I promise I will send
some more coherent stuff in the very near future. Perhaps you might
find reading this fun or maybe this is too far out of line in which
case you simply hit delete.
The paragraph below was actually the first thing I wrote and
intended to send to you. But I didn't, figured it was getting too
wordy so I sent the short one you got instead. But I can fill up a
page pretty fast and change subjects without warning. Seems my mind
does a lot of wandering, in fact I spent a good portion of my life
wandering around for no apparent reason.
Dalton, could not help but note with a lot of interest your
adventure into a blog for vets. As you probably already know I am
also one of those 100% disabled vets. Not sure about your medical
history but it took a long time for me to finally figure out that
all the medical problems I have gone thru can be traced back to one
thing. Everyone knows what it is, so far one doctor and several
nurses agreed that dioxin is the culprit. All the other medical
professionals are still afraid of what the government might do
should they say anything about agent orange. But all bird farm
sailors also know that all aircraft carriers engaged in routine
operations have plenty of toxins aboard. Pretty hard to escape being
exposed to something that is bad for your health. Nevertheless I
would still sign up for more cruises no matter the risk. While I do
not know you personally I still consider you one of the brothers who
served aboard the USS Hancock. Service I consider honorable and
essential to our Republic. While I have no direct combat war stories
to tell, I have plenty of other sea stories, some of which are
hilarious, damn funny and of course derived from my time on aircraft
carriers, aka bird farm fun!
Dalton I do the same stuff that you have taken to. When I am in the
mood I scribble notes to myself about any subject I want to discuss
with myself. Fortunately I have this computer to take a lot of the
work out of writing. My mind is usually racing far ahead of what I
am typing. Since my hands are sometimes out of my control things
don't get spelled right at times. Thankfully there is the spelling
app that corrects my dumb mistakes. The wordy crap you see below I
wrote several years ago while thinking about my aches and pains.
Having been through more than eight operations some of what I feel
were not needed. But hey, the VA knows what they are doing, don't
they? Trying to avoid any more trips to the VA hospital, just got
back a few hours ago from another medical appointment. The old right
leg is in bad shape, they are trying to support the collapsing ankle
but it looks hopeless. Ah well on to a new year.
I wrote the paragraph below, it's my philosophy story after reading
a doctors advice column on what he considered 'health'.
Useless thoughts on my philosophy of life:
I think its called random data access?
Anyway here is my take on the 'doctors' answers to the web 'health'
questions that are being passed around. How come I immediately think
of my ding-a-ling, (Chuck Berry), every time I hear the word passed?
Stick a camera up your (censored) and look around and if you enjoy
that continue on up to the kidney where you can get stoned. The
photo of the 'doctor' looks to be Asian probably Chinese, I thought
they liked to stick pins in you to 'cure' what ails you. I sure like
the 'Conclusion' that someone thunk up! I was probably prompted to
write this after three kidney operations to remove some stones. The
fun part was the camera they shoved up my ding dong on three
different occasions to look around. They followed that by pushing a
stint up there supposedly to hold everything open. Yeah that works,
you get to leak all over yourself.
I think I will learn some other language. But then who will I talk
to? Oh yeah, if I learn the Mexican version of Spanish then I will
have millions of illegals to talk to. Back at the Gilman, Colorado
Mine I worked on the surface crew. While operating the end of a
shovel and for no good reason I was told by some Spaniards that the
Mexican language is a crappy version of real Spanish. I thought a
fight was going to break out between the two groups. Senza offesa
The short paragraph I read in a health professionals magazine was
about your worn out body at end of life. I am worn out an sure feel
like it, used up as it states. However it is unlikely that I will be
hollering 'Woo-hoo what a ride'. Most people die in agony as their
'worn out' body becomes a painful experience. Maybe some get a free
ride, but I'm not that lucky. Haven't slept for three days now, the
pain that is having fun at my expense is probably my pay back for
often being a asshole. One thing for sure, I will be arriving at my
grave looking like the living dead.
Take a nap, they suggested, so you can live longer. Now that is a
useless statement. I don't want to sleep my life away, but it would
be nice to get some normal shuteye for a change. But I can vouch for
losing weight, it does take some of the load off my bad leg. 240 to
190 pounds now.
Shortly after opting out of the military I had a welcome home
experience. Three females in a station wagon took me out. The driver
looked right at me riding my Beezer an pulled out, my leg was purple
for weeks. Now in my old age the leg is back to remind me that you
have to look out for the stupid drivers. Oh yeah, I forgot, another
'driver' T-boned me on Skyline on my bike. Same leg. Oh yeah, I
almost forgot, busted a vein when my bike kicked back. My leg was
purple for a week. Same leg. Oh, which one of you was riding on the
back of my bike when that old man in S.F. turned right into us and
knocked us into the gutter. You should remember, you got two stiches
in your leg. That time my port leg and not the soon to be mangled
starboard leg took the hit. I am now older than that 65 year old
driver who hit us, I imagine he is six feet under. AAh! Revenge is
Also he was driving the same faded blue '55 Ford I had. Some of my
shipmates probably remember I was spinning donuts while driving my
'55 backwards behind the barracks we were in when Hancock was in dry
dock. Drunk again, several of you shipmates might also remember when
I was trying to get my motorbike up the back barracks stairs so I
could ride around inside. Drunk again. I am now 70 and the only
thing I want is--- One last bike ride, Plez!
Funny according to the magazine advice 'doctor' sit ups will give
you a bigger stomach. I haven't done sit ups for the last 40 years,
how come I have a big stomach? I do like chocolate but the wife
keeps me away from that, sort of.
When I was at the Treasure Island Electronics 'A' school the Olympic
size pool there allowed me to teach myself how to swim. Which is a
good idea when you are in the Navy and surrounded by water. Can
anyone verify the sea story or remember the guy who was sleeping on
the sponson. I often crapped out at night on the sponson too, it was
too hot in that sweat box we called our living quarters. He rolled
over in his sleep and went right thru the space between the chain
stanchions. Sleeping in his shorts on his rice mat, I had one too,
he hit the water and lost his drawers. They figured he went
overboard about midnight or so and didn't get his naked ass picked
up until noon the next day. What a swimmer, 12 hrs in the water and
lucky for him one of the tin cans finally spotted him.
Me and the wife eat very small amounts of fried foods. I finally got
my meat consumption down to a reasonable level, couple ounces every
other day or so. We cut back our use of vegetable oil, switched to
olive oil. More expensive but you use less and your chow tastes
better. But I can't cook anymore, so all the credit goes to the
Been volunteering for the heart group study. What the hell is
cardiovascular exercise? Maybe your heart has to do sit ups? All the
pieces of my body are falling apart but my heart has been deemed
very healthy by the VA docs. I guess my ticker isn't likely to
commit suicide anytime soon.
I did like driving my beloved '68 hotrod fast, very fast. Could have
killed myself, especially when those f--king Firestone tires failed
at 110 on the Nevada flats. Back when there was no speed limit on
the open road in Nevada. Very few cars, bad tires and my auto
capable of more than those faulty f--king tires could stand. Anyone
remember, that was the first recall for Firestone. Many years later
the big second recall and the law suits came later when people
started getting killed by tread separation. Exactly what happened to
three out of four of my Firestone tires in the 70s, luckily I am
If you like this news letter, let me know. I can bestow more sea
stories upon your eyes. Better than being forced to watch someones
vacation slides or worse yet home movies! You don't have to squirm
and wish it was over, now you just hit delete! For those of you who
are using facebook, which I haven't liked, it's the pits to
understand and use. Google has launched it's version of that, I
signed up and tried it out. A world of difference, at least for me
it is. Plez don't think I am recommending this just cuz my daughter
works there. My entire photo collection, many more to add, is
handled by Picasa. When I get enough time to edit everything I will
give access to all my former flat top bird farmers. OK, Rant is
Over, hit delete! I am sure no one needs any translation for the
above, but if puzzled just ask.
Regards to all my former shipmates, RIP to those who have passed
Ok Dalton if you got down to this line then maybe I have a chance to
write something that makes sense?
Best to ya shipmate! Jim
REPLY FROM OLD
SENIOR CHIEF 1946: Jim, your writing definitely makes the reader
think. A little rambling and meandering at times but that is the way
I think, so it is a good combination. I started getting sick right
after I turned 50. It was five years later when I went to see
a doctor. It was right after 911, around the time when that idiot
was sending out anthrax powder packages in the mail. I showed up in
the ER, looking like death warmed over and coughing up bloody
sputum. They all went into a big panic - put me in a special
isolation room with filtered ventilation and an airlock - everyone
wore a mask when they came in there. The first set of chest Xrays
were very bad - doctor told the wife that I was not long for this
earth - most likely advanced stage lung cancer. But several things
didn't seem to add up so he had some CT scans done - that gave him a
different view of it all. He changed his mind, saying that I had TB
with numerous infections and might survive for a while after all.
Further testing ruled out the TB - so I was a just mystery man with
trashed out lungs but no one knew what caused it. I was
discharged not knowing much more than I did when I went in there. I
think they wrote "Severe lung scarring caused by multiple untreated
infections of unknown origin". I felt better, but I would feel good
for a while then go downhill again. It wasn't so much my breathing -
I would just lose all of my energy, for no reason. That went on for
3 more years. I finally got so sick that I had to quit working. I
didn't use my sickness as my reason for resigning, but it was.
That was in 2004. I went to the VA in 2007, and they finally
determined that my illness was caused by asbestos contamination in
the 60's and 70's. The civilian doctors were afraid to say that it
was caused by asbestos poisoning - same as the Agent Orange thing
you mentioned. I am now 67 and still kicking. I take it all one day
at a time. Every day I wake up is a good day. I think I was down to
155 pounds for a while - I am now probably back up to around
220 pounds, which is too heavy for me. I feel best if I keep my
weight between 185 and 195. I am working on that. Anyway - I enjoy
reading your stuff so keep it coming.
REPLY FROM OLD
SENIOR CHIEF 1946: Jim, I grew up with many Mexicans and some of
them were good friends. After we were grown up, I ran into one of
them. He joined the Air Force around the time I joined the Navy.
After his training, he was sent to Spain. He was thinking, "Boy
- I have it
made now - being Spanish speaking". He got there and found out he
could not understand them and they did not understand him most of
the time. Worse yet, in Spain they think of Mexicans as being
ignorant peasants who are inferior to them. Similar to the way it is
for us "gringos" and the British.
REPLY FROM OLD
SENIOR CHIEF 1946: Jim, speaking of doctors and such. I finally went
in a couple of years ago to have a double hernia in my groin fixed.
I had to do something about it because it was like walking around
with a big cantaloupe in my drawers. My regular doctor looked at it,
mumbled something under his breath, then left the room. When he came
back, he rushed me over to see our local hernia repair surgeon.
After I waited a few hours, sitting in his office on my cantaloupe,
here comes the surgeon to look at it - with two very young female
Medical School students in tow. Why me - Lord? They fixed it -
life is good. What more can I say?
REPLY FROM OLD
SENIOR CHIEF 1946: As for hotrods: I bought a new 1970 Pontiac
Tempest. It had 160 MPH on the speedometer so I decided to test it
out. There was a long stretch of level highway near where I lived,
with very little traffic, so I went out there about 3 AM one
morning. I put my accelerator to the metal and hung on. It got up to
128 MPH fast but it stopped there for a few seconds. I thought that
was it, but I heard some more carburetor jets open up and it started
to go up again. It steadily came up and it showed 142 MPH when I
felt the back end start to slip and I knew we were going airborne.
It still had more to give but I let it come back down to my normal
cruising speed - about 85 MPH. I ran mostly Goodyear tires on that
car - seems like I needed a new set of tires about every 10,000
miles. They were bias ply tires - didn't last long.
REPLY FROM OLD
SENIOR CHIEF 1946: As for the guy who fell off the CVA-19 while
sleeping on the sponson, I don't know all of the details, but your
version sounds accurate enough. He was a BTFN and lived in the
berthing compartment under ours. I saw him just about every day -
tall skinny kid who was always very pale looking. That was because
he was a BT - working those long hours and standing watches in the
Fire Room where the temp was 140 degrees on a good day. Those guys
had it bad enough - they deserved a cool place to sleep. He was on
the TV show "I've Got A Secret". He stumped them - who would ever
guess something like that? It is a "no shitter" - it really
REPLY FROM OLD
SENIOR CHIEF 1946: Back to Doctors: Dr. Oz pisses me off. The man
has made millions telling us about things we already know.
REPLY FROM OLD
SENIOR CHIEF 1946: Getting old is no cake walk. Like you - I am
trying to eat healthy. I have already lived a lot longer than I ever
thought I would so I sometimes wonder what the point of it all
really is. I sometimes think about what things will be
like for seniors in a few years. If some of the politicians have
their way, I truly believe it is possible (probable?) that they will
be euthanizing some folks over 65 - even younger people on social
security disability with bad health problems or serious mental
disabilities - if their medical bills get too high. The cost of
health care for Medicare recipients is rising by leaps and bounds
every year, much faster than for the general public (if we believe
what the media reports), so they will have to do something about it.
When I was a kid, not many folks (especially the men) lived to see
age 70. They were lucky to see age 60 back then. Now it is common to
see folks in their 80's and 90's still out and about but I honestly
don't think the quality of their lives is all that great. It
is a complicated problem. I don't claim to have all of the answers.