twelve fluid ounces: the glossary

This page defines and expands on many of the terms I use in the blog.

Submersible Death Trap (SDT) - USS Memphis (SSN 691), the submarine in which I currently serve. I coined this term in May 2007, during our unexpected surge deployment. It refers to both the material deficiencies that affect our quality of life (such as a recurring inability to produce fresh water) and the stupidity visited upon the crew and its families, seemingly on a continuous basis. This name stood throughout the boat's recent shipyard availability; though she wasn't actually submersible in that interval,she remained a death trap due to her ability and desire to siphon away our souls.

Seagoing Military Force (SMF) - the United States Navy, in which I have served on active duty since May 2003. While the Navy has done many great things for me - most importantly, clearing the majority of my debt from college - there are so many things I can't stand about it that I won't entertain any thought of re-enlisting, at any price (and the Navy is offering a price of ninety thousand American dollars). See Goal No. 1 below.

Post-Navy Roadtrip (PNR) - I'm taking a two-month road trip all over North America after I get out of the Navy. The reasoning behind this course of action is laid out in this entry. Imagery of the intended route is available to you via this folder.

Goal No. 1 - to honorably separate from the Seagoing Military Force at my end of active obligated service (EAOS) on 18 May 2009. All other goals are either subordinate to this one or are set in order to support this one; most notably, this includes my current financial and relationship plans.

Minivan o' War - My 1993 Plymouth Grand Voyager LE, first obtained for me by my parents in 2002, after I irreparably broke the family's 1987 Voyager. I acquired full ownership of the Minivan o' War following my escape from South Carolina in late 2004. This van has been all over the Northeast with me. Why, you may ask, do I not consider purchasing a vehicle more appropriate to my age and gender? Because the van runs, and getting something new would seriously dent my ability to save, and thus jeopardize the PNR - or even require me to re-enlist. Update 3 August 2008: Ding, dong, the Mo'W is dead.

Blue Trooper - My current vehicle, a 1994 Nissan Altima GXE. Once again, a hand-me-down from my mom; I was fortunate that she was willing to part with it at all, to say nothing to the favorable circumstances to which she agreed.

Nexus of Hate - My former two-bedroom, two-bath "luxury" apartment at Beechstone in the south end of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This was the home base for both myself and my roommate J. Raymond while the Submersible Death Trap was on the Seacoast. His hatred for the Submersible Death Trap easily exceeds mine. There were far too many reasons to hate on Beechstone than can be told on this page.

New Nexus of Hate - my current one-bedroom, one-bath apartment at Nutmeg Woods in New London, Connecticut. It's much better than Beechstone was or ever will be, thanks mainly to laundry facilities that work and modern fitness equipment, among other things.

Armpit of New England - southeastern Connecticut, specifically New London County. I lived there from June 2005 to June 2007, and I've moved back there again for the last year in the SMF. Here is the complete list of good things about the AoNE:

  1. It's three hours' travel from my ancestral home (see below).
  2. It's two hours' travel to New York City.
  3. It's two hours' travel to Boston.
  4. The Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Uncasville, second largest in the world, behind only...
  5. The Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard. "The wonder of at all..."

Blue Spawn of Satan - the New York Rangers. I am a big Islanders fan, and thus I hate the Rangers. It wasn't until December 2005 that I finally got to an Islanders-Rangers game at the Nassau Coliseum; though the Blueshirts won 6-2, it was still really cool. Let's put it this a Mets fan, I could marry a Yankees fan; as a Giants fan, I could marry a Jets supporter. I would NEVER marry a Rangers fan, under any circumstances.

Duty - on the SDT, the crew is split up into sections, each of which, in rotation, takes responsibility for the safety and security of the ship - and specifically to me, the reactor and associated equipment that normally power it. When it's my section's turn, I'm "standing duty," and thus onboard the ship for that 24 ± 2 hours. Right now, I'm usually in "three-section duty," which means that every third day, I'm on the boat for the whole day - and if the following day is a normal workday, the consecutive time at work usually runs in excess of thirty hours, and occasionally close to thirty-six. This also leads to what I call the "rule of 44" - in this rotation, I'm never away from work for more than forty-four hours (from 9 am Saturday, following Friday duty, to 5 am Monday). I also now frequently go "port-and-starboard," with duty every other day, thus spending about two-thirds of my time on the SDT.

"the box" - officially named "maneuvering," the small room on a submarine from which operations in the propulsion plant are controlled. This is where I stand the majority of my watch, employing my strong nuclear pimp hand to master the Submersible Death Trap's reactor core.

Godsmack moment - an occurrence that is common in the Navy and expected by its Sailors, but would never, ever be shown in the SMF's propaganda recruiting material. This is because the event in question is extremely boring, falls under the "grunt work" category, or is a gross offense to common sense. The name comes from the Navy's use of the Godsmack song "Awake" in its recruiting campaigns earlier this decade. Such events are often denoted by tapping out the four-note guitar theme "dun dun dun-dun" on whatever is available.

Elixir of Life - Coca-Cola Classic. I don't exactly have the most ideal sleeping patterns, and Coke, along with its caffeinated brethren, help get me through those times when my body needs to be awake, but doesn't really want to be.

Elixir of Joy - beer. I actually didn't take my first drink until just after I got to college, but I have gradually warmed up to the greatness of the frothy, festive beverages. I've liked many beers over the years, including Labatt Blue, Killian's Irish Red, and Budweiser, but since early 2007 I've been a staunch consumer of the Samuel Adams family of brews. I'm also a fan of Yuengling, but it's not distributed at all in New England.

Elixir of Death - hard alcohol, in pretty much any form. The high-proof concoctions have never gotten along with me - and directly contributed to, among other things, the infamous Mellow Mushroom incident.

my ancestral home - my hometown of Northport, New York; or more specifically, my family's house there (the "Ancestral Palace"). I love that village, and though I'd very much like to move back there when it's time for me to raise a family, the skyrocketing housing prices on Long Island render that course of action questionable at best.

What does the title mean, and how did I come up with it?
I had been using the title Great Odin's Raven! for some time; that, of course, is a quote from the great film Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Early in 2007, I decided that I wanted to make my blog totally original, and thus about 0.3% less lame. One night in June, I reflected on the number of cans of Coca-Cola and bottles of Samuel Adams Boston Lager I drink, and thought to myself, "sometimes, I feel like I live my life twelve fluid ounces at a time." I thought that a six-word title was too long, thus I lopped off the last three words and implemented "twelve fluid ounces" on June 25, 2007.

I'll expand this page as necessary, but this is all I've got right now. Go read the blog, fools!

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