January 20, 2005

My Turn In The Barrel

Filed under: — Chap @ 1:38 am

Thanks be to Captain Lex.

Here’s where the term comes from. (Not for the faint of heart; we’re sailors here and the only reason I’m not cursing is that typing takes too long.)

One day back in the age of sail a new man came aboard and was welcomed by his peers. Among the many comforts on the ship was a barrel, which had a hole that was useful for those who had certain…needs…not normally found aboard ship. The new man gladly employed this device and was happy it was there.

Until he was roughly awakened one night and stripped down.

“Why is this happening to me?”

“It’s your turn in the barrel, kid.”

Everyone gets their turn. My own turn in the barrel is happening now. A skill I was extraordinarily good at five years ago is currently kicking my tail. The method changed and I can’t unlearn the old way and get the new way down. If I don’t figure out how to get better at it, woe be unto me, and I. Hate. Being. Behind. Failure Bad.

Combine that monkey on the back with the “hubris removal” process of today’s schooling methods, and the unfortunate knowledge that I will never use most everything else they will teach me, makes things a little tough.

But a nice reminder of things from Neptunus Lex was uplifting. See his “night in the barrel” posts (I can’t get to his comments on this cell phone).

Thanks for mentoring, sir, and I’ll shoot for a three wire or at least not hitting the Fresnel lens on the next pass.

5 Responses to “My Turn In The Barrel”

  1. lex Says:

    Oh, hell. You’re welcome, anyway – and just like Condi Rice and that nice desk at State: You know you’ll get it – it’s all just a part of the harassment conga line, mixed in with the proctoscopic motivation check.

    For my own part, I’m just proud of anyone that can blog from a cell phone…

  2. Subsunk Says:


    RADM Jack Darby used to say “Press ON”. You’ll be able to conquer even this if you persevere. Remember all us old farts showing you young guys pictures of how the duty sucked in shipyard and saying even this shall pass. And Mush Morton taught us all to “stay with the bastard till he’s on the bottom.” So—-

    Press on.


  3. Curt Says:

    Hate? Strong words….but, I get s mile out of your minor discomfort. Think of it as an opportunity to stay current.

    Lex’s stuff was great!

  4. Tammi Says:

    Hang in there Chap. Not a doubt here that you’ll not only get it, but when that light finally goes on for you – you’ll be leading everyone else.

    Go Get ‘Em Dude.

  5. Michael Says:

    Chap—I was watching a clip of Rick Perry on Wolf Blitzer tonight. The fellas at Hot Air were poking fun at the fact he called Hot Air “Hot Gas”. ;) But what fought my attention was what he said about Newt Gingrich being on top: “It’s his turn in the barrel.” I ’bout busted a gut, and had to Google it to prove to my wife the origin of the phrase. And whatcha know—Chapomatic was fourth on Google for “Your turn in the barrel” ;) Well done sir!

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