Speaking of frogs. Somehow we got a population of South American Tree Frogs here. The bright green ones with red eyes? It's a very small population, but somehow a few have managed to survive in the middle of a desert. Probably because we have lots of trees and our neighbors constantly irrigate their yards.
Don't you live in Idaho?! The bigger question is how they managed to survive the winters, because according to ye olde USDA zone mappe, the WARMEST parts of Idaho have an average winter low temp of 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 deg C)....
So, I spent most of yesterday afternoon and evening moving more stuff from my parents' house, including just about everything I had in their attic. Among the things I brought from the attic was a storage tub that had all my old Navy uniforms in it, as well as command ballcaps from every ship and shore command I'd ever been assigned to, even if it was Temporarily Assigned Duty (TAD). As it happened, both times I was assigned TAD to a ship, it happened to be the same class of ship that I was either assigned to at the time or I would GET assigned to, once I got an actual duty station. Cases in point: I was sent TAD to the USS Kinkaid (DD-965)
from Jan - Apr 2000 to fill time between when my first phase of training ended (Fire Control "A" School at Great Lakes, IL) and the next phase of training (MK-23 TAS "C" School at Dam Neck, VA) began. When I finished "C" School, the first ship I was assigned to was the USS O'Brien (DD-975)
, another Spruance Class Destroyer... Bonus points for their hull numbers being exactly 10 apart.
The second time I was TAD was when I was assigned to the USS Belleau Wood (LHA-3)
, a Tarawa-Class amphibious assault ship based out of San Diego, CA. In July of 2004, when the Belleau Wood was on its way to the Persian Gulf, I got flown back to California to fill in for the USS Pelilieu (LHA-5)
, another Tarawa-Class ship. The reason I was sent was because we had more than one MK-23 TAS tech on the Belleau Wood, and the Tarawa lost theirs, because she got pregnant (US Naval Regulations forbid pregnant women from serving aboard ships, for obvious reasons), and they were about to go through a HUGE inspection called INSURV which would have admirals crawling all over the ship, and their TAS Radar system wasn't working. I was on the Pelilieu for a month, got the radar working better than new in time for the big inspection, and got a letter of commendation from the Pelilieu's Captain before being flown into Bahrain to meet up with my ship, which had already made it to the Persian Gulf.
I also found a command ballcap for a Japanese destroyer, the JDS Yudachi
. I had to think a bit before remembering that, during the joint training exercise with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, where I got the JDS Hatakaze pin, we also had a sailor from the Yudachi on board and I traded one of my USS Obrien ballcaps for his Yudachi ballcap. The guy's name was Masamoto (no I didn't remember that on my own: It was written inside the hat in Kanji)...
In addition to the tub full of memories, I also moved a heavy-duty prefab cabinet that I got from the local Staples Outlet store about 5 years ago or so, and put it in the computer room so that my wife can put all her nail polish and artsy-crafty stuff on it, rather than MY computer desk... The thing is made out of high density fiberboard, so it weighs a ton: My dad actually said, "Good GRIEF! What is this made out of? Lead?" when we brought it down the stairs of their house yesterday. As a result of this (and moving a large tub full of books), I'm pretty sore today.