Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dinosaurs?! (A Sailor's tale through Flash)

This is a Flash video that Cotter made. (I know it's a little hard to see, but I like the reaction shot in the end.) He has drawing skills, which is a huge benefit in Flash. He is also obsessed with dinosaurs. The best part is when the dinosaur 'poofs!' into a Sailor's uniform in the end.
Oh and if anyone out there has html skills and free time, I'd love to know how to increase the video's size. I've succeeded in making the player bigger, but no joy so far on the actual video.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Student photo story: Race Day

Runners begin their journey at the starting line of the 5th Annual Suntrust National Marathon.

Photos & Story by Seaman Martin L. Carey

More than 12,000 participants lined up to race at the Sun Trust National Marathon in Washington D.C. March 20, 2010. Runners were able to participate in the team relay, half marathon or the full marathon, 26.2 miles. The United States Naval Academy Marathon Team were the official pace setters for runners looking to complete the marathon at a specific time. The marathon was filled with many new and experienced runners.

Military servicemembers were a large spotlight for this marathon including Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard. A U.S. Navy petty officer sang the national anthem prior to the race beginning.

A runner cools off by pouring water on his head.

A group arrives at the mile 17 aid station for a quick drink on the go.

Forget winning, just finishing a marathon is an accomplishment.

An exhausted runner rests after completing the 5th Annual Suntrust 5 National Marathon in Washington, D.C. March 20, 2010.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Hooyah Chiefs!

Today the Navy was out in full force. Senior Chief Chichonowicz and the DINFOS instructors joined us on a rainy morning for PT in the gym. We ran a four corners drill, which involves the three duty sections rotating through sit-up, push-up, and legwork stations.
Gotta stretch those quads! Chief Bansbach and Chief Miller perform warmup stretches.
Chief Glover and Chichonowicz work the abs during scissor kicks.
Petty Officer First Class Wolverton leads the group in leg lifts. From left, Seaman McClearnon, MC1 Wolverton, MC2 Vernon, and MC1 Reeve.
Chief Shavers mines for diamond push-ups.
Chichonowicz leads the way on the runs between stations.
Glover and Vernon perform butterfly stretches to help prevent post-workout injury.
After cool down stretches Chichonowicz congratulated us on a great PT and told us he looked forward to our next one. We'll see you there! * I have an open invitation to anyone who'd like to take me on in racquetball. *

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Resistance Is Futile

Donnelly would giggle happily for hours after eating this wondrous cookie.
They came, they drooled. They walked away, and came right back. In the end no one could resist the table of homemade happiness that was the Navy bake sale.
We set up a table just outside the student entrance to DINFOS.
There were so many beautiful desserts there I can hardly write about it. Those things on the bottom right are banana cheesecakes!
The sweets were cooked by a bunch of volunteers, many of whom I NEVER would've expected to be comfortable in a kitchen...
Thompson was one of the chefs. That guy's all over the place lately... :)
These babies may clog an artery, but the money they raised will go toward a good cause.
"a transitional residence, academic and vocational training, spiritual development, and communal support to women who are rebuilding their lives from hurtful choices of unfortunate circumstances."
Koerber and Allan, Navy pastry salesmen. Every branch showed their support.
At the end of the day, Melchor, our master chef, tries to secretly chew on some pastry.
The participants all received Bravo Zulus from CS2 Preston, our barracks manager and MTI (military training instructor). BZs are a way to show recognition of a job well done. They can be used for one free duty day, PT day, or room inspection. From way down to the left are Pickett, Koerber, Melchor, Allan, Riley, Thompson, and White.
I think I missed someone...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

U.N.I.T.Y. - Vacuuming was never like this

I studied Electronic Media & Film at Towson University here in Maryland. As a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, I was pretty involved. SAE's a great fratnerity, but I never saw unity like I've seen here. Teamwork is a theme that started in boot camp and has continued up to this day. Some day, we may be fighting side by side, so working together is a must.

My class is leading the way in teamwork.

Recently, as we vacuumed the classroom at the end of the day, students spontaneously started using their learned fire-fighting techniques. Chief Fowler, one of our instructors, told us to shut the vacuum off in the middle of our "blaze fighting." We thought we were in serious trouble. He then proceeded to correct us on our hose handling technique. Classic!

Corbin frantically tries to put out an invisible dust bunny fire.

This is why I carry my Cybershot on me ALL the time.

Members of the baby class stand at the front of the VI room and sing Anchors Aweigh with us.

Anchors Aweigh is the U.S. Navy's fight song. Navy personnel are a drop in the ocean on this Army base. We open the doors to the class and sing every day to let everyone know how proud we are.

On a side note, I had a heck of a time finding good footage of Sailors singing Anchor's Aweigh. It may be time we put our own video online.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Looking in at Combat Camera

Today, two members of Combat Camera Pacific paid a visit to our Navy detachment. They traveled across the country to find Sailors worthy of becoming dive-qualified Combat Camera personnel. After testing/interviewing several students for the job, Chief Tilford and Lieutenant Commander Ruh took time to answer any questions we had and to play a couple of kick-ass videos showing what they do for a living.

Combat Camera means deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. It's a topic of interest to many young Sailors here. The room was all ears as Tilford and Ruh took turns explaining how things work outside of our little DINFOS world.

Afterward, there was time for one-on-one questions.
QM2 Hall had a few for Tilford concerning COMCAM.
Lt. Cmdr. Ruh explains options and the importance of forward thinking to Bramham and other students.

All three classes really enjoyed the chance to get some great gouge on a scary-but-exciting career option. We look forward to having Chief Tilford back over the summer!
Did he remind anyone else of Chief McDaniel?
From left, Jandik, Bennett, McCormack, Carey, and Hwang (not pictured) wait to be interviewed.

Not to sound like a dad, but I'm proud of all of you. Hooyah!

Monday, March 22, 2010

You don't have to be Irish...

Asato lights it up with a spicy deviled egg.
Story by SA Thompson
Photos by SR Asato, SN Slaughter, SA Wade, SN Wray Following the 4.1k Saturday, (see other entry if you're curious) we made some traditional Irish food in honor of St Patty's Day.
The menu included corned beef and cabbage, rueben sandwiches, deviled eggs and ... homemade salsa and chips, you know traditional Irish cooking.
The gang started cooking around 1130. We laughed, we sang impromptu karaoke, we occasionally made food. Grimnes made an amazing loaf of soda bread that will come in handy for our next game of ultimate frisbee. Thomas made two kinds of cabbage, one regular and one spicy! I provided the salsa and a helping hand.
The food turned out amazing and the turnout of people wasn't too shabby either. After all was said and done we had a pretty good time and didn't even need to look far for a willing participant with the cleanup.
On a side note, I began making a hashbrown casserole at 1 p.m. Saturday. I'm hoping it will be finished cooking in time for next St. Patrick's Day. But we'll have to wait and see. editor's note: "It's already eaten! mmmm..."
Until next time, take a million photos and maybe one of them will be a picture.

A 4.1k?!?

Story by SA Thompson
Photos by SR Asato and SA Wade
Saturday we ran a 4.1k around base. Some might tell you it was a 5k, others might say it was 4.4. I think it was a 4.1. The official ruling is that the course was cut short due to communication and technical difficulties...please stand by. All and all, the event went pretty well and we as a group were in high spirits.
We took a few moments to stretch and chat before the official start.
We made some poses for our photo crew, and talked about important things like sushi. We even found time to talk another shipmate into joining in at the last minute.
The weather was beautiful, the road guards were posted and the stopwatch was ready. After a quick group photo on the starting line, we were ready, we were set, and we were go! The winners were as would be expected so I won't bother with those details.
However nobody stopped running.
Everyone kept cheering.
Thompson rounds the final corner as a road guard watches for cars.
The base provides many winding roads to pound the pavement on.
From left, 1st place Moore, 2nd place McCormick, and "best spirit" winner Melkus.
Moore was barely visible three minutes into the race. Melkus finished and ran back to support the stragglers.
Until next time, take a million photos and maybe one of them will be a picture.

Learning Matrix style

Cotter contemplates the deeper meaning of Power Point design rules.
Photos by SR Cory Asato, SN Glenn Slaughter We've shifted gears and now find ourselves in Vector Nation, a place where students plug into the Navy knowledge matrix and learn Illustrator/Power Point/Flash/Dreamweaver at break neck speed. I seriously feel like Keanu Reeves when I say: "I know Flash. Whoa." You'll notice that in a few of these photos students are leaning over studying their screens very intently. That's because they're staring at lines they're tracing while vectoring. Many times we must translate a .jpeg image into a vector image so it can be blown up for a poster or t-shirt. This is done by tracing every inch of the original in Adobe Illustrator.
Mastering the art of curves is fundamental to vectoring skills. It's hard to explain, but imagine drawing a straight line, then twisting and turning it to fit the image being traced.
Here, Chief Fowler gives Jones instruction on tracing a half circle.
Vectoring is a skill that must be learned. When we get to the fleet our shipmates will be looking to us to know our way around programs like Illustrator. For example, a Chief could ask us to create a safety sign using a photo of an F-18. If the photo is in .jpg format, it may need to be vectored so it can be enlarged.
It could take four hours or more to trace it.
Chief Miller takes a look at a banner Jones has created using Adobe Flash. The banner (blue rectangle on the monitor) will then be inserted at the top of a web page he'll create later using Adobe Dreamweaver.
If you've ever seen a cute animation of some sort on a site you've visited, you've probably seen Flash.
This is the face I make a lot lately. I really don't like not being good at new things. :) Here MC1 Ballge helps me figure out why my two shapes aren't morphing into each other correctly. The instructors, working with very little time, have displayed the patience and knowledge that are the standard here at the Defense Information School.
Future classes would benefit from more time in Visual Information. I see the future of communication in the programs we're learning, and could personally use more time to dig into these amazing Adobe products.

Fasten your seatbelts!!

Photos by SR Cory Asato, SN Glenn Slaughter My class is out of EJC and off to the races. The final leg of our journey is a fast one, to be sure. Currently we're in VI, or Visual Information. It'll soon be changed to Multi Media to more accurately reflect the subject matter. I think FTSOL, or Freight Train Speed Of Light, fits better. :) We're averaging a new program every two days right now. (Illustrator, Power Point, Flash, Dreamweaver)
Our final day in EJC included some yummy food courtesy of Chief Shavers. An added bonus was not having to stand in the chow line at the DFAC (dining facility) on our lunch break!
Here the students watch videos produced during the course. We really enjoyed watching training videos, 29 second "spots", and DVD menus created during the Encore portion of the class. Prizes were given for best training video and best spot. I won best training video!
A final, hearty Anchors Aweigh shook the roof as we bid farewell to EJC.