There are times when I have just committed a post to the ether (usually by scheduling it to launch the next day at precisely 0400 Sandy Eggo time), have prepared myself to retire for the evening to my chambre à coucher, have spent a few minutes reading the latest tome I have my nose buried in, have paid my obeisance to the felines of the tribe, and have switched the lights off when it hits me...
What will I write about tomorrow?
I'm not sure if other bloggers suffer this quandary. I mean it's not like I'm not getting paid to do this. No one will starve or be sent off to live in the streets if I don't come up with a post. Those who write for a living have, I'm sure, suffered through such a thing.
I think that I might be a bit OCD when it comes to the blog. Yes, I enjoy doing this. Yes, I have lots of interests and I'm old enough to have plenty of stories to tell. I tell ya, it ain't a lack of material which troubles me, 'tis the presentation of that material. For I strive to be entertaining, informative, and (if at all possible) amusing. Sometimes (okay, most of the time) I will settle for amusing. Sometimes even if only I find it amusing.
Yeah, that happens. Don't tell me you haven't noticed.
Last night I kept having the strangest dream, someone had hacked the blog, loaded it with all sorts of colorful graphics which were intended to sell some objet d'art which I could not, for the life of me, remember, when the alarm yanked me out of a sound sleep at 0600 local. (Which would be New England time. For those keeping score at home.)
So being all haggard and weary, I dragged myself to work. On the way there was a driver proceeding merrily along at 25 mph, on a road where the speed limit is 45. If you're wondering, yes, I will admit to making some less than Christian comments vis-à-vis this chap's heritage, breeding, intelligence, and driving skills. 'Twas then that I realized two things:
- It's the Christmas season, I should be a bit more forgiving, and
- I was really in no hurry to get to work, why all the fuss?
|What it feels like at work this week. (Source)|
Anyhoo, I start off work by looking for a spreadsheet I wanted to have a look at, for to plan next year's activities (as in vacation planning, etc.) and lo and behold I stumble across a spreadsheet of ship selections available to The Nuke way back when she was about to be commissioned. Being interested in things of that nature, I opened it up and began to peruse the various selections, listed were the names of the ships and their home ports.
The list began with a number of cruisers...
Made it's way through the available destroyers (one of which, USS McFaul she eventually got)...
Way down at the bottom of the list were these...
- MCM 1 AVENGER
- MCM 2 DEFENDER
- MCM 3 SENTRY
- MCM 5 GUARDIAN
- MCM 6 DEVASTATOR
- MCM 10 WARRIOR
- MCM 13 DEXTROUS
- MHC 52 HERON
- MHC 53 PELICAN
- MHC 54 ROBIN
- MHC 55 ORIOLE
- MHC 56 KINGFISHER
- MHC 57 CORMORANT
- MHC 59 FALCON
The WSO and I were down Virginia way for to drive The Nuke's vehicle back to New England as she was out at sea and would be for about six months. Rather than let her car sit, I volunteered to take care of it. (The very car I now own, yclept Big Girl, thanks to the generosity of The Nuke.)
Headed northwards we stopped on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel for to dine, there being a fine little dining establishment just at the entrance of the first northbound tunnel. Which would be at the exit of the last southbound tunnel. Said information you really didn't need but which I give to you freely and without purposes of evasion. Or words to that effect.
Where we stopped to eat...
After we dismounted the vehicle, I noticed something to seaward, something small but something haze gray in color. My first thought? "Cool. Warship!" Fortunately near the restaurant there are these...
A few coins later and I'm looking at this...
|MHC 51, USS Osprey (Source)|
This was the spring of '06. I didn't know the ship I saw was the Osprey until I got home and looked up the hull number. I had figured her for some sort of mine warfare platform and I was correct.
Seems that The WSO and I saw the old girl (as she was commissioned in '93 she wasn't that old) coming in from her last days on the bounding main. She was de-commissioned and struck (on the same day) in June of that very year.
I will need to do some more reading and digging on these little guys. While any ship can be a mine sweeper once (BOOM! What the Hell was that?- I think we hit a mine!) these ships dedicated to that dangerous trade deserve a post of their own. We've talked about carriers and destroyers in these spaces before but those ships need these little guys out front, clearing the seas. Otherwise those big, sexy platforms are just expensive targets. I also have a few friends whose stock and trade is/was mine warfare.
It ain't all airplanes and big guns in the Navy. Or so I'm told...
* With apologies to Mr. Poe. No, not the guy who plays for West Point, the original one, ya know the poet...