Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 13, 2017

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President Reagan shot on March 30, 1981

President Reagan shot on March 30, 1981

President Reagan shot On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley Jr.

The president had just finished addressing a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine when Hinckley, standing among a group of reporters, fired six shots at the president, hitting Reagan and three of his attendants. White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and critically wounded, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the side, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahaney was shot in the neck. After firing the shots, Hinckley was overpowered and pinned against a wall, and President Reagan, apparently unaware that he’d been shot, was shoved into his limousine by a Secret Service agent and rushed to the hospital.

The president was shot in the left lung, and the .22 caliber bullet just missed his heart. In an impressive feat for a 70-year-old man with a collapsed lung, he walked into George Washington University Hospital under his own power. As he was treated and prepared for surgery, he was in good spirits and quipped to his wife, Nancy, “Honey, I forgot to duck”, and to his surgeons, “Please tell me you’re Republicans.” Reagan’s surgery lasted two hours, and he was listed in stable and good condition afterward.

The next day, the president resumed some of his executive duties and signed a piece of legislation from his hospital bed. On April 11, he returned to the White House. Reagan’s popularity soared after the assassination attempt, and at the end of April he was given a hero’s welcome by Congress. In August, this same Congress passed his controversial economic program, with several Democrats breaking ranks to back Reagan’s plan. By this time, Reagan claimed to be fully recovered from the assassination attempt. In private, however, he would continue to feel the effects of the nearly fatal gunshot wound for years.

Of the victims of the assassination attempt, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and D.C. policeman Thomas Delahaney eventually recovered. James Brady, who nearly died after being shot in the eye, suffered permanent brain damage. He later became an advocate of gun control, and in 1993 Congress passed the “Brady Bill,” which established a five-day waiting period and background checks for prospective gun buyers. President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law.

After being arrested on March 30, 1981, 25-year-old John Hinckley was booked on federal charges of attempting to assassinate the president. He had previously been arrested in Tennessee on weapons charges. In June 1982, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity. In the trial, Hinckley’s defense attorneys argued that their client was ill with narcissistic personality disorder, citing medical evidence, and had a pathological obsession with the 1976 film Taxi Driver, in which the main character attempts to assassinate a fictional senator. His lawyers claimed that Hinckley saw the movie more than a dozen times, was obsessed with the lead actress, Jodie Foster, and had attempted to reenact the events of the film in his own life. Thus the movie, not Hinckley, they argued, was the actual planning force behind the events that occurred on March 30, 1981.

The verdict of “not guilty by reason of insanity” aroused widespread public criticism, and many were shocked that a would-be presidential assassin could avoid been held accountable for his crime. However, because of his obvious threat to society, he was placed in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, a mental institution. In the late 1990s, Hinckley’s attorney began arguing that his mental illness was in remission and thus had a right to return to a normal life. Beginning in August 1999, he was allowed supervised day trips off the hospital grounds and later was allowed to visit his parents once a week unsupervised. The Secret Service voluntarily monitors him during these outings. If his mental illness remains in remission, he may one day be released.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Britannica Encyclopedia / CBS News President Reagan shot on March 30, 1981 (YouTube) video

“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”


First Voice

‘But tell me, tell me! speak again,

Thy soft response renewing -

What makes that ship drive on so fast?

What is the ocean doing?’

Second Voice

‘Still as a slave before his lord,

The ocean hath no blast;

His great bright eye most silently

Up to the Moon is cast -

If he may know which way to go;

For she guides him smooth or grim.

See, brother, see! how graciously

See, brother, see! how graciously

The Mariner hath been cast into a trance; for the angelic power

causeth the vessel to drive northward faster than human life could endure.

continued ...

~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(originally published in Lyrical Ballads, 1798)

Full Poem

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

First rule: “Whenever a spontaneous process is too slow or too inefficient a protein will evolve to speed it up or make it more efficient.”

Second rule: “Evolution is cleverer than you are.”

~ Orgel's rules in evolutionary biology

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“We’re all gonna die.

We don’t get much say on how or when,

but we do get to decide how we are gonna live.

So do it, decide.

Is this the life you want to live?

Is this the person you want to love?

Is this the best you can be?

Can you be stronger? kinder? more compassionate?


Breathe in…Breathe out… and decide.”

~ Grey’s Anatomy

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Discretion is being able to raise your eyebrow instead of your voice.”

~ 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)

This Golden Retriever Has An Adorable Obsession

This Golden Retriever Has An Adorable Obsession

This retriever has a heart of gold.

Whenever Cesar Fernandez-Chavez walks his dog, Louboutina, or Loubie for short, around his Manhattan neighborhood, it takes longer than one would expect. That’s because the 5-year-old golden retriever usually won’t budge until she’s given Fernandez-Chavez a big, hearty hug around his legs.

“I think she tries to find someone who she feels safe with.”

Bored Panda (02/14/2017) video

What Is an Ambivert?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What Is an Ambivert?

You might be an introvert. You might be an extravert. But it’s more likely you’re an ambivert: that is, somewhere in between.

That’s because extraversion is not an all-or-nothing identity; it’s a spectrum. Psychologists count extraversion—that is, the quality of finding energy and gratification outside of oneself—among the “Big Five” dimensions of personality (along with conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness to new experience, and neuroticism). Each of us is extraverted to some degree, just as we’re conscientious or neurotic. That degree could be zero (although it probably isn’t). Very few people are 100 percent anything.

Personality psychologist Robert McCrae spent his career examining and testing the Big Five model. In a 1992 study [PDF], McCrae and his collaborator found that many people (around 38 percent) fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum for all five traits, including extraversion.

Adam Grant is a management expert at the Wharton School of Business. In 2013 he conducted a study on 340 call center employees. Since these are people who talk on the phone for a living, you might assume that the majority of them would be extraverts. But two-thirds said they were neither extraverted nor introverted—rather, somewhere in-between. And, more surprising still, these ambiverts outperformed extraverts on their sales calls.

Why? Grant theorized that it's because phone calls are about more than talking. Sales reps also have to listen. Ambiverts are naturally comfortable doing both, he wrote, which means that they’re “likely to express sufficient assertiveness and enthusiasm to persuade and close a sale, but are more inclined to listen to customers’ interests and less vulnerable to appearing too excited or overconfident.”

Many people who self-identify as introverts or extraverts do so after taking a personality test called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Despite its lack of scientific support, the MBTI has become immensely popular, in part because every test result is flattering. It’s a little like a horoscope: We can find ourselves in our readings, but there’s no science to back it up. The MBTI also perpetuates the myth of the all-or-nothing identity, labeling each test-taker as either an introvert or an extravert.

However, no matter if you identify as an extrovert, introvert, or ambivert, don't let a personality test define how you think about yourself. Figuring out how you work best for yourself is much more helpful than any test.

Business InsiderBuzzfeedForbesLearning MindLoner WolfMental FlossQuoraWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Chance Your Arm”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Chance Your Arm:”  Meaning: Take a risk.

Origin: The arm in question refers to a stripe of military rank worn on the upper sleeve.

Take a risk and you might be demoted, thereby losing a stripe.

Phrases.org UK - World Wide Words.org

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Nuclear Waste: A pejorative term for sailors who exit the Nuclear Power training program without successful completion.

Nuke (or “Nuc”) (Submarine Service, CVNs): Engineering Department crewmember responsible for turning main shaft via atom-splitting. Also refers to ordnance type that is neither confirmed nor denied, which may or may not be handled by a different Department (See “Weaponettes”). Also describes nerds (generally anyone who is/was a candidate for Naval Nuclear Power Training Command).

Nuke it out (or simply “nuke it”):

• To overthink an easy task. Alternately, often used by nukes to suggest someone ought to put forth at least a little thought before giving up on a problem.

• The act of solving a problem by applying numbers and units and various known and assumed quantities to calculate an approximate answer.

Nuke Milk: A disgusting powdered milk used when the fresh milk runs out. Said to be preserved by irradiation.

Nuke Striker: Perjorative term used by nukes to describe a coner that asks endless questions about the operations of the nuclear power plant. Strikers are sailors that enlist without a guaranteed rate (job), with the intention of floating around until they find a department where they fit in. However, one can't strike for Nuclear Field.

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

Just for you MARINE

Page 11: NAVMC 118(11), a page of a Marine's Service Record Book or Officer Qualification Record where administrative remarks are made concerning a Marine's performance and conduct, and which may contain negative recommendations regarding promotion or re-enlistment; while not a punishment itself or inherently negative, it is part of a Marine's permanent service record and used as a basis for administrative decisions regarding a Marine's career; the term commonly refers to an entry itself made in this section.

Parade Deck: Area set aside for the conduct of parades, drill, and ceremonies, often paved or well-maintained lawn. See also grinder.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VT-86 - Fixed Wing Training Squadrons: “Sabrehawks”
Established Jun 5th 1972 NFO Advanced Jet TRAWING 6, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Poopy Situation Down Under: Why 36 Australian Beaches Were Closed

Poopy Situation Down Under: Why 36 Australian Beaches Were Closed

There's an icky situation Down Under: Thirty-six Australian beaches have been closed due to contamination from human feces.

Australia's Environment Protection Authority gave every beach in Melbourne a “poor” water-quality rating this week because of the fecal contamination, and deemed them not suitable for swimming. The EPA officials said in a tweet that recent heavy rainfall likely caused the pollution. One of Melbourne's daily newspapers, The Age, reported that the city was hit with one month's worth of rain — 1.97 inches (50 millimeters).

The poor water quality could last through the week, according to Anthony Boxshall, EPA group manager of applied sciences. [10 Ways the Beach Can Kill You]

An EPA map of the affected area shared on Twitter shows beaches dotted along the bay, and the narrow inlet to the ocean. Based on this geography, as Boxshall said, the contaminants entering the bay due to stormwater runoff do not actively interchange with the ocean water.

Live Science (02/08/2017) video

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


“Black Betty” - Ram Jam 1977

“Black Betty” - Ram Jam
Album: Ram Jam
Released 1977 video

Their lead singer and guitarist played with the Lemon Pipers, of “Green Tambourinevideo fame. The rest of the band members never even played on this highly offbeat entry on our Top 100 Classic Rock Songs list. Welcome to the wild and crazy story that is “Black Betty” by Ram Jam.

Once the Lemon Pipers dissolved, guitarist Bill Bartlett formed a new band called Starstruck with two fellow Pipers. A later incarnation of that band (Bartlett was the lone remaining Lemon Piper by this time) recorded a rock version of Leadbelly’s interpretation of the traditional work song “Black Betty”, and released it on their own label.

Listening to the song today, it’s hard not to look back fondly at what was a much simpler time in the music industry, because this kind of song will never, ever happen again. It begins with a thunderous kick drum, some rafter-shaking riffs by Bartlett, and that unforgettable “Whoa, black Betty, bam-ba-lam” vocal. At this point, the song sounds like a slightly glammier “Mississippi Queenvideo (check those synth washes), the kind of track that would rock a concert hall and pack a dancefloor.

No one could have suspected, then, that the band would veer hard right at the 1:30 mark and launch into an Allman Brothers-fueled freakout. A two-minute freakout, in a song a little less than four minutes long, no less. There are also no less than three moments where an audible splice of the master tape can be heard. As we said, simpler times.

At the same time, one cannot overlook the band’s raw enthusiasm, which rose above the seemingly disparate influences to create the kind of song that challenges at least one artist every decade or so to improve upon it, though to date, no one has come close.

Ram Jam, official site / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Wikipedia

Image: “Black Betty (album)” by Ram Jam



● Fusion, the same as a hydrogen bomb, powers the sun.

● The sun is about 5 billion years.

● The earth is about 4.5 billion years.

● The Universe is at least 15 billion years old, but probably not more than 20 billion years old.

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

A teacher was teaching her second grade class about the government, so for homework that one day, she told her her students to ask their parents what the government is.

When Little Johnny got home that day, he went up to his dad and ask his what the government was.

His dad thought for a while and answered, “Look at it this way: I'm the president, your mom is Congress, your maid is the work force, you are the people and your baby brother is the future.”

“I still don't get it” responded the Little Johnny.

“Why don't you sleep on it then? Maybe you'll understand it better” said the dad.

“Okay then...good night” said Little Jonny went off to bed.

In the middle of the night, Little Johnny was awakened by his baby brother's crying.

He went to his baby brother's crib and found that his baby brother had taken a crap in his diaper.

So Little Johnny went to his parent's room to get help.

When he got to his parent's bedroom, he looked through the keyhole to check if his parents were asleep.

Through the keyhole he saw his mom loudly snoring, but his dad wasn't there.

So he went to the maid's room.

When he looked through the maid's room keyhole, he saw his dad having sex with his maid.

Little Johnny was surprised, but then he just realized something and thinks aloud, “OH!! Now I understand the government! The President is screwing the work force, Congress is fast asleep, nobody cares about the people, and the future is full of s**t!”

Pun of the Day

When you're wearing a watch on an airplane, time flies.