Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 19, 2016

Previous Week   May 09, 2016 - May 15, 2016   Next Week

Paratroopers battle for “Hamburger Hill” on May 11, 1969

Paratroopers battle for “Hamburger Hill” on May 11, 1969

Paratroopers battle for “Hamburger Hill”: U.S. and South Vietnamese forces battle North Vietnamese troops for Ap Bia Mountain (Hill 937), one mile east of the Laotian border.

The battle was part of Operation Apache Snow, a 2,800-man Allied sweep of the A Shau Valley. The purpose of the operation was to cut off North Vietnamese infiltration from Laos and enemy threats to Hue and Da Nang. U.S. paratroopers pushing northeast found the communist forces entrenched on Ap Bia Mountain.

In fierce fighting directed by Major General Melvin Zais, the mountain came under heavy Allied air strikes, artillery barrages, and 10 infantry assaults. The communist stronghold was captured on May 20 in the 11th attack, when 1,000 troops of the 101st Airborne Division and 400 South Vietnamese soldiers fought their way to the summit of the mountain.

During the intense fighting, 597 North Vietnamese were reported killed and U.S. casualties were 56 killed and 420 wounded. Due to the bitter fighting and the high loss of life, the battle for Ap Bia Mountain was dubbed “Hamburger Hill” by the U.S. media. History Channel / Wikipedia (Vietnam War) / Encyclopedia Britannica (Vietnam War) / ARMY.mil

“If You Are The Ocean”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“If You Are The Ocean”

If you are the ocean, then I am the mist,

which kisses the morning the way children kissed.

Their mother at breakfast to start a new day,

If you are the ocean, then anchors aweigh.

We'll sail through the evening and on to the light,

The daystar is dawning, we'll keep to the right.

Like Peter and Wendy to Neverlands' door,

we'll sail on forever and touch every shore.

If you are the ocean, come wash me away,

to some misty morning and there we will play.

On beaches you've loved all your lovely life long,

If you are the ocean, then sing me a song.

Of sailors and treasures and I'll have to say,

If you are the ocean, come wash me away...

~ Johnette Loefgren

“I’m Just Sayin”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“In optics: objects that generate retinal images of the same size will look different in physical size (linear size) if they appear to be located at different distances.”

~ Emmert's Law

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

~ Larry Elder

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later.”

~ General George S. Patton

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)

Hidden meaning in these 13 famous logos

Hidden meaning in these 13 famous logos

They're instantly recognisable symbols of many of brands and products we've grown up with - and they're trying to get noticed subconsciously.

The companies behind some of the most infamous logos spare no expense when it comes to branding, ensuring they not only stand out, but stick around in the consumer's subconcious.

Part brain-teaser, part optical illusion, some will jump out at you straight away. But others will have you puzzling for a while and one in particular requires solid binary number knowledge.

Video posted online shows dozens of the cadets solemnly standing in line to mark the end of the ceremony at their training academy in Stavanger. Huffington Post (03/06/2016)

Why Isn't 100 Percent Humidity Always Rain?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why Isn't 100 Percent Humidity Always Rain?

On particularly swampy days, the meteorologist might tell you that it's 100 percent humidity out there. While that might seem to suggest there should be pure rain showers outside, there may not even be a hint of drizzle. So what does it mean to reach peak humidity?

The percentage of humidity is not measured by the ratio of water to air. Instead, it looks at how much water vapor the air can hold at a certain temperature. When the humidity is at 100 percent, it's holding the absolute maximum; that means no more water can evaporate because the atmosphere has reached its limit.

Humid days feel terrible in part because our sweat can't evaporate, making it feel much hotter outside. Things like temperature and pressure affect the air's capacity to hold water vapor; the hotter it is, the more vapor the air can hold. If the temperature or pressure change, then rain is possibly in the forecast.

But in order for rain showers to occur, humidity has to be at 100 percent up where the clouds are (at ground-level, meanwhile, it can be at any percentage).

PBSHow Stuff WorksMental FlossRedditWikipedia video

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Man's best friend”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Man's best friend:” How we used to think about dogs can be judged by looking at how they have been portrayed in language over the centuries.

Lap-dogs apart, the phrases used to refer to dogs in the 16th and 17th centuries indicate their image to be of vicious and disease-ridden animals:

The hair of the dog” first used in 1546 as a reference to rabies

Cast someone to the dogs”, 1556

Dog in the manger”, 1564

If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas”, 1573

The dogs of war”, 1601

Go to the dogs”, 1619

Also, phrases that indicate the treatment of dogs show that they were considered to be of little worth:

Lead a dog's life”, 1528

Not fit for a dog”, 1625

As sick as a dog”, 1705

The greatest claim to fame of Warrensburg, Missouri is that it is where the phrase “a dog is a man's best friend” originated. In 1870, the lawyer George Graham Vest gave a tear-jerking speech that became known as the Eulogy to a Dog:

Gentlemen of the jury, a man's dog stands by him in prosperity and poverty, in health and sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow, and the snow drives fiercely, if only he can be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.


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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Jody: (1) (generic name for) the guy who is imagined to be seeing one's partner while one is underway.
(2) Any of the songs (which all have the same rhythm/melody, and three notes) which are “talksung” during a quicktime march in order to keep cadence.

Joe (Cup of Joe): (A cup of) coffee. One popular folk etymology suggests that the name derives from Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels' reforms of the Navy, specifically his abolition of the officers' wine mess and institution of coffee as the strongest drink available on Navy ships. See: joe.

Joe Shit-in-the-rag Man / Joe Shit the Rag man / Joe Shit Charlie the Rag Man: An under-performing sailor.

Joe Navy: Another term for a lifer with no life outside the Navy.

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

Just for you MARINE

Lad: term that came out of WW I for a young Marine.

Ladder Well: Stairway or ladder connecting different decks of a ship, so named because naval stairs tend to be so steep as to almost be vertical.

Laminated: Perceived semi-permanent state of issue for a normally temporary status.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HSC-8 - Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron EIGHT: “Eightballers”
Naval Air Station North Island - San Diego, California

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


“Go Now” - The Moody Blues 1965

“Go Now” - The Moody Blues
Album: Go Now!
Released 1965 video

Before The Moody Blues recorded it, this was an obscure Soul single for Bessie Banks video, who released it in 1964. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller produced her recording, and it was written by her husband Larry Banks. It is a heart-rending song where the singer has just broken up with his lover, and can't bear to see her anymore.

This was The Moody Blues' second single, the first being the unsuccessful “Lose Your Money”. Their next few releases did not fare as well and the lead singer on this track, Denny Laine, whose pained vocals added so much to the single, left the band to set up his own Electric String Band in 1966. He later joined forces with Paul McCartney and Wings.

The Moody Blues re-formed a short time later with new members Justin Hayward and John Lodge, who became the primary songwriters in the group.

Denny Laine recalled to Gibson.com how the band came to cover this song: “It came in one of these suitcases full of records from America. This guy, James Hamilton, he was a friend of B. Mitchel Reed, who was a DJ, and he would send this stuff across. So I picked that one out especially because Mike Pinder was a piano player. (chuckles) We'd always get the gig where the piano would be out of tune and we'd get the slow handclap because they were waiting to tune the piano… (laughs) Anyway, we did 'Go Now' because it was a song with a piano in it.”

As reported in The Independent, a 21-year-old Denny Cordell, who was working for an artist management company, placed this song with The Moody Blues, who were a new group looking for their first hit. Cordell convinced the band to sign an unusual business agreement that earned him £36,000 when the song became a hit. Cordell would later work with Joe Cocker, producing his version of “With A Little Help From My Friendsvideo and organizing his first US tour. In the '70s, Cordell set up Shelter Records in Tulsa, Oklahoma with Leon Russell.

The Moody Blues official site / Rolling Stone / All Music / Billboard / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “Go Now! (album)” by The Moody Blues



● Augusta, capital city of the State of Maine is the easternmost state capital of the U.S.

● Vatican City Population, total population 1,000 is the smallest country in the world.

● English is the Australian official language.

People Who Know Everything

A Test for People Who Know Everything

This early 16th century Italian political theorist wrote a book instructing rulers how to maximize their power without regard to moral considerations. Identify the author, the book title, and the most famous philosophy to come from this book?

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

Answer to Last Week's Test

Name a word(s) that contain all the vowels in alphabetical order

Answer: aerious, caesious, fracedinous Wiktionary

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

A Roman Catholic, a Methodist, a Presbyterian, and a Southern Baptist were all out fishing together on an ecumenical fishing trip. They got into an argument on what denomination Jesus would be.

They got into an argument on what denomination Jesus would be.

Pointing to one, the man says, “Whose clock is that?”

The Roman Catholic said, “no doubt he would be part of Mother Church.”

The Presbyterian said, “No, no. When you consider all that John Calvin did for the Christian faith, there is no question he would unite with the Reformed tradition."”

The Methodist said, “No, no, no, no. When you consider all that John and Charles Wesley did for the Christian faith, there is no question he would unite with the Methodist conviction.”

The Southern Baptist looked perplexed for a few minutes and said, “Boys, I don't think he's going to change.”

Pun of the Day

Every calendar's days are numbered.