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Old 01-04-2013, 10:19 PM   #21
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I learned many years ago not to pull a finger if one was presented and the request was made.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:04 PM   #22
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
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An event that shaped my life was working in a tire store between my freshman and sophomore years of college. My freshman year was mediocre. While I had a lot of "fun" my first semester my grades were poor (solid C) and Mom & Dad made it clear that if they didn't improve that no more tuition would be paid. Second semester were better - good enough to keep the tuition money coming - but not stellar.

That following summer, I landed a job in a tire store - a jack of all trades - doing sales, deliveries, handling inventory, changing tires, doing oil changes, service calls, etc. It was a hot summer and I recall sweating my buns off working next to a couple "older" guys (only a couple years older than me) who also worked their a**es off for about a quarter an hour more than I was making. After that experience, I decided that college was the opportunity of a lifetime as I didn't want to spend the rest of my years working my butt off for a little more than minimum wage - it was consistently Dean's list after that.

Unfortunately, the "fun" of my freshman year ended up as a drag on my cumulative average so I ended my college career 25/1000 of a point short of graduating with honors.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:43 PM   #23
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Unfortunately, the "fun" of my freshman year ended up as a drag on my cumulative average so I ended my college career 25/1000 of a point short of graduating with honors.
Not to change the subject (whatever that is) but let me tell you about how a mushroom cost me a perfect 4.0 GPA in my MS degree course work. Was taking a course which was at least tangential to my MS degree. My prof insisted I take the course. The prof of said course brown nosed his boss (head of the dept.) by letting him give one (1) lecture on his favorite subject (mushrooms). Mushrooms had nothing whatever to do with the structure of the course. While I didn't blow off the lecture and I did actually review the material before the test, wouldn't you know it that the prof finished off the brown-nose job by making half the test credit (with only two tests in a semester) about the mushroom lecture. I missed several questions which I considered semi-reasonable (if one thought including mushrooms in this course was reasonable and if one thought 1/4 of the semester grade should hinge on mushrooms - one lecture out of 13 IIRC). Anyway, there was one question on the name of a mushroom. I misspelled the name and that one more "miss" put me at 89.4% for the semester. The prof would not budge on his strict 90/80/70/60 cut-offs (though an 89.5 would have been rounded to 90.) The one mushroom cost me a semester A in the course. That cost me my 4.0 GPA. But, I'm not bitter.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:46 PM   #24
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It's even more surreal when I have been away for two weeks, now catching up with all the threads. This one really stands out :-)

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Originally Posted by GrayHare
the cognitive dissonance of the title plus assorted replies makes this a surreal thread
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:10 PM   #25
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Serious answer: submarine duty officer while inport Subic Bay during the Mt. Pinatubo volcano eruption.

Not serious answer:
During one underway we were working up for an inspection, and a big part of our grade was "damage control proficiency". So, we ran lots of DC drills at all hours of the day and night. Not only did we get good at responding to the simulated casualties, we got even better at simulating them. However people still got a little too casual about the response ("Oh, here we go again") and kept looking for the drill monitors (in their red drill-monitor ballcaps) to supply the cues on what they'd do next.

One day the commanding officer put his own solution into action. During the midwatch he ran a fire drill in the engineroom all by himself. One guy. He didn't even tell the XO, let alone the OOD who was going to have to come to periscope depth in the dark with an air-breathing mask on his face. Even today, in open ocean away from the shipping lanes, I'd still hesitate to try to pull this CO's trick.

At first the crew was a little ho-hum, crawling out of their racks and mustering in the crew's mess to get organized before going aft to put out the fire. But then the XO ran screaming through the crew's mess, still in his underwear and zipping up his coveralls, wearing his oxygen breathing apparatus and heading aft to take charge at the scene.

The crew quickly thought: "Holy crap, if the XO isn't a drill monitor then this must be the real thing!!"

I don't know where the sphincters were tighter: in the crew's mess, on the conn heading up to PD, or back aft when the XO rounded a corner at Warp 3 and ran head-on into the CO-- who was wearing his drill monitor ballcap.

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Sunday, Sept 1, 1968 - the day our honeymoon started.
Wednesday, Sept 4, 1968 - the day my new bride had an emergency appendectomy.
I'm not even gonna reach out to touch that slow-pitch softball...
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:53 PM   #26
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My first job out of college was writing test software at Hughes Aircraft (now Raytheon) in 1979. I got a very cool assignment to test a quartet of sophisticated display terminals (this was back when you hand-compiled the display code, then downloaded it). After writing the required testware, I had extra time so I wrote some games for 'extra testing', including PacMan and a 4-player tank battle game, in addition to a compiler for the displays. 3 other programmers and I were playing it when the manager walked in. I (naively) expected to be congratulated on my accomplishment.

This was my first lesson in the need to keep your head down at work.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:29 AM   #27
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Snip -

One day the commanding officer put his own solution into action. During the midwatch he ran a fire drill in the engineroom all by himself. One guy. He didn't even tell the XO, let alone the OOD who was going to have to come to periscope depth in the dark with an air-breathing mask on his face. Even today, in open ocean away from the shipping lanes, I'd still hesitate to try to pull this CO's trick.
I take it this was before the Ehime Maru incident ca. 2001. A bad day indeed.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:56 AM   #28
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Coming to America. At age 17, with a grand vocabulary of three English words.

On the not so funny side, after checking in with KLM airlines, the police carted me off to a jail cell. To be sure that I do not get to talk with anyone. Turns out KLM held the aircraft for 15 minutes past deparure time until they figured out where I was, found the latchkey to unlock the cell and a kind stewardess took me by the hand, we ran across the airfield, ran up the stairs of the 707. Immediatly the plane began to taxi even before they finished closing the door.

Made it by the a hair, since my exit visa was only valid for 24 hrs. And KLM only had 2 flight a week out of the city.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:00 PM   #29
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I had to give a speech in one of my college classes, and was wearing a flannel shirt that day. Also, the room was quite warm and I began rolling up my sleeves and out came an athletic sock. Got more laughs over that than any jokes I told
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:03 PM   #30
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I had to give a speech in one of my college classes, and was wearing a flannel shirt that day. Also, the room was quite warm and I began rolling up my sleeves and out came an athletic sock. Got more laughs over that than any jokes I told
Could have been worse. Could have been an athletic supporter
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