Happy 2016!

fireworks

I sure hope this year turns out better than last year was. Happy New Year 2016! Hope you’re all happy and healthy and ready to roar!

Thanks for checking out my blog, I appreciate it and hope to see you all stick around for more. 🙂

 

PS- I took the picture at the Renaissance Fair a couple of months ago.

2015 in review

So, even with this blog being out of order for almost 4 months(!!), I still did alright. I still don’t know what happened, why the move went so wrong, but I’m not ready to give up yet. I’m still going to try to run BOTH blogs until I can get this problem fixed. In the meantime, if you want to see what you missed, please check out my NEW blog. It’s at www.captainjillsjourneys.com

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Ogden

I was in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago for the Workboat Show. I always try to go if I’m not working. It’s interesting and New Orleans is always a blast. 🙂

This year, the schedule was a little off, also I’ve been laid off and no idea when I’ll get any work. It could be months. Years even. I was hoping to find somebody hiring at the job fair. Or, talk up some of the recruiters at their booths. So, I went to the show, but I cut back. I didn’t stay as long as usual. I didn’t spend as much money as usual. I was only there 4 days instead of 5-6, but I still had a good time.

I flew in Wednesday and flew out Saturday. I had hoped to be able to do some tourist stuff on Friday since I had all day free. I wound up spending all day long driving down to Fourchon and back to pick up some paperwork from my last ship.

So Saturday morning I had to return the car. Lucky for me, I saw on the way that they were setting up for the Krewe of Jingle Christmas Parade. I was planning to spend the day in the WWII Museum. I had heard it was really good, especially the movie (Tom Hanks).

Because I really wanted to see the parade, I skipped the WWII Museum (I thought it would be worth more than 1-2 hours) and went to see the Ogden Museum of Southern Art instead.

It’s nice that all those museums are so close together. Almost right across the street from each other. There is also a Civil War museum right there and a contemporary arts museum there too. I’ll have to do those and the WWII Museum next time. 🙂

The Ogden Museum was interesting. They had an exhibit of photographer Bill Yates that was pretty good. They displayed a bunch of black and white photographs from a skating rink (FL in the 70s), reminded me of when I was growing up over there. There was another exhibit of Michael Meads that I really liked. A lot of those were huge drawings/paintings, mostly in black and white but very intricate. (Not allowed to take pictures of those exhibits).

I started from the top (nice view from the balcony) and worked my way down. Four floors, pretty compact. They had painting, photography, pottery, sculpture, glass and more. They had an exhibit by some school kids that I really liked. Made out of garbage (plastic) and painted. Sculptures of fantasy creatures and interesting objects. I thought it was very creative and nice to recycle.

They had some of the more traditional museum type paintings, they also had some strange stuff that really got me thinking about ‘what is art?’.

Some of the things they had I could see really took a lot of effort, a lot of thought, a lot of creativity, a lot of talent. I could see why someone would want to put them in a museum (and probably pay a bunch of money for them).

"Victim of Silence"- Mark Messersmith 2011

“Victim of Silence”- Mark Messersmith 2011

detail

detail

But some of the things they had on display I thought “WTF???”. Why in the world would anybody want THAT hanging around? Much less pay anything for it! Why would anyone consider it ‘art”?

mud & paint on plywood by Jimmy Lee Sudduth

mud & paint on plywood by Jimmy Lee Sudduth

Those items looked to me like anybody could make them. A child could do better. A MONKEY could do better!

Why are these things sitting in a museum? What makes them worth it? What makes them ‘great’? I’m assuming if they’re in a museum, they’re considered to be ‘great art’. Why do the curators pay high dollars for these things when the majority of people who see them think the same way as I do and wouldn’t pay 10 cents for them? What makes them art and your kids refrigerator specials not?

So, what does make art?

And what makes ‘great’ art (worth of a spot in a museum)?

I’m really curious. Come on with your comments…

Songs of the Sea: Sons and Daughters

 

One of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands!

I’ve been listening to this CD a lot in my car lately. I’ve been driving a lot more than usual lately. Instead of working offshore, I’ve got some part time work in Houston, so I’ve got a couple of hours a day driving back and forth when they’ve got something for me to do up there. This song always gets me in a good mood while I sing along. 🙂

“Sons And Daughters”

When we arrive, sons and daughters
We’ll make our homes on the water
We’ll build our walls aluminum
We’ll fill our mouths with cinnamon now

These currents pull us ‘cross the border
Steady your boats, arms to shoulder
‘Til tides all pull our hull aground
Making this calm harbor now home

Take up your arms, sons and daughters
We will arise from the bunkers
By land, by sea, by dirigible
We’ll leave our tracks untraceable now

When we arrive, sons and daughters
We’ll make our homes on the water
We’ll build our walls aluminum
We’ll fill our mouths with cinnamon now

When we arrive, sons and daughters
We’ll make our homes on the water
We’ll build our walls aluminum
We’ll fill our mouths with cinnamon now

When we arrive, sons and daughters
We’ll make our homes on the water
We’ll build our walls aluminum
We’ll fill our mouths with cinnamon now

Hear all the bombs fade away
Hear all the bombs fade away
Hear all the bombs fade away
Hear all the bombs fade away

More Jingle

A few more photos from the Krewe of Jingle Christmas Parade in New Orleans. I always try to go to New Orleans the 1st week of December for the Workboat Show and they have this parade right afterwards. It’s always a lot of fun. 🙂

Krewe of Jingle 2015

 

I went to New Orleans for the Workboat Show again this year. I didn’t stay as long as usual  (due to not working this year), but I still had time to catch the Christmas Parade. 🙂

I had actually forgotten about it. They changed the usual schedule for the Workboat Show, so I was off on my planning. I flew in the morning of the show, made the WISTA tea that afternoon, went to a party that night, spent the next day working the Show. I spent all day Friday tracking down paperwork from my last boat (in Fourchon).

I had to return the car Saturday morning, so got up early. I had planned to go to the WWII Museum right next to the car rental, but I saw them setting up the streets for a parade and it was going to start in only a little over an hour. I wanted to see it for sure!

I decided to spend the time before the parade started in the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. It was interesting and I managed to check out all of it and still have enough time to get a good spot to watch the parade. I even had time to wander around, check out the costumes and take photos before they started marching. 🙂



This is the Krewe of Jingle parade, they’ve been doing it the last few years right around the same time as the Workboat Show (Dec 5 this year). I LOVE this parade! They have such great people, fun costumes, and they’re all having such a great time. It’s contagious. 🙂

I’ve got a lot of great photos from the parade. I’ll share more later, don’t want the blog to get bogged down loading. 😉

So Hot!

Jeeze, it’s Christmas Eve, but it’s so hot here I’m gonna have to turn the air conditioner on again!

Is anyone able to enjoy a real cool WHITE Christmas, with SNOW and all the stuff we usually think about for Christmas?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

You know- snow, snowmen, snowball fights, real icicles dripping from the eaves (not pretend little LED lights), sitting around the fireplace sipping hot chocolate- yeah, all that!

I live in Texas now, but I still remember that stuff and I do miss it. We never get real snow here.

I took that picture a couple of weeks ago from right outside the door of our writing workshop in Evergreen CO. I loved seeing the deer right there, and the SNOW!

Thank goodness I don’t have to deal with it all the time. I have no idea how to drive in it, I’m sure I wouldn’t like having to shovel it out of my driveway every day, but it sure was beautiful to look at and I’m missing it right now. 🙂

Maybe Liberals Should Move To Somalia

Saw this in my reader today and I just couldn’t resist. 😉

No, I’m actually NOT against everything liberals say. In fact, I am a liberal, but a CLASSICAL liberal. There is a HUGE difference between a classical liberal and what they have turned into now. Read the post below and please, lets get a discussion going (wait til after Christmas if you want, or argue with me instead of your family over the holidays 😉 )

Express some opposition to a government program, or even the growth thereof, and a leftist will never be far behind to say “If you hate government so much, why don’t you move to Somalia!?!?!” This of course, comes from a profound liberal ignorance of geopolitics. They are under the mistaken impression that since the Somali government collapsed some time ago, and has been referred to by the United Nations as a “failed state” that Somalia is in a state of anarchy.  Were Somalia actually

Source: Maybe Liberals Should Move To Somalia

Merry Christmas 2015

DC AWAI workshop

I hope you all have a great Christmas!

It looks like I’ll be home for the first time in decades. I’m having a hard time trying to get into the holiday spirit.

I’m going to see some good friends tomorrow for Christmas, so looking forward to that. We’ll eat, drink and be merry. Hope you’re all doing the same. 🙂

Gathering: Bikes and Blues 2

This week the Daily Post is doing a challenge on ‘gathering’. They seem to be looking for something more along the lines of a holiday gathering of family and friends. The typical Christmas kind of thing. I don’t really get into that kind of thing much.

Here’s a gathering of a gathering of bikers last year at the Summertime Bikes and Blues festival they have in Freeport every year. I have a lot more fun at these kinds of ‘gatherings’ then I do at Christmas!

I like to go to this event when when I can. It’s local, it’s not too crowded, it’s cheap. I love the music, the foods good, there are lots of cool bikes to check out and I always have a good time. 🙂

7 Ways to Drink (and Eat) Eggnog!

Seems I can’t use “Press This” anymore either since I moved my blog over here. Just one more frustrating fuck up! Makes it harder to share good stuff I see online and when I decide it is worth all the extra effort, the post looks like hell. 😦

So, I’m not much in the holiday spirit. Things have not been going very well around here lately. I’m home, for one thing. I’m almost always out to sea on the holidays, it’s always the best time to get work. Most people want to be home with their families over the holidays. I need the work more.

So, I’m sitting here tonight, chilling out, having a drink and still HOPING to get a call tomorrow. Some last minute rush to get me there before crew change, nevermind holiday airport madness. I thought of this email I got the other day, thought some of you might like it too…

cashew nut nog, epicurious.com

Here’s the link to a site with some pretty cool looking ways to make eggnog. Surprisingly enough, most of the recipes are for eating your eggnog. I’ve always been a fan of real (spiced) eggnog, even if I do only have it around Christmas time. I have to admit, I never thought about eating it before.

Some of these recipes make me feel like I ought to spread them out over the rest of the year. I especially like the Cranberry Eggnog Tart, which is really a cheesecake with some cranberry jam to change the taste a little.

They also give recipes for Cinnamon Flan (made with rum spiced whipped cream), eggnog sauce for your spiced apple cake, Tiramisu Eggnog Trifle, and even eggnog ice cream (made with heavy cream and dark rum) that sounds like another real winner. 🙂

And if you just want to stick with drinking your eggnog, they have a recipe for Cashew Nut Nog and another for a coconut eggnog they call Coquito.

I don’t know about you, but I think I might need to pick up another carton of eggnog before this is all over. 😉

Gathering: The Daily Post 2

I haven’t been up to doing many of these challenges lately, but this week the Daily Post is doing a challenge on ‘gathering’. They seem to be looking for something more along the lines of a holiday gathering of family and friends. The typical Christmas kind of thing. Maybe I’ll find something like that later.

For now, I’m thinking more along the lines of gathering in the catch. Like this photo from the tuna boat. I took it a couple of years ago, when I was sailing as captain on the Pacific Breeze, hunting around the South Pacific.

I actually miss that job. 😦

Please check out my new blog: www.captainjillsjourneys.com

Limbo 2

Have you ever felt like you were in limbo? I rarely have. But I am feeling like that right now. I hate it!

I’ve always been one to have a goal. To have something, at least in the back of my mind, to work towards.

Up until fairly recently, that goal was to become ‘a ships captain and sail around the world (and get paid for it)’. I FINALLY achieved that goal in December of 2011. I earned my Master AGT (any gross tons) from the US Coast Guard. I was so happy, so thrilled, so stunned, to have FINALLY earned what I had worked so long and so hard for.

But, since then, I have been a little bit lost. I had been trying so long and so hard to reach that goal, that I hadn’t really figured out ‘what next?’

I’m still in that phase. Trying to figure out ‘what now?’. I was OK with that until I got laid off. Having work always kept me occupied. I never had to think about what was next. Working, and then busy as hell when I was home. I was able to travel, take courses, work on projects, etc. All because I knew I only had a month or so at home to get everything done that I needed to do.

Now, I am out of work (with no access to unemployment pay due to foreign employment over the last year). There is NO work in my field. I doubt there will be any until the price of oil goes back up to at least $70-80 per barrel. Hundreds of thousands of people have been laid off already in the oilfield and there are still more layoffs in the news every day. 😦

According to the people who think they know about this kind of thing, it could take another 2-3 years for the price to go back up to the point companies start hiring again. Some ‘experts’ think oil could go back up to $100 next year. Some people think it never will due to alternative energy increasing in efficiency and affordability (I think it will be decades before that happens).

So, I am in limbo. I am HOPING to get some work over the holidays (one trip now would give me 2-4 months leeway to find something else). All of my usual sources have dried up. I have ONE recruiter still telling me he’s got something coming up, but nothing definite yet. Christmas is less than a week away. I’m losing hope, but still not ready to throw in the towel yet.

So….. what am I going to do?

I WISH I could just say the hell with it all and ‘retire’! I WISH. But, if I plan to live more than 10 years, then I just can’t see how I could possibly survive for any time past that. Those 10 years would have to be spent living somewhere with a MUCH lower cost of living then the USA. I’m not objecting to that at all, in fact I would LOVE to move NOW to one of those places. The problem with that is that they won’t let me until I’m retired and/or have a ton of money!

Since I don’t know how long I might live, and hopefully it’ll be more than 10 years, I need to figure out some OTHER way to earn a living. I have all kinds of ideas. I’ve already tried a few: vending machines, rental property, investing in the stock market, painting, writing, photography, blogging. Not one of them has made anywhere near enough money for me to consider concentrating on just that one. The rental property comes close, but I’m still at the point where I need to subsidize them with regular work. 😦

I found a temporary job ashore through an old friend. It pays about 1/5 of what I normally make. It’s not every day. It won’t start up again til the end of January. It won’t pay the bills. But it pays 2-3 times more than any OTHER job I’m likely to find here. It helps.

I’m considering taking the TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) course. No, it won’t be enough to pay the bills either, but at least it will allow me to move somewhere less expensive to live. I think I might actually enjoy teaching and it might turn into something really interesting. The biggest problem with that is my fear/expectation that I would have to dress/act in a ‘professional manner’. UGH! I hate the thought of that!

So, while I sit around the house, hoping to get a call for a ‘real’ job, I try to work on my other (hopefully someday money-earning) projects. My writing, photography, blogging. Problem with that is I’m getting so depressed with the situation around here that I don’t feel like doing ANYTHING.

All the things I’d normally be doing in my time off, like sailing, going out to see friends, going to the zoo, going to do things in Houston, traveling, are either too expensive or I put them off cause I just don’t feel like getting out of the house. I’m getting super lazy, doing less and less every day. I didn’t even take my daily walk yesterday (I did today).

I really hate being in this situation, this limbo. If I knew for sure I could get regular work, and when, I could make some kind of decision. Knowing I would be leaving soon would motivate me to get off my ass and get some of these projects around the house done.

If I knew for sure there was no work (not still hoping to get some), I might decide to take the enforced time off to take the TEFL course. Or just take the time to concentrate on fixing this blog (the total disaster of moving it still needs to be fixed). Or work on photography. Or writing. Or painting.

Or, I might look harder at some of those sailboats looking for crew. That would be a cool adventure! I only wish they paid something, but there are always so many people out there willing to go for just the experience, or even to pay themselves! I know I would make a good crew on any passage. Too bad I don’t have the money now to put in for costs, or pay for transportation. 😦

So, limbo. I wish I knew something to do to motivate myself (other than having a job pop up).

Songs of the Sea: The Lighthouse’s Tale 2

This is such a beautiful song.

I love this band. Nickel Creek. I listen to them a lot, and not just because I forget to change out the CD player in the truck! The fiddle and mandolin are amazing. I could listen to them all day.

This is really a sad song. When I really pay attention to the lyrics, I could almost cry. The sea is beautiful, but sometimes it’s cruel. I never forget how dangerous it can be.

As they say in the safety meetings: ‘complacency kills’.

“The Lighthouse’s Tale”

I am a lighthouse, worn by the weather and the waves.
I keep my lamp lit, to warn the sailors on their way.

I’ll tell a story, paint you a picture from my past.
I was so happy, but joy in this life seldom lasts.

I had a keeper, he helped me warn the ships at sea.
We had grown closer, ’till his joy meant everything to me.

And he was to marry, a girl who shone with beauty and light.
And they loved each other, and with me watched the sunsets into night.

[Chorus:]
And the waves crashing around me, the sand slips out to sea.
And the winds that blow remind me, of what has been, and what can never be.

She’d had to leave us, my keeper he prayed for a safe return.
But when the night came, the weather to a raging storm had turned.

He watched her ship fight, but in vain against the wild and terrible wave.
In me so helpless, as dashed against the rock she met her end.

[Chorus]

Then on the next day, my keeper found her washed up on the shore.
He kissed her cold face, that they’d be together soon he’d swore.

I saw him crying, watched as he buried her in the sand.
And then he climbed my tower, and off of the edge of me he ran.

[Chorus]

I am a lighthouse, worn by the weather and the waves.
And though I am empty, I still warn the sailors on their way.

Wild Wednesday: Sea Angels 2

It’s been a (long) while since I’ve done one of these Wild Wednesday posts (and yeah, I’m late).

I was googling around with a little spare time and came across these ‘cute’ lil’ buggers. Sea Angels.

Yeah, they look sweet and innocent. Fluttering around the ocean. Their translucent bodies and ‘wings’ might make them seem like the angels they’re named after.

But they’re really just snails. Snails without shells. Hunting snails. Carnivorous snails. Sneaky snails. Sexy snails (they’re ‘simultaneous hermaphrodites’ which means they can reproduce any time- they don’t actually need a partner to do it tho). According to Joseph over on his very interesting blog Real Monstrosities, they’re really little devils. 😉

It’s a good thing they’re all pretty small, the largest of them only grow to a couple of inches long. I’ve never seen them (at least not that I know of). Have you?

PS- please check out my NEW blog www.captainjillsjourneys.com. Sign up and follow me over there, it’s much better than this one since I can’t do as much over here. 

Hayloft- Nickel Creek 2

I’m copying and pasting from my new blog www.captainjillsjourneys.com. Please go over there and check it out. Like and or follow me there, I’m really trying to move off this site and get over there!

This one has really been sticking in my mind lately. I really like a lot of their music. The mandolin and fiddle are fantastic!

Check it out. Let me know how you like it. 🙂

Cherry Pie Moonshine 2

Cherry Pie Moonshine – Sweet C’s Designs.

OK. Here’s a new moonshine recipe. I double checked the link and it DOES work!

It looks delicious and very easy to make. I agree, it would make a great Christmas (or Valentines) present.

Time to get cookin’

🙂

PS- Please go to my new blog at www.captainjillsjourneys.com

Travel Theme: Fabric 2

I’m copying and pasting this from my new blog. It’s www.captainjillsjourneys.com. Please move over there with me. If you already follow me here, I lost you as followers on the move! 

I found another challenge in my Reader tonight. It’s from Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack? She does a Travel Theme challenge every week. This weeks travel theme is: fabric. So, here is my entry for the challenge.

I took these photos on my last big trip abroad (the last trip I have any photos for, the actual last trip was to Nicaragua but somebody stole -hacked the computer and encrypted- all my photos and wants $1000 to give them back! So sickening, but I don’t have the money, so they’re all gone forever- lesson learned: BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS in at least 3 places!!!)

The first photo was taken in the museum of the last palace of the rulers of Malacca, Sulawesi Island, Indonesia. The cloth is woven from real silver and gold thread. Indonesia is well known for its beautiful fabrics. They do a lot of intricate patterns and batiks.

The second photo is from Northern Thailand. I took a day trip from Chiang Mai to see the hill tribes. This was taken at the village of the “Long Necks”. The ladies were busy weaving these fabrics, the little girls would watch the stalls and hope to sell you something. They all seemed quite shy and quiet.

I love beautiful things like this, it’s funny, but it’s only when I’m traveling that I ever think to look at anything like this. I never think about my usual simple shorts and t-shirts. Who made them and what it took. I assume they’re made in some big factory by machines. What a different way of doing something. Making fabrics, clothes. Handmade, local, careful, beautiful. Nice. 🙂

Conspiracy Freaks

I’m about to head out to my weekly political meeting. Or, as most people refer to it as “those crazy conspiracy freaks going at it again”!

Does it REALLY matter if it’s a conspiracy if whatever you’re concerned about IS really happening?

Personally, I couldn’t care less if it’s technically a conspiracy or not. I just want it all to STOP! I’m not nearly as involved/informed as some of the other members of the group. I just don’t have the time (or the inclination) to spend SO much time investigating and following up research on SO many different things.

Things like:

  • Fluoridation
  • Chemtrails
  • Federal Reserve, debasing our money
  • Global warming
  • Weather manipulation, HAARP, California drought
  • GMOs
  • False/Shadow government, failure to legally reconvene congress after the civil war
  • Drug wars, prison state, prison-industrial complex
  • TSA, NSA, PATRIOT ACT
  • Obamacare screwing up our healthcare system even worse than it was
  • Common Core, government schools, TV, etc dumbing down the population
  • Agenda 21
  • Rising taxes and inflation, forced to work longer to survive, less free time to think
  • Families breaking apart, kids and elders left on their own
  • More and more and more rules and regulations, run jobs and businesses out of the country, huge loss of personal freedom

The list goes on, and on, and on. I don’t know if every one of these things is really going on, is really as bad as some of my friends there make out. I DO know that SOME of them are, that’s enough for me to keep going. to keep fighting.

There are SO many ways we are being used, and abused. I go to the meetings to TRY to find ways to deal with it all. To TRY to find solutions. To TRY to find ways to inform and educate enough other people so they’ll come to care about all this stuff and join in the fight.

My friend Mike thinks I’m nuts. He tells me I shouldn’t worry about any of those things, I should just let Obama (or Hillary) do their thing and everything will be fine. It’s all the Republicans fault according to him (yeah, I’m simplifying a little bit, but not by much). Sorry, but it’s NOT just the Republicans fault! It’s the fault of BOTH parties and I get SO tired of hearing one side argue about the other!

BOTH parties are STATIST! That is the problem and THAT is the reason we have so many of those problems I listed above! Until we get the population of the USA to believe in FREEDOM and LIBERTY like we all used to believe in, then things are just going to keep on getting worse.

In America, we the PEOPLE are the supreme rulers! Individuals are MORE important than the state! The government works for US, NOT the other way around!

Harry Browne asked a question when he was running for President a few years back. He asked people “Would you give up your favorite federal programs if it meant you never had to pay income tax again?”. Sadly, almost no one would.

TEFL Call Tonight 2

Please visit my NEW blog (www.captainjillsjourneys.com), I’m not sure how long this one is going to stay up! 

Staying home tonight, waiting for my TEFL conference call to begin.

I signed up for this program on teaching English overseas a few months ago. Another of my attempts to find a way to support myself when I move out of the US.

So far, I haven’t made the move. I still haven’t even taken the actual TEFL course, tho I am getting closer to signing up. I have started actually researching different programs, at different schools.

My old friend from high school just finished his TEFL course and he’s already teaching. So far he’s loving it.

I think if I didn’t have so many bills, I would be much more likely to do it myself. I definitely worry too much.

I hope tonights call will help me get off my ass and make some kind of decision! If I can’t get back offshore, I need to find SOMETHING to do that will bring in some money to pay the bills. I figure if I’m living somewhere cheaper, I won’t be spending so much money. I hope that’s how it works!