Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 26, 2015

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Commodore Parker prepares for a naval strike on Charleston on June 23, 1776

Battle of Sullivan's Island: Commodore Parker prepares for a naval strike on Charleston on June 23, 1776

Commodore Parker prepares for a naval strike on Charleston: On this day in 1776, off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, British Commodore Sir Peter Parker notifies General Henry Clinton that he will land on the South Carolina mainland the next day on the flood tide, if the wind blows from the south.

After 10 years out of service, Parker received a knighthood in 1772 and rejoined the Royal Navy in 1773. At the outbreak of the American War for Independence, he was charged with supporting Loyalists in the southern colonies. On June 28, Parker raised the British colors above his ship, the HMS Bristol, and at around 10 a.m. his squadron opened fire on the Patriot fortification at Sullivan’s Island off the coast of Charleston. To the surprise of the British, the fort’s palmetto log wall absorbed the British shot like a sponge and prevented the expected splinter injuries to the garrison lying within its walls.

The British suffered yet greater upset when they discovered the level of accuracy and efficacy from the fire directed by Patriot Colonel William Moultrie at the British fleet. Their two largest warships suffered extensive damage and severe crew losses. Adding insult to injury, Commodore Parker suffered not only painful physical injuries but also the embarrassing loss of his breeches, when a splinter, like those that failed to wound the Patriots, managed to strike his leg. In addition, the HMS Sphinx lost its bowsprit; the HMS Actaeon ran aground; and smaller British frigates were damaged. Moultrie’s attack cost Parker 261 injured and dead, including Lord William Campbell, the last royal governor of South Carolina, who received a mortal wound aboard the HMS Bristol. The Patriots suffered only minor casualties.

History Channel / Library of Congress / National Parks Service / Charleston County Public Library.org / Southern Campaign.org / Encyclopedia Britannica / Wikipedia

Understanding Military Terminology

Understanding Military Terminology - Immediate Message

(DOD) A category of precedence reserved for messages relating to situations that gravely affect the security of national and multinational forces or populace and that require immediate delivery to the addressee(s). Joint Personnel Support (Joint Publication 1-0)

U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier USS Washington (U.S.Navy.mil)

The Old Salt’s Corner

The Operations Department

This module will cover the organization within the operations department. As with ship’s organizational structure in the previous module, the Operations Department from ship to ship will vary slightly. As before, we will use an example from a typical carrier for purposes of instruction. Elements of a typical carrier Operations Departments include the Combat Direction Center, Air Operations, Intelligence Center, Meteorology, Electronics Material Office, and Strike Operations. Already mentioned in the previous module, the Carrier Intelligence Center (CVIC) is administratively located within the Operations Department.

A majority of CVIC’s contacts will be with other divisions within Operations and the Air wing. Specific functions within each division of the Operations Department are abbreviated by a two-letter code beginning with "O" for Operations. THEY WILL BE LISTED NEXT WEEK.

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

In court, why do they ask if you swear to tell the truth? If you're planning on lying, do they really think you'll tell them so?

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.”

~ Henry Ford

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.”

~ Oscar Wilde

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)

Report: 1,580 IRS workers evaded taxes

IRS tax violators gets new life with watchdog report

About three-fourths of the 1,580 IRS workers found to have deliberately attempted to evade federal income tax during the last 10 years have nonetheless retained their jobs, according to a May report by the agency’s inspector general.

Some even received promotions and performance bonuses (although an internal rule, adopted last year, now forbids such bonuses to one adjudged to owe back taxes).

“When we hung up, I wanted to give the IRS a Massive Hug”

House rejects bill to fire tax-delinquent federal employees

IRS tax delinquent employees

Finalists announced for “Sammies”, honoring federal employees’ work Washington Post / Associated Press / Fox News (05/07/2015)

Why Is the NBA Shot Clock 24 Seconds? (Air Jordan Retro 11 “Playoffs” | 1996 NBA Finals - therareairs.com)

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why Is the NBA Shot Clock 24 Seconds?

History of the Shot Clock: The NBA’s 24-second shot clock was invented in 1954 by Syracuse Nationals owner Danny Biasone, who wanted to force teams to pick up the pace of games. Why 24 seconds?

“I looked at the box scores from the games I enjoyed, games where they didn’t screw around and stall”, Biasone explained. “I noticed each team took about 60 shots. That meant 120 shots per game. So I took 48 minutes (2,880 seconds) and divided that by 120 shots. The result was 24 seconds per shot.”

NBASnopesWikipediaMental Floss

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Riff Raff”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Riff Raff:” The Mississippi River was the main way of traveling from north to south. Riverboats carried passengers and freight but they were expensive so most people used rafts.

Everything had the right of way over rafts which were considered cheap. The steering oar on the rafts was called a “riff” and this transposed into riff-raff, meaning low class. Economic Noise / Phrases.org UK

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Burn a copy: Make a Xerox copy of a document or sheet of paper. (Probably goes back to Thermofax copiers.)

Cake Dryer: Imaginary appliance in a ship's galley used to dry (like toast) otherwise good pieces of cake.

CIC: Combat Information Center.

Cinderella Liberty: Liberty that expires at midnight.

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

Just for you MARINE

Dubbing: (From WWI to Vietnam) A concoction issued with boots and boondockers intended to clean them since the footwear was made with the rough side out (much like the modern Desert Boot). By the late 1950s it was not being used as Marines were using bottles to force shoe polish into the nap so that the boots and boondockers could be spit shined. This all came to an end when Defense Secretary McNamara forced Marines to give up their comfortable “Marine Corps last” footwear and replaced it with the Army Munson last which was much less comfortable but cheaper.

Duty: At work (on duty) or having special requirements after normal working hours. Units will have a Duty Officer, Duty NCO or Duty Driver.

Eagle Globe and Anchor: The emblem of the United States Marine Corps adopted in 1868 under Brigadier General Commandant Jacob Zeilin following the Civil War. Prior to that time the Marines wore the Army infantry horn with a red field in the center and the letter “M” in Old English script.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HS-7 - Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 7: “Dusty Dogs”
NAS Jacksonville, Florida

Aircraft Nicknames

Aircraft Nicknames

AH-1G Cobra: nicknamed “AH-1G Cobra: Snake”, after the French World War I fighter.

The AH-1 was the backbone of the United States Army's attack helicopter fleet, but has been replaced by the AH-64 Apache in Army service. Upgraded versions continue to fly with the militaries of several other nations.

The AH-1 twin engine versions remain in service with United States Marine Corps (USMC) as the service's primary attack helicopter.

The twin Cobra family includes the AH-1J SeaCobra, the AH-1T Improved SeaCobra, and the AH-1W SuperCobra. The AH-1W is the backbone of the United States Marine Corps's attack helicopter fleet, but it will be replaced in service by the Bell AH-1Z Viper upgrade. Wikipedia / Wikipedia (Super Cobra)

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Wells Fargo, religious discrimination and bacon

Wells Fargo, religious discrimination and bacon

John Whiteside, a Las Vegas resident and member of the United Church Of Bacon, has accused his local Well Fargo branch bank of religious discrimination. He claims that a banker at the branch refused to have a document notarized for his church. He feels that the woman at the bank only refused to notarize the document because he was an atheist.

Whiteside’s accusation against Wells Fargo spawned a protest that included leaders from seven national secular groups who showed up at the branch location to show their displeasure with the alleged religious discrimination.

Yes, the United Church Of Bacon is a nationally recognized church that was founded by Whiteside back in 2010. They have about 500 members located in the Las Vegas area and nearly 4,000 members across the nation. Humorously, the church actually has nothing at all to do with actual bacon, they only chose the name to expose how wrong it is for society to give automatic respect and special legal privileges to religions.

The church serves to fight against discrimination of atheists and promote the separation of church and state. The idea for the United Church of Bacon came about during a meeting of atheists that took place a magician Penn Jillette’s home in Las Vegas. Jillette is a member of the church’s congregation and a sanctioned Sunday school teacher for the church. Examiner video


“Old Time Rock And Roll” - Bob Seger 1978

“Old Time Rock And Roll” - Bob Seger
Album: Stranger In Towny
Released 1978 video

This is one of the few songs Seger recorded that he didn't write. It was written by the songwriters George Jackson and Thomas Jones, who worked for Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, where the song was recorded. Although Seger worked on the lyrics, he didn't take any songwriting credit. This means that Seger doesn't own the publishing rights to the song, and Jackson and Jones control when it is used in movies and commercials.

According to Seger, he was feeling generous that day, and says not seeking composer credit was "the dumbest thing I ever did." Seger claims he changed all the original lyrics except for the “old time rock and roll” part. He made sure to take a dig at Disco music, which was fading in popularity.

Seger recorded this with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, a famous group of studio musicians who owned their own recording studio in Alabama. Other singers they had worked with include Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, and Rod Stewart. They gave many songs a feeling of authenticity, which was important to Seger because his last album was very successful and he didn't want to be perceived as selling out to pop radio.

Jerry Masters, who was a recording engineer at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, told us the story: “We cut a demo on the writer of the song, George Jackson, there at the studio when we didn't have anything else to do. It was a great demo, along with some others we cut that day. Seger liked the song so much he tried to cut it himself, but after numerous tries, with the Swampers and with his band, he finally gave up. He and Punch Andrews decided to buy the demo track from us and put his vocal on it, and that ended up being the record. It's a classic. We also did 'Night Moves,' 'Katmandu,' and several more that were on the Silver Bullet Band LP. So the classic 'Old Time' was in reality a demo we cut on the writer a couple of years earlier.”

The original demo for this song had George Jackson on vocals, which didn't work when pitching the song to Bob Seger. David Hood, who was the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section bass player, told us, “After we got through recording it, we listened to it and thought, Well, pretty good, but George is a black guy. And he just didn't sound like a rock and roll singer. So Jimmy (Johnson, MSSS guitarist) and I were working with a rock group that we were trying to produce at the time. We brought in the singer from that group, a young man named Dennis Gulley, and put him on the track, the rock and roll track. And when we heard his version of it, we thought, Wow, that sounds just like something that Bob Seger would do.

We had been recording with Bob for some time by then. We knew that Bob didn't really cut other people's stuff very much, but we thought, well, there's a chance. So we sent it to Bob. He liked it, wanted to make a couple of changes to make it suit him a little bit more. So he came back in and re-recorded the song with us and also recorded it with his band, the Silver Bullet Band, and it just never came off. And so he ended up putting his voice on our demo, the demo that we had done at our Studio B with George Jackson. They just took George's voice off, put Bob's voice on there, and that's the hit record.”

The lead guitar player on this was not a Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section player. It was Forrest McDonald, a young man just passing through who happened to stop in the studio that day. When we spoke with David Hood, he told us the story: “He happened to come in the parking lot in his mother and daddy's car with them, and Jimmy was out on the back porch. I believe his first name was Howie, but he probably goes by another name. But anyway, that's very true. He came into the parking lot one afternoon and Jimmy was out on the back porch. And he says, 'Well, I'm a guitar player and I'm wanting to learn how to play on recording sessions. And I think I'm good.' He says, 'Well, got your guitar with you?' He says, 'Yeah.' Jimmy says, 'Well, come on in.' And they put him on the track. His mother and daddy never even got out of the car. They sat in the car in the parking lot with the air conditioning running. And they put him on the track playing guitar and it's on the record, it stayed on there. It was a good enough part that they kept it on there.”

The George Jackson - Muscle Shoals connection is through Malaco Records of Jackson, Mississippi (“America's Last Soul Record Label”). Jackson was a staff songwriter for Malaco, and Malaco often recorded their sessions at Muscle Shoals. He was also a part owner of the studio.

This was used in the 1983 movie Risky Business in a famous scene where Tom Cruise danced to the song in his underwear. This scene quickly entered the zeitgeist, leading to parodies, tributes, even Halloween costumes. Seger is OK with having his song closely associated with an underwear-clad Cruise - he says he gets a kick out of it.

Bob Seger official site / All Music / Billboard / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “Stranger in Town‎ (album)” by Bob Seger



● On November 18th, 1913, pilot Lincoln Beachy did something that had never been done in an airplane before: he made a complete loop-de-loop.

● The so-called “Spanish Flu” of 1918 started at a military camp in Kansas before spreading around the world and killing 50 million people.

● The Statue of Liberty was named “Liberty Enlightening the World” by its sculptor Frederic Bartholdi, who fashioned the statue's likeness after his mother.

People Who Know Everything

A Test for People Who Know Everything

Who is the only non-human to testify before Congress?

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their AnswerCongress Archives

Answer to Last Week's Test

New York Tribune founder Horace Greeley is best known for saying, “Go West, young man.” Problem is, he didn’t say it. Who did?

Answer: The quote actually came from Indiana newspaper editor John B.L. Soule. In fact, Greeley’s own comments regarding the West were less than encouraging. In 1859, while traveling across Utah, he wrote, “The desolation seems irredeemable.” Twelve years later, he proclaimed, “This Daniel Boone business is about played out.”Wikipedia

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Walking through a supermarket, a young man noticed an old lady following him around. He ignored her for a while, but when he got to the checkout line, she got in front of him.

“Pardon me”, she said. “I’m sorry if I’ve been staring, but you look just like me son who died recently.”

“I’m sorry for your loss”, the young man replied. “Is there anything I can do for you?”

“Well, as I’m leaving, could you just say ‘Goodbye, mother!?’ It would make me feel so much better.” She gave him a sweet smile.

“Of course I can”, the young man promised.

As she gathered her bags and left, he called out “Goodbye, mother!” just as she had requested, feeling good about her smile.

Stepping up to the counter, he saw that his total was about $100 higher than it should be. “That amount is wrong”, he said. “I only have a few items!”

“Oh, your mother said that you would pay for her”, explained the clerk.