Paraprosdokians

Paraprosdokians

I found this somewhere on Facebook. Like all writers, I am fascinated by what one can do with words.

Paraprosdokians, are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected and frequently humorous. Winston Churchill loved them by the way. Here are a few…………..

1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.

2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my list.

3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.

5. We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.

6. War does not determine who is right – only who is left..

7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

8. They begin the evening news with ‘Good Evening,’ then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.

9. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

10. Buses stop in bus stations. Trains stop in train stations. On my desk is a workstation.

11. I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.

12. I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

13. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

14. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

15. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

16. A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.

17. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

18. Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

19. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.

20. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

21. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

22. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

23. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

24. I am neither for nor against apathy.

25. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

26. I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

27. How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

28. Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

29. The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

30. Always borrow money from a pessimist. They won’t expect it back.

31. Hospitality: making your guests feel like they’re at home, even if you wish they were.

32. A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.

33. When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

34. Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

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The Fireship

The Fireship

As I walked out one evening upon a night’s career,

I spied a lofty clipper ship and to her I did steer.

She hoisted up her sig-a-nals which I so quickly knew,

And when she saw me bunting up she immediately hove to.

She had a dark and a roving eye, and her hair hung downs in ring-a-lets.

She was a nice girl, a decent girl, but one of the rakish kind.

 

“Oh sir, won’t you excuse me for staying out so late,

And if my parents heard of this, then sad would be my fate.

My father, he’s a minister, a good and righteous man,

My mother she’s a Methodist; I do the best I can.”

She had a dark and a roving eye, etc.

 

I eyed that girl both up and down for I’d heard such talk before,

And when she moored herself to me I knew she was a whore.

But still she was a pretty girl; she shyly hung her head.

“I’ll go along with you, my lad,” was what to me she said.

 

I took her to a tav-er-in and treated her with wine.

Little did I think that she was one of the rakish kind.

I handled her, I dandled her, and much to my surprise,

Turns out she was a fireship rigged up in a disguise.

 

So up the stairs and into bed I took that maiden fair.

I fired off my carronade into her thatch of hair.

I fired off a broadside until my shot was spent,

Then rammed that fireship’s waterline until my ram was bent.

 

Then in the morning she was gone, my money was gone too.

My clothes she’d hocked, my watch she stole, my seabag bid adieu.

But she’d left behind a souvenir, I’d have you all to know.

And in nine days, to my surprise, there was fire down below.

 

So come all you good whaler boys that sail the wintry seas,

And come all you good sailor boys, a warning take by me:

Beware of lofty clipper ships, they’ll be the ruin of you,

For she not only made me walk the plank, she set fire to me mainmast, too.

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Are naval vessels safer at sea or in port during a hurricane or tsunami?

Are naval vessels safer at sea or in port during a hurricane or tsunami?

 

Brion Boyles QMC (SW) (Ret)

Custom model builder, owner (1997-present)

Tsunami or hurricane, a ship will certainly be susceptible to damage while pier-side or anchored in a harbor. Not only is her own maneuverability restricted to pick her way or or avoid beating up against a quay or pier, but she may be damaged by OTHER vessels breaking their moorings and mucking about. A tsunami could pitch her onto the beach or against obstructions, not to mention the drastic run of water retreating OUT to sea (often exposing the floor ) BEFORE a tsunami waves strikes. Such a quick grounding, potentially breaking her back, and then sudden re-floating without time to repair could easily be deadly for any ship. A harbor emergency may stretch available tug boats to the limit, and a vessel might easily be blown aground in a hurricane. One such vessel I served aboard was blown aground in Apra harbor, Guam during a typhoon, had her propellor shaft bent and was eventually scrapped.

Smart mariners know how to safely navigate typhoons at sea. I myself encountered nine typhoons at sea in one season, on a U.S. Navy LST in the 1980’s. There are “dangerous” and “less dangerous” areas to try and ride one out a storm. Additionally, smart seamanship can reduce the effects of the storm on the vessel’s ride. A vessel has little or no chance to move once caught in port. Therefore, most would put to sea to avoid being banged about in the tight confines of a harbor.

There is one exception: Sasebo, Japan is the world’s safest “typhoon haven”. Reached by a series of zig-zags thru several high, cliff-sided approaches and surrounded by high hills, I have often ridden out such weather there. The sum total of the storm was a bit of high wind, 3– 4-foot waves and a lot of rain.

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Donald K. Ross

Donald K. Ross

 

Donald Kirby Ross (December 8, 1910 – May 27, 1992) was an officer of the United States Navy who received the first Medal of Honor of World War II. This award was made for his actions during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Ross was born on December 8, 1910, in Beverly, Kansas. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in Denver, Colorado, on June 3, 1929, and graduated as company honorman from basic training at Naval Station San Diego. He completed Machinist Mate School at Norfolk, Virginia, first in his class and was assigned to the transport ship USS Henderson (AP-1) on a China service run.

While serving aboard the hospital ship USS Relief (AH-1), Ross saw his first action (with the U.S. Marines) in Nicaragua in 1931. Advancing through the ranks on the minesweeper USS Brant (AM-24), destroyer USS Simpson (DD-221) and cruiser USS Minneapolis (CA-36), he attained the rank of Warrant Officer Machinist in October 1940 and was assigned to the battleship USS Nevada (BB-36).

During December 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Nevada was badly damaged by bombs and torpedoes. Ross distinguished himself by assuming responsibility to furnish power to get the ship underway — the only battleship to do so during the Japanese attack. When the forward dynamo room where he was stationed filled with smoke and steam, he ordered his men to leave and continued servicing the dynamo himself until being blinded and falling unconscious. Upon being rescued and resuscitated, he went back to secure the forward dynamo, then worked in the aft dynamo room until losing consciousness a second time due to exhaustion. After waking, he again returned to his duties until Nevada was beached. His actions kept the ship under power, preventing it from sinking in the channel and blocking other ships in the harbor.

Despite his impaired eyesight, Ross refused hospitalization and instead helped with rescue efforts. He entered a hospital three days after the attack, and his vision returned to normal after three weeks. He returned to Nevada, December 17, 1941, remaining in the ship’s company for the duration of the war. For these actions, he was presented with the Medal of Honor by Admiral Chester Nimitz on April 18, 1942, becoming the first person to receive the medal in World War II.

Ross was promoted to chief warrant machinist in March 1942 and was commissioned an Ensign in June 1942. Later in the war, he also served on Nevada during the landings at Normandy and Southern France. He rose steadily in temporary rank to Lieutenant Commander by the end of the war, reverting to Lieutenant at its conclusion. He again received a promotion to Lieutenant Commander in 1949 and to Commander in November 1954. Upon his retirement from active duty in July 1956, after twenty-seven years’ of service aboard every type of surface ship then afloat, he was promoted to Captain on the basis of his combat awards.

After leaving the Navy, Ross settled in Port Orchard, Washington, and ran a dairy farm. He and his wife, Helen, had four children: Fred, Robert, Penny, and Donna.

He wrote a book about his fellow Medal of Honor recipients with ties to Washington State — Men of Valor — published in 1980. Ross attended 50th Anniversary ceremonies at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1991, during which, Ross was given the honor of introducing President George H. W. Bush. Ross also participated in the dedication of a memorial to his old ship, the USS Nevada]

Ross died of a heart attack in Bremerton, Washington, on May 27, 1992, at age 81. His ashes were scattered at sea over the USS Nevada.

In 1997, the guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG-71) was named in his honor.

Medal of Honor citation

Ross’ official Medal of Honor citation reads:

For distinguished conduct in the line of his profession, extraordinary courage and disregard of his own life during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. When his station in the forward dynamo room of the U.S.S. Nevada became almost untenable due to smoke, steam, and heat, Machinist Ross forced his men to leave that station and performed all the duties himself until blinded and unconscious. Upon being rescued and resuscitated, he returned and secured the forward dynamo room and proceeded to the after dynamo room where he was later again rendered unconscious by exhaustion. Again recovering consciousness he returned to his station where he remained until directed to abandon it.

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Capt John P. Cromwell

Capt John P. Cromwell

During this week in 1901, a hero is born. Captain John P. Cromwell would become the most senior submariner to receive the Medal of Honor during World War II. He stayed aboard his sinking submarine because he knew that his death would keep vital American secrets out of enemy hands.

What kinds of thoughts go through your head when you know that you are minutes away from drowning? What kind of dread fills your being as you watch the water rise? How many memories of family overwhelm your final moments?

Thankfully, most of us will never know the answers to these questions. And yet this is exactly the type of death that Cromwell chose—all for the good of his country.

Cromwell had been serving in the Navy since his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1924. He’d served on battleships and on submarines. He’d been an engineering officer, and he’d worked in D.C. By late 1943, he was serving at sea aboard USS Sculpin. He was commander of several submarine divisions, and he was privy to many of America’s most important secrets.

Unfortunately, that voyage aboard Sculpin would prove to be his final war patrol, although the details of his last days would not come to light until after the Japanese surrender in 1945.

The conflict that led to Cromwell’s brave decision occurred on November 19, 1943. Sculpin was then preparing to attack a Japanese convoy, but it was one of those days when nothing seemed to be going right. Perhaps most fatally, Sculpin’s depth gauge had become damaged during one encounter, but Sculpin’s crew had no idea: They thought the gauge was operating normally.

You can imagine that several things went wrong after that. At one point, Sculpin tried to go to periscope depth, but it accidentally surfaced and revealed its presence to the Japanese destroyer Yamagumo instead. The battle that followed went badly, and Americans were forced to scuttle the submarine. Their capture by the Japanese was inevitable.

At this point, Cromwell had a tough choice to make. He knew a lot about Ultra, the project that had enabled Allied forces to intercept and read encrypted enemy communications. Moreover, he knew a fair amount about ongoing Allied operations in the Pacific. If he were captured by the Japanese, all that information would be at risk. “I can’t go with you,” he reportedly told the officer then commanding Sculpin. “I know too much.”

“Determined to sacrifice himself rather than risk capture and subsequent danger of revealing plans under Japanese torture or use of drugs,” Cromwell’s Medal citation describes, “he stoically remained aboard the mortally wounded vessel as she plunged to her death.”

Cromwell maintained the viability of America’s ongoing missions at the cost of his own life, and yet no one had any idea what he’d done until after the war. Only then were survivors of Sculpin released from Japanese captivity, finally free to describe what they’d witnessed on that November day.

Cromwell’s widow would soon be presented with her husband’s Medal of Honor.

“His great moral courage in the face of certain death adds new luster to the traditions of the U.S. Naval Service,” his citation concludes.

Yes, it certainly does.

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