Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 8, 2016

Previous Week   February 22, 2016 - February 28, 2016   Next Week

Clay knocks out Liston on February 25, 1964

Clay knocks out Liston on February 25, 1964

Clay knocks out Liston: On February 25, 1964, 22-year-old Cassius Clay shocks the odds-makers by dethroning world heavyweight boxing champ Sonny Liston in a seventh-round technical knockout. The dreaded Liston, who had twice demolished former champ Floyd Patterson in one round, was an 8-to-1 favorite. However, Clay predicted victory, boasting that he would “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” and knock out Liston in the eighth round. The fleet-footed and loquacious youngster needed less time to make good on his claim–Liston, complaining of an injured shoulder, failed to answer the seventh-round bell. A few moments later, a new heavyweight champion was proclaimed.

Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1942. He started boxing when he was 12 and by age 18 had amassed a record of over 100 wins in amateur competition. In 1959, he won the International Golden Gloves heavyweight title and in 1960 a gold medal in the light heavyweight category at the Summer Olympic Games in Rome. Clay turned professional after the Olympics and went undefeated in his first 19 bouts, earning him the right to challenge Sonny Liston, who had defeated Floyd Patterson in 1962 to win the heavyweight title.

On February 25, 1964, a crowd of 8,300 spectators gathered at the Convention Hall arena in Miami Beach to see if Cassius Clay, who was nicknamed the “Louisville Lip”, could put his money where his mouth was. The underdog proved no bragging fraud, and he danced and backpedaled away from Liston’s powerful swings while delivering quick and punishing jabs to Liston’s head. Liston hurt his shoulder in the first round, injuring some muscles as he swung for and missed his elusive target. By the time he decided to discontinue the bout between the sixth and seventh rounds, he and Clay were about equal in points. A few conjectured that Liston faked the injury and threw the fight, but there was no real evidence, such as a significant change in bidding odds just before the bout, to support this claim.

To celebrate winning the world heavyweight title, Clay went to a private party at a Miami hotel that was attended by his friend Malcolm X, an outspoken leader of the African American Muslim group known as the Nation of Islam. Two days later, a markedly more restrained Clay announced he was joining the Nation of Islam and defended the organization’s concept of racial segregation while speaking of the importance of the Muslim religion in his life. Later that year, Clay, who was the descendant of a runaway Kentucky slave, rejected the name originally given to his family by a slave owner and took the Muslim name of Muhammad Ali.

Muhammad Ali would go on to become one of the 20th century’s greatest sporting figures, as much for his social and political influence as his prowess in his chosen sport. After successfully defending his title nine times, it was stripped from him in 1967 after he refused induction into the U.S. Army on the grounds that he was a Muslim minister and therefore a conscientious objector. That year, he was sentenced to five years in prison for violating the Selective Service Act but was allowed to remain free as he appealed the decision. His popularity plummeted, but many across the world applauded his bold stand against the Vietnam War.

In 1970, he was allowed to return to the boxing ring, and the next year the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Ali’s draft evasion conviction. In 1974, he regained the heavyweight title in a match against George Foreman in Zaire and successfully defended it in a brutal 15-round contest against Joe Frazier in the Philippines in the following year. In 1978, he lost the title to Leon Spinks but later that year defeated Spinks in a rematch, making him the first boxer to win the heavyweight title three times. He retired in 1979 but returned to the ring twice in the early 1980s. In 1984, Ali was diagnosed with pugilistic Parkinson’s syndrome and has suffered a slow decline of his motor functions ever since. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. In 1996, he lit the Olympic flame at the opening ceremonies of the Summer Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Ali’s daughter, Laila, made her boxing debut in 1999.

At a White House ceremony in November 2005, Ali was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / The Ring / Sonny Liston vs Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) Boxing Match (YouTube)video

“Bury Me Not In The Deep Deep Sea”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“Bury Me Not In The Deep Deep Sea”

“Oh bury me not in the deep deep sea.”

Those words came slow and faintly

From the pallid lips of a youth who lay,

In his cabin bunk at the close of day.

“Oh bury me not in the deep deep sea

Where the cold dark waves will swallow me,

Where no light shall break through the darkening waves,

And no sunbeam find my silent grave.”

He had mourned and pined till o'er his brow

Death's shades had slowly crept there now,

He wished his home and loved ones nigh

As the sailors gathered to see him die.

“Oh bury me where my mother's prayer,

And my sister's tears shall mingle there,

By my father's grave my grave shall be,

Oh bury me not in the deep deep sea.”

“Oh bury me not” - his voice failed there,

They paid no heed to his dying prayer

They lowered him down o'er the ship's dark side

And above him closed the dismal tide.

He had no costly winding sheet

To wrap around his head or feet,

They lowered him down where the billows roar

In the deep deep sea far from the shore.

A girl on shore many tears will shed

For him who lies on the ocean bed;

Where above his heart the whale will hiss,

And his pallid lips the fish will kiss.

~ Kenneth Peacock

“I’m Just Sayin”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“I understand shipping - you have to expect to pay for the stamps or freight, but what's this handling?”

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“We live in deeds, not years: In thoughts not breaths; In feelings, not in figures on a dial.

We should count time by heart throbs.

He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.”

~ Aristotle

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes.”

~ Hugh Prather

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)

Jury Rejects Beer-Battered Man’s Beer-Battered Fish Defense In Drunk Driving Case

Jury Rejects Beer-Battered Man’s Beer-Battered Fish Defense In Drunk Driving Case

A Wisconsin jury has rejected claims from a repeat drunk driver that he smelled of booze during a traffic stop because he had just eaten beer-battered fish at lunch.

John Przybyla, 76, was convicted of his tenth drunk driving offense by an Adams County jury that also found him guilty of a second felony charge and a misdemeanor driving with a revoked license count.

During questioning, Przybyla denied that he had been drinking, and said that he was on the way home after attending a fish fry, where he had consumed “beer battered fish”.

The Smoking Gun (02/09/2016)

How Are Supreme Court Justices Chosen?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: How Are Supreme Court Justices Chosen?

Since George Washington’s first appointment, 112 people have served on the highest court in the land. With the recent death of Antonin Scalia, that number will soon rise to 113 (barring an unexpected appointment of one of the retired Supreme Court Justices). So what will happen next?


Unlike presidents, senators, and representatives, there are no requirements for Supreme Court Justices. The founders decided against having the people or just one branch of government select them because, as James Madison wrote in The Federalist Papers, justices needed to possess “peculiar qualities”. (In the same text, Madison explains why the appointments are for life, saying “the permanent tenure by which the appointments are held in that department, must soon destroy all sense of dependence on the authority conferring them.”)

Justices can also be retired justices.


The process is relatively straightforward. The president picks a suitable candidate, and that candidate is sent a questionnaire that touches on almost every aspect of their lives. After all of the questions are answered, the Committee votes on whether to send the nomination to the full Senate with a favorable recommendation, an unfavorable recommendation, or no recommendation at all.


The Constitution gives the President the “Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate”. But the appointment expires at the end of the next session. So while the President can make an appointment, it’s only temporary; the Senate needs to vote on the candidate one way or the other. It’s a power that has been used 15 times, including with John Rutledge.

This case set the important precedent that the Justice’s political views were fair game in any nomination hearing and showed that recess appointments can be temporary.

Supreme Court.govU.S. History.orgMental FlossWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Cut and Run”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Cut and Run:” This term is the shortened form of the earlier phrases “cut and run away” and “cut and run off”.

It has been suggested that it has a nautical derivation and that it refers to ships making a hasty departure by the cutting of the anchor rope and running before the wind.

Phrases.org UK

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Holy stone: The stone or the act of using one. A pumice stone for cleaning a wooden deck. The name derives from the sailor stating that “anything that would cause a seasoned sailor to bend his knees, and curse the name of his maker must surely be holy.”

Honch (“the Honch”): Entertainment district just outside the main gate of Yokosuka Naval Base. Famous for masagi girls, karaoke and Kirin beer.

Honey-ko: Bathroom.

Hollywood: A reference to a male sailor or his “girlfriend” for the evening. It is expected that the sailor will not have another “girlfriend” that same evening and not get caught with another on a subsequent evening. Used primarily at the former Subic Bay and Clark bases in the Philippines. “Cheating” was not allowed, and some how would be found out quickly by means of the “honey-ko telegraph”.

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

Just for you MARINE

HQMC: Headquarters Marine Corps.

Hump: Carry or lift a load, originally an Australian term meaning “to carry one's swag”; also a forced march carrying full equipment loads.

Hurry up and wait: Expression denoting inefficient time management or planning, often when a senior rushes a unit into a situation too fast that subsequently makes them wait. This can refer to the period between receiving a Warning Order and actually implementing an Operations Order.

Huss: To give a helping hand, so named because the H-34 Choctaw helicopter's utility configuration was designated as the “HUS-1 Seahorse”, leading to Vietnam-era Marines that needed a medical evacuation helicopter to ask for or to be “cut a huss”.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HM-12 - Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron Twelve: “Sea Dragons”
Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Air Force general faints at Pentagon briefing on plane budget

Air Force general faints at Pentagon briefing on plane budget

A Pentagon press briefing discussing the Air Force's $120billion budget took a tragicomic turn when a high-ranking official fainted at the podium - and the entire incident was caught on camera.

While subordinates who rushed to help Martin joked that he fainted after reading the budget, it was later revealed that he had been suffering from the flu.

He was back to work Wednesday and was said to be doing well, according to an Air Force representative, according to Air Force Times. Daily Mail (02/10/2016)

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


“Bus Stop” - The Hollies

“Bus Stop” - The Hollies
Album: Bus Stop
Released 1966 video

This was written by Graham Gouldman, who went on to form the band 10cc, best known for their hit “I'm Not In Love”. Gouldman also wrote the song “Heart Full of Soulvideo, which was recorded by the Yardbirds. (thanks, Don - Rapid City, SD)

This song is about a couple who meet one rainy day at a bus stop. Love blooms when they share an umbrella.

In a Manchester newspaper, Graham Gouldman said he wrote this whilst riding on the No. 95 bus. It ran from East Didsbury - the route went through Manchester city centre, to Sedgeley Park, Cheetham Hill, Prestwich, and on to Whitefield near Bury. Graham was living with his family on this route in Broughton Park Salford at the time. (thanks, Ian Williams - Manchester UK, England)

Graham Nash looked back at the recording of this song in Rolling Stone magazine. He recalled: ”I think 'Bus Stop' has got to be my favorite because we recorded it in an hour and 15 minutes and it was a huge hit. We had a manager named Michael Cohen and he says 'You know, I got this little Jewish kid who lives down the street, he said he's a song writer. Would you come and see him?' His name was Graham Gouldman, and later became a very famous man in his own act, but at this time he was only a 16 year old kid. So we go in and we go 'Ok, so what do you got?' He goes, 'Well, I got this one…' and we went 'Okay, we'll definitely take that one. What else do you got?' It was a truly and astounding thing to see this 16 year old kid who was a fabulous songwriter.”

According to Gouldman, this song's middle eight was one of the few instances in his songwriting career when he had a sudden inspiration rather than having to resort to hard toil. He explained to Mojo magazine in a 2011 interview: "You have to be working to make something happen. Occasionally you can wait for some magic, like McCartney waking up with Yesterday already written in his mind, which does happen - it's like a gift from your own subconscious. Or sometimes, it's like a tap's turned on. When I'd written most of 'Bus Stop,' I was actually on a bus thinking about how the middle eight should go. And this whole, 'Every morning I would see her waiting at the stop / Sometimes she'd shop...' that all came to me in one gush, and I couldn't wait to get home to try it. When that sort of thing happens, it's really amazing. But that's rare. Mostly, you have to do the slog.”

The Hollies official site / Rolling Stone magazine / Rock & Roll Hall of Fame / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “Bus Stop (album)” by The Hollies



● A cow gives nearly 200,000 glasses of milk in her lifetime.

● A mosquito is an insect that causes more death in the world than any other.

● It takes approximately 8 minutes and 18 seconds for light from the sun to reach the earth.

People Who Know Everything

A Test for People Who Know Everything

What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?

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

Answer to Last Week's Test

There was one year in U.S. history when three men served as president. What was the year and who were the presidents?

Answer: Chester Arthur becomes third president to serve in one year on September 20, 1881. Rutherford B. Hayes served out his first and only term ending on March 4, 1841. James A. Garfield 4 months into his term, on July 2, 1881 was shot by a crazed assassin named Charles Guiteau. Wikipedia / History Channel

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

There was an elderly man who wanted to make his younger wife pregnant. He went to the doctor to get a sperm count.

The doctor told him to take a specimen cup home, fill it, and bring it back.

The elderly man came back the next day; the specimen cup was empty and the lid was on it.

The doctor asked, “What was the problem?”

So in the tradition of the patriarchs they went to the Rabbi.

The elderly man said, “Well, I tried with my right hand... nothing. I tried with my left hand... nothing. So my wife tried with her right hand... nothing. Her left hand... nothing. Her mouth... nothing. Then my wife's friend tried. Right hand, left hand, mouth... still nothing.”

The doctor replied, “Wait a minute, did you say your wife's friend too?!”

The elderly man answered, “Yeah, and we still couldn't get the lid off of the specimen cup.”

Laugh Factory (02/16/2016)

Pun of the Day

Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.