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Tale Tuesday: Canadians

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Yes, a new heading. Phil suggested that I try to write more so…

St. John's Frigate Image One
Photo Credit: Government of Canada

I lived in Virginia Beach for a year (July 2001 – July 2002) with my, then, Marine Corps husband. I don’t remember the exact date but, one evening, we happened to be wandering the streets of Norfolk, near Norfolk Harbor. We saw a neon sign in a window of a bar: O’Malley’s. The place was full of what appeared to be sailors but, they weren’t Americans. They were busy drinking and singing Irish drinking songs. The Marine and I did manage to find a couple of empty bar stools, way at the end of the bar, deep into the establishment. The Marine took the very last stool to my left and I tried to position myself into the remaining empty stool. It was a tight squeeze and I began to think to myself… “How in the hell am I going to get my big ass thru that narrow space to get onto that stool?” For the split-second pondering it took, the full-bearded gentleman to my right, turned to me and said “Do you not want to sit next to me for some reason? I know I look rough but…” I immediately jumped in to reassure him that, that was not the case and shared my “OMG, I won’t fit…” fears, out loud, right there in front of God and everybody. He threw his head back and roared. “Have a seat, my dear…and, have drink.” He turned out to be the COTB (Chief of the Boat) of the Canadian Frigate HMCS St. John’s, that was in Norfolk for degaussing. It was a fun evening and that COTB invited us to tour the ship the next day.

Emblem Image Two
Image Credit: Canadian Government

We arrived around 4:00pm and I noticed that a Canadian Frigate really stands out next to American Navy vessels. It’s an odd green color, next to the blue of the American ships and I was told that it doesn’t have any right angles on it. We boarded the ship and asked for the Chief. They retrieved him and he rolled out looking like he’d been on a three day drunk. He was clearly hung over. He called for a much younger seaman to give us the tour of the ship and joined us later.

One neat thing aboard a Canadian vessel is…the bar. They had a beautiful, stained wooden bar and, a full stock of beer and wine. They also had a few women on board, which I found odd, even though women were allowed on board American war ships, beginning in 1994. It was still a rare sight back then.

We were invited to stay for dinner. It was a simple meal for sailing men but, I’m pretty sure that, not many people can say that they dined with the entire crew of a Canadian Frigate…and not been a crew member. It was really cool. I wish I could remember the name of that COTB. He offered me a St. John’s sweatshirt and I declined because I didn’t have any money. I intended to return to the ship with money but, we never made it back. That would have been a cool souvenir.

HMCS St. John’s (Facebook)
HMCS St. John’s (FFH-340) (Military History Fandom)
HMCS St. John’s (Wikipedia)

TV Tuesday: The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy 2001

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Billy & Mandy IMDb Amazon Image
Image Credit: IMDb & Amazon

Twenty years ago, today, the animated series The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy or just Billy & Mandy premiered on the Cartoon Network. Created by Maxwell Atoms, the story line follows a ditzy, kind-hearted boy and, a sinister, cynical girl, that have the Grim Reaper as a personal slave after he lost a wager in a limbo match. They use the Reaper’s supernatural powers to visit the underworld and other weird locations for twisted adventures. They encounter creatures such as Dracula, the Wolfman and the Bogeyman.

Voice Credits:
Billy (Richard Steven Horvitz)
Mandy (Grey DeLisle Griffin)
Grim Reaper (Greg Eagles)
Irwin (Vanessa Marshall)
Harold (Richard Steven Horvitz)
Gladys (Jennifer Hale)
Dick (Phil LaMarr)
Grandmama (Phil LaMarr)
Mindy (Rachael MacFarlane)
Sperg (Greg Eagles)
Phil (Dee Bradley Baker)
Claire (Vanessa Marshall)
General Skarr (Armin Shimerman)
Pud’n (Jane Carr)
Hoss Delgado (Diedrich Bader)
Jeff the Spider (Maxwell Atoms)
Nergal (David Warner)
Nergal, Jr. (Debi Derryberry)
Bogeyman (Fred Willard)

Trivia Bits:
♦ The spooky droning gibberish played in the end credits in a creepy voice is Maxwell Atoms talking backwards, saying: “No, no. This is the end of the show. You’re watching it backwards!”
♦ Originally, Maxwell Atoms wanted Grim to speak in a “British” accent and had Jonathan Harris in mind to voice him. When Greg Eagles auditioned, and spoke in a Jamaican accent, he was impressed and had him retooled.
Tom Kenny was originally considered to voice Billy in the show, but he declined.