Friday, September 01, 2006


I'm out of good coffee. That's going to make me a cranky CHENG.

Heading to Norfolk on the heels of Ernesto. I'm hoping for good weather on the way, as we transit hurricane alley, of course. So far, the coast looks clear. I'm looking forward to being able to have my evenings free, get a little shopping done (like getting decent coffee), but it's a working port, and we have to do an inspection called "ULTRA-S" (Unit Level Training - Sustainment). It's supposed to be part of the new way that the Navy trains, where you demonstrate that you are maintaining proficiency in multiple areas. As with all other inspections, Engineering will account for something like 60% of the whole thing.

One really needs a good strong cup of coffee to deal with this new training cycle, I think - not this weak, coarse-ground, burnt-crotch-tasting garbage the ship buys. The funny thing about this inspection is that no one really knows what it is. There's a page about it in the new Surface Force Training Manual, but it's really vague as to how the ULTRA-S is conducted and what the expectations are and even what is supposed to happen or be observed. The Squadron just decided yesterday that they would observe us doing Group Sail up here in Virginia - as long as they can get observers here. We won't really have to do too much extra if that's the case. Even funnier is that all the training folks in Mayport are getting together on 7 SEP to figure out what they expect out of ULTRA S, one week before we have ours.

I actually did buy some coffee in Panama, about 20 feet from the brow, carried it with me on the pier all day yesterday and left it at the table that me and a bunch of the other officers were drinking at last night. We were back in Colon for two days for the PANAMAX closing ceremonies, to which they don't invite Chief Engineers. I'm getting to like running the ship all the time...I don't know what I'll do with all my "free time" in Norfolk - the CDO-qualified division officers will be standing most of the duty there and in Mayport. Firebug hooked me up in Norfolk, but I took a guy's duty for him so he could spend the weekend with his mom.

So I will be stuck with some of the worst coffee I've ever tasted while spending the week preparing for vaguery in Virginia. The good news is 19 days and a wake-up until Red hands Jack off to me. I'm looking forward to an extended port visit in Mayport and watching my son roll over - oh yes, he's started rolling over!

I know the world's going crazy every day and I don't write much about that anymore, but I'm sure I'll get annoyed about something in the news eventually.

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Anonymous Anonymous bloody well said...

My Dad was a Chief Engineer but retired a Captain (OCS), you have to be an academy grad because the real guys do not complain or talk the smack that you talk. Why your wife puts up with you? ..... who knows? She must be a trained MONKEY. You are nothing but a floating alcoholic. Better watch your step. CO get's wind of this and it might be Captains Mass, oh wait? He's probably a Grad too ..... ooop's, all's it will take to clear things up and get you off the hook will be a good cigar! LOL!!

01 September, 2006 23:59  
Blogger Gyrobo bloody well said...

Just remember to write if you ever find that coastal paradise where the best coffee in the world comes from. You know the one I mean, the one that's been kept off the maps since Roosevelt decided it was "too delicious" for the public to know about.

That coastal city.

02 September, 2006 19:58  
Anonymous Kelly Simer bloody well said...

Had lots of rain in Norfolk thanks to Ernesto, but the weather is great now. Exciting news regarding your son! Josh's daughter is getting stronger everyday - she can hold her head up very well and can turn this way and that to look at things in the room. She'll be rolling over before we know it too! Enjoy your break from work!

03 September, 2006 11:42  
Blogger shoprat bloody well said...

All the new ways of doing things? Does this actually make improvements and is it worthwhile or is it just a "see how hard we are working" idea forced on you by others.

05 September, 2006 20:19  
Blogger Robosquirrel bloody well said...

Anonymous: Grow a pair quit doing whippets, you have no idea what you're talking about.

Gyrobo: One day I'll find that place.

Kelly: I just got off the phone with Red and just narrates his his every movement sometimes. It's amazing, I can't wait to see him.

Shoprat: I'd be the first one to tell you the old training system was "check-in-the-block" sort of stuff and relatively meaningless. I like the new system on paper, but it apparently is not quite ready for prime time.

09 September, 2006 11:47  

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