Small town girl. Joins Navy. Sees the world. Flies in planes. Hunts submarines. Gets out of military and has 3 kids. Rejoins Air National Guard as an "old lady" of 38.

A humorous compilation of stories and lessons learned. Usually the hard way.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Once in a...

If you only do something once in a blue moon- well, it is time to get cracking!  Tonight's sky will be filled with just that- a blue moon! 

According to the Washington Post, "Tonight’s moon rises in the eastern heavens at 7:25 p.m., moments before sunset in the western sky at 7:39 p.m.  The next blue moon occurs on July 31, 2015. We get two blue moons in 2018 when they fall within January and March. (Always deprived of days, February 2018 gets no respect and no full moon.)" ~Blaine Friedlander

No, the moon won't actually be blue tonight- but is simply the second full moon in a single month.  And really, what is more mystifying, romantic, and/or intriguing than the moon?  Well, back when it was still a magically lit sphere suspended in the night sky, anyway.  Now we know it's basically a rock with a friendly gravitational pull.  Damn you, Neil Armstrong!  (rest in peace) 

However- I'd prefer to still think of it as magical.  Much like I would like to think I always have a 50% chance of winning the lottery.  Either it will happen, or it won't.  50/50.  (That is assuming I actually buy a ticket.)

So what will it be?  What will you do today or tonight?  Doesn't it just feel like a perfect opportunity (read: excuse) to do something out of the ordinary?!?  A celebration!  For we know not the magical effects the Galaxy may provide us with tonight...

And just in case you'd like to celebrate Navy style, (aka with alcohol)  I've provided this handy-dandy recipe below.  Enjoy!

1 1/2 Bombay Sapphire
1/2 oz Blue Curacao
Sweet and Sour

Credit: How to make a Blue Moon Martini - Drink recipes from Bartending Bootcamp

Photo Credits~ James Carrier

Monday, August 27, 2012

Protractors vs. Anchors


When I’m not out saving the world from evil doers, I am simply a contractor for the Navy.  A very exuberant contractor, I might add- but still simply a contractor. 

This job however, has been a wonderful extension of my Navy life.  The majority of the people that work here are retired or former Navy which has been a marvelous transition into the "outside world".  Everyone shows up on time.  People don’t call out sick unless they are in the hospital.  Most importantly, I still can swear at work. 

So besides the Navy veterans, the rest of the employees on our team are engineers.  This combination of personality types successfully keep it an interesting work environment.  It’s a fabulous combination- no doubt full of conflict and often confusing conversations. 

In what way?

Well, I drew up examples below of some of life’s simple topics.  They are a representation of how two completely different thinking creatures must work together, unified and make life-staking decisions everyday for the better of our men and women that are currently serving in the US Navy.

How we survive and communicate day after day still remains a mystery.

Engineers vs. Navy Veterans:

On Dating:
Engineers:  Who has the time?  Besides Bones is on tonight!

Navy guy: You can fall in love with anyone.  Make sure they are rich.  Or at least really hot. (Yes, that is straight out of a retired chief's mouth.)

On Marriage:
E:  Some engineers are able to find someone else they can tolerate in the same facility as themselves for extended periods of time.  They usually will marry these people.  Others would be much more content in their own dwelling alone, where they can have full control of their environment at all times.

N:  Make sure you get a prenup in place this time.
On Hobbies:
E:  Does software developing count as a hobby as well as a job?

N: Hunting, fishing, boating, digging for dinosaur bones.  Anything that takes them as far away from their job as possible where they can feel somewhat like a 'normal' citizen.

On clothing:
E:  Is it comfortable?  Practical?  It doesn't matter which decade it came from because there are much more important things to worry about than clothing.  Like matter.  And gravity.  And e=mc2.  All of that engineer stuff.

N:  Does it pass the smell test? 

On politics:
E:  The pros and cons of our future leader and elected party must be analyzed thoroughly before making a decision that could influence the course of our history. 

N:  Do I really want a stinking liberal who has never been in a war as my Commander in Chief?

On same-sex marriages:
E:  See 'on marriages' above.  It is applicable for both hetero and homosexual unions.

N:  Don’t ask, don’t tell.  Just please don’t touch me either.  Unless we're talking about lesbians...  Mmmm.  Lesbians...

On religion:
E:  Believe in Big Bang theory and Evolution

N:  Say their prayers often:  When traveling in a convoy.  When engines quit.  When launching off or landing on a carrier.  When their favorite football team is in the playoffs.

On food:
E:  TV dinners are a perfect solution.  Who has time to cook?  Bonus: all of the nutritional ingredients are labeled on the box so you know the exact quantity of each portion size.

N:  Don’t ask- don’t tell.  As long as it’s dead and/or on a stick, it must be editable.  Bonus: beer kills all germs.

Favorite drink:
E:  Diet and mucho caffeine.  Engineers are smart and know they shouldn’t be drinking sodas straight. (do you KNOW how many teaspoons of sugar are in one of them?) Caffeine is necessary to function until the wee hours of the morning.

N:  Free drinks.  Cold drinks is a close #2 favorite.

On Recycling:
E:  Save everything.  You never know when you may need it.

N:  If you can’t carry it on your back- you don’t need it.

On Guns:
E:  Gun control would help get weapons off of the street.

N:  The bigger the bang, the better!

How to Motivate:
E:  Reward positive job performances.

N:  Tell them "You won't". 

On aging:
E:  Statistics say the everyday use of sunscreen decreases visible aging lines by 70%. 

N:  Old guys have the best sea stories.  The older they are- the less rules there once were.

On education:

E:  I didn’t spend 7 years in college to be call "Mister".  It is "Doctor".

N:  Whenever someone asks you a question about something you don't know, redirect it about something you do know and use big words like adjudicate and erroneous.

On entertainment:

E:  Foreign Films

N:  A Cuban Cigar, an Irish beer, and a Latin woman.

On solving problems:

E:  It is important to get to the root of the cause and eliminate all variables for a reliable test.

N:  Recycle the source.  Kick it a few times.  Swap it out.  (This applies to electronics, mechanical, and relationship issues.) 

I'll leave you with my most recent engineer quote of the day:  “He has a whole box of staples in his desk.  Like who needs a whole box of staples?”

Me (thinking to myself):  Hmmm. Well probably because staples aren't sold individually?? 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Natural Disasters and Cheerleaders.

So there I was.

What do you suppose is the worst place to be during a natural disaster?

Using the toilet?


Using the toilet at Wal-Mart?

No. I will tell you because I know now.  Out on a field with 70-some cheerleaders ranging in ages from 4-12.

So there we were. Gathering. About to start practice- when all of a sudden the announcement was made.

“Everyone! Can I have your attention!"  It was more of a demand.  "A tornado has been spotted and just touched down at the Park.” [The Park was about 5 minutes away as the crow flies. Or Cardinal. Whichever you prefer.]  “Everyone get in your cars and wait for about half an hour.”

I nearly choked. In our cars!?? Said the Midwestern voice inside me.
That girl be crazy! Said the street-talker in me.

It was true. She was in fact crazy. Or perhaps just unaware of proper tornado protocol.

Suddenly my phone rings. Who would be calling at a time like this? I soon discovered it was DH on the other side of the field with our son.

“Why are they getting into their cars? The school is open!” He yelled through the phone. A Solid. Brick. School.

“Good idea! I’ll find you!”

I hung up the phone and yelled, “The gym is open- go to the gym!”

In that moment, most of the 70-some cheerleaders and their families flocked together like seagulls flying over a tuna cannery and scurried to the gym.

Just then, the Navy in me kicked in. Disaster readiness training. I told my girls to follow the other coach and I would be in right behind them.

Right now, as a sailor, I could not leave a man behind. Okay maybe that’s the Army. But sailors say full speed ahead, so I’ll go with the Army in this circumstance.

I began knocking on everyone’s car window like a bum trying to make a buck at an intersection.

The people would roll down their window with skeptical eyes. “I’m not here to sell you anything,” I had to tell them. The gym is open and the tornado is on its way. Go to the gym now!”

And they did.

When all the cars were empty I ran to the gym. Of course it was under construction and full of all kinds of metal pointy things for the kids to play with. I heard a dad yell to his daughter, “Get near the door! That’s what you’re supposed to do in a tornado!” I mentally noted to later hand out emergency procedures to my girls and their families.

So we waited and we waited. Not calmly though as you’d expect tucked nicely into the corners sitting cross-legged. No, the little cheerleaders and little football players found the kick balls and lacrosse sticks. Oh yes. We waited in chaos.

And the tornado never came. It ended up dissipating with no damage erupting anywhere.

So perhaps this time I looked like the crazy Mid-westerner. But I just couldn’t help it. I’d probably do the same thing all over again.

Because I take wind very seriously and I think everyone else should too.