Airports 
Monday, March 20, 2006, 02:55 PM
I watched the closing airport scene from Love Actually and it makes me want to ask: Last time you flew in to an airport, was there a throng of your loved ones waiting to greet you, or did you find yourself stressed and alone?
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But Who's Counting? 
Sunday, March 19, 2006, 07:48 PM
153 - days undeway
112 - days inport
4.5 - days until San Diego
1300 - monthly rent in dollars, not including cable, internet, electricity, water, and sewage
275 - hours until we return to home port
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Because Pensions Are So Darn Expensive 
Saturday, March 18, 2006, 10:43 PM

I look around and it appears that 80% of the military is addicted to nicotine. Does anybody else find this disturbing?
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From Today's POD 
Monday, March 13, 2006, 12:54 PM
No, I did not author this piece.
Messdeck scuttlebutt [water fountain] has been removed, thanks entirely to those a$$holes who decided to pour Top Ramen noodles and tobacco spit down the drain instead of using: (a) a cup; (b) a used bottle; or (c) your pocket. "Here's to you, Mr. 'I Need to Spit and Pour Ramen Noodles in the Scuttlebutt Because I'm Lazy and I Suck.'" Frank talk from the EO: "Given the choice of jettisoning a perfectly innocent piece of equipment or you, we'll throw you overboard any day of the week and twice on Sunday." Questions to LT Tozzi.

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Personally, I Don't Mind If You Act Like a Jackass... 
Sunday, March 12, 2006, 12:21 PM
I simply don't understand what happens to certain people when they get alcohol in them. Guy who are normal, sane, and all around good people turn into raging lunatics as if some inner resevoir of anger just burst. I always thought that the reason you drank alcohol was to be happy and feel good. Most of the people I drank with at the Academy were the same way. Certainly we had the guys who got really silly or would play stupid games when they drank, but I've never met so many people who just got angry and stupid. It's not that I particularly care that someone is making a complete ass of themself, but when it goes to the point where I end up having to do an investigation I start having a personal stake you behaving like a normal person.
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From My OER 
Friday, March 10, 2006, 12:13 AM
Description of Duties:

As Ship's Maintenance and Materials Officer interfacing between shore side maintenance units and tracking maintenance projects, and collecting, tracking, organizing, and providing easy access to information related to engineering maintenance and materials. As Electrical Division Officer supervising a six man shop with a $40,000 budget in charge of two generators, three main switchboards, and all shipboard electrical systems. As EOIT, tasked with qualifying in five underway watch stations up through EOW and supervising the engineering watch section. As Safety Coordinator, preparing for annual safety visits and facilitating compliance with appropriate regulations.
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Costa Rica 
Thursday, March 9, 2006, 10:47 PM
We pull into Golfito tomorrow which means that everyone will be at the same two places getting drunk together. There's a lot I'd do right now to trade this port call for a couple of nights at home. Quite frankly, visiting foreign countries isn't everything it's cracked up to be.

Something to tide you over for the time being:

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21 Days and a Wakeup 
Thursday, March 9, 2006, 04:39 PM
I'm drafting a COM article for the ship on electrical safety. I added a section on enforcement that says we can cut people's cords if they don't comply with safety requirements. As a joke, I also mentioned that crock pots are specifically prohibited (the EO has one and it violates virtually all safety regulations). Five minutes after emailing the article for approval I get a call from the EO.

"Peter, you cut the cord to my crock pot and I'll ****ing kill you."

"Roger that sir."

Perhaps not a good joke to play while he's writing my OER.
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Red Gear 
Wednesday, March 8, 2006, 08:33 PM
I've worked through some technical issues with my blog and am once again able to post. I'm not sure what the problem was, but I believe it had something to do with the php support provided by my hosting company. In any case, I did absolutely nothing and the problem fixed itself.

We had a near-casualty on the #2 reduction gear. Basically if the reduction gear dies, then one of our two shafts is dead and we cannot run the turbine or the diesel on that side. Reduction gear casualties mean you immediately return to home port and don't get underway for a long time. I won't bother to spell out here my sentiment when I found out everything was OK.

I also submitted my Officer Evaluation Report (OER). Don't think that just because this single document determines in large part the next couple years of my life I avoided procrastinating and did any work on it before the last minute.
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Another Reason To Go Home 
Friday, March 3, 2006, 09:40 PM
I thought that my earlier entry regarding Panama would be sufficient for a blog like this, but I've changed my mind. I want to articulate why visiting a nice foreign country like Panama makes me want to go home even more.

A port call in Panama has all the right ingredients to make an awesome port call. First, let's start with the money. Unlike some other countries, Panama does not use some strange colorful currency with an exchange rate that is difficult to keep track of when you are drunk. Panama uses nice, green, American currency, meaning that when you leave you're not left with a bunch of worthless play money.

Unlike Costa Rica, where we select the lamest, most backwater city we can find (Golfito), in Panama we actually visit the capital. This is especially sweet becasue it means that there is more than one bar in the entire town for everyone to get wasted at. And believe me, when you've spent 30 days within 378 feet of the same 170 people, you're going to want to get away. It's may be lot of fun watching your shipmates drunkenly discuss their pent up tension and anger with each other using the time honored fist-to-the-face method. Unfortunately, sometimes you wake up with assorted bruises and a vague recollection of doing/saying things you really shouldn't have. Fast forward several weeks and you find yourself standing in front of an old man with far too many ribbons and gold bars. He explains to you that because of your actions he's obligated to take some of your money and make your life suck for a little while. That doesn't seem quite fair -- if you're going to be punished for something it would at least be nice to remember it.

Finally, Panama has nice hotels. You can't understand how important this is until you've lived in a room the size of your bathroom with three other men.

What I don't like about Panama is all the people who are trying to make money off of you. I don't mind the occasional taxi driver who takes advantage of your inebriated state to charge a little extra (this is mostly because I don't remember this ever happening). What I do mind is being bombarded and crowded by venders, whores, and taxi drivers everywhere I go. Before I went to Panama, I'd never had a prostitute grab at me on the street. The cab drivers are the worst. I arrived in Panama with one goal: get piss drunk and urinate all over myself Sam Nelson style (okay, scratch the whole urine thing). The last thing I want to deal with while stumbling back to my hotel room is a dozen cab drivers offering me "poosay." Fortunately, one of my fellow officers stumbled upon an ingenious strategy to be left alone: tell them you don't want pussy, you want dick. Works every time.
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