Archive for April, 2011


Maritime Executive

April 29, 2011

DH sent me a link today from The Maritime Executive. It is about the Navy League of the United States (NLUS) releasing its policy statement stating, “U.S. Seafarers, Shipyards and Ship Operators are Critical to Nation’s Security.” Cool.


$600 later…

April 27, 2011

Poor Cassie the greyhound. She’s been doing great since her limping episode and is back to running, liking her daily Dasuquin chews. Then she starts limping on Sunday night, right rear leg.

At first I thought the leg fell asleep–she used to do that a lot when we first got her. It’s hilarious to watch the limping when the leg is asleep. But by Tuesday there really wasn’t an improvement and when I was able to get a look there appeared to be a cut on a pad–but she wouldn’t let me touch it or look too long. I figure it doesn’t look infected and she’s not licking the death out of it.

I got her an appointment the next day–today. I took her out the back door, watching her hop on her left leg all the way up the driveway. I had to pick her up and get her into the back of the car. She wouldn’t lay down even though trying to balance on three legs was a bit scarier than usual. She took a couple of tumbles at stop lights or sudden accelerations. Not a peep out of her though.

I let her hop out of the car and notice she’s putting weight on her right leg. Oh sure, Cassie, be all cured now that we’re here. But I noticed she was walking very unsteadily. I get to the door and I see that the middle toe on her left hind leg is at a very odd angle. When did that happen? Did I miss something? Is that blood?

Upon examination the vet concludes the cut on the paw may be the source of the original limping but it was healing well. The pain of the left leg is superseding the pain in the right. She needed sedation and x-rays. The sedation would help if they need to do anything to the toe and for splinting purposes.

During the x-ray prep the tech busts open a fresh but healed over gash on the right knee–also a probably cause to the limp. Going to need cleaning and staples.

X-rays are clear; the vet was able to pop the toe back into place; and they splinted her. There is no orthopedic cause for the original limping so we have to assume the cut pad and the banged up knee were the cause.

She will be in a splint for 4-6 weeks and I have to get it changed every week. She has an anti-inflamatory again and an antibiotic because we want to prevent infection in the toe joint to avoid amputation.

I texted DH all of this and then he calls. “Take her in for one thing and she comes out worse?!” He can laugh. I’m not laughing.

I have to keep the splint clean and dry. I have to even put a plastic bootie over it when we let her out of the house. Great. Yeah, I’m not laughing.

I’m going to be transporting her in DH’s big truck extending cab because she’s less likely to stumble around the back like she does in my SUV. I think she got her good foot stuck in the handhold for the rear seat and that’s how she dislocated her toe.

I cringe at the bill but like DH said, she’s worth it.


Writing Workshop: Why “Snipe Wife”?

April 27, 2011

6.) Tell us the story behind the title of your blog. What is it? What inspired it? What other options did you consider? Are you happy with it?

Okay, I’m going to cheat. I don’t Vlog—would kind of go against being anonymous if people saw me—so I’ll just answer this and chalk it up to providing some more miscellaneous maritime information.

I honestly cannot remember where or when I heard of “snipe” in reference to DH’s job… could have been a former classmate of his that in such a small world I ran into at the school I attended saying something like “Oh, he’s a Snipe!”. I remember asking DH what a “snipe” was and he said that it was a derogatory term for an engineer. It’s one of those things where the engineers are proud of the moniker but no one else better call them that.

I asked him why engineers are called snipes and what’s so bad about it. “Think dwarf or troll like creature that lives underground and fixes thing. We engineers are down in the belly of the ship—often we don’t come up top.” I kind of like to think the part about “fixes things” makes them benevolent and nice rather than trollish. I know DH is.

According to the very little information on the web I could find, engineers were originally called snipes after a man named John Snipe. There is a huge rivalry between deck and engine—who gets to be in control, which is more important: the one who can navigate or the one that can kill the engine? When the age of sail died and the need for skilled men below decks keeping the fires burning became a quandary and challenge to authority, John Snipes stood up for his men and got them better treatment. The following is a link to the only story on the web that covers this account. It’s not even on Wikipedia so I don’t know if it is an embellished sea story or not.

Just some more engineer information… in the civilian merchant marine it appears each company determines the order of seniority for command. DH’s company has the Chief Engineer directly under the Captain or Master. An engineer can obtain the rank of Master but only if he holds dual licenses. From what I’ve seen of Deadliest Catch the engineer is usually tagged as “engineer/deck hand” and I haven’t watched the show enough to know who is really second in command on those vessels. The chief engineer on the Maersk Alabama is the third in command, falling in line behind the Chief Mate. But he held an awful lot of power in his hands during the hijacking.

The Maersk Alabama was built with a redundant bridge down in the engineering compartments. This system allowed the chief to take control of the vessel from the hijackers. I asked DH about this and his ships. “I don’t have a second bridge but I can cut the power and make the ship dead in the water.” Isn’t that the lesson John Snipes was trying to teach his captain? (see above link)

It kind of gives you new respect for Scotty and Geordie LaForge, doesn’t it? I asked a Trekker friend of mine (who has given up his Klingon ways for piracy, btw) to confirm that I had seen this secondary bridge in action on the famed futuristic vessel Enterprise. He said,

“There was a secondary bridge on the original Enterprise, as well as a battle bridge on Enterprise D but if necessary, Engineering could become a back-up bridge.

In theory, given that the control panels on Enterprise D and later incarnations are supposed to be immediately adaptable for any function, one could assume that one could control the ship from any control panel on the ship, or from a mock bridge on the holodeck (as the holo version of Moriarity was able to do).”

Engineers also were more likely to go down with the ship, being “in the hole.” I had a hard time watching Titanic for a few reasons (really people, we know how it is going to end and it’s not good nor will it ever change!). Prior to the movie I had done a quite a bit of online information gathering and had discovered that “All 30 engineer and electrical engineers perished. They were true heroes who stayed down below until almost the end trying to keep the ship afloat and the electrical system working.”

The movie had only been released in 1997 and I was still a relative newlywed. I did not like thinking of how doomed DH would be in such a situation.

This is a great anonymous poem about the Snipes, the men who sail below.

I am proud of my engineer. I’ve used Snipe Wife as my alter ego for a while. I also would like to write about being The Mariner’s Wife. I haven’t seen too much out there with either usage so hopefully I’ll be ahead of the game. My blog name seems to be unique (I have found a Navy site for Snipe Moms but nothing much else has come up on a random search). I hope it makes me stand out and as time goes by my posts and unique name will draw in more readers.

Writing Prompts:

1.) Describe a time you spoke up for someone who couldn’t speak up for themselves.
2.) The Royal Wedding…ten gift ideas.
3.) What is going on in the bedroom? Describe a memorable sleeper.
4.) Photo Story: Take a walk through your neighborhood this week and share some pictures of what Spring looks like where you live.
5.) Something embarrassing that happened at school.

Bonus Vlog Option!
Sometimes it’s hard to put yourself out there on video, but it’s a fun and different option for a post and a great way for your readers to get to know you better. The problem is many of us don’t know what to vlog about…this bonus prompt option will give you the inspiration you need to create a short video for your blog. Now to drum up the courage…

6.) Tell us the story behind the title of your blog. What is it? What inspired it? What other options did you consider? Are you happy with it?

If you want to know more about Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop, click on that trophy over there….


Personal: John 14:1-4

April 24, 2011

My thoughts here are for my edification. I have definite opinions that are, for lack of better terms, of a conservative bent and will most likely offend on some level readers of this blog. My intent is not to offend. Nor is it to open up to debate my personal beliefs. If my beliefs cannot be respected, please do not continue reading this post and come back on another day.

Every Sunday we celebrate/commemorate/memorialize the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and we partake in the communion of the bread and fruit of the vine. Still, Easter is a bit special–at least this year it is. I want T1 and T2 to really think about the importance if this day because they felt so strongly the need to be baptized this year.

Normally because Easter is one of the three holidays I am not obligated to be with the family and can celebrate it however I want (the others being 4th of July and Halloween) I pack up the children for some quality alone time. This usually includes a “homecoming” of sorts at the congregation I attended in college, complete with delicious food and egg hunt for the children. This year due to a recent operation my mother needs me, needs to see the children. So we are bringing Easter to her.

I wanted to post about what the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ means to me. When I partake of the communion I always pray that I hope DH feels the communion of saints gathered on the Lord’s Day even though he is at sea. Hope seems to be a recurring thought as I contemplate writing this. Even the minister’s sermon will be on the Hope of the Resurrection and a new 6-week study is starting on the topic.

When I struggled after T2’s birth I was told by a lifesaving friend to find a verse in the Bible that speaks to be and hold on to it with all my being. I found John 14:1. The entire chapter is so uplifting and is a favorite of many.

Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.

And he made all this happen by submitting to the will of the Father and dying on a cross for all. He prepared a place for us and purchased it with his blood and he freely gives us the keys to the kingdom–we just have to be obedient and accept the grace and mercy our just God gives.

What wonderful hope that should give us all. He paid a debt he did not owe and I owed a debt I could not pay. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound! One day he is coming and he will take us with him!

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