Blogging 201: Day Three- You’ve Got the Look

The assignment for day 3 of the Blogging 201 challenge is to continue refining your ‘brand’. I’ve already done quite a bit of that when I was first getting started and then again during the original Zero to Hero challenge.

I also took a critical look at my blog for yesterdays assignment (Audit Your Brand). I think there are a few small things I’d like to play with, but since I’m actually traveling in Korea at the moment I’m not going to do that right now.

I hate to spend my time here playing on the computer for hours on end when I should be out exploring Korea!

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the look of my blog. My brand. I’d be happy to hear any comments or suggestions from anyone as to how to improve it. :-)

Blogging 201: Day Two- Audit Your Brand

Still trying to catch up. The assignment for Day 2 (though I’m actually so far behind it’s really already day 10) is to ‘audit your brand’. The assignment is to look at everything you put on your blog and make sure it’s consistent with your ‘brand’.

I’m having a little bit of a hard time with this one. I’m not really sure of what my brand IS. Is it ME?? Since I don’t have any sort of product I’m trying to sell here, I guess in a way it IS me.

I’m trying to interest readers in my content which consists of my interests. It includes my photography, my opinions, my choices on what to share here, etc.

I’d really like to get people to get excited about the things that I am so passionate about, so I try to present those sorts of things here but I’m not really sure how that relates to ‘my brand’.

I’m trying to look at my blog with a critical eye. I still like the theme and think it works well for me.

I like the font and colors for my posts.

I definitely like my title and tag line.

I could probably tweak the titles of my widgets a little bit but I can’t come up with anything better right now to change them to.

I think I’ll probably move the awards to a separate page eventually and clean up the sidebar a little bit.

And MAYBE I might want to change my header photo. I’m not sure yet. I really love that photo and the feeling I get from it, but I think I might like something more in line with the coloring of the rest of my blog. That orange is just really glaring. It’s very attention grabbing, which was my purpose when I chose it for the header and I still like it for that. So I’ll leave it as is for now.

I did manage to create a new email account just for this blog (captjillsjourneys@gmail.com). It took me a while so I have NOT managed to change the settings yet (but I’ll get to that soon). I think it will probably work better for me if the email notifications re: the blog don’t keep on getting mixed up in my personal email. I lose a lot of them that way. :-(

I also changed my ‘comment prompt’. I hope it will make people feel better about communicating with me here. :-)

Does all this carry through to other places I’m online? I only use Facebook, Twitter, and now Pinterest (tho I’m still pretty confused as to what to do there). I’m sure the content concentration carries through.

I use the same gravatar on Facebook so it’s a good marker there. I do have one of my pictures for my Twitter gravatar but it’s actually one of me instead of one I took. I don’t see anything on Pinterest to do the same sort of function. Is there something like that on there?

I’m so far behind with the assignment that I’m not having much luck trying to look at the Commons, the computer just won’t allow me to go back that far. Does anybody have any feedback or suggestions relating to “my brand”? I’d appreciate any comments. :-)

 

Blogging 201: Day One- Set 3 Goals

I’m late again (sigh), but I’ve been so busy I just haven’t been able to get around to this project til now. I had high hopes for this Blogging 201 challenge, but I’m thinking since I’m so late to join, that I’m probably not going to get as much out of it as I had hoped.

Maybe they’ll do it again some time. I hope so. I’d like to be able to start with everybody else. I think it would help to be on the same page. I’m going to jump right in anyway and hopefully I’ll at least learn something, even if not as much as I could have if I’d been able to get started on time.

So, to start off on Day One (when it’s actually Day 10), the task for the day is to come up with 3 goals for your blog. To “write down 3 concrete goals you want to achieve”.

I’ve actually been thinking about this for a while. Not in specifics. Not “concrete”. But here’s what I’ve come up with now that I’m trying to be specific...These will be my goals for the next 3 months. After that, I think I should think some more and re-assess.

1. Increase traffic to my blog. I’d like to see at least 30 views a day and/or at least 1 new follower a day.

2. Get more organized. I tried to set up an ‘editorial calendar’ while I was doing the original Blogging 101 challenge. I was going to do a post called Wild Wednesdays (or Creature Feature). I was going to post something about some sort of interesting creature I thought other people would think was neat. :-)

I was also planning to do a series of “Songs of the Sea”. Hopefully every Saturday. So far, I have fallen WAY off the schedule for both of those things. My goal is to get back on track and get at least those posts done every week.

3. Spend at least an hour a week on the Reader, checking out other blogs I’m following. I already get a lot of emails from blogs I follow and I read all of them (just not all on the same day they come in the email). I follow more blogs in the reader and I’d like to keep up with them better.

I spend a lot of time trying to keep up with people who’ve visited my blog so I’m not really sure how much more time I can afford to put into this right now, but I think I ought to be able to commit to at least an hour.

OK, so those are my goals for the next 3 months! On to the next days challenge!!

Incheon Quickie

This is the first day here that I’ve been able to use my own computer. So it’s the first time I’ve been able to do a lot of things online.

I’ve been wandering all over and taking tons of pictures, so I thought I’d do a preview of some of the things I’ve seen so far. I haven’t had time yet to edit my photos, so all of these are straight from the camera. Enjoy. ;-)

Korean Chinatown

Korean Chinatown

This was the beginning of my first day out in Incheon. I wanted to see Chinatown. I heard it was the only one in Korea. It was very quiet through the afternoon. I left before seeing if it got any busier at night.

Wolmi Island

Wolmi Island

This was one of the ones I took at Wolmi Island. It’s kind of a playground for kids and adults. There’s an amusement park, a couple of museums, a maritime school, tons of seafood restaurants, bars, coffee shops, etc.

Sunset at Wolmi Island, Incheon

Sunset at Wolmi Island, Incheon

I went to Jayu Park and wandered around downtown for awhile.The trees and flowers were all in bloom and the blossoms were falling all around in the breeze. The petals were covering the ground like snow.  I finally figured out I was not going to be able to walk to the fish market, so I put it off for another day.

The next day I went to the fish market. Wow! What a huge place. It was crowded with all kinds of people from the smallest babies to the oldest grandmothers. Whole families were out shopping together. There was every kind of seafood imaginable (and some that I have never imagined at all).

Fresh, frozen, dried, still alive and squirming. It doesn’t matter, you can pick it out and they’ll wrap it up for you to take home, or you can bring it over to have them cook it up for you in the little kitchens in the back. There are also food stalls all around outside in case you want something other than seafood (or you can have more seafood!).

 

I found out those little pancakes are called something that sounds like “hotdogs” and they’re really pretty good. They’re stuffed with something kind of sweet, I think maybe bean paste. Then they add nuts. I like them. :-)

After I got tired of wandering around the fish market, I made my way down the street to the Marine Square where some of the fishing boats and ferries dock. It was pretty quiet and I just watched the local people hang out. A bunch of kids were playing with the seagulls. They were pretty entertaining. :-)

fishing fleet, Incheon Korea

fishing fleet, Incheon Korea

I was about ready to call it a day, but I was kind-of hungry so I spent a little time wandering around near my hotel in search of something for dinner that was not too spicy. I wound up going to a place that I thought had a picture menu (it didn’t). I wound up having chicken soup. It was interesting watching the Koreans cook their dinners at the table.

 

That was the end of my night and going to be it for me tonight too. I’ve got another busy day planned tomorrow! :-)

Moving on to Busan

Today I’m rested up enough to think about traveling again. I’ve also seen everything I REALLY wanted to see here in Incheon, (tho it is an interesting city and there are a few more things I wouldn’t mind seeing).

I went to explore Chinatown and Jayu Park with its statue of General MacArthur. I went to Wolmi Island (nice place to watch the sunset over a seafood dinner). I finally found the fish market and wandered around from there to Marine Square. I wandered all over the area near where I’ve been staying (right next to Juan (chew-on) Station). I’ve decided to go ahead and make a move.

I’m going to head on down to Busan. For a couple of reasons. They’re having a couple of festivals in the next few days-the Lotus Lantern Festival and the Gwangalli Eobang Festival. I think both of them will be worth seeing.

Also, I wanted to visit the Korean Maritime University there and I’ve met someone online who lives there and has offered to show me around. I might be able to meet up with some of my colleagues from Dongwon who I used to work for on the tuna boat a couple of years ago. It’s also close to Geoje Island where my best friend from Oceaneering has been working for the last few years. I’m hoping he’ll be back in town so we can visit.

I’d like to post some of the pictures I’ve been taking the last couple of days, but they don’t have wi-fi in my hotel (Fox Hotel- 91, Juan-ro, Nan-gu- +82328664477) and I can’t get my photos uploaded. Other than that and the fact that my mattress is very hard, I would recommend this place.

It’s a good deal (approx $50/nt), the managers are very nice and helpful. The lady doesn’t speak English but her husband does. The rooms are not too small and they’re stylishly decorated. They have coffee pots with tea/coffee and a refridgerator in the room (also bottled water). I would stay here again.

It’s very convienient, right accross the street from Juan train station where you can come direct from the airport and go anywhere in the area, including into downtown Seoul (much cheaper than taxi).

The next place I’ve booked is supposed to have wi-fi, so hopefully I can get some pictures on here in the next couple of days. :-)

 

 

 

I made it!

Well, after over 40 hours of traveling, I made it to my hotel in Korea! :-)

This is just going to be a quick post since I am totally EXHAUSTED!

I left the house at 0400 yesterday, left Houston at 0730. I made it to Washington DC with barely enough time to catch that flight. Flew from there to Beijing (China). Again, I had just barely enough time to catch my next flight (and I never would have made it if I hadn’t asked to cut ahead and go in the ‘fast track’ line).

If you ever go through China, be sure to put ALL your cords in a separate bag. I have no idea why, but the security wants to see all your electrical cords (phone cords, camera chargers, kindle chargers, computer cords, etc). It delayed me quite a bit digging all that out! Oh yeah, they don’t like cigarette lighters there either (they confiscated mine).

So I got to Korea (Inchon airport for Seoul) at about 1830 tonight. I had an easy time getting out of the airport. It was all very modern, English signs for everything, information booths everywhere.

I decided to take the airport train into town. I had to get a transportation pass first. I asked the lady at the tourist information booth at the airport and she was very helpful. I got a pass for 10,000 won. It should last me for a couple of days at least and I can charge it up when I need to. I ‘think’ she told me it was good all over the country, city bus, metro, etc.

Easy enough to take the train into town. I can’t beleive how helpful everyone was! I found the train at the airport and started talking to a Korean man who was just coming home from working in Japan. He helped me figure out which stops I would have to get off and transfer. He even gave me a bag of chocolates from Japan!

I made the first transfer OK, but the 2nd one was a little more difficult. Lucky I only brought fairly small roller wheeled luggage! This station had stairs, stairs and more stairs and no elevators (at least that I could find). A very nice lady helped me, she just grabbed one of my bags and started walking up the stairs.

The tourist information lady had called my hotel for me so she could tell me how to get there (which was what I had originally asked about there), they said I would spot it right away when I came out of the station. OK, I wandered around for an hour and saw no sign of it.

I tried asking people. No one had any idea. One very nice man called them for me. Turns out, I had exited the wrong side of the train station. He took it upon himself to make sure I found the place and led me back through the train station (NOT as simple as it sounds, it’s a maze)! He had the lady from the hotel meet us at the door coming out of the station.

Wow! What amazingly helpful people! I got to the hotel and the lady gave me my key and right away showed me my cute little room and where everything was. It’s called the Fox Hotel and now that I’ve seen it, I have to say it’s really a pretty good deal.

It’s small, but it’s cute and it has everything I need. There’s a little fridge, with bottled water and cans of coffee and something I haven’t figured out yet. It has a picture of a lady in a cornstalk on it. Any clues?

I’ll be here in Incheon for a couple of days. I think then I’ll head down towards Busan. I haven’t really decided yet. Maybe I’ll learn something while I’m wandering around here tomorrow to give me some ideas. ;-)

 

Capt Jill Journeys to Korea!

I’ve hardly been home a week. SO much to do and not nearly enough time to do it all. I had to leave a lot undone. I’m leaving this morning for my vacation/travel writing workshop in Korea. I’m at the airport now so I don’t have much time.

I saw on the news this morning about the capsized ferry. Hoping to learn more about what happened. What a disaster! I feel so sorry for those people and their families. So many kids are missing.

I really want to know what happened. What would make it sink like that? Here we go again with a similar situation to the Costa Concordia where it sounds like the crew did not alert the passengers to abandon ship til it was too late.

From what I gather from the news reports, it sounds like they’re doing a pretty good job of rescuing the people who did escape the ship itself. The water is pretty cold and I think most people would develop hypothermia a lot sooner in 50 F water then the 1.5 hours they’re saying. Jeeze!

Anyway, I’ve got to go catch a plane. More later! :-)

Documenting the Streets: Street Photography Tips from Dominic Stafford

Capt Jill:

some beautiful photos and great tips for taking good ones. I do this all the time, too bad I only have my point & shoot camera with me, it’s such a pain to carry the really good camera around, I almost never have it (unless I’m going specifically to take pictures).

Originally posted on The Daily Post:

A street photographer must adapt, improvise, and blend in to any situation — and be ready to find beauty in even the dullest of scenes.

Photographing on the streets is like no other form of photography. It’s real, it’s pure luck, and most importantly it shows life as it is, in real time. A street photographer must adapt, improvise, and blend in to any situation — and be ready to find beauty in even the dullest of scenes.

When I brave the streets of South East Asia, I never really think about anything else other than: “Would that be a good shot? Would that be a good shot? Or would that be a good shot?” I’m in photo mode, and it can become quite tiring. After thirty minutes I’m sitting down, enjoying a soft drink. But even then, I think: “That would be a great shot, and that would…

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Songs of the Sea: The Light and the Sea- Dar Williams

Here’s another Song of the Sea. It’s by Dar Williams. I really like her (tho to be truthful, this isn’t really one of my favorite songs by her). I like some of her other stuff a lot more, but they’re not all about the sea, so, listen to this one and then check out her other stuff! It’ll be worth it. ;-)

The Light and the Sea-Dar Williams

Sitting out upon the waves, in darkness and upheaval
I was told that I alone would not know good and evil
Oh but in time but oh in time it came to me
As my shepherd fallen rise
I could turn and lift my eyes
To the light that distant light
There will always be
The light and the sea
Rolling sea the light and me
And as the days rolled by I turned my wheel toward the thunder
Taking on a challenge that I knew could take me under
Oh..and it took me down and oh it took me down
And it came to me
As I cursed the stem and sail
Because its fate that I should fail
There is a light there is a light
There will always be the light and the sea
The rolling sea the light and me
And it all comes down down to me
To feel the presence of my soul
Amid the torrents and the cold
Of the sea..
And there will always be the light and the sea
The rolling sea the light and me
The light and me

 

 

Top 10: Amazing Sea Creatures

I might have picked some different ones, but stumbled on this video while I was looking at something else.

It was made by Incredible World. They look like they have some very interesting stuff on utube. I thought this one was pretty cool.

That MOUTH!!

Rambling On: Crew Change, Korea, and the Frontier Discoverer

I made it to the airport! I was only out a short time this trip, but going home still feels as good as ever. I was out on the Deepwater Pathfinder. It was a pretty good hitch, even if it was shorter than usual.

I was a little frustrated over the weekend with not being able to get a flight out of New Orleans til early evening. Hard to believe there wasn’t an available flight til almost 1800!

Turns out there is a big golf tournament going on in Houston and all the flights are booked solid.

I was lucky to get a flight at all!

Really, it worked out that I was on the late flight since the weather was foggy with a cold front between us and the heliport. I didn’t get to the airport til almost 1300. At least I wasn’t panicking about missing my flight. ;-) It all worked out in the end.

So, I should be able to catch up a little bit here over the next few days and get ready for my trip to Korea. It’s only about a week away, YEAH!

I really have no idea what to do there other than the travel writing/photography workshop I’m going to Seoul for. I haven’t had time or internet availability to do any research. Anybody have any suggestions? I have a couple of weeks before the class and a week after.

I was thinking I might go down to Busan to visit the company I used to work with when I was on the tuna boat. The new captain on the ship I just got off mentioned that they have a good maritime university in Busan. That sounds like it might be worth checking into.

I’m hoping to go see an old friend I used to work with at Oceaneering. He’s an ROV (remotely operated vehicle) mechanic. When they brought our boat to the Gulf of Mexico to work, he was able to get a transfer to Korea and has been working there ever since.

I would have LOVED to do that too, but Oceaneering only had one vessel over 1600 tons and so they didn’t have any other jobs to offer me. Being a ships officer/DPO doesn’t make for an easy job transfer when there isn’t any other ship. I felt I had no other option but to leave at the first opportunity.

Too bad, they sent the ship out of the Gulf only a couple of months later. When I found out, I was sad I didn’t stay longer. The job I took instead turned into a disaster and I didn’t even stay for the whole trip. :-(

I hated to quit that job. It sounded so perfect when I decided to take it! I had never really been interested in drilling since it always seemed so BORING. Sit in one spot for months on end, never moving, never really doing much ‘SAILING’.

But this one seemed to be a great option. It was supposed to work in Alaska in the summer and Australia in the winter. I would actually get to do quite a bit of sailing. :-)

But when I got to the ship, I felt a little queasy. Not because I was seasick!

The ship was in bad shape. It was old. It was rusty. It had issues. LOTS of issues!

It was basically an old ship (built 1966!!) that they had cleared off the topsides, then stuck a new house and a drilling rig on top of it. It had not been taken care of properly. I was not comfortable with it at all.  Bad news. :-(

I’m not any sort of safety nazi, not by a long shot, but I was really concerned about the condition of that ship and the lack of concern for all of the ordinary things we seamen look out for.

I stayed on there as long as I could, hoping that things would improve. I finally had to leave after only 3 weeks. I couldn’t stick around knowing the problems that were bound to come up. No job is worth my license I’ve worked so long and hard to earn, or my life! This one was seriously putting both at risk.

I couldn’t figure out WHY they would want to bring an old piece of sh*t like that up to work in the pristine waters of Alaska, KNOWING Greenpeace would be all over them.

Turns out, they DID have all kinds of problems on the trip to Alaska and since. They’re presently back in Asia in the shipyard (again) and all plans for Alaskan drilling on hold (again).

I wonder if that was the plan all along? If they had a nice, new, fully functioning rig would there have been such an outcry? Would there have been so many problems? Would the oil companies all have put off their plans to follow the success of this adventure in Alaska?

I don’t know, but I think if they had a better ship/rig, they would be drilling by now instead of still spending a fortune in the shipyard. Was all this a case of trying to save a few bucks by using old, worn out equipment? If so, they sure messed up on THAT decision!

Is she, or isn't she aground? I'm sure glad I got off when I did!

Is she, or isn’t she aground? I’m sure glad I got off when I did!

Preview: Back to Boston

Just a quickie here, that’s all I can manage til I get off this trip. It’ll only be a couple more days and I’ll be home again. :-)

I was looking at the pictures I already had uploaded here (since the internet is too slow for me to get any more on and I can’t spend much time on it here).

I thought I might go back to Boston where this blog really got started. :-)

I had been thinking about it for a while. I really had no idea of how to do it. How to get started. How to make everything work.

I had been interested in the idea of travel writing and photography for a while already. I figured since I LOVE to travel and take pictures of everything, it would be a perfect fit!

Yeah, I guess it would be if I could manage to find the time to actually WRITE.

I DO manage to take pictures, tons and tons of pictures. But I learned while taking a workshop on how to be a travel writer/photographer that I was not taking good enough pictures. They had to be PERFECT. :-(

At least I learned what I was doing wrong and why my photos were rejected (mostly to do with the quality of my camera lens).

I also learned that you could do a lot with a computer to improve your pictures. I still haven’t learned how to do that very well. I’m better than I was, but I still have a lot to learn. I also still don’t have the time to spend editing all my pictures. Even getting them uploaded onto my computer is hard sometimes.

I am still working on my photography and I still toss around story ideas and put together a little thing every once in a while, but I’ve only actually tried to get my pictures accepted twice (so far) at stock agencies.

I’ve never tried to send in an article (yet).

It seems I’d just rather spend any spare time off on another adventure. When I’m forced to stick around the house, I spend it taking care of business I can’t put off any longer. Like working on my taxes (ugh) and other fun stuff like that.

I had heard that blogging was a way to make money online while doing something you enjoy. I was all into that!

When I found out there was going to be an additional blogging session as part of the travel writing/photography workshop I was interested in , I was sold on taking time off for another learning vacation!

I just barely managed to get this blog started before I left for Boston. I had such a hard time figuring out how to do things like upload a photo, make a ‘gallery’, add a link, etc. Things that I do all the time now and seem so simple. :-)

The workshop was great. Paula Pant, who has a blog called Afford Anything, was our instructor for the blogging session. She was really inspirational and a lot of help.

I met incredibly interesting people every day there and the instructors sent us out and around town on some helpful assignments. Then we had our work critiqued. I learned a lot there but was still hungry for more. I still feel like I could use more help.

Especially with the part about how to make some kind of an income from this internet stuff! I’m really enjoying the whole process of blogging and meeting people from all over and interacting, but I’m spending a lot more time on it all then I ever thought I would.

Remember I started out this post saying “just a quickie here”? That’s what I mean…

Here’s a ‘taste’ of Boston, I’ll be back with more later. ;-)

PS-I’m going to another workshop in Korea in a couple of weeks, can;t wait to get over there and see/do/try everything!! Maybe I’ll even run into some of my old tuna boat crew. ;-)

FIX THE WORLD PROJECT’S PUBLIC STATEMENT, APRIL 2, 2014

Capt Jill:

this stuff REALLY needs to get out to more people! we are being lied to and abused CONSTANTLY now, it’s really getting old

Originally posted on 2012 The Awakening:

130 years ago, Nikola Tesla designed an over unity fueless generator that could provide enough power to power your home. This technology was heavily suppressed as a way to control the people of this planet through dependence on oil. Tesla’s designs and patents are in the public domain.

Through research, study, help from others, divine inspiration, and 27 years of electronics engineering experience, James Robitaille of the Fix the World Organization (FTW) was able to figure out how to build this generator with a few modern twists. We raised the money to build the prototype through crowdfunding and donations from over 1,000 people who believed in us. It took us 5 months to build the prototype, and once we were successful, on March 25th of 2014 we open sourced the plans and gave away the technology to the world. Our Quantum Energy Generator (QEG) provides 10KW of power output for…

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More: Bike and Blues Fest 2013

I’m glad I had most of these photos uploaded before I came out here this hitch. I really haven’t had the time to get online much and the computer situation is not the best here. I’m kind of limited in what I can do til I get back home.

So, I figured since I already had the pictures on here, I might as well add a little bit more flavor to my earlier post about the Summertime Bikes and Blues Fest.

I was actually there last summer. They usually have this event the last weekend in August. I try to go if I’m home. I usually see a few friends, it’s neat to check out all the cool bikes, and I really love the music. It’s out in the open, spread out around the old downtown area of Freeport. I like that it’s that way, it doesn’t feel very crowded. The food is good too. :-)

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New Blog Challenges Start April 15!

Capt Jill:

I did the first Zero to Hero Challenge, I’m going to do the second one. I hope it will help me learn to grow my blog some more. The first one was very helpful. I only wish I could’ve done it a couple of months earlier when I was just starting out and totally clueless! ;-)

Originally posted on The Daily Post:

If you’re just getting your blog off the ground, or saw our  Zero to Hero challenge in January and wished you’d thrown your hat into the ring, today’s your lucky day: another round of  Blogging 101:  Zero to Hero  gets started on Tuesday, April 15th.

Looking for something more advanced? Blogging 201: Branding, Growth and Traffic starts the same day (201-level challenges on writing/photography and theme tailoring start in early summer)!

Read on to learn more about each challenge and sign up to participate.

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2013 Summertime Bike and Blues Fest

I’ve been wanting to get this post done for a while. Something always comes up. I went to the Summertime Bike and Blues Fest last summer and it’s taken me this long to get around to posting these photos.

I went down there with my friend D. They’ve been having this festival in old downtown Freeport for a few years now. It’s kind of neat wandering around down there with all the old buildings, right in the middle of everything.

We had a good time checking out the bikes, listening to the music, trying out the food, running into friends. I always like to go to these things. :-)

Here are a few photos to get started. I’ll have more later. ;-)

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Facebook Posts: What Happened?

I’m out at sea again and having a hard time here keeping up with the blog. I’m not sure what’s going on with Facebook, but for some reason 3-4 of my recent posts never got posted there and I can’t edit my settings to get them on there.

So, since most of my followers are on Facebook, none of them even got a chance to see them. And they were some good ones too.

The Sailing video by Rod Stewart, my Saturday Sail La Vie adventure, the Houston Maritime Museum, my post about working out here and how things have changed  and LOTs of photos of all that stuff.

I’m not sure which ones made it to Facebook and which ones didn’t. Internet is slow out here and I scrolled back for a while but didn’t see these. That doesn’t mean they’re not on there already. I hope they are, but it seems like the visits to my blog have dropped WAY down recently and I’m guessing that’s why.

I HOPE this one makes it. Let me know. ;-)

I guess you’ll just have to look at my actual BLOG if you want to see any of that stuff that didn’t make it over there. ;-)

SNL: Chippendales

Hilarious video with Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley! ;-)

I remember watching this one years ago when it was originally on TV. I used to LOVE staying up to watch Saturday Night Live.

I still try to, but it just doesn’t seem as good as it used to be.

I miss John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase…

I loved the Coneheads, those ‘wild and crazy guys, the cheeseburger guy…

I still love their take on the news, “Weekend Update”.

I rarely stay up late enough to watch it anymore, but if I’m home Saturday night and still awake, that’s what’s on TV. :-)

 

PS- I started working on this post while I was at home. I noticed after I posted it this morning that the video I thought I already had in the post had disappeared. I tried to put it back, but since I am at work, I can’t look at things like that. They block it all here. So, I am not sure exactly WHAT the link will show. I HOPE it is showing the video I wanted to put on here about Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley competing for a job as a stripper at Chippendales.

Will somebody please check it out and let me know if that’s where the link goes. ;-)

So sorry. I’ll have to be more careful about what I try to post while I’m out here. It IS a funny video, even if it’s not politically correct. :-)

Capt Jills Journey into History: Houston Maritime Museum

It’s already time to go back to work. It seems like I just got off!

Yes, I did have a couple of weeks at home. Tomorrow would have been 3 weeks. WOW! It sure flew by. :-)

I have been pretty busy this time home. I went up to Houston a couple of times. I went to the Houston Rodeo (yeehaw!). Only my 2nd time in all the years I’ve been here. It was fun, I watched the barrel racing and the mutton busting. I tried the fried Snickers ice cream sundae (yummy). Took TONS of pictures. :-)

I was hoping to meet a friend who was volunteering at the Wine Garden. I did actually meet her, but she was pretty busy by that time and I was on my way out. I was on the way to a meeting with the Sail La Vie sailing club I belong to (check out my post on last Saturdays sail).

That was an interesting meeting. ;-)

I spent the night up there in Houston. I had planned to go to the zoo in the morning since the weather looked nice. Apparently everybody else in town had the same idea. I couldn’t get into a parking lot anywhere within a half mile.

I decided to try something else instead. I decided to check out the Houston Maritime Museum. It was actually pretty close to where I spent the night and the Zoo but I drove around for a while looking for it.

I finally found it and was glad I did. Of course, yes, I am always interested in a good maritime museum. ;-)

This one didn’t look like much from outside, or even when you first walked in. But the more you wandered around, the more it opened up. There was something interesting to see around every corner.

The Houston Maritime Museum was founded by James L. Manzolillo (merchant mariner and cruise ship lecturer), and opened to the public in 2000. Since then, it’s worked to educate the public about maritime history and the continued importance of the maritime industry to Houston and the State of Texas.

I enjoyed exploring rooms full of models recreating everything from aircraft carriers (including tiny little airplanes on deck) to Liberty ships to semi submersible drilling rigs to the USS Constitution and famous ships of the age of exploration.

The museum counts Master Modeler and restoration expert Lorena Alvarez as a valued member of the team. Her expertise shows! The time and effort that goes into building even one of those models is just unbelievable and they had dozens of models!

They had an excellent collection of navigation equipment: sextants, astrolabes, starfinders, compasses, barometers and barographs, etc.

They had a nice display of ships (and other things) in bottles. I still don’t really know how they get all that done, but it looks like a good project to work on if you don’t have a blog or another hobby to keep you busy at sea. :-)

They had a mock up of a ships conning station with the ships wheel, compass and engine order telegraph.

They had a room covering war ships and it had a pretty good exhibit on how the merchant marine functioned during war time. Convoys and Liberty ships, sinkings, explosions and other disasters, navy escorts, etc.

They had a room with memorabilia from the old cargo liners and another display of things relating to the passenger liners “Titanic”, “Olympic”, “Britannia” and the SS United States (still one of the fastest ships ever!).

They had a room to tell the history of the Port of Houston. It did a pretty good job of explaining how important the Port was and still is to Houston. How the founders built up Buffalo Bayou and brought cotton and sugar to/from Allens Landing and all up and down the Bayou. Those old photos were really fascinating!

There was another room full of really interesting stuff from the oilfield. There was a painting and write up on Howard Hughes’ (spy ship) Glomar Explorer. There were models of drillships, floating production facilities and semi submersibles. There was a nice little section on whaling (not much of that going on in Houston). ;-)

They even had a room just for the kids to learn about maritime stuff. The day I was there, it was still a work in progress. They had costumes for the kids to dress up in and have fun pretending to be ships captains, pirates, mermaids, engineers, etc. :-)

One of the staff was working on installing a cushion for the floor in the kids room and I started talking to her about the museum. Turns out she was the Director of Operations so I got a really good person to talk to and answer all of my questions.

My biggest one was: why in the world was the Maritime Museum located in such an out of the way place and not nearer to the Ship Channel where people would expect it to be? Turns out, they are in the process of building a new place right over there and it will be opening in 2014 for the 100th Anniversary of the opening of the Houston Ship Channel.

That will be a good move for the Museum, for the Port of Houston and for the general public. It should be easier to find and they will have a partnership with the M/V Sam Houston (which gives free tours of the ship channel), that should help both parties.

That tour is a very interesting thing to do too, especially if the weather is nice. Free boat ride! Woot Woot!!

It really is amazing all the things that go on in our own backyards and most people have no idea. The maritime industry is one of those things that I think more people would be interested in if they only knew about it. I think the Houston Maritime Museum will be a good place to go to learn more about it and I hope more people will take advantage of the opportunity. :-)

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Sail La Vie

I went out sailing this Saturday with the Sail La Vie meetup group (FINALLY!!). It’s been way too long since I’ve been out sailing. I always have a good time with them and this trip was no exception.

My only issue with them is that they are up in the Houston area. They usually sail out of Kemah and it is so far away, I have to get up around 0800 (on a WEEKEND) to get everything done and drive all the way up there. :-(

I did my usual morning rush around to get out of the house before I’m too late to make the departure time. They don’t leave until noon, but they ask people to be there by 1130 to get settled and then go over the safety briefing.

I had to stop for some snacks. I got some honey BBQ chicken, cheese (smoked gouda and muenster), and some surprisingly good store made brownies. And beer (of course).

Everybody always brings so much good food, we never wind up eating it all. This time we had a full boat and we still had plenty of food, beer, wine, etc. People brought brie cheese and crackers to start with, sandwiches, calzones, chips, olives, etc.

We took the Paradise out for this trip. She’s a (1994) Hunter 42. There were 10 of us and I think she can take 12.

When we left the dock it was pretty dreary. We got out past our marina and the fog really started moving in. It was only about 1/2 to 3/4 mile visibility for a while. Some people were concerned about heading out into that. We passed quite a few boats already returning to their docks.

We continued on out, figuring that we could just go check it out and see if the fog would burn off as it warmed up. It did. Once we got out on the bay, the visibility got better. It turned into a BEAUTIFUL day for sailing. :-)

The fog did come back for a bit later on and we got out the foghorn (hold your ears!!). Anyone who wanted to practice got plenty of time on the helm.

We did a few tacks around the bay, going nowhere in particular. We got up close to Bayport and took a look at one of the cruise ships at the dock. We talked for a while about setting up a cruise for the Sail La Vie club which I would love to be able to go on! :-)

We headed back to our marina in time for the sunset. The Kemah Boardwalk was full of people and the docks at “Outriggers” were packed with boats.

We got everything secured at the dock by about 1830, then hung around “Paradise” for a while to BS and eat/drink the rest of our supplies while we tried to decide if we wanted to continue on.

There was some talk earlier about heading over to the Kemah Crawfish Festival, but I think most of us weren’t really up for that. We called to get a table at the ‘Swamp Shack” but they had a 1-2 hour wait and we weren’t sure if they reserved one for us or not (and nobody wanted to take a chance on possibly having to wait around so long).

A couple of people had to get on home since it was getting dark. I figured I had better just go on home too. I still had to drive over an hour to get home. I’m not too thrilled about driving at night anymore.

It’s a good thing I didn’t stay later. The fog came back on the drive home and it’s not one of my favorite things to deal with (65 mph speed limit on a 2 lane highway in thick fog).

I made it home OK and wishing I didn’t live so far from all the action! I’m already ready to go sailing again but I’m heading back to work soon and still don’t have any kind of regular schedule.

I just have to hope I’ll be home long enough next time to take another cruise with Sail La Vie (or at least make it to one of their great parties!). ;-)

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These photos are a combo of this Saturdays sail and the last one I was on (Jan 26, 2013).