Conversation 
Friday, September 29, 2006, 09:48 AM
You know those dates you go on where everything is pleasant, there are no awkward silences, and yet you quickly realize that there's not going to be a second date? It's the sort of "I'm bored, she's bored, why are we still here?" I just wasted my evening on one of those last night.

From some reason I can never bring myself to simply eat quickly and say, "let's get out of here." Maybe I think that by dragging out the boredom we'll somehow hit upon a conversational spark that will resuscitate the date. So I did my best to keep the conversation going, to draw information out of her and encourage her to talk, to find something interesting or funny to say. Unforunatley, I was too tired and I have difficulty with humor when I'm tired. At the end of the meal I dutifully paid, ignoring her annoyingly feeble reach for her wallet. I don't mind the fact that women expect men to approach them and talk to them, or that we're always the ones who make the phone call. However, in a day and age where men and women largely earn the same amount of money, I expect more than a simple half-hearted attempt to pay -- especially from someone who is 3/8 Asian. That's not to say that I would ever let a woman pay for a first date, but the lack gives the impression that this is someone who expects her man to pay for everything.

Afterwards, I dragged things out by suggesting we go to a bar, at which point she seemed to stop trying to hide that she was bored. The worst part was that since I traded my brother my truck for a 10-speed bike I could offer her a ride home -- I had to say, "well, this is my bus stop. Nice seeing you." Very classy.
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Yosemite 
Monday, September 11, 2006, 09:07 AM
I'm finally back in the Bay Area, and what better way to settle into a three month inport (after a 2 month vacation in San Diego) than to take a weekend trip to Yosemite? For quite some time now I've been wanting to visit Yosemite again. Yosemite is one of my favorite places to visit -- I used to go frequently with my family as well as with school groups, but it's been at least six years since my last visit.

There are pictures, which I will post once I have them.
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Numb 
Sunday, August 27, 2006, 10:41 PM
Take another shot of courage
Wonder why the right words never come
You just get numb


Sometimes becoming numb is the best thing you can hope for.
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Coast Guard Assists in Capture of Mexican Drug Lord 
Wednesday, August 16, 2006, 05:51 PM
The Coast Guard has assisted in the capture of the leader of one of Mexico's largest drug cartels. From what I understand, the DEA somehow received a tip that Francisco Javier Arellano Felix was going to be fishing off the coast of the Mexican resort town of La Paz. The Coast Guard moved in and interdicted his vessel 15 miles off the Coast, placing him three miles within international waters. My only regret is that he wasn't captured by the Coast Guard further away from the United States. Detainees generally sleep together with no privacy in the relative discomfort of the helo hanger on the hard steel deck with a steady diet of beans and rice.

EDIT: Let me just clarify that I'm not a fan to prisoner mistreatment. In fact, I believe that our detainees are actually given matresses, and we only give them beans and rice because if we give them regular ship food it makes them vomit. I just like the idea of a man who has lived in relative comfort, and who has had U. S. Law Enforcement Agents tortured to death, experiencing a little discomfort.
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Stability 
Tuesday, August 1, 2006, 10:49 AM
I'm at DCA school right now and we're doing a unit on stability and buoyancy. It consists mostly of a little theory and some equations that require basic algeabra to solve. About a third of the class considers this the easiest section so far because the equations are simplisitic and the theory isn't that difficult. The other half of the class is senior enlisted who haven't done math since high school, which in many cases was as long as 20 years ago. Since most of my academic experiences have been with similarly educated people, it's quite an experience.
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Hotel Versus Barracks 
Tuesday, July 11, 2006, 12:08 PM
Much to my disappointment, the combined bachelor housing in San Diego may be out of rooms. If this terrible event occurs, I may be forced to stay in a hotel room on the government's dime. Life's tough.

In other news, I just got word that I'm being made Assistant Engineering Officer (AEO). It's a nice sounding position -- being the #2 guy in a 50 man department -- but it's not a job I was looking for. I enjoyed managing my eight man shop, especially getting to know the electricians. This is all the result of a very slick plot woven by George Hall.

It all started when I was in the Wardroom sipping coffee like a good officer, enjoying the fruits of the $1500 espresso machine I convinced the ship to purchase. George commented on how I was using the AEO cup. All of our cups have our job title on them, so I looked down to check, and sure enough my cup said "ELEC" for "Electrical Officer." I told George that I wasn't using the AEO cup. He responded that I should, because I was already AEO. "George, I'm not AEO," I responded.

Later that day I went down to stand watch in the engine room where my Chief, Alan Gieb, was breaking in under me. "Sir, are you still going to be our division officer now that you're AEO?"
"Chief, I'm not AEO," I responded.
"Of course you're AEO," Senior Chief Engle interjected. "Everyone knows you're AEO."

Fast forward a couple weeks to the present day where I'm here on land, unable to defend myself to my new boss. I get this email from George:
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA....the new command assignment list is coming out soon...guess who the AEO is.

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TV 
Saturday, June 24, 2006, 10:15 PM
I've discovered that there is a limit to the amount of TV I can watch, at least while I'm sober. I'd previously thought that given the right shows and movies I could watch TV for an indefinite period of time. Now I find myself bored to tears. Can't wait until land.
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Fog and Delays 
Friday, June 23, 2006, 05:35 PM
My departure from the ship has been delayed. We anchored off of St. Paul island as planned, however the C-130 that was to pick us up was unable to land due to heavy fog. Our CAPT wanted to stay another 14 hours to try again in the morning (there are five people leaving and 21 attempting to fly in), but district ordered us to immediately get underway for the MBL.

After multiple date changes it looks like I may be getting out of here by the end of the month. I suppose I really shouldn't say when or how just in case there are any Russian fisherman who read obscure American blogs.

Anyways, the point is that I'll quickly be returning to land. I enjoy standing watch more than really anything else on the boat, but this lifestyle quickly gets tiring.
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Hate and Discontent 
Monday, June 19, 2006, 04:15 PM
There's been a fair amount of hate and discontent coming from the wardroom, and the engineering section in particular, regarding my impending departure. A surprisingly large number of fellow officers, and no shortage of enlisted, have confessed that they hate me. The first day I found out I was leaving, Pat (the MPA) remarked at dinner, "if Peter leaves on the 20th that'll leave us in a 1 in 3 rotation." Feeling bad for not having delivered the news personally I replied, "I'm sorry, I've been meaning to talk to you about that." To which George Hall, one of my fellow engineering ensigns, replied "Oh, I've been meaning to talk to you..." He paused just long enough for the wardroom to become somewhat silent before finishing "I hate you."

In another incident one of my fellow ensigns was discussing one of our future port calls in Adak, AK. I mentioned that their local website lists the General Store under important phone numbers. As she inquired whether the town was large enough even to have a local bar, I maintained my silence as a large smile crept across my face -- completely unrelated, of course, to the fact I will be missing this wonderful port call. She got a confused look on her face for a few seconds, before exclaiming "I hate you!"
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Back To Land 
Saturday, June 17, 2006, 04:07 AM
I'll be arriving back in the Bay Area on June 21. Can't say that I'm sad to be leaving, but I do feel bad because I'll be leaving the other EOWs with a 1 in 3 rotation. Since that's the top level qual, there's nobody to drop down to dog the rotation. Until someone else gets qualified, they're stuck with the watches they have.

I'll have a little over three weeks before I head down to San Diego for DCA school.
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