Competence

The blog was silent today because I was in San Francisco for the final day of Fleet Week.  As always, a good time was had by all, although the kids were dead beat by the time we got them home — never a good thing.  The only down side of the day was that we didn’t get to do a ship tour.  Because the Navy, being involved elsewhere, was only able to produce half its complement of ships, the lines were so overwhelming that all the ship tour lines closed after only an hour — and before we’d even gotten in sight of the ships.  Sigh….  Since I’m a member of the Navy League, though, I have reason to hope that I’ll have other opportunities during the year to tour ships.  (Which is a good reason for all of you living in port cities to think about joining.)   But let me talk about the good things that happened today.

First off, of course, was the Blue Angels air show.  As always, it was absolutely stunning.  In fact, today was one of the best days ever, because one of the pilots flew just above the water, at almost the speed of sound, creating the most beautiful vapor oval around his plane.  People were just gasping with awe.  And then there were all the other moves.  I know that they have technical, Angel-speak names, and the slightly drunken lady next to me had given them flower names, but to me, all the moves have just one name:  “Oh, my God!”  The only variation in that name is that, with higher degrees of manifest danger, the name gets reiterated more frequently.  So, when all six planes look as if they’re going to crash into each other, it’s the “Oh, my God!” to the sixth degree.  Thrilling, but slightly nerve wracking is how I’d characterize the show.  And cold, too.  The wind over the Bay just rips the warmth out of your body.

The other good thing about the day was the competence factor.  As I realized looking at the Navy Seals’ set-up, where people could try their hand (or, rather their arm) at doing pull-ups, one of the things we like about our military is that we can see people being competent.  I know that the military is made up of human beings, and that military personnel mess up just the way other people do, but they still look competent doing it.  The smart uniforms and the drilling just go a long way to making them look utterly reliable.  And seeing the Navy Seals standing around, well, even though they’re not doing anything, you know that they’re the best of the best, and that makes you feel good.

Same with the Angel pilots — there’s nothing better than their level of perfection and it’s inspiring to be in their ambit.  Every time they zoomed by, and my son asked, “What makes them so loud?” I answered “Power.”  And I wasn’t just thinking of the plane, I was thinking of the men in the cockpit.  Competence.  Power.  Not evil.  All very inspiring.

10 Responses

  1. […] that doesn’t stop me from that moment of trivia.  I mentioned that yesterday I had a very nice day in the City taking part in the Fleet Week festivities.  One of the things […]

  2. […] that doesn’t stop me from that moment of trivia. I mentioned that yesterday I had a very nice day in the City taking part in the Fleet Week festivities. One of the things the […]

  3. Fleet Week in San Francisco

    In spite of the loony left’s attempts in SF to ground them, the Blue Angels (seen in practice photos here) flew proudly over SF skies this past weekend as part of their 26th annual Fleet Week. The Examiner’s John Upton reports:
    After effor…

  4. The smart uniforms and the drilling just go a long way to making them look utterly reliable. And seeing the Navy Seals standing around, well, even though they’re not doing anything, you know that they’re the best of the best, and that makes you feel good.

    That is what I like about classical liberals. When they see Good in others, they try to promote it and reinforce it rather than try to tear others down to make themselves feel good.

  5. >>…one of the things we like about our military is that we can see people being competent.>>

    And that’s why the fathers of SF don’t want people – especially _young_ people – to see them. It might interfere with the propaganda…

  6. And just by putting that uniform on, a desire to excel is kindled in the heart of the one wearing it.
    Al

  7. (Second-hand) Bragging Alert: One of my colleagues on the campus where I teach has just had his son accepted into the
    Blue Angels……I know that’s one too many degrees of
    separation for me to brag about this “kid”, but it makes me
    feel good, just the same. And I had fun writing the Dad and
    telling him how impressed I am, and congratulating him on
    his son’s accomplishments.

    Additionally, if you want to read a fabulous book, making it
    plain how special the Navy Seals are, and how they are
    dying as a result of the politically correct atmosphere that
    puts our military guys on trial for murder when some idiot on
    this side of the water thinks their judgment was less than
    perfect, then read the magnificent “Lone Survivor”, by
    Marcus Luttrell.

  8. Hi, Bookie,

    For the second consecutive year, I had the honor of being present during the Parade of Ships.

    A year ago, it was on the flight deck of hte carrier Nimitz, after having flown aboard. Talk about an event that sparks the thoughts “Lord, should you wish to take me, today, after this, it’s OK.”

    This year I was invited to board a Coast Guard Coastal Buoy tender, the USCGC George Cobb. We were in slot number 6 after two US Navy vessels and three Canadian vessels.

    Cobb himself was a lighthouse keeper who staged a daring rescue of three sailors.

    The location: Bonita Point lighthouse
    The date: Christmas, 1896, during a horrible Winter storm. Cobb was lucky to survive.

    This past Saturday, Cobb’s daughter Doris was aboard the cutter as a guest of the skipper and its crew. In fact, all of Cobb’s descendants were aboard. Doris was a darling to meet. She appeared to enjoy the entire day aboard ship.

    Did I mention there was an air show that day? 😉
    One of the BAs quickly and discreetly broke the sound barrier while passing over the Cobb.

    Again, this ex-Airdale was in heaven watching how much aviation technology has changed since heI was involved.

  9. For your son’s future reference, noise reduction technology in jet engines isn’t entirely dissimilar to mufflers on cars. (Well, it is entirely dissimilar in fact, but in effect it’s the same.) The car’s muffler robs power from the car’s engine, noise reduction technology robs power from the jet engine. The military doesn’t go in for having the engines be at anything less than full power. Thus: loud.

  10. […] ship, are instantly thrown into their responsibilities.  This goes a long way to explaining the competency that so attracts me about the […]

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