Utila, Honduras – Off the Beaten Path With Hippies and Divers

Ever heard of Utila? Me neither. Utila is a tiny bay island off the coast of Honduras, less than 7 miles long and 3 miles across – at its widest. The population of 5,000 (including 1,000 to 2,000 tourists at any given time) resides primarily in Utila Town, off the protected southeast harbor.

Our trip to Utila began with a three-hour flight from Atlanta to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. While gathering our luggage I saw a large, healthy man struggling to remove a gold chain and cross. He accepted my help and told me crime is rampant in the city. After noticing that I was one of only a few people wearing jewelry, and that my diamond ring was getting a number of looks, I stashed all my jewelry away safely.

Delayed and cancelled flights are the rule rather than the exception with TACA, the local airline. They’ve earned their nickname, “Take A Chance Airline.” Rather than spend the night in crime-ridden San Pedro Sula and Take A Chance with TACA again the next day, we opted for a four-hour bus ride to La Ceiba (locals just say “say-ba”).

After an overnight in Ceiba, we caught the Utila Princess the next morning for the one-hour ferry trip to Utila. It, too, earns its nickname – the Vomit Comet. TACA has flights to the island and we will Take A Chance next time and avoid the ferry.

Once on the island, though, surrounded by mellow, laid-back SCUBA divers, hippies and hippie-divers, you’ll hear a mish-mash of English and Spanish spoken as well as a multitude of other languages. People from all over the world, many of them in their 20’s, flock to the island to attend the least expensive dive certification courses in the world at one of the island’s many dive shops. I put my jewelry back on as crime is all but non-existent.

Although Utila is a Mecca for divers, surrounded by dive sites and coral reefs, snorkelers are not left out. At the west end of the bay 30 Lempira “lemps” (two and a half dollars) buys dock privileges for the day, and the reefs are just a few moment’s swim away. You can also rent equipment and buy lunch off the grill, as well as other snacks and drinks.

With narrow, congested roads, cars are a rarity. Most of Utila Town gets around on foot or by bicycle, scooter, motorcycle or golf cart. All are available for rent on the island.

Don’t let Utila’s infamous sand flies scare you away. I saw plenty of pale people with the telltale red welts up and down their legs, but with proper preparation you can avoid this. Just bring repellant and use it. One long-time resident swore by a heavy coating of baby oil.

Hotels and rooms-to-rent are everywhere and unless you arrive during the August Sunjam festival, you can wander Utila Town until you find suitable accommodations. Most are budget hotels geared toward the backpacker-dive crowd. If you are looking for a full-service upscale resort, go to neighboring Roatan Island, not Utila.

Restaurants are also everywhere and sometimes take some detective work to find. Structures along the waterfront are often three deep. A street-side store, a bar on the water and an open-air restaurant nestled in-between. Signage is often missing or out-dated. Indian Wok, next to Tranquila Bar, was good and Munchies Café was always busy.

Nightlife is abundant. Only a certain number can stay open late each night, so the bars coordinate among themselves to even the playing field. I recommend Coco’s (formerly Coco Loco) next to the Passenger (ferry) dock.

It was at Coco’s that I met Sara, and there my Utila adventures began in earnest. Sara recently purchased Coco’s and I offered to go with her to Shelly Mac’s, the plant nursery, to help choose plants for hanging baskets. There I met Shelby, the owner, who invited me to visit him on his 14-acre farm north of town.

The next day, I walked up Pumpkin Hill and found Shelby’s farm. I wandered around calling for him until one of the young men tending fruit trees pointed me in the right direction. Shelby didn’t warn me about his guard goose and my left thigh sported quite the blood blister for some days!

After a quick snack of fresh bananas and mango, we toured the farm. I admired Shelby’s many fruit trees, medicinal plants, and so much more, including pineapple, bananas, mango, papaya, limes and lemons… never turning my back on the goose.

Shelby anchors the daily news for Utila’s only cable television station, HQTV. He asked me if I would be his co-host that night. The miracle fruit bushes were in full fruit and we would film my first experience with them as well as interview people on the street. How could I refuse such an adventure?

I sampled the miracle fruit and then cut up a lime. Miracle fruit changes your taste buds for several hours, rendering even the sourest tastes sweet. The lime tasted like limeade – delicious!

I hopped on the back of Shelby’s little motorcycle and we drove back to Utila Town, where we invited passers-by to sample miracle fruit followed by slices of lemon or lime, talking to them and taping the whole time. That night, we watched my Utila television debut at the Mango Café bar.

Too soon, another ferry ride back to mainland Honduras was imminent. We ferried one hour and twenty minutes on the Galaxy Wave to Roatan, which is three hours from Atlanta by air. It too, has earned the nickname of The Vomit Comet. Although now without appetite, we sampled one of Roatan’s all-inclusive beach-side resorts for the night and dreamed of Utila.

What Is Was Like to Go to Yeoman "A" School in the Untied States Navy in Mississippi

What is was like to go to Yeoman “A” School Training.

I arrived at Meridian, Mississippi, for Yeoman “A” School Training, they called it. It was supposed to be a couple of months long school, where they teach you all the proper ways, to type up Navy correspondence, and other paper work.

I arrived in the middle of the night to my new duty station. The way the dorm rooms were set up, there were 3 guys to a room, and 4 rooms per common area, with sitting tables, TV, and stuff like that, that was like our living room. I remember a really big fat guy, yelling at the top of his lungs, “fresh meat”, he was yelling. Luckily for me, that jerk was just on his way out, and I did not have to put up for him very long at all.

I remember, going the first day, down to school. First, you had to fall in line with everyone else. The whole school marched from the barracks, down to the school, in a military order. Down at the school, they were going to teach us how to type, to start off with. I had had, a typing class in high school, but I never actually learned to type one word on the typewriter. The teacher was nice to me, and gave me a D-, just so I could pass the class. But this was the Navy, and I’m sure they expected me to learn how to type. There was no way around learning to type, it had to be done. I learned to type the right way, and at a certain speed, in about 2 weeks.

The way the Navy teaches you to type, is they show you a movie in the dark, and hide your key board from your eyes. They turn the lights off, and they show you these Navy movies, that are about two weeks long. Each couple of hour movie shows you how to type different words, and before you know it, the movie is done, and you know how to type in your sleep. You do so much repetitive typing, that you end up doing it in your sleep, it seems, and you have to be able to type a certain amount of words, per minute, in order to graduate from the class, and move on to your next duty station.

Besides the day to day learning at school, about doing paper work the right way, and stuff like that. Yeoman school was pretty much just like any other school, you would learn stuff at. Except here, you wore a uniform, and had to get into formation each morning, and listen to things being told to you.

You could pretty much do what you wanted, after school each day. You were allowed to do what you wanted pretty much, but you were not allowed to leave the base, and go into town. I was in Meridian for about two months, but I did not have much chance, to see a lot of different parts of the town, only a few times, when they let us out on liberty call.

At school, most people are coming and going, getting ready to ship out, to new duty stations. People were getting assigned orders to all kinds of exotic sounding in places. They have a thing in the Navy, that they call the “dream sheet”, where you pick three places you would like your next new duty station to be. The Navy says they will try to get you one of your dream duty stations, or as close to one of them, as they can.

I picked Australia, the Philippines, and Hawaii. The Navy ended up giving me orders to a ship that was stationed in Guam. I had never heard of Guam before. I had to go look it up on the map. It was about right in the middle of all three of my duty station selections, but just not one of them. But going to my new ship, would still come later. I still had to finish yeoman school, and graduate from it first. Some people could never get the hang of typing, at a certain speed. They ended up having to drop the school, and pick another job to train for.

School was still a fresh place for most people. We had just finished boot camp, and was learning to have more freedom given to us, and a lot less yelling going on, like boot camp had. Some of the characters, in the units we were berthed in, were just plain crazy.

The building Unit we were all living in, was three stories tall, and had various people living in it. Some of the people that were living in our unit, were waiting to be discharged from the Navy, for various reasons. In one of rooms that was directly below us, was some flamboyant gays living. They were so outrageously gay, and flamboyant about it, like Liberace. A black and a white guy.

The Navy was discharging them both, for being openly gay. They were about the gayest guys I had ever seen, and I think they might of been the first ones I’ve ever seen, in real life, besides on TV. I was from a small town, they could of actually been doing the best darn act, to get out of the Navy, but I don’t think so, no guy would go threw that.

On one of the days, that I was assigned my first watch, it was to be with a partner. We would be a roving patrol for the school grounds for four hours. When I showed up for my watch, I was partnered up with a girl, that was going to be a yeoman also.

As we walked around for our 4 hours on watch time, we did the usual stuff. Just walking around, and making sure nothing was wrong. My new partner I had just met, was asking me, what kinds of drugs I liked to do. I told her my experiences that I had with drugs, and it was limited, and then she told me hers. I had never heard of some of the drugs she was talking about, back then anyway. Now a days, the stuff she said is everywhere, but she was from the city, and said she loved it, and did it all the time, and I did not even know what she was talking about. That was really the first girl I had ever talked to, who wore a uniform just like mine, and I wondered what kind of girls join the Navy?

While I was still stationed at yeoman training school, we got another paycheck. All of a sudden, I had a lot of extra money, and I did not owe anybody any of it. I was looking at a bulletin board somewhere, and I noticed this motorcycle for sale, for $500. It was one of the staff members who was stationed on the base, and also lived on the base, but just worked somewhere else.

Students were not allowed to leave the base, unless they were on liberty. I bought and paid for the motorcycle, with almost all the money, from the paycheck I had just received. The guy I bought the bike from, also gave me a lot of extra parts, like an extra gas tank, gas can, oil, those sorts of things, you get with a bike when you buy it sometimes. I parked the motorcycle in the parking lot of the barracks. I was going to keep the motorcycle, just for me to ride around with, on base, just while I was at school, and then get rid of it. I put all the extra parts, gasoline, oil, etc… in my storage locker that stands up like a small stand up closet, that you are supposed to keep your dress uniforms in.

One day, the staff said, they were going to have a surprise inspection, to see how things were going. We never had any inspections before at the school, so this was new to me again.

When they come in to inspect, they call “attention on deck”, and you are supposed to stop what you are doing, and stand at attention, until someone yells, “carry on”. They had us all line up in front of our lockers, at attention, and they were opening up each locker, and seeing how the guys clothes were put away, and then they came to mine.

When they got to my clothes locker to inspect, and I opened it up for them, they first saw all these gas cans, oil cans, motorcycle parts and more, they did not know what to think. They had to call in special people, to see about the fire hazard. I was told to get everything out of my locker, and I was told I was not allowed to own a motorcycle on base. I ended up getting rid of it to another staff member for $50, that knew I was in a bind.

I did get to ride it around the base, and it was missing the muffler, and it was loud, it wasn’t a Harley, but you could hear me coming. When other guys were in the common area, just sitting around, watching TV, I had been out after school, riding around on my motorcycle, checking out the base, on my motorcycle I was not supposed to have.

At the end of the school graduation, they let the students go out into town. Before you are allowed to go out into town, on liberty call, you are told what to expect, and what to do, and not to do, to stay out of trouble. They said that the town people, do not really like the Navy people, so be careful while you are in town, to avoid any fights.

We all went to one of the most common name brand bars in town, where it was pretty much all guys and girls from the base, not to many locals hanging out. It was going to turn into a giant meat market. Everyone could finally shack up with anyone they wanted to from school, that you could not do in school, or at the barracks. Any male, or female, caught in each othe’s rooms at school, was called fraternization, and was very serious, and could get you kicked out of the Navy. Out in town, everybody ended up with someone, and everyone rented rooms for the night.

School was over, and it was time to join the “regular navy” as they called it, and the regular Navy, meant ships and sea, and going to other countries.

I took my first leave of absence from the Navy, before going to, and reporting for duty, to my first ship. I wore my dress uniform, as I was required to do, and I rode a greyhound bus, from Meridian, Mississippi, to Detroit, Michigan. It was one of the longest rides, I had ever taken on a bus. It must of stopped at every chicken farm ranch, along the way. When I finally got back to Michigan, I was dead beat tired from the bus. I stayed home at my sister’s house for about 10 days.

It was time to go to my first “real” duty station. My first real duty station, was a submarine tender, named the USS PROTEUS (AS-19) that had a little more than 1,300 people on it. 6 of the crew member were ladies, all officer ladies. Half of them would be working in my department.

The Barotuan Ati-Atihan Festival of El Nido

The Philippines is popular for its festivals, such as the Maskara festival, Ati-atihan, and Sinulog Festival. Barotuan Ati-Atihan Festival is similar to the famous Ati-Atihan festival in Aklan. This is because the ancestors of most residents of El Nido came from Aklan.

The Ati-Atihan

Aklanons celebrate this event every year in January to honor Santo Nino (Infant Jesus). “Ati-Atihan” means “to be like Ati’s or Aetas.” Historians say the Aetas were the dominant dwellers of the Philippines islands. Some say the Aetas also settled for a time on the Island of Panay, where you can find Aklan. Tribal music playing and street dancing are common features of many festivals in the country, including the Ati-atihan. Those joining the festival wear native costumes and parade on the streets. When getting an El Nido tour package in January, make sure stay in town for their version of the Ati-atihan.

According to some, this festival started when 10 Datus (Malay chieftains) fled Borneo and went to Philippine shores. The Ati, an ancient tribe of Panay Island, gave the chieftains a place to settle. When a famine struck the land, the Ati suffered hunger and descended to the Datus’ settlement. The chieftains offered food to the Atis. Out of gratitude, the Ati sang and danced for the Datus. This gesture became a tradition that evolved into the famous festival.

Barotuan and the Migrants from Aklan

Barotuan is a humble farming village you can reach through a one-hour motorcycle ride from El Nido town center. Every third Sunday of January, locals and tourists head to Barotuan to experience the Barotuan Festival. Many visitors book El Nido tour packages during this time to witness the festival. The Barotuan Festival is also related to the Sinulog Festival in Cebu. Locals narrate that Aklanons migrated to Palawan using a boat called Balangay. This wasn’t small enough for the narrow channels of some islands they had to pass through. Realizing this, the migrants built smaller boats called “Barotu.” The Barotu successfully transported the Aklanons to Palawan’s northeastern point. From then on, locals called the docking area and the village near it Barotuan.

Just like the Ati-atihan festivals in Aklan and Cebu, the Barotuan Festival liven up the town with rosary processions and masses. With the irresistible rhythmic drumbeats during the parade, it’s common to see people dancing on the streets. The parade goes on for a week and takes place regardless of the weather.

Experience the way Filipinos celebrate festivals. Book an El Nido tour package in January and participate in the Barotuan Festival.

Love Motorcycles? Career Ideas for Motorcycle Enthusiasts

While many people think of motorcyclists as those who love to ride as a hobby or only in their spare-time, there are some individuals who are lucky enough to be able to use their motorcycle as part of their job. Just like a moving company has a truck, some people have motorcycles that are essential to their jobs. If you’ve ever considered using your bike as part of your career, here are a few job ideas to get you started!

Racing and Stunt Driving

Obviously, you can use your motorcycle to start a career as a stunt driver or motorcycle racer. This may require a top-of-the-line bike and some hefty health insurance coverage, but can definitely be worthwhile if you’ve got the skills to prove your worth! And if you’re feeling really risky, it may be time to hit road and pull your stunt skills full-time with a daredevil carnival act!

Police Office or Security Guard

If you have a security background or training and enjoy spending time on your bike, certain careers in the security industry may allow you to combine both work and play. As a security guard or police officer, you can help others and patrol grounds while doing it in style! Security guards and police officers oftentimes take advantage of a motorcycle’s mobility to work carnivals, parades, and other large events.

Test Driver

Motorcycle companies will lend out their bikes to test drivers to try out and write reviews for national magazines and online motorcyclist websites. If you’re knowledgeable about motorcycles and enjoy trying out bikes that haven’t even hit the market yet, this may be a great way to combine what you know and love into a fulfilling career!

Motorcycle Courier

While delivering pizzas on a bike may be difficult unless you have really wide saddlebags, there are things that you can deliver and transport on a motorcycle. Motorcycle couriers are individuals who deliver or transport things to and from locations. Time sensitive court documents and paperwork are some items delivered by motorcycle couriers who can navigate through busy cities and traffic better than larger vehicles.

Travel Writer and Photographer

What better way to hit the road than with a quality camera and some portable technology. For those with a traveling spirit and an eye for great landscape shots, motorcyclists who have the time and energy to travel the world may enjoy doing so from the seat of their bike! Travel to exotic and unknown places on your bike, snap some photos and write about the area. Sell your work as freelance or start up your own online blog or website to share your adventures with the world!

Mechanic

If you’re more the hands-on, “behind the scenes” type and enjoy the mechanics of a motorcycle, you could always consider a mechanic job focusing on improving and fixing motorcycles for others. Knowledge of how a bike works is required for this technical kind of position, but can be extremely rewarding and fun for those who like a challenge and don’t mind getting their hands dirty!

Motorcycle Sales

For those of you that love motorcycles and have a knack for selling, a motorcycle salesman may be the ultimate job. An added bonus about this career path is that you’re more likely to be successful if you’re genuinely enthusiastic about the items you are selling. Helping other motorcycle enthusiasts gear up with the right equipment is also another great job for those that can’t get motorcycling off the brain. Biker clothing and apparel is becoming a booming business with the growing number of men and women getting into motorcycling for the first time.

KX-RM 65 Suspension Tuning and Modifications

In this article I will briefly familiarize you with the original equipment (o.e.) Kawasaki/Suzuki 65cc suspension design, tuning tips, and modifications. As a suspension tuner and motocross hobbyist I have observed a lot of discussion over o.e. KX/RM65 suspension. There are numerous message boards filled with ambiguous suspension modifications and specifications for this motorcycle.

The front forks on the KX/RM65 are outdated by several decades but can be adjusted for certain riding conditions. Damper rod forks as found on KX/RM65s are outdated since they create an overly progressive dampening curve (they are too soft initially and too harsh during fast fork movement). The rebound adjuster on the front forks can be used to adjust for some cases of head shake and cornering difficulties. Head shake may occur it can due to too much or to little rebound dampening. This may be fixed by turning the adjuster in increments of two clicks and test. The rebound adjustment can also aid with cornering problems. If the bike washes out in corners, turn the rebound adjuster clockwise in increments of two clicks. If the bike does not stand back up from corners fast enough, turn the rebound adjuster out in increments of two clicks. The front of the bike can also be lowered by moving the forks up in the triple clamps. This may aid in cornering but can cause head shake.

The KX/RM65 models are equipped with a rebuildable rear shock that is mounted to a modern linkage system. This system increases the shocks work load as the rear suspension compresses further towards bottoming. A starting point to adjusting the rear shock is to set race sag at 70-75mm but to not exceed static sag by 25mm. If meeting the two conditions is not feasible, a different rate shock spring may be needed. The rebound adjuster can aid rear end stability and traction. If the rear of the bike swaps to the sides or kicks up it may be due to too much or lack of rebound dampening. To solve this turn the rebound adjuster in increments of one turn and test. Rear traction is often times lost when there is too much rebound dampening and this may be solved by turning the rebound adjuster counter clockwise one turn.

The o.e. KX/RM65 suspension performance does not suffice most competitive motocross riders. There are two effective popular tuning services available for the KX/RM65 forks. An emulator valve can be installed which offers a less progressive and more predictable feel to the front end of the bike. This mod is sold as a “bolt on kit” but is not effective if installed in that fashion. Additional damper rod modifications are needed to tune rebound dampening properly. A cartridge system is also available for the forks that can be installed after machining of the lower fork legs. This cartridge system can be tuned by replacing shims and via rebound and compression adjustments. The o.e. KX/RM65 rear shock has a lot of potential and can be tuned by a revalve service. The KX/RM65 suspension may be mediocre initially, but with proper suspension tuning services it can become a very competitive 65cc dirt bike.

Six Awesome Motorcycle Parts to Soup Up Your Hog

Ask any biker: your motorcycle is not only a high-powered vehicle built to create awesome experiences, but also an expression of your personality.

Even though machines come off the lot stacked with great features, there’s always room for modifications. Working on your bike is just one more fun part of ownership, while adding and subtracting components lets you to create the look, feel, and riding experience you desire. Let’s look at some super-cool motorcycle parts you might consider adding or altering to perfect your bike.

1. Frame Sliders and Engine Guards

Frame sliders are very simple add-ons that prevent your frame from touching the ground, in the event that your vehicle tips over. These metal components create a short cushion between ground and bike, preventing impact to your frame. Similarly, engine guards are steel bars that fit over the cycle’s engine to protect it if the craft keels over. Both of these are easy to install, and give you some cheap insurance against frustrating damages.

2. Fender Eliminator Kit

Most bikes come with bulky, unattractive rear fenders. It’s not a surprise, then, that fender eliminators are one of the most common alterations riders make. Look for a good eliminator kit that works with your rear brake light and gives your vehicle a sleeker appearance.

3. Exhaust System

You feel the need for speed, but do you also feel the need for… noise? Many riders are excited about the powerful sound of their engines, and adding an exhaust system gives you control over that sound’s character and intensity. Though this isn’t the cheapest of motorcycle parts, it adds some power to your engine and is usually easy to install. With so many systems that create unique sounds, you have control over how you announce yourself to the streets.

4. Air Filter

The air filter is the exhaust system’s partner in crime. If you opt for a new exhaust system, you’ll need a filter that can handle it. Air filters heighten performance by keeping the engine clean and aerated. Well-maintained filters can last for tens of thousands of miles, so it’s smart to invest in a good one.

5. Custom Suspension

Suspension is much different for motorcycles than it is for cars. A biker’s weight is much higher in comparison to his or her vehicle’s weight. When you buy a bike, have the suspension adjusted precisely to handle your weight. Very few riders do this, but it makes for optimal handling and performance once you hit the road.

6. High-Performance Tires

Tires are crucial motorcycle parts. Good ones allow you to ride on a wider range of surfaces, while also optimizing handling and fuel efficiency. The tires included with new bikes are functional, but basic. Look for tough, high-performance tires that are built for the kinds of surfaces you plan to encounter – it will make a big difference in the feel of each ride.

Working on your bike can be just as fun as riding it. With these motorcycle parts and modifications, you can transform a good machine into a great one.

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Installing Traffic Lights

When people think about a traffic light, there is usually the immediate association with a 3-lamp light with red at the top, yellow in the middle, and green at the bottom. However, public transport often uses a different kind of traffic light. This is in order to make sure that private traffic and public transport will not meet with a collision in terms of safety and priority. The shapes of public transport lights can vary in terms of letters and arrows, and contain different colored bars.

Traffic lights have a long history and the authorities experimented with various types of things until something was found to be of a superior focus. Nowadays, it is impossible to find a traffic light that does not have an arrangement of LED light bulbs. Halogen or incandescent bulbs were the most common ones found earlier, but the recent trend shows that the number of LED is steadily increasing everywhere each year. Halogen or incandescent lights are known to work for a shorter period of time and the intensity of the light is not as powerful as the LED. However, when LED was first introduced, there appeared one significant problem. In the midst of a heavy snowstorm, people in traffic might have problems to see which color is shining, since LED does not produce enough heat to melt the snow, unlike halogen or incandescent lights. Nevertheless, the advantages of LED are too great to go back to the predecessors. This is why a special heating element was created to ensure the safety of drivers and pedestrians.

There exists a huge difference between each region regarding how they mount or position traffic lights for the visibility of drivers and pedestrians. Some prefer to have traffic lights that are wire-mounted or have them installed in long gantries. The most common way is probably the traffic light which is mounted vertically or horizontally.

Some people are of the opinion that these lights do as much harm as good. It’s understandable as to why someone would be saying that. Quite a few engineers expressed their opinion and said that the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians is influenced by traffic lights but they can often be a reason for traffic delays. Moreover, some stoplights have detectors and these often do not function when a motorcycle, scooter, or a bicycle passes by. Since these types of vehicles do not have the same mass as a car, the sensors fail to detect them. This problem might cause a very serious traffic accident.

It is rather common among drivers to speed through red lights. Often, the penalty for this illegal action is quite harsh. It varies, depending on the country or state, but those who do not have the patience to wait will be fined or put in jail.

These lights have been developed to match the needs of the modern world, and it seems that the system we have now prevents accidents, and ensures the safety of people. However, some people still claim that there is room for improvement, and plan to push their ideas to improve the traffic system in the future.

49 Signs Of A Cheating Partner – Read These Red Flags Now And Know If Your Partner Is A Cheater

Lately things just aren’t the same with your partner. Something seems off, and you can’t help but wonder if there’s somebody else. Suspecting your partner of cheating can be tricky. The possibility terrifies you, but you’re also afraid of being wrong and looking like a fool who has trust issues. In a situation like this, it is wise to tread carefully.

Make sure that there are legitimate reasons for suspecting your partner, and that it’s not just your insecurity that is skewing your point of view. If you do have an overwhelming feeling that there may be infidelity in your relationship then read on for common signs of cheating, and compare them with your man or lady’s behavior.

1. Change In long held beliefs: You observe a shift in your partner’s attitude about relationships or love. It may be that your man used to condemn husbands who cheat on their wives and had strong opinions about infidelity. Suddenly, they seem more lenient with their thinking.

Maybe you’re watching TV together one night and there’s news of a celebrity couple breaking up because the man cheated. You are appalled, but he might shrug and say something like “Well, if she stopped having sex with him what do you expect?”

Pay attention to changes in long held beliefs that your partner had, he or she may be altering their view to accommodate their new thinking or behavior.

2. Trading in khakis for miniskirts: If you have known your partner for a while, then you might start noticing sudden changes in the way they dress or want to look. If your lady has always been very taken with her appearance, and she buys new clothes or changes her hair, it may not be a cause for alarm. However, if she used to dress like a frumpy grandmother to work and she’s suddenly wearing miniskirts and high heels, then you may have a problem.

3. Newfound body image issues: A sudden and unjustified change in body image is another major infidelity sign. If your partner has taken the decision to be thinner or more muscular for health reasons or has always been fit there’s probably no reason to doubt anything.

However, if your couch potato husband is not really concerned with his health, but suddenly starts spending hours in the gym because he is now obsessed with getting rid of his belly fat, then take a closer look. Also, if he refuses that you accompany him to the gym, or is presenting otherwise sketchy behavior regarding his body, he may be straying.

4. I want to be alone: Your partner suddenly wants to spend a lot of time on their own. The need for space is a major sign that something is going on especially if this request comes out of nowhere and with no valid explanation.

If you two had a fight and he or she is still resentful, then the need for space can be somewhat understood. However, if your relationship is stable and things are going great, and your partner suddenly wants to be alone, there might be someone else filling that void.

5. Picking fights: The man or woman in your life might also not only demand more space but do everything possible to create more of it. He or she might pick fights for no reason, and may make an issue of every little thing to create an illusion that you’re not getting along.

They do this to legitimize their wrongdoings and to feel less guilty. The way they figure is this; since you’re both always fighting, you are the unreasonable one and you are pushing them into another person’s arms.

6. Storming out of the house: On a related note, if your man or woman storms out after a “fight” because they just can’t take it anymore and say that they need some time to think, they may be using it as an opportunity to meet up with the other person. This technique has two major benefits.

First, it gives him or her more time on their own to cheat. Second, they can use the fights as a lever to gain the sympathy of the other person who they are cheating with. They want the other man or woman to stay in the deceitful relationship.

So they complain about their partner to demonstrate that they are being driven to cheat and so it isn’t their fault. So if every time you fight with your partner, he or she storms out there may be a good reason why.

7. Reverse psychology: When someone is cheating, he or she becomes a master manipulator. If you start noticing that your once earnest and direct partner is using reverse psychology and other weird techniques that they didn’t use before, then know that something is up. If he or she always makes it seem that you’re the one in the wrong no matter what happens. He or she may have something to hide.

8. On the defensive: If your man or lady has suddenly become overly defensive and can’t take any type of criticism, then you need to take a good look at what’s going on. If you ask him about a lady co-worker and he starts a fight, or he becomes furious after you ask him why he didn’t call if he was going to be late for dinner, there’s something there.

Ask your partner about it, maybe there’s a good reason for this newly found oversensitivity and short temper. A stressful work week or family problems may be to blame for this change in behavior.

9. Lying through their teeth: Cheating always involves lying. If you keep catching your partner in little lies, then something is up. If he said he was working late the night before at the office, then says that he was out with his boss having drinks another time, beware he may be cheating. If the little things he or she says just don’t add up, then ask them about it. If they avoid confronting the issue, you can be sure that there’s something going on that shouldn’t be.

10. Going the distance: If your partner is cheating, then he or she may deal by becoming more distant. He will avoid talking about serious subjects and only engage in small talk. He may avoid getting into conversations about your finances, work, and children if you have them or any future plans. He or she will always seem to have something on their mind and you can’t seem to connect with them on a deeper level like you used to.

11. Emotional detachment: Your partner might also disengage emotionally from your relationship. Your man used to be extremely affectionate and loving, but now you can’t get an “I love you” out of him. There might be something wrong. You’ll want to ask him why he has become emotionally detached.

He might be upset with you over something you did and is acting out, so talking about it is very important. If he just shrugs or refuses to even acknowledge his behavior or even blames you for being paranoid, something deeper might be festering under his aloof exterior and you need to be careful.

12. Loves being out alone, hates staying in with you: Does your partner seem upbeat when he or she gets home or when they are getting ready to go out, but seems gloomy while he or she is spending time with you? If you don’t have any problems in your relationship that may be causing this change in behavior, then it might be that your partner is excited about something going on outside the home, something like a juicy affair.

13. Affection overload: Some other cheaters act in an entirely different manner due to overwhelming feelings of guilt. They will shower their partners with affection, gifts and caring words. They might be even more romantic than usual and more attentive.

If this shift is sudden and you cannot find a logical or even an illogical explanation for it, then ask your partner what brought this on, they may be able to reassure you and give you a valid explanation. If you still can’t understand this behavior, it might be that your partner is cheating and using this as a decoy so you won’t suspect anything.

14. Chatter away: On a related note, if your usually silent partner suddenly becomes a chatterbox, then beware. Sometimes people who lie tend to over talk or give more information than was asked for to cover up other things. Observe this new behavior for a while, and bring it up to them if it bothers you.

15. Working a lot of overtime: One of the most obvious cheating signs is your partner keeps working overtime when this was never the case before. He or she suddenly becomes the most valuable and hardest working employee in their company.

This doesn’t always mean that your partner is cheating on you; there might be a special project that needs to be done before a certain deadline or it’s the end of the year and there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. However, if your partner seems to be the only one working overtime, and other employees don’t seem to know anything about it, then there might be something fishy going on.

16. Do not enter-work zone: If your partner used to involve you in his or her work life. Telling you all about work, inviting you to company events like picnics, having you over to meet them for lunch but suddenly starts cutting you off, something might not be right.

Maybe he or she doesn’t want you around their workplace because there’s someone they don’t want you to know about or there is something that they are hiding like all those extra projects they were working on late were fictional. If you do see any of your partner’s co-workers, they may act very uncomfortable in your presence. If there is no valid explanation for this, something might be going on behind your back.

17. Buddies no more: Similarly, if your man used to invite his buddies over for Sunday night football or Thursday night Basketball every week, and suddenly stops having them over, it may be because he is afraid that they will spill his secret or not corroborate his stories.

If he starts meeting with them outside more and more, he may also be using them as his alibi for getting out of the house. He may be keeping you apart from them because he’s afraid that they might accidently or intentionally divulge his secret.

18. Awkward friend situation: Also it may be that your man or lady’s friends keep avoiding you even though you all used to be very close. Your girlfriend or wife’s friends might do everything in their power to not see you because they can’t face you if they know of their friend’s cheating.

They might also be afraid of saying anything that would compromise your relationship and most people do not want to be a part of that. So they might avoid you all together so as not to find themselves in an awkward situation.

19. Bye Bye old interests: If your partner suddenly loses interest in activities which he used to love, then there might be something weird going on. If your man, out of the blue, starts to hate playing sports when he used to live and breathe soccer, or he stops spending his free time gardening on the weekends, then there might someone else in his life that is bringing on those changes.

20. Marriage blues: If you are married, and you notice that your husband or wife starts acting hostile or bored towards you, your children or your home life in general, there might be something fishy going on. He or she might start making references to how they misses being single or how hard it is to be married.

He or she might get rid of your children’s toys in the car or anything that demonstrates that they have a family. They may be cheating with someone and are lying to them about being married with children, and so they suddenly start rejecting their marital status.

21. Beware of the Lazy pants: If your spouse used to be active around the house doing laundry, feeding the kids, mowing the lawn, and suddenly starts becoming lazy and uncooperative, he or she may be feeling negatively towards the very notion of being married and sharing your home.

They don’t even want to try anymore, and this includes doing chores, planning family outings and vacations. They might not even want to attend important events such as holidays, anniversaries or birthday parties. This is especially suspicious if they never really had any issue with doing these things before.

22. Strange outings: Another sign that your partner may be straying is that he or she begins to go out to new places at strange times, and never has a convincing answer as to why this is. He used to hate food shopping, suddenly he insists on doing the weekly grocery shopping, and doesn’t want you to come along.

She used to deeply despise anything arty, and out of the blue, one Saturday has an outing to go to an art museum with friends. You know your partner inside and out, so if you notice changes in their favorite activities with no valid explanation, something is up.

23. Sneaking out like a teenager: If your partner is sneaking out, then he or she may have something to hide. The reason they may be going out behind your back is usually to avoid scrutinizing questions and wants to avoid lying to you. If he or she has nothing to hide then letting you know that they are on their way out shouldn’t be such a secretive matter, so beware of increased sneakiness and secrecy.

24. Is your partner an undercover agent?: You may find out that your partner has a new means of communication that you don’t know about. This includes a new e-mail address, a Facebook account under a pseudonym or nickname, a new cell phone and phone number. All of these are big red flags that you should immediately take notice of.

25. Financial infidelity: Another major sign of cheating is the odd use of money and/or credit cards. If you are used to sharing financial data between you and your partner, and he or she suddenly starts hiding credit card statements or disabling your access to an online checking account to hide cash withdrawals or other new spending habits, something weird is going on.

26. Is this my partner talking?: If your partner is having an affair, then he or she might start using different language than he used to. This includes telling more or less jokes, or using certain catch phrases. He or she may even adopt a certain way of talking or an accent that is inspired by someone else.

We tend to emulate people that we like and hang around with often. So if this is happening in your relationship, pay attention and ask your partner about it.

27. Your partner becomes jumpy and frazzled: Your man or lady might easily get disturbed or confused by mundane things. If you do something nice for him or her, they act strange. This is because they want to vilify you to justify their wrongdoing, and your nice behavior catches them off guard.

They might act disoriented and jumpy for no apparent reason. This can be a cheating sign because your partner is trying to sort out his or her feelings about your relationship but also the affair, and is likely to present erratic and unstable behavior as a result.

28. Country music anyone?: If your partner suddenly starts developing new taste in music or in food, then you might want to question him or her about it. It may be that they are dating someone who is fond of a certain cuisine or music, and they are beginning to take a liking to it. Developing new tastes out of the blue can be a revealing sign that your partner has found someone new to be devoted to.

29. What’s up with the Brazilian?: Another infidelity sign is a sudden change in personal hygiene and body grooming habits. If your man used to shower every morning and is suddenly taking several showers a day for no apparent reason, there might be something going on.

If your lady didn’t used to pay attention to her private parts being groomed, and begins getting Brazilian bikini waxes, she might be trying to impress someone else. He or she may also buy new underwear and use it, or may start putting on a lot of perfume or after shave. Pay attention to these little details if you suspect your partner of cheating.

30. Condoms away!: Another sign that there might be a sexual affair going is the increased use of contraceptive methods. Is she on the pill when you have gotten a vasectomy? Is he carrying out condoms when you are on the pill and haven’t used condoms since high school? If there is no valid explanation for this behavior, then this is a big red flag that your partner may be cheating.

31. Blue pill wonders: Another sign of cheating is that your partner is suddenly interested in purchasing medication for sexual performance. He may get erectile dysfunction medication such as Viagra. She might order breast enlargement herbal supplements or lubricant for herself. This is especially suspicious if it is done secretively through online ordering or he or she hides the objects once they arrive or takes them in secret.

32. The answer lies in clothes: There may be unexplained stains, smells or rips on your partner’s clothing. This may include the clichéd lipstick smudge on your man’s shirt, but also other types of stains and smells that just aren’t typical of your partner’s clothes. This can also lead to suddenly excessive laundry washing at weird hours of the day or night, unexplained purchasing of new clothes, or finding clothes in the trash can that your partner may have thrown away to hide evidence.

33. Knock knock, is anyone in there?: Your partner may be caught daydreaming or checked out at many times during the day, and doesn’t tell you what they’re thinking about and is unwilling to interact. He or she seems to be in another world, but denies it and can’t seem to be bothered to engage in activities with you. Your partner may just be absorbed by work or something else might be bothering them.

34. Are you more likely to reach President Obama on the phone than your partner?: Your partner suddenly becomes impossible to reach. When you call the office, they are always at a meeting or on another call with an important client. Their cell phone is turned off on more than one occasion, and the cell phone reception in their building is suddenly the “worst.” Your partner may not call you back right away, or claims to not have received your calls or listened to your messages.

Their assistant or receptionist is all of the sudden the most incompetent person on earth. In short, the fact that they have become inaccessible is everyone else’s fault but their own. All the flimsy excuses in the world cannot hide the fact that there is something sketchy going on in your partner’s life.

35. No, it’s mine!: With the advent of new technologies, there is a multitude of ways one can keep in touch with someone else. If you and your partner used to share phones and laptops, and keep them on in each other’s presence and this suddenly changes, there is a reason for that. You used to look at your man’s cell phone, read his text messages and he never even flinched.

All of the sudden, his phone has become so precious to him that he eve takes it into the bathroom. If you take a look at it, he accuses you of snooping. His laptop, which used to be your computer as well, suddenly has password protection. All of these are telltale signs that he might have something to hide.

36. Delete all: If he still allows you to touch or use his or her phone, or laptop, you find that he or she always makes sure that browser history and cookies are deleted, that their contact list is cleaned up, and incoming e-mails erased.

Maybe they’re just embarrassed of some pages they visited, but more likely, he or she may be hiding their online contact with a lover. Similarly, if his or her phone’s message list or call log is always empty, they just might be hiding something or someone from you. Look into this.

37. He or she becomes a night owl: Your partner might spend a lot of time on their computers especially late at night and after you go to bed. Sure, your man might be a porn addict, but he may also be contacting another woman.

On a related note, your partner might start talking more and more on their cell phones, and racking up huge bills. To sum it up, if there is a sudden, unexplained change in telephone or computer usage with your partner, there may be something strange going on.

38. Your opinion and advice don’t matter anymore: Another sign that your partner might be infidel is he or she stops seeking out your advice or your opinion about major decisions in their lives. They might make irresponsible big purchases or act impulsively without talking with you first. Maybe he went and spent all of his savings on a boat that you never knew about.

Maybe she decided to put up your house on the market without consulting you first. They may have quit their jobs and not even told you about it. This type of rash behavior is typical of a cheater who just doesn’t care about planning your future together anymore and doesn’t even care to ask what you think beforehand.

39. Your partner becomes a world champion nagger: A cheating partner may begin to constantly complain about you or your relationship and how unhappy he or she is. They may be overly critical of you, and suggest that things aren’t working out. He or she may pick more fights to prove this point and makes no effort to make things work. At this point, your partner may be having an affair but also thinking of ending your relationship.

Now, if you do have genuine problems between you that you are working on, then there is probably nothing to worry about. However, if everything is going fine in your relationship and you do get along; your partner may be fabricating a broken relationship to justify not only his or her cheating, but also their leaving.

40. Sex? No thanks: If your partner is cheating on you, he may suddenly lose interest in having sex with you. Even if he or she does, they’ll just go through the motions, with no shared feelings or emotions. If it’s there any sex at all, it becomes just physical. If your partner has always been a passionate lover and suddenly becomes detached or cold in lovemaking for no good reason, there may be somebody else.

41. Who are you and what have you done with my wife?: If on the other hand, your man or lady usually is usually more reserved and subdued in bed, and suddenly becomes an extremely attentive and passionate lover with exaggerated displays of affection, they may be overcompensating to deal with their feelings of guilt.

They may suggest you try new things in bed and become more adventurous. Ask them where they got this newfound fervor, and if there’s a valid explanation, then just enjoy. Otherwise stay alert. This change in sexual behavior might be a result of infidelity.

42. Extreme changes in feelings and behavior: Your partner may at times be very sexually engaged and at other times be completely withdrawn. Sometimes they shower you with affection, and other times they hardy want to talk to you and seem to avoid you.

Although, there may be good explanations for this type of unpredictable and erratic behavior, it is something to watch out for, especially if your partner used to be fairly consistent. It may be that they are cheating and are confused about their affair, thus taking out their mixed feelings on you.

43. He or she has become a complete downer: Has your partner been generally unsatisfied with their life lately even though they used to be happy? Is he or she much more negative than they used to be? This may be due to an exciting affair that they are having which has demonstrated to them how mundane their current life is. Have they become confused about their own sense of self? Maybe there is someone new in your partner’s life who is calling into question their identity and who they are.

44. Bungee jumping, here I come: On a related note, is your partner suddenly a thrill seeker when you could never even get them to go on a child’s water slide ride at your local amusement park? Does he suddenly want to get a motorcycle or a tattoo and signs up for mountain climbing classes? Of course, this might just be a mid-life crisis talking.

However, there’s always the possibility that there is someone else, perhaps somebody younger in your partner’s life that is instigating this transformation and inspiring this new attitude.

45. Low self-esteem: Another sign that your partner may be cheating is that he or she has increasingly low self esteem. This means that your partner is vulnerable and can fall prey to cheating because he or she cannot make themselves feel secure and worthy. If they believe that you are not providing them with enough approval or love and just aren’t getting satisfaction from their job, they might go to someone else from whom they can obtain the desired feelings of security and self worth.

Of course this doesn’t mean that if your partner cheats, this is your fault; your partner should have come to you first to resolve his or her issues, and low self esteem is no excuse for bad behavior.

46. Gonorrhea, herpes anyone?: A concrete sign that your partner may be straying is you have proof that they have contracted a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and it wasn’t from you. Maybe you got a call from your husband’s physician, or intercepted an email, or found lab results by mistake. You may even have seen the actual STD on your partner’s body.

If this is the case and he or she has only gotten the disease recently, then your partner is not only straying but might even have contaminated you. So get yourself checked. If you have also gotten the STD and you have not engaged in sexual relations with a new partner, then this only serves to confirm your suspicions that your partner has been cheating on you.

47. The “friend” you never got to meet: A tangible sign of cheating is that someone new suddenly starts taking up your partner’s time and attention. Whether it’s a co-worker, a gym partner, or a friend from way back, this person seems to come out of the blue and he or she starts coming up in conversations and in future plans all the time.

Your partner brings up this mysterious friend in random conversation and they always seem to be at the right place at the right time and at social gatherings you weren’t attending. Although it is healthy to seek out new friendships, it is a big red flag if your partner refuses to introduce you to this new friend and wants to keep him or her under wraps.

48. I’m a cheater? No you’re the cheater, you cheater: A telltale sign that your partner might be cheating is that they turn around and accuse you of straying when you have given them no reason to doubt you. Of course, there’s always the possibility that they’re just jealous or are feeling insecure in the relationship. However, if you have reassured them of your unconditional love and have done more than enough to placate their anxiety, and they’re still accusing you left and right, something is definitely wrong.

The reason they may be doing this if they’re cheating is to deflect attention from their own behavior. They may also genuinely believe that you’re cheating because they become paranoid and start imagining their own deceptive tactics everywhere. Don’t fall into this trap, and don’t start accusing them of cheating either, look out for other signs to be sure.

49. Follow your gut: The biggest sign that your partner may be cheating is that there is something deep inside of you that is making you doubt him or her in the first place. Think about it; you know your partner better than anyone. Their habits, actions and behaviors are hardwired into your brain, and so if you feel it in your gut that there’s something wrong, then follow your instincts. It might turn out to be true.

Taking Advantage Of Tow Truck Services

Tow truck services are getting popular these days. A lot of people have taken advantage of this service especially when they are in a situation that can certainly cause them inconvenience. Aside from the usual machine trouble and road accidents, here are five situations that will require you to take advantage of the services of a licensed tow truck service provider.

– When your stolen sports car has been found. Great news: Your stolen sports car has been found on some highway. Bad news: It’s out of gas and you have to come get it yourself. You don’t actually have to retrieve your stolen car on your own. Call a licensed tow truck operator that specialises in stolen vehicle recovery. This ensures that you get professional service that keeps your beloved sports car in good condition when it is delivered to your home.

– When you’ve locked your car and you can’t find your keys. It happens to every driver: getting locked out of the car. Sometimes, a locksmith helps and sometimes, it’s better to get cheap towing. Expert operators may have a variety of keys to help you get back inside your car.

– When your 4×4 can’t get out of a sticky situation. Whether it’s getting stuck in mud or you’ve driven into a ditch, you’ll need the expertise and might of a tow truck service. Don’t wait to figure things out and come up with a MacGyver-type solution to getting your 4×4 out. By calling a tow truck as soon as it happens, you’ll get out of the sticky situation faster and without any stress.

– When you’re moving and that includes moving your motorhome, too. Motorhomes or caravans are excellent for holidays on the road. But they can be a bother when you have to move from one suburb to another. No worries. Towing your motorhome or caravan could be simpler and cheaper than having a removals company do it.

– When the car just died. In some cases, when a car simply refuses to go, it means the battery’s dead. Why did your car battery die? It could be one of three things: It’s old and it hasn’t been cleaned, you’ve got a bad alternator, or – the reported number one reason for dead batteries – you’ve left your headlights on for too long. Whatever the reasons are behind the “death” of your battery, you know you’ll need to jumpstart it. And in order to guarantee that jumpstarting is done right, call a tow truck service. Know more about truck towing services here.

What Is Was Like to Be Stationed on a Submarine Tender in the United States Navy

What is was like to have sea duty aboard a submarine tender.

The first thing I learned about being in the Navy, is that if your duty station is a ship, and it’s moving across the ocean, sometimes it takes you, a long time, to catch up to it, to get on it. That was the deal with this ship, and the destroyer I was on also. It took me almost a month to catch up to the destroyer I was stationed on. It did not take me as long, to catch up to the ship. The ship was on its way to Subic Bay, in the Philippines. And I was going to meet it at the pier, when I got there finally.

After arriving in Manila, me and some other guys that were headed to the ship, stayed the night in Manila, for the first night. That was the first night I had spent in another country, ever, in my life. There were several of us, that flew into Manila that same day, and we needed to take a taxi about 2 hours south, to meet the ship.

We got a nice hotel room in Manila, it was overlooking the streets below, where all kinds of vendors, and jeep like taxis were everywhere, honking their horns non stop. We did not know what to do, so we stayed in the lounge of the hotel. That first night, we all drank right there in the lounge, and just stayed there. We had been traveling for awhile, and we were told not to go out and party, but we did party a little bit, but just in the hotel lounge.

The next morning, a white little van, with air conditioning, came and picked us all up. It drove us to the town where the ship was waiting. Along the way, you could see many different types of taxis, and tons of fields, that we all guessed, were rice fields.

The taxi drivers seemed to drive more crazy than in the United States. They swerved at stuff, hardly slowed down to let anyone cross the street, had tons of decorations glued all over the hoods, and it was all of them, that decorated their taxis heavily. They would honk their horns constantly, and sometimes if you are watching the driver, he is just honking the horn, to honk the horn. There were 3 wheeled motorcycle taxis that they called trikes, all over the place. They were the cheapest way to get around.

I consider myself to be a good motorcycle rider, since I grew up with dirt bikes and motorcycles all the time. One day, I asked one of the trike drivers, if I could drive his 3 wheeled taxi motorcycle. He said I would have a hard time, since I never did it before. I told him I rode motorcycles all my life, I can ride his thing. He bet me 50 pesos, which is about $1, that I could not ride it from one spot, to another. Boy, I drove it just a little bit, and I could not get it to turn around for me, so he was right, you have to practice riding on of those things, to figure it out.

I was the “fresh meat” guy, again, on the ship. This was finally going to be, the real Navy. A ship with over 1,300 people on it. Our office was almost at the very top of the ship. All the admin offices, legal, public affairs, recreation, the CO, XO, and Command Master Chief offices were connected together. The offices are connected together, so we can all use some of the same spaces. You had to do the standard duties anyone aboard a ship would have to do. Fire fighter training, drills, man overboard, abandon ship, nuclear spill, and other type of drills.

Everyone does special training, and you learn other things about the ship. One of my first duties besides being a yeoman, was you had to stand a watch, or serve on a flight crew, or salvage crew, or something like that. Even thou you are working in an office, at any moment, and even at 3:00 am, they might decide to do a drill, or the real thing.

One of my jobs as a seaman in the Navy, and working in the admin department, was during special sea procedures. We might be getting supplies from another ship, that is traveling threw the water, at say for example, 20 knots, and we are traveling threw the water, at the same speed also. We can transfer, fuel, supplies, food, mail, people, you name it.

They might use a helicopter to bring supplies over, from one ship to another, and during all this time, the Captain is up on the bridge, standing out on the wings, directing the ship at what speed it should be at, what course it should be on, and during all this time, he always has a young naval officer, at his side, since he is always training officers, at any given time.

The captain, who I must of saw train 50 different officers with the same thing, over and over again. Here we are, traveling at high speeds, two ships not more than 100 feet from each other. There will be a young ensign, or lieutenant junior grade, standing out on the bridge wings, trying to give the speed, and course, to the quartermaster and helmsman. Also, at the same time, he has the captain right behind him, putting a little pressure on him, telling him what to do, and asking him lots of test questions, and always testing them, and training them.

My job was to keep track of what speed and what course we were on at all times. The young officers would get confused, and could not remember what course, or what speed we were on. You usually just have to fine tune your course and speed, every so often, back and forth, just a little bit, but always back and forth, and the ships will be fine.

It looks really impressive, awesome, and powerful, to be out to sea, thousands of guys working, bright sunshine, crystal blue waters, and your cruising across the ocean, at pretty fast speeds, and you can see cargo, and other items being transferred from ship to ship, and you just think, wow, how cool looking is this.

One day, the captain was up on the bridge, and he was a pretty nice guy, he said, “Petty Officer Stead,” even though I was still only a seaman at the time, he always like to call people by a bigger rank. He said, “You must of heard me say these things over, and over again, a thousand times by now, I bet you could drive this ship better than these officers.”

I always knew when it was time to change course, I could of did what those officers were trying to learn, only because I was up there each time with the captain, when he was always training someone. It was never just the captain doing anything by himself, it was always either a drill, or an exercise, or a supply mission, he was always training junior officers, on everything he did.

One of my jobs was being the CO’s phone talker during emergencies and drills. During battle scenarios, and other things we do, each department would have one person that was a phone talker, like the repair department, the medical department, the damage department, and all the other people connected.

The captain would bark out orders, and I would bark out orders to the other departments, it was kinda like I was barking out the orders, and it was kinda fun, because everyone took it so seriously, and from wherever the captain was at, there was always a good view.

On this ship, the captain had his own kitchen and cook. The cook was part of our department, as the Supply Department, and Executive Department, shared the same berthing space together. So we always shared our berthing with the cooks, and the supply guys.

The cook to the CO, was selected as sailor of the year, for the ship, and he was a good guy. His dream was to work at the white house, and he applied, but was rejected for the job. The captain had his own regular house size stove, refrigerator, and all the things one would have at home, in a kitchen. The cook, would ask the CO, what he would like to eat for each meal, and then make it for him. The skipper might reply, I want a light salad, steak, and whatever else he desired.

Everyone that is brand new to the ship, and is just starting out in the Navy, must perform 90 days duty, somewhere in the cooking section. Either as a cook, helper, cleaner, or whatever. My job ended up being in charge of about 3 frozen food lockers. Now on the ship, there must of been, at least 12 storage lockers, for milk, food, bread, hamburgers, you name it.

We had an elevator at each entrance, and at the top of the ship, we had our own crane. Before we would go out to sea, some semi tractor trailer trucks would come, and we would load the ship up with fresh food, and lots of it. On the ship, you usually get to have 4 meals a day, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and one at midnight again, called mid rats, for people that are still hungry, or people going on watch, or getting off watch. When you have 1,300 people it takes a lot of food.

Working in the food storage department for 90 days was fun, the guy in charge of us was pretty cool. We were always allowed to have the day off, as soon as you got your work done. That meant all of our work, so if someone was done, we would help the next guy get his work done, until all the things were done, and a lot of days, we were done working by noon, and we would be off for the rest of the day. Not too bad a job really.