A Quora member posted another interesting question on submarines. The question was “Can you winch a submarine up from the bottom of the ocean, say 8000 feet?” This question gave me the opportunity to write about two famous submarine incidents. One of these involved one of my favorite submersibles ever, the DSV-2 Alvin.
Category: <span>Family Stories</span>
Yesterday was China’s annual Lunar New Year celebration. In the Chinese calendar, New Year is the biggest celebration of the year typically celebrated by a mass temporary migration of humanity headed back home for the holiday. Although this year’s celebration is a bit muted due to Coronavirus-related travel restrictions, New Year is still a very big Chinese holiday.
My maternal Grandfather was among the people who inspired me the most when I was growing up. He was an immigrant from Germany and supported himself and his family as a house painter and general carpenter. He could make anything out of wood and frequently made us, his grandchildren, all kinds of cool wooden toys.
Alas, like too many childhood things, most of the toys he made me disappeared over the years. They were victims of my family moving, or letting my younger brothers have my things when I grew up and joined the Navy. However, one toy did manage to survive, abet in a state of disrepair. Recently, I took a trip down memory lane and restored this old toy.
Today is my pandemic day two hundred eighty-two of staying safer at home. I’d like to be witty about this and make some wise-ass comment such as “if most accidents happen in the home, how are we safer there?” But honestly, after over nine months of staying in or near the house, I don’t have much to feel witty about.
This is just another day in the trenches. Now with with an extra added dose of Christmas holiday blues.
I don’t think I’m breaking news by posting that this past year has been a difficult year. Millions of people are out of work with no way to buy food or pay their rent. Schools are shut down with an entire generation of children facing a severe setback in their development and education. Our country remains in turmoil with one half of our people ready to go to war against the other half. People have been locked inside their homes for as long as eight months with no end in sight.
But today is Thanksgiving, a day we traditionally set aside to give momentary thanks for the blessings we do have. One day out of a year to remember the good things as a perspective on all the bad things. So this is my small contribution to giving thanks.
So today is another Pandemic Friday the Thirteenth. This has special significance for me as the last Friday the Thirteenth, back in March, was my first day of pandemic staying-safer-at-home. Today, two hundred forty-five days later, I’m still being safer-at-home.
Today is Veteran’s Day, the eleventh day of the eleventh month. This holiday started as Armistice Day, the day to commemorate the end of what at the time was called “The Great War,” “The War To End All Wars,” now simply called “World War One (WWI).” Because people can’t ever seem to have enough wars.
On this day I want to remember members of my family past who were veterans.
Yesterday was our seventeenth wedding anniversary. It was a quiet day, as most days are in this age of the pandemic. But that was ok, as Winnie and I are still together and still getting along after seven months of home lockdown.
The quiet day did give me a chance to reflect on our life together these past seventeen years (plus our one year of long-distance courtship).
So here we are on pandemic day one hundred seventy-nine of staying safer-at-home. This life in a pandemic is proving to have it’s challenges and unique demands. Winnie and I are fortunate that at least we still have adequate income, stable shelter, and food on the table. That’s more than too many people in this country currently don’t have.
All the same, I’d just as soon have this over with and life go back to some semblance of pre-pandemic times.
So let’s see. The world is in the grip of a one-hundred year pandemic that’s raging out of control in the world’s nominally most advanced nation. (That would be us). Forest fires are burning up California while a category four hurricane wipes out Louisiana and Texas. We have more wild protests in our cities due to yet another black man shot by police on-camera. Meanwhile, the Doom-and-Gloom Republican National Convention enters it’s fourth and hopefully final day, bearing a message that electing the other guy means a dystopian American future of plague, pestilence and violence in our cities.
Time for some music.