Operation Return Fire

Phase I: Loud Yardwork After Dark

Briefing: At approximately 1600 hours the enemy began shelling the entire region. Not having been noticed, I decided to wait it out, hoping they would get bored and leave. By 1730 hours we were taking heavy casualties, and I was forced to take action. Unfortunately, my primaries were on the fritz, and it took me 45 minutes or so to get all systems back online.

Action Report: At approximately 1815 hours I launched the counterattack, maintaining a full barrage for upwards of 20 minutes. After having exhausted all maneuvering options and seeing that ourĀ fusilladeĀ had proved futile (besides it started raining and I was soaked), I called off the attack and retreated to the safety of our bomb-proof bunker.

Results: Captain soaked to the skin, back yard fully tilled, and enemy mostly unaffected by the assault.

Recommendations: Commence planning of Phase II: Daisy Red Ryder

Book Review: To Rule The Waves

Title: To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World
Author: Arthur Herman
Publisher: Harper Perennial
ISBN-10: 0060534257
ISBN-13: 978-0060534257

I found this book at Barnes&Noble the other day, and as I can’t resist anything dealing with naval history, I bought it. At first I was concerned that it would be one of these books which attempts to argue that something is the motivator for a particular phenomenon in modern life. So it was a pleasant surprised to read the work and discover that the book is, above all, a history of British naval power, and that very little of the contents are devoted to discussing the influence of this battle or that admiral on modern politics, society, etc. To Rule the Waves is well-paced, with an appropriate mix of informative historical background; political, social and economic theory; and thrilling, at times even swashbuckling narrative.

Success is Sweet

I’ve been working on Ensign’s blog off and on for the past couple of weeks, and as I’m no webmaster, the going’s been a little slow. She liked the PressRow theme, but wanted some changes, primarily in the color theme. That was the easy part. Then I noticed that there was no link to older posts on the main page. That took me about 4 hours to figure out how to do. Then I had to figure out how to get the solid background to break into three vertical bars. Then when it was all done, I clicked on one of the posts, and found out that the mainpage nav that I added was also tagged for the nav on the full post page, so I had to write a new tag for that. So I ended up with (I think) what she wanted, and this is the result.

I know that to many of you this really isn’t worth writing about, but seeing as I literally have no experience with PHP, and very little with CSS, I’m rather proud of myself. This is really my first experience with having to design by code only, and I think I’m getting the hang of the basics.

Learning from History – Total War

As the Iraq war becomes increasingly unpopular at home, politicians search for an exit plan. Of course we could just pull the troops and bug out, but many Americans cannot accept the possibility that we might not win or “tie” in this war. They cannot face the prospect of losing. To suggest this has been political suicide for many. The only option is to win the war and win it quickly. Sure, and while we’re at it why don’t we turn the country into the garden of Eden and solve world hunger, right?

Impossible as victory seems, I believe that it can be accomplished by employing Total War. As some of you may know I am a history student, and am particularly fascinated with the American Civil War. Perhaps my favorite element of this period is trying to figure out what made the late-war generals [Sherman, Grant, Sheridan] succeed where the early-war generals [McClellan, Hooker, Burnside] failed miserably. Continue reading

New Shipmate

“Not you. We named the monkey Jack.”

Yep, that’s right, The Booty and I are going to be having a little monkey. We found out about a month ago. Needless to say things are rather exciting around here right now. At the moment we’re in the market for a new vessel. It’s a good market, but there’s a lot of other captains hoping to commandeer a worthy ship. Wish us luck!

What Do They Teach Them In These Schools?

I got to thinking today, and we all know how dangerous that is. The following is just some thoughts on modern education, sparked by a discussion about history, which I happen to have some opinions about.

So last night Ensign was studying for her American History class, and she mentioned that she was very confused because, while studying the American Revolution, her professor had maintained that the revolution had little or nothing to do with taxation because the American colonies paid relatively low taxes as compared to the rest of the British Empire. Her book on the other hand, claimed that taxation was a primary motivator behind the American independence movement. Continue reading