

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And a new entry in the “Name that Occasional Reader Contest” – I believe we’re up to three now.

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The year is 1980.

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Have a beer, Marine

 

By lex, on May 26th, 2007

I grew up in Virginia during a time when the federal government had something of a laissez-faire attitude towards state laws on the sale of alcohol, at least with regards to the age of consumption. The Old Dominion permitted residents the taste of a beer at age 18, and strong spirits at age 21, unless we troubled ourselves to drive across into Washington, D.C. where both were to be had for the asking at 18.

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Service etiquette

By lex, on April 23rd, 2007

Mine was the third class at the US Naval Academy to admit female students as midshipmen, which perhaps explains why we were the first not to be subjected to the long-lived and infamous tradition of the “Tea Fight” at Dahlgren Hall. Dahlgren was the on-campus hockey rink that doubled (off season) as a kind of dance hall and social headquarters. A good account of Tea Fight tradition can be found at the class history entry for the USNA class of 1968:

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Exceptionalism

By lex, on April 22nd, 2007

There are probably few things quite so off-putting to the world outside our borders than that innate sense of “American Exceptionalism” with which we face the outside world. It is a notion which is both ancient (by our standards, anyway) and culturally embedded. As others have remarked, it is not enough for us to think of ourselves as a “great country,” we must also be “the best.” Nor is it sufficient that our form of democracy is good, it must also be the most authentic – or, considering how much we moan over our own political class – it must at least be immune to outside criticism.

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Understanding the culture

By lex, on April 3rd, 2007

In the beginning was the jacket, and the jacket was precious on account of the “been there, done that” patches, but it got left behind.

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And the Training Officer found the aforementioned bit of flight gear laying adrift, and like any good Training Officer he made things right. And that’s when the unassailable court of squadron opinion was benched:

The evidence –

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Bad news

By lex, on April 1st, 2007

I’m sorry to have to share this with you, but it looks like we may have to amend the terms of our relationship: I guess I finally crossed the line. Something I wrote earlier in the week offended some Very Important People who made official representation of their objections through political channels and finally down through my chain of command. I got the call yesterday – it’s never good news to get called by your boss on a Saturday. Had to happen eventually I suppose, but I kind of hoped my tattered veil of anonymity could outlast my active service.

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TJ

By lex, on March 25th, 2007

We were to meet at 0700 at the church parking lot, so it was with cattle prod in hand that I went to summon the Biscuit from the land of nod at 0630 on a Saturday morning, only to be met with the familiar-as-my-own-heartbeat but nevertheless heart-rending wail of “Five more minutes!”

Very well, says I, five more minutes, but when I come back you’ll need to spring to action!

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