Friday, October 10, 2008

Young man! You've got no need to feel down...

Yes, I was a squid. I was in the Navy. I sailed the seven seas, or four, or something. Why did I join the Navy? Well, I'll tell you .

I was born at Edwards AFB in the Mojave desert, where my father was stationed at the tail-end of The-Right-Stuff era. I grew up all over the country, living on or near AFBs and saw my father go from an enlisted wrench-turner to an officer. He went to night school until they sent him to get a B.S. in computer science, followed by an M.A. in management. I was set up to think that the military was a good home.

The Air Force might have been, but the Navy was tough. Too much time away from the family. I hated it. So why the Navy? I wanted to be a diver. I went in and told the recruiter that's what I wanted to do and he told me "No you don't." I said, "I don't?" He said, "You want to be a nuke!" I said, "I do?" And that's what happened.

Later I figured out that one of the tests I took qualified me to go to nuclear power school and the recruiter was required to get a certain number of guys signed up for nuke school billets. If he didn't make quotas, he was headed back to sea and the shore party in Portland would end. I don't mind helping a guy out, but at the impressionable age of nineteen, I kinda feel like my best interests took a back seat to this guy's desire to avoid sea duty. There are a lot of things that happen in life that you figure out later might have been steered a certain direction for someone else's purpose. I guess it's part of the package.

Let my life be an object lesson to your kids. Don't kick'em out of the house when they are nineteen. Especially if they've just started to make decent grades and find a niche. Ugh.

Not much sailing news on the home front. Kris and I are making great progress on getting into a boat, however. We've sold a few things, refined our plan, and we're on track. This is the period where we spend lots of time looking at boats and trying to make the right choice between something we can live with and something we can't. Lots of compromises between practical livability and, well, flair, such as wooden interiors, fancy fiddles, wine bottle racks, dish dryers, and the list goes on.

I'm learning a ton, however. I'm perusing the blogs you see on my list regularly, and the list is growing as I connect to more from the originals. The forums at Sailnet and Cruisers and Sailing are great places to get some information, as well as some practical experience sifting through loads of opinion for the nugget or two of helpful info. These sailing folks seem to have more than their fair share of opinions.

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