Saturday, November 28, 2015

Usually the top web sites are full of junks. (Er, what?)

PT Boat Spam
A while back I had emails from a few concerned readers, seems they wanted to post comments but weren't real clear on the best way to do so. Rather than write a long (potentially boring) post describing the many ways to create an account, then use that account to post comments, I decided to throw the doors of the blog open to the world.

So far that has not proven catastrophic. I have yet to receive comments promising me larger parts of my anatomy (thank you I am content with my parts), no doubt that will happen soon enough. One of the reasons I shut off Any Mouse comments a while back was that I was receiving really bizarre promos and just plain disturbing crap as comments. Yup, the spam-bots ruined it for everyone.

But in due time, I decided to throw the doors open again. Oddly enough, nothing disturbing has landed in the comments (yet, knock on wood) but I get strange comments from obviously non-English speaking spam-bots on old posts. Posts which will not get revisited (unless it's by a spam-bot). The only reason I noticed these is that all comments show up in my email box. (Those of you who might have left an insulting or otherwise not-intended-to-be-seen comment must know that I still get to see those comments. Once "Publish" is hit, all bets are off. Teh Interwebz is forever. Sort of.)

Anyhoo, I found the following samples somewhat humorous...
Usually the top web sites are full of junks. Perhaps it is time to use other search engine.Thank you for the useful info! I wouldnt have discovered this by myself.You made an amazing post. Put up more content soon! I will bookmark your blog. I want to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blogpost. I am hoping the same best blog post from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own blog now. Truly the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it.When I click on your feed it seems to be a ton of garbage, is the malfunction on my reader.I think that is an exciting point, it made me think a bit. Thank you for sparking my thinking cap. Sometimes I get so much in a rut that I just sense like a record.
Ya know, I couldn't agree more...
  • I wouldnt have discovered this by myself.
No, I'm sure you wouldn't have. Note that - "wouldn't" - not "wouldnt." And seriously, you could have theoretically discovered this blog all by yourself, eventually. It's the old "fill a room full of monkeys and typewriters and eventually they will produce the complete works of Shakespeare. Or the Affordable Health Care Act. That's known, BTW, as the Infinite Monkey Theorem*. According to Wikipedia, the sum of all human knowledge typed up by people with no agenda whatsoever. Or so they claim.
  • I am hoping the same best blog post from you in the future as well.
Well, that makes two of us. I have to say though, it would be tough to write a great post in the past. Though you seem to have no problem commenting on old posts, in the past as it were, thinking that somehow your poorly produced pitch for a piss poor product will somehow get promulgated to the proletariat. Or the plebes. Pick your own non-alliterative (or alliterative) synonym for the downtrodden and under-informed.

Now these next few lines just confused me.
  • In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own blog now.
  • Truly the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly.
  • Your write up is a fine example of it.
  • When I click on your feed it seems to be a ton of garbage, is the malfunction on my reader.
Um, what?

I inspired you to start your own blog?

Hate to tell you, but blogging seems to be on the downturn, not the upswing.

Seriously, when you click on my feed "it seems to be a ton of garbage"? If you're trying to get me to click through to a link on a server somewhere in the former Soviet Union, insulting me is not the way to do it. Trying to cover it up with a "malfunction on my reader" is just confusing.

But some days, yeah, it could be a ton of garbage. But hey, it ends on a high note...
  • Thank you for sparking my thinking cap. Sometimes I get so much in a rut that I just sense like a record.
I'm glad I was able to "spark your thinking cap." I too sometimes get in a rut, but I have never had the experience of sensing like a record. Whatever that means...

Another I found amusing, in an auto-generated translated random text from Serbo-Croatian to English kind of way was this...
  • Im so interested in your article. Could you mind if I used a few of your ideas for my weblog? Ill obviously mention you as the authentic source and set up a hyperlink pointing back to your blog. Many thanks.I do agree with all the ideas you have presented in your post. Theyre very convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are very short for newbies. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.This blog has a lot of extremely helpful info on it! Cheers for informing me.e. Who knows maybe it really is just my cell phone. Great post by the way.Great stuff.Id like to recommend checking out a lot around the idea of french fries. What do you think.These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content.
What can I say? I will certainly do that French fries thing. I like French fries.

Apparently contractions are a very hit or miss kind of thing for a spam-bot. Yes, I'm sure it's just your cell phone.

A couple that I pulled out of The Lexicans spam filter were very interesting. In a garbled, nonsensical, yet whimsical kind of way.
  • I simply desired to make a quick comment in order to express gratitude for your requirements for people wonderful pointers you are posting at this site. Time consuming internet investigation has towards the end for the day been rewarded with high-quality strategies to present to my guests. I would claim that many of us readers are really endowed to happen in an incredible network with biggest reason so many marvellous those with useful hints. Personally i think quite privileged to have used your webpages and check toward really more fabulous minutes reading here. Thank you for many things.
Yes, that one made my head hurt.

Here's my favorite -
  • Its such as you learn my thoughts! You seem to grasp a lot approximately this, such as you wrote the e book in it or something. I believe that you simply can do with a few % to pressure the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is excellent blog. An excellent read. I will certainly be back.
Well yes, that was my intent to "pressure the message home." Again, I don't see anything from you to help me do that. Then again, I am not going to click on a link from a person with the moniker, xvideos. While I act it at times, I'm not really an adolescent.

Ah spam, it can be interesting and annoying all at the same time. I have been going back to those old posts which seem to be so favored of spam-bots and turning off the comments. (A skill I just figured out on Friday.)

But it's like killing cockroaches. Smoke them out in one post, they show up in another.

Those apocalyptic visions where naught remains on earth but cockroaches? Nope, the spam-bots will be there too, posting bizarre comments from some subterranean server in the hopes that someone, somewhere, will click on that link from Mr xvideos.


*The Infinite Monkey Theorem refers to the former thing, not the latter. The latter is known as The Infinite Politician Theorem. Oh, wait a minute. I can't see the difference either...

Friday, November 27, 2015

Gone to the Dogs

Bear Patrols the Fence Line
Kodi On Overwatch

Hope you all had a great holiday, mine was awesome and continues. This is just a short post to let you all know I survived.

Ate far too much food.

Watched far too much football.

Had far too much fun with my granddaughters.

But I built up my strength the night before Thanksgiving.

Guinness at the Atlantic Beach Club, the eve of Thanksgiving. One of two with the meal. Had an Irish coffee for courage afterwards.

I was ready for anything.

Seeing a lot of spam coming in over the transom lately. I reckon that always follows when you open up the comments. Most, so far, are très amusant, though très ennuyeux. I'll share a couple of those this weekend, probably, POCIR.

Odd thing though, all the spam is coming in on older posts. Older posts about tanks and the Army. Perhaps they're friends of XBradTC?

Nah, he speaks English (quite well, I must say), the spammers obviously cannot.

More, later.

(BTW, Bear and Kodi are two of my granddogs.)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Freedom from Want by Norman Rockwell (Source)
Have a wonderful holiday. Let's not forget those who can't be home this year...

Not everyone can watch football on Thanksgiving. (Source)

Or curl up with a loved one in front of the fire place. (Source)

From all of us at the Chant du Départ...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Of Pins, Travel and Granddaughters

My buddy Shaun had a link in a comment yesterday for something like this CVN-69 pin. (Yeah, three links in one line, I'm outta control!)
I say "something like" that pin in the photo, because what I am holding up in that photo is the real deal, given to me by The Nuke back when she was part of Ike's reactor department. That's the "officer" version. The enlisted version (which I wish I had) is blue with gold lettering.

Here's what that link offers:


Not quite the same innit? But if you don't know a member of the crew, that button would suffice. Like they say, it's the thought that counts.

As mentioned earlier this week, two of the grandchildren are in town. Within 24 hours we were having quite a time.

Things didn't start that great.

First off, The WSO's flight into Detroit (from SFO) sat on the ground for an hour before a gate opened up where the passengers could disembark, sprint down the concourse to their connecting flight, only to watch it lift off, gear up and disappear into the gloaming.

Secondly, The WSO's flight was supposed to end in Boston. Some 60 miles to the north-north-east of my position. Not a terribly long drive but much farther than the 25 miles to T. F. Green airpatch just south of Providence. (The aerodrome is actually six miles from Chez Sarge as the crow flies. Crows can cross Narragansett Bay with ease, my car cannot.)

Alright, are you with me so far? As I suggested above, The WSO was late disembarking, through no fault of her own, her connecting flight to Boston was long gone by the time she and the granddaughters got off the plane.

Way to go Delta.

That, by the way, was the last flight to Boston.

Queue Big Time's Mom and Dad. They live in Michigan, not far from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW in airline speak). They were overjoyed that perhaps they would get the grandkids for an overnight stay.

Cruel fate intervened at that point.

Seems there was one last flight out of DTW bound for New England. Just so happens that The WSO could make that flight and Delta booked her upon it. Also, wonder of wonders, said flight was going to T. F. Green (PVD in airline speak).

Big Time's Mom and Dad? Bummed, they'd have to see the grandkids later.

The WSO's Mom and Dad? Ecstatic, shorter drive, no need to drive in the environs of Boston, which can be a real PITA. Even late at night. DAMHIK.

So the grandkids arrived, less stress on Your Humble Scribe and I get to hear conversations like this, all week:

The Missus Herself: Are you hungry baby girl?

Little Bit: Yes, but no Korean food. I don't like Korean food.

Your Humble Scribe: Little Bit, you do remember that grandma is Korean right?

[Eyes shift back and forth, looking for an out...]

Little Bit: Oh wait, I like Korean food, it's Chinese food that I don't like.

Your Humble ScribeLittle Bit, you know that grandpa loves Chinese food. Right?

[Eyes shift back and forth, looking for an out...]

Little Bit: Yes, grandma, I'm hungry. Let's eat. [Adopts a look of total innocence, as if the previous exchange had never happened.]

Later that day we discuss boogers.

I love being a grandfather.

Our tribe's newest member.
(The one on the left, ignore the geezer with the crazed look.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Gonna Be A Busy Week...

Google Street View
So The Nuke drove up from DC.

The WSO flew in from California (yes, her arms are tired, thank you for asking).

Not sure how much blogging will get done this week.

I have granddaughters and granddogs to spoil. No doubt the progeny will spoil me.

I will leave you with this.

(Heck, everyone is posting this, I don't wish to be thought of as "uncool." Heavens to Betsy, no. Not me!)

I spent a day at sea on the Ike, had Christmas dinner onboard back in the day when The Nuke was assigned to her.

Yeah, I like Ike.

She's a fine ship with a fine crew.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Operation Tasman Sea After Action Report

So,  There I was*  Forced by my cruel family and friends to take a vacation and visit Australia and New Zealand.  The things we do to keep peace and tranquility in our home.  I can feel the sympathy from you readers just FLOWING through the Internet. /Sarc

Flew into Sydney and spent 4 days on the ground there.  The Family had been there in 06 for a week, but Mrs. Juvat and Little Juvat had a conference to attend.  The Beautiful Daughter (TBD) and I had a blast exploring the town.  So, for all intents and purposes, this was a first time visit for all but she and I.  Rented a very nice B&B in Watson’s Bay which was quaint, quiet but conveniently close to a water taxi so getting around was easy.

By the second day, both other couples had arrived  and we were doing the turista thing. 

The Taronga Zoo was quite enjoyable and the day trip to the Hunter Valley Wine Region was fabulous.  
We brought Professionals with us to drink wine

Day 4 had us boarding the Solstice  at Circular Quay. 

 Mrs Juvat and I sprung for a cabin on the back of the boat, and the extra deck space allowed for all 9 to consume some Champers whilst taking in a view that “didn’t suck.”
No, This view didn't "suck".

A day at sea, and awoke the next morning in Hobart Tasmania.  Strolled around for a bit, visited the Cenotaph overlooking the harbor.
Quiet Contemplation

 Followed with a visit to a local Whiskey distillery.  (Most of us would call it a Scotch distillery, but I was corrected.  Since this was not Scotland, this was not Scotch I was drinking.)  The liquid nectar of the gods was excellent, but at $160 US for 500Ml, it was priced above my comfort level.
Whiskey, Not Scotch!

Left Hobart, and spent two days crossing the Tasman Sea, arriving at Dawn at Milford Sound.  I’m pretty sure I know where Heaven is.  Words don’t describe.
Milford Sound, Lord, you did well here!

Other Ports included Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, Tauranga and Bay of Islands.  Finally, we offloaded in Auckland.  All completely different.  All beautiful beyond words.  
View from the table at lunch
(Russell, Bay of Islands NZ)

There were a couple of very special side trips we took that will be included in future posts. However, there were some big lessons learned, that I wanted to share.

We arrived at Sydney just after dark theit time which corresponded to about 1AM body time, a VERY long day.  Cleared Immigration, grabbed our bags and joined the Taxi Queue.  Got to the head of the line and asked the supervisor for a van which he quickly hailed.  Loaded our bags, got in and I sat up front.  Gave the driver (I’ll name him Vlad the Mad Serbian) the address and watched him enter it into his GPS.  I did the same thing.  And We’re Off!  

Now, I like Speed.  700K @ 100’ no problem, bring it!   However…

Suffice it to say, I’d like to blame my hysterical laughing on excitement about being in Australia, but I must confess to sheer terror.  We managed to arrive at the B&B in one piece, but there is probably at least one motorcyclist who is still cleaning out his pants.

In any case, we’re offloading our bags and I put my backpack down on the back of the taxi to help with the conga line.  The family is moving bags into the house as they are offloaded.  We get the taxi unloaded, I turn and all the bags are in the house.  Pay the cabbie and head inside. 

Only to find that my backpack didn’t make it into the house.

Lesson #1.  Don’t move the bags until all are unloaded.  Everyone accounts for all their luggage, then the cabbie gets paid.

Lesson #2.  Cell Phones have cameras.  Take a picture of the Cab, and especially the phone number.

Why was this important?  Fortunately, when we’d cleared immigration, I had stuck the passports in my pants pocket, so that problem was avoided. However, my backpack had my iPad, Tablet and Camera in it.  Bad, but replaceable.  

But…My backpack had my medications in it.  Medications I can’t afford to not take for 2-3 weeks.
Stayed up for about 3 more hours calling Taxi companies that had that type cab.  No joy. 

 The next morning as we head to breakfast, I notice a mom and pop pharmacy and stop in.  I explain my circumstances and ask their advice.  Well….they can’t sell me the meds without a prescription and my Doctor isn’t licensed in Australia, so I’ll have to make an appointment with an Aussie Dr and have him write the prescriptions.  Oh Sierra Hotel!

We decide to go back to the airport and see if we can talk to the Cab Supervisor and see if they might have any ideas on which company we used.  As we exit the train, I see a cop off to the side and ask him directions to the cab queue.  He gives them to me and asks why I need a cab (we’re still in the train station).  I explain my lost backpack and he says “Mate, you’re unlikely to get that back.”  “I know, but it’s the meds that are in it, I’m worried about.”

“Mate, that happens all the time.  There’s a doctor on the third floor of the terminal.  She’ll write you the scripts right there.” 

 $80 AUS later, I’ve got my scripts.  Turn them in to the pharmacy, pick up the meds and pay for them.  Holy Socks!  The following morning, I’m back on my regimen and things start to smooth back out.  Now, if I can just figure out how to get reimbursed by TriCare…That was an EXPENSIVE lesson.

The next evening, there’s a knock at the door, and there’s Vlad with my backpack, with the iPad, Tablet, Camera and Meds.

Next lesson.

Travel to Sydney is a 19 hour non-stop from Dallas or Houston.  We didn’t want to experience that.  Having done it once we recognize that the trip is not for the faint of heart. 

Side note: I’m pretty sure that the Old in OldNFO is a direct result of the numerous times he had to make the trip.  Chronologically, he’s probably 40 something.  As the adage goes, it’s not the years, it’s the miles!  16,875 give or take, out and back. 

in order to avoid 19 straight, we decided we’d make a stop each way in Honolulu.  Just a one night stay to break up the flight.  Good idea, but would have been better with two nights each way.  We were too spun up and worrying about the early wakeup the next morning to get much useful sleep.

Finally, the Daughter In Law had to be back Monday which dictated flights and airlines. Since we left last Friday US/France time, we picked a terrible day to fly on Emirates.  Took off from Auckland, no problem.  Landed at Brisbane and although we had been screened in Auckland and never left the secure portion of the international terminal, we were all ushered into a separate room and rescreened.  Mrs. Juvat had bought a bottle of water in the international terminal in Auckland (after screening there).  It was in her purse.  Alert!  Alert!  

Ah well!  Such a world we live in.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Long Ago, When the World Went Dark

Arlington, At Dusk
Some of you may be wondering how I, a self-proclaimed historian, had not remarked on what happened on this day, 52 years ago.

Believe me, I know what happened, it is a date that was seared into the soul of a ten year old boy. It's one of those "where were you" dates.

For me, my world went from being a safe place, where all is goodness and light, to a very dark, dark future.

Vietnam followed not long after.

The riots and turbulence of the '60s here in the U.S. were another symptom of those dark, dark times.

But to a young boy, the events were overwhelming. Why would anyone want to kill the President? What dark powers walked the Earth that would make possible such a thing?

I have not forgotten those dark days and I never will.

Rest in peace Mr. President. Some of us remember.