My last Navy sea tour, on the Aegis Cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73), from February 1994 to April 1996, homeported in Hawaii, was a bittersweet time. On one hand, I was winding down my Navy career so things like evaluations and career development didn’t mean anything. On the other hand, I ran a division of eighteen people, each of whom were smart and creative. Each in their own way.
So, one of my challenges as the division Senior ChiefSenior ChiefShort-hand title for the Navy rank of E-7. Longer title version would be Electronics Technician Senior Chief, Submarine Qualified. Abbreviated as ETCS(SS). A senior non-commissioned officer with a broad range of leadership responsibilities. was to encourage my people’s creativity while simultaneously preventing them from doing anything seriously stupid. At times, this proved to be very challenging.
Over the past months I’ve started to hang out on the social media network “Nextdoor.” I like this media as it keeps me hooked into local events, news, and neighborhood issues. But yesterday I discovered that this media, too, is not immune from the gun-toting crazies I colloquially term “ammosexuals.”
This discovery resulted from a post-turned “discussion thread” on the pros and cons of people packing loaded guns in our county parks. My piece of the discussion did not go well. Since working through that discussion I’ve thought of a modest proposal on guns. A proposal that might actually satisfy gun-crazy ammosexuals and still keep us non-gun-crazy people safe from them.
If you own one or more kayaks, eventually you’ll need to do some amount of cleaning and maintenance. I’ve found it’s a lot easier to work on my kayaks if they’re at chest height. So, a work stand becomes a useful kayak accessory.
I needed a work stand specifically suited for inflatable kayaks. Most commercial stands are two-piece units which are ideal for hard shells. Inflatables, not so much, as the kayak sags in the middle without proper support. I decided to design and build my own work stand.
While perusing my favorite social media – Quora – I stumbled upon a question that triggered an immediate flashback. The question was “Have you ever had a neighbor who believed they had free reign of your property?” The question brought back painful memories of a nasty feud with my first neighbors while living in Southern Mississippi.
That feud lasted five years. By the time it was over I had charged the neighbors with misdemeanor trespassing and made several calls to our local police. It was the ugliest neighbor conflict I’d ever had, up until then. But it turned out to be only a prequel to an even worse feud.
I started working in electronics way back in the previous millennium of 1974. That would be when I started Navy electronics technical training. Back then electronics technician life was simple; a vacuum tube went bad, I swapped it out, and life went on.
My life since then has consisted of using increasingly complex and sophisticated electronics-driven machinery. The Terminator movies notwithstanding, I’ve been watching the development of our brave new world with bemusement and concern.
Yesterday The Former Guy (TFG), former Pres*dent Donald Trump, was indicted on four felony charges for working to overturn the results of the 2020 election. With these latest charges, Trump now has three simultaneous criminal indictments against him. The first in New York City for 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. The second in Florida with 40 felony counts against him including charges of retaining classified information, obstructing justice, and making false statements. Another indictment from Georgia, also over Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, is expected very soon.
All these indictments mean Trump will spend all his time going from one courtroom to another. And Trump has endless rows of lawyers lined up behind him, working to keep his sorry ass out of jail.
Yesterday The Former Guy (TFG), former Pres*dent trump, seemed to have made a threat to everyone who doesn’t actually like him. He made this seeming threat through a video posted on his very own media outlet Truth Social. In his video the voiceover intonates “If you fuck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are going to do things to you that have never been done before.”
So, I’d like to take a few moments and unpack this seeming threat.
This is my commentary as a former US Navy submarine sailor, and former member of the Navy’s deep submergence community, on last month’s event when five people died on a rickety submersible while diving to the wreck of Titanic.
I qualified in submarines on the nuclear fast attack submarine USS Scamp (SSN 588) all the way back in 1976. Although my qualification board was forty-seven years ago, I retain membership in the highly exclusive community of submarine veterans.