Sea Stories


Eric, The Straight White Guy, was kind (?) enough to let me take him up on his challenge of answering a couple of questions. So, in the interest of adding to the long history of “Marine Corps /Navy cooperation, and brotherly love ™”, here are said questions and my coerced off-the-cuff response to same.
1. … Knowing that all squids like to tell tall tales of their overseas
exploits, enlighten us on the most exotic port of call you visited while you
were in the Navy… preferably a tale where drinking, pretty women, and a
smidgen of violence were mixed in..

“Listen up shipmates, ’cause this is no shit..” The most exotic place, was perhaps, also the coldest. I’m talking about the end of the Gulf Stream, that tropical paradise ninety degrees south of the Arctic circle, Iceland. (Otherwise known as Keflavik-by-the-sea.)
First there was the wind. In all the time I was there, we never had a day in which the wind was not holding steady at between 10-20kph. The afore mentioned Gulf Stream, was the cause of this, as well as keeping the temperatures higher then what would be the norm for being so close to the Artic Circle (it seldom if ever, dropped below 20 degrees during the winter, conversely, it was very unusual for the temp to rise above 65 during the summer months.) And you haven’t lived ’til you have your 200lbs, fully clothed with winter parka, boots, and such, having to stop it’s forward motion by grabbing on to a dumpster. For, it appeared to be a sure thing, if you didn’t stop, you would be a human tumbleweed, until the wind deposited you into the bay.
Of course being that close to the Artic Circle, during the winter months, if you did not step outside at high noon, you missed the few minutes of daylight for the day (not sunlight, there was no sun, just a teasing of twilight). The Norse gods, however, took pity on the hearty Icelanders, providing a nightlight of sorts, the Aurora Borealis. Step outside and look up, all the colors of the rainbow danced, curtain like, across the sky. From the yellow to purple, and all colors and shades in-between. I have never since seen such a vibrant display in any part of the world, before or since.
Nature, as is her want, compensated with no night during the summer. The sun would dip behind the foothills, rising again, after a scant 30 minutes of twilight. Night time light shows were out of the question, but summer brought out other delights for ones eyes.
In Iceland, there are no ugly women. (And yes, for the ladies, most of the guys were of rugged Nordic stock, so you do the math on that side of the street.) The “average” woman (as perceived by “horny young American Sailor standards ™ ” ) would be considered very attractive….and it only got better from there. Now, place a large number of them into shorts or other clothing of a fetching or flattering nature, and the northern lights were all but forgotten. Gents, there were gals who were the perfect poster child for Denmark, blonde, buxom, long legs. But fate was kind toward those who favored redheads and brunettes too. For the Irish “invaded” in centuries past, and left their mark as seen….well picture a taller, long legged version of “Dolly” from Baby Troll Blog, and you’ll have the correct image. Want a dark haired beauty with more of an olive complected skin color, you can thank the Turks, for their “visit”, and the progeny left behind.
So, sorry, no bar fights….too busy drinking..eating some of the best lamb on God’s green earth, and chasing skirts.

2. … I notice that you live in Illinois… it must still be colder than a
well digger’s ass up there.. how do you cope with those harsh winters?…
are you a snow-shovel kind of guy, or do you just batten down the hatches,
hibernate, and wait for the Spring thaw?.. also, I notice that you have
quite a few good ole Southern blogs on your roll… any plans on catching up
to us all in Jekyll?…

I was born and raised in the “land of Lincoln”. And tried, with some limited success, to get away from the cold, biting, winters. (Yeah, go figure, my first duty station with the Navy was Iceland *grin*.) Right now we are at a balmy 38 degrees, and overcast, yep spring is here at last. As to shoveling the snow, living in an apartment, I don’t have to send the teen age genetic hostages out do take care of that task. But, the in-laws live less then a mile from here, and I have done their drive . Thank the heavens above, there was enough rum “back medicine” in the house, to take care of the resulting lower back issues.
Having lived in Texas (yes, Rob, I know you have issues with that state being considered part of the south), southern Maryland, and Virginia. And being stationed at one time or another in Tennessee, Maryland, Texas, I have a fondness for the south and the flavor/customs/history of that part of the country. Plus, the politics, and general manners of “the south ™ ” seem to most closely match my own.
As far as catching up to y’all at Jekyll, I would love to! (And the TrueBlue one would be there with me as well.) But, finances, and to a much lesser extent logistics, prevent that from happening at this time. I don’t play guitar, was a good horn man at one time, and have a strong bass baritone voice….get me to a piano bar with all the old standards and I am a happy guy (same goes for Karaoke). But who knows what the future holds.

3. … c’mon, Guy… your blog is conservative, but you don’t write about
firearms very often… and that is just wrong… if you don’t mind, give us
your thoughts on the 2nd amendment.. conceal carry permits.. and the right
to self-defense… do you carry a firearm?.. if so, what kind?..

No, I haven’t. Mostly ’cause I currently have none in my possession. This has to do with family and finances (again) more then anything else. I have, back when I lived in Texas, owned a vintage 9mm Astra. And a very good friend and retired Sailor, who resides in the DFW area, was a class 3 firearms dealer, who went with me to the range many a time. Used to load my own rounds too.
As far as the 2nd Amendment goes. What is so hard for the socialist/liberal/GFW bastards out there to understand? It grants us the “right to bear arms” specifically to:
1. Carry out our responsibilities/duties as part of a “regulated militia” (which is NOT EXCLUSIVELY the National Guard, btw).
2. Carry out, if and when, oaths taken by those of us with military affiliation, demand we need to take action in “defending the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic”.
There is also the need/desire to (by owning and being properly trained/proficient in the use of any given firearm) take direct action if confronted by various forms of pond scum. Or helping a neighbor out with same if the need arises (civic duty what a concept).
In short the reason I haven’t posted about guns/swords/bows…I start to drooling on my keyboard…and well, it just ain’t a pretty sight.

4. .. going back to the “lets get to know Guy” theme… tell us more about
your service time… what was your job while you were in the Navy.. did you
go to any c-schools?.. if so, which ones?

I joined in April of ’73 on a delayed enlistment program, and went on active duty (and to boot camp-Great Lakes) the following August. The majority of my training and schooling was in aviation electronics (radios/navigation aids/radars/electric counter-measures and the like). The Navy (along with the Marines) divides their maintenance into three main sections….Squadron level, Intermediate Maintenance , and Depot Level. Most of my time was spent at the Intermediate level. We received the broken equipment from the various squadrons we supported, and repaired it down to component level (though these days I understand it is all cards now). I have worked on every thing from DC-3s to UAVs. But electronics was not the only “hat” I was privileged to wear while in the Navy. I was, at one time, a recruiter, an assistant Public Affairs Officer, Commnad Career Counselor, and a “pilot” of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Retirement arrived far too soon, at the end of February 1997.
As with any job/career it was not perfect, but if I got a call tomorrow to put the uniform back on, I would do it in a heartbeat. As as side note, the days that followed 9/11, saw me in the local recruiters office, asking if they were going to do any sort of “recall” for those of us in an “inactive reserve status”. I was jokingly told “Thanks but no thanks Pops, but we are not looking for old farts right now.” After talking with the Recruiter In Charge for a few minutes, he did see my point of view, and passed on that other retired Sailors had been by to offer their services as well.

5. … and finally, have you ever met any bloggers (other than your better
half) in person?… if so, were they what you had imagined them to be from
reading their blogs?.

I have met a few folks, both my better half and I were close to, from back in our mIRC days. The only blogger I have met in person, who was a friend of Debs before I started reading her, resides in Iowa. She is quite the conservative, intelligent, and (though she denies it)cute, young lady. We met her, her mother, and sister when they were on their way back from a weekend in Chicago. UPDATE The blogger in question is Kate, at The Running Conservative. (yes, preview is your friend)
I have had the pleasure of “IM’ing” with Mike (of DGCI fame), the old curmudgeon Francis Porretto, and Red Falcon who runs “The Steiner Aid”. But, have not made personal contact with any other netizen. I hope this changes as time, circumstances, and money allow.
And there you have it. And perhaps more then you wanted to know, about the ol’ fool retired squid who is at the helm here at Snugg Harbor. Thanks again, to Eric, who came up with his questions, and the opportunity to answer same.

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