Page 23 started November 6, 2003

Letters, Random Memories and Assorted Sea Stories (Cont.)

Bad Boy Racing Tom Lindmark Remembers Old BEE Stuff:

Can't believe I still remember this stuff after all these years. The BBROYGBVGWGSN thing (see page 22 quiz) was a mnemonic taught to the electrical types to help us remember the color coding on the resistor barrels and the value of the resistance in ohms and percent tolerance...Brown Black Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Violet Gray White G? S? N?...There are colored bands on every resistor and the order in which they are read determines what the ohmic value is and its' tolerance in percentage.

Right you are Tom!  The last G, S and N stood for Gold, silver and I can't remember what the N was (anyone?)  When I was an EE student I always had that mnemonic in my head and others were always amazed that I could tell the value of a resistor without a cheat sheet.  The navy was great teaching us stuff like that.  Another thing we learned in EM-A school was that "Mary's Fuzzy C_nt" using our right hand to tell us the relationship between Motion, Force and Current.  This was also referred to as the "Right Hand Rule for motors and generators." Years later when I was an EE undergraduate the whole MFC thing had to be calculated using vector cross products.  I recall many guys scratching their head trying to solve the thing while I just held up my right hand and mumbled "Mary's Fuzzy C__t."  What the hell, it worked.  Can you guys remember any other Nuke School helpful mnemonics?


More Chow Tales ...

This incident [described by Willy] with non-Nukes brought a couple of instances to the partially dead Vodka-saturated Brain Cells. We were enjoying a typically fine meal one evening when a couple of us EM's were sitting with a couple of deck hands. As usual, these guys were interested in radiation-induced anomalies. As good Nukes, we were prepared. We asked a cook for a couple of potatoes and headed down to 4MMR where we had stashed a couple of potatoes several weeks ago. We swapped potatoes, and brought the shrunken, hairy and totally disgusting potatoes back to the deck guys, telling them we just made a quick pass through the MMR with the potatoes in our pocket. When we slid them across the table, they took off in reverse, never taking their eyes off those potatoes. I'll save the other story for a later date. I have to go see the new "Matrix" movie now. 

Dale Keys 

Remember the Alamo ....

Thinking about the mnemonic devices taught to us in nuke school to  remember complex ideas reminds me of a funny story.  Remember how our NPS teachers were always teaching us "gimmicks" to remember stuff?  While taking an exam people often wrote down whatever that gimmick was before answering the question if it proved useful.  

Well, us 8502B boys were bad.  Actually, not so much bad as funny.  Before one test we decided to mess with our teacher's head.  Then the idea spread and most of the sections in our "wing" bought into the plan and it was agreed to by everyone (or most) that no matter what problem #10 asked, write down the words: "Remember The Alamo" and then pretend that you used it to help you solve the problem.  This gag worked beautifully.  The teachers correcting the exam were utterly baffled as to how or why remembering the Alamo could be used to solve the problem.  I think it was a point source problem or something.  After our teacher handed back our tests she asked, "Oh, by the way, did you all remember the Alamo?"  I guess this was her way of telling us that she knew it was a gag and appreciated it, although most other teachers didn't.  We pulled a few more of these on other tests and it got us in a bit of trouble.  I recall our HTFF teacher, normally a pretty cool guy, threatened to write up anyone goofing around like that in the future.  


KP Bares His Soul:

A few weeks ago I mentioned a leave period spent in Massachusetts with my good pal Allen Huff following NPS.  One day Al and I took the train into Boston and had a great adventure.  It's a day I'll remember forever.  I also mentioned that I wrote a short story about that day.  Well, lucky for you I found it!  I think this was my first attempt to write something serious.  I might have even had plans to submit it to something legitimate but never did and it wound up stuck in a Mooj newsletter and then later yanked.  I'll post it here for no other reason than maybe my good pal Al Huff might find it, read it and remember the day, as well.  The story, though embellished with artistic license, is true for the most part. Most of the dialogue, for example, is taken directly from my memory.  Those of you who knew Al Huff and myself would agree that the guys depicted in this tale operated just like he and I did in real life.  I wish I could find Al Huff again.  He was one of those unforgettable characters one meets along the way.

The Liberty Hounds

Steve Davis and Allen Harris were two sailors attached to a mini flotilla that entered Boston Harbor one warm Saturday morning.  As liberty ports go Boston was a great one and most of the sailors did their best to get off their ships as soon as possible.  As was customary in the day, skippers from each ship published warnings about which areas of the city were “off-limits” but this, unfortunately, served only to assist the men in finding these areas more quickly.  While most of the sailors crowded onto buses lined up at the pier to bring them nearer the forbidden hot spots, Davis and Harris elected to go the other way.  These two clever tars knew that their odds of attracting the fairer sex were better farther away from the other squids invading the city that day.  

Steve and Allen considered themselves experts when it came to picking up women and since the boys knew the competition would be stiff this day, they wasted no time getting to where they knew the highest density of girls would be.  Within a short time the boys found Faneuil Hall.  They were in luck: the place was mobbed with pretty girls and not another sailor was in sight!

Before the hunt was formally begun the boys spotted a girl standing on the corner studying a tourist map.  As smooth as could be these two wolves made their way alongside her and one of the boys asked: 

“Say miss are you lost?” 

“No I’m fine, thank you,” responded the girl with a distinctly English accent.

“Say, are you from France ?” asked Allen. 

“No I’m from England ,” responded the girl. 

“Oh is that an English accent?” asked Steve, adapting his shipmate’s strategy of ignorance to lower the defenses of the young girl. 


“Well, for a foreigner, I must say, you certainly speak English very well,” said Allen.

“Thank you,” said the girl—feeling a bit puzzled by the dialogue.

“My name is Steve Davis and this is Allen Harris,” said one of the sailors. 

“My name is Sarah Nichols,” said the girl.  She then asked if the boys were in the navy.

“Why yes, how’d you guess?” said Allen.

“Well…, um…you’re wearing sailor suits,” said the girl.

“Oh yes of course,” said Steve. He then added: “Is this your first time visiting Philadelphia?”

Philadelphia? You’re mistaken aren’t you? This is Boston.”

“Boston? No, I believe this is Philadelphia,” said Allen. 

“I am quite sure this is Boston ,” said Sarah.  “Here, look at my map.  It says Boston across the top.”

“Well, yes, but a map can say anything and not be from the right place.  Right?” said Allen. 

“I guess so,” replied Sarah, not sure what to think. 

“How is it that you are in this strange city all alone Sarah?” asked Steve. 

“I work as a nanny and today is my day off.  My boss just dropped me.”

“Did he tell you where he was taking you?”

“Yes! Boston !” 

“Where did you start out from?” 

“Dedham , Massachusetts —it’s just outside of  Boston!”

“How long did it take your boss to drive here?” 

“About twenty minutes.”

“Did he drive north or south?” 

“I don’t know...” 

“Well, according to your map Boston is about 10 miles north of Dedham and Philadelphia is about 200 or 300 hundred miles south of Boston so it would make sense that he drove you to Boston and not to Philadelphia.  But then, again, did he drive really, really fast?”

“No, he drove at average speed.”

“Then I’d have to say you’re right and that we’re probably in Boston not Philadelphia!”  

“Well I should hope so,” responded Sarah—relieved that she was more likely in Boston than Philadelphia. 

“Say Sarah,” asked one of the boys, “Since you’ve never been here do you want us to show you some historical site?”

 “Why I guess so,” said Sarah—not sure what she was about to get herself into. 

“Great! Let us begin, shall we?” said Allen, doing his best to look like he knew what he was talking about. 

For some reason the boys then thought it would be fun to waste some of the poor English girl’s time by taking her around town and pointing randomly about the city to note significance in anything they saw.  If Sarah was aware that most of what they were sharing with her was fabricated she didn’t let on.   As they walked along passer byers could hear such ridiculous things as: “Here is where John Hancock wrote the Declaration of Independence; there is where the Liberty Bell got cracked; here is where Paul Revere got hung; there’s where Dolly Madison sewed the first flag; here’s where the Pilgrims dumped tea during the infamous Tea Party … etc.” 

Before they knew it the boys had wasted two full hours of Sarah Nichols’ day.  She was unsure exactly what to think of the two sailors but was at least confident that they were harmless.  The boys, on the other hand, were unsure why they were wasting so much time with Sarah—as she wasn’t exactly the kind of girl they had envisioned spending the day with.  

Finally, one of the boys suggested that they stop for lunch.  Sarah felt awkward about wasting anymore of the boy’s time and suggested that they part company.  The boys agreed, but asked Sarah to at least join them for lunch.  When Sarah excused herself for a few minutes after sitting down at a table in the restaurant, Alan whispered to Steve:  

“Hey man, why’d to ask her to eat with us?  I thought we were gonna ditch her!” 

“I was just trying to be nice.” 

“C’mon man, we’ve been parading around this stupid town all morning.  Let’s dump her and find us some real girls!” 

When Sarah returned to the table the boys ordered lunch and the conversation resumed where it had left off.  The boy’s eager plans to ditch Sarah soon fell by the wayside when she proved to be very funny and charming.  While the lunch progressed both boys began to take a better look at Sarah.  There was now something very attractive about her.  They were in no hurry to end the meal.

Before they knew it another hour of their liberty had ticked by and Sarah stood up and thanked the boys for lunch and then started on her way.  One of the boys asked Sarah where she was going and she replied that she was off to see the Museum of Fine Art.  The boys wished her luck and then headed off in the opposite direction. 

“Now where to?” asked Steve. 

“Anywhere!” Said Allen, “we got eleven hours of liberty left and need to find some girls!”

The boys quickly found themselves back where they started, except now the playing field was crowded with other sailors.  The boys wandered among the crowds looking for unattached girls but it was obvious that the cream of the crop had been claimed by other sailors.  Choosing to relocate rather than pick off the homely stragglers, the boys hopped on the subway and headed for another part of the city.

 “Hey, the Museum of  Fine Arts ,” noted Steve, pointing to a sign they could see through the window on the subway platform, “You wanna get off here and see if we can find Sarah Nichols again?” 

“What the hell, it’ll beat riding this stupid train around town all day,” answered Allen. 

The two boys departed the subway and walked to the Museum.  When they discovered that an entrance fee was required they wondered if it was worth the trouble.  Finally one of them reflected that it was only a few bucks so they paid the admission.  The boys entered the museum and wandered around looking for Sarah.  Other patrons were surprised to see the sailors, sometimes noting aloud that it was refreshing to see the boys spending their liberty enjoying the fine arts rather than drinking it up at some bar.  At last one of the boys spotted Sarah!  Her back was to the boys and so they snuck up on her.

“Ah, Monet,” said Steve as the boys once again flanked the young English girl, “wasn’t this painted during his ‘blue period’?”

“Are you gentleman here to give me another one of your instructional tours?” said Sarah.

“Not exactly, we were just in the neighborhood and decided to stop in to absorb some fine art.” 

“You boys don’t strike me as the fine art type.” 

“Oh, but you’re wrong Miss Nichols, we’re Renaissance Men,” declared Steve. 

Sarah began to laugh.  She had no idea why these boys would waste their liberty in a museum but she didn’t care.  She was happy to see them again. 

“So Sarah, how much time do you have before your boss comes to pick you up?” 

“A few hours.” 

“Are you done with the museum?”


“Well, great!  Do you want to see more of Boston?” 

“You boys shouldn’t waste your liberty showing me around.”  

“It’s no big deal.  There ain’t really anything for us to do until night time anyway.  We’re kinda bored right now and wouldn’t mind goofing around with you some more.  What do you say? You want to head back up town with us?”

Since Sarah had already wasted the morning with the boys she didn’t see any harm in spending a few more hours with them.  She had no idea that both boys were developing a deep affection for her. 

When Allen and Steve first laid eyes on Sarah that morning they would have described her as cute—perhaps even mildly pretty.  But now, as the day progressed, they began to think of her as beautiful. If Sarah preferred one of the boys to the other, it was yet to be detected.  Both boys did, however, perceive each other’s interest in Sarah and so their competitive natures began to surface.  But Sarah was totally oblivious to their designs, for she considered herself too simple for their tastes.  She was, however, very flattered by their attention—thinking it only something they did to amuse themselves by while waiting for the night to arrive. 

When they arrived at the Boston Commons the boys saw the perfect test to see who among the two was more preferred by Sarah. “Hey, who wants to ride the swan boat?” asked Steve. Without discussing the situation beforehand the boys waited to see who Sarah would pair up with.  But, alas, the seat was wide enough for three and so the ticket taker sat her down between the two of them.  They came off the ride as uncertain as when they got on.  

Finally, dusk was approaching and Sarah told the boys that it was now time that she head back to where she needed to meet her boss.  With great sadness the boys walked her back to the designated spot, a hotel, and waited with her until her ride arrived.  When her boss pulled up he was surprised to see the two sailors standing beside Sarah and developed a worried look on his face.  But he was quickly mollified when Sarah introduced them and the boys seemed somewhat respectable.  As Sarah and her boss drove away, both boys felt a great sadness in their hearts.  Finally after a few moments of silence Allen turned to Steve and said: 

“Well, I guess one of us should have asked her for her phone number or address.” 

“I kept waiting for you to do it.  How come you didn’t?” 

“I knew you liked her.” 

“Yeah? I knew you liked her, too.  That’s why I didn’t want to ask her either.”

“Oh well, I guess we both lost on that one.”

“Yeah, I guess so.” 

“Now where do you wanna go? 

“I think I’ll just head back to the ship and go to sleep—no need to ruin a perfect day.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” 

The boys then walked back to the navy yard and ended their liberty early.  Both had a hard time sleeping that night because all they could do was think about Sarah Nichols and how foolish they felt that they had let her get away so easily.


So there you are: a peak at the sensitive side of KP.  Now that I've re read this story again after many years I see that it's actually two stories in one.  As you can guess Al and I weren't attached to any flotilla, nor were we in our monkey suits that day.  The intro was pulled from another memory, where in real life Al (then aboard the USS Sacramento) and I met up in Singapore and wasted a day of Liberty walking around with similar antics.  It was a first day of liberty so I believe we were in our uniforms.

As far as this story goes, we did meet a girl named Sarah but I can't remember her last name [it was close to Nichols].  We saw her in the morning, thought nothing of her at first, decided to have some fun pulling her leg by giving her a phony tour of Boston and then, as the day progressed, as if by magic, found ourselves becoming enraptured by her beauty, wit and charm.  And, as the story goes, it was true that neither Al nor I asked for her address or phone number since we nobly thought the other guy would. 


Bad Boy Steamer Weighs in on the Resistor question ...

hmmmm ....
musta missed that on page 22 ...
actually ... just looked and still don't see it.
ah well . KP note: It's at the bottom under A-ganger's answer to the ring bus question.

so did anyone say what the mnemonic waz?
i didn't find that either.
i have heard some variations but the one i recall ...
(can you imagine how many synapses we have tied up with this stuff?!?!)
was ...
Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girlz But Violet Gives Willingly ... Get Some Now.

by the way ... the Gold, Silver and No color ...
were for the accuaracy ... G=+/-5%, S=+/-10% and No color = no confidence!!!! ;)
or something like that ... been a long time since i've worked on the component level ...
even tho i still have to endure tests on PNP and NPN transistors, thermocouple wire colors, prop amps, (no magamps to!!!) ;) and other stuff i haven't used or seen for decades. 

so ...
did someone already win my beer or what?

oh yeah ...
the other quiz

PS San Miguel Beer quiz: Where on the label does it say 39X3?

i'm lookin' ;)


An Al Huff ....

KP ...

perhaps coincidence ...
than again ... 
who knows why we go where we do. ;)
i don't much worry about it ... just along for the ride.

was just surfing around and came across a site for tributes to the USS Cole ... and Vets.

stumbled across this and recalled the name from one of your sea stories. guess the name Huff had conjured up a picture in my mind ... and i somehow associate it with a wolf blowin' down the three little pigs houses ...
so now it's stuck in there for good i imagine.
i don't know why (and don't want to)
anywho ...
and scroll down ...


Al Huff - 10/29/00 22:35:26
My Email:
Where From?: Maine ,Mass

got to be lots of 'em but it's a lead, eh?
and maybe you might recognize something in his style.
who knows ... he might have went back to Boston and
settled sown with Sarah N. in Mass. ;)
worth a shot i finger.


I'll make contact and see (but the Al Huff I knew settled in the Seattle area).  Believe it or not I have Al Huff's dad's phone number and I used to call it every 3 or 4 years hoping to find Al.  Every time it was the same thing, the dad had no idea where Al was and hadn't heard from him in years. I just stopped calling after a while. 


Bad Boy Hippo Chimes in on the resistor question ....

The Hippo used the mnemonicism "Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls, Bertha's Vagina Gets Wet, God She's Nice"..........

I must say I'm shocked by all this.  You and Steamer (as well as the rest of you 70's derelicts) must have had more interesting BEE instructors.  


More Tricks of The Trade .....

I like the story from nuc school, King Paul -- very clever.  I can see those guys in there grading tests going WTF?  Speaking of WTF, those were three letters you never wanted to see on an exam that had been graded.  How about GCE? Another bad one...

The main "learning trick" for mechanics was "Righty tighty, Lefty loosy..."  I taught that one to my wife a few weeks ago.  She thought it was funny that I went through nuclear power training and that is what I got out of it.  I also remember that right hand rule...we had an ET chief who taught us our electrical theory.  He also had a "50/50/90" theory.  His theory was that if you gave a nuke a 50 / 50 chance on answering a question, 90% of the time he would get it wrong.  

Mike from Ike  

Yeah, seeing "WTF" on your exam did knock you down a peg.  I also recall seeing a few of them "GCEs."  The Lefty-loosey righty tighty thing is in my head till this day.  When I'm out there connecting hoses, flanges, pipes, etc. I mumble it to myself every time.  Somewhere in the abyss I call The Mooj Weekly Standard is a phony letter from some old guy who is on his deathbed and gives that advice to all who might heed it.  And then I add another letter from some smart ass web host guy who modifies the statement by saying that rule excluded late 60s, early 70s Mopar wheels.



This one for stellar types: Oh be a fine girl, kiss me now! I.e., OBAFGKMN. I believe our star is a G-2, but it sure is acting funny lately, what?


I admit I have no idea what this means.  Can the person that sent this in help me? 


Right Hand Rule ....

What I remember most about the "right hand rule" is looking around the room at one point during the ETMO final at NPS and seeing about 20 of my classmates with their right hands in the classic position and trying to come up with the correct answer to the question.

Been employed at an oil refinery for the last 25 years. "Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey" is still alive and well. Must be an industry standard. We had one dumb shit however, who just didn't get it . We wrote <---- OPEN on his left glove and CLOSE----> on his right glove. He still didn't get it.

I seem to remember something like "Sally Wears Dirty Panties" as a way to remember which service came off which reactor loop. Did I remember correctly?

My current job requires me to commit many numbers to memory. Some come easy, some don't. If only I could clear Avogadro's number form my memory, maybe it would leave more room for stuff I really need. Why can't I forget that f**king number?!


P.S. Here's a hint on Willy's 39X3 question : You won't find it on a stateside SM bottle with a paper label. You need to find a genuine SM bottle with the painted label. (Any more and I'd give it away.)

Belay My Last (concerning the OBAFGKMN posting)

The above anonymous posting was followed up by an apology and the sender admitted that he wasn't "one of [us] guys," he just likes the site and sent in his favorite mnemonic without thinking. He then adds that he thinks he missed his calling (I guess about being a nuke) because he has a bad attitude, no respect for authority, sloppy grooming habits, and likes to play with dangerous machinery without knowing any more about it than he has to.  The letter concludes with the following questions: Do you think I would have fit in? Would I have gotten started earlier on my drinking problem? Is thought really a quantum thing, easily and permanently deranged by neutrons passing through the brain? Do you think Michelle Malkin is hot? Where I can get naked pictures of Ann Coulter? Is that Miracle-Gro stuff any good? Can I at least be a Mooj Minion? What does it all mean?  

Sadly, I don't think I can help the poor lad.


A Chemistry Mnemonic ....

Does anyone remember LEO GER, normally pronounced, Linda Eats Oscar's Giant Erect Rod?


Nicknames, Etc....

Who remembers Ernie, the chem/radcon assit? Got his moniker because he was a dead ringer for little Ernie from my three sons. He came aboard from the California, where his division gave him a Japanese hari-kari knife as a going away present. Commander Coho, due to his fish face appearance, was the worst people leader ever to sail the 7 seas. As the Rx Officer, he was the pits. After he left, I saw his name on the INPO list as head of training.

While I'm in the mind frame, during yardpac 1980, we had to perform power testing on the 1a and 1b rx, for some reason. Well, the Bremerton shipyard decides they have an off-hull dump condenser for us. It was mounted on a barge and pulled up along side the port side of Enterprise. The only problem was it was from an old sub and NEVER could have carried the steam load. Ralph, a 3 plt mm friend pulled duty on a sponson with a huge freakin knocker valve, on a sound powered headset with 1 plt control room to adjust power (steam flow). He sat on the freakin steam pipe, and used the other pipe for entertainment and mind control.

Some where near 90% steam, the ol' dump cond. gives up the ghost, and the tubes politely exchange fresh condensate for Puget Sound water. The salinity panel lights up like a Christmas tree. We fed and bled those S/Gs for days. Since the tubes were just chemically cleaned, to get rid of years of sludge buildup on the tube sheet, they were exceptionally vulnerable to cscc. Nr about shit when they heard we were diluting the cl analysis samples by 100 to 1 and still filled the casserole to reach an endpoint in the titration. Even got the airdale CO freaked!

One last issue, the guys in 3 plt were doing something like the 10,000 RX start up on Big E and the CO blows off the event, but takes the time to praise some e-2 airdale on how clean the head is stbd side outboard of the HP office. Unfreakinbelievable!

OBAFGKMN Explained

While I'm sure I never learned this either in 8006 in Orlando nor at S1W in Idaho (class 8007 - due to legal hold for a post-graduation captain's mast with Capt. "Maximum John" Groth), I did take five semesters of physics in college and I must be recalling it in one of those classes. The mnemonic relates to stellar spectral classification. You might remember a graph of luminosity vs. temperature (in Kelvin) called the Hertzprung-Russell diagram. The order is: type O - very luminous and massive with surface temperatures of 20,000 to 40,000 K, type B - blue-white with surface temperatures of 10,000 to 20,000 K (Spica, beta Centauri and Rigel), type A - green-white surface temperatures of 7,000 to 10,000 K (Vega, Sirius and Deneb), type F - green with surface temperatures of 6,000 to 7,000 K (alpha Hydri, beta Cassiopeia and Polaris), type G - yellow with surface temperatures of 4,800 to 6,000 K (our sun, Capella, and the main compound of the alpha Centauri binary system - alpha Centauri A), type K - yellow-orange with surface temperatures of 3,100 to 4,800 K (Aldebran and Schedir), and type M - red with surface temperatures of 2,000 to 3,400 K (beta Andromeda, Betelgeuse and Antares). There are also sub-classifications such as: beta Crucis (B0), gamma Orionis (B2) and Alpheratz (B9) and so on. Our sun is label as G2 and is currently waning from the peak of its eleven-year cycle and has had come spectacular coronal mass ejections (CMEs) in the last few weeks including an X17.2 and an X28 (two of the five largest recorded solar flares). I guess this must be the "acting funny" to which our friend referred. There used to be types R, N, S (...right now sweety) however these have been discontinued in favor of type L (1,300 to 2,500 K) which show strong metal-hydrid molecular bands and type M (< 1,300) which consist of strong methane bands and may be failed stars such as low-mass brown dwarfs.

There are some useful mnemonics left over from those Rocky Horror Saturday night, Fox Hole silicone-based, politically-incorrect, days of dying disco: Pee iN the Pot (PNP) - PNP transistor has the arrow pointing in, Sober Physicists Don't Find Giraffes In Kitchens - the names of the first seven orbital of electrons, and Roy B. Giv - the order of specta of visible light: red, orange, yellow, blue, green, indigo, violet. I recall making up a few of my own to remember systems such as coolant charging and valve op when I was doing my PPWS quals.


Glen Lane Comes Aboard ....

I served on board the Big "E" from 1972 to 1976. I was a MM 1st class at the time of my departure. I spent 2 years as a CMO in # 1MMR and the last 2 years as CMO in # 2 MMR. You may add me to the list and include my e-mail address also. 

Glen Lane

Female Nuke School Teachers ....

N*ked pictures of Ann Coulter?? Schwing!! Hey, does anyone recall having a crush on any of the female nuke school instructors? I remember (from class 8503) having a somewhat short, dark-haired female math instructor who didn't do much for me. On the other hand, I recall ENS Jacqueline Ha__ey was my Rx Physics instructor. I very much enjoyed that class. For some reason I thought she was the coolest. I also think there is some fuzzy memory in me head which suggests that John Pearson may have had some rendezvous with her outside of school hours. 

Joe B from Ike

That John Pearson, see I knew he wasn't gay!  We had a few female instructors and though they weren't exactly top shelf material they certainly knew they were the "Belle of the ball," so to speak, since they held real power over a classroom full of hormone-enraged 19-25 yr old men.  One instructor we had was cute, no doubt about it, but what really had our attention was how she filled out her uniform, especially on Fridays, when she had to wear a dress uniform (think TV show JAG).  She must have known that the whole class was staring at her chest since she took special pains to make her assets stand out.  But I'm ashamed talking about it so I won't say anymore. 


Rx Theory Mnemonic

The one that I still remember from NPS is for k effective:

k eff = every Little f___ing polock Loves the f___ing Navy

Being of Polish ancestry I found this amusing.

The righty-tighty worked for everything, unless you are doing a Hydrogen add to the primary, which I once did in 2 Plant. Everyone else was afraid of carrying that H2 cylinder down all of those ladders, or just a lot smarter than me.

For some reason I was reminded of that MM1 who couldn't get the cap off of a valve in a Rx compartment during the YardPac. I think he forgot the lefty-loosey thing, so he used the BIGGER lever principle on the torque wrench. He ended up putting about 3/4 of a twist in the valve cap made out of 1/2" thick stainless. We used to keep it around in ram storage for laughs.

I have to say hello to Eric. If I remember, once on a trip to Half Moon Bay, he got poison oak on a, shall we say "delicate" part of his anatomy. Hilarity was had by all but the patient. If not...please disregard. I'll have to write up my recollections of doing Shore Patrol in Po, for the EE-30 division party in 1983. I don't think too many nukes got to pull SP duty in Po-town. What fun. Does anybody remember the name of that Load Toad bar?

Bob Losin

One Guy's Veterans Day Musings:

All, Please excuse me if I ramble. Decided to write this at the last minute, and don't have the time to do a decent edit. Nevertheless, just had to say something on Veterans Day. 

My Dad was a 30 year man in the U.S. Army. Served in the infantry in Europe during WWII. Met (and married) Mom in Nuremburg Germany shortly after the war. Mom's brother-in-law was a veteran too. (Served under Rommel in North Africa.) Dad's brother Vince was in the 95th Infantry. Received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart (posthumously) about 50 miles inland from Normandy. We visited his grave in France in the mid 60s. Dad's brother Bill was a tin can sailor serving on the USS Lea (DD 118) in the North Atlantic.

Somehow, Dad never had to go to Korea. That honor went to my cousin Tommy. (God rest his soul.) 

In the mid '60s Dad was attached to the 37th Combat Engineers in Hanau Germany. While there, we lived in base housing. In those days, living in base housing meant constantly seeing good friends leave for the States, and getting new friends in their place. When someone would announce that they were leaving, you'd always ask where they were going. Often the answer was something like,"Well, Dad's going to Viet Nam. We're going to live with Grandma and Grandpa in (you name the state) till Dad comes back." I never saw most of those kids again, but I did see the names of some of their fathers on that wall I visited in Washington D.C. 

In the late '60s we lived in Des Moines, Iowa while I went to High School and Dad finished up his military career. Like the rest of the country, Des Moines had it's social fabric seriously strained by the Viet Nam war. The really "cool" kids in High School demonstrated against the war. In spite of this, many of the guys in the classes just ahead of mine went in the service and volunteered for Viet Nam. ( Saw a few of their names on the wall, too.) 

After Dad retired and I graduated, we lived in Richmond, Virginia. I always knew I'd go in the service, the question was which branch and what job. I decided to join the Navy. A small part of this decision was the uniqueness of the uniform. The major part of this decision was I wanted to go to Viet Nam as part of the "Brown Water Navy." Somehow, I allowed my recruiter to shanghai me into the Nuclear Power program. This caused some Very Serious Drama when I got to classification in boot camp. It was here that I learned how a simple signature on a piece of paper can change the entire coarse of one's life. It's taken many years, but now there are no more sour grapes. I have no one to blame but myself. And maybe it's for the best anyhow. 

One evening when I was in Machinists Mate A school in Great Lakes, I wandered into a lounge in the rec center next to Snipes Castle. Everyone was crowded around a TV set. I muscled my way into a position to see what was going on. Richard M. Nixon was addressing the nation and saying that he was pulling combat troops out of Viet Nam. Guess I wouldn't have made it to the Mekong Delta anyhow. 

I spent several hours of my 22nd birthday watching a "light show" from the fantail and several other vantage points on the Enterprise. Very surreal. The NVA were shelling the area north of Saigon. This was the closest I personally ever came to Viet Nam related combat. Several days later Saigon fell. We then had a brief stay in Subic where they literally covered the flight deck with USMC CH53 helicopters that had been used in the evacuation of Saigon. We then took off for the USA. 

On the morning we were to pull into Pearl Harbor, I got off the 00 to 04 watch in the plant and decided to have breakfast. The aft mess deck was almost deserted. Very unusual. One of the few times I had a table all to myself. I noticed that one of the flight deck cameras was filming the CH 53s getting ready to take off. I moseyed on up to the O-11 level. The island of Oahu was silhouetted against a magnificent sunrise. One by one the CH53s lifted off and flew into that sunrise. Francis Ford Copalla couldn't have filmed a more moving scene to close out one of his war films. Viet Nam had affected me and those around me for about ten years of my then young life. This helicopter scene to me represented the end of that era. Very emotional. 

I have a second cousin who is a city cop in New Jersey. Today, as a reservist, he is serving with the Military Police in the Baghdad area. I can only imagine the drama associated with that. 

What I've discovered in the years since I got out is that everyone who served in the military had a unique experience. Some had cushy jobs, many didn't. Some had cool and exciting jobs, others had drudge work. Some went through what must have been living Hell and still carry the scars. Some never made it back. Some are still unaccounted for. Regardless of what they did, they all left their families and served their country. Glad to see that soldiers and sailors are now getting the respect they deserve from the general population. My hat's off to you today, no matter what branch of service, no matter what job, no matter what rank. 

A Fellow Veteran  

Miscellaneous stuff ....


Please do look me up next time you come to Boston; I know the area somewhat as I was a courier in New England, and I know Norwood as well. 

The San Miguel quiz is on the bottles we drank in Olongapo, with the painted labels, so unless you have one or have access to one, it will be hard to solve (per PP's last input).

I, too, remember the CH-53's on the bow of the Big E after the fall of Saigon, and I'll never forget the haggard Marines in the chow line after the evac, those boys were dog-tired and did one hell of a job getting our guys out. I cry every time I see the mayhem that went down during the evac, as it was the end of a futile effort and too many people paid with their lives. We in the plants performed well during the operation (95 sorties), knowing that we were in combat, but it was like everyday ops for us.

God bless all you guys who have served on "E"!!!

Steve Willy Wilson

LEO GER .....

Those of us in 9204 learned it as LEO the lion goes GER, Loss of electron equals Oxidation, Gain of electron equals reduction. That and 6.02x10^23rd are things you just can't seem to get out of your head.

Gail Flowers Jr.

ELI the ICE man

Who remembers ELI the ICE man?  I used that all the time during my EE undergraduate days. Another great thing I leaned in NPS from my electrical circuit instructor was to use colored pencils to keep track of the different voltage and current loops.  


ELI The ICE man con't .... 

Voltage (E) leads current (I) in an inductive (L) circuit.
Current (I) leads voltage (E) in a capacitive (C) circuit.

Also, you mentioned the "left hand / right hand" rules...the left hand rule applies to Motors and the right hand rule applies to Generator. Your fingers "gripped" the conductor, your index finger pointed in the direction of current flow and your thumb pointed in the direction of rotation. 

Tom L.

Bill P__c Comes Aboard .....

BP RM-22, 1982-1984

Also, here's a little story that you can post if you like.

It was on the westpac of 1982-83 when I first met Koontz. I think his first name was either Steve or Jim? but my memory has really slipped in just the last few years so details such as this that would normally be locked into my brain have kinda slipped away.

He was in the nuke school class after mine and showed up on the Big E after I had been there for a little while. I got to know him and his classmates pretty well as we were all up in RT together for a bit. He was either an RC or an RM, although I guess he could even have been an EM for all I can recall. I do believe he was a forward group guy and I really lean towards him being in RC division.

Both he and I were smokers and would quite often end up in the Rx berthing lounge at the same time having just woken up for an upcoming watch. We would each be smoking our "morning" butts, sitting in our skivvies at one of the few berthing lounge tables, trying to shake the fog from our minds.

It was during one these encounters that we developed a strange, yet somehow brotherly, tradition. It usually started something like this:

Koontz: "Pa__ic, you suck moose penis"

Me: "Koontz, you suck purple headed moose penis"

Koontz: "P__ric, you suck purple headed dripping moose penis"

On and on it would go in this fashion, each building on the other until the insults we were hurling at each other were quite lengthy as well as disgustingly graphic. We found this little ritual quite amusing and would often use it to pass the time before we had to go on watch or when we were otherwise unable to continue.

Well, in 1984 I left the Big E and all the good people I had worked with, never to know if I would ever see any of them again. Eventually I ended up working as a Radcon Tech at Mare Island.

Working on submarines was interesting (it also made me feel damn glad that I ended up on the Big E), and after awhile we started doing a lot of off yard work as well. One of those jobs resulted in work at Hunter's Point deconning the Big E!!! Actually I wasn't so much involved with the deconning as I was the extensive surveys that were required prior to any work on the hull or within any of the voids.

This was after the Bishops Rock incident and I vividly recall Capt. Leuschner climbing out of the drydock after inspecting his "fine" work. I greeted him with a smile (ok, maybe it was an evil grin) but he looked right through me, after all, I was just a long-haired yardbird by this time. I have to admit, I was happy to see him getting his just desserts. I remember how he used to just pound the plants with his gung-ho ahead flank attitude.

So there I was, back on the ship where it all began.

Did you ever have a dream where the thing you were dreaming of was so funny that you woke up laughing? I had one of those dreams prior to my first night of working at Hunter's Point.

It involved Koontz.

Now as I was working the night shift, I would every now and then, poke my head into Rx berthing from the starboard ladder and see if anyone I knew was in there. I never saw anyone I knew but I used to get quite a few "what is this yardbird doing here" type of looks. Finally, on my last day there I decided to make one last trip aft to see if anyone was there. Lo and behold, who's sitting there (in his skivvies of course) smoking a butt, looking like he just rolled out of his rack?


I could barely contain my utter glee as I skipped in delight, but knew I had to pull myself together in order for this to be a truly great moment.

With my best poker face on, I plopped down in the seat across from him, looked him square in the eye and said: "Koontz, you suck purple headed, gerbil infested, venous, bulbous, puss encrusted moose penis!" That's about as much as I could get out before I started laughing my ass off.

All he could muster was an open mouthed stare.

It was beautiful.

Sentimental Journey ....

I bet most would have loved to return to The Big E as a civilian to see our old pals as Bill describes above.  I actually did in the fall of 1995, as a guest of my pal EMC "Dicko," then back on the Big E for another tour of duty.  And to make it even better, the Big E was underway (for a dependent's day cruise).  How great it was to be underway again even for just a day on the Big E.  By then I had been out of the navy for over 5 years so I doubted I'd see any familiar faces but I did.  Most of my generation of slackers [the ones that stayed in that is] were back again, and surprisingly most were chiefs.  The only thing that would have made the visit more special would have been a trip down to see 4-plant again.  But without a TLD, you all know that couldn't happen.  In many ways it felt like I had never left that place.  How many of you ever got to return to the Big E after getting out?  


Arrgh! Misses The Boat .....

I almost got to do a tour aboard the Big "E" with my wife back in 1986, just before the cruise. I had been sent to San Jose to attend an RCIS school at the GE facility there. I was still working in the I&C shop at Perry back then. My wife was about 5 months pregnant, and because of a little glitch in the utilities' scheme of things, the QA guys who weaseled their way into our I&C training got axed from the trip to San Jose! So, for the price of the plane ticket out and back, I got to bring my wife along.

We were having a great time enjoying the sights, and I drove us up to San Francisco, and even went past the old Arrgh! homestead in Hayward on Meekland Avenue. We took a drive over to Alameda, and there was the Big "E" in all her glory, tied to the very pier she was at when I last walked that afterbrow. We checked it out from the parking area outside of the base, the one that was right straight back of the aft of the ship. Even from where we were, it was impressive. I tried calling the base information line, and all of the phone numbers I could from the phone book trying to reach the ship. I couldn't get through for anything! I was really itching for a return visit, because having been a mere 3 years since my departure, I just knew that some of the old lifers would still be there, chiefing it up.

Sadly, the next evening on the news, there she was, cruising around Alcatraz, on her way to another westpac. I just missed it by about a week. I was really bummed, but who knows, maybe someday I'll get a chance to go aboard again for another visit.

I also tried leaving a message at the RC division office while the ship was in Newport News being refueled in the early 90's. That time, I actually got to talk to someone in the RC Div office. I didn't write down the name, but I tried asking if there were any chiefs with the last names of all the guys I figured stayed in. He didn't know any of them. I asked him to put a notice up on the bulletin board that "Arrgh!" had called, with my phone number, but nobody ever called back. Oh well... The cruise book and pictures will have to suffice as augmentation for the old gray matter! Thank God I didn't manage to kill ALL my brain cells while I was a squid!

RC-14 - 1980-1983 

How Not to Deal with Poison Oak ...

Isn’t it amazing how friends always seem to remember what you’ve been trying to forget for twenty years? Bob might remember me as a little “accident-prone,” as the poison oak escapade amply illustrates. Terry Gard_er and I somehow ended up in Half Moon bay one Sunday afternoon. While walking back up to the truck from the beach (the short-cut was my idea), Terry yelled down to me to “watch out for the poison oak.” When I asked what poison oak looked like, he helpfully replied that it was the large dense patch of vegetation in which I happened to be standing.

Now for some crazy reason, instead of heading back to the ship to deal with this unfortunate turn of events, we headed north to San Francisco for dinner. In the dingy restroom of the Universal Café on California street, I first took a long deferred piss and then I attempted to wash off my arms and legs with hand soap and very hot water. This was an excellent example of compounding improper execution of a casualty control procedure with the incorrect sequencing of actions. While one usually washes one’s hands after relieving oneself, in the case of exposure to caustic chemicals or toxins, one should wash ones hands before, too.

Needless to say, when I woke up on Monday morning, I found out what a “maximum histamine” reaction is like. After muster I went to sick call where the duty corpsman assured me that I had a least a 50% chance of survival and wrote me out a chit to go to Oak Knoll to see a Dermatologist. After dressing out in blues (some silly rule that one had to be properly attired to receive medical care), I spent the better part of the day waiting to see a skin doctor. As I didn’t have an appointment, this consumed the balance of the morning and the better part of the afternoon. Finally I was admitted into the presence of a female LCDR who remarked that my case was certainly one for the textbooks. 

She then asked me where the reaction was worst. I dutifully unbuttoned my bell-bottoms and peeled (ouch) off my skivvies. The look of discomfort on this doctor’s face was matched by the feeling in the pit of my stomach as I watched her wince and avert her eyes (perhaps not exactly great bedside manner). She prescribed me enough steroids for the entire East German women's swim team and remarked that she hoped that my girlfriend didn't have quite as bad a case as I did. I stammered something about not being with a girl and she cut me off and explained as a Naval officer she would have to report anything I told her about whom I was rolling in the bushes with. I quickly shut up and dressed having received about as much embarrassment as I could handle that particular day.

Now even though I might not have been the least graceful snipe in the plants, I did seem to manage to find creative ways to amuse the other Load Toads. Before Bob or Terry chime in on these, I'll provide a short list:

While stripping cable, while leaning back in a chair in the EE-44 movie booth - 16mm movies and projectors from the days before VCRs, I stabbed myself in the right elbow with my buck knife. This is only unusual in that the knife was in my right hand when I fell over backwards.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I went asphalt surfing out of the back of Marvin D_wa's pickup truck. Just a tip for those of you who think this sounds like fun...ask the driver to slow down to at least fifty before doing the superman routine. I vaguely recall my buds taking me back down to berthing to dress me in fresh dungarees before dragging me to medical (Marvin and I both had duty that day and our duty assignment wasn't drinking beer at the softball field). The doctors did remark that that was sure "some wicked non-skid at the bottom of the ladder I fell off" as they picked gravel out of my face, chest and legs. When I got out of Oak Knoll with soft casts on both legs and a cast up to my bicep on my right arm I found that I had been reassigned to the Tech Pub library as the worst that I good do there was get a paper cut.

When we got to Hawaii, I discovered that you really can get second degree burns on the soles of your bare feet by walking on hot pavement. Thank god for Dr. Scholl's, LOX boots and switchboard watch in 2 & 3 (instead of electrical rover).

Ok, the milkshake in Mombassa was a nub mistake. On the bright side, I met weight standards for the first and last time in my 12 years (I did six in the reserves from '88 to '93).

And although this wasn't technically a navy related incident, I was the best man at Terry's wedding (in his backyard) and while standing next to him in my dress whites, I noticed that my wife was making strange and frantic hand gestures at me. While I was trying to figure out what she was so concerned about, Terry calmly mentioned that the candles were igniting my jumper sleeve. Fortunately polyester mostly just melts rather than bursting into flames so we were able to finishing the ceremony without having to stop and toss me into Terry's pool.

Now the bizarre thing about this strange tendency toward disaster is that I can't recall having ever hurt anyone else; unless of course they hurt themselves laughing. I was a relatively decent withstander who usually remembered to trip the breaker of the generator being taken off line rather than tripping the one to which I had just transferred the load. And even though I was a relatively "light" PPWS for the six or so months before my EAOS, I don't recall having caused any major plant casualties.

Well almost no havoc...except on my first qualified PPWS watch in-port in Alameda, when the CPAW called up to EOS and reported that both ELTs were contaminated due to dragging a leaking and improperly removed glove box up from the RX compartment bilge. But that is another story for another day....

E. M.

So I guess you were the original "Blister Dick" ;)


Dependent's Day/Tiger Cruises ....

Hey Bill,

That would have been really cool to go back and visit the Big E. Wish I could have done that. I did, however, get to do something almost as special. My son, Brian, was a non-nuke MM on the mighty Nimitz from 94 - 97. While he was in, he invited my wife and I to come on board for two Dependent's Day cruises. Visitors were treated to an up close an personal view of flight ops from the flight deck. They roped off the #2 cat and actually launched and trapped several types of A/C (ala Top Gun). My wife was very impressed and still talks about it to this day.  This was something that "most" active duty nukes never get to see because the FD is off limits to everyone but chowdales during flight ops the nukes being stuck down in the Rx spaces rarely get to see daylight. 

I'll never forget the end of my first Nimitz DD cruise when we pulled in to the pier at PSNS in Bremerton. There at the next pier was the stripped out hull of my old ship the USS Bainbridge CGN 25. That brings to mind the '78 WestPac when I brought my dad on board the Bainbridge for the Tiger cruise on our return leg to San Diego from Hawaii. He spent almost all his time hanging out with the chiefs in the goat locker. My youngest brother, Robert (12 y/o at the time) got a ride on the Bainbridge when we traveled to Bremerton from San Diego in the fall of '78. 

Tom Lindmark

Plankowner on Deck!!!!

WJ Stevenson Comes Aboard .....

went aboard enterprise while in Newport News year before it was commissioned 1961 . fresh out of mm "a" school. worked in #1 main was on enterprise sea trials/med deployment/Cuban missile crisis received transfer Thanksging day to shangrali 1962. at time of transfer i was mm3. i worked under some great leadership. in those early days we had to modify certain things and run tests to see what held up best. i was lucky to work with 2 mm1s and a chief warrant officer who would roll up his sleeves and get with it on this special repair gang. my only problem with the enterprise was that it was so gung ho.

w.j. (tex) stevenson 

Just Gotta Know!

I just have to have confirmation from our new friend ‘Tex’ Stevenson -- Plankowner CVAN-65:

Did the old girl really do greater than 50 knots and throw rooster tails above the flight deck during trials?

There have always been rumors about ‘speed screws’ and ‘de-rating the reactors’ and other sea stories.

Enlighten us.


Monkeyshines .....


DISCLAIMER : I didn't personally observe any of the events listed in the story below. I did, however, hear this story from a number of semi-reliable sources. An RM named John Stanton absolutely loved this story and related it to Burt Page and myself many times.  John wasn't a direct participant in these events either, but supposedly saw at least some of this shit first hand.

(A quick aside) : John Stanton : Poster boy for the term "enigma." I knew John for a little over 2 years. During that time John continually professed his hate for the Navy in general and the Nuclear Navy in particular. Pretty much 24/7. If I had to list the top ten Navy haters I knew, John would definitely land firmly in the top three. So what does John do with this hate? HE REENLISTS!!! No shit. One day John is bitching about the Navy, the next he's in the Reactor Office, signing his reenlistment papers. Day after that he gets orders to be a prototype instructor in Connecticut. Day after that : Gone! Disappeared. Vanished like a fart in a hurricane. Go figure.

So, here's the story:

This is a no shitter : 1976. The P.I. One fine Olongapo afternoon a group of 4 or 5 RMs find themselves in a marketplace near the Victory Liner station. (Those in the know may recall that this is also the general vicinity of Marilyn's #2. I suspect that BJs and not sightseeing tours were the reason for the RMs being in the area.) The RMs happen upon a fruit stand, the proprietor of which has a small monkey on a leash. Evidently the monkey's owner had been mistreating the animal. The kind hearted RMs decide to "liberate" the poor creature from his current conditions. They pool their money then haggle with the fruit vendor. American money changes hands and ownership of the monkey transfers to the RMs.  The proud new owners are several blocks away from the marketplace when reality rears it's ugly head. "We own a monkey. NOW WHAT!?" One of the RMs had rented a room for a week at one of the hotels on Rizal Ave. They decide to hole up there and develop a plan for what to do with their new pet. Evidence suggests that what happened in the hotel room that night was a lot of San Miguel consumption and not much in the way of planning. Anyhow, the RMs wake up the next morning with hangovers and no game plan.  They quickly decide to leave the monkey in the room with some food and water, return to the ship, then come back that afternoon with "The Plan." So the RMs head back to the "World's Mightiest Warship" leaving the monkey alone in the room.

A couple of hours after the RMs depart, the little shit gets bored and totally trashes the room! Keith Moon couldn't have done a better job. To make matters worse, the maid comes in around noon to change the sheets. This little demon from Hell attacks her, severely bites her arm, escapes through the open door, and was last seen fleeing down Rizal Ave leaving a trail of destruction in his wake.  The RMs return to the scene of the crime around 4PM and are confronted by a group of very angry Filipinos! Once again, American money changes hands and, as always happened in Olongapo, that made things OK.

End of Story.

In the 25+ ensuing years, I've told this story a time or two. This is the first time I've put it in writing. Comes off different in the written word. Here's what I think I failed to communicate : 99% of the nukes I knew were kind hearted and well intentioned people. None the less, they often ended up in "interesting" or "bizarre" situations. Most of the sea stories I've heard form ex nukes contain at least some element of debauchery, depravity, deviant behavior and on one occasion even some mild bestiality. This isn't because they were evil, but because they were creative, imaginative young men in extreme conditions. I've heard of more than one nuke who ended up in the back of a paddy wagon for circumstances that started out with trying to do a good deed. People who weren't there just don't understand. Hell, PETA would probably try to throw these RMs in jail for animal cruelty when all they were doing is trying to help. So what if they f__ked up? It's the thought that counts.




What a great website. By the way the you got the story about me wrong....I did not receive a general was an honorable discharge and I subsequently had the line item about my "homosexuality" removed from the record after Clinton's don't ask don't tell policy was enacted.

Mark Fuller


Well folks, If you could see me you'd see that I got a grin a mile wide right now!  I have found my old pal, the one and only, "King Cajun" Goldylocks Fuller.  I haven't listed his email as of yet since he didn't say he wanted it listed but if I know Mark, he'll be glad to hear from all his former Big E buds.  So go re-read the archived RE04 dopeybooks and reacquaint yourself with a legend!


More from Mark (he emailed me right back):

...... Michael Ray Boyden turned me onto your site today. I have no problem with the site or its content. I'm not running for political Navy "career" ended that possibility. I had made photocopies of those dopey books prior to my exit but lost them, so your site is really awesome. You can list me with my enclosed info. I have to admit returning to the Pig as a civilian was the feather in my cap. I live in Atlanta and I do business development for a managed network services company...

Holy Moly!

Time for a new page, Click Here to go to page 24. 


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