Tag Archives: travel

Going On The Account: Ship to Shore

I know I said that I was going to be offline for the week, but I had to come closer in to thank Susan Rocan at Mywithershins for posting an interview she conducted with me.  I have to say, I thought she asked some very tough questions; part of me kept hoping that she graded on a curve…

 

As noted earlier, I’m going to be out of touch for most of the week otherwise, and back ashore by this time next week.  In the meantime, to reiterate the point, I leave you with this…

 

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Going On The Account: Coming Together, Right Now, Over Me…

Funny how it all seems to run together at times:

So this is the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, known among the British as “that damned distraction keeping us from dealing with that Corsican bloke.”  This is something I’ve been confronting a few times this year between a recent trip to Fort McHenry and an upcoming trip north, which will include a visit to Ottawa.  In fact, one of the people we’re going to see in Ottawa forwarded to the Lovely and Talented Susan a link to the following spot running up north commemorating the conflict:

In between sojourns, we had a few moments to take in some of the local sights with our friends, including a visit to Sagamore Hill, the home of Theodore Roosevelt and the first “summer White House.”  While the house is not open while they go through an extensive renovation, they did have a museum open regarding the man’s major accomplishments, including discussing his first major book.

Yes, there is a reason he’s mentioned here:  His first book, published in 1882, was a work entitled The Naval War of 1812.  The book is available for download via Project Guttenberg and iTunes if you want to get a perspective on the war from a figure who goes on to make his own history later.

Which among other things included a run for the White House as a third party candidate, which this is the centenary of.  I’m going to leave the semi-obvious snide conclusions about parallels to more incendiary bloggers; it’s too damn hot outside to go into that much vitriolic detail…

Besides, I didn’t get that much sleep last night; all these coincidences may have had something to do about that dream last night where a bull moose chased after Laura Secord through the woods, heading north through the gloom…

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Going On The Account: What’s In A Name?

Forgive me if I get a little historical…

 

I was referred to a post by Speaker7 (a very funny writer) wherein there was a discussion of the War of 1812.  Which gets my interest, historian training that I had, especially as I spent a few days at Annapolis and Fort McHenry, where the war does have a certain resonance after all…

 

But what got me in the place I’m at this moment after was a snap I took on the grounds, in front of the Naval Academy Chapel :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The plaque discusses the anchors at the front of the Chapel and notes that they originally belonged to the USS New York, BB-34.  She was the leader of a new class of warship, one that promoted raw power and impenetrable defenses, and was going to change the face of naval war forever; had she been laid faster, her name would have described not just a new class of ship for the US Navy, but a whole new type of ship the world over.

 

An honor that went instead to the HMS Dreadnought, which made all ships that came after her mere reflections, to the point where any such vessel would be lumped under the name of “Dreadnought” in common usage.  As far as New York was concerned, we could build these kinds of ships, and boy did we build some good ones, but we couldn’t name them all after us, sorry.  Sure, we got to build the USS Monitor, the USS Missouri and the USS Constellation, but compared to naming rights it just seems, kinda hollow, y’know?

 

I mean, imagine what kind of a fun universe it might be if the phrase, “As tough as a New Yorker” had a much deeper meaning…

 

*sigh*

 

 

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