Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 3, 2016

Previous Week   January 18, 2016 - January 24, 2016   Next Week

President Jimmy Carter pardons draft dodgers on January 21, 1977

President Jimmy Carter pardons draft dodgers on January 21, 1977

President Jimmy Carter pardons draft dodgers: On this day in 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter grants an unconditional pardon to hundreds of thousands of men who evaded the draft during the Vietnam War.

In total, some 100,000 young Americans went abroad in the late 1960s and early 70s to avoid serving in the war. Ninety percent went to Canada, where after some initial controversy they were eventually welcomed as immigrants. Still others hid inside the United States. In addition to those who avoided the draft, a relatively small number–about 1,000–of deserters from the U.S. armed forces also headed to Canada. While the Canadian government technically reserved the right to prosecute deserters, in practice they left them alone, even instructing border guards not to ask too many questions.

For its part, the U.S. government continued to prosecute draft evaders after the Vietnam War ended. A total of 209,517 men were formally accused of violating draft laws, while government officials estimate another 360,000 were never formally accused. If they returned home, those living in Canada or elsewhere faced prison sentences or forced military service. During his 1976 presidential campaign, Jimmy Carter promised to pardon draft dodgers as a way of putting the war and the bitter divisions it caused firmly in the past. After winning the election, Carter wasted no time in making good on his word. Though many transplanted Americans returned home, an estimated 50,000 settled permanently in Canada, greatly expanding the country’s arts and academic scenes and pushing Canadian politics decidedly to the left.

Years later, Vietnam-era draft evasion still carries a powerful stigma. Though no prominent political figures have been found to have broken any draft laws, Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and Vice-Presidents Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney–none of whom saw combat in Vietnam–have all been accused of being draft dodgers at one time or another. Although there is not currently a draft in the U.S., desertion and conscientious objection have remained pressing issues among the armed forces during the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica


“Navy Blue” In a watery grave at sea lies the heart that beat so true.

The Old Salt’s Corner

“Navy Blue”

My shipmate sleeps in his coat of Navy blue;

In a watery grave at sea lies the heart that beat so true.

He sank faint and weary among the honored brave,

As we laid him sad and lonely into his watery grave.

No more the bugle calls the weary one,

Rest, noble spirit, In thy grave below!

I’ll find you and know you, Among the good and true,

When a robe of white is giv’n for the coat of Navy blue.

He cried, give me water and just a little crumb,

And my mother she will bless you thro’ all the years to come;

Oh! tell my sweet sister, so gentle, good and true,

That I’ll meet her up in heaven, in my coat of Navy blue.

No more the bugle calls the weary one,

Rest, noble spirit, In thy grave below!

I’ll find you and know you, Among the good and true,

When a robe of white is giv’n for the coat of Navy blue.

Long, long years have vanished, and though he comes no more,

Yet my heart will startling beat with each footfall at my door;

I gaze o’er the dock where he waved a last adieu,

But no gallant lad I see, in his coat of Navy blue

No more the bugle calls the weary one,

Rest, noble spirit, In thy grave below!

I’ll find you and know you, Among the good and true,

When a robe of white is giv’n for the coat of Navy blue.

~ Author Unknown

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“By the time you can read a girl like a book, your library card has expired.”

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Failure teaches success.”

~ Unknown

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.”

~ 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)

Bud Weisser Is His Name, and He Was Arrested at Budweiser Brewery

Bud Weisser Is His Name, and He Was Arrested at Budweiser Brewery

A 19-year old man by the name of Bud Weisser was arrested for trespassing at the Budweiser Brewery in St. Louis, Missouri.

According to police reports Weisser was discovered by security guards in a guarded area of the brewery after 6:00pm on Thursday. He was asked to leave the premises and after refusing an altercation broke out between Weisser and the security guards.

The police were contacted and Weisser was arrested for both trespassing and resisting arrest. Weisser’s motives for being in the brewery are unknown, perhaps he was attempting to pay homage to his moniker.

Seriously, what are the chances! Police say that the brewery break-in is not Weissers’ first run-in with the law, as he was charged with breaking into a gas station back in August of 2014. video

Newsweek (12/04/2015)

What Do the Ink Stamps On Your Mail Mean?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What Do the Ink Stamps On Your Mail Mean?

December is peak season for the U.S. Postal Service. The average haul for the USPS on a typical day is 523 million pieces of mail, and that increases to 553 million pieces from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. (On the busiest day, December 16, the postal service processes approximately 640 million pieces.) Throughout the holidays, they deliver about 15.5 billion pieces of mail in total.

After sorting through your end-of-the-year influx of cards, gifts, family newsletters, and catalogs for weird chocolate companies, you may have wondered: What are those marks and numbers inked on top of items sent through the mail? And what do they mean?

Preserves is a term often used to describe all fruit spreads, but can also refer to a specific type. It's made up of large chunks or whole fruits that are cooked in sugar until they are soft and then put into a firm jelly or less-gelled syrupy base.

The USPS has a collective general term for the stamps, meters, and other items used to process mail: “postage evidencing systems”. The ink markings on the upper-right corner are called “information-based indicia”, and they denote a piece has been paid for and signal where to enter it into the mail flow.

Postal marks—manually-pressed ink markings stamped over a stamp—are the oldest, most basic “indicia” and date back to 1660s England. At their most basic, they show the recipient where and when the piece of mail entered the postal system. In addition, postal marks have the dual purpose of marking a stamp as canceled and used. In complex cases, some show the item’s history of returns and forwards and damage. In the past, some postal agencies have had unique postmarks indicating the item’s method of travel (railroad, stagecoach, ship, etc.). U.S. mail sent with a stamp still bears the city and state from which the mail was sent and the date and time the USPS took custody of the item. It also often features a design, ranging from Lady Liberty to the snowflakes and message of “Happy Holidays” adopted by the USPS for the festive season.

As for those serial numbers on mail sent via an office postage meter, those numbers are vendor codes. They reveal the meter’s manufacturer and model. (There are currently six private contractors licensed to provide meters to the USPS: Data-Pac Mailing Systems, Francotyp-Postalia, Neopost, Pitney Bowes, Endicia, and Stamps.com). The series of numbers beginning with 000 is a serial number for the specific meter.

In one part of the country, people “hack” the USPS’s indicia to make their holiday mail even more festive. Each year, especially holly-jolly denizens from neighboring towns flock to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on the eastern edge of the state, to have their holiday mail stamped from Bethlehem.

Mental FlossUSPSWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “The Bitter Being Bitten”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

The Bitter Being Bitten:

In the 17th century a biter was a con man. “Talk about the biter being bitten” was originally a phrase about a con man being beaten at his own game.

Local Histories.org

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

OBNOB: Only Black Nuke Onboard. Self-explanatory. Usually only found on submarines due to a significantly smaller number of nukes stationed onboard a submarine vice a carrier.

FOBNOB: (Friend of Only Black Nuke On Board): = Shipmate (An expression older than some of you youngsters may think.) (Possibly a play on hobnob?)

Occifer: Pronounced “ossifur”, it is a derogatory reference towards officers in general, particularly junior officers.

O-Club: Officers Club

OCS: Officer Candidate School - 13 week ass-kicking at NAS Pensacola from a Marine drill instructor that turns prior enlisted sailors and college grads into Naval Officers with 13 weeks of Naval shore experience (see also: “90-day Wonder”).

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

Just for you MARINE

Higgins Boat: The primary landing craft of both Army and Marine forces during World War II. It was built by New Orleans boat builder Andrew Higgins with the encouragement and designs of Marine Lieutenant General Victor “Brute” Krulak.

High and Tight: The traditional Marine haircut.

Hiyoko: To bug out in a big hurry.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VAQ-129 - Electronic Attack Squadron 129: “Vikings”
NAS Whidbey Island, Washington

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Tex Rickard - President of Madison Square Garden and the most dynamic fight promoter in history

Tex Rickard - President of Madison Square Garden and the most dynamic fight promoter in history

George Lewis “Tex” Rickard, president of Madison Square Garden, was awarded an NHL franchise for the 1926–27 season to compete with the now-defunct New York Americans, who had begun play at the Garden the previous season.

The Americans (also known as the “Amerks”) proved to be an even greater success than expected during their inaugural season, leading Rickard to pursue a second team for the Garden despite promising the Amerks that they would be the only hockey team to play there. The new team was quickly nicknamed “Tex's Rangers”.

Rickard's franchise began play in the 1926–27 season. The first team crest was a horse sketched in blue carrying a cowboy waving a hockey stick aloft, before being changed to the familiar R-A-N-G-E-R-S in diagonal. Boxing Insider / Wikipedia

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


“Whole Lotta Love” - Led Zeppelin 1969

“Whole Lotta Love” - Led Zeppelin
Album: Led Zeppelin II
Released 1969 video

This was Led Zeppelin's first U.S. single, and their only U.S. Top 10 hit. Some of their most popular songs, like “Stairway To Heavenvideo, were not released as singles.

Atlantic Records pressed copies of the single to release in England, but Peter Grant, their manager, wouldn't let them. He felt releasing singles in England would hurt album sales, and the band thought that one song was not a good representation of any group. In the U.S., it was acceptable because more people bought singles.

Blues great Willie Dixon sued the band, claiming they stole this from his song “You Need Lovevideo. The band reached an agreement with Dixon, who used the settlement money to set up a program providing instruments for schools.

The freeform section was the result of Page and engineer Eddie Kramer “twiddling every knob known to man”.

This might be the first use of “backward echo”. Page put the echo of Plant's lines before he says them, creating an interesting sound.

Robert Plant did the vocal in one take.

Led Zeppelin used this as the basis for a medley they performed in their later shows. They had lots of songs by then, so they used the medley to play snippets of their popular songs they did not want to play all the way through. They incorporated various Blues songs in these medleys as well, notably “Boogie Chillenvideo by John Lee Hooker, which was often followed by what they called “Boogie Woogievideo, by Unknown, and “Let's Have A Partyvideo by Wanda Jackson. They would put this in when Robert Plant would yell, “Way Down INSIDE”.

Some parts of the song as well as some lyrics were borrowed form a song called “You Need Loving” by the Small Faces. Small Faces was a '60 band that Zeppelin modeled themselves after.

The remaining members of Led Zeppelin played this at their Live Aid reunion in 1985. Along with Tony Thompson, Phil Collins sat in on drums. Collins was the biggest presence at Live Aid. He played a set in London, flew to Philadelphia, played another set, then stayed on when Zeppelin took the stage. Jimmy Page was not happy - he thought Collins butchered this.

On some live versions, Jimmy Page played the theremin, a bizarre electronic instrument he liked to experiment with consisting of a black box and antennae. The sound is altered by moving one's hand closer to or farther from the antennae and was used to create the fuzz that alternates back and forth through the speakers. It can be heard to great effect on their Royal Albert Hall footage. Page decided to try theremin after hearing the group Spirit use one.

Page, Plant, and John Paul Jones played this at the Atlantic Records 40th anniversary concert in 1988 with Jason Bonham sitting in on drums for his late father. Jason would join the band again in 2007 at a benefit concert for the Ahmet Ertegun education fund, where they played this as the first encore.

Jimmy Page played the loose blues riff for the intro on a Sunburst 1958 Les Paul Standard through a 100W Marshall “Plexi” head amp with distortion from the EL34 output valves.

This song was performed by Leona Lewis and Jimmy Page at the closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics during the hand over to the host of the 2012 games, London. Prior to the performance there was some concern about the track's somewhat family unfriendly lyrical content, but Lewis tactfully changed the words from “every inch of my love” to “every bit of my love”.

They appeared alongside English soccer star David Beckham as symbols of British entertainment, both old and new. The performance took place in a magnificent, elaborate setting: Beijing's “Bird's Nest” Olympic Stadium. Lewis and Page appeared out of what had been a London double-decker bus, later transformed into a garden of green hedges.

John Paul Jones told Uncut magazine January 2009 that Page began to come into his own as a producer around the time of this song. Said Jones: “The backwards echo stuff. A lot of the microphone techniques were just inspired. Using distance-miking… and small amplifiers. Everybody thinks we go in the studio with huge walls of amplifiers, but he doesn't. He uses a really small amplifier and he just mikes it up really well, so that it fits into a sonic picture.”

On May 5, 2009, this became the first Led Zeppelin song performed on American Idol when Adam Lambert sang it during Rock Week, with Slash as the guest mentor. The judges loved Lambert's version and he advanced to the next round.

The song's guitar riff was voted the greatest of all time by listeners of BBC Radio 2 in a 2014 poll. “Sweet Child O' Minevideo by Guns N' Roses came second in the listing and “Back In Blackvideo by AC/DC third.

Led Zeppelin official site / Rock & Roll Hall of Fame / All Music / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “Led Zeppelin II‎ (album)” by Led Zeppelin



● Mickey Mouse is known as “Topolino” in Italy.

● The Earth gets 100 tons heavier every day due to falling space dust.

● Due to earth's gravity it is impossible for mountains to be higher than 15,000 meters.

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Understanding Engineers

Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.

Pun of the Day

Two peanuts walk into a bar, and one was a salted.