Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Noting Randy's interest, Doug Shaftoe squats alongside it to point out the features. "It's neutrally buoyant, so when we have it alongside like this, we have it in this foam cradle, which we will now take off." He begins jerking loose some quick release bungee cords, and molded segments of foam peel away from the ROV's hull. It drops lower in the water, nearly pulling the crewman over the side with it, and he lets go, keeping his arms extended so he can prevent it from bumping into them with each swell. "You'll notice there's no umbilical," Doug says. "Normally that is mandatory for an ROV. You need the umbilical for three reasons."

Randy grins, because he knows that Doug Shaftoe is about to enumerate the three reasons. Randy has spent almost no time around military people, but he is finding that he gets along with them surprisingly well. His favorite thing about them is their compulsive need to educate everyone around them, all the time. Randy does not need to know anything about the ROV, but Doug Shaftoe is going to give him a short course anyway. Randy supposes that when you are in a war, practical knowledge is a good thing to spread around.


I don't miss the Marines, much, but I do very much miss the culture of compulsive sharing. Out here in the civilian world sharing job-related knowledge is the exception, not the rule.  So much so that people act surprised when it happens.

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