-- -- Brass Balls:
-- One more: Bet you didn't know this!
-- In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron
cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem...how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a "Monkey" with 16 round indentations. However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to
it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make "Brass Monkeys."
-- Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, "Cold enough to freeze the balls
off a brass monkey." -- (And all this time, you thought that this was an improper expression, didn't you :-))
-- Which reminds me: - Remember the Comedian, Joey Bishop, the side-kick of Regis Philbin? He was always saying, "Son-ova-gun!" -- Is it coming back to you? - Now you remember.
-- In the days of iron men and wooden ships a sailing vessel would seek food supplies at tropical isles: Mangos, bananas, breadfruit, dates, coconuts, etc. And of course, the bare bosomed maidens came aboard. Trades and investments were made. Who could say who would get the best of the deal? Oh, to be a sailor in those days, and long for the girl or wife back home.
-- The ship would leave--a fond farewell, and nine months later, a son-of-a-gun.
-- "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea." - Most people believe that this means "between Satan and the bottom of the ocean." However, devil, in this case, has nothing to do with the ruler of the kingdom of evil. The "devil" is a seam in a wooden ship's hull that is very difficult to access, so called "the devil to get at" when caulking.
-- -- Why A Ship Is Called "SHE"
A ship is called "she" because there is always a great deal
of bustle about her; there is usually a gang of men about',
she has a waist and stays; it takes a lot of paint to keep
her looking good; it is not the initial expense that breaks
you, it is the upkeep; she can be all decked out; it takes
an experienced man to handle her correctly, and without a
man at the helm, she is absolutely uncontrollable. She shows
her topsides, hides her bottom and, when coming into port,
always heads for the buoys.
-- -- A NAVAL REMINISCE by Chief Personnelman, H.R. Scheinkman, USNR-R --
-- When I was a young man in my early teens and twenties I wore my "Summer Whites," (that is) my summer sailor-uniform, when attending the U.S. Naval Reserve in the Summertime. - My mother used to call it "Your Sailor Suit." My mom didn't know any better, and I kept telling her "It's NOT a sailor suit, Ma, it's a NAVAL UNIFORM!" - I was proud of my Navy and I was proud of my uniform.
-- Now the Army and the Airforce had much better looking uniforms. - The Marines, hands down, had the best looking uniform of all...but we Sailors didn't speak well of those Jarheads, so I won't go further with handing out due praise. -- My purpose of even bringing uniforms into this article is to teach you how to adapt.
-- Sure, the 'whites' got dirty (and showed it). Sailors stood out in a crowd and when they would walk down the street together, wearing their white uniforms, they looked GREAT!! - Sailors did their best to keep their whites, spotless.
-- There is a slight military secret, (so-to-speak), that I'll reveal to you. - Today's street kids haven't found this out yet and would find it darn impressive to know it: That Sailors had "Custom Made Liberty Uniforms," those blue-dress uniforms which were worn when they were in-town, off ship 'on liberty'.. they had these 'custom tailored.' They made them to fit themselves like a glove. [Some had 'custom white' uniforms, too.] They had a hidden zipper up the side of the blouse to the armpit to help in getting their blouse on and off. They had beautiful hand-sewn silk eagles, dragons and Chinese caligraphy sewn under their cuffs and under their uniform neck scarf. They even had hidden pockets with zippers. And they polished their shoes to a 'spit shine' glossy mirrored finish. --
-- Sailors 'squared' their white hats onto the back of their heads and not to the 'two fingers above their right eyebrow' as perscribed 'Regulation.'
-- It wasn't a 'new tatoo' that one 'salt' would impress upon his sailing buddies. No siree.. it was when he rolled back his cuffs or flipped-up his neck-scarf that his one-upmanship wowed them!!
-- Sailors Adapted.
-- On Ship, a Sailor was true-blue Navy. Off Ship, he was a truer "Sailor, and proud of it."
-- What am I getting at or heading to?: -- You, my fellow Inventors, should learn to adapt. -- You work within the System.
-- You make do with what you 'got', that what was handed to you. You obey the rules on the surface.. [the what obviously the public sees]. But you can try to get away with whatever serves your NOW purpose, to make your own life worthwhile and fullfilling. - [Just don't do anything illegal that'll get you thrown into jail.]
*- Remember: "A turtle only gets ahead by sticking its neck out."
Did you ever wonder where certain sayings came from? I know of one: "He was caught red-handed." I think I started this one by my passing around this Sea Story:
In my Naval Career, I met a sailor who told me this story about himself, that I repeated to others, who then retold and retold it. The catch word was "Caught red-handed."
Let me prepare your mind for this one...
This one sailor always wore his white uniform while working in the Headquarters Office. It was required to wear 'whites,' in line with his position as Staff Yeoman, i.e. office clerk-typist. - When off-duty, he would wear his standard Naval blue chambray, long sleeved work shirt and blue dungarees.. as what most sailors wore at their work stations doing their daily routines.
He generally sent his dirty clothes and dirty linen to the ship's laundry and cleaners, but this time he took his sea bag with his personal gear back home with him. He brought it home for his wife to do his laundry. [She would remember why she missed him so much.]
He excitedly came back into our office and said, "My wife was mad at me something awful! She said that she had evidence that I was fooling around with some other woman. -- She wanted to know how I got lipstick on my pant's fly?!!"
He went on:
"I couldn't understand what the hell she was talking about?!! You know I was at work with you guys, here all the time?? -- What lipstick?? --- Then I figured out that it was my red fingers causing it - when I went to the bathroom."
You see, he didn't smoke cigarettes. His bad habit was in his eating red-coated salted pastaccio nuts, which left his fingers coated red. --- "She thought she had caught him red handed, with his turtle sticking its head out." :-))
CLEVER QUOTE: -- “To get what you want out of life, you have to help enough other people get what they want out of life”… Zig Ziglar