Sunday, August 13, 2006

Captive Audience

One thing I really like about deployments is the fact that everybody’s stuck on the ship, so we may as well train ourselves. What else are we going to do? I suppose we could sit around and watch movies all day, like the Air Department… but no! I spend up to ten hours a day on watch and the last three days when I haven’t been sitting in cool, blue-lit room in front of a radar scope, I’ve been running Basic Engineering Casualty Control Exercises (“BECCES,” pronounced “beckies”). Eight hours of plotting disasters for the watch team every day really tends to fill the time between watches, resulting in a stack of paperwork on my desk that I am ignoring at the moment.

I'm getting a little downtime to enjoy the scenery too. There have been some gorgeous sunsets at sea and the full moon has really made the evenings beautiful. In Valparaiso I also got some postcard-esque sunset pictures.

The watches themselves between Valparaiso, Chile, and Manta, Ecuador, have been slow and good for training time as well. I did only one battle scenario, but I’m helping junior officers get qualified to stand watch in CIC and the bridge during the down time. I also have to give an Engineering Officer of the Watch (EOOW) board for my Auxiliaries Officer (AUXO) and Main Propulsion Assistant (MPA) so they can help out on the watchbill and also move on to higher qualifications. I’m hoping AUXO will be our fourth Tactical Action Officer (TAO – the watch I stand, which means I will stand less watch) and MPA will need to get up to the bridge eventually. I’m working actively to professionally enable the men who work for me as much as possible.

Of course, we do occasionally get distracted when there’s not much going on during watch and sometimes people get squirrely. Last night was interesting because my Watch Supervisor walked up to me asked a really thoughtful and important question: MacGyver or James Bond?

Good question! At first I was inclined to say James Bond, as were most of the sailors because he obviously gets all the women, but that’s too easy. To me the question is about the gadgets; who would you rather be in a life-and-death situation? James Bond survives by virtue of overconfident villains and Q. MacGyver has a Swiss Army knife and a houseboat-load of pluck. And he gets plenty of girls, but he treats them with respect, and they dig his mullet. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I dig James Bond, but between the two, I’d rather be MacGyver.

So I pose the question to you, blogosphere: MacGyver or James Bond?

In other news, the no-shave chit for a week went well. Beard growth was trucking right along before it was cut down in its prime last night; however, I’m keeping the mustache. Here’s me in my Engineering Training Team Leader gear a few hours prior to its untimely demise.

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Blogger SouthernSkye bloody well said...

Hello There,

Sorry to see you couldn't hit the Discos till 5 a.m this time. That must really stink.
I just created a BLOG for military wives to go to and vent out any and all frustrations while their spouse(s) are on deployment. If you wouldn't mind, maybe you could stop by and give us some info on what life on deployment is really like. You could be our "Special Guest" for our GRAND OPENING! Thanks and hope you get to hit those bars and beers soon!! LOL!

14 August, 2006 04:38  
Blogger NEO, SOC bloody well said...

I say MacGuyver. Why?
1) The gadgets; 2) Richard Dean Anderson is the only person to play the part; 3) Respectful to the women; 4) Get's promoted to Colonel Jack O'Neil from Stargate SG-1; and 5) the gadgets he makes from scratch!

14 August, 2006 11:33  
Blogger nosthegametoo bloody well said...

MacGyver?? Come on, my friend, James Bond is the King of cool. Is there really a comparison?

14 August, 2006 12:11  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon bloody well said...

MacGyver anyday.

Nice pic. I did not realize that you were still a pup.

14 August, 2006 15:38  
Blogger Robosquirrel bloody well said...

Yup, I'm only twenty-ten.

No: James Bond has a lot going for him, but he's completely useless without MI-6 support. Didn't you see Die Another Day? He was helpless to escape the clutches of the North Koreans despite the ready availability of common household items.

14 August, 2006 17:37  
Blogger jgf bloody well said...

Totally MacGyver. The gadgets are the best defense without a doubt.

14 August, 2006 23:34  

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