Browsing: Broadside moments

Before you judge me, you need to reflect on your own life mister…or madame, because you have fibbed to your kids too. What seemed like innocent white lies a few years ago, however, have outlived their usefulness and soon my daughter will figure it all out. She will discover that all is not well in the cradle world, for example. When she was very young I changed the words from, “And down will come baby, cradle and all”, to, “And daddy will catch you, cradle and all.” She wasn’t ready, in my opinion, for the life altering concept of an…

That’s me in the corner. We just returned from an event in San Antonio to raise awareness for the Wyakin program, and I am exhausted. Why? Because while extroverts gain energy from other people, introverts lose their energy in crowds. The Navy made me take the Myers-Briggs test a few times, and I always came out as having the traits of being introverted (with a capital “I”), intuitive, thinking, and a judger, or INTJ for short. Apparently, INTJ is the least common of sixteen possible combinations of personality traits. Only 2% of the population has been rated INTJ. But, in…

My daughter’s school hosted dart wars a few days ago, using Nerf darts. It sounded like fun but became an indictment on mankind. I can confidently say that it is good that I chose the Navy as a career, because I would have been a goner as a Soldier. It wasn’t that we hadn’t prepared. These are our pre-war uniforms, complete with eye black. Each of us was equipped with the latest anti-zombi nerf pistol, with rotating barrels and twelve dart capacity. Quite frankly, I thought I looked like this guy: In reality, at least to the children who we…

Bad news travels fast. Bad news doesn’t get better with age. What do you want to hear first…the good news or the bad news? We are obsessed with bad news. Why? Because the chance of bodily hard goes way up when dropping it on your boss. The poor soul who has to tell the Captain the bad news is usually not the person responsible, but is often the one who bears the brunt of the C.O.’s anger. “Don’t shoot the messenger” became a popular saying for a reason. As a weather guy in the Navy, I often had to forecast…

Submariners are a curious breed. One one hand they are collectively some of the smartest people on earth and make up the most deadly and indestructible part of our nation’s arsenal. On the other hand, they are a little defensive about being labeled as geeks. They aren’t, of course. They undergo one of the most intensive screening protocols around just to get into the service. That makes sense, since they will serve on complex and deadly vessels run by nuclear power and – especially in the case of the SSBN force – handle enough destructive power to render a big…

This time every week I browse through thirty years of cartoons to find a few that apply to whatever story my mind is putting together. This week, quite by accident, I stumbled upon a common theme that is repeated year after year. I draw a lot of “I don’t care” cartoons. It isn’t that I don’t care; at least I don’t think so. Aren’t I just making fun of the foibles of military life and the apathy we have all seen in a few malcontents? Doesn’t every command have at least one person who takes the slacker way out? But…

“If you are going to sin, sin against God, not the bureaucracy. God will forgive you but the bureaucracy won’t.” ― Hyman G. Rickover “A bureaucrat who said no to everything rarely got in trouble.” ― Tom Clancy, Executive Orders (Quotes from goodreads.com) Bureaucrats. Can’t live with them… That’s it. Can’t live with them. Bureaucracies exist to perpetuate the species; which in itself is an interesting description because a bureaucracy is in fact like a living organism, the sedentary kind that consumes everything in its path, defecates, then leaves a slimy slick of goo in its wake when it finally…

They are called doctors, nurses, corpsmen, surgeons, general practitioners…but collectively they are all known as doc. They have a certain power over us – maybe it has something to do with the fact that most of them are smart, but mostly, I think, it is because they can hurt us whenever they want. And by hurt I mean they can kill us. In the field or on deployment they are revered, of course. A Navy Corpsman never buys his or her own beer if there is a Marine in the room. Overseas they are often the only medical presence at…

If you have ever served in the military, you will know that just about everything can be blamed on the supply department. If you are missing parts, it is supply’s fault. If you lack training, it is because supply failed you. If you did not perform as well as you could have, somehow the culpability can be firmly placed on the shoulders of the men and women in supply. What is that you say? Your food doesn’t taste right? No matter how hard they try, they will always be accused of living the high life while the rest of us…

One of my old bosses forwarded me a story about the Navy returning to its roots. In short, Navy leadership is concerned that navigators have become overly dependent on electronic equipment like GPS, and that those responsible for putting naval vessels where they are supposed to be, need to be able to do so with stars (click here to read or listen to the NPR story). Good idea. I once had a Captain who insisted his Sailors not only understood how to shoot stars, but also how to navigate without the use of even a gyro compass (it required the…

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