What’s Your Point?

As I mentioned, I was a radio technician in the Marine Corps, and was a pot smoker as well. I received all of my training at the Marine Corps Communications/Electronics Schools at 29 Palms, CA. During the course of my advanced training, I had a couple of friends that I ran with from my class. I was a staff sergeant at the time and my two friends were sergeants. One was a white dude, the other black. We sort of fancied ourselves as a type of “3 musketeers” and spent much of our liberty time hanging out at the white guy’s house in base housing. He was the only one of us that was married at the time. Mostly we smoked pot and played backgammon. (Ace/Deuce style). There was some minor alcohol consumption but nothing substantial, we were stoners for the most part.

We had an instructor for our advanced theory class who was a retired Master Sergeant named Bill Stewart. This man was a living legend in fact. He taught advanced theory about the fundamentals of digital logic, particularly P/N junctions, which are the foundation of everything digital today. When teaching us about transistors, which at that time were basically two P/N junctions that when properly biased would produce remarkable results (“Limited ONLY by your imagination” was his battle cry). During the course of his instruction, we learned that if one was to “forward bias” the emitter/base junction of the transistor, it would reach a state known as “saturation”. This is how you basically “turn on” the transistor. Of course one must “reverse bias” the collector/base junction as well.  This is the most fundamental and basic thing about digital technology.

We also learned that depending on which type of P/N junction it was (silicone or germanium), the voltage drop across the E/B junction would be 0.7V for silicone, and 0.3 V for germanium. Of course our fascination was with the word “saturation”.  We took this and started referring to our smoking sessions as “copping a point” and thereby achieving “saturation”. So consequently thereafter we would inquire if anyone wanted to “cop a point” when it was time to smoke. It started out as “Cop a point 7” but eventually was reduced to “cop a point”.  I lost touch with the white guy right after school, but saw the black dude many times in the years after. I will never for get either of them.

Published by thecompanygunny

I am a 65 year old Marine Corps veteran who served during the Vietnam war all the way up to Desert Storm. I am currently single and not really looking for romance at this age. My last girlfriend pretty much ruined me for all other women before she passed away 7 years ago. I just want to share my views with those that are interested, and hopefully learn something along the way.

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