Author: <span>Ron Charest</span>

Dealing with monsters among us. Photo by Luis Quintero: https://www.pexels.com/photo/silhouette-of-a-person-1799904/
Dealing With Monsters Among Us

Estimated reading time: 19 minutes

Between my former Navy career and present consulting career I’ve met, worked with, even lived with, a lot of different people. New people constantly cycle into my world, then cycle back out due to forces and decisions not under my control.

On the positive, I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting people whom I never would have known through social activities. On the negative, I’ve been forced to deal with some truly horrible people.

More than horrible, I’ve been thrown into dealing with actual monsters living among us. People who from the outside seemed like normally decent human beings, but scratching their skin revealed a creature totally devoid of soul. One of these monsters was a seemingly decent family-man with a wife and three lovely daughters. Dealing with him threw me into one of the ugliest situations I’ve ever been involved in.

In the Navy Ron Charest

Cover art from the album "The Christmas Attic" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The cover art can be obtained from Lava Records., Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3953751
The Christmas Attic, Trans_Siberian Orchestra

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

So, it’s coming up on that time of year again. The time of year when people are supposed to be just a little bit nicer to each other. A time when magic is in the air and miracles happen. Yes, it’s coming up on Christmas time, again.

And I’m struggling to feel the magic. Again.

Just For Fun

Remembering Veterans Day 2023
Remembering Veterans Day 2023

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Today is the one day each year America nominally gives thanks to military veterans, past and present. On this day lots of important people make a point of taking a few minutes out of their self-professed busy schedules to say something nice about veterans. Some important people will even go to a nearby military cemetery and lay a wreath on someone’s gravesite.

Meanwhile, restaurants across this great nation offer “special” free meals as their special thank you. For this one important day of remembrance. I guess it’s something.

I have some more thoughts on Veterans Day 2023.

Opinions & Commentary

Ron and Winnie Charest on a Cruise Ship at night
Ron and Winnie Cruising

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

I’ve been catching back up on my daily grind this past week after returning from a vacation. For our latest adventure, Winnie and I did something entirely new – for us. After months of planning and anticipation, Winnie and I took our first vacation cruise a couple of weeks ago.

Family Stories

USS Port Royal (CG 73)

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

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 Chief was to encourage my people’s creativity while simultaneously preventing them from doing anything seriously stupid. At times, this proved to be very challenging.

In the Navy Quora Re-Posts

Contemplating Open-Carry Dildo. Photo by cottonbro studio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-candles-and-grapes-on-the-table-6764430/
Contemplating Open-Carry

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

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.

Opinions & Commentary

A Homebuilt Portable Kayak Work Stand
A Homebuilt Portable Kayak Work Stand

Estimated reading time: 13 minutes

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.

How-To On The Water

Obnoxious Neighbors - stay over there!
Obnoxious Neighbors

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

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.

Family Stories Quora Re-Posts

two women paddling a sea eagle 370 inflatable kayak
Sea Eagle 370 At Play

Estimated reading time: 19 minutes

Sea Eagle brand inflatable kayaks are among the most popular recreational kayaks in America. I’ve owned a Sea Eagle model 370 sports kayak for ten years and decided it’s time I post a review.

The model 370 is essentially the same as the model 330. I have also owned a 330, and although this review is on the 370, most of what I write also applies to the 330.

Reviews

Young woman becoming all the machines. Image by Viktor from Pixabay
Machines Taking Over Our World

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

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.

Opinions & Commentary