Friday, June 30, 2006

The Science of Invertebrates

Al Gore could be the solution to global warming, WHOI knew!

The inconvenient truth is we humans don't know everything, including atmospheric and oceanic cycles. New findings are made every day that reinforce or refute Al's current enviromental crusade. Mr. Gore seems to think that man is the cause of and can do something about the approximately one degree increase +-.4 degrees in global temperatures over the last century.

BTW, I really don't think Al Gore is a semi-transparent, barrel-shaped marine animal. At least the marine animal part.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

In the Rain - Fly Navy

Every year I take my son to the Rhode Island National Guard Air Show at Quonset Point, RI. Each year we get to stroll through the static displays of aircraft, eat greasy carnival style food and watch aerobatic and demonstration flights. The climax of the air show is either the Navy's Blue Angles or the Air Force Thunderbirds in alternate years. The Air Show was ths past weekend and this year it was the Thunderbirds turn.

Weather is a big factor for the success of the Air Show, light winds and clear skies being ideal. Not so this year though, we had fog, a constant light rain and a low cloud ceiling. At most I expected to see only the small diehard aerobatic planes flying and no jets.

By the time my son and I got there the crowd was mostly aircraft enthusiasts in ponchos hoping for the skies to clear, which didn't happen.

The RI National Guard put on a great show with their C-130Js, Blackhawks and Special Forces demonstrating short takeoffs, landing with combat team insertions.

U.S. Air Force Photo of a Navy F-18

At the end of the day the only thing left was the jets, lot of nice Air Force hardware A-10s, F-16s, etc. but no, weather was too marginal and the ceiling to low at a few hundred feet.

The only jet to venture out and into the heavy soup air was a single U.S. Navy F-18 Hornet and he did a killer low level show. The entire time the F-18 did it low level passes down the runway it was bleeding vapor the air was that thick with water. A good 30% of the time the aircraft was barely visible in the clouds. Twice he came close to if not breaking the sound barrier with the classic sphere of vapor around the leading edge of the wings accompanied by a small BOOM!, way cool!

Where was the Air Force? Back in the hanger.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Where is Your SSN Floating Off To?

That's the Social Security Number SSN!

Not only does the VA have cyber security problems but now its the Navy who has Sailor's SSNs and personal information floating around the internet.

From a Wired News piece today: Sailors' Data Posted on the Web

WASHINGTON -- The Navy has begun a criminal investigation after Social Security numbers and other personal data for 28,000 sailors and family members were found on a civilian website.

The Navy said Friday the information was in five documents and included people's names, birth dates and Social Security numbers. Navy spokesman Lt. Justin Cole would not identify the website or its owner, but said the information had been removed. He would not provide any details about how the information ended up on the site.

If the warships side of the Navy leaked like the administrative side we'd have a lot of iron resting on the bottom. So who discovered the leak of information on Navy personnel to the internet, the operational Navy of course.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating the breach. The initial discovery was made by the Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command, which routinely monitors the internet for such problems.

Who in the government is in charge of cyber security anyway, anyone, anyone? Apparently the federal government is aware that Identity Theft can be a costly and serious problem, imagine if the victim held a security clearance.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Two Sailors - My Dad and Me

I'm a Navy brat; my birth certificate is from the U.S Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan and my father was career Navy enlisted. Even though both my dad and I served in the U.S. Navy we had completely different experiences. You see my father was a Seabee and I was a Submariner. He served 22 years as a CE Construction Electrician and I did six as an ET Electronics Technician. He was in the hot end of the cold war, Korean War and three tours in Vietnam; I was in cold end doing strategic deterrent patrols in the dark reaches of the Atlantic.

Near the end of the Vietnam War my parents separated and my dad retired from the Navy. He later remarried a beautiful lady from the Philippines and they had three daughters. Dad is in his 70s now fully retired from a second 30 year career in civil service and I rarely get to see him.

My childhood memory of my dad is of a man who was tough as nails, a John Wayne in The Fighting Seabees kind of character, as corny as that sounds. In those days dad didn'’t like to repeat himself, he told you to do something once and expected it to be done. If you asked him a question and his answer was no, it had a distinctly military even Marine drill instructor sound to it. "Negative son the geedunk is off limits till after dinner."”

Dad rarely talks about his Navy career and the two wars he served during even though he had a chest full of ribbons, and a sleeve length of gold four year service strips. But while I was in the Navy I did get him to tell me a couple of Seabee sea stories, probably during a one of my visits between duty stations.

Two stories my dad told me was how he was slightly wounded twice in Korea. Once on foot patrol of a reportedly cleared area he had a North Korean soldier jump him from behind and put a bayonet to his throat. He reacted quickly by thrusting his head back and catching his assailant on the bridge of the nose with the back of his helmet. This reaction stunned them long enough for my dad to use his bayonet on and kill the North Korean "“woman"” soldier. It only took a few stitches of a needle and thread from a sewing kit to close the several inch long cut on his throat, he still has the scar to this day.

The other time he was injured was during a mortar attack. He was working on a generator barge when the attack started. He fell to the deck with his hand between the barge and dock. The concussion of one of the mortar rounds pushed the dock and barge together crushing my dad'’s thumb in the process. That injury is also still visible today.

The only Vietnam story my dad told me was this. During the Tet offensive the Vietcong had penetrated the parameter of the air base he was working at. My dad was on the roof of a building with a young Marine who had been in country for only a month or so. One of the Vietcong had managed to get on the building's roof and was approaching my dad and the Marine when my dad'’s 45 jammed. The green Marine froze and didn'’t react, my dad had to take the Marine'’s M-16 and kill the enemy before their position was overrun.

Writing this it's hard to believe my dad did these things; he has mellowed considerably over the years. It's been a while, but I seem to recall at least one Presidential Unit Citation in his ribbons but have never got any stories relating to his awards. No Purple Heart though, he talked his CO out of putting him up for the hand injury because he felt it was his own stupidity that caused it.

My service was not as gritty as my dad'’s, it was technical and tedious. The dangers I faced in the 1980s on SSBNs were less individual and more operational. We were chased by the Soviets a few times but knew that by then it was a game of information gathering and tracking. To go hostile on an operation SSBN meant the unthinkable was happening.

Stealth, being on station and operational readiness was the name of our game and we did it well. The stories I have to tell my son are ones computational calculations of Lat and Long, of pounds per square inch of sea pressure and weapons readiness drills.

You didn'’t make rate in the Seabees as fast as the technical rates did a decade later, both my father and I ended our Navy service as E6s. But in my eyes Dad will always get my respect for his service and his commitment as a Navy man.

Happy Fathers Day.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Damage Control Soccer

What if World Cup Soccer was played in the DC trainer.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Sub watching season in Southern New England

Had this sitting over my desk for years and it always gave me chuckle when it became the post memorial day tourist season here in Southern New England.

If you don't get the joke run down this list and check out items #9 and #11. Number nine is where I live and number 11 is close to where a far amount of HY-80/100 is berthed. -LL

Friday, June 02, 2006

Video - Subs in action

Yaaa Yaa, I know Lubber is doing that video thing again!

This one has been around for a while but I still think it's cool...