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Whidbey Island marines train with Portuguese counterparts

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first_img December 12, 2016 Whidbey Island marines train with Portuguese counterparts in Lisbon View post tag: US Navy View post tag: USS Whidbey Island Authorities U.S. marines aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) completed a successful port visit to Lisbon, Portugal, on December 10.The embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) welcomed members of the Fuzileiros- the Portuguese Marine Corps – aboard Whidbey Island for a visit and joint training.“We also demonstrated Marine Corps marital arts program moves, did some fast-roping exercises, and finished with a mud run over a series of obstacles with them,” said Sgt. Jonathan Swaffer, 3rd section leader for amphibious assault vehicle platoon. “It was a bit of a change of pace for us. It was a good time.”While in Lisbon, Whidbey Island’s sailors and marines took part in two community relations projects and tour the Portuguese countryside on a morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) trip.During the visit Whidbey Island took on fuel, supplies and mail.The ship and its embarked Marines departed Norfolk, Virginia, on June 25, 2016, for a regularly scheduled deployment as part of the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).center_img View post tag: Portugal View post tag: US Marines Back to overview,Home naval-today Whidbey Island marines train with Portuguese counterparts in Lisbon Share this articlelast_img read more

DIY: Freestyle Backpacking

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first_imgMy friend Ryan Baxter and I are hiking southward up the A.T. Trail on the north side of Mt. Rogers headed towards the Old Orchard Shelter where we plan to stop for lunch. Our hope was to power up a little bit given we are both an embarrassing bit out of shape (shhh, don’t tell anybody), before making the bigger hike up the mountainside to the sweeping boulder fields that occupy the higher altitudes of the Mt. Rogers high country.I’m packing a traditional PB&J and a power bar, but Ryan’s got something else up his sleeve.“Prepare to have your mind blown,” Ryan chuckles as he begins digging through his pack for his lunch at the shelter. “Remember that surprise I was telling you about?”He pulls out what looks like a small yellow sake choko and an 8oz plastic bottle full of clear fluid (presumably sake). Unfortunately there was no sake in that bottle, but there was something close in resemblance. Alcohol.Boiling water via denatured alcoholI knew what he was up to because I had previously been reading up on small DIY survival rigs, although I’ve never made one, and had seen similar set-ups to what Ryan was about to reveal. While I had seen similar set-ups, I hadn’t seen one particularly like this. It was a homemade lightweight alcohol stove crafted out of an aluminum soda bottle. The bottle was machine-pressed into itself giving it a nice rounded rim with near pinhole sized air vents drilled into the side—all in all a much more well-crafted version of what some know as the Fancy Feast stove.Using an old Snow Peak cook pot as a cooking dish as well as a carrying container, Ryan was able to squeeze the bottle of denatured alcohol, the stove, and the windscreen all into the small pot. Minimal size and weighing next to nothing, it’s proven addition to any minimalist backpackers collection.Ryan lit up the stove and got water to boil so he could amaze me with his grand finale, but while doing so an elderly A.T. veteran named Sam wandered up with a couple hiking friends and took interest in Ryan’s contraption.“Did you make that?” Sam eyeballed the stove with curiosity before one-upping Ryan with his own homemade stove.Sam pulled out a very similar cup-shaped stove, only with the walls hollowed out to allow a tightly wound wick to be placed inside for better burn efficiency, and a stainless steel air vent built into it. The two of them marveled the craftsmanship and exchanged stories, clearly sharing a bit of enthusiastic appreciation for innovation, while I stood by observing their creations and enjoying my own personal and latest innovation of adding jalapeño jam to my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.Sam’s Alcohol StoveBut my lunch was about to get better.  Ryan had a large plastic bag of dried ramen noodles with dried mushrooms and seaweed and spices just waiting to be doused in hot water in order to spring to savory life.  The bag was placed inside a curious looking sleeve crafted out of pipe insulation and duct tape.Step One: Boil water.Step Two: Pour water into bag.Step Three: Sit around and shoot the bull until lunch is ready.The thermal bag could hold enough heat inside to cook for up to eight to ten minutes, even in freezing temperatures, allowing for minimum fuel consumption.After finishing Step Three we began Step Four, which involved me getting a share of the gruel, which I wasn’t about to argue with, I happened to know Ryan was pretty well rounded in the kitchen (you should have been at camp that night for the camp-style chicken alfredo—I’ll be thinking about that for days).DIY StoveRyan’s successfully homemade stove kit and heating sleeve.While eating lunch conversation drifted into sleeping gear which led to hammocks which led to Sam showing off one more piece of gear before we departed on the rest of our trip.Clearly a man of patience, Sam had crafted a hammock for less than $15 that rivaled many I’ve seen on store shelves selling for 50 bucks, not to mention rivaling most other DIY hammocks I’ve seen in quality.Sam’s HammockUsing two layers of rip-stop nylon, some excellent sewing skills, a custom buckle machined by a friend, and a crafty suspension cord utilizing Chinese-finger-trap technology, Sam had put together an excellent two-layer hammock allowing for a pad to be inserted inside for insulation and comfort while a custom sleeping bag with an open bottom end and straps instead of zippers is wrapped around the outside for cover and warmth.  Optional: bug netting and tarp.Sam quickly slung it up between two trees and allowed me to indulge, but I  had to quickly  climb out for fear of A: falling into an afternoon snooze, and B: developing a jealousy complex.So we bid the guys adieu and hit the trail, moving onward up the mountain to seek out adventure. But on the way up I couldn’t help daydreaming about little contraptions I wanted to build to add to my pack. As cheesy as it sounds, I guess old dogs can teach new tricks as well as learn them.Here’s a couple links you should check out if you’d like to work some quality hands-on time into your schedule:DIY Gear SupplyZen StovesTo The Woodslast_img read more

Staff Picks – February ’14

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first_imgSPENCER’S PICKTHE GOLDFINCH BY DONNA TARTTBorn in Mississippi, Donna Tartt is a rising star in the pantheon of young American writers. She made a name for herself when she published her first book, Secret History, before she reached 30. Then came Little Friend, which won her the WH Smith Literary Award in 2003. Now, a decade later, out flies The Goldfinch, a fiction finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. This woman is the real deal. Her Dickensian story involves Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New York kid who gets drawn into a criminal underworld, and revolves around his fixation on a real painting by Carel Fabritius from 1654, which Tartt first spotted in Amsterdam years ago and happened to be on display at the Frick Museum in Manhattan when this novel came out. In the book Decker steals the little painting from the Met.Don’t copy that!CHRIS’ PICKOUT AMONG THE STARS BY JOHNNY CASH (COLUMBIA/LEGACY)Rare are those transcendental occasions when new material from one of your favorite artists (and by favorite I mean someone whose life and work has touched yours so deeply that you integrate some of theirs into your own), who have long since passed, is posthumously released. Rarer still is when that new material is not just throwaways and B-sides, but an entirely brand new album of truly great songs. So is the case with Johnny Cash’s Out Among The Stars, slated for release next month. Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee in 1981 and 1984 and produced by famed “countrypolitan” architect Billy Sherrill, it contains 12 tracks that had been tucked away in Columbia’s vaults and simply forgotten—only to be discovered by The Man In Black’s son, John Carter Cash, while cataloguing his father’s archives in 2012. The songs include duets with June Carter Cash and Waylon Jennings and Nashville’s “A-Team” of musicians at the time. They are tiny, sparkling, moving gems that demand to be cranked at maximum volume so they can travel through your eardrum, ricochet off your heart and join Johnny up there shining, glimmering, radiating out among the stars.RASHED’S PICKBRONX BOMBERSThe ghosts of Yankees past are currently on loan to the intimate Circle in the Square Theatre, where legends such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Thurman Manson and Joe DiMaggio come to life in a witty and heart-warming play centered around the iconic Yogi Berra, whose love of the Yankees is only surpassed by his devotion to his wife Carmen. Bronx Bombers (opening Feb. 6) begins with a tense scene in a Boston hotel room one day after megalomaniac Reggie Jackson’s epic dugout blowup with manager Billy Martin at Fenway Park. The aloof Berra, played brilliantly by Peter Scolari (Bosom Buddies, Newhart), appears rattled and calls a meeting with Munson, Jackson and Martin. The audience is then invited into Berra’s dreams, where his brethren come together to bicker, laugh and inspire. All the while, Berra looks on quietly before his long-simmering emotions pour out in a fiery, impassioned speech. Bombers is replete with Berra’s adorable “Yogisms,” a brilliant feast (featuring hot dogs; what else?), a beautiful love story, and a front-row seat into baseball heaven that reminds us why this is America’s favorite pastime.#TOMOTHY’S PICKJUNIOR JOHNSON’S MIDNIGHT MOONYou’ve got to love a label that says this about itself: “Few family recipes carry a jail sentence. But to Junior Johnson’s family, it was a way of life. With the law on his heels, Junior ran the finest moonshine to the dry rural south.” Each jar of Midnight Moon, distilled from corn at their place in Madison, N.C., is supposedly “hand-filled with real fruit, the way moonshine was meant to be made.” We started with the apple pie flavor—a blend of apple juice and a cinnamon stick—and found it hard to stop. In fact, we may never eat pie again if we can drink it instead from a mason jar. Fortunately we didn’t have to cross state lines to get some of this moonshine (just try a liquor store in Nassau or Suffolk)—and we heard no sirens following us when we took it back home for a little nip just before bedtime. Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York last_img read more

Blaming Balotelli for Liverpool’s woes is wrong – Ancelotti

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first_imgReal Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti says that fellow Italian Mario Balotelli should not be shouldering all the blame for Liverpool’s recent poor form.Liverpool’s 1-0 loss to Newcastle on Saturday was their fourth in 10 Premier League games this season and they have been beaten twice in their first three Champions League outings. By contrast, Brendan Rodgers’ side lost just six times in total last term as they came close to claiming the league title.Summer arrival Balotelli has been singled out by some as a key cause for the change in fortunes, not least because the £16 million signing has scored just once in 11 Premier League and Champions League games, but Rodgers has defended him and Ancelotti followed suit.”There is a lot of talk about Balotelli, too much,” Ancelotti said as Madrid prepared to face Liverpool at the Bernabeu on Tuesday. “He is a quality player who has joined a team which at the moment is missing an important player like [Luis] Suarez, who scored so many goals.”They need to look for another solution, find another style with new players. I do not believe that all of Liverpool’s problems at this moment are down to Balotelli, but he has to work to help the team come through this situation.”Balotelli was especially targeted after Madrid’s 3-0 Champions League at Anfield in October, when he was withdrawn by Rodgers at half-time after his side had been completely outclassed. After that first meeting Rodgers publicly criticised Balotelli for swapping shirts with opponent Pepe as he left the pitch, drawing further attention to what was already a controversial gesture.Ancelotti, who made light of the incident in his own post-match news conference at Anfield three weeks ago, again saw the funny side of what had happened.”Swapping shirts at half-time with an opponent is something very normal,” he said. “If Marcelo tomorrow swaps shirts with a player I will not take him off for that.”last_img read more