Reblog: Janine’s Mission 55

Happy 90th Birthday, Joe!
I know I usually say that missions are sent out about once a month, but it’s a busy summer of milestone birthdays – and I know you all can handle it! 🙂 ☀️🇺🇸🌼 Thanks to all who have been sending cards to Ed Hyatt (mission 54) – our WWII / Korean War veteran who celebrates his 100th Birthday on August 7th.  If you missed that email – and want to participate, all info is here.  Once his family sends photos from the party I will share them!  Now here is mission 55:   Korean War Veteran Joe Butkus  has a BIG birthday coming up … and YOU are invited to send him a card!  His family is having a party for him on August 16th, and they will give him all the cards on that day. So depending where you are in the country, try to get your cards in the mail before August 12th.  About Joe:   Joe is a master wood worker, mechanic and all around good guy. He served in Korea, as part of the 84th Engineer Construction Battalion. He worked on the Libby Bridge. It was noted for being the only permanent concrete bridge built during the winter during wartime. It’s known as an outstanding feat under adverse conditions. The bridge is named after Sgt George D. Libby , the first Medal of Honor recipient of the Korean War.  Joe is a proud veteran and still attends his reunions every year.  His whole family is involved in helping vets and families in need.  In fact, they participated in last year’s Holiday Salute Card drive for veterans in hospice care. MAIL YOUR CARDS TO:
Joe Butkus
c/o Mary Ellen Hart
1868 North Benson Rd
Fairfield, Ct. 06824 Please send your cards by August 12th.  Just like all missions, don’t keep this to yourself!! Know of students, friends, family, neighbors, co-workers who you think would like to participate? Share away! Let’s flood his day with gratitude and love and make this his best year yet!  

Reblog: California’s Early June Heatwave Cooked Coastal Mussels in Place

I prefer my mussels cooked in a garlic broth in a restaurant but…

Bodega Marine Reserve research coordinator Jackie Sones has worked in or walked on the rocky shores of the North Coast almost every day for the last 15 years. But while she was surveying the reserve for sea stars in mid-June, she saw something new: strips of bleached algae draped across the rocks, like frost, and a swath of dead mussels, hundreds or maybe thousands of them, black shells agape, orange tissue shining in the sun, stretching across 500 feet of rocky tidepools. 

“It’s one of the first things you see, coming down the rocks into the middle of the intertidal zone,” she said. “They were very visibly dead.”

In all her time in Bodega Bay, she wrote in her blog The Natural History of Bodega Head, she’d never seen a mussel die-off that size, or affecting so many individual mussels. 

Read more

“Mussels” by Steve Parker is licensed under CC BY 2.0

To be Nimble with Bimble

I learned a new word and found a new app after reading Easy Malc’s Top Ten Places to See In Torbay.

From his blog:

9. Broadsands to Elberry Cove

This easy walk is a delightful way to bimble along next to the sea for anyone who can’t, or doesn’t want to walk too far.

Although the word is accurately implied in the context of the sentence, I still looked it up.

bim·ble/ˈbimbəl/ Learn to pronounce informal•Britishverbverb: bimble; 3rd person present: bimbles; past tense: bimbled; past participle: bimbled; gerund or present participle: bimbling

  1. walk or travel at a leisurely pace.”on Sunday we bimbled around Spitalfields and Brick Lane”

nounnoun: bimble; plural noun: bimbles

  1. a leisurely walk or journey.”we were enjoying a pleasant bimble over the rocks”

Thanks to Google, I also found that is an app available for both Google and Android

I joined Bimble on line and have found it to be easy to use, with a comment block for your comments. You can make your Bimble records private or public.

The Wonder of Libraries

Reblogged from

“When I got library card, that was when my life began.”
Rita Mae Brown

Do you recall the first time you stepped into a library? I do. I felt like I had entered Nirvana. All those books, and I could borrow them for free! I would pick out a stack of books to take home to the farm, read them and the next time we came to town, return them and bring home another stack.

Virtual Vietnam Wall

This is really sobering. First click on a state. When it opens, scroll down to the city where you went to high school and look at the names. Click on the name and it will give details of the person’s death, a picture or at least their bio and medals.       This really is an amazing web site. Someone spent a lot of time and effort to create it. I hope that everyone who receives this appreciates what
those who served in Vietnam sacrificed for our country. Pass the link on to others, as many knew wonderful

My Last Night Aboard Midway

by Charles Paige, used with his permission. Charles is author of Petty Officer and a Swabbie. He served as RM3 (Radioman, 3rd class) about the USS Midway (CV-41) 1969-1972

My story is not one of combat and harrowing experiences against shot and shell. Mine is about life in the Navy circa 1968-72, on bases and onboard ship, and about interactions between the Navy and a civilian population not too happy we are involved in Vietnam. It is also about travels and experiences in exotic countries, as a young man not an officer and a gentleman but a petty officer and a swabbie is introduced to a sometimes belligerent but always fascinating world.

From his webpage:

He wrote this essay 30-31 May 2021.

It was September 13, 1972, and the last night I was to spend aboard the Midway. This is a
tale about that night; fictional as to timelines and what I may have been actually thinking
that last night, but non-fictional as to all the circumstances, events and significances. In
this version of that night, let’s say gifted to me by my more circumspect doppelganger
from a parallel universe, I am lying in my bunk, the lowest of three bunks and very close
to the deck. I’ve just finished reading a letter from my father stating he has received the
heavy load of stereophonic equipment I’ve had sent to his farm address from the Navy
Exchange in Yokosuka, Japan. Apparently I hadn’t informed him in advance, so all that
equipment suddenly showing up at his doorstep had thrown him for a loop.

It’d been a very busy day, but then again, which HADN’T been a busy day? I was bone tired but my brain was ablaze with thoughts of tomorrow and leaving the ship, perhaps for the last time ever. Also keeping my mind buzzing was a body full of coffee—how many cups I had drunk during watch only God knew, but I swear it was enough to make my blood one-quarter caffeinated. Still more keeping me awake was a throbbing left
thumb that had been crushed not long ago. I had been standing in the doorway between Faccon and Cryptographic talking to a group of guys, with my left hand propped against the door sill. Suddenly, for some reason the spring-loaded door closed, with my thumb crushed at the door’s fulcrum. Chief Wilson said I would probably lose the nail, which
had slowly turned red and then black.

Now that I was through with the letter, I no longer needed the reading light above my
head so turned it off. This was one of those infrequent occasions when it was night
outside the ship and I was able to sleep after Lights Out was announced inside. The
compartment was barely lit. There wasn’t much happening in the compartment’s small
entertainment area holding tables, chairs and the TV, so little noise came from there, and
I registered little activity in the rest of the compartment. That meant there was no need to
close the privacy curtains provided for each bunk. The reason for the quiet was obvious.
Everybody that could be on liberty was either spending it on base or in the nearby town
we called Olongapo City—what the locals called City of Olongapo.

It was Wednesday night and tomorrow…. Well, tomorrow….

Four years ago I had volunteered to be ripped from a different universe—one I had
known all my life. At that time ANOTHER tomorrow had come. And with it came my
mental and physical introduction into this other, then foreign universe. From the
beginning one explosion of events followed another followed another, and it was truly a
sink or swim situation. My neurons had no choice but to multiply and body to strengthen
to accommodate all the explosions, exposures and rigors. But I was one of the lucky ones
who learned to roll and thrive in the midst of sometimes controlled chaos and within
military structures and stricture.

Tomorrow I would be leaving behind a ship I had been virtually lashed to for three years.
I had seen it lie naked and prostrate at the hands of civilians. I had hobnobbed with its
prospective captain. I had seen its crew arrive, bringing with them the ship’s life blood. I
had seen it reborn. My Navy rank had increased as the ship’s readiness had grown, and in
so many ways we had evolved together.It had been a very busy day, but then again, what day HADN’T been?

The fact that tomorrow I’d be leaving the ship also helped animate my thinking. There was so much significance surrounding the event. Soon I would be leaving the military universe forever
and returning to one I thought—hoped—would be the same as the one in which I was raised. Dad expressed his happiness that he’d soon be seeing his civilian son back in the fold where I belonged. I knew my mother felt similarly. Yet my mind wasn’t so sure I’d be staying in that ‘fold’ very long. I could not see myself moving back from a California world of unlimited, macrocosmic experiences and opportunities, to Michigan and the conformity/uniformity required by community and family. Echoing through my mind were words from the prophetic WW I song “How ya gonna keep ‘em down on the farm, after they’ve seen Paree.”

Yes, I would be returning to that universe, in whatever its current form, but that meant I
was also leaving this universe that I had been forged into being part of. I had been pulled
and stretched, pounded and flattened, puffed up and popped. I had earned the right to be
what I had become, and I had a huge amount of professional pride for what had been
accomplished during the past years.

Recently I had gotten Outstanding at a flight deck inspection by Flag, AKA
COMCARDIVONE, Rear Admiral Butts. It was my third flight deck inspection while
onboard and had gotten Outstanding on the first two. The captain promised that anyone
who got three Outstandings at such inspections would never have to stand another. This
time RAdm Butts stood before me and said “Old Shoes,” at which his attendant marked
something in the muster ledger as Flag moved to the next in ranks. I was mortified. I had
been so careful to spit-polish my shoes and ensure my silk, black neckerchief was rolled
and tied just so, my uniform wrinkle and lint free, my undershirt, hat and piping sparkling
white, and everything aligned correctly. But I had been hit with “Old Shoes.” Crestfallen,
I returned to my compartment to change back into working dungarees. One of the first
class petty officers overheard me lament and then laughingly explained “that means Out
Standing.” As relieved and good as that news made me feel, I also realized the irony of it
all. I would never have to stand another such inspection again because I soon would be

Oh my God! Leaving the ship! Leaving my home of three years. Leaving all those guys I
had worked with, sweated with, and had fun with. We had seen each other through trying
times as we and the ship were put through the paces. There were never any times or
opportunities to put on the brakes and say “whoa, that’s enough!” I was sad when the few
who did buckle under the strain were gone—to fates unknown to the rest of us. Those
who started to buckle but could be buttressed until brought up to speed were carried by
the rest of us guys working together.

I always hated seeing guys leave us, for whatever reason. Usually it was because their
time in the Navy was up, or their time on the ship was up, sending them off to a different
command. And some left for humanitarian reasons, like one of our Faccon members
whose father was killed back home during a robbery at his business. Only one shipmate I
knew had left by dying. It occurred between when the ship returned from its 1971
Westpac cruise and the start of its 1972 cruise. That fellow was Sloan—someone I had
met during our BE/E “P” School days in early 1969. He recently had been assigned to the
ship, and I ran into him as he was buying a soft drink from an onboard vending machine.
Not long after our reunion Sloan fell to his death while unsuccessfully attempting to
climb around a barricade blocking a closed gangway while the ship was in dry dock. His
shocking death was heartbreaking enough, but because he came aboard between the two
Westpac cruises, his name was not included on either cruise book’s IN MEMORIAM
page—as though he had never been aboard.

Tomorrow I would be the one leaving—leaving behind the unceasing turmoil and
managed chaos at work, the engrained camaraderie of a well-grooved, tight-knit group,
the memorized maze enclosed by the protective and far-ranging ship’s hull, and the
profession that I had gotten so used to and good at.

My Navy career flashed before my eyes as though I were dying, but sleep finally came—
fitfully. Soon I would be dying and reborn, metaphorically. Before me was a future filled
with uncertainty mixed with possibility. I would be leaving a military that had gotten in
bad odor with much of the American public, and my service likely would be
unappreciated, even scorned, by many. Yet I was still young and full of hope. Then I
awoke and it was tomorrow.


In honor of the first Internet Spam. the history of spam.

words and music and stories

We are all annoyed when we receive those multiple unsolicited and unwanted commercial messages sent to large numbers of recipients.
The very first unwelcome bulk commercial email was sent on 3rd May 1978 by a man named Gary Thuerk , a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative, to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States

ARPANET was the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network that had been developed by the US Department of Defense long before the Internet became part of our lives.

The message promoted the availability of a new model of computer and was sent to 393 recipients in the form of a single, mass email.
The reaction to the message was negative, many people who received this email got highly irritated and complained to US Defence Department. One even claimed that the message had shut down his system.

However it was only in 1993…

View original post 108 more words

Reblog of Hours in a Library by Derrick J. Night.

Derrick had me with the primary picture of three volumes called Hours in a Library.

During the night I began to realise that, although ‘Monkey’ by Wu Ch’eng En was snuggled up in the novels section of the library, there was no Gibbon among the shelves that I thought had been accurately filled yesterday. That meant that there had to be another History container somewhere among the 24 left to empty. This morning’s search demonstrated no such luck.

There were two.

To read more click here.

Reblog: Meet Thelonius Goat

This is a re-blog from Rick and Lavinia Ross’s Salmon Farm Blog. I think that Thelonius may be a time traveler from the constellation, Capricorn.

“So, while things are budding out and getting underway this month, we will emerge from our Gopher Hole of tales from about the farm, and tell the story of a goat.  Not just any goat, but one that could have come straight from the imagination of Ray Bradbury or Rod Serling.  We encountered this very unusual animal during one of our travels up to Washington in 2005.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the story of Thelonious Goat.”

Thelonius Goat from the blog

Reblog: August Chiwy, World War II Post

Denzil at Discovering Belgium posted a story about another nurse of color during the Battle of the Bulge.

On June 6, 1921 in the village of Mubavu in the Belgian Congo (now part of Burundi), a baby girl was born and given the name Augusta Marie Chiwy. The name of her mother, a Congolese woman, is unrecorded. Her father Henri Chiwy was a Belgian veterinarian. Augusta was one of thousands of biracial children fathered by Belgian men working in Africa during Belgium’s colonial era. When Augusta was nine years old, her father returned to his hometown of Bastogne in Belgium, and brought his daughter with him.

In Bastogne, Augusta was cared for by her father and his sister, whom Augusta called “Mama Caroline.” She attended a Catholic boarding school near her home where she was described as bright, ambitious and popular. She was also petite, measuring just 152 cm. At the age of 19 Augusta decided she wanted to become a nurse and began attending a nursing college in Leuven. She qualified as a nurse in 1943, and started working at the St. Elizabeth Hospital in Leuven.

Click on story to read the rest .

Reblog: Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained by A. James Oakes, Jr. UNSA ’63

ENS Oakes was assigned to Engineering as a ‘snipe’ on the USS Midway (CV-41) when it was homeported near San Francisco, in Alameda.

Crossing the Bay Bridge into San Francisco became almost a daily routine for me while the ship was in port. I knew that Fleet Admiral Nimitz lived in quarters #1 on Treasure Island and I started thinking to myself if there was some way to meet this great warrior, and perhaps even getting him to autograph my yearbook. After much thought, the decision was made to make a direct frontal assault and hope for the best. With my 1963 Lucky Bag in hand, on a mid-September 1963 afternoon, I exited at Treasure Island on my way across the Bay Bridge to San Francisco and drove up to Quarters #1.1 was nervous as I rang the doorbell and waited for what seemed like a very long time. A Philippine steward answered the door finally and I explained that my name was Ensign Oakes, a recent graduate of the Naval Academy, and would he be so kind as to ask Admiral Nimitz to autograph my yearbook

To find out what happened next, click here.

🎶Buffalo Soldier🎶 (2. Analysis)

Luisa has provided an analysis and insight that many if us as Americans might not see on our own. Look at our racial history with fresh eyes.

Buffalo Soldier Pt 2 Analysis

The title and lyrics (see here) refer to the black U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment, known as “Buffalo Soldiers”, formed in 1866, that fought in the Indian Wars.
Many of the privates in this segregated regiment were slaves taken from Africa who went to rid the west of Native Americans , so that white people could occupy their lands.
That nickname was given by the Indian tribes who were fighting against them, as a result of their skin colour and hair texture, which seemed to resemble the mane of the buffalo. They accepted the name and wore it proudly knowing the Native Americans worshipped the buffalo and that name that appellation could be considered as a sign of their respect.

Their specific task was to protect the white colonizers who had settled in their lands from “Indian” attacks. In practice, the black people who had been taken from Africa as slaves, once freed (just after the Civil War) were sent to kill the natives, in the name of the Country that was no longer slaver but even ‘allowed’ them to form military regiments.

That war was a fight for freedom on both sides. The African American soldiers were fighting to obtain a freedom they had never known (although the war against slavery was over), while the Native Americans were fighting to defend their freedom.