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Old 02-11-2020, 09:02 PM   #281
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We (USS Ranger, CVA-61 at the time) were attempting to refuel a plane guard destroyer on our starboard side. He was running low on fuel because of the heavy weather. We got him alongside and hooked up, passing fuel as fast as we could.

...

The destroyer went back to Hawaii to get refueled and clean up their laundry problem from that close call. We went on to Subic without them and waited for them to catch up. It was a rough start to a long second deployment in the Gulf of Tonkin area during the Vietnam mess.

Glad I got out of that business. Between airplanes landing over our heads, tons of bombs being loaded and launched, and underway replenishments that were always a bit hairy, it was a bit too interesting in the Spockian Sense.
Wow. Interesting indeed! Thanks for sharing. Once in a while... being lucky IS better than being right. Whew!
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Old 02-11-2020, 09:22 PM   #282
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Yeah, my kids have occasionally asked what my life was like at sea in the Navy.

My usual answer is that it was weeks and weeks of total boredom interrupted by moments of sheer terror.

As a good buddy of mine once pointed out, ďape-s4!7 luck is more likely to save your butt when things get crazy than all the training and planning in the world. ď
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:00 PM   #283
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As a good buddy of mine once pointed out, ďape-s4!7 luck is more likely to save your butt when things get crazy than all the training and planning in the world. ď
"No battle plan survives the first contact with the enemy."

A paraphrase of General Helmuth von Moltke the Elder.

"The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided. It is sometimes better to abandon one's self to destiny."

Napoleon Bonaparte
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Old 02-12-2020, 05:43 AM   #284
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"The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided. It is sometimes better to abandon one's self to destiny."

Napoleon Bonaparte
Now, that, is a great quote.

Especially germaine to our sometimes tendencies as RVíers to try to plan for any and all eventualities on the road.

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Old 02-12-2020, 03:37 PM   #285
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Yeah, my kids have occasionally asked what my life was like at sea in the Navy.

My usual answer is that it was weeks and weeks of total boredom interrupted by moments of sheer terror. . .
Great story - thanks for sharing. As an Aviator aboard the carrier I've watched many an underway replenishment (UNREP) operation with great fascination. A lot of my flying around the ship was boring except for the catapult shots and the arrested landings. Once you fly off a carrier - flying from a land based airfield is a cake walk.
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Old 02-12-2020, 05:10 PM   #286
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Great story - thanks for sharing. As an Aviator aboard the carrier I've watched many an underway replenishment (UNREP) operation with great fascination. A lot of my flying around the ship was boring except for the catapult shots and the arrested landings. Once you fly off a carrier - flying from a land based airfield is a cake walk.


Underway Replenishment is absolutely one of the most demanding and dangerous ship handling exercises that exists.

Especially when you are alongside a big replenishment ship passing supplies, ammo, and fuel all at the same time.

Highlining heavy stuff across the gap also tends to pull the two ships together and it takes careful work to maintain steady separation, course, and speed while steaming along and tied together with steel cables. The bridge crew and the engineering gang are on their toes the entire time praying nothing goes wrong. The stress of that has to be considerable.

Helo underway replenishment evolutions are a fascinating aerial ballet but are not near as scary. Gotta admire the dude in the helo belly hatch thatís hanging upside down the entire time. Heís the dude that puts the strap on the lift hook and lets it go.

Naval aviators are very interesting folks, they strap themselves into a high performance aircraft, built by the lowest bidder to government specifications and then let a bunch of black shoe sailors violently throw them off a rolling, pitching ship out at sea.

Then several hours later, low on fuel and rather tired, then manage to find said rolling and pitching postage stamp again, make a highly precise landing in darkness and all kinds of weather, snagging a skinny wire on that deck.

Gotta admire their courage, skill, and probable certifiable insanity getting into that career.

Iím really glad I was a happy computer fixer that always had the opportunity to WALK on and off the ship. In fact, one time I re-enlisted for the privilege of safely walking off the ship in San Francisco instead of flying off. Saw too many airplane accidents, and knew all about the one and only ďJesus NutĒ on helicopters that actually holds the main rotor blades on.
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:05 PM   #287
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Naval aviators are very interesting folks, they strap themselves into a high performance aircraft, built by the lowest bidder to government specifications and then let a bunch of black shoe sailors violently throw them off a rolling, pitching ship out at sea.

Gotta admire their courage, skill, and probable certifiable insanity getting into that career.
Ditto.

*Right Hand... SALUTE!*

to Boxster1971
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Old 02-12-2020, 08:35 PM   #288
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While we are telling war stories, here is one for the books.

Near the end of basic flying training, another cadet and I were up on a buddy ride to practice instrument flying. There was no vacuum for the instruments, so we decided to tour west Texas at a low altitude. We were flying down a wash where some rancher had stretched a cable across. The cable bounced off the canopy over my head, rode up the tail, and tore the rudder off.

The other cadet proposed bailing out, but I was not going to leave a flying airplane. We went back to the field and landed, Runway control said "Good landing ... gasp ... you have no rudder!" We were put into detention and the front seat cadet was court-martialed. I was a reluctant witness; I got off because I was not supposed to touch the controls under 5000'. He was fined a couple of hundred dollars.

Another cadet who later became a General took a photo. All I got was a torn piece of cloth from what was left of the rudder. I carried it after that as a non-buzzing reminder. All I got to was Captain.

Cheated death again!
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Old 02-12-2020, 09:35 PM   #289
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Wow. At least you had most of the tail feathers to keep you going more or less straight.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:28 PM   #290
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While we are telling war stories, here is one for the books.

Near the end of basic flying training, another cadet and I were up on a buddy ride to practice instrument flying. There was no vacuum for the instruments, so we decided to tour west Texas at a low altitude. We were flying down a wash where some rancher had stretched a cable across. The cable bounced off the canopy over my head, rode up the tail, and tore the rudder off.

...

All I got to was Captain.

Cheated death again!
I'm appalled that you didn't get cited for littering, leaving your rudder on the ground like that, John! Ha ha ha!!!

Great story... and proof positive that any landing you can walk away from is a good one. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:51 AM   #291
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Now, that, is a great quote.

Especially germaine to our sometimes tendencies as RVíers to try to plan for any and all eventualities on the road.

Maggie
Aaaand we know exactly how Napoleon's abandon-oneself-to-destiny philosophy worked out for HIM on HIS road, eh?

We know it quantitatively, in fact. Behold below, Minard's depiction of Napoleon's disastrous Russian campaign, stunning in the unmitigated extent of its failure - he killed 99% of his own troops with said abandon to destiny. This is widely considered to be the best information graphic ever produced in human history, even though it was produced in 1869.

Quite simply, if there ever was an example NOT to follow in ANY aspect of one's life, but especially in RVing, it is Napoleon Bonaparte.

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Old 02-13-2020, 12:06 PM   #292
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"The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided. It is sometimes better to abandon one's self to destiny."

Napoleon Bonaparte
I prefer, "Trust to God, but tie up your camel."
—Mohammed

Even though I'm a Christian, a good saying is still a good saying even if someone who isn't a Christian said it. Precautions against setbacks that are likely to happen— and likely to be severe when the do happen— are fine. Precautions against unlikely and/or minor setbacks are a waste of time.
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:55 PM   #293
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Agreed, Protag...itís a great saying, applicable to many situations.

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Old 02-13-2020, 02:23 PM   #294
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Aaaand we know exactly how Napoleon's abandon-oneself-to-destiny philosophy worked out for HIM on HIS road, eh?

Quite simply, if there ever was an example NOT to follow in ANY aspect of one's life, but especially in RVing, it is Napoleon Bonaparte.
Bonaparte's philosophy worked well for him... right up until it didn't.

"Some days you get the bear, other days the bear gets you."

Every trip is a mixture of preparedness and serendipity. The goal is to have ENOUGH preparedness so that the serendipity goes in your favor, but not SO much preparation that you don't make the journey.
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:42 PM   #295
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Bonaparte's philosophy worked well for him... right up until it didn't.
....
Yyyup - and that's what we see with older Interstates in some cases, too. The ol' rainbows-and-butterflies abandon philosophy lasts right up until the moment when a turbo hose blows off, or propane starts spewing from a rotted flex line. Never mind that we've talked about both of those issues ad nauseam.

Given that we're all in a quote groove here, how about one from my favorite movie:

Hope ain't a tactic, Don.

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Old 02-13-2020, 04:36 PM   #296
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And the question remains...how does trying to anticipate and prepare for anything that might possibly go wrong on the road really work in the real world for anyone?

Stuff breaks, stuff wears out suddenly, and those who can’t examine and perhaps anticipate something wearing out themselves then deal with issues as they come up...while those who try to anticipate all things blow a gasket that their endless preparation did not in fact prevent them from a previously unknown issue erupting at an untimely moment.



Whose to say that endless attempts to anticipate trumps having things checked over and hoping for the best while on the road.

It is interesting to see the attention paid to my thread.

Let’s chill a bit.

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Old 02-13-2020, 05:05 PM   #297
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Iíve always claimed the best way to be prepared is to carry a widely accepted credit card with lots of available credit. Plus a reasonable assortment of hand tools and spare parts.

Keep in mind the best tool for dealing with anything else is the lump of gray matter parked between your ears.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:28 AM   #298
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And the question remains...how does trying to anticipate and prepare for anything that might possibly go wrong on the road really work in the real world for anyone?....
Everything we see in the world around us is the way it is because historical risk assessments have involved exactly that type of anticipation. Not only DOES that process work in the real world, it actually works very well!

The roofs over each of our our heads as we read the internet this morning... those roofs were iteratively re-designed and constructed to minimize whatever might possibly might go wrong with them. Immediately behind my computer is one of the main shear walls in our house, built to hold the rest of the structure together in 120 mph winds. It was designed that way because an engineer anticipated and prepared for what might possibly go wrong with it, and because we have all seen what happens in Gulf coastal counties when we don't plan for what we know will eventually go wrong.

For non-engineering folks, the point of perspective worth noting here is that none of us are attempting to plan for random and unprecedented data-less failures - that would not be logical.

We focus instead on what is most likely to happen given materials science and other engineering considerations. What is most likely to happen in Gulf coastal counties is that hurricanes will arrive. What is most likely to happen with Sprinters is that certain components will fail due to age.

The only reason why we cannot anticipate everything that could go wrong in a Sprinter is that none of us individually have the critical mass of experience that we need to rank failure pathways in their proper order.

I'd love to do it if I had the time - if I could clone myself, I'd tackle it by crowdsourcing, because it's interesting.

The next best thing is for immersed professionals to be building that database based on their repeat observations, and that IS happening. One of the best ones I know of is Joel Sell (www.millionmilesprinter.com), who IIRC coined the hashtag #operationbulletproof to describe that process by which he applies preemptive solutions so that his clients are less likely to get stranded in remote locations. He can do that because he works with Sprinters all day, every day. There's no better route to pattern recognition.

We are all living the safest lifestyles we've ever enjoyed as a species, specifically because engineers find preemptive problem-solving to be interesting, and because they do anticipate and prepare us for so much of what might go wrong.

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Old 02-14-2020, 07:34 AM   #299
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Agreed, IB.

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Old 02-16-2020, 06:48 AM   #300
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For the Houston water supply, I can definitely taste a difference in the tea. It's difficult to describe, but it's "smoother" somehow.

Like I said in the post above, Houston's water supply is actually quite palatable -- or maybe I've just lived here for most of the past 30 years and I'm used to it to the point where I consider it to be "normal" water.

So yeah, the tea is different, but this difference alone would not have been enough to justify the expense and hassle of this purifier. The REAL tests will start coming when I drag the purifier with me into the field.
So, jumping back to this ^^ observation about how I would not have purchased the Berkey if I had only intended to use it in Houston, because Houston's water is actually quite palatable to start with, so it would not have gained me much here...

I'm eating my words -- or rather, drinking them.

Yesterday I had to revert to tap water for tea, because I had forgotten to re-fill the Berkey the night before.

Holy crap, what a shock. Immediately I could taste two things: traces of cresylic acid, plus a sewage disinfection byproduct, probably an amine.

(1) Cresylic acid - if you are a gray-hair like myself and remember how Band Aids used to smell in the 1960s, THAT is a cresylic acid compound. It's that classic old-timey disinfectant odor. According to the New Jersey Department of Health, the odor thresold for cresylic acid is 0.0006 ppm. It's one of the most "olfactorily-detectable" substances on earth.

(2) Amine maybe - I have never been able to name that particular odorant, even though it is so diagnostic of wastewater that I've questioned wastewater operators at length about it. I think it's a disinfection byproduct (arising from the chlorination / dechlorination treatment sequence), but I don't know which one.

(hum this next part)

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till its gone.

Apparently that's the case with drinking water in Houston. I had become immune to the sensation of trace chemical impurities until I went for numerous weeks without daily consumption of them. Only then could I tell the difference.

I like to joke that Houston drinks whatever Dallas pees and poops out, because we obtain the majority of our drinking water from the Trinity River, which is the receptor of treated sewage from upstream DFW.

That statement is as true as it is crude, and someone actually put it into partial quantitative terms for me recently. At that continuing education conference I attended a few weeks ago, a slide was shown comparing river flows upstream and downstream of three major wastewater treatment plants in the upper watershed - they are named Village Creek, TRA Central, and Dallas Central. During our drought a few years ago, about 90% of the water in the Trinity River consisted of treated sewage. And that's exactly what millions of Houstonians consumed - DFW's treated sewage.

I found it amusing that many people in the conference raised their phones to take a pic of that same slide (you can see one person doing so at lower right). It was literally a "holy crap" moment for all of us.

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