Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tuesday Meanderings


After all the snow, the ice, and the messy roads of last Thursday, everything in these parts now has that old "Winter Wonderland" look. Which is lovely and picturesque around Christmas but the rest of the year is just a reminder that "baby, it's cold outside."

Well, one could actually check the temperature I suppose but all that white stuff will give one a clue that it might be wise to bundle up and, oh yeah, don't forget your galoshes.

And does anyone still call rubber boots that one wears over ones normal shoes "galoshes"? For those who need to know such things, the word "galoshes," (plural for "galosh") comes from Middle English (denoting a type of clog): via Old French from late Latin gallicula, diminutive of Latin gallica (solea) ‘Gallic (shoe).’ En français the word is galoche. All this so my sources (aka the Internet) tell me.

Anyhoo...

The arrival of this latest batch of frozen precipitation (which, as I mentioned, commenced on Thursday, had a bit more on Saturday, then a bit more on Sunday) coincided with the latest recurrence of a little thing I like to call the "Cold From Hell." (Yes, each word is intentionally capitalized to give the concept a bit of gravitas.)

I received this gift from The Missus Herself who had received it from someone else. Who you might ask? Well, could be one of my better half's Korean friends. Perhaps someone at the grocery store. Hhmm, she did have a doctor's appointment last week, lots of sick people go there. Or it might have been someone from church. Nah, unlikely. I'm going with "someone at the doctor's office." I mean if I feel totally like crap and can't shake it, where would I go?

Um, Bermuda?

Nope, doctor's office was the answer we were looking for. Oh sorry, do I need to pose that in the form of a question? As in, "What is the doctor's office?" (For all the Jeopardy fans in the audience, come on, I know there are a few.)

At any rate, The Missus Herself claims to be on the upswing vis-à-vis the whole rhinovirus thing, as do I when I'm talking to others. But in actual reality we both still feel like crap, while she wouldn't say it, I will. "I feel like a blivet. I feel like five miles of bad road. I feel like I've been rode hard and put away wet."

You mean you'd say one of those things, right Sarge? Nope, I tend to go with all three sometimes, or any combination of those, one or more as the case may be. Then again, I might just go with the classic, "I feel like crap." With certain not-so-subtle variations on the word "crap" often employed. Depending on who I'm talking to and whether or not The Missus Herself is listening. And if she's in aural range, she's always listening. If'n you catch my meaning.

Anyhoo, snow on the ground, feel like crap, and yes, I too am starting to wonder where I'm going with today's post. Perhaps, as Half-Colonel Juvat might put it, it's due to me being "the oldest Sergeant known to exist." While I will confess to being "old" I can't say for certain that I'm the "oldest to exist." After all, long time reader and frequent commenter Ron was also in the Air Force, was also a Sergeant and, I'm pretty sure, is a year (or so) older than Your Humble Scribe. Perhaps the age thing is just due to his air of wisdom and such. I dunno. (On those grounds I am naught but a babe in arms!)

Back to Juvat, now Half-Colonel (as opposed to Diet Colonel, a term of mine own devising) is British slang (IIRC) for a Lieutenant Colonel. Other terms for an officer in the Army, Marines or Air Force at the pay grade of O-5 are (according to the pedia of wiki) :
Slang terms for the rank historically used by the U.S. military include "light colonel", "short colonel", "light bird", "half colonel", "bottlecap colonel" (referring to the silver oak leaf insignia), and "telephone colonel" (from self-reference as "colonel" when using a telephone).
My favorite is  "telephone colonel," never heard that one before, though I did have a Senior Airman (pay grade E-4) who would always answer the phone "Sergeant So and So." (At the time a Sergeant in the Air Force was also an E-4, long story there which I'm not going to get into at this time.) So my airman was passing himself off as a "telephone sergeant."

When I chastised the young man for doing that he said, "Sarge, if I answer the phone as Airman So and So, the caller wants to speak to a sergeant. If I answer as Sergeant So and So, then maybe I can answer their question or address their complaint."

Well, as this chap, though a perfectly decent fellow, wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, I didn't really want him "answering questions or addressing complaints." So yeah, he and I came to an agreement that he would stop doing that. Forthwith.

Heh, like he had a choice.

But I digress.

No, actually that was the point of today's post. Such as it is.

For one period in my life, I was the man, I got to call the shots. As long as my captain was okay with it. Everyone has a boss. Even Master Sergeants. Old or otherwise.



54 comments:

  1. At least he can't reference you as the oldest noncom.
    The "colone" should know that his rank will always get the respect it deserves, but one can only go so far with their remarks before the thin ice is reached.

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    1. I did have you in mind Skip, but I also knew you weren't a sergeant. For the uninitiated out there, the Navy has no sergeants, they have petty officers. Both of those groups fall under the category of non-commissioned officers, or "noncoms" as they used to be known. (Not so much anymore, 'tis a pity.)

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    2. When I was a regular on that Reserve Can in NYC, we found we could often get parts and supplies cheaper and quicker on the open market than trying to get them to us via the Navy Supply system.
      I was using the phone in CHENG's office to try to get a steam valve, and after the conversation ended, he said, "John, no one on the other end of the phone knows what either a Machinist Mate Second Class is, and they don't know what a petty officer is, so just introduce yourself as Lieutenant and that is OK with me." Smart guy, and I learned a bunch about being a good leader from him. Yep, a telephone promotion.

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    3. Telephone promotions can be handy, but only to prevent confusion amongst civilians. Or members of the non-naval services. (Not all airmen would know what an MM2 is, not even if you spelled it out. Thanks to my kids, I know.)

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  2. Is it possible to infect someone with the crud via contact on a blog post? I've been down for the count since Sunday and ain't goin in again today. Wife's down also. So, I feel your pain, Sarge and I apologize for the worlds eldest comment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It must be possible. I mean we know that blogging is infectious, ya know, "SCIENCE!"

      No need to apologize, there are days when I feel positively ancient. (And sometimes it shows!)

      Delete
    2. Blogging is infectious... sometimes terminal.
      I caught it from my niece.
      She's cured.
      Buck never got over it.
      MNBF seems to have a mild case.

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    3. Doctor said Influenza A. No going back to work for 48 hours after last fever with no medicine. Oh Boy! (not really)

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    4. Oh no! (I hesitate to ask, but did you get a flu shot this year?)

      Stay warm and dry, obey the medics and get well soon. If you need to be covered for Monday, let me know.

      I feel for you buddy.

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    5. Ahhh......no on the flu shot.

      Assuming I don't cough up a lung or something necessary, I should be ok for Monday. Working from home, in between naps.

      Delete
  3. Galoshes? Yep. Still in the lexicon, still gets some use. 2500sq ft concrete pour a couple weekends back, you can bet the galoshes came out.

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    Replies
    1. Whew.

      I thought I was perhaps a tad too old-fashioned. But I'm not alone!

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  4. Is it a corollary to Murphy's Law, that if you have a boss, he is an idiot?

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    Replies
    1. While one's boss may, from time to time, be perceived to be an idiot, that doesn't make it so.

      Your thought may have more to do with the Peter Principle than with Murphy's Law, but I won't argue the point.

      Delete
  5. What ever happened to "rubbers" (ahem, the stretchy things you put over your good shoes before going home)?

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    1. They still have those. Those are sometimes, in these troubled modern times, called (incorrectly in my book) "galoshes."

      Everyone knows those are rubbers, not galoshes. Well, at least we knew that back in the 60s.

      If you Google "galoshes," you will see rubbers (why do I keep giggling?) from Brooks Brothers going for $98 a pair. Wikipedia makes mention of galoshes being (in the USA) more akin to boots, not shoe covers (or rubbers, tee hee).

      'Merica. Galoshes.

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    2. The rubbers are still made by the Tingley Rubber Corporation.
      http://www.tingleyrubber.com

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    3. Heh. Tingley. Rubber.

      Yes, I have the mind of a ten-year old.

      Delete
  6. Dang, it looks cold in Rhode Island! I bet there are a lot of shiverin' red chickens huddled in their coops!

    My grandpa, who was never a sergeant but was quite elderly (early 50's fer sure) at the time once said that the cold he was suffering made him feel like he'd been pulled through a knothole and beat with a knotted plow line.

    I had galoshes in Wilhelmshaven once. Mit spaetzle. It was really, really good.

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    Replies
    1. Cold it is but your Rhode Island Red is a hardy bird. Now the other chickens, yeah, they are staying huddled in the coop. (Which is just to the left of the she on the other side of the fence, covered in snow!)

      Nothing like a heaping plate of galoshes with an ice cold Pilsner to wash it all down. (Yes, I sprayed the monitor on that one.)

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  7. I don't think we Okies say "galoshes". Maybe we say "mud boots", because that is what the snow turns to pretty quick. Sometimes they are called "wellies" for those of us who have traveled a bit. In Ecuador they were just called jungle boots, and we were each issued a pair to do hiking in the jungle.

    Get well.

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    Replies
    1. Regional variations, the things that make life fun and interesting!

      Thanks Lou, I'm working on the "get well" thing.

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  8. Back in the day, Navy used to kid the Coasties about being issued galoshes, instead of life vests, because they were shallow water sailors.
    Still call them galoshes because I can't say rubbers without snickering.

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  9. I, too, was an AF sergeant. As I am, as of today, 72 years, two months, and three days old, I believe that I am older than you are. However, you don't call yourself oldest AF sarge, so I would not dream of trying to take your handle away. My best wishes to your and your bride, my you both soon be and feel much better.

    Paul L. Quandt

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    Replies
    1. That's right, you were.

      Thanks Paul, we're trying to get well but Nature must take its course.

      Sigh...

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  10. Oh, by the way, I also say galoshes for the rubber boots that one puts on over one's shoes or boots.

    Paul

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  11. I miss me my puttees. Galoshes they weren't.

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    Replies
    1. My grandfather wore puttees during the Great War.

      Not saying that you're old Cap'n, not saying that at all.

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  12. I bet Marine Captains always enjoy calling a Navy command, throwing out Captain like it means something. They probably get better service until someone savvy enough asks what command or where they were calling from.

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    1. A Captain in the Marines ain't a Captain in the Navy. But who has the cojones to tell the Marine that?

      And the Navy has no Diet Colonels, though they do have a rank responsible (apparently) for vice. (Or am I misinterpreting what a Vice Admiral does?)

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    2. Whenever we went cross country to a Navy base, we always seemed to get nice quarters. We never volunteered that we weren't in the Navy, but told them we were Air Force if asked.

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    3. Heh.

      No harm, no foul.

      Hey, they didn't ask!

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    4. If visiting a Naval Air Station with an O-3 as part of my crew, I really tried to emphasize said crewmember as an RRR-Me Captain. Worked, most of the time. And, I found that working that telephone thing, "Mister" Alemaster just worked best. regards, Alemaster

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    5. Interacting with the other services can be interesting indeed.

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  13. Galoshes? Like this?

    (My grandparents always had a few pairs around the farm. But that's roughly the same era as the comic.)

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    1. Then again, they were Mennonites, so calling them "rubbers" might have been a bridge too far.

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    2. As to your first comment - exactly like that. Gotta have buckles too.

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    3. As to your second comment - well, I can see a Mennonite perhaps having a problem with calling them rubbers.

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  14. I remember the over-center snap like things which were so hard to work once you pulled 'em over your shoes and tucked your snowsuit in. I feel like the little brother in a "Christmas Story".

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    1. Oh yes, I remember them well. We called them buckles (for whatever strange reason). As I recall there were three buckle and four buckle galoshes (though that was a long time ago). But there was always one buckle broken by the end of the winter.

      We felt really grown up once we'd graduated to pack boots. Which gives me an idea for a post.

      Gee, thanks Dave!

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    2. Chris:

      "Pack boots", do you mean "mickey mouse" boots?

      PLQ

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    3. I do believe that's what we called them in the Air Force now that you mention it.

      And they're actually (technically) called pac boots. No "k." But wait, there's more...

      Stay tuned.

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    4. I await with baited breath, throw me a line, I'll fall for it hook, line, and sinker. If I catch any fish, you have to skin, clean, and cook them.

      Paul

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  15. The snow looks pretty and just the way I like it...in a photo on the Internet! It was about 72 today when I walked down to the mailbox in my t-shirt. (And how the mailbox got in my t-shirt, I'll never know!)

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)