Thursday, September 29, 2016

Cheap Date (9/29/2016)

Thursday, September 29, 2016
We had an expiring Groupon to the USS Cod, that had to be used before the end of month, and a coupon for Stadium 3 Bar & Grille.
Kent took off early from work so that we could visit the USS Cod, which was also closing for the season tomorrow! It is one of the rare intact submarines, in that no door have been cut into it, or stairs added for tourists. You enter and leave as the sailors did!
The USS Cod submarine was commissioned in 1943 and was sent to the South Pacific in WWII;
it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986 
A Mark 14 steam-driven torpedo, which has the yellow head of a
training/practice torpedo; the color makes it easy to retrieve;
sitting on a Hanson Torpedo Truck that was built in 1945 by
the Hanson Clutch & Machinery Co. of Tiffin, OH;
this is the last known operating example of this vehicle
The Conning Tower scoreboard: the red sun
kill flag represents Japanese merchant ships
that were sunk, and the rising sun with rays
represents warships, while the hollow suns
represent ships that were only damaged;
the two tri-color flags are for Thailand ships
and the junk silhouette shows that
26 of them were sunk by the USS Cod
A peek into the entryway!
We entered by climbing down a narrow ladder
A welcome mat at one entry
The Forward Torpedo Room showing four torpedo tubes
Enlisted men actually preferred bunking with the torpedoes,
since it was cooler and quieter at the ends of the submarine
The head/toilet
Complex directions for using the toilet
The magazine rack in the head 
Next to the Forward Battery, where storage batteries are kept below decks. It is also the area of the officers' quarters.
Officers' shower
Junior Officers Quarters
Note the folding sink, in the closed position
The sink in the open position
The officers' mess/dining room
Only the captain had a private cabin, with a compass repeater
(non-magnetic compass) and depth gauge at the foot of the bed!
Early cupholders for drinking glasses next to the sink
Next, the Control Room:
There are dials, buttons, levers, turn handles galore
The large brass wheels control the bow/forward and stern/back fins
to change depth and control steepness of a dive
The Christmas Tree (red & green lights) shows
which valves and hatches are open; all valves
and hatches should be closed before diving!
Looking up into the conning tower to see
one (metal tube in center) of two periscopes
Radio Shack
Electric Cipher (coding) Machine
Next, the After Battery with more storage batteries below decks and the crew quarters.
The galley/kitchen
Crew mess/dining room and "library"
A typical menu for a week
Berthing area with bunks, 
"Laundry facilities"
Next, the Forward Engine and After Engine Rooms, with the Cod's four 16-cylinder diesel engines that were built in Cleveland, OH by the Cleveland Diesel Division of General Motors. The diesel engines are used to power generators that turn the submarine propellers when travelling on the surface. Underwater, the power comes from the  252 batteries.
There are also two distilling plants to purify salt water for use in the battery cells, as well as for cooking and drinking water, laundry and bathing.
The heat in the engine room is ideal for drying laundered clothing
More dials and buttons...
The Maneuvering Room:
Maneuvering Control Console, where
electricians control the source of power
(diesel engine-driven generator or battery)
and the speed of the submarine
Finally, the After Torpedo Room, with more torpedo tubes, torpedoes, and bunks.
A Momsen Lung provides enough oxygen to allow
the wearer to rise to the surface after escaping a
downed submarine; named for its US Navy captain inventor,
it was provided as a humanitarian gesture
in the 1930s to all countries using submarines
It doesn't look like there is much room for a person on this bunk,
but in reality it can be rolled out into the aisle when it is time to sleep
The USS Cod Battle Flag that also includes a cocktail glass marked
O-19 to remember their rescue of crew from the Dutch submarine O-19
and the subsequent thank-you party; the kangaroo represents their
home base in Perth, Australia
7-ton gun, a 5-inch, 25 caliber wet gun
that has a stainless steel liner in the barrel to resist corrosion
and could be submerged without harm to the gun
A type 8A search periscope,
removed from a 1950s-vintage submarine
A five-bladed, 2,080-lb. bronze submarine propeller
that is similar to the two four-bladed propellers used on the USS Cod
Afterwards we had dinner at the Stadium 3 sports bar in the Doubletree Hotel downtown.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Park Pointe Village (9/23-24/2016)

Friday, September 23, 2016
Up early for the eight-and-a-half hour-drive from New Smyrna Beach, FL to Rock Hill, SC. Here we were checking out another ACTS community, Park Pointe Village. It was established in 2000, and taken over by ACTS in 2005.
Since we arrived when the marketing staff would not be available, we were met by one of the residents, Boyd G, and his wife Sally. We were given a very informative tour, with the advantage of getting the official spiel and the perspective of a current resident.
This was the first gated ACTS community we had seen
First view of Park Pointe Village
A typical hallway
Club room; jigsaw puzzles in progress on the counter to the left
Billiards/game room
The dining room that serves lunch and dinner with table service
The "coffee shop" next to the mailroom has
beverages available 24/7
The library reading room (there is another room of books on shelves)
The community room
The chapel
Swimming pool
Fitness room
A large needlepoint tapestry done
by a former resident
Putting green
Picnic shelter
Gazebo on the pond with a quarter-mile walkway around it
One of the duplex villas
The original apartment wing has laundry facilities on each floor, and the two new wings have washers and dryers in each apartment. The newer apartments are quite large as ACTS has found that people have lots of furniture they want to keep!
For now Oakbridge assisted living apartments are in a wing of the main building, and Willowbrooke skilled nursing is in a separate building. Park Pointe Village is planning an expansion in the next few years, and the current Willowbrooke building will add several floors and will house both Oakbridge and Willowbrooke, plus independent living apartments. That building will then be connected to the main building.
We had dinner with Boyd and Sally, and another couple. We were shown two apartments (everyone has a balcony), including the apartment of our hosts. Boyd showed us their den, which has been turned into a model train layout!
Computerized HO model train layout! (KSS)
Rock Hill, SC is essentially a suburb of Charlotte, NC and the residents take advantage of all that Charlotte has to offer. Both a hospital and Winthrop University are about three miles away.
The closest major airport is Charlotte Douglas International/CLT, 27 miles away.

Saturday, September 24, 2016
We left early for an eight hour-drive from Rock Hill, SC to Washington, DC to have an "light" dinner at the Farmers Fishers Bakers Restaurant managed by Erich.
Eclectic interior of Farmers Fishers Bakers
A view towards the bar 
Erich was able to take his lunch with us.
Erich and Kent
Crunchy tuna sushi roll
[Deconstructed] Jambalaya
Gardener's Campari Pizza
Oh, I didn't take a photo of the two-tiered dessert plate brought out by the service manager, a complete surprise for all of us! With gigantic pieces of Butternut Cake, Sooze's Chocolate Cake, and Hummingbird Cake, accompanied by three scoops of ice cream: Peanut Butter Brickle, Vanilla Bean, and Grapefruit (?) Sorbet. There went the idea of a light dinner!
Sign at Washington Harbour
We continued to Erich's apartment to drop off much of our cargo, and spent the night. Back to Ohio on Sunday, September 25, 2016.