Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mark Your Calendars: Bike to Work Day 21 May

Heads-Up:  Friday, 21 May 2010 is the Washington Area Bike to Work Day.
For those of you who live close enough, give it a shot!  It's great for exercise and avoids the traffic. 

For those of you who like to PT in the mornings, like me, beware!  I found out it was Bike to Work Day the hard way last year.  I went out for a run on the Mount Vernon Trail that morning and felt like a salmon struggling against the current to swim upstream.  There were a LOT of bikes on the Mount Vernon Trail that day.  It might be a good day to do your run inside on the treadmill to avoid becoming road-kill.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


On long car rides and paddling excursions, the boys like to play their version of 20-questions.  They just don't like limiting it to only twenty.  They prefer to keep asking questions until they figure out the answer.

Poor 6-year old YB's turn never lasts more than 3 questions.  He always picks something he saw immediately before playing the game.  For example:
[Eagle flies by.]
Me:  "Oh, look!  An eagle!"
YB:  "Okay, I'm ready."
ES:  "Is it an eagle?"
YB:  [exasperated]  "Yeeeees" [tone of voice interpretation:  how do you ALWAYS know what I'm thinking???]

ES has been throwing me for a loop lately.  During our Monocacy River kayaking trip on Saturday, he stumped me.  After what seemed like a hundred questions, I had figured out it was a previous ruler of Germany, but my level of knowledge of German history isn't all that great.  ES gave me a hint:  "Unification."  Still stumped, I finally gave up, and ES said, "Otto von Bismarck!"



You're 8 years old.

How on EARTH do you know ANYTHING about Otto von Bismarck???

ES likes to play the video game Civilization - a sort of grand-strategy, global domination simulation game.  I guess Otto von Bismarck is one of the characters / leaders you can choose to be in the game, and ES didn't know who that was, so he looked him up on Wikipedia and read about him. 

Who says video games aren't educational?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Board Preps Reminder

It's that time of year again, so I'm reposting last year's post (updated with this year's dates).

Heads-up / Reminder:
The FY11 Submarine CO/XO Screening Board
convenes 17-21 24-28 May.

Update 12 May 2010:  From the Pers-42 Facebook page

The FY11 Submarine CO/XO Board will be held from 24 – 28 MAY 2010. Officers desiring to submit items to the Board should utilize the Customer Service Center; details can be found at the attached link. The cutoff for submitting correspondence to the Board will be midnight (CDT) 21 MAY 2010.

At this year's board, Year Groups (YGs) 94, 95, and 96 will be considered for CO, and YGs 99, 00, and 01 will be considered for XO.

If you are an 1120 (submarine officer) in one of those year groups, and you HAVEN'T received an email telling you the percentages and number of quotas for this year, then please drop me an email and I'll forward it to you.

If you are in YG 94 or 99 and this is your LAST LOOK for CO or XO, then you SHOULD receive a letter from Navy Personnel Command (NPC) that tells you what the possible outcomes of this board are for you. Again, if you fall into this category, then drop me an email and I will forward you a copy of the standard letter. You should make sure your detailer has your up-to-date contact information so (a) they can send this letter, and (b) they can contact you if anything is missing from your record.

The guys who are assigned to commands in the submarine force will have the benefit of their CO receiving a letter explaining the possible outcomes for you so they can discuss it with you. The problem arises when someone is on shore duty in a tour outside the submarine force (like joint duty jobs) and is "out of the loop" so to speak and may not receive this information.

Now is a good time to review your service record and make sure it is up to date before the board. If anything is missing, you have just enough time NOW to send it in to the board. Take heed from this email sent out around the Pentagon 1120's (last year):
Board Checklist: A copy of the checklist is posted on the PERS-42 website. The importance of an officer checking his own record cannot be overemphasized. All officers being considered are strongly encouraged to review their records for accuracy. Web Enabled Record Review is available online (details in NAVADMIN 011/09) which simplifies personnel record review. This capability eliminates the need to order a CD and provides every officer an opportunity to view the same records available to Board Members. Missing information should be forwarded using the procedures posted on the NPC website. Letters should be addressed to President, FY11 Submarine CO/XO Screening Board (Board #350). Details on the submission process are available at HTTP://WWW.NPC.NAVY.MIL/BOARDS/ACTIVEDUTYOFFICER/. Note that letters to the Board do not update the official personnel record. Additional information on personnel records management can be found at HTTP://WWW.NPC.NAVY.MIL/CAREERINFO/RECORDSMANAGEMENT/.
From personal experience, you really do need to review your record. I was surprised. Prior to the last promotion board, I reviewed my record and discovered my end-of-tour award from my previous shore tour was missing from my record. I followed the procedures to get it added back then.

This time around, I checked my record again, and found that same award is not reflected on my Officer Data Card (ODC) on the NPC website, even though it DOES show up on the Navy Awards website (NDAWS). So I had to jump through the hoops to fax it in AGAIN.

Like I said, even if you checked your record last time you went before a board and everything was up to date, CHECK IT AGAIN!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pentagon Gouge: Alphabet Soup




"The Color of Money"

I have yet to be in a budgetary type job in the Navy (knock on wood). My current job has some tangential involvement with budgetary issues, and the acronyms have made my head spin at times.

If you've never done a budgetary type of job and are getting overwhelmed by acronyms, here is a list of the categories of appropriation. I read it and said, "ahhhhhhhh, so THAT'S what that means!" The article cites "CHINFO" as the source, but I couldn't find any CHINFO documents when I googled it. Because documents come and go on the internet, I'm going to copy over the basic definitions here in case the rest of the article gets taken off the net.
Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy (SCN) — construction of new ships plus
certain modification and overhaul of existing ships, including nuclear refueling
and service life extension programs

Aircraft Procurement, Navy (APN) — procurement of new aircraft,
modifications to existing aircraft, and spare parts

Weapons Procurement, Navy (WPN) — procurement of strategic and tactical
missiles, satellites, torpedoes, guns, and other weapons; ammunition and other
ordnance; spare parts; and support equipment

Other Procurement, Navy (OPN) — procurement of ship and aviation support
equipment, communication and electronic equipment, ordnance support
equipment, civil engineer support equipment, supply and personnel/command
support equipment, and spare and repair parts

Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) — research,
development, and evaluation in the areas of basic research and technology
development, advanced technology development, strategic and tactical programs,
intelligence and communication programs, and overhead and support costs of the
Navy's RDT&E effort

National Defense Sealift Fund (NDSF) — RDT&E, purchase, construction,
conversion, and lease of sealift ships

Military Personnel, Navy (MPN)/Marine Corps (MPMC) — allowances,
individual clothing, interest on deposits, pay, permanent change of station travel,
and expenses of temporary duty travel between permanent duty stations

Reserve Personnel, Navy (RPN)/Marine Corps (RPMC) — pay, allowances,
clothing, subsistence, gratuities, travel, and related expenses for personnel of the
Marine Corps and Naval Reserve on active duty or while undergoing Reserve
training or while performing drills or equivalent duty

Operation and Maintenance, Navy (O&MN)/Marine Corps (O&MMC)
expenses necessary for support of the Fleet, civilian employee pay, travel and
transportation, training, consumable supplies, recruiting and advertising, base
operations, and base communications and subsistence

Operations and Maintenance, Naval Reserve (O&MNR)/Marine Corps Reserve (O&MMCR) — expenses necessary for the operation and maintenance
of Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Force aircraft, ships, and operation of other
units including Mobile Inshore Undersea forces, Reserve Naval Construction
Force, and Cargo Handling Battalions; aircraft flying hours, underway steaming
hours, regular ship overhauls, ship maintenance and modernization, and aircraft
depot level maintenance in addition to base operations and administrative support

Procurement, Marine Corps (PMC) — expenses necessary for procurement and
manufacture of ammunition, weapons and tracked combat vehicles, guided
missiles and equipment, communication and electronics, support vehicles,
engineer and other equipment, and spare and repair parts

The following Navy appropriations include functional areas for which the Marine
Corps programs and budgets its own share. The complete TOA for the Marine
Corps includes both the Marine-unique appropriations above, as well resources
from the following appropriations:

Military Construction, Navy (MCN) — acquisition, construction and
installation of permanent public works, naval installations, and facilities for the
Navy and the Marine Corps

Family Housing, Navy & Marine Corps (FHN&MC) — construction,
maintenance, repair, and design of Navy and Marine Corps housing and ancillary
facilities required at bases and stations
Military Construction, Navy Reserve (MCNR) — construction, acquisition,
expansion, rehabilitation, and conversion of facilities for the training and
administration of the reserve components of the Navy and Marine Corps

I am still NOT an expert on budgetary / appropriations issues, but something else I've learned along the way is that each appropriation category has different rules. Some money HAS to be used in the current fiscal year or it goes away. Some money is "two year money." Some money is "three year money."

Oh, and you can't transfer money from one category to another. For example, you can't use RDT&E funds to pay for a shortfall in Operations and Maintenance. Likewise, you can't use OMN funds to fund the development of someone's science project to build a new experimental sensor or communications system.

For the more experienced readers in the audience, are there resources you recommend for learning the rules of what you can and can't do with different colors of money?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Paddle Log #13: Monocacy River Bluebells

Saturday the Monocacy Canoe Club (MCC) hosted a "Bluebells" paddle down the Monocacy River.  This event was named after the bluebell flowers that are all in bloom along the banks of the river.  Overall, it was a GREAT day on the water.


I wasn't sure we were going to get to go paddling yesterday.  The weather reports have been calling for rain, rain, and more rain all weekend.  I told myself all week that I would wait until Friday to make a determination and kept hoping for the forecast to change.  Sure enough, late Friday, the forecast changed and said the rain wouldn't come until later in the afternoon, so I decided to go for it.

We put in here at the bridge where Mumma Ford Road crosses the Monocacy River.  (For a map of the Monocacy River with each of the put-in points, click here.)  There was limited parking available here (about 3 cars on the west side of the river where we put in, maybe room for another 3 on the other side of the river).  It was about a hundred yard walk from the car down a dirt path to the water's edge as seen in the picture above.

During the drive up to Frederick, it was a beautiful 64-degree sunny morning.  As soon as we got to the river, I broke out my digital thermometer and checked to see if we met the 120 thumbrule (air temp + water temp = at least 120 to go kayaking without cold weather gear).

120 Rule - Check!

Level-of-difficulty wise, this trip was similar to the Goose Creek trip we did last summer.  There were several very small patches of water where the current picked up and we brushed up a few rocks here and there, but nothing too challenging.   Oh, except for the dam...

There was a small dam that we had to portage around on the left side (1.3 miles downstream from where we put in at Mumma Ford Road), but it has a nice concrete landing area to pull up, get out of your boat, stretch your legs, and carry your boat down.

Landing on left side of river just before the dam.

It was a really nice, calm day on the water.  There were two couples in canoes, another couple and another family from Virginia in kayaks on this trip (2 canoes and 7 kayaks total).  Now that 8 year old ES has seen another 8 year old out in his own kayak, ES has informed me he wants his own kayak, too.

Peaceful day on the Monocacy River

The bluebells were in bloom everywhere along the banks of the river.

LeGore Bridge (built 1898-1900)
We passed this beautiful old stone-arch bridge along the way.

Gentle Rain

As I mentioned, the forecast had called for rain.  When we got underway, it was sunny and nice out, so I just took our rain coats and stuck them in our dry bag.  About 12:30, it started to very gently rain, so we pulled out our rain coats and put them on.  It only rained for about an hour and then stopped for the rest of our trip, but it knocked the air temperature down three degrees from 64 to 61F. 

Gear Update.  This was our first time out with a few new items of gear.  Because it was our first time out for the season and still teetering on the edge of that 120-rule, and because of the chance of rain while we were out, I went in seach of some things to keep the boys dry and comfortable. 

Cascade Rain Pants

I picked up a couple of pairs of Cascade Rain Pants from the REI website.  They were almost perfect for our trip.  The boys willingly put them on before we got underway.  They wore a light pair of pants underneath for warmth, and the rain pants are just a waterproof material to keep them dry.  My only complaint about them is that the velcro at the ankle cuffs was sewn on by somebody who doesn't understand the purpose of putting velcro there.  The soft part of the velcro wasn't put in a position where you could tighten the pant leg around the boys' ankles and attach the hard part of the velcro.  The pants were a little long, so the boys ended up stepping on them a lot.  Other than that though, they were awesome.

NRS Hydroskin Socks

I was also concerned about the boys' feet staying dry and not getting too cold.  I didn't want to buy a pair of scuba booties like mine though, because they'll just outgrow them right away.  Instead, at EMS I found these NRS hydroskin socks.  I figured they should last a little longer / not get outgrown as quickly as a fitted-shoe type of footwear.  We didn't put them on at first.  In fact, I even kept the tags on them and kept them in our dry bag.  If we didn't end up needing them, I just figured I would take them back and return them.  However, we stopped for lunch at a sandbar along the way and it was lightly raining.  The boys feet were getting a little cold and wet, so I put the hydroskin socks on, and they were perfectly cozy and comfortable the rest of the day.

Kokatat Jacket

This was my first time using the Kokatat paddling jacket that my MIL gave me for my birthday.  I can't find a link to the exact product I have, but it is like this pullover but without the hood.  It was easy to put on and cinch the wrist cuffs shut with velcro.  It was very comfortable and dry, and it didn't restrict my movement at all while paddling. 

Now, before anyone scolds me for the photo of the rain pants above, YES, I will be buying ES a new life-jacket.  He has apparently out-grown his PFD and was complaining that he had trouble breathing when it was zipped all the way up.  He still had the belt with the buckle fastened.  I figured the risk was mitigated by the fact the water was calm and only 2 feet deep and he's a good swimmer, but one of the other people on the trip is a water safety instructor and chastised me for not making him keep the jacket zipped up.

Lunch Stop

Wildlife.  We did see adorable baby ducklings, an eagle, a heron, and an osprey came flying low over our heads with a fish grasped in its talons.  Unfortunately, I wasn't quick enough with my camera to get any good shots of them.

Some stats for the paddle log:
  • Date: 24 April 2010
  • Time In: 11:00 a.m. (approx)
  • Time Out: 4:00 p.m. (approx)
  • Elapsed: ~5 hours
  • Moving Time (GPS):  3 hrs 18 minutes
    Stopped Time (GPS):  1 hr 55 minutes (see below)
  • Mileage: 8.79 miles by GPS
  • Sea State: 0
  • Winds: 0
  • Air Temp: 64F initially then dropped to 61F when the rain started about 12:30.
  • Water Temp: 61F
  • Current:   (Discharge) 480 cf/s (about half the median daily value) (source)
  • Gauge Height:  2.45 feet (source)
  • Avg Speed (GPS):  2.7 mph
  • Max Speed by (GPS):  5.8 mph
  • Rapids?  Not really. There were several quick spots with some rocks to dodge, but I don't think any of them were above a level 1 rapids. The worst was just before the LeGore bridge and one of the canoes in our group capsized there. We got by on the right hand side there without any trouble. 
  • Hazards?  The dam 1.3 miles downstream of Mumma Ford Road.  There's a nice concrete apron on the left to take-out and portage around the dam.
  • Kit: Our Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL and paddles. Flop hat & sunglasses.  NRS paddling gloves. Long sleeve shirt, long pants, old Brooks sneakers, Kokatat paddling jacket (first time).
  • Configuration: I sat in the back seat, ES in the middle, YB in the front.  We were weighed down pretty well in the back.  One of the other paddlers recommended shifting some weight forward to even out our keel, so I put our dry bag up on the bow.
  • Route:  Put-in at Mumma-Ford Road (2.2 miles upstream of Rt. 77 which is mile marker 0 on the map), took out at Creagerstown Park (point 3 on the map).  The other club members said a lot of people put-in at Rt. 77 to avoid the dam 1.3 miles downstream of Mumma Ford.  See Garmin Connect for the track from my Forerunner. For some reason it has a stray data point back near our house at the beginning and then shoots up to the Monocacy River.  It was set to zero and I pushed start right as we got in the water.  Anyone know how to delete erroneous data points from Garmin Connect? 
  • Other comments (such as wildlife spotted): Ducklings, eagles, herons, osprey with fish in talons.
 Watering the Bluebells

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Contest Time! Free Flag!

The first Navy jack was adopted in 1775 by the continental navy.  For a while, it was flown by the oldest ship in commissioned service.  Since 2001, it has been flown by all ships of the U.S. Navy during the Global War on Terrorism.  For a more detailed history of the First Navy Jack, check out this website or the wikipedia page. 

The nice people at US Flags offered to give me a flag if I would put a link to their website on my blog.  While I am thankful for their generous offer, I'm all set on flags.  I have more flags than I have places to fly them.

Instead of taking the free flag for myself, I decided to offer it up as a contest here.  I propose to give away a First Navy Jack, but the folks at US Flags said the winner of the contest may choose any military or US flag.  US Flags will ship the flag directly to the winner, so that eliminates some hassle and you don't have to give me your address. 

To enter the contest:
  • Leave a comment to this post and write something about what the flag means to you or why the flag is important to you (whichever flag you choose to have from US Flags) or share a personal story about when seeing a flag has moved you.
  • Don't worry, the entries will not be judged for content.  I will use a random-name-picker tool to select the winner.  
  • When you submit your entry, you will need to provide me some way of contacting you.  If your blogger ID is linked to a page with an email address, then you're good-to-go.  If not (those with anonymous / pseudonym IDs with no email address), then please email me your name and email address BEFORE the winner is picked at random. 
  • I will run the random-name-picker to select a winner on Friday, 30 April, announce the results here on my blog and email the winner.

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    Mark your calendars: Loudoun County Farm Tour

    Twice each year, in the fall and the spring, Loudoun farms open their doors for the general public to visit thanks to the Loudoun Farms Fall and Spring Farm Tour.  The Spring Farm Tour is great for seeing all the newborn baby pigs, lambs, calves, horses, and other animals.  It's also a great excuse to visit some of the awesome Loudoun County vineyards and do a little wine-tasting.

    LW and our good friend LS wine-tasting 
    during the Spring Farm Tour
    Well, it's that time of year again!  Here's the basics, reposted from the Loudoun Farms website:

    2010 Spring Farm Tour
    Spend a Weekend in the Country!
    Join us for Loudoun's 2010 Spring Farm Tour
    May 15 & 16, 2010 - 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    (Click here for photos from past Spring Farm Tours)

    Scroll down to link to participating farms!

    Download a Word document of Farm Tour participants
    Download a
    2010 Spring Farm Tour Map!

    From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 15 and Sunday, May 16, 2010 enjoy this SELF-GUIDED TOUR down country roads to participating Loudoun County farms. Buy spring seedlings and plants for your home; say hello to farm animals and greet spring babies; tour a winery; learn how food gets from the farm to your table; and much more. There are new farms on the tour this year! Bring the whole family for a day or two of fun, education, and agritainment!

    Visit the Loudoun Farms website for more information on participating farms and events.

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    Pentagon Gouge: Mass Transit Subsidy Distribution

    To my ONE faithful reader who counts on me to warn him when they are distributing the National Capital Region (NCR) Mass Transit Subsidy:  Please accept my apology.  I'm dinq.  I should have posted this yesterday.

    The Mass Transit Subsidy is being distributed THIS WEEK in the Pentagon.  Don't forget to pick yours up!

    For locations and times to pick them up, see this website.

    Sunday, April 18, 2010

    Sugar Loaf Hike

    Friday night, I cleaned all our family Camelbaks and filled them up with water.  Saturday morning, my wife made us some delicious sandwiches and packed up a picnic lunch for us (thank you, Sweetie!).  We suffered through an agonizing amount of little-boy whining (Why do we have to go?  I don't waaaaaant to gooooo.  It's booooooring.  Why can't we just stay home?).

    Aside:  Have I mentioned how much I am starting to hate that word, "boring"?  My youngest child has been using it a LOT lately to describe ANY activity that doesn't involve video games or eating pizza. 

    We eventually got everything and everyone packed in the car and headed across the Potomac into Maryland. Once across the Point of Rocks bridge, we hung a sharp right turn and headed down to have a picnic lunch and go for a hike around Sugarloaf Mountain south of Frederick, MD. 

    Sugarloaf is unique in that it's privately owned, but open to the public AND free of charge.  There are several trails criss-crossing throughout the park, and you can either download a trail map on their website, or you can pick one up at any of the kiosks in the parking areas.

    Hike Stats from Garmin Connect:  I don't know if this will display in topographic mode the way I was viewing it when I clicked on "embed."  If it doesn't, then I recommend clicking on "TOPO" in the upper right corner to get a feel for where we hiked around the top of the mountain.

    This is the view from the parking lot looking toward the eastern lookout spot where we stopped to have lunch and begin our hike.  The weather was PERFECT for our hike today - mid-60s, partly cloudly and breezy.  I wore shorts and a lightweight sweatshirt and felt fine all day.

    From the eastern lookout, we could see Gaithersburg, MD about 15 miles away to the southeast.  Here 8 year old ES is pointing something out in the distance to 6-year old YB.

    The trails are mostly well-defined hard-pack dirt and some rocky parts here and there.  All the trails are well-marked with color-splotches on the trees.  We started out on the White Trail (hence the mark on the tree above), walking counter-clockwise around the mountain toward the northern lookout.

    ES checking out the view from the northern lookout.

    Of course, there are several geocaches around Sugarloaf.  YB was VERY excited that he found this geocache at the northern lookout.  Unfortunately, it had slipped out of its hiding spot and fell down into this crevice.  

    None of us could reach it.

    Next, we headed up the Red Trail toward the summit.

    ES checks out the view of the Potomac River from the top of Sugarloaf.

    Me and my boys on top of Sugarloaf

    Going from the summit back down to the parking lot, we took the Green Trail which is mostly stairs.  We saw several people rock climbing on either side of the stairs.

    Back at the parking lot, ES borrowed my wife's camera to record Lotis' participation in the day's hike.

    Checking out things in the distance.

    YB said, "Do you want to take a close up?"  Next thing I knew, they had jury-rigged their own version of a zoom lens. 

    I never heard the boys say, "this is boring" during the hike.  I actually heard them say pleasant things like, "I like climbing on rocks," and "no, we like it here" (when it was time to go and I was trying to get them to come with me toward the parking lot).  That was a nice change from the battles we waged to get them in the car to leave the house.

    Deja vu, no?  I wonder if it'll ever change (i.e. the boys will go willingly).

    Overall, I couldn't have asked for a nicer day weather-wise and we had a wonderful family outing.

    Saturday, April 17, 2010

    Spring Blossoms

    I'm still catching up on my photos from spring break.  We drove most of the way back from Orlando on Saturday.  Easter Sunday morning we got up and finished the drive.  We encountered a bit of unexpected traffic and didn't get back into Loudoun County until about noon, so I was disappointed we missed church.

    We arrived at home to find a simply stunning array of spring blossoms around our house that weren't there when we left on vacation, so I had to grab my camera.

    You can see the trees were damaged by the weight of the snow back in February.

    While the beauty of spring inspired me to get my camera, for some odd reason it inspired the boys' entrepreneurial spirit.

    The lemonade stand didn't work out so well, and the boys wanted to go for a bike ride.  So we went for a ride around the neighborhood.

    First the boys wanted to ride over to the Broadlands Shopping Center to see if the fountain was turned on yet.  (It was.)  They specifically wanted to make a wish and throw a coin in, and they brought their own coins.  They even brought an extra coin for me so I could make a wish, too.

    Then we rode over to one of the nearby playgrounds where I got to exercise my arms a bit.

    It was a very nice afternoon to unwind and enjoy spring before heading back to work and school the following day.

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Pentagon Gouge: New DoN Correspondence Manual

    Heads-up for you staff officers, admin officers, and yeomen out there, the new Department of the Navy Correspondence Manual is out on the street.

    You can download it from this website - 5216.5 about mid-way down the page.

    Tangent: Rank Abbreviations

    Ask any of the junior officers who have worked for me in my past few jobs, and you will find that one of my administrative pet peeves is incorrect rank abbreviations. Navy rank abbreviations are written in ALL CAPS with no punctuation.

    For example:

    Correct: LTJG
    Incorrect: LTjg or LT(jg) or LT(JG)

    Correct: LCDR
    Incorrect: Lcdr

    As a point of reference, you will find the DON Correspondence Manual, Appendix A "Military Models of Address" shows how to address letters to people of various ranks of all services, and shows the proper abbreviations for each rank.

    Friday, April 9, 2010

    Pentagon Gouge Extra Edition

    First, lest we forget, tomorrow (10 April) is the 47th anniversary of the tragic loss of USS THRESHER (SSN-593). Here is a short article about the loss. The wikipedia page has a detailed description and computer-graphic animation of what happened to the THRESHER. In the wake of the loss of the THRESHER, the submarine force implemented a robust Quality Assurance (QA) program, in addition to some important design and procedural modifications. The submarine QA program is what ensures that we have the same number of surfaces as we have dives.

    To the officers, crew and families of THRESHER and all the other submariners on eternal patrol, God bless you and may you rest in peace.

    BT BT

    Blessing of the Fleets Ceremony is TOMORROW!

    I wish I had known about this sooner, but the Blessing of the Fleets Ceremony is tomorrow (Saturday, 10 April 2010) at the Navy Memorial in downtown DC. Click on the link for a timeline of events. If I didn't already have other plans, then I would have liked to attend.

    BT BT

    SnowTraffic-mageddon is coming!!!

    Due to the Nuclear Security Summit meetings bringing 40 heads of state (and resultant security forces) to Washington, D.C. on Monday and Tuesday (12 & 13 April 2010), experts are predicting apocalyptic traffic jams.

    Loudoun County has already announced they're not even going to provide commuter bus service into the city on Monday and Tuesday. LC buses will only go as far as Rosslyn, the Pentagon, and Crystal City in the morning. In the afternoon, they will ONLY run buses from Rosslyn every 15 minutes, NOWHERE ELSE / NO REGULAR SCHEDULE.

    Plan ahead!