Saturday, April 26, 2014

USS Nimitz CVN-68 Diaries... The Ups & Downs of Nimitz Life

Here's more Nimitz silliness

USS Nimitz CVN-68 Diaries...

The Ups & Down's of Nimitz Life

Here’s just a little silliness that went on during my stay aboard the beast. I hope you have a couple chuckles along the way.

Okay ready?

We used to work in shifts of twelve hours on and twelve hours off, while at sea. Now, that was seven days a week my friends. There were no weekends consumed by drinking and humping while out to sea.

But... I really didn’t have it too bad

at all though on the ship.

You see I worked in a clean,  air-conditioned closed-shop environment, with a pretty awesome stereo setup to boot! One or two of those components were mine. I think just the cassette deck. Cassette??? LoL Remember now,

this was only 1982!

Stereo set up in the Calibration Lab shop 670 on board USS Nimitz 1982
Tommy Mondello's personal draw & cubby hole in Cal Lab on Nimitz 1982
Tommy Mondello in Cal Lab with all our favorite... Holly!
Tommy Mondello sporting "porno" mustache doing situps Cal Lab Nimitz 1982
Top pic was our stereo setup. That was my cassette deck on top.
We had big speakers all over the shop as well.

Next pic is of my personal draw and cubby hole. As you can tell, I
tried my best to "personalize" it... LoL
Left to right...
Me in a tree in Tennessee with a pal, yes we were drunk!
THE WHO... Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle & Kenny Jones
Jimmy Page & Robert Plant
Eyes of the sister of the girl I fell in love with from boot camp sister company
Fuckin' OZZY when he was still with Black Sabbath
Our Christmas tree in the shop
I Love NY button
Me with the Doorsmobile day before I went to the Navy
Bruce Lee
Jim Morrison on the cover of a Doors book

Next pic is me posing with our favorite porn girl Holly O.
She warmed the inside of our refrigerator door!

Last pic is me & my porno mustache trying to do situps...
what's with that look on my face and the big square Frankenstein head  LoL

So, I couldn’t complain all too much compared to what the rest of the guys on board had to deal with on a daily basis.

Well, eventually, I shed the new guy on the block image you read about in the first Nimitz Diaries entry Riff Raff. And began to find my place.

The cocky fourth floor leader was beginning to re-emerge and once again breakaway

from that group mentality.

Being an individual was always important to me. Even within the confines of this hell.

I used to alter my work dungarees by printing The Doors (one of my favorite bands) in white indelible ink on the back pocket, instead of my name as regulations called for.

I figured that people already knew my name, but they didn’t know what kind of music I liked.

Well, now they did!

This didn’t always go over too well with the higher ups. But I just yes’d them to death

when they told me to change it,
and went on my merry way.

They didn’t like the fact that I pasted

a bumper sticker representing another
favorite band of mine, The Who,
on the front door of the shop either!

Tommy Mondello's shop 670 IM3 Division... the Calibration Lab with the "unauthorized" WHO  sticker

Hey, I was only tryin’ to keep my surroundings as close to home as possible. That lasted several months before someone actually noticed it.

Sharp as bowling balls, those Navy guys!

We used to have some real fun when we were docked at the Norfolk pier. You see, when the ship was in port and not out to sea, you were supposed to salute all officers

as you crossed paths.

Oh boy, does this reek of a good time or what?

We used to troll the hanger bay,

which was prime saluting territory.
(The hanger bay was a gigantic open area, one level below the flight deck. They would perform all of the maintenance on the planes here, before taking a huge elevator up to the flight deck)

Similar hanger bay on board the Nimitz class John C. Stennis CVN 74
Large elevators lift to and from the flight deck at each of the openings
on the sides of the ship. During rough seas large steel doors close shut from
left to right protecting the bay and everything inside.

I would see an officer approaching and then just as I was supposed to salute, I would jerk my arm up a couple inches, and stop.

But, officer Dickweed had already committed himself to the salute, and followed through with the whole ridiculous ritual. I would just keep walking right on past him,
crackin’ up the whole way.

Now, about 90% of the time, the officer felt like too much of a dick to make a scene. So, he usually just threw his hand back down to his side and kept on walking.

But, every once in awhile you’d run across an uptight a-hole, who just couldn’t stand being made the fool. Then, the joke usually backfired, and it was me that looked like the dick.

I’d usually get balled out in front of everyone, for the non-salute. And the idiots I was walking with would all bust my chops afterwards.
Hey, win some, lose some!

Oh, here’s something
that was completely unnecessary.

Remember I said I worked twelve hours on, and twelve hours off. Well, that friend of mine, Billy, from a few stories back worked up on the flight deck. (Remember, he used the birthday poem I wrote in boot camp and got busted by my
ex-wife... his cousin! LoL There's just NO fucking mercy in this world is there... LoL
A dude can't get away with ANYTHING
when it comes to chicks!)

I met him while I was in Tennessee, and somehow we both ended up on the same boat
as our next duty station.

Anyway, Billy and his crew had the opposite hours that I did. When I was sleeping, they were up on the flight deck, handling F-14 jets.

So, during break time, they would come down to my bunk and pay old Ozzy a visit.
Unexpectedly, of course!

Now, these bunks were pathetic.

They were about three feet wide, by about six or so feet long. They stood three bunks high,
with an adjacent bunk along side.

There was a metal wall from your head to about your waist down the middle, separating the adjacent bunks. A curtain separated
you the rest of the way.

Well, I slept in the bottom bunk. And this bottom bunk would fold up, and latch onto the bunk above it. This way the birthing crew could mop and wax the floors underneath.

Can you see where this is goin’?

Tommy Mondello's bottom bunk on Nimitz
Tommy Mondello sleeping in Nimitz bunk
Top pic shows my bottom bunk complete with Christmas
garland and gas mask!

Flight decks humps must have taken that second pic...
right before they lifted and hooked me to the upper bunk... LoLoLoL
Those douche bags... LoLoLoL
Ya gotta lov'em though!!!

So, of course, the flight deck dickheads would come down to my world,
and do one of two things.

They would either walk up to my bunk while I was reading or sleeping and fold it up, and then latch it to the bunk above mine, leaving me in quite an awkward position inside.

And then stand there for ten minutes,

and watch me do my best impersonation
of a fucking worm, as I struggled
and wiggled my way outta the end opening.

Completely nude, most of the time!

Then, those dickheads would have a great big laugh, punch the shit outta me, and head back up to the flight deck. I still have the black 'n blue's... LoL

they would wait until I was fast asleep. Grab me by the feet, and pull my sleepin’ ass outta the bunk, and onto the ice cold tile floor.

Then, disappear before I would even wake
from my slumber.

I would just be lying there on the floor, like a fish who just jumped outta the bowl, usually with no clothes on, trying to gather my wits
enough to crawl back into bed.

And this was called fun!?!?
C'mon... how fuckin' retardedly funny is that!!
Just picture me squirming around on the floor, drool covering my cheek, shivering on the cold floor, trying to crawl. LoL
Now if that isn't love,
I don't know what is!

Wait, is that even a word... retardedly??? LoL
Well it is now mutha F'er.

It all evens out in the end though. Ya see, I worked in a climate-controlled shop, nice and cool like I mentioned earlier. While those fuckheads all risked their lives every time they stepped out onto that flight deck.

Truly amazing stuff lemme tell ya!
I've seen it first hand...
it takes a very special person to be up
on that flight deck during flight-ops
and function with precise precision!
Really something to see!

Tommy Mondello watching flight ops USS Nimitz January 1983 Mediterranean Sea
Tommy Mondello watching flight ops USS Nimitz January 1983 Mediterranean Sea
Tommy Mondello watching flight ops USS Nimitz January 1983 Mediterranean Sea 
Tommy Mondello watching flight ops USS Nimitz January 1983 Mediterranean Sea
Those fucking guys were walking around during all of this mayhem... crazy!
I snapped these pix from "The Crows Nest"
during one of the many many many times watching Flight Operations.
place to be while the planes were taking off and landing!
You just can't believe how loud it is.
Or the heat and smell of JP 5 fuel filling your lungs.
It's controlled chaos for sure!

And yes... those are LIVE missiles
that they are walking over to one of the planes. Boom!! 

So, I really couldn’t get all too pissed-off at them. Besides, what are friends for right.

If they can't fuck with you, then who can?

So, if you’re a person who likes their sleep, then being on the USS Nimitz was not a place for you. Especially, if you had friends who worked
up on the flight deck crew!

Oh yeah... I once looked down while I was taking a shower as the ship was enduring the brutal pounding of a very intense storm while in the Mediterranean Sea. I mean waves crashing over and onto the fucking flight deck intense, which is 100 feet above sea level!

I felt woozy... threw up... and was seasick
for the next 3 fucking days I shit you not!

The only time my world wasn't spinning around me was when I laid still on my back in my bunk. It was the craziest thing ever!
I think I feel a bit woozy at the moment just remembering that nightmare!

So much for having sea legs huh?! LoL

Came upon a few more pix.

First one is of Billy on the flight deck with one of the cooler... more crazy muthafucker's. This was when Billy was a Blue Shirt Fly 1 Division.
I believe they were the guys who secured the planes down to the deck eye-pads
with the chocks 'n chains

Billy (right) and pal on the Nimitz flight deck 1982/83

Billy was also a Red Shirt.

They were the Crash 'n Salvage guys.
When I was running away from the destruction,
these fuckin' guys would run towards it
just like the FDNY or NYPD... awesome!
I don't think thats Billy in the photo,
but that's one of the crash vehicles.

Crash 'n Salvage vehicle Nimitz flight deck 1982/83

Billy's pals on the deck.

Now what the fuck "I" was doing up there snapping photo's I'll never know... LoL
You'll read about my one and only time I was on the deck "during" flight ops in the near future.
Believe me when I say...
I'm a real pussy!
And I don't belong up there at all... LoLoLoLoL

Billy's flight deck crew pals Nimitz flight deck 1982/83

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