Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year My Friends!!!

Did you ever go home on holiday leave and get in a no shit argument at the  dinner table with an uncle or a sibling and tell them to ‘Go Fuck Themselves’  and never know you said it…until your dear ol’ mother told you an hour later?!?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Five Ancient Mariner Truisms Every Sailor Should Live By

If you get dumped, don't worry! Women are like streetcars; a new one comes along every ten minutes…

Never get married! It's cheaper to buy a house every ten years and give it to some woman you hate...

Never date a chick with big hands! It makes your willy look small…

Never buy something that floats, flies or f--ks. Rent it; it's cheaper…

Stick it to ‘The Man’ whenever you can!”

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

'Wog Uniform Of The Day'

Officers and CPO’s – Right foot – black sock, brown shoe; Left foot – white sock, black shoe; under – shorts; white shirt (completely buttoned) on backwards; black tie on forward; khaki cap cover without frame!!!

Enlisted E6 & Below – Blue trousers on backward with flap open; white jumper on backwards; shower shoes; watch cap; left trouser leg rolled up to the knee and left leg cleanly shaven from the deck to the knee cap!

Marines – Right foot – field boot; Left foot – low cut shoe; no socks; under shorts; pancho; overseas cap worn sideways!

1400 – Quarters for muster – Pollowogs in Uniform of the Day!

1405 – Officers Call – Pollywogs in Uniform of the Day!

1415 – Set Pollywog watches – 4 Sections, 1 hour per Section!

1815 – Secure Pollywog Watchstanding!

1835 – Admiral Davy Jones arrives with summons; (8 bongs, “Davey Jones arriving”, 11 Gun Salute)!

Pollywog Watches will be relieved every 60 minutes when the word is passed! Uniforms and duties are as set forth for Shellbacks! Special Groups will be called away by the OOD and will be in prescribed Uniform!

OOD (Shellbacks)

Uniform of the Day as prescribed by Shellbacks!

JOOD (Pollywogs)

Uniform of the Day as prescribed for Pollywogs with khaki trousers rolled halfway up knees!

All other Watches (Pollywogs)

Uniform of the Day as prescribed for Pollywogs with foul weather trousers and battle helmet with flak vest!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

'The Kinder & Gentler Navy'

An ol’ Crackerjack’s recollection begins to run aground after so many years! I contemplated with much thought and figured I should know the instance quite clearly, but the edges went dull and I don’t always nail it down as well as I used too!! I should have written this down many years ago… but thanks to a few shipmates, I was able to put some pieces together!!!

As I ring the bell to this little 'yarn' I don't pretend to be totally accurate! It’s an accumulation of thoughts from a fuzzy ol’ analog brain with that rolodex style hard drive… pages all fuzzy and run together from copious amounts of alcohol poured together over the years!!  Without the benefit of official transcripts on said event, I made an effort to be reasonably truthful… So buckle up and bear with me!!!

The USS Rainier, Lucky N°7, was a brand new sea going vessel! As opposed to anything most of us formerly grew up on, she was like one of those Norwegian Cruise Liners with the ‘All you can Eat’ buffets, mints on your pillow with dozens of little perky busted twenty somethings running around like some kind of seagoing Mardi Gras!! It had the potential for fan room pandemonium if you know what I mean!! It sure beat the Vienna Sausage Luaus we used to call Steel Beach Picnics!!!

Point being, it was a new time in the Navy with wimmins and stuff… and the Inspections were no different! I call them inspections, but they were now referred to as Assessments!! What’s the difference you ask?!? I remember Chief Lyell telling me…

“Well, it’s this new thing called Political Correctness! It’s part of this new ‘Kinder & Gentler’ Navy we’re trying to breed!”

“Well what is this Political Correctness you speak of Chief?”

“Well, it’s like our Navy is going through some sort of Homosexual Conversion!”

I suppose ‘Assessments’ sounded a bit less terrifying than ‘Inspections’!!!

As a new ship, there was a lot we had to prove upon commissioning! Acceptance Trials, Light Off Examinations, INSURV and all sorts of stuff, we had to get through just to make it to homeport!! That’s a lot of wading knee deep in fire hoses, OBAs & hot sweaty ass ensembles doing hours of drills and upkeep!! Nevertheless, the crew kind of felt like it earned its due!!!

Now after a short dry dock and gett’n the Government’s hard earned shipalts & conversions, that’s Navy talk for gett’n spade & neutered… out of the way, we were ready for workups! Now workups prior to deployment have been around for ages… but they didn’t go unscathed… as those REFTRA Inspections turned into CART, TSTA, & FEP Assessments!! They devolved into some kinda rub-a-dub-dub fill me with love graduation handshakes & back messages… with backdoor deals being made with the Commodore and such!!!

We were on station, somewhere in the Straits of Juan de Fuca off the northern coast of Washington State! It was sort of cold that time of the year cutting circles in the water!! We were doing one concentric circle after another in an invisible ‘OP’ Box with nothing much to see but mountain tops and small swells… and an occasional whale!! The reason for these concise circles in a Box was the onboard ‘TSTA’ with the Afloat Training Group!!!

Now I don’t rightfully know the full story, and I didn’t happen to be a fly on the wall when it all came about… but we had a good crew doing its level best to keep us going in the right direction! The monotony of drill after drill try’n to please these ATG fellas was getting tiresome as it became the same shit different day routine!! So needless to say it was insult to injury when those sons-a-bitches weren’t giving us the benefit of the doubt!!!

I did a lot of years in the ol’ Canoe Club and one thing that always amazed me was the three ways of gett’n things done… the wrong way, the right way, and the Navy way… circles in a box, square pegs & round holes… did you see what I did there?!? Never mind…!! We’d been told time and again even by the same ATG prior to commissioning how we were doing it all the right way… but apparently it wasn’t the Navy way… Nope!!!

Then somewhere between the last Main Space Fire Drill and the word getting passed to put the RHIB in the water, our Skipper, ol’ T.P. Danaher, had a word or two with those ATG fellas! You could see his face was red and veins were sticking out his neck!!

"Those miserable, good-for-noth’n sons-a-bitches!"

"The hell with them! Put the boat in the water!! They can ferry home!"

… and like a set of neutered hamsters, they weren’t going to complain until they got ashore! Now anyone who has been to the Northwest knows it’s a good hour drive from Port Townsend to PSNS Bremerton!! That’s after the one hour wait for the ride to get there!!!

I remember one of the Chiefs in combat saying…

“Those ATG pansies are noth’n but a bunch of Soprano squelching Eunuchs!”

Most of us recognized it was horse shit! But we couldn't help noticing it was just a sign of the times!! From there we could see the handwriting on the wall once the Skipper kicked those fellas off the ship… this was not going to end well for us!!!

At morning quarters, the entire wardroom seemed at aaah from the Skipper’s challenge to ATG and by proxy the Commodore! Like Ricky Ricardo used to say…

“Lucy!!! You got some splain’n to do!”

One of the radio guys mention that a message went out…

“The Captain asked us to relay his abhorrence and rancor to the assessors involved if we happened to meet them again!”  

I can neither confirm nor deny such tomfoolery, but truth be told … I think the ol’ Skipper and reality had filed for divorce on that one!!!

I figure somewhere along the line they had a 0200 hour meeting in the Weirdroom on Rainier Foreign Policy with the new and mutated Afloat Training Group so that we could better Gundeck our situation and keep in good spirits with the one and only Lord & Savior ‘King Neptune’ himself and of course Davey Jones and his merry band of ATG idiots!!!

This Ol’ Canoe Club sure has evolved over the years… I suppose some for the better and some for the worst! It’s all in perspective I suppose!! Now they insist on a crew of highly trained, extremely smart folks who conduct themselves in a mature manner… I still say behind closed doors that’s damned near impossible but what the hell do I know!!!

And somewhere along the way our old defiant ways got replaced with the more ‘Kindler & Gentler’ Navy crap Chief Lyell was tell’n me about all those years ago! I guess we all knew it was coming… slowly chipping away… you didn’t have to be Dick Tracy to figure it out!! You know we gotta keep the politically correct rubes gurgling with delight!!!

… Just another day at work for Forces Adrift I always say …

Friday, December 11, 2015

‘Got The Shaft’

The say we’re all stupid, worthless, and dense!
I gotta agree, we ain’t real couth gents!
We’re always flat broke, from the broads and the beer!
But when payday comes around, we’re full of good cheer!

The Spring Bearings hot, they may lock the shaft!
Feed pump crapped out, we’re wrapping up aft!
Seems like disasters come back to back!
Been 36 hours in… I still ain’t seen my rack!

Water went salty, and Evaps on the rag!
Laundry broke down dirty clothes in a bag!
At Quarters a complaint about my hair!
Sure the barbershop’s open, who’s got time to go there!

Eight hours on watch, and eight on turn too!
So us ball bust’n guys have got plenty to do!
With all the breakdowns in old antique gear!
Didn’t we fix that four time last Year?

Liberty went down, but there’s lots left to do!
Like feed water, shore steam, and black oil too!
There’s bilges to clean and just enough time!
We’ll crawl out of there all covered in grime!

The machines have been fixed, the repairs are all made!
So much damned work, so little we’re paid!
While in the Navy, we’re just paid enough!
To cover insurance, allotments, and stuff!

I got a good hunch we ain’t seen the end!
There’s more work and breakdown around the next bend!
The hard luck trophy, it’s easy to see!
Will be given to both --------- M & B!

"Got the Shaft" was written by Roger Niswonger BTFN shortly after his ship went dead in the water when both of the evaporators crapped out in the war zone off Viet Nam!

Picture from ‘Cold Is The Sea Blogspot’… Author Unknown.

Thursday, December 3, 2015


Here’s one sent by an old Coot from way back in the Fifties off an old FRAM Tin Can, the Dirty Duncan DDR 874…

This is just a funny anecdote to add to your collection of ‘No Shitters!’  In 52’ we were tied up in a nest in Sasebo, Japan loading supplies!! The crew as usual went on the beach and as you know we were not allowed overnighters since Japan was still occupied!!!

The next morning as all four destroyers were to leave port for Korea we were all blown away by a stunt that some crew members had pulled!! We were tied up next to the USS Brinkley Bass, DD 887, as well as the USS Stickell and the Isabel!!!

It appeared as though someone, probably with a snoot full of Nippon beer, got a water taxi to tie up to the stern of the Brinkley Bass! They had with them a can of haze grey and some brushes and proceeded to pain over the letter ‘B’ on both the first and last names of the ship!! Thus when she pulled out to sea she steamed out proudly as the USS Rinkley Ass!!!

The crew of the Bass was blamed for this and received restrictions on their next visit!  I don’t know who did it but I have my suspicions and I don’t think it was any of the Brinkley’s crew!! Lighter moments were not always well thought out as evident in these occurrences!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

'Sailors Got Talent'

It’s amazing what some of us ol’ salts had to do for amusement in the Ol’ Canoe Club! While plowing through the Seven Seas life can get pretty boring at times and every so often you got to do something to relieve the monotony!! Somewhere, somehow, someone down the road decided…

“What the hell!”

and started doing talent shows on the fantail!!!

I’m not talking about your run of the mill garden variety ‘Who’s Got Talent’ like you saw on that ‘Dirty Dancing’ flick with ‘Babys’ sister sing’n the Hula Hana or Spongebob’s Squidward doing his best rendition of Horatio Hornblower! And I’m sure many of you non nautical types imagine squeaky clean Crackerjack qualified liberty hounds doing the Copacabana by Barry Manilo!! NO… it was noth’n of the sort… well, for the most part anyhow!!!

A good ol’ talent show on the fantail could be one helluva premier event during a six month Westpac! There’d be bands playing, Dunk The CMC, Barnacle Bill The Sailor Burlesques, Men doing the Victoria Secret Runway Show, and other skits, spoofs & lampoons of whatever floated your fancy!! It was the one time you could take a shot at anyone and get away with it... No subject or person was off-limits!!!

Some of the talent was pretty good too…

There was some kind of selection process they put you through to see who was flamboyant enough to have talent! Guys lacking flippity flap  razz-a-ma-tazz stage worthy ability, bed wetters,  whiners, and anyone who entertained the slightest desire to be stationed on shore duty need not apply!! The system, Gauddamn it, sorted out the truly gritty & gifted and packed the rest to stand watch elsewhere… unless you had a sense of humor… then you got to partake in the audience!!!

For last place you got garden trowel castration! Second to last you’d be locked up butt nekkit in an enclosed space with every gal on ‘The View’ for a week… or two!!  Never mind… I think I’d rather be castrated or even put through a rectal Cobra insertion exercise before dealing with the Crew on the View!!!

I was wrapping myself around a cup of joe at the CSC console in CIC when the TAO came up, put his hand on my shoulder…

“Chief, you need to lay to the flight deck when you get a chance for relief!”

… Unfortunately the show was over by the time I’d made it topside! But I got a grandstand view on video of the spectacle as a must watch just for me to see!! Apparently the Missile Officer, my Divo, mustered up a skit of me on the Nordic Elliptical doing his best Tony Little rendition on the Gazelle!!!  

“Whew… WoW… YeeHaw… You Can Do It… You Can Do It!”

I had never laughed so gauddamned hard in all my life! He looked like a total buffoon jumping up, down, back & forth like a damned Dallas Cheerleader on Crystal Meth…

“Whew… OOH Yeah… I’m gonna get it… I’m gonna Power Through This… Whew!”

I mean, who writes this shit anyway?!? The dialog… the bantor… I gotta say, those technical skills… they were amazing!! I must be one helluva Acrobatic Exhibitionist to do some of that stuff!!!

One of the greatest gifts of partaking in the ol’ Canoe Club are all those memories and the rogue rapscallions you shared them with! Killing Time underway … we got pretty damned good at it!!!