Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The (Couch) Boys Of Summer

Today marks the official beginning of summer --the solstice occurs at 1806 UTC. When I was growing up, this was always one of my favorite days of the year; I lived for summer. I grew up on a farm, so I'd be outside as much as I could -- exploring the pasture, diving into the swimming holes, doing chores -- and I knew I'd never give up my love of summer and the outdoors.

Fast forward 30 years or so. Now summer means that the house will always be too warm and sticky, and it's often too hot to open the windows at night, so that means a higher electrical bill to keep the A/C running. I like fall a lot better; the new TV shows are on, there's football to watch, and I can sleep comfortably at night.

So what happened to the boy to make him such a curmudgeony middle-age man? I'm not sure; I always used to wonder why my parents didn't want to spend all their time in the water when we were at the beach -- now my kids have a hard time getting me into the pool at all. Living here in Idaho, it seems like just about everyone loves camping, or hunting, or biking, or skiiing, or some other outdoor activity. Not me -- I figured out one day that I'd probably charge $500/day for someone to make me go camping in the mountains. Skiing? $60/hour, including transportation time there and back. That's not to mean I haven't done outdoors stuff as an adult -- I took my kids camping in order to let them decide for themselves if they liked it or not. Now that I've done that, I figure I shouldn't have to do anything that I find unenjoyable if I don't have to.

There was an article in the paper today about how this generation of kids could become the first "indoors generation". I can see their point -- there are a lot more inside entertainment options than there were even 20 years ago. (Speaking of indoors entertainment -- and completely off-topic -- I got a Super Mario 64 cartridge for my old N64 system for Father's Day. My youngest son already beat the game, but I'm plodding along more slowly; it's been several years since I too beat Bowser. For those who forgot just how revolutionary and good that game was, check out this video of a guy who beat the game in 80 minutes when you have the time.)

So is it bad for people to spend most of their time indoors? Almost certainly. Do I plan on changing my ways? Almost certainly not. I like who I am, and when people make snide comments about how sedentary people have lots of health concerns, I'll smugly think about how I never missed a day of work because of ailments like "road rash". This is one of those things where I'm not trying to change anyone's mind about the importance of getting outside and having fun -- I'm just saying I don't plan on doing it myself. There's an old BNL song, "Pinch Me", that has a verse that pretty much describes my perfect summer afternoon:
It's the perfect time of day
To throw all your cares away
Put the sprinkler on the lawn
And run through with my gym shorts on.
Take a drink right from the hose
And change into some drier clothes
Climb the stairs up to my room
Sleep away the afternoon.
(Before you say anything, yes I know the song is making fun of this lifestyle choice. I don't care.)

"But, Bubblehead," you might say, "what about impressionable children who might be reading your blog and might want to emulate you." To those children, I say this: get outside and pull some weeds and rocks out of your Mom's garden -- you'll be glad you did. Wake me up when you're done, and we'll watch some TV.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off-topic: you seem to be starved for a good submarine item lately. How about the new Commodore at CSS-1? Last week CAPT Hankins relieved CAPT Marr - the same CAPT Hankins who was CO of USS GREENEVILLE when they ran into the USS OGDEN. Thoughts?

6/21/2007 7:18 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Hankins was cleared of any wrongdoing long ago and his record was wiped clean.

6/21/2007 1:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not cleared of wrongdoing. As far as "record wiped clean," can't say for sure. But he's certainly faring better than the others that were punished.

Greeneville skipper
reprimanded by the Navy
The commander will be allowed
to remain at the helm of the sub


By Gregg K. Kakesako

The skipper of the nuclear attack submarine USS Greeneville has been reprimanded because his vessel collided in January with an amphibious transport ship in the Indian Ocean -- the third incident in little less than a year.

Cmdr. Lindsay Hankins, Greeneville captain, will remain at the helm after receiving a letter of reprimand at an admiral's mast earlier this week for "negligent dereliction in performance of his duty." Four other crewmen -- two officers and two enlisted men -- also were punished.

Lt. Cmdr. Kelly Merrell, Navy spokeswoman, said she could not release their names or ranks because of privacy reasons. Besides Hankins, the Navy issued letters of reprimand to the officer of the deck and the contact coordinator.

Merrell said the fire control technician of the watch, an enlisted sailor, was given 30 days of restriction, will forfeit a half-month's pay and was reduced in rank one grade for six months. The other enlisted sailor -- a radar operator -- also was given a 30-day restriction and reduced in rank for six months.

The Greeneville suffered $200,000 in damage to its stern plane stabilizer and will be released from drydock today after undergoing six weeks of repairs.

Cmdr. William Edwards, skipper of the USS Ogden, was reassigned due to the Navy's "loss of confidence in his ability to command" following the Jan. 28 collision. The investigation into that portion of the collision is ongoing in San Diego, the Navy said yesterday.

The Greeneville collided with the Ogden off the coast of Oman while preparing to transfer two sailors. The 362-foot submarine suffered a scrape about 6 inches wide and 4 feet long in its starboard quarter, and temporary repairs were made.

The nuclear attack submarine returned to Pearl Harbor on March 3 after a nearly seven-month deployment and went into drydock April 16.

The submarine was repaired at Pearl Harbor after an accident on Feb. 9, 2001, when the Greeneville struck the Japanese fisheries training vessel Ehime Maru about nine miles south of Diamond Head. Nine of the 35 men and boys aboard the Ehime Maru died.

Greeneville Cmdr. Scott Waddle was reprimanded by a military court of inquiry and allowed to retire. Repairs to the submarine cost more than $2 million.

On Aug. 27, while trying to enter the Saipan seaport in rough seas, the Greeneville ran aground, causing damage that cost $120,000 to repair. That accident prompted the Navy to remove the Greeneville's skipper, Cmdr. David S. Bogdan.

6/21/2007 9:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Fared better"? You better believe Hankins fared better...along with the XO. After the collision Hankins received the James Stockdale Leadership Award while the XO received the John Paul Jones Award (un-freakin believable)...I admire Cecil Haney and he was a fair Commodore for CSS 1 - but he should have fired Hankins for the Ogden incident but the fleet wanted to treat this boat with kid gloves because of poor crew morale following the previous two incidents. Hankins getting the Stockdale award was a slap in the face to every 1120 in fleet!

6/22/2007 6:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon - obviously you must be one of the 1120s that didn't make the Command cut! Hankins was a stand up guy and deserved his promotion. He was a warfighter and you weren't up to the task!

6/22/2007 9:36 AM

Blogger WillyShake said...

Like you, I grew-up in the woods and yet look where I'm living now: NYC. Ha! My friend Michael Smerconish recently interviewed Richard Louv, author of "Last Child in the Woods". It was a fascinating conversation and it sounds like it might be of interest to you.

6/22/2007 10:26 AM


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