Apr 30, 2005

I'm a lighthouse - change course

Two battleships assigned to the training squadron had been at sea on maneuvers in heavy weather for several days. I was serving on the lead battleship and was on watch on the bridge as night fell. The visibility was poor with patchy fog, so the captain remained on the bridge keeping an eye on all activities. Shortly after dark, the lookout on the wing of the bridge reported, "Light, bearing on the starboard bow." "Is it steady or moving astern?" the captain called out. Lookout replied, "Steady, captain," which meant we were on a dangerous collision course with that ship.

The captain then called to the signal man, "Signal that ship: We are on a collision course, advise you change course 20 degrees." Back came the signal, "Advisable for you to change course 20 degrees."

The captain said, "Send, I'm a captain, change course 20 degrees." "I'm a seaman second class," came the reply. "You had better change course 20 degrees." By that time the captain was furious.

He spat out, "Send, I'm a battleship. Change course 20 degrees." Back came the flashing light, "I'm a lighthouse."

We changed course.

- Frank Koch - Proceedings, the magazine of the Naval Institute

Apr 29, 2005


"Heads are wisest when they are cool." - Ralph Bunche -

Apr 22, 2005

A Heaven-born Captain

"Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows;
The soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe whom he is facing.
Therefore, just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare there are no constant conditions.
He who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning, may be called a heaven-born captain."

- Sun-Tzu, The Art of War -

Apr 20, 2005

Living once is enough

"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough" - Joe Lewis -

Apr 15, 2005

Rest like a great tree

Praise & blame,
gain & loss,
pleasure & sorrow
come & go like the wind.
To be happy,
rest like a great tree
in the midst of them all.
- The Buddha -

Stick to one thing

"Be like a postage stamp; stick to one thing until you get there." - Margaret Carthy -


"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a [person] does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses their intelligence." - Albert Einstein -

Apr 12, 2005


"First a person should put his house together, then his town, then the world." - Rabbi Israel Salanter -

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed---and gazed---but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

- William Wordsworth -

Apr 7, 2005


"The most important thing about education is appetite." - Winston Churchill -