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It’s All About the Technology

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I wish I had grown up with Facebook and Twitter and those other forms of foolishness.

But now at age 70 I have no interest in the lives of celebrities or what people ate for lunch and I’m concerned even less as to what they think. I went out into the world and found out on my own everything I needed to know about living life. Plus I had real heroes whom I saw every day as a kid, I was born in 1947 and when my father and his friends came home from WW-II they were the real heroes.

Tagalog Buddy

I grew up thinking that being a veteran was the most natural thing on Earth because as a kid they were all around me, presidents, members of congress, the police the firemen, and most of my teachers, he grounds keeper at my school was a Purple Heart holder! The Greatest Generation had come home and the world was wonderful and bright.

Supper with the people you love.

Supper with the people you love.

I can’t imagine ever having sat to dinner with my Mother and Father and bringing a toy to the table let alone texting during any meal as is done now. Neither I, nor my four brothers were ever abused but we knew what corporal punishment was.

I’m pleased that at the Minot School in Dorchester And Saint Ann’s School where I was educated and they also believed in corporal punishment vice Prozac …because when I acted up it would bring down the wrath of the lord on the tips of my fingers, by my teacher or Nun with a piece of rattan or a ruler I wonder how much Prozac I would have been given? The beat cop could cuff the side of my head when I messed up, and no law suits were involved,

Ship's Bell What time is it

Ship’s Bell What time is it

I had some young guys in the Navy who couldn’t believe a cop could whack you in olden times, and we never told our dad. The cop and our dads were members of the same VFW Post and if the cop told him I got double when I came home. BTW, the Navy Chief’s in the 1960’s did the same thing, except they hit you with your own hat. And not once was I ever diagnosed with OCD or Attention deficit (A nice way to say that the kid is completely bored) and should be given Prozac to calm them down. I remained drug free and still have a fear of all Nuns! (I’m anti Prozac as you might have figured out) (LOL)

I was never allowed to bring my hand held calculator to class in the 60’s as if I could even afford one, the teachers did a really foolish thing and taught us math, even long division!

And we learned that according to the “Palmer Method” of penmanship there was only writing or printing, for reasons never explained they started calling writing cursive, and printing writing. Now at our age we can use cursive as a secret code, and most people under thirty can’t read or understand it. Sneaky bastards aren’t we?

Rhey won't float

Rhey won’t float

My eldest son Sean Paul was visiting with me in Puerto Rico on a school break when he was 13 and asked me the time, I pointed to the wall clock and he informed me he could only read digital clocks. I taught him analog time that very day. I skipped military time as that was a bit much. I can still tell time by the ringing of ship’s bells (7 bells is lunch on the morning watch and 7 bells is knock off ship’s work on the afternoon watch) I wonder if they still use the bells on ships?

I read that the average person now checks their cell phone over 150 times a day. I check mine sometimes up to four times per day to see who called or texted and the status of the battery (Is texted the proper word?) Also I will not respond to any text that is not written out in full English. U is not a word nor is the number 4.

I learned to text a few years ago and I find it convenient. My phone sits on the dresser in my room and only if we go out to a place where Mayang and I could be separated will I bring it so I can find her. Believe me or not, she carries two fully loaded (On a monthly plans) Smart phones with her at all times. I never asked her why, as a peaceful life is most important to me.

My last tour in the Navy was before cell phones, Beepers were the big deal. The base command Master Chief (No friend of mine) decided that all department heads should wear a beeper so we could be contacted. My objection was that Naval Uniform Regulations prohibited my wearing my Ray-Ban sunglasses case on my belt while in uniform, so show me in the regulations where beepers are authorized? I lost that one, so for 9 working days I wore it and it never beeped. On a Friday night at the base CPO club, after work playing Ship’s, Captain & Crew (A dice game) Oh and drinking pitchers of beer, the beeper went off, I reached down took it off my belt and gave it the float test in a pitcher of beer. Seven more shipmates followed my lead. Monday we explained to the Command Master Chief, it must have been a system wide malfunction.  Mine was never replaced.

I had a friend, my age (Retired Navy and Merchant Seaman) that took to the cell phone like it was Manna from Heaven. Six of us guys sitting around the table at Texas Joe’s having a beer and he is forever texting. We all moved to another table and when he looked up he asked why. “So you can be alone with all your text- mates and not be bothered with us!” we explained

He never learned and we stopped inviting him. But he would still text and ask us where we were going? Of course we told him!

When he passed, we wanted to place his cell phone in the casket with him,(His wife disapproved ) then we go up the street to OG’s Bar to have a beer and there we would all text him goodbye. It was a good idea and we still went for the beers. He was still a shipmate and a friend!

I love my e-reader

I love my e-reader

The E-Reader is a God Send in this new age, any book that I can adjust the size of the font is truly a wondrous thing. And it can hold over 3,000 novels…simply amazing.

Computers were old hat to me; I didn’t use them very much as I had people trained to do that but still understood them from my Navy Days. Then I fibbed and told Military Sealift Command that I knew how to operate them (but I had my fingers crossed when I said it). Back then we were on the DOS system and I watched this idiot I worked with using it, and said; “If he can do it, I damn sure can!” When windows came along I quickly forgot DOS. When I was in the Hospital those many months last year I forgot the rest. But over time, some of the knowledge came back, but I now have a Puter Guy on retainer. I vastly over pay him, to insure he will come quickly when I need him.  I’m a natural born problem solver.   Nine days with the super router and great internet it just stopped, it was not meant to be!  I found out it was Globe rationing gigabytes to me and I was using them up. I now pay extra for more gigs per month. Like the government, you can solve all problems if you just throw more money at it!

If you were wondering about ships bell time!

Number of bells Bell pattern Hour (a.m. and p.m.)
One bell 1 12:30 4:30 8:30
Two bells 2 1:00 5:00 9:00
Three bells 2 1 1:30 5:30 9:30
Four bells 2 2 2:00 6:00 10:00
Five bells 2 2 1 2:30 6:30 10:30
Six bells 2 2 2 3:00 7:00 11:00
Seven bells 2 2 2 1 3:30 7:30 11:30
Eight bells 2 2 2 2 4:00 8:00 12:00

First ringing was at 0800 and the last was 2000, waking the crew is a bad idea.

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Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson; has resided in the Philippines since 1993, living close to Subic Bay. I’m married to a wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang).Who is from Gordon Heights in Olongapo where she grew up with her Mom & Dad and seven siblings Our two daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen Our youngest daughter and her husband Cecil have blessed us with a grandson named. Jayden Logan. I’m a retired U.S. NAVY Senior Chief after 22 years of active duty. After retirement from the Navy I lived for 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. Then Hurricane Hugo told me to find a new line of work, I was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. After 30 plus years at sea I buried my anchor on a mountain in the Philippines and am now residing in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt, Bataan where we built our home. And last but not least, anything I writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek "If anybody is offended, I'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!

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Tom Nixon
Tom Nixon
4 years ago

Paul: Did you learn the bell pattern in boot camp? Not a difficult pattern, so I learned it in other ways, but don’t remember ever having been taught it.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago
Reply to  Tom Nixon

Tom;
The bells I learned while on ship, by looking at my watch every time I heard them and learned through osmosis. I think you’re right no one taught me!
Wait, I do believe it was in my Blue Jackets Manual, but who read that?

Marcelino Zabal
4 years ago

Nice one Paul, I stood Inport OOD on our Medium Endurance Cutter, and at noon, you have to report to the Captain that everything is okay, and requesting to strike Eight Bells.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago

Marcelino
When I stood OOD watch import we made the noon report to the “Command Duty Officer” or to the Ship’s Master underway. “The Officer on watch sends his respects, yada yada yada and requests permission to strike eight bells! I think one out of ten messenger of the watch got it right. (LOL)

Bob NewYorkUSA
Bob NewYorkUSA
4 years ago

Hi Paul,

I am with you on the cell phones. I use one when I am on vacation in Philippines to keep in touch with my friends. Upon boarding my departure flight from Philippines back to New York, the cell phone goes back in its box til the next visit. I don’t have the need for one at home. I wonder if todays younger generation can even imagine how it was when we were their age and ve survived without txting and cell phones LOL.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago
Reply to  Bob NewYorkUSA

Bob NY;
I was amazed that my grandson at age 3 to 4 had his own tab and could play games on it, and then I remember how much fun I had outside with my friends running and playing, and stopped being jealous that he knows more about cell Phones that I do. The world keeps spinning…

Peter Bell
Peter Bell
4 years ago

I still have my pocket calculator from the 60s! It’s 6″ long and has a slidey bit in the middle, with numbers and lines printed on it. It can do multiplication and division, squares and square roots, cubes and cube roots, logorithms and reciprocals. It won’t do any addition or subtraction – that’s what we have a brain for. In 1968, we had a science exhibition at school. Some organisation had lent us a (very expensive) four function electronic calculator to put on display – it took up a whole table top and could do multiplication and division but also… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago
Reply to  Peter Bell

Peter;
Could you use your slide rule in class? In 1974 I was on my 4th ship and was touring Europe from the north to the south, ships can’t make it to the countries with no coast. Because of Schooling in the 50’s and 60’s I could do math with a pencil and paper. (lol)

Peter Bell
Peter Bell
4 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Yes, the slide rule was provided by the school – we all had identical devices and were instructed in their use.

Michael Heavrin
Michael Heavrin
4 years ago

I remember going to college, and after an Algebra class I asked the professor if he could show me how to do square root like the way we do long division. He said “sure” … He pulled out his pocket calculator and said “You just use this button here”, pointing to the square root key. Sister Thomas Aquinas rolled in her grave.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago

Michael;
After the Electronic Pulse from NOKO, the first subject to go in schools will be math when the calculators ‘run out of juice. What’s a slide rule?

Jay
Jay
4 years ago

Hi Paul, On bells do you live close enough to a Catholic Church to hear the ones for 6 AM Mass on Sunday morning or maybe that was just something they do in my wife’s home town? It did not bother me as I am a morning person, but I could image night owls who partied hard with many adult beverages on Saturday night would not be pleased. I agree with you that too much technology is a problem especially for the young people. Some young people look at phones or other devices all day and night. My article is… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
4 years ago
Reply to  Jay

Jay; As a matter of fact in Puerto Rico quite close to one, but bells only on holy days, and me trying to figure out what time it was. But the funny one is Puerto Rico law. You cannot build a bar 200 feet from a church. My Nite Club had been open 3 years when a Born Again Preacher opened a store front church across from me and then tried closing me down using that very law. The judge asks the man, if I built my bar across from him, or did he build his church across from me?… Read more »

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