Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Today I am busy as a beaver

so maybe later I will post.

Sorry about that, but the last time I checked making a paycheck took priority as I have to eat like everyone else and I am not eligible for welfare.

In fact, there are millions out there on welfare depending on me to work and pay taxes so they can sit on their asses and loaf.

my other blog is:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Post 900. More stupidity on the part of the media

I just read where some pregnant female reporter going into Israel got humiliated by what passes for security over there and I guess the Israeli government has apologized. I have little sympathy for her.

There is only one person that can go to Rome and have the Romans do what he does, and that is The Most Interesting Man in the World. Right now the Most Interesting Man in the World is busy now ice fishing at the North Pole and when he gets back to the States he has another beer commercial to make so he isn't going to Rome too soon.

Everyone else has to do what the Romans do when they go there.

This means you. Yeah, YOU!

The same holds true for Israel and just about everywhere you go. When you go there you play by their rules. The rules we play with in the United States end at our borders and the rules other places play by begin at their borders. It's as simple as that. If you do not want to play by their rules, stay home.

I get pretty fed up hearing stories of people that did something overseas and get thrown in prison or befall other fates because they break the rules of their host country. Over the years I have heard all sorts of stories about people that thought they were smarter than third world officials and wound up in foul dungeons of prisons or worse for doing stupid things like running drugs.

A few years ago an American kid got caned with a split bamboo whip for vandalizing cars in Singapore. He should have thought about that before he went out and vandalized someone's car. He wasn't in the States where he would get a $50 fine and have to sing Kum-Bye-Ya with a social worker. They play for keeps in Singapore.

It's pretty hard too buy a ham sandwich and a beer in Saudi Arabia and buying a cheeseburger in parts of India is hard to do. If you can't live without these simply stay home. It is as easy as that.

Israeli security has a reputation for being pretty tight. If you have a problem with that, stay home.

If something happens to you that humiliates you while going through security, that is just too damned bad. Don't come crying all over the place about what a victim you have become because I really am not going to listen to you. Save it for someone else. You are not a victim of the Israeli government. You are a victim of your own stupidity. You were warned and you didn't listen.

While we are at it why did she go overseas on assignment while she is pregnant, anyway? It sounds like she is soon to be one of those women that places her career ahead of the health and welfare of her children. While I do not feel sorry for her, I feel sorry for her unborn child.

my other blog is:

Monday, November 28, 2011

This picture made me laugh myself silly.

I figured that for today's post I would share it.

When I saw this picture I wound up snarfing coffee out my nose so I figure I got off light as having Jamison's come out your nose is just plain painful.

my other blog is:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I went into a smokeshop to grab a carton for a shipmate.

The guy behind the counter looked like he was born somewhere else so I asked him where he was from. Here's how the conversation went.

Me: Where you from? (Curiosity in my voice, not animosity)

Him: India.

Me: What part?

Him: New Delhi.

Me: Oh, yeah? What happened to Old Delhi?

Him: It's still there.

Me: I'lll be damned. There really is an Old Delhi? Where is it?

Him: Right next to New Delhi. They don't call it Old Delhi, though. They just call it Delhi.

He went on to explain that New Delhi grew up next to Delhi and that New Delhi had overshadowed Delhi.

When someone is from a 'New' anywhere I generally ask him/her where the old one is, and with very few exceptions they don't even have a clue. This guy was pretty cool.

I think this guy is related to the other guy that used to work there. The other guy was a hoot, too. I once asked him why he didn't have a wooden Indian outside the door and he replied that all he can seem to find are wooden statues of guys with feather headresses. He said that his boss had hired a woodcarver to make one with a turban.

It is good to meet a fellow sick puppy.

my other blog is:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I like people that move here and work at becoming an American

One of the things that makes me laugh is hearing an Asian that speaks like a local and has developed a regional American accent.

This isn't a sign of disrespect, on the contrary. I consider it a sure sign of assimilation and that the speaker has worked hard at learning the language.

I have heard Asians speak in Boston and New Jersey accents, but the one that made me grin the broadest was a guy about thirty that looked like he was born in Japan yet spoke with a West Texas drawl.

It just didn't seem to fit, yet it did fit, it fit him perfectly as the rest of his mannerisms were totally Texan.

I've also seem a number of immigrants hop on the Americanna wagon and get with the program of being an American. Some time ago I met an Indian born businessman that had located himself in Texas and had simply looked around, opened his eyes and gotten with the local program.

When I met him in Mobile, Alabama he was dressed like a stereotype Texan, hat, boots, western suit, big belt buckle and string tie. He looked like a well dressed Texas businessman. He was also drinking bourbon.(What else?)

I asked him about it and commented that he looked foreign born yet had adapted well. His answer made me pretty pleased to have him as a new fellow citizen.

Now if you are a regular reader you know my curiosity overcomes any shyness I might have and I am not too afraid to ask people questions. I asked him about his manner of dress when it seemed he was foreign born.

He looked at my face and immediately knew I was not trying to be insulting and explained to me that when he came to this country he came here to be an American and not a displaced Indian.

He had opened a business in Texas and embraced his new country and decided to leave his Indian heritage behind and adopt his new country. He simply became an American from Texas.

He also told me that he thinks he made the right move because he told me that he seems to have opened a few doors with his attitude. He reported that there were a number of the Good Old Boys that have accepted him and regularly give him their business because of his attitude. He's successful and I respect him for it.

I asked him if his wife had adapted and he grinned broadly and told me she dressed like June Cleaver around the house. I laughed outright. I'll bet his wife is a great hostess and compliments his business. Of course, I pictured a dusky skinned June Cleaver with a prayer dot, but I'd bet she fits right in.

I asked him if he still ate Indian dishes at home and he admitted that he did sometimes but had really learned to like Tex-Mex dishes and said that he figured it just added to his list of things that he liked to eat.

I gave him a good natured dig by asking him if he drove a powder blue Licncoln with big horns on the hood and little six-guns for door handles and he laughed outright.

"Fix it as cheap as you can, Son. We're trading this one in as soon as the ash tray gets filled!" he replied, and I laughed. Then he told me he did, in fact, own a pickup because it was handy for his business.

I like people like him and I'd just bet that the people he meets in Texas like him too because he is one of those people that adapted instead of trying to make everyone else around him adapt to him.

Texans think they are different, but they are not. Like everyone else they expect newcomers to do things the way they do and they do not like being pushed into doing things the way someone else from somewhere else does them.

I asked him why he chose to set up shop in Texas as opposed to somewhere else and the answer I got surprised me. He told me he wanted to raise his family where his children were expected to be polite.

Having met quite a number of young people from Texas, I'd say he got that one right.

my other blog is:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Naugas should of on the endangered species list

They ought to put Naugas on the international endangered species list

because if they did that,China would stop making naugahide boat shoes which would make my life a whole lot easier.

Some time ago I needed boat shoes and could not seem to find a pair that was made out of real leather. You know the kind. It is the kind Pamela Anderson and her little group of moonbats who go by the name of PETA raise holy hell about.

They advocate making shoes out of naugahide so that cows do not get killed to keep people fed and shod. Instead they want us to all eat tofu and wear naugahide shoes.

While I am not likely to refuse a decent steak dinner anywhere in the near future, I suppose that if they made a decent materiel for shoes I would probably wear shoes made out of it. Still, naugahide is not the answer. The stuff makes your feet stink so bad that the odor will knock a buzzard clean off of a gut wagon at 75 yards.

They're not ALL that awful bad IF you wear socks, which I really hate to do, but I will if I have to. What really IS bad is that no matter what you do, as soon as they get wet they stink. There is nothing you can do about it except to dry them out somewhere as far away from human habitation as possible.

At sea I dry them out in the generator room by hosing them down with Lysol and throwing them on top of the generator engine for about 6 hours or so.

Now it must be nice to be able to be in Pamela Anderson's shoes because I'd just bet she wears a pair of shoes a couple of times and tosses them out, but I happen to work for a living and I do not happen to have everyone and their cousin handing me things to wear so I can get my pitcher (Yes, PITCHER. I am literate. I can spell picture so shut the hell up. I'm writing this and you are not. This ain't Burger King. You are getting it MY way.) taken while wearing them.

I generally have to wear things until they wear out.

Betcha if Pamela and the Hollywood elites had to stuff their feet into stinky naugahide shoes daily they would change their tune. This sounds like more of the elites telling those peons like me how to live.

Ever notice how theynever seem to offer to foot the bill?

Still, it isn't fair to my crew to subject them to the foul aroma that comes out of a pair of naugahide shoes and even if I put my foot down as captain I had better keep my cutlass handy or I will wind up in an open boat like Captain Bligh. Truth is, the mutineers would not get a guilty verdict if they brought one of my shoes into court with them, and I am not foolish enough to press charges and make a fool out of myself.

Now there is hope for my crew, though. I have just spotted a hole in the sole of my shoe and they are ready to be junked, much my releif and the relief of my crew. I'll have to search all over hell for something better. Maybe someone out there still makes leather boat shoes for a reasonable price.

All I can say is that they ought to put naugas on the endangered species list and look for something else to make shoes out of. I wouldn't complain one bit if they started making them out of the skins of dead cows.

To those PETA moonbats, I'd like to know why we shouldn't eat cows. After all, they are made of delicious meat and the leftover skins make pretty good shoes.

Indidentally, Pam. You missed a pretty good turkey dinner yesterday. Leftovers today, and that's even better because there is nothing better than a leftover Thanksgiving sandwich with turkey, cold stuffing and cranberry sauce.

my other blog is:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving.

This marks the end of the year for me as it is the last holiday of the year for me that I enjoy.

I do not enjoy Christmas and have not since CHristmas 1969. I do not know what but I don't. Seeing as to how busy we are here at sea I think we will have our meal tommorrow but that is OK. At sea you do what you have to do and tomorrow ought to be quiet.

I remember this old New England spinster that was well into her 90s.

She said to a friend of mine, "Peggy, I hope to see another Thanksgiving but I am not strong enough anymore to see another Christmas."

Sometime between the two of them that year she died.

I sort of feel the same way. When I go I hope that it is between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Next year I ought to have it off and if I do I will spend it with my nephew. He's a good man. He was born about 30 years ago. WHen he was born I was his age, which make him half my age.

Sometime soon I have to make plans with him for my eventual demise as I suppose he's the man for the job of making sure I get boxed up and delivered to the Navy for burial at sea.

SO much for talk like this on what is truly an American holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving! Eat lots of turkey and stuff yourself and sleep it off on the living room floor like you are supposed to.

To those out in places that are not so nice doing dangerous and uncomfortable things, Thank you for doing so so that the rest of us can stuff ourselves in safety.

my other blog is:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

SOme guys do not pay their bills and wonder why they get no help

I see that the Christmas season is upon us and I look at my schedule and see that I am scheduled to be at sea for the holiday which is fine by me. Sometimes when I am not scheduled for it I trade it for summer time off from some guy with little kids.

Of course, there is always a jerk that hems and haws when you ask him to pay you back.

Most people that I have done favors for have been pretty good about it, but over the years I have had to deal with a couple of jerks that don't understand the concept of paying something back. They seem to forget or don't pay attention.

I remember one guy that I traded Christmas with in exchange for time off to shoot at Perry. I carefully told him to check his summer schedule because I had every intention of collecting the following July/August. Of course, he swore itwas a deal and when it came time to pay me back he whined and bellyached because he was planning on going to a NASCAR race during the time frame.

I figured the best way to collect what was mine was to simply put word out that he was a deadbeat and I did. There were more than a few people that remembered that I had taken Christmas for him and it was interesting to watch what happened.

Someone that needed a little extra cash offered to relieve me simply because he needed the cash and I took him up on it. I got to go to Perry and shoot.

The guy finally got what was coming to him, though because his oldest daughter had a graduation coming and wanted to attend. He started trying to get someone to trade off times with everyone and instead of simply being able to trade time off, a lot of people remembered what he had done to me and his time off wound up costing him dearly as the person who finally offered to relieve him told him that in addition to taking the watch it was going to cost him a pretty hefty up-front chunk of cash.

He balked and the guy didn't get to see his daughter graduate.

He confronted me and blamed me for pinning a jacket on him and I simply replied that he had put the jacket on all by himself by not paying his bills.

my other blog is:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden just got booed

at a NASCAR race.

I read it on Yahoo! news and there were a bunch of comments, mostly calling the fans a bunch of trailer trash and things of that sort.

Few of the comments showed a whole lot of common sense which in this day and age is not surprising.

While I agree that it is tasteless to boo the First Lady and Jill Biden, we really ought to look at it from another point of view.

What did these two expect? What were they thinking when they decided to show up at a NASCAR race?

They just have to know that NASCAR fans tend to be a pretty conservative lot and they know that not all of them are going to simply be content to sit there and behave themselves. Their mere presence at a NASCAR race is about as tasteless as David Duke showing up at an NAACP meeting, and expecting the fans to keep quiet about their presence seems to be an awful lot to ask for.

While I will admit that the booing was pretty ignorant, disrespectful and uncalled for, I am going to have to pass an awful lot of responsibility for this back to Michelle and Jill.

They were both stupid enough to show up where they knew they were not wanted.

What did they expect?

Of course, trying to put a little common sense into the equation seems to be an awful lot to ask for these days.

You can say what you want about NASCAR fans. You can call them a bunch of inbred rednecks if you want and I will not bother to argue with you because I couldn't be bothered. What I will say for NASCAR fans that can not be denied is that these are pretty honest people when it comes to expressing themselves and that really is pretty refreshing when you think about it. This is one group that has not fallen for the 'politically correct' crap the rest of us put up with daily. Because of that, I say, "God bless them."


It is time for me to start wrapping up my garbage instead of putting it out in the trash.

I generally put a couple of well wrapped packages of garbage in the back of the truck and park it in a mall some place and generally every year I get robbed of my trash at least once.

my other blog is:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Just find a quiet corner, lie down and BLEED QUIETLY

Someone just looked at me and grinned. "Bleed quietly," he said."I just heard that story from Bob Lewis."

"Hmmm," I replied.

A few years back I was sailing with this guy that always had some kind of sob sister tale of woe coming out of his mouth. I knew it was all a crock, but in the interest of crew harmony, I played along for a while. Doing that was a mistake of sorts because he was like a kitty cat that has just had someone feed it, he kept returning to me with more and more of it.

It was clear that this guy just wanted me to feel sorry for him when he had nothing really to feel sorry for.

One day he told me he didn't feel like going on and that was the last straw. I was tired of playing his game. I suggested he go get some help and he refused. It was obvious that he had simply been playing his shipmates for sympathy and I was tired of it.

I snapped. I was sick and tired of his crap and enough is enough. Everyone else on board was tired of him, too. While it takes some serious doing to get me angry, there is sometimes someone out there stupid enough and willing to go the whole mile and get me rolling.

"Siddown!" I snapped. "Everyone here is sick and tired of your sob sister bull$shit. If you want to off yourself, go ahead. You won't be missed."

His jaw slacked and he looked at me all hurty which angered me even more.

"If you want to take the cheap way out and leave your wife and kids hating you because you took the easy way out, that is NOT my problem," I said. "My problem is the welfare and morale of those around me. If you want to leave, though, I won't argue."

"Now," I continued, 'If you do decide to off yourself don't be a selfish and inconsiderate bastard about it. Do NOT drink the Drano under the sink. It will cause your bowels to empty and make a nasty mess. Do NOT endanger us by shooting yourself. The bulkheads are steel and ricochets are dangerous. It also make a Godawful mess and someone will have to scrape your brains off of a wall. Besides, the shot will wake everyone up. The best thing you can do is go into the tool room and grab the duct tape and razor blades and tape your arms to the toilet seat and cut your wrists. With any luck we won't find you until you are stone dead and I'll get to call the coroner instead of the paramedics. To clean up the mess all we will have to do is simply flush the damned toilet. Please have the consideration for us just this one time by making it easy for us."

He looked real hurty at me, and his lower jaw quivered a bit.

"Above all," I finished, "Bleed quietly so you don't wake up the off watch guys."

He stood there with a hangdog look, realizing I had run out of sympathy and that his little charade was over. I went in for the finale.

"Just go somewhere you won't make a mess and BLEED QUIETLY," I said.

He didn't say a whole lot to me after that and shortly after that he left to work somewhere else which is fine by me.

my other blog is:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

One of my regular readers

tells me that he has just bought a car he plans on restoring.

While I am not a car kind of guy as such, I can certainly see why someone would want to do a thing like that. For some guys it would prove to be a satisfying and interesting project.

Back in the day I had a friend that bought a used jeep to restore with his father and the project took a couple of years because they went through practically every single part on it. When it was all over and done with, they had what amounted to a brand new several model year old Jeep.

It was pretty cool.

Of course, if they went to sell it they would have never gotten their money out of it even if they paid themselves a buck an hour, but there was a lot more to it than that.

For one thing it was quality time for father and son and things like that can not be bought.

For another, it got the pair of them out meeting interesting people. This was long before the days of the internet and car guys had circles, clubs and swap meets. Getting help was a lot of word of mouth and chasing things down. The pair of them met an awful lot of intereting people during the course of the restoration. That has to count for something, too.

WHile I do not know what kind of skills the reader has or how far he wants to go in his restoration project, I'll say that if he has basic skills, patience, desire and time to go for it.

It seems to me that a project like this is not so much having a restored car as it is the satisfaction of rebuilding it and meeting people of similar interests.

GO for it, if you wind up with something that isn't a perfect restoration, that's OK because it will be YOUR restoration. You have your plans and dreams to follow and I wish you the best.

Follow your dreams.

To those who laugh at dreamers, think carefully. I read somewhere that there are dreamers who dream at night and most of this is little more than vanity.

Then there are dreamers that dream day and night about something and keep trying to accomplish their dreams. These are the people to watch out for because they will eventually overcome and live their dreams.

Follow that dream of restoring that car and put yourself into it. Do the best you can and accept nothing less than the excellence you are capable of. While there may be areas you do not excel at, the best you can do is the best you can do.

Good luck in the pursuit of your dream.

my other blog is:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The laws of math, physics and chemistry apply to everyone

Over the years I have mat a few people that think the law doesn't apply to them.

Now I am not talking about the laws made by the various legislative branches but the laws of math and physics.

My favorite instance of this took place back during the infancy of cell phones and involved a complete idiot that probably knocked up the daughter of some fat cat somewhere along the line. I figure this because the man was stupid, yet was in a fairly high place. The proverbial married the bosses daughter situation.

Back then cell phones were cutting technology. The minutes were damned expensive and the phones looked like Vietnam era GI field phones unlike todays phones that quietly slip into a shirt pocket. The phones were pretty costly, too.

We were lightering a ship of crude oil that was headed to a refinery when some clown boarded us with the inspector. I was told he was an expeditor of some sort that was there to insure the cargo got delivered promptly and safely to the terminal. I had never dealt with one before and to me it was no big thing. I simply figured that if the customer wanted someone on board that was fine by me just so long as he obeyed the rules and stayed out of the way.

Of course, I am telling the story about it so I guess it is apparent that the expeditor didn't stay out of the way. Instead he did his very best to destroy a very expensive piece of equipment, kill a number of people and cause a major ecological disaster.

Now on black oil vessels there generally isn't a vapor recovery system installed and even if there was it is not used when lightering ships. The tank tops are generally vented so that as the incoming cargo goes into the tank the air it displaces has some place to go. It vents into the atmospere. This means that unless there is some sort of wind blowing to move the fumes thay hang on deck. It doesn't take a whole lot of moving air to evacuate the fumes, though so this is seldom a problem.

Black oil is generally underrated as far as the dangers go. Most peole think of it as some black ooze that comes out of the ground but it isn't. It comes in a myraid of different characteristics. You have to remember that virtually all petrochemicals come out of it. It contains all sorts of things from the gasolines and benzines all the way down to the asphalt they use to make pavement and everything in between.

The smart cargo handler knows this and treats it with respect.

Enter the son in law of the customer who was a little on the self important side. This idiot thought he was exempt from the laws of math and physics.

To this day the overwhelming majority of cellular telephones are not rated for use in hazardous areas. Although the units they make today are probably a lot safer most of them are still not rated for use in hazardous areas.

Of course, the expeditor was supposed to call in every time there was any sort of event taking place with the cargo and lightering it off of a ship is certainly considered an event so he decided it was necessary to call in and report that the cargo was being taken off of the ship.

He picked up the cell phone and I politely reminded him that he wasn't supposed to use it on deck. He started to argue that he wasn't getting reception inside the house where it was permissable to use it.

I stayed pretty polite but firm and he continued to argue with me. I politely sat him down and explained that the laws of math and physics made no exceptions to the needs of an expeditor but he wasn't satisfied. I finally explained that fires and explosions do not care if the person causing them is a big shot or a peon that the end result was still the same.

He didn't seem to get it.

The instant I was back on deck taking care of things he went behind my back and started to set up his phone. I had seen it coming and simply ordered him back inside. I tended to business rapidly and decided that because I wasn't senior that I ought to wake up the captain. I did and he wasn't too happy about it.

He told me didn't care if the expeditor or the phone went over the side just so long as it wasn't used on deck. He was a crusty old salt. He was great to work for because like me, he didn't handle stupid very well.

I simply went into the galley and snatched up the phone and hauled it out on deck with the expeditor following me like a frightened puppy babbling away. I held the phone over the side and told him that he had three choices. He could either take his phone back aboard the mother ship, or I would drop the phone over the side. If neither of those were acceptable I would throw HIM over the side. He could simply pick one.

A minute later he was climbing th Jacob's ladder back on board the mother ship and next time I heard about the incident was the following day when I explained my actions to my port captain. He told me he would take care of it. I didn't hear what happened until several months later.

During a much later discussion with my port captain he confessed that the customer wanted to know why I simply didn't throw his son in law over the side.

Looking back on it, doing that would have been a whole lot easier.

my other blog is:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Posted early as I may very well be busy as hell tomorrow.

I am a member of a website that has quite a number of different forums on it. One of the forums is the ham radio forum.

WHile the ham community in general has a pretty damned good message system for people to get emergency messages delivered, it strikes me that the messages system (the one run by the ARRL) is somewhat dependent in both computer and telephones. This means that the sender of the message is getting word out to another ham to either phone or email the recipient of the message.

While I suppose that is well and good and over the years has probably done quite a bit of good, it still is based on other forms of communication.

What I would like to do is something along these lines:

Scenario: Someone has approached me and given me three things, a call sign, a hometown (on the west coast, 2500 miles away.) and a message. The object, of course, is to get the message to the person on the west coast.

What we are up against, and it is a LOT:

First of all, we do not know what kind of rig the recipient has. HF? 2 meter?

What we DO know is the schedule he monitors his radio and a list of POSSIBLE frequencies. There will be 2 frequencies posted from each band when I initiate this, a primary and a secondary.

If the recipient only has 2 meters I guess it will be a case of local knowledge of which repeater he is hitting.

I will start this by QSOing as many members of the website that I can and passing on the call sign, hometown and the message and from there it is a scramble to get the message to the recipent.

The guys involved are going to have to be able to think out of the box.

Telephones and computers may NOT be used to forward the message.This is STRICTLY ham radio.

However, website members are encouraged to pass on their progress through the website just to see how things are going and what they have done.

I'll probably try and get this thing started in a couple of weeks when my work schedule permits.

This idea came to me the other day when the government held their recent little emergency communication drill and on no notice a small net grew like topsy. The net was actually computer based.

The instant plan was to try a frequency on the 10 meter band. It wasn't the right time for it, nobody seemed to be able to communicate. One free thinker suggested 20 meters and posted a frequency and I switched with better results.

I think it get rolling when a man from SC and I made the first solid contact and posted it on the web. A couple of others joined in and the man from SC handed me net control, which is a bitch with a PRC 320 because it is not designed for no hands operation as there is no PTT foot switch and being net control means busy hands.

It was chaotic at best and I'm sure my 'log', consisting of scratch paper is very incomplete. It got so chaotic that I kicked over a trash can for paper to keep notes on. IF ANY OF YOU GUYS I qso'd HAVE NOT RECIEVED A QSL CARD FROM ME, GO TO eQSL AND SEND ME ONE. I will both confirm it and send you a paper card (listing my QTH as being BFE)

I took all of the check-ins I could get and decided that I wanted to see how far west the net would go if I passed it wast as I really had no check-ins that were west of the Mississippi. I passed control onto a person I knew to be west of me and told him to accept check-ins and then pass net control in a westerly direction. Incidentally, as I write this I am stating here and now that there ARE inaccuracies as this was chaotic and is now still somewhat of a blur.

Shortly after I passed net control I did manage to squeak in a QSO with someone in NM, which surprised me. I also got word through the net that my signal had reached Montana, but the person there was also runing low power and we couldn't QSO, but I digress.

The reason I passed net control west was to see how many people we could get on the net because as I was running it it occurred to me that on-demand long distance HF communications is not really possible. In order to get word across the country, while possible is not an on demand thing.

A net like this should be a flexible system of relays to fill in the gaps and jump the gaps. What's just as important, everyone on this net should be allowed to think on his feet and act. Net control should be a flexible thing. Everyone involved should be able to use their skills to get the word through.

It would be fun to see what happens, and my money is that we can do it, but it might take us a while.

my other blog is:

This post is dated, but here it is

Sometimes I get accussed of bashing my own country when I point to, say the Japanese and compare them to those pigs in New Orleans we saw on TV during Katrina.

Nope. I'm not bashing.

This is the greatest nation on the planet. We're the people that put the man on the moon and generally lead the way in technology. We're the people that seem to do a lttle better than everyone else at about everything we set our mind to. Come to think of it a minute, we generally do a LOT better than anyone else, generally speaking.

We are the kindest and most generous people on the planet. Every time there is a natural disaister of some kind it is the good old US of A that seems to get there first with the most for relief efforts. Sometimes the rest of the world doesn't seem to understand it when we(for example) send aircraft carriers to do relief work, but the truth is that those people that wonder why have no clue as to the abilities of a US carrier and her crew to provide excellent relief service. The assets that are designed for war are simply turned around and used for peaceful humanitarian relief purposes.

We are some of the most imaginitive and creative people in the world.

We can also be some of the most impatient, selfish and greedy people on the planet.

A couple of posts ago I wrote about a group of retired people in Japan that are stepping up to the plate and are selflessly offering their services to help clean up the nuclear mess over there and I mentioned the behavior of the average Japanese during the period right after the tsunami.

I also briefly mentioned the widespread looting that took place after Katrina.

All I did was mention the truth.

I was not bashing the United States, I was looking at all facets of our great nation. We're far from perfect and we have out faults. We have a lot, but we do not have it all.

Like living here? Fine. Remember this:

You gotta take the $hit with the sugar.

my other blog is:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A hooker returns a favor.

Quite some time ago I posted about the time I took a hooker to Midnight mass and the flak I took over it. She wanted to go to midnight mass and I took her. That was fine by me. See my 27 Dec 09 post for the details.

I was sitting at a bar in Kodiak one night and some babe was sitting next to me trying desperately to get me to cough up about $400 for cocaine. Of course I wasn't biting on that hook. She was actually a pretty good looking little thing that had recently discovered cocaine and more than that, she had discovered how to feed her new habit.

She hadn't gone too far downhill yet, but was starting down pretty fast. Her habit was getting the best of her and she was desperately trying to get me to feed it for her. There was no way I was going to feed it and she decided to embarrass me into coughing up. Her voice grew so that others could hear what she was saying.

The hooker I had brought to midnight mass a couple of months ago was sitting on the other end of the bar watching me. She wan't alone, as the bartender and a few others knew what was going on and wondered how I was going to handle it.

When she asked me if I was a cheapskate, I replied in a conversational tone that I wasn't. I was frugal and knew where I could get serviced for a whole lot less than 2 grams of cocaine, and get a better job done, to boot.

I got up and walked over to the hooker sitting there and in a normal voice, said to her, "Hey, Sally. Let's take a walk. I want to buy you a drink down the street."

I walked out of the bar arm in arm with her and as we were walking out the entire place fell silent and an awful lot of people were grinning.

The little floozy that has been trying to get me to buy coke for her looked totally humiliated.

Sally and I got outside and I spoke to her. "Thanks for getting me out of there," I said.

"I figured it was something like that," she said.

We went into a bar a little down the line and I did buy her a drink and shortly thereafter I left her to continue to ply her trade.

Over the next couple of days I was stopped by a few of the patrons that were there that evening, including a couple of women and told that mylittle charade was the coolest put-down they had seen in some time.

In a town like Kodiak was at thet time, that says a lot.

my other blog is:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Here's to the senior NCO or officer

that, as I write, is mopping a floor or cleaning a toilet or mowing a lawn while people of lesser rank are doing something else that is probably a little more important. Most of his people are somewhere learning something, either in a classroom or in the field.

Right now an O-3 or O-4 is cleaning his own office, wiping down walls and mopping the floor. He thinks nothing of it because it has to be done and the rest of his people are busy doing other things.

An E-8 is probably behind a lawn mower somewhere cutting the grass and an E-6 is out somewhere tied up doing something as an E-9 is getting ready to pull the E-6's wash out of the machine and toss it into the dryer. The E-9 is glad to do this for the E-6. About an hour ago he did the same thing for an E-5.

Somewhere a sergeant is saying "Thank you, Sir." to a first lieutenant that has just cooked him a meal. As the tired and grateful sergeant sits down to yaffle it down, the lieutenant turns to clean up the cookware he just used to make the meal.

Wait a minute... What kind of unit are you talking about?

Special Ops. The teams are so small that everyone has to pitch in to get everything done.

Meanwhile an E-2 is mopping out the rec room of a barracks somewhere grumbing about having to clean the place up all the time. He's figures a way out of the drudgery of running a mop. He knows just what to do to get away from the constant cleaning and maintainence he has to do all the time.

He's going to put in for that special operations unit and then he won't have to do that sort of thing anymore.

Yeah, right. The E-2 is in for an awakening.

So who cleans up after the SEALS and Green Berets?

They do not have maid service in the service and the special operations teams are pretty damned small and there are no privates or seamen there to pass the cleaning tasks down to. They have to do it for themselves. They are professionals and they think nothing of it. They are members of a team.

The day to day cleaning and cooking and sewing does not go away. Real men know this and take care of themselves.

That is why the blog STAYS pink.

It is to remind us that the chores of cleaning up after ourselves doesn't go away and that anyone that thinks that tough guys don't do 'woman's work' had better guess again. While I certainly do not know how these guys live, my case is simple.

My mother is not here to clean up after me.

my other blog is:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Until next payday my name is Louise.

Every so often something happens that lets me know that all hope is not lost, and generally it comes completely out of nowhere and hits me like a baseball bat.

I was leaving Wally World and decided that I would snag a cup of joe and a burger so I went into McDuck's. The clerk taking orders was a very young girl and she looked like it was her first day in the work force which, of course, brings out a evil side of me. I figured I'd throw her a curve or two. With any luck at all I would have her so confused she'd have to call a manager to straighten things out.

Orders were running a couple of minutes behind, I noticed and when I got to the head of the line she took my order and asked me my name. I noticed she was writing first names on the reciepts of the orders that had not been filled yet.

"I don't have one," I said, embarrassed.

"What?" sha asked, "You don't have a name?"

"Nope. Don't have one." I replied.

"Why not?" she asked.

"Lost it last night in a poker game. Some high roller from Vegas cleaned us out last night and I had to go home without any clothes and he even took my name." I replied.

"Are you working?" she asked.

"Yes," I answered.

"OK," she replied. "Then you can use my middle name until payday. It's Louise."

I knew right here that I probably could have raised hell about not wanting a girl's name or something and really laid it on until I crushed her, but there was no way in hell I was going to do such a thing on general principles. This is the spirit that I like so much to see in people.

Improvise! Overcome! Adapt! It's just anoter bump in the road, ain't nothin' to it. She had just displayed the kind of creativity I love to see in people and displayed one of the best examples of 'make it work' spirit that I have seen in quite some time.

The man needs to borrow a name for a while? No problem. I'll loan him one. Cool!"

Then she took my money, rang it up and with no second look or anything wrote 'Louise' on the reciept.

The guy behind me seemed amused and looked at me and chuckled. I looked at him.

"Some girl would giggle and I'd get red, some guy would laugh...." I sang. It was part of an old Johnny Cash tune. The guy chuckled. He obviously knew all the words.

"Now you're going to have to ride from town to town to hide your shame!" he chuckled.

My order came up in a minute or so, the little girl took the reciept and the order.

"Louise," she called out.

I walked up and took my order, thanked her and promised to give her back her middle name come payday and she smiled. "See you then," she said and I left.

Betcha that cute little girl is going places.

my other blog is:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Recently I read where the Army

has promoted a black female to the rank of Major General.

I certainly do not have problems with this if she is the most qualified person for the job and for sake of argument I am going to say she is. I didn't get my hands on the service jackets of the people that were also considered so I am in no position to judge. I will assume the Army promoted her to her present rank based on her qualifications.

Still I can't help but wonder a bit if this promotion wasn't based on some kind of political correctness or minority recruiting issue. While I actually hate thinking like this and cheapening the poor woman's promotion I do have to admit that the thought has crossed my mind and I think it is a damned shame.

The programs we have to try and make sure minorities are represented in various positions are in themselves a total injustice to everyone involved.

Often times we do not necessarily get the most qualified person in the position and whan that happens all of us lose. We lose the services of the best and that is just plain wrong.

The other thing about promoting people based on minority status is that it is grossly unfair to those minority members that have busted their asses to do a good job and have tried succesfully to get ahead because it puts a pretty good doubt in most minds. People wonder if maybe they were promoted to fill some kind of quota.

Just the idea that that could be happening cheapens it for the person that has honestly made it somewhere. That's also an out and out injustice.

my other blog is:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My 60th birthday post

Today I am 60 years old and am now officially an old man.

I am nothing less than totally astonished and there is one thing that I want to get straight with the world.

I can now die of anything I want and nobody can say squat about it because from this day forward my cause of death is to be listed as 'Old Age', period.

I can flip my Miata at 120 mph in a tight turn, there is heart disease, cancer, being shot by a jealous boyfriend, I can rot to death with leprosy. I am now free to do something like try and skydive out of the space shuttle and set a new record and not be killed doing so because it is going to be listed as OLD AGE.The possibilities are endless.

But no longer will a bunch of idiots be able to stand next to my casket and say, "Gee! What did he die of?" because now I will officially die of old age.

This is a pretty good deal when you think about it and I am absolutely astonished that I have actually become an old man. For quite a while the odds were pretty slim. I have spent quite a bit of my life as a fugitive from the law of averages.

Now that I am a bona fide fugitive from the law of averages, my friends and family are instructed that after I finally do croak they are to answer any nosy people that ask 'What did he die of?" by telling them that I died of OLD AGE. period!

I don't care of I leave the planet doing something truly epic like trying unsuccessfully jump the Snake River Canyon on a rocket-powered skateboard, the answer to "What did he die of?" is to be OLD AGE.

OK, you can say I died of an accident if it truly IS something epic like that, but under no other circumstances am I to given a cause of death by any other thing but Old Age. And you are not to describe it as an accident, either. You have to say something like 'he ate it while trying to jump the Snake River Canyon on a rocket powered skateboard' or whatever epic stunt I pulled that resulted in my demise.

Anything other than something like that and you had best list my cause of death as Old Age or I will come back to haunt you.
I have an inside source on the carrier John Stennis. He gave me the inside scoop on the burial at sea of Usama bin Laden. He told me they stopped all engines because when they buried him there was to be no wake.

History repeats itself. We are back to land mines again.

A couple of days ago I wanted to find a certain pipe buried in the yard so I snagged a $20 used metal detector off of Craigslist. It did the job and I found the pipe in a couple of minutes.

Of course I just had to do somehing human which is start seeing if Blackbeard buried his treasure in my yard so I was snooping around which is exactly what anyone else would do if they had just gotten a metal detector.

Enter Nebby Larry who just HAD to ask what I was doing. Of course I just HAD to answer him.

"I am hunting for land mines," I said.


"Yup. Land mines."

A few seconds later the thing started buzzing which is no surprise with the number of nails and things a yard contains after several remodels and 60 years of simply being occupied. I looked at Larry sharply.

"Stay here," I commanded.

I cut through the garage and made a quick check. Coffee cups, check. To go lids, check. Sugar and creamer, check. Then I ran upstairs and clicked on the coffeemaker. Besides, I had to give Larry a minute or two to dial 911 and make a fool out of himself again. On the way out I grabbed a bayonet and went back outside and went back to the scene of the crime to be committed.

I relocated the metal and on hands and knees I started probing with the bayonet.

"It's OK, Larry. I know how to do this. I read Sergeant Rock comic books as a kid."

"Oh, OK." he replied.

Of course, Larry is one of those people that have been well trained as how to deal with coming home at night and smelling gas when he opens the door. You do not turn on a light switch as the spark in the switch can ignite the gas and cause an explosion. Instead, to see where you are going you light a match.

Larry started looking and getting closer and pretty soon he was on HIS hands and knees with his head getting in the way looking for a mine.

The bayonet hit something. It might have been a rock but it was something.

"Get a wire gag," I ordered.

"A what?"

"A wire gag, a grenade pin, a safety offa a LAW or something. I need a piece of wire. Never mind, I'll get it." I got up and headed to the garage.

Of course, Larry just HAD to start poking around and prodding and there I was in the garage trying not to bust up and for the life of me wishing I had just one last cherry bomb and then being glad I didn't because as I wandered back out with a piece of wire a cruiser pulled up.

"Coffee's on," I said, conversationally and went upstairs and grabbed the pot.

When I got downstairs the cop was out of his cruiser and in my driveway where he lifted the lid of my trash can. "Just checking," he said.

"Waste of time. I generally leave them rolled up in a rug in the basement until late the night before the guys arrive to empty the trash," I answered. He shook his head, smiling.

"Speaking of trash, how you making out wih the new guys?" he asked. "I just chopped up an old coffee table and put it in the can and there was no problem."

"I suppose it's going to be OK. Some disassembly required." I replied.

The cop turned to Larry. "You can go, Sir. We'll handle it."

Larry got up and left.

"There is metal there," I said to the cop.

"Let's see what it is," he said.

He returned to the cruiser to watch.

"Aren't you going to get down on your hands and knees to pore over a suspected land mine?" I grinned.

"I'm not a Dawrin candidate. Besides it's too blustery." he said.

"I'll have you know I know what I am doing," I said, in an uppity tone. "I read Sergeant Rock comic books as a kid."

I got down and dug the piece out of the ground in a couple of seconds. It was a rotten piece of rebar, about four inches long.

"Thanks for the coffee," he said and drove off.

my other blog is:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Looks like we are back to square one


The people that do not pay taxes because they live off of tax money are griping again that the rich that do pay taxes are not paying enough taxes to give them a raise.

We are back to the 'tax the hell out of the rich' game again which is just plain wrong.

Instead of taxing the rich it would make a whole lot more sense to cut the pay of the freeloading non-workers and force them to get jobs to support themselves. That way they could start paying taxes and have something worth griping about.

I have heard enough people gripe about how the rich make too much money and ought to be forced to fork over a bigger share than the poor.

Horse puckey.

For all of the people that gripe about the rich having so much money they forget that the rich do not keep all of it, only a small portion. In this nation one does not get rich alone. They get rich by making money for other people.

You take a guy that got rich making something and you look around and there are a boatload of other people around him that have also made money. These people have different names ranging from partners, stockholders, employees, subcontractors, suppliers and others.

When Bill Gates made his fortune he created an awful lot of fortunes for other people. These range from millionaires that eiter had faith in him and invested to software engineers that made a killing all the way on down to the guy that sweeps te floor at Microsoft.

A guy that got truly rich also creates seperate unrelated businesses that most people are unaware of and go unnoticed like the diner that often opens outside the gate of the office or factory. Although the guy running the diner may be a seperate business, he is quite often pretty dependent on the success of the rich guy's business. If the factory lays off his diner business often takes a down turn.

A lot of the people that made it to the top have taken some pretty big risks. That have put themselves into hock pretty deeply taken some pretty hefty chances that their skills and talents will pull them through. The road to wealth is littered with casualties of those that have not made it. It takes a certain amount of moxie to make the big money. Most people simply do not have what it takes.

Yet because the rich have more than the rest of us there is envy and an awful lot of people want to take from these people what they themselves have not earned. A lot of the whiners ought to take a look at themselves and admit that they do not have what it takes to get rich.

Unions for years have earned a well deserved reputation for cutting their own throats by demanding more for their services than they are worth. Either a company faced with excessive union demands shuts down and everybody loses or they move to a union unfriendly place or they outsource their labor overseas to stay competitive in which case the union loses.

The unions can gripe and whine all they want when a company does this, but there really isn't a whole lot they can do about it but tell the rank and file that they better look someplace else for work. It really is their own fault as they have simply demanded more than they are worth.

Then there are those that whine that So and so has more money than he needs. It's a stupid arguement because generally the people whining really have more then THEY need. If you want to get down to basic needs, all a person needs is food, clothing and shelter so if their argument holds water what is to keep someone else from taking from them. These very people would not like it one bit if they were told they had to drive, say a Prius because they do not need an SUV.

(Some time ago I had to listen to a crewman go on about how he needed this and that. I slammed a can of corned beef and a gallon of water down in front of him and told him that it was all he NEEDED for the day. Although I had no intentions of living in such primitive squalor, I made two points at once. The other one is that I would tolerate no whining over stupid stuff.)

The truth about this 'He has more than he needs' argument is simply that the person making it is envious of the successful person that he is trying to rob, generally because he is either to lazy, too stupid or too cowardly to take a few chances and make it for himself.

I get tired of people that want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

Those that have climbed to the top have done a lot more than simply made money. They have created wealth and have already spread a lot of it around. Let's tax them fairly, at the same rate everyone else pays.

my other blog is:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ham radio has come full circle for me.

I guess it started as a long forgotten childhood dream, but as some know I got into this looking for a couple of Old School radios as decorator pieces for my place.

I was cruising places on line, Craigslist and eBay mainly and while doing so I mentioned it to a shipmate of mine. About an hour later he looked up at me and pointed to something on eBay. It was an old early Vietnam era Chinese radio set complete with everything in it but a hand generator.

"Buy this one, Pic" he said. "I can picture you sitting on top of a hill somewhere stirring things up by sending out messages that you are a WW2 leftover Japanese holdout sitting on a hill in New Guinea awaiting the return of the rest of the Emperor's army!"

He mimed sending code. "Beep, beep, beepba beep beep," he said. "Sergeant Toyota Prius on hill 888 is getting pretty old. When are you coming back?"

"Laugh, you bastard!" I shot back. "Watch this! Better yet, let's make this official. HOLD MY BEER and watch this!"

"Oh, Lord! When I hear 'hold my beer and watch this' I generally reach for an accident report," he replied.

While there is no beer aboard ship, the term is well understood by almost every male out there.

I looked at the set and contacted the seller who was a really decent guy. He told me it was not the set for me but it made me decide to hunt. I wound up with what I have, which is a PRC 320.

Well, last night it came full circle and I sent the message and I guess someone got it.

"Sergeant Toyota Corolla, Imperial Japanese Army in New Guinea Standing by. I am getting old. Bring sake and comfort girl. Long live Emperor! "

My morse is extremely slow and I can not read it for sour apples. I did, however stay legal and identify myself with my call sign but I sent my call sign out on low power and the main message on high which I suppose is legal, even if it is pushing it a little.

Anyway I got an answer of some sort even though he sent way too fast for me to even try and keep up with so I had to break it off and I suppose he is still hanging.

While 97.4% of the people out there have at least half a brain I have tremendous luck running into the remaining 2.6%. Keep your eyes on the news for the next couple of days and see if anything happens.

Right now I have visions of about three battalions of Japanese Self-Defense forces being scrambled and stumbling around in the New Guinea jungle somewhere cursing and tripping over vines, stumbling into creeks, falling off of cliffs and using much foul language.

While there is no foul language in the Japanese vocabulary, the troops are troops and I would bet they are probably pretty well versed in the fine art of cussin' up a storm, probably in English which was likely passed down to them by US Marines during the post-war occupation.

I would love to be a mouse in the pack of one of these poor guys. I can picture the whole terrible mess I may very well have created. It would be a joy to watch the carnage I have created. Picture this, 2000 poor Japanese soldiers crashing through the boonies somewhere aggravated and half out of their skulls with pent up rage at being sent out to BFE chasing a phantom.

Every single Japanese soldier KNOWS that there is nothing out there and even if there really is a guy who has been hiding out since 1944, he has been chased countless times over the years and they know that to him escaping detection by them is child's play.

"Hey, Sarge, What's this thing?"

"You idiot! That's a dud grenade! Get rid of it!"


"Gee, Sarge! Whoda ever guessed? Everyone OK?"

The smoke clears to expose twenty Japanese soldiers looking at each other wide-eyed and agape.

"ARRRRGH!" Slip. Slide. Tumble ass over teakettle down a hillside into an awaiting creek teeming with alligators and piranaha.

Splash! And the young Japanese soldier then proves that not only Jesus, but he too, can not only walk, but RUN on water. He runs across the creek with alligators snapping at him missing him by inches.

"Why are we out here, anyway?"

"Probably some New Guinea tourist bureau guy sent the bogus message so we'd come out here and bring in a few yen."

"Hah! They'd have found some way to get the Americans to do something like this. They spend money on a lot more tourist stuff than we do."

"Most likely some old man in the United States still carrying a grudge over being sent out to this Godawful hellhole back in 1944. Judging from what it is like here I can't blame him!" says a corporal seconds before he has to step quickly to avoid a humongous snake of some sort that just slithered in out of nowhere.

"Hey, my great uncle, Toyota Corolla was sent out here. Maybe it's him," says an eager private.

"Nah. This guy is supposed to be a corporal."

"Maybe he got promoted," adds another guy.

"He was a lieutenant," says the private, slapping a mosquito the size of a raven that had come close to sucking two quarts of blood out of his arm. It is his 273rd skeeter kill of the day.

"Maybe he got busted," says another private.

"I shoulda joined the Navy."

"My grandfather fought HERE? If we had just GIVEN this place to the Americans we would have probably won the war!"

"Ouch! Don't go this way, guys!"

"Hey, the guy supposidly wanted a bottle of sake. I wonder if the officers have one for him?"

"Probably not. He wanted a woman, too, but you don't see one."

"Maybe we can give him that round-eye American newswoman," says someone else. Laughter.

Katie Couric, sent there to cover this circus is not stupid. Her female intuition goes into gear. Although she speaks no Japanese the tone of laughter tips her off and she calls New York on her satellite phone and demands that they air drop her a titanium chastity belt, most riki-tik.

Geraldo Rivera is there, of course, speculating all sorts of things and running off at the mouth with his greasy moustache flopping around babbling incoherently like he did when they opened Al Capone's secret room and found only an empty coke bottle. He looks uncomfortable like he knows this is going to be a rerun of his Al Capone's secret room story and he is trying to figure out how to talk his way out of this fiasco to be.

About the only thing this entire carnival lacks is George Foreman showing up trying to sell the Japanese soldiers his latest no-fat grille, "Great for cooking fish! Only 2600 yen plus handling and shipping!"

And here I sit behind my laptop 7200 miles away with a satisfied smile on my face, watching Katie Couric getting bit on the ass by a spider the size of a plate as she tries to cover all three rings of the circus I have created at once.

Ham radio has now come full circle for me.

Of course, a more likely scenario is that the answer I received from my little message that I could not understand because I can not read code as fast as he sent it is that it read something like "You sushi head. You think I just fell off the turnip truck, or what?"

my other blog is:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It is early,

a little after 0600 and I am watching the sun come up from my window. The coffee is being made and I am looking at the sun rising.

SOmething occurred to me this morning. It will not be all that long before the shortest day of the year passes us by and the days will start getting longer again. Time passes so quickly and it also reminded me about how so many people waste parts of their lives worrying about stupid stuff.

When we were younger we worried a lot about things like getting an iPod or what color shoes to wear or whatever stupid little things we worried about. I was blessed, though because at an early age I saw through all of this crap and decided that a lot of it wasn't worth the effort.

A classmate of mine didn't see things that way and chased all of the fads, fashions and worried about making all of the right moves. She was pretty selfish and a couple of times looked down her nose at me for whatever reason and said a few snotty things to me.

She was also patently dishonest, lacked character and constantly hid behind a pretty face. She was queen of the horrorfied and outraged look when she needed it. Add llooks of indignation as desired.

She made all of the right moves and wound up married to some guy and moved into a big house in an impeccable neighborhood and had nice things and new cars and one day woke up and figured out she had missed the boat somewhere along the line and killed herself. I don't miss her.

Maybe she discovered that all of the stuff she had accumulated wasn't going to supply her with happiness. Who knows? Come to think about it, who cares?

While all of this was going on I was doing offbeat and interesting things and probably owned nothing that I couldn't cram into a green GI duffel bag and carry. I had nothing to speak of as far as things and posessions went. Then again, the cares I had at the time would have fit into a shot glass with a lot of room to spare. I was too busy dealing with what was happening and trying to both stay alive and plan my next adventure.

I turn 60 in a couple of days and I am amazed at how short of a length of time 60 years is. It is just the blink of an eye. Soon I will have to meet my maker and have a little talk with him about how I used the time I had on this planet and I am going to have to defend myself.

While I am probably going to have to hem and haw a bit when the subject of Jameson's and busty women comes up, I figure that's probably small potatoes.

What isn't small potatoes is that at least I tried to use my head for something besides a place to park a steel pot and I have tried to at least think of someone else once in a while and that's a lot. I have at least tried to use some of my talents and do something other than try and accumulate stuff and step on everyone else on my way to the top.(The top of WHAT?)

I can say that I didn't totally waste my brain. At least I used some of it.

The way I look at it, that says a LOT.

(Of course, I do have another ace in the hole. Some years ago I hit a baseball through the neighborhood grouch's window and he took a pretty good nutty one and a lot of the kids got sweated out pretty hard by their parents but not one single one of them ratted me out. That is the highest honor I have ever received in my life! Betcha that carries weight with the man upstairs.)

my other blog is:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A post I wrote while bouncing around in a tugboat for a couple of weeks

This has been a pretty frustrating few days as I have had no way to post these epistles.

There is no signal here whatsoever off the coast of Outer Mongolia which is where I am now. It is not a very good place and the weather had been a bit on the boisterous side and like everyone else on the crew I do not feel very well although I have not yet gotten to the point where I have evacuated my stomach.

While as I pen this epistle it isn't too bad, I can actually walk more than two steps without having to hang on to something. However, it will not be very long before we have to make a break for it through about 24 hours worth of nasty weather and that is not fun at all.

I am now suffering mixed feelings about this trip. I wish we could just hammer it on through the lump and get it over with but I do not like the thought of the misery I will be soon facing.

Oh, well. I chose this path and I suppose I have to take the $hit with the sugar.

my other blog is:

Monday, November 7, 2011

There are things a person ought to do in private.

There are things that a human being should do in private.

I won't get into the usual list of things involving the body as I guess we all generally share the same feelings about that. I am covering things that will drive anybody in the area straight to the booby hatch.

Listening to a kid learn to play a musical instrument is certainly one of them. Any parent that has survived listening to trumpet lessons in the other room should feel like they have done their job as a parent. If they have had to survive fiddle lessons they belong sitting next to Mother Teresa when they die.

As an adult I have decided to try and learn to make myself understood on the air using Morse code and I will be the first to admit that I have no business practicing it within earshot of any other human being.

And that is all I have to say about that.

I am close to making my first CW transmission and I already know what it is going to be and I am not going to post it here until after the fact. I will give you a hint.

After I make it I will have gone full circle with ham radio because the transmission is going to be about just what got me started in this hobby. If you care to dig back through the past couple of months I bet you can figure it out.
The big set is on and I am checked in on a Bible Study net. While I as you can well imagine am not really a whole lot in the religon department it seems to be a halfway decent group of guys. Still, I kept my tongue in my mouth when I heard someone mention Matthew, Mark, Luke because I had an overpowering compulsion to add "And DUCK!" to it.

Mel Brooks has gotten me into a lot of hot water over the years.

-.-./--.-//-.-./--.-//-.-./--.-// -.-./---/.-./.--./---/.-./.-/.-..//../.../..../../---//-.--/.-/-/.-/--./..-/-.-./..//../.---/.-//.../-...//..../../.-../.-../---../---../...--//.-../---/-./--.//.-../../...-/.//-/...././/./-/.--././.-./---/.-.//.-.-.

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

It is Sunday morning and I have had my coffee. Actually I am on my second

cup and shortly everything will start to fall into place as the morning at home cycle starts. I guess that is a good thing. Yeah, it IS a good thing.

I have decided today that I am going to take this day as it comes because I really have little choice in the matter. We have to take things as they come. Anyone that thinks they have 100% control of their lives is a fool.

Anyway, it is early and I might add to this post as the day goes on.

I'm hoping to get a call from someone to pick something up. If I do I will probably dress in my leather helmmet, jacket, scarf and goggles and take the Mazda out for a fall run and freeze my ass off. We'll see what happens next.

Pic, Out. (at least for now)

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

On buying flowers for someone. Just a lousy bunch of flowers.

How come as soon as a guy decides to buy flowers for someone most women in the general area figure he's in the dog house?

Did it ever occur to them that maybe every once in a while a guy buys flowers for someone just to see their face light up?

I went past the florist section while buying chow and snagged a bunch of carnations for the Mrs. just for the hell of it.

So while going through the register the girl behind it just HAD to ask,
"What did you do?"

"Ah, the wife caught me pimping out the daughter again." I casually replied.

"What!?!?" she said, completely in shock.

"I just needed a little quick beer money," I replied, defensively.

The woman behind me had at least half a brain. She laughed like hell. She simply looked at me when she settled down. "I'll bet you are buying those just to keep things running smooth at home," she said. "I don't know why every woman that sees a man buying flowers thinks he is in trouble of some sort."

"You got it," I replied.


This reminds me of the time some nosy woman asked me if I had any children and I told her I had ten kids.

"One is in a Turkish prison, another is a Hare Krishna, another is a hooker working in Vegas, The oldest is an alligator wrestler in Florida, another one is presently in Beverly Hills working in a home for homeless movie stars. Let's see now, oh yeah. Another one is in rehab right about now for sex addiction, the second son works as a steward for US Air where his sister pilots a 737 and the twins are going to be on Jerry Springer next week fighting over some shiek that lives in Saudi Arabia and owns a bunch of oil wells. They're twins so it's a pretty even match. You ought to tune in and check it out. Might be better than watching a George Foreman fight."

"Really?" she asked.

"Absolutely." I replied.

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It was a long ride home, 13 hours on the road.

I am home, a couple of days late and beat to hell.

I got in at a little after 0100 and there was a surprise for me when I got home. Someone had sneaked in and really cleaned the place up. It was great.

Although I do a reasonably good day to day job of taking care of the place someone sneaked in and did one hell of a good job of deep cleaning and dusting.

I know who but I will not post it here.

In other news I will rastring my antennas and be on the air soon after I get straightened out.

I need a damned cup of joe and the coffeemaker has just decided to up and die on me which is a particularly big suck pill to take this morning.

Off to the 7-Eleven for coffee.

MMaybe more later

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Well, I am anchored where it is flat calm and bigger n' $hit I got landsick.

Shortly after my feet hit a solid stable deck I got pale and broke out into a sweat and damned near puked. I guess it was funny watching me stagger a little.

While most people are aware of someone getting seasick, most landlubbers do not know that after a period of being in rough water for a period and adapting that sometimes a person must readapt to being ashore.

The last timme I got landsick was in late August of 1986 after a 6 day open ocean crossing on my 24'7" sailboat.

I had just crossed the Gulf of Alaska and weathered 2 storms in her and when I got to Sitka I hopped up on the dock and promptly stepped in a pile of doggie-do and a couple of minutes later got good and llandsick for a little while.

It took me a while before I stopped reeling around like a damned drunk.

Now I face about 12-15 hours of driving until I get home.

Such is part of the life of a sailor.

A sailor's life for me.

I hope my friendly local neighborhood booze store is open when I get back to the company pier. I want to snag a jug for a snort as soon as I pull into the driveway.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

3 Nov. How do you buy a camel?

I wonder how you buy a camel in the Arabic countries?

I've always wondered about that. Is it like buying a car in the States?

I can picture it now. There I am in Arabia somewhere and I need a camel and know I can't afford a new one. I look in the papers and see an ad for Abe Schwartzman's Used camel lot. No, that ain't right. It's really Honest Muhammud's Used Camel Sales.

So you pull up to his lot and presto! There it is. A whole line of used camels to choose from, and flimsy banners hanging from between a pair of palm trees. A few balloons tied around some of the camels necks and the usual assortment of signs. One owner...Runs new...Low miles and the usual colorful array of fringed doodads you would expect to find on a used camel lot.

Out of the tent comes Honest Muhammud, clad in the usual flowing Arabic garments with a couple of gold chains exposed, a gold tooth and a diamel pinkie ring. "Hello, I Honest Muhammud. Can I help you? You need camel?"

He shakes your hand and you instinctively check your hand to see if your ring is missing. It isn't.

"Very good camel here," Says Muhammud, pointing at the biggest one on the lot. "Only ridden by little old lady that went to Mosque...This one here good water milage. It get forty miles to gallon of water and can pass three oasises without fill-up."

"Check hoof out one dis one," says Muhammud, lifting the animal's foot and showing the bottom of the camel's foot. "Lotsa of tread left. Many miles left on this one. Runs new."

I suppose it really isn't like that at all, but for the life of me I can't figure out how you would buy a camel in the Arab countries. But then again people are pretty much the same all over so I suppose there must be some kind of local equivalent of buying a car in the States in the Arabic countries that is pretty close to what we do here.

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2 Nov. Guys like stupid stuff

I do not know why it is but it seems that guys like stupid stuff.

Tonight I am at sea and some genius got the TV working and there is a free period of time to be spent and the movie the crew has decided on is The Blues Brothers which really is a stupid movie but it makes all of us laugh. There really isn't a whole lot to it but cameo appearances of various Rhythm and Blues artists and one hell of a chase.

Still, it makes just about every guy that watches it laugh like hell.

Another guy movie is Stripes. I'd bet that even general officers laugh at that one.

I am at sea now.

Right now the seas have abated a little and I feel pretty good. The past week I have been riding a tug and it has been years since I have been on a tug in any sort of weather. Especially one like this that is fairly small and not the best sea boat I have ever ridden in. It is not heavy enough for my tastes. A heavy boat rides the seas better and we have burned off an awful lot of fuel and used a lot of water which adds to the boat's movement. Fuel and water are heavy and they sure make a difference.

The trip has been rough and the motion of this little cork has been pretty hard on all of us, even the regular crew.

While I have not gotten seasick as such, I have been pretty close and have not felt civilized in several days. My mate has not been 100% either. Sleep has been diffucult at best and I have not really had more than a couple hours of interrupted sleep in the past week.

There are a few tricks to keeping healthy during trips like this and one of them is learning when and how to eat. The first thing you discard is any chance of staying on a diet of any sorts. You have to eat differently and actually time things. When you have a period of time when the seas flatten out you eat a little something, but do not stuff yourself. The objeect being to have everything out of your stomach and into your intestines when the seas get rough again. Bland foods seem to be the best.

The weather says we have a several hour break and I am starved. The deckhand has suggested we whip up a huge ham and cheese omelet. I told him I want in on it. I'll take a chance that I can break it down and get it into my intestines before the weather goes to hell and it gets snotty again.

(Later entry) I ate the omelet and a couple of buscuits and I think I got away with it which is good as I need the energy. I think it will have gotten well into my digestive system before the seas kick up. In a case like this timing is everything.

In a few hours it is going to get as rough as a cob and I am hoping that my system has gotten used to the seas enough so that the last day of this voyage I can hold it together enough and that everything goes well.

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1 November. Got a break at sea

Boy, this little cartoon says a lot.

Sometimes I wonder where I am and what I am doing, but I guess I won't have it any other way.

At least it makes life interesting and it is satisfying entering something on your own terms. I have done this pretty much with my recent entry into ham radio among countless other things I have done in my life.

When I bought my sailboat half a lifetime ago I had no real desire to go for little day sails and play yacht club games, my boat was a cruiser, dammit and I cruised it. There were a lot of raised eyebrows when I started modifying things for ocean voyaging. Many of the yachttie types looked at me like I was insane when they saw me installing combings and other things. They were appalled when I yanked the head out and threw it away. A five gallon pail would serve as a replacement.

Not only would I get another 8 cubic feet of storage for food and water, but I eliminated two thru-hull fittings and thru-hull fittings are just one more thing that can fail and sink the boat.

Of course the few serious cruisers grinned with approvement as they knew what I was doing and they were the ones that were helpful. There were few cruisers that didn't understand simple and primitive. Simplicity is the watchword of small sailboat ocean voyagers.

The Whale Gusher pump was not in the prettiest spot and I suppose it looked ugly to a yachttie but it was where I wanted it if I needed it and was ready to go in a second.

When I had her rigged she was, well the word is utile. She was set up in such a manner that she was ready to perform her mission which was open ocean cruising. An open ocean cruiser is generally pretty spartan.

Half a lifetime later I am quite satisfied as to how I set her up and I can say that wile the yachtties were sitting on their little boats in some protected little bay I was out in the middle of the froth being a real sailor and thirty years later I know I made the right decision. There are a lot of people that had far bigger and more expensive rigs that are probably still sitting on board planning their next excursion around the bay.

Sure, it was fearful at times and I had a few close calls but it was worth it.

Someone once asked me if I would feel the same way if I had lost her at sea and I have to say that I would not really regret it if what I had to look back on was the adventure because unlike those timid baysailing souls I could have at least say that I had tried.

Old Teddy Roosevelt once made a statement about the man in the arena that wins or loses. His victory or loss is his and his alone and not one single part of it belongs to the spectators. They can talk about it all they want but it doesn't mean a damned thing. It is the man in the arena that owns the victory or the loss.

(This is another thing I hate about professional sports. When the home team wins the hometown claims the victory as theirs. It isn't. It belongs strictly to the players on the team and no one else whatsoever. Of course, when they lose they are a bunch of bums. The hell with a bunch of sports fans, most of which are in no shape at all to play the game. The only shape most sports fans are in is that they are fit enough only to run their mouths.)

I have had a few failures but one of the neat things about my failures is that they were mine and mine alone. They are the products of trying and even though I have had failures with half-baked ideas, I have had successes, too.

I have had a couple poeple over the years why I chose my path the way I did. While I have played many of the games of life by following the herd, I would often see something along the trail that interested me and vector off to check it out. Often I would see something pretty mainstream and find that that there was a little offshoot that interested me.

I think this started really young, even in school. I remember a history class I had and while we covered the Revolutionary war, I remember finding a couple of interesting little offshoots that caught my fancy and I looked into those even though they were hard to research because most of the stuff in the library was pretty mainstream.

The things that interested me were not the armies run by aristocrat types like Washington and the like. I found myself interested in little things like the Battle of Kings Mountain and the exploits of Francis Marion down in the Carolinas because the people involved struck me as grass roots types and that struck me as the spirit of the entire revolution. When I researched this and brought it up in class I guess it blew the teacers mind as although he was aware of Marion, he knew very little of King's Mountain.

When we discussed the Battles of Lexington and Concord (The locals say the battle of Lexington was fought in Concord by the men of Acton) we covered Lexington in detail but little of the return to Boston which is often referred to as the battle of Concord. We went toe to toe with the Regulars at Lexington and got clobbered, yet the return to Boston cost the British a third of their forces because they were constantly sniped at by little groups and individuals the entire way back.

When I thought over competitive shooting back in the 70s I went to black powder competition which at the time was a splinter group in the shooting sports. It was interesting seeing what I could do with a primitive rifle as opposed to a modern one. While I never really won anything, it was fun trying.

I had to leave the sport when I moved to Alaska. There wasn't much activity there. Later when I got back to the States I decided to take up shooting again and discovered service rifle competition, a sport little known of outside of the shooting sports world. It interested me. Part of the reason was that it was a lot less costly than having a serious competitive rifle made for me, and part was that I like service rifles.

I entered ham radio recently with my own set of terms. I looked at the hobby and decided that I had no real desire to set up a humongous shack with a bunch of powerful sets and linear amps that could service a small city radio station. I chose a low powered backpack rig as my main set. I already know I made the right choice. It's been fun.

I started off on the road less traveled as a kid and of course, my parents were more than a tad worried about how I would turn out. My mother once mentioned it to my Aunt Pat, whose entire brood eventually achieved success in the mainstream. My aunt looked at my mother and said, "For God's sake, at least he's interesting! I often wish one of mine would strike out and try something a little different! He'll do just fine."

She was a neat aunt and although their family wasn't much in the drinking department, she kept a bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label hidden under wraps for my infrequent visits. It was funny watching my younger cousins look surprised when my aunt would tell them to get the bottle when I showed up. She sure didn't short-pour a drink for me, either. I believe it started shortly before I turned 21 although it was rare that sheoffered drink to anyone, it was totally unheard of and completely out of character for her to offer one to a minor.

When my cousins listened to us chat it was funny because they were in awe of the concept of catching fish for a living or living in a camper in Alaska or whatever off the wall things I was doing at the time.

All of my cousins eventually chose mainstream careers except for one who embarked on a life of crime. He did this by going to law school, passing the bar exams and obtaining a license to steal. That's OK, every family needs a shady character.

While I spend a lot of time on the road less traveled frustrated, scared and wondering what is going to happen next I can say that at least it is interesting. I have no regrets.

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Catchup for Halloween

Last night it was a long and boring watch and it needed a little help. As a cargo person stuck on board a tug there wasn't a whole lot to do. I turned on the boob tube for background noise and stuck my nose in a book. When I looked up the tube was on the Military Channel and the program was 'An Officer and a Movie' which I suppose is their way of filling in air time by showing a movie when they run out of their usual fare of documentries.

Lou Diamond Phillips seems to do OK as host for this series and I imagine that is because he was a Navy brat and grew up on Naval bases. He seems comfortable with the series and that's fine.

Generally the guest (the officer that goes along with the movie) is an officer, either active or retired but tonight's show seemed to be an interesting change. The guest was simply a noncom from the Oklahoma National Guard.

It was actually pretty refreshing, at least the parts I noticed. She seemed pretty comfortable and my guess is that she is a Native American that was brought in to fit in with the theme of the movie, which was Windtalkers.

While it is not really my idea of a decent movie to cover the amazing code that was based on the Navajo language, nonetheless the good sergeant seemed to do a pretty good job of commenting on the movie and it was kind of refreshing seeing an NCO sitting in instead of an officer.

As for the movie, they could have done a lot more going into the history of the code, the Navajos that spoke it, and covering the contributions it made to victory in the Pacific instead of turning it into a so-so Nicholas Cage drama.

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