Thursday, December 5, 2019

Why did the black cat cross the yard and other fun questions

As I was out hanging up freshly laundered bed sheets this morning I espied a visitor.

It was the neighborhood black cat, of course. This cat I choose to call Brutus for no good reason. The cat meandered his/her way across the neighbor's back yard. Handsome cat imo.

I understand that across most of the nation it is now eye-leegul to hang laundry outside for drying. Using sun and wind to dry clothes causes global warming. You have to use an electrical clothes dryer powered by fossil fuels. It's vital to put more carbon in the air by using an electrical appliance because the carbon generated in this responsible fashion actually hunts down and kills murder carbon. Also, hanging laundry outside causes very severe and horrible victimization of people who worship greta and eat lead paint and other cornstitutionally garn-teed freedoms. Butt I digress.

Why did Brutus cross the neighbor's yard? Because he/she felt like it. Cats do what cats do because it's what cats do.

Another fun question is this: Why were people looking at me funny yesterday?

There's no way to know for sure. Maybe I look like the ax murderer featured on 'merka's most wanted last night. Maybe a lot of people realized they were in the presence of greatness. More likely the answer is the same as for the previous question. Because people do what people do because it's what people do.

By far the most likely answer, however, is that my face looked funny. You see, my cordless razor ran out of juice halfway through my morning shave yesterday, and I got called away before I could complete the job. Then I forgot that I needed to complete the job. This morning I remembered though, and the razor was fully charged.

Today I'm unsure why people continue to look at me funny. My face is evenly shaved, including on both sides. I'm thinking it's probably that "presence of greatness" thing.

The final fun question for the day is this: Did they change the traffic laws when I wasn't paying attention? Today on three separate occasions vehicles ahead of me signaled left, moved into the turn lane, then suddenly turned right, directly across my path. Good thing I are a defensive kinda driver. Not everyone is. It seems a bit dangerous to me, that whole suddenly cutting across traffic to make a turn thing, but I ain't in charge of the laws. I'm just wondering if I'm doing it wrong. I'm pretty sure turning across traffic like that was forbidden when I learned to drive, but I can sure see where someone could be victimized by having to follow such a restrictive regulation. We can't have that!

Having not really answered those questions, I set out to do the day's stuff.

While checking cows I was able to get over to the well switch for the first time since the storm. My plan was to shut the well off. That way the cattle will drink the stock tank with the not-very-well fixed float down, making it easier for me to adjust the float properly (for certain values of properly) tomorrow. But of course...(sorry 'bout the sideways video. Eww-toobe knows better than I what the proper orientation should be. Thank goodness for al-gore-ithms).

Having turned the switch off I got to work. Same excuse for the sidewize video presentation.

Hey presto, fixed! And not mis-oriented (although that is a judgement which victimizes eww-toobe). Also a very pretty if cool, gray, and overcast morning.

There was a ray of sunshine, which Red took full advantage of.

Then it was onward and upward to more better things!

More stock tank and cow stuff.

Finished with the cattle I got stuck in to loading scrap in the ROF. The Bobcat did yeoman service. Driven correctly it can handle snow and ice with little problem. I got a lot of stuff loaded, and as tomorrow and Saturday are forecast to be quite warm and nice I should be able to finish filling the box. If all goes as presently planned. Which it won't. so we'll have to see what actually happens.

I was going to make the moving pictures of Bobcat scrap ops, but I got busy working and forgot to document. Need to get me one of those go-amateur cameras with the headband thingy or something.

Instead of that, how about this? UNREP training film from 1965. Very top secret and for officers only! Now I know why UNREP's could so quickly devolve into a straight up romeo foxtrot. Nevertheless, this video brings back a lot of fond memories. And the guys featured here were the guys who came just before me. Pretty cool.

Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.


  1. Seems like they were fairly dressy during a couple of those unrep scenes.
    What I remember mostly is that everyone was eligible to be a line handler during refueling.
    We used no winches.

    1. Yeah, I noticed that. Some guys dreaming of hollywood careers. Some CO's dreaming of looking good rather than being good.

      That last sentence makes me think "Winches, we don't need no steenking winches!"

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. Wow! VERTREP , with a Seahorse! Not quite the lift capability of a Phrog!

  3. The BadgerDaf was a storekeeper on USS ALDEBERAN, during the early 1950's. He saved some of his paperwork, including hold charts. It's hard to imagine five tons of ketchup.

    1. Hard to imagine ketchup on a navy ship. No ketchup in my day. Or mustard, or mayo, or pickles. Texas pete hot sauce and the British HP garbage.

  4. When VERTREPing a CVN, so the carriers helos pitch in, or do they stay out of the way?

    1. We left the VERTREP to the pros. That shit is dangerous!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Scott!

  5. 14 days aboard the General Maurice Rose January 1964 from Brooklyn to Bremerhaven is my one and only experience at sea. Reinforced my decision to walk to work. Seeing that clip was interesting but I wonder how it is done with waves coming across the decks. There were a few days I wondered if we were on a submarine.

    1. It's not done at all in bad weather. But it was often done in what I would call bad weather. If the call came we had to be able to nuke the rooskies regardless of the weather. Makes sense, but sometimes there was a lot more risk than you like.

  6. Cold, rainy, and overcast today. Only got up to 43* or so.

    I've seen UNREP taking places a few times. A day or so out of Long Beach we came across an Arleigh Burke class DDG taking on stores, and another time coming back in we saw another UNREP, but I don't remember what other ship was getting the goods.

    1. It's a good skill for a blue water navy to have. Don't know how things are done today, but some of the unreps I participated in were epic.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting drjim!

  7. I have a theory on the drivers moving left, signaling left, then rapidly turning the rudder hard over to head across your bow - They performed a "Crazy Ivan" to clear their baffles, or something.

    Cats do whatever they want, whenever they want. It's why some folks don't like 'em, it's precisely why I like 'em. They've minds of their own, something some humans could learn from.

    Pretty darn pretty indeed!

    1. Next one pulls a Crazy Ivan on me gets a MK-48 up the baffles!!!

      Yeah, I love cats. Not in my house, mind, but I love the darn things.

      It gets pretty out a lot around here. I'm blessed.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Sarge!

  8. Nothing smells as good as line dried sheets. Miss having a clothesline here at the hovel.

    The Cowman and I strung a couple miles of high tensile wire fence in order to keep the damn elk out of a flat. Worked for the most part, but there were a couple times when they simply piled up against it and pushed until they brought it down.
    The Cowman was a tight fence fanatic, and made sure the rest of us were too.

    1. Line dried sheets make for good sleeping!

      I'm a "it's a dynamic world and that's there is a dynamic fence" kinda guy. And I hate that high tensile stuff! Cut your finger off just looking at it!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Brig!

  9. UNREP/RAS is not fun in heavy weather, nor is it very safe, but while you can go on short rations for a few days, the thirsty boilers insist on a steady ration of fuel. Sticky, foul NSFO (Savy standard fuel oil) during WW2 through the early 1960s, then DFM (diesel fuel marine) until boilers were abandoned in favor of jet boats which I think like JP-5 and also reduces the variety of liquid cargo needed.

    Here are some links for USS DAMATO (DD-871) fueling in the North Atlantic 1971.
    First two photos- ROMEO closed up, making their approach.
    Third photo- click on the enlarged version and you can see that they have a shotline across to the forward fueling station on the 01 level by the torpedo tubes, and are pulling in the phone and distance line. The Bosn's mates/riggers in yellow helmets look like they have another messenger and are beginning to haul over the spanwire to connect to the white painted fittings on the bulkhead. This was before the FRAM DDs had the probe receivers, so they will have to stick the hose pigtail down the refueling trunk.

    Every one is hanging on, and some may have some sort of lifeline connecting them to the ship. The safety observer in white helmet is hanging onto the starboard torpedo tubes.

    And, sometimes it really was too rough to do- see USS Astoria (CL-90) January 1945 attempt in an interesting newsletter:

    But, in nice weather you can UNREP while the airdales go flying- as with this F6F taking off from USS Hancock ca 1944.

    For a good history of underway replenishment 1898 to date, see:

    John Blackshoe- when you're out of FRAMS, you're out of cans!

  10. Holy crap John, that's one heck of a rabbit hole! Thanks for those links. ;-)

    I spent a lot of time as the UNREP duty corpsman standing by near CV/CVN refueling stations and I was always amazed at the process and what real sailors do. I got wet a lot during these evolutions but never washed around or even close. For some reason they wanted the doc miserable but instantly available. ;-) I saw lots of bumps and bruises but never a serious injury. All of my own personal derring-do bullshit pales in comparison to the stuff that real sailors do routinely.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!