Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 46, 2017

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Fort Washington Is Captured on November 16, 1776

Fort Washington Is Captured on November 16, 1776

Fort Washington Is Captured: On this day in 1776, Hessian Lieutenant General Wilhelm von Knyphausen and a force of 3,000 Hessian mercenaries and 5,000 Redcoats lay siege to Fort Washington at the northern end and highest point of Manhattan Island.

Throughout the morning, Knyphausen met stiff resistance from the Patriot riflemen inside the fort, but by afternoon, the Patriots were overwhelmed, and the garrison commander, Colonel Robert Magaw, surrendered. Nearly 3,000 Patriots were taken prisoner, and valuable ammunition and supplies were lost to the Hessians. The prisoners faced a particularly grim fate: Many later died from deprivation and disease aboard British prison ships anchored in New York Harbor.

Among the 53 dead and 96 wounded Patriots were John and Margaret Corbin of Virginia. When John died in action, his wife Margaret took over his cannon, cleaning, loading and firing the gun until she too was severely wounded. The first woman known to have fought for the Continental Army, Margaret survived, but lost the use of her left arm.

Two weeks earlier, one of Magaw’s officers, William Demont, had deserted the Fifth Pennsylvania Battalion and given British intelligence agents information about the Patriot defense of New York, including details about the location and defense of Fort Washington. Demont was the first traitor to the Patriot cause, and his treason contributed significantly to Knyphausen’s victory.

Fort Washington stood at the current location of Bennet Park in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City, near the George Washington Bridge, at the corner of Fort Washington Avenue and 183rd Street. Fort Washington Park and Fort Washington Point lay beneath the site along the Hudson River.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica /Civil War.org / British Battles / Battle of Fort Washington (YouTube search) video

“Tales of Legendary Ghost Ships - Legend of København”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“Tales of Legendary Ghost Ships”

Legend of København

On Dec. 14, 1928, the København, a Danish East Asiatic Company sailing ship left the Rio de la Plata (an area between Uruguay and Argentina) en route to Australia. It was notable for having five masts.

“She was a well-found vessel, fitted with wireless (radio) an auxiliary engine and ample lifeboats”, writes Hamish Ross in Sea Breezes Magazine. “A training ship, she had a crew of 60 men, many of whom were cadets, some from very prominent Danish families.”

The ship was in touch, through radio, with the Norwegian steamer William Blumer on Dec. 21, but after that it was never heard from again.

“Following the København's disappearance, many theories sprang up as to her loss, but the most likely seems to be that she struck an iceberg in darkness or fog”, writes Ross. “There were also reports of sightings of a phantom five-masted vessel in 1930.” In 2012, a wreck was found at the island of Tristan da Cunha that could potentially be the København. (Image Credit: State Library of Queensland, courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

CPH Post / Live Science / Ocean Navigator / Wikipedia / Ghost Ship – The strange mystery of the København (YouTube) video

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“Any attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely.”

~ Streisand effect.

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“People have to forgive.

We don’t have to like them,

we don’t have to be friends with them,

we don’t have to send them hearts in text messages,

but we have to forgive them,

to overlook, to forget.

Because if we don’t

we are tying rocks to our feet,

too much for our wings to carry!”

~ C. JoyBell C.

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Nobody can make you happy

until you’re happy with yourself.”

~ 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)

Man Says Delivery Driver Left Package In Most Unhelpful Place Imaginable

Man Says Delivery Driver Left Package In Most Unhelpful Place Imaginable

A man in California says he was trapped in his own fifth-floor apartment this weekend after a delivery driver left a package in the worst possible place.

Jessie Lawrence claimed via Twitter on Sunday that a UPS worker left a tall rectangular box just under the handle of his Bay Area flat’s front door. It blocked the handle from turning and he “had to call maintenance to get out”, he tweeted.

“Sure, it’s inconvenient for us to call someone to get us out but if it were an emergency, we would have been screwed”, he wrote in a further tweet.

Lawrence shared an image soon after his escape showing where the box had supposedly been placed.

Some tweeters used it as an opportunity to break out their best puns:

“Looks like you got...(•_•) ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■)...boxed in.”

Glad you handled the situation.

Plot twist: the package was a door stopper.

I can't believe no one has asked what you bought???

Really long spaghetti noodles, I'm hoping.

The way the door jamb looks in this photo, the door opens inward and away from the delivered box and foreground in the photo.

But the door can not go inwards until after the knob is pushed down, which the box made impossible. Next.

Nothing slays on social media like a box in front of a door.

Huffington Post (09/05/2017) video

How Does Tattoo Removal Work?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: How Does Tattoo Removal Work?

You may have felt the regret that sometimes accompanies a mixture of alcohol, impulsive behavior, and a conveniently-located tattoo parlor. Or maybe your artist fudged one of 2015’s trendy watercolor tattoos. If the time has come to erase a dermatological mistake, laser tattoo removal is the answer. But how does it work?

It helps to understand how tattoos become permanent fixtures under your epidermis in the first place. As a stabbing tattoo needle plunges under the top layer of skin, it injects tiny ink particles; those particles are considered a foreign invader by your body, which attempts to marshal forces of white blood cells to address the perceived threat. But the ink particles are too big, and so they remain—mostly. Over time, the particles can break down, allowing the body to carry them off bit by bit. It’s why tattoos can begin to fade after a few years. Unfortunately, that's not fast enough for some poorly-rendered markings.

Lasers speed up this process. The light breaks up the pigment, allowing the body to do what it wanted to do in the first place, which was to get rid of your pocket watch tattoo as quickly as possible. Because the laser is adjusted for different color pigments, it won’t etch away your natural skin color.

Once the pigment particles have been carried off, your lymphatic system takes care of the rest. The remnants of your mistake are routed to the liver, where it can be processed as waste. Technically, that means your tattoo will eventually be pooped out and your questionable judgment flushed away.

Business InsiderMetro UKMental FlossQuaraWEB MDWikipedia

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Queer: Nickname for the EA-6B Prowler. Also Air Force Personnel.

R2D2: Dome-shaped Phalanx CIWS system, after the visually similar Star Wars droid. Also called “R2D2 with a hard-on”.

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

Just for you MARINE

Skate: Avoiding work by finding an excuse to be elsewhere or unavailable by doing something easier (but important enough to avoid re-tasking); also used as an adjective to describe such an easier duty.

Skid squadron: Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron, so named because the assigned helicopters (AH-1 & UH-1) utilize skids instead of wheels for undercarriage.

Skipper: Informal term of respect for a Marine captain (who is equivalent in rank to a Navy Lieutenant) who is in command of an infantry company or U.S. Navy Commanding Officer of a ship or aviation squadron.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VAW-116 - “Sun Kings”
CVW-17 Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Ventura County, near Oxnard, California - Established April 20, 1967

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Cold Shoulder”

Giving The Cold Shoulder:”  Meaning: Made to feel unwelcome. A display of coldness or indifference, intended to wound.

Origin: Although giving someone the cold shoulder today is considered rude, it was actually regarded as a polite gesture in medieval England. After a feast, the host would let his guests know it was time to leave by giving them a cold piece of meat from the shoulder of beef, mutton, or pork.

The origin of this expression which is often repeated is that visitors to a house who were welcome were given a hot meal but those who weren't were offered only ' cold shoulder of mutton'. This is repeated in several etymological texts, including Hendrickson's usually reliable 'Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins'. There's no evidence to support this view though and it appears to be an example of folk etymology.

The first reference to the phrase in print is in Sir Walter Scott's 'The Antiquary', 1816:

“The Countess’s dislike didna gang farther at first than just showing o’ the cauld shouther.”

Phrases.org UK

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Today's Nukes Are Thousands of Times More Powerful Than WWII A-Bombs - With so much at stake, it's important to understand what these things are capable ofHow to Shoot Video With DronesVoyager's Most Amazing Discoveries Were Not Planets, But MoonsHow to Do Absolutely Everything With VideoCasey Neistat: The Most Trusted Name in NewsDelta Promotes Pilots to Captain Faster If They Fly This Terrible PlaneI Was a War Reporter for a DaySeismic Detective Weighs In on North Korea's Latest Nuclear Test

Popular Mechanics

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Seagull filmed waddling into Greggs before walking off with pack of crisps

Seagull filmed waddling into Greggs before walking off with pack of crisps

Described as white, of short stature and with a distinctive patch on its lower back, the bird was seen choosing a packet of salt and vinegar crisps then legging it out of Greggs.

Video footage shows the bird strolling up to the counter than rushing away once it has the goods in its beak.

It seems like it has done this before, as it is well acquainted with how to use automatic doors.

Witnesses saw the crime at a bakery on Kings Street in the centre of South Shields, Newcastle on September 2.

Gordon Lindsay, who filmed the incriminating footage, said: ‘It clearly just saw its opportunity and just went for it.

‘It grabbed a packet of Walkers Salt and Vinegar – it seemed clear that he knew what flavour he wanted.

‘The staff at the time were filling up the coffee machine and they didn’t see him until he was leaving - so there wasn’t much they could really do.

‘They were quite surprised, and so was I.

‘I just thought it was unbelievably cheeky.’

The seagull is thought to be still at large.

Metro UK (09/05/2017) video

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


“Rocky Mountain Way” - Joe Walsh 1973

“Rocky Mountain Way” - Joe Walsh
Album: The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get
Released 1973 video

After his group the James Gang at the end of 1971, Joe Walsh moved from Cleveland to Boulder, Colorado, where he wrote this song, which celebrates the scenery and the lifestyle of Colorado. In some ways, the song is a Rocked-up version of John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High, which was released the previous year. Both songs use the famous Rocky Mountains as a focal point for the virtues of Colorado.

Joe Walsh left the James Gang just as they were building momentum, having scored minor hits with "Walk Away" and "Funk #49." Splintering the band as they were on the verge of stardom didn't go over well with Walsh's bandmates or their record company, but Joe felt creatively limited in the 3-piece band and wanted out. Colorado put him near James Gang producer Bill Szymczyk, who continued to work with Walsh and produced this album.

“Rocky Mountain Way” reflects Walsh's range of emotions after making the big move. He explained in the book The Guitar Greats: “I got kind of fed up with feeling sorry for myself, and I wanted to justify and feel good about leaving the James Gang, relocating, going for it on a survival basis. I wanted to say 'Hey, whatever this is, I'm positive and I'm proud', and the words just kind of came out of feeling that way, rather than writing a song out of remorse. It was special then, and the words were special to me, because the words were like, 'I'm goin' for it, the heck with feeling sorry for this and that', and it did turn out to be a special song for a lot of people. I think the attitude and the statement of that have a lot to do with it – it's a positive song, and it's basic rock'n'roll, which is what I really do.”

When Walsh moved to Colorado, he formed a band called Barnstorm, whose first, self-titled album came out in 1972. Their next album was The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get, which contained this track. The song was co-written by the group: Rocke Grace (keyboards), Kenny Passarelli (bass), Joe Vitale (drums), and Walsh. The music was written before Walsh added the lyrics.

As for Barnstorm, they played up to their name and did over 300 gigs in 1973. The band broke up after the two albums, which have since been more commonly credited as Joe Walsh solo works.

This was one of the first songs to feature a talkbox, which allows a guitarist to make distorted vocalizations with his mouth. Peter Frampton is probably the most famous talkbox practitioner, and his use of the device is prominent on his famous 1976 album Frampton Comes Alive.

Walsh is a big baseball fan, and this song has become associated with the game because of the lyrics “Casey's at bat”, which is a reference to a famous baseball poem. When the Colorado Rockies baseball team formed in 1993, this became a popular song at their stadium, Coors Field, where the song is played after the Rockies win.

Joe Walsh described writing the lyrics to this song during an interview with Howard Stern. Walsh explained he had the track recorded but had no ideas for lyrics. He had been living in Colorado after leaving the James Gang over creative differences with the direction of the music. He was mowing his lawn and looking at the Rocky Mountains and the lyrics came to him. He ran inside to write the lyrics but forgot to shut off the lawn mower. The mower ran into his neighbor's yard and ruined the neighbor's garden.

“It was a very expensive song to write”, Walsh said, implying he had to pay to repair the damage to the neighbor's yard. He said the lyrics describe his anxiety about leaving the James Gang and his excitement about a solo career.

Joe Walsh, official website / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Wikipedia

Image: “The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get (album)” by Joe Walsh



A popular film and television series about the staff of a hospital during the Korean War, M*A*S*H is abbreviation for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital.

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania are the three neighboring countries known as are the Baltic nations.

When viewed from space, a hurricate rotates about its eye in a COUNTER-CLOCKWISE, low pressure spins that way.

A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “THINGS TO DO BEFORE” ($200):

“"Scorching" word for qualifying rounds in a track contest held before the main race.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “THINGS TO DO BEFORE” ($1,000):

“During this pretrial court hearing, charges are read & the accused usually enters a plea.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Massachusetts Court System

Answer to Last Week's Test

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “THE BUCKET LIST” ($800):

“Bucket seats in cars were popularized by this make's Monza & Corvair & soon took over.”.

Answer: Chevy Wikipedia

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “THE BUCKET LIST” ($1,000):

“This character “appeared on the sidewalk with a bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush.”

Answer: Tom (Sawyer) Wikipedia

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Don't Let Me Be Late!

A little girl, dressed in her Sunday best, was running as fast as she could, trying not to be late for Bible class.

As she ran, she prayed, “Dear Lord, please don't let me be late! Dear Lord, please don't let me be late!”

As she was running and praying, she tripped on a curb and fell, getting her clothes dirty and tearing her dress.

She got up, brushed herself off, and started running again.

Again, she prayed, “Dear Lord, please don't let me be late!...But don't shove me either!”

Quotable Quotables

“Frasier” (1993 - 2004)

Frasier Crane: “In case you haven't noticed, Dad, it does get a little damp around here! For God's sake, the state flower is Mildew!”

Frasier Crane: “Oh wonderful, another card. Of course, I, as resident wit here, will have to think of something clever to say. Well, at least I've got another gala KACL birthday bash to look forward to. I can just taste that frozen Sara Lee cake right now, whilst, on applause, a full-grown adult snuffs out a handful of tiny candles!”

Frasier Crane: “Niles. May I suggest that when Maris returns, you both invest some time in some intensive couples' therapy. There's a Reichian group...”

Frasier Crane: “Lazy Guy? I wonder what they call the deluxe model...Hopeless Slacker?”

Dr.Niles Crane: “Frasier, I need to ask a small favor. I need you to create a distraction while I have a sex change and move to Europe.”

~ “Frasier” (1993 - 2004) video Creators: David Angell, Peter Casey, David Lee