Sunday, March 06, 2011

Navy Life - Not For Me

Sometimes I think I would have like to have stayed in the Navy. Then I realize that my mouth would not have let me do twenty years - unless it was in Leavenworth…A Gated Community.

Sometimes I see some videos like these below and I have to ask myself, ‘Did I really do that?’ Youth has no fear…but now, if I had to go through a typhone like the Kitty Hawk below, you wouldn’t be able to drive a straight pin up my ass with a sledge hammer.

At sea, very few days were smooth sailing. The ocean is a moving, tossing bitch and no one really understands the power of water until they have steamed for weeks at a time in all kinds of weather.

This is one that is just a little more sevier than a regular day at sea. But it was not uncommon either. Just up and down, left and right, 24/7.

USS Duncan (DDR 874)

My first thought on watching this video of the USS Kitty Hawk is, the ship I was on was a little over a football field in length. You could put three of my ships, nose to butt, down the flight deck. So if the water is coming over the flight deck of a carrier, then the destroyers are riding up and down like a roller coaster.

Kitty Hawk (CV 63)

It was fun, kinda, but after a storm, you are pretty worn out from all the swaying and holding on to things. And try eating with the room rocking and rolling. Fun I tell ya.

But then I think that I should have sayed in and...well...this will give you an idea of why I didn’t - besides my over active, questioning and arguing mouth.

1. Buy a dumpster, paint it gray and live in it for 6 months straight.
2. Run all of the piping and wires inside your house on the outside of the walls.

3. Pump 10 inches of nasty, crappy water into your basement, then pump it out, clean up, and paint the basement "deck gray."

4. Every couple of weeks, dress up in your best clothes and go the scummiest part of town, find the most run down, trashy bar you can, pay $10 per beer until you're hammered, then walk home in the freezing cold.

5. Perform a weekly disassembly and inspection of your lawnmower.

6. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays turn your water temperature up to 200 degrees, then on Tuesday and Thursday turn it down to 10 degrees. On Saturdays, and Sundays declare to your entire family that they used too much water during the week, so all showering is secured.

7. Raise your bed to within 6 inches of the ceiling.

8. Have your next door neighbor come over each day at 5am, and blow a whistle so loud that Helen Keller could hear it and shout "Reveille, Reveille, all hands heave out and trice up".

9. Have your mother-in-law write down everything she's going to do the following day, then have her make you stand in the back yard at 6am and read it to you.

10. Eat the raunchiest Mexican food you can find for three days straight, then lock yourself out of the bathroom for 12 hours, and hang a sign on the door that reads "Secured-contact OA division at X-3053."

11. Submit a request form to your father-in-law, asking if it's ok for you to leave your house before 3pm.

12. Invite 200 of your not-so-closest friends to come over, then board up all the windows and doors to your house for 6 months. After the 6 months is up, take down the boards, wave at your friends and family through the front window of your can't leave until the next day you have duty.

13. Shower with above-mentioned friends.

14. Make your family qualify to operate all the appliances in your home (i.e. Dishwasher operator, blender technician, etc.).

15. Walk around your car for 4 hours checking the tire pressure every 15 minutes.

16. Sit in your car and let it run for 4 hours before going anywhere. This is to ensure your engine is properly "lighted off."

17. Empty all the garbage bins in your house, and sweep your driveway 3 times a day, whether they need it or not. (Now sweepers, start your brooms, clean sweep down fore and aft, empty all trashcans over the fantail)

18. Repaint your entire house once a month.

19. Cook all of your food blindfolded, groping for any spice and seasoning you can get your hands on.

20.Use eighteen scoops of budget coffee grounds per pot, and allow each pot to sit 5 hours before drinking.

21. Have your neighbor collect all your mail for a month, read your magazines, and randomly lose every 5th item.

22. Spend $20,000 on a satellite system for your TV, but only watch BET and ESPN.

23. Avoid watching TV with the exception of movies which are played in the middle of the night. Have the family vote on which movie to watch and then show a different one.

24. Have your 5-year-old cousin give you a haircut with goat shears.

25. Sew back pockets to the front of your pants.

26. Spend 2 weeks in the red-light districts of Europe, and call it "world travel."

27. Attempt to spend 5 years working at McDonalds, and NOT get promoted.

28. Ensure that any promotions you do get are from stepping on the dead bodies of your co-workers.

29. Needle gun the aluminum siding on your house after your neighbors have gone to bed.

30. When your children are in bed, run into their room with a megaphone, and shout at the top of your lungs that your home is under attack, and order them to man their battle stations. ("General quarters, general quarters, all hands man your battle stations")

31. Make your family menu a week ahead of time and do so without checking the pantry and refrigerator.

32. Post a menu on the refrigerator door informing your family that you are having steak for dinner. Then make them wait in line for at least an hour, when they finally get to the kitchen, tell them that you are out of steak, but you have dried ham or hot dogs. Repeat daily until they don't pay attention to the menu any more so they just ask for hot dogs.

33.When baking a cake, prop up one side of the pan while it is in the oven. Spread icing on real thick to level it off.

34. In the middle of January, place a podium at the end of your driveway. Have you family stand watches at the podium, rotating at 4-hour intervals.

35. Lock yourself and your family in your house for 6 weeks. Then tell them that at the end of the 6th week you're going to take them to Disneyland for "weekend liberty." When the end of the 6th week rolls around, inform them that Disneyland has been canceled due to the fact that they need to get ready for Engineering-certification, and that it will be another week before they can leave the house.

36. In your grim, gray dumpster (refer to #1), with 200 of your not-so-closest friend (cite para. 12) regardless of gender, suffer through PMS!

37. Sleep on the shelf in your closet. Replace the closet door with a curtain. Have you wife whip open the curtain about 3 hours after you go to sleep. She should then shine a flashlight in your eyes and mumble "Sorry, wrong rack."

38. Renovate your bathroom. Build a wall across the middle of your bathtub, move the shower head to chest level. When you take showers, make sure you shut off the water while you soap down.

39. When there is a thunderstorm in your area, find a wobbly rocking chair and rock as hard as you can until you become nauseous. have a supply of stale crackers in your shirt pocket.

40. Put lube oil in your humidifier and set it on high.

41. For ex-engineering types: leave the lawn mower running in your living room eight hours a day.

42. Have the paperboy give you a haircut.

43.Once a week, blow compressed air up your chimney, making sure the wind carries the soot onto your neighbors house. Ignore his complaints.

44. Every other month buy green or red marine primer and put it in a paint sprayer. Spray it over the roof of your house onto your neighbors car. Ignore his complaints.

45. Lock wire the lug nuts on your car.

46. Buy a trash compactor, but use it only once a week. Store the garbage on the other side of your bathtub.

47. Get up every night around midnight and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on stale bread.

48. Set your alarm clock to go off at random during the night, jump up and get dressed as fast as you can making sure you button up the top button on your shirt, stuff you pants into your socks. Run out into the backyard and uncoil the garden hose.

49. Once a month, take every major appliance apart and put them back together again.

50. Install a fluorescent lamp under the coffee table and then get under it and read books.

51. Raise the thresholds and lower the top sills of your front and back doors so that you either trip or bang your head every time you pass through one of them.

52. Every so often, throw the cat in the pool and shout "Man overboard, starboard side" Then run into the house and sweep all the pots and dishes off the counter. Yell at the wife and kids for not having the kitchen "stowed for sea."

53. Put on the headphones from your stereo set, but don't plug them in. Hang a paper cup around your neck with string. Go stand in front of your stove. Say ... to no one in particular "Stove manned and ready" Stand there for three or four hours. And say again to no one in particular "stove secured." Roll up your headphones and paper cup and place them in a box.

54. For airdales, install a steel roof, hire a neighbor to stop by at random times to throw 2 x 4's and steel chains on it.

Get the picture?


laughingmom said...

Gosh - you should be a recruiter - you make it sound SO great!

suz said...

Love love love the Kitty Hawk video!!! I want to be there, but not for months at a stretch!

The Reckmonster said...

I don't care how "glorious" you try to make it, Coffey (LOL) - I still say I'm damned glad for people like you. If I were there right now, I'd shake your hand and tell you from my heart, "Thank you for your service, and Welcome Home." It is folks like you whose blood, sweat and tears make up the foundation of this great country.

Coffeypot said...

laughingmom, not me. I did my time, got out on good behavior and ran like hell. That is not a recruiting testament. Though I have to admit, today's Navy has some cool stuff that makes me wish I could do it again - on shore duty.

suz, understand, that flight deck is ten stories high. I have seen green water (ocean not spray) go across the flight deck of the USS Horner, a much smaller carrier than the Shitty Kitty (her nickname.)

Coffeypot said...

Damn R.M. I don't deserve that. I just served. Though I did serve with some cool WWII and Korean dudes. Medals out the ass. I just got a crooked finger for holding a coffee cup.

The Reckmonster said...

Ugh...all you vets are the same! Minimizing the importance of what you did! Makes me want to bitch-smack you!! Even my dad (who retired from the Army after 26 yrs and served 3 tours in Vietnam) STILL won't use the V.A. because he thinks it's for "folks who really need it." As if he's not "deserving" enough. ALL of you vets are my heroes, I don't care what you did, how long you served or where you gave a portion of your life, which the rest of us don't have the balls to do. End of story. Now don't make me beat your ass.

Coffeypot said...

R.M. Beat my ass??!!! God you're turning me on. Bring it on (and tell you dad, thanks thrice and welcome home.)

CI-Roller Dude said...

Good tips. and if you want to pretend you on Sub duty, buy the biggest SUV made, paint all the windows balk, install every electronic device known to man- even if you don't need it, add all the weapons you can find, if it has 5 seats, get 10 people to ride, then have your mate stand up in open sun roof and give you compass bearings and speeds to drive.

"205 degrees, bring it up to 55 MPH, now all stop, right 5 degrees, full speed, slow, left turn 45 degrees, pedesterain!!!! all STOP."

Mrs4444 said...

This is terrific! I LOL'd in spots, and my husband got totally geeked out over the Kitty Hawk video--asked me to email it to him.

I'm going to link to this on Saturday.

Ed said...

Ah yes...the good ole days.

I love the civilian comparisons at the bottom.

If you actually wrote those, I'm impressed.

GrizzBabe said...

Okay, that first video . . . that would scare the bejeezus out of me!

Unknown said...

I am going to print that list out and give it to my Dad (he was on the USS Laffey for 4 years), he will definitely appreciate something like this!!
Oh and thanks again for my daily chuckle, Coffeypot!!

Jamie said...

Wow - what a post. Thank you for posting this, I learned a lot. :)

Momma Fargo said...

I have a fondness for sailors...I'll stay with ya in your gray dumpster for a spell.

Unknown said...

Our first Christmas together, I gave Hubster an ornment which I had the words "Always a Sailor" etched. Yep. Says it all for you guys! You are one of a kind, in the best of ways!
btw....thank you!

Anonymous said...

I like seeing this side of you! Still able to make me laugh but with a touch of your own personality throw in for seasoning. I love it! BTW, I dated a Navy guy once. He treated me better than any of the other men in my life!! Now what happened to him?? Oh yeah. He deported.

Anonymous said...

"Leavenworth...a gated community" Priceless! I don't think I have found a more interesting blog to follow. I always get along with vets because, for one, I am a vet and because they have the most interesting tales to tell. I love seeing the difference in how soldiers were back then and how we are now isn't really that much different. I am glad to have met you and look forward to reading more!

Bill Lisleman said...

came over via Mrs. 4444's SS feature. Great descriptions
I enjoy tour around the aircraft carrier parked in San Diego.
I think about a week on an aircraft carrier would be OK if it was in a warm climate.
Thanks for your service.

Emily said...

Oh my, sure does sound like fun! I'm glad I found your blog through Saturday Sampling. It seems like you have many interesting stories to tell.

Matty said...

Oh my gosh John. What did you get yourself into there? That sounds like sooooo much fun. No wonder you didn't re-up.

Anonymous said...

Interesting video. I was on the Duncan, DDR 874 and remember some of those rides. What fun it was having to tie yourself into yer rack with white line or ending up durn near across the table when eating chow.
Being in M Div, I got to sleep aft under the fantail and the escape hatch to the main deck leaked like all get out. It was living in a constant rain shower... in our bedroom.
I was pretty durn happy when my orders to Nuke School came in, after which I got to ride FBMs in similar storms in the Artic Ocean at shallow depth. Well at least the hatches didn't leak.

Trav said...

December 1967, Duncan was in one really nasty storm while we shadowed a Russian Trawler. Two shipmates were seriously injured. We were relieved by a Sub, so that we could make a speed run to a base and get them into a hospital, then back out.
When we finally got back in, we went right back out, because the Pueblo had been taken. We were bot out long, that storm had bent the bow; into the yards at Long Beach.
It was "interesting" in the Chinese sense of the word.

Coffeypot said...

Hey Trav. Yep! Any sailor who has spent any time at sea has seen her might and fury. Also, go here and read about my ship. You may remember it:

I wasn't on her at the time, but I knew some who were.

trav said...

#5? From Snipe Land
As the Ship starts shooting "bullets", dodge about the Engine/Fire Rooms, avoiding all the knives and forks that were hidden in various nooks and crannies as they emerge at high velocity given to them by the recoil, noise, and whatever the those big "bullet" shooting guns do to the supposed structure of your aging home.

trav said...

Learn to never, ever again allow the inside of your forearm to come in contact with your nice, new, shiny USS Duncan belt buckle after standing around in the Fireroom for 10 minutes.
After the pain subsides, wonder if the ships figure and name are branded into your arm for life, or if those tattoos in Diego would be so bad afterall.

trav said...

You are told that the lock wire is too small. You most redrill the lockwire holes by .1 inch, and use heaver lockwire.

•One week later, you are told to redrill the holes another .075 inch and use a new special lockwire. Also ensure that at least 1&1/2 thread, but no more than three thread show beyond the lugnuts.
Rinse and repeat.

trav said...

Cover yourself from head to boondockers in spring bearing oil. Add a few splots of heavy black grease to face cap/white hat and dungs.
Slice your fingers on the razor sharp oil slinger ring edges of said shaft spring bearings.
Go top side to get a breath of fresh air.
Decide on appropriate remark when Deck Ape 3 tells ya to grab a needle gun and get BACK to work!

trav said...

Go to the bottom of a deep swimming pool with a garbage bag. Then have someone put it over your head and fill it with air while someone else holds you down. On the count of three they let you go and you scream Ho, Ho, Ho as you rocket to the surface. Sneer manfully at any blood flowing from ears and/or nose. You are congratulated for learning how to escape from a sunken Sub. However, don't worry, where you are going you will be far too deep to ever be able to use such technique.