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Friday, December 6, 2013

Great Stuff: our last line of defense Of all the household chores and repairs I’ve had to face on my own in Dustin’s absences, the one that I still feared the most, until last week, was using Great Stuff Foam. You know, it’s that liquid in a spray can that expands to three-times its size to fill holes in walls. It looks like a can of hair spray, and it shakes like spray paint, but when the yellow liquid inside meets the air, it grows like a marshmallow about to burst in the microwave. Yes, I feared this even more than sewage flooding the basement or getting on the roof to chip away at ice dams. I think my fear came from watching my dad use Great Stuff when I was a kid. Maybe it was the way he always told me to “stand way back” while the foam was “growing.” Maybe it was the long list of warnings I saw on the back of the can. Or maybe it was seeing what happens to the outside of other peoples’ homes when they get overzealous with Great Stuff. More likely, however, I was afraid of Dow compa-

ny’s wonder filler because, in the past, cans often came with a set of gloves. Any product that has its own accompanying safety equipment — goggles, gloves,

ral gas last week. One of the dirty secrets of this popular conversion is that you are left with mice-sized holes in your basement walls afterward. For centuries humans have sealed their basements to keep critters out. Now, through the wonders of natural gas conversions, we’ve left holes in our fortress. The mice can hardly believe their good fortune. All these warm houses, once air-tight and impenetrable to them, now have one- to two-inch holes at ground level. We might as well put revolving doors and concierges outside. The gas company will fill the holes for you, but if the conversion takes nearly 12 hours, as it did for us, and the workers leave after sunset, it’s possible for them to overlook places that need to be filled. You will see them the next day, when you are taking laundry to the basement, and sunlight beams in like a flashlight through the foundation. If you’re like me, it will be a Saturday and the gas company will be closed for everything except emergencies. You’re going to need

Navy Wise

Sarah Smiley face mask — has to be dangerous. If the manufacturer doesn’t trust you enough to get your own equipment, if they have to supply if for you, then what business do I have using it in my basement? Spoiler: The can I used last week did not come with gloves, and I didn’t have any of my own. I used a plastic bag instead. I had gone many years without needing to use Great Stuff. Then we converted our heating system to natu-


Great Stuff. The people at Lowe’s were careful to explain the seriousness of Great Stuff to me. “A little goes a long way,” the man said. Then he repeated it like ten more times. “And use gloves,” he warned. When I got home and realized I didn’t have gloves, I asked Ford and his friend Noah to come into the basement with me for moral support. I didn’t want to face Great Stuff alone. Also, I wanted there to be witnesses if the foam swallowed me whole. As I stuck the can’s nozzle into the hole where our oil tank line used to be, Ford and Noah started mocking me: “Oh no! It’s the FOAM!” They hummed music from “Jaws.” Once the liquid started oozing out of the hole, however, they realized my fear: the foam grows. And grows. And grows. “Mom, you used way too much,” Ford yelled. “It’s dripping onto the floor,” Noah said. Heaps of Great Stuff billowed from the walls, and it was still oozing from the nozzle, too. It was on my hands and the toe of my shoe, and it was hardening fast.

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Dan Davidson and his daughter serve ice cream to sailors during a Thanksgiving meal for those assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.

Sailors get feast Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), and their families, shared a special meal to celebrate Thanksgiving in the ship’s homeport of Bremerton for the first time in two years. “What a fantastic experience it is celebrating this Thanksgiving meal with my family from home and my family aboard the ship,” said Capt. Mike Wettlaufer, Stennis’ commanding officer. “This was a well-deserved salute to our hard-working sailors and the families that support us through all that we do.” Several of Stennis’ senior officers volunteered to serve food to the sailors and their guests. “It’s great to be home and with my daughter who is serving meals with me,” said Cmdr. Dan Davidson. “Taking care of our sailors is important and it’s something we enjoy doing.”


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Stennis’ Food Service Division (S-2) spent more than 400 hours preparing the food and arrangements to ensure every guest had a first-class Thanksgiving meal. “Getting everything ready was a two-day process,” said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Ashley Darwin. “Not only did we prepare the food ahead of time, we also made sure the tables and dishes were properly set up for our guests.” The time spent to prepare was not unnoticed as sailors relaxed and enjoyed a holiday meal with friends and family members. “This meal was great,” said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Cody Eades. “It was more than I expected.” Stennis is currently undergoing a Docking Planned Incremental Availability maintenance period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility. For more news from USS John C. Stennis visit www. or


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Bremerton Patriot, December 06, 2013  

December 06, 2013 edition of the Bremerton Patriot