Why I like the bridge


I liked standing watch on the bridge because it was not engineering. Very rarely did I have to turn a wrench or, for that matter, get my hands dirty at all.

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And I have been told by my leading petty officer (now a retired Master Chief who reads this blog from time to time) when I actually did pick up a wrench (once) that I should stop or I would – in his words – hurt myself. As an officer, I was offended.

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But he may have had a point.

Fast forward a couple of decades and my sixteen year old SUV has a bad CD player. Today, unlike back then, we have YouTube to tell us everything we have to know in order to fix things. So I ordered a used replacement and today I put ‘er in. It looked remarkably like this video:

Except for a few things. He didn’t mention that I would lose six – yes, six – screws into the bowels of whatever is under the CD player. I did notice that in the video the guy had already removed all the screws.


Not knowing engineering I have no idea whether those six little screws will find their way into my transmission, or cause a short somewhere. Which takes me back to my earlier point. Nowadays I wish I had studied engineering back in the day.

Because if I had I would be able to explain to myself why the radio doesn’t work at all any more. Here is my sequence of changing a CD player. You will note that it looks nothing like the video.

1. Take out old CD player; detach all connections
2. Attach replacement to the navigation system
3. Reinstall after inserting all cables and connections
4. Realize one of the connections is trapped behind the (newly installed) player.
5. Remove replacement player. Lose a screw.
6. Reinstall replacement player.
7. Turn on car battery
8. Light off the system
9. Test replacement – get error code
10. Test replacement – get error code
11. Test replacement – get error code
12. Stare at system for several minutes
13. Curse
14. Remove CD player; detach all connections. Lose a screw.
15. Reinstall original player. Lose another screw. And another.
16. Test old system. Sounds like it did before I started all this.
17. Suddenly lose all sound
18. Stare at system for several minutes
19. Check fuse
20. Remove old CD player – lose a screw.
21. Check connections
22. Reinstall. Lose a screw.
22. Realize car battery is dead, which may or may not explain why the sound suddenly cut off.

So now I have my original system installed, but it doesn’t work.
My car battery is dead.
I am down over a hundred bucks because of the broken replacement player.
There are six screws working their way into the most sensitive parts of the engine, ready to tear it to shreds when they get there.

Or not. Because I don’t understand engineering.

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Which is why I stood bridge watches.


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