I am the Captain of my own ship


No one will argue that a ship’s Captain is the dominant being on a ship. The Captain is responsible for everything that happens on – or to – his (or her) vessel. Consequently, he gets a few perks.

Like the best stateroom. A Skipper’s stateroom is really nice. It is so nice that it isn’t even called a stateroom. It is a cabin. The Captain’s Cabin.

He gets his own parking space. His own head (i.e. bathroom). Everything to make life a little easier.

Except the television.

Ever been on the bridge of an aircraft carrier? Right there in front of the Captain is a tiny little T.V. screen for looking at the tactical picture, looking at the various cameras pointed at the flight deck, and sometimes – when things are slow – for watching the news. Maybe even some sports.

Down in the Combat Decision Center a few decks below – where the Tactical Action Officer sits – now THERE are some serious T.V. screens. Massive flat screens adorn the place. The T.A.O. can watch all kinds of things in high definition. News. Sports. Tactical stuff.

Meanwhile, the Captain is on the bridge using reading glasses to make things out.

It is JUST LIKE THAT at my house. My “bridge” is the kitchen, because that is where the tiny T.V. is. My “Combat Decision Center” is in the living room where the big, giant flat screen is.

I spend all my time on the bridge.

As the Captain of my own ship, I have chosen to allow my 2.5 year old to watch the big screen. The fact that (a) it is where the only DVD player is, and (b) if I don’t my life will be miserable, has nothing to do with my decision. If it did, it would be a sign of weakness, and a Captain can show no weakness.

Therefore, I have made the command decision that purple dinosaurs and flying dragons should be shown on the flat screen. I have come to enjoy watching tiny little football players move around the tiny little field on the bridge’s tiny little T.V.

I decided that I have no need for the comfortable recliner in the other room and prefer hard maple dining room chairs instead. Back cramps from sitting on the rigid seat make me feel part of the game.

In the Navy, the small size of the Captain’s screen is made up for with lots of other perks that, quite frankly, I don’t enjoy here. But on my ship, I have one advantage that my military counterparts don’t.

I’m a lot closer to the galley.


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