Happy Birthday Marine!

•To the Shores of Tripoli (1805)

•Fortitude (1812)

•From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli (1848)

•By Sea and by Land (1850’s)

•Semper Fidelis (1883)


Formal Colors of the USMC



•Forest Green


Official Marine Music

•The Marine Hymn (official song)

•Semper Fidelis (official march)

•The Marine Version of The Navy Hymn (official hymn)


Uniform Colors of the USMC

•1775 Green with white or buff facings

•1779 Green with red facings

•1798 Blue with scarlet facings

•1833 Green with white facings

•1840 Blue with scarlet trim,in force from 4 July 1840


Unusual Customs and Traditions of the Marine Corps

•Marines take the right of the line or head of the column when in formation with elements of the other sea services (i.e., the Navy and the Coast Guard, not to mention NOAA).

•All Marine posts have a bell, usually from a decommissioned ship of the Navy.

•In the US Navy, when “Abandon Ship” is ordered, the last person to leave the vessel before the captain is his Marines orderly.

•On a warship Marines do not man the rail.

•Whatever the regulations say, Marines do not use umbrellas.

•The Marine Hymn is the oldest official anthem of any U.S. military service.

•The Marines always stand at attention during the playing of the Marine Hymn.

•The Marine Corps March, “Semper Fidelis” by J.P. Sousa, is the only march authorized by Congress for a particular service.

•The “Mameluke” Sword, first adopted in 1826, is the weapon with the longest continual service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

•In the Marines, the phrase “I wish…” or “I desire…” uttered by a senior is considered an order.

•The crowns of Marine officer’s service caps are decorated with an embroidered quatre foil, a heritage of the days when such designs helped Marines in the rigging identify their officers on deck below.

•Since 1850 Marine sergeants have been the only NCOs in the U.S. Armed Forces to have the privilege of carrying swords on ceremonial occasions, a weapon of a pattern that makes it the second oldest weapon.

•Officers and NCOs of the Marine Corps wear scarlet piping on their trousers, said to honor the blood shed by the Marines who stormed Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City on 13 September 1847, and traditionally called the “Blood Stripe”.

•In combat Marines never leave behind wounded comrades, and attempt to recover their dead as well.


Three Traditional Names for the Marine Bulldog

•”Sergeant Jiggs”, used between WWI and the 30’s

•”Smedley”, used for the Corps’ bulldog from the 30’s to the 50’s

•”Chesty”, used for the Corps’ bulldog from the 50’s to the present


One Famous Marine Duck

•”Siwashi” accompanied the 2nd Marine Division into action on Tarawa,Saipan and Tinian, after which , she in the meantime becoming a mother was sent home to the US.


A Notable Comment about the 1st Marine Division

•”The 1st Marine Division is the most efficient and courageous combat unit I have ever seen or heard of”, MG Frank E. Lowe , US Army , 1950


Daily Ration Allowance in 1775, Continental Marines

•1 pd bread

•1 pd meat

•1 pd potatoes or turnips, or .5 pd pease

•.5 pt rum


Unusual Honors of the Marine Band

•The Marine Band is the oldest musical organization in the United States.

•Since 1869, the Marine Band has serenaded the CMC at his quarters on the morning of 1 January, after which they are invited in for hot buttered rum and breakfast.

•The Marine Band has played at every Presidential Inauguration since 1801, and is known as ” The President’s Own.”

Barstow-Calico KOA

Barstow Calico Koa

35250 Outer Hwy I 15 N
Yermo, CA 92398
(760) 254-2311

As we headed out on our first RV trip and making this the first KOA we have ever stopped at, it was a decent experience.  The park had good clean facilities.  The hookups were solid, and the playground was new.  It was easy to pull in and out of, and was far enough off the highway so noise was not an issue.

Valentine’s Day before the Saint

In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at the sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would then sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification.

The boys then sliced the goat’s hide into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood and took to the streets, gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goathide strips. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed being touched with the hides because it was believed the strips would make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would then each choose a name out of the urn and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage. Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day around 498 A.D. The Roman “lottery” system for romantic pairing was deemed un-Christian and outlawed.

What is Flag Day?

On June 14th, 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand, a 19 year old teacher at Stony Hill School, placed a 10 inch, 38- star flag in a bottle on his desk then assigned essays on the flag and its significance. This observance, commemorated Congresses adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777. This observance was also the beginning of Cigrand’s long years of fervent and devoted effort to bring about national recognition and observance of Flag Day. The crowning achievement of his life came at age fifty when President Wilson, on May 30, 1916, issued a proclamation calling for a nation wide observance of Flag Day. Then in 1949, President Truman signed an Act Of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day. On June 14th, 2004, the 108th U.S. Congress voted unanimously on H.R. 662 that Flag Day originated in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin.

Rib Eye Steak Marinade

  • 1 can of Coke
  • 1 tsp. instant minced garlic or 1 clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. grated ginger (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 sm. onion, chopped fine

Place steaks in a ziploc bag. Combine ingredients and pour over steaks. Cover and marinate at least 1 hour in the fridge.

Texas Brisket Sauce

Here’s the sauce that goes with the Brisket.  It is the most amazing sauce, you will compare every sauce to this one from now on.

  • 1 cup Ketchup
  • 2/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Stir together all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve over the brisket!  Enjoy! (makes about 1 cup)

Texas BBQ Beef Brisket

I only have a gas grill, although fathers day is coming and I would love to get my hands on this one. I made the most unbelievable Beef Brisket and Sauce, using only my gas grill and a wood box.  Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 – brisket (about 3lbs for this recipe, you can adjust accordingly)
  • Soaked wood chips
  • Texas Brisket Sauce (recipe forthcoming)

Stir together seasonings in a small bowl. Rub onto the top and sides of brisket. Place soaked chips (I usually soak them an hour beforehand) in a wood box or basket directly on the grill over high heat.  When chips begin to smoke place the brisket on the other side of the grill, indirect heat is key so you don’t char the outside of the meat.  I usually keep the temp at about 300, it keeps the smoke hot and doesn’t cook the meat too fast.

Cook for 2 hours turning it twice and adding more wood chips as necessary (keep the smoke coming).  Once it looks nice and brown (about 2 hours) move it to a metal pan and pour the beer into the pan, and drink the rest.  Return the meat (now in the pan) to the grill and cook over very low heat (200-250) for 2 more hours.  Let rest and then slice against the grain (but you already knew that!). Enjoy!

Homemade Ice Cream in 5 minutes

Forget endlessly cranking the handle of an ice-cream maker. After combining the ingredients, you can simply shake up the pouch of soft serve–and it’s done in just 5 minutes.


2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup salt (The bigger the granules, the better. Kosher or rock salt works best, but table salt is fine.)
Ice cubes (enough to fill each gallon-size bag about half full)
1 pint-size ziplock bag
1 gallon-size ziplock bag


Combine the sugar, milk, and vanilla extract in the pint-size bag and seal it tightly. Place the salt and ice in the gallon-size bag, then place the sealed smaller bag inside as well. Seal the larger bag. Now shake the bags until the mixture hardens (about 5 minutes). Feel the small bag to determine when it’s done. Take the smaller bag out of the larger one, add mix-ins, and eat the ice cream right out of the bag. Easy cleanup too!

What's a "Mape"?

I was recently at a birthday party in Dublin at Mape Memorial Park. I asked everyone “what’s a mape?” No one knew. After careful research I have figured it out. A “MAPE” IS A GREAT AMERICAN.

Commander John “Jack” Clement Mape USN, was Dublin’s first casualty of the Vietnam War. A 40-year old father of seven, Mape lived in Dublin and was stationed in Alameda. He was assigned to Squadron VA-52 of the USS TICONDEROGA in September 1965. As a Commander, Mape led the VA-52 on a mission over Hanoi. On that day, April 13, 1966, his plane was hit by a SAM missle. There were no survivors. Jack Mape was a true American hero, and one of Dublin’s finest.

I wish there were more Mapes in the world.