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There are three women from around here that do a Whale of a good thing together. For at least the past three years these ladies have ventured out on the SEA, we call it the Atlantic Ocean around here. So far it has been via the Tidewater area of Virginia. To get there from here you head south and cross the lower Chesapeake Bay where it meets the Atlantic Ocean via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. This year the trio will take the Cape May – Lewes Ferry, crossing Delaware Bay. And what is this you ask, it’s a Whale watching adventure, on a boat.
The girls, Mary Agnes, Kathryn, and Alexis do a lot of things together. Mary Agnes is the Matriarch, Kathryn is her daughter, and Alexis might as well be a daughter. There is a definite Irish connection there. We shall save that connection for another time down the road. These girls also spend a lot of time together wearing out the soles of sneakers. Marathons, half marathons, 10-Ks, 5-Ks and lazy meanderings are often the order of a day off together.
Previously the girls used Virginia Beach, VA as their launch site. This year they shall venture out from Cape May. They will spend their nights in Wildwood Crest, just north of Cape May. New places to shop, new restaurants to try out. Perhaps they could work their way north in the coming years and travel further up the east coast. There great shopping and food venues in places like Montauk, Long Island, Newport, Rhode Island, and Gloucester, Massachusetts. I’m told they even see Whales way up there in Canada.
What a difference a day makes. Yesterday we had temperatures in the low to mid 70’s here on the East Coast of the USA. It is now Sunday 13 November 2022 and as I type this at 0630 hrs. it is 49f, 9.4c for the rest of the world. Will we ever change and join the world community? But then again, the English still weigh in Stones. I guess we all have our little quirks.
11/13/2022 Today’s Marine Forcast…Nw Winds Around 20 Kt With Gusts Up To 30 Kt. Seas 3 To 5 Ft. Nw Swell 3 To 5 Ft At 4 Seconds. Light Swells. Showers Likely Early This Morning, Then A Chance Of Showers Late This Morning. A small craft warning is in effect. Will the girls get a rain check once again? Thank the good Lord shopping is always an option.
Yes today is my birthday, along with every other present and past United States Marine. No matter where we born, Parris Island, SC, San Diego CA or Quantico, VA. When you get that Eagle Globe and Anchor, your life as a Marine has begun. I feel I’m looking pretty good for a man of 247 years.
Here is the Commandant’s message for this the 247 Birthday of the Marine Corps. Should you be interested in learning a little more, take a few minutes and watch the accompanying video.
The US Marine Corps started as the Continental Marines on November 10, 1775. On that date, the Second Continental Congress decided that they needed 2 battalions of Marines to serve as landing forces with the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783).
(Photo from : https://weaponsandwarfare.com/about/
After the war, the Continental Navy was dismantled, and as a consequence the Marines as well. However, after increasing conflict with revolutionary France, the Marine Corps was formally re-established.
If you live east of the Mississippi river, your boot camp training will be located at Parris Island, SC. Now there is a special place that brings back many memories from every Marine who has gone through that training.
Parris Island has a long history of colonization. Many attempts were made at permanent settlement between 1526 and 1722. The first successful attempt was made by the French in 1562, followed by the Spanish and finally the British. After the Revolutionary War, Parris Island plantations began to grow cotton instead of indigo. During the Civil War, the island became a coaling station for the Union Navy.
Nov. 2, 1861 – The first Marines in the area of Parris Island sailed into Port Royal Harbor, S.C., as members of detachments aboard various ships with the Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Commanding officer, Navy Capt. Samuel F. Du Pont, seized the area and it was used as an important base for the Union Navy throughout the Civil War.
Aug. 7, 1882 – An act of Congress authorized the establishment and construction of a coaling dock and naval storehouse at Port Royal Harbor. A select group of naval officers chose Parris Island as the site.
In early July of 1962 this writer arrived at Parris Island via Yamassee, SC.
Although Parris Island’s first recruits arrived on the USS Prairie in October 1915, the Marines developed that same year a train station at Yemassee, S.C., which was the depot’s initial receiving point for the central and eastern recruiting stations. The town then had a bank, a general store, a few houses and “an abundancy of South Carolina pine.” A hotel was also there in 1915, and the Marines praised its ballroom and the gracious hospitality of the townspeople, especially its pretty girls. Recruits arriving at Yemassee on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad would be transferred to the Charleston & Western Railroad, which ran to Port Royal. Once there, the World War I recruits would be placed on everything from side wheel ferryboats, barges, long boats or a kicker (a small motor boat) for the trip to Parris Island. Today, most all recruits are flown to this great advenure and will land in Charleston, SC.
I along with a host of new recruits from more northern states would board a train at 30th street station in Philadelphia, PA and head south to 13 weeks of summer camp. Should wish to learn more of this summer adventure check out https://www.mcrdpi.marines.mil/Centennial-Celebration/Historical-information/8-Yemassee-SC/
Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego
Today this Recruit Depot provides its nation’s Corps with basically trained Marines to fight in the current conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The depot has the responsibility to train all male recruits who reside west of the Mississippi River to serve at the call of the nation. Some history should you be interested. https://www.mcrdsd.marines.mil/About/Depot-History/
Officer Candidates School
The mission of Officer Candidates School (OCS) is to educate and train officer candidates in Marine Corps knowledge and skills within a controlled and challenging environment in order to evaluate and screen individuals for the leadership, moral, mental, and physical qualities required for commissioning as a Marine Corps officer.
I find it hard to believe I started blogging way back in 2008, February 2008 actually. I used Blogspot by Google back then. I’ll still copy and paste on that venue from time to time. For today however, I shall share with you my first blog. A few things are different however, like I was up at 0400 this morning with the Mrs having coffee. She is gone, having walked to the eldest daughter’s home a mile away. The Mrs usually has 10,000 steps in prior to 0800. The daughters, now that’s a busy house, at the moment. husband Jeff (where in the world is Jeff ?) he’s still working from home for the government. Youngest daughter Abby and husband Antwan are living in the Frog, (Finished room over the garage). Their cat, Friday and dog Phoebe are there also. Oh, on Friday the young’ns are expecting their first child. Kathryn & Jeff have Libby, 14 YO Yellow Lab and their cat Bolt. That’s what the cat does when he she sees a stranger, BOLTS. On this morning daughter Kathryn will be out the door early for a Salvation Army breakfast.
So here you go folks, should anyone be interested, my first BLOG.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2008
Blog, kind of sounds like a cold, or a zit or some kind of an affliction. My first day with a blog, now what do I do with it?
Well to start off I’ll let the world know how I start my day on the Internet.
My start up page is http//refdesk.com
Having spent twenty years in Connecticut I next go to http://www.courant.com/ to check on the local news and how the UCONN Huskies are doing in any given season. I’m a forty year Huskie fan. http://www.uconnhuskies.com/
Next up, but sometimes #1 is the weather. While in the Marine Corps, way back when, I was in Weather as an occupation with Rawinsonde as a sub specialty. http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/marineenjobs/bl68.htm
During the Hurricane season I live by the National Hurricane Center. www.nhc.noaa.gov/
I have friends and family in CT, FL, CA, and affections to Key West, FL, Pagosa Springs, CO, Flagstaff, AZ and Ireland and Germany. So, I usually check on the weather in those places.
After the two DC papers I go to Google News, which I have preference settings in and glance over that. Next is onto my mail servers.
From then on I usually have a Memo Pad with notes on things to look up and it’s off I go. This all starts shortly after I get up, usually around 0500. Once downstairs it’s a hot cup of tea to start the day.
Here, I’ve given the world the start of my day for the start of a BLOG. I shall end this bantering with saying Cead Mile Failte
TheRooster Semper Fi
It turns out that my neighbor from the opposite side of the street out here in the country needed some help with his pool yesterday. I’ve had some experience with filters and such, so I was pressed into service.
Just as I was returning from an exercise walk, my phone rings, it’s my neighbor Jim. He explains the dilemma he’s presently having with his pool filter. I’m actually at the mouth of his driveway when I get the call. I tell him I’ll be right over. I walk to my house to check in, the wife is in the midst of fixing a wonderful country breakfast. I let her know the issue Jim is having with his pool, that I’m going to give him a hand and I’ll return in a jiffy, NOT. I get that look, if you’ve been married fifty-five years you know the look.
I walk back across the street and find my neighbor poolside, standing next to the filter outside the pool. He fills me in on what was going on, he can’t seed the guts of the filter properly and is pumping Diatomaceous Earth back in the pool. Jim looks at me and says, ”Linda is going to Kill me,” together for over thirty some years, I’m guessing he knows “that” look also.
I survey the situation, eventually figuring out the flow scheme and how the guts need to fit into a plethora of tubes, few, if any are properly seeded. Jim proceeds to tell me he’s not very mechanical, but if you need your appendix removed he could do that quite successfully. I request a rubber mallet and gently tap all into place. Combined we start to put the lid into place, I proceed to drop one of the wing nuts needed into the bottom of the filter. Once again the entire guts are remove and I go fishing blindly through the murky Diatomaceous earthen waters and retrieve the wing nut.
Slam, Bam, thank you Ma’am, the second try is the Coup de Gras. We check all the connections, hit the start switch and dang if we don’t have clear running water going back into the pool. Jim breaths a sigh of relief, the wrath of Linda shall not come upon him. Jim says thanks, I say “that’s what neighbors do.”
Back home the Mrs, God Bless her, says “two or three pieces of bacon” with my perfectly Butter Scrambled eggs and raspberry spread toast? “Three” I say, and proceed to tell her the pool filter event. All is calm in Dodge.
Fast forward 6 hours and Jim says on Face Book.
OK, so the day started out uneventfully. I was having a problem with my pool filter, no matter what I did the pressure would rise after a couple of hours post back washing. I called my pool service and was told that they don’t do service calls on Saturday. So I called my good friend, next door neighbor, former Marine, retired State Trooper, and all around recognized pool guru.
Linda and I decided to put the leaf net over the pool since the Crepe Myrtles were dropping tons of blossoms into the pool. We couldn’t find any clothesline rope so we decided to use coated wire clothes line rope temporarily to hold the net in place until Monday. All good, right? My wire cutters wouldn’t cut the braided wire very well so Linda suggested using s hatchet to cut the line.
Good idea! But as I was cutting the third length of wire rope I chopped off the tip of my left thumb. Blood flew everywhere and I headed to the house, irrigated the wound for ten minutes, Applied an antibiotic cream, wrapped it with a paper towel, then a second, then a third, and a fourth and still the blood was spewing from the wound. So much for taking daily aspirin. I elevated it above my head to no avail until Linda came into the house, took charge and put a proper bandage on the wound.
Not the best of days, tomorrow I am going to sit in the recliner all day and try not to further damage my body or my psyche. That is all. Hope you had a better day !
I, sometime after Jim’s post, look at the Face Book message Jim posted of the incident, and reply to Jim the following.
You should have called the Marine across the street. Rumor has it he always has a couple hundred feet of Para-Cord on hand, an extremely sharp knife that he knows how to use as well, is always clipped to his pocket. Another rumor I’ve been told is that the knife is so sharp than an Air Force PJ Medic once borrowed the same knife to perform an emergency appendectomy during a remote clandestine military mission.
Obviously this loping off the end of a thumb was not representative of good use of available resources. Lesson learned, when all else fails, call in the Marines. Semper Fi
Just another day in the country!
Growing up in the South of New Jersey, Exit # 3 of the NJ Tpk. was my geographical reference point. I was quite familiar with the Jersey Devil. The below is from https://weirdnj.com/
The Jersey Devil
While this one is not a “ghost” story, the tale of the Jersey Devil has withstood the test of time—and for good reason. Stories of the winged beast are truly terrifying. But who or what is the Jersey Devil? According to Weird NJ, the infamous creature haunting the Pine Barrens is the child of Mother Leeds, a Pines resident who conceived her thirteenth child in 1735. At the time, Leeds had no idea how she could care for (let alone afford) another kid and so, in exasperation, she raised her hands to the heavens and proclaimed “Let this one be a devil!” Leeds got her wish. Moments after birth, her healthy baby boy grew horns and claws and bat-like wings. Legend has it the “devil” then killed his mother before attacking onlookers.
This remembrance should have been posted before or on Halloween, once again, however, Life got in the way.
One thought going back many years ago, in the mid-fifties I’d say, is the following:
There were train tracks going through our town back then. These tracks ran the breadth of South Jersey from Camden to Atlantic City, with many spurs running from them in north and south directions. One such spur even went to the north into the Pine Barrens.
On this day I was walking the tracks with a few friends in early fall. Just days prior, it had been reported that a murder had occurred in the area around Chatsworth, a town that is kind of the Capitol of the Pine Barrens.
One of the three or four of us began talking about the incident as we headed back home from Hadden Heights. The sun was setting to our front, and the early fall darkness was setting in. Someone even mentioned the killer could have hopped a freight out of the Barrens. I remember all of our imaginations running a bit on the wild side.
As you come into Audubon, there is a lean-to built to protect commuter passengers in foul weather. Someone surmised that the killer from Chatsworth could be holed out in there. To this day, I can remember passing that lean-to very quickly. Dinner and the safety of home were calling.
Whenever I return to that town of my youth and pass that intersection, E. Atlantic and Chestnut streets, I can still remember that fall day.
I hope you all got a lot of candy and had a fun Halloween.
Should you not be familiar with the with the area, Delmarva, where the Rooster has his coop, is a peninsula. The peninsula is made up of parts of three states, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.
During the BIG BLOW (Storm Quinn) last week, March 2nd to be exact, we were stuck here on the peninsula for a brief time. The winds were far in excess of what was safe for vehicles to cross the bridges off the peninsula. Pictured above is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from Kent Island to Annapolis. Pictured below is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel that connects the southern tip of Delmarva to Virginia Beach.
Salisbury, MD is the closest reporting station to our Coop. Here is the weather history for Salisbury that day last week : https://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KSBY/2018/3/2/DailyHistory.html?req_city=Salisbury&req_state=MD&req_statename=Maryland&reqdb.zip=21801&reqdb.magic=1&reqdb.wmo=99999
Outside the son’s house, Tolland, CT.
So what’s going on today, March 7, 2018? Storm Riley is this one’s name. I just happen to be in the Nutmeg State of Connecticut hanging with the son’s family for a few days. And what does the National Weather Service have to say?
URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Taunton MA
415 PM EST Wed Mar 7 2018
Hartford CT-Tolland CT-Windham CT-Eastern Hampshire MA-
Eastern Hampden MA-Northwest Providence RI-
Including the cities of Hartford, Windsor Locks, Union, Vernon,
Putnam, Willimantic, Amherst, Northampton, Springfield, Foster,
415 PM EST Wed Mar 7 2018
…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 AM EST
* WHAT…Heavy snow. Total snow accumulations of 8 to 15 inches,
heaviest in the higher terrain in northern Connecticut and
* WHERE…Portions of northern Connecticut, western
Massachusetts and northern Rhode Island.
* WHEN…Until 7 AM EST Thursday.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel will be very difficult if not
impossible. Tree branches and wires could fall. Snowfall rates
of 1 to 3 inches during the height of the storm with
A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather
conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible. If you
must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your
vehicle in case of an emergency.
A Red Pot Recipe
So what does the Mrs. do on that miserable day last week, she makes, without a doubt, the finest Beef Stew of our fifty-two years of marriage in her big red pot.
Vegetable oil, for searing
2 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes after searing whole.
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium onions, cut into 6ths
1 1/4 pounds medium potatoes, quartered
4 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 medium Parsnips, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 can, Cream of Celery Soup
1 can French Onion Soup
1 can of Red Wine (Cab)
Pre-heat oven to 300 dgrees. Add vegetable oil to bottom of pot on high heat on stove burner, salt and pepper meat to taste, insert roast into pot when oil is hot, sear for one to two minutes on each side. Remove beef, cut into 2 inch squares, return to pot. Add all other ingredients, stir and place in oven for four hours, remove and serve.
Serves 4-6 Enjoy
So just last month Ben, our 16 month old Standard Poodle and I visited the Vet. He was throwing up, had diarrhea during the night, not eating or drinking. Just the age old failure to thrive diagnoses.
It’s a Friday and I got him to the Vet for an exam. They kept him for the day, IV for dehydration, Xrays, Antibiotics and several phone calls during the day. “Come in after six” they say, “and you should be able to take him home. It’s a good thing you got him here when you did, could have been dead by morning.”
FYI: Three days prior Ben and I were on a 250 acre farm and he was chasing flocks of geese and having a grand time. I did observe what looked like him nibbling on something on occasion. Goose Poop I suspected then and the Vet confirmed most likely and the cause of his problems.
Diagnoses after blood tests: Colitis, Pancreatitis, severe dehydration. All this due to Dietary Indiscretion was the Vets call. Seven days of Antibiotics, $1,000.00 lighter in the wallet and directions for an interim diet of baked sweet potatoes and venison mixed together we got to go home.
Man’s Best Friend, Foie gras be damned! I do love that dog, all 65 lbs. of him. No Poodle cut, looks like a black bear. As you can see, he’s a great watch dog. Ben’s full name is, Benjamin Franklin Fiddler, my BFF.
The first Valentine’s Day I can remember takes me back to third grade at #2 school on Wyoming Avenue in Audubon, NJ. Audubon was a Jersey suburb of Philadelphia, just four miles away from the Walt Whitman Bridge. Using my fingers to count on, I’m guessing I was eight years old at the time.
Mrs. Lippincott was my teacher. I googled her and learned she died in the year 2000 at age 98, she taught for 39 years. When not in school I always called her Aunt Grace. There were a lot of male and female family acquaintances back then that I called Aunt and Uncle this, and Aunt and Uncle that. They weren’t relatives mind you, but that was what I was expected to call them. Even my mother called Aunt Grace, Aunt Grace, she taught my mother also.
In early February while in third grade there was a note sent home saying something like this; “All children are encouraged to bring in Valentines to share for Valentine’s Day. There should be 24 Valentines brought in to pass out. Please send in the Valentines in a bag and I will store them until it is time to hand them out. Here are the names of our students if your child would like to personalize the cards.”
My mother bought me several sheets of punch out Valentine cards. I’m guessing 12 cards to each sheet, I don’t remember there being envelopes. On the back of what ever picture or saying was on the front were dotted lines labeled To:, From: and Message. I can remember there were one or two girls in the class that I was sweet on, but if I wrote a message, that I can’t remember. I do remember addressing the cards though.
Through the years, almost 75 of them, I’ve sent cards on Valentine’s day, given jewelry to my little lady, sent flowers and taken herself out to dinner at a fine restaurant.
I remember twelve years ago, I was in Florida for a Hurricane Conference. I was working for a County Emergency Management Office at the time. My oldest daughter happened to work for the Health Department in the same county, she was a nurse and that departments Emergency Management Coordinator. We both were required to attend the same conference, so we traveled down and back together.
On the last day of the conference we got together for breakfast and agreed we’d make every effort to make Savannah, Georgia on the way back north to Maryland. We would break early from the conference, around 2:00 I believe and head north. Our bags were stowed in the car and we were checked out of the hotel right after breakfast, we were not going to hesitate.
The conference ended around 2:00 PM and we were headed north on a five-hour or so journey. Savannah, here we come, tomorrow night we shall sleep in our own bed. We chatted about our individual training and informational sessions which were both quite different. My daughter being a nurse was learning a lot of medical and triage stuff. I learned about mitigation and disaster recovery. We even got to see Jim Cantore reporting from pool side while we were there. Jim happens to have a Twitter account if your interested. A little bit of a coincidence is that Mike Seidel from the weather Channel graduated from the same university as my daughter, Salisbury, University. Eleven (11) national championships in Men’s Lacrosse by the way.
We arrived in Savannah without a hitch around 7:30 or so, checked into our hotel and immediately went on the hunt for some food. Our first stop I remember being an Olive Garden. After parking in the back forty we found a line snaking out the door into the lot. The ladies, mostly young, dressed to the nines, with many wearing flowers, all seemed to have love in their eyes. It was February 14, we had had no clue.
We left the Olive Garden and tried numerous other restaurants, all were booked solid. Finally we settled on a Mom and Pop southern comfort food diner. There were no young’ns at this eatery, no love in any ladies eyes and only starvation in our eyes.
I swear, once we perused over the menu there was nothing on it that wouldn’t slip right down to your belly with lard or some other type of greasy digestive lubrication, or it was fried. The daughter got a salad, I had Salisbury Steak, real home food for me since that’s where I’m from, Salisbury. We toasted with water, “Happy Valentines Day my daughter.” No liquor on this menu, Bible Belt country was in vogue here. We both had been looking forward to a Manhattan to close out our adventure.
So, that was one Valentine’s Day that will always be remembered. There are many songs out there that depict love that could be appropriate for this day. I’ve picked one that I consider extra appropriate and suitable for the occasion, “The Sea of Love.”
There are many “one-hit wonders” who spend the remainder of their lives in frustrated efforts to record another hit but who are never able to recapture the magic. To some, the disappointment of failure is overwhelming. Phil Phillips is not one of those. Born John Phillip Baptiste on March 14, 1926, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, he had only one hit. “Sea of Love” it crested at number one on the R&B charts and number two on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the charts for eighteen weeks in 1959. I was a sophomore in high school that year and I remember cuddling up to my girl at the time on the dance floor to that great song. Every Friday night just about every teenager in Levitttown, HS could be found at Christ the King, Episcopal Church on Charleston road for their weekly sponsored dance. Levittown is now Willingboro, just a short drive from Exit 5 of the New Jersey Turnpike.
Contractual disputes between record companies effectively killed Phi Phillips career, but the song lived on, selling two million copies and earning Phillips a gold record. Moreover, the song appeared in the soundtracks of half-a-dozen movies, including the Al Pacino Universal Pictures film Sea of Love.
In 2007 Phil Phillips was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. Although he needed a hand of support in the beginning, once he got back into the rhythm of the song, he was in 1959 all over again at that induction. Phil Phillips is still alive today, age 91. Take a moment or two and go swimming in a “Sea of Love.”
After you listen to Phil, click on Emily West’s rendition, she does the song proud in her version of this classic that I remember so well.
Credits: Google images, NBC, Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, Weather Channel, Twitter & Wiki
I wish for each of you to fall into a “Sea of LOVE” on this Valentines day. Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to check on the elderly.