New Coveralls

When I go camping, and it has been some years, I wear a pair of Navy coveralls. When I was doing this training evolution with the SEALs, I also wore them. They were easy to get into and comfortable. Unfortunately, when I was wandering around in the dark, I ran into a metal post sticking out of the ground. And it sliced through my coveralls and then my knee. One of the SEALs saw what happened and he ran his bare finger up and down the bloody wound and told me I would be alright. I shudder now at the thought.

But still, I need new coveralls. Let’s see, here is a pair that has muscles stitched in to them:


Hey, it even has a medal! I wonder if comes in extra-large?

Supersonic: The S Is for Super

Don’t worry Sandy Eggo-ians, that boom you heard yesterday was a pair of F-18s going supersonic over the USS Carl Vinson. Thank God, PBS is on the case:

The rumblings that rattled some San Diegans were likely caused by aircraft that went supersonic about 35 miles off the coast during a flight demonstration for the USS Carl Vinson family day cruise, Navy officials said.

There was quite a bit of concern when it happened. The usual calls of “mysterious rumblings” were made to police. . .

Muslim Targets

If you have ever shot guns at a range, then you have used a paper target of some sort. I’ve plinked at the standard circles, zombies, a man holding a hostage, and a guy with a gun leveled at me. What I have not seen is a Muslim lady holding a gun:

Paper Target at Joint Base Fort Story in VA Beach of a Muslim Woman

The Navy will not use a target depicting a Muslim woman holding a gun at a new training range for SEALs in Virginia Beach.

The announcement came hours after the Council on American-Islamic Relations asked the Pentagon to remove the target. . .

Panetta’s press office did not respond to a request for comment. Late Friday, Lt. David Lloyd, a spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Group 2, said the materials in question would not be used on the close quarters combat training range, which was dedicated Monday at Joint Expeditionary Base Fort Story.

“We have removed this particular target and Arabic writing in question from the range in the near term, and will explore other options for future training,” Lloyd said.

Naval Special Warfare Group Two, which oversees SEAL teams 2, 4, 8 and 10 at Joint Expeditionary Base LIttle Creek, has not yet put the $11.5 million facility to use.

Will everyone be entitled to voice concerns about being on a target? If I were a zombie (and despite blogging late some nights, I am not), I would be angry. Like this poor lady, how do you think she feels:


Todd Mintz’s Gobie Picture

More than 700 images were submitted for this year’s underwater photography contest, put on annually by the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science.

Canadian Todd Mintz took home first place in the Macro category for his gobie picture.

An Army Sergeant and His Family

Have I told you how much I love the internet? So much so that I sing songs to it. A couple of days ago, I wrote a post on Sergeant Howse and how he surprised his family at the Zoo. Surprise, surprise, he chatted back:

I did see the post, and I appreciate your humorous take on it. The response to our reunion has been insane. By the way, Jorja couldn’t hold the sleeper for long before I got her in a bone-crushing arm bar! Just kidding.

You are a good sport, Sergeant. Welcome home!

Japanese in My Car

In an odd turn of events, I am studying Arabic in my bedroom, French in my bathroom, and Japanese in my car*. There is no inside joke about this situation. It is merely due to the materials I am studying.

I was at the airport today and chatted with the Rosetta Stone guy. I listened to the Japanese material and came away impressed with the program. I may get it, despite the fact that lessons 1-5 are $399. Does this sound like a lot of money? It does by itself, but I enjoy the process of learning a language and I would merely chalk it up to continuing education. Which, like my health fund, is well-padded. . .

My question for you: do you speak any languages? How did you learn them? Do you know anyone who has tried Rosetta Stone? How about the Pimsleur Approach?

I study Japanese podcasts in my car, read a vocab list the bathroom, and watch Arabic news in my room. . .

USS Pampanito: A Real Sub in San Francisco to Tour

In keeping with my submarines posts of this week, I present to you the USS Pampanito. If you are near Pier 45 in San Francisco, you really should visit. I went aboard once. And oddly, the combination of the diesel fumes and the light rocking of the boat made me feel slightly quesy. (I am not selling this very well, am I?) But otherwise, it was interesting to be aboard a real sub:

Come visit the USS Pampanito located at Pier 45, Fisherman’s Wharf. Pampanito is normally open to the public seven days a week.

USS Pampanito (SS-383) is a World War II Balao class Fleet submarine museum and memorial that is open for visitors daily at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. Pampanito made six patrols in the Pacific during World War II during which she sank six Japanese ships and damaged four others. Operated by the Maritime Park Association, Pampanito hosts approximately 110,000 visitors a year and is one of the most popular historic vessels in the country. In addition to day time visitors, over 15,000 kids a year participate in Pampanito‘s educational day and overnight programs. Pampanito is a National Historic Landmark.

You will laugh, you will cry. You will join the Navy.

Street Food Cookbook

Noted foodie John T Edge just published the Truck Food Cookbook after visiting more than 200 food-trucks. As a dedicated consumer of these roach-coaches, I found this picture quite intriguing:

The Morning Burger- This recipe uses hormone-free beef, topped with pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes and egg, popular at food trucks in South America.

Of course, I would have to do some further intelligence collection to determine if this so-called morning burger is actually delicious. I might have to eat 20 or 30 of these masterpieces to come to an informed conclusion. . .

Two Guns and One Navy Commander

Movie scripts generally get passed around from director to producer to actor and then to landscaper. Some of them kick around Hollywood for years. I don’t generally follow upcoming movies, but when they mention naval officers, I take notice:

James Marsden in 2 Guns

For a project that began as a buddy comedy that reunited Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, Two Guns has changed a lot over the years. The film adaptation of Steven Grant’s graphic novel follows two undercover agents who work together to steal money from the mafia, without knowing that the other is undercover or that they’re actually being set up to steal $50 million from the CIA. Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg are now in the lead roles, with Contraband director Baltasar Kormakur directing. Variety now reports that former Cyclops James Marsden has joined the cast as Wahlberg’s boss, a naval commander.

Marsden joins a pretty great cast, which includes Paula Patton as Denzel’s love interest, Bill Paxton as a high-ranking CIA operative, and Edward James Olmos, who just signed on as the villain a few days ago.

Yeah, I’ll watch it. Maybe. Probably. Most definitely.

Dolphin and Puffin Surprise

If you are in the Army, and you are home from the war zone, I would imagine you would want to surprise your family. It is tempting and the videos are great. Let’s say you pick the zoo. Being in the Army, you would probably choose the warthog or the rhinoceros pen to spring out at your family. They are vicious land mammals, right? (For example, the dolphin show would be reserved for a submariner’s homecoming.) How wrong I am:

Jorja Coleman and her younger sister Nataja Howse thought the dolphins were the stars of the show at the Brookfield Zoo — until their soldier father made a surprise visit.

Army Sgt. Keith Howse surprises his children Jorja Coleman, 11, and Nataja Howse, 6, during a dolphin show at the Brookfield Zoo on Wednesday. At left is his wife Aja Moores.

About halfway into the performance Wednesday, an announcer called the girls down from the stands to assist with a special encounter with a dolphin. Then she told them their father was there — Army Sgt. Keith Howse, who has been stationed in Afghanistan.

As Howse walked out from a side enclosure, his two teary-eyed girls ran and hugged him.

I am a sucker for homecoming stories. Although, with his name and all, you would think Sergeant Howse would be a larger individual. His eleven year-old practically has him in a sleeper hold and he is not crouched over all that much. (Heh heh. Just kidding Sergeant. Thanks for your service and all should you ever see this. . .)

On the subject of dolphins, sea mammals, sea animals, I would be remiss if I did not direct you towards live-streaming video of the puffins on Seal Island (near Portland, Maine):

Two high-definition cameras began streaming live video Wednesday of clown-like Atlantic puffins waddling, preening and nesting on a remote Maine island.

Seal Island (near Portland, Maine) puffin colony

The National Audubon Society and teamed up to stream video from Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge to anyone with an Internet connection. Located about 20 miles offshore, the island has the largest puffin colony in the U.S.

Note to any Sailors reading this: Yes, I said Puffin. No, I am not talking about recreational drugs. Zero tolerance, Shipmates. Remember that wiz quiz. Urinanalysises (Plural for Urinalysis) show up at very odd times. No puffin’. . .

Atlantis Submarines: Love at First Dive

Oh, I am in love. Absolutely in love. If I lived in Hawaii, I would be on the Atlantis every night. (Is it strange that a Navy guy would pay good money to ride a civilian submarine?)

For a hundred dollars, you get:

An unforgettable 35-minute journey aboard an Atlantis 48-passenger submarine, as featured in National Geographic television specials, where guests explore a 25-acre natural coral reef and its marine inhabitants! A new adventure awaits you at depths up to 100 feet! Enjoy the view in air-conditioned comfort and safety.

Atlantis Submarine Tour Kona

 Allow Atlantis Submarines to show you the other 96% of Kona you can’t see any other way. Treat yourself to Kona’s most beautiful and captivating scenery, habitats, and isolated treasures. You’ll descend 100 feet into another version of paradise — one hidden even from the people of Hawaii for centuries. Atlantis Kona offers a journey aboard a 48-passenger submarine. Guests will discover an 18,000-year-old, 25-acre fringing coral reef, which boasts a vibrant ecosystem. Passengers view coral formations and tropical fish. Tours provide narration in Japanese via headsets. Reservations for this tour are highly recommended.

The odd thing is that I do not want to ride subs in the Navy. Any ship, I am there. Subs? Not so much. Of course, I hear the sub sandwiches aboard are great. Or do they serve torpedoes?

Submariner, 57 Years Old, Tries Hand at Olympics

This is a story too unbelievable to believe. John Taylor, a 57 year-old, retired submariner, tried to qual for the Olympics. In wrestling:

John Taylor is a hard man to pin down.

At 57, it would seem that his physical prime is behind him. But Taylor, who has made a name for himself in amateur wrestling, set out to become the oldest Olympic wrestling champion.

The journey began with a devoted commitment to the sport he loves. Taylor has been wrestling since fourth grade. As a youth, he competed alongside future three-time world champion Lee Kemp at Chardon High School outside Cleveland.

Shipmate, you are a man among men. Good luck on the Senior tour. . .