Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
I guess to start off with I should provide some background
-The term “Panel Envy” was coined on my second boat (the one that rhymes with “I’m a turkey”) and describes how some poor young wire rates are anxious to qualify their watches in the maneuvering area. This allows them to be one of “the cool kids in d’box.” And, yes it’s the same general idea as “penis envy.”
-There is a phenomenon on certain submarines where if the left door to maneuvering is open, people in the box can here clearly what is said at the front of the left-hand turbo generator and visa versa.
-The ventilation bill on certain submarines may or may not indicate that one door to maneuvering be dogged and the other be “open for access.” Most alleged submarines interpret this to mean that one (the left one) is dogged and the other is undogged but shut. The EDMC on this ship directed that the right door be left open so that the watch standers in maneuvering could “hear the plant.” Please note that the EDMC also had several other policies that were contrary to common sense and often caused discomfort or other general trouble for non-mechanics.
This is really the story of two young second class petty officers and the near death experience that one of them almost had, at the behest of their watch section.
The first was a hard charging, buff mechanic. A proud Texan, he enjoyed working out and being seen in a positive light by his supervisors, we’ll call him “Scott.” Scott was qualified ERS and had his dolphins, was filling in as the LRYN and trying really hard to not go to EOOW/EWS training. The EDMC (mentioned above) recommended that Scott qualify Throttleman as it was a cool way to look good without actually going to more training, and he already knew most of what the watch did anyway. Scott qualified and never expected to stand anything other than a proficiency watch, maybe.
The second was a bookish pale blond perspective reactor operator. He had taken orders to the ship to be near his home and friends in Massachusetts. He enjoyed playing those really hard computer games and when he wasn’t doing that he enjoyed playing those really hard X-box/playstation2 games, we’ll call him Jake. Jake was qualified RT, AEA and SEO and was rapidly finishing his submarine and other qualifications (primarily because he wasn’t allowed to play his games underway without his dolphins). His other motivation was that he had some trouble with some evolutions on the RT watch station, lets just say that he had to do 25 pushups after each log set to maintain enough upper body strength to do the noisy part of steam generator chemistry. He had a habit of posting himself just out of sight on the left side of d’box so that he could hear what was happening with the “cool kids.” When someone would pass by, Jake would pretend to either be looking at some equipment or wiping down some dust bunnies.
As luck would have it, an electrician got sick, or kicked off of the boat or something and Scott got the Throttleman job for an entire underway. The SNOB, the senior second in RC division and the E division leading first were selected to round out his maneuvering watch team. And being the men they were, the games commenced.
I got involved, four weeks into a six week underway, when Scott walked by me and told me to “keep that little fag away from” him. It seems that the RO and EO were able to convince Scott that Jake was actually looking at him, and that all of his interest in d’box was actually homosexually directed at Scott. Scott was so homophobicly distressed, he was near taking physical action and I knew that if he did, he would have pretty much killed Jake. It took the remainder of the underway for me, the RCLPO and the MLPO to convince Scott that he and his virtue were safe. The EDMC was very displeased with the other guys involved but, how can you not laugh. After that, Jake qualified senior in rate and moved in to d’box and Scott went back to ERS (eventually qualified EWS). The irony is that they seemed to usually be in the same section, both underway and in port.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
The lack of Monday Jack this week was because of our preps for our mini-vacation (and because I was lazy). On Tuesday we went to northern Ohio, to the lake (Erie). We took the ferry to Kelly’s Island where we had lunch, rented a golf cart for sight seeing and visited the island’s winery, a very nice outing in itself. The ferry ride, the first since we returned from Europe was very enjoyable, I had forgotten how much that I miss being out on the water. B and H also enjoyed both the ride out and back. We returned via ferry and went to the Sandusky area to our hotel. We got a nice deal on a big room with four double beds (when things sound too good to be true…). The interesting thing is that when our room wasn’t being used for a room, it looks like a conference room or a small lounge. We found the old escape route plan and indeed, it was a lounge at one time.
On Wednesday, we went to Cedar Point and there was much fun, riding of fast and roundy-roundy rides and such. Even Jack had fun, as evidenced by the pictures, on his first outing to an amusement park. The day was wonderful, with temperatures in the low 80’s and the lake breeze kept things cool. There was a thunderhead that I watched all day but it passed to the south. Then the long ride home…. At least I took a nap. Back to the grind (ha ha) at the plant today, so enjoy the pictures.