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1) My Latest Sitrept


1) My Latest Sitrept

Sitrept #13 251807Z OCT 03

Sent: Saturday, October 25, 2003 2:07 PM
Subject: SATURDAY - POST WALK 1407

It's been non-stop here all morning!
You've seen these non-stop signs...if you haven't, you're seeing one now.
Hit the road shortly after eight, Jeeping up to the entranceway, and then walking the Publix Shopping Centre...Derby's favorite place. However, I avoided the immediate front to Publix, instead circumnavigating the place using the sidewalks. Her favorite route however, is to pass by the automatic doors to Publix, which open seemingly on her command so she can savor the delightful food fragrances that spill out. She'd be in the store in a flash if not on her leash...boy, what an adventure that would be for her.
Then it was home, and first thing was to clean Derby's hair brushes prior to bathing her. Actually, cleaning those brushes is almost a daily thing. Anyways, with the brushes sanitized, it was time to sweep, and swab the patio...oops - lanai, henceforth - porch. The porch gets dusty in a day...dirty place this Merritt Island. Then I gathered Derby up, removed her collar, and placed her in the deep sink in the garage. We have a hose with shower attachment on the faucet, something I don't think Derby likes, because she always points her rear-end towards it...her stance being diagonal to the square sink, with her head outside the one corner...she doesn't like water on her head. However, the rest is okay, just the head, but that is as dirty as the rest of her, and though I too don't much care for getting her head wet, we must, and it has to be washed just as thoroughly as her should see the stuph she thrusts her head into.
She likes being clean, but not cleaned. There's no point in just getting her wet...she is a real stinky-poo, smelling very similar to the Mar Del Plata fishing piers. Mar Del Plata is the Miami of Argentina...just a hundred or so miles from Buenos Aires. Having spent almost a year there tracking the Sky Lab...real arduous duty, the fishing port was a favorite place of mine to meander. So, needless to say, I can identify the scent of that place anywheres, and Derby is it.
Most dogs smell "doggy", but Derby has to be different, smelling like dead the ton, or boat-load, or better yet, the whole fishing port. Even as a brand-new puppy she has smelled like that. Now mind you, not the Fulton Fish market in Manhattan, nor others around the world, just that one in Argentina, which leaves me to suspect she's originally from there. 
Getting back to the bathing thing....It's not an easy job de-scenting something that approaches such proportions, but eventually, after alot of sudszing...oops, there's no "z" - sudsing with her prescribed shampoo containing aloe, and oatmeal, her South American smell begins to wane...but not completely. Next is her medicated, antiseptic, antimicrobial shampoo for dermatological problems...simply put - itchy-scratchy stuph. It contains chlorhexidine gluconate, and a dozen other things similar to what's in Pepsi, and Coke. It might even be in Vodka for all we know. However, after that's applied, and left's a "left-on" lotion, then the odor from South of the border disappears...but not the itchy-scratchy...the stuph doesn't work.
She has acne - that problem youngsters get, commonly called "pimples"...on her feet, and her chin. You can't see it for the fur, but it's there, and she's always had it. Now I think I have discovered a solution, and that's Boric Acid, and Acetic Acid - Vinegar. It's a "home-remedy" for itches for people, and now they recommended it for animals. I mixed some up the other day, and it seems to far: One level teaspoon of Boric Acid mixed in four ounces of boiling water, to which is added four ounces of Vinegar, and apply with a cloth...I use a paper towel dipped sparingly in.
Remember a couple of years ago when Derby underwent her operation for Otitis Externa - commonly called Swimmer's Ear for humans? Well, now they have discovered that the above solution cures the problem in two weeks...for humans, and animals. The story of my life - a day late, and a dollar short...could have saved a good couple of thousand dollars if I had heard sooner...and alot of unecessary grief for poor Derby.
Know why this wasn't broadcast about?...well, the FDA put Boric Acid on their "dangerous chemical" list...along with thousands of other good products used years ago. I can remember my mother using Boric Acid for my eyes whenever they got inflamed, or sore. Gheeeeeeeez! When I asked G to get me some at the pharmacy, they asked her if she really wanted it, hyping the FDA's phoney concern for the stuph...the dumb-bells put a skull, and cross bones on the packaging. Scared the daylights out of her, but she brought it home nevertheless, but you'd think it was the black plaque in the bottle.
Well, we shall see if it works on itches as advertised...otherwise it's great for killing ants.
With Derby bathed, brushed, and blow-dried, it was then time for Emily's water-change. It was then almost lunch time. can you ever get bored with a dog, and fish to take care of. So, lunch time...simple enough right...wrong! Remember, Derby came down with incontinence a few weeks ago. Had to give her a series of three each day for three days, with a week between the next pill, etc. There's only a few weeks of pills left. Well, today was the second of the weekly pills. They are capsules...the kind that can be opened, the powder spread in her phood. Sounds simple enough, but not so...I have to make sure what I give her is appetising enough, else the pill is for nothing. Like Emily, who only eats certain phish phood, it's the same with Derby. Forget her prescribed know, she's a diabetic, so the stuph, to her, is yukky...I have to make sure her favorites like ham, steak, and chicken are somewhere to found, and the pill contents cleverly embedded. I have become a whiz at deception along these lines, so today was another success. However, I have to come up with something for lunch for myself which will be appealing for her, because always after a bath, she gets a ravenous appetite, and looks for more in my lunch.
So, my lunch has to be a dual thing...something I like, as well as she. Today I had our favorite - chicken noodle soup...she's a noodle dog. That's good...I don't particularly like giving her medicines...I don't trust any of them, but if she has her fill of other things along with them, like oodles of noodles, I feel better about it. So now she's one clean, fragrant, fluffy, furry, full of noodles, ham, steak, and chicken, with carrots, and potatos mixed in - dog.
Non-stop like I's now almost two in the afternoon, she just got her afternoon prescription doggy bone, and next, after her nap, I'll apply the itchy-scratchy solution mentioned above. If that malady goes away like her incontinence did, we will have succeeded. However, tomorrow she will already begin to smell like a fishing port, which is okay...I always like South America...smells, and all.
PS You might want to save the non-stop stop sign's the only one you'll ever see.

Sitrept #12 101844Z APR 00

Hi Folks,
As if a shark in the canal was enough for one day, I had to have two snakes in the grass whoopin' it up.
I mentioned the shark episode to the wife, who immediately insisted it was a porpoise, even if it held it's breath for fifteen, or more minutes. Anyways, even if she saw it, she would deny it...not wanting them there to begin with.
It was but two-hours later, when I was summoned to the patio oops "lanai". "There's snakes on the lawn.' she said pointing to the center of the back lawn. There were...a literal "pile" of them, all entwined, and slithering around each other. I left the protection of the screen patio oops "lanai" to get a closer look. A black-shiny ball of garden snakes making whoopee in the mid-day sun...lovely! I returned to the patio oops "lanai", and told her they were harmless, and just full of hormones...they will leave after a while...they're also enjoying the warmth of the sun out in the open like that.
"Well, aren't you going to do something about them?' she said.
"Like what?' I asked.
"Like...get rid of them!'
"What're here, they're there...what's the problem?
"Never mind...go watch your TV.' she said.
She remained out there, for a while watching this orgy, but armed herself with a large golfer's umbrella we keep out there for taking Derby out when it rains...they might break through the screening to "get" her...I supposed.
After she came in, I went out to see if they had had enough, and had wandered off.
Yup...they were gone. I hollered my report towards the house.
"No they're not...they are just to the left of you.' this voice said from behind the window.
She was watching from the bedroom, and she was right. Now this "daisy ball" was by a tree, but it wasn't an orgy, it was but two very affectionate serpents. Every once in a while one would break off, run a couple of perfect circles around the base of the tree, and then coming up from astern of the other, fully extended, came up alongside the other full length to begin the console over again.
"Hey...c'mon out...this is interesting.' I hollered towards the window.
"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh.' came the reply.

note.gif "Theme From Jaws"

Sitrept #11 091756Z APR 00

Hi Folks, No, I haven't just returned from the MMMM booze-up...this is true.
At 1240 precisely, because I always note the time things happen, a large shark meandered into the canal off my dock. I first spotted it close aboard the dock on the far side, only the dorsel fin showed, about two feet out of the water, high enough to hit the underside of the dock if it had been under it. At first I figured it for a porpoise, so waited for the familiar "blow" as they exhale, but exhale.
I made for my dock for a closer look. About fifty feet further into the canal, the fin broke water full length again, no sound, no blowing. The fin breaking the surface again about two-hundred feet at the end of the canal, the fish turned, heading back my way. Breaking the surface again about one-hundred feet before arriving where I was, I began to see the swirls below the surface. Realizing it would pass but inches off my dock, I strained to see below the surface...but saw nothing but a large swirl as it swept its tail. These swirls were spaced about thirty, or so feet apart, but large, like six-feet around. Its dorsel not showing ever again, but the swirls continuing out of sight, and out of the canal. Never, ever, an indication this was an air-breathing was a large shark.
This is the first time in the twenty-five-years I've lived here that I ever witnessed such a thing, nor heard of a shark in the lagoons, or canals.

Sitrept #10 010203Z APR 00

Dear One,
We, myself included as the pronoun implies, defeat our potential when we resort to indignation, a response which increasingly manifests itself upon us as we get older. Children do not respond this way, so, whether under duress, or not, tackle whatever is required of them. Those children fortunate enough to have the aptitude, and the parents, or instructors willing to instruct them, do build home pages, and learn to play the piano. Unfortunately, they are in the minority, the others remaining at the level of their parents, even in adult age getting by on their wits.
Your response is typical of the "cop out" we - that pronoun again - employ as a matter of habit. I sincerely feel, knowing your capabilities, and I won't get into that mystery, that if you responded with: "No sweat...any dumby can take over that dumb proved it, but I'll still hound you to death...what else is there to email about.' or something like that, I'd give you another star.
Humbleness is the key to success. We lose out when we get on our "high horse". Though I am nearing seventy, I am just ten years old seven times around. Age has nothing to do with "maturity", or "wisdom". When our temperment is like that of a child, we can accomplish anything.
I hear myself talking....Wish I could learn from it.

Sitrept #9 231929Z JAN 00

This morning dawned beautifully, the sun rising in the east...naturally. I made coffee, turned on the computer, turned on the TV, checking for incoming mail, and catching up on all the latest murders, and rapes...the latter on the TV of course.
After reviewing the loads of email, I washed-up a little, and shaved some, then took Derby for her walk. I did see the newspaper lying on the driveway, but left that to G to pick up. As I passed each sucessive driveway, I notice the newspaper wrappers had something included, like Cracker Jacks used to have. I couldn't make out what  was inside, but concluded it was a either a shampoo sample, or ANOTHER AOL CD.
"No no.' I said to myself. AOL wouldn't have the audacity to send out their upgrade to AOL-5, seeing all the bad hype on TV, and the internet about this upgrade. "No.' I again said, but this time out loud, surprising myself.
We - Derby, and I did perchance meet another dogwalker - Mary, with her poodle Beuregarde ( Bo Bo for short ), which meant a lengthy walk.
Little did I realize at the time, but this additional time away from that suspicious newspaper wrapper would mean a memorable respite from the horror to come.
Feeling great, both Derby, and I, to have someone to walk with, we eventually had to part company with Mary, and Bo Bo, seeing them back to their house. I guess at that point Derby could sense the apprehension I had as we made our way back to our place, and the mysterious newspaper wrapper.
It was not there! G had left for her morning chores, which sometimes took hours. I would have to wait I figured, as she sometimes takes the "paper" with her.
No such luck. The morning's horror show would start immediately...she didn't take the "paper" with her...there it was on the work bench in the garage.
Killing time by attending to Derby's treat - a sliver of liverwurst, and cheese between two dog biscuits, and pouring a fresh cup of coffee, I bravely faced the inevetable, and retrieved the newspaper. Gingerly feeling for the contents in the hidden pouch of the wrapper, I could feel it was a CD. As yet, as in the past it would have AOL splashed all over the wrapper, this time there was no clue, just:
"Free Software". Uh Oh...I looked at the wrong side - there was the "Kiss of Death" accronym as big as life on the other side.
Starting to shake, but addicted to anything in CD form, I ripped open the wrapper, and retrieved the contents.
"What the heck.' I said out loud as I brought it into the house, Derby more nervous now than ever, sensing my vulnerablility.
As I approached the room I call my "office", I could here a strange rumbling, or shaking coming from that direction. Entering the room, my computer was visibly trembling, the coffee in the cup beside it astir with little round ripples. I did a one-eighty, as if not to enter the room, and the rattling stopped. I then ran towards the room again, holding the AOL CD up in front of me as you're supposed to do with a cross when confronting Dracular, and the computer, and all on the desk, made for the deck. This was all in reverse...the evil was not that which was being was what was in my hand. With a mighty throw, I cast the CD out of the room, catching the computer, and everything before it crashed to the floor.
Though it was mid-morning, darkness came over the house, a chill filled the air.
I slammed the door to my office, closing it off from all the gloom in the other parts. Derby, and I, and my computer were now prisoners, but safe for the we thought. A mist started creeping in under the door, followed by a bowing of the door, as a mighty force outside wanted in.
I put my back to door, but the mist from below began to envelope me. Derby whined, and growled, crouching in the far corner. The computer began to tremble again. It all began to look hopeless until I spotted the one thing that might help.
There amongst my floppy disk cases, and books was a Mindspring CD, one I received in the same fashion as that evil thing outside. I lept for the CD, raised it high, and in front of me, and as loud as my voice would allow screamed out "Mindspring, Mindspring". Immediately the mist retreated under the door, and out of the room, the door gained it's original shape, the computer stopped trembling, and Derby became brave, wanting out of the room. I flung open the door, and holding the Mindspring CD out front, Derby, and I rushed out to confront the evil forces permeating the house.
Expecting a horrible confrontation, we bravely advanced towards the spot where I assumed the evil CD had landed. The darkness had lifted, and the chill was gone, and there where it should have been, was but a rust-colored stain, and a whisper of smoke.

Sitrept #8 111513Z NOV 99

Hi gents,
When starting off for Derby's morning stroll, I bumped into my new neighbor - Jud. He lives just across the street from me, and he is a retired university is his wife. He is near eighty...almost as ancient as Dick, and just as sharp. About a year ago he asked if I knew anything about computers...this came right out of the blue. "Well...I have one.' I said. "Oh great!' he said, "I am having trouble with AOL.' 
I tried to slink away, but Derby had plopped herself down, and didn't want a change of scenary at the moment. Not wanting to reveal my instant judgement of the man for having AOL, I only said that I had Mindspring.
Now that was a year ago. Today he tells me he has signed up with Mindspring...but still has AOL.
I couldn't have heard anything worse, except maybe he was running a MacIntosh, but that he isn't, though he is using a laptop as his CPU, it plugged into a larger monitor.
Now, the 'fessor is no doubt an intelligent sort, otherwise he wouldn't be a ' you'd think!
His problem now is that, since he has signed on with Mindspring, he can't seem to get any email through them. I really wanted to lie, and say I wasn't into computers anymore, and end the conversation, but Derby once again decided to homestead on the 'fessor's driveway. 
"You must know that AOL, and Mindspring are rivals.' I said.
"Oh....Really?' he said.
"Yes...they hate each other.' I said. Then continued: "When you want, just ring my door bell, or bang on the back office is in the back. I'll see if I can help you.' 
Why the hell did I say that?  It will be like trying to cure leprosy with AIDS.
This fellow bought his laptop from Dell, then loaded in AOL from a CDROM that came in his newspaper wrapper. Sacrilege! Unbelievable...and the guys a professor. He has had it up to the computer shop - Simtec to be exorcised, and now he subscribes to Mindspring while still with AOL.
In a way, I do wish he had a Mac...that way I could have truthfully declined looking at it.
I can see Format C:\> looming on the horizon.
Any suggs?
PS As he was backing his van into the street, I yelled: " front wheels are going backwards.'
He jammed on the brakes...thought for a second, and then laughed. "They're supposed to.' he said.

Sitrept #7 192135Z OCT 99

This is the best I can do using Windows "Paint", but it gets the message across. With Hurricane Irene just forty-miles to the east of us, and the wind up to fifty-knots, Derby just had to "go".  Employing typical British reserve, G got her large umbrella, and took Derby out on the back lawn, and braving the driving rain, branches, leaves, and wind, provided her with cover as she did her thing. I stood on the patio...oops - lanai, watching as the umbrella began to buckle, but it proved resilient, popping out to its original shape, and carrying the event. 
It's times like this when there's no film in the camera, but so un-forgetable just a drawing will do.

Sitrept #6 111351Z AUG 99

As usual, your email is always very interesting. I guess when we look back on what we remember, and what we see now, there will always be a little disappointment...nothing ever stays the same.
Your mention of the NRL "ocean specialists" reminds me of a time when we made a short trip out for a Naval Reserve team, whose job it was to tow an underwater camera in time of national defense.
Ordinarily, the NRL technicians did all the rigging, winch operations, etc, but in this case, these Reservists were tasked to do their own.
One morning while making my rounds of the lab spaces aft, I happened upon the "lounge", or coffee mess NRL had at the stern. Five or six of our resident NRLers were sitting at a table, a couple of the fellows doodling on scratch pads. After my morning greetings, and "Hi Cap" responces from the group, I asked the fellows if they would like some decent coloring books, rather than have to do their own on scratch pads. They all said they'd like that.
After my tour aft, I went to the bridge where "Pappy" Doyle was on watch. He was my third mate, and also the ships Special Service Officer. I told Pappy to make up an order for a dozen quality coloring books - the kind with Prince Valiant type drawings...not cartoon stuff, and also to order twelve boxes of Crayola Crayons...not the cheap box like most of us when kids could only afford, but the big box.
I told him to give the order to the Radio Officer to send.
When we got in a week or so later, Pappy received a box from Special Services - Special Delivery, and a bill to our account for $350.00. He brought this up to my room, and upon inspection, it was just what I had in mind. I then told Pappy to put a coloring book, and box of crayons in each of the Sponsor's staterooms.
After we got underway for the next deployment, the party chief, who was an old-timer with a PHD in underwater sound, came up to the bridge. With the coloring book, and crayons in hand, and a solemn, but serious look on his face asked me: "Is there a message in this?'
Hi guys,
After explaining to the good "party chief" the significance of the coloring books, I thought to myself how fast the Command fulfilled our order. It only went to show the Commands conception of our intelligence.

Sitrept #5 311124Z MAY 99
Things are warming up cyber-wise, what with me getting registered with a few search engines like Altavista, and Go. While testing - searching for my site, I came across a real professional site owned by Ramon Jackson, with whom I sailed, but don't remember right off. I possibly will when I find where he stores his pictures in his site. His ship section is subperb, giving loads of details on the ships he sailed on. I am beginning to get email from other former seamen who have discovered my site, including one this morning from a fellow who graduated from the same H.S. I did, but a year earlier. Must answer that right after this. So...the sextant might have cobwebs, but the keyboard doesn't.

Sitrept #4 061333Z MAY 99
Guess things will be quiet on the net for a while, at least in regards to email from Dickums...he has most of this html stuff down pat now, including using his "signature". I guess I could have displayed a proper square knot, instead of the "granny", but let's not jump-the-gun, he isn't out of the woods yet. When he shows me a new page in his site, with pictures, no less, I'll give him a square knot.
Lovely day today. Just returned from our daily morning walk, and about an hour of quality time with Derby Brown.

Sitrept #3 021448Z MAR 99
At yesterday's MMMM Gene put us in touch with MediaRing, an online voice-mail thing.I downloaded it, and sent the site url to certain individuals. After I installed it, I found out my 66 Mhz machine was too slow...75 Mhz being the slowest acceptable...I would get "Divide by Zero" warnings. Unfortunetly, I sent this to some who jumped on it, installing it, and excitedly tried to contact me for a chat. I then had to advise them to try it with someone else, as my end doesn't work. Advising ALCON of my problem, Gene suggested I drop all the home page building non-sense, and get a new computer so that I could use the above "voice-mail". I will now respond with a cop-out, and that is that the written word is more succinct, terse, without superfluous words...more concise. "Email is more powerful than the voice". Neato...what?
Scriptum Postum - SP - If'n youse iz innererested in gettin' online yoozin'
voyce ( ( lak on da blower ( tellyfone ) ), clickum on da unnerlined tects iz FREEEEEEEEEEEE. Dat means: "it cosses nuttin' ".

Sitrept #2 221305Z FEB 99
Cold - 43ºF, windy, but sunny. Not my kind of weather to venture out in. See no need for wind anymore, especially since commerce doesn't depend on sail ships anymore....Windmills neither....Dumb.

Sitrept #1 202155Z FEB 99
Caro Diario,
Spent the day modifying my home page inspite of some lower-back pain, and failing eyesight.
Lovely day today. Walked my pal - Derby Brown, who is at this moment patiently waiting to be fed her supper.
Don't know if I can get this new page up, and running before she gets on my case.
More whenever.