Archive for the 'Blogging' Category

It’s Time for A Make Over (of the blog)

September 27th, 2015 by xformed

With the recent return to the posting section here, it reminded me how the structure of the blog has been in need of some effort to catch up on the changes of time and WordPress, but, importantly as well, just the maintenance of the information presented here for viability as sources.

I spent about an hour a few nights ago working my way down the blogroll links. It evoked some interesting thoughts.

– Some of the blogs are gone. As I pondered that, the recollections of the resaon for interaction and the content of those sites came back, some in more detail that others, and many I found as a result of work with the Soldier’s Angels projects, particularly of note being the Project ValOUR IT that provided laptops with voice activated software to our injured troops.

– Some blogs have had their domains purchased by others and now, while the link is live, it’s nothing related to the one I linked to some many years ago.

– Some blogs are present, but, the last entries are years ago, some have the last post indicating the posting had come to an end and this was a digital goodbye, while others are frozen in time.

– And the rest are still there, some plugging along, still posting new items, but the tenor has changed with the World and history’s diffrences from the time when we were very actively engaged in a large sacle effort to combat an enemy with conventional and special forces.

On one hand, we have come to believe, what is posted on the net, stays on the net and never dies. That’s true and false, depending on whether a site stays active. Be it Facebook, or a personally owned and managed blog, if it even drops it’s registartion, the content, unlike that of a hard copy document, is gone. Unless someone has diligently copied the full text/media to their site, then the link gets “broken” and that snippet of detail so linked is gone.

I’ll caveat this with the site of, where, if they have crawled a site, you may be able to find that old info you seek. I just went ant looked, for the remembrance of it all, for the well read, well written, pretty much my favorite blog of all time, Neptunus Lex. It’s long since been off the air, and thankfully not hijacked for the purposes of leeching off his massive daily traffic and backlinks. The link posted is to the snapshot taken by the recording process on the day after Capt Lex had “died with is boots on.” March 6th, 2012, an afternoon “hop” to train our future warriors in the air got enmeshed in the bad weather and he died trying to land his F-21 in high winds and pretty much no visibility. Even as recently as a few weeks ago, I told someone who’s grandson wants to fly that it was a shame Lex’s blog wasn’t still there, for it, even without his personal advice to a specific request, was a massive archive of career guidance. So, the prior comment on it all going away isn’t completely true, but it can be if the “Way Back Machine” didn’t get around to your site as frequently as needed to make your content immortal. I have noted that when using the site for some business work. Certainly the well traveled sites will be there.

In the scanning of the links that were active, I gleaned some information, one bit being Maj Chuck Zigenfuss, the man who was the inspiration and first ValOUR IT user retired from the Army in January of this year. He was one of those exceptional leaders I met along the way in the MilBlogging world, and I suspect he was that to his troops and his commanders. His work, along with Beth’s has provided over 6000 laptops to those in need, and still does today.

SteelJaw Scribe sill presents news from his world and provides analysis of the geo-political side, too. Cdr Salamander’s site is probably the most active MilBlog going. One of the leaders in the Milblogging world, GreyHawk, who’s site was the Mudville Gazette, is one of those sites that has been taken over. Matt Burden of Black Five is still there, and some basic posts are being done.

Enough of the reminiscing. I will be cleaning up the no longer useful links/sidebar entires to begin, then I will go hunting a more up-to-date theme. For those who have been at this across the versions of WordPress 1.x to the 4 series, know this isn’t just a few clicks of effort. On top of that, I need some housekeeping in the main content world, to clean up little glitches that have occured as I moved the main data table forward. For over 1300 posts, there will be some detail work needed.

Anyhow, blogs are not forever (sort of), so I’ll make my final point: It’s it’s worth hanging on to, pull it out and ant least create a book out of it, even if it’s just a big Word document to be passed along.

Category: Blogging, Charities, History, Military, Stream of Consciousness, Valour-IT | Comments Off on It’s Time for A Make Over (of the blog)

And then there are Shipmates from another hull

February 3rd, 2014 by xformed

Table of contents for A Cruise Book Comes Home

  1. And then there are Shipmates from another hull

I haven’t been popping in here much the last few years. My apologies.

I do have a very new twist on the things that this blog has done for me, and others. It’s been a connecting point and in December, and email arrived in my mailbox to the email address for this blog:

Subj: Cruise Book

I have a USS Milwaukee cruise book from the ’78-’79 cruise. There are some coffee (I’m assuming it’s coffee) stains on some of the pages covering the Ops department, but aside from that it’s in pretty good shape. If you would like to have it, send me your address and I can send it to you. Regards, Mark.

Mark hasn’t a clue mine was left behind in one of those unfortunate relationship breakups several years back, so he thinks it’s a nice gesture, but it’s far more than that, it’s a piece of personal history I never thought I’d see again. I’m exceptionally grateful for this simple gesture that means so much on this end.

I send the address and an offer to pay the postage. He turns me down and sends it compliments of another MSLF “fat ship” guy the same day.

Just short of a week later, it’s here. My time capsule, opened after 34 years. Ah, the memories, but I know most people landing here will fully comprehend what letters on a screen can’t convey.

There will be more on this, but some background:

I was the CDIO (Collateral Duty Intel Officer), which included the Intelligence Photography course. We had a developing lab and the chemicals on the ship, way back aft, starboard side below the main deck somewhere. Some of my OSs allowed me to come and learn how to develop film, and I spent some time there, and I seem to recall, we did our own pictures of the crew for the layout to save costs in production. I probably developed and printed a number of those in the book.

Another collateral duty assigned was as Public Affairs Officer. Yes, you guessed, the publication fell under my responsbilities. It didn’t hurt that I had been on the staff of my Senior Year’s yearbook, doing layout with the then girl friend, Palua, who roped me into such work. I did go willingly, if you have to ask.

I detached from MILWAUKEE very shortly after returning to Norfolk for my training for Pre-Comm LEFTWICH at FCTCL Dam Neck, but had a few weeks off before training began. I checked back aboard AOR-2 to finish the layout of the Cruise Book in that time.

As you see, this was much more than a memento of a cruise, it is evidence of my professional assigned duties as well.

Mark wasn’t a shipmate, but he served aboard USS SYLVANNIA (AFS-2) a few years ealier. I haven’t gotten the details of his procurement of “my” Cruise Book, but it matters not. The cruise of Oct 78-Apr 79 was with the USS SARATOGA (CV-60) BG, and USS SYLVANNIA was one of the units that supported us. While not directly assigned to the BG, the AFS units were on an altered deployment pattern, yet she sailed with us to resupply the BG units on numerous occasions and there are shots of her in the book.

The final background note for today’s post: The coffee stains (not bad ones, but noticeable) were on OC Division: I was COMMO for the cruise.

Category: Blogging, History, Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy | Comments Off on And then there are Shipmates from another hull

It’s VALOur-IT Time Again!

July 1st, 2011 by xformed

The fund drive will run from today through the 14th of July. Don’t know what VALOur-IT is? Click the link.

The reader’s digest version: For those wounded with sight or mobility issues keeping them from using a computer like most people do, Soldier’s Angels has a project to provide new laptop computers with Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software to them. Their to keep, to help them get re-connected with family and friends and battle buddies, and for the future, it’s good work skill development.

So…spread the word, beat the bushes, spam your email list, beg at the local Starbucks for help for this wonderful program that has provided now in excess of 6000+ laptops!

Donate to Soldier’s Angels Project Valour-IT

Soldier's Angels Team Navy

Chip in…it’s well worth the money and it is changed/has changed lives.

Category: Air Force, Army, Blogging, Charities, Coast Guard, Jointness, Marines, Military, Military History, Navy, Public Service, Supporting the Troops, Valour-IT | Comments Off on It’s VALOur-IT Time Again!

Back in (partial) battery

June 17th, 2011 by xformed

Been a bit of a slog. Lots of real world work and family time, and will have to cobble together all the changes I was so used to in this theme I’ve used for 4 years. It broke and wouldn’t let me get to the blog, or the dashboard of WordPress. Had to use some “old school” muck around in the database and MySQL password arena to get it to this stage, now will try to ship the edited theme files back over, hopefully without serious interruption….

So…on with the show over the next week, to get ready to 2011 VALOur-IT…Yeah…get out your plastic and get ready to donate…

Category: Blogging | Comments Off on Back in (partial) battery

Do You Have Any Pensacola Fight Training Stories?

March 16th, 2011 by xformed

If so, are you willing to share? Yes, you have your opportunity now to relive those days and share them in print!

Via the WRAP Pac crew, I was asked if I could get the word out that published author Bob Taylor (“A Few Good Memories”) has embarked on a second writing project to collect and edit your stories.

He has a site up: Getting Your Wings to allow for easy input, but his email address is roarta at

Time to ante up and share your personal history, high and low jinks with the rest of the world. Just remember, it’s all for the sake of history.

For those reading this, with and without your personal experience in Pensacola, please pass it along to your shipmates and family members and friends who may be connected with those who would like to participate.

Category: Blogging, History, Marines, Maritime Matters, Military, Navy, Public Service | Comments Off on Do You Have Any Pensacola Fight Training Stories?

I Write Like Who?

August 21st, 2010 by xformed

I write like
William Gibson

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Cool! I just heard this morning on NPR that this book, I see now by William Gibson, envisioned the Internet, and was one of the inspirations for it.

Category: Blogging | Comments Off on I Write Like Who?

RIP: RDML Leroy Collins, Jr, USNR(Ret)

July 30th, 2010 by xformed

Adm Collins was struck by a driver very early on the morning of  7/29/2010.  It was an accident.  Details are in the St Peterburg Times article here.

Leroy Collins in 2006. Photo credit: Melissa Lyttle, St Petersburg Times

I spent a few days with RDML Collins in Oct, 1988.  The USS CARR (FFG-52), at the request of the Tampa Navy League, of which ADM Collins was one of the major voices, had asked for a ship visit for Navy week.  In 2007, I chronicled that meeting, as well as with CAPT Bruce McDaniels, USN (Ret).

The port visit to Tampa was wonderful, and I was amazed at the people who would stand in the sun for 2-3 hours to take a tour of the ship.  The community, led by the Navy League and ADM Collins did it up right for us.

When we left Tampa, to return to Charleston, ADM Collins and CAPT McDaniel sailed with us as guests.  I gave up my stateroom (which I was just barely betting used to, as I had just relied LCDR Tom Brown as XO while in Tampa, so those two retired officers had a place while we sailed the Florida Strait to Ft Lauderdale, where they would debark.

The two retired officers spent the few days all over the ship, meeting the crew and seeing our gas turbine engineering plant, which was just about 5 years old then.  I’m sure ADM Collins nuclear Navy background caused so much time to be spent below decks.

Those two guests were happy to be a minimal burden on the crew and the Wardroom.  They were great o have aboard.

One of them is now gone.  I should probably look up CAPT McDaniels and buy him a cup of coffee.

Category: Blogging, History, Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy | 1 Comment »

22 Years Ago Today: USS BONEFISH (SS-582) Fire at Sea

April 24th, 2010 by xformed

I pecked the first part of my collected recollection of this story, provided by my shipmates of the USS CARR (FFG-52) 3 years ago. I felt it was a story worth telling. So have others, who have, across the least three years, provided insights, personal accounts and supporting documentation of the events leading up to and including this horrible day at sea for the crew of the submarine, three of which did not survive.

Not all of the reconstructed story even resides here. comments and posts at several of the submariner’s blogs also, have clues and comments.

I had hoped this year I would have reports gathered from those who were left, at sea, to salvage and recover the BONEFISH, adrift and holding firefighting water and the three crewmen who did not escape. Those people who were there have eluded me to date, but I will keep looking for men who have first hand knowledge of the last part of the rescue of the hull.

Since the post last year, a BM from CARR left a question as to who he may have pulled into the whaleboat that day. A few days later, a BONEFISH survivor commented it may well have been him and his two shipmates. I provided email to those men to get in contact, 21+ years after the day.

As much as this has been a story of heroism (LT Ray Everts) and professionalism (far too many to name), it has been a tale of the power of the internet and blogging on getting multiple inputs, some directed, others because they searched for the term “USS BONEFISH FIRE” and arrived on one of the posts to date.

I use this report often to encourage others to make their history part of the collected knowledge on the net.

To those who have contributed, thank you for getting the story on track and made to cover more details. To those who come and have not yet left their portion, please do, or contact me, so we can make sure the information continues to be gathered for the record of the history of the Navy and life at sea.

Category: Blogging, History, Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy | 6 Comments »

Another On Line Novel is Spawned: “Orion”

April 20th, 2010 by xformed

AW1 Tim, a salty aviation warfare operator in the P-3 Orion platform, has turned his virtual pen to virtual paper: “Orion” is the title. The inaugural post is available here.

Review of “Intro:” Well written and makes me want to keep on top of any future chapters coming down the pike.

Category: "Sea Stories", Blogging, Blogvel, History, Maritime Matters, Military, Military History, Navy | Comments Off on Another On Line Novel is Spawned: “Orion”

Brain Injury Awareness Month: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

March 5th, 2010 by xformed

This CT scan is an example of Subdural haemorr...
Image via Wikipedia

Via backchannel, a request to highlight the “signature” wound of the current war: Traumatic Brain Injury.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month for the Brain Injury Association of America.  Pass the Word, please, as you can and know this is a very probable issue with our injured Vets.

For those who have long supported the Soldier’s Angels Voice Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops (VALOur-IT), this is one of the things the program has been addressing, along with the coputer contact with the world, by providing GPS Units for those wounded service members who are getting out and about. The reason: TBI has an associated symptom of loss of short term memory, and the GPS Units help remind the driver where they were headed.  (Note:  You don’t have to wait until this November to donate to VALOur-IT…SA will be happy to accept donations all year long…even today to help this great cause)

Below is the article Chelsea asked if I could post to help get attention to the cause:

Traumatic Brain Injuries in the Military

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is becoming a common wound of modern warfare. It has even been coined the “signature wound” of the War on Terror. While TBI is becoming more prevalent in wartime activity, many service men and women continue to go undiagnosed. Institutions, like the US Department of Veterans Affairs, are working to make quick and accurate diagnoses in order to prescribe appropriate and effective treatment.

TBI is caused by forced trauma to the head, either by being shaken or hit. The severity of a TBI varies from case to case, but symptoms range from mild concussions to a debilitating state. The majority of TBI’s acquired by military personnel are classified as mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI). Initial symptoms of MTBI consist of loss of consciousness, disorientation, loss of memory, headache, and temporary loss of hearing and vision. They are often partnered with anxiety, irritability, difficulties processing information, limited concentration amongst other problems experienced down the road. While MTBI is most common amongst the men and women of the armed forces, more severe cases of TBI are happening much more frequently and often require the victim to attended specialty rehabilitative nursing centers, like CareMeridian.

The most common cause of a TBI in the military is due to blasts. There are three degrees of blast injuries where a TBI is common; Primary (due to blast itself), Secondary (due to objects being propelled by a blast) and Tertiary (due to a collision with a third party object). According to the Veterans Health Initiative, active male members of the military from the ages 18-24 are hospitalized with a TBI at a rate of 231 per 100,000 and females 150 per 100,000. Based on military force projections this would mean that 4,141 military personnel are hospitalized on average each year with a TBI, and these numbers often rise during wartimes.

The best prevention for veterans to avert the long-term effects of a brain injury is to recognize the symptoms of a TBI. Once the symptoms are identified an individual should take basic precautionary measures in order to begin the healing and recovery process until a more specific diagnosis can be made.

Service men and women give so much to protect this country and they deserve to come home to a happy and healthy life. Creating awareness about TBI will help ensure their long term health. By helping our veterans, their friends and their families recognize the early warning signs of a TBI, treatment can be sought as early as possible.

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Category: Air Force, Army, Biology, Blogging, Charities, Coast Guard, Education, Jointness, Marines, Military, Military History, Navy, Public Service, Science, Supporting the Troops, Valour-IT | 5 Comments »

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