Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Photo by me.

This is the view from The Barge, a floating box that now houses most of the Nimitz's work spaces.  The carrier will be pretty much uninhabitable while it's undergoing its overhaul, so we'll work in the floating box.

Photo by me.

Also, we've been invaded by an army of civilian workers.  They're everywhere.  This photo was taken inside the hangar bay.  These portable offices were brought aboard shortly after we arrived in Bremerton. 

For the next year, it won't be pilots and their crews working here. It'll be construction bosses and executives.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

What would we do without...

I wish I could pull off a Christmas sweater like this.

...Family, Laptops, and Hip Hop!  What???

So I didn't get home for Christmas but my family's been on the phone, on Skype, and of course, sending me photographs.  Also, I've been on my laptop for the past five hours surfing around listening to one of my favorite genres, independent hip hop.  A taste:

Classified, Brother Ali, Hilltop Hoods, Flow Nice Foundation, Binary Star, Termanology, The Aztexts

For the record, I am NOT into Christmas music.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Trek North

The hangar bay offers a great view of the sunset.  Photo by me.
Rewinding again...   The trip from California was very memorable due to two events:

1.  Pulling out of Coronado
2.  Pulling into Bremerton

 Photo by Photina Haumschilt.

Some people elected to load their vehicles onto the ship and ride it up to Washington.  The process took three days.

The Nimitz swings around as she leaves San Diego. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Thomas G. Siniff.

It's long-standing tradition to "man the rails" as a U.S. Navy warship pulls into or out of ports.

I was up here shooting video, grinning the whole time.  These are the moments that you have to take in and hold on to.  I mean LOOK AT THAT!

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey J. Amdahl.

It always feels weird to ask another MC to stop what they're doing and take a shot of me.  It probablymakes me look egocentric but I don't give a damn.  I want to show my grandkids this stuff.

Sunset near the coast of California.

Once we were underway, a spectacular view greeted us.

-- To the guy I randomly asked to take this photo of me:  man I lost my note with your name on it!

Photo credit FAIL.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Renee L. Candelario.

Candelario just got here, but was sent out to brave the cold to capture Sailors doing there thing.  At a point before the ship comes into view, someone on the bridge will get on the loudspeaker and call parade rest.  This gets everyone into the neat formation you see upon arrival.

I was once again on the flight deck shooting video for our documentary.  (More on that later.) The wind was crazy strong and blew my cover off a couple of times.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Alexander A. Ventura II.

My buddy Ventura, also on the ship for only a few weeks, got this shot of the Nimitz pulling into Bremerton.  

Keep in mind, this area gets like 9 inches of rain in December.  We got dry skies and a RAINBOW?!!

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Walter M. Wayman.

Tug boats push and pull the Nimitz as she maneuvers into position alongside the pier.

On a side note:  it's Friggin Freezing in the TV studio.  Thought I'd add that in there.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Like a king

In the world of military barracks, building 1131/room 339 is LEGENDARY. I'll be staying here with three other Sailors while Nimitz is drydocked.  We'll spend about a year here, and then want to jump overboard when we go back to living on the ship.

Come take a tour with me...

Photo by MC3 Adam Wolfe.

I have a washer and dryer!

Photo by MC3 Adam Wolfe.

 I have a bed!

Photo by MC3 Adam Wolfe.

 I have a shower!

Photo by Wolfe's lady, Lauryn Cooper.

And look who my roommate is!  Adam Wolfe!  I can get autographs from him every day!

Friday, December 17, 2010


Photo by MC3 Devin Wray.

Okay I need to backtrack a little.  A few days before we left for the cold north, Captain Monger read the promotion results over the intercom.  All throughout the ship, Sailors rejoiced when their names were heard.

Photo by me.

Wray and I made E-4, which meant we were no longer seaman, but petty officers.

Photo by me.

Then everyone panicked when we were told we'd be frocked two days later.  A mad scramble ensued to sew rank on uniform.  Here, Siniff kindly sews my crow onto my cover.  I really suck with a needle and thread and that material is thick.

Photo by me.

Okay, so the next day (day before frocking), we went out to celebrate our promotions.  I walked out on the pier, or concrete slab by the ship, and got on my cell phone...

Photo by MCSA Andy Jandik.

 ...and had it immediately confiscated by security.  No cell phones on the pier.  I missed the memo.  I was told I'd have to have a chief or higher rank go with me to get it back from security dispatch.

SURVIVAL TIP  Don't get on your phone near construction equipment.  It could be a safety violation.

But the roller coaster was still plummeting.

Photo by MC2 Adam Wolfe.

I found out the day of frocking that Wray and I had missed petty officer indoctrination classes.  Therefore, we couldn't be frocked, and couldn't wear the E-4 crows.

SURVIVAL TIP   Be Proactive!!!  Don't wait for someone to hold your hand and tell you stuff you need to know.  Go find out for yourself.   I had a feeling that indoc class was coming up and I never checked on it.

No worries, though!  The roller coaster is on the rise!

Photo by MC3 Whitfield.
Like all good stories, everything turned out alright in the end.  I took the 3-day indoc class as we sailed to Bremerton.  After learning all about leadership and self-restraint as a petty officer, I was frocked by our Public Affairs Officer, Lieutenant Commander Steve Ruh.


Sunday, December 12, 2010


The Nimitz has moved from San Diego, California to Bremerton, Washington. I have gone from sleeping in a tiny rack to sleeping in this wondrous palace.

I can't get my daggun cell phone to tether internet right now, but more to come, including tales from sea!

Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fun and games

Just kidding.  Actually, Wolf's pretty stressed out in this photo.  He's trying to operate a computer without stepping on the freshly waxed TV studio floor.

That's dedication folks.

We've added two new Sailors, Candelario and Ventura, to our gang.  In the print shop, Sashegyi (right) teaches Candelario the finer points of Nimitz graphic design.

Ventura's working in the photo department.  Here he tracks job orders that come in from all over the ship.

Both of our new people miss the Defense Information School very much.  Like me, they are struggling to adapt to life on a ship after their time at Fort Meade.  Hang in there guys!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Weather Gauge

Luke "Poe" Meineke is stationed on the USS Carl Vinson.  His ship deployed yesterday.  He'll be at sea for a loooong time before he sees land.  The night before, Marty bought us a bottle of wine at a nice place in downtown San Diego to see him off proper-style.

The gentleman facade lasted 20 minutes, then we descended into playing with The Big Fart Button, a fascinating game on Luke's cell phone. 

Photo by MCSN (DV) Martin L. Carey.

Marty got a shot of the Vinson as it pulled away.  You can see the Sailors manning the rails.  Luke, I've known you long enough to know that any scene is better with you around.  Keep your wits about you, spread positivity whenever you can, and I'll see you soon buddy.

Send me photos and stories from abroad!

Put a nail in me

 The zombie attempts to claw his way out of bed. 

This is where I sleep.  It gives you an idea of what it'd be like to wake up in a coffin.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Video - Leading the revolution

My mom is an occupational therapist and and a health care revolutionary. In Salisbury, Md., she's introduced the nursing homes where she works to Skype. If you've ever been in a nursing home, you know that they can be lonely places for its residents. Mom's helping to lift that weight by bringing them face to face with loved ones.

No, she doesn't blog.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Videos - The world is not flat

The last time Nimitz was out to sea we hit some rough water.  It's not your average workplace!

(See your chess board Uncle Gilbert?)

Driving up to Bremerton, Wa., I hit some hilly stretches along the coast of northwest California.  During my time on this planet, I've slid off wet roads in several different vehicles.  I was pretty nervous driving this, especially in the rain.

The high life

I slept in a bed! My buddy at combat camera, Tony "Hooch" McCormack, let me crash at his place on base last night.  I cannot understate how nice of a change it is from sleeping in a rack on the ship.

And yes, there's two beds in this room.

Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Get in my belly!

I'm not sure if I've eaten or napped more. MC2 Ted Green and his wife, Mary, opened their place to us lonely homesick Sailors, and we're loving life.

Also, Call of Duty Black Ops is a never ending source of entertainment for these guys.

Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy birthday...

Photo by Kathy Slaughter.

...grandma!!!  She's turning 90 and feeling 20!  Look at her, you can tell she lives life to the fullest.  This photo was taken last Christmas.  We were opening presents and I was trying to wake up.  That morning, grandma had more energy than I did.  Keep it up!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Road trip photos

My drive up the coast is rapidly fading into memory.  What better way to preserve it than to post photos for the world to marvel at?  These were all taken with my Samsung Epic.  The above photo of the Pacific Ocean was taken off Highway 101, in northwestern California.

Lying on my back on a hiking trail in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.

Mist hangs above a lake on the eastern side of Highway 101, in northwestern California.

A moss covered tree at Lost Man Creek.  I made it out ok.

This Motel 6 was cheap, but I realized with horror why.  There was no shampoo and no COFFEE MAKER!!!

But dogs on the blanket was cool.  I like dogs.

This shower doubled as an escape pod!

On Treasure Island, a woman sits immersed in her book.  Across the bay is San Francisco.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm here!

I made it to Bremerton, and after much checking of my paperwork at the gate, have parked my car, and am on my way to the airport.

My buddy from A school, Chase is driving me. That's his wife lauren in the backseat with their new puppy. He's a purebred boston terrier and just arrived on a delta flight.

I feel privileged to have been here for this welcoming of a new family member!

Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G

Friday, November 19, 2010

More gas adventures

I'm in Chehalis, Washington and I just realized that I can talk into my phone and it types out the words for me. (I added the city later) That makes my phone even easier to blog with then the laptop!  I'd probably give up blogging with the computer completely except I can't control much with the Epic.  No photo cropping, for example.

The cell doesn't recognize emotion either.  I don't know how to make it put an explanation point even though I'm yelling right now.

Anyway I'm outside of my first washington gas station. When I swiped my card at the pump a message popped up asking me to verify a 45 cent charge.

When I went inside to talk to an employee an older lady was inquiring about the same thing. Turns out this place charges 45 cents for every debit transaction. No credit cards allowed. The employee was in the process of explaining to the confused elderly woman how to accept charges at the pump.

It'd make sense for them to pump your gas for you here.

I'm 94.9 miles from Bremerton.

Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G

Weak stomach? Turn away!

This is the ugly side of life on the road.  I'm currently in Springfield, Oregon.  I wanted to make it to Portland but heavy rain forced me off the road at sundown.  I don't do curvy, unfamiliar roads at night in the rain.

A local recommended Roaring Rapids Pizza Company for delivery to my hotel room. 

On their online menu I noticed "smoked oysters" as a pizza topping.  I'm from the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland.  It's the best seafood in the world.  I love seafood, including oysters.

Don't ever get oysters on pizza.  GROSS!!!  They're the little raisin looking things. The photo shows exactly how much Brooks "normally human garbage disposal" Slaughter was able to eat.

Just awful.  Learn from my mistake!  Looks like it's ranch sunflower seeds for dinner...

I'm 280 miles from Bremerton.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I changed my mind

Maybe I was too quick to judge that gas pumping law.

Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G

Strange...and delicious!

I'm in Grant's Pass just north of the California/Oregon border. If you ever come here don't try to pump your own gas. They won't let you! Silly law. The good news is the folks are friendly and the steaks at Denny's are delicious and tender!

I'm 415 miles from Bremerton.

Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

And they call ME old man

I'm at Prairie Creek Redwood State Park, wandering around in awe of these massive, ancient trees.

How's this for contrast:

My Jeep "Little Bear" Patriot was built in September of this year.  This "mid-sized" Redwood is hundreds of years old.

Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G