Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 33, 2017

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Dakota uprising begins in Minnesota on August 17, 1862

Dakota uprising begins in Minnesota on August 17, 1862

Dakota uprising begins in Minnesota: Minnesota erupts in violence as desperate Dakota Indians attack white settlements along the Minnesota River. The Dakota were eventually overwhelmed by the U.S. military six weeks later.

The Dakota Indians were more commonly referred to as the Sioux, a derogatory name derived from part of a French word meaning “little snake”. They were composed of four bands, and lived on temporary reservations in southwestern Minnesota. For two decades, the Dakota were poorly treated by the Federal government, local traders, and settlers. They saw their hunting lands whittled down, and provisions promised by the government rarely arrived. Worse yet, a wave of white settlers surrounded them.

The summer of 1862 was particularly hard on the Dakota. Cutworms destroyed much of their corn crops, and many families faced starvation. Dakota leaders were frustrated by attempts to convince traders to extend credit to tribal members and alleviate the suffering. On August 17, four young Dakota warriors were returning from an unsuccessful hunt when they stopped to steal some eggs from a white settlement. The youths soon picked a quarrel with the hen’s owner, and the encounter turned tragic when the Dakotas killed five members of the family. Sensing that they would be attacked, Dakota leaders determined that war was at hand and seized the initiative. Led by Taoyateduta (also known as Little Crow), the Dakota attacked local agencies and the settlement of New Ulm. Over 500 white settlers lost their lives along with about 150 Dakota warriors.

President Abraham Lincoln dispatched General John Pope, fresh from his defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run,Virginia, to organize the Military Department of the Northwest. Some Dakota fled to North Dakota, but more than 2,000 were rounded up and over 300 warriors were sentenced to death. President Lincoln commuted most of their sentences, but on December 26, 1862, 38 Dakota men were executed at Mankato, Minnesota. It was the largest mass execution in American history.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / U.S. Dakota War.org / University of Missouri-Kansas City.edu / Dakota Victims 1862 Dakota uprising begins in Minnesota 1862 (YouTube search) video

“The Odyssey”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“The Odyssey”


But Minerva went to the fair city of Lacedaemon to tell Ulysses' son that he was to return at once. She found him and Pisistratus sleeping in the forecourt of Menelaus's house; Pisistratus was fast asleep, but Telemachus could get no rest all night for thinking of his unhappy father, so Minerva went close up to him and said:

“Telemachus, you should not remain so far away from home any longer, nor leave your property with such dangerous people in your house; they will eat up everything you have among them, and you will have been on a fool's errand. Ask Menelaus to send you home at once if you wish to find your excellent mother still there when you get back. Her father and brothers are already urging her to marry Eurymachus, who has given her more than any of the others, and has been greatly increasing his wedding presents. I hope nothing valuable may have been taken from the house in spite of you, but you know what women are- they always want to do the best they can for the man who marries them, and never give another thought to the children of their first husband, nor to their father either when he is dead and done with. Go home, therefore, and put everything in charge of the most respectable woman servant that you have, until it shall please heaven to send you a wife of your own. Let me tell you also of another matter which you had better attend to. The chief men among the suitors are lying in wait for you in the Strait between Ithaca and Samos, and they mean to kill you before you can reach home. I do not much think they will succeed; it is more likely that some of those who are now eating up your property will find a grave themselves. Sail night and day, and keep your ship well away from the islands; the god who watches over you and protects you will send you a fair wind. As soon as you get to Ithaca send your ship and men on to the town, but yourself go straight to the swineherd who has charge your pigs; he is well disposed towards you, stay with him, therefore, for the night, and then send him to Penelope to tell her that you have got back safe from Pylos.”

Then she went back to Olympus; but Telemachus stirred Pisistratus with his heel to rouse him, and said, “Wake up Pisistratus, and yoke the horses to the chariot, for we must set off home.”

But Pisistratus said, “No matter what hurry we are in we cannot drive in the dark. It will be morning soon; wait till Menelaus has brought his presents and put them in the chariot for us; and let him say good-bye to us in the usual way. So long as he lives a guest should never forget a host who has shown him kindness.”

BOOK XV continued ...

~ Homer

Written 800 B.C.E

Translated by Samuel Butler

Table of Contents

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the stakes at issue.”

By way of corollary, the law adds: “That is why academic politics are so bitter.”

~ Sayre's law

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”


the smallest step

in the right direction

ends up being

the biggest step

of your life.”

~ Anonymous

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“One does not walk into the forest

and accuse the trees of being off-center,

nor do they visit the shore

and call the waves imperfect.

Why then,

do we look at ourselves that way?”

~ 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)

NEEDED: Generic Father for Backyard BBQ

NEEDED: Generic Father for Backyard BBQ

To interested individuals, We will be throwing a backyard BBQ on June 17th to celebrate beer and each other. We range in age from 21-26, and while most of us know how to operate a grill, none of us are prepared to fill the role of “BBQ Dad” That being said, we are in need of a generic father figure from 4PM to about 8PM (though you may stay the full duration of the party). Duties include:

• Grilling hamburgers and hotdogs (whilst drinking beer)

• Bringing your own grill (though this is subject to change. We will provide all of the meat)

• Refer to all attendees as “Big Guy”, “Chief”, “Sport”, “Champ” etc. (whilst drinking beer))

• Talk about dad things, like lawnmowers, building your own deck, Jimmy Buffet, etc. Funny anecdotes are highly encouraged. All whilst drinking beer.

Desired experience:

• A minimum of 18 years experience as a father

• A minimum of 10 years grilling experience

• An appreciation of a nice, cold beer on a hot summer day

We can't pay you in money, BUT we can give you all the food and cold beer your heart desires. Grill for a few hours, then sit back and crack open a few cold ones with the boys.

THIS IS A REAL AD. Do not hesitate to call if you are interested. Preference will be given to applicants named Bill, Randy, or Dave.

Send us an email with a selfie and a little about yourself!

do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers

Spokane.Craigslist (posted 05/23/2017) (updated 06/02/2017) video

How Does the International Space Station Maintain Its Orientation?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: How Does the International Space Station Maintain Its Orientation?

Nominally, attitude control is provided by four control moment gyroscopes (CMGs). Each CMG contains a wheel that is 220 pounds (100 kg). That wheel spins at 6600 rpm, resulting in an angular momentum of 3500 ft-lb-s (4742.5 N-m-s). The basic idea is that if a torque induces a rotation on the ISS, those wheels can rotate about their gimbals to change the angular momentum of the ISS, creating a counter torque. Using CMGs is much more subtle than using thrusters, so microgravity experiments are not impacted. CMGs do have limits, though, so thrusters can assist, if needed. That assistance is needed whenever the torques are large.

To minimize thruster assists, during quiescent operations, we do a type of attitude control called momentum management (MM). This is done by maneuvering the ISS to a torque equilibrium attitude (TEA) that was analyzed by the ground a year or more in advance. This TEA is an attitude that, with meanderings of up to 15 degrees, will result in the gravity torques and atmospheric torques adding up, over an orbit, to close to zero. The CMGs then take up the slack to make that zero.

We often can't be in a TEA during critical operations. For those we need to be in an attitude hold (AH). An example of this is a docking or berthing. Attitude holds are challenging because they require a lot more work, often too much for the CMGs to handle alone, and yet firing thrusters during critical operations can be problematic.

For these operations we design a matrix for the flight rules to ensure safety. For example, we do not allow thrusters to fire whenever the end of the robotic arm is within 2 feet (0.6 m) of the vehicle. The last thing we need is for a thruster firing to shake the arm and cause it to hit the side of a module, puncturing the module. If the timeline indicates the arm will be that close, ADCO (the attitude control flight controller) will inhibit thruster assist.

Dockings and berthings can produce sudden changes in momentum. During these activities we inhibit the entire attitude control system to ensure we do not introduce forces that could damage a docking or berthing mechanism. You might notice, on NASA TV, that the vehicle can get considerably out of attitude at these times.

The attitude control computer (GNC MDM) contains the software that does all of the necessary calculations for attitude control. It takes in the actual attitude and subtracts the commanded attitude to determine the error it needs to correct. It knows the rates of the ISS. That is very sensitive, so sensitive that we can tell when the crew wake up by watching the behavior of the CMGs as the crew start to move around the vehicle.

The software also needs a set of user provided parameters such as the vehicle mass properties and inertia tensors. These are located in data slots called CCDBs (controller configuration databases). We have a stockpile of these CCDBs for different vehicle configurations. For example, if a Progress cargo vehicle arrives and docks to the Russian Segment, we will have a CCDB slot designed for that configuration. When it leaves, we will swap to another one.

NASA.govForbesMental FlossQuoraSpace.comWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Red herring”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Red herring”  Meaning: A distraction from the main issue. A deliberate misleading and diverting of attention from the real issue.

Origin: Red herrings are salted herrings that turn a reddish colour during the smoking process. They have come to be synonymous with the deliberate false trails that are the stock in trade of 'who done it' thrillers.

The term has been used to refer to people as well as to fish for some centuries. John Heywood's 1546 glossary, A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue includes the expression:

She is nother fyshe nor fleshe, nor good red hearyng.

Fish was eaten by the clergy, flesh by the rich and the dried and smoked herrings by the poor. So this list of the foods eaten by all classes of society was a metaphor for 'encompassing all eventualities'.

How do we move from the actual herrings in that expression to the figurative 'throwing off the scent' meaning? One theory has it that the meaning derives from the practice of using the oily and smelly herrings to lay false trails for hunting dogs. This practice is well documented from as far back as the late 1600s and Nicholas Cox's The Sportsman's Dictionary: Or The Gentleman's Companion, 1686 describes it:

“The trailing or dragging of a dead Cat, or Fox, (and in case of necessity a Red-Herring) three or four miles... and then laying the Dogs on the scent.”


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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Ping: To emit a pulse of sound energy from a SONAR transmitter.

Ping Jockey: Term used to describe Sonar Techs.

Plank Owner: Term used for original crew personnel assigned to ships company during commissioning. Plank Owners are "Piped Aboard" when shown proper certification.

Plastic Fantastic: F/A-18 used in the 1980's.

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

Just for you MARINE

Roach coach: Civilian vehicle allowed on base to sell fast food (see Pogey Bait).

Rocks and Shoals: Articles for the Government of the Navy, the pre-UCMJ code of law for the United States Department of the Navy.

ROE: Rules Of Engagement, the restrictions on when and how a servicemember may use force on the enemy and other forces.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VAQ-133 - “Wizards”
CVW-9, Naval Aviation Squadron Whidbey Island, Washington - Established April 1, 1996

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

See the 1st-Ever High-Speed Footage of Lightning Striking a Building

See the 1st-Ever High-Speed Footage of Lightning Striking a Building

At first, the flashes of lightning appear like glowing tentacles spreading across the night sky. Then, an enormous and blinding flash illuminates the frame. But this isn't just any footage of a lightning storm — it's the first time that high-speed video of lightning hitting a building has been captured, according to a new study.

In addition to making for a dramatic show, the research could help improve lightning rods, a technology that hasn't changed in 200 years, the scientists said.

The video shows a tree of electrical discharges branching from a storm cloud and descending toward the ground. As the discharges near the ground, a weaker electrical column starts climbing from a lightning rod on a multistory building. When the rising discharge meets one of the downward leaders, as scientists call the sky-to-ground dischargers, a powerful flash blinds the camera's view. [Electric Earth: Stunning Images of Lightning]

“Since the time of Benjamin Franklin, no one has ever recorded a high-speed video footage of a lightning connection to a common building”, said Marcelo Saba, a physicist at Brazil's National Institute for Space Research and leader of the new study, which was published online May 14 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

The physicists had to wait three years to capture four lightning strikes. The team used two black-and-white high-speed cameras similar to those used to record slow-motion imagery of sporting events, the scientists said. They installed the equipment permanently on a balcony belonging to an amateur storm watcher who lives about 650 feet (200 meters) away from the two buildings, on the outskirts of São Paolo seen in the video.

In the video, the scientists captured one such unconnected upward leader rising from the top of the neighboring building. A video posted on YouTube earlier this year showed a news reporter suffering from an electrical shock from a lightning strike nearby. This effect is the result of unconnected rising electrical discharges, Saba said.

Live Science (05/31/2017) video

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


“Maggie May” - Rod Stewart 1971

“Maggie May” - Rod Stewart
Album: Every Picture Tells A Story
Released 1971 video

This song is about the woman who deflowered Rod Stewart when he was 16. In the January 2007 issue of Q magazine, Stewart said: “Maggie May was more or less a true story, about the first woman I had sex with, at the Beaulieu Jazz Festival. It nearly got left off because the label said it didn't have a melody. I said, 'Well, we've run out of time now, these are all the tracks we've recorded. They said, Alright, then, bring it on.”

The name “Maggie May” does not occur in the song; Rod borrowed the title from a Liverpool folk song video about a Lime Street prostitute.

In his memoir Rod: The Autobiography, Stewart provided details of the experience that led to this song. Wrote Stewart: "At 16, I went to the Beaulieu Jazz Festival in the New Forest. I'd snuck in with some mates via an overflow sewage pipe. And there on a secluded patch of grass, I lost my not-remotely-prized virginity with an older (and larger) woman who'd come on to me very strongly in the beer tent. How much older, I can't tell you - but old enough to be highly disappointed by the brevity of the experience.”

Every Picture Tells A Story was Stewart's third solo album, and the one that made him a superstar. It was recorded at Morgan Sound Studios in Willesden with drummer Mickey Waller, guitarist Martin Quittenton, and Stewart's Faces mate Ronnie Wood among the musicians.

Stewart got the idea for the song during a U.S. tour with the Faces. He completed the song with Quittenton, who came up with the intro and wrote the chords. The song came together quickly in the studio, helped along by the Ray Jackson mandolin contribution - Jackson had been hired to perform on the song “Mandolin Wind”, which is why he was available. Stewart asked Jackson to play something they might use to end the song, which he improvised on the spot.

Quittenton, who is listed as the song's co-writter along with Stewart, told the Daily Mail: “We didn’t think it was very good. Never in anyone’s wildest dreams was it a Pop standard.”

Quittenton said that when the song became a hit, he was working in a record shop for £7 a week. His royalties for the song would eventually amount to about £25,000 a year. He declined Stewart's offer to join the Faces, and left the music business a short time later after suffering a nervous breakdown. Quittenton also co-wrote Stewart's hit “You Wear It Wellvideo.

This became a huge hit in England and America, topping both the UK and U.S. charts at the same time. Every Picture Tells A Story was also the #1 album on both sides of the Atlantic, making him the first artist to have the #1 song and album in both the U.S. and UK simultaneously. Stewart's success in the UK was expected, as he had a following there as a member of The Faces, but he was little known in America before "Maggie May" took off.

This was the first big hit of the rock ear to feature a mandolin. Stewart first used the instrument on “Mandolin Wind”, which was one of the first songs he recorded for the album. He liked the results, so he used it on “Maggie” as well.

Stewart was the lead singer of The Faces when this was released. He put out solo albums while he was with the band because of contract obligations. When this became a hit, Faces shows were billed as “The Faces with Rod Stewart.” He became the focus of the group.

In October 1971 Stewart became the first artist in history to hold all four #1 positions in the British and American singles and albums charts. While “Maggie May” topped the singles tally in both territories, Every Picture Tells A Story achieved the same feat on the album charts.

Stewart moved to America a few years after this came out. He was doing very well there, but also wanted to avoid the huge taxes England levied on high-income entertainers. This was around the same time The Rolling Stones left England for tax reasons. Their album Exile on Main St. is a reference to their “tax exile” status.

Rod Stewart, official website / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Wikipedia

Image: “ Every Picture Tells A Story (album)” by Rod Stewart



SEA HORSE, ridden by Neptune and other sea gods is the slowest-moving fish looks so interesting that it is represented in Greek mythology.

● The Tees, The Trent, The Taw, the Trent and the Tamar are all rivers of England.

● Break Dancing a popular fad that started in the 1980's included terms like "hand glide" and “back slide”.

A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “BEST” WISHES ($1000):

They're the opening 12 words of “A Tale of Two Cities”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Gutenberg.org

Answer to Last Week's Test

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “I LIKE YOUR COLÓN” ($200):

Descendants of those who worked on a big dig are the main populace of Colón, this country's major port. (The big dig, of course, took place in [*], the canal)

Answer: Panama. CIA.gov

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

First Wedding.

A little boy was attending his first wedding.

After the service, his cousin asked him, “How many women can a man marry?”

“Sixteen”, the boy responded.

His cousin was amazed that he had an answer so quickly.

“How do you know that?”

“Easy”, the little boy said.

“All you have to do is add it up, like the bishop said: 4 better, 4 worse, 4 richer, 4 poorer.”

Quotable Quotables

“Have Gun - Will Travel” Season 5 Episode 38 - The Knight (1962)

Baron Otto von Albrecht: “Do not let these alarm you Mr. Paladin. When I am on a horse, its legs become mine. I rode before I walked.”

Paladin: “Well, other men had first to crawl.”

Baron Otto von Albrecht: “ You are a paradox Sir Paladin. A gentleman knight who risks lance and life for people he dislikes or even hates to get enough money to pamper his expensive tastes. At the very best or least my dear Paladin, you are a spiritual assasin.”

Paladin: “ You do take advantage of your years old man.”

Baron Otto von Albrecht: “Take every advantage. And why not? I am the creation of all the von Albrechts who ever lived. In a sense I am 600 years old. Six centuries of breeding and tradition.”

Paladin: “Well, when the meek finally do inherit the earth, my very strong conviction is that none of your bloodline will flow in the veins of the property owners. Excuse me.”

Baron Otto von Albrecht: “When he was very young, he was a quiet boy. 600 years for this! The hope of a great name, destroyed. Dead in the dirt of a strange land. Now, I am the very last of the von Albrechts. Do you understand what I am saying?”

Paladin: “Well may the children weep before you. They know the grief of man without its wisdom. They sink in man's dispair without its calm.”

Baron Otto von Albrecht: “ Who's fault Paladin? ”

Paladin: “That's a question each man will have to answer for himself.”

~ “Have Gun - Will Travel” - “THE KNIGHT (#5.38)” (1962) video Written By: John D. F. Black, Herb Meadow - IMDb - CBS (from 1957 through 1963)