Friday, February 26, 2010

JO tour rotations...

Milestones of a Junior Officer's Career:

1. Finding out what boat/port he got. Can be as sweet as hardpack and chocolate chip cookies, or as bitter (and sour) as the navy's version of collard greens and that trash malt vinegar we have in the wardroom.
2. Getting your fish
3. PNEO. The promise land. Succeed gloriously or fail miserably and endure the few options you have, all of them painful and humiliating. Classic submarine force style.
4. Playing the slate!

Due to some training pipeline issues, the JO supply to the fleet was inconsistent, and caused some hiccups in rotation times, tour lengths, etc. etc. This resulted in some hate and discontent (i.e. sea tours that were anywhere from 40-46 months) by many a JO. Now, mention this to a senior officer, and of course you'll get the "RAMBLE RAMBLE back in MY day, JO tours were 45 months STANDARD and we did it UPHILL and in the SNOW, RAMBLE RAMBLE. JO tour's need to be longer so that JO's can learn the ship better, RAMBLE RAMBLE."

My reply to that is: go f-yourself. Back in the day, submarines were way freakin sweeter, with much less admin, red tape, politics, and general pussy-footing. Back in the day, you CPA'd closer, turned harder, and pulled into sweet ass ports like Thailand, India, France, Spain, Norway, etc., on a regular basis. Now, it's almost as if one boat per squadron gets that squadron's quota of "sweet port call." Obviously, it's budgeting, but either way, I know how it affects the life of a submariner.

So end tangent/rant. Back to the slate. Apparently, the PERS42 dude has a twitter page. That's freakin lame. I looked at it, and it might as well have updates such as "totally ate two hotdogs today for lunch - considering a third tomorrow" or "sorry I haven't gotten to your emails, because honestly, I didn't want this job either - my detailer screwed me! LOL!"
They should invest in a webpage that tracks, in real time, the size of the bonejob that the JO playing the slate is about to get.

Regardless of the issues with playing the slate, the real issue at hand is the way that CO's can control your tour length, and totally throw your life off track. This remains to be seen with my career, however seeing the direct affect of such puppeteering on other JO's left a sour taste in my mouth, and a sinking feeling when I think about the end of my sea tour (spoken: no end in sight).

SUB IC joke:
A guy walks into a bar, and spots a hot blond. She's surrounded by her dickhating girlfriends.
She makes clear advances towards him, but he doesn't know what to do.
She says: "I'll do anything you want, but you have to say right here, right now"
He says: " I want you to close me"

Terrible joke. Terrible...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I'm back, from a long hiatus. Unplanned, but not undeserved. Not in any sort of chronological order:
I have now under my belt:
1. Fish (for a while now)
2. A deployment
3. May more collateral duties than I ever expected to get
4. A squad of NUBS below me that my CoC expect me to train (uh oh...)
5. Months of local ops experience, including a long SCC ops underway. Yes, if you have ever been a SCC student, this goes to you: I HATE SCC OPS. Nonetheless, I still got to do tons of stuff as a submariner, JO, and OOD.

I am nearing the 'promise-land' break that every JO gets, and if they're stupid, get's twice. Yes, PNEO.

I won't post any statuses on that as to not jinx myself.

In other news, I have done a lot of thinking of what I like and do not like about the sub force, and how that has affected my clear and unwavering decision with my career path (i.e. to stay in or get out). I have already decided, but will hold the results, for suspense's sake, and again as to not jinx myself.

Quick recap of deployment:
Saw a few ports, not as many as I'd like - one stood out the most. To maintain the anonymity, I will not mention the port, but it was very international and awesome. Will descibe in detail later.
Stood a ton of watch back aft (bleh) and saw my CO flip out way too many times. Luckily, he's gone and morale has sky rocketed.
I am saving a great post about my old CO for later... Muhaha...

I've anchored a 688. Who's done that? Not many, to be honest. Any especially not many JO's. I've anchored small pleasure craft numerous times, and this was nothing like that. I actually hope to never do it again.

I'll end this post with a love/hate about subs:
LOVE/HATE: watching a full moon through the scope at night - the detail you can see is actually amazing / being at PD at night for your whole watch, and continuous search, with no contacts.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Obviously everyone's heard the news. This isn't a "hot off the press post," but more of a "how the hell could this have happened, what are you the USS San Fransisco, the CO is so fired he might as well be a FSA (aka cranks), thank god no one died" type of post.

Though it may seem I am making light of the situation, this is very serious. I genuinely empathize with the crew of the Hartford. Despite what happened, they saved the ship and no one died.

Yeah... That's gonna need a WAF.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Still Alive

Since my last post I've been:
-Out to sea a bunch (fast attack tough)
-Standing an inordinate amount of watch and duty
-Getting punched in the dick
-Scrambling to get my fish

As it stands, I should be getting them pretty soon - definitely before deployment.

Probably one of the most influential Americans ever:

Obviously, much has transpired since August. Off the top of my head:

1. We have a new president! I wish him the best and hope that he can find a true balance for America in the 21st century.
2. A sailor on the USS Nevada died after getting his leg caught in a rudder ram. Never been on a boomer, but apparently there's a lot of space back there.
3. The USS Port Royal (CG 73) ran aground outside of Pearl Harbor and was stuck there for about 4 days. The latest news reports that their CO so fired, he's now an Ensign at an Antarctic research lab.
4. We're b*llz deep in a recession, nay, dare I say, a depression. I am reminded daily of the stark irony of my lack of job satisfaction and the smug comfort of my job security.
5. I'm sure I've missed many other landmark events - until next time.

Fair Winds, and Following Seas...

Friday, August 01, 2008

Here we go again

My recent bear poem was just for fun. This is a real story. Well not really. It's a story because people will flip out due to their ignorance.

U.S. sub leaked radioactive water, possibly for months (CNN)

Holy radioactive blue balls batman. The USS Houston, SSN-713, was found to have a valve cap that was filled with 'radioactive water.' The "build-up of leaking water popped a covered valve and poured onto a sailor's leg while the submarine was in dry dock."
The sailor now has cancer, aids, herpes, and a really bad cough. The first was probably from smoking, and the last three, from partying too much. All joking aside, I'm really curious to find out the details of this story. Key word: DETAILS. Not the 'truth,' because the TRUTH is that extremely pure primary water with negligible curie content leaked out, as the submarine "traveled around the Pacific to pots in Guam, Japan, and Hawaii."
"The total amount leaked while the sub was in port in Guam, Japan and Hawaii was less than a half of a microcurie (0.0000005 curies), or less than what is found in a 50-pound bag of lawn and garden fertilizer."

This quantity of radiation is beyond negligible. Again, another case of sensationalized anti-nuclear propaganda. Nuclear power doesn't kill people - lack of shielding does. HA!
More to follow on this topic, after I talk to my INSIDE SOURCES.

On a completely unrelated topic, I've been getting into aquariums, and I just got my first fish! See below for pic:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

An ode to a bear past

My posting frequency has risen as of late,

A creature savage,
And fierce at times,
Was a victim of neglect and rubbish,
Such senseless crimes.

This bear unnamed,
Whose mother had cherished,
Was living untamed,
And too early perished.

We'll never know,
The fauna he befriended,
Again he'll never go,
To the bear parties he attended.

Possible he was searching,
For a morsel to woo,
A coy she-bear perching,
At a ledge to coo.

Stumbled into a jar,
Of human origin,
He wandered a far,
Losing strength within.

The police discounted,
The plight of this yogi,
Their bullets they counted,
As he wandered so lonely.

With lead and fire,
Ursidae dispatched,
In a jar still mired,
His fur was no match.

Before you throw trash,
Forget not this beast,
When our worlds clash,
Theirs do cease.

Remembering the unnamed bear (1997 - 2008):

Baby bear's first tree climb (1998)

High School Graduation (2005)

Bear with childhood friend, Bambi

Head caught in a jar

We'll Miss You

Wednesday, July 23, 2008



Ya'll better hide your kids!!!!

Seriously though, the media's (and therefore PUBLIC) perception of nuclear power is ridiculous. I (and probably many in the nuclear field) am pretty tired of the sensationalist yellow journalism that surrounds nuclear power. Much like sharks, the Bermuda Triangle, and Michael Jackson's true alien identity, it is a sorely misunderstood topic. US Nuclear power deaths since it's inception: 0. Russian nuclear power related deaths since it's inception: a bunch, but Russians have had a reputation for not caring about human lives anyway, so honestly, it doesn't really count. Chernobyl (for those who are familiar with it) was due to severe operator error and a NON-fail-safe design, which is just SILLY. See below for depiction of Russian's and their design principles:
Anyway, back to the original article:
"About 100 staff at a nuclear plant in southern France have been exposed to a low dose of radiation, power firm Electricite de France (EDF) says."
"Seventy of them show low traces of radioelements, below one 40th of the authorised limit," EDF said, adding that the incident would not affect people's health or the environment."

Apparently, workers were exposed during maintenance. Possible scenario: Pressurized system, partially isolated for maintenance, error in establishing barrier criteria (whatever theirs are), and poof, some liquid spray (which is the most likely method of activity going airborne in this case). Some air particulate detector alarmed, and people ran out. They recieved 1/40th!! Without using any absurd analogies, I will simply say that recieving 1/40th of your authorized dose is insignificant. Dose bases are calculated are with extremely conservative methods, incorporating stochastic and deterministic results of worst case radiation exposure with a 100% dose rate. Bottom line: 1/40th of a conservative dose limit is a pittance.

RADIATION IS DANGEROUS! People cry. Oh yeah? Well so are you. Anyone who says nuclear power is dangerous because radiation is dangerous is a silly goose (see previous picture). Let's put it this way:
1. If you are overweight, you are dangerous. And a drain on society. Food made you overweight, so food is dangerous. Let's not eat anymore. Millions of Americans will die from obesity related illnesses (heart disease, diabetes, etc) this year. 0 will die from radiation exposure. Radiation will generate thousands of gigawatts across America. Fat people will generate millions of tons of poop.
2. If you smoke (at all) or drink (in excess, and/or have driven under the influence), you are dangerous. You are a drain on society. You endanger yourself and those around you every time you smoke and/or drink. Cancer deaths from cigarettes infinitely (mathematically true) outnumber deaths from nuclear reactor accidents. Furthermore, cigarettes aren't that cool. What's cool is a 2000 Mw reactor plant busting out more juice than you can suck up with useless flat panel televisions.
3. If you purchase electricity from a coal burning power plant (knowingly or unknowingly), you are directly causing the output of millions of tons of carcinogens into the environment that have been scientifically proven to result in thousands of deaths across the country. Baby killer!
4. If you read the Da Vinci code, and thought it was a good book, then you are an idiot.

[None of the above points have cited statistics, due to the blatant truths behind them]

If you do not fall into any of the above categories, than you can have a logically sustainable position against nuclear power and it's dangers. Otherwise, you are an American killing, Apple Pie hating, flag burning communist, and have no right to purport the dangers of nuclear power when you are part of the problem.

Fear not the unknown, but your inability to get off your butt, turn off the TV, and go PT.

Fair winds and Following Seas