Monday, January 08, 2007

U.S. Sub and Japanese Tanker Collide

It would seem that this has happened before, although (thankfully) this time, no one was injured, per the AP via Yahoo.

Apparently, while in the Arabian sea, just outside of the Straights of Hormuz, the USS Newport News SSN-750, collided bow to stern with a Japanese oil tanker.

Normally, I wouldn't comment on something like this right now, what with the incident just happening, and with the traffic in that area of the world, I am sure that it is just a matter of time before a submarine would collide with a surface ship in such a narrow passage, especially if the sub was at PD and there were many contacts out there. I do remember being in the section tracking party simulators while training for missions, with what seemed like hundereds of contacts in the "shipping lanes" that we just had to transit at PD...keeping everything in line was a full time job for the Sonar girls, the OOD, the JOOD, the FTs, the EM, and yours truly, the best plotter on the SSN-711. I truly hope for the best for this crew, but I am pretty sure that the CO, XO, Nav, and possibly the entire ships control party will feel the heat for this incident (which is the way of the Navy), even if it isn't their fault at all (as in the tanker wasn't following the rules of the road).

On the other hand, this day (Jan 8th, for those of you who are too lazy to look at the date) has special meaning for us current and, in my case, former San Francisco sailors. This was the day when, 2 years ago, all of our lives changed by another collision, not into another ship at low velocity with no damage or injuries, but into a mountian, at depth, full speed, horrible damage and many casualties. After talking to some of the guys that are still on the boat, they are remembering it like I am, specifically, by drinking. Hey, it is what we do.

We have been shown, in the last two weeks, that being a submariner can be dangerous, even in the best of times. With the incident on the MSP, and now this one (no injuries, thank GOD), it should serve as a reminder to all submariners, past, present and future, that our job was never to be taken lightly, and that the purpose of qualifying in Submarines was to insure that the best people were onboard, instead of allowing just anyone to run the (potentially) most dangerous machines on the planet (dangerous to the operators, as well as any tin pot dictator that is out there).

To all of you submariners, especially all of my buddies that went through that horrible day two years ago with me, here is to you, a toast to the best men in the world.

And another drink, for Cooter, who touched all of our hearts on the San Fran, whom we will never, ever forget, for as long as we live.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

OK Celina, this one is for you.

Recently, I had the pleasure to have a good group project, in which we researched a "cutting edge medical practice that has contreversy....blah...blah...blah" and, well, my group decided on Medical Microchips. Suffice it to say that it was interesting, and I learned a let's get started!

First of all, some background. There is a company out there that makes implantable microchips, called RFID (Radio Frequency ID), which has a number associated with it, and can be read with a proper reader at a range of about 2", which could then (in theory) access a data bank (that the person supplies info to) that contains info such as medical records, or a bank account (for purchases), and pretty much anything that you can think of.

So, after researching some of it, and learning a lot about the strengths and weaknesses of the technology, I have determined that it is pretty safe, at least about as safe as shopping online, or most other things that we take for granted. However, some people don't think so.

Enter the "tin foil hat" people! These people are freaking nuts! They think that the government, you know, the people who can't track and count the number of illegal aliens in the country, has already implanted a lot of people with this technology, and is tracking them from space! Now, why would the government do that? Maybe it is possible, with GPS, to have a small transmitter implanted into a person (for a short time, until the batteries run out), and track them wherever they go!!

Now, I ask you, how in the name of hell can this happen? First of all, I think I would notice some missing time required for the procedure...and I am a pretty light sleeper, so I would know if they came into my room to put me under. Second of all, I have no new scars, so I guess that Big Brother isn't tracking me (yet!!!). Third....why would they need to do this? Does the government really want to know that I woke up at home today, went to class, went to the gym, went home, took a nap, went outside to smoke....really? Some dude at the NSA must have a more boring life than I do, watching that shit all day long.

These "tin foil hat" people are the same people who think that the government goes through their trash, or that their shit goes to some secret lab to be analyzed, or that the fluoride put in the water is for chemical mind control, or that the jet contrails in the air are really a form of particulate mind control to keep to population docile (works pretty well in the big cities, doesn't it?).

OK, so, I am not one to say "let's trust the government with everything", but come on! Can you imagine how many people would be keeping that secret from other people. I could see it now! The "microchip injection technician" for Las Cruces, NM, comes home one morning (because he only implants those things for George W. Bush in the middle of the night...on second thought, Karl Rove is the leader of this fantasy) to his wife and kids...who were the first to be implanted. Wifey asks him how his night was at Wal Mart (because that is one of like 3 places that are 24 hour here). What does dude say? I mean, could he keep up the farce that he has been on the midnight crew at Wal Mart for 7 years without being able to change shifts to day crew? Would he be able to keep his secret implantation techniques away from his wife, whom he trusts with everything? She lives with him, for God's sake, and she is a woman, so she will find out that he doesn't work at Wal Mart (or the hospital, or Village Inn), and that he was lying.

So, the Wife knows about the super secret government program. And she will tell her sister, because her hubby is better than her sister's, and her sister tells mom, who tells the whole damn town.

How in the name of hell did they keep this secret for so damn long? Did they use no one but bachelors for this program (yah right, then all of the Bar Flys would know the secrets). Maybe they used Eunuchs for it...they aren't married, they won't be trying to impress some chick for a little piece, so they can't spill the beans. Perfect!

Oh wait, what kind of man would volunteer to get his family jewels cut off? So, that is a new conspiracy secret...some doctors who castrated a bunch of dudes for the government. How do they keep THAT secret? I mean, dudes disappearing for a few days, coming back with no memory...and no balls?

OK, so this is getting too complex for me to ponder. I guess that is why I should just let these intellectual powerhouses that think up these theories to keep me safe from Big Brother, just as much as I trust Al Gore and the church of Global Warming to keep my soul safe for Gaia (hey, I may just have my new topic!).

Friday, October 20, 2006

Interesting news of note

I found this article earlier today, and just decided to comment on it. It is about a 16 year old girl in Atlanta who wanted to commit suicide. She was driving (in daddy's Mercedez) down the highway and swerved into oncoming traffic, slamming into a Daewoo coming the other direction, carrying a mother and her 6 year old child.
The ensuing crash killed the mother and injured the child, while the suicidal girl came out with minor injuries. The thing about it is, the girl was text messaging her count down to another girl, one who goes to the same school, this one. The girl that was getting the texts had earlier rebuffed the 16 year olds sexual advances. That is right, the little bitch wanted to kill herself after she tried to get another girl to lick her box, and, instead of taking herself out, she killed an innocent woman, hurt a child, and destroyed a family.
So, I just wonder what the punishment for this murderer is going to be. She was obviously out of her mind, trying to kill herself, but she failed that, and took someone else out with her. Will she get life in prison (which is what the prosecutor is looking for), or will she be able to cop out with an insanity plea?
And what kind of legal precident does that imply, if someone attempts suicide, and instead kills someone else? Will this be an easy out for people who want to murder someone, get in the car, "try" to commit suicide by running into a telephone pole, and accidently hit a pedestrian (who happens to be your most hated enemy) before hitting the pole, and claiming insanity because you were distracted by texting your suicide note on your cell phone to finish the job?
I will never understand why anyone would ever commit suicide, let alone do such a bad job of it to fail to take yourself, instead claiming another life. Is life for this 16 year old girl really that bad, when Dad will let her drive the Benz when she wants (to kill herself), and that she got rejected by some other chick. Hell, if I tried to off myself every time I was rejected by some woman, I would be dead many times over (as would pretty much every man in the world). Maybe this is a lesson for all of the budding lesbians, it isn't all chocolate and roses (or would that be Birkenstocks and flanel) when in the dating game, trying to get a woman to...well you know.
All in all, I do hope that this little rug muncher gets life in prision, where she can munch as much rug as Agnes in cell block A can provide her with. Then, maybe she will learn the lesson, that life is worth living, with the good and the bad, and that ending it in the most cowardly way is just that, the cowards way out.

Oh, and if you (my wonderful reader) takes offence to this, then you can just GKY*.

*Go Kill Yourself

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Lowest Common Denominator

First of all, to all five of you who actually read this, I apologize for this rant, because it is a re-hash of an earlier post. But what the hell, it is the situation I am in right now, and I have a right to complain about it, right?

So I will get right down to it. The lowest common denominator. Used in math for addition of factors, where you figure out what number you must multiply your fractions by to get them to the same denominator, making it simple to sum them up. A simple process, one that a person who has the development beyond the 4th grade in elementary can understand. My question is, why do some people insist on teaching to the lowest common denominator? While attending this fine scholastic institution known as New Mexico State University, I have the pleasure of taking Physics for Engineers and Scientists...Basically a watered down version of vector algebra (which I am also taking at the same time, but that is beside the point). It is a class with 80-ish people in it, so no one gets much attention from the Ph.D. that instructs us. It is a Sophomore level class, intended to re-enforce other classes (of which you must have a good background in math to get into). There are university ordained guidelines to make sure that, say, and idiot from the education department could not take the class unless they were able to take Calculus, or another "high" math, so they have the background to take the class.
Well, it seems that the Physics department doesn't understand that people will come it with a working knowledge of trigonometry, i.e. how to figure out an angle, or the sides of a freaking triangle. We have been going over a vector problem in this class for 2 days (that is 2 hours), and we are barely through it. It isn't a hard problem, it is just that, well, they teach to the lowest common denominator.

Imagine if you will, you are learning something that is relatively new to you, let us say, how to build a bookcase. What would you expect to learn in this class? You may learn how to make certain cuts of wood (assume you are building it from scratch), measure out the pieces that you want, nail the damn things together, and then stain it (any carpenters out there, don't berate me for not explaining how to build a bookcase, this is a metaphor, not actual instructions). Well, what if, to learn how to build this bookcase, your class had 80 people in it, who have all taken (or learned in some way) how to build stuff with wood. You would assume that you will be able to learn how to build a bookcase in the first day, and then put a few together, learn some techniques for adding more features to your bookcase....doors, glass facing, lighting, etc....However, instead of the instructor assuming that you know what the hell a hammer is, he assumes that 5% of the class have no idea what a hammer, a nail, or even wood is. So, instead of going ahead, and teaching the 95% of people who have a clue (some may not know how to hammer very well, or some may be bad at staining, but all know what a hammer and nails are), said instructor decides to catch the lagging 5% up, and teach the basics.

This is a hammer, it is used to hammer nails into the wood. Remember what wood is? This is wood...yes, that is plastic, this is wood.

You see how frustrating this would be, don't you?

I don't claim to be the smartest person in the world, but, for God's sake, please don't treat the majority of a friggin college level class like they are in the 1st grade. I felt like it was time for a snack and nap, right after finger painting, at the pace we were going.

Why are our colleges wasting time and money on allowing Ph.D.s to NOT teach 70-ish people, just because 10-ish shouldn't be in that class? I have noticed this, in the past 2 1/2 semesters I have enjoyed being at NMSU, that, any class that doesn't have ME before it, is a waste of time. They assume that people don't know anything at all about anything, and teach from there. I have an idea, just assume that I don't speak English, and then start teaching me the language in Physics class, so I can have a background when you start teaching the numbers, colors, and how to piss standing up.

I feel really sorry for some of these people that are going through this type of instruction, they are learning one thing only, that to get a degree, all you have to do is be the lowest common denominator and skate right on by. They will do great at their next job...."Would you like fries with that?"

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I reserve the right to not care about any of the grammatical and spelling errors found within

So, I guess I should write in this thing again, seeing as how it has been a while, but I have been busy, so I have a pretty good excuse to not write my ramblings. College is going well, if not totally busy (so busy that I am quitting my job...not that I need it), and I don't really have a life anymore (wait, I never had a life). So all is good on the homefront.

I am getting pretty entertained by all of the political commercials, as well as the screeching on the internet, and of course the "news" that is put out there about anything and everything. I swear, some people are just getting more and should I put time goes by. What ever happened to "do unto others" and other golden rules of classy behavior (not saying I am civilized, but I seem more so than these people). Go on and look for yourself and tell me you are not laughing you ass off at these people for making an ass of themselves. What some people do for power.

On the other hand, I guess we just have to live with it. At least we don't go around be-heading people, or burning churches, or shooting nuns in the back. When it gets that bad here, then we know we are in trouble, and our bonds of civilization have been broken for good. I for one hope that the vocal ones take this advise that I will paraphrase:

It is better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and prove it.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Well, here I am, in my second year of college at the great NMSU, and boy howdy is it great! Not really that great, I mean, tuition is up (to pay for dorms that many people won't use), parking sucks (because of all of the construction), and, well, I just really wish I didn't have to take some of the useless classes that I am taking. Oh well, that is the price I have to pay to get a degree, and it isn't that much of a price to pay, I mean, tuition is only a little over $2000, so I can't complain.

As far as the classes, they are pretty easy. Calc III, Phys for Engineers, and Statics are the exact same things right now, so I really have 1 class for the price of 3, which makes it a piece of cake when you think about it. And it is all for a good thing, i.e. me making tons of money when I get a real job!

That is pretty much all, I have to work on homework shit for my Tech Writing class (like I haven't written FWPs before), so, untill next time!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Ranch

So, it has been two weeks of "flash flood watch" for, well, most of this state. The temperature has been downright winter-like, if you consider 68F winter, which is pretty close to the truth here, but I digress, this isn't about the weather, this is about my trip to my Dad's ranch this weekend.

The Ranch, which is located about 25 miles south of Tucumcari, NM, has been dry as a bone this year, as well as last year. Most of the people around there don't remember when it was ever drier in that area (hint, it was the dust bowl), but the drought has been pretty bad. I think it is over.

I got to the ranch on Friday, after they recieved 3" of rain, filling up a lot of dirt tanks and muddying up the road. The whole way, all 6 hours of driving, the grass was green, and I saw several herds of antilope, the first I had seen so many since I was about 9. All of the cattle seemed to be pretty happy about the rain and the cool weather, since they were pretty frisky and eating as much of the green grassy stubble as they could get into their mouth.

Well, come Saturday, I woke up to a nice drizzle, which is very rare in NM. Dad and I went to the part of the ranch located on the mesa (which they live at the base) to see their "lake". Turns out that about 25 acres of the ranch is covered with water, making a small lake that is about 15' deep in the middle!!!

They were pretty happy about it, the fact that they aren't going to burn up in a fire caused by a random lightening strike, so I am happy for them. I really wish I could spend more time up there, since I am sure they need help with random crap (building fence, ripping those damn cacti out of the ground, etc.), but I don't have the time to go up there, not now, but hey, that is the price I pay to become an Engineer.

Along those lines, school starts this Thrusday, and I am looking foward to it. I am not looking foward to some of the dumb-asses that I have to put up with in those classes, but definatly looking foward to the classes themselves, which can be interesting, if a little easy.