Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Yet another visit from the police compliments of Nebby Larry

A pretty good cop.

I was out on the street yesterday cutting an antenna when a cruiser pulled up. I could tell by the way he pulled up that he was not on routine patrol. Somebody must have called him. My guess is that it was Nebby Larry again but I digress.

There are two very small paint spots on my street that just so happen to be exactly 100 feet apart that someone mysteriously put there early one morning. In the center of each of the paint spots is a 1/8 inch hole that fits a 16d green vinal coated sinker just perfectly. It is large enough to be able to remove the nail easily after use.

It is great because if you want something like a piece of wire cut a certain length all you have to do is hook the end on a nail and pull it down toward the other nail. It the wire is under 100 feet you also hook a 100 foot steel tape to the same nail and there you go. If you want over 100 feet you catch the wire on the second nail and come back toward the first one.

Anyway, I was cutting an antenna and the cruiser pulled up and asked me what I was doing and I told the cop I was cutting an antenna. He asked what for and I told him it was for my ham rig.

"I figured it was something like that," he said. "Are you one of those guys that talks to people overseas and all that stuff?"

"Yes, I am." I replied. "This antenna is for a new tuner I am installing right up there, next to that little antenna I put up so I can yak with the International Space Station."

"You can do that?" he asked. "Aren't those special government frequencies?"

"They have a couple of rigs in it specifically for yakking with civvies like me," I replied.

"That's pretty cool," he said. "Spoken with them yet?"

"Not yet. I've just gotten set up for it." I replied.

"Let me know how you make out." he said.

Then he grinned. "You know, there's a kid about 13 now. For the past couple, three years every time there is a school science fair coming up we get a call to check him out. You two seem to have something in common. Neither of you are generally troublemakers but you are always up to something. I actually enjoy checking the kid out. He's always doing something interesting. You fit into that category"

"I guess it's some kind of circle," I mused. "When I was in middle age I wound up getting my priorities all screwed up with career and all that stuff. I grew out of it and returned to doing the right thing."

"Full circle, huh? You know, I see a lot of older guys that tinker with stuff. Maybe you have something there. At least this is interesting."

I rubbed my beard. "Interesting enough to get a job selling beer on TV?" I asked.

He looked confused for a second, then quickly recovered. He looked at me carefully.

"Your beard looks better than his," he said, smiling. "Maybe you can."

"And deal with the Madison Avenue crowd? No, thank you." I shot back and he laughed.

"You'd have a lot more money," he said.

"And not any time to do things like this," I replied. "Trick is to have enough money to do what you want AND have enough time to do it."

"Good point," he said. "Well, finish what you are doing and just don't leave a mess. Take care."

And with that he drove off.

Not a bad encounter at all.


When I went inside I Googled around to see if there were any more Dos Equis ads coming up and found the actor that plays The Most Interesting Man in the World died a few months ago I'm going to miss the ads.

Also my new antenna and tuner works great.

my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/

Monday, January 30, 2012

Disgusted this morning

One of the things I am often accused of is being a Republican, of which I am positively not.

I am a conservative independent,

I have been disgusted with American politics for decades.

I once heard it put in an interesting way one time and I tend to agree.

"We have two parties in this country. The party of the rich and the party of the low-life." said a friend of mine once, several years ago.

He got that one right.

This could have been the year for a third party candidate to come out and let Congress know that we are tired of their crap but I sure do not see it coming soon to a theater near you.

my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I should have gotten up earlier

So we have an election coming and as ususal there isn't an even halfway decent candidate out there worth voting for. As usual, I will wind up voting AGAINST someone.

I do not want to see the Obama administration continue because I really believe the man is headed in the wrong direction. I believed it when he ran for office and I believe it now.

It looks like I will be forced to make a decision I do not want to make and it is ugly.

I have to choose between Obama or some unsavory Republican.

Looks like one big $hit sandwich coming up and I am just going to have to take a bite.


I had to go over to Ohio yesterday and I wish I had arrived at my destination about 20 minutes earlier as the person I was doing business with told me a pretty good one that had just happened a few minutes earlier in the store.

Apparently someone was running on with how enamored he was with the Obama administration and this other guy disagreed. The Obamaite decided to play the race card and started calling the disagreer a racist of some sort.

The disagreer dryly started in on how he really didn't want to become a Klan member but said he was forced to join by his wife.

The disagreers wife was within earshot and was smart enough to let thigs start to boil a bit before she came over to her husband.

"We have to hurry up,"she said to her husband."Or else you are going to be late for your Klan meeting."

The woman was black.

As somewhat of a stirrer-upper myself, I would have walked five miles to have seen that one happen.

There is nothing in this world so soul satisfying as seeing someone get what he has coming.

my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/

Saturday, January 28, 2012

One day at Sunday School.

A couple of the usual suspects were acting up and the teacher blew a fuse and started chewing the entire class out.

This may surprise you but I am not one of the usual suspects. I was generally fairly well behaved as a kid because I knew that if I was disrespectful dad would probably give me nine from the sky. Today was no exception.

Dad was pretty good about playing fair. I could disagree with an adult if I saw fit, but if I did I had to stay respectful and present my argument in a civil way. A number of other adults hadn't figuredit out and thought dad was giving us too much latitude. It should be carefully understood that the adults that thought dad was giving me too much latitude were generally the ones that I had embarrassed with simple reasoning.

I'll digress here for a minute. I was wandering my way through a group at a party my folks threw one night headed out to go somewhere. I was stopped for a second by Mr. So and So who asked me what I thought of such and such which was an issue at the time. I told him I thought it would not work because it was too expensive.

He replied that the government would pay for it.

" The government gets its money from us because we pay taxes." I said.

"But what about the mint?" He countered.

"Sir, money does not grow on trees nor is it simply printed up somehwere. You ought to take the advice you have given all of us kids." I replied.

"You always tell us to get a good education. Perhaps it is time for you to take a few night courses." I answered. 'That way you would know that money is not simply something the government prints up when they decide to give some away."

I saw a sharp look from my father. He wasn't upset with me, he had the look of a man that knew he was going to have to defend his son....again.

Mr. So and so looked at Dad. "Did you hear that?" he asked.

Dad answered him conversationally. "He's right on both counts."

"Yeah, but he told me I ought to go back to school," said Mr So and so.

"A little more schooling wouldn't do any of us any harm," replied Dad. He turned to me. "Son, take off."

I turned to Mr. So and so. "Good day, Sir."

I then cleared the AO instantly.

Back to Sunday school.

The teacher was chewing out the guys that had acted up and was telling them that they'd never been in a fair fight before and that if they had their attitude would be different and they would not be punks anymore and yada yada yada.

"There's no such thing as a fair fight," I interrupted.

"What do you mean by that?" he demanded.

"I mean that if you attack me I will defend myself with any means at hand," I said, evenly. "I will do whatever it takes to stop the attack and render my attacker so that he can not hurt me any more."

The rest of the class was looking at me agape as I was not one with a reputation of going toe to toe with any authority figures. Most of the guys also knew that a pal and I had been threatened by four toughs a couple of months ago and I had repulsed them with a Boy Scout knife. While no blood had been shed that I was aware of, one of the toughs got a nice slice across the sleeve of his black leather motorcycle jacket. It had been enough to make them break off.

Immediately after that incident I told me father exactly what had happened and spared no details. He turned white and told me he would deal with it subsequently. A few hours later we got a call from Mrs Pott. Her son had been beaten by four tough and pretty severely. She described a couple of them as wearing black leather motorcycle jackets.

When my dad got off the phone he looked at me for a full minute.

"What you did with that knife bothered me. I was afraid you either were too quick or trying to be a tough guy," he said. That was Mrs Potts. Dickey got beat up pretty badly by four guys that sounded a lot like the ones that bounced you. What you did was very, very serious. There is no going back on a stabbing but in this one instance you did the right thing, but only-and only- because you had no place to run to. Don't tell anyone about this."

I didn't but my pal did. Word had gotten out.

"Fighting like that is stupid," I said. "I have never started a single fight in my life. I do not believe in it because someone gets hurt. If I am forced to fight I am going to do whatever it takes not to get hurt."

"In World War two..." he started.

"In World War two you were a medical officer with the 442nd Regimental combat team. We have all heard this before. You are going to tell us all what good guys they were and maybe in the rear they were but I bet you they were not very nice when they were up front. They would fight with what they had to work with and would sneak up and shoot Germans in the back or cut their throats while they slept. They did not fire a few shots and stand up and let the Germans have their turn. They fought to win and they did."

"What do you know about the 442nd? He demanded.

"The Christmas Tree Regiment? They were the most decorated unit in American history," I shot back. "Most of them had enlisted from concentration camps. Besides fighting the Germans they fought predjudice. I also know that they relieved a Texas outfit and recently were declared to be honorary Texans. Did you know that? You are an honorary Texan. I guess you are going to have to buy a pair of boots and get a big hat."

He looked stunned and embarrassed.

"Back to fighting. If I am attacked I will use whatever it takes to make my attacker stop," I continued.

"You mean you would use a gun? You would actually shoot someone?" he asked, clearly upset.

"If one is available," I answered. "A gun is a pretty good tool for stopping fights quickly. It would certainly keep someone from hurting me."

"I'll deal with this later," he said. I knew he was going to call my father.

Right after class I rounded up four of the guys and told them to be on call that evening. I wanted witnesses to this as I expected the call.

Sure enough, the call came a couple of hours later. I saw my dad's mouth purse. "Let me get back with you," he said and turned to me.

"Dad, I'm going to get four of the guys that were there." I said.

"You don't have to do that," He said. "You know I'll take you at your word."

"Yeah," I replied. "And have him pull that 'I'm an adult and you kid is a liar' crap? No, thank you. I want you to make good and sure you have enough witnesses so he can't squirm out of this one."

"Have it your way," he said and I headed to the phone. I called the guys and they said thay were on their way.

While we were waiting for the guys to show up I gave my dad a word for word briefing of the exchange, including the 'honorary Texan' part. When I told him about being an honorary Texan, dad grinned.

During the war dad had flown into Texas a number of times and told me he didn't care for the place very much.

As the guys came to the house, I simply told the guys as they arrived, "Go tell my father what happened and do not lie to him. I want to have him know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."

Dad would take the guys into the other room as they came in and talk to them. The rest of us hung out at the kitchen table after they had told Dad what had happened.

Between 'interviews' Dad came out to the litchen and gabbed with us. He was one of those kind of guys that had a good, easy rapport with young men. He was not condescending like a lot of other adults were when dealing with young people. Guys liked him and respected him. He was telling Louie that he ought to think about a career in engineering or something when the last guy came in to be interviewed.

When the last of the four had spoken to Dad, he walked into the kitchen. "You guys beat it, I have a phone call to make."

We went into the dining room and sat down instrad of the living room because we knew that the dining room was closer. The door seperating the two was louvered and we knew we would be able to hear every word. Dad came and closed the door, but he was no fool. He knew why we were sitting there and he put on a poker face when he closed the door.

He dialed the phone.

"I'm sorry I took so long getting back to you," he said. "My son wanted to gather witnesses and it took me time to interview all of them. There are now four young men in the other room, not including my son, who tell me you took every word he said completely out of context and have accused him of being violent."

There was a pause.

Dad continued. "There is a sign at the Paris zoo in front of a cage that says "This animal is vicious. When attacked it will defend itself." It sounds a lot like what my son said. If he is attacked he will simply defend himself. You would do the same thing."

Another pause.

Dad again. "Well then, Let's get Kozinski and the seven of us can meet in the church hall and iron this out."

Kozinski was one of the priests. Father Kozinski was a pretty sharp cookie. Word on the street is that he didn't enter the priesthood until later on in life after he had served a tour in Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division. It would take him less than two minutes to get to the bottom of this. Everyone knew it.

There was a pause. Dad went continued. "I didn't think so. By the way, my son gave you some good advice when he told you that you should get a hat and some boots, the boots, anyway. The boots will make it easier for you to walk through your own bullshit pile. Good day, Tex."

He hung up the phone and walked directly into the dining room. He looked at the five of us.

"I know you guys were not listening in to what I was saying on the phone so I know this will not get out to the world to hear. If it does, I will personally whale the daylights out of all of you," he said.

Then he decided to let his hair down a little. "Sometimes being a kid has a few rough times because adults think they can walk all over you," he said. "Part of being an adult is being fair. Some guys are, some are not. If any of you four ever have problems let me know and I'll do what I can."

Later that night I asked Dad why he offered to go to bat for the other guys. He told me that the "I'm an adult' crap didn't mean squat to him. He simply wanted the truth.To him fair was fair and the rest of the world could kiss his ass. I later thought he had been burned once really bad as a kid but he never said anything to me about it. I wish I had asked him years later as an adult.

Shortly after everyone that had been in the class started referring to Mr. So and so as "Tex'. The nickname came aboveground a while later and just about everyone, kids and grownup alike, referred to him as Tex. Every so often someone would call him that to his face.


For the rest of his life Mr. So and so was never able to look me in the eye again.

Over the years every one of my four pals would drop by and visit my dad. They often recalled the incident and they all went out of their way years later to go to his wake after he died. One of the guys drove11 hours to be there.

I wish I could have made my father's wake but I was in the middle of the Bering Sea when he passed on. There was no way I could have made it.

I'm sure Dad understood.

my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 27, 2012

Yesterday I went to get gas

and I saw something pretty stupid which is nothing new. I see stupidity all the time.

The woman behind me had finished filling up and wanted to back up and go around me but she could not as the imbecile behind her was in big hurry to go nowhere and do nothing so he pulled in right behind her and crowded her so she couldn't back up. I noticed the guy behind HIM had left a reasonable distance so the idiot could back up and let the woman out.

I was fueling at the time and therefore couldn't move.

The woman got out of her car and explained to the idiot that he had to back up and he finally did.

Now the guy behind him must have been having an interesting day because he pulled right up behind the idiot, just about against his bumper, shut his car down and walked around him and up to me.

I looked at him and grinned. "I saw what you did," I said. "I suppose I'll just take my own sweet time."

He gave me a wicked grin. "Buy you a cup of coffee?" he asked.

"Certainly," I replied.

So we walked into the little quickie-mart and bought a cup of coffee.

A few minutes later the owner of the wedged in car came in looking for us and we told him we would move after we finished our coffee. He went livid!

The guy that had bought me the coffee smiled. "Don't like it when you get what you dished out, do you?"

The idiot threatened right then and there to call the police.

"Please do," I said. "That would be another stupid move."

"How's that," he said, angrily.

"Simple," I explained. "You call the police, and the pair of us leave. Then you leave. Then the police find nobody when they respond to the call and they track you down by your cell number and write you a summons for filing a false report."

"Why'dja tell him?" asked the guy that had bought me the coffee. "You ruined it. We could have gotten him to bust himself."

"Sorry," I grinned. I turned to the idiot. "We'll be finishing our coffee soon."

He went back to his car and sat there and did a slow burn. A minute or two I returned to my truck and drove off, freeing the idiot.

For some reason I think this was a waste of time because people like that are stupid and stupid people do not learn.

He'll do the same thing to someone elsr the next time he pulls up to the pump. You can't fix stupid.


my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Home is the sailor...

After an ardous trip of fighting sea serpants and almost falling off the edge of the world into the dark abyss, I have arrived home.

It was a basically boring drive that I managed to make in pretty good time and when I got near the home base I turned on the little 2 meter HT I carry and surprised myself by hitting a local repeater.

Someone on the other end reminded me that a local club was meeting at 1900.

I looked at my watch and gave the rig a little more gas got home. I had about a little under an hour to myself and went inside and organized a few things. There was a stack of QSL cards I scanned through and checked off a few more states on my list. Than went to the meeting.

It was interesting as there was a presentation showing how to hook a laptop up to a basic HF rig. Most of the rigs they make these days that are above entry level have various chips in them that permit hooking them up to a laptop and running the rig off of one.

While I have no interest in doing such a thing because I am Old School, it was interesting to watch. My IC-718 is a fairly simple rig and there is not a whole lot of computer stuff in it so I would be very limited. That is a part of the reason I bought the rig, it's simple.

I showed up in travel clothes that were not too bad and I was invited to join and I accepted. These are the guys that keep a pair of local repeaters running so I figured I might as well support them because I use their repeater.

The club used to meet at the local library and use the lawn there for field days but one day the library people told them basically to go away.

I guess there were complaints about one field day when they rerouted traffic and somebody's grandmother was stumbling around with a confused look saying, "Well...well...I don't understand. I ALWAYS drive through that way."

Either that or some panicky idiot said, "There's ELECTRICITY in those wires! Children could get hurt!"

You would be surprised how many electrophobes there are in this world and I am not kidding. There are a lot of people out there that are deathly scared of electricity and there is really nothing you can do to educate them or teach them that electricity is not going to jump out of a socket and zap them. We're talking emotion here and no amount of education will cure such a person.

One of the funniest things I have ever seen was back in high school when one of the guys built a huge Tesla coil and used it as some kind of presentation in an English class. (I think they were trying to teach us how to speak in public or something) Nobody knew the English teacher was an electrophobe.

He lit it off there were all kinds of mad scientist crackling sounds and huge sparks and the teacher totally freaked out. He shut it down and I helped him cart the infernal machine out of the room and down to the AV room where a period or two later the pair of us and a couple of the science teachers played with it. We got to skin out of study hall to go to the AV room.

I guess it was then that I learned you can not cure an electrophobe.

Anyway, the club got the boot and now meets at a local church and I think the facilities there are probably better for the guys.

WHile it was an interesting meeting, the timing was lousy as I really don't like to come home and go straight into gear. I need decompression time and today is decompression Thursday. I will do little today except hook up the rigs. I may not even turn them on.

Incidentally, if any of you readers are wives of guys that travel or work at sea, camp type jobs or drive long haul trucks I will give you a little tip that your hubby will greatly appreciate.

Do NOT hand him a 'honey-do' list when he walks in the door. GIve him some time to decompress. In my case it often takes a while to swap over to the 'shoreside mode'.

While the body can do the switch easily the mind needs a little time.

I'm running out of time as I have to get some grub so I will leave it at that.

my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

One sea story coming right up!

To my regular readers: Do not even think of asking what this is all about.

The voyage was long and fraught with peril.

It was a clear morning tide when we weighed anchor and sailed off into the sunrise. I waved good-bye to my true love who was on the pier.

"Good-bye, Clancy's! Save me a bottle of Jameson's for my return!" I shouted and after I did I saw my betrothed standing on the pier and turned to her.

"Good-bye, Penelope! I'll be back when this barge is full of whale oil in three years!"

"If she hasn't run off with Ivan the woodcutter by this weekend," said my shipmate. I nodded. We all know the drill. Then all hands turned to. We sailed the rig and shortly after sailing the tow was strung out on a long hawser.

In a few short hours land disappeared from view and we all sat down for a tasty evening meal. I turned in as the mate came on watch and slipped into a seagoing coma for several hours.

I was awakened to a series of noises and the engineer saw me stumble into the galley and asked for assistance in taking installing a 'keeper' on the tow cable. I agreed to go along and provide security to protect against the perils of sea serpents and other creatures known to prowl the seven seas.

I took the fire axe out of its holder and stood by ready to put a crashing blow into any sea serpents we might encounter. While standing by I spied a slimy tentacle sipping over the rail and awaited until the time was right until I dealt it a crashing blow and severed the slippery limb from the terrible sea creature. At once I recognized it and we all knew the only thing we could do the save the ship was to defeat this terrible sea creature from the murky depths.

In a flash the deckhand put his cutlass in his teeth and dove over the side in pursuit of the creature and parried off the attacks of the several tentacles until he managed to thrust his cutlass into the center of the creature.

He had little time to watch the remains of the creature slip down the depths into Davy Jones's Locker because he knew that if he didn't find a way to get back aboard he would be lost.

The Gods were with him and as he looked up he saw the towing cable and grasped it with one hand while putting his cutlass back in between his teeth and then began the slow process of climbing up the wire hand over hand.

As he emerged all hands helped him aboard where he was given a cup of rum and fed ham and eggs.

"Huzzah!" cried the crew.

The afternoon proved to be uneventful and I managed to get a decent sleep before the evening watch, which was also somewhat uneventful. After the evening watch I went to my bunk and dreamed of the terrible events of the afternoon and shook in fear at the possibility of another peril fraught day at sea.

Fot the next few days we sailed and came across the beautiful white sands of the southern Floridian beaches. We went ashore in the long boat where we consorted with the native women of the southern part of the exotic islands south of Florida and dallied in the sun which provided great respite for all hands.

But the sea called again and once more we sailed off into the sunrise and the following day we were in the perilous seas of the Atlantic.

There was little fear of deadly sea serpents in these waters. Our fear was now that if we sailed too far from sight of land that we would fall off the edge of the earth where we would plunge of the face of the eearth and spend eternity with much moaning, wailing and gnashing ot teeth and hearing the horrid lamanations of others that had fallen before us.

"Thar she blows!" cried the lookout.

"Whar she blows?" demanded the skipper.

"Whale blows off the starboard side!" answered the lookout.

"Lower the boat!" cried the skipper.

But before we could get the boat lowered a Japanese whaler came by out of nowhere. They harpooned the whale, took it aboard and sailed off headed for Osaka followed in hot pursuit by the Rainbow Warrior, the Sea Shepherd, three camera crews, six rubber rafts full of pot smoking hippies and the business agent of The Discovery Channel.

After we sadly watched a pretty good under the table paycheck head off to Osaka, a watch was posted to keep a sharp weather eye peeled for the sound of rushing water that would signal the brave little floating band the proximity of the end of the world and a terrible fate.

The weather turned for the worse and a storm brewed faster than a pot of tea and there were terrible wind and sea noises.

I took over the weather watch to give the beleaguered dackhand a well earned respite from the long watch.

I have sailed to the other seas of the earth and while Dutch Harbor is not the end of the world, on a clear day you can see it from there. I knew what to look out for. At the end of my watch I sat down for a meal and looked at the bottle of salad dressing.

Several years ago I had written the Navy, NOAA, and the defense Mapping agency letters asking them which of the seven seas were the 'official' seven seas and the answer I got was some mush about it being an old sailor's saying.

Disgusted, I wrote the Seven Seas salad dressing company who sent me the entire story of where the term 'the Seven Seas' came from along with the list of the official seven seas and a couple of coupons for free salad dressing. Go figure.

In the morning I awoke to find that during the night the wind had freshened and was now a tad blustry and knew the whistle of the wind would make it difficult to hear the end of the world. I listened but over the roar of the wind I could hear little.

Suddenly I spied the waterfall and cried out to the skipper a warning. "It's the end of the earth," I cried.

"Hard alee," shouted theskipper, turning the wheel.

It was a close call, but we made it. We looked aft and the tow was still headed toward the end of the world. If it went, we knew it would carry us off over the side.

The cable came taut as the tow started over the edge of the fearful precipitice and spun around. Tha after half hung over the edge.

"More steam!" roared the skipper.

"Uh, Skip...this is a diesel boat," answered the engineer.

"Well then, more diesel! shouted the skipper and we looked fearfully at the tow suspended half on and half off the face of the earth and quaked in our very seaboots.

To be continued the next time I need another favor.

my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/

Back in the saddle again

Which means I will be in internet range until I get off of this pig which will happen in a couple of days.

We are now inside and out of the slop which is always a good thing. I am up, there is a cup of coffee in front of me and here I am. It was a long haul and it is nearing the end and then when we get to port I will discharge the cargo and probably get off. After that there will be another.

Someone once described going to work as simply being a machine that hasn't been invented yet. It is one of those things an astute young man said in high school.

One of the other things I remember from high school is something that has stayed with me for all of those years. It was on the subject of rules, regulations and government.

It was some sort of student government thing. There was a campaign going on and the usual candidates debate hokum was taking place.

Someone looked at me and said simply, If we would all live responsibly we wouldn't need all of this crap.

True enough, but we don't.

One of the biggest things that makes me wonder is why we humans as a race do not simply execute those that ruin things for everybody else.

Remember the guy that got drunk at the company party and tore up the cubicles? Now we don't have a Christmas party anymore, yet the guy that ruined it for everyone else is still there.

Why not continue the party and just euthanize the jerk that otherwise would have ruined it for everyone else.

Politics in this country depress me because it generally seems that the people that get to the top are generally the very oness we don't even want to exist in out soeiety.

As far as I can see, we simply ought to take just about all of out elected officials and get rid of them and start fresh. Frankly I don't really care a whole lot about what you do with any of them. Just get rid of them all and replace them with people that truly want to serve.

While as a working stiff I really do not aspire for any real leadership position, I suppose that if it was my turn to take a slot in a local office I would and you can bet that when my term was over I'd be out of there like a shot.

A friend of mine once said that if he went back into the army he would work hard at staying a slick-sleeved private because he did not like the idea of telling someone else what to do. I can see it.

Sometimes I feel the same way.

It is too bad that we didn't figure out that simply getting rid of the jerks makes it easier on everyone else. We'd all be beter off and then every four years we wouldn't have to put up with this disgusting spectacle called an election where the very jerks we want to get rid of in the first place vie for the opportunity to lead us.

Save nine. Six for pallbearers, two for road guards and one lanky, long leger, four-eyes SOB to carry the boom box.

my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/

Monday, January 23, 2012

Another hole in the wall

The show must go on and we are still running through the slop. While it is not as bad as it was a while ago it is still no picnic.

It looks like tomorrow I will be back in business more or less permanantly.

I wonder how old Newt is doing since his victory in South Carolina?

I am somewhat surprised he did so well in SC considering it is a fairly religious state and his ex ran her mouth a couple of days before the polls opened. There was also a breakdown and an awful lot of South Carolinian women voted for him. My guess is the womenfolk figured that Newt's ex was trying to torpedo him as a punishment for whatever it is that exes punish each other for.

While I have an ex somewhere I see no need to punish her for anything. She is doing well and I wish her well just as I wish a almost all of other people that I have had various relationships with over the years.

I am no political analyst by any means and while I have made it clear here that I think the Obama administration had been a spectacular failure, that is pretty obvious to most people.

The answer to unemployment is to create an atmosphere for growth and not just simply extend unemployment benefits.

One of the things I can say for the Occupy Wall Street crowd is that they want the companies to start creating jobs here. The answer I seem to have for them is to vote in candidates that will create a better atmosphere for businesses to grow here.

I recall one small market that had a couple of part-time employees, most of whom were married women that got their health benefits through their husbands place of employment.I believe there was also a retiree, too. I spoke with the owner once and he said that if he was forced to supply health insursnce he would simply close shop. While I do not know what happened the market is no longer there.

Little Mom and Pop places like that generally live on a very small margin and while they do not provide enough work for a full-time employee to live on, they serve a purpose of supplying supplemental income.

Treating them like they are General Motors simply knocks them out of existince and means families are likely to go without things unless one partner had a damned good job.

Generally congress doesn't think when they legislate. They are not in touch with the people struggling to raise families in this day and age. In an awful lot of instances the day of the June Cleaver staying at home to raise Wally and the Beav are long gone. It often takes two paychecks today to raise a couple of kids.

You have to remember that there are a lot of companies that have outsourced not because they want to but because they were forced to for a number of different reasons. Many of these reasons were forced on them through misguided legislation.

I think that the American people have to change their attitude, too and realize that the gravy train is over and that a lot of things like 20 and out pensions are unsustainable. They also, in a lot of cases have to realize that they have to produce something so their companies can make a profit.

The unions also have to stop being so greedy, too.

I heard a guy that worked in a trade once say that the guy packing a lunch pail deserves a decent place to live, a new vehicle every so often and enough to raise a couple of kids and be able to put aside enough to get their kids some sort of a halfway decent education.

He may have been right.

While it was some time ago the steel industry in this nation, centered around Pittsburgh, collapsed. The final nail in the coffin seemed to be when the guys went on strike and management decided to outsource.

It sounds to me like the steelworkers got a little greedy. At tha time there were an awful lot of them that were doing well enough to be able to afford deer camps (read: vacation homes) and things of that nature for performing a job that didn't even require finishing high school. It was pretty hard for someone to be sympathetic for them.

Sometimes I think we are all asking for too much out of life.

Still, congress has to smarten up and think before the enact something.

As much as I liked Ronald Reagan I have to admit that he make a mistake when he tried to impose a luxury tax on boats. They passed the tax and the price of boats went up. People stopped buying new boats and the price of used vessels went through the roof. Meanwhile a number of fine boat builders went under. Cape Dory and Bristol are a pair that come to mind. Both of them went under and my guess is the tax killed them.

Although the tax was eventually repealed, it was too late for the people that went under and a number of excellent craftsmen wound up in the bread line. The end result was that people wound up on unemployment and the government wound up paying out more than they gained.

While it is a slam dunk no brainer that if government doesn't enforce at least some enviornmental laws that some greedy bastards will have us all living in the Love Canal or a sewer of some kind somewhere or have our rivers catch fire. There has to be a happy medium.

The people also have to open their eyes and raise cain, too. I wonder how much cleaner the air is with the so-called winter gasolines we use. I notice the gas milage in my 4 cylinder Toyota drop quite a bit in the winter. In the summer I get about 30 on the Interstate if I keep my foot out of the carburator. It drops to about 25 or maybe 26 in the winter.

How much cleaner is the winter gas going to make the air if I have to burn 15% more of it to go the same distance? It also means my gasoline bill goes up every winter by 15%, too.

Someone I know is bragging about their hybrid and while I am sure that it certainly burns less gasoline, the technology of today seem to require rare metals and I wonder how much damage the mining does to the earth. I don't know, but I wonder if it was taken into consideration. I would guess it wasn't.

(Incidentally, the guy with the hybrid is bragging about the incredible gas milage he gets and will do so until Neighbor Bob and I get tired of secretly dumping a gallon of gas here and there into his tank regularly. Watch him freak out when we stop and his milage drops to what it is supposed to be.)

It is starting to get lumpy again so I think I ought to secure the laptop.

Adios for now, Boys and Girls.

my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/

Saturday, January 21, 2012

early post. Caught another hole in the wall of silence

I got the last post off because we passed by a little chunk of land that had cell coverage. This is an early one because I passed through another hole and this will likely be the last post for a few more days.

I'm sorry for the long posts but I have a little spare time to put into things so I do and when you get several days worth it makes for a long read. Oh, well another day in the life of a swashbuckling sailor.

Everyone is up now because for no reason I can figure but nobody can seem to sleep.

When the off-watch people come on watch they will most likely be cranky and that means I will sit down somewhere out of the way and shut up.

I read where some news editor somewhere made a comment wondering why the Mossad has not whacked the POTUS which is a stupid thing to say. The Mossad may not want the present POTUS we have and I do not blame them if I were in their shoes but the Mossad is in no way stupid enough to whack the POTUS.

I don't want the present POTUS whacked, either. I just want him to go away.

The whole article that was written was little more than stupidity at its zenith.

For what it is worth the President is not the Lone Ranger. He's simply another person on a growing list that I wish would go away. Come to think of it I wish almost all of the people either in office oor running for office would go away.

One interesting thing I saw today. It seems like Ron Paul has a pretty good sized following of young people and that is a good thing. My main beef with Ron Paul is that he is simply unelectable. Much of what he has to say makes pretty good sense. If he were running against the current president I would certainly vote for him.

Instead he keeps on keeping on and the thought of him running on a third party ticket scares the hell out of me because his fan base will wind up splitting the ticket and we're stuck for another 4 years with Obama.

Four more years of hard times, excessive taxation, an unbalanced budget and plain hard times. What scares me is the legacy of it because right now there are too damned many people on the government tit and when it gets over 50% you can bet your boots we will be in a situation that the only way we can reseal the treasury doors is with copious amounts of blood.


I just had one of those rare mements that make life out here fun.

Picture 4 guys eating at the galley table and in the background the TV is on but muted. On the tube is one of those History Channel 'Extreme Marksman' programs. We've all seen the program before.

One of the guys takes the lead and becomes the imaginary announcer as a group if GIs are preparing a cannon.

"The shot," He announces. "Cub Scout Jimmy Jones has offered to put an apple on the top of his head at the range of nine miles. We're going to clip it off of his head and not even knock a hair out of place with a 105 HE round!"

I add, "Don't try this at home! These people are trained professionals!"

"Dammit! I was going to borrow the cannon from in front of the VFW and borrow the kid down the street," gripes the third guy. "Guess I can't do that."

While things like this happen rarely they are generally memorable.

Several years ago I once watched a tug crew watch the entire 'Wizard of Oz' and where they didn't know the lines they ad libbed. It was hilarious.(I was invited to stay. I played the Cowardly Lion.)

While we are on the subject I used to love to watch a guy I sailed with watch a western. He'd really get into it. His finger would become a 6-gun and his other hand would hold the reins and his entire body would start gallopping during the chase scenes and he' say, "Git 'em! Git 'em! Git the sumbitch!" The old Roy Rogers and Gene Autry oaters were the best ones as they had a lot of horse chases.

He was older than I am now back 15 years ago when I worked with him and he'd most likely dead but I still miss watching him watch a western.


Code just blew me away. I tried a string and forgot everything and I figure it is now back to square one. Ouch! It feels like a week's worth of work up in smoke but I figure it is just a major dip in the learning curve and maybe with a little more practice on my basics it'll pick up again.

This is frustrating!


For what it's worth the blog may contain a lot of my victories but I am not afraid to show my losses either.


my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/

Posted. i found a little hole in the wall to shoot this through

We have burned a lot of fuel so far and it is pretty obvious in that the trim of the vessel has changed a bit. This also changes the vibrations and noises to a certain extent. A while ago I went out on deck for a second and heard a few new noises.

It is no wonder that things change as fuel is burned off. a rig like this running hooked up can burn about 12 or 13 tons of diesel every 24 hours. That's about 1000 pounds an hour that is removed from the weight of the vessel. It does not include the water that we use, although we do not use anywhere near that amount of water. Food and other consumables add to this, too.

I mentioned them to the engineer who said they were normal. I had figured that but any changes I notice I say something about. It is a safety issue and there's no use winding up in a liferaft saying, "So that's what that was!" when there was something I could have said before something happened and we could have taken action to prevent it.


Well, we seem to have lost the internet and it does not look like we are going to have it back for a few more days.

We actually were not going to have it today for as long as we did and I was glad when I managed to get several days worth of blog posts out in one fell swoop.

To those of you regulars, sorry about that. I simply had to shoot them all out at once because when we did get the net back I really had no clue how long we were going to have it for. I got it posted during a window that lasted a short time. Shortly after I posted we lost it again but got it back.

It's kind of a chore catching up on things when you let them go for almoat a week. There are emails so sort, read or delete, and I also checked up on my QSLs because I sometimes QSL through eQSL or QRZ.com if the person I QSO'd doesn't want to send paper.

Anyway, I took part of today away from the code thing to let things settle a bit.

Dinner was excellent as it was steak night. The salad was good, too. We'll see what tomorrow brings and maybe I'll sleep well tonight to make up for last night's bad sleep.

I think we are due to get back into internet range Sunday or Monday but that could change as if the weather changes on us we may have to change course. We'll see.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...as the Lone Ranger and his faithful Indian companion were riding for help,

Speaking of the Lone Ranger, he's a pretty good subject for a post.

One time I saw a kid get told 'no' by his parents over a candy bar and he was grousing. He looked at me and grumbled.

"Don't feel like the Lone Ranger, kid. I can't eat them either." I said. "Doctor's orders."

The little guy asked me who the Lone Ranger is.

I looked up at the parents and said, "I don't know what kind of communist off-brand types you are raising that kid, but he's the first one I have ever met that doesn't know who the Lone Ranger is!"

The mother looked a bit wierded out, but the father looked at the boy.

"You don't know who the Lone Ranger is?" he asked the kid.


The man turned to his wife.

"Quick fix," he said and headed off to where they rent the DVDs. The wife looked to where her husband went with a look of wonder on her face and a few minutes later he returned with a couple of DVDs and a box of microwave popcorn.

He looked at the kid, "Son, tonight you are going to learn about the Lone Ranger," he said.

In this day and age it is pretty cool watching a man take fatherhood seriously enough to be a dad.


It is the beginning of another watch and I woke up tired and hauled my sorry ass out of the rack all gummy-eyed which, although not unheard of isn't common for me.

In a bit I will sneak into the head and shower and then I will be awake but I want the watch change activities there to die down so I'll wait a little while.

The weather still isn't bad at all which is a gift from God although I hear it is cold and snowy back home, information on this compliments of the Weather Channel.

A glance at the news as I walked past said that the government has raided pension funds again to make up for a shortfall. Par golf. It was noted that they have done this before and I an sure they will do it again.

They ought to throw these financial people out and replace them all with a couple of workingmans wives. The kind of women that raised about seven kids on an auto mechanics paycheck. They know how to account for every dime and know that you can't spend what you do not have.

Well, the ex-wife of Newt Gingrich is going to give an interview shortly and you just know what she is going to say. She's most likely going to really bad mouth him which is to be expected. Personally I don't give an ex-spouse a whole lot of credibility as a general rule.

While I have an ex-wife living somewhere far away I think I would be pretty lucky if I was running for office or came up under some kind of investigation because she'd probably be one of my biggest supporters.

Of course things got pretty shitty for a while after we seperated but I think both of us decided not to follow the vengeful route because there seemed to be no percentage in it. We simply decided to rethink things and when we did we both decided to get along.

Right now we're pretty good friends.

I do not think that Newt's ex is going to do him any favors, but we will see.

What I want to see is what Newt says about her. That will be the test.

The deckhand is busy and the rain locker is freed up so I will take advantage of the situation and take care of business.

Later: I am clean and empty.

The engineer is watching one Robin Meade and I guess she is covering the tryouts for Ameican Idol. I roll my eyes and someone says, "What's the matter, Pic? Don't want to be on American Idol?

A lot of people that I miss generally miss the whole point when they deal with me. I'm fairly happy as I am and do not want to be on American Idol. Besides I can't carry a tune in a bucket.

The other thing,too is that some of the younger guys fail to comprehend that I live alone by choice. One deckhand I know a while ago tried to fix me up with a Filipina and had several pictures of young pretty Filipinas. I suppose if I wanted to get truly single again and hook up with someone that a nice Filipina about my age would be a pretty good choice but the last thing I want is a girlfriend a third my age.

To get him to change the subject I told him I wasn't into 20 year olds and to come back when he had some women to show me that were in their fifties. He looked shocked.

"But they are too old to have babies," he said in a shocked voice.

Ya gotta think a minute. Why in the name of Sam Hill would a guy 60 years old want to raise a brood of babies. Assuming I was to be able to live to the ripe old age of 90 I have no desire to be dealing with a teenager while I am in my late 70s.

Why do people think I am that stupid?

I think a part of it is that they do not stop for a minute and think and look at what or who they are dealing with. Maybe if I was thirty and single I might have an interest in raising kids. But I am not thirty.

If people would look at me and think they would not walk into mine fields and walk out scathed and feeling stupid. It doesn't take much.

I try and look at someone and take a few seconds to try and figure them out before I suggest anything about their lifestyle. While I'm not always right, the effort generally pays off.

It doesn't take much.

Right now I am watching the engineer open a package of ham and it is pretty funny watching him deal with Space Age Plastic. If a guy doesn't have access to a pretty good tool box he could starve to death in this day and age.

Why do companies do that? It is not like they are trying to keep an Infindibulating MkIV Magnatron secure for use on deck of a submerged nuclear submarine at 38 knots. It is only a package of ham and once opened someone is going to make a sandwich out of it and eat it and that will be the end of it.

Instead the poor bastard had to break out the scissors and perform surgery to get the damned ham open. Of course, when he did he simply made a sandwich.

We over package everything and it is ridiculous. I once got a soccer ball for a kid and it arrived wrapped in several layers of bubble wrap in a box stuffed full of tiny little styrofoam packing peanuts. Of course when I gave the ball to the kid he promptly booted it about 40 yards.

A shipmate reports getting a pillow packed the same way.

They talk about obesity and I figure that if they simply start packaging sweets and fatty foods in The Amazing Space Age Plastic that it would do wonders in fighting obesity. The eater of the slop would have to at least get some form of exercise opening the damned package and in many cases rather than go through the ordeal of opening a candy bar they might even forgo it entirely.

Back to trying to fix me up with a 22 year old Filipina.

Maybe if I was 25 and shopping around. Maybe.

I am not a parent. I am an uncle. I have no desire to be a parent anymore. It didn't happen and it isn't going to happen. I stopped thinking about that over 20 years ago.


The Keystone pipeline got shot down and now our beloved President Obama is going to Disneyland to promote tourism. He said that they would just extend unemployment benefits.

What an idiot!

Creating jobs would remove an awful lot of people from the dependency of government. They would stop taking money out of our pockets and start paying in.

The pipeline would create quite a few jobs along with quite a few support businesses as well as bringing energy costs down and this jerk is in Disneyland talking about bringing in foriegn money by making it easier to enter the country. Just what we need. A new pipeline for bringing terrorism into the country.

Don't these people think?

The consensus of a website that I frequent is that I could do a better job than he is and I am only a merchant seaman with a high school diploma and 20 years of Hawsepipe U.


The weather just started getting a little lumpy and a few things have been moved so they will not fall off or out of their regular spots. When I hit the rack this laptop will get stashed somewhere safe. The weather is supposed to improve later.

This is not a good time to play with the code thing as I am subject to instant interruptions.


Next watch:

The sea has abated, we just managed to pass through a localized lumpy area. Dinner was a nice smoked brisket someone snagged from somewhere. Delicious.

I have in my bookscase a couple of copies of the day to day doings of a single 14 day trip I took in the Gulf of Mexico doing cleanup work for BP after the spill there. It was a long boring trip and I would write maybe 10 or 15 pages a day.

It actually reads a lot like the boring periods of Das Boot. If you have seen the movie you only remember the action scenes which is what most people remember. I remember the boring parts because there is an awful lot of that out here. I think the best war movie ever made in one respect was 'Mister Roberts' because it addresses the bulk of what went on during the war.

For every guy actually in the line there were about nine that were supporting him and not a whole lot of the work was glorious or very exciting. Most of it was logistical, a lot of it was mental.Like planning the load for a ship invading an island somewhere.

It was slow, tedious office work organizing such an endeavor. Everything had to be thought out and planned for. One would not think a typewriter is needed on the first wave but there would be a number of radio operators on the beach at the onset of the invasion.

While the radiomen could get by with a pad and pencil in a pinch it sure made things a lot easier and faster if they could type their messages as they received them. Therefore along with the ammo, food, water and POL someone would make sure a few typewriters went ashore with the first wave.

Someone had to figure all of this out and plan for it, and someone else had to load the ship, too. Much of this unexciting work was simplly drudgery and boring and an awful lot of guys spent the entire war doing things like this.

A lot of what we do out here isn't very exciting. So far this entire trip has been boring as the day is long, and it is not over yet. I hope it continues to be boring as I have had enough swashbuckling at sea for one life. You can only swing across the room on a chandleier so many times before the chandelier rips off the ceiling and you land on something you do not want to. Landing on your ass sometimes isn't a bad deal. Landing on the bad guy's sword is painful.

I'm busting the deckhands chops right now. He hasn't shaved in quite some time and I told him to go and shave everything but his moustache. I waved my beard trimmer at him.

"David Niven," I said. "I'll make you look like David Niven...or Errol Flynn...No, I won't. You'll become a Clark Gable and get to run around with Scarlett O'Hara on a southern plantation!"

He's kind of young but he knows who the people I mentioned are. He blushed and asked if he could get a sword and swing through the rigging. I said 'Sure!' and he blushed slightly.

"Maybe get a bow and arrow and put on a set of green tights!" I added.

He rubbed his unshaven chin thoughtfully. The seed has been planted and he knows that if I do give him a pencil thin moustache he can always shave it off later. We'll see what happens. Every so often someone gets bored enough out here to do something a little off the wall. I've seen it before. Hell, I've done it before.

I went over to get a cup of coffee and as I passed him I mimed being in a sword fight. He gave me a sheepish grin. Then I put my hand to the side of my face womanlike and feigned swooning. "He's soooo handsome," I cooed and be grinned and blushed.

I doubt he will this trip but one of these days he'll get in the mood to do something off the wall. Out here everybody does at some time or another.

I know I sure as hell have.

The deckhand teased me and asked me if I was homesick and I told him I have never been homesick and I suppose that's true. Probably because I have generally made my life paying attention to what is at hand.

While I suppose I would rather be home doing something else, it is not what is happening so I will pay attention to the matter at hand and when my time comes to go home I will do so and enjoy it. However, I feel no sense of longing for it. It will be there when I get there.

A short while ago someone dropped a pack of cigarettes onto the grate above the starboard engine and a couple of us rooted around and found it. The engineer griped for the eleventy fifth thousand time about how he wished the grates would be removed or at least covered up because crap is always falling down onto his engines.

The cigarettes were sought after not because they would damage the engne but because if they got into the bilge they coud plug up a pump strainer in an emergency. While some crews take things like this lightly these guys are true pros and don't.

During the search someone looked up and there they were. They had hit the grate and not fallen below but bounced under the washing machine where they were recovered.

To the landsman it is astonishing how much of a deckhands time is spent keeping things clean. The deckhand is generally a pretty busy guy, although his daily life is not frantic. He'll grab a bucket and rag and wash down a chunk of the fidley and then maybe loaf a bit and return to clean another chunk of it. It may take him a couple of watches until it is done, but in the meantime there are dishes to do and a head to clean up. It is a never ending job.

While his watch is seldom frantic,he manages to keep fairly busy.

I have decided for a while that several three minute blocs of code are probably better than trying to sit there for ten minutes and wade through it. You have to remember that most guys are not going to send the Gettysburg Address to you in a single string of dits and dahs. Most communication is done with Q signals that I have already mentioned in a previous post.

While I have not gotten to the Q signal reading part yet, it makes more sense for me to pay attention to taking down short messages of a senence or two.


News Flash.

Newt's ex just came on and I guess they showed a short clip of her. She did a pretty good job of coming on the air sans makeup and the rest of the polished finery and looking the part of the shocked wronged woman.

She looked exactly like a woman that is trying to punish an ex husband.

I'm not buying it, but I'm sure a lot of other people will.

Newt is probably out of the running.

The talking heads will drag this out for weeks.

Meanwhile Mitt is schmoozing the public.

Come November the American public is going to be handed one big giant $hit sandwich and we are all going to have to take a bite.


Speaking of Newt's ex, one of the guys out here got divorced several years ago and I got to watch the word 'stupid' personified.

First of all, when he moved out he simply left her and the kid without a dime and adopted the suave 'Rinso Kid' lifestyle with the $75 slacks, the Florsheims, spendy hair styles, manicures and the whole bit. He simply bailed and left her with no real income and a bunch of payments.

Things got reposessed and the poor woman had a pretty rough time putting food in the poor baby's belly. Meanwhile he is out there like some kind of self-appointed celebrity chasing women out of his league and living the high life.

That was stupid enough.

Then came the stupid stunt of the year stunt when the divorce came to court.

Not only did he come to court all lemon-rinsed looking like a tanned, manicured Rinso Kid, he brought his hottie girl friend in with him.

She came out of Central Casting. The heels, short skirt with a little stocking top showing when she sat down, the manucured nails and a set of huge, ripe cantalopes pouring out of a scoop necked sweater, topped off with big big, teased hair. Hot bimbo. Central Casting at its finest.

I guess he wanted to make his wife feel envious and get even with her.

His ex was no fool, either. She went to Central Casting also. They did a pretty good job on her, too. Enter the wronged woman and child. The woman carried the baby clad only in a clean diaper and blanket, both of which looked like they had been hand washed in a sink and dried in the living room on a line of some sort by a loving mother.

She looked like she was trying, as she was wearing a tattered sweater with a little white collar showing, again looking like they had been washed in the sink and carefully ironed. She looked gaunt and haggard like she hadn't slept in a week because whe had been working 144 hours a week just to keep the poor baby fed. Another masterpiece by central casting.

The judge took one look at the scene in his courtroom and decided right off, "I'll fix this idiot!" and clobbered him for just about every dime he had.

Newt's ex looks like Central Casting is still up and running and still doing its usual good job of creating appearances.

Adios, Newt.

I don't see why Newt didn't either buy or bully her into making him look at least halfway decent. He's played the game for long enough to know how its played.

Be good to the people you meet on your way to the top because they are the same people you are going to meet on your way to the bottom.

I ought to write my first wife and see what she would say about me if I was running for POTUS. I'll bet you she'd be pretty good about it. She'd probably be one of my best supporters.

Maybe I will and post it here. Either way it ought to be good.


I sort of screwed up a little on my last couple of code tries and ran the program at 20 wpm but seemed to do pretty much what I did at 15 wpm. (Poor)

It tells me that while I know a lot of the characters cold that I have to hammer a few more into my head so that it becomes total reflex. In reading code there has to be no hesitation whatsoever. when you hear the combination you can not think. You simply have to write it down.

Because I am working at becoming a field type operator as opposed to a desk operator I have to be able to write all this down on paper. There isn't a 110 outlet out in the field where I often operate, hence no real computer. Batteries are expensive and do not last long.The program wants me to write the characters down on the keyboard so it can score me.

This is a case of looking at something and deciding what you want to get out of it and not what the teacher wants you to get out of it. You have to be able to adapt the tool to fit the job. I am writing down the characters on paper and check them afterwards. Right now the results are not very good, but it is just a part of the learning curve.

Most mechanics have a couple of wrenches in their tool box that they have heated up on a torch and bent to a different angle for certain jobs. What I am doing is pretty much the same thing. I am adapting the program to fit my needs.

When I was in school I would do this from time to time in some classes. It drove the teachers nuts and I'd explain that I was learning what I figured I needed in later life and not just regurgitating every word they said. I had one high school teacher that I told this to and he grew thoughtful and told me he wanted to think about my attitude overnight.

The next day he told me that I could run with it and he would spend time with me every so often to see where I was at.

Unknown to him, I was busy learning both plane and sperical. The plane was for being able to figure out stuff like rafter lengths and things like that and the spherical was because I wanted to learn navigation. My dad broke out his WW2 carton of stuff navigational and I learned to solve spherical triangles with his help. In class I learned the plane aspect of geometry.

While my final grade was a B, he quietly told me that the administration had gotten wind of things and he had to stick with the sylabus and give me the B.

The class looked at me like I was nuts when he handed out the finals and made it a point that while everyone had one final, he was handing me two. I did pretty good in the one everyone else had and blew his mind in the second one. He was pretty good about the second final in that he let me use the navigation tables to solve the spherical stuff which were navigational problems. I remember part of the answer to a rafter length problem. It was
something like 13 feet, 3-5/8s inches and the notation next to the numerical answer was 'cut the pencil line'.

I was there when he corrected both finals, but the second one was the one that mattered. He saw the notation and calculated the rafter length and it was some thing just a whisker over the 5/8ths. He was not a tool guy but he could think. He said he would run that by the shop teacher. He did, too and the next day he told me the shop teacher laughed and said the rafter would probably fit pretty good so I got that one right.

I turned out to be right taking the class on my own terms as when I was in the Army my classes on surveying at Fort Sill were a snap as were my Coast Guard tests for my license. I also navigated a sailboat from Honolulu to Tacoma by sextant.

I also became sort of the go-to guy for building cut-up roofs and dormers for a while when I did carpentry up in Alaska and there are most certainly a number of roofs and dormers still standing that I cut.

What is interesting to note is that the teacher was one of those sad souls that nobody really remembers. He wasn't a colorful guy, and seemed to have a drab personality but he was sure good to me and sure helped me end up making a pretty good living in the long run.

He was the only teacher I asked to sign my yearbook.

Anyway, I am adapting this code course to do what I want it to do for me and not what someone else wants me to be able to do. I will learn to write code on PAPER and not on some damned keyboard.


I think I am going to join the American Radio Relay League when I get home.

While they sent me a bunch of nice stuff when I got licensed, I held off until I saw what it was that they did and if I had anyinterest in any of the programs.

They have a couple of times out there a couple of times a week for slow code practice for newbies and they also are the QSL bureau for the International Space Station and both of these interest me. I ought to join.

Another thing I might join is the local club, but I will check it out first. I am not too sure if I would fit in for a couple of reasons. First, I will most likely miss most of the meetings because of work and the other is that I might not fit in unless there are a few people that understand my interest in the hobby. If there are green radio and boat anchor people there I won't have a problem.

The other thing is they are the local Ecomm people and they do a few Ecomm drills a year and they have a pretty good sized trailer full of high tech stuff and my guess is they can go on the air in maybe an hour or two with maybe 200 watts setting up huge antennas with masts.

I saw them a couple of years ago and their setup looked kind of cumbersome to me.

I can go on the air with 30 watts in about thirty seconds. If I want a big antenna it takes five minutes or so, depending on a few variables. Ten or fifteen minutes tops if there are trees nearby.

Sometimes things like this embarrass people like that. They run a trailer with a lot of high tech stuff in it and it needs a place that is vehicle accessible. I don't. If I can walk there I can set up there. They also run off of Honda generators while I run off of a hand generator.

If there are a couple of green radio guys or QRP people I'll fit right in. If not I am going to have to show them that I could compliment them bu filling in the interim time while they are setting up.

We'll see how that works out. My guess is that I will probably fit in after they figure me out.

I may have to change the QTH on my QSL cards from BFE to Outer Mongolia or someplace.


Up. Coffeeing. Computer booted up. Another watch begins. The news is on and I am not going to get a big dose of it or I will get very sarcastic today.

Last night before I racked out I set the code to random words as opposed to random letter groups and I did pretty good. My last 3 minute run was almost understandable. There is hope that I can learn to read code.

This has been a long trip and there are a couple of roasting chickens I can see thawing out on the counter for dinner tonight.

A lot of people tell me that they hear we eat pretty good out here and we actually do but things have changed over the years. As machinery has replaced a lot of the bull work that used to take place out here the amounts of food we consume have dwindled. We don't burn it off like we used to.

In a sense loggers have changed, also. They changed long before we did after the chain saw went into service. Before that it was two man hand powered saws and axes.

While logging is certainly still rigorous it isn't what it was like years ago before the chain saw and other powered conveyances arrived on the job. It's also true out here.

Back before powered capstans and wire machines arrived deckhands used to have to haul in long hawsers by hand. It was hard, cold work and consumed the calories.

Not anymore. As a result the amount of food required has dropped off and most crews have seemed to adjust to the different caloric needs required to stay in halfway decent shape.

Some, of course, have not and there are a few obese people out here. I think part of it is the leadership of the vessel and part of it the individual personality of the crew member.

A while back some idiot started talking about how wonderful the good old days were out here on tugboats. I let him run on about how they ate like kings and got all of this fresh air and exercise and how healthy they all were. I let him run on a while until I sprang my trap.

I pointed out that sometimes deckhands washed over the side hauling in hawser and how there were more hernias, slipped discs, crippling accidents and fatalities than you could shake a stick at and asked him if he was really stupid enough to wish for the good old days.

He mumbled something and shuffled off.

Herman cain just raised his twisted little head and reminded us that he is still an idiot with his endorsement of the American people. He says we are still in charge. Yeah, right. Who is he trying to kid? He's another one I wish would simply go away. Anyone stupid enough not to have himself investigated and have the holes plugged up is too stupid to be president.

We COULD take charge but we would have to start showing up at our representatives offices with torches and pitchforks in some cases and blindfolds and cigarettes in other cases. Most of our representatives live in their own little world and have never had to raise their kids on, say, a mechanics pay.

Incidentally, while I really don't care for Romney I agree with his refusal to apologize for being successful. He is successful. He played the game and succeeded.

Sly Stone of 'Sly and the Family Stone' had a song out years ago named 'You can make it if you try'. He was right then and it still holds. Look at of the people from India and Pakistan that have moved here, looked around and gone straight into the convenience store business and are successful.

Here are so many of them that it has become the an American stereotype and the butt of many jokes.

(Hear about the lottery in India? You buy a dot for a rupee. If it matches the one on your forehead you win a 7-Eleven in New Jersey.)

I have asked a couple and gotten the same answer several times. The look at me like I'm nuts and tell me the same thing: "It's the American dream of owning your own business!"

I know of a couple of them in Pittsburgh that are owned by engineers that in addition to running their own business they work 40+ hours as engineers downtown.

My favorite liquor store is run by Indians and they know how the game is played. They do a damned good job. They give me a pretty dammned good deal on those little quarter pints that I use as tips and bribes while the rest of the stores in the area are too stupid, cheap and greedy to give me a case lot price.

He once told me that he didn't mind doing this because although he didn't make as much money on the case lot deal he still made a little money on the transaction and it was a neat one-shot deal. The money spent on the little bottles pays me dividends as I have posted before. A little nip like that can be traded for an awful lot.

Those guys work long hours and there is quite an amount of bull work shuffling cases of beer and hooch around but I'm pretty sure they do well.

You can still make it if you try. The opportunity is still there.

About 20 years ago I collected unemployment for a few weeks and I was actually in the shoes of an unemployment insurance collecter. When I got a job it was not whole lot more than I was making on unemployment. I remember thinking that I was going back to work for about fifty bucks a week.

What?? You went to work for a measley fifty bucks a week?

In a sense, yes. You look at the numbers. We'll make them simple. Say I was taking home $100 weekly on unemployment and I took a job that made me $120 take home weekly. I have just gone to work for $20/week. That's fifty cents an hour.

I have to admit it makes a person think twice about getting off of their ass and going back to work. It's pretty easy to say 'Why bother?"

While I do not remember the numbers I did go back to work for peanuts.

Actually the reason I bothered is because I saw that it was an entry level job with room for advancement. I had no intention of staying in an entry level position. I didn't. In under six months I was fast tracked into a training program and here I am now.

I'm going to do some code now. Maybe more later.


After several three minute blocs it is time to take a break because it is sort of wierd the way my brain works. I start out (relatively speaking) halfway decent and improve but after awhile I take a dip and brain farts happen and I go the.

Newt Gingrich ought to lose a few pounds. He looks like hell.

Newt is also right in a way when he went after the media last night. They are nothing but $hit stirrers that seem to contribute little except to stick their nose where it isn't wanted.

While I am no fan of Bill Clinton I have to admit the media had a field day over the Monica Lewinsky affair. Then again, Clinton didn't handle it too well, either. He should have taken one of two tacks. He should have either said it was nobody's business and that it ends now or he should have taken the Piccolo route and simply said, "Yeah, So?"

Over the years I have admitted to things I have not even done just to shut people the hell up. I've also denied it by admitting to something worse than I was accused of and said, "So? What's the big deal?" One of my favorite lines was "Besides you, who cares? It sounds like you're just trying to stay off the radar by puttin' me on it. Whaddya YOU got to hide?"

That generally gets people thinking.

The best defense of all, though is to have something on them. Years ago I was dating a woman about 8 or 10 years older than I was. It was a go nowhere situation and we were both seeing each other for fun. She was a hoot. She was also fairly successful and some stuffy woman about her age accused me of trying to be a gold digger.

"She wears big girl panties," I shot back. "Now you answer me a question. I answered yours. How come I saw So and so sneaking out your back door at 3 am? He's only 19 and still a teenager!"

It hits the accuser like a bucket of ice water and the look on her face tipped her hand. It was obviously true. The shoe was now on the other foot.

Anyway I'll have a cup of joe and after I hit the head I'll get back at it.

Shower due during afternoon watch. The engineer said we're doing OK as far as water goes. Good deal.

Someone asked me if I wanted to pick the channel on the TV. Seeing the news is trash I decided that figured an improvement on watching the political arena was in order. I went straight to the Jerry Springer Show. At least the results of that circus are not going to impact a whole lot of us in any appreciable way.

I just made one of the guys snarf. One of the Springer guests did a split and he commented "That's prettty good for a fat chick."

'Yeah, but Steve's gonna have to help her up because I'll bet she sticks to the floor," I replied. "Listen carefully and you can hear the pop!"

Snarf. I caught him at just the right time.

Someone made bratwurst. My belly does not need one of those so I will forego. However, maybe a couple of the peppers he made will serve to loosen a few things up and with few calories. I could use it.

There is an AARP ad on the tube and I am not a member because I see what they did. They started it with an agenda in mind and not nesessarily one that is good for either the public of the retired person.

The first thing they did when they got any number of members is they got various companies to give them all sorts of deals and then the membership grew because they were simply getting pretty good deals on things and members were eligible.

They claim that their membership has a lot of clout and in a way it sure does but there are an awful lot of members that don't see things the way AARP leadership does but are only members for the deals they get on insurance and other things.

A while back they were big on gun control and that is no good thing for a retired guy because there is one easy to use tool that can put an 80 year old man on an even footing with a 22 year old thug. It is called a handgun. Every retiree ought to own one or even two or three if they can afford them.

They also want to simply add to the debt we pass on to our children by getting Uncle Sam to take care of them. I have heard that there is a conservative parallel organization that gets seniors pretty good deals. I'll have to check into them. Maybe they make sense, AARP doesn't.

I'm not going to sell out that cheap.


There is one of those dopey Jean Claude Van Dam movies going on in the background which I glanced at and as usual with much of the TV I am ignoring.

The story I got about that clown is that he really though he was a tough as he was portrayed to be on the silver screen and was strutting around the set bragging that there wasn't anyone on the set that could whip his butt. He then offered a chunk of change to anyone that could and about two seconds later a stuntman took his offer up and had him twisted up like a pretzel.

He supposidly got all pouty and went into his trailer and moped.

While I can not verify the story, it sounds about right.


Code is getting a little better and one of the guys commented that I might be a bit better off if I put a little more space between letters so I could have a little more time to think and recall. He may be right but in a way this is like learning a foreign language.

When an immigrant comes here there is sometimes a pause between the time you finish speaking and he answers. That is because he is translating what you said in his head and forming a reply in his language and then translating it back to English, hence the lag time.

I have watched a guy that works at a local gas station go through this phase and it seemed overnight that he stopped pausing before he answered me. I recently asked him what language he dreamed in and he told me he still dreamed in his native tongue. I told him that when he starts dreaming in both English AND his native tongue that he will have become truly bilingual.

I cannot afford the luxury of time to translate. I have to be able to react to hearing the Morse letter and not have to think. I have to be able to simply write the letter down because I know what it is without translating it.

I'd bet that my Uncle Fred didn't hear the individual letters. I'd bet he heard entire words.


It is a new watch but it is starting early because I have channel fever. I can't sleep.

I'm up after a catnap and refuse to go back to sleep so I'm up and that it that.

Channel fever is generally very near the end of a trip where a guy is keyed up and ready to get off and he can't sleep. I seldom get it and when I do it is long before we get off the boat. I get it about 2/3s of the way through a tour and it is generally preceeded by a couple periods of comatose afternoon sleep so it is really not much of a problem. Tonight I will sleep well.


I should have checked in with Boots and Coots when I was in Houston. They probably don't have a whole lot to do between oil well fires and maybe they could have used the company. Maybe drop by for a little bourbon and tap water and have a good old fashioned Texas barbecue with a couple of Texas good old boys.


The deckhand baked a cake but I won't have any because I do not care for carrot cake for one and even if it was a chocolate cake I would most likely pass as I do not need the extra calories. It looks pretty good, though.

My favorite cake is a simple yellow cake with chocolate frosting. If I don't get a piece of it that is still warm than I wait a day or two for it to age a bit. I like it when it is a day or two old unless it is still warm fresh out of the oven.


Someone asked me "Gee! How come you just don't type the letters down instead of using the pen and paper?" I simply told him because it is a better way to learn and left it at that.

I didn't want to go through all of the explaination of taking a field radio out into the field and strapping a key to my thigh because the next question was sure to be "Why don't you use a microphone and just talk?"

I suppose eventually somebody is bound to ask that question and I already have an answer.

With a straight face I am going to tell him I am taking a secret agent corrospondence course so I can work for the CIA and that I sent in a coupon I got from a magazine along with $19.95 and a specially marked box top from a case of Remington NATO 7.62 ammunition.


Somebody asked me why I don't watch a whole lot of TV out here. I tuned in some so-called action thriller I have never seen and simply started being a commentator.

"Now we have the good guy throwing an entire pail of unlit gasoline about 75 yards at the boat. He hits the boat and the gasoline magically explodes. In a minute we have the helicopter trying to escape scene where he scampers up the skid and gets into a fight with the bad guy and someone gets thrown out but it is too far from the end of the movie to off the bad guy so they both fall out over the water and the helicopter crashes into a cliff and explodes."

"Then the sharks come and the two of them fight over the bouy and the woman has terrific boobs pouring out over the top of her skintight top, just like we see everyday when we go to WalMart only her butt isn't three axe handles wide. It's gorgeous."

"Next the cops overlook 17 major felonies the good guy committed and call him a hero and he runs off with the girl with the great looking boobs. The End."

Now you know why I don't watch a lot of TV, although I have to admit the chick with the big boobs is eye candy.

I ought to write a parody of the exploding cars. The Exploding car movie. Some little kid on a Hot Wheels trike broadsides a car. Boom! a guy taps the bumper of another car as he is pulling out of a parallel parking situation. Both cars go Ka-Boom!

Some guy kicks the tires in used car lot. Another fireball. A 627 car chain crash on I-5 and 627 cars go flying hundreds of feet into the air as huge fireballs. A thousand cars turn into fiery wrecks hurtling through the air.

You know, just like in real life.

In my 60 years man and boy I have seen a couple of cars catch fire from leaking fuel lines and one or two torched but have yet to see one explode. Who is Hollywood kidding?


Slump in the code.

Solution? Put it away for a while and return when I am fresh.


Code is frustrating as there are about six letters I seem to have sort of forgotten or maybe even not hammered theminto my head hard enough. Time to go back to basics and play the hammer the holy hell out of them for a while.

I knew there would be ups and downs and I was willing to accept that. This is a down so I just have to hammer it a bit harder. WHen you get down to it I am actually doing fairly well, all things considered.

I got drafted to do a little marlinspike work. No sweat, all I had to do was get a couple splices started and the deckhand took over and did all the tucks. I made sure he knew how to start it because part of my job here is to teach. Next time I suppose he will start the splice and ask me to check it for him which I cheerfully will.

I have a pretty good reputation for being able to handle a lot of the Old School stuff.

One of the things that happens to a block and a fall is that the lines get twisted over time.

I had a guy tell me that the only thing he can do to get the twists out is to two-block the damned thing and then lower the fall. It is best to put a tagline on the fall so you can pull it down again unless you have a pretty hefty weight on it. He asked me for some sneaky trick to make it easy for him and I laughed and had to tell him that that's the way we have been doing it for centuries.

There are some things that happen while working with lines that there are no clever tricks to make things easier. Sometimes the difference between a newbie and an old salt is that the old salt knows better than try something clever and goes straight back to basics.

Shooting is like that. It is all basics and repetition. There simply is no magic about it. If you go through basic training and truly pay attention you will know about as much as an expert except for one thing. You will have to go through a frustrating period of trying to discover secrets that simply do not exist.

In a lot of cases the same holds true for lines.

Speaking of shooting I think that in addition to taking the PRC-320 on the road I am going to return to the match curcuit but I think I will not restart with an AR-15, but return to where I started. I'm going to shoot a Garand for the first few matches with basic issue ammo of which I have quite a bit sitting around.

I want to start off with a .30 cal and relearn dealing with the blast and recoil and just plain have a little fun before I return to the AR-15. When you learn the basics with a Garand or even a Springfield, you only have to pick up an AR and use what you have learned shooting .30 cal as the Garand is a more difficult rifle to shoot well.

Back in the day when I was shooting at Camp Perry annually I used to practice for the Garand match with a 1903A3 Springfield as it was a bolt gun and the sights were basically the same. It was more difficult to do because I had to work the bolt between shots so when I picked up the Garand it was pretty much a snap. I knew if I could get all 10 of them off in a minute with the old Springfield that I would have plenty of time with the Garand.

The strategy worked because the year I did that I did pretty well in the couple of Garand matches I shot that year. That year I only shot the Garand in matches, never in practice. I'd go into a match cold with the Garand and so rather well.

I think I'll start the season with a Garand and then swap out to the AR-15 halfway through the season after I get tuned up with the Garand and I'll bet you the first time I pick up the AR my scores will go through the roof. (relatively speaking, of course)

I can now feel the motion of the boat changing and word is that it is going to get a little nautical out and the sea will be somewhat lumpy for a while, probably until we duck into the bay.


Rigs like this burn a lot of fuel, maybe upwards of 4000 gallons a day while running hooked up. That sounds like an awful lot until you remember that it is generally towing 2.1 MILLION gallons of liquid cargo.

Although while towing the rig goes through about 17 gallons per mile you have to remember a fuel truck that gets about 6 or 8 mpg only hauls about 3500 gallons. When you figure out the amount of fuel burned to get the cargo moved it sure is a whole lot cheaper than moving it by truck or rail.

It would take about 600 fuel trucks to move what we do. That means 600 trucks, 600 drivers and about 100 gallons of fuel to move that much cargo 1 mile.

We move the same amount of cargo a mile with six or seven guys and 17 gallons of fuel. and when you figure a nautical mile is 6076 feet as opposed to the 5280 of the statute mile that makes it even cheaper yet.

I suppose some bean counter is going to come along and run my figures and tell me I'm all wrong because I rounded 16.6666666666666666666666666 to 17 to make things easier but you get the general idea.

If you are that bean counter, than why don't you take a nice trip to the theological place of eternal punishment and leave the rest of us alone.


One of the things that someone mentioned is the porn library on one of the boats one of the guys sailed on some time ago.

Truth is I have not seen much porn on these rigs in about a decade or more. Rare is even a copy of Playboy, but things like Maxim appear frequently. Maxim is simple cheesecake and all of the models are fairly decently clad for the most part. Sometimes you will see a couple biker type magazines kicking around. They're nothing to speak of.

Someone mentioned that a while back he sailed on a rig with a pretty good sized collection of smut DVDs but the truth is that is somewhat of a rare boat.

Maybe a decade ago the porn on these rigs slowly started disappearing. I can't explain it and it really makes no difference to me as I couldn't care less but it is interesting to note.

When I first came into this business there was generally a stack of various porn magazines about a foot thick along with a pretty good collection of VHS movies but they seem to have slowly disappeared.

Maybe the dynamics of the crews has changed, who knows?

While I don't miss them at all it is interesting that they have disappeared.


I looked briefly at the upcoming S.C. primary that is being held today.

It might be a horse race between Newt and Mitt.

Ron Paul is still there making a pain in the a$$ out of himself. While he had to test the waters he is pretty much considered unelectable and ought to simply drop out but he won't. He'll most likely continue being a thorn in everyone's side and run as a third party candidate and insure that we have four more years of Obama because the Paulbots will be childish and vote for him even though he has no choice whatsoever of being elected.

The will split the ticket and insure the reelection of Obama and we will have to deal with four more years of just plain stupidity and hard times.

I caught a little bit of the story but did not get the entire thing but I understand one or two of the missing passengers from the ill fated cruise liner have turned up in Germany. If it is actually so I am not surprised. I would probably just quietly hop on a plane home as soon as I hit the beach if I was evacuated from a sinking cruise liner.

I am somewhat surprised that more people simply didn't do just that.

There really isn't any percentage I can see with hanging out on some dock waiting for some stuffy indignant cruise company fat lady to show up and try and put me up in some fleabag hotel somewhere in downtown Italy. Why? What's the point? You might just as well either go home or simply spend the rest of your vacation doing something else.

Piccolo? Piccolo? Where is Piccolo? I haven't checked him off the list!

"Piccolo! Piccolo! Anyone seen Piccolo? Pic---col---o! Pic--col-oo! Anyone seen Piccolo?" Calls out the frantic fat lady from the cruise comany as she slowly goes out of her mind.

Meanwhile up in the Swiss alps Piccolo (having swiped the cask of brandy from a passing St. Bernard) sits atop some mountaintop learning to yodel through one of those big horns. "Yodel-a-e-a-e-yodel-a-e-yooo!"

The Swiss yodeling teacher sees another passing St. Bernard and points it out to Pic. "Das eiss man's best friend," he says to Piccolo.

"Yeah," Answers Pic. "And look at the size of the dog carryin' it!"

Meanwhile, back at the dock..."Yoo-hoo! Yoo-hoo! Pic--co--lo!"


Another watch begins.

Welcome, my friend, to the show that never ends. (Thanks, Bob)

Looks like there is going to be about two minutes of activity on deck, not much. Someone is just going to check a couple of things but because I am bored I will go along to provide security. I will man the fire axe in case we get attacked by sea serpents. If I see a tenacle slithering on board I will grab the fire axe and chop it off.

Anyway that is what I just told the engineer and he said he was relieved that someone would courageously perfom this duty. He said he feels much safer.

While none of us have been personally attacked by sea serpents whe have heard stories of this happening. Of course, part of my duties will be keeping a lookout for mermaids.

There is a special way to catch a mermaid. It is called the perfect circle diamond hook. There is not a mermaid out there that cannot resist putting a diamond ring on her finger. When she puts the perfect circle diamond hook on her finger the pressure of the line cants the circle and jams it so she can not remove it. Then you reel her in.

I have been trying to catch a mermaid for quite some time but they are pretty rare. One of the things that I have never understood is why the government has not put them on the endangered species list.

While we are on the subject of endangered species, you haven't seen a whole lot of naugahide wallets lately. How come naugas are not on the list?

Perhaps this important issue will be brought up during the upcoming election.

Some time ago I saw a campaign to save the skeets but it didn't get very far. While people shoot skeets by the million there never seems to be a shortage of them because they are so prolific. They seem to reproduce as fast as they get shot to pieces. Skeets are not being considered for inclusion on the endangered species list at this time.


Speaking of saving skeets, I sort of figure that if a guy took out a page ad in something like USA today starting a campaign on this major issue he could probably turn a profit.

"Every day thousands of skeets are brutally murdered by people calling themselves sportsman. End the senseless slaughter of these poor clay birds. Your generous donation could put an end to this disgraceful and senseless slaughter! Send your charitable donation to Piccolo Enterprises now! Act now! Operators are standing by!"

I maintain there are enough idiots in this country to make this a profitable venture until Uncle Sam stepped in.

Of course, the government considers it's job to protect stupid people from things like this.

Canada Bill Jones looks at it in a different light. "It is morally wrong to allow a sucker to keep his money," I read somewhere.


I looked astern and saw the rhythmatic rising and falling of the heavy bridle of out tow. It tells me we are in perfect syncronization with the motion of the sea. The average guy looks at the heavy bridle as overkill and from a structural point of view it probably is. The reason it is so big and overbuilt is because weight is desired to absorb the shock.

The reason a lot of cable is put out is partially for weight. The heavy cable has a lot of sag in it and the sag provides a lot of shock absorbtion for both the tug and the tow to keep it from jerking and banging. It is a pretty primitive system when you look at it but it is cost efficient and it works quite well.

One drawback is that the middle of the cable sinks pretty deep and if you get into water that is too shallow the cable can drag on the bottom. You have to pay attention to the water depth to prevent this.

The space between the tug and tow is a dangerous spot to be and one thing that ought to be rammed into the heads of recreational boaters is to stay the hell away from that particular spot.

Every so often some kamikaze in a speedboat doesn't realize that the tow is attached to the tug with a cable and decided to cut between the two units. While if the moron times things right and goes smack between the tug and tow he will often get away with it, lousy timing can result in either having the motor snagged by the cable followed by being run over or even a lifting cable tearing the bottom out of the entire boat.

We just hit an internet pocket so I am posting now

my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/