Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 50

Patriots gain control of Virginia on December 9, 1775

Patriots gain control of Virginia on December 9, 1775

Patriots gain control of Virginia: The Virginia and North Carolina militias defeat 800 slaves and 200 redcoats serving John Murray, earl of Dunmore and governor of Virginia, at Great Bridge outside Norfolk, ending British royal control of Virginia. The Tory survivors retreated first to Norfolk then to Dunmore's ship, the Otter, where the majority died of smallpox.

Governor Dunmore had removed to the Tory stronghold of Norfolk after Patriots drove him from the capitol, Williamsburg, in June 1775. On November 7, 1775, he offered emancipation to any slave of a Patriot master willing to join his forces. By November 30, Dunmore's ranks had swelled and he was convinced of his ability to regain control of the colony. George Washington feared Dunmore was correct and wrote to the Continental Congress from New England, warning them that they needed to see to it that Dunmore was instantly crushed. When Dunmore's forces won a resounding victory at Kemp's Landing, it looked like Dunmore's troops, dubbed the Ethiopian Regiment, would ensure continued British rule in Virginia, despite a backlash against him among slaveholders on both sides of the conflict who were angry over the precedent Dunmore's move might be setting.

Dunmore was determined to defend Great Bridge, building a stockade, dismantling the main bridge and defending the smaller bridges with cannon. Having taken these precautions, Dunmore then squandered his efforts by underestimating the strength of the Patriot militias. His decision to offer emancipation had incited at least 150 men from across the Carolinas to march north to help drive Dunmore from the state. By contrast, the overconfident Dunmore sent only a few sailors and sixty townsmen from Norfolk to meet them. They got within 15 feet of the Patriots before being shot dead. Within thirty minutes, 150 Loyalists fell. There was only one Patriot fatality. Three hundred of the 800 Black Loyalists survived their enlistment in the Ethiopian Regiment only to confront smallpox on the Otter. History Channel / Wikipedia / The American Revolution.org / Digital History / U.S. History.org

Paintings: American Revolution, Patriots gain control of Virginia, Battle of Long Island

Washington Crossing the Delaware, by Emanuel Leutz; Battle of the Chesapeake, French (left) and British (right) lines; Battle of Bunker Hill, The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill by John Trumbull; The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar, September 13, 1782, by John Singleton Copley; Washington and the Comte de Rochambeau at Yorktown, 1781; "The surrender at Saratoga" shows General Daniel Morgan in front of a French de Vallière 4-pounder; Surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown by (John Trumbull, 1797).

Understanding Military Terminology

Understanding Military Terminology - footprint

(DOD) Footprint:

1.) The area on the surface of the earth within a satellite's transmitter or sensor field of view.

2.) The amount of personnel, spares, resources, and capabilities physically present and occupying space at a deployed location. Wikipedia / Joint Point 4-05.1)

Anchors Aweigh (film) 1945. musical comedy film directed by George Sidney and starring Frank Sinatra, Kathryn Grayson, and Gene Kelly, in which two sailors go on a four-day shore leave in Hollywood, accompanied by music and song, meet an aspiring young singer and try to help her get an audition at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. In addition to a live-action Kelly dancing with Jerry Mouse the cartoon mouse, the movie also features José Iturbi, Pamela Britton, Dean Stockwell, and Sharon McManus.

The Old Salt’s Corner

Anchors Aweigh

The word “weigh” in this sense comes from the archaic word meaning to heave, hoist or raise. “Aweigh” means that that action has been completed. The anchor is aweigh when it is pulled from the bottom. This event is duly noted in the ship's log.

Lieut. Charles A. Zimmermann, USN, a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, had been selected as the bandmaster of the Naval Academy Band in 1887 at the age of 26. His father, Charles Z. Zimmermann, had played in the band during the Civil War years. Early in his career, Lieut. Zimmermann started the practice of composing a march for each graduating class. By 1892, “Zimmy”, as he was affectionately known by the midshipmen, became so popular that he was presented with a gold medal by that year's class. More gold medals followed as Zimmermann wrote a march for each succeeding class.

In 1906, Lieut. Zimmerman was approached by Midshipman First Class Alfred Hart Miles with a request for a new march. As a member of the Class of 1907, Miles and his classmates “were eager to have a piece of music that would be inspiring, one with a swing to it so it could be used as a football marching song, and one that would live forever.”

Supposedly, with the two men seated at the Naval Academy Chapel organ, Zimmermann composed the tune and Miles set the title and wrote to two first stanzas in November 1906. This march was played by the band and sung by the brigade at the 1906 Army-Navy football game later that month, and for the first time in several seasons, Navy won. This march, Anchors Aweigh, was subsequently dedicated to the Academy Class of 1907 and adopted as the official song of the U.S. Navy. The concluding stanza was written by Midshipman Royal Lovell, Class of 1926.

Anchors Aweigh - Original Lyrics video

Stand Navy down the field, sails set to the sky.

We'll never change our course, so Army you steer shy-y-y-y.

Roll up the score, Navy, Anchors Aweigh.

Sail Navy down the field and sink the Army, sink the Army Grey.

Get underway, Navy, Decks cleared for the fray,

We'll hoist true Navy Blue So Army down your Grey-y-y-y.

Full speed ahead, Navy; Army heave to,

Furl Black and Grey and Gold and hoist the Navy, hoist the Navy Blue.

Blue of the Seven Seas; Gold of God's great sun.

Let these our colors be Till all of time be done-n-n-ne,

By Severn shore we learn Navy's stern call:

Faith, courage, service true With honor over, honor over all.

Revised Lyrics by George D. Lottman (It is Verse 2 that is most widely sung.)

Stand, Navy, out to sea, Fight our battle cry;

We'll never change our course, So vicious foe steer shy-y-y-y.

Roll out the TNT, Anchors Aweigh. Sail on to victory,

And sink their bones to Davy Jones, hooray!

Anchors Aweigh, my boys, Anchors Aweigh.

Farewell to college joys, we sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay.

Through our last night on shore, drink to the foam,

Until we meet once more. Here's wishing you a happy voyage home.

In the 1916 Lucky Bag, the Academy yearbook, the class prepared a surprise for Lieut. Zimmermann. On page one was an impressive photo of the bandmaster in his full dress uniform, and on the next, a moving tribute to his devotion to the Naval Academy. Unfortunately, Lieut. Zimmermann did not live to enjoy this tribute. He became ill and died suddenly on Sunday morning, Jan. 16, 1916, of a brain hemorrhage. He was 54 years old. He was given a full military funeral, with midshipmen serving as pallbearers, and classes were suspended so the entire regiment could attend when he was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery on Jan. 19, 1916. Later, his body was moved to the Naval Academy cemetery where a granite monument, a gift from the classes of 1916 and 1917 was erected, as says the inscription on the base, “by his Midshipmen Friends.”

Alfred H. Miles, the lyricist, continued his Navy career and retired as a Captain.

Revised Lyrics by MCPON John Hagen (This was done to, "Promote new respect for the Navy's official song." The first and second verses remain unchanged from the revised lyrics by Geo. Lottman. The third verse has a minor change. Here is the complete song as written by MCPON Hagen.)

Stand Navy out to sea, fight our battle cry;

We'll never change our course, so vicious foe steer shy-y-y-y.

Roll out the TNT, Anchors aweigh! Sail on to victory,

And sink their bones to Davy Jones, hooray!

Anchors aweigh, my boys, anchors aweigh.

Farwell to foreign shores, we sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay.

Through our last night ashore, drink to the foam,

Until we meet once more. Her's wishing you a happy voyage home.

Blue of the mighty deep, gold of God's great son.

Let these our colors be till all of time done, done, done, done.

On the seven seas we learn Navy's stern call:

Faith, courage, service true, with honor, over honor, over all.

Image: Anchors Aweigh (film), a 1945 American Technicolor musical comedy film directed by George Sidney and starring Frank Sinatra, Kathryn Grayson, and Gene Kelly, in which two sailors go on a four-day shore.

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

What do you call a male ladybug?

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.”

~ Arthur Wing Pinero

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.”

~ Anonymous

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Company sells furry “Rectum” and “Anus” toys for kids

Company sells furry “Rectum” and “Anus” toys for kids

The most challenging toys this holiday season might be the series of furry human innards from the U.S. firm I Heart Guts - not just the soft and cuddly pancreas, brain, and prostate but especially the rectum and anus.

Each part is packaged with a cheekily-written educational description explaining its importance (the rectum being “the butt of many jokes” yet with “a serious role” in waste disposal as the “fecal loading dock”), and each sells for about $20.Yahoo News UK

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What's the story on genetically modified organism (GMO) foods? I hear a constant stream of horror stories of cancerous death caused by GMOs. Is there any truth to the claims of those preaching the anti-GMO gospel?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What's the story on genetically modified organism (GMO) foods? I hear a constant stream of horror stories of cancerous death caused by GMOs. Is there any truth to the claims of those preaching the anti-GMO gospel?

Since the mid-1990s, GMO crops have steadily increased in terms of total crop area, with the U.S. planting more than any other country. For some crops the great majority of acreage is planted with GMO seeds — notably soybeans, with more than 80 percent of the crop worldwide of GMO origin. Biotech seed accounts for close to two-thirds of global cotton and roughly a quarter of corn and canola. In the U.S., about half of all cropland is growing GMOs, including 93 percent of the acreage for soybeans, 85 percent for corn, and 82 percent for cotton.

GMOs are plants or animals with an altered genetic code not found in nature. Genetic modification in the broad sense is nothing new; humans have been creating hybrid plants and animals for centuries, with results ranging from tangelos to killer bees. The difference with GMOs is that they’re created by direct modification of the genome rather than traditional breeding methods.

The first GMOs were made by inserting the Bt gene, which gives built-in insecticide properties to plants such as tomatoes, tobacco, corn, and soybeans. Since then, genetic modifications have been “stacked” — often via traditional crossbreeding — to produce new crop species with multiple special characteristics. For example, several GMO corn types have been crossed to create one with greater herbicide tolerance plus the Bt insecticide trait.

What we are left with are three possibilities: the color of the water, the color of clear sky (light blue) and the color of overcast/foggy/misty sky (gray). The Navy apparently believes that skies are overcast/foggy/misty more often than they are clear. For example, this page notes:

Gene stacking makes it possible to produce a bewildering array of GMO plants adapted for different circumstances. It’s estimated soon 24 genetic modifications of corn will be commercially feasible. If they’re quadruple-stacked that could mean more than 12,000 GMO corn varieties.

So, what problems have been reported from GMO crops? Let’s dispose of the scariest. In 2012 French molecular biologist Gilles-Eric Séralini, a vocal opponent of genetic modification, published a paper claiming rats fed Bt-modified corn treated with Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide were much more likely to develop cancer.

The press conference at which the study was released was a transparent - and successful - attempt to manipulate public opinion. In return for a first look at the research, reporters were required to agree they wouldn’t ask Séralini’s professional peers to check his work. They were shown those photos of rats with bodies grotesquely distorted by enormous tumors, and within hours the images and other grim details had been tweeted, posted, and blogged around the world 1.5 million times.

Séralini’s methods and conclusions were widely disputed by other scientists, and the paper was eventually retracted and republished in much milder form. But the PR damage was done.

Researchers have reported other GMO-linked health issues — food allergies, stomach and uterine inflammation in pigs — but here too, reviewing scientists have seen problems with methodology. Most studies thus far have found little reason for concern.

At the outbreak of World War I, navies struggled how to conceal their ships on the open seas. Painting vessels grey helped reduce visibility, but it was difficult to consistently blend with ever-changing environments and weather conditions. Prominent trails of smoke and wake also left ships vulnerable to being identified by enemies.

That’s not to say there aren’t legitimate worries about GMO usage, mainly stemming from environmental impact:

● A serious decline in the monarch butterfly population may be due to increased use of herbicides on herbicide-resistant GMO crops, which kills the milkweed plants monarch larvae feed on.

● Chinese GMO cotton crops have seen an increase in second-tier pest insects as the primary pests have been reduced by insecticidal GMO cotton.

● Some bugs have already developed resistance to insecticidal GMO crops in the short time they’ve been cultivated.

It’d be foolish to say nothing will ever go awry with GMO crops. The history of traditional agriculture is full of seemingly bright ideas leading to massive unintended consequences. (Example: kudzu, promoted as ground cover till 1953 and now considered a noxious weed, spreading at 150,000 acres annually.) That said, GMOs are much more closely regulated than farming experiments of old.

The hot regulatory issue now is labeling. No one can seriously dispute the public’s right to know the GMO content of consumer products, but making it happen isn’t easy — GMOs must be carefully tracked from planting to market. Laws vary among countries: the European Union requires labeling at 0.9% GMO content or more; in China any GMO content must be indicated; in the U.S. labeling is voluntary.

GMO crops have been a boon for farmers, with an estimated $78 billion in additional farm revenue worldwide from 1996 to 2010 due to reduced costs. Since 1996 total pesticide use has dropped by nearly a billion pounds. Reduced carbon emissions due to GMO crops are equivalent to taking 8.6 million cars off the road. Upcoming GMO foods include more-nutritious “golden rice”, scurvy-fighting corn, and cancer-preventing tomatoes. Whatever may go wrong, and something surely will, GMO crops are here to stay.

Research:  WikipediaReutersGMO MercolaNon GMO Project.orgMonsanto

Where Did That Saying Come From? “A Shot of Whiskey”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

“A Shot of Whiskey”

A Shot of Whiskey:

In the old west a .45 cartridge for a six-gun cost 12 cents, so did a glass of whiskey.

If a cowhand was low on cash he would often give the bartender a cartridge in exchange for a drink. This became known as a “shot” of whiskey.Wikipedia

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang - U.S. Navy America's Navy - A Global Force For Good

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Brightworks: Any decorative metal that must be constantly shined with Brasso or Nevr-Dull to avoid tarnishing. This undesirable duty is often performed by the most junior personnel in the command. Example: the stainless steel rails in boot camp around the galley. “Shipmate! get off my brightworks.”

Bubba: Affectionate term for someone who does what you do. In aviation, someone who flies the same type of aircraft as you (Ex. He's an H-53 bubba). On subs, refers to the few oversized crewmembers who can lift the largest loads, thus getting something done. Is also a derogatory term for shipyard workers.

Liberty Risk: A sailor who loves liberty a little too much. So much so that he puts himself in danger by drinking too much, getting into fights, or pissing off the locals.

Sea Swap: A recently initiated program where an American warship never returns to an American port. Instead, it pulls into a friendly foreign port at given intervals and swaps out its entire crew.

Just for MARINES - U.S. Marines Marines - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

Company Grade: A commissioned officer in the first three grades. In the Navy and Coast Guard they are ensign, lieutenant (junior grade) and lieutenant. In the Army, Air Force or Marine Corps they are first and second lieutenants and captain. Traditionally, particularly in the Naval services, these officers may be addressed as mister, but a smart Marine doesn’t follow this tradition.

Company Gunny: Usually a gunnery sergeant in a company who is charged with training. It is a billet and not a rank.

ComRats: Commuted Rations. Payment in lieu of eating in the mess hall, usually paid to married Marines.

Military Acronyms

Navy Acronyms

NEX - The Navy Exchange

A department store for military personnel and their families.

NFO - Naval Flight Officer

Officer who specializes in aircraft weapons and sensor systems (2nd seat in the cockpit).

NPS - Non-Prior Service

Someone without any previous military experience.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HT-28 - Helicopter Training Squadron 28: “Hellions” NAS Whiting Field, Florida

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Peter the Great by Paul Delaroche

Peter the Great forced his wife to keep her lover’s head

Peter the Great, Peter I or Pyotr Alexeyevich ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother.

When Russian Tsar Peter the Great found out his wife Catherine was having an affair with William Mons, he had him beheaded and ordered the head to be preserved in a jar full of alcohol. The head remained in Catherine’s bedroom until Peter’s death. Wikipedia / Biography


The Kingsmen In Person - The Kingsmen 1964

“Louie Louie” - The Kingsmen
Album: The Kingsmen In Person
Released 1964 video

This was written by an R&B singer named Richard Berry in 1955. With his group The Pharaohs, he was also the first to record it, and it got some airplay in some cities in the Western U.S. when it was released in 1957. Various garage bands heard it and started covering the song, until it became a phenomena with the Kingsmen's 1964 version. While much of the song's notoriety comes from the indecipherable lyrics, in Berry's original version words are quite clear: the song is about a sailor who spends three days traveling to Jamaica to see his girl.

Dwight Rounds, author of The Year The Music Died, 1964-1972, writes: “The words to Louie, Louie are almost impossible to understand, and are rumored to be obscene.” No question that this added significantly to the sales of the single. There was probably a leak somewhere that the lyrics were obscene; otherwise no one would have realized it. This was the most ingenious marketing scheme ever.

The FBI tried to track down Richard Berry, The Kingsmen, and various record company executives. They were never able to determine the actual lyrics used. To this day, the Kingsmen insist they said nothing lewd, despite the obvious mistake at the end of the instrumental, where Jack Ely started to sing the last verse one bar too soon, and can be heard yelling something in the background. Ely also said that he sung far away from the microphone, which caused the fuzzy sound, and that the notoriety was initiated by the record company. The words sound much more like the official version seen below, especially the word “rose” instead of “bone”. The lyrics rumor was a sham.

Chorus: “Louie, Louie, oh no. Me gotta go. Aye-yi-yi, I said. Louie Louie, oh baby. Me gotta go.”

“Fine little girl waits for me. Catch a ship across the sea. Sail that ship about, all alone. Never know if I make it home.”

“Three nights and days, I sail the sea.” “Think of girl, constantly.” “Oh that ship, I dream she's there. “I smell the rose in her hair.”

“See Jamaica, the moon above.” “It won't be long, me see my love.” “Take her in my arms again.” “Tell her I'll never leave again.”

Many bands in the Northwest played this at their concerts. The Kingsmen lifted their version from The Wailers, a Seattle band who missed out on the song's success.

The song cost $50 to record. The Kingsmen went to the studio after a radio station executive in Portland saw them perform it live and suggested they record it.

Paul Revere and The Raiders, also on the Northwest touring scene, recorded their version the day after The Kingsmen at the same studio. Their version was superior musically, but was just regional hit as they could not generate the publicity The Kingsmen did.

This was the only Kingsmen song with lead vocals by Jack Ely. Before this became a hit, he quit when band leader Lynn Easton assumed vocals and ordered Ely to drums. When this became a hit, Easton would lip-sync to Ely's vocals on TV performances.

Ely tried to capitalize on the success of this by releasing similar songs on his own, including “Louie Louie 66,” “Love That Louie”, and “Louie Go Home.”

This became a national hit when a disc jockey in Boston played it and declared that it was the worst song he ever heard.

Indiana governor Matthew Welsh was particularly offended by this song. He declared it “Pornographic” in 1964 and asked the Indiana Broadcasters Association to ban it.

According to lead singer Jack Ely, the studio had a 19-foot ceiling with a microphone suspended from it. Ely claims that was the cause of the “garbled” lyrics, but Paul Revere and the Raiders recorded their version of “Louie Louie” in the same studio the day after The Kingsmen's session, and their partly ad-libbed lyrics are clearly heard. Smithsonian / 500 Greatest Albums of All Time Rolling Stone magazine / Wikipedia / FBI / Snopes / The Guardian U.K.

Image: The Kingsmen In PersonThe Kingsmen



● Marilyn Monroe said her favorite female singer was Ella Fitzgerald; her favorite male singer was Frank Sinatra.

● Thinking that its parents were a camel and a leopard, the Europeans once called the animal a “camelopard”. Today, it is called the giraffe.

● When Spain declared war on the U.S. in 1898, the U.S. in turn declared war on Spain but backdated the declaration by three days so it would look more heroic to have declared war first.

Answer to Last Week's Test

In hospital slang a patient seeking emergency treatment for a minor complaint is called a GOMER by the staff. What does GOMER stand for?

Answer: The term GOMER is an acronym for Get Out of My Emergency Room.

Joke of the Day

Cinderella was now 75 years old. After a fulfilling life with the now dead Prince, she happily sat upon her rocking chair, watching the world go by from her front porch, with a cat called Alan for companionship.

One sunny afternoon, out of nowhere, appeared the Fairy Godmother. Cinderella said “Fairy Godmother, what are you doing here after all these years?.”

The Fairy Godmother replied, “Well, Cinderella, since you have lived a good, wholesome life since we last met, I have decided to grant you three wishes. Is there anything for which your heart still yearns?”

Cinderella is overjoyed, and after some thoughtful consideration and almost under her breath she uttered her first wish:

“I wish I was wealthy beyond comprehension.”

Instantly, her rocking chair was turned into solid gold.

Cinderella was stunned. Alan, her old faithful cat, jumped off her lap and scampered to the edge of the porch, quivering with fear.

Cinderella said, “Oh thank you, Fairy Godmother!”

The Fairy Godmother replied, “It's the least I can do. What does your heart wish for your second wish?”

Cinderella looked down at her frail body, and said, “I wish I were young and full of the beauty of youth again.”

At once, her wish became reality, and her beautiful youthful visage returned.

Cinderella felt stirrings inside her that had been dormant for years and long forgotten vigor and vitality began to course through her very soul.

Then the Fairy Godmother again spoke. “You have one more wish, what will you have?” Cinderella looked over to the frightened cat in the corner and said, “I wish you to transform Alan my old cat into a beautiful, and handsome young man”

Magically, Alan suddenly underwent so fundamental a change in his biological make-up, that when complete he stood before her, a boy, so beautiful the like of which she nor the world had ever seen, so fair indeed that birds begun to fall from the sky at his feet.

The Fairy Godmother again spoke. “Congratulations, Cinderella. Enjoy your new life.” And, with a blazing shock of bright blue electricity, she was gone.

For a few eerie moments, Alan and Cinderella looked into each other's eyes. Cinderella sat, breathless, gazing at the most stunningly perfect boy she had ever seen.

Then Alan walked over to Cinderella, who sat transfixed in her rocking chair, and held her close in his young muscular arms.

He leaned in close to her ear, whispered, blowing her golden hair with his warm breath, “I bet you regret having me neutered now, don't you?”