Try the quiz and see where you wind up, you might be surprised!
Hey everybody! I made it home! Here’s a picture of the sweet little supply boat that brought me in to the dock.
Sorry I haven’t been able to keep up with the blog. I worked over for a week on the Epic Explorer. The same little dive boat I worked on last summer. This hitch I was there for 2 weeks as mate and then another week as galley hand. Once I started working in the galley, I really didn’t have the internet access to be able to blog.
I got home late Tuesday night, too tired to do anything but go right to bed. Wednesday I was still super tired. I was completely out of it from being up all night to being up in the daytime like a normal person. All I got done on Wednesday was sorting through the mail and paying the bills. I was pretty much a zombie all day. Thursday I went up to Houston for a meeting of the Nautical Institute.
I like to keep up with what’s going on in the industry and I go to those sort of meetings if I can. The NI has a couple of interesting projects coming up. One is a course to train navigation assessors which I would really be interested in (except that I’m still broke and can’t afford the fees).
I saw a bunch of people I knew there. One of them was the director of the maritime program I am teaching for this week at Lamar State College in Orange, TX. He scared me for a while, not sure if the class would be held, but they came through Friday morning.
So Friday afternoon I drove up to Orange to meet everyone and go over some things, pick up the course materials so I can get ready to teach the class. I’m a little surprised at how different it is from the same class I’ve been teaching at San Jacinto. All these courses are US Coast Guard approved and so have to cover the same basic material. I’m having to study just as much or more as my students will!
That kept me busy most of the day yesterday. I also got a hair cut, did laundry and had to run to the store for a few groceries since I ran out of milk. I’m still trying to get used to my change of schedule. I’m still tired and falling asleep by dinner time, but still too much to do!
Now I’m back in Orange. I’ll be staying here until class is over on Friday. Tomorrow morning I’ll be up at 6 am, they have breakfast here at the hotel (for free), so I’ll have a chance to have some coffee and eat before I run over to the school. I want to try to be there by 0730 and start class by 0800.
I’m not sure how many students I have yet. I think it’ll only be 1-2. That makes it harder to stick to the schedule since they plan for lots of students with lots of questions. I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes with this new program.
I’ve been trying to keep up with the Just Jot It January challenge, but since I left to head offshore it’s been getting harder and harder. The internet was out most of the day yesterday and due to my upcoming change in position, I don’t think I’ll have access to blog again until I get home. It might not be until next Wednesday. 😦
I was supposed to be getting off and heading home tonight. Last night the office called and asked if anyone was willing to work over. No one was. So I stepped up.
After crew change tonight, I will go from being mate on here to being galley hand. So, I will change watch from working noon-midnight, to working 1800-0600. Instead of standing watch on the bridge, I will be washing dishes, laundry and sanitation.
I’m sure I can handle it. 😉
Haha! I get to suggest today’s prompt for the Just Jot It January challenge. The word for today is: liberty.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but liberty is very important to me. In fact, I completely agree with Patrick Henry when he said “Give me liberty or give me death!”.
I would really rather be dead than to ‘live’ without liberty. I really don’t consider it living if I don’t have the freedom to live my life in the way I choose to. In fact, I consider it a long, drawn out slow death. A death of my creativity, of my happiness, or my loves, of my life. I don’t think I’m out of line at all. In fact, I can quote all kinds of things that show that America was founded to promote liberty and that it is the ONLY legitimate purpose of our (or any) government, is to protect and promote the liberty we all were born with.
Let’s define our terms…
noun, plural liberties.
Looking at that definition, can anyone seriously argue that we have NOT lost most of our liberty in the United States over the last few years? How many people can read the Declaration of Independence or the Bill of Rights and argue that they do NOT argue for the liberty of all men (and pleeease remember the times they were written in)?
How can a country specifically formed ONLY to protect our natural rights (liberty) turn around to such a degree? To the point where that government, formed ONLY to protect our liberty instead spends all its time (and our money) to violate our liberties every chance it gets?
I’m perfectly aware that most people couldn’t care less about the loss of liberty we’ve suffered in the United States over the last few decades (and increasingly since 9/11). I hear from almost everyone that they don’t care what anyone does to them as long as ‘it keeps them safe”.
Really? Safety is all important? I don’t think the people who say that have really considered what they’re saying when they say that. After all, liberty is not really the sort of thing you can divide up. You’re either free or you’re not. It’s like you’re only a little bit pregnant. No, you either are or you’re not. You either own your own life or you don’t! If you don’t, then someone else must and you have become a slave.
Government is nothing but the monopolized use of force. If you study how governments came about, that’s very obvious to see. When you give up any of your powers to the government, you are ‘agreeing’ that they have the right to use force against you (whether you agree to it or not). And (they say) you don’t have the right to protect yourself against it!
At this point, we have given up almost all of our freedom. All of our liberty. We have very, very little of our natural rights left that we can exercise fully. You think I’m exaggerating? Try going to a law library and taking a look at the Federal Register!
Hundreds of thousands of pages of incomprehensible legalese. Shelves of big fat books full of ‘laws’ we’re all supposed to know and obey. How could that possibly equal freedom?
George Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning, not as a roadmap. But left him choking in the dust by 1985! Our ‘big brother’ doesn’t only keep an eye on us from our home TV sets, he tracks our every move through our cell phones! He uses the EZ pass (toll roads) to keep track of where we go in our vehicles. He can tell our habits through tracking our spending on our credit/debit cards. He can get all kinds of information through our ‘smart’ devices. He’s already testing driverless (completely controlled by government) cars. And we can’t fly anywhere anymore without government permission (TSA)!
Big brother has already convinced fearful parents to chip not only their pets, but their kids and their parents! Scientists have already invented pills that inform your doctors if you take them or not. Soon they will report all your health information. Cashless societies are on the way, where every dollar you spend will be tracked (to cut down on tax cheats).
Just think of how the government controls everything now a days. What, if anything, don’t they have their hands in? They regulate the food you eat, the drugs you take, the doctors you can talk to about your health issues. Oh yeah, they also regulate what your doctors can say (and your churches if they want to remain tax free which is a form of coercion).
Free speech? Not so much any more with all the ‘political correctness’ BS going around. If I like Trump for one thing, I do love him for the fact that he is most definitely NOT PC! They regulate the amount of water you can use to flush your toilet and the type of light bulbs you can use in your house (forcing dangerous mercury filled bulbs to replace previous incandescent bulbs).
Think you can choose what jobs you’d like to work at? Nope, big brother is enforcing hundreds of regulations restricting the rights of people who choose to work in professions as diverse as hair braiders, to animal massagers, to interior designers, to merchant marines. They’ve manipulated most businesses in the country to coerce us into submitting to giving up our rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. Do you call it freedom to be forced to beg permission from the government in order to go to work?
I don’t! I don’t call it freedom because it ISN’T!
Think you can just pick up and leave? “If you don’t like it here, you can just go back to where you came from?” Well, I would if I could, but I came from HERE! I grew up in the good ol’ USA. I believe 100% in the principles this country was founded on “LIBERTY and justice for all!”.
I believe everyone, everywhere in the world SHOULD be able to exercise those same liberties we here in America are promised. But the fact is, America is the only country, anywhere, ever in the history of the world to form specifically in order to promote and protect the individual rights of all of us.
I wish the American people would wake up and take back our freedom before its too late. I don’t think we have much time left to turn things around.
Sorry to all the democrats who think its all Trumps fault. Or the republicans who blame it all on Obama. Fact is, it’s ALL of our political ‘leaders’ fault! And ours, for continuing to believe that any politician from either of the mainstream parties will ever change anything! For the last 100 years (at least), they’ve ALL conspired to strip us of our liberties and give themselves more power and control.
It’s sad how easily they manipulate us. They keep us divided and fighting over such stupidities as the word “shithole” and how many ‘illegal’ votes were counted. It’s time to stop wasting our time fighting each other and come to understand who we really SHOULD be fighting. Look beyond the party lines. I can promise you, you will find the same people are running things on both sides.
There is nothing to be gained by continuing to support these political parties who want nothing more than continued CONTROL. I want my freedom back! Do you?
Had a good laugh over this one. I do love to wear stupid t-shirts myself. 😉
Today’s prompt for Just Jot It January is: silence. Something I don’t get too much of normally.
When I’m out at sea, there is always the rumble of the engines in the background (we hope). Then there is the noise of people wandering the passageways, flushing toilets, watching football, etc. The sound of the winches starting up, or the containers slamming the deck, or the anchors letting loose, or the thrusters ramping up. It’s very rarely silent out here.
Even on a sailboat (which I much prefer- except that they don’t pay), there is very rarely actual silence. Yes, it is much quieter, but there is still the sound of the wind in the sails, the shushing of the waves against the hull, the tinging of the halyards on the masts, occasional calls on the VHF radio.
I’m not sure I could deal with real silence for very long. I think it would drive me batty!
Sorry but the internet is not working well here tonight. I don’t want to keep trying to write something interesting and have it not work. I’ve been trying to check my email since about 1700. Its 2230 now and still getting nowhere with it.
I don’t really get much time to get online out here. So, for SoCS, I’ll keep it short and sweet. I had planned to continue on with the post from yesterday (about the octopi) and use another word with ‘oc’.
I have been preoccupied with my occulted occupation on the ocean. 🙂
It’s been a rare occurrence lately that I’ve had the occasion to enjoy spending time on an ocean-going ship.
Sadly, I have not seen any octopi (yet) on this voyage.
Todays Just Jot It January prompt is: words that start with “oc”. I always found octopi to be extremely interesting creatures. I like to watch them at the zoo. They’re super smart and curious. There is a large variety around the world (about 300 species), from tiny little ones the size of your thumb to the giant pacific octopus, where one was measured at 30 ft across it’s arms!
Check out the video for a quick introduction to the octopi. 😉
I found a new photography challenge tonight (thanks to Cee for leading me to it). Nancy Merrill’s Photography blog is running the Photo a Week challenge. This week the challenge is to come up with a post using ‘crowd‘.
Here’s how it works:
- Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
- To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
- Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
- Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.
OK. So here goes…
I wish I could go back. I’m doing what I can to save up for another trip to Africa. I don’t know when I’ll be able to go, but hoping by the end of the year.
Have you ever been to Africa? On a safari?
Today’s prompt for JusJoJan is revolt. Unsurprisingly, that is one of my favorite words. 😉
I want to (and sometimes do) revolt against all kinds of things: forced use of seatbelts and motorcycle helmets, no smoking laws, Taj Mahal school buildings and giving kids computers and tablets in school (causing sky high property taxes), insane drug laws, stupid piss tests, government restrictions on earning an honest living, stupid laws of all sorts.
I really can’t understand why Americans have changed from a population that would rise up and revolt against the greatest military power in the world over a tiny tax on ONE item (tea), to a population that willingly submits to tax rates of 50% and up on all earned income. To a nation with so many laws, thousands and thousands of pages worth of incomprehensible legalese- nobody even knows what they are.
We’ve turned into a police state. One where the cops can cite you for any of a hundred different laws you’ve broken. Whenever they want to. You think you haven’t done anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about? Read “Three Felonies a Day“. Take a look at the website over at the Institute for Justice for just a very few examples, a tiny sample of the abuse that so many innocent- yes innocent! people have had to suffer at the hands of ‘our’ government.
Remember the famous quote from the Holocaust…
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
The same process is ongoing- right NOW.
No, I don’t necessarily mean they’re coming to kill us off next week. What I mean is what Martin Luther King Jr said…
“Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere.”
More and more people are being turned into ‘criminals’. People who haven’t done anything wrong. They have hurt no one. More and more people are being displaced. More and more people are being shoved aside, wasted and destroyed. All because we have allowed ‘our’ government to run rampant all over the world.
Why aren’t people revolting against this? I would love to! The only thing that stops me is that I’m not stupid enough to put a target on myself in front of the government goons!
From a country whose beginning was all about FREEDOM, individual LIBERTY and JUSTICE for all, we’ve degenerated into a country where ‘our’ government seems intent on nothing more than violating our rights and stealing more of our freedom (and money) every day.
WHY aren’t the people up in arms? Why aren’t the people revolting? Why is anyone who tries to start any real discussions about our lost freedoms and the fact that ‘our’ government does nothing today but the total and complete opposite of its only legitimate purpose (which is to protect our inherent, natural rights) treated like a conspiracy theorist?
Like they’ve escaped from the loony bin? Like they’ve lost their tin hat?
Personally, I think we NEED a revolt, I think we need one NOW. I think pretty soon we’ll lose all of our freedoms (the few we have left), if we don’t have another revolution PDQ.
I’m sure every one of the founding fathers thinks what’s happened to America is revolting. 😦
The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. —Ayn Rand
Todays post is a One Liner Wednesday (also continuing on Just Jot It January). Thanks Linda for coming up with this stuff! Lots of interesting posts from everyone. Makes it much easier to do just a short post like this!
Here are the ‘rules’ of the challenge:
(i) Make it one sentence.
(ii) Make it either funny or inspirational.
(iii) Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.
(iv) Enjoy yourself!
(v) Use our One-Liner Wednesday badge.
I’ve been participating in Linda’s Just Jot It January challenge. I know I’ve been offline for a few days. It couldn’t be helped. I haven’t had enough internet access to get to my blog to post anything. I finally managed to get my computer hooked up (had to pay $32 for 750 mb) and have a little time to use it. I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to get on ’til I get back home.
I have still been ‘jotting’ various things every day, even if not online. Things like log book entries, positions, JSEAs, safety observation cards, etc. Does that count? 😉
I joined the vessel in Cameron, LA at about 2300 Thursday. We headed offshore the next morning and we’ve been busy working since then. Early this morning a cold front came through and the weather offshore kicked up pretty quickly. The divers can’t work in rough seas and so the decision was made to return to the dock and wait on better weather.
We arrived back in Cameron this afternoon. We had to shift ship a couple of times due to other boats at the dock. Now we are hunkered down for the night. It’s been freezing cold (literally) and we’ve even had snow! Right now I’m looking at a snow covered white parking lot (instead of the usual grey mud).
Today’s prompt for JusJoJan is “contemplation“.
One of the reasons I’ve always enjoyed working at sea was the time we get for contemplation. It’s just natural when you’re standing watch at night, looking out at nothing but the black waters and amazing star filled sky.
You wind up thinking about all kinds of things. Deep thoughts. Having really involved discussions with your watch mates. Thinking over all the things you want to do with your life. Thinking about all kinds of ways to solve the worlds problems. 😉
You might be surprised at how many famous people are former seamen, other than Mark Twain : Peter Falk (Colombo), Jack Lord (Hawaii Five-O), Woody Guthrie, Oliver Stone (and many more). A seaman’s life gives you lots of time to think. Unlike so many other jobs today, most of which run you ragged without a minute to yourself.
I love working out here. I miss it when I’m home. I only wish it was still the way it was when I first started out. They’ve taken all the fun out of it. So many BS rules and regulations. I don’t think I’m going to be allowed to continue to work out here much longer. It’s just getting too hard to put up with the BS.
It’s been a balancing act for a while now. Ever since I had to come back to work in the Gulf of Mexico from overseas, I’ve been chafing at the bits. I just want to be able to do my job. Now, it costs me a fortune to keep all the various ‘training’ certificates up to date.
Another thing, I don’t do (illegal) drugs, but it violates every principle I believe in to submit to a piss test in order to go to work and yet even that is now becoming obsolete. Companies now are starting to require a hair follicle test! That is just completely unacceptable!
Here’s something to ‘contemplate’… How can such a minute amount of any substance (9 nanograms) possibly have any effect on your job performance? How can the test results with such a low level of any substance have any possible effect on your job performance a month after you’ve used that substance? How about 3 months later (piss test can detect)? How about 12 months (which a hair follicle test can detect)?
Simple answer: it can’t!
I want to know why any company should be allowed to tell you what you can and can’t do 3+ months before the day you’re working for them. Why can they dictate what you do on your time off? On weekends, your vacation? I want to know why so many people seem to believe these piss tests/hair follicle tests have anything to do with safety. I want to know why people are insisting since they have to take a drug test, everybody else ought to have to take one too. Just because you’re getting screwed, lets make sure everybody else is getting screwed too? Wow! Why isn’t everyone insisting that all drug tests have nothing to do with job performance, safety or anything else except CONTROL?
I want to know why Americans, who supposedly appreciate freedom are so accepting of this ‘slavery’.
It’s not, you say?
What else would you call it when a company refuses to honor your RIGHT to do what you want on YOUR time? Are they paying you 24/7? No, they’re not! Are they going to backdate your paycheck for the last 12 months before they hired you when you pass their tests since you have given up your RIGHT to live your life the way YOU choose and instead are following their rules? No, they are not.
I tell it like it IS. They want to OWN you, body and soul!
I just wanted to let everyone know about this upcoming event. It’s at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. It sounds really interesting and if I was going to be in town I would definitely go. I’m leaving tonight to head offshore for a couple of weeks. Yeah!
Today’s prompt for Just Jot It January is: humiliate. I’m not sure I’ll get a chance for another post today or not, so enjoy this one. Maybe it’ll interest you enough to check out some history. The story of the Glomar Challenger (photo below) is really pretty cool, but even more interesting is the saga of the companies other ships, the Glomar Explorer. 😉
Lecture – Can Do! A History of Texas Leading the Way in Energy by Paul Mattingly
Tuesday, January 16, 2018 – 6:30 PM
Running Time: 2 hours
An innovative cast of characters have lead the way in the energy industry–Harry Wiess, Herman Brown, Howard Hughes, Herbert Hunt–and established Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast as the epicenter of the international energy industry. Author and historian Paul Mattingly will tell the fascinating, little-known stories behind the biggest projects of their time and explain the numerous interconnections including the Glomar Challenger, Apollo program robots, Texas Instruments and the proving of theory of plate tectonics.
Mattingly will conclude with how Texas continues to lead the way in new sources of energy for the future. A book signing of “From Orange To Singapore: A Shipyard Builds a Legacy” will follow the presentation.
Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. —George Addair
Todays post is a One-Liner Wednesday (also continuing on Just Jot It January). Thanks Linda for coming up with this stuff! Lots of interesting posts from everyone. Makes it much easier to do just a short post like this!
Here are the ‘rules’ of the challenge:
(i) Make it one sentence.
(ii) Make it either funny or inspirational.
(iii) Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.
(iv) Enjoy yourself!
(v) Use our One-Liner Wednesday badge.
I just got home from my Tuesday night political meeting. Since I’ve been gone, they’ve moved it back to Fuddruckers. 🙂
I’m still doing the Just Jot It January challenge (the prompt today is: coffee), but I’ve decided to go off on another tangent and stir the pot again today…
I haven’t been going to those meetings for a while. Not only because I’ve been in and out on a couple of jobs recently, but also because I just get so frustrated, angry and depressed over the state of things.
We talk about all kinds of things at those meetings. Everything from healthy, fresh (non-GMO) foods, organic gardening and raw milk to chemtrails, fluoridation, cryptocurrencies, UN agenda 21, property rights, human rights, civil liberties, abuse of power, corporatism, corrupt politicians, the banksters running everything, and all kinds of other things.
Tonight, I met the guy who called me last night. He told us all the story he told me over the phone last night.
Personally, I was angered and disgusted with the extent that people completely refuse to just mind their own business. Of course, many people think that everything is their business. That’s a big problem everywhere. Maybe especially in small towns like this one.
This is his story: His family lives on a sailboat. They leased a mooring from a man and they’ve been living aboard their sailboat down there near the beach. The man (I’ll call him Dave), his wife (I’ll call her Maria) and their kids.
They’re a nice, quiet couple. Normal kids (I haven’t met the kids yet). Not making trouble or bothering anybody. Minding their own business.
Christmas Eve, the cops showed up and gave them 2 hours to get out! OK, it’s damn near impossible to do that on short notice. If you have a boat, you know what I’m talking about.They didn’t want to anyway (and I don’t blame them). They asked why? What was the problem?
Long story short, the cops have been harassing them every day since. Dave finally told the cops to give him a ticket or leave him alone. So, they made up some line of BS, told Dave that living aboard his boat violated some ordinance (turns out there is no such ordinance) and when Dave investigated and challenged the cops on it was told (oops!) he didn’t really violate that ordinance, it was a different one!
So. Here’s a nice normal family, being harassed and run out of town because they made the choice to live aboard a boat instead of a ‘normal’ house. I ask why is that anybody else’s business?
I’ve been involved in arguments about ‘boat trash’ for years. I own a house very close to where this is happening today. I bought it specifically to dock my boat there. I fought the homeowners association about their ridiculous opinions about boat owners (“boat trash”) back then. I still think they’re full of uninformed prejudice and they really need to just shut up and mind their own business.
IMHO, If I buy property, I ought to be able to USE it! Why buy anything if you’re not going to use it? “Use” is inherent in the definition of ownership and is common sense part and parcel of buying something.
If you want to dictate how I can use “my” property, then I don’t really own it- YOU DO! And if you’re not paying me for that, then you’re stealing from me and you are completely unjustified to even think you ought to be able to do that!
This family of sailors is not hurting anyone in the neighborhood in any way, shape or form! They pay their rent (part of which goes to the property taxes), they don’t look for trouble, they use shoreside facilities (water, sewer, trash) so there is no “trash” involved! They’re normal people except that they’ve decided to try and escape the rat race and live their dreams.
They ought to be able to do that! And nobody should be able to harass them about their choices!
Aaaand, not only is that family being unjustly attacked, but their landlord’s property rights are being violated too. HE is the one who made the deal to rent this family space. HE bought and paid for that property. HE ought to be able to USE it the way HE wants to.
It’s NOT up to the neighbors, it’s NOT up to the city! If he is not harming anyone else by his use of his property, then it is his absolute right to do so!
Neither the property owner nor the sailors are bothering anybody in any real way. They are not harming anyone! Someone decides they don’t like looking at ‘boat trash’, well that’s just tough tiddly-winks! Grow up! The world does not run itself to satisfy your every desire!
You want a pristine view, then either buy up all the property as far as you can see around you so that YOU have a legitimate right to say something about your view, or shut the hell up!
You live in a community, you need to understand that other people also have rights. As long as no one is harming another, everyone has the exact same equal rights under the law! YOU cannot run someone off because you don’t like their appearance!
We can’t (and should stop trying to) make laws based on such subjective ideals. Everyone has a different opinion. A different viewpoint. Laws need to be based on objective FACTS. NOT opinions, not feelings, not looks!
You shouldn’t be allowed to force me to paint my house YOUR favorite color! I should be allowed to paint it MY favorite color regardless of how much you hate it!
Hopefully, we can come to an agreement where we each paint our houses some color we can at least tolerate. The point is, there should not be a LAW about it!
This is supposed to be a “free country”. As Americans, we’re supposed to value “freedom” and “liberty”. “A man’s home is his castle”.
WTF happened? Do we really need laws to dictate what color you can paint your house? Because you might ‘offend’ someone? REALLY? Offending someone is NOT harming them!
This trend towards protecting everyone’s ‘feelings’ and trying to be inoffensive is getting past the point of ridiculousness. It has now become actively harmful.
This sailors story is just one example. I don’t know how you feel about it (but I hope you’ll comment). I hope you’ll think about what I’m trying to get across here. I’m curious to hear your objections (and yeah, I’m pretty sure there will be plenty- at least there would be in person so hoping being online won’t stop everyone).
I plan to help this family fight the city. I’m not sure what I can do, but I’m starting by sharing their story and looking for suggestions.
And I’m too tired to do much blogging now. 😦
The prompt for today is: pants, but I’m too out of it to come up with anything to say about that.
I got up at 0400 so I could do everything I needed to and get on the road by 0530. I had only gone to bed at 0030 and didn’t fall asleep for at least another half hour after that. I’m just not right after only 3-4 hours of sleep.
I’ve been dragging along all day. I got to work in Houston on time. The traffic was lighter than expected this morning, even after last nights thunderstorms. We got out of work by 1500 and I had to run some errands on the way home.
I got home at around 1800 and had a couple of interesting phone calls (more on that later). I took my walk about 2030, then cooked dinner. Just finished that up. It’s already 2230!
Where did the time go? Oh yeah, I filled out another ridiculous online application (where they ask you to upload your resume and then you still need to fill in all the exact same information again on their computer form and if you skip something or don’t answer ‘properly’, you need to do it again). That took up an hour or so. 😦
I need to get to sleep. Another 0400 wake up coming soon enough!
We were supposed to work tomorrow and Wednesday too, but it looks like Wednesday has already been cancelled. I really need the money, but I really need the zzzzzz’s too. I can’t be too pissed they’ve cancelled the class.
Your prompt for January 7th, 2018, brought to you by the lovely Ruth, is “Indelible.” Use it any way you’d like in your post. And make sure you visit Ruth at her blog, “Image and Word” to read her post and say hi! Here’s her link: https://imageandword.wordpress.com/
Another day of the Just Jot It January challenge, where the challenge is to write something every day. Today, I think I’m going to skip the prompt (indelible) and just write free form. Like yesterdays SoCS post where you just write whatever comes out.
I need to start writing shorter posts! That one yesterday took me a couple of hours to write and post. Even tho it was a SoCS and I didn’t do any research or linking or photos like I usually do. Today, I’ve spent quite a while catching up on comments (keep ’em coming!).
I’ve had a lot more than usual free time lately. I got home from my last ship on December 27th and really only had 3 days where I was away from home all day. I’ve spent some time looking for work, but more just catching up around here. I’ve had time to post and visit and comment on other blogs, but that’s about to end.
I’ve got work in Houston for the next 3 weeks, another day teaching at SanJac (that I’ll have to study up for) and then I’ve got a week teaching Tankerman-PIC at Lamar up in Orange.
So, if I’m going to post every day while I’m busy working and driving back and forth 2-3 hours/day, I need to cut down on the time I spend writing a post. I’ll still write something, just try to keep it short. 😉
It’s the first Stream of Consciousness Saturday and continuing on with Just Jot it January.
Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “eco.” Find a word that starts with “eco” or has “eco” in it, and base your post on that word. Have fun!
I chose the word ‘ecocide’. It means the destruction of the natural environment (by human agency). With all the news about global warming- or climate change- lately, of course I’ve been thinking of it.
It’s always been in the back of my mind ever since I first became aware of it when I was just a little kid. Maybe 3rd-4th grade? Back then, the official scientific consensus was that we’d all be frozen into icebergs by now. They’ve changed their minds to the ‘global warming’ scenario now.
There has always been some debate between the optimists- who think human ingenuity will be able to solve all the problems brought upon ourselves by our insistence on breeding to the point of total destruction of the planet, and pessimists (like me) who think we will not.
It’s 40+ years later and I am still listening to the same basic arguments. The only difference is: now it’s global warming instead of global cooling. Or climate change to cover all the bases.
And, just to say it now… I am not a ‘climate change denier’. Of course the climate changes . It always has, it always will. I’m even willing to say that mankind most probably has had something to do with it. My problem with the ongoing debates at the moment has to do with the proposed solutions to the problems.
Of course, the ecocide has only progressed over those 40+ years. More pollution, more clear cutting, more soil erosion, more pollution in the air helping cause climate change, more ocean acidification, more habitat destruction for farms and houses, loss of biodiversity, and on and on and on.
Our leaders want to convince all of us to give up our high standard of living (which we get through the use of things like oil, chemicals, etc.), and bring about a ‘carbon neutral’ economy. Or even to reduce our use of energy so that we can ‘save the planet’.
I’m not totally sure what to say about that. I think there’s a much better solution than what ‘our leaders’ have come up with.
Of course I don’t want to see the destruction of planet Earth (even if I would love to see us out there exploring space and making ourselves a backup plan). I would love to see each and every person on this planet have the ability to live a good life!
Not one mired in poverty. Not one where they have to struggle every single day just to scrape up the bare necessities to exist, but a good life. One where they can work at what they enjoy, where they have plenty to eat and drink, one where they have time to enjoy the fruits of their labors.
I also want to see a planet where every other living thing has the ability to live without the threat of humanity’s greed destroying the habitat needed for survival. I want to see a planet with plenty of free space for nature. Room for all the plants, animals and humans to enjoy the natural world.
Not just for the fact that it’s healthy and good for people to be out in nature, not just for the possibility of all the things we’ve not yet discovered in the natural world that will help us live better, not just for the fact that the Earth is a cohesive, interconnected organism and we have no idea what we’re screwing up beyond repair with our human activities, but also because it’s morally, spiritually and even economically wrong to destroy so much of the world around us.
Why? Because we are so greedy.
I am NOT using that word in the way most people would. I see nothing wrong with people trying to live the best lives they possibly can. My issue is with the fact that so many people choose to have so many children (or don’t even consider not having them). Birth control? WTF? It’s like their only purpose in life is to breed. 😦
I’m scolded for being a ‘selfish American’. One who was lucky enough to be born in the USA and so afforded a higher standard of living than most people around the world. I’m very lucky I don’t have to work my ass off for $1-2/day like so many do. But, where you’re born is mostly a matter of luck. I know I personally had nothing to do with where I was born!
What I ask people who ‘dis’ me for my ‘selfishness’ is: “and how many children do you have?” (or plan to have)?
Consider. Even if you only have one child, that child may chose to have only one, or they may have dozens. And each of those children may chose to have one, or dozens more. You have absolutely NO control over anyone but yourself in this matter.
And so, by my choosing to never have any children, I have already done more than my share in ‘saving the world’. I will spend the rest of my life being ‘selfish’ and enjoying the things I’ve earned the right to enjoy.
Don’t tell me not to use my air conditioner, or my car, or anything else! No, you don’t have a right to say diddly-squat about it until YOU stop having kids!
My solution to the problem of ‘climate change’ (and all the other problems) is to simply stop having so many kids!
Not forcibly, like China, but voluntarily. Spend some of the resources going on about global warming on convincing women around the world on the benefits of only having 1-2 children. Start promoting THAT as a way to save the planet instead of trying to convince everyone to give up on their hopes to live a decent life!
The optimists insist we can put up everyone on Earth in Alaska! That may be true, I don’t know. I do know that I don’t want to live in a world where 7 billion + people are living in Alaska! I do know that I don’t want to live in a world where we continue to commit ecocide simply so that we can fill it up with more and more people.
I can’t even understand WHY so many people think that’s the way to go. It saddens me, that we have so much beauty in this world and we are throwing it away. Why? Because we need to fill up the world with another few billion people? Why?
I listened to Jimmy Buffett all the time when I was growing up. He used to come around and play at some of the little dive bars I used to hang out in and I loved his music and his happy go lucky style.
I was never a real ‘parrot-head’, even then, but I did totally relate to his music. He’s still one of the best songwriters for this kind of beach-centric, boat loving, party hardy, sailing lifestyle I grew up living.
I’ve been reading a lot of travel books lately. They’re making me remember all the great times I’ve had growing up in Florida and all over the world. I miss it so much! This song fits perfectly with what I’ve been feeling.
God, I wish I was sailing again! 🙂
“Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes”
Just to try and recall the whole year.
All of the faces and all of the places,
wonderin’ where they all disappeared.
I didn’t ponder the question too long;
I was hungry and went out for a bite.
Ran into a chum with a bottle of rum,
and we wound up drinkin’ all night.
It’s those changes in latitudes,
changes in attitudes nothing remains quite the same.
With all of our running and all of our cunning,
If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.
These changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes,
Nothing remains quite the same.
Through all of the islands and all of the highlands,
If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane
Reading departure signs in some big airport
Reminds me of the places I’ve been.
Visions of good times that brought so much pleasure
Makes me want to go back again.
If it suddenly ended tomorrow,
I could somehow adjust to the fall.
Good times and riches and son of a bitches,
I’ve seen more than I can recall
I think about Paris when I’m high on red wine,
I wish I could jump on a plane.
And so many nights I just dream of the ocean.
God, I wish I was sailin’ again.
Oh, yesterdays are over my shoulder,
So I can’t look back for too long.
There’s just too much to see waiting in front of me,
and I know that I just can’t go wrong
I had a real treat yesterday! I got to go to NOAAs research facility in Galveston and learn all about what they’re doing with the sea turtles there.
I only found out about this whole thing last week. I happened to Google ‘things to do in Galveston” and one of the things listed was a sea turtle tour. I had known about the turtles in the back of my mind, since I’ve known about the turtle patrol and the efforts to protect the turtles along our beaches.
When I heard of this tour, I thought it would be interesting, so I called and signed up.
They only have the tours on Thursdays, and you have to make an appointment beforehand. It’s free. 🙂
Apparently I got there a little late (tho not by my watch). The room was full and they were already discussing all sorts of things about the program. Tip: Arrive early!
The tours are put on by volunteers. Thursday’s presentation was led by the team of John and Lynn Wright- “master naturalists”. They did a great job of explaining the situation with sea turtles today and what NOAA is doing with them in Galveston.
They started with a slide show explaining the facts that there are 7 total species of sea turtles and 5 of them can be found in the Gulf of Mexico. Those include (from smallest to largest): Kemp’s ridley, Hawksbill, Loggerhead, Green and Leatherback.
They showed us how to tell what kind of turtle we see (if they have 4 ‘scutes’ they’re either green or hawksbill, if they have 5 they’re either Kemp’s ridley or loggerhead- leatherback doesn’t have any).
They described turtle life cycles and what kind of food they liked to eat. They showed some amazing movies of the arribada from the late 1950’s. Thousands of female sea turtles arriving on the Texas beaches.
Then they showed a slide telling the sad story of their decline since we’ve become more ‘advanced’. Decimating all 7 of the turtle species, by eating their eggs, catching them in nets while fishing for other species, killing them with our pollution (especially plastic), destroying their habitat…
They also mentioned a few things we can do to help protect the turtles. Mainly- reduce your use of resources, especially plastic. Dispose of trash properly. Reuse and recycle. Help clean up the beaches and waterways. Take care with your fishing gear. If you see a sea turtle, its tracks or nest on the beach call 1-866-TURTLE-5
I learned yesterday that the Kemp’s ridley has been designated the official state sea turtle of Texas. The Wrights informed us that in 1985 there were 400 nests after a large drop in numbers, in 2017 there were 353. They found 3 right here in Surfside (and 1 on Quintana)! They said there’s been some recovery. I hope so.
After the slide show, the Wrights led us over to the turtle barn where we could see all the little turtles. First, we got a chance to see how a TED (turtle excluder device) works. The kids were happy to run through the net and escape- acting as surrogate sea turtles. 😉
NOAA has kind of a conflict of interest here. They are supposed to help the fishermen, and they are supposed to help the sea turtles. They are doing a lot of studies to try and come up with answers to solve many issues surrounding our ocean resources.
One of those studies is to do with testing TEDs. The objective is to find a way to increase the survival rates of any sea turtles (and other by catch) that get caught up in a shrimp boats net. The turtles in the turtle barn are all about 1.5 years old. They’re raised in Galveston til they get to be about 2. Then they are sent over to Florida for the tests.
They’re placed in larger tanks and allowed a few weeks/months to acclimatize themselves. Then they’re taken out to sea and working with a team of shrimpers, divers, and scientists the turtles are run through the nets, out the TEDs and collected again afterwards. After the turtle finishes its run through the TED, it’s released to the wild. The scientists will use the data to refine the TEDs and other fishing gear.
The barn was full of turtles (hawksbills), at least a few dozen, all about 1-2 ft long. They swam around in small plastic containers set inside larger tanks of filtered seawater. We were warned not to touch the turtles or put our hands in the water (it’s a ‘federal offense’). If something fell in the water, they would have to drain the whole tank and replace the water due to concerns about contamination. 😦
I felt kind of sad for all those little turtles, swimming around in their tiny little tanks, but they told us that if they were all allowed to swim together they would fight and/or eat each other. They said the turtles didn’t notice or care that they were stuck in such small containers, they would circle around forever and never know the difference. I suppose, but I still felt bad for them. 😦
I also wondered why they weren’t raising more turtles- in a breeding program. Like they did with the whooping cranes down in Port Aransas. I’d hate to see the turtles go extinct. With only 353 nests (of Kemp’s ridleys) on the Texas beaches last year it wouldn’t take much to wipe them out. I asked John about it. He said in Texas the focus was on finding nests and moving them to Padre Island which was safer for them and where they’d be released to return later. There were other programs around the world that raised the turtles for a higher survival rate on release.
I recommend the turtle tour for anyone interested in marine science or sea turtles. The Wrights were very knowledgeable and great with answering any and all questions. Hopefully the research done there at NOAA will help more sea turtles survive (and also help the fishermen with better results and less bycatch). I’d love to see more turtles out at sea and maybe even find a nest on the beach one day. It would be fantastic to see an arribada like the one in the film they showed us. Let’s hope we can make that happen. 🙂
This looks like the video they showed, but there was no sound and they said the video was taken in Texas. This video is from Mexico it might be a different one. I found it on youtube.
PS- This is my Just Jot it January post for today. 😉 Today’s prompt is: memories. Well, they’re only a day or so old, but I think they count. 🙂