Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 37, 2015

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Ford pardons Nixon on September 8, 1974

Ford pardons Nixon on September 8, 1974

Ford pardons Nixon: In a controversial executive action, President Gerald Ford pardons his disgraced predecessor Richard Nixon for any crimes he may have committed or participated in while in office. Ford later defended this action before the House Judiciary Committee, explaining that he wanted to end the national divisions created by the Watergate scandal.

The Watergate scandal erupted after it was revealed that Nixon and his aides had engaged in illegal activities during his reelection campaign–and then attempted to cover up evidence of wrongdoing. With impeachment proceedings underway against him in Congress, Nixon bowed to public pressure and became the first American president to resign. At noon on August 9, Nixon officially ended his term, departing with his family in a helicopter from the White House lawn. Minutes later, Vice President Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the 38th president of the United States in the East Room of the White House. After taking the oath of office, President Ford spoke to the nation in a television address, declaring, “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.”

Ford, the first president who came to the office through appointment rather than election, had replaced Spiro Agnew as vice president only eight months before. In a political scandal independent of the Nixon administration’s wrongdoings in the Watergate affair, Agnew had been forced to resign in disgrace after he was charged with income tax evasion and political corruption. Exactly one month after Nixon announced his resignation, Ford issued the former president a “full, free and absolute” pardon for any crimes he committed while in office. The pardon was widely condemned at the time.

Decades later, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation presented its 2001 Profile in Courage Award to Gerald Ford for his 1974 pardon of Nixon. In pardoning Nixon, said the foundation, Ford placed his love of country ahead of his own political future and brought needed closure to the divisive Watergate affair. Ford left politics after losing the 1976 presidential election to Democrat Jimmy Carter. Ford died on December 26, 2006, at the age of 93. History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / Pro Publica.org / National Archives Foundation.org

Understanding Military Terminology

Understanding Military Terminology - Letter of Authorization

(DOD) A document issued by the procuring contracting officer or designee that authorizes contractor personnel authorized to accompany the force to travel to, from, and within the operational area; and, outlines government furnished support authorizations within the operational area. Also called LOA. Joint Publications 4-10 (Operational Contract Support‎)

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

The Old Salt’s Corner

Continued from previous week:

Briefing, Debriefing, and Reporting

Normal Event Brief Topics:

1. Introduction/level of classification/event number/date.

2. Weather conditions.

3. Current intelligence and/or threat of the day.

4. Launch/recovery times.

5. Launch/recovery states (case I, II or III).

6. Battlegroup emissions control (EMCON) posture.

7. Card of the day, which summarizes communications frequencies, etc.

8. Carrier position and intended movement (PIM).

9. Carrier mission/movement intentions.

10. Divert fields/blue water operations.

11. Hot areas and/or restricted airspace.

12. Flight information derived from the AIRPLAN.

a. Squadron numbers.

b. Number and type of aircraft.

c. Mission to be performed.

d. Control/Communications Buttons.

e. Sector Coverage.

f. Vectors/Range & Bearings.

1. Surface picture.

2. Items of interest.

3. Rules of Engagement (ROE).

4. Photo of the day.

5. Closing.

As can be seen, the Event brief is a comprehensive dissemination of information and preparation for it will take some time and effort. Fortunately, most CVICs have a watch staff that can assist the briefer to prepare. Most briefs prepared by the CVIC staff employ similar elements such as maps, charts, and photos. Chances are that a small library of briefing overhead "templates" will exist within CVIC (be sure to ask). Information gathered for previous briefs sometimes can be updated or overwritten as required for all the day’s following briefs.

Intelligence Estimate

In some cases, the Staff Intelligence Officer may be asked to prepare a written Intelligence Estimate (IE) to assist the commanding officer of the battlegroup or amphibious task force in the preparation of his overall estimate of a potential combat situation. The IE also disseminates intelligence information to embarked flag staffs and other concerned parties in the battlegroup. Although the IE is a formal, written document, it is often briefed to concerned individuals and is therefore included here for the reader’s interest.

The IE follows a formal construction of approximately five written paragraphs. The first paragraph describes the mission, focusing attention and comprehension to the purpose and required tasks involved. The second paragraph describes the enemy situation and outlines conditions in the area of operations (AOA). It also provides basic encyclopedic data such as geography of the AOA, transportation data, communications, political, social, and economic data. The third paragraph describes enemy capabilities, outlining courses of action available to the enemy, which, if followed, will affect the accomplishment of the friendly mission. No detailed analysis is provided in this paragraph. The fourth paragraph presents analysis of enemy capabilities, providing detailed examination of the each of the capabilities listed in paragraph three. Finally, the fifth paragraph lists conclusions drawn by the analyst, which the commanding officer uses to make operational decisions. Molule 7 - Briefing, Debriefing, and Reporting

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

If you don't succeed at first, hide all evidence that you tried.

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams, talk you out of going after yours.”

~ Anonymous

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Silence is sometimes the best response.”

~ 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)

Science finally tells us how cats want to be petted / Cats Prefer “Cat Music”

Science finally tells us how cats want to be petted / Cats Prefer “Cat Music”

Some owners may be petting their cats all wrong, cautioned recent research in issues of the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science by scientists from University of Lincoln in England and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. For example, felines seem to prefer face-caressing, especially between the eyes and ears, and are especially aroused, negatively, by tail-petting, especially at the base.

Cats appear to be pickier about how their owners pet them than strangers, according to a Washington Post review of one article. The Wisconsin research revealed that cats more appreciate (or are annoyed less by) music written especially for their pitch (a higher octave) and tempo (mimicking purring) than traditional classical music.

Washington Post (06/30/2015) / Sci-news (03/03/2015)

Who Owns the Air Above My Land?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Who Owns the Air Above My Land?

For centuries, whoever owned the soil owned the air above it. That principle worked well when the only disputes about airspace involved the occasional wayward kite, but airplanes changed everything.

In 1926, the agency now known as the FAA declared the air above 500 feet public domain.

The FAA didn’t address the air under that mark until 1946, when a North Carolina chicken farmer named Thomas Causby complained that military planes flying over his coops frightened his chickens to death. He sued the government, and the Supreme Court ruled that property owners own 83 feet of airspace above their homes (that’s how high the airplanes were flying over Causby’s coops).

That left a section of the sky up for grabs: the space above 83 feet but below 500 feet. It’s still unresolved. And with drones soon to be puttering around, the debate is heating up again.

DummiesMental FlossNPRSlateWikipedia

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

Where Did That Saying Come From?

“Cold Turkey”

Cold Turkey:

History: People believed that during withdrawal, the skin of drug addicts became translucent, hard to the touch, and covered with goose bumps - like the skin of a plucked turkey.

The origin of “cold turkey” is not entirely certain, but the phrase seems to have evolved from the older (19th century) classic American idiom “to talk turkey”, meaning “to speak directly and frankly, without beating around the bush.”

There are a number of stories about the origin of “talk turkey”, many of which involve Pilgrims and Indians. An early form of the phrase was “to talk cold turkey”, most likely using “cold turkey”, a simple, uncomplicated meal, as a metaphor for simple, unadorned, direct speech.

With “talk cold turkey” already a popular idiom meaning “give it to me straight; tell me the unvarnished truth”, it seems natural that “cold turkey” came to mean “quit suddenly, with no tapering off or equivocation.” Wikipedia

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Death Pillows: Ravioli.

Deck: Floor.

Dicking the dog: Putting “half-assed” effort into a task (refers to improperly securing the “dogs” on a watertight hatch when passing through. Such a lax procedure could spell doom for a sinking ship if hatches were not absolutely watertight). Also said as “poking the poodle”. Not to be confused with “screwing the pooch” which refers to royally messing up a task.

Ditty Bag: The term is at least 207 years old and originates with our seafarers, and not, as is supposed by some, with our 20th century armies. Ditty bag was originally called `ditto bag' because it contained at least two of everything: two needles, two spools of thread, two buttons, etc. With the passing of years, the “ditto” was dropped in favor of “ditty” and remains so today. Before World War I, the Navy issued ditty boxes made of wood and styled after foot lockers. These carried the personal gear and some clothes of the sailor. Today, the ditty bag is still issued to recruits and contains a sewing kit, toiletry articles, and personal items such as writing paper and pens. Ditty bag (usage varied): An issued sewing kit, kit of toiletries, or some combination. Occasionally: Any mesh bag, from the use of such to contain soiled laundry. (In days of yore before ample fresh water, such bags were pulled alongside for seawater rinsing.)

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

Just for you MARINE

General Quarters: The highest condition of alert on board ship it pulls the crew from their normal work assignments to a warfighting stance. In wooden ships with rigging, a portion of the Marine Detachment would report to the rigging as sharpshooters while others would form a gun crew. In the modern Navy, the Marines usually manned one or more guns (which were usually painted with an eagle globe and anchor and generally were known to have the highest accuracy of all gun crews). Since 1998 there have been no Marines assigned as part of the ship’s crew of any U.S. Navy ship.

Get A Hat: To leave or depart.

Get Some: (Vietnam) To kill enemy. Also, to have sex. Often expressed as “Get me some.”

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HSM-71 - Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71: “Raptors”
NAS North Island, California

Aircraft Nicknames

Aircraft Nicknames

F-15 Eagle The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15 Eagle is an American twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter designed by McDonnell Douglas to gain and maintain air superiority in aerial combat.

It is among the most successful modern fighters, with over 100 victories and no losses in aerial combat. Boeing / Wikipedia

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Bone Dusters Paleo Ale, Brewed from Real Fossils!

Bone Dusters Paleo Ale, Brewed from Real Fossils!

Called “Bone Dusters Paleo Ale”, this beer was first brewed from yeast found on the 35-million-year-old fossil of a whale.

The beer was the brainchild of paleontologist Jason Osborne and his curiosity regarding the yeast involved in the making of beers, and if, by any chance, yeast that live in fossils could be used to brew beers. He then worked with microbiologist Jasper Akerboom to swab fossils, and was delighted when the whale fossil delivered the expected results; although they were hoping to find a new species of yeast, the species they came across was a subspecies of the same yeast that is used in breweries.

The beer is now brewed and will soon be made available to the public; it tastes “sweet and untamed”, a little like Belgium beer, some say. Scientific American

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


“You Give Love A Bad Name” - Bon Jovi 1986

“You Give Love A Bad Name” - Bon Jovi
Album: Slippery When Wet
Released 1986 video

In 1984, Bon Jovi reached #39 in the U.S. with “Runawayvideo, from their debut, self-titled album. The band was big in the New Jersey area, but got little attention elsewhere. The group was signed by a Polygram Records executive named Derek Shulman, who told us, “I saw the drive and the ambition of Jon Bon Jovi, despite the fact that he could only sing five notes and most of them out of tune.”

For the band to break through, Shulman thought the key was big choruses, and the man to deliver that was Desmond Child, who worked with Kiss on “I Was Made For Lovin' Youvideo. Child got together with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, and the trio got to work. In an interview with Desmond Child, he said: “The very first day we got together we wrote 'You Give Love a Bad Name' video. Then a few weeks later we wrote 'Livin' On A Prayer' video. It was a magical collaboration and there was instant chemistry between us.”

Child later teamed up with Jon and Richie for many more Bon Jovi songs, including “Born To Be My Babyvideo and “Keep The Faithvideo. He went on to write hits for many other artists, including Cher, Aerosmith, and Ricky Martin.

Jon Bon Jovi, Desmond Child and Richie Sambora wrote this in the basement of Sambora's mother's house in New Jersey. Child came up with the title, and Jon immediately thought up the first line (“Shot through the heart...”). From there, they put the rest of the song together, with “Shot Through The Heart” as the working title. The song ended up being about a guy whose girlfriend is really bad for him - common material, but a very interesting way to say it. Jon Bon Jovi dated actress Diane Lane in the mid-'80s, and there were rumors that she was the inspiration for this song, but the lyrical inspiration was more of a universal feeling.

At one point, this was intended for the group Loverboy. Bon Jovi and Sambora started out writing it for them, but liked it so much they kept it for themselves.

Bon Jovi's follow-up single, “Livin' On A Prayervideo, was also a #1 hit, spending four weeks at the top spot while “Bad Namevideo spent just one. Desmond Child also helped write and produce that one.

The Slippery When Wet album was recorded in Vancouver. The band got the idea for the album title at a strip club they went to after recording sessions. “Slippery When Wet” is also a common road sign in America, but they were probably more inspired by the girls who danced in a shower at the club.

Bon Jovi official site / Rolling Stone / Not In The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame / All Music / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “Slippery When Wet (album)” by Bon Jovi



● The dishwasher was invented by Josephine Cochrane - a socialite who was tired of servants breaking her expensive dishes.

● The ubiquitous garden earthworm is not indigenous to the U.S. They came over in the mud, on the boots, and on the roots of the crops that colonists brought over.

● In the Peanuts comic strip, Peppermint Patty's real name is Patricia Reichardt.

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

A couple in their nineties are both having problems remembering things.

They decide to go to the doctor for a checkup. The doctor tells them that they're physically okay, but they might want to start writing things down to help them remember.

Later that night while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair.

His wife asks, “Where are you going?”

“To the kitchen” he replies.

“Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?” he replies.


“Don't you think you should write it down so you can remember it?” she asks.

“No, I can remember it.”

“Well, I'd like some strawberries on top, too. You'd better write it down because you know you'll forget it.”

He says, “I can remember that! You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries.”

“I'd also like whipped cream. I'm certain you'll forget that, so you'd better write it down!” she retorts.

Irritated, he says, “I don't need to write it down, I can remember it! Leave me alone! Ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream - I got it, for goodness sake!” Then he grumbles into the kitchen.

After about 20 minutes, the old man returns from the kitchen and hands his wife a plate of bacon and eggs.

She stares at the plate for a moment and says - “Where's my toast? ”