Coastal Stuff, Commentary

This Hornet Stings

05.25.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on This Hornet Stings
USS Hornet Island

Last year, I urged folks to make Memorial Day personal and wrote a piece about Bert LaRue, a man who served in the Pacific theatre in WWII and is interred at Golden Gate National Cemetery.

This year, I thought I’d take a different tack and write about the USS Hornet (CV-8 & CV-12.) Recently, my daughter and I made the trip to Alameda to tour the Hornet, now a museum at the former Alameda Naval Air Base. When I think about the Hornet, I think about CV-8, the ship that launched the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo in April, 1942. This Hornet, CV-12, isn’t that ship; it was sunk by the Japanese during the Battle of Santa Cruz in October, 1942.

After the loss, the USS Kearsarge, an Essex-class carrier under construction in Newport News was renamed before completion as the 8th ship to bear the moniker Hornet. CV-12 joined the fleet in 1944 and helped bring the Pacific campaign to a successful conclusion by staying at sea for over 15 months. Among her many feats in 1944-45, the Hornet’s pilots shot down 67 enemy aircraft and had 10 “aces” made in a single day.

After WWII, the Hornet supported Cold War fleet operations as an attack ship and subhunter, but is perhaps best known for recovering the crew of Apollo 11, the first men to walk on the moon. The Hornet was decommissioned in 1970 and placed in the reserve fleet for use as necessary. In 1989 she was discharged from the reserve fleet and eventually moored in Alameda where she became a floating museum in 1998.

On this Memorial Day, let’s thank our armed forces for their service, dedication, and sacrifice. Here are some more photos of the Hornet, enjoy.

Here are some exterior shots starting with the bow from the dock

USS Hornet Bow

The flight deck taken from the bow facing aft

USS Hornet Flightdeck

This is one of the airplanes on the flight deck, a COD

USS Hornet aircraft - COD

This is one of the airplanes on the flight deck, a sub hunter

USS Hornet aircraft - sub hunter

This is one of the airplanes on the flight deck, an F-14 Tomcat fighter

USS Hornet aircraft - F-14 Tomcat

A view of San Francisco from the stern of the flightdeck

USS Hornet - a view of San Francisco from the stern of the flightdeck

Shifting to the interior, here’s the port side passage way that runs the length of the ship

USS Hornet - port side passage way

Here’s the berthing for officers

USS Hornet - Officer's bunks

Here’s the berthing for enlisted

USS Hornet - Enlisted men's bunks

A diesel power unit in the bow section (this thing is the size of a bus.)

USS Hornet - engine power unit

Here’s a capstan that holds the mooring line

USS Hornet - capstan

Anchor chain for one of the primary anchors. Each link is about 18″ long.

USS Hornet - Anchor chain


Torture is Always Wrong

05.24.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on Torture is Always Wrong
Cheney and Pelosi

I’ve been quiet for a bit and will likely be quiet again, but there are three people’s behavior I feel compelled to comment upon.

First, Nancy Pelosi’s briefing-gate. Nancy, come on, you were briefed, you knew what was happening, why not just come clean? You can tell the truth: the climate of the country was such that taking a stand on moral grounds about torture would have put you in the same camp as Dennis Kucinich – correct, but unelectable.

You may not have known specifics, but you certainly knew something was up. Torture is torture, it’s always wrong and as a leader, I would expect you to at least protest the practice. Shame on you for not standing up the first time and shame on you for lying now. Very disappointing.

Secondly, President Obama’s decision to release, then not to release, the photos of torture practiced and sanctioned by the Bush Administration. Look, the human imagination is powerful. By admitting that there are pictures and not releasing them, the human imagination will fill in the blanks – likely in a much more colorful manner than the reality represented in the pictures. That will fuel anti-American sentiment much more fervently than whatever may be in the pictures.

There is only one right answer: release the photos and release them now accompanied by a statement like “The rule of law is once again in force in the USA. This practice of torture was wrong, this isn’t what we’re about, and you won’t see it under this Administration.” Sunlight is the best deodorant. Mr. Obama, this is supposed to be what you’re about, what the hell is happening to you? Have you already been captured by the machine?

Finally, it’s hard to say anything new about Dick Cheney because he’s been such an easy target for so long. He’s had has time on the stage, it’s time for him to fade into the sunset. By attempting to justify torture, he’s only proving that he absolutely does not understand, respect, or appreciate what it is to represent America and democracy. Mr. Cheney, it doesn’t matter what was gained from torture, it’s wrong, it’s always wrong, and when we sink to the level of terrorists (they torture) they WIN. Terrorism and torture are the tools of those who are desperate; they resort to these practices because there is nothing left to lose.

Mr. Cheney shows very little evidence of being someone who is allegedly patriotic and intelligent, as he often claims. I think the course is clear, if he can’t shut his pie hole on this subject, bring him up on war crimes charges, he’s certainly building the case against himself and others each time he opens his mouth. I never thought I’d say this, but perhaps George is the smart one…

That the current and former leadership of our country can’t or won’t see these basic truths is at best disappointing. This set of issues is very, very simple and very, very clear. There is not much grey area to exploit. Torture is wrong. Telling the truth is required. Often the truth is better than what the human mind can conjure.

OK, now back to radio silence.

Humor, Religion

Stupid Science!

05.24.09 | Permalink | Comments Off on Stupid Science!

Eddie just has a way with his parody…watch, enjoy, and laugh.


The Thrill is Gone

05.10.09 | Permalink | 2 Comments

Since I seem to be somewhat inarticulate these days on this site, I think I’ll ask the great Riley (aka Blues Boy aka B.B.) King to help me out. Watch this great video from 1970 in a studio session. Amazing to think that he had been playing for 21 years at this point and is still going strong today.

Here are the lyrics for your reading enjoyment, though I think listening is much, much better.

The thrill is gone
The thrill is gone away
The thrill is gone baby
The thrill is gone away
You know you done me wrong baby
And you’ll be sorry someday

The thrill is gone
It’s gone away from me
The thrill is gone baby
The thrill is gone away from me
Although I’ll still live on
But so lonely I’ll be

The thrill is gone
It’s gone away for good
Oh, the thrill is gone baby
Baby its gone away for good
Someday I know I’ll be over it all baby
Just like I know a man should

You know I’m free, free now baby
I’m free from your spell
I’m free, free now
I’m free from your spell
And now that it’s over
All I can do is wish you well

Written by Rick Darnell & Roy Hawkins, Performed by B.B. King

Now, does this mean I’m exiting the blogosphere? No committed answer, but I’m finding I don’t have much I want to share at this minute. So what I think will happen is that I’ll post something as the spirit moves me and otherwise not pay a great deal of attention to this. As you can see from my prior Twitter post, I’m all social-media’d out. Guess I’m not made of the same thing as B.B., it’s hard to imagine continuing to update this site in my 80’s.

So until next time. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Business, Innovation, Technology & Science


05.06.09 | Permalink | 5 Comments
The only Tweety I love is Tweety Bird

I’ve already declared myself on this subject many moons ago, so don’t view this post as anything other than status quo. Even on the far side of the world, twitter-mania is running rampant. The fact that simple multi-cast of short text messages is causing this hurts my head.

Who cares that Oprah is tweeting, I mean, really? Can’t you watch the Oprah show, read Oprah magazine, visit the website, and sign up for newsletters already? And the addition of Demi and Ashton, yuck!

CNN is running a front page on the Whitehouse jumping on twitter. Egads, it’s out of control!

Well, I’m going to go out on a limb as this meme is crossing over from the geek-o-sphere to common knowledge to say: it’s a fad. There is nothing unique, sustainable, or even interesting about twitter. Those who use it, will in the future be known as Twits. Trust me, it’s MySpace on steroids. The aspect that will survive is the notion of personal broadcasting – narcissism reigns supreme and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Meanwhile, the only Tweet that is a good Tweet is Tweety Bird, thanks Warner Brothers and Mel Blanc.


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