Treefrog's FTN Page

The first version of my FTN website was back in 1996. That's a LONG time! This blog is meant to revive the joy that was once the great and wonderful FTN Website. I'll be making a weekly post from my archives and, of course, include new material as it comes in.

Have something to add? Send me a note: jtrelfa at gmail dot com

Saturday, February 28, 2009

You know you're out when...

So, you've just gotten out and you're not sure if it's real? Here's a few things to help remind you that you're actually OUT:
  • You call your boss Mike, his boss Susan, and her boss Bob.
  • You can walk to the right side of Mike, Larry, and Bob without violating some medieval concept of courtesy.
  • Kiwi regains the meaning "a flightless bird native to New Zealand".
  • You're now making full use of both arms for carrying items, and (once you realized that you don't wear one anymore) save loads of time not looking for your hat.
  • One look at your new paycheck and you now know why they called it the L.E.S.
  • Forget to shave? Just tell 'em you're starting your beard that day! Haircut? Ha!
  • You have finally worked "Yes Sir," "Yes Ma'am," "Chief," and "F%@K this" out of your daily vocabulary (well, maybe not the last one).
  • Business lunches, golfing, and season tickets are considered an essential part of work.
  • The ability to ride a bike for eight minutes and keep your body fat below 24% is not confused with intelligence, leadership potential, or degree of motivation.
  • You have determined that white T-shirts are not required undergarments in the real world.
  • You can fly to New Zealand to see those small flightless birds without having to get permission and a bunch of signatures on a leave form
  • You can't remember the last time the shoes you wear to work were shined.
  • The office is empty at 5:00 PM.
  • There are no guards at the entrance to your office.
  • All the years of learning how to crease your sleeves and pants were wasted
  • People look at you real funny if your black work shoes are so shiny that you can see yourself in them.
  • The smell of diesel fuel is now a bad thing and a call to 911 is actually rewarded.
  • You receive no harassment from people with nothing better to do than worry if your coat is zipped.
  • You can sleep soundly knowing that you actually have to do something illegal by US law to get punished.
  • No one truly outranks you anymore; you are not considered to be a second class citizen in your office building!
  • What the hell is a square knot again?
  • You won't have to take vacation time on days you're not scheduled to work.
  • 7:30 is when your alarm is set, not when you need to be at work.
  • You find out that ASAP implies some future deadline, not an overdue one.
  • You realize that the military did not invent ineptitude, they only took a concept and perfected it.
  • You can tell your boss "I QUIT!!"
  • If you show up late for work (first offense) because you went out boozing, you don't get thrown into an alcohol rehab center. Second offense? The boss gets pissed because he/she wasn't invited.
  • You don't get fired for oversleeping 1 hour, 1 time, because you forgot to set the alarm clock.
  • You have to whip out a calculator to figure out miltary time
  • You can go home from work...even if your desk is dirty.
  • People get paid to clean the office for you
  • A midnight snack isn't a hot dog or stale crackers (unless, of course, you want it to be)
  • You can call in sick from from work and you aren't required to visit the hospital to prove it
  • "Field Day" is something you do at a park, with games and fun activities
  • You don't repaint the entire house, replace your appliances, and refinish your hardwood floors just because your in-laws are visiting.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

She's gone :( Boohoo

So your wife left you (for no apparent reason) and you're stuck with the kid? Not a problem! Just bring the kid to work and let the Navy be your babysitter! Give your kid to the division officer or chief and have him (or her) watch the kid for an hour or two. Call it payback for not letting you have some time off to get your life back together! You should be out of the Navy in no time! They call it a "hardship" discharge! (Although I am confused as to why it's a hardship to get out of that cursed place) Give it a try! I heard it works...some of the time.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ustafish Stories - yuck!

Some of the most annoying people I ever encountered were the people onboard that served on a different ship during a previous rotation.  Whenever *any* task was being performed; small valve maintenance, sweeping the floor, taking a dump; these people had a story to tell about it.  What's worse is that you knew it was coming and were usually powerless to stop it.  How did you know?  Because every single story started with "Back when I was on the <name of ship>, we used to ... ".  I've highlighted the 'used to' portion because it was always pronounced useta (yooo stuh).  This is where the term ustafish comes from.

For those of you still in the service that haven't quite tasted the sweet, chocolaty  goodness of freedom, don't worry.  Ustafish stories still happen in the corporate world.  Only in civilian life, there's a darker meaning.  Ustafish stories take on 2 flavors.  The first flavor is what you'd expect... "Back when I worked for <name of company>, we used to ...".  The other form of the story - the more dark and nefarious flavor - is when the ustafish story is used to give the storyteller some sort of elevated status to the newer employees.  This is often a way to try and make the idealistic employees feel like they don't know what they're talking about:
New Employee: "Wow, maybe a wireless router would be easier than dragging your own CAT5 cable to the conference room."
Usatafish:"We used to think it that would be helpful, but discovered that acute traces of radon coming from the floor prevented a good signal.  There's a memo about it on the shared drive - I guess you didn't read it?"
Good times...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Big Daddy

"They have better ho's overseas"

--Big Daddy
when asked why he was skipping shore duty to go on a world cruise on the Nimitz

Monday, August 18, 2008


NUB:(nub). Non Useful Body:
A humanoid lifeform that consumes air, food, and a pit in berthing. Considered by most to be a waste of human flesh. Nubs are able to show their worth when they start supporting the watchbill; although feed pump watch qualification is barely sufficient to get out of nub status.

Skills: Painting, taking out the trash, small valve maintenance, anything mundane
Known enemies: All qualified watchstanders
Leading cause of injury: doing anything other than getting qualified

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Check please?

You go to a restaurant. The food is terrible, the service is worse, and the place is filthy. You vow to never go there again.

For some reason, some of the people at the restaurant think the opposite. They ignore the dirty spoons, the cockroaches, and the horrible food. They actually seem to *enjoy* it. In fact, they keep coming back over and over and over again to this crappy, terrible restaurant. They even go so far as to claim, "There aren't any other good restaurants out there - this is the best one."

For most of us, our time 'in' was like this restaurant. For the lifers, it's the best damned eating establishment they can ever imagine.

The best thing to say?

"Check, please!"