Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 30, 2015

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The First Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861

The First Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861

The First Battle of Bull Run: In the first major land battle of the Civil War, a large Union force under General Irvin McDowell is routed by a Confederate army under General Pierre G.T. Beauregard.

Three months after the Civil War erupted at Fort Sumter, Union military command still believed that the Confederacy could be crushed quickly and with little loss of life. In July, this overconfidence led to a premature offensive into northern Virginia by General McDowell. Searching out the Confederate forces, McDowell led 34,000 troops–mostly inexperienced and poorly trained militiamen–toward the railroad junction of Manassas, located just 30 miles from Washington, D.C. Alerted to the Union advance, General Beauregard massed some 20,000 troops there and was soon joined by General Joseph Johnston, who brought some 9,000 more troops by railroad.

On the morning of July 21, hearing of the proximity of the two opposing forces, hundreds of civilians–men, women, and children–turned out to watch the first major battle of the Civil War. The fighting commenced with three Union divisions crossing the Bull Run stream, and the Confederate flank was driven back to Henry House Hill. However, at this strategic location, Beauregard had fashioned a strong defensive line anchored by a brigade of Virginia infantry under General Thomas J. Jackson. Firing from a concealed slope, Jackson’s men repulsed a series of Federal charges, winning Jackson his famous nickname “Stonewall”.

Meanwhile, Confederate cavalry under J.E.B. Sterattack on the exposed Union right flank. The rebels came charging down the hill, yelling furiously, and McDowell’s line was broken, forcing his troops in a hasty retreat across Bull Run. The retreat soon became an unorganized flight, and supplies littered the road back to Washington. Union forces endured a loss of 3,000 men killed, wounded, or missing in action while the Confederates suffered 2,000 casualties. The scale of this bloodshed horrified not only the frightened spectators at Bull Run but also the U.S. government in Washington, which was fauart captured the Union artillery, and Beauregard ordered a countced with an uncertain military strategy in quelling the “Southern insurrection”. History Channel / Wikipedia American Civil War (First Battle of Bull Run) / Encyclopedia Britannica / Civil War.org / Civil War Photography.org

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

The Old Salt’s Corner

OE Division

The OE Division is the formal name to the division within the EMO which provides electronic maintenance electronic systems ranging from radar to the ship’s television system. Enlisted Interior Communications Technicians (ICs) man and upkeep the various communications and electronic systems within the ship.

The First Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861

FAS.org / Module 5 — The Operations Department

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

How do you throw away a garbage can?

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Success is the only motivational factor that a boy with character needs.

~ Woody Hayes

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)

Sausage Dispute Leads to Arrest of Man Named “Bacon”

Sausage Dispute Leads to Arrest of Man Named “Bacon”

Food fuss heats up during overnight hours in Madison, police report.

Even more ironically, the dispute was over sausage.

On May 12 at 3:32 a.m., Officer Lisa Esposito responded to a Main Street residence for a reported dispute in progress, Lt. Joseph Cirella said.

When Esposito arrived, she found Thomas Bacon, 19, had allegedly assaulted another person inside the house over eating a piece of sausage, Cirella said

Because of the sausage, Bacon was charged with simple assault and given a municipal court date.

The alleged victim’s identity was not released. No medical attention was needed.

New Jersey Patch (05/24/2015)

Is it possible to fry an egg on the sidewalk if it's hot enough?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Is it possible to fry an egg on the sidewalk if it's hot enough?

Yes, theoretically. But it doesn't actually get hot enough.

This question comes from the saying “It’s so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk!” How many kids, hearing it, actually try? Most likely they end up with a mess resembling scrambled eggs more than one sunny-side up. So what’s the problem?

An egg needs a temperature of 158°F to become firm. In order to cook, proteins in the egg must denature (modify), then coagulate, and that won’t happen until the temperature rises enough to start and maintain the process.

The sidewalk presents several challenges to this. According to an experiment reported in Robert Wolke’s book, What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained, sidewalk temperatures can vary depending on the composition of the sidewalk, whether it is in direct sunlight, and of course, the air temperature. Dark objects absorb more light, so blacktop paving would be hotter than concrete. More often than not, sidewalks are concrete. Wolke found that a hot sidewalk might only get up to 145°F. Once you crack the egg onto the sidewalk, the egg cools the sidewalk slightly. Pavement of any kind is a poor conductor of heat, so lacking an additional heat source from below or from the side, the egg will not cook evenly.

Something closer to the conditions of a frying pan would be the hood of a car. Metal conducts heat better and gets hotter, so people actually have been able to cook an egg on a car hood's surface.

Still, the idea of cooking an egg on a sidewalk won’t die. It is so intriguing that the city of Oatman, Arizona, hosts an annual Solar Egg Frying Contest on the 4th of July. Contestants get 15 minutes to make an attempt using solar (sun) power alone. Oatman judges, however, do allow some aids, such as mirrors, aluminum reflectors, or magnifying glasses, which would help to focus the heat onto the egg itself. It turns out that eggs also have a bit of an advantage in Arizona, the land of low humidity and high heat. Liquids evaporate rapidly when humidity is low. The eggs have a bit of “help” while they cook, and they dry out faster.

The Library of CongressWonderopolisLive ScienceWikipediaNBC NewsDaily Mail

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Hogwash”

Where Did That Saying Come From?


Hogwash:” Steamboats carried both people and animals. Since pigs smelled so bad they would be washed before being put on board. The mud and other filth that was washed off was considered useless “hog wash”.

Hogwash is a simple compound noun formed around the mid-15th century from the two English nouns hog “a type of swine, a pig” and wash “waste liquid or food refuse from a kitchen.” The wash was often put to use as food for domesticated animals, particularly as swill for pigs.

By 1712, hogwash could also be used to describe cheap, poorly made liquor; by 1773, poorly written manuscripts fell under the label of hogwash. In modern English, almost anything that is badly done or ridiculous can be equated with this term for barnyard slop. Word Ancestry / Online Etymology Dictionary

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Buster: Proceed at max possible speed.

Clinometer: 1. (Also known as an inclinometer) An instrument for measuring angles of slope (or tilt), elevation or inclination of an object with respect to gravity.
2. An instrument used on shipboard to indicate the approximate amount of vomit being produced by the ship's crew.

Clobbered: When the landing pattern or the comms frequency at a field or ship is filled to capacity and you can't get an aircraft or a word in.

Coffin Locker: A personal storage area located underneath a sailor's rack.

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

Just for you MARINE

E-tool: Entrenching tool. A small folding shovel with a multitude of field uses. In World War I it was one of a series of tools shared among a squad and used to dig the trenches in which the majority of the war was fought. The early versions did not fold up and had a “T” handle.

Ex Marine: No such thing. Once a Marine, always a Marine. See Former Marine.

Exchange Marine Corps Exchange.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VFA-37 - Strike Fighter Squadron 37: “Ragin’ Bulls”
NAS Oceana, Virginia

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

In the Bible, Lot's wife is a figure first mentioned in Genesis 19.

Pinup queen Bettie Page - accused of inciting juvenile delinquency in the 1950s

As man’s first food seasoning, and later a food preservative and a medicine, salt has been a precious commodity for ten thousand years, so spilling it was costly as well as bad luck.

This superstition was enhanced by Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper, within which Judas has spilled the table salt as a foreboding of tragedy.

Because good spirits sat on the right shoulder and evil on the left, tossing spilled salt over the left shoulder became an antidote.

Today, spilling salt is still a symbol of bad luck to some people. Doug Lennox - ‎2007 - Reference - Google Books

© CEASAR CHOPPY by cartoonist Marty Gavin - archives Ceasar Choppy's Navy! “© CEASAR CHOPPY” by Marty Gavin


“I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry” - Hank Williams 1949

“I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry” - Hank Williams
Album: Legend Lives Anew with Strings
Released 1949 video

One of the most heart-rending songs ever recorded, it was one of many songs Williams wrote to express his crippling gloom. Most of these songs were inspired by his tumultuous relationship with his first wife, Audrey; the state of their relationship can be neatly chronicled in Hank's discography with titles like “Baby We're Really in Lovevideo, “They'll Never Take Her Love Away From Mevideo and “My Love For You (Has Turned To Hate)video.

Williams wrote this as a spoken-word piece that he planned to record as his alter-ego, “Luke the Drifter”, which explains why it contains very poetic imagery in lines like “Did you ever see a robin weep, when leaves begin to die?” Williams thought the piece was to genteel to put to music, but his friends and fellow musicians convinced him otherwise.

You would think that this song was recorded in Nashville, or at least Memphis, but it was done at a session in Cincinnati. Hank recorded it at the E.T Herzog Recording Studios on August 30, 1949 with Jerry Byrd on Steel Guitar, Zeke Turner on electric guitar, Tommy Jackson on Fiddle, Louis Innis on rhythm guitar, and Ernie Newton on bass. Note that there are no drums on the song.

Williams performed the song in October, 1949 on his syndicated radio show, which was counterintuitively called the Health & Happiness Show (it was sponsored by a vitamin company called Hadacol, thus the name). The song was released on November 8 as a 78-RPM single with “My Bucket's Got A Hole In Itvideo. The song quickly became a favorite on Country radio and a staple of Williams' live shows.

Singers and songwriters have been heaping praise on this song for generations. In an interview with Vince Gill, he said: “Read the words of that song. That's as beautiful as you'll ever want to hear the English language put out.”

Kasey Chambers, who recorded it for her 2011 Storybook album, said: “It's totally heartbreaking but you don't want to stop listening to it. Oh God, it just makes you want to crawl into a hole. It has that combination of making you feel good and bad at the same time, which is what all great country music does.”

To put this song's impact in context: Rolling Stone ranked it #111 in the list of 500 greatest songs of all time; making “I'm So Lonesome I Could Cryvideo not only the second-oldest song on the list, but one of only two from the 1940s.

Hank Williams official site / Rolling Stone / Biography / Rock and Roll Hall of Fame / All Music / Billboard / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “Legend Lives Anew with Strings (album)” by Hank Williams



● The Wright Brothers’ first successful flight on December 17, 1903 covered a distance of about 120 feet—shorter than the wingspan of a modern 747.

● Sweaters were originally knitted from unwashed wool because the natural oils made the garment more waterproof.

● Frank Sinatra was frustrated with his record company in 1960, so he formed his own label, Reprise Records. Many of his buddies (Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr.) released records on Reprise, which is why they often referred to Frank as the Chairman of the Board.

People Who Know Everything

A Test for People Who Know Everything

When MTV debuted on August 1st, 1981, what was the first music video ever played?

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their AnswerVH1

Answer to Last Week's Test

Time magazine’s first “Man of the Year” cover was in 1927. But what turned into an annual tradition for the publication actually started as an apology to whom?

Answer: Charles Lindbergh was named Time magazine’s first “Man of the Year” in 1927. Time had embarrassingly left Lindbergh off the cover after his landmark solo flight and “Man of the Year” was their apology.TIME

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

It was many years ago since the embarrassing day when a young woman, with a baby in her arms, entered his butcher shop and confronted him with the news that the baby was his and asked what was he going to do about it? Finally he offered to provide her with free meat until the boy was 16. She agreed.

He had been counting the years off on his calendar, and one day the teenager, who had been collecting the meat each week, came into the shop and said, “I'll be 16 tomorrow.”

“I know,” said the butcher with a smile, “I've been counting too, tell your mother, when you take this parcel of meat home, that it is the last free meat she'll get, and watch the expression on her face.”

When the boy arrived home he told his mother.

The woman nodded and said, “Son, go back to the butcher and tell him I have also had free bread, free milk, and free groceries for the last 16 years and watch the expression on his face!”