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, July 10, 2008

Where Have You Gone, EM Log Blogger?

Over the last couple of months, many of us have enjoyed the great sea stories put out by "Free The Nucs" over at The EM Log. Sometime this week, it looks like his blog got deleted -- probably not accidentally, since the subheader says "Closed Until Further Notice". It's too bad, 'cause there was a lot of good material there, both in the posts and in the comments.

Free The Nucs, if you're out there, let us know what happened here in the comments.

Update 1813 10 July: A reader sent in the RSS feed of FTN's last post, titled "Open Mic Night", before the blog got deleted. It might contain a clue to what happened:
It looks like I'm going to be working some severe hours for the foreseeable future. While that's sure to result in some great angst-inspired stories later on, who knows when I will have time to write them down?

With this in mind, I'd like to encourage you to submit your own Log-worthy sea stories; you can either post them as a comment, or email them to me via the link on the right. No one's worried about spelling, grammar, or language, but please edit out any last names or NNPI before you submit them. The log gets between 300 - 500 hits a day (most of them folks just like you), so this is a great chance to tell your tale.
I've got a feeling it wasn't a "Big Navy-induced" shutdown (such as what happened to the active-duty guys of the Greeneville ART). Still, I'd like to know what happened, so hopefully we'll hear from FTN himself.

Update 0650 16 July: We still haven't heard from FTN, but I'll let you know if I ever do. The comments here have kind of degenerated, so for the first time I'm cutting off comments to a post. I appreciate that people, especially some active duty guys, like to comment anonymously, and I'm normally glad to support that. However, when it turns into one troll personally attacking some regular commenters, I reserve the right to take action. In the past, I've arbitrarily started deleting the troll's comments, and that seemed to work. (No one wants to spend a lot of time typing if they know no one's going to see it.) To the "Anonymous" who seems to be stationed on the MSP -- yes, I'm talking about you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, that really sucks.

I enjoyed his posts and the comments. However, I got the impression from some of the things he said that he was still active duty.

I wonder if the Navy shut him down.

7/10/2008 8:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sux. What a comic relief he was for me and the many nukes I work with, especially his recent posting about the Navy recruitment video game.

Like the anonymous poster above me I'm wondering if his chain of command didn't shut him down. No sense of humor.


7/10/2008 8:37 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In his post about the Navy Reserve Recruiter, he mentioned that he was out of the Navy, and employed by the shipyard, and that even though he was out, he was still supporting the Fleet. I'm pretty sure he's out.

His last post, he mentioned that his work was going to prevent him from blogging. Why it got shut down (and as BH pointed out, it looks like he closed it himself).

To purely speculate, I would say that someone on active duty who got their undies in a bunch over some of his stories complained to someone "important", who then took it to some law enforcement agency, perhaps NCIS. He might have put too many embarrassing/not-safe-for-Naval-Nuclear-Propulsion stories, and it was either shut it down, or go to jail.

Speculating some more, it might have been his posts were so negative/embarrassing that the Navy/gov't threatened him in some manner. It could happen.

It's very sad that it's gone. It was the source of much laughter in my home.

7/10/2008 9:13 AM

Blogger richard said...

I have his contact e-mail and will send him a note! I hope he is just on "Mission" and will surface soon.

7/10/2008 9:19 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a sub person but I liked his sea stories, too. Hope he gets back!

Free the Non-Rates!

7/10/2008 9:36 AM

Blogger richard said...

Joel, email sent to EM Log, will let you know when I hear something!

7/10/2008 9:36 AM

Blogger Buck said...

I'm just a Navy Dad whose son is a nuke MM2. The EM Log gave me some understanding of what he goes through. Submariner's don't generally talk too much; it is good to have a few sea stories now and again.

7/10/2008 9:57 AM

Blogger 630-738 said...

I didn't always agree with his outlook on Navy nuc life, but his blog was certainly entertaining. If his blog is gone for good, it will be sorely missed. If it was shut down by an over-zealous Navy official, (which I tend to doubt, but I've been wrong before), that would definitely serve to perpetuate the NR stereotype of "50 Years of Tradition Unhampered by Progress, With No Sense of Humour to Temper our Actions."

7/10/2008 10:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I believe that the Naval Reserve Recruiter post was a series of emails that were forwarded to him, but I could be wrong. I wish I could go back and check. I believe that he was still active duty.

While he had a pretty a sour outlook on the Canoe Club at times, my reading of his suggestions for improvement (like how to be a good division chief/LPO) showed a certain level of "still gives a crap." He seemed most annoyed at the self-important and at the ways Uncle Sugar would shoot himself in the foot (like "the can't let the hot runner E4 qualify before the terminally dink E6" post). Even as my memory about the bad stuff fails me, I do remember those problems and hope he returns to hold them up to the light.

I would hope that under the current world circumstances folks at NCIS would have a lot bigger fish to fry. If anyone of importance is reading this, allow me just to say, "Lighten up, Francis."

7/10/2008 12:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too enjoy FTN's stories and also disagree with the "chip on his shoulder" slant to much of his commentary. Don't know if he is still active duty but if he is, I do believe the Navy would not hesitate to squash any 1st ammendment rights he might have.

On the other hand, this guy seems pretty crafty. It wouldn't surprise me if he shut down his blog for the same reason he never finished his book. Both the book and the blog went out on the internet and generated a lot of interest. Lets face it, the guy has a talent for story telling. Not completing the book and closing down the blog are similar to early withdrawl. Neither are very satisfying. The fact that Joel's July 10 blog is all about FTN shows that FTN's early withdrawl are noteworthy. Maybe FTN got shut down by Big Brother, maybe he really is just too busy to bother with the blog, maybe he ran out of good things to blog about (doubtful), or maybe he intentionally shut things down just to judge the reaction. Like I said, he seems mighty crafty...

7/10/2008 2:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHAT THE FRICK!!! I/we want the EM Log back!!!
Its amazing how quick checking his blog became apart of my daily routine.

7/10/2008 4:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that the MIB got to him. I know this cat and nothing short of jail time, or the immediate threat thereof could have shut his mouth.

7/10/2008 5:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like we used to say on the boat (at least back aft): "Another reason to get the f**k out!"

7/10/2008 6:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alas poor EM Log, we hardly knew thee...(with apologies to Bill Shakespeare)

7/10/2008 6:32 PM

Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/10/2008 8:11 PM

Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

As a somewhat frequent commenter on the EM-log, I was pretty sad that it was taken down.

I went on vacation last week, and checked the EM-Log on Tuesday night (where I saw the previously mentioned post). He wanted some sea-stories from the masses, and there were none posted as of Tuesday evening.

Four theories:

1. Someone posted something on the blog that violated some classification somewhere on the last post. The site was taken down either with or without FTN's consent.

2. FTN is too busy (underway maybe?) for posting anything for a while, so he took his blog down to keep the NR/NCIS/NNPI-folks off his case in the event someone posted something classified in his absence.

3. The blog was hacked by some external source. FTN is aware that this is the case, and can't recover his password to reopen the blog. FTN is working with Google to resolve the problem.

4. FTN is an E-divver who got upset that no one posted sea stories to his blog after 4 days (when asked).

In any event, I hope the EM-log returns soon. It was the first thing I checked every morning at work to bring some funny memories back.


This brings up an interesting question-- have any "official" government types ever sent you a request to remove something (either a comment or a blog post)?

Just curious!


Wherever you are, thanks for the fun blog, and bring it back soon!

~A Former ELT

7/10/2008 9:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Theory...

It was those Damn TPS reports. But Alas, I too made his blog a daily ritual when I got to my office. Three Blogs: yours, Blunoz, and his. It has given me insight into the sub force. IT is like a reality show blog style. I hope it is just a simple case of he is too busy. BUTTTT let the conspiracy theorys continue, they are kind of fun to read as well. Sinc. Mick Schrimptom A.K.A Lets turn in to 11

7/11/2008 5:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's what may have happened:

Maybe, despite his best efforts to keep the blog anonymous, it soon became apparent that the lifer dig’its he has to work with knew about it. Maybe he got tired of the whiny and vaguely threatening emails. Or maybe he just got tired of writing about what it was like to get fisted on a daily basis because you “volunteered” and thus have become property.

7/11/2008 6:43 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy that needs to get shut down is the SERVING SUBMARINE XO who whines about his detailer and details his Hawaiian vacations.

7/11/2008 7:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


7/11/2008 7:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kaboom war journal, anyone? Sounds like a similar thing. The wierd thing is, this guy never really caused any OPSEC concerns (unless you count the PI stories with wives reading it) and never got more than vague on NNPI (see: Complete Idiot's Guide to Submarines). We do have to admit, though, that a blue shirt's perspective isn't exactly a PR dream for the Navy.

7/11/2008 9:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, here's the real deal...

I have it on extremely competent authority that FTN was waylaid while hitch hiking through North Carolina. He was on thirty days trminal leave, on his way to visit his grandmother in Mt. Pyle when Deputy Barnard P. Fife arrested him and draged him into the Mayberry jail. He was thrown into a cell with some fat, smelly, greasy haired drunk named Otis.

In an attempt to reform FTN of his bad attitude, deputy Fife engaged FTN in some hands-on tharapy using a Mister Potatoehead set. Being the crafty nuke that he is, while no one was looking, FTN converted the Mr. Potatoehead into a distillary, capable of converting sea water into potable. Much to Otis' delight, the distillary could also turn Mr. Potatoehead's potatoehead into sour mash wiskey.

Once FTN and Otis were thoroughly wasted, they opened their cell, poured a half gallon of the good stuff into the water cooler, went back into their cell, and passed out.

Since it was a hot July day, Barney and Andy were both thirsty from standing cross walk duty. Returning to the Sherrif's office, they both took their fill for the chilled waters from the tainted cooler. It wasn't long before the awake, but hung over FTN and Otis found both Andy and Barney passed out, locked in the other cell. Barney had his underware on his head.

It was at this point that FTN and Otis made their great escape.

Since that day, Otis has made many a return to the crime sceen. But FTN's whereabouts? Only he and Thelma Lou know......


7/11/2008 11:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got a call from SUBLANT and FTN was spotted with Matt
They were doing the Jig after he was released from Jail. Otis got with Miss Bea and he took off with Dancing Matt. OR he could be Geocaching in Hawaii.

7/11/2008 1:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I have it on good authority that he's now the jailhouse punk of an ex-boomer f-- who's doing time in the big house for having jimmied open his SSBN's coin-operated tampon dispenser. But, apparently, he's happy now.

7/11/2008 1:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

now you know THAT is B.S. - tampons are free for boomer crews while underway.

I like to think he's doing time for finally TDU'ing the XO.

7/11/2008 2:50 PM

Blogger T said...

Please, I know more than a few returning SSN guys that the longest consecutive time they've spent at sea without hitting a port was on a boomer. And when an SSN is in port, the workload is generally far less than what we did in refit, and comparable to what we did in Off-crew (granted, I will submit that there's no duty in off-crew). The only exception to this that I know for certain is the Carter, who's guys work long hours and have the joy of going out to sea for tremendous portions of the year without hitting ports.

Both have sucky work hours, but I would've taken the ports over the months not standing duty anyday.

7/11/2008 5:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...granted, I will submit that there's no duty in off-crew.

Ya f-----g think...?

7/12/2008 5:55 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know - now that they've got those simulators, it won't be long before they want to post a 24-7 watch in "maneuvering" just to keep us busy.

7/12/2008 9:13 AM

Blogger T said...

Yeah, gotta love how they now have the evening trainers. I'm surprised TTF hasn't went 24/7 yet. With luck, somebody will realize it's just cheaper to simulate patrols that actually bring boats to sea, and you can just kick it in TTF for a few months. And squadron can then come by every week to tell you that your safety chains are down.

7/12/2008 7:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And when an SSN is in port, the workload is generally far less than what we did in refit, and comparable to what we did in Off-crew (granted, I will submit that there's no duty in off-crew).

You have got to be kidding me with this comment, do you really believe that???

7/12/2008 9:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're getting off topic here (EM Log), but I'll weigh in on this old debate.

I was on SSBNs my whole 20 year career. In all that time, with only ONE exception, I never heard any of the ex-SSN guys say "I hate Offcrew.", or "I want to go back to sea.", or volunteer to do back-to-back patrols with the other crew. I've known many many SSN guys who tell me that boomer patrols were the longest stretch of at-sea time they ever did. Also, SSBN refits have been likened to a complete SRA - in about 3 weeks. And we do it 2 to 3 times a year, depending on the patrol cycle.

I have yet to see how SSNs are "superior". If you like being stuffed into a sports car, that's fine. Myself, I like the luxury ride, and I'm not ashamed of it. Fastboat life (and ops) never impressed me.

So all this "fast attack tough" crap exists only in the minds of the fast boat cry babies. You're just jealous.

7/13/2008 7:24 AM

Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

It just sounds better to say,:

One crew, one screw.

One shaft, and it's back aft!

Whinny boomer(and t-hull) weenies!

7/13/2008 12:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll stop it, can't win a whining contest with a Sonarman! :)

7/13/2008 1:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll stop it, can't win a whining contest with a Sonarman! :)

... or an ELT :)

7/13/2008 2:42 PM

Blogger T said...

You have got to be kidding me with this comment, do you really believe that???

Absolutely, on a boomer 6 months of maintenance happens in like a month. How many tagouts are dealt with each day on a SSBN in refit, even an easy refit? Now compare that to an SSN.

Maybe some crews have offcrews where the day is routinely less than 10 hours long, but I was regularly in the office from 730 to at least 1700. Often times I was there later. Throw in a few evening trainers and you have even longer days.

I'd trade off crew, endless trainers, boring missions, and grossly inadequate office space for ports, duty days, and something somewhat interesting to do any day of the week. If you think SSBN JO's have it any easier than on an SSN you're crazy. It might be worth it if you're married and want a regular schedule, but it's certainly not easier it's just different.

Now for the enlisted side, it's a completely different story as offcrew remains a pretty good deal for them.

7/13/2008 3:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Sonarman:

I am not trying to be mean here but considering your other whinny posts both here and on the EM Log. It it no wonder that you retired as a first class. Stop blaming everyone else including the Chiefs for you're not being selected. Could it be that the reason you were not selected for chief is because you only served on one platform???? The only sailors who should spend their entire careeres on boomers should be MT's and that is of no fault of their own. Quit being a baby!! Quite frankly it is quite embrassing when ever I see first classes wearing gold. Some people just aren't cut out for the brotherhood, get over it.

7/14/2008 6:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fast boat times sucks. I can't fault anyone for trying to avoid it. If you have to go to sea, go subs. If you have to go to sea on subs, get a Trident out of Bangor.

I also can't fault anyone for not giving a crap about making chief; if your natural talents lie in doing the job you signed on for (and not managing other people) then why not stay a first? The hours are shorter and (in many cases) you're still "in charge" in every way that matters. I've known plenty of guys who were great technicians but lousy managers.

Finally, if you can stay out of trouble for twelve years, and you actually give a crap about "gold" stipes, by all means wear them, no matter what rank you are. It may give you a "get out of mast free" card should something bad happen and you become selected as the goat to scape.

7/14/2008 6:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

King - thanks for the backup on SSBN maintenance tempo. However, I disagree with your statement on the SSBN enlisted life. Most rates do have a slack schedule in offcrew. The only guys I saw staying as late, or later than STs were the nukes. If I had to do it all over again, I'd be a boomer Store Keeper. There's a slack rate! ;-}

To Anonymous who posted at 7/14/2008 6:11 AM:

I have a lot of friends (STS) who spent their entire careers on SSBNs only, and made it to chief and beyond. By your logic the guys who spend their whole careers on SSNs would never make chief either. You're statement that the only guys who should stay on SSBNs their whole career are MTs is ignorant.

Who's talking about chiefs here anyway? We were discussing the old Boomer v. Fast boat debate. And what's with the personal attacks? We're all Submarine brothers here, and this is just the normal "my division/dept/rate/boat is better than your division/dept/rate/boat" that we always do. Nobody takes it personal - or should, anyway.

Your judgment on my personal life and Navy career is shallow and immature. Your last statement "Some people just aren't cut out for the brotherhood..." implies that you are an E-7. If this attitude is representative of that in the Goat Locker, then I'm glad I didn't make Chief.

I'm proud of my service on SSBNs, my career achievements, and most of all what I did for the guys who were junior to me. I looked out for them - sometimes to my detriment. The ones who stayed in are now themselves PO1s, LPOs, Chiefs, Senior Chiefs, COBs, and officers. They all have thanked me for being their mentor.

Can you say the same?

Furthermore, that you cast dispersions upon me personally behind the shield of anonymity reveals you as the coward you are. If you were a man of integrity, and exemplified Honor, Courage, and commitment, as true Chief Petty Officers should and do, you wouldn't feel the need to lash out at some guy you don't know in some internet forum.

Oh, and by the way, it's "whiney", not "whinny". The 'e' is silent, making the 'i' long. "Whinny" is an onomatopoeia for the sound a horse makes.

7/14/2008 6:58 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


7/14/2008 7:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Onomatopoeia!!! I haven't heard that word since like third grade. Reminds me of eating peanut butter and jelly sandwitches and drinking a carton of cold milk through a straw in lunch room at Ridgeview School in Oklahoma City. Onomatopoeia, I like that....

And what happened to the EM Log (FTN) Blogger whereabouts discussion? Has he surfaced over the weekend?

7/14/2008 8:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still don't know why no one is railing on the XO who is dinq on awards and evals yet finds time to blog.

7/14/2008 5:23 PM

Blogger divrchk said...

Wow. I don't think I've seen such bitter, anonymous comments in quite some time!

7/14/2008 7:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous talking about my XO,

If he was really behind, then I would do something about it. You sure are brave being able to post anonymously.

To everyone else, sorry to hear about EM Log.


7/14/2008 7:21 PM

Blogger Nereus said...

Seems like the bitterness might have something to do with the rash caused by the "liner" in those fancy new shorts and the tucked in sporty new yellow shirt while sweating early in the Morning.

Too bad FTN shut it down. He captured some of the tempest in a tea pot attitude that has grown more prevailant in the Navy.

Some of the personal attack comments are way off base. But I guess if you don't have the Nad's to put you name (or psuedoname) on it,then I guess you are also a "Whinny" little B#tch

7/14/2008 7:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i heard on the QT that the Em is down with OPP but everyone need to continue their PT with the new outfits and he will continue to keep things on the DL whilst the MIB do their J.O.B. P.S. Good job CO backing your XO while the DB makes his BS remarks

7/15/2008 5:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I have anything to say to the officers and petty officers appointed over me (other than "Yes sir, rightaway sir, you want sugar with your coffee, sir?") of course I do it anonomously; military justice is an oxymoron. At best the CO really doesn't care what some blueshirt thinks; at worst he goes Abu Ghraib on your ass. Why? Because he can.

7/15/2008 7:28 AM

Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

To the XO/CO:

1. Please see my comments circa 2000 from the SNOB book.

2. Oh, and pound sand.

Very Respectfully,

Your mother!

A Former ELT Sends...

7/15/2008 8:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, ELT...

Since some of us are not privvy to this book, could you perhaps give us a brief synopsis?

7/15/2008 6:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Its callled once upon a time I coulden't make cheif...lmao

7/15/2008 7:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The EM Log blogger is incredibly talented. I think he's active duty. I hope he comes back. If he were to have a book published, I would definitely buy it.

I also enjoy the blog by the XO. He has a lot more time on his hands than my husband did as XO! (And I'm jealous!) Oh well, the XO blogger seems like a great guy and I wish him the best.

7/16/2008 1:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, "Anonnoymus", I guess you told me. Yep, you certainly did. Consider me told.

Thank you for pointing our how much of a waste-oid I am for not advancing to Chief, and how wonderful and awesome and fantastic you are because you are an E-7. Maybe I should just kiss your anchors and throw rose petals before you in your glorious "Chieflyness", for surely I was not worthy of donning the sacred Anchors while I was in.

Yes, everybody, let's all tell "Anonnoymus" here what a terrific guy he is for his ability to point out my lowliness, my scumbaggy-ness because I was never a member of the vaunted "brotherhood".

"Anonnoymus" must be a fine example, no, correction, the finest example of Chief Petty Officer-hood there ever was, and ever will be. All other Chiefs must obviously swoon in his presence, and rays of light eminate from his very being. Angels sing from on high wherever he goes, and cherubim bow low before him.

I say he should be promoted to MCPON poste haste. Why delay the greatness "Anonnoymus" so obviously deserves?

Thank you. I'm STS1(SS), and I approve this message.

7/16/2008 6:47 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Turning off comments. See update to the main post.

7/16/2008 6:55 AM


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