A Submariner Week

I started back to work a few weeks ago and have been pretty busy

The company is great, the people are good to work with and all I need to do now is figure out how to get my girl and our boy Angus back under one roof to make life completely whole.

I made a conscious decision not to hook up the cable to the temporary quarters we are in since I knew my days would be longer and I didn’t need the distraction of television. I still have the internet and radio, but it seems like those big plasma screens just suck me right in when they are turned on. If there is no cable, there is no chance that will happen so it seemed like a good plan.

So what did I miss? Apparently not much. The convention held in Charlotte was certainly weather effected from what I hear. Massive storms must have been thundering through the area that would cause the President’s team to cancel the opportunity to prop the Styrofoam columns up once more in front of  the teeming masses. Imagine how disappointed they must have been not to have had the chance to see him once again calm the waters, stop the seas from rising and heal the planet.

598 1973 Pearl Harbor

No, it was a submariner week because I got to rig for dive, submerge under the tossing waves, and once more think about things that matter for a few days.

People often ask how submariners can stay under the water for days, weeks and even months. I can’t answer for anyone else but I can tell you that I enjoy the peace and quiet you can find on board a boat.

It’s not always quiet

Surface surface surface

Sometimes it can be quite chaotic and others it can be very stressful. But truthfully, the majority of the time is pretty routine and without drama. You get into a pattern, much like you do anywhere else. The one thing completely missing from my early years on submarines was no television. No commercials, no news 24 hours, no “he said, she said” drama. The only outlet in those days was a progression of different ways to listen to music. Can you even imagine dragging an eight track tape player to sea? Believe me, your selection of music was highly limited as was your ability to plug the dang thing into a socket since everyone around you had the same problem.

TV is a strong influencer

It seems like the generations that have grown up with the idiot box are easily pulled one way or another. Advertisers figured that out a long time ago and have led us to using their products. Many times we make the move without even realizing why. I suppose that is true of political influence as well. If you see poor sobbing people who have been hurt by evil capitalists, sooner or later you may start to believe that they are indeed evil. If no one ever gave you a balanced view, you might find yourself cheering for the downfall of evil capitalists.

Sometimes, when we would come back from patrol, we would find the world in chaos

I remember that feeling during the aftermath to Watergate. Before we left on patrol, the words Watergate and Impeachment were not well known. By the time we returned, the network news in the evening had blown the stories up into near world ending proportion. There were no alternative sources for news back then. Despite a few names and camera shots being different, you saw the same news over and over again on the nightly news no matter which channel you were on.

Magazines and newspapers were the same. Line them all up and the stories were based on the exact same story line but with everyone’s little spin on them.

But isolated from the world, none of that influence mattered. You came back from patrol and could catch up if you wanted to or just go on living without the drama.

I’ll bet the Dems had some fine speakers the other night. I bet they told the world all about what a nice man their guys are and how with a few more years they can fix stuff. Based on the economic numbers I have read since coming out of my “patrol mode” yesterday, it doesn’t seem like much of the country believes them about the fix.

It’s hard to tell a man with no job that things are getting better. Its hard to explain to a young person forced to move back in with their parents that more government spending will make them more independent. Your creditors are people too but they have bills to pay as well and sooner or later even they have to be a bit more callous when you can’t pay your bills.

The country gets a chance to have a “do-over” or “stay the course” every four years

That doesn’t just include putting someone else in charge, it includes refocusing on who we want to be. As someone who has rejoined the work force and feels like more people would be here if we did things a different way, I am ready to move on. I’m afraid if we give these fellows another four years, I may find myself back in that place again. I hope my vote counts.

I know that they when they lose a few of them will be out of work for a while. But I am pretty sure they’ll survive what with the pensions, book deals, consulting gigs and appearances on various networks. Frankly though, it might be good for them to face what it feels like to be unemployed for a while. Maybe they will give some more serious consideration to the colossal blunders they made.

Have a great week

Mister Mac

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