Arrival in Aberdeen

Whoo! I made it.

My luggage didn’t. 😦

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Frantic Flying to Frankfurt

I’ve got a couple of hours layover here in Frankfurt so will write a quick post. 😉

I’ve already been up for over 24 hours (I can never sleep on a plane, I have to be lying down to get any sleep at all), and I don’t know how much longer it will be before I can get to sleep once I get to Aberdeen (Scotland). I might not have another chance to post for a while. 😦

I had a hell of a time getting to the airport in Houston. I was late leaving the house (as usual), but I got to the airport in just over an hours time (really good time, actually).

When I dropped off the rental car, they had me go to the front desk to get the paperwork taken care of instead of with the little handheld machine they usually have. It took a few minutes longer.

My ticket said “LUFTHANSA”, the signs at the airport said Lufthansa is in terminal D. So, I got off the bus at terminal D. No such thing as Lufthansa there. I asked some airport workers and they said Lufthansa is at terminal E.

So, I rushed over to terminal E. There was no such thing as Lufthansa at terminal E. Only United! I asked at terminal E and they said Lufthansa was at terminal D. So, I rushed back over to terminal D.

I was pretty damn frustrated at that point and freaking out about missing my flight. I hadn’t even checked in yet and it was about an hour before scheduled departure time. I asked for some help at the Qatar Airlines desk and a lady was kind enough to check for me. Yes, it was a CODESHARE flight with United!

Why the hell didn’t it say that on the ticket or the website when I double checked my reservation? I was frantically running back and forth between terminals and all along it was  a United flight and NOT Lufthansa!

I actually made it through security (what a freakin’ joke!) and got to the gate with 3 minutes to spare before the scheduled departure time. I looked at my boarding pass and they had me in boarding group 5.

I was a little bewildered by that. I mean, is EVERYBODY who flies on United an elite member now? I thought there was supposed to be priority boarding for elite members. When I looked again at my boarding pass, I noticed they didn’t put my frequent flyer number on there and I wanted to make sure I got credit for the flight, so I went up to the desk and asked about it.

Turns out, they didn’t have me in the system at all (good thing I had time to check) and when they put my number in, I was moved to group 2. Much better.

I had time to do all that since the flight was delayed. 😉

It’s a good thing I didn’t have a real tight connection in Frankfurt!

Piña Colada

Piña Colada Recipe | Epicurious.com.

 

pinacolada

Here’s another pineapple recipe.

I’m trying to use up the fresh pineapple I got on sale the other day. Wasn’t planning on having to leave for work quite so soon.

I do love pinacoladas, even if I have to make them virgin. 😉

Pineapple Lush Dip

Pineapple Lush Dip Recipe – Kraft Recipes.

pineapple  lush dip

I got some nice fresh pineapple on sale the other day and need to find ways to use it up before I have to leave for work. This looks like a nice easy recipe.

I wonder if this recipe would work the same with fresh pineapple as with canned. I can throw it in the blender and see what happens. 😉

I’m already making pineapple banana smoothies and pinacoladas. 🙂

Bizarre Barreleye Fish

Sorry I haven’t been keeping up with the ‘editorial calendar’ I made up for the Blogging 201 challenge. I hope you haven’t been too disappointed. 😉

Here’s something I found online recently with the “Creature Feature”/”Wild Wednesday” in mind.

This has got to be one of the weirdest fish I’ve ever seen. It’s head is transparent! ONLY it’s head is transparent!

There are lots of other sea creatures that are transparent all over, or mostly clear. It makes them less obvious to predators.

Supposedly, the transparent domed head helps this fish steal food from certain types of stinging ‘siphonophores‘ (colonial organisms- one common type is a Portuguese man-o-war).

It’s eyes are INSIDE that dome. What looks like it’s eyes are really it’s nostrils (or close enough). Weird. 🙂

These barreleye fish (or spook fish) live in deep water. This video is one of the first to ‘catch’ one alive. They’ve been caught before, but these types of deep sea creatures are not in the best shape when they come up to the surface. The changes in pressure are usually enough to seriously damage them (if not kill them outright).

I just think its amazing how much we still don’t know about what’s in the water all around us. There are so many beautiful and fascinating creatures out there and we haven’t even scratched the surface.

I think it’s a shame that through our actions we are doing such damage to pretty much everything else on the planet. I would hate to see that continue til it’s too late and we won’t even know all the things we lost.

I do think the other things that share the planet with us have a ‘right’ to be here too. Yes, I do think everything on this planet is here for a reason. Everything is connected. We are all part of the whole.

I think humans are completely unbalancing the entire world. Most of the problems we have to deal with now are the predictable end result of the fact that there are over 7 BILLION people on the planet (and we are STILL increasing that number daily)!

The crowding is not good for us or for anything else that has to share the planet with us. We are NOT the be-all and end-all of everything. Too bad most of us think we are. 😦

In Praise of Alcohol

I’ve been noticing a lot of poetry going on in my reader lately. Maybe I should join in the poetry slam. 😉

I can’t say I’m a big fan of poetry, but I do like some of it, sometimes. I especially like (dirty) limericks. 😉

As for ‘real’ poetry, one of my favorite poets has always been Robert W. Service.

He had an interesting life. Grew up in Scotland, moved to Canada. Then Alaska, where he became famous as the “Bard of the Yukon”.

He wrote about the people he met in his travels. He managed to get the most incredible characters to come to life in his poetry. His poems ‘The Shooting of Dan McGrew” and the “Cremation of Sam McGee” are still considered classics.

I remember an old friend from Florida would dress up and recite some of these poems at parties I used to go to. KC was a character himself and did a great job of rousting us all up. I miss those days.

I like a lot of his poems. I have his book “Collected Poems of Robert Service”. I liked it a lot. Some of his poems are really great stories. Here’s a short one.

 

In Praise of Alcohol
Of vintage wine I am a lover;
To drink deep would be my delight;
If ’twere not for the bleak hangover
I’d get me loaded every night;
I’d whoop it up with song and laughter –
If ’twere not for the morning after.

For though to soberness I’m given
It is a thought I’ve often thunk:
The nearest that is Earth to Heaven
Is to get sublimely drunk;
Is to achieve divine elation
By means of generous libation.

Alas, the wine-cups claim their payment
And as the price if often pain,
if we could sense what morning grey meant
We never would get soused again;
Rather than buy a hob-nailed liver
I’m sure that we’d abstain for ever.

Yet how I love the glow of liquor,
As joyfully I drink it up!
hoping that unto life’s last flicker
With praise I’ll raise the ruby cup;
And let me like a jolly monk
Proceed to get sublimely drunk.

 

Author Notes

From Later Collected Verse by Robert W. Service (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1965), page 421.

Guest Post – Would you survive?

I thought this was a pretty interesting question and the comments really caught my eye. I think if the SHTF I would probably NOT survive. Not for long anyway. Yeah, I always keep plenty of stuff around the house in case of a hurricane. I have enough food, water and other supplies to last me for a while. But if the shit REALLY hits the fan, I don’t think I would last for long. I mean really, how would I be able to hold off an armed mob?
It’s still on my mind since I just got done watching the new show “The Last Ship”. I read the book years ago. I liked it then. I have a feeling it’s going to have a different ending, but I won’t spoil it for you. I thought they did a pretty good job of putting it on TV tonight. I’d like to watch the rest of the series, but I already know I won’t be around to watch TV for a few weeks.
It’s interesting because I’ve been going to meetings of the Campaign for Liberty on Tuesday nights for quite a while. Most people there are also very concerned about the way things are going. We’ve been talking about this kind of thing for a while. So, we started a garden. We’re looking into water supplies. We’re looking into how to keep a line of communication going. We’re looking into alternative power sources. All kinds of things like that.
I do love to read disaster stories (including zombie stories). I like to see how the people in them react to the situation. In most of them, most people die, pretty much right off the bat. The story is about how the survivors manage to survive. THAT is the really interesting part to me. Physical, emotional, sociological, spiritual survival. All of that. How do you think you would do? What do you think would happen to society in general if a disaster happened? I’m just wondering if many people even think about this kind of stuff.

SNL: Shut it Down

I don’t care which party you like or where you stand on politics in America, this video is FUNNY. 🙂

The first time I saw it on Saturday Night Live, I about spit out my tea! Bachman and Boehner are hilarious!

Miley Cyrus parodies her own song. I like it much better this way. 😉

A Word A Week Challenge: Delicate

Here’s my entry for the Word A Week Challenge: Delicate. I looked through my photos to find a few good examples of delicate things.

If you want to see the rest of the entries, check out Sue @ A Word in Your Ear and her weekly challenges. She has some gorgeous photography on her blog. The people who join in are pretty good too. 🙂

fern fronds

feathers

ornaments fine china mounted butterflies blossoms ornaments delicate flowers IMG_1263 IMG_1319

500

I noticed last night that I was at 499 posts. So this is my #500 post since I started this blog.

For some reason, I keep thinking of Molly Shannon doing Sally O’Malley (I’m 50!). 🙂

I was little surprised to see that number. That’s averaging a little over 1 post a day. I did try to do 1 a day for a while. I did a post a day challenge a while back. That was for the Zero to Hero challenge. That was just too much for me. It was stressing me out trying to keep up with the blog while I was also offshore working.

Since then, I’ve given up on the once a day posting and have settled for the once a week challenge instead. That seems to be working out just fine. 🙂

I tried to do the Blogging 201 challenge, but I was too busy with other things and could not keep up with everyone else. I didn’t get as much out of it as I had hoped to. I am still working on the last couple of ‘assignments’. Maybe I’ll actually finish it up here in the next week or so. 🙂

I don’t feel like I have to find something to post about. I post something when I have something interesting to say. Something I think is interesting. You all may or may not agree, but I hope it’s at least something to distract you for a minute or two. Maybe even get you to think about something a little bit different than your usual day to day stuff. 😉

So, here’s to the next 500!

A Case for Ending the Minimum Wage

Well, I thought the article I wrote about the other day had a pretty good explanation of why it was not such a good idea to raise the minimum wage.

It looks like at least some people still don’t get it, so I’ll try again. 😉

I think a lot of people probably still have the mindset that there’s a simple solution to the problem of poverty. Just give poor people enough money to raise their income higher than the poverty level and then everything will work out fine.

Sorry to say it, but it’s not really that simple. If it was, we would have eliminated poverty a long time ago.

There are so many things that contribute to the problem of poverty (poor education, bad attitudes, destructive family life, etc). I don’t know if we will ever be able to solve it completely.

I think we have done a pretty good job here in America.  The poorest people here are better off than the richest kings were 100 years ago. They’re richer than billions of people in the rest of the world.

So, poverty is a relative thing. No one here in America really has to worry about starving to death. There ARE ways for them to get help.

As for the minimum wage laws, they are not going to help anyone for more than a short time. These laws have been tried in the past and they have failed. The main thing they always do is to keep the most vulnerable people (those without much experience or job skills) out of the job market. Without that foot in the door, they can’t ever move up out of poverty.

The unemployment level rises. More people go on welfare and other aid programs. More people get used to the idea that they can get by that way (NOT having to work) and so they’re worse off in the long run. So are the rest of us.

Personally, I think it’s a bad idea to have large numbers of people living on ‘charity’ (government aid or private aid). I think it encourages a bad attitude towards other people and about life in general. I think people do better when they have some sort of goals to work towards, some purpose in life. Maybe working at a minimum wage job isn’t the BEST way to live your life, but it does give you a decent way to start down the road to your chosen path in life.

As for the remaining low skill workers, the ones who did manage to keep their now higher paying jobs, they will not be better off for very long either. You raise the minimum wage and pretty soon all the rest of the wages will rise too.

Maybe you think that’s a great idea. Your paycheck will have more dollars in it! Yes, it will, but there’s a little thing called “inflation” that comes along when wages rise. That inflation will not only give you more dollars in your paycheck, it will make everything you want to spend those dollars on cost more!

How many people really think they will wind up better off once that starts? I’m pretty sure I won’t be. I know from past experience that most people are worse off than they were before they got that raise they wanted so badly.

Maybe the little video will help convince you. I know these guys (Thomas Sowell, Peter Schiff) are much more informed than I am, they’re experts on this kind of thing.

Maybe I’m not an expert, but I can extrapolate a few things. I read a lot. I listen to people who have been there, done that. I try to learn from other peoples experience.

I totally agree with the comments in the video and the well meaning people who say that a person shouldn’t have to live in poverty while they’re working a full time job. My objections are only about how to make things better for them. I don’t think raising the minimum wage will help.

I hope to start a discussion here along with the one that we should be having nationally. It would be nice if we could do something effective to help people instead of just try one more time to do what has already failed numerous times in the past.

How about we try to come up with some different solutions to the problem of poverty? Instead of the simple answer of raising the minimum wage, (that has already been proven a failure), we try to come up with some other ideas? Something that might WORK?

 

Cadets Having Fun

I was goofing around on the computer tonight (youtube) and came across this video from the International Maritime Academy.

It’s nice to see the cadets can still have some fun while they’re in school. 🙂

Songs of the Sea: Song of the Sea- Dan Fogelberg

This is one of my all time favorite songs by one of my favorite artists. Great video on this one too! I hope you like it. 🙂

Song of the Sea

Broken clouds along the blue horizon
The sun is setting and the wind is dying down
Outward bound, there is music all around
Can you hear it, it’s the, the song of the sea?

Soundings taken at the edge of darkness
The widest silences the heart can ever hear
You can steer to the stars along your lee
Set your bearings to the, the song of the sea

Oh, and the song is as ancient as the days
And the winds upon the waves
Let it carry you away, so far away
(Aaa)

Trim my sails to greet the breakin’ morning
Past the headlands to the rolling open sea
An’ it comes to me, I have never felt so free
As when I’m listening to the, the song of the sea

Oh and the song is as ancient as the days
And the winds upon the waves
Let it carry me away, so far away

Some were meant to watch the world from windows
And never look beyond the road beneath their feet
But for me, I was always meant to be
One forever chasing the song of the sea
The song of the sea
The song of the sea

Thanks for reminding me Ken!! 🙂

The War on Jobs Continues

The War on Jobs Continues.

Here’s another good article from Doug French at Laissez Faire. He does a pretty good job of explaining (in simple terms) how the free market works in the job market. He could do a better job of explaining how government interference through regulations always screws things up, but overall he does OK.

I am simply amazed at the numbers of people in America (and around the world) who don’t have even this most basic level of understanding about economics. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at Americans, considering that most of them are stuck in government schools.

For anyone who doesn’t know the history of government schools in America, the purpose of those schools is NOT to educate the children, but to turn them into ‘cogs in the wheel’. Mould them into compliant workers to fill the factory jobs that we used to have.

Now that we have destroyed those jobs through over-regulation, we have a nation full of people with just enough education to fill those kinds of jobs and none of those jobs to give them.

Along with a number of other subjects, economics was not one of the ones thought important enough to spend any resources on for people intended to spend their entire lives working for GM. 😦

Our ‘public’ (government) school system has not changed with the times. We are still training people to work in factories when we need to be educating them so they can be entrepreneurs!

In the meantime, because we have not educated them to understand the basics of economics (or much else), we have the situation going on right now (again) where people are clamoring for (another) rise in the minimum wage.

Because they don’t understand basic economics, they think that will improve their standard of living. It won’t. 😦

Read the article again…

There are so many levels of ignorance and wishful thinking going on in this country, it’s sad really. Yes, it’s true,  the poor and middle classes here are not doing as well as the upper class. But the reasons for that are mostly to do with the government and NOT wage rates!

We are all going into debt. More and more and more! THAT is a huge impediment to a high standard of living (no matter what your income). The money supply continues to increase, causing inflation, which steals more of our income every day. Our government keeps on spending money like there’s no tomorrow and raising taxes in order to try to keep that up.

THOSE are the things that are hurting our standards of living. I could go on, but I hope you get the point I’m trying to make. Raising the minimum wage won’t really solve anybody’s problems, it will only delay the inevitable and make it worse in the long run.

I read a post, (“Dead Broke”), this morning by Joseph Rathjen. He writes the “Political and Social Chaos Blog”. It ties right into what I’ve been talking/thinking about. Economic illiteracy. Elites vs the rest of us. Amount of income a person has vs standard of living (personal happiness level).

The fact that ANYONE could believe the Clintons were “Dead Broke” (the way WE mean it when WE say it) says it all. I’m not sure how many people really believe it, or if it’s all just the usual media propaganda, but it seems at least a few people fell for it.

You ought to read Rathjens post. He makes some good points. I would take it even further. People like the Clintons belong to the class of the ‘global elites’. They are not JUST rich. They are rich and POWERFUL.

There is a group of people who are very rich and powerful and THOSE people do NOT care one whit for the rest of us!

THAT is why it is SO important for the rest of us to be educated! We need to know enough about how the world really works so that we don’t fall for their BS! We need to know enough to fight back when someone proposes a plan that might look good on the surface but will eventually work against OUR interests.

The latest minimum wage proposals are just one more example of this. It’s sad. Most people still don’t understand how things work. 😦

Too Poor to Prepare?

I agree with most of what Chris says in this video. He makes a lot of good points.

We need to make get our heads straight. We need to learn what’s really going on in the world and not just believe what’s on TV! We need to do whatever we can to improve ourselves to enrich and improve our lives.

Get out of any ‘toxic environment’ you happen to be in. Start working on SOMETHING (anything) to improve yourself (your life).

Get out of debt. “Debt is slavery of the free.”

Start doing something that you really love.

“Stop trying to change the world to make yourself happy or free. Start changing yourself to make the world happy and free.”

That’s all great advice! I’m working on it myself. I admit it’s not easy. I’m especially stuck on the part about changing myself instead of trying to change the world. 🙂

I just don’t have the slightest idea of what I could or would possibly change in myself in order to make myself more happy and free (other than what I’m already doing).

I’m working hard to be debt free again. I’m taking courses to improve my writing/photography/blogging. I’m doing something I love (traveling) as often as I can. I’m trying my best to physically leave this toxic environment the USA has become.

No, it’s not easy. All I can do is the best that I can do. That is what I’m doing. 🙂

Capt Jills Kvetching

OK, fair warning here, I’m going to be bitching (a bit) in this post…

This week I’m in Houston re-taking the Basic Safety Training (BST) course. This is a class that the USCG (Coast Guard) started requiring all mariners to take back when they were trying to get the US in compliance with STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) around the turn of the century (STCW 95 went into full effect in the US Feb 2, 2002).

BST is a very basic course that is supposed to teach you what you should know before you can go offshore. Things you would know if you’d ever spent more than a couple of days (working) out there. Things like ‘what is a station bill? what is a muster station? what are the alarm signals? what do you do if someone falls overboard?, where can you find a lifejacket? how do you use a fire extinguisher? etc.

STCW is an international standard and the USCG is in charge of making sure all US mariners comply.

For once, the USCG actually made a rule that sort of made sense. They decided that if you were still sailing during the 5 years before you had to renew your credentials, (still working offshore where you were required to do safety training and drills every week), then you wouldn’t be required to spend another week of your supposed time off and a few hundred dollars (minimum) to ‘learn’ how to do such things as put on a life jacket or about the different types of fires.

It’s really pretty sad to have to require someone who’s been going to sea for 20 years (or even ONE year) to spend a week of their time off in this kind of class.

At this point, the USCG still does not require us to take the BST class more than once. They have caved in to the IMO and WILL be forcing us all to re-take the BST refresher course starting in 2017 (but they’re not yet). So far as I know, there are no approved ‘refresher’ courses since this is a fairly new ruling. Hopefully, the refresher course will only cover what we don’t do every week on board the ships. Things we CAN’T do (supposedly) out there like jump in the pool and/or put out real fires.

Maybe they’ll be sensible and just let us do a one day course on only those couple of things (I can hope, can’t I). 😉

In the meantime, certain companies don’t really care what the rules say. They insist that no one could possibly be ‘safe’ unless and until  they finish going to training for THEM.

I see it more and more often in the Gulf of Mexico. The drilling companies (clients) are especially bad about it. Instead of accepting Safegulf or Rigpass, (both of which cover the same very basic materials and are pretty much the same as the BST but more for the rigs vs the boats), each company wants you to go to THEIR training before you go offshore (even tho it’s all pretty much the same material).

Some of the trainers won’t even give you any proof that you attended the class! They don’t want you to be able to go to another company and avoid having to take it again (so they will get paid again for teaching you the same stuff they just taught you 2 months ago)!!

I have no idea why. Well, yes I do, but nobody likes to admit it. All the STCW courses cover the same material. They HAVE to. The USCG requires certain things to be taught. They require that we spend so much time on each subject. There is very little leeway in how these courses are taught.

The purpose of the STCW was to ensure that everybody in the entire world has the EXACT SAME TRAINING. Every country that is approved (on the white list) has basically the same courses teaching the same things. That is so that we can all be certain that every seafarer from every country will have at least the same basic minimum knowledge base.

Now, it seems the intent of the STCW is being subverted. I am hearing that some countries will not accept training from other countries. The sailors have to go and spend all that time and money taking the classes again for the country they want to work in! In fact, the US is one of those countries! (I am simplifying it a little here).

The USCG will not accept a course if I go to another country to take it. For example, if I went to take Basic Safety Training in Greece, they would not accept it. If someone from the UK were to come here and try to get a mariners document, they would have to re-take the BST course here. The USCG is supposedly in the process of changing the rules (again) but in the meantime, its a real pain in the ass for a lot of sailors around the world!

I’m actually lucky this time. I am starting a new job and the company is sending me to the ‘training’ this time. I have pretty much always had to spend the time and money out of my own pocket for all the other times I’ve had to do this.

I spent over $50,000 (!!!!!) re-taking classes I already took in order to get my chief mates license between 2002-2008!

Basically, I am just sick and tired of having to take the same classes over and over again. There’s very rarely even anything new covered in them. The very few things that have changed are things we could have got out of a safety alert or an email. But nooooooo, we have to go spend a week and a few hundred bucks (minimum) to sit through all the rest of the stuff that has NOT changed.

I think if I have to do it again at this point, that will be the last straw. I would just have to say the hell with it and give up sailing altogether. 😦

And they wonder why it’s so hard to recruit mariners?

It’s very sad that this is what it’s coming to. People say to me, “how can you be against “safety””? OK, let’s get this straight! I am NOT against safety!! I AM against these people (companies and governments) making up rules and checklists and “training” to COVER THEIR ASSES instead of doing the RIGHT thing!

IMHO, the real purpose of all these things is so they can send us to a class for a few days and then send us offshore and if we ever get hurt they can say “it’s not OUR fault, we sent them to TRAINING, they should have known better”. In other words, it’s all about CYA.

Of course, no one will actually ADMIT that.

Instead of actually giving a new person the time to learn the job PROPERLY on the job, with the people they will be working with who know the specifics, they send a new person off for a few days in a classroom.

OK, that’s better than nothing, I admit it, but it’s  NOT better than the way they used to learn things BEFORE these rules were put into effect!

We used to take a new person offshore and train them on the job. We would make sure to watch over them and ‘mentor’ them until we were all sure that they knew how to handle themselves. There were enough people out there for that system to work very well. Now that the companies have cut the crew size down to the bare minimum (or less, in many cases), no one really has the time or energy to watch over a new person like that.

So, now we have to trust that they know everything they need to know when they show up on board. After all, they’ve been “trained” and there is no way anybody can just ‘watch and learn’ anymore. Everybody out there now is going to be expected to pull their weight.

Personally, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see that there were MORE accidents and injuries since the start of all this STCW and company “training”. (Don’t even get me started on the paperwork component of all this: JSAs, tool box talks, etc, etc, etc). So far, I have not seen any kind of apples to apples comparison. I’m not sure anybody wants to see that done. It might show the companies that all their talk about safety is just that- TALK!

They might just have to come up with something a little more effective at making things safer out there, like maybe putting a few more people back on board the vessels? Or maybe cutting down on all the extra workload each person has had to shoulder since they cut out over half the crew years ago? Or maybe actually letting a person get some rest before they go to work on crew change day instead of putting them straight to work after they’ve just been up for 24+ hours traveling! OMG, they would have to spend a few bucks on a hotel room!!!

Nawwww, that would never happen, they might just have to spend a few more dollars on those crew members then they do on all their ‘safety’ programs. Not ever gonna happen. 😦

Nine Days?

“A cockroach can live for nine days without its head.”

 

I was sitting on the pot reading the Wildlife magazine from the Houston Zoo and this quote caught my eye.

I wondered what the heck were those cockroaches doing for those 9 days without a head?

I had always assumed that they spent most of their time looking for food. But if they don’t have a head, then how are they going to eat? So, do they still spend all their time looking for food? Is that really what they did before they lost their heads?

I wonder it they don’t have a head, how do they find their way around? I mean, they have eyes and antennas on their head for that, but once the heads gone then what do they do? Do they just lie there like they’re dead (but they’re not dead) for 9 days?

Or do they wander around trying to find out what happened to their head? Do they miss it? I guess they must not miss it all that much if they can go without it for 9 days.

I wonder is this some kind of survival trait? They don’t go around looking for food while they’re headless, they go around looking for sex? How would that work?

I mean really, they’ve been around FOREVER.

Maybe having a head isn’t as important as we’ve been led to believe?

I wonder just how many headless cockroaches are running around? I have to admit I’ve seen a lot of cockroaches in my life and have yet to see a headless one, dead or alive.

I wonder, did they do some kind of study on this? Did they just happen to find a headless cockroach running around and say, “Hey, I think we need to investigate this, how long can a headless cockroach survive?”.

Did they just find a bunch of headless roaches to study? Or did they actually pull the heads off enough roaches to make a valid study? Just how many headless cockroaches does it take to prove the statistic that they can survive for 9 days? Is just one enough?

How many died immediately? How many only lasted 1 day? 2 days? etc?

They didn’t mention how long a cockroach could live with a head. I have to assume it’s quite a bit longer than 9 days.

Oh well, just a few thoughts to start the day. 😉

 

PS- I got curious enough later to actually google it and yes, it’s true. They explain a lot of my questions in this article.

 

Is There Something Wrong With Me?

I haven’t mentioned much about politics on here lately. Maybe it’s because I’ve been traveling outside of the country (I was in Korea for a month).

It’s nice that I can get out of the US occasionally. I would love to leave more often for longer periods of time. I’m even thinking I might want to leave permanently. It’s SO nice to get away where the politics isn’t constantly in my face.

Sometimes I wonder if there’s something ‘wrong’ with me. Most of my friends don’t really care about what’s going on around them. They always tell me to ‘just chill out’, or ‘just ignore it’, or best of all ‘just do whatever you have to do to get around it’.

I wonder “WHY should I have to do any of that”? Why should I have to leave to find the freedom I was guaranteed at birth? I was born and raised here.

I was brought up to believe that THIS country was formed specifically to PROTECT our rights! WHY should I have to try to ignore it when I see our government doing the exact opposite more and more often?

People call me crazy (paranoid) because I’m always aware of how much freedom we have lost in this country, even just in my lifetime. They say I’m crazy to think the things that have happened in other countries (Germany, USSR, N Korea, China, etc) could ever happen here.

But I see that we are following the same footsteps that led those other countries down the path of socialism/communism/tyranny. Why COULDN’T  it happen here?

I wonder what’s wrong with everybody ELSE, that they DON’T care what’s happening in this country?

Why don’t THEY get upset that they have lost the same freedoms I have? Why do they clamor to give theirs away (and mine along with theirs)????

I feel more and more like an outsider in my own country. I feel like most of the people in this country have completely abandoned the ideas and ideals that our country was founded on. What made this country so unique in all of history…

The idea that “we the people”, (ALL people), have certain INALIENABLE rights. Rights inherent to us, that belong to us simply because of the fact that we are all human beings. We are all equal under the law (supposed to be here). That our government’s main job, (its’ only legitimate function), was to PROTECT those rights (it did NOT create or give us those rights).

Most people have been distracted and disoriented by the corruption of the language and twisting of the meanings of the words. Rights for example, there are those basic human rights that we are all born with, part of our nature as human beings. Then there are government created rights like voting rights for example. People treat them as interchangeable. They’re not.

People are busy arguing about media created hoopla over free speech (political correctness) and racism (freedom of association) and on and on and on. Too caught up in the small issues that tear us apart instead of fighting together for what’s really important. Our FREEDOM as individual human beings!

Yes, I realize that we are all very busy. I understand that most people have so many things taking up their time and energy now a days.

Most people are so exhausted by the time they get home at the end of a long day, all they want to do is chill out in front of a TV set. They don’t want to think, they want to vegetate til it’s time to go to bed.

Maybe as a sailor, I’ve had too much time to think in my life. Maybe it’s because I’ve always loved to read. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been an explorer. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been a skeptic.

But for whatever reason, I do think and I do care. What I see happening around me here flat ass scares the SHIT out of me.

OK, now before you all go running for the doors, please stick with me just a little longer.

Yeah, I’m fishing for comments here. I’d really like to hear from a larger sample of people around the world than just my personal friends and friends of theirs I’ve been arguing with on Facebook. 🙂

OK, just one simple question to start off with…

What do you know about the principle of self-ownership? 

Have you heard of it before? Where? What do you think it means? Do you think it’s valid? How would you go about justifying it? Do you think principles like this one change with the times? Should they?

Here’s another one to go along with that, it’s really part of the same question… If you DON’T own yourself, who does?

OK, I’ll leave you all to think on that for a while. PLEASE comment with your thoughts here!

 

If you’re wondering why I put that video on the top of the post, here’s why. I love that band! I really like this song.

I also think it’s relevant to this conversation I’m trying to start. I do think there’s a war going on. It’s a war for our hearts and our heads. It’s a war for the principles we’ll stand and fight for. It’s a war between the great masses of “we the people”, the common people, (you and me), and the elites.

It’s a war between freedom and tyranny. YES, it really is. So far, it’s happening mostly in the background, behind the scenes. You can see it easily if you look around (don’t count on the mainstream media for your information).

“This is Why We Fight”:                                                                                    “When we die, we will die with our arms unbound.”                                               THAT says it all to me.

“This Is Why We Fight”

Come the war
Come the avarice
Come the war
Come hellCome attrition
Come the reek of bones
Come attrition
Come hell

This is why
Why we fight
Why we lie awake
And this is why
This is why we fight

When we die
We will die
With our arms unbound

And this is why
This is why
Why we fight
Come hell

Bride of quiet
Bride of all unquiet things
Bride of quiet
Bride of hell

Come the archers
Come the infantry
Come the archers
Of hell

This is why
Why we fight
Why we lie awake
This is why
This is why we fight

And when we die
We will die
With our arms unbound
And this is why
This is why we fight
Come hell
Come hell

This is why
Why we fight
Why we lie awake
This is why
This is why we fight

When we die
We will die with our arms unbound
And this is why
This is why we fight

So come to me
Come to me now
Lay your arms around me
And this is why
This is why
We fight
Come hell
Come hell
Come hell
Come hell

 

Gone to the Birds!

OK, I HAD to get out of the house today! I’ve been trying to catch up on lots of things around here that mostly revolve around working on the computer.

My main computer (that I’ve had for a while now), caught a serious bug in Korea. I took it to the shop already, but they didn’t/couldn’t fix the main problem with it. So, I’ve been trying to use it while I transfer all my stuff onto the new (mac) computer I bought a couple of months ago and haven’t had the time to use yet.

I am having a VERY hard time trying to learn how to use it. It’s incredibly frustrating! I am NOT any kind of computer geek. I know how to turn one on and off and get to my emails. That’s pretty much it. 😦

This is my first Apple computer. I bought it because I’ve heard that Apples are really great to work with photos on. Maybe they are, but I can’t even figure out how to LOOK at my photos on it! Yeah, I can open one at a time, which is frustrating enough, but then I can’t DO anything with it.

On my old computer, I use Windows Photo Viewer or Windows Photo Gallery to look over my photos. It’s very easy to use. I can use Paint to edit them. I could also use a photo editing program like Lightroom or Paintshop if I really wanted to work on them.

On my new Apple computer, I can’t find ANY kind of program to look at or edit my photos at all. 😦

I did finally get Lightroom on the Apple computer, but I don’t really want to load EVERY photo there.

Maybe I’m just missing something simple that people who’re used to Apple products could clue me in on? I could use some help here…

Anyway, I was going stir crazy here, between frustration with my computers not allowing me to get much work done and taking out my frustrations by  arguing with strangers on Facebook, I figured I needed to get the heck out of the house and away from the computers for a while.

So, I went to the zoo. I always like to go and watch the animals. I like to watch the fish swim around, the jellyfish are really calming. I like to watch the monkeys play.  I especially like to see the new zoo babies if they have any (they did). 🙂

I saw the baby elephants. One was only 4 months old and the other was 3.5 yrs old.They were still keeping the baby in the house. It was SO cute! I couldn’t get any decent pictures of it, but I watched it play for a while.

baby elephant

baby elephant (3.5 yrs)

They had some baby lemurs. Those were really cute too, and fun to watch running and jumping all over their little habitat.

Lemur with baby

Lemur with baby

They had young flamingos. They were still gray. Last time I was at the zoo, they were little gray puff balls, they’ve grown a lot in a couple of months.

young flamingo (they turn pink the more they eat)

young flamingo (they turn pink the more they eat)

I got into watching the flamingos for a while, they were out of the water for a change and kind of fun to watch. Here’s a couple more shots…

           

I usually like to try and take pictures of everything but I still haven’t really figured out how to get past the bars and the cages. Sometimes I can get the camera to focus where I want it to and sometimes I can’t.Today wasn’t a good day for that. 😦

So, I concentrated the photos on the birds and the fishes. I know I’ve posted lots of fish pictures here already, so today I’ll do some birds. 😉

 

 

11th Annual Photo Contest Winners

Announcing Our 11th Annual Photo Contest Winners | Photo Contest | Smithsonian.

I don’t know how the Smithsonian judges ever manage to narrow down their choices. They have so many just stunning images to pick from every year.

This year is no different. I’ve been flipping through their choices for finalists and runners up in the different categories and I would have a really hard time making up my mind.

I think I would pick this one…

Photo by Ken Lee (finalist: travel)

If only because I LOVE the night sky and it’s SO hard to get good photos of it. There’s so much light pollution now. Also, I really love science fiction and the way they’ve set up those giant bugs just really does it for me. Lots of creativity and excellent camera skills. I love it! 🙂

Click the  link and check out all the other photos. It’ll be worth your while. 🙂