Friday, September 24, 2010

Sunshine and Roses!

To be perfectly honest, sunshine and roses are not the topic of my post today. No, nothing so mundane, in fact, this post will detail in all its horrific glory the details of my detailed master plot, which is also quite evil.

EDIT: In hindsight, this post was a bad idea, as the authorities found me not long after the first part of my plan was laid into action. Luckily, through judicious applications of broken time/space laws, such mistakes are easily corrected. Instead of my master plan, we shall discuss something else entirely.

For instance, how I've been sick the past couple days. Yeah, iknorite? I don't get sick that often. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending how you look at it, with the exception of a few minor allergies I have a formidable immune system. For instance, two years in a row I was immune to that years "strain" of influenza, and I am immune to both forms of Mono (much to Alyse's dismay)! The unfortunate part of this is when I do take ill, I am very very ill. Also, this always seems to happen when Alyse is at least 9 hours from me. By spaceship or some other such contrivance.

Anyway, I'm relatively fine now, though medical assistance onboard an aircraft carrier, or to be more specific the military in general, is sorely lacking. Self diagnosis and treatment is in most cases better for you than venturing down to the actual medical wing of the ship. Because honestly, they aren't doctors. Well some of them are, but you have to have a special illness to see one of them. I know, effective right? Anyway.

Someone went so far as to suggest I was in Stage I of Reye's Syndrome. That was where I left.

Hope everyone else is having a lovely couple of days; fair winds and following seas!

Monday, September 20, 2010

I vant to PUMP yoo up!

At the beginning of this deployment I made a promise to myself to start working out again, and try to get back the body I had when I was 15-16. Back then I was incredibly active, playing soccer during the summer, and wrestling during the school year. I developed what have been called "tree trunk legs", probably the part of my body I'm most self conscious about, mainly because they are so large.

Anyway. Recently, especially due to my whole orders situation, I have lost motivation to go to the gym. I lost about 15 lbs during the first month or so of cruise and now I've probably gained it all back. BUT I have determined to go back tomorrow night. I need to do laundry and make a workout playlist for my iPod. So....yeah.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Sherlock Holmes

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once detailed the difference between analytical and deductive reasoning in one of his Sherlock Holmes short stories. The difference, he said, is that analytic reasoning is the use of logic to solve a problem, to find the answer to a question. Deductive reasoning, on the other hand, is the use of logic to find the question when you already have the answer.

I like to think that I utilize both, but my strength lies with analytical reasoning. If you give me a problem, my brain approaches it in a multilinear way. I see the problem as a base, but rather than focusing on that, I review each of the possible solutions and choose the most likely one. This happens, most of the time, in seconds. It's a trait that I inherited from my father, though he has years of experience on me and often points out routes that I missed.

This quality, or trait, or whatever you want to call it, is what makes me a "leader", or to be more accurate, what makes people follow me, even when I don't think I'm deserving of it.

My point to this is that it gives me a reputation as a problem solver. Both in my relationship with Alyse and during the course of my work, I am turned to and asked to "work my magic" to solve an issue. It is, however, a double edged sword. I occasionally get into arguments with Alyse where she points out different ways to solve a particular issue, and I have an answer for each of them. She understandably feels like I'm just shooting her down, or that I am purposefully defeating her arguments; when in fact I have already reviewed and possibly even tried each of these solutions, and therefore dismiss them out of turn.

Perchance this is why the Navy annoys me so much. Problems in this organization are myriad and diverse, and my job as a Yeoman is largely to find loopholes and solutions for people. Every so often, however, I hit the brick wall of what we call "big navy", by which we're referring to the Department of the Navy, instead of our individual command. It almost seems like they want everything to be a struggle, but yet are confused when we get frustrated. It's rather disheartening to someone wired as I am.

But anywho. Ending another ramble with another thought provoking comment - If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Now for a fact you may or may not know: in the E1-E4 bracket, the US Navy has the worst retention rate (read: ability to keep enlisted members) of any of the US military branches. There have been studies and charts and all sorts of research done as to why this may be.

All of that wasted time could have been avoided if they had just asked someone in the bracket itself. So, for their benefit, and for yours, let me explain.

E1-E4s are the hardest workers in the entire Navy. Sure, they don't have AS MUCH responsibility as the E5+, but they get all the bitch work, the "this has to be done or someone is going to die" work. And every day that they're doing this work, toiling away in the trenches, getting dirty and sweaty and generally disgusting, they get sh*t on.

See, there's a saying in the Navy: "Sh*t rolls downhill." In other words, someone higher up the chain gets pissed off, and it just moves right on down until it hits, you guessed it, the E1-E4. And that pisses us off - shame that we don't have anyone to take it out on. We're the lowest rung in a ladder that goes further up than I care to imagine.

The Naval leadership, for the most part, has little to worry about, but yet every day they find new ways to make life difficult for their airmen/seamen/3rd classes. The sad part is that those ways that they make life difficult aren't balanced out by anything. Until you make E5 or so, you're getting paid less than your average New York City garbageman, to do jobs that he'd probably turn his nose up at. At least he takes less crap on a daily basis from people that are probably a) not nearly as intelligent as himself and b) have no idea who he is or where he comes from.

My point is, the more crap they make you take, the less motivated, or even willing, you are to do the work. Then you take more crap. It's a flawed system that makes entry level sailors hate their own organization.

Sprinkle a little bit of "oh you want to see the world? too bad, we're sending you wherever the hell we please instead of where you want to go" on top of that, and it's no wonder why we have the worst retention rate. Just sayin'.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kind of like a lopsided welcome mat....

That is to say, the first post of a new blog is that. You know, you're going over to a friends house and the welcome mat isn't quite right on the step, and you put your foot on it and try to slide it into position, but in the end they open the door and you feel like you got caught stealing their mail, all for fixing their welcome mat. Maybe they wanted it sideways, you know? It could be that placement challenged mat defines their entire existence as an individual.

Anyway, the causality of welcome mats was not really the purpose of this initial post...where was I? Oh right. Most of you know me, so really, introductions aren't that important, and to be honest, if you don't know me, then you're behind the times and you should utilize your internet search engines more.

Speaking of internet search engines, I miss Ask Jeeves. Is it even still around? Or did the evolved horde that is Google drag it down into the bowels of A-HTML and .TK websites and devour its soul? Be right back, Google searching for "ask jeeves".

Right then, switching topics entirely too quickly because it's 8:38 in the morning, and I slept all of an hour last night, onto the subject of the title of this blog. Actually to be perfectly honest, it wasn't my idea. Okay, technically it was half my idea. The first half came from a lovely tree named Bell. Sagacity is a fantastic word and one that I still feel applies to me, whereas sanguinity hasn't applied to me for years. More on that later, for now I leave you with this thought:

If all rules have exceptions, does this rule not have an exception, and therefore, are some rules absolute?