Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 50, 2015

Previous Week   December 07, 2015 - December 13, 2015  Next Week

Treaty of Paris ends Spanish-American War on December 10, 1898

Treaty of Paris ends Spanish-American War on December 10, 1898

Treaty of Paris ends Spanish-American War: On December 3, 1967, 53-year-old Lewis Washkansky receives the first human heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa.

Washkansky, a South African grocer dying from chronic heart disease, received the transplant from Denise Darvall, a 25-year-old woman who was fatally injured in a car accident. Surgeon Christiaan Barnard, who trained at the University of Cape Town and in the United States, performed the revolutionary medical operation. The technique Barnard employed had been initially developed by a group of American researchers in the 1950s. American surgeon Norman Shumway achieved the first successful heart transplant, in a dog, at Stanford University in California in 1958.

After Washkansky’s surgery, he was given drugs to suppress his immune system and keep his body from rejecting the heart. These drugs also left him susceptible to sickness, however, and 18 days later he died from double pneumonia. Despite the setback, Washkansky’s new heart had functioned normally until his death.

In the 1970s, the development of better anti-rejection drugs made transplantation more viable. Dr. Barnard continued to perform heart transplant operations, and by the late 1970s many of his patients were living up to five years with their new hearts. Successful heart transplant surgery continues to be performed today, but finding appropriate donors is extremely difficult. History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / ALibrary of Congress / Yale Law School / PBS

Understanding Military Terminology

Understanding Military Terminology - Measurement and signature intelligence

(DOD) Information produced by quantitative and qualitative analysis of physical attributes of targets and events to characterize, locate, and identify targets and events, and derived from specialized, technically derived measurements of physical phenomenon intrinsic to an object or event. Also called MASINT. See also intelligence; scientific and technical intelligence. Joint Publications 2-0 Joint Intellegence)

“Sailor's Christmas” - “Signed: Fair Winds S.C. Clause BMCM (Retired)”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“Sailor's Christmas”

Twas the night before Christmas a calm night at sea

We nestled in our racks for a Holiday Routine

When from the ventilation there came such a clatter

We jumped from our bunks to see what's the matter.

When from the vent fell this big dust covered dude

He was dressed up in red with a bad attitude

Yelling, “Those ducts are all filthy!” as he brushed off his clothes.

“Don't just damn stand there, where's the DCPO?”

He arose form the deck, then he peered all around.

Then from his mouth came a bellowing sound

“This berthing's a disgrace!” then he called us by name

“Now Boatswain, Now Corpsman, please explain!”

This was not the Santa I remembered from youth

He smelled of cheap whiskey, he was rough and uncouth

“Now, look here you bastards” he said as he strolled

“You'd best trice this place up, or you'll get nothing but coal!”

“You'll make this space pretty, military, and neat!”

Then he looked down at our boots that lay right near his feat

“Well, what do we have here?” He said with a frown

“Who the hell polished these? Recruit 'Buster brown'?!”

He walked around slowly, he missed not a mark

He even spotted dust bunnies, right there in the dark!

“You've got high dust and low dust, and that overhead it needs cleaning!”

We all stood dumbfounded as his words kept on streaming

“Which man here is senior!?” Then asked St Nick

“You'd better shit me and answer…and SHIT ME ONE QUICK!”

The First Class stepped forward, his heart pounding hard.

“Now look right here shitbirds, this asshole's in charge!”

“These racks will be tight! This damn deck it will shine!

I don't want to hear bitching! I need not hear you whine!”

So we gathered our foxtales, our buckets, and swabs

We all worked all in silence to finish the job.

It took almost an hour finish our space

He just sat drinking coffee and stuffing his face

Then on re-inspection he explained with a huff

“Now this is more like it! Now your not so screwed up!”

We all stood there smiling, awaiting our gifts

But Santa just snapped out “What's the matter dumb-shits!?”

“Get back to your racks! This will be my last warning!

Just like on shore, the gifts come in the morning!”

It seemed like eternity until reveille sounded

We threw back our curtains as all our hearts pounded

But what were our gifts? For what did we suffer?

A pallet of rags and a shiny new buffer!

Attached to our new buffer, we found a short note

We all gathered 'round to see what he wrote

“Next year at Christmas, best have all your shit wired!”

~ Signed: Fair Winds S.C. Clause BMCM (Retired)

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

I wish the buck stopped here. I could use a few.

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes.”

~ John Wooden

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Let the hard times make you stronger.”

~ Unknown

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)

Alleged fake doctor more dangerous than serial killer, Las Vegas judge says

Woman says a visit to “doctor” was a nightmare on Monroe Avenue / Alleged fake doctor more dangerous than serial killer, Las Vegas judge says

“Officially” declaring oneself as not subject to the laws of any jurisdiction (i.e., a “dsovereign”) opens a wide range of career choices.

The FBI and Las Vegas police say that, in Rick Van Thiel’s case, once his porn industry career ended (because someone stole his video equipment), he “decided to go into the medical field”, becoming “Dr. Rick” with expertise performing dozens of abortions, circumcisions, and castrations (plus cancer treatments and root canals).

Proudly avoiding actual licensing, Van Thiel promoted “alternative” remedies, with an office in a Nevada compound of trailers that one hesitant “patient” described as something out of a horror movie. Van Thiel, arrested in October, nonetheless staunchly defended his ability (acquired, he said, by watching YouTube medical videos).

(Bonus entertainment: In court, he will be acting as his own lawyer.)

Las Vegas Review Journal (10/09/2015 - 11/09/2015)

Why does ultraviolet light cause color to fade?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why does ultraviolet light cause color to fade?

It is all about the chemical makeup of an object. The technical term for color fading is photodegradation. There are light absorbing color bodies called chromophores that are present in dyes. The color(s) we see are based upon these chemical bonds and the amount of light that is absorbed in a particular wavelength.

Ultraviolet rays can break down the chemical bonds and thus fade the color(s) in an object - it is a bleaching effect. Some objects may be more prone to fading, such as dyed textiles and watercolors. Other objects may reflect the light more, which makes them less prone to fade.

Florida Solar Energy Center.eduLibrary of CongressMental FlossNational Gallery of ArtWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed:

Meaning: Waking up in a bad mood.

History: The left side of the body or anything having to do with the left was often associated considered sinister. To ward off evil, innkeepers made sure the left side of the bed was pushed against a wall, so guests had no other option but to get up on the right side of the bed.Wonderopolis.org

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Mat Man: Electronics Maintenance Man

MCPOO: Master Chief Petty Officer of the Obvious. Title given to anyone who, you guessed it, has stated the obvious for all to hear.

MEDEVAC: The decidedly insane evolution of trying to PERSTRANS a sick person from a rolling submarine to a hovering helicopter.

Mess Crank: A sailor who works on the mess deck, not rated as a cook.

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

Just for you MARINE

Gunny: A term of respect for a gunnery sergeant but not generally used by junior Marines. See Company Gunny.

GWOT: Global War on Terrorism.

Gyrene: A diminutive form of Marine. Seldom used by real Marines.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VAW-123 - Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 123: “Screwtops”
NAS Norfolk, Virginia

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

“The Life of Lycurgus” - Plutarch, “The Parallel Lives” / Lycurgus of Sparta, creator of constitution of Sparta - Only Dead Fish Follow The Stream

“The Life of Lycurgus” - Plutarch, “The Parallel Lives” - Only Dead Fish Follow The Stream

Perhaps having quick and easy money isn't truly in our best interests. According to Greek historian Plutarch, in his “Life of Lycurgus”, the Spartans used long and heavy iron rods as their currency in hopes that it would discourage them from pursuing large amounts of wealth. This unusual currency was called “obeloi” and was supposedly so cumbersome that carrying multiple rods would require oxen.

A couple other things that might change the way you think about contemporary money: American presidents weren't originally supposed to be on the nation's currency, as that was seen as a practice of monarchies. Also, the idea civilizations relied on established barter systems before the rise of physical currency is probably incorrect. People may have traded things, but one of the only well-known bartering practices was more of a bonding and sex ritual between tribes in Northern Australia called the dzamalag. University of Chicago / Wikipedia

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


“I Fall To Pieces” - Patsy Cline 1961

“I Fall To Pieces” - Patsy Cline
Album: 12 Greatest Hits
Released 1961 video

Written by Hank Cochran and Harlan Howard, this was arguably the first pure Country single to cross over to the Pop charts. It established Patsy Cline's sophisticated weepy style.

Legendary songwriter Harlan Howard was the perfect talent to bring onboard for the writing of this song. Bill DeMail quoted Howard's explanation of his proclivity for complex love songs in his Performing Songwriter obituary. “The toughest songs in the world to write are love songs," he said. “'I love you and I will forever and blah blah blah.' I'd rather get into a song about a relationship that's a little bit shaky or even tragic. That in my mind represents country music and the drama of the man-woman thing.” Howard, who passed away in 2002, wrote hit songs for performers as diverse as Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, and Patty Loveless.

According to Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs, “Cline was reluctant to record this ballad, which had been turned down by Brenda Lee, until producer Owen Bradley coaxed her into it. The sound was stone country but wrapped in elaborate Pop, with Cline crying inside, like a nerve rubbed raw by heartbreak.”

Patsy Cline official site / Rock & Roll Hall of Fame / Rolling Stone / Biography / Billboard / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “12 Greatest Hits‎ (album)” by Patsy Cline



● Nine out of every 10 living things live in the ocean.

● The banana cannot reproduce itself. It can be propagated only by the hand of man.

● Airports at higher altitudes require a longer airstrip due to lower air density.

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Understanding Engineers #1

Two engineering students were biking across a university campus when one said, “Where did you get such a great bike?”

The second engineer replied, “Well, I was walking along yesterday, minding my own business, when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike, threw it to the ground, took off all her clothes and said”, “Take what you want.”

The first engineer nodded approvingly and said, “Good choice: The clothes probably wouldn't have fit you anyway.”