Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 14, 2016

Previous Week   April 04, 2016 - April 10, 2016   Next Week

America enters World War I on April 06, 1917

America enters World War I on April 06, 1917

America enters World War I Two days after the U.S. Senate voted 82 to 6 to declare war against Germany, the U.S. House of Representatives endorses the declaration by a vote of 373 to 50, and America formally enters World War I.

When World War I erupted in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson pledged neutrality for the United States, a position that the vast majority of Americans favored. Britain, however, was one of America’s closest trading partners, and tension soon arose between the United States and Germany over the latter’s attempted quarantine of the British Isles. Several U.S. ships traveling to Britain were damaged or sunk by German mines, and in February 1915 Germany announced unrestricted warfare against all ships, neutral or otherwise, that entered the war zone around Britain. One month later, Germany announced that a German cruiser had sunk the William P. Frye, a private American vessel. President Wilson was outraged, but the German government apologized and called the attack an unfortunate mistake.

On May 7, the British-owned Lusitania ocean liner was torpedoed without warning just off the coast of Ireland. Of the 1,959 passengers, 1,198 were killed, including 128 Americans. The German government maintained that the Lusitania was carrying munitions, but the U.S. demanded reparations and an end to German attacks on unarmed passenger and merchant ships. In August, Germany pledged to see to the safety of passengers before sinking unarmed vessels, but in November sunk an Italian liner without warning, killing 272 people, including 27 Americans. With these attacks, public opinion in the United States began to turn irrevocably against Germany.

In 1917, Germany, determined to win its war of attrition against the Allies, announced the resumption of unrestricted warfare in war-zone waters. Three days later, the United States broke diplomatic relations with Germany, and just hours after that the American liner Housatonic was sunk by a German U-boat. On February 22, Congress passed a $250 million arms appropriations bill intended to make the United States ready for war. In late March, Germany sunk four more U.S. merchant ships, and on April 2 President Wilson appeared before Congress and called for a declaration of war against Germany. Four days later, his request was granted.

On June 26, the first 14,000 U.S. infantry troops landed in France to begin training for combat. After four years of bloody stalemate along the western front, the entrance of America’s well-supplied forces into the conflict marked a major turning point in the war and helped the Allies to victory. When the war finally ended, on November 11, 1918, more than two million American soldiers had served on the battlefields of Western Europe, and some 50,000 of them had lost their lives. History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / New World Encyclopedia / Office of the Historian.gov / First World War / PBS video

Understanding Military Terminology

Understanding Military Terminology - Movement control

(DOD) The planning, routing, scheduling, and control of personnel and cargo movements over lines of communications; includes maintaining in-transit visibility of forces and material through the deployment and/or redeployment process. See also line of communications; movement control teams; non-unit cargo; non-unit-related personnel. Joint Publications 4-01.5 (Joint Tactics, Techniques, and. Procedures for Transportation. Terminal Operations)

“A Sailors Prayer”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“A Sailors Prayer”

*** Four Years Later ***

Our Father who art in Washington

Please, dear Father, let me stay,

Do not drive me now away.

Wipe away my scalding tears,

And let me stay my thirty years

Please forgive me all my past

And things that happened at the mast,

Do not my request refuse,

And let me stay another cruise.

~ Amen

~ Author unknown

(continued from previous week)

“I’m Just Sayin”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“The most ineffective workers are systematically moved to the place where they can do the least damage: Management.”

~ Dilbert principle

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Insults can hurt, but only if you let them.

If you learn to let the wind blow through you

you will take away its power to blow you down.

If you let the words pass through you,

you will not feel them.”

~ Joseph M. Marshall III

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

~ George Bernard Shaw

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)

Lopsided Sydney bus sparks speculation, “yo mama” jokes online

Lopsided Sydney bus sparks speculation, “yo mama” jokes online

SYDNEY - Footage of a lopsided bus in Sydney, Australia, is going viral online with social media users blaming the unusual tilt on a heavy object - “yo mama”.

The video, posted to Facebook by Dash Cam Owners Australia, features a Sydney bus with its left side noticeably closer to the ground than the left side.

“Yo mama so fat she had to get her own bus”, the video's caption reads.

Commenters theorized the tilt could be the result of too many passengers sitting on one side. However, Brett Dean of Dean's Hydraulic & Transport Services said the problem seen in the footage is likely not due to anyone's mother, overweight or otherwise.

UPI (02/24/2016)

What’s In the “Flower Food” Packets That Come With Bouquets of Flowers?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What’s In the “Flower Food” Packets That Come With Bouquets of Flowers?

Receiving flowers for a birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, or “just because” is always nice. After someone gives you a beautiful bouquet of flowers, you probably cut the ends of the stems and put the flowers in a vase with water ... but what’s the purpose of that little square packet that comes with the flowers?

The packet contains powdered “flower food” that is meant to make your flowers last longer. Because flowers quickly age and droop after they’ve been cut, flower food provides nutrients to combat the rapid onset of wilting. Although specific ingredients vary depending on what type of flower food you get, most flower food packets contain sugar, acid, and bleach. Sugar gives nutrients to the flowers, acid maintains the pH level of the water, and bleach reduces the amount of bacteria and fungi in the water. Some flower food packets may also include stem unpluggers, a chemical (or chemicals) that prevent the stem from closing, ensuring that the flower can absorb the flower food and water.

Although you don’t have to sprinkle the packet of flower food into the water, studies have shown that doing so is one of the most effective ways to keep your flowers looking vibrant for as long as possible. If you accidentally throw out the packet of flower food, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has instructions for making your own homemade flower food by mixing water with sugar, lemon or lime juice, and household bleach.

To ensure good-looking flowers, you can also sterilize the vase you’re using (you can disinfect it with bleach and water), change the water and trim the stems daily, and keep the flowers out of direct sunlight. Flower food packets are not one size fits all, so make sure to follow the directions printed on them.

BBG.orgCentral Square FloristChrysal AmericasThe KitchnLife HackerMental FlossWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “>Edging forward”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Edging forward: “A word in edgeways”, or as it is sometimes written “a word in edgewise”, is a 19th century expression that was coined in the UK. “Edgeways/edgewise” simply means “proceeding edge first”. The allusion in the phrase is to edging sideways through a crowd, seeking small gaps in which to proceed through the throng.

The phrase “edging forward:” exactly describes this inch-by-inch progress. It was first used in the 17th century, typically in nautical contexts and referring to slow advance by means of repeated small tacking movements, as here in Captain John Smith's The generall historie of Virginia, New-England and the Summer Isles 1624:

After many tempests and foule weather, about the foureteenth of March we were in thirteene degrees and an halfe of Northerly latitude, where we descried a ship at hull; it being but a faire gale of wind, we edged towards her to see what she was.

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

IYAOYAS: Unofficial acronym commonly found on the uniforms of airedales who specialize in ordnance handling. Read as “If you ain't ordnance, you ain't shit” Pronounced “eye-OH-yahs” and yelled out during ceremonies; also known as “If you're ordnance, your ASVAB sucked”.

Jack-o'-the-Dust: A ship's cook in charge of keeping track of the ship's food stores. Originally referred to the night baker who would often be seen by waking crew members covered in flour from his nightly duties.

Jack Off Curtain: The small privacy curtain hanging on the outside of a rack. Usually the only small bit of privacy found on a ship. Also known as a “Splash guard”.

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

Just for you MARINE

John Wayne: P-38 can opener, a small folding blade used to open canned rations (such as K-rations or C-rations), so named because the actor was shown in a training film using it.

Joker: Military journalist, from Private Joker from the movie Full Metal Jacket; also a derogatory term for a junior enlisted servicemember. Also, used by aviators, the time at which only 60 minutes of fuel remain.

Jungle Bunny: Vietnam War–era phrase for infantry.

Junk on [the] Bunk: Inspection where all uniforms and equipment to be displayed is laid on the Marine's rack.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HSC-4 - Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron FOUR: “Black Knights”
Naval Air Station North Island - San Diego, California

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

No More Turtles For Canadian Who Smuggled 38 In His Pants

No More Turtles For Canadian Who Smuggled 38 In His Pants

TORONTO - A Canadian man who smuggled 38 turtles in his pants has been given probation, a fine and has been banned from owning such reptiles for 10 years.

According to Canada’s environment department, Dong Yan of Windsor, Ontario, had tried to bring the reptiles from the United States into the southern part of the province.

“The turtles were contained in plastic bags and taped to Mr. Yan's legs”, Environment and Climate Change Canada said.

Yan’s probation is for two years, and his fine was C$3,500 ($2,600). He was also sentenced to 50 hours of community service and must notify the environment department of international travel. Yan was also ordered to write a letter about his experience “for publication as the department sees fit.”

Reuters (02/25/2016)

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



“U Can't Touch This” - MC Hammer

“Don't Worry Baby” - The Beach Boys
Album: Shut Down, Volume 2
Released 1964 video

This was conceived as a followup to The Ronettes' #2 hit “Be My Babyvideo. When he heard the Ronettes' song on the radio, Brian Wilson wondered aloud if he could match it. Wilson's wife Marilyn reassured him, saying, “Don't worry, baby”. Wilson remembered it when it came time to write songs with his DJ friend Roger Christian.

Brian Wilson told Goldmine in 2011 regarding this track: “I wrote that with Roger Christian and it took me two days to write it. I started out with the verse idea and then wrote the chorus. It was a very simple and beautiful song. It's a really heart and soul song, I really did feel that in my heart. Some say it's about a car and others say it's about a girl, who's right? It's both. It's about a car and a woman.”

Philip Lambert, author of Inside The Music of Brian Wilson, said of the similarities between this song and “Be My Baby”: “They're in the same key - E Major - and they start the same. The phrase structure is the same, the chord progressions are almost the same, the melodies are almost the same.” Lambert points out that the key change in this song is an unexpected touch that helps make the song memorable. The drums at the beginning are the same rhythm as “Be My Baby”.

This song was recorded in two 8-hour sessions. Brian Wilson often used the famous Los Angeles session musicians on his songs, but this one was mostly in the family: Brian played piano and bass, Carl Wilson played guitar, and Dennis Wilson played the drums.

The Beach Boys used as the B-side of their hit, “I Get Aroundvideo

B.J. Thomas covered this in 1977. His version hit #17 in the U.S.

This song was used in the Drew Barrymore film Never Been Kissed. It also appeared in Good Morning Vietnam.

Billy Joel sang this at the “Tribute to Brian Wilson” concert that aired on July 4, 2001. (thanks, Jim - Melbourne, FL)

Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo covered this in 1993. Fifteen years later he included his version on his solo Alone II album. He told Billboard magazine that this song was immensely influential on his songwriting. Cuomo explained: “I discovered The Beach Boys around that time in 1992-93, and to help me learn how to write those kinds of melodies and harmonies and chord progressions, I would learn their songs and record my own versions of them more like Weezer-style, with distorted guitars.” Cuomo added: “I love Brian Wilson's melody when he's saying, 'Well, it's been building up inside of me for oh, I don't know how long.' I love the lyrical innocence. It's just like a straightforward pop song, singing about a girl as opposed to something like the Pixies, where the lyrics were pretty abstract. And I love the big harmonies in the chorus -- actually five-part vocal harmonies -- and I carefully transcribed them in my bedroom on my tape player. But then I added the element of the modern crunchy guitar sound. And that's what really helped me figure out what I wanted to do as a songwriter and a performer in Weezer.”

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

Image: “Shut Down Volume 2 (album)” by The Beach Boys



● Obtuse is the angle more than 90 degrees and less than 180 degrees.

● A hologram is a flat image that can be displayed in three dimensions.

● 8 “real planets” are in the solar system (in 2006 Pluto became a “dwarf planet”). However, astronomers are now hunting for another planet in our solar system, a true ninth planet, after evidence of its existence was unveiled on Jan. 20, 2016.

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

A gynecologist notices that a new patient is nervous. While putting on the latex gloves, he asks her if she knows how they make latex gloves.

The patient says, “No.”

The doctor says, “There is a plant in Mexico full of latex that people of various hand sizes dip their hands into and let them dry.”

She does not crack a smile, but later she laughs.

The doctor says, “What's so funny?”

She says, “I'm imagining how they make condoms.”

Pun of the Day

I can never wear glasses. They make me see-sick.