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, November 29, 2012

Things Retired Submariners Do With Their Kids

As we do most years, my family and I set up a gaudy, neighborhood-property-value-destroying Christmas display at our house:

This year I went with the rare-yet-tasteless "triple lawn Santa" theme, and topped it off with intentionally-unsynchronized lights sets along the roof over the garage. Someone once asked me if there was any limit to how inartful I would sink; I decided that while I would go with the "gutted reindeer hanging from a tree" display if my wife would let me, I would draw the line at Santa on a cross.

Meanwhile, over in Britain, a retired submarine CO's E-mail to his kids expressing his disappointment with them has gone viral. Personally, I'm very proud of my children -- my daughter with a great job, one son who's graduating from college next month, and another who returns from a two year mission for our Church next week -- and I couldn't personally imagine going off on my kids the way Crews did, I would imagine there are people who are disappointed with their family.

If given a choice between spending the holidays with your entire extended family or spending them deployed on the boat, which would you choose?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats not much of a question actually! Have to go with family all the way! Love your Christmas decorations by the way! Can I say Christmas?

11/29/2012 12:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Entire extended family" is definitely a deal-breaker.

I'd send them a nice e-mail after getting some quality downtime on Padya Beach.

11/29/2012 1:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok...Pattaya Beach, then.

11/29/2012 1:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeez Joel, the kids in you neighborhood already messing with your decorations? It looks like the little Santa's getting in on with the reindeer!

11/29/2012 2:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No... That reindeer is smoking Santa's sausage!

11/29/2012 7:02 PM

Blogger MT1(SS)WidgetHead said...

What I like is that the Big Santa looks like he's directing air support while the boat is topside in heavy wind. What I really miss is the big black Halloween Cat Joel had on the roof for a couple of years.
I always thought that was cool as hell.

11/29/2012 7:38 PM

Blogger MT1(SS)WidgetHead said...

More important really,

Joel thanks for always taking care of us when you had the watch. Merry Christmas to You and Yours Sir!!

The Damned Widget.

11/29/2012 7:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

engage auxiliary nuclear power!

11/29/2012 11:45 PM

Anonymous sc0tt said...

Spent one Christmas in Manila with my LBFM...fond memories. Merry X-mas.

11/30/2012 12:40 AM

Blogger Rusty said...

I've spent a Christmas or two away from the family on deployment. I'll have to say that i'd much rather be at home, but if I couldn't be home, there's no place i'd rather be then underway. The crew really pulls together during the holidays and a lot of fun is had and memories made. -STS1(SS)

11/30/2012 4:41 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember Christmas Eve on USS Louisville in 2002 - singing all the classic songs on the mess decks while the skipper and COB played kazoos. It was actually pretty cool.

11/30/2012 5:22 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember one Christmas underway the wives sent every one of us a matchbox car. Captain put a 2 degree down bubble on the boat and we had races all afternoon in the Ops ML passageway. Best Christmas away from home ever.

11/30/2012 9:07 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess Kazoo playing as you call is allowed in the New Navy.

11/30/2012 3:46 PM

Blogger -J.D. Humenay said...

Speaking for my sailor, he'd probably be with his extended family, even if it ment putting up w/ a few members he isn't too fond of.

BUT then again, it sounded like they had a fun Christmas underway!

11/30/2012 5:23 PM

Anonymous Travis said...

Never spent Christmas out to sea. Though, since I am Jewish, I'f volunteer for Christmas or Christmas Eve duty... and I'd always bring a bag of dip, candy and gum to pass out.

12/01/2012 9:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christmas in Yokosuka Japan 1970 on SS-580. Duty Officer was "Hollywood Art Van Saun". Invited duty section to eat Christmas dinner in the wardroom. He showed us his favorite gift from his wife, a "cocksock".
New Years in Keelung Taiwan. Now that was a New Years Eve party and a half at the New Life hotel in Patou Hot Springs.

Keep a zero bublle and happy holidays!!


12/01/2012 4:24 PM

Blogger hughmon said...

One Christmas on SSBN 616 "Santa Cob" came by all the Weapons watches and gave us baby pacifiers - because we had been whining about liberty. What fun! we proudly sucked on them for the rest of the patrol.

12/03/2012 6:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis - same here. Never spent xmas at sea, but was mindful of my duty as the "crew jew" to suck up as much time around xmas on duty as possible.

12/03/2012 3:54 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

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12/04/2012 3:59 AM

Blogger Jay said...

Santa on a cross is beneath you, eh?


Reminds me of my life growing up in Danville, Virginia, and every Christmas Eve we'd go look at the lights. For some reason, Danville had lots of people with lights in the '70s. Of course, we called it "Tacky Hunting" and we would give awards to the worst of the offenders. (Joel, sadly, you're not holding a Noel Candle to these people, but, it was the '70's). It was great discussion around the dinner table and in the car, packed in there with mom, dad, and my three sisters.

I realized later (after I had kids) that this was a neat trick to bring the family together and get the two youngest of us tired and sleepy on Christmas Eve. It always worked.

You really have to include Santa, Noel Candles, some reindeer,and a manger scene, with lots of unsynchronized lights to be truly tasteless. Get a bright star to guide Santa and you're in business.

12/04/2012 2:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No post on Monty-p's return to NOB? First tow of an operational nuc sub/ship in the history of the force/navy.

12/04/2012 6:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No post on Monty-p's return to NOB? First tow of an operational nuc sub/ship in the history of the force/navy."

Well at least since the USS HELENA was towed from Midway to Pearl in 1989.

12/04/2012 7:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or Michigan got towed into Bangor in the mid 80's

12/04/2012 8:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and speaking of Monty-P and SUBFOR Firsts: Will Tom Winter be the first 1120 CO in modern SUBFOR history to survive a class-A mishap?

12/05/2012 9:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, no.

12/05/2012 11:46 AM

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12/05/2012 12:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Will Tom Winter be the first 1120 CO in modern SUBFOR history to survive a class-A mishap?"

when the deets come out on this one it will be shocking if he stays. like, lightning bolt shocking.

12/05/2012 2:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surviving a Class A Mishap....

They must be teaching how to suck up to the Commodore and his bosses and "Spin Your Story" in the Submarine Command Course now, instead of how to avoid these Class A Mishaps.

Let me guess...CO needs (wants) to get to PD to press an exercise attack, CO gets frustrated and heads up to PD when his team isn't ready and hasn't sorted out the contacts, and a Collision occurs. Sounds like GREENEVILLE I to me (the Waddle one man show)

If he survives this, I'd really hate to be the 1120 COs that were fired this year because they couldn't answer Squadron Monitor watches fast enough (a number of external assessments....) or facebook security BS.

12/05/2012 3:12 PM

Blogger Ret ANAV said...

Was talking about this this afternoon with SanJac's NAV (He was OOD at the time of the collision). Apparently, the JagMan Report is being held up at FFC for the moment (was supposed to be released two weeks ago). We'll see what happens when that gets FFC's blessing?

12/05/2012 3:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fleet Forces "modify" or "steer" the findings of an investigation report? Is that what you're saying? Say it isn't so. That's crazy talk. Why would the silent service try to hide something? The institution always does a thorough root cause analysis and reports the findings for the rest of the community to learn from. You don't want to repeat bad things, right?

12/05/2012 9:03 PM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

Well at least since the USS HELENA was towed from Midway to Pearl in 1989

I was on Buffy at the time. Remember them coming home quite well. Not a happy crew. Let's also say they had some other problems at the time. Nobody wanted to be on that boat in the late 80's.

Bubblehead--hope you're not in an HOA. Those CC&R's can be murder.

12/06/2012 7:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw the head of the safety investigation last week and all the facts are quite well known to a large number of people.

I would not expect any kind of whitewash from FFC...there is nothing in it for them to do so.

12/08/2012 6:09 PM

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12/13/2012 7:05 AM


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