Saturday, December 30, 2006
I got off the USNS Saturn just after thanksgiving, but my family was all still at home in Bakersfield (tough for my little sister as she lives and works in San Diego on board the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)), so we were able to enjoy Thanksgiving together the day after. I also was able to enjoy my birthday, November 27 (I'm 25 now), and then of course, Christmas. I reported the day after Christmas to CSU-West (Customer Support Unit West), the place where all CIVMARs (Civilian Mariners, like myself) report when we're waiting for a ship, and we're still on duty. We actually earn our base salary while we're waiting around day after day. Last time I did this, I was waiting for 3 weeks before I was sent to the USNS Saturn. That's long, too, for someone like me (engineering officer). Most of the dime-a-dozen people like AB's (Able Bodied Seaman), OS's (Ordinary Seaman), SU's (Steward Utility), and some of the other Engineering ones, too: EU's (Engine Utility), Wipers, and so forth, usually end up in there sometimes for a month or two.
I'm currently staying at the Howard Johnson Express on Hotel Circle in Mission Valley. It's awesome here 'cause its really close in (the closest Government Contracted hotels to Point Loma Sub Base, actually), really close to Old Town San Diego (honestly, I could walk to Old Town, would take somewhere close to 15-25 minutes, but I could do it), and within an easy short drive to my little sister's apartment (near Qualcomm Stadium, for the SD Chargers). Here's hoping I get a decent ship and a safe travel to it, as well as a safe and fun wait here in San Diego.
Friday, November 03, 2006
I thought there'd be more than that. The funny part is I already know one other living one, my father....(that's right, I'm Henry the FOURTH), my grandfather and great grandfather are both dead.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
The sampe pages for the book shown just exemplify the horridness of anyone who would actually use this book to teach their children to become Democrats. Let me introduce them, The author is showing us that Democrats want to rule over us like Mommy does, that we (the masses) are nothing but children and need to be told EXACTLY what to do to make life better.
In one word: Socialism. Sharing one's wealth with someone less fortunate should be a personal decision. If one is destitute, then society does have an obligation to keep him from dying, but oftentimes such destitution is the cause of his own life choices. What this page is telling us is Democrats want to FORCE us to share our wealth. What if I worked hard for the money I make, and I would rather spend it on myself, because I've earned it?
Now this one just borders on the ridiculous. Let's just tell the kids that Democrats make you safe and everything will be all right. Everybody has a real vested interest in keeping their constituents safe. However, lax border security, defending criminals while victims suffer, gun control measures that make it harder for law-abiding citizens to own a gun(often for self-protection), appeasement attitudes towards this countries enemies (need I go on?), all show "Democrat" attitudes towards your safety. To equate politician's interest in keeping you safe with a mother's instinct is ludicrous.
Sure, as long as they go to state-run up schools through secondary education (high school). However, once you hit college age, that is up to you. Does any Democrat have any clue about community college? Community College is the stepping stone to anywhere (many of the requirements for entry into a Bachelor's program at a 4-year school are bypassed when transferring from Community College), and literally costs a few bucks a semester. To depict an Ivy League school in such an illustration is outright propaganda. The only people allowed to get into Ivy League are either the rich down to upper middle class (I'm not just talking incomes, those types tend to be very elitest), and that is regardless of whatever your political leanings are. Kerry and Bush both went to Yale(notice who the young male in the figure is drawn to look like) at about the same time, getting quite similar grades. Ask any of those top "pedigree" families and they would upturn their noses about letting "just anyone" in, except for the token charity case, often well publicized in the media.
Just using the example pages, reading the pages just turns you off, as it reads exactly like a religious book, indoctrinating children young into a certain political standpoint. I don't have a problem with most children's books that DO teach children about morals and values, as long as they mention all people should live up to that standard. If someone had written a book titled "Why Mommy is a Republican", I would be ridiculing the book for the exact same reasons...children too young for politics are TOO YOUNG FOR POLITICS (if you want to ask what age, just look @ how the book was written, if you think a child of a certain age would read at this level, then they are way too young for politics).
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Update: The Mets won game 6 to tie it 3-3, and then game 7 was tied 1-1 up until the 9th inning..when the cardinals pulled ahead to win 3-1
World Series: Detroit Tigers vs St. Louis Cardinals.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Rota was nice, I wish we would have had more time. My junior and I went out and enjoyed a brew at this Irish pub (Paddy's) in the tourist section of Rota, we then wandered and had a bottle of wine with a sampler of local cheeses and sausages. We thought the place was a place to eat, but that's all it turned out to be. The wine was good (all I remember was it was a white), the cheese was dry, and I was already heavily buzzed so I don't remember much of it, and the sausages were good, too. We enjoyed one last drink @ Champions, the bar at Naval Station, Rota before heading back to the ship. Not much time to do anything when you only have a few hours because we were still standing sea watches. Oh well...
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
An odd sight anywhere in the States, a local government official for tourism set up in the Ibn Batuta Mall near Jebel Ali took a break for religious duties.
I hate it when I forget to write down a ship's name, I believe this was after supplying the USS Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike group most probably in Gulf of Oman or Indian Ocean, most likely either the USS Nashville (LPD 13), USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41).
(Some help would be appreciated!) An Owl who showed up on board, somewhere between Jebel Ali, UAE and Djibouti, Africa. I took this picture just after an abandon ship drill.
In formation with and supplying cargo to the USS Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike group, the USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) behind me (for those that don't know, those are two of our ship's liferafts right in front of me), if I remember correctly, this was in the Red Sea after they returned from the Mediterranean after helping with the evacuation of Lebanon.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Oh well, the Navy Exchange in Rota is pretty good. The hours close the place too early so I hope that we pull in early enough to be able to use it (if not the comissary, than the SightnSound + Uniform center). Probably won't be enough time to actually go into town and enjoy the local scenery. After that it should only be another week and a half (at the most) before we get back to Norfolk!
Thursday, September 07, 2006
I am not a muslim, so I cannot begin to understand any of the people's experiences on that website, I just choose to help spread his message. His site is full of testimonials of people who have left Islam either on their own, or he helped guide. I will include the full text of one of his testimonials below:
Hey I am so pleased to hear something other than the endless incantations by Western liberals that "Islam is peaceful/tolerant/scientific etc etc". I am a female university student, 20 years old, and am English. I am of western liberal agnostic background yet became involved in Islam, my experiences in which I relate below. It is a great comfort to me to know that there are people out there who feel like I do. Contrary to the ridiculous cyclical arguments that people who leave or reject Islam "do not understand it", we do, and for that reason we are dangerous.
I am now so weary of the rebuttal of any reasoned critique of Islam, even in the West, with the hysterical kneejerk reaction of "racist!", "out of context!" or "because the Quran says so!" as well as the ignorant complicity of western liberals who confuse such "Islamophobia" with intolerance and racism. Have most liberal PC apologetics, whether muslim or non-muslim, ever READ the Quran and hadith, and if so, was it in a language they understand? Did they honestly ask themselves the implications of what it says??
From the age of 16 I was typically, for a teenage girl, disillusioned with the world and had a great desire to find "truth" and if God existed and what God wanted. I had a few muslim acquaintances and a guy I knew was even a muslim scholar. I was much impressed with the things he told me about Islam and scientific discovery, and he gave me a Quran and several books on Islam. When he told me that Neil Armstrong had heard the azaan on the moon and converted to Islam (this is a hoax) I was close to being totally convinced. Perhaps I was gullible, but no more so than millions of others.
For the next 3-4years I read much on Islam -I learnt far more about Islamic practice, the Quran and Islamic history than most people I know from a muslim background, including those who consider themselves practicing. I also took the shahada in private. I feel now the reason I kept this a secret was not only because I did not want to upset my family, but also because I was aware of the consequences of apostacy (in Islam, death). Needless to say I am not keen to tell people that technically I am an apostate. Perhaps the most painful thing was that the Quran told me that if I was a muslim, I could not love my parents anymore. I felt my personality changed, I felt resentful and hardened towards those who had mattered most.
By the time i got to university I had fallen for the modern rhetoric that, actually, Islam really respected women and thought a muslim guy would. However, in my experiences of the last couple of years this has been far from the case. I have dated 2 religious muslim guys. They both encouraged me in learning and practising Islam. I knew sex was not allowed outside of marriage and nor did I want this kind of relationship. I thought they would agree with this. However, in both cases, once we were alone, both tried to force themselves on me. They, and their male friends all seemed to have ridiculously dualistic public/private views regarding sex and morality, and it is not hard to see why when one reads the Quran. Islamic doctrine is obsessed with sex and its social regulation, yet paradise for men is 72 panting virgins (and a few little boys thrown in). Of course there are such men in every religion, but in my own life at least, I have yet to meet a religious muslim male that does not hold to some degree sexist, homophobic, intolerant and Islamo-imperialist views and I now steer clear.
Looking back, I wonder why I was so brainwashed, why I did not openly question the fact that women blatantly receive less rights than men in Islam, and all the other obvious facts in the Quran that indicate that it was a man-made religion and a far-from-divine philosophy. I am still asking myself that, though I feel fear, shame and DENIAL are heavily involved in this. Eventually I opened my Quran and looked inside and asked myself if I could honestly believe that I could believe in the divinity of such hateful and violent words. I believe in God, but more as a existing as level of divinity through love and compassion of which all are capable of giving and worthy of receiving. However, I do not feel I need to respect a person's beliefs in order to respect the rights of that person to practice them (as long as this does not infringe the rights of others) and to treat them with compassion.
I will continue to look and contribute to this site now and offer a hand of support to anyone who needs it.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
For some reason, India went through the trouble of banning 17 blogs and sites that it deemed to promote "the culture of hate". Although it seems ironic that it is now "hating" on "hate" sites. Visit the link please and he has a link where you can show your solidarity.
Monday, July 17, 2006
USNS SATURN (T-AFS 10)
Combat Stores Ship
• Length: 524 feet
• Beam: 72 feet
• Draft: 22 feet
• Displacement: 16,792 long tons
• Speed: 19 knots
• Organization: Military Sealift Fleet Support Command
• Civilian: 103
• Military: 26
Visit the ship's website
Click on image at left for larger picture.
Monday, July 10, 2006
In his interview, he mentioned that "The World Cup makes us in the UN green with envy." He continues..
The World Cup makes us in the UN green with envy. As the pinnacle of the only truly global game, played in every country by every race and religion, it is one of the few phenomena as universal as the United Nations. You could even say it's more universal. FIFA has 207 members; we have only 191. But there are far better reasons to be envious.His reasoning is a little flawed, I'm unsure (I'm too lazy to check) if areas such as Puerto Rico, Guam and Hong Kong have their own UN observer at least or not, but they are all 3 FIFA members, for example. But he is right, it is completely universal, and the one sport that is played worldwide where each player literally represents his or her country. One could talk about the Olympics, tennis, or golf and such. However those players don't really represent their country, sure its international, but they only mention where they're from as an afterthought. Only in Football (in the international sense of the term) where each national team represents that country, and a nation can feel national pride or national shame at their team's win or loss. I remember when Paul Caliguri scored against Trinidad & Tobago to bring the US to the world cup for the first time since 1950, T&T felt a national loss and the sport didn't regain in that country for a few years, and finally were able to show up in the world cup this year in Germany.
Another interview was done by our "hero",(sarcasm intended)Bill Clinton. Most of his was political bsh*t, but he made some good comments about it being hosted in Africa.
Looking ahead now, I think you would have to say that the first-ever World Cup in Africa in 2010 provides a unique opportunity to focus the world's attention on the potential of Africa and the challenges faced by the African people. I’m certainly thrilled that my foundation (The Clinton Foundation) will be joining in this effort to translate the global appeal of soccer into tangible programs that will benefit the children of Africa.
Although do you notice how he quickly moves to "tootin' his own horn", and any time you mention international politics, you have to mention the poor children(Sally Struthers anyone?).
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
At Wizbang, some of the commentators weren't believeing the infamous popular mechanics article, so I decided to look for the website of the video that I saw during my engineering ethics class case study of the collapse.
Here it is: NOVA Online: Why the Towers fell.
Wackos....please shut up
Friday, June 23, 2006
Random rambling, I was able to catch the USA's last game against Ghana in the world cup and I was rather unimpressed with our "established" talent. Demarcus Beasley, Landon Donovan, Claudio Reyna, Kasey Keller, Eddie Pope...you guys needed to step up in order to go forward and you guys failed. Good job to new players..Oguchi Onyewu, Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra, Bobby Convey, you guys were amazing.
The USNS Saturn (T-AFS 10) is a dry cargo ship, we can move fuel, but dry cargo is our bread and butter.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
I WILL be in town to at least view the hardest game of the first round...the USA match against the Czech Republic...currently the 5th ranked vs the 2nd ranked team on FIFA's international ranking system of Men's National Teams. I hope all of you will stop to watch the match...
By the way... Mexico defeated Iran earlier today 3-1 in what was an excellent match for Mexico, who played very well all the way through. Iran came out hard in the first 15 minutes getting quite a few excellent chances on goal, going 1-1 at halftime. A mistake by the Iranian goalkeeper allowed Mexico's attacker O. Bravo to put away the game winner, then to be followed by another goal minutes later.
USA vs Czech Republic in the "group of death", group E, tomorrow June 12, 2006 airing on ESPN2 at 11:55 AM ET, 8:55 PT.
BE THERE....AND BEWARE!
Monday, April 24, 2006
ORLANDO, Fla. — When high school teacher Lee Waters logged
onto a popular Web site and read the demeaning sexual comments a student had
posted alongside her picture, the Sarasota woman felt completely
The school district suspended the North Port High School student,
but attorney Geoffrey Morris said Waters doesn't think the boy understands the
humiliation she feels.
The teacher filed a lawsuit against the student in March, but
she isn't looking for money. She just wants other students to understand how
harmful Internet pranks can be, Morris said.
That appears to be the basis of the entire story, let's read on!
The Sarasota County School District said it did what it could to help Waters, by
suspending the student and taking other disciplinary action, but it's not alone
as it struggles to deal with cyber-bullying. Similar lawsuits and complaints are
popping up in Florida and elsewhere nationwide as bullies move from punching
someone on the playground to writing nasty and sometime libelous postings about
classmates, teachers and school officials on the Internet, where everyone can
Public and private schools have launched cyber crackdowns on the
bullies, but that has left them vulnerable to accusations that they are
violating the students' First Amendment rights, particularly when the posting is
made on an off-campus computer as most are. The American Civil Liberties Union
has been quick to file and threaten lawsuits if it thinks a school or district
has crossed the line.
Well this is nothing new, online libeling and lampooning of people happens often, especially considering other cases where people feel emboldened by the semi-anonyminity of the internet. There is a slight problem though...Children are not full citizens according to the law (as I understand it), and therefore HAVE no first amendment rights (example: a minor under the age of 18-that has not been emancipated- cannot enter into a legally binding contract on their own). Of course we all know the propensity of the American Civil Liberties Union to throw their lawyers into the fray. My understanding is that the childrens' legal guardians are the ones that should be held responsible for that person's actions.
Again, same comments. I wonder why that school's administration even cares about what was posted on a website, but if it does it should send a note to the child's parents, who probably have NO idea what he did (considering how many parents still think television is a good babysitter, so therefore computers must be an even better one). I am still trying to figure out how something posted on a website has anything to do with school activities, especially since "Nearly every school system has blocked students from accessing MySpace and similar sites like Xanga and Facebook while on campus."
Justin Layshock, for example, admitted that he logged on to
MySpace from his grandmother's computer to post a phony profile of his
Pennsylvania high school's principal that was peppered with vulgarities and fat
jokes. To the question "what did you do on your last birthday?" Layshock wrote
for his principal: "too drunk to remember."
Administrators suspended Layshock
for 10 days and temporarily transferred the gifted student to an alternative
program reserved for students with discipline problems, saying he had disrupted
The ACLU sued, saying Layshock's First Amendment rights
were violated. The case is pending.
I just hope everyone accepts the basic truth:
"Public schools do not have a legal authority to regulate what a
kid does at their home computer"
The funny part is...the only one who understands who is the ultimate responsibility for what is posted by the children is a 7th grader....
Seventh-grader Dhillon Ramdular just hoped someone would help him(emphasis mine)
when classmates at his Brevard County middle school posted a phony Web site,
using his name and photo, that had racial remarks and vulgar sexual pictures. He
turned to school officials, but said his tormentors' parents also needed to take
"I think if a student is doing something bad in MySpace and it's
relating to school matters then a teacher should be able to step in and say
that," he said. "If it's just at home, then parents should really take care of
Saturday, April 22, 2006
The X5 is arguably the best mp3 player out there!
(and apparently Cowon is working on a portable media player that will include such features as GPS)
Friday, April 21, 2006
I work as a civilian mariner, a Department of Defense employee for the Military Sealift Command, in what seems is the forgotten service, the Merchant Marine.
In times of war and peace, we go out to sea to supply the United States with goods from abroad (and those working for MSC, we supply the NAVY with goods), often with minimal or NO means of defending ourselves!
Think about airplane hijackings...anytime it happens you hear it on the news. How many pirate attacks do you hear about? Piracy still happens on the high seas (albeit really only in certain areas of the world, and is a little more high-tech now), as well as any terrorist with a bunch of C-4 on a boat can blast a hole in the side of a ship!
I urge you not only support your military servicemen and women, but support the United States Merchant Marine!
3rd Assistant Engineer
USNS Mount Baker (T-AE 34)
Update: Added to this week's Carnival of the Trackbacks.
I now have 30 days vacation, and after that, I have to report back to get sent on another ship.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
3 A/E Henry Scharf
USNS Mount Baker (T-AE 34)
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Hello folks, My apologies for not posting for the longest time since I've been out here. I am still on the USNS Mount Baker, and we've finished our deployment. We came through the Suez Canal in late February and now we're in the Atlantic speeding our way home at about 20 knots. The ship's homeport is in New Jersey and I will do my best to come back to all my favorite blogs then. A word of interesting note, I have no idea what other people are writing about the Port deal that for some reason people seem to think that they SHOULD have an opinion on. I don't care one way or another. Having been to Dubai, UAE I can say that people's fears about security are uncalled for. For one, there seems to be a disproportionate amount of Indians in UAE than Arabs. UAE is sort of like America in that there are a lot of immigrants trying to find a decent day's wage. In fact, almost every single one of my cab drivers was from India.
Now, on to Port Security. I've only been to the port of Jebel Ali (which is about an hour and a half drive from Dubai), which is where the USNS Mount Baker tied up every time she went in, and I can say that the security isn't any different there than at other ports. The ports in question (if I'm not mistaken) are currently owned by a British Company, and we know THEIR history and tolerance of radical muslims.
All other comments aside, I can say that UAE is a close ally of the US currently and we can't do much to jeapordize that. We need all the help we can get if we are going to win over hearts and minds of the arab people (which is really the only way we can win the "great war on terror"). Either way, shipping is still controlled and watched over by the US Coast Guard (who issued me my license to sail as 3rd Engineer), and it is their job to handle security. I say let THEM handle security problems and let the U.S. public (who don't really know anything about shipping and the entire industry that goes along with it) get their noses out of this current deal. I told you before, I don't have any strong opinions one way or another on the deal. I'm just saying that neither should you.
Henry Scharf, Civilian
3rd Assistant Engineer
USNS Mount Baker (T-AE 34)