Tuesday, July 31, 2012

USS American Victory - Part 1

Poking out from the Aquarium I spied what looked to be a gray ship.  Then I remembered reading something about it quite a while ago.  After walking the Aquarium, which was quite nice, I asked my entourage if they would wait while I walked behind the building to investigate that ship.  They all wanted to see, too, so like the troopers that are, off we walk to see something really neat.

And then it came in full view.  The USS American Victory, one of only 4 fully operational World War II ships in the US.  
It was a military cargo ship and was built toward the end of the war.  It was a self-guided tour, and not many people at all, so it was like we had the complete run of the place.  A couple of areas were roped off, the engine room being one of them, but for the most part it was open and accessable.

What caught my eye from the Tampa Aquarium.  I come from a long line of seamen so naturally this piqued my interest.

Approaching the USS American Vistory and ahead of her was the Carnival line Legend preparing to set sail.

View of the aft.  Or is that the stern?  Poop deck?

This ship takes 2 annual crosses each year.  For $99.00 you can go with her on a cruise, and I guess they have fly-overs and things.  I'd sure like to do that.

Inside the ship which also serves as a maritime Museum was this propeller from the German U-Boat 352, sunk off the coast of North Carolina by the Coast Guard Cutter Icarus on May 9, 1942.  

Looking down into the hold area.

Below those beams is the hold or cargo compartments.

A lifeboat on display.

Apparently a popular drawing during WWII.

On deck, looking toward the rear, with lots of rope neatly arranged.

View from ship.

Faded banners on the bridge. 

Winches are still operational.

Forward gun.  That's the Legend on the left.  

Big honking anchor.

Crew's quarters.

More sleeping areas.

Spartan conditions.

This was a dumbwaiter in the kitchen designed to bring meals to all decks.

Kensie looking at a shower area.

More sleeping berths.

Looking down into the engine room.

This area going down to the engine area was roped off.  

There is one of the engines.

Kitchen, or galley.  See I told you I came from seaman lineage.  I can even speak the language.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Mugshot Monday

This kid looks like he's about 12.

I wonder at what point of this artwork one or the other looked at it and knew it was heading South?


These people can lack in social graces and sometimes indicate coarseness and a poor appreciation for "niceties" and polite manners. They can also be a little inarticulate, caring more about making their point, than the elegance of the style in which it is made. - Wikipedia

Captain Combover

Pretty 21 year old scarred for life with a face tat.

Someone seems verrrrry happy to be arrested.

The brash cockiness of youth.

Another fighter of LEO, who lost.

Steady, steady.

Name is "Kevin Love Peters".  Get it?

Saturday, July 28, 2012


This Blog attempts to be politically non-denominational, if we post anything at all.  Be warned however, that today's Bonus Post is political.  If easily offended then don't read further.  Bill Smith is a writer of exceptional insight. He is a Marine, and has an interesting take on things in the political arena.  Like many Americans he is no longer enamored with President Obama, but can't bring himself to vote for Romney.  He is, like many waiting for meaningful leadership.  Claiming he will not cast a vote this fall, he had this to say about America on the 4th.       

On this 236th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence from Great Britain I think its important to think about what that document and those words meant when they were written.
How it set the stage for our Founders to write our Constitution and for this country to become the greatest country in the world.
A country that was constantly reinventing itself and the only country among the nations of men that had as its foundation the concept of always striving to become a better place.
And yet somewhere along the way we lost all that.
And we lost it all fairly recently.
We are no longer the greatest nation on Earth.  The most powerful, yes — by far.  But the greatest? No, not hardly.
We torture people and we order the execution our own citizens at the hands of our government {us} without benefit of trial or even being charged with a crime.
We invade foreign countries based upon lies perpetrated upon us by our elected officials and enabled by a compliant press and we do nothing about it.
We allow our government to spy on American citizens on American soil and we’ve militarized our law enforcement agencies.  Agencies who routinely respond to peaceful and lawful protest with deadly force.
We worship the 1% of the richest among us — malefactors of great wealth who care not one wit for the common man — while at the same time holding those of us in need in deep contempt while stripping them of even the most basic of safety net protections.
We have decided that corporations are people — this in spite of the fact that no corporation has ever been drafted into the armed services nor been executed by the state of Texas.
We allow our elites in government and finance to commit crimes that drive the world to the brink of economic collapse and then not only do we not punish them with prison, but we reward them with free money so they can do it all again. And we do this while essentially ignoring the 10+ percent of Americans who can’t find work.
This while sending people to prison for the crimes of simply trying to feed their families.
We have become nothing more than a third world country with nuclear weapons and we are completely undeserving of the title “Greatest Nation on Earth.”
But because we are who we are, we’re more than capable of reclaiming that title and regaining the moral high ground and the approbation of the world that this country once enjoyed.
We simply need to remember who we are and where we came from.
And just fucking do it!

Happy Birthday America.

Bill Smith

Friday, July 27, 2012

Flashback Friday

This is dipping into the archives so far my memory is fuzzy, but here goes.  Mike and Pat Johnson, co-workers and forever friends, were members at Lake Littlejohn near Oak Run.  When I was but a pup working at the Mary Davis Home Becky and I were invited to have a cookout. It must have been a Sunday community All-Member affair as the above picture illustrates the guys busy cooking.  Mike is the fellow 4th from left, with his back to us.  This was back when we would go golfing with Randy and John Pogue or some other 4th and we'd head out to Oak Run.  We would hit the ball around and drink some beer.  Once when returning to G-Burg Randy's muffler fell off on a curve and went toward a farm house, prompting Mike to yell, like the good Navy man he was, "Torpedo One!"  Decency and civility prevent me from commenting on what he yelled to a lady working her garden on one of our trips back.  Oh my.  

Pat and Becky simultaneously mugging and avoiding the camera.  Neat trick.  Pat was Mike's wife and worked for the Probation department.  Becky was a Counselor and became assistant Superintendent.  Both are charter members of the MDH Retiree Breakfast Club.  All 4 who took early retirement from the county will be meeting for breakfast next week someplace in Galesburg.  Rumor has it that Randy will be joining us and regaling us with his stories.      
Pat, of course, is now working whenever she can at Bridgeway and volunteers for the Red Cross every other weekend.   Think she is the only one who reads this so, hi Pat.  Guest bedroom booked next week?

I don't have a clue as to what was going on here, but my good buddy and one of my favorite work mates, Rose Medina, got me good.  That's not my place, perhaps Rose's and maybe a birthday bash. I really don't know.  Perhaps we can get Rose to explain this.  Anyway, Rose or Rosita as I called her,  worked the Mary for many years and then moved over to the Probation side up at the courthouse.  I miss working with her - she was a lot of fun to be around and a damn good worker.  She was fun because I never ever saw her in a bad mood, and I know with some stuff she had to have been.  She was also what is called a "good feeler".  She made you feel good being around her and she was easy to get laughing and tickled.   

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Odds And Ends

Family Outing to Carmelita's.  Yell "Immigration!" and you would see the 
kitchen crew, waitstaff and half the patrons bolt for the nearest exit.  Wish they'd take the artwork with them.

License plate: WHZ BNG

Two cool guys modeling St. Pete T-shirts

Target racing

"...And then it got real quiet."

Michael, my old buddy from G-Burg days is soon to be 9 years old.

The beautiful and enchanting Miss Alhanna

A sweet disposition... 

...quickly soured by a poking spoon.

Further proof Florida is one of the dumbest states in America.

Awaiting fireworks at the Pier.

And here's Norah falling asleep in her toy box.

Norah and Daddy amusing themselves a couple weeks ago.