A Restless Conscience

Blog Post


Hard Day at Work


They’re Here

What do we do if THEY arrive and demand to be taken to our leader —  and somebody takes them to see Pedo Joe? I know, he’ll want to take a shower with them…


Bullet Points:

** Wolves and rabbits don’t sit down in a meeting and decide what’s for lunch.

** (Quotes from Soldier) “Do you know how much it costs to breed you, you big moron? To train you? To feed you? What good is this man now? He’s got no depth perception! All he can do is walk point and take the first hit!”

“Brave. It means that even when you’re scared you control your emotions. You make the fear really small and tiny.”

Plot: Sergeant Todd is a veteran and a member of an elite army unit on the planet Earth. He’s defeated by a new race of genetically manipulated soldiers and he finds himself abandoned on a dirty planet, where he interacts with a group of survivors. The peaceful existence is interrupted by the arrival of a troop that has to eliminate the colony. Todd organizes the heroic defense.

** Sir Robert Watson-Watt, the inventor of RADAR, was caught speeding with a RADAR gun and reportedly said, “‘My God if I’d known what they were going to do with it, I’d have never have invented it!”  (BBC.com)

** Robert F. Kennedy Podcast RFK is a democrat spoiler who wants debates. The DNC, aware of Pedo Joe’s painful senility says no.


Identify the Aircraft




T-Shirt of the Day


Somebody Dropped Acid…

Cooking and Eating

HMS Victory carried supplies for six months at sea, though any opportunity for resupply was taken.

This included:

  • 300 tons of fresh water (353 litres per man, or 2 litres per day)
  • 50 tons of beer (59 litres per man, or 0.33 litres per day)
  • 30 tons of salted beef and pork (35 kg per man, or 0.2 kg per day)
  • 45 tons of ship’s biscuit (53 kg per man or 0.3 kg per day)
  • 15 tons of dried peas (18 kg per man or 0.1 kg per day)

In total, about 450 tons of food and drink was carried in the ship’s hold.

In addition, perishable food such as fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese and butter, and even live animals (cows and chickens) would be loaded on board if possible whenever the ship was in port, as well as topping up the non-perishable supplies.

Using period-appropriate measurements, a seaman would be given 4 lb of salt beef, 2 lb of salt pork, 2 pints of peas, 3 pints of oatmeal, 6 oz of butter and 12 oz of cheese per week, plus 1 lb of bread and 1 gallon of beer per day. (Those ration quantities assume re-supply more often than six months.)

Note that contrary to popular belief, rum was not served regularly in the Royal Navy in Nelson’s day. It was offered as a substitute for when beer was not available — which generally meant on ships in service in the Caribbean. Similarly, ships in the Mediterranean served wine rather than beer.

The ship’s cook was ranked as a petty officer with a warrant. The position was often given to an elderly veteran with a disability or service injury, allowing him to continue to work and draw a salary. He was assisted by at least one and often two or three cook’s mates. Most of the time the mates would do the work while the cook supervised them, but the job of actually serving food to the crew was done by the cook himself because he was personally responsible for making sure that everybody got the correct share of food they were entitled to.

Food was cooked in the ship’s galley on the middle deck. This was a huge metal device (‘Brodie’s Patent Galley’) vaguely reminiscent of two upright pianos pushed together back to back. It contained two separate built-in kettles (capacity 1137 litres) for boiling food, two ovens for baking, two spits for roasting, and a copper kettle for distilling seawater into fresh water. (The latter only produced 9 litres a day, which was reserved for the sickbay). The stove was heated by firewood or coal, and an iron chimney led up through the decks to the outside. The galley was set on heat-resistant tiles covering the area of the deck around it.

The galley on board HMS Victory

Three or four full-time cooks in a fully-equipped industrial kitchen should have no problem cooking for 850 people a day, especially since the food was not exactly gourmet cuisine, and everyone was served the same thing on any given day. (Except the officers — they were entitled to eat the same rations as the men, but they could also use their own money to buy better-quality food and bring it on board.)

On the Victory, there were tables hinged to the walls and suspended from the ceiling on the lower and middle gun decks, between the guns, which could be pulled down to eat on or raised up out of the way at other times. Each table seated an average of eight people; each such group was referred to as a ‘mess’, and the people there were ‘messmates’. Sailors were free to choose their own messmates at the start of a voyage, but changing mess once you had assigned yourself to one required the permission of an officer.

A mess table

On either a daily or a weekly basis (different ships did it differently), one sailor from each mess would be nominated as the ‘mess cook’. In the morning he would go to the ship’s storeroom and collect the daily rations for his messmates. He would then go to the galley and give the food that needed to be cooked to the cook’s mates; each mess’s food would be marked with a metal tag.

The main meal of the day was at noon, and an hour was allowed for it. Another hour starting at 16:00 was assigned to the evening meal. A skeleton crew would keep the ship functioning while everyone else went to eat, then have their own food later.

The mess cook would go to the galley and collect the cooked food for his mess, bring it to them, and serve it out. Halfway through the meal, he was also responsible for going up on deck to collect his mess’s alcohol ration (half was served at each mealtime) and again, sharing it out. As a perk, he was allowed to keep any that was left over after everyone’s cup had been filled. (Though heaven help him if some of the beer had unaccountably gone missing in transit and he wasn’t able to give his messmates their expected share!)

Finally, at the end of the meal, the mess cook was also responsible for cleaning and putting away the eating utensils.


31 thoughts on “A Restless Conscience

    1. They’re evident at the Reno Airshow (National Air Races) on the P-51s, etc. and yes, I think that they’re a maintenance nightmare – but they’re fast.

      1. I attended the Reno Air Races with a couple of buddies back in the early 80’s. We had pit passes. IIRC, there was P-51 that someone had cobbled a round engine on to. Hand written on the side of the nose was “Because we ain’t got cubic bux”.

        Another Mustang blew the prop seal on the back side of the race course. Popped up for altitude, dropped gear and flaps. shut down the engine, and dead sticked in. Bottom of the plane covered in engine oil. He rolled up to the ramp, and ground crew went to work with pressure washer.

        Blue Angles were flying the A4 then. Last one taking off rolled inverted about 100 feet off the runway, retracted his gear, rolled upright, and climbed out at about 60 degrees.

        1. I had property and a house on the eastern back side of Reno Stead Airport. Every year my buddies and wives would congregate on my back patio and barbeque and tune into the tower and race frequencies and watch the races. The planes on the east side of the course were low and fast, a blast!

          1. I wish I had known. I’d have crashed your party.

            But in my defense, I would have brought cold beer.

    2. As the Tu-95 and its developments have used just such an arrangement for decades, this would seem to be similar to how the German operated so many rigid airships mostly successfully compared to the rest of the world: it takes experience.

  1. “Cooking and Eating‘ ~ not something I ever gave thought to but wow, I can’t imagine being in that situation.

    1. Some of those ships didn’t return to HOME port for a decade. They did make port calls to refresh stores. Even today, the longer the ship is out, the more mundane (and canned) the meals become.

      1. Mundane. Describes the chow served on the cruise ship A 126 (General Maurice Rose) winter of 1964. Somethings naval never change?

        1. Royal Navy victuals were a lot like modern prison food – with an eye toward mass production.

          1. It was IMAT food – It Makes A Turd.

            Compared to civilian life, the meat portion was extravagant and abundant.

            Saw a documentary about a recreation of the British exploration of the Australian Coast. Down to the food. Salted meat was interesting. Big slabs of steak or roast, and you had to soak the meat for a while to remove the salt and rehydrate it. But you do get an edible and relatively tasty (if the cook is any decent) chunk of meat, that can be grilled, or panfried or boiled.

            And that’s the problem. People judge the food from a modern standpoint. Guess what? It’s not modern times. And given a hard time today, salted beef or pork or even chicken or fish would be a Godsend as long as you know how to remove the excess salt.

            Salted or dehydrated meats, a great way to make all of that emergency Mountain House soy drivel taste halfway decent and much more nutritious.

  2. “in the service……one must always choose the lesser of two weevils.”

  3. The DNC can’t allow validation of the morons and brain dead candidates they now have, there can be no debates or campaigning (the campaigning from the basement crap). I believe they have already queued up another election steal tactic (2020: 154 million votes cast for 137million registered voters).

    The Mess- Quite the protocol. But order in such close quarters is a must to maintain a cohesive ship. Everyone had a job to do. Gee, what a concept. Imagine any one of those early era ship captains viewing the open office “WeWork” nonsense going on today, with employers now effectively begging employees to come back to the office and do work. Insubordination is what rules…[some] employees believing they are entitled to a job and whatever loose rules they determine is acceptable for doing that job.

    1. Seems to be some pendulum swings in the working world. Things get tight, and management starts lording it over the workers. When things start to boom again the good employees bail out for other places, leaving management to say they can’t get good employees. The second-to-last place I worked at was still having problems getting people even twenty years after their amazing big bonehead maneuver that had me going elsewhere at the time.

  4. I’m glad Watson-Watt invented RADAR, Spencer and his pals at Raytheon never would have been inspired to invent the RadarRange and we’d be stuck trying to reheat our coffee or make popcorn.

    Joking aside, being microwaves it sounds like the engineers were inspired by Watts in some fashion, as with many engineering shops. Can’t locate a reference tho. Inventions today now seem they are mostly microscopic, happening inside ASIC’s and SIM cards versus something larger and more tangible. The micro-SIM in my Game Cam held over 4,000 pictures before getting full…Cam was facing the gate but picked up every car going by 100ft away. Thought that’s a lot of pictures in such a dinky device.

      1. The sauna is I/R,near, mid, and far wavelengths…cooks you from the inside out, works up a sweat without high temp traditional steam. It’s like voodoo magic for what ails ya.

  5. Ironically, the Skyshark gave Heinemann the idea for the A-4 Skyhawk, which first flew in 54.

    Ship’s food/feeding the crew has been an issue since…ships… The quality is seldom good, and becomes very boring very quickly. Even on subs, the ‘fresh’ food might last 2 weeks, then everything comes out of a can for the next three months.

    1. There is the unrep process where you may be able to get something better than average in the Officer’s Mess if you’re connecting with a ship fresh out of port. That’s the only hope. Or the COD flies something in (that is often diverted to the Goat Locker).

      1. Some of those patrols have been extended way beyond what they usually were and they’ve needed to ship a lot more food onboard.

      2. And that’s in a modern and spacious nuke attack boat.

        Imagine going to Imperial Japan in a US Fleet Boat during WWII.

        Or being in a U-Boat off the US coast during WWII. All the way across the Atlantic and patrol and hopefully get back. U-Boats were small in comparison to US Fleet Boats.

  6. If RFKJr is so good at public health, why did he support Fauci for 30 years? I think his approach to public health works as badly as the rest of his Kennedy policies. If he gets debates they will be over minutia like which family’s retainer should be head of the FBI.

    I don’t see how nukes can be recreational, they create too much pollution. Range safety applies to nukes, too. Don’t point it at me, and I don’t believe it’s unarmed.

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