Rough Seas 
Friday, June 9, 2006, 12:49 PM
We hit some pretty rough seas last night, with rolls in excess of 20 degrees. A cheap microwave fell off the top of someone's locker in one of the other staterooms and is no longer recognizable as a microwave. I'm glad I took my seasick medication other wise I'd right now I'd likely be shouting at ants, praying to porcelin gods, talking to dinosaurs, conversing with ralph, feeding the fish, etc. More than anything, I'm just annoyed at being constantly tossed around.
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In Case Waking Up Didn't Suck Enough 
Wednesday, June 7, 2006, 06:50 AM
Every morning at 0630, instead of simply piping "Now, Revielle, get your *** up," they play an ear splitting whistle that is quite possibly one of the most annoying noises I have ever heard. The Morale Officer would do well to speadhead a drive to get rid of this practice.
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Burial at Sea 
Tuesday, June 6, 2006, 08:47 PM
Collateral duties are the bane of any junior officer's (JO) existence. The JO passdown generally consists of a dumping a vast quantity of unorganized folders, paperwork, files, and large binders on your relief with the admonishment "good luck." I was browsing through some of the items my roommate received in his passdown, when I came across a package the ship had sent out, but that had come back with RTS written on it in red. The sticker on it indicated "Signature required delivery: no one to accept." The address was an apartment building, so it's very possible he had moved. The package was already open, and inside was a framed letter, a DVD, and some shell casings. From the letter:
The remains of your father, the late Jacobus Van Slooten, were comitted to sea today in the Pacific Ocean as per your request.

The burial at sea ceremony took place on the ship's deck on May 9, 2005 at 10:30 a.m. The National Ensign was lowered to half-mast and a segment of the ship's company was mustered. The ship's Executive Officer was the military commander of the ceremony and the Chief of the Boat recited the committal. The Lay Leader performed the religious ceremony. The ship's Chief Petty Officers served as the Honor Platoon.

We have enclosed a copy of the ship's log which includes the ship's position at the time of the interment, a chart displaying the location, a DVD of the ceremony, a CD of ceremony pictures, and shells from the 21 gun salute...
It makes me sad to think that the son never received any confirmation of the dignified way in which his father was put to rest.

I have to get up for watch at 3 a.m., and really should be asleep right now.
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Quote 
Tuesday, June 6, 2006, 01:35 AM
This is one of my favorite quotes of all time:
from bash.org
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Underway 
Monday, June 5, 2006, 12:28 PM
We're underway again, so you should expect entries to become more frequent. I've been absolutely dreading this moment for the past week, but the more I think about it the less worried I am. Now that I'm fully qualified I should step into the underway routine more easily. More than anything, I simply regret missing the opportunity to hang out with some of the good people I've been spending time with recently. The past two or three weeks have been awesome.

The underway EOW rotation is 1 in 4, and I've got the darkside 1 in 4s (4-8, 20-24, 16-20). Hopefully Erin will get qualified soon and move up in the rotation.
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Alaska 
Tuesday, May 23, 2006, 11:28 AM
I suppose I should mention now that I'm being shipped off to Alaksa. USCGC Mellon was kind enough to break down, meaning that instead of leaving for South America on June 20, we've been given the opportunity to leave for Alaska on June 5. USCGC Hamilton, the PACAREA unit of the year that only recently recovered from being welded to the pier, just finished their 40 day patrol. After completing one boarding and conducting a single SAR mission (for one of their own crew) they decided they'd done enough work for the year and headed home. It's cool though, because we'll cover the slack and make a full three month patrol.
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No Longer A Student 
Friday, May 12, 2006, 02:47 PM
I sat down in my apartment today to take a practice exam for the GMAT. I quickly realized that in addition to not having a clear workspace to do this, I lacked the basic necessities. I had to search through my apartment, and many of the items I never unpacked from almost a year ago, to locate basic things like a pencil to write with and clean paper to write on. Things that I once considered absolute essentials, I have apparently been able to live months without needing at home.

I think I'm going to close this entry before an overwhelming nostalgia for my student/cadet days overtakes me.
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From the Decider 
Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 08:31 AM
This was just too funny to pass up:
Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.
(From 2004, while approving a defense spending bill.)

Oh, and when Hu Jintao visited the White House for his official state visit, they refered to China as "Republic of China," instead of "People's Republic of China." Republic of China is the formal name for Taiwan.
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Unfit For Polite Conversation 
Thursday, April 20, 2006, 01:00 PM
The California Supreme Court just unanimously rejected a lawsuit by a woman named Amaani Lyle, who claims her crude work environment amounted to sexual harrasement -- even though none of the remarks were directed at her. She was a writer's assistant for the writers of Friends, and was forced to put up with their dirty jokes late into the night as her job consisted of writing down everything they said. In my opinion the case was a bunch of BS from the start (she filed suit after being fired, and intially tried to babble about racial discrimination), but it raised some important issues regarding the line between free speech and sexual harassment.

As someone else put it: "Yeah, cause I know if *I* got a job typing dialogue for a show like Friends, I'd expect to be typing knock-knock jokes and b-i-i-i-g hugs."

I'm just glad nobody gets to hear what we say in the engine room. Never before have I heard such filthy, lengthy discussions as occur during a late night watch.
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Democracy 
Thursday, April 20, 2006, 11:44 AM
There was an opinion piece in The New York Times that commented on the alleged excessive power of the Israeli lobby. Quite frankly, I'm tired of hearing people say that the United States is unfairly pro-Israel and that "there has been a cock-eyed failure in the U.S. to understand the plight of the Palestinians." What everyone seems to ignore is the most obvious fact: it is natural for the United States to partner with fellow democracies. Israel is the only stable democracy in the Middle East. All the Arab states, with the exception of Palestine, are ruled by an authoritarian government. The Palestinians, whose "democracy" has institutionalized corruption, are currently led by a terrorist organization whose stated goals include murdering as many women and children as possible. Despite what everyone says, Israel has never deliberately targeted innocent civilians. The Palestinians, on the other hand, have elected murders to lead them. I'm sorry if I can't sympathize with that line of thinking.

There's one other line I need to comment on: "the fact that an Israeli soldier's great-grandmother died in Treblinka will not excuse his own misbehavior." When you throw rocks at a man holding an M-16 and are then shot, the only tragedy is that someone of such colossal stupidity was born into the world. I'm not an evolutionist, but those who are should simply be glad for yet another example of natural selection in action.

NYT
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