Travel

Here’s another favorite quote of mine for the Daily Post’s prompt. This is also another post for the Just Jot it January challenge.

I LOVE to travel! I do every time I get the chance. I’ve been traveling ever since I was born (tho I had no choice about that!).

Until I was about 6 years old, we lived in a camper on the back of my dads truck. He would take contract jobs all over the country. When he finished one and found something interesting he liked, he would pack us all up and off we’d go. We lived in Boston, Syracuse, Minneapolis, Lake Tahoe, Phoenix, Anaheim, and others I don’t remember.

We settled down in Florida when I started school, but I still got to go places thanks to my grandmother. She lived in New York, so we (my brother and me) would fly up there for the summer. My grandmother would take us to Niagara Falls or Montauk, or we would go to day camp for the summer. I remember going skiing in Aspen, Colorado, tennis camp near Ashville, North Carolina, touring around the Western National Parks.

I was really lucky and got to go to high school on a square-rigger and sail around the world. I decided on that trip I wanted to be a ship captain and sail around the world (and get paid for it)!

I’ve been working toward that goal ever since.

I’ve never felt so engaged, so alive, so in the moment as when I’m traveling (and/or sailing). It can be totally absorbing. I love to explore, even in my home town. I used to ride my bike up and down every street in town, just to see where they went. I did the same thing when I first got a car here in Texas (before gas got too expensive for joyriding).

You never know what you’ll find, who you’ll meet, what can happen. 🙂

I hate the thought of working in an office all day, doing work I’m really not interested in, for just barely enough money to pay the bills. That’s why I decided to go take the TEFL course in Mexico. At least I’ll be learning something new and useful, in a different place. Who knows what it might turn into, right!? Here’s a bonus quote and another one of my favorites…

I think it’s a real shame how many people all over the world are basically doing just that. I don’t know how to fix it, but I’m sure there’s GOT to be a better way! None of us are meant to just work our whole lives just so we can pay the bills!

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Seaside

Here’s another one for my Songs of the Sea series (and another post for the Just Jot It January challenge). It’s short and sweet. 🙂

Do you want to go to the seaside? I do! I’ll be there tomorrow. 🙂

Seaside
Do you want to go to the seaside?
I’m not trying to say that everybody wants to go
I fell in love at the seaside
I handled my charm with time and slight of hand
Do you want to go to the seaside?
I’m not trying to say that everybody wants to go
I fell in love at the seaside
She handled her charm with time and slight of hand, and oh
But I’m just trying to love you
In any kind of way
But I find it hard to love you girl
When you’re far away
Away
Do you want to go to the seaside?
I’m not trying to say that everybody wants to go
But I fell in love on the seaside
On the seaside
In the seaside

Anarchy

The Just Jot it January challenge is almost over. Only 1 more day!

That’s a good thing, cause I’m leaving early Monday morning. I’ll be in school for a month in Mexico. I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to spend online (and I’m sure I won’t be wanting to spend much!).

Today’s prompt is: SoCS – “an” as a word or at the beginning of a word

Anarchy.

That’s my “an” word. I’m a libertarian. I thoroughly believe that each and every person on this planet owns their own life and should be able to do everything and anything they want (as long as they don’t hurt anybody else), and they will take the consequences of their choices. I believe in the absolute MINIMUM government possible.

That really ought to be possible, and a good way to run a society. In fact, the United States was founded on that principle. The country was set up to have an EXTREMELY LIMITED government. There are only about 8 things that the US government is authorized to do! EIGHT! Yes, that is true.

Read Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution. There it is, right there in black and white.

So, how in the HELL did we get from that to the situation we have today, where we have millions of “laws”. “Laws” that restrict and regulate every tiny little detail of our lives? Adding thousands more EVERY SINGLE DAY! Almost every one of them in violation of the Constitution which IS the SUPREME law of the land!

Every time I get into a political discussion and bring up my distrust and skepticism of the government, how it has grown into a tyrannic police state, people bring up Somalia.

They seem to think limited government is the same thing as NO government, which it is not. They also seem to think that the situation in Somalia is due to anarchy. It is not.

I am not an anarchist. Although the more I learn about it, the closer I come. Probably just because the more I learn about government, the more I am against it. I read a lot of history (also philosophy). I can’t imagine how anarchy could possibly be any worse than government. At least then, people wouldn’t expect the people they pay to take care of them to continually abuse them. Maybe they would actually fight back and take control of their own lives again.

Maybe governments might start out decent, but eventually the concentration of power completely corrupts them. They just get worse and worse until the people finally have enough and revolt. They abuse people basically at will. They supposedly have the monopoly of the use of force, but they use it against their own populations and the people can’t fight back. They control the education (propaganda) and teach the people that they SHOULD bow down to ‘the authorities’. How in the HELL is that a good thing?

I’ll never understand why so many people seem to think they DON’T have the right to live their lives the way they choose, that they somehow OWE their lives to some supposed ‘authority’. That just because they happened to be born on one particular spot on this planet, they owe their entire lives to whoever happens to take power in that locale. They bust their asses every day just to survive and their leaders steal whatever they feel like and they’re supposed to be thankful that they don’t steal even more. That just makes NO sense to me.

I better stop now.

Sail Away

Like I said yesterday for the Daily Post’s prompt, I have more than 1 favorite quote. Quotes that inspire me. Quotes that I wish I could follow more closely. All of my favorite quotes have the same theme. They’re all related in some way or another to FREEDOM.

Yesterdays was about the freedom of a ship at sea. There’s nothing else like it. You’re out there in your own little world. You have to deal with your fellow shipmates, the ship itself, and the surrounding environment. It really is special.

Today, I’d like to share another favorite. I love this quote by Mark Twain (he used to be a riverboat pilot). It really speaks to me, more and more as I get older and more fearful. Also more aware of time passing by. I’ve been wanting to leave the US and travel the world ever since I went to school with the Oceanics when I was a teenager.

I’ve spent my entire life at sea, trying to have those same kinds of experiences again. But the world at sea has changed SO much since then. They’ve taken all the fun and enjoyment out of it. Now, it’s pretty much just another job.

I still love the time off it offers. It gave me plenty of opportunity to travel on my time off. I did, every chance I got. Whenever I had the money and I wasn’t spending my time off in ‘training’, I would take a trip somewhere.

I started investigating what it would take for me to move overseas and found out that I would not be able to do that until I was old enough to retire (or won the lottery).

I don’t have the resources it would take to start a business, which is actually a good option in a lot of places, but I could not find a single country that would allow me to move there and WORK to support myself for the time it would take to become a citizen. The only option left was to teach English.

So, I started looking into learning how to teach English. I was never really very serious about it. I was still able to work offshore and the pay differential is just HUGE. I was able to earn more in 1 day at sea than I would earn as a teacher in a month (or even 2 months)!

So, I continued working and traveling when I could on my time off. Too fearful to take the plunge and just GO. I would never have hesitated when I was younger. I knew then (and I know now) that I could find something to do that would allow me to travel and spend time in a place I liked. Back then, I would never have let worries about not having a work visa stop me from taking whatever opportunities offered.

I know there are people all over the world working under the table as bartenders, waiters, baby-sitters, time-share salesmen, etc. I know I could do a lot of those jobs too. But I’ve been letting my fears stop me from doing anything about my desire to get out of here!

I hate the idea of being forced to give up my chosen livelihood. I really still love working at sea, sailing for a living. I don’t want to give it up and never would have by choice.

So I guess it’s a good thing for me that the price of oil is so low that there is no hope of work for the foreseeable future. If there was, I would still be sitting here at home, spending most of my time applying for non-existent jobs and hoping for a phone call.

Since I finally admitted to myself that there IS no hope, I could finally force myself into signing up for the TEFL course and probably even spending some time afterwards in a foreign country.

I am still fearful, nervous and depressed, but I’m throwing off those lines anyway. 🙂

This is also a post for the Just Jot It January challenge. 🙂

A Ship in Harbour

The Daily Post came up with a prompt today, one I thought I could contribute something to the discussion with.

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?

Actually, I have a few favorite quotes. It’s hard to choose just one. They all revolve around the same theme. FREEDOM to live life to the fullest. Here’s one…

I’m a sailor. I’ve spent my life on the water, so this one really does speak to me. It’s true too. Yep, that’s right. A ship is meant to be at sea. To sail away from all the tedious day to day bullshit on shore. To explore the unknown oceans. To do the job to the best of it’s ability. To see the world.

The crew works together as a team, with a common goal to focus on (the ship). They work hard and they play hard. Adventures at sea and in ports around the world. It’s about living life, taking each day at a time and being present in the moment. Aware of the ship, the sea and the sky, the weather and any changes. Alert to the birds, fish, whales, dolphins and all the other creatures of the sea. Doing your work every day that you know is only to help reach the goal.

Finish the voyage, prepare for the next. And off on another adventure. 🙂

And this is also an post for the Just Jot It January challenge.

NOS4A2

Today’s prompt for the Just Jot It January is: Mendaciloquent.

Oh hell yeah, I had to look that one up! Turns out, it’s not in the dictionary. So I have absolutely NO idea what it means. Sorry.

I’ll just have to write about something else.

Read any good books lately?

I have. I just finished NOS4A2 by Joe Hill. It’s a pretty fat one, at almost 700 pages. But it does a great job of keeping you interested. I had a hard time putting it down.

I’ve read a couple other books by Joe Hill. The Heart Shaped Box was the 1st one I read. I thought it was really good. I also read Horns, which I liked even better.

His writing reminds me a lot of Stephen King. Maybe because that’s his dad? I don’t know. But they both write long stories, even over 100’s of pages you can hardly put the book down. They both write a lot using kids and a lot of real, day to day, details that bring back what you were doing as a kid. Puts you right there in the scene.

They both have a sick sense of humor (weird maybe, but I like that). Here’s a story going along where everything’s perfectly normal, it could be taking place right next door. And then, all the sudden, everything’s really weird. That turns into totally fucked up pretty damn quick. 😉

I like how Joe writes a lot about how people get along (or not). A lot of psychology in his writing, maybe in the background, maybe not. His characters (the ones you’re rooting for) are all like-able, even if not ‘normal’. It’s easy to relate to them.

NOS4A2 is kind of a vampire story. It’s like a cross between Stephen King’s Christine, Dracula, and Dorian Grey. In this one, the super-duper special car sucks the life out of all the little kids it can catch and transfers it to the predator driver. Add in a rapist Renfield in a gas mask and a tribe of little monsters, and you’ll get what the hero’s up against.

They drive from reality to a fantasy land where it’s Christmas all the time. Til one little girl shows up and screws things up.

It’s a good story, it’s at the library. I don’t want to ruin it for you. Maybe they’ll make a movie out of it. It would make a good one. 🙂

We All Are One

Today’s prompt for the Just Jot It January challenge is: oneness.

As soon as I saw it, I thought of this song…

I’ve always loved reggae music and Jimmy Cliff is one of my favorite artists. This video is not the best, but I like how he gets all the people dancing together.

I like the words, the music and the message too. I do think people are all the same (on a basic level). I remember coming back from high school after traveling the world on the sailing ships. People got so mad at me when I would say that (especially about the USSR).

But I still think it’s true. I think there is a connection, I do believe everything in this world is connected in some way. I don’t have any idea how, and not in any religious way, but I can see it works that way on this planet. Woo-woo, a little new- agey, but more on the level of all the atoms and molecules being recycled over and over again. Karma. Thoughts and emotions. Ecology. Yeah, all that kind of stuff. 😉

“We All Are One”

Mmm…mmm…mmm….
Yeah
Mmm…hmm…mmm….oh…

We all are one, we are the same person
I’ll be you, you’ll be me (Oh, yeah)
We all are one, same universal world
I’ll be you, you’ll be me

No matter where we are born,
We are human beings
The same chemistry
Where emotions and feelings
All corresponding in love
Compatible

You can’t get around it,
No matter how hard you try
You better believe it
And if you should find out
That you are no different than I
Reply

We all are one (We all),
We are the same person (Same person)
I’ll be you, you’ll be me (I’ll be me, you’ll be you)
We all are one (We all), same universal world
I’ll be you, you’ll be me

The only difference I can see
Is in the conscience
And the shade of our skin
Doesn’t matter, we laugh, we chatter
We smile, we all live for

And the feelings that make
All those faces always renew
So true, so true
And would you believe that I have
All those same feelings too
The same as you

We all are one, we are the same person
I’ll be you, you’ll be me (I’ll be me, you’ll be you)
We all are one (We all), same universal world
I’ll be you, you’ll be me (Mmm, hmm, mmm, hmm)

We all are one (We all),
We are the same person (Same person)
I’ll be you, you’ll be me (I’ll be me, you’ll be you)
We all are one (We all), same universal world
I’ll be you, you’ll be me

Look at the children, they’re having fun
With no regards to why
They all look different but deep inside
Their feelings of love they don’t hide, they don’t hide
They don’t hide, they don’t hide

We all are one, we are the same person
I’ll be you, you’ll be me (Oh, yeah)
We all are one, same universal world
I’ll be you, you’ll be me

We all are one (We all),
We are the same person (The same person)
I’ll be you, you’ll be me (No matter where you go)
We all are one (We all),
Same universal (Same person)
I’ll be you, you’ll be me (Oh, yeah)

We all are one (You know, I know, we all know),
We are the same person (Oh, yeah)
I’ll be you, you’ll be me (Oh, yeah)
We all are one (Emotions and feelings),
Same universal (All corresponding to love)
I’ll be you, you’ll be me (Oh…oh…oh…)

We all are one, we are the same person

If you want to check out some more of his music, check out this link.

New Shoes

Today’s prompt for the Just Jot It January challenge is: prestidigitation. I can’t really think of anything to say about that subject so I’m going to post about my shopping trip today.

From what I gather from the TV and newspapers, I must be pretty weird. I really don’t like shopping! The USA is now a consumer culture, rather than a producer culture. China makes stuff now. We just buy all the crap they make with money they loan us so we can do that. We’re supposed to enjoy shopping and spending money we don’t have (on stuff we don’t need).

Personally, I’m not much of a consumer. I have no desire to go out and buy new clothes, new shoes, make-up, perfume, etc. I’m perfectly happy with my shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops. If I have to, I can manage sneakers. And if they force me to at work, I will wear coveralls and steel-toed boots (tho I hate every minute of it!).

Since I’ve finally made up my mind to attend the TEFL course, I had to go shopping for shoes. They don’t allow sneakers (or flip-flops). They told me that I need to dress ‘professionally’. I’m not exactly sure what that means, since a person can be a professional in a lot of different ways. For instance, I am a professional mariner and the way a REAL professional mariner dresses is in shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops every chance they get (including on the boat)!

I have to assume they are talking about the sorts of people they refer to as professionals on TV. People like lawyers, bankers, stockbrokers, etc. Personally, I would never have considered teachers to be in with that bunch.

Is it really just me? Or does it matter that much how a person dresses themselves? Do people really assume that you can’t do a proper job if you decide to be comfortable and maybe show a little bit of individuality instead of wearing the ‘uniform’ of the work you’re doing? Are people everywhere THAT hung up on an image?

I managed to find a pair of black slip-ons that were fairly comfortable. It’s not like we have a ton of shoe stores around here and that’s one thing I won’t even consider buying online. I hope they’re acceptable. I’ll probably never wear them anywhere again after this course is over, tho I hate to waste money like that. I thought about bringing my steel toed work boots, since they’re not sneakers (or flip-flops), but they’re nowhere near comfortable enough to be standing around in front of a class all day (or walking around sightseeing).

I really wish a lot of employers would loosen up! Let people be comfortable on the job! AND, stop trying to run peoples lives even when they’re OFF the job! (another post coming tomorrow on that subject).

Songs of the Sea: Oceans

Here’s a good song for a Sunday. Another one of my Songs of the Sea series. I’m an atheist, so I don’t go along with all the religious stuff in this song. I’ll start believing in god if/when I see some real evidence. I don’t have faith, will never have faith, I want PROOF. Personally I think religion is one of the worst things people have ever invented and we’d all be a lot better off without it. But the music and the singing is very beautiful anyway.

Religion  can ‘inspire’ a lot of people.

Just like so many churches are stunningly beautiful. They took the best efforts of thousands of men over decades to build. They cost millions of dollars.

All for nothing really. An invisible, (almost certainly imaginary), being.  All that artwork is still beautiful, even if it was done for nothing but hope and a promise.

Personally, I think it’s really sad. That so much effort is spent on such things, when it could have been used to make things so much better for real people, right here and now. People spend so much effort fixing things for ‘the next life’ instead of fixing THIS one. I think it’s sad.

Even so, I still do appreciate the beauty that’s created.

“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

[6x]
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus, you’re my God!

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

And this is also another post in the Just Jot It January challenge.

Guest Post: Skyrim

What the heck is Skyrim?!

I’m very happy to report I had my first guest post today. Leisel, over at her blog Skill Up Skillet, posted my beef stew recipe.

If you’re at all into sci-fi, fantasy, games, geeky stuff you really ought to check out her blog. She also posts some very interesting recipes. Here’s how she describes it

A Geek & Game Themed Food Blog- because cooking IRL doesn’t have to be a feat of strength. 

I do love reading sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and just about everything else. But I’m not much into games. I just don’t have the patience to keep starting over when I get killed off in the 1st 5 seconds of the game. I was addicted to Gems for a while (that game is impossible to win), it kept me busy while I was on the tuna boat for 3 months at a time with no one to talk to. It’s still on my computer and if I really get bored I try again.

I used to LOVE this one game we used to play on The Performer. It was called VGA Planets. It was one where we were all different alien races and we were all trying to grow our empires and take over the universe. It was a real blast, lasted the entire 5 week long hitch and sometimes longer.

Now I’m more into crosswords and sudoku. If I ever have the time to play games at all.

Another post for the Just Jot It January challenge. 🙂

SoCS- Odd Even

Today’s prompt for the Just Jot It January challenge is: SoSC– Odd/Even.

I really can’t think of too much to post except the obvious (numbers). So, here goes…

2- even number of boats

2- even number of boats

3- odd number of boats

3- odd number of boats

Seems pretty lame, but I’m running out of steam here lately.

I took these photos out of Port Fourchon, last time I was working up there. I really hate working out of that place, but I’d be real happy to be headed back there right now. Just happy to have some work anywhere right now.

Back to School

Today’s post for Just Jot It January, I’m not following the prompt (felicity), but going off on a tangent of my own…

I keep hoping and hoping that someone will contact me for a ‘real’ job. Since I was laid off from Ocean Rig in September and started looking for work, I haven’t had even one call (normally, I would have had a couple dozen for Christmas fill-ins).

I was very lucky and found a job through a friend. I thought I’d better go ahead and take it since things were so slow. I took that job, but it didn’t work out. I finished my hitch, but decided it wasn’t somewhere I really wanted to be. I decided to take my chances. I didn’t go back.

It wouldn’t have been worth it even if I had returned. They lost their contract and laid everyone off after only 1 more hitch. 😦

I saw in the news this morning that Ocean Rig lost the contract for the Olympia, so I’m sure they’ll be laying off even more people there. Schlumberger just announced they’re letting go another 10,000 people.

Ocean Rig Olympia (google photo)

I guess I need to face up to the facts and get serious about finding something else to do with myself. It looks like there’s not going to be any ‘real’ job for me for the foreseeable future. Probably at least 1 year, maybe 2.

I wouldn’t be so upset and worried about it if they hadn’t changed the rules as to what we need in order to work offshore. Before, I would have just found something else to do for a while, knowing I could always go back when things got better. That’s hardly an option anymore with the new regulations.

Now, we have to have our documents renewed every 5 years. To do that, we need to have at least 1 year (365 days) of sea time within the last 5 (on vessels of appropriate tonnage). We also need to have a few (very expensive) training classes renewed within that same time period.

I also need to have a USCG approved physical done every year and if they find anything wrong with me, they might decide I’m not allowed to work any more. To top it off, the Nautical Institute (which is where we get our DP certificates) has knuckled under and decided that we all have to renew our DP certs every 5 years too (with at least 150 days). That might not seem like much, unless you understand how almost impossibly hard it is to get ANY sea time on a DP vessel!

So! I have just about decided to give up completely on trying to find some sort of job where I can put my 30++ years of experience to use. What an incredible waste of effort. 😦

I basically have to start over from scratch. I’ll be 55 this summer and I’m not exactly looking forward to that process. I know I have a major attitude adjustment to make.

I’ve never really done anything else but work at sea. Yeah, I’ve had a few jobs on the beach like tending bar, housekeeping, painting, dishwashing, etc, but never anything serious. I tutored all through school and I liked it (but that paid less than any other job).

Ever since we were working in Thailand, filming the tsunami, I’ve been tossing around the idea of teaching English overseas somewhere. Spending so much time outside the US convinced me that I had to find a way to spend more time outside. I started investigating what would it take to move.

It could be so simple, if only I was old enough, or rich enough, to retire.

But, I have a long way to go before I qualify for either of those things. I still need to work! I found out that the only way to get a work visa in most countries is by teaching English. So, I started looking into teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL).

I’ve been pretty half-assed about it, mostly because I had a hard time choosing to give up the pretty sweet salary and work schedule I had working offshore. Now, it looks like that choice has been taken away from me- there IS no more choice!

I’ve been in contact with a school in Mexico. I’m going to give it til Monday and if I don’t hear some good news by then I’m going to bite the bullet and sign up  for school. The course is a month long. After that, I’ll have the option to start teaching right away or do something else for a while.

A month can’t be that bad, can it?

Maybe Mexico will be so wonderful and exciting that I’ll forget all about ever coming back! That would be perfect! 🙂

PS- the ‘featured image’ at the top is one I took in Nicaragua (not Mexico), but a lot of those Spanish speaking countries have more in common than the language. 🙂

It’s Been a Long Day

Today was a long day. I’m not sure why nothing seems to have been accomplished.

I’m too tired to do much for the Just Jot It January challenge (today’s prompt is: mittens), but even if my post for the day is super boring you can go click the link and see what everybody else has been doing. 🙂

I’ll try to catch up with posts and comments tomorrow.

Good night all. 🙂

Government

Today’s prompt for the Just Jot It January challenge is: surreptitiously.

That’s another hard one. I had to look it up to see exactly what it meant. 😉

adjective
1.obtained, done, made, etc., by stealth; secret or unauthorized;clandestine:
a surreptitious glance.
2.acting in a stealthy way.
3.obtained by subreption; subreptitious.

The only thing I can really think of to post about on that word is the US government. Instead of the way it’s supposed to act- honestly, openly and in the best interest of the American people, it acts behind closed doors, surreptitiously, and usually not in the best interests of the American people. In fact, usually it acts very much against our interests!

Our government has been taken over by special interests. Interests with BIG money. So much money that no politician is able to turn it down and do the job they were put there to do (protect the constitution). Instead, they take the money and pretend to the people that they do their jobs (sometimes not even that). They only do what their biggest donors pay them to do!

They sneak around behind closed doors and do whatever the hell they feel like! They all swore an oath to defend the constitution. But almost everything they do now is UN-constitutional! From the really big things like Obamacare, or abdicating their responsibility in Congress to actually debate and declare a war, or allowing the sickening (UN)Patriot(ic) Act, to the ‘little’ things like allowing thousands of un-elected bureaucrats to make ‘laws’ to run every tiny little detail of our lives.

Yeah, they pretty much have to act surreptitiously, otherwise the American people might actually wake up to their disgusting dereliction of duty and throw them all out (like we OUGHT TO)!

Just Jot It January: Collection

Today’s prompt for the Just Jot It January challenge is: collection.

I don’t really have anything I would consider a collection anymore. I used to be quite avid about my collections when I was a kid. I had a coin collection, a shell collection, a stamp collection, a rock collection. That all stopped when my stepfather threw all my stuff away while I was away at school.

Now, I have a half-assed collection of dragons, and a really small collection of mermaids. I don’t really spend much effort searching out items to fill my collections any more, but if I happen to see something that fits, I’ll pick it up.

I guess my library could be called a collection of books, tho I never had any specific purpose while gathering them together.

I have tons of books around here. Lots of different subjects: sci-fi, fantasy, horror, travel, sea stories, books about boats, how-to books, mysteries, political, history, historical novels, philosophy, art, music, medicine, paranormal romance. Pretty much anything and everything can interest me enough to buy a book and read it.  I really have too many books, I’ve already read almost all of them.

I’ve been trying to downsize. I’d like to move somewhere more affordable and less stressful. I don’t really want to pack up dozens of boxes of books again to fill a storage unit. So, I’ve been trying to whittle down my collection of books. That has been going very, very sloooowly.

Mostly because I want to re-read the books I still have left. They’re all the good ones I kept the last time I moved, plus the really good ones I’ve read since. I read a LOT, and I’ve been here a long time. So I still have a lot of books to sort through.

This time at home lately has been good for that. 😉

What

What’s up with this blog today (www.captainjillsjourneys.com)? I checked my blog this morning and saw I had 102 views! That’s more than I’ve had in months!! I was thrilled to see that. 🙂

Since 7 am, I’ve only had 4 more, which is much more normal for this blog lately (since moving it).

What’s really strange is that there have only been 3 ‘likes’ in the last 3 days. So many views and so few likes?

What’s up with that?

What the heck are people looking at and why not ‘say’ something?

I’m starting to get the idea that somehow the “wordfence’ widget/app’ on my new blog has been  blocking people who want to like, comment or follow my new blog (www.captainjillsjourneys.com), I don’t have anything like that on my old blog (www.captjillsjourneys.wordpress.com) nor do I have any problems there with people liking or commenting or following me.

Since I started this (new) blog, I’ve had over 1500 ‘malicious’ attempts to sign into my blog. It seems to me that’s an awful lot of attempts to hack into a simple blog, especially when I don’t really have that many followers.

Has anybody else had anything like this happen? Any ideas for me?

This is a post for the Just Jot It January challenge. Today’s prompt is a “Stream of Consciousness Saturday” post starting with “What”. It’s still not too late to join in. 🙂

El Marinero y La Sirena

I’ve been reading Texas Music magazine the last couple of days and saw an article about Patricia Vonne. She sounded like someone I just had to learn more about so I looked her up on youtube and found the perfect video for my Songs of the Sea series. 🙂

This song about the sailor and the mermaid is very pretty. Patricia has a beautiful voice and I like the Spanish style music. The guitar and maracas are soothing, but I think this would also make a good song to dance to. I love Spanish/Latin music and dancing! Tango, flamenco, salsa, cumbia, conjunto, rumba, merengue, even mariachi!

I love it all! I only wish I could dance!! (I suck at dancing, I’m clumsy as hell.) 😦

The song’s story is nice too (tho I don’t understand the Spanish well enough really- I had to look up the translation). The sailor is saved from the shark by the mermaid and they fall in love. Simple love story, but the artwork makes it different and more interesting.

El Marinero y La Sirena

(*Patricia Vonne / Michael Martin)
Fue forzado a caminar la tabla*
Se zambullo en el agua helada
Clavado debajo del galeon español
Sintio un golpe brutal
Descendiendo en la oscuridad
Sintio un abrazo fuerte
De dedos tenaces al girar
Con un beso de la vida
El marinero y la sirena
Pertenecen al mar tan negro
Oyen el llanto del destino
Un amor ardiente y herido
El esta destinado a navegar sobre el mar
Espumoso del amor
Y ella a nadar leguas abajo
Su corazon naufragado nunca podra saber
La allegria de nadar con su amor verdadero
Su amor es un tesoro
Que brilla mas puro que el oro
Cuando veas caer una estrella mi hechicera
Recuerdame mi sirena
Aunque perteneces al mar ven conmigo
Sere tu refugio con permiso
En mi dolor hay esperanza mi marinero
Que el amor no es fatal solo sincero
Oye el llanto del destino mi carino
Desde el fondo del mar donde vivo

The Mariner and the Mermaid (English translation)

He was forced to walk the plank
plunging into the icy waters
nailed beneath the Spanish galleon
He felt a crushing blow
descending into the darkness
he felt a warm embrace of tenacious fingers
spinning to the surface with a kiss of life
the sailor & the mermaid
belong to the sea
hear the cry of destiny
of an ardent wounded love
he is destined to sail
above love’s foamy sea
And she, to swim leagues below
his shipwrecked heart can never know
the joy of swimming w/ his true love
their love is a treasure that shines
brighter than gold
when you see a falling star, my enchantress
remember me, my little mermaid
even though you belong to the sea, come with me
I will be your refuge
in my sorrow there is hope, my sailor
that love is not fatal but sincere
Listen to the cry of destiny
at the bottom of the sea where I live

Today’s post for Just Jot It January. 🙂

Blogging Tip #1

My favorite blogging tip from Afford Anything blogger Paula Pant is:

Don’t waste your readers time. 

She actually puts it further down her list of blogging tips, but it’s my favorite, so I’ll call it #1. Paula helped get me started blogging at her workshop a couple of years ago. She does very well with her blog and has a lot of good ideas, so I try to pay attention to her tips and tricks of the trade.

I almost never try to write a post if I don’t have something to say. Something I think is worth passing on. I don’t normally feel the urge to post every day. When I join in these challenges like I’m in now (Just Jot It January), I find it a lot harder to follow Paula’s tip.

Sometimes, I just don’t feel like I have anything useful to say. Normally I would just not post anything. But when I’m challenged to post something every single day, it’s really, really hard to come up with something that I don’t think will be a stupid waste of time. For you and for me. Lately, I’ve been following the prompts for lack of anything interesting going on around here. It’s really hard to come up with something to say about the prompt subject sometimes.

I hate to quit any challenge, so I hope I can keep things interesting for another 2 weeks. I know I must be getting pretty boring since I haven’t been working at all lately and hardly going anywhere. I’m trying hard to make my savings last until I can get back to work, so not able to travel or go out much. I’m pretty upset about it and trying not to get too depressing about the unemployment situation around here.

So ya’ll let me know if it gets to be too much. If you think I’m wasting your time, let me know!

Leadership

Today’s prompt for Just Jot It January is: leadership.

I’ve actually written about it before here. I haven’t really thought much about it since I had to take that ‘training’. I still think leadership is more a natural trait than something you can be taught.

I think you need to be passionate about something to be inspiring. I think real leaders inspire others to that same passion.

I think real leaders are pretty hard to find, especially now. I think our culture here has been working against them. Here’s a little chart I found on google that explains my thoughts a little bit.

That part about welcoming risks is a biggie IMHO. Our society now is all about eliminating any even slightly possible risk. “Thinks ideas”, that’s another problem in our society. We spend the years from 3-16+ training our kids how NOT to be creative. NOT to have ideas of their own. How to do nothing but sit down, shut up and follow orders. That is NOT the way to encourage leadership (or anything other than blind obedience)!

Here’s another quote I found on google today. It goes right along with the first one’s “wants to create the future”, “needs to make change”, “high emotional intelligence”.

How many of the people we call “our leaders” are really leaders when you consider those things? I can’t say I see anyone in any level of government that fits. They do everything possible to dis-empower everyone except themselves! Those people are most definitely NOT my leaders!

I’m sure there are still some real leaders in other fields of endeavor (not politics). Teachers, scientists, businessmen, artists, innovators of all kinds. Why don’t those kinds of people get more influence in our society?

I try in my own way to be a leader, rather than a follower. I want to influence the world for good in some way. I try to share information to empower people and especially to encourage more freedom in the world. I hope I’m a leader like this…

Motivation

For today’s Just Jot It January topic of motivation, about all I can say about it right now is that I don’t have any!

Why not? I’m just one of those people that has to have a goal. I need to have some kind of idea in the back of my head that I’m working toward. Also, I’ve never been much of an optimist. 😦

Due to the present situation offshore, the steep drop in the price of oil and 100’s of thousands of people (including me) getting laid off, I am lost. My whole life has been totally tied to my work.

My job has given me the money to do the things I love (like traveling) and the time to enjoy them, (I only wish I had both of those things at the same time more often).

Now, with no work, and not even much prospect of any for months, if not years, I have plenty of time but no money.

My motivation is always tied to my goals. I’m having a hard time deciding what my goals should be right now. How to set my priorities. My goals right now are: somehow survive financially until work picks up and I can get back offshore, find something interesting and enjoyable enough to keep me busy in the meantime that doesn’t cost any money, make some kind of progress on moving.

They’re not too conflicting, the problem I’m having is that there is still that tiny bit of hope that a real job will come up (one that pays decent money). If it does I would most probably jump on it asap, which won’t work very well if I’m busy doing something else like taking the TEFL course or contracted to teach.

I’m not sure how to get motivated to do something when my life is in limbo and I don’t really see any good choices or possible ways to make things work out the way I’d like. I don’t like it, but I don’t know how to change it. Bummer. 😦