14 March 1985

31 years ago today, I got out of the Navy after six years active duty and six months inactive. I joined on the Delayed Entry Program 15 Sep 1978 and went to boot camp 15 March 1979. They send you home the day before, ’cause I guess technically you’re still in while you travel.

I went at NTC Great Lakes,  for almost two years, for boot camp and Electronics Technician School, then I got stationed in Pearl Harbor on board the USS Somers DDG 34. I also went to some schools at Mare Island, north of San Fransisco.

And that’s my post for today!

Flashback Friday flashing back to another Flashback Friday.

http://www.markd60.com/flashback-friday-second-grade-hell/

Above is a link to a previous Flashback Friday. Second Grade Hell. I just found a picture of that school, East Park, in 1918. Gross. At least it’s been torn down now.

image

Look at that frikkkin’ place. What a haunted house. I have no recollection of the outside as a whole. Just brown bricks.

Assumptions, Expectations and Attitude

When I was a kid, I didn’t completely understand the rules of American football. I got on the football team, hoping to learn the rules more than actually play football, but everyone seemed to know them (but me). They were never taught, and out of shame, I never asked. I sucked on my high school football team, msstly because I never knew what I was doing. To this day, I am still aware of rules I don’t know in American Football.

Not so many years later, I had been a lifeguard at a swimming pool for a couple of years. I took a pool managers course to learn about taking care of the pool itself. I think it was in the evenings at a local college. In the course, everyone (except me, apparently) already was a pool manager. They discussed flushing the filters, adding the chemicals. Everyone in the class was much older than me and already knew what I came to learn. In the class, we never flushed a filter, or even went to a pool! I never knew precisely what anyone was talking about, didn’t understand the terminology, and again, kept my mouth shut, because I didn’t want to be the sole idiot. I flunked the test, and was so angry, I wrote a scathing letter.

Both times, I didn’t know what was going on, I couldn’t see it until it was over, and I looked back with 20/20 hindsight. Both still cause me anger and resentment and shame today.

I don’t really know the point of this post. Something happened recently that reminded me of it, but now I can’t remember what that was.

I guess my point is, when in doubt, speak up.

Flashback From My Mom

A few days ago, my Mom sent this story, a lot of stuff I never knew.  I guess I’ll have to read the two books mentioned…
My Mom said I could post this.

When I first came to DC in 1958, I lived in a boarding house on capitol hill called the Betty Alden Inn.  It was at 111 First Street, exactly across from the drive.  I was looking for a dentist and one of the guards, Mr. Ernie Joines, said, try Dr. William L. Walters on Connecticut Ave.  He doesn’t take many new patients, but maybe he will take you.  So.. I went to Dr. Walters and he began a two year appointment relationship of fixing my teeth.

As I got to know him better, I told him about my coworker who was into gemstones and the two of them became great friends over the years.
One day in his office, he said, Janet there is someone I’d like you to meet.  He introduced me to Alice Roosevelt Longworth.  She said a few pleasantries to me and that was it.

The reason I am remembering this, is that there is a new book out called “Hissing Cousins” by Dwyer. 

The reason Eleanor didn’t like cocktails was because she adored her alcoholic skirt-chasing father.  I believe on one occasion he left her sitting on the street for a long period before she went and dragged him out of the bar.

Alice chose my dentist because he lived in her neighborhood, DuPont Circle.  I later lived on 20th street in the DuPont Circle neighborhood. for 6 weeks study before going back to Boston.  I later lived about two years in Georgetown on Q street…  this is where I met Marvin.  . 

Neither woman made much success of motherhood.  Eleanor had five children who had a total of 17 marriages. and Alice’s daughter, Paulina, was commonly known not to be Longworth’s daughter but of someone named Borah.  She toyed with the idea of naming her daughter Deborah. Paulina apparently took her own life in 1957 at the age of 31.

The book review brings together a lot of old memories.

Another good book is “Boys in The Boat”  about WASHINGTON STATE Olympic team in 1936.  It is nonfiction and you willo not lay it down.

Enough nostalgia for today.!!!!!

Experiment Fail / Sorting Pictures

Yesterday, when I posted my post, my tablet had 11% power. When I got done, it was 6%, when I got to work, it was dead. Both my power packs were dead so I had no choice, I plugged it in. However, the data collection will continue. This morning looks like a typical, perfect Caribbean morning, fresh wind, mostly blue skies with some fluffy white clouds, and the sun, just peeking over the treetops.

image

Yesterday, a friend posted an old postcard of the Holiday Inn Grand Cayman.

image

Now I’m going through old pictures to see if I have good ones. I used to copy all my pictures to DVD once a year, now I keep them all on a portable hard drive. I am currently copying the pics from the DVDs to the hard drive, then I have to sort them. Not a small task.

This afternoon after work, I have a job interview.

Have a good day!

Flashback Friday, Second Grade Hell

This post doesn’t mean I’m not feeling great. It is inspired by a post by Candy’s Daily Dandy yesterday.

GLAD IT’S FRIDAY!!!!

In first grade, I liked school and I got A’s. Then we moved half way across the country over the summer.

In second grade, I got bussed to this old, nasty school. I hated it especially because there was a new school very near my house.

My second grade school was all brown, brown bricks, brown wood, walls and floor, brown desks. Everything seemed dirty and stinky and unsanitary. I remember sitting in my nasty brown desk, trying not to touch the desk or anything at all, except what I had brought from home.

I remember there was a secret panel in the hallway (I shit you not) and at lunch the secret panel was opened and it led down to the dungeon/cafeteria. It was white-green florescent lights in a windowless stinking hellhole. I didn’t want to eat any of the food because it seemed dirty and unsanitary. And the dungeon smelled like nasty food, steam, and dirty dishwater.

When I got home from school, every day my Mom said I stank. I knew it was from that dirty nasty school. She didn’t seem to believe me when I said how bad it was.

My teacher was Miss Bolware. To me she was a disgusting filthy hag. When she first saw me she gave me a hug, and I hated being touched by her. She didn’t stay nice long, she would yell and grab you by the arm and whack you with her filthy brown ruler. I hated it when she touched me with her nasty old witch hands.

I felt trapped, and I couldn’t run away because I was seven years old and didn’t even know where I was, just some nasty place on the other side of town. I lived in that town for ten years and I don’t think I ever learned where that school was. I don’t remember ever seeing it again.  I was in Junior High School before I saw any kids from that second grade year again.

From third grade on, I went to the new school, walking distance to my house. But I never got good grades. Second grade is probably what destroyed my relationship with my parents. I didn’t get good grades in second grade, and I got punished. Then I figured that if I started getting good grades, my parents would think their punishment was effective, so I didn’t get good grades, and was more or less in a state of constant punishment for bad grades till the 11th grade, (when I had a teacher I had a crush on, Mrs Berry, I got A’s in her class!)

Incredibly, we then moved again and I went to 12th grade and graduated from a different school. The idea crossed my mind that maybe we moved because I got some good grades again, but I didn’t really think that. But I got crappy grades in 12th grade too, just to be safe.

One year later, when I turned 18, I joined the navy, and got out of my parents lives as much as I could.

Antique Dental Chair

My grade school friends Dad had a chair like this at their house, (he was a dentist). I really think the pedalwheel technology like this and on old sewing machines should be brought back.

This is from Neatorama

dental chairDoc Holliday is most famous for his friendship with gunslinger Wyatt Earp and for his participation in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. But he was also a dentist, having earned a degree from the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery. He practiced in various places in the American West, earning little as his patients were wary of the dentist’s tuberculosis. Holiday opened a saloon in Las Vegas in 1879. Now a dentist chair found in Las Vegas and inscribed with the name John Holliday is up for auction.

The oak and leather mounted dental chair of Doc Holliday and associated equipment. Accompanied by a framed letter on Baker Gulch Mining Co., Las Vegas, Nevada stationary dated Oct 20, 1908. Statement of Donation: “When I rented my office above the apothecary on the Plaza, I removed a dental chair to make room for my own furnishings.I later noticed the name John Holliday on this chair. ………I now have learned that this is the same John Holliday, the famous shootist of a few years prior….I have also been informed that this was the last location that he practiced dentistry. I give this chair to the city free of charge in hope that a display of archives or a museum may use this infamous artifact. To this I affix my signature and seal. “

Well, maybe a museum will buy it. At the time of this writing, the bids are up to $2,000. Link -via Boing Boing

Flashback Friday: Hurricane Michelle

Michelle_2001_track

Hurricane Michelle didn’t come too close to the Cayman Islands, but we got big waves. I was living in an apartment about 100 feet from the sea and the waves started coming up to the porch. I was trying to nail some plywood into the concrete to cover my sliding glass door, when a huge wave came up. It was easily neck or head high to me, standing on the porch.. I was kind of in the corner of the porch, and as the wave wrapped around me, I put my back against the wall and tried to dig my fingernails into the concrete and not get swept out to sea. I was moving towards the two foot dropoff at the edge of the porch when the water started going down. My feet hit the floor again and I looked to my right and saw a waist high river of water coming out of my apartment where the sliding glass door was. I saw a cardboard box flow out the river. I was getting ready to grab it when I see the nose of my kayak start to come out the door. (I had put it inside because of the hurricane) My dog Ditto was standing on the kayak. I let the box go and grabbed the kayak instead.

My apartment and everything in it was smashed. The bed was smashed, the bookshelves were smashed to splinters. All my books and my computer was destroyed, as were a lot of my CDs. My tool box had saltwater in it, and I didn’t know it for a few days and the tools were ruined.

The cardboard box that floated away had, among other things, my dive log in it, and it was there I lost track of my number of dives. That logbook was number 19, of my scuba log books I had filled up diving at that time. Anyone who knows me knows I log all my dives, and I always have.

In the apartment, you could see how the wave  came in at an angle, bounced off the wall, hit the kitchen, lifted the refrigerator. (I found my underwater camera UNDER the fridge). Then it went in the bathroom and you could see like a whirlpool pattern in the wreckage. The glass dinner table was in a million pieces and the wave busted the window unit air conditioner out if it’s hole in the concrete wall. All the windows were broken and the window frames were ripped out of the concrete. There was glass everywhere, and if it had happened at night when I was asleep, I probably would not have survived.

It washed the tiles off the floor.

Hurricane Michelle is the hurricane that broke open the Turtle Farm. Before the big wave, all my neighbors and I were picking up turtles and putting them in the bathtubs. It was a nice, sunny day. Huge giant sea turtles were crashing ashore in the waves, breaking their shells. These big ones were so big that only one would fit in the bed of a full sized pick up truck.

I had insurance, but got ripped off bad. For Hurricane Ivan, I had much less damage but I was ready for the insurance sucker punch to the stomach and I didn’t get cheated, like everyone else did. (All the insurance companies blatantly ripped everyone off and then changed their names after Ivan)

I was the only one who stayed in the apartments. But things kept getting worse. The landlord was fixing all the apartments except mine. There was no tile on my floor, just black glue. Ditto was getting sick, and slowly getting covered in glue.

One Saturday, I couldn’t take it any more. I went to my office at work, made a cup of coffee and sat down with the paper in the cool air conditioning. I found one apartment, made one phone call, went and looked, and moved into the apartment. I stayed there six years, and it was the apartment I had before I moved into this house.

And that’s my Flashback Friday. Have a good weekend!!!!

Flashback Friday: First Time Driving

cars-2-500x393

The first car I ever drove was a 1973 AMC Gremlin. It was a snowy Missouri day and my friend Doug and I were out cruising around. We were way back on a dirt road, snowy and icy when he decided to let me drive.

Gremlin2

Gremlin

He said, “don’t use the brakes, you’ll skid if you use the brakes”.

So. I started driving, got going to a pretty good speed, then took my foot off the gas to slow down for a curve. Since it was a dirt road, the turn was really banked. As per instruction, I didn’t use the brakes

Well, I hit that curve pretty fast, and didn’t make the turn. I ended up airborne and landed in this snow filled cornfield. You could see where all four tires left the ground in the snow.

It didn’t hurt the car, because aeronautical race car driving is in my genes.  We reversed out and headed on our way. Doug driving.

And that was the first time I ever drove a car. Another thing I remember, worth mentioning, is the first time I drove solo, after I got my license. But that was uneventful.

HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND!!!

Flashback Friday: The Baby Snake

snake_590This makes me sad. I wish I could un-do it.

Years ago, I was walking on the beach and I found a brand new looking, plastic mouse cage. It was about twice as big as your grade school milk carton, Clear plastic with a fluorescent pink lid with bars. I thought WTF? and picked up and took it home.

Later that day, I was getting some dirt for a plant from a pile of dirt at the apartment and found a baby black snake. He was the size of a worm. The cage was perfect for him.

I had him in the cage for an hour or so, and decided he deserved to be free, so I let him go back where I found him. The cage rotted in the sun and I ended up throwing it away.

Two or three or four years later, I found a big blacksnake under my welcome mat. I killed it.

After I killed it, it occurred to me, “Maybe that was the same baby snake I found years ago” And as soon as I thought it, I knew it was true.

And I immediately regretted killing that snake and I still wish I hadn’t killed that snake. Why did I find that snake and that cage on the same day? I feel I definitely strayed from my path either the day I found the snake, or the day I killed the snake. Or both.