18 Aug 2011
2015 Plebe Parents Weekend

Big brother and family

A perfect formation ... discipline and uniformity

Beautiful synchronization

Joining the Brigade

Locked and loaded

18 Aug 2011
Synchronized standing through the years

18 Aug 2011
The beauty and symmetry of science

The following presentation has held my imagination captive ever since youngster Physics in 1973. These images are from "Fundamentals of Physics" by David Halliday and Robert Resnick © 1970. They demonstrate the remarkable correlation that exists between mechanical oscillations and electromagnetic oscillations – a "oneness" that should evoke awe ...

All equations of physics ... have a certain beauty about them and can be appreciated, by those who understand them, on an aesthetic level [Halliday & Resnick, p635] ... "To anyone who is motivated by anything beyond the most narrowly practical, it is worthwhile to understand Maxwell's equations simply for the good of his soul." [J.R. Pierce in "Maxwell's Wonderful Equations"]

All Mids take two semesters of Physics and some flavor of "Wires". [That taken by humanities majors is known as "Fruit Juice".] These two "systems" offer a beachhead for parents to connect with a fraction of their Mid's academic experience.

The top diagram demonstrates the interchange between potential and kinetic energy, and the bottom diagram that between electric and magnetic fields. Below, you start at the 9 o'clock position with all the energy in the electric field of a fully charged capacitor, and proceed clockwise to 12 o'clock where all the energy is held in the magnetic field of the inductor. Then the energy migrates back to the capacitor (with opposite polarity), and then back to the inductor. U-sub-E represents electric field strength and U-sub-B represents magnetic field strength.

In the abbreviation "LC" below, 'L' stands for inductance, and 'C' stands for capacitance.

Charge ('q' above) corresponds to displacement ('x'), and current ('i' - the rate of change of charge) corresponds to velocity ('v' - the rate of change of displacement).

Any sufficiently refined abstraction is indistinguishable from magic. – Clarke's third law

          07 Aug 2011
9/11 Heroes Run in Dallas

11 Sep 2011 at 0800
Reverchon Park/Katy Trail
Race costs: $25/Person
Distance: 5K
Dallas Fundraiser Goal: $2500

From the N Tx Alumni Assc Web site ...

Dear Friends:

It’s been almost 10 years since 9/11 and as we all know the war continues as many of our soldiers continue to battle and sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of them have not returned and many come home severely wounded. The government does what it can for the families of the fallen and the wounded but as we know, there’s a gap between what’s being done and what can or should be done.

One of the efforts to help fill that gap is a 5K run/walk on Sunday September 11th at 8:00 at Reverchon Park/Katy Trail in Dallas. The Dallas 911 Heroes Run will be run simultaneously in other cities around the country. This run was created by the Travis Manion Foundation, created to provide assistance to the families of those soldiers killed in action and to assist our wounded veterans as well. Travis Manion ‘04 was a Marine 1st LT killed in action in Iraq in 2007. His Naval Academy roommate, Brendan Looney, was a Navy SEAL killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010. They are buried side by side at Arlington National Cemetery.

The purpose of this run is to increase awareness of those who have responded and sacrificed on 9/11 and those who have continued to respond and sacrifice since. This is a fundraiser for a great cause.

What can you do to help?

I am looking for volunteers to form a race committee. We’re looking at a time commitment of maybe 5 to 7 hours a week max. I’ll take as many as I can get, but I need between 5 and 10 people to partner with me in order to make this run a tremendous success. We want this to be the first annual run and a Tier 1 event tied to a cause that we can be passionate about and really believe. Most of the preliminary grunt work has been done but much needs to be done with less than four months until race time.

Please visit the link below to learn more. We need your support, I can be reached at dallas@911heroesrun.com or (972) 955-7529.

Mike Huber '78

The run's Web site is here
Recent videos and articles can be found here

    07 Aug 2011

I emailed Rick Martinez, "Does everyone have to replace their glasses with government-issue industrial-strength "Steve Urkel" glasses?"

He responded, "About the BCG's. Some of the Mids have them, but they didn't have all the prescriptions filled by I-day. My son had to wear his own glasses for now. On I-Day, only about 20% of the Mids had BCGs. I'm sure they will be getting them very soon."

I had never heard of BCGs.

Here is what I found at Wikipedia ...    

    GI glasses are issued at government expense to new recruits. They are designed for durability at the lowest possible cost. Prior to the current style, the standard issue were similar to the 1950s eyeglasses worn by Drew Carey. At one time they were officially designated as "Regulation Prescription Glasses", or "RPGs", but were commonly said to mean "Rape Prevention Glasses" due to their unstylish appearance. Their nickname is BCG (Birth Control Glasses) because service members believe that while wearing BCGs, it is impossible to attract the opposite sex. After recruit training, soldiers are permitted to wear civilian glasses provided they are conservative in design and color.

07 Aug 2011
Servant leadership

Max Depree, CEO and author of books on leadership, wrote:

I arrived at a local tennis club just after a group of high school students had vacated the locker room. Like chickens, they had not bothered to pick up after themselves. Without thinking too much about it, I gathered up all their towels and put them in a hamper. A friend of mine quietly watched me do this and then asked a question that I've pondered many times over the years. "Do you pick up towels because you're the president of a company, or are you president of a company because you pick up towels?


07 Aug 2011
Computer issue

These photos from the Naval Academy's Facebook page are amazing. This reminds me of a matte painting from "Star Wars - Attack of the Clones".


    The comments were fun. Several asked about wearing multiple name tags; and here is a response ...

My nephew didn't lock his closet or locker and they took his wallet and made him wear 3 name tags for a few days.

Some more comments ...

Someone in the platoon showed up without one; so everyone gets to wear all theirs. Makes everyone look dorky and stand-out in the crowd. And, if there's one thing you don't want to do as a Plebe is stand out!

Are they supposed to put one of the nametags upside down so they remember who they are?


    Another comment ...

They get wheels to haul their stuff too. God forbid they get a sore arm from carrying all that.

"Computer" issue, circa 1972 – K&E slide rule

... and the carrying equipment issued (the belt loop adapter was optional)

07 Aug 2011
The Gargans' primo Tiger Cruise

Gianna & I were very fortunate to join our daughter on the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) from Pearl Harbor to San Diego last month. We had a heck of a time trying to find the correct pier to greet the arrival of the Vinson and meet our daughter. We covered every inch of the Pearl Harbor Naval Base in our rental car before finding the area. No one we asked seemed to know how to direct us there. We then had a few days with her in Honolulu before getting under way on the cruise.


    The nuclear powered ship is the focal point of the Strike Force of six ships including a submarine which guard the gigantic carrier at all times. The Navy allows the Officers and Sailors of the ship to sponsor a fair number of “Tigers” on the cruise, the final leg of their deployment which began at the end of November, 2010. As you know this is the ship from which Osama bin Laden was lowered into the sea after the successful raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The Captain of the ship more than once reminded everyone that there was to be no “reporting’ of what took place on that historic night.

The cruise lasted five nights and six days during which the "Tigers" (no idea why they called us that – I certainly didn’t fit the image climbing and descending the ladders and, least of all, crawling into the upper rack at night to sleep) are invited each day to take part in any of about a dozen guided tours of the ship, including the bridge, the air operation, a class on nuclear power (no entry into the reactor area), in short, just about every phase of the ship and its operations.

We were treated to an air show I’ve never seen the likes of back here on terra firma. It was a highlight of the entire experience. Another impression which will always stay with me was the maturity, discipline and dedication of the young sailors who controlled the take-offs and landings of all the aircraft on the flight deck. Their average age was said to be 18 and 19 years old. They are without peer in their generation.    

    We accompanied our daughter, Christine Bernadette, to the Ward Room for meals where we made the acquaintance of the families and officers who were completing the last leg of a long deployment – all looking forward to getting back to their home base in the U.S.A.

The USS Bunker Hill (DD 52) demonstated its speed by running circles around the carrier and ended with firing its guns in the open sea. Wow!!! We observed the Bunker Hill demonstration from the hanger bay and from the Crow's Nest and any other deck we could get to, except the flight deck; the winds were too heavy for any of the Tigers to be allowed to be there. Even the shooters and other deckhands were scarce on the flight deck during the Bunker Hill's demonstration. We were able to observe the aerial demonstration including all the aircraft a few days before from the flight deck itself because the winds were calmer.    

    It was a very memorable experience which either of us would leap at again given the chance to go.

[VH: I asked John to reflect on lots of mundane details about "haze gray and underway" life. Here is his response.]

"Unfortunately, although each of the subjects you mention is a vivid memory for me, I got no pictures of any of them; mostly because I was so engaged in managing each obstacle that I never thought of snapping a photo of any of them. I did have to crawl through the hole in the closed hatch at the top of the ladder outside our state room a few times and it was a minor miracle getting up to and down from the upper rack without breaking my neck. I confess that I did hold on lightly to the pipes overhead to break my fall; it was either that or disaster."

[VH: The following pictures were captured from the cruise book my squadron produced to commemorate our deployment to the western Pacific and Arabian Sea in 1979 and 80.]

How to experience Navy life, right in the comfort of your own home ... Replace all doorways with windows so that you have to step up AND duck to go through them.


As large as the flight deck and hangar deck are, space is routinely tight.

    Not enough room to swing a cat ... lots of pull-ups and jumping rope.

"The Navy is a system designed by geniuses to be executed by idiots. If you find yourself in the Navy and you are not an idiot, you can only function well by pretending to be one." – The Caine Mutiny    

    Many announcements broadcast over the 1MC begin, "This is a drill, this is a drill ..."

In Avionics and in software: when all else fails, use a bigger hammer.    

Pulse doppler radars require a very exotic diet.    

The work place is only as much fun as you make it.
[IO - Indian Ocean]

F-4s (also known as: the air defense diesel)