The Daily Dose/November 4, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy
Notes from around the human experience…
CAPSULE BOOK REVIEW: Six Frigates by Ian Toll: One of the mysteries of reading is how long it takes you to finally getting around to reading something that interests you. We served in the US Navy and enjoy history, but this was the first substantive reading we’d done on the founding of the United States Navy.
Our loss because this was a very good read, covering the founding of the US Navy up until the conclusion of the War of 1812. Toll does a thorough job of covering the bickering over whether or not to build the original six frigates, the bickering over the design and it wasn’t a bulletin to find out all six frigates were delivered late and were over-budget, setting a valuable precedent the Navy has honored ever since.
USA! USA! Though starting from scratch Americans showed no small amount of ingenuity and technical brilliance, coming up with fighting ships that were a bit bigger than British frigates, with more armament and were made of wood so hard cannonballs did well to make a dent in them, hence the USS Constitution’s nickname Old Ironsides.
Ahoy Matey: Where Toll writes with excitement and sometimes brilliance is in the chronicling of naval battles. From the Quasi-War with France to battle and intrigue with the Barbary pirates to battle with the British, from the Mediterranian to the Bahamas to Boston Harbor, a reader only needs a little imagination to feel he’s right there, too, with cannonballs and grapeshot whizzing past him.
Dry, Technical Matter: This book has a lot of dry, technical sailing terms, a subject Mr Toll actually addresses in the preface. There are so many, in fact, that we stopped looking them up very early on because 1) we’re not planning on sailing for the America’s Cup anytime soon and, 2) we wanted to finish the book in less than ten years. For example, instead of technical names of every type of sail, fore sail, amidship sail or aft sail would’ve sufficed.
Final Ranking: B, Very Good. The term general readers has fallen into disuse, but this book is perfect for us general readers, a reader with broad interests, but who may not be a scholar in a particular field. Those who enjoy history but may not historians will enjoy this book, and if the founding of the US Navy is your area of expertise, you find it worth your while, too.
Six Frigates by Ian Toll: Highly recommended.
Today At The Site
The Diary of a Nobody: Someone rearranged the back coffee room at the hotel. Today’s Diary.
Someone, I am not entirely sure whom, has completely reorganized the coffee room shelves at the hotel…There bins on the shelves now labeled Coffee Pot Cleaner – which I’ve never used, of course – Condiments, Hot Chocolate and Apple Cider (packets for morning coffee service), Condiments, two for Employee Cups and Dishes…There is also one that has my tea bags and oatmeal and supplements…It’s on the far left and, in the spirit of matters, I labeled it Sparrow’s Old Man Stuff…There’s also one labeled Coffee Filters on top of the coffee machine.
It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.
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On This Date
In 1952 – The National Security Agency (NSA) is formed when a directive signed by Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett is signed, changing the name of the Armed Forces Security Agency. Today the NSA is the planet’s leading eavesdropper, intercepting, among other things, the radio transmissions and Internet and telephone activities of people and governments the world over. The NSA traces its origins to World War I, when the Cipher Bureau was established to break enemy codes.
In 1960 – Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors establishes a new NBA record for most free throws missed in a game with none made going 0-for-10 in a 136-121 win over the Detroit Pistons. Chamberlain shot only 50.4% from the line that season and for his career was a 51.1% free throw shooter, the worst in NBA history for someone with 2,000 attempts. The record is now held by Shaquille O’Neal, who went 0-for-11 in a December 2000 game.
In 1972 – Johnny Nash is at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first of four consecutive weeks with I Can See Clearly Now. The song also went to #1 in Iceland, France and New Zealand and peaked at #38 on Billboard’s soul chart. For Nash it was his third of four Top 40 hits and remains his only #1 song. It’s been covered many times, and returned to the Top 40 in 1994 when Jimmy Cliff took it to #18.
…our countrymen have all the folly of an ass and all the passiveness of a sheep. They are determined not to be free and can neither be frightened, discouraged nor persuaded to change their resolution.
Answer To The Last Trivia Question
Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals is the NFL’s leader for career receptions amongst active players with 1,345.
Who holds the NBA record for most free throws made in a game without a miss? Answer next time!