Don’t RUST On My Parade*

“Petty Officer Marcom! Your Fifty Cals are Rusty!”

50 Cal NavyA

U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Third Class Daniel J. Mark. Cleared for release by ALBG PAO, LCDR Jeff Bender.

Lance Sailor

Marco The Sailorman

I had to  admit. Yes they were. I had tried so hard to keep ahead of the rust, but here I found myself on the leeward side of the second half of a six-month, ‘round-the-whurl-West Pacific Deployment’, and somewhere just off the coast of Somalia.

Yes, rust was my enemy, certainly never my friend—the machine guns were always mounted while we (The USS Callaghan DDG 994, full cast and crew) were Haze-Gray and Underway.

Yes, always mounted and underway:

Haze-Graying, even then

And rusty

My Guns were always supposed to be… somewhere upon the sea… this is what they were purchased for…

And subject to rust. Rust Relentless. Relentless She Be: That Sea. That Salt of the Fucking Sea

Rust.

My Moby Dick-lessness! How could I not keep Rust off my guns?

Freud certainly would have had fun with me

(Sadly, now I know why)

************

My professional life was to be found somewhere rusting in those machine guns.

And that rust you see, that rust occupied a great deal of my daily routine.

The Navy had a solution though. She had provided canvas covers to cover those guns and make them safe from rust. Alas, those canvas covers had seen better days, probably back when Pearl Harbor was just an ordinary Naval Base that no one had ever heard of.

But rust is relentless and timeless.

While scrubbing the Indian Ocean rust off’n my fifty-cals one morning I hatched a plan. Knowing full well we were soon to pull into Mombasa Kenya, after so many month at sea, I conspired to save my money:

Once in Mombasa, I would smuggle one of the moth infected, salt- digested, jig saw’d, Swiss Cheese, ‘holy’ canvas shards off the ship. I would rent a taxi, find me a young child, show him my smuggled ‘prize’, ask him to direct me somewhere, where I could find and nickel and dime (I did not have much money then, not un-life-like now) find a leather shop in Mombasa, present to the leather-maker my Holy Canvas, My Shroud,  My Naval Career, and demand, (for US Dollars), that he make me four such more yet new and brand new.

And functional.

And This is exactly what I did, and to the amazement and astonishment of my Master Chief Petty Officer and my Department Head (almost a Navy Commander… he kind of looked like JFK, now that I think on it. I  did not like particularly like him, but I respected him. Hell, he reminded me of all the things I could have been if I had joined the Nav when I was twelve instead of twenty-eight (Different story. Sorry)

The next time they inspected my Fifty Cals, they were pristine! (They did not take notice nor time to notice that the canvas covers were not exactly Haze-Gray-Naval Gray. No, more like Third-World-Rustic, with just a tiny bit of water buffalo…left over…but Goddamn sure water and sea salt proof.   

And I was so desirous that they did NOT notice, but my Master Chief did notice, yet, never ever noticing nor voicing his ‘inner thoughts’ in front of what he referred to as “Shit Birds” — ‘Officers’ — Never let on.

Master Chief never, ever let out his truth thoughts in front of Shit – Birds. This was his genius. 

And I should have been cognizant of this, yet I was so somewhat giddy after my .50 Cals had finally passed inspection, that I did not stop to think on that anyone. “Not even Master Chief had seen through my ruse” Yeah, Rite!

 I was drunk with my own cleverness and lying back on my back in my rack, curtain drawn,  congratulating me.

(Now, you must realize how the Military Mind works. I was my Ship’s Armor All–Armorer– IN Charge of All The Ship’s Small Arms! .225 Cal to .50 Cal. If it took two men to lift, wasn’t mine. But one-man-band? Yep!  I was the shit!  I was a Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class! Freshly rocked out of SEAL Training (twice now, but who counts these sorts of thing? I suppose I do) and trying to retain what little was left of my  pride and my so-fifty-caliber-called-life.)

And I loved and Respected My Master Chief. Did not ever want to become an embarrassment to him, nor to my Fellow Gunner’s Mates who worked on the “Big Guns”. (Those ones what ‘bullets’ took two and a half-men to lift)

And even more important, (anyone who has ever ‘Served’ will know this), the Military is Run On Fear:

“Oh God, Please Don’t Let Me Fuck UP!”

That kind of fear.

Well, as I was lying on my back in my middle rack right before Taps with my little blue ‘privacy’ curtain drawn back when someone jerked that sucker back.

Along with my reverie.

Yep.

Master Chief Anderson!

MY MASTER CHIEF

“Son, tell me where you found those brand new gun covers.”

Trying to lie on my side and find an elbow to lean to, I half-coughed out, feigning sleepy-eyed ignorance,

“Master Chief, I had them made while we were in Mombasa.”

(There are people one may lie to in life, but, A Master Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy is not one found amongst those people. Not if one wishes life beyond that moment of sweet deception)

“I see”, was all he said, as he yanked my curtain back shut, thus leaving me alone with my various and sundry.

I did not sleep that night. For you see, I knew I had broken Naval Regs by doing something not-in-the Naval-Seaman’s-Bible–The Blue Book–The book, inches thick as a brick,  “The Book” I had been made to almost memorize while at Recruit Training Command, i.e. boot camp.

41XgCzuhSdL._AC_UL320_SR214,320_

I had broken the rule.

In the Nav, there is a sea sailor preamble, most requisite when one wants to recount a story of ‘when ships were made of wood and men were made of iron’… “When Moses was a pup” This validates and is a ritual never broken. In other words, one never breaks the rule.

Sometime mid-morning the next day, I was summoned to the berth/office of  The Department Head of my Division, Lt. Commander ‘Kennedy’.

Shitting bricks is too trite.

I was nervous.

I gave a hearty rap on the bulkhead door as I was trained to do in boot camp…

“Enter!”

“Petty Officer 3rd Class Marcom Sir!”

“I know who you are Lance; sit down.”

(What??? Lance??? Sit Down???)

Mouth agape I sat down, speechless

“Son, Master Chief Anderson tells me you went out on your own, designed, commissioned, smuggled off a prototype, and paid for, with your own money, those .50 Cal Gun Covers. Is this true?”

“Yes, uh, yessir,” I stammered.

“Well, that shows some fine initiative. How much did you pay Son?”

“Un Sir. Doesn’t matter…. I just, well, the .50 Cals, you know SIR,  cost ten-thousand dollars each, and I thought…rust….an…”

“How much did you pay?!”

“250 Dollars Sir.”

Without saying a word he opened a little three-lock-box (OK; I made that up. It was only a one-lock-box) that he had in a drawer, carefully opened it, and proceeded to hand me two-hundred and fifty bucks.

American

I sat there, dumb founded,  a moment too long, still in shock, looking at the bills in my hand…

“Petty Officer Marcom! “

“Huh…Uh, Huh… Sir?”

“You’re dismissed!”

Jumping up, knocking my chair over,  some tears welling in my eyes,

“Yessir!”

As I saluted him and abruptly left his quarters, quite in haste.

And thus I had survived yet another day in MY  Beloved Navy.

And Just As a Reminder Kids:

Don’t Rain on my Parade: I have enuff Rain for All

 

*And this just once more a rough draft, full of error, so be kind. Trust me: there is no harsher critic of me than me. I sweat commas. 

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

I Just Want To Meet Jackie

The point of this post, if there is one, is that I have applied for no less than ten jobs in Saudi Arab today.

Some nine or so in various other shit holes, err, developing countries, just looking for my next war zone to make me famous, not unlike Hemmingway. At this point in life, I must admit: prolly ain’t gonna happen. All I can hope for is some good monies and some decent health insurance (and maybe some ESOP), but Hell! At this point, I’ll work for room and board…but never bored.

Me? Bored? Never.

Again, when do I get to get outraged? Ppl in Ferguson get to be outraged. I share their outrage, but I just want a small piece of that pie. I have more than one decade experience working in dangerous desolate places, yet, I find it so very difficult to find a job in same. I am feeling some outrage here! I should be entitled. I did my time. Hell! I served my country.

To quote some not so famous line from the movie, “The Right Stuff,” “Where is my parade with Jackie? I wanna meet Jackie. They owe me!” I want to meet Jackie. Or at the very least I want a window… into my golden years. End of Rant…

-Lance

And of course, as y’all know, this was all ‘tongue-in-cheek’

“Hook ’em Horns!”

(That’s ‘Texan’ for ‘Suck it up and move that ball on down the field.’   Boys.)

Or, even better, to quote Dan Jenkins: “Y’all knew it was gonna be semi-tough, eh?”

And this “trailer” is semi-tough to watch, but it was as advertised: semi tough, as we were growing up in The Seventies.

And of course, as usual, this last link is the important one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-qEmmpGYvA Video Credit: Erik Gloor

War (or not)

“Some people say this song I wrote…”

“was very naïve.”

Or this:

 

I just put this video up to prove that I am as well, very naïve (and truth be told, I was inspired by a comment from David Scott Moyer)

http://davidscottmoyer.wordpress.com/

My Honest Intent Tonight: Or, Stay Tuned…

Sometimes Lance makes sense; sometimes he don’t.  

OKay: it is now time to drop the illiterate–the ‘Cool’ behind all that. I mean, I am not going for the “cool” vernacular anymore. I speak English. I am My Father’s Son. I do not…

 Here is the scary part:

It all makes sense to him.

A gun, made of plastic…

(Just like the M16 in The Nam)

Mattel

And you can just tell. It’s Swell! Made by Mattel!

Swell… Ergo: I grew up…. killing…

I have been...aw shit! Y’all know this.

.

…Was to bring fresh, peace, piece? or fresh peaches?… truth: I forgot.

Nevertheless, my intent was to inject some ‘Freshness’ into this blog. I may fail. But! Hey! Gonna give some ole college try (spoken by one who had never finished collage, er, college.)

See? I know words… and semantics… and malapropism.

So what?

Some out there in “Radio Land” may be asking, “Hey! Why don’t  doesn’t Lance ever finish a story?” Case in recent point,Running in Soft Sand,” or “The Barmaid Who Whacked Me, But Did Not Mean It…The Whacking Part..?”

or countless others…

Just one more Vietnam Vet who never ever went to Viet Nam…

My respond? I get bored with my own prose.

Get your own!

There! I admit it.

Sorry.

Stay tuned: It can only grow worse.

(It always does)

–Lanc’d

Some Abbreviated Thoughts on Blogging/Writing with no Hyperbole

I generally spend about ten minutes ‘writing a post’. Then three minutes waiting on ‘spell check’ to remind me that I cannot spell ‘cat.’ Then two minutes (except for the upload wait) to upload photos/videos. One minute at the ‘final’ look. Then: Click that ‘publish’ button.

Done.

Rinse and repeat the next day. This bothers me. Why? Because, as all of us (may) feel, we can write so much better.

Alas, I am lazy. I just want to get it out there… Catch the likes; catch the comments. Fuck the quality! “They” know what I mean… Don’t they? I mean, they read me! Not too much need for exposition, ya? ‘They git it, eh?’

Just some musings from an amusing wanna-be writer/blogger. Take with some grain of salt. (And Comment), if you are of a mind to, and have an opinion on the ‘writing/blogging’ process.

Cheers, Lancers

“I have never had an original thought; I don’t live in a vacuum.”

–Lenny Bruce

And I wanna be Your Lenny…

Right here on TT&H

There is a vid credit, but I lost it. His lawyers will surely contact mine…

 

“Put Your Money On The Table: Redux” 1776!

This Post is Dedicated to my Third Wife (Don’t worry: she knows who she is)

And to my English Girlfriend (she knows who she is too). When asked by some American, “Do you celebrate the ‘Fourth of July’ in England? She always responds with a ‘washing of hands’ bit. Yep! Good Riddance! Hahahah! Gotta love them English!

I have spent the better part of the last three days watching documentaries about the birth of my nation.

(No. Not D.W. Griffith)

Documentaries about Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, George Washington, et al.

Present Day:

I served my county.

I love my Country. I am a patriot. I rant. I rail. I even disparage.

But, If you mark my country for ill, Or Speak Ill, I will…

Fight you.

‘Till no breath resides in my breast.

And… that is a fact, Jack.

So…

The rest is just hyperbole,

(and good video)

Have Fun:

us flag

 

“I wonder who put those ideas in your head.”

America

–Boz

I Have Spent A Lot of My ‘Dear Years’…

“Dear (fill in the name) I am so sorry we are apart, but you see, I am serving… something, something greater, something important, something, some power, Uh, My ego. See you soon. Love, Lance”

Away from my Homeland.

Yes.

I have.

My Choice.

Fyodor-Dostoevsky-Quotes-4

Sometimes in Service of my Country.

Sometimes in Service of Lance.

But, always, always, In Service  of That Great American Dream.

I came home from Iraq in ’09.

Went to Kandahar in ’11.

Came home late ’12.

Guess what?

There is no American Dream no mas.

The Bureaucrats killed it. 

I am a Patriot.

I love my country.

I served my ‘Country’.

But now, I do not recognize my country.

Now, I am leaning to socialism.

This post is but a beginning.

I am not gonna bore y’all with Lenny and Sarah, and bullshit anymore.

I am gonna bore you with reality.

The Reality.

Stay tuned.

For those of Y’all ‘Fraid of the NSA, well, bow out now gracefully. I have no fear, but I am old and have nothing to lose. And to quote Bette Davis: “Fasten Your Seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy night.”

And, Yes! I am not stupid. I do recognize the dichotomy of the diametrically opposed points of the two songs I present below for your perusal. You must sort out your own feelings.

Now, some would argue, “Lance is just living in his past; he is craving for the days when Revolution was a real possibility”

Some might say that.

I say, “There is no better time than the present, to take it up; because things now, are really fucked up.”

“Wake up!”

Wake the hell up, America!

My Country!

I love my America.

I truly do.

-Lance 

 

Inspired

Someone I know (and admire), compelled me to post this video. (Unknowingly / Unwittingly) 

I hope you enjoy it.

It makes me feel so right about supporting Women’s Rights. (And Their Strength) 

(No more preaching here from me; I do not wish to degrade the effect of the Video)

Yes, I know. This is a Socialist Song. But, without support from the home…well…

I still maintain this is a woman’s song.

It is (Still) Morning (Mourning?) in America!

“Oh shit!” ‘Sorry Ronnie Toopac… Nancy’Melania!

It is ‘SundayTuesday  Wednesday in Amerika!

“Let us watch ‘The Golf’ read my tweets!”

agusta

“Huge vivla la diff’ eh’?”

“Oh Me ah me! What ever do you mean?” (Said Nancy Melania)

“Ah shit Nancy! Melania! I mean it is morning in Amerka! Didn’t I say that?!”

“No, you are a Commie if you did!”

Nancy! Melania! I am soooo Sorry! I lost my place! Here was I, back in the Eighties! Working for law and land! Money, lust, and US!

I even enlisted! I served my Country! What did I get? Bupkis!” What did I get? Rich!

“Butt… We (Ronnie and I—don’t he look cute—riding that horsey? Honey?—Now…what were you saying? You middle class? Oh Yeah! Something  about entitlements?”)

“Uh! Ya know what? Nancy? Mel? Never mind. We got ours. And ya know what? We got that Commie Bastard!—That Gorbo-chov!  That Puttie… God Bless America!”

“But… where is the money?”

“for America?”

For us?

Where is our prosperity?

I thought we won the war?

Where? Where are the fruits?

They just evaporated.

Didn’t they?

“I made enuff money to buy Miami, but I pissed it away so fast…”

–Jimmy Buffett

“Just say no,” “Make US Great”  was all she said, as she walked away.

(The conversation is ambiguous, waxes and wanes, for a reason: we are all to blame)

“You let ’em come home…” America.

We all should be allowed to come home. After all: it is the only place that stays open–all night.

We all should be allowed to come home. After all: it is the only place that stays open–all night.

We all should be allowed to come home. After all: it is the only place that stays open–all night.

We all should be allowed to come home. After all: it is the only place that stays open–all night.

We all should be allowed to come home. After all: it is the only place that stays open–all night.

We all should be allowed to come home. After all: it is the only place that stays open–all night.

The US of US is the only place that stays open all night. For All. We sort em out, once they (manage) to get here.

The US of US is the only place that stays open all night. For All. We sort em out, once they (manage) to get here.

For All.

In The Texan, I Caint Make This Shit Up… Beep Beep Beep, Updated for 2017

Watch the vid.

Please

Nuff said

We love You Molly!

“If you could see me now….”

We need you now more than ever Molly.

You Texan Bitch!

“There’ a lot to like there”

Related: Kinky Friedman

Well, I just got back from New York city; Kris and Rita done it all

“Rita Coolidge, Rita Coolidge cleft for me”

ritacoolidgeandkrisk.jpg

–Willie Nelson

Since it is still Texas Independence Day, I am gonna continue to bombast my Blog with Texans I admire.

Here is (in my mind) one of the greatest (and most misunderstood and underrated) Texans: Kris Kristofferson, Rhode’s Scholar, ruffian, redneck, poet.

He married well. Too bad it didn’t take. Rita Coolidge! He should have found a way to make that work…