Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 39, 2019

Previous Week   September 23, 2019 - September 29, 2019  Next Week

First United States Congress establishes the U.S. Army on September 29, 1789

First United States Congress establishes the U.S. Army on September 29, 1789

First United States Congress establishes the U.S. Army: An Act for the Establishment of Troops

On September 29, 1789, the final day of its first session, the United States Congress passed “An act to recognize and adapt to the Constitution of the United States, the establishment of the troops raised under the resolves of the United States in Congress assembled.” The act legalized the existing U.S. Army, a small force inherited from the Continental Congress that had been created under the Articles of Confederation.

Although the Constitution of the United States charged Congress with raising and regulating military forces, newly elected House and Senate members delayed acting on this provision. Busy organizing the federal government and debating the location of the new capital, Congress neglected dealing with the issue of military forces until prodded by President and Commander in Chief George Washington.

On August 7, Washington reminded both Houses that the provision for troops made under the Continental Congress must be superseded by action under the new Constitution. The establishment of United States troops was an issue, the president wrote:

“…the national importance and necessity of which I am deeply impressed; I mean some uniform and effective system for the Militia of the United States. It is unnecessary to offer arguments in recommendation of a measure, on which the honor, safety and well being of our Country so evidently and essentially depend: But it may not be amiss to observe that I am particularly anxious it should receive an early attention as circumstances will admit; because it is now in our power to avail ourselves of the military knowledge disseminated throughout the several States by means of the many well instructed Officers and soldiers of the late Army; a resource which is daily diminishing by deaths and other causes.”

This appeal, delivered by Secretary of War Henry Knox, was not immediately acted upon. Three days later, on August 10, Washington again urged Congress to address the issue. Finally, on September 29, 1789, the House of Representatives and the Senate passed the act that officially established the army under the Constitution of the United States.

Library Of Congress.gov / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / National Archives.gov / ARMY.mil / First United States Congress establishes the U.S. Army on September 29, 1789 (YouTube) video

Understanding Military Terminology: Scout of Many Trails (Sea Scout and Boy Scout look at globe with old sailor) ~ Norman Rockwell

Understanding Military Terminology - National Intelligence Estimate

(DOD) A strategic estimate of the capabilities, vulnerabilities, and probable courses of action of foreign nations produced at the national level as a composite of the views of the intelligence community. Also called NIE.

Joint Publications (JP 2-01) Joint and National Intelligence Support - Joint Chiefs of Staff

Understanding Military Terminology - National Intelligence

(DOD) All intelligence, regardless of the source from which derived, and including that which is gathered within or outside of the United States, that pertains to more than one agency, and involves

(1) threats to the United States, its people, property, or interests,

(2) the development, proliferation, or use of weapons of mass destruction, or

(3) any other matter bearing on U.S. national or homeland security.

Joint Publications (JP 2-01) Joint and National Intelligence Support - Joint Chiefs of Staff

“Brother Square-Toes” ˜ Rewards and Fairies

The Old Salt’s Corner

“Brother Square-Toes” ~ Rewards and Fairies

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;

If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”:

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And - which is more - you’ll be a Man, my son!

~ Rudyard Kipling

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“An ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.”

I'll take fifty percent efficiency”

to get one hundred percent loyalty.”

“So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family,

that it remains the measure of our stability

because it measures our sense of loyalty.”

~ Haniel Long

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“In order to use color effectively it is necessary to recognize that color deceives continually.”

“Good teaching is more a giving of right questions

than a giving of right answers.”

“If one says 'Red' and there are 50 people listening,

it can be expected that there will be 50 reds in their minds.

And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different.”

~ Josef Albers

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Learned”

“Those who reject advice are those who need it the most.”

“Those who say that violence is the answer never understood the question.”

“Those who say that violence isn't the answer understood the question.”

~ Anonymous

Second Hand News

Second Hand News (Links to Articles from Week 39 - September 23, 2019 - September 29, 2019)

Top News Stories - Photos (Washington Examiner) White House hunt for identity of “Whistleblower” and Spy who helped him“Whistleblower” is reportedly a CIA officer stationed at White HouseTrump: Person who provided whistleblower info 'close to a spy,' alludes to how spies faced capital punishment in past“Pillows and Sheets” vs. “Tank Busters” - The military and Obama and Trump sent to Ukraine

White House talking points for Republicans: 'Nothing more than conspiracy theories'Ukraine transcript reveals Trump asked for 'favor' related to CrowdStrike conspiracy theory Trump-Ukraine whistleblower complaint declassifiedREAD: “Whistleblower” complaint about Trump-Ukraine call

U.S. Attorney John Durham looking into Ukrainian involvement in 2016 electionTrump: Iran sanctions will be tightened to counter its 'bloodlust' Washington Examiner

Top News Stories - Photos (Daily Mail) Intelligence “Whistleblower” is revealed to be male CIA AGENT who worked at the White House as Donald Trump launches furious attack on his sources calling them 'close to a spy' and hinting at death penalty for 'treason'Trump's intelligence chief refuses to deny he's discussed bombshell whistle-blower report with the president and says he doesn't know who the secret source is - but refers to the person as a 'him' and says he did the right thing'Another fantasy!' Donald Trump blasts 'pious' Adam Schiff for 'parody' during whistle-blower hearing where he fictionalized president telling Ukrainian counterpart: 'I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent'

Elizabeth Warren beats Joe Biden in a national poll for the first time as Donald Trump's claims of corruption by former vice-president hit homeShe doesn't have a plan for that: Flustered Elizabeth Warren struggles to answer question about whether her ethics policy would let the a vice president's son sit on a foreign company's boardNow Joe Biden's BROTHER is accused of sleaze: James Biden 'promised healthcare firm the former vice-president's cancer initiative would promote their product' Daily Mail UK

Top News Stories - Photos (John Batchelor) Chinese Communist Party most fears people expressing themselves freely. audio  

Trillions of dollars’ worth of precious metals & rare earths; U.S. uranium troubles audio  

Beijing meddles in Canadian elections; Canadian elite seduced by the Chinese Communist Party. audio  

Biden’s son paid a mil a year by a Ukrainian gas company; odd. audio   John Batchelor (09/29/2019)

Why Do We Sleep?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why Do We Sleep?


The earliest differentiation into day versus night behavior in animals was probably driven by differences in temperature and the light available for vision. Day and night are further differentiated by the aggregate “behavior” of the ecosystem (other animals also have day/night cycles). As a result, the optimal day and night survival strategies are different, and animals would have adapted to synchronize their survival strategy to the 24-hour cycle.

Evidence is accumulating that complex nervous systems, and especially the brain, perform and benefit from internal maintenance activities. Some of these maintenance activities, such as "synaptic network stabilization," occur at the cellular level. Others, such as memory consolidation or the proposed memory transfer between brain areas, occur at the whole brain level.

The brain's internal maintenance disrupts optimal behavioral responsiveness. An animal can't be fully vigilant for predators while its brain is doing internal housekeeping. For example, memory consolidation requires information unrelated to the present moment to be accurately moved around the brain under the management of organized processes. Certainly the groggy state upon waking up is not optimal for fending off an attacker. For this reason, there is evolutionary pressure for the animal to postpone internal maintenance activities while engaging with the external environment (finding food, mates, etc.) so as to reduce risk of harm.

These postponed maintenance activities have to happen sometime. To optimize survival, the organism schedules a time for them when it will be safest, which includes finding a protected place to be and initiating all maintenance activities in parallel to get them out of the way. This leads to the temporal synchronization of all postponed maintenance activities.

Collectively, these four environmental and biological pressures lead to a bifurcation of external interactive behavior and internal maintenance activity that is synchronized with the 24-hour day/night cycle. They further encourage all postponed internal maintenance activities to be synchronized and performed in parallel—in other words, sleep.

Given the different day versus night ecosystems, it is natural that animals that have a survival edge during one phase of the 24-hour cycle would use the other phase for sleeping. “Diurnal” animals are specialized for engaging with the daytime environment, whereas “nocturnal” animals (cats, kangaroos, and owls, for example) are specialized for night and sleep during the day. However there are other patterns as well, such as “crepuscular” animals that are active at the day/night boundary (dawn or dusk).


BBCHarvard.eduMental FlossNational Sleep FoundationNestmavenWeb MDWikipedia

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang - U.S. Navy

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Gaff Off: To ignore or purposely fail to show proper respect to someone more senior, such as by blowing off an assigned task, by not saluting, or by using improper forms of address.

Garden Party: A semi-formal social gathering requiring dress whites from the waist down and dress blues from the waist up.

Gator: Gator Navy vessel or sailor. Or, the ship's navigator.

Gator-Freighter: A ship used in amphibious warfare, or generally the transportation of Marines and their equipment, especially, a carrier-like vessel (amphibious assault ship) whose primary purpose is to put ass in the grass.

Gator Navy: The part of the surface Navy that exclusively supports embarked Marines and amphibious operations. Conducts operations near shore. Contrast with the “Blue Water” Navy or “CRU-DES”. Note, an amphibious command ship may also coordinate supporting arms from non-gators, such as destroyers or aircraft.

Gator squares: Putting a square on a chart, often 3 miles by 3 miles, in the middle of a body of water, and steaming around in it for hours. Common overnight activity for ships underway. “Do we have any nighttime evolutions this underway?” “No, just gator squares”.

Galley: Crews' mess, or dining area. Place where food is prepared for consumption..


Just for MARINES - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

G-2: An individual's intellect, from designation for a staff intelligence organization.

Gaff Off: To disregard or ignore a person or order, context usually denotes insubordination.

Gagglefuck: Group of Marines grouped too closely or in an unorganized fashion; from gaggle, the term for a flock of grounded geese, and clusterfuck, a term for a messy situation.

Gangway: Ship's passageway; also used to order juniors to give way to seniors in passageways, and particularly when going up and down ladders.

Ganked: To take away at last minute or steal. i.e.: “They ganked my leave”.

Garrison: In addition to the traditional meaning, an adjective referring to not being deployed or deployable, such as buildings at a unit's home base.

Garrison Cover: Soft green folded cap worn with the service uniform. See also fore-and-aft cap and piss cover/cutter.

Gate Fishing: An off-duty Marine who chats up a girl who may or may not be loitering outside the main gate of Yokosuka, Naval Base (Late 1990s era).


Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VT-31 Training Squadron (VT-31) - nicknamed the “Wise Owls”

United States Navy - Naval Air Station (U.S. Navy primary flight training squadron) - Corpus Christi, Texas: May 1, 1960 - present.

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Beggars can't be choosers”

Beggars can't be choosers:

 Meaning: If you request something to be given you should not question what you are given.

History: This proverbial phrase has much in common with 'don't look a gift horse in the mouth' both in meaning and by virtue of having been first recorded in print by John Heywood.

Both phrases were coined well before any form of organised state support for the poor and express the widely held medieval opinion that if you asked for and received a gift you should be grateful for it.

The 'gift horse' proverb was recorded first, in Heywood's 1546 version of A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue.

“Beggars should not be choosers” didn't appear until the 1562 version of 'Proverbs'.

Beggers should be no choosers, but yet they will:

“Who can bryng a begger from choyse to begge still?”

The proverb is more commonly expressed these days as “beggars can't be choosers”. This leads to an ambiguity in meaning between “beggars are unable to be choosers” and “beggars ought not to be choosers”. Of course, the latter is the original meaning.


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)

Do Zombies Decay the Same Way As Humans

Do Zombies Decay the Same Way As Humans

Like all living creatures, humans die and our bodies begin to decompose right away; indeed, there's no stopping it, even for zombies. Of course, we know zombies aren't real, but death and decay certainly are.

In AMC's “Fear the Walking Dead”, returning reanimated human corpses roam the world, terrorizing the living. We have a soft spot for the macabre, and we wanted to know just how closely zombies represent a real human corpse. So, what happens to a human body when it dies?

“First will be the lividity”, said Melissa Unfred, a Texas-based mortician who specializes in natural burials. Lividity is the discoloration process that results from blood sinking and pooling once the heart stops pumping. The part of the body that's closest to the ground will turn dark red where the blood settles. After about 24 hours, the lower right quadrant of the body will turn a bluish-green color as the bacteria in the pancreas are the first to start digesting tissues in the gut. The skin takes on “a really interesting marbled pattern”, Unfred said “which is actually really pretty, but to each their own”. [Top 10 Weird Ways We Deal with the Dead]

Within about 6 hours after death, the eyes and mouth will begin to dry out and pull back a bit. “Right after a body dies, if you're not embalming, it's almost impossible to close the eyes or the mouth”, Unfred told. Embalmers often have to seal the eyes and mouth shut with special tools to make the face look at peace.

Unfred said she thinks the zombies on “Fear the Walking Dead” have eyes and mouths that, for the most part, look like they've followed a natural decay process. But the zombies seem to avoid the next step of decomposition: bloat.

Do Zombies Decay the Same Way As Humans

Pretty soon after death, the bacteria that live in the body will start digesting internal tissues and releasing gases that get trapped in the gut, causing the body to inflate, or bloat, Unfred said. This process happens to all dead creatures. A dead deer, for example, might swell up so much that the legs stick straight out like pins in a pincushion. Sometimes, the bloat is so severe that the body will burst, she added.

Being that the zombies aren't real, it's no surprise that the ones in “Fear the Walking Dead” don't adhere to normal biological processes and somehow avoid this step of decay.

Soon after bloating begins, skin will slough off and lose its moisture. “It kind of starts weeping”, Unfred said. “Liquid starts to come out of the pores”. The zombies on “Fear the Walking Dead” tend to replicate this dripping skin well.

Inside the body, tissues will continue to break down and detach from bone. So, zombies' ability to walk around also defies the natural decay process, because a dead body would no longer have tendons holding its bones together. Unfred said maybe that's why zombies have to jolt around so awkwardly when they walk. “Otherwise, if they were to start running, I think their legs would fly off”, she said.

Do Zombies Decay the Same Way As Humans

After the body goes through this slippery, soupy mess of active decay, all that's left are bones and dried skin, Unfred said. Environmental conditions play a big role in how fast a body reaches this final stage of decomposition.

“Temperature is a huge factor, as well as the availability of oxygen”, Unfred said. The bodies left on Mount Everest, for example, stay in relatively pristine condition, as the frozen environment severely restricts bacterial decay, she said. On the other hand, “If you don't refrigerate a normal death in the 100-degree [Fahrenheit, or 38 degrees Celsius] Texas heat, you could start having bloat in a couple of hours.”

Water also changes things. Corpses sitting in water “immediately start getting soupy”, Unfred said. Bugs, bacteria and scavenging animals can also accelerate the natural decay process on land or in water.

Despite missing a few components of natural decay, the zombies on “Fear the Walking Dead” are still pretty gruesome. However, “I definitely think they should incorporate more bloated bodies”, Unfred said. “That would be a little more horrifying”.

Exploring the Inevitable: Gallery of Death in Art

Image Gallery: The Oddities of Human Anatomy

Nine Reasons Why We Have an Undying Interest in the Undead

Live Science (05/16/2019) video

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


“Simple Man” - Lynyrd Skynyrd 1973

“Simple Man” - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Album: Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd
Released 1973 video

Shortly after Ronnie Van Zant's grandmother and Gary Rossington's mother died, they got together in Van Zant's apartment and started telling stories about them. Rossington came up with a chord progression, and Van Zant wrote the lyrics based on advice the women had given them over the years. They wrote it in about an hour.

Even though the lyrics state, “Sit beside me, my only son”, Ronnie was not the only son. He had 2 younger brothers along with one older sister and one younger sister.

Skynyrd producer Al Kooper didn't like the way this was coming out, so the band recorded it without him and had him add his organ part later. He didn't think they should release it, but realized he was wrong when it went over so well with their fans.

When Skynyrd toured in 1987, they dedicated this to Van Zant.

The studio and live versions of this song are tuned to different keys. The studio is in Ab while the live is the key of A.

Frontman Johnny Van Zant discussed this song in a track-by-track commentary to promote the band's 2010 CD/DVD Live From Freedom Hall. He said:

“Well that's a great song and something that I think we all live by. I think anybody out there needs to respect their mother, and the words of their mother. It's mama talking to you in that song and I think it's probably one of my favorite's if not my favorite to do live. It's just a great song and that one stays in the set and the crowd always goes crazy on that one.”

Lynyrd Skynyrd official site / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Lynyrd Skynyrd

Image: “Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd (album)” by Lynyrd Skynyrd



● During World War II where were the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Gutenberg's Bible and the Magna Carta stored and safeguarded?

Answer to Trivia

● After the death of a famous person, the Tennessee Medical Board filed a malpractice charge against Dr. George Nichopoulos in 1977. For what reason?

Answer to Trivia

● Because of her grit and determination, Sarah Palin became known by what fishy nickname?

Answer to Trivia

● This vegetable is called, in French, pomme-de-terre, and in German, Erdapfel, both of which mean "earth apple." What is the English name for this vegetable?

Answer to Trivia


A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “HORSE SENSE” ($200)

“In ancient Rome, a quadriga was one of these pulled by 4 horses.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Ancient.eu

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “HORSE SENSE” ($600)

“In 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow', this man borrows a 'broken-down plow-horse' named Gunpowder.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Disney.fandom

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “HORSE SENSE” ($1,000)

“American Revolutionary War cavalry officer Henry Lee got this nickname from his skillful riding.”

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

Answer to Last Week's Test

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “ISLANDS” ($400)

“This 130-mile stretch of barrier islands off North Carolina is sometimes called OBX.”

● Answer: The Outer Banks. North Carolina Pedia.org

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “ISLANDS” ($600)

“This historic Florida island is home to the southernmost city of the lower 48 states.”

● Answer: Key West. USPS.org

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “ISLANDS” ($1,000)

“The Duke of York islands are coral islands in this South Seas archipelago named for a 19th century German statesman.”

● Answer: The Bismarck Archipelago. ARMY.gov

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“Suddenly She Sneezes”

Joke of the Day

Suddenly She Sneezes

A man is dining in a fancy restaurant and there is a gorgeous woman sitting at the next table.

He has been checking her out since he sat down, but lacks the nerve to talk with her.

Suddenly she sneezes, and her glass eye comes flying out of its socket towards the man.

He reflexively reaches out, grabs it out of the air, and hands it back.

“Oh my, I am so sorry”, the woman says as she pops her eye back in place.

“Let me buy your dinner to make it up to you”, she says.

They enjoy a wonderful dinner together, and afterwards they go to the theater followed by drinks.

They talk, they laugh, she shares her deepest dreams and he shares his. She listens.

After paying for everything, she asks him if he would like to come to her place for a nightcap and stay for breakfast.

They had a wonderful, wonderful time.

The next morning, she cooks a gourmet meal with all the trimmings. The guy is amazed! Everything had been SO VERY incredible!

“You know”, he said, “you are the perfect woman! Are you this nice to every guy you meet?”

“No”, she replies… “You just happened to catch my eye.”