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.)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Local Submarine Blogger Interviewed By Boise Weekly

Here's a link to an interview (Bad Word warning!) with me in the Boise Weekly, the local free "alternative" newspaper. I got interviewed last week for their "Citizen" column, where they talk to people who do interesting things. For me, I guess they decided my submarine blog was worth writing about.

Please humor me as I engage in a bit of navel gazing to "revise and extend" my remarks from the published interview:

-- When I said "The Hunt for Red October" was "more accurate than anything that had come out to that point", I was referring to the book, not the movie. I still hold that this is true as far as nuclear submarining goes, obviously there are quite a few movies and books about WWII submarining that are much more accurate, and books have come out since then that are more realistic (mostly written by actual Submariners).

-- I admit I'm a little bit embarrassed by the juxtaposition of me talking about how I joined the LDS Church with my use of a very Bad Word in the next paragraph.

-- I was a little disappointed that the interviewer didn't mention my sons' band, Nuclear Redemption -- Mountain View High School's biggest band -- that I had name-dropped explicitly. Overall, though, he did a pretty good job of condensing a 50 minute talk into something readable.

-- When I talked about Idaho blogosphere site traffic, I was actually talking about Treasure Valley blogs; obviously, Huckleberries Online gets way more traffic than I do up in Northern Idaho. Also, I should have said that Unequivocal Notion has moved most of its content to

-- For me, the neatest thing about the whole experience was actually having someone do a drawing of me; I've never had that before.

Please let me know if you see anything else questionable that I said in the interview, and I'll try to explain myself if I can.


Blogger Don the Baptist said...

Good article. Wow, a picture and everything! I'd feel a touch of pride myself. And "Nuclear Redemption" sounds waaaaay better that my son's band: "The Kung Fu's."

7/08/2009 4:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Joel.
That's outstanding!

7/08/2009 6:45 PM

Blogger phw said...

So that's what you look like now... Exactly the way you did twenty years ago... Nice interview.

7/08/2009 7:43 PM

Blogger Jay said...

Pretty darn exciting Joel. I feel the warmth of your greatness. Did he tape the interview? You need to get that on You Tube, this just has me longing for more! Hmmmm, maybe you should do a video blog...

7/08/2009 9:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's great to see you publicized for this. I'd like to say nice article, but...Not to bring religion in, but how can you support a theology that regarded blacks as being cursed by god (not my God) until 1978? I wouldn't bring it up, but you mentioned it in the article as "finding the truth".

7/09/2009 8:51 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Fair question, Anonymous. I'll be honest -- the first time I took the discussions to join the Church, that was the sticking point that kept me from being baptized. When I thought about it more, I realized that God does things for a reason that we might not understand, and that by the time I joined everything had been made right. It might have been something like with polygamy, where God decided that the Church needed something to bring them together in the face of outside pressure; when the Church was sufficiently strong internally, He removed the requirement. The Church I joined doesn't have polygamy, and allows all worthy male members to gain the Priesthood. And if we look at the past, most religions weren't very good at race relations until quite recently.

I like the fact that the Church can articulate how people born in 500 AD in Polynesia can be saved, and how they can articulate how our souls came into being and that we had a pre-existance (Jeremiah 1:5), and how the dead can be baptized if they didn't receive that saving ordinance in life (Corinthians 15:29). I also like the concept of Eternal Families that the Church teaches. I believe we're all children of a Heavenly Father and Mother, and they want their children to succeed and grow. The theology of the LDS Church explains that where other religions can't.

7/09/2009 9:41 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Had a small typo in that last comment; the last reference is actually I Corinthians 15:29.

7/09/2009 9:44 AM

Anonymous Sisyphus said...

Nice interview bubbles. Don't let it go to your head. ;-)

Glad your health is better.

7/09/2009 1:37 PM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Joel, I learned something from reading your interview, too. The Hunt for Red October was "about 10 percent" accurate, you say (and no doubt could support).

Since errors are still found in serious publications like Jane's and in works by well-known naval analysts it would seem that what submarine navies do best is keep secrets.

With this in mind, I suspect that naval submarine details not directly linked to crew qualification requirements are subject to a +/- 50% error rate.

Today's technology was yesterday's science fiction.

7/09/2009 3:02 PM

Blogger fortboise said...

An entertaining feature about an entertaining guy.

And since I missed the memo about you being BillSaliFan, that was fun to find out, too.

7/09/2009 4:11 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Okay, I admit it. I honestly laughed out loud when I read the 'bad word' part of the interview. Not being an Idahoan I'd never read it before. Damn that was funny.

Never found anything redeeming about organized religion, but to each his own.

7/09/2009 4:43 PM

Anonymous Chris said...

Ha! Thanks for the mention Joel, I'm glad you're feelin' better.

Great read from BW.

7/09/2009 8:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I can't join in on the parade of sycophants here, Joel.

Do you possibly have Tourette syndrome? In all seriousness, I'm honestly a bit stunned that a reasonably self-respecting former naval officer -- such as yourself -- would use language like that for public attribution.

What in the world were you thinking?

And Srvd_SSN_CO...? Dude, you've got some serious growing up to do. Freak-show scary that you think it's funny. Definitely not the sort of thing that reflects well on either yourself or Joel. Off-the-charts stupid, IMHO.

7/09/2009 10:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 7/09/2009 10:52 PM,

Why don't you try developing a sense of humor? You're a short sighted Jack-Ass for attempting to judge Joel is such a fashion. What?'re pissed off because he used some profanity laced analogies?

I don't think Joel needs to be condemned to hell because of his creative use of a superlative or two.

Anon, assuming Joel's wife reads this blog on occasion, you can always make a recommendation to her that she should spank Joel for his naughty language and then she can instruct him to stand in the corner for a little while as he thinks about his "sinful" ways in life. Hey Anon, would that work for ya?

Oh' here's a recommendation for you as well Anon, try to refrain from being so close minded and judgemental when you get a brief PD glance into someone else's life whom you know almost nothing about.

Srvd_SSN_CO was absolutely correct. The 'bad word' part of the interview was funny as hell.

7/10/2009 2:12 AM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Dumb? Ok. Still funny.

South Park, often dumb, very funny.

7/10/2009 3:24 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

Well, there is always one idiot in the crowd (Anon @ 1052). Excellent interview Joel, the more exposure this blog gets, the better chance more witty, reasoned submariners will follow it and make it even better.

Thanks for giving us a outlet!

7/10/2009 5:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My best guess is that Joel wanted to steal the thunder of any potentially investigative journalist by outing himself before they did.

The cautionary lesson here is to watch what you say "anonymously" on the web. To a man, every one of us can get carried away (and has?) and say really stupid shit in anon-mode that we'd never think of saying in public with women & children physically present.

But the Internet is not your basic public restroom wall. Women & children *are* physically present.

Moral to the story: Take a deep breath and think twice before posting _your_ thoughts on the Internet...'cuz sooner or later you'll own 'em.

7/10/2009 7:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Besides the one you're referring to, there's another idiot out there reading Joel's blog. We all know about whom I speak.....

Joel, keep up the blog promotion. I too agree that the more widespread your reader base, the better the total content will be...

I was in two bands in high school. The first was named Unisoul. The second was Johnny Orbit and the Satellites.


7/10/2009 11:06 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

Yes, I try to avoid mentioning that one in any way, hoping he won't enter the fray.

7/10/2009 2:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that we all, in some twisted way, enjoy when the not-to-be-named idiot chimes in with one of his posts. His posts give us the opportunity to pounce on him, pointing out how inferior he makes himself look, while at the same time making us feel superior.


7/10/2009 3:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just flat-out conduct unbecoming.

Not something easily understood by the enlisted side of the house, as there is no similar standard there.

As Joel likes to stand on both sides of that fence, it's likely why he's having trouble seeing the need to apologize (to all of us), much less doing so.

7/10/2009 7:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No it isn't. Did you ever serve on active duty in any service? Trust me, you have no idea what conduct unbecoming truly is. Joel has no reason in the world to say sorry for anything.

7/10/2009 7:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel can speak for himself.

7/10/2009 7:36 PM

Anonymous STSC said...

Anon sea-lawyer @ 7:25.
Not something easily understood by the enlisted side of the house, as there is no similar standard there
OH, geez. I guess you also believe, 'the enlisted man is cunning & devious by nature and is not to be trusted'.

We've come a long way & your statement is offensive as well as being flat out wrong. Get some time on the pond before you go quoting regs you know little about.

You Sir, are stupid.
I'll leave the punishment up to Joel.

7/10/2009 10:44 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Well, Anonymous, the best I can do for you is the non-apology apology "I'm sorry you were so upset about that". If you think that naval officers don't use language like that, you're in a different Navy than everyone else. Anyway, I used the common slang term for "penis" as a political satirist -- yes, I understand I'm always a Naval Officer, even when retired, but believe it or not, we really don't get held to the same standards as active duty. That's why Oliver North never got charged with using "contemptuous words" towards President Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal.

7/11/2009 8:28 AM

Blogger Lauretta said...

Anon 7/10/2009 7:25 PM, why would Joel need to apologize to everyone here when the only who is offended by his language is you? Everyone took it in good humor and laughed about it besides you.

7/11/2009 10:06 AM

Anonymous Subbasket said...

Well being the fact that I am Joel's wife, I will follow the simple statement that he makes..."The Stupid Shall Be Punished". For the anonymous poster at 10:52: We have a very dear friend whose eldest son has Tourette Syndrome. It isn't easy for this son nor for the family. So if we go to the extreme of condemning someone for using a euphemism for the word "penis" then I wonder who is the judge and who his he punishing and who made this said person "God". I find it overly judgmental that someone would think that they have the right to put this syndrome in a judgmental way when they do not even know anything about this. I have heard many, and I do mean MANY, Naval Officers use worse words than this euphemism for "Penis". I am just so angry that someone would make a judgment about my husband with the use of the syndrome with out even knowing us and hiding behind the word anonymous and then turning around and calling Joel out for a simple word that describes a male organ. Honestly are we that senstive. And to the person who wants to hide behind the word anonymous and tell my husband that his conduct is unbecoming of a Naval Officer needs to get out and live life and enjoy what this world has to offer because once again these people are judging more than they are looking at themselves in the mirror and looking how to improve themselves. I do honestly believe I know my husband better than ANYONE who posts on this blog other than my husband's Mother, Father, Sister, Brother and Joel's wonderful Children and how DARE anyone come on this blog and be so self-serving. Now Joel will have to deal with a VERY angry wife that even a Longaberger basket will not cure. Have a really awesome day and YES think before you all speak. That is the lesson not the judgment. I know many Naval Officers from Admirals, Captains, to Ensigns to the Enlisted Men you all serve with that when they turn on the internet this blog comes up. I think of our dear sweet friend who passed away last September who read this blog till the day he passed and he was a Naval Officer and a friend close to our hearts and I know he said things worst than a euphemism for "penis". I will only say sorry to his wife and child but no one else.

So to the earlier poster who said that I would be the one to punish him, for Joel's punishment: I will make deep passionate LOVE with him this fine Satuday evening. TMI says all three Children.LOL

7/11/2009 10:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel, just keep doing what your doing! Its just like watching TV, if ya don't like what your watching, turn the channel.
Your blog continues to remain atop my Favorites list at home and at work!

Keep up the good work!


7/11/2009 3:41 PM

Anonymous SJV said...

Nice to know our Anon has such a clean record that they can cast the first stone. Not that using vile language on a blog is such a good idea, though. But we all did serve in an atmosphere where every third word started with 'F'. I recall reading an evaluation when I was a prototype instructor. In answering the question "Were you ever hazed?" one young man answered:

I went to Maneuvering and requested permission to observe the Reactor Operator. When I entered, the RO lowered his pants and said "Observe the Reactor Operator".

There are many things I tell my young kids about the submarine service. Other things they'll have to learn about on their own. Or not.

7/11/2009 9:31 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

SJV said, "I went to Maneuvering and requested permission to observe the Reactor Operator. When I entered, the RO lowered his pants and said "Observe the Reactor Operator".

Oh damn that's funny.

7/12/2009 8:53 AM

Anonymous STSC said...

Reminds me of a new nub asking the OOD permission to blow the DCA.

He stood up, unzipped his poopie and said, "permission granted".
Control room personnel completely lost it and the nub just stood there, completely confused.
That was early 90's.

7/12/2009 12:11 PM

Blogger phw said...

"Reminds me of a new nub asking the OOD permission to blow the DCA.

He stood up, unzipped his poopie and said, "permission granted".
Control room personnel completely lost it and the nub just stood there, completely confused.
That was early 90's."

STSC, This is just too funny...

7/13/2009 12:30 PM

Blogger Jay said...

Is the dust-up over the "glory-holing" comment?


We all knew officers like "anonymous." If "anonymous" was ever in the service, he'd be one of those sanctimonious, holier-than-thou officers we all wanted to see drunk off near beer and buried in King Neptune's lap on half-way night.

I always enjoyed the guys who could get drunk off O'Douls.

Also pretty glad I always served in commands (even as a reservist) where we had a lot more important things to worry about than the use of a colloquialism for penis.

But, then, if the use of a few F-bombs were truly "conduct unbecoming" I'm pretty sure I didn't know too many (any?) becoming guys.

I also, anon, have serious problems with posting comments critical of someone anonymously. Few of us advertise our real names, Joel being one of those pretty rare exceptions, but, those of us who are active bloggers, who don't blare our identities, make it pretty easy to figure out who we really are.

Unfortunately, anon is not quite so easy to figure out. So, unless you'd like to come in from the cold, I'd like to see you just fade away.

7/13/2009 10:05 PM

Blogger 630-738 said...

Now THIS is the Submarine Force I knew and loved!!! Nothing better than a group of boat sailors standing up and defending one of their own.

Anon @ 7:25PM: If you ever wore a pair of dolphins, you should take them off RIGHT AWAY and send them to the nearest REAL submariner that you can find, because you have no right impersonating one. I never once met a submariner, officer or enlisted, with the elitist attitude about their own kind that you display here. I sincerely hope you are just another worthless troll here trying to play with the big boys, because if you actually did get fish pinned on you, you have tarnished them, be they gold OR silver.

Ms. Bubblehead: Outstanding response, Ma'am. You are a true Lady of the Submarine Force, for sure!

7/14/2009 5:45 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

Dammit. I almost forgot. "Observe the Reactor Operator" is superbly funny! Reminds me of a certain 0400 tour, a SRO, SEO, a bottle of whiteout, and an unmentionable area of the body. I'll leave that one to your imagination.

7/14/2009 5:47 AM

Anonymous Sisyphus said...

Since when is satire unbecoming? I thought it was a tried and true tradition in the navy since Gilbert and Sullivan, if no before. As an Idaho Democrat who doesn't always agree with bubbles, he certainly gets our award for snark above and beyond the call of duty. I salute you bubbles and tip my hat to subbasket. I'm glad you're on our side.

7/14/2009 2:14 PM

Blogger tennvol said...

To the anon prudes: Ever hear the phrase "Curse like a sailor?" It's not just a saying. Even 13 years after getting out I still have a hard time not interjecting colorful descriptors when I get my dander up.

7/15/2009 8:53 AM

Blogger Joseph said...

I am hoping to contact you regarding
your operation. I had a similar one in December 2008. Maybe we can help each other cope with problems that crop up from time to time during convalescence.


7/15/2009 6:13 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Please E-mail me at joel(dot)bubblehead(at)gmail(dot)com.

7/16/2009 10:29 AM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

curse like a Sailor, you got that right. As soon as I step on a ship I swear I am just like that latest TubeDaze clip. One long string of bleeps. Takes weeks to stop when I leave the ship.

7/16/2009 4:32 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home