Thursday, May 27, 2010


So... as you have all heard... I received word today that I passed my advancement exam. Funniest part about it was that when my captain mentioned it he called me ET2, which would mean that i skipped a pay-grade and went up two ranks. I'm fairly certain it was a type-o on his sheet though unfortunately. The ships office isn't flawless, though i must say they are some of the coolest people.

So.. this means i get a chevron... instead of three stripes. This is cool because the three stripes do not show on most uniforms, your sleeves and collars are just blank. But now I have to put a chevron on every collar and sleeve where applicable. Feels kinda nice.

K mentioned that the rate of advancement was very low navy-wide which is true. However, for my particular rate.... its very high... in fact they need us pretty bad right now so it was kind of a shoe-in to be honest. I'm not berating myself at all - just keepin' it real. I will be elegible for the next rating exam in about a year to move up in rank again.

This time i might not be so lucky. The chances of going from E3-E4 (what I just did) is very high for my rate. The chances of going from E4-E5 (the next advancement) is very low. Just the way the math works out with my particular rate. Rest assured, when the times comes I will prepare and do the best I can.

For now though, I have indoctrination tomorrow morning... among a bunch of other qualification meetings i arranged to do - BTW, I'm one month ahead right now. Once we have gone through the indoctrination meeting they will arrange for us to get frocked. Frocked is a term used when the person being "frocked" is wearing their new rank, and regarded at their new rank but are not yet getting paid for that rank. The pay follows it by about six months depending on your percentile score. I do not yet know what mine was.

So, third class petty officer... In submarines, with my rate... something is wrong if you didn't make this rank. So it doesn't really change much for me. This rank is honestly not treated with any more respect than my previous rank - not in every day communications anyway. I have some stories as to this relationship that i will not go into here. Just ask me in person about the hydrogen peroxide argument.

Even so, this is one step closer to success here. Presently I have 103/1013 points on my ship's qualification card. I Have about 28 points lined up in checkouts this week so by the time my card starts getting counted... i should be about 5 weeks ahead of schedule. And we get the boat in the near future too. Once we have the boat I will actually be able to see all the equipment I'm learning about and progress much faster.

Once I am qualified Submarines... its one to PACE courses... i can't remember what it stands for but its college credits. I'm going to do as many of these as i can during my time in the navy so that I will be closer and closer to my degree... which is still up in the air.

Lake Cushman!

We got off to a rough start. Our division got out of work about an hour or more after I had expected. We were in a trainer where i couldn't have my cell phone so I couldn't let Ducky know. As soon as we got out i sent her a text telling her to delay, i wanted to get there before her or at least around the same time.

I took off with a buddy in my division. It was a nice ride all in all. I got confused a little, GPS took me around Shelton for some reason, kinda disoriented me. The road up there was really curvy and fun to drive on, I might of had more fun with it if not for it being wet. ...I mean... i would never drive crazy on a fun curvy road... ever....

ANAV's (Assistant Navigator) fiance was very interested in my gluten intolerance... we were watching out for it the whole weekend and she kept asking questions about it. I had to make Elephant Ears with corn tortillas... and even though I'm not a big fan of corn tortillas... they taste fine when you fry them with butter, Cinnamon and sugar! MMMMM!

I also discovered Sangria! I think wine might be my poison. I will also use this opportunity to dub one of my shipmate's with a name so that i may mention him here freely. I shall call him DiddyKong. DiddyKong has been very very helpful and probably my best buddy through the process on HMJ. I should be getting qualified early and as much i would like to think its all my own hard work, I owe a lot of it to DiddyKong being a damned good shipmate and taking me with him every time he goes to learn a qualification.

I call him DiddyKong because he makes sounds like Diddy Kong in DK 64. Its fitting. Anyways!!! He brought a gallon jug of sangria to Lake Cushman and we all took part in demolishing it. It was fantastic, and the bottle he had was cheap. So I cannot complain.

So... I had cracker-free smores... since i cant have grahm crackers... which im okay with because i never liked grahm crackers anyways.

All in all it was a dandy good time. ANAV also gave me some words of encouragement that meant a lot to me. Said he was glad that someone mature like me was in the division. Even though I'm not the only one.

Most of it was campfire, marshmallows... and chatting which was fun. Also Ducky suggling up in like 18 layers of clothing, including my gortex NWU jacket which is crazy expensive.

"WHINE!" was said a lot with an outrageous french accent. Quite hilarious.

Trying to think of some specifics... but none really come to mind atm! I can elaborate in comments if needed!

Congrats Monkey!

He is officially a Petty Officer!
He says he has petty officer indoctrination tomorrow and "should get frocked next week". I don't know what that means exactly. I'll let him explain in a later post.

Until then, here is an interesting lesson on what his new rank means. -->About petty officer third class

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Petty Officer Monkey?

According to the Navy Facebook page:
"Navy Advancement Center expects to upload March active duty advancement results tomorrow at 8 a.m."

That means we find out if Monkey will advance to E4. Which means he will be Petty Officer Monkey!

Looks like it might be a bit of challenge though, only for the fact that there are fewer spots available. Read about that here. --> Click Here <--

But if he makes it, it also means that he would get to change from stripes:

To a chevron:

(except that instead of anchors I believe he has the insignia for ET which is a helium atom.)

Neat! Go Monkey! Good Luck! Love you!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Camping was fun! Kinda cold, a little wet (VERY wet on the last morning), but very fun. Everyone was really cool. It was great to meet some of the guys he'll be working with.
In typical sailor style, there was drinking. Surprisingly, mostly wine. Or, "whahne" (uh.. like 'wine' with a really ridiculous drunken french accent) as it became known by a third of the way through a gallon of sangria.

There was midnight swimming by a couple of the guys in the mountain fed lake. Then a lake shower in the morning. Crazies.
I'm glad I decided to fend for myself in the food department. We wouldn't have starved by any means, there was a grocery store a couple miles away, but that's not camping. I think I impressed some people with my creative camp cooking skills. Such as, Wire coat hanger + tin foil = pizza pan and totally perfect camp pizza! Also, cinnamon sugar dough boys were a hit. The second night we were treated to a pretty awesome spread of chicken, beef and pepper skewers cooked over the campfire.

That night also was very very cold. Apparently drinking does keep you warmer, or so it would seem. As I was the only one not drinking and the only one wearing; a thermal, t-shirt, hoodie, coat, gortex shell, beenie, all three hoods up, jeans, running pants, snowboarding socks, and boots, and i was still cold. Luckily i was tired so i fell asleep quickly.

As the cooking was dying down we heard rustling behind us and we see a very adorable little raccoon. Assuming he has friends we made sure to secure food and coolers inside one of the tents. All, except for a bag of forgotten peanuts. Which the morning chipmunks hijacked.

The last morning started off fairly sunny. We were all getting ready to make a collaborative breakfast when, GUSH!!! The freaking sky started falling and our campsites all flooded. It was a mad wet dash to pack up (break down and stuff tents into trunks), and escape to cars. We obviously forwent breakfast and all tromped soaking wet into a diner for lunch. After that we disbanded and went home to dry off and warm up. I have a lot of stuff to dry out when the sun comes back out.

OH! I almost forgot. One of the other couples had a special way of making s'more which came to be known as "sex on a gram cracker"! Ooohhh tastey! Instead of hershey's chocolate they brought some triple chocolate somethin' somethin' frosting. That, with the melted marshmallow. YUMMY!

Well, those are my highlights. Sorry no pictures, it was mostly guys being guys, though if come across some pics that others took I'll post them. Monkey may have his own highlights to share in another post. Next weekend - to another lake!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Stuck between a rock, a hard place, and some dog sh**

Blarg!!!! How frustrating. Just as we are getting it all figured out...
Looks like we are officially going to lose geobach/BAH (Housing allowance). We've been trying to get all our ducks in a row so that we could get our own place. This would get me out of my parents house and give us the privacy that we need. Don't get me wrong there are definite benefit to living with my parents and I very much appreciate them being so gracious, but at a certain point in ones life - ohhh, about 3 to 5 years ago - one has to move on, be their own person, live on their own... etc etc... plus, ya know, we need our own space, I would like to be able to practice and do pilates or whatever. Not have all of our stuff in storage in the shed in the back yard. Not live in a purple room with butterflys...
So here's the catch. Because of the budget cuts to the military they don't allow them to do geobach at this base without a really good reason because they consider it double dipping if they are paying out for housing while giving the guys a room in the barracks. So, their standpoint is you can live here and we'll take away your extra money, or you can keep the money but you have to move out of the barracks. IF we were able to fudge something so he could keep geobach and BAH, he would likely get stuck in bootcamp style barracks with 80 other guys and basically no personal belongings. The Navy doesn't care that I'm here and he's there. They just assume that I will quit my job to move three hours away. Sorry, but we didn't go through all that for him to move up here for me to quit my job anyway. Plus, uh... my job is awesome and pays for my dance addiction. Which would be like option 4 or something. Quit dancing. So then i can have my very own place, to be lonely and bored in... You see... ROCK - HARDPLACE - DOG SH**

Probably what is going to happen is that he will find a room or apt out in town for a cheap as possible. He'll work out the best possible set up. Then we wait for the money fairy to give us enough money to get a second appt or condo here in portland... (or convince my parents to build a studio above the garage) I'm putting my bets on the money fairy. Ug. How do get fairies? Clap? *clap clap clap clap clapclapclapclap clap clap clap....*

Well, on a much less crappy note we're going camping this weekend with the Nav Division. That should be fun. Maybe I can throw a really good pitty party for the Cheif and he can fix the dog poo problem aforementioned.
I'm still rounding up last minute camp fixins'. Sleeping bags, extra tents, flashlights, air matresses, etc. Pics and stories will probably follow.

Ok, back to it. Have a good weekend.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Let's see.. updates...

Hey everyone. It's been a while hasn't it. Now that he's been home (Yea!) on the weekends things aren't as big a mystery. But there are a couple things to talk about I suppose.

I gave him his second ducky hair cut. I think i am getting better but definitely need to work on the fade. We got a proper barber cape this time complete with the little paper neck thingys. I need to get some real sheers though, because the ones that came in the kit are poo. I think I may try a different technique next time. Of course, if I mess it up, we can just shave it off! ... jk

He got his qual card. The card that has a million little lines to get all the things he needs to know signed-off on. They have to get a certain number done per week and apparently the standard for doing this is to hand it to someone who can sign it and they just sign some. Well when Monkey handed his card to a Chief and it was handed back with signatures and he wasn't asked about what he was getting signed off for, he stopped the chief and told him that he didn't just want a signature. He wanted to learn this stuff. So, he worked out a deal involving a bribe of sugar free rockstars to actually be taught things before they were signed off on his card. I'm super proud of him! I think that's amazing. Go Monkey! :D

In more fun news, it seems that his division is planning a camping trip over the Memorial day weekend. It's for the div and family. Yay! So, pending final details, it looks like we're in for a cool weekend. I'm excited meet the guys he'll be stuck with in steel tube for three months at a time. Now to get a two person tent... and sleeping bags... and ummm... every thing.

That's all for now. Have a great sunny weekend!