"I don't make hell for nobody. I'm only the instrument of a laughing providence. Sometimes I don't like it myself, but I couldn't help it if I was born smart."

1st Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden.
"From here to Eternity"

Paul Valery

"You are in love with intelligence, until it frightens you. For your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible. Finally, you fear blood more and more. Blood and time."

The Wisdom of the Ages

"When a young man, I read somewhere the following: God the Almighty said, 'All that is too complex is unnecessary, and it is simple that is needed',"

Mikhail Kalashnikov

Ya ever seen my house?

Ya ever seen my house?
Neither have I Ted! You douchebag.
"Here lies the bravest soldier I've seen since my mirror got grease on it."

Zapp Brannigan

Friday, November 02, 2012

This isn't about USS Wabash, an 1854, kick-ass frigate that won her share of medals before ending up as a receiving ship.
Ultimately, she was torched to recover her brass and copper fittings.
This is about the star of another, similar clam-bake which happened a little over two years later, on the other coast.
On the night of 20, September, 1915, another frigate was dealt with in the same manner.
Having served as receiving ship for Mare Island in SF Bay from 1857 to 1912, the gallant USS Independence also met her final end as a bonfire (A big fucking bonfire) on the mudflats at Hunter's Point.
She was launched in 1814 as a "ship-of-the-line", the first ever commissioned by the US Navy.
She did duty guarding Boston Harbor alongside USS Constitution and was the big dog off New England for a time.
In 1816 she led her squadron against the Barbary Pirates in the Med, taking the fight as well as the Marines to  "...the shores of Tripoli."
That ring a bell?  Anyone... Anyone?
That's her pictured next riding out some big water with only four sails set.
Obviously, a posed photo.
As time passed, the whole "line-of-battle" thing was going out of fashion and a 90-gun monster like Independence was a bit of overkill.
In 1836 she was razeed (The uppermost gun-deck removed) and reclassified as a frigate - and a big one at that - 54 guns, all 32#'s.
At a stroke she became the fastest and most powerful of American frigates.
In her new role, she pulled various sorts of duty and was instrumental in the Mexican War but... all good things must come to an end.
In 1857 she entered Mare Island Navy Yard and never left - but for one brief junket in 1915. Something about a party on the mudflats with a bonfire.
So, she became a receiving ship which, near as I can tell, was some kind of floating boot camp.
She showed up for this gig with forty-three years of prior, distinguished service so she certainly deserved the rest.
The time she'd spent cruising-the-blue and showing the flag - a long time for a wooden ship; even one manned with iron men - was but an eye-blink of time compared to time she put in at her final station.
Bit 'o hyperbole there.
For fifty-three years she was the first bit of the wonderful Nav lifestyle experienced by a couple of generations of west-coast boots.
Above: a scene aboard another receiving ship, USS Vermont.
The lads are mustered for a final inspection before heading down the gangplank.
Interesting photo. The uniforms are all over the map, likewise the kit.
A few have the full set-up; sea-bag with the Navy mattress rolled up outside.
In light of the recent talk concerning our present, pathetic Navy (Obama ruined it! Now we cower before Iran), it occurred to me that, of those two-hundred-something ships we had floating in 1916 - the ones R&R find so comforting when compared with our present force - how many were receiving ships or similar?
Like USS Illinois, USS Franklin or the above pictured Wabash and Vermont.
A wooden boat is still a very useful item even if its structure can't handle being shoved around by a few thousand square-feet of sail anymore.
Shame to waste it.
It's just like storing your excess stuff in the... dis-used automobile you may have in the back yard - if your yard is well-appointed.
Montana mini-storage.
-segue-  (Classy, huh?)
The election is upon us and the Guns,Guts and God crowd are howling at the moon.
Presently the great minds are hung-up, caught between thinking Sandy wasn't that big a storm or - that it was a really, really  big storm and Obama's totally fucking it up.
In any case, they all nod off into slumber every night, certain that come Wednesday the sun will dawn on a new day (Well, it will, but you know what I mean).
I foresee much overeating, fast driving and playing of heavy-metal really loud for a few weeks after 'cause... Willard ain't cuttin' it - and frustration will follow.
The non-LDS folks will take to drink as well - and take up smoking again if they'd ever quit. If they hadn't - it's gonna be Lucky-Strike straights, four packs a day.

America will be over!!  And I never really got to know her!
Now for comic relief; I just found this and it is perfect.
It sums up at a stroke the firm grasp of history held by some of our fellow Americans.
Could ya die!?!
Let's think about this "Crusade" thing:
What about the fourth crusade and the sacking of Christian Constantinople in 1204?
Or, the Children's Crusade?
Or any of thousands of atrocities committed by these self-righteous assholes?
Blundering, clueless bulls in a china-shop.
Re the graphic: Bitchin'-cool heavy-metal workup, Bro but - these guys were nobody to emulate.
Although they did bring back all the cool tourist stuff, bones of John the Baptist, his head (one of several), various bodily fluids and/or parts of various saints and...
Good stuff but I'll bet they paid waaay too much for them.


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