Monday, November 30, 2009

yesterday was busy

today will be busier.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Well, I'm getting short. Trip almost over

Time to start cleaning stuff up for the oncoming crew.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tiger Woods car crash

I don't like to see anyone have an accident.

Tiger Woods had one.

Thankfully, he didn't get hurt.

Big deal. Now I wish the media would get over it.
Dealings with an idiot.

Got the OK to go shopping, which was good as it's the time of year to go to the Army/Navy store for a helmet liner. They're great for keeping warm when it's cold and windy.

Got to the store, got my goods and left to return to work.


So I am driving down a side road and come to an intersection. I slow down and right in front of me, some idiot starts to J-walk, so I stop. I can actually live with this.

The idiot spots me and gives me the official startled deer look, and I wave him across. He jumps back onto the curb, I wave again. Then the light turns, again I'm not too upset.

My window is down so I tell him to cross. He gives me a stupid look. Now I'm annoyed.

"You already cost me the light, either cross the street or go somewhere and do it now! If you wait until the light turns, I'll run you over just to get your stupid DNA off the planet!"

He goes across the street like a shot.

A cop I hadn't noticed and must have been leaning against the corner, came up to me. He actually looked somewhat amused.

"A it of road rage?" he asked. He was being a bit sarcastic.

"Not road rage, I just don't do stupid very well. Even though I had the light, I gave him the right of way. He dawdled and it cost me the light, which I could accept, but when he just stood there with a stupid look on his face, it just got me a little annoyed."

"I deal with stupid all day," said the cop.

"I'm sure you do. I wouldn't want your job for all the tea in China." I said. As I spoke the light turned.

"The light changed," said the cop. "Have a good day."

Not bad for dealing with a Philly cop.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy leftover day

Yup. I don't call it Black Friday, I call the day after Thanksgiving 'Leftover Day", as almost the entire nation will have something made out of turkey to eat today.

Turkey sandwiches, turkey ala king, turkey tetrazini, turkey pie, turkey soup, turkey SOMETHING!

Mothers and wives will strain their brains for new and exciting recipes for leftover turkey.

It isn't as bad as all that, though.

Just think of what it was in cave man times when the man of the house would bring home a brontosaraus!

Any woman that could come up with enough recipes to feed her family an entire brontosaurus without of having the family tired of it was a pretty damned good housewife.

One more thing to be grateful for.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

At sea, cooking turkey.

Thanksgiving is a favorite of mine and that is all I have to say about that.
The dishes are done, everything is put away, we're tying up in an hour to discharge, everything is fine.

I'm grateful I have a decent crew to share the day with.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The toaster

Some guy on an internet forum asked where he could get a decent toaster. Seems he was getting tired of replacing his every year or 2.

Makes sense. Buy one good one and call it a day. I'm always interested in doing the intelligent thing.

Then someone pointed out that the top shelf one would run about $400.

Looks like when the one I have now craps out, it's off to WallyWorld for another $20 cheapie.

Do the math.

Sort of sad, isn't it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

To the bulk of the gay community:Go in peace

Yesterdays blog was about the Boy Scout, who have been hammered by the gay issue.

You can read about what Isaid about it if you want. It's there.

I'm fairly sure that there are one hell of a lot more gays running around than meet the eye, which is fine by me. I really don't care one way or the other. I understand that a lot of the gay community has issue with those members that want to make a ballyhoo about their sexuality. Most of the gays probably simply want to be left along to their own private business.

As a straight male, I pretty much feel the same way. I just want to be left alone to try and patch things up at home and live life to the best of my ability with as little bullshit and other fanfare as possible.

Like most of you, my private life and my relationships are pretty much my own business and I don't really discuss things with anybody. Like most of you, I try and avoid those that make a big to do about their sexuality, either gay or straight. It's simply none of my business, and I'm glad you don'y try and make it my business. Still, I wish you'd try police your ranks a little better.

To the majority of the gay community that silently live their lives as they see fit and cause no harm to anyone, I salute you.

Go in peace.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Boy Scouts

I got curious and decided to see how my old Boy Scout troop was doing and it seemed they disappeared off the face of the earth. The Troop has disappeared.

I wonder why, after all, I'd been in the old neighborhood recently and there certainly seemed to be enough kids in the age group

I ran it by one of the guys and he metioned that a lot of Scout troops had lost their sponsership when the Scouts took a stand over the Gay issue a few years back. I remebered that, but the sponser of the troop had been a church and churches are pretty conservative about such things for the most part.

I pulled the website the church runs and saw there was a woman pastor and more often than not it's an indication that the church is taking a liberal leaning.

I'll just bet you that the old Boy Scout troop bit th dust because the church yanked their sponsership. I may be wrong, but it's a guess, and probably a pretty good one.

I have nothing against most of the Gay community and I'll post about this later.

What I want to know is why the issue came up in the first place. The organization isn't called the Boy scouts because it caters to forty year old men. It caters to boys.

The gay issue shouldn't have even come up. We're talking about an organization of children, of which most of the membership hasn't even had their testicles descend yet.

But somebody came along and decided to make a name for themselves at the expense of an organization that has done little but good to the youth of not only the community, but the nation, and indeed, even the world.

The part that irks me most is that the issue even arose.

Some jerk decided to make a name for himself, and some attorney decided to make a name, too.

If the associaton of Eagle Scouts informally decided to change the names of the plaintiff and his attorney from the names their mothers gave them to Matching Blood Clots on the Sidewalk, I wouldn't have any problem with that whatsoever.

In fact, it they did this, got caught and had the fortune to have me on the jury they'd have walked off scot free. I would have hung the jury and deadlocked it hopelessly, creating a mistrial.

What? Letting vicious people like that off scot free?

You're damned right. Enough is enough.

I'm simply getting tired of whiners that will destroy things to make some kind of a bullshit statement.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nyeah! That's not fair! Nyeah!

There's a school in Pennsylvania called Lincoln.

The powers that be there looked at the student body and decided that too many students there just plain too damned fat. They decided to add a small, 1 credit phys ed requirement to those that were toting around too much lard on their bodies. It is supposed to apply to incoming freshmen who they feel are over weight and the course can be waived either by proving ones self on the sports field or by losing the weight.

I doesn't sound too unreasonable to me.

A school has it down there in the curriculum. It's there for all to see. Students are forewarned and anyone unwilling to conform has a choice to make; either conform or go elsewhere. Fair enough.

This news started a real 7 page long pissing match on an internet forum I'm on sometimes. People quoted the Americans with disabilities act(ADA) and started in on how it isn't fair and on and on.

Guess what? Simply being fat isn't covered by the ADA.

The 'I have my rights' set chimed in and I took the side of Lincoln.

The solution is plain and simple. If you want to graduate from Lincoln, meet the requirements laid out in the curriculum. It's plain and simple. If you don't want to meet the requirements Lincoln has laid out, simply go elsewhere.

Schools have standards and in this day of diploma mills and dumbing things down it's a blast of fresh air to see a school take a stand and make getting a degree a little more challenging, even if it is only with a small physical ed requirement.

Frankly, I wish every single school out there that recieves any federal money should have to have a phys ed requirement, modifiable or waiverable for those with bona fide disabilities.

It would be in the interest of the general public.

After all, we have to look at these people on a daily basis.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another day on anchor

Which sucks because of lack of activity. It gets boring as hell.

I just arose and most, but not all of the maintainence is caught up. Time to get with the paperwork. The printer is down, so I'll have to use the one on the tug.

Might as well start.


We chipped away at some of those 'when we get around to it' things that really don't need doing, but are nice to do. All in all a good day.
Tonight we're having Spaghetti. Real spaghetti.

NOT linguini, NOT pasta, Not Fetticini, but good old fashioned REAL SPAGHETTI

Friday, November 20, 2009

Matchmakers are a PITA

Mrs Pic lives in one place, I live in another. This works for us and it's going to stay that way for a while. Period.
Let it go.

Enter the matchmaker. The nebby old woman that INSISTS that she has just the woman for me. The one that's had a few problems with men, but just needs the right one, meaning, of course, that she's been divorced 8 times. Then there's the one that was on TV recently. Yeah, The one that beat the shit out of her pimp on the Jerry Springer show a while back.

Then there's the one getting out of rehab for the 5th time, the one that's a great cook and weighs 600 pounds and the one thatneeds a little help with her 9 kids... you get the idea.

I don't WANT another woman, I'm married to Mrs Pic, even though she lives somewhere else.

Granted, I have a pulse and would probably look twice at some 50 year old retired Vegas showgirl hottie that owns a liquor store. I'd look.

But I simply want to be left alone.

I went so far as to take an ad out on Craigslist pleading my case. I wanted to find a woman in the same shoes that would park her car in my driveway 2 nights a week, and I would do the same for her. "Don't care what you look like, how old you are, nothing. In fact, I don't even want to MEET you, or even know what you look like."

I was astonished to find my inbox STUFFED inside of a few hours.

I didn't have anyone park in the driveway, though. I didn't want to embarrass Mrs Pic, but for a while I parked my car in one of the respondent's driveway a few times. She would leave me things like beer or home made food in return. After a while, she found a co worker that needed a place to park on weekends, so that ended that.

Now, womwn have the same problem, maybe worse so." He's a really nice guy. He really didn't mean to set that stripper on fire and stab her 32 times. He was just coked up at the time. Besides, she had it coming. She gave him an incurable STD, but I KNOW you'd be the perfect couple!"

I was considering returning to Craigslist to find someone to drive past the old bag's place with me in the Miata, and I really didn't care who just as long as she would look good enough to get the nebshit off my back.

Age unimportant. Actually even sex was unimportant. A passable cross dresser or tranny dolled up would have been just fine. I just wanted the nebby old bag to see me with someone female so she'd quit the game.

I mentioned his to a neighbor, and she told me that she might be able to help out.


Saturday, her 22 year old daughter saw me in the front yard. She was in her car, going somewhere.

"Mom told me," she said. "Want to take me for a ride with the top down?"

I looked at her thoughtfully. "She'd recognize you."

"No, she won't. I'll be a blond."

I handed her some cash. "Get what you need."

A couple hours later there was a knock on the door, and there was Didi, a blond with big eyelashes and an amply filled out low necked sweater. We got into the Miata and drove off.

We got lucky.Shirley was in her yard and saw us as we drove by.

We went home and I dropped her off. A problem. Her mother had forgotten to tell her father, who demanded an explaination as to what the hell was going on. Her mother came out and got us both off the hook.

He looked somewhat dubious. so I looked at him and indignantly told him, "It took me a lot of money to make your daughter look this cheap!"

The mother, who was drinking coffee snarfed, obviously amused, Didi laughed outright and the red-faced father recovered.


The nebby old matchmaker left me alone

Mrs Pic got wind of this little stunt and confronted me.

I told her everything and found out that SHE was having the SAME problem with the SAME nebshit woman!

Mrs Pic had thought of having a male coworker that owned a convertible do the same damned thing.

The following weekend, Mrs Pic came by and we drove past the nebby old bags house wearing Didi's wig.

Half an hour later, I was in a suit and tie seen in Mrs Pic's car.

Mrs Pic reported to me that everything is now all right.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Columbus was lost.

A while ago, then mayor of Philly and now governor of PA Rendell renamed Delaware Avenue. It is now Colombus Boulevard.

When it was renamed, Rendell made a big ballyhoo about it about what a great guy Colombus was and so on.

Of course, this clown Rendell is the same buffoon that came out during a gigantic snowstorm that paralyzed the state to compliment a group of people that dug out a couple of streets with a big to do about how 'this is the real Philly', yada yada yada. Rendell was seen on TV with a bunch of the people that dug out the several block area.

According to a shipmate of mine sitting next to me when we watched him on the news, Rendell was complimenting local crack dealers, who financed the shovel-out because they were losing a fortune in drug sales.

This is what I would expect of a political hack that would rename Delaware Avenue after a murderer and piss poor navigator like Christopher Colombus. Colombus killed a lot of Natives with smallpox infected blankets and enslaved a lot more of them. It's also claimed that he discovered America, even though there had been people here for thousands of years before he arrived.

Several years ago a group of Native Americans landed in Genoa airport on Thanksgiving day and claimed to have discovered Italy. Their claim has just about as much validity as the claim that Colombus discovered America.

Truth is, Colombus was lost.

He thought he was in India.

It's the reason out Native Americans are called 'Indians'.

Our Native Americans are not Indians by a long shot, but they are called that because that boob Colombus didn't have clue one as to where he was.

I sometimes wonder what would have happened if, say, he thought he was in Manila.

Our culture would be different as far as Hollywood is concerned. In Western movies where the wagon train is attacked by Native Americans, we would probably hear the wagonmaster shout something like this:

"Filipinos! Draw the wagon up into a circle!"

I've told this to a number of Indians, most of which have been mildly amused. I've also told this to a number of Filipinos that laugh outright. The Native Americans I've told this to roll their eyes and agree. One Native American asked me what would have happened if Colombus thought he had arrived in Helsinki. Would our children be playing cowboys and Swedes?

We both laughed like hell when I called him sunburned Swede.

There are quite a number of Indians that have moved to this country and most of them seem pretty industrious. The Indian-owned convenience store jokes are no longer the joke they were a few years ago, they are a simple part of the landscape. I've asked a number of them why so many of them why convenience stores are so popular with Indian immigrants and they have mostly explained that being a small business owner is the American Dream.

Fair enough. Nothing wrong with that.

What is interesting is that many of the convenience store owners are engineer types that in addition to working a full time job, they own and run a store, to boot. Tht's a lot of work because you really have to keep an eye on things when you own a small business.

Although the stereotyped Indian runs a 7-11, there are quite a number of Indian born professionals here that go unnoticed. I can honestly say that an Indian doctor has saved my life, and another one saved my eye.

More than once, I have wryly commented that ever since I got scalped at the Little Big Horn, the Indians I've met since have been working their asses off to make up for it.

The doc that saved my eye picked up on it pretty quickly when I deadpanned him with that line. It took him a second, my deadpan humor takes a second or two to pick up on. He smirked, we shook hands warmly and I thanked him again.

I said it during my recent colonoscopy and I hope the doc picked up on my wry humor. He's the one that saved my life.

I owe him big time.

This continent got it's name from another Italian explorer named Amerigo Vespucci.

They feminized his name and we became 'America'.

I wonder how close we eally came to singing 'God Bless Vespucciland'?

It fits, and has a pretty nice ring to it, so it wouldn't have been too bad.
Why don't crematoriums give discounts to burn victims?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

keys and plastic

Keys and plastic are both a pain in the ass.

Keys accumulate, and most of them are not really needed too often.

I've watched a number of people in parking lots and places like that and they whip out these huge rings of keys that make me wonder if they are not the warden of Alcatraz out shopping. It's crazy.

I just cleaned my key ring out and actually have three different rings.

The mata ring has an ignition, trunk, house and garage key on it. Period.

The Pickup ring is similar in simplicity.

Then there is the other ring that has all of those other keys that you have to have, but are seldom used. That ring is kept in the gun safe

When I decide to take the Miata, I snag the Miata ring, same for the pickup.

If need to get into the footlocker, display case, whatever, I simply open the gun safe, pull out the ring, use the appropriate key and return the ring to the safe. It's as simple as that.

I've been doing this for well over a year and I'm astonished how easy it has made my life not carrying a huge pile of metal with me everywhere I go.

Plastic is a little more indidious with the advent of the 'supermarket / discount store clubs' tjhat have popped up over the decade and I really haven't found a simple solution to it.

Look at how fast the plastic fills up.

I recently culled my wallet and found almost a solid inch of plastic, most of it seldom used.

First there's the VISA/Mastercard and a couple of other cards such as driver's licenses or professional type cards. Most of those are needed frequently, or at least HAVE to be carried. They are keepers.

The rest of them are a pain in the ass. There's the Starbucks gift card, the supermarket, discount club, the free gas cards, and the entire menagerie of plastic that life has issued us. Most of these are litte more than adding to the crap we carry.

Quick fix.

I bought a punch at Staples and a 2-foot dogtag chain at GI Joe's surplus. I punched a hole in these cards, strung them on the chain and hung the entire thing on the board I hang my keys on when not in use.

If I'm going shopping, I grab the entire thing and put it in my shirt pocket and when I get home, I return it to the key hook.

It sure beats carrying a 2 inch thick wallet around.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jump-off day

And even though it's about 0830, I do not have my grub money which is supposed to have been here yesterday.

It's annoying.

It's later. I am good to go.
I looked at the Miata today and then thought of the MGB I bought for $200 back in '69.

I paid $1200 for the Miata last Christmas and it's been a lot of fun AND a pretty good runabout. It's 10 times the car the MG was. The MG was primitive, with a push-rod engine, SU carburators, leaf springs and lever-arm shocks. The Miata has a double overhead cam, fuel injected engine and struts under her. I replaced the shocks with Bilsteins and the Miata is about 6 times the roadholder the MG was.

The cost of putting a kid through school is astronomical these days.
In the sixties, a kid needed a couple of pencils and a notebook, in the 80s they needed a calculator and now a kid goes off to school with a damned laptop. Incredible!

Still, it's damned expensive.
Many years ago, I ran my life with a flight jacket.

What? A flight jacket?

Yup, a leather navy flight jacket with two patch pockets on the outside and an inside pocket with a snap.

If I owed you money, it was on a notebook in the right pocket. Accounts payable, so to speak.

The left pocket was accounts recieveable. Whoever owed me sheckels had it noted in a small notebook in the left pocket.

The inside pocket held cash, but was empty unless the right pocket said I owed nobody. Bills got paid first.

It worked for me.
There are 2 pieces I want to write from the boat.

Paying the bar bill and a rant about matchmakers. I also ought to write about KEYS, which I hate with a passion. I just asked 2 people at random about their keys and they look like they are ready to become wardens at Alcatraz.

Plastic is the same way.

We'll see if I can get to a computer tomorrow. My relief called me and told me the laptop an shipboard is FUBAR.
It's 1030 and I'm on thje road in a few seconds.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Field day notes

Let's see what happens today.

Grub shopped. Managed to get a couple of boxes to box the stuff up, which is a good deal. Now cleaning starts.

Mrs Pic showed up after work and wanted to learn how to start the chain saw which didn't happen as she is not too good with mechanical things, still I tried. The chain saw works well, but like all of them you have to have mechanical sense to know when to do what to get them started.

Then the business of the house started and I raised cain for the millionth time that crap like that was NOT going to be taken care of at the last minute and that is just the way it is.

To keep the peace, I made a list of things to do and when and IF I decide to do things on the list I will. Looking at the list, it's really stuff I WILL do. Problem?


There is only one excuse for procrastination and that is that you don't want the thing to get done, ever.

All in all, this wasn't too bad except she didn't get my grub cashed, which really is OK because I put the grub I'm taking with me on plastic and I'll just pick up the portion of the money I didn't spend because I'll snag last minute stuff in Philly. I don't have to leave early so there's no real snag in getting out of here.

The house is ready to go except for the stuff that has to be done at the last minute, for example the morning coffee and breakfast dishes.

My relief called and gave me the 'heads up' so I at least have some idea of what to expect.

I'm pretty much ready to go.
The place to get grub is Wally World. I have it down to a science.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

there will be a fight tomorrow

Tomorrow is what the Marines call a 'field day', meaning that the house gets cleaned up so I can leave for work on Tuesday and go aboard Wednesday.

In her book of rules and regulations there is a rule that says Field days are to be interrupted for something, ANYTHING!And, as usual, I will say no, and there will be a fight.

It has been this way since I have been going to sea and it has yet to happen smoothly. There is always some damned excuse to keep things from happening.Some people do not understand absolutes and think that THEY are the exception to EVERYTHING.

Guess what? It don't work like that.

In this business, you are supposed to be in the appointed place at the appointed time in the appointed uniform.

There are, however, 2 acceptable excuses. The first is that you are dead. Death is an acceptable excuse. The second acceptable excuse is that you have fallen down a 300 foot mine shaft. A 299 foot, 11 and 63/64ths inch deep one won't cut it. It has to be at LEAST 300 feet deep.

Time, tides, and ships wait for no man.

Yet, every single time Mrs Piccolo will try delay shipping for me, coming up with the same tired excuses.

Just once I'd like to be left alone for my field day, and get underway with no damned stress.

Just once.

Then again, I'd like to win the lottery.

Just once.
Worked like a cooley in the wayback. Boots and utes.

When it was over, Neighbor Bob, by earlier agreement was to come down back with his 4x4 and pull the chipper/shredder up for me.

Mrs Pic told me to haul the chain saw, pole saw, etc up the hill/

Why not just throw them in with the chipper/shredder? I asked.

She called me lazy and hauled all of that crap up the hill herself.

I may be lazy, but I am NOT stupid.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Yesterdays post For 13 NOV

I FUBAR'd and put it on the other blog by mistake

The entire nurse Corps freaked today when I commented that I was seeing Doc Kytsap again.I said that that 'damned Indian has checked up on me and saved my life three times since his ancestors scalped me at the Little Big Horn'. God! The nurse corps went nuts on the politically correct crap.Doc Kytsap blushed, grinned and shook his head.Gotta love him.He literally HAS saved my life.

Today, 14 Nov 09's post Follow the yellow brick road

The Wizard of Oz was on last night, so I watched it as I generally do.Now for the next 2 weeks I'll be singing the songs and doing Cowardly Lion imitations.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's amazing how I recover from things. After they put me out for my colonoscopy yeaterday, I was up, thirsty as hell and as hungry as a bear within minutes.I felt pretty bloated, but a huge salad and a Whopper chased that feeling away fast.An hour or 2 afteer I got home, I felt 100%. I didn't even want a nap like I did the first time,Amazing.
I like Indian doctors. I always cheerfully point out that ever since they scalped me at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, they've been making up for it by taking excellent care of me. I owe one Indian Doc my life and another one my eye.I said this Little Big Horn line yesterday to Doc R, who grinned. He hears it every year. It was a Public Relations weenie that went off on me. I told her to feel free to use the piece of mistletoe that I had attached to my shirt tail.When I said that, it took Doc a second or two, but when he caught it he laughed like hell. When the PR weenie caught it a second after the Doc did, she turned purple.

When I checked in early, I said to the nurse "Let's git 'er done" and she got a little pissy. She took it wrong and said something snappish.I glared right back. "It's captain," I shot back, "and according to my watch I don't have time to waste with a bunch of crap. The faster I'm in, the faster I'm out, the faster you guys get paid. I overheard you have a last minute cancelation, and I'll take it. I was scheduled for noon so that way some of your people might get a chance to eat on time."I was home ten minutes after my appointment was scheduled to start. Pretty neat.
All in all a success.
Today's plan?Boots and utes. Backyard commando.
Neighbor Bob needed a hand because he and his brothers and sister are helping their mom move to a retirement home. It's brutal in a way, but the truth is that in a month or 2 Bob's mom will start wondering why she accumulated all of that crap in the first place. Helped out until 1400.

Then came the hassle.

Mrs Pic called to work on the way back yard. What a circus that was, it didn't last long until i went to the basement and fixed the dryer and came out and pole-sawed a few limbs.

I would do what she wants, but do NOT have a clue as she thinks I can read minds. I can't.

Waving a hand like Vanna White means nothing to me, neither does something like 'Blue, but not too blue, with not too much yellow or green. I want just the right color."

Try making it easy for me. Try something like "Behr, shade 126, trunnion blue, semi gloss."

It reminds me of one of those psychics you see on TV. "Psychic Hotline, what can we do for you?"

One of these days I'm going to call psychic hotline. If they answer with "Yeah, Piccolo, you are not going to win the lottery this week with the number you picked and Bob's wife will get mad if you get him plastered Saturday night," I'll cheerfully pay them their $14.95.

I am not a psychic. Mrs Piccolo has to make it easy for me.
There was some slash to burn and Mrs Pic asked me not to light it up until she left. She left, I lit it off and Lo and Behold she doubled back to surprise me just as the flames leapt skyward. A couple neighbors dropped by, attracted by the flames and Mrs Pic stood and watched from a distance, with a hedge between her and everybody else. On the outside looking in. It was sad. She had a lot of envy over the easygoing way I have with the neighborhood.

truth is, I've earned it and will continue to do so. I take kids to school, fix things in the neighborhood and help out where I can and accept help when I need it.

Mrs Pic seems to be too one way to be a part of this. It's sad. She never seems to get it and blames me for poisoning her with the neighbors when the truth is that she has simply poisoned herself.

It doesn't take much, as a simple cold drink in July for the trash guys or a cup of coffee for the meter guy is all it takes. Being able to help a neighbor when he needs it also pays.

Last month I posted that sometimes when you cast your bread on the water the ducks eat it and swim off, but generally you get back poached eggs on toast.

It's true.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy birthday to me

I have outlived my father, a somber thought.
Not a day of celebration, because I am prepping for a colonoscopy, which means a day of the screamers. Yuk.
I'm 58, a miracle as there were times that gambling on me seeing 25 was a bad bet.

gotta go!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day.

Which I celebrate with biscuits and gravy and 2 eggs for breakfast.

Oddly enough, I not once ate GI SOS the whole time I was in. They made it out of cheap hamburger and it reviled me. My nose rejected it.

I remember sneaking off and eating Cs to avoid it.

It was when I got out and started fishing and someone made it out of pork sausage that I first ate it. I love it now, but can't eat it too often or I'll blow up like a balloon.

Tomorrow: Purge for colonoscopy. Uggh!

Trash day eve.

Took out a trashed lawn mower and 2 trashed chain saws.

Now, there is fear and trepidation in this because Mrs Pic is constantly trying to save me from myself, and will rescue the things I put in the trash.

Generally it's one step forward, three steps back, but not this time.

The 'scrap guys' had the chain saws and lawn mower scarfed up about 45 minutes after I put them out. They got them before Mrs Pic got wind.

The 'scrap guys' have gotten a lot more competitive since the downturn of the economy.
Mrs Pic doesn't understand dealing with people like the trash guys.
Her attitude is the basic'They're getting paid for it' and that ends it. She carefully plays by the rules and makes sure she doesn't throw out anything prohibited by the official trash rules.

On the other hand, I treat the guys with a little courtesy and respect, and often schlep them cold drinks, coffee or something and offer them a few bucks for going above and beyond. As a result, I swear I could whack somebody and stuff them in a trash can and they'd just dump the body in the truck, no questions asked.

Getting people to make your life easier doesn't take a whole lot.

The funny part is that when I'm home, Mrs Pic gets all worked up when I put out something I'm not supposed to. What REALLY makes her blow a fuse is when they cart something off for me that they wouldn't haul off for her. It drives her up the wall.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One job creates another two

So Mrs Pic wanted the pipe removed in th backyard.

It WAS ugly, but it was the only outside electrical outlet for the back yard.

I ripped it out and that created a hole in the foundation that had to be patched AND I hd to replace the outlet.

Neither of these are major jobs, but they had to be done and took some time.

Now I have to help Neighbor Bob, and in return he will take me to my Dr's appointment Friday.

No time for boots and utes in the wayback yard.

Oh, well.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Another day of boots and utes

Busted my ass all day in the backyard and when it was over, Mrs Pic bitched. It wasn't enough.

Guess what?

I may as well catch hell for doing nothing as catch hell for busting my ass.

I am seriously considering dedicating the day to bourbon whiskey, as there is no point to catching hell for no reason. Might as well give someone something to bitch about.

Anyone that's raised kids will understand the mentality of how to deal with a squalling kid

"You want something to cry about? I'll give you something to cry about!"


Sunday, November 8, 2009

A day of boots and utes


Boots and utility pants.

Chipping and shredding in the back yard. Mrs Pic helped.

Second day running, more days to come.

I woke up at 0300 and couldn't get back to sleep. Made for a long day.

I now have enough firewood to heat a castle for ten years.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Don't get me started on stupid

I live with a cat.

A cat is a smart animal.

Better a cat than 95% of th human race.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Gay marriage is an oxymoron

If two homosexuals get married they will no longer be gay.

They will become miserable like the rest of us. It will not take long.

And that is what I have to say about that.
Had some yard work to do today. The chain saw crapped out on me and Mrs Pic thought w ought not get a new one,, which really isn't the way to go. They have them on sale this time of year. Oh, well.

Fixed the outside lights. I was astonished at how the low voltage bulbs burn out so fast. Weird.
Burned some of the slash from the limbs I hacked up. I ought to get a 55 gallon drum and let it rip, but someone would make an issue over it. Recreational fires are OK, slashh fires are not OK. Last time I had a slash fire, I brought out a pack of hot dogs. That's all it took to get the powers that be off my back. Is it stupid? It works, so it is not stupid.
Murphy was an optimist.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Just got in a few minutes ago.

Ate a bite, had a drink and I'm hitting the rack.

Ok, I'm up, went grub shopping, now I gotta fix the chipper and the chain saw for Saturady, as Mrs Pic had a bright idea, whic probably ain't gonna happen.

Oh, yeah, I gotta make up a batch of Hot Buttered Rum batter, as Neighbor Bob finished the last of mine off when he did Halloween for me.

Weather is good, CAVU and cold. I put my helmet, goggles, leather jacket ansd scarf on and took the Miata out for a little jaunt through the twisties. If I hadn't put Bilstein shock and beefed up the sway bar, I'd have probably lost it on one or two of the corners. I let it hang out a little too much and found out that the little car will drift pretty good if I care to. Ouch.

Old men should NOT drive through the twisties the way I did, but it sure helped pull me out of the mean funk I've been in since it set in about an hour or two before I got home last night.-

Thanks go to a woman I do not even know. I've been looking at too many just plain fat people and there was this woman I saw at Wally World that there was just something about. She wasn't hot or sexy, just simple and reasonably well put together and looked like she took care of herself.

I simply wanted to thank her for not being fat, but I kept my mouth shut.

I was looking for light bulbs, as Mrs Pic asked me to get some of a certain type.
As usual, it was a wild goose chase. When I realized that, I muttered that I should have stayed single. Some woman heard it and asked me why that was. Idiot.

So instead of being pissed off at her, I decided to be smooth--and downright dry. I smoothly told her that if I WAS single, I could ask her out.

She replied that perhaps if I DID ask her out that she might refuse.

I told her I was a patient man and if I WAS going to ask her out, I'd up the odds and would wait until the middle of January when we are waist deep in snow and then invite her to go to Jamaica with me.

She told me I don't play fair.

She's right, I don't.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

you don't do it alone

When I sailed a 25-foot sailboat, Karen Lee, from Port Townsend, Washington to Kodiak, Alaska back in 1985 a lot of people treated me like some sort of pioneer, which was bullshit.

The way a couple of people carried on, you’d have thought I was Vasco de Gama or Francis Drake.

Although I consider myself to be a swashbuckler of sorts, let’s not get all carried away.

All I did was to follow a common route taken by a lot of fishing boats. I went up the inside passage to Yakutat and crossed the Gulf of Alaska to Kodiak.

I had a lot of fun, of course. It was a very interesting experience and I immensely enjoyed myself, but my pal and I did not do it alone as is commonly thought. All we did was basically sail Karen Lee.

Most of the real work had been done before I even set foot on board her. My support group was immense.

About a jillion people had gotten up in the morning and gone to work doing a myriad of things that made my little voyage possible.

There were miners, manufacturers, boat builders, sail makers, grocers, electronic manufacturers, and a whole cartload of people that were either directly or indirectly involved in building Karen Lee. That’s just the people that built the boat.

Then there were guys in the Coast Guard manning the LORAN stations, the cartographers, the weathermen, the printers that printed the charts, and the list goes on and on, probably all the way back to Pythagoras, a long dead Greek that figured out how to solve the triangle, which is the basis of navigation. LORAN or GPS cannot work without triangulation.

Even my father sailed on the voyage with me in spirit because when I was doing poorly in math at school, he took it upon himself to make geometry interesting and practical for me by teaching me the basics of celestial navigation.

In short, two guys sailed a 24 foot, 7 inch sailboat from Port Townsend to Kodiak with a support group of probably well over a million different people by the time it’s all over and done with.

So in truth, I didn’t do it alone.

I’m at sea writing this, so there’s no alcohol out here, but when I get home, I’m going to pour myself a drink of good Jameson’s Irish whisky and have an enjoyable drink in honor of the countless people that made me look like a hero.

It's crew change day. I'm getting the hell off of here. First stop: the nearest friendly, local, neighborhood booze store for a bottle of Jameson's 12.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I flew a stearman last may. Here's the flight report

I’ve wanted to try and fly a Strearman for well over 40 years. It’s been a childhood dream. Finally I got the opportunity. It sure humbled me, and for the life of me, I will never figure out how my father soloed in one after a lousy 15 hours of dual time. As I write this, I had a thought; Dad was probably crammed into a Link Trainer for about a month or six. Still, I’m in awe.

The IP outright laughed when he saw me in my barnstormer outfit, and it reminded me of my father telling me that the first time he showed up on the flight line somewhat similarly clad that his IP had done the same thing. Dad wasn’t alone. Most student cloud hoppers did the same thing, and the IPs got a hoot out of it. The next day, humbled, they showed up in coveralls like everyone else.

I pointed it out to the IP that this was probably going to be a once in a lifetime shot, so I had decided to do it right. He grew somewhat serious and told me he saw my point.

I think I impressed him when I stuffed my scarf into my jacket and started buttoning things down. My camera went into a buttoned pocket, as did my bridgework, and everything else. I could easily afford to replace a smashed camera, but lives and museum quality airplanes are harder to replace. Inside the airplane are control cables and things of that nature and an unsecured camera or whatever could jam them if it wedged in somewhere.

Also, the thought of being strangled with my scarf by a pissed-off IP wasn’t too savory a thought, either.

The Cubs and Champs I’ve flown have nice, cozy cockpits with a comfortable layout. The cockpit of the Stearman is cavernous; it fools you until you climb in. When you climb in, you feel like a carrot being dropped into a washtub.

I’m fairly small, about 5’6”, and unlike the Cubs, where you basically strap on a lap belt, you pull on a full harness. When I did, I found that my feet barely reached the rudder pedals. It was uncomfortable. I also had to lean way forward to reach the stick. My guess for this crappy-for-me layout is that the average Aviation Cadet was wearing a whole bunch of crap, parachutes, survival gear and God knows what else. The gear would push you both up and forward.

On the Cubs, I always was able to nestle in cozily with both feet firmly on the pedals, and the stick between my knees where I could rest my forearm on my thigh to both rest and steady it. I was to soon find out how important that is.

The next thing you notice is that you can’t see a damned thing ahead of you. I wasn’t too surprised about this on the ground. Looking at the ship itself in the 3 point position you sort of figure that. It sort of made me wish I could perch the Seeing Eye Cat up on my shoulder, or do something.

The plane is taxied by weaving side to side so you can see where you’re going, and takeoffs are interesting, too. On takeoff, you pick out a reference line along the side of the runway to stay on the strip. This is pretty disconcerting, especially to a guy that is used to high winged monoplanes where you have a clear view of everything.

When the tail of the bird came up on takeoff, I still could not see out straight ahead. This is the first vehicle of any kind I can remember that has a blind spot from about ten-thirty to one-thirty. Scary!

Couple all of this with the fact that the front landing gear, the wheels are a little too close together and you now have an airplane that is one ground-looping son of a bitch to control on the ground. My IP later told me that there were two kinds of Stearman pilots: Those that had ground-looped and those that eventually would.

Unless we were in a nose down attitude, it was like this for the entire flight.

My IP had a more limited view than I did from the back seat.

For a professional seaman like myself, seeing a horizon is an important thing for keeping a sense of balance, and I managed to keep mine by looking off to one side or another. Of course, I did this by looking out at, say one-thirty, but I tried something. I looked straight ahead. It wasn’t too bad for me, but my imagination let me know that a newbie trainee could probably put himself into a nice case of vertigo if he wasn’t careful, and you have to remember that the Aviation Cadets of the time were often guys that came straight from the farm.

We got upstairs all right and climbed at a halfway decent rate, all things considered. The IP ran the length of the runway low, to build up airspeed and we converted it to climb. Stall speed on this ship is about 53 knots, we climbed at about 60. Cruising speed is well under 100. It’s a slow bird. The controls are a bit mushy, which is probably a good thing in a primary trainer. Newbies tend to over steer.

When we reached altitude, I tried my hand at figure 8s and was appalled. I felt I had forgotten everything, when in fact, I had simply forgotten only a lot. It was damned difficult keeping the ship coordinated. I knew right off the bat what the problem was. Not only was I trying to work the rudder pedals with my tippie-toes, I was operating the stick while leaning forward with no support from either a knee or a thigh to steady myself. I was all over the sky.

To you non-flyers, I’ll explain it. The stick serves to control two attitudes, pitch and roll. Side-to-side controls roll, fore and aft controls pitch. The problem I had was that while reaching out I was so uncomfortable and unsteady that I was pushing or pulling the stick a little diagonally. This meant that my turns were either climbing somewhat or diving. Keeping it level was a gold-plated bastard. Coupled with no horizon in front of me, it was difficult at best. I didn’t do as well as I had expected, to say the least.

The stall characteristics were interesting. We chopped power and she just hung there and dropped like a stone in attitude. All we had to do to resume flying was add power and everything resumed as normal. Of course, we could have simply pushed the nose down a little, but you get the general idea. All in all, aloft she was a pretty forgiving airplane.

Landing was interesting to say the least. As soon as we flared, we were pretty much blind again. At speed, it’s somewhat scary until you slow down to taxi speed. Then it’s back to weaving back and forth to see where you’re going all the way down the taxiway.

I asked why the Army and Navy used these easy to tear up airplanes as primary trainers, and was told that it was the available technology at the time. My knowledge of history says otherwise. Piper Aircraft was making the J-3 just before the war and I think that would have made a somewhat better trainer. They were available; it would have been a simple case of upping production. J-3s were used all throughout the war as observation and spotting planes.

I could see just what happened. The Stearman was a prewar item in the supply system and it was simply a case of increasing production. I also thing that amount higher-ups, there was a certain amount of ‘in my day’ thinking. IMO, the Stearman was obsolete at the time.

In addition to that, it was very labor intensive to maintain, repair and keep up, also the radial engine was pretty costly to fly at about 15 GPH of avgas. Incidentally, the engine is/was rated for 73 octane, unavailable today. Until a few years ago, they used to use 80/87, and even now that’s no longer made.

Truth is, the Aviation Cadets kept tearing these airplanes up left and right on landings and taxiing, and keeping them flying was a full-time job. The wings are wood, the fuselage is metal, a jigged up steel frame with aluminum stringers. Considering that the wings were probably the most often torn up part of the airplane because of ground loops, it probably took an army of carpenters to keep up with repairs. A J-3 wouldn’t have had these problems, and would have been a lot cheaper and easier to repair and operate.

I’m glad I got the romance of the open cockpit era out of my system, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. However, if I decide that I want to go upstairs again and seriously fly something, I think it would be a Cub, a Champ or something along these lines, or even a Cessna. I am still tempted to go up in the Stearman again, but under different terms. I’d want a parachute to sit on to lift me up some, and I’d have to find some way of pushing the seat forward, and/or wear platform shoes. Tippie-toes don’t cut it. Nor does having an unsteady stick hand sticking out.

FWIW, the IP had over 20,000 hours in the air when he got into the Stearman game and he told me that he took over ten hours dual and another ten or more hours before he was remotely comfortable with the airplane. I’ll go to my grave astonished that my father soloed in 15 hours dual instruction.
I call this practice in case an oversized gorilla climbs the Empire State Building.

Monday, November 2, 2009

saved on Halloween by Neighbor Bob.

Seems Halloween Neighbor Bob opened my garage up and set up shop there passing out Hot Buttered Rums for the grownups and candy for the kids. He really did this to watch for vandals. Gotta love good neighbors.

Claris didn't swhow up to piss and moan, so all was well.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

People that ruin things for everybody else suck.

Over the years I’ve been fortunate to be the recipient of quite a few freebies. I’ve been grateful and not abused them in any way because I don’t want to be the guy that ruins things for everyone else.

I really try, but try as I may, there’s always someone that will come along and abuse things and the freebie will go away.

About a decade ago, the company I used to work for used to put us up in a damned fine hotel and pay for meals, to boot.

Of course, that came to a screeching fucking halt when some idiot got drunk and tore up a room and the company got whaled for the damages. The company accepted that, but then a couple geniuses decided to invite every hooker, stumblebum and hanger-on to steak and lobster on the company’s tab.

Of course, they stopped putting us up there and started to give us rooms in some fleabag and made arrangements at a greasy spoon.

No wonder. I can’t blame them, but I’d have done things a little differently. I’d have simply fired the assholes, both to get rid of them and to set an example for the rest.

Part of this was stupidity and lack of foresight on the part of the hotel. They knew what was going on and instead of stopping the abuse; they opted for the quick buck and lost out in the long run.

The open bar at a seminar was a sight to behold. Some of these idiots that would drink cheap rotgut rye if they were buying if for themselves started sucking down sixty dollar shots like soda pop. Dinner was steak and lobster for every night we were there.

Of course, that went away.

My personal rule of thumb for when someone else is footing the bill to do what I’d do if I was paying for things myself. For example, I’ll order a Heineken because that’s what I drink at home, although I’m pretty likely to order a domestic beer instead so as not to be looked on as an abuser.

I’ll look at the menu and order the meat loaf if it looks good, simply because it’s what I’m in the mood for and it’s be what I would order if I was footing the bill.

As a rule, when the person footing the bill sees that you’re not abusing their generosity, they will continue to provide it.

It’s just common sense to realize that when it gets abused, it’s going to go away.

I wasn’t home this Halloween, but last year in addition to giving candy to the kids, I’d offer the parents a Hot Buttered Rum, from an old recipe I got from a retired pre WW2 Shanghai sailor of the Old School.

No. I will not tell you the recipe.

Many of the parents gratefully accepted the drink, many politely refused. This is supposed to be the way it is. If you want one, fine. If not, fine, too.

Enter Claris, who gave me a bunch of crap about setting a bad example for children, yada, yada, yada, and so on.

I simply told her that if she didn’t want an HBR, fine.

Another mother told Claris to shut the hell up and stop ruining things for everyone else. The discussion grew heated fast and I damned near had a catfight in the garage. Finally I threw Claris out and told her to stay off of my property permanently.

Simple solution.

Next Halloween I’m still going to serve HBRs if I’m home because I’ll be damned if I’m going to let one imbecile ruin a good thing.

Ever notice the women that gripe about people having fun are the type you wouldn't look twice at?

the pardon

A while ago someone on one of the docks I service came up to me and simply said, “You don’t know me, but I know you through my father, who you do know. I owe you big time.”

“Oh?” I asked.

“Yup. A couple of years ago, you and my dad were talking and I guess he mentioned how I had a criminal record. You told him to see if the governor would grant me a pardon. He did, and without it I would not have gotten to work here.”

It took me a while, but I remembered the conversation.

The guy I was talking to was a longshoreman I’d known a while and he was pretty upset over the fact that his kid was having a hard time finding decent work with a drug conviction behind him.

I asked the guy about the circumstances of the arrest and conviction. It seems like it was one of those deals where one guy in the group was carrying dope, and because the damned druggie wouldn’t stand up and cop to it that three guys went down for it.

I remember thinking a while and asking the longshoreman several questions pertinent to the bust.

It had happened several years ago, his kid had been on the straight and narrow since, and there really was no proof that the kid had actually been involved in the actual possession. According to the longshoreman, his kid was a pretty good kid that had just gotten caught up in one of those things.

I asked why he didn’t try and fight it in court and he explained that his attorney advised him simply to take the deal the state offered, since there was no jail time involved. He said that at the time they were just not thinking ahead.

I remember telling the longshoreman that the only way I could think of getting his record cleared up was to appeal to the governor for a pardon, if they did things like that in his state. I also told him it was a longshot.

A couple of months later, I ran into the longshoreman and he told me that they were putting in the paperwork for the pardon, even though he said it seemed like a waste of time. I didn’t see the longshoreman again, and heard he was retiring medically. I forgot all about it.

A couple of years later, I heard about it from the son when he came up to me.

You never know what life will bring you.

hope you had a happy Halloween.