One Word Photo Challenge: Cat

With all the problems I’ve been having with my computers/internet lately, I’ve lost track of a  lot of the bloggers I usually follow. Jennifer and her One Word Photo Challenge is one of those. I only remembered tonight when I saw a post from Cee (another great photographer I follow) in my reader.

This weeks theme is- Cat. Check out the link and join in the challenge. 🙂

I like cats (and dogs, and fish, and hamsters, and rabbits, and turtles, etc). I can’t have any pets since I’m usually gone so much. Even a cat would starve to death by the time I got back from offshore. There’s a nice cat that lives a few houses down that comes by to visit me. Not so much now that my friends (who’ve been feeding it) have been gone a few days. I don’t have any pictures of that one yet, I was going to try to get some, but when I went for my camera, she was gone.

Here’s a photo of a kitten I took on vacation in Nicaragua last summer. It’s one of the very few I still have (most of my photos from that trip were stolen). 😦

Advertisements

Today’s Project

As I was leaving my political meetup last night, one of the guys stopped me to tell me my headlight was burned out. Damn! It was dark already, all I needed was to get pulled over and get a ticket (or worse). I was looking over my shoulder the whole way home.

I made it home OK last night, so today I had to figure out how to change out the headlight. I’ve done it before, but that was a long time ago. New cars are nowhere near as easy to work on as the old ones were. Not too many ‘shade-tree mechanics’ around anymore, no wonder why. I gave up working on my cars years ago- it’s just too complicated now.

Thank goodness for Google!

I found this video and it told me exactly how to do the job. It went pretty well. I did have to take the flasher (turn signal) light off, it did make it much easier. Taking it apart was simple once I found the right size wrench. 🙂

The hard part was trying to get those 3 long bolts back in place with their guides in the original position. They’re supposed to slide right down those grey pieces sticking out in the photo. I got the bolts back in, but I’m pretty sure they’re not in the same position. It was really tricky to get all 3 of them back in there. The one in the back is really hard because you really can’t see it and there’s no way to reach back there to guide it either (even with a screwdriver).

It’s important to put them back in the same position they were in.  That’s how the lights are aligned to shine at the road in front of you rather than at the sky or a tree on the side of the road. I’m sure I did not get the light back in the same way it was when I took it out, but it looks like it’ll work well enough.

I tested all the lights and they all work! Yeah!

A Bird in the Hand

Is worth two in the bush.

I should have thought about that little rhyme a little bit more last week.

I had 2 prospective jobs last week. There’s the catch- “prospective’. Not actual. 😦

I thought I was a shoe-in for both. I turned down one for the other that paid better. Lost out on both of them.

So, now I have nothing again.

I’m so disappointed.

I’m so frustrated

I’m so worried.

I’m so sad.

I’m so confused.

What should I do? What can I do? I want to just say the hell with it all and go away somewhere. I want to stop wasting my life here, hanging around trying to find work when there just isn’t any! I want to go spend some time somewhere where I can be happy, where I can do something useful, where I can have some fun, where I can learn new things, meet new people, try something different.

All I think of when I think of those things, is: how can I afford to leave? And to come back in time to renew everything I need to in order to keep my license? I need that license if I ever want to go back to sea again. If I don’t renew it in December, it’ll be like I’ve never stepped foot on a boat in my life, and I’d have just wasted 50 years of experience on the water! I DON’T want that to happen!

Actually, I’m starting to regret choosing this career. It’s mostly been good, it’s given me plenty of opportunities where I really enjoyed my job, plus plenty of time off and enough money to enjoy it. But, after all the years, after all the effort, after all the sacrifices I’ve made in order to keep working offshore- all it takes is the price of oil to drop and it’s over.

I’ve been out of work over 6 months already and there’s no telling when I’ll get back out there. IF I don’t manage to get enough sea time to renew next time, that’ll be it. It’s over! The way it’s going, the way the pundits are predicting, it might be years before the price of oil goes up, high enough for them to start hiring again.

There’s a lot more to it than just the price of oil. Mostly to do with the US Coast Guard and the IMO. That’s a whole other subject and enough for a book! All the things they’ve done to ruin this profession!

It’s an argument I’m having more and more often with myself. Keep trying, don’t give up til there is no hope of keeping that license? Knowing how much more time, effort, money and lost opportunities to LIVE LIFE? Or, give it up for good? Find some other way to support myself? Even the thought of that almost makes me cry. 😦

And what else could I possibly do? I have no idea. I’ve been trying for over 3 years to earn some income from this blog. So far I haven’t earned even one cent. I’ve been trying to earn income from my art- painting and photography. In over 3 years, I’ve earned a grand total of $5.33. I’ve tried to earn income from writing. That’s been my big earner so far. I’ve earned $250!

So- what else is there?

I’ve invested in property. I have recently started to just about break even. That is only if there are no major repairs to be made. There’s always something that comes up so I lose money every year. Only ONE of my properties is worth selling. The rest of them will lose me a LOT of money if I try to sell them (due to major structural damage that has occurred since I bought them). I put that ONE property up for sale to help tide me over this period of unemployment, but haven’t had ONE offer since it was listed. Sure, I could lower the asking price, but then I would lose out on what I’ve spent on improving that one too! The rent from that house is all that’s keeping me above water, I’ve basically had NO other income this year! My last job was for a foreign company, so I’m not eligible for unemployment pay. So, after 40+ years of paying into the system, I get NO help when I need it myself.

So. What else is there? I’m trained to be a mariner. That’s it. I have no other papers (except a Math degree which has been totally useless so far). It seems pretty much all the decent jobs out there require some kind of certificate (at minimum) now. Do I have the time and money to spend to get one? NO. I will jump ship the 1st time they call me to go offshore!

Same goes for working a shore side job like McDonalds or Walmarts. I have applied there. I figured they must have a pretty high turnover, so I don’t feel bad about quitting if I get a call to go offshore. Problem is, even those jobs are not calling. They’ve all told me they won’t even start hiring til August.

I haven’t felt this bad in a long time.

What to do, what to do…

Houston Zydeco Festival

I decided to have a little early celebration (hope I’m not jinxing myself). I had 2 prospective jobs last week. The first since last September!

I’m still waiting for confirmation and things change constantly in the offshore world, so I hope I’ll be going back to work soon. It’s a huge step down in both position and pay, but after more than 6 months out of work, I’ll take pretty much anything.

I’ve turned in applications at the Mathnasium, Hastings bookstore and Buc-ee’s in the last week. Tried to avoid applying to jobs like that as long as I could, but I need to do something to bring in some income. My savings are running down fast. 😦

I’ve been stuck hanging around the house so long, broke, stressed and a little depressed. I think I can afford to take a little break. I’m heading to Houston today for the Zydeco Festival. 

It’s going on all day. Lil Nate and the Zydeco Bigtimers, Step Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws, Keyun and the Zydeco Masters, Gino Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, Platinum Players Zydeco Band and dif KO on the turntables are the featured players.

Nibbles

I’ve had a couple of nibbles in the last couple of days. Nothing positive yet, but I may be able to go to work soon. This is really the first time I’ve heard anything about offshore work since I was laid off. I’m hoping to get something definite out of them tomorrow.

It’s a huge pay cut, but it’s better than nothing. Not even having unemployment money coming in is really killing my finances! My job in Houston is down to 2-3 days/month. I just hope the work actually happens this time!

The price of oil has almost doubled since the first of the year, but it’s still not economic for the offshore drillers to start up again. So, no real work for me til that happens.  I know most people are hoping the gas prices stay low, but I can’t wait for them to get up there to around $80. That should be a nice happy medium. Get us all back to work and not cost too much at the pump.

Townhall Tonight

Someone had posted on the Brazoria County Libertarian Facebook page that they were having a Townhall watching party tonight in Cypress (a LONG drive from here). I figured why not have one locally- actually in Brazoria County. So I put up a post to have one at my house.

Last minute posting yesterday, so didn’t have many people reply, but a couple of people did show up and we had a nice time listening to the candidates answer the questions from the audience- and talking about how they might have done better.

We just got done watching tonights TownHall on CNN. I was really surprised to see they were having Gary Johnson and Bill Weld from the Libertarian Party on there. It’s extremely rare for any 3rd party to have any television coverage for any reason (except to diss them). To see them on CNN was a huge improvement over past elections and gives me hope that maybe more people will be able to learn that we DO actually have choices in November.

They did have the Libertarians debate on the Stossel show a couple of weeks ago (Fox Business News channel). I was shocked to see that. It was well worth watching and really great to see political debates where they stuck to the issues instead of just trying to tear down their opponents. I was happy to see them on TV, even if it was on a station not many people watch.

hope this is a sign of things to come. I really can’t stand either Trump or Hillary. I think a lot of people feel the same way. I know a lot of people just don’t ever get to find out about their other choices until it’s too late. I’m hoping this will change this time and people will get to hear ALL the alternatives.

Personally, I think the Republicans and Democrats have had over 100 years to fix things and all they’ve ever done is make them worse. Far as I’m concerned we NEED a change! A REAL change! I’ve already decided who I’ll be voting for and it’s Gary Johnson. 🙂

I think the reason Trump is doing so well is simply because SO many people are just sick to death of politics and all the usual BS that goes along with it. All the political correctness, all the mean spiritness, all the lies, and the fact that all the candidates are DC insiders. Trump is doing so well because he’s NOT an insider. Well, neither is Gary and he makes a lot more sense than Trump does on a lot of issues.

I think a lot of Americans are actually Libertarians, they just don’t know it. Try taking the Worlds Smallest Political Quiz and see where you wind up. I’d be interested to hear your results.

Did you already know about the alternative candidates? Where did you hear about them? What do you think? Are you happy with the 2 main parties or think we need some new blood? Did you know about the LP debates on Stossel or the Townhall tonight? Did you watch either of them? If so, what did you think? What do you think about libertarian principles in general?

Here’s a previous post about what I think. And another look at one of my favorite videos explaining the basics. 😉

Let me know what you think about all this. Yeah, really. I’m not afraid of a little politics on here. 😉

Songs of the Sea: Single Handed Sailor

Here’s another entry to my Songs of the Sea series. Nice tune, and the words are pretty nautical too. Listening to this song reminds me of wandering around London. I always stay near the river and yes, of course I went to see the Cutty Sark. 🙂

“Single Handed Sailor”

Two in the morning, dry-dock town
The rivers rolls away in the night
Little gypsy moth she’s all tied down
She quiver in the wind and the light

Yeah and a sailing ship just held down in chains
From the lazy days of sail
She’s just lying there in silent pain
He lean on the turist rail

A mother and her baby and the college of war
In the concrete graves
You never wanna fight against the river law
Nobody rules the waves
Yeah and on a night when the lazy wind is a-wailing
Around the Cutty Sark
Single handed sailor goes sailing
Sailing away in the dark

He’s upon the bridge on the self same night
The mariner of dry dock land
Two in the morning, but there is one green light
And a man on the barge of sand
She’s gonna slip away below him
Away from the things he’s done
But he just shouts “Hey man, what do you call this thing?”
He could have said “Pride of London”
On a night when the lazy wind is a-wailing
Around the Cutty Sark
Yeah the single handed sailor goes sailing
Sailing away in the dark

Did I Pass?

I had to take a math test this afternoon. I applied for a job at Mathnasium and that’s part of the process. They want to make sure you know what you’re doing before they turn you loose to tutor their clients. 😉

I think I might have failed it. I should have studied. I think I did OK on the algebra, but I forgot a lot of the formulas for geometry (area of a circle, triangle, etc). I never was good at word problems either.I haven’t done any math like that since I graduated college (2000). 😦

I’m interested to hear what my scores are. The job probably won’t start til August, and I’m REALLY hoping to get a ‘real’ job (offshore) by then. It’ll still be a good part time gig anyway.

Lost Out…

…on work today (again). I was scheduled to work, but since we finished the training early yesterday, they called it off. So, I’ll have a grand total of 2 days of work for June. 😦

I counted it up last night. I’ll have a total of 16 days of paid work since the 1st of January this year. 😦

I’ve put off applying to local jobs since I’ve been spending so much time trying to find something in my field. A ‘real’ job. Job-hunting IS a full time job! Also been trying to find ways to earn money from my writing and photography (and this blog). Check out my photography for sale at Society6- or if you see any you like here on my blog, just send me a message. All my photos are for sale. Here are a few examples…

Yesterday I started filling out applications for local convenience stores (they do pay more than minimum wage).

It’s sucks, that someone with 2 college degrees (AAS in Ocean Marine Technology and BA in Mathematics) and over 20 years of experience can’t find  anything but entry level employment. 😦

Sucks even worse that the only jobs I’ve seen for offshore are offering $60/day for CHIEF MATES! Now that, that is disgusting! Even worse, some are offering ‘jobs‘ for ‘trainee DPOs’ where the prospective DPO has to pay a few thousand dollars per month for the ‘privilege’ of spending time offshore!

This is for people who have college degrees and enough experience to earn a license! This is NOT any kind of entry level position. But these yahoos, these despicable people who run these predatory companies can get away with treating people like shit because of the situation offshore right now- the low price of oil and all the layoffs because of it. They take advantage of our desperation and fear of losing our ability to EVER return to the work we love (because of new licensing regulations) and they laugh all the way to the bank!

I have a pre employment test scheduled for Friday afternoon for a local tutoring job. At this point, I have to hope I get it. I don’t know if I can survive on only 2 days of paid work/month. I have to find something else to do. 😦

Maybe something like that will help pay the bills and if I only get part time I can still work in Houston and have enough time to keep hunting a ‘real’ job.

Oil prices are going up, but still a LONG way from getting back to work offshore again. This is really hurting a lot of people all over the country (and the world). All I can do is hope, I’m doing all I can.

10 Inexpensive Things to See and Do in London

I’m always looking for inexpensive ways to live a good life. London is one of my favorite cities. I spent a couple of months there right after high school and had a blast. No, I didn’t have much money, but that didn’t really make that much difference.

Here are some good tips from Suzie at her blog Suzie Speaks….

London is known for being one of the most vibrant, interesting and, ultimately, most expensive cities in the world, and The Bloke and I are lucky enough in that we get to visit several times a year. There are certainly no shortage of things to experience, but many of the more popular attractions can be […]

via 10 Inexpensive Things to See and Do in London — Suzie Speaks

Happy World Sea Turtle Day! 

Today is World Sea Turtle Day. Somehow I didn’t know anything about that until I got an email early this morning from Earthwatch (thanks).

Maybe if I had known, we could have had a real party here. 😉

I was lucky enough to get a chance to see the Houston Zoo release a bunch of sea turtles on the beach at Galveston a couple of weeks ago. That was so cool to see. It was nice to see that so many people took the time and effort to take care of those turtles and nurse them back to health.

It was also great to see so many regular people turn out to see them released. It was frustrating as hell, trying to get a decent photo, but encouraging that so many people cared enough to make a special effort to be there in person (even with such crappy weather).

We’ve been lucky so far this year in Texas. Updated stats say we’ve found 173 Kemp’s Ridley nests (plus 2 Loggerhead’s). We’ve even found 4 right here locally (3 at Surfside and 1 at Quintana)!

Remember: If you see a sea turtle, tracks or hatchlings on the beach immediately call 1-866-TURTLE-5 (1-866-877-8535).

Source: Happy World Sea Turtle Day! [VIDEO]

Two and a Half

HOURS!

Thats how long it took me to get home from work today!

There was an accident and they had highway 288 shut down. It wasn’t even rush hour yet, but the traffic was bumper to bumper, stop and go from highway 59 all the way down to Beltway 8! They blocked the highway at Reed Road.

They did have warning signs up on 610, but didn’t really hint at how bad the traffic would be. Wow! I’m so sorry I didn’t flip around to 45 and Almeda-Genoa. I could have cut an hour off my drive.

I did try to avoid the mess and drove around a bunch of back roads, but plenty of others had the same idea. Traffic was ridiculous on the surface streets too.

One of the biggest benefits of working offshore is NOT having to deal with traffic! I’ll never understand how people manage to deal with that every day for years on end and not go completely nuts.

What do you do when you’re stuck in traffic?

Looking Forward to Monday Morning!

Who’s looking forward to Monday morning?

I am!

Thank god I’m going to work tomorrow morning! I’m scheduled for a grand total of 3 days of work this month and hope to hell I get all 3!

I’m not eligible for any unemployment assistance, even tho I’ve paid into it for over 40 years. Now, when I really need it, I can’t get it, simply because my last job was with a foreign company (for a year and a half). A job I took mostly in order to get ‘insurance’ which is now mandatory according to ‘Obamacare’.

So, now that I’m laid off, I can’t qualify for any of the programs I’ve been supporting for over 40 years. And people wonder why so many Americans are pissed off?!

So, I’m very thankful I can get ANY work at this point. It’s not much, but it’ll pay the gas to get to and fro, it might even take care of the electric bill (tho it’s summertime now and I seriously doubt that- AC running 24/7!).

I know most people are happy to see the gas prices so low (not nearly as low as they should be), but since my job is tied to the price of oil, I’ve been wishing it higher for months now. It’s been creeping up slowly, and I’ve heard that some land rigs have been starting up again.

Offshore drilling needs a stable price and it needs to be higher than where it is now. I’d guess around $80/bbl would start work up again. I’ve been working in the offshore oilfields for the last few years. Simply because that’s where all the work was.

I’ve been trying to find work on ANY kind of vessel since I’ve been laid off, but all the available openings have already been taken by people laid off before I was. It doesn’t help at all that the US Coast Guard keeps restricting our licenses so that we can only work on very specific types of vessels.

Basically, the rules we have to work by now state that if you don’t have so much time on 1 type within the last 5 years, you can’t work on that type of vessel any more, ever. At least not until you go through a time consuming, expensive, ‘training’ rigamarole. They treat you like you’ve never been on a boat a day in your life before! It doesn’t matter at all if you’ve previously spent 20+ years on one type of boat, say a towboat, and then you went fishing for 5 years. Doesn’t matter, you start from scratch to go back on a towboat!

Companies just refuse to hire you if you don’t have the exact, specific, ‘training’ and certificates they insist on. Even tho it would take less than a week of time onboard to re-qualify. Nope, they won’t let you on til you have it already. Catch-22 in action.

My original license said “Freight & Towing”. Since I haven’t worked on a towboat in the last 5 years, my license now says “Steam & Motor” and I’m not qualified to work on a towboat. Not until I get a TOAR. That takes a minimum of 30 days onboard a towing vessel. There is VERY little in that assessment that a licensed mariner isn’t already completely proficient in. The only items are those specific to a tug and tow (about 10 things on the list).

All the towing companies I’ve talked to since I’ve been laid off want me to spend at least 2-3 YEARS on deck before even considering upgrading me to tankerman (I job which I previously worked for over 13 yrs). I need 2 transfers to get back that license (tankerman PIC), but without it, I can’t get onboard a vessel to get those 2 transfers. See what I mean?

Smaller and smaller boxes we’re shoved into. Is it any wonder they’re having a hard time finding qualified mariners? (They say this, yet hundreds of thousands of us looking for work around the world).

What a paradox!

All I know at this point is that I’m very happy to be going to work in the morning for a change.

Anybody else been out of work for a long time? How did you survive it?

Songs of the Sea: I’m Your Captain

Here’s another post for my Songs of the Sea series. I’ve always loved this song by Grand Funk Railroad. I heard it a lot when I was growing up. Now, since I am a captain- it resonates even more.

This is actually the short version of this song. I really liked the video that goes with this version. The ships are gorgeous, the scenes at sea, there’s even a picture of the same lighthouse I’ve been working on painting for the last few weeks! (Can you recognize it?)

“I’m Your Captain”

Everybody, listen to me
And return me my ship
I’m your captain, I’m your captain
Though I’m feeling mighty sick

I’ve been lost now, days uncounted
And it’s months since I’ve seen home
Can you hear me, can you hear me
Or am I all alone

If you return me to my home port
I will kiss you, Mother Earth
Take me back now, take me back now
To the port of my birth

Am I in my cabin dreaming
Or are you really scheming
To take my ship away from me?
You’d better think about it
I just can’t live without it
So, please don’t take my ship from me, yeah, yeah, yeah

I can feel the hand of a stranger
And it’s tightening around my throat
Heaven help me, Heaven help me
Take this stranger from my boat

I’m your captain, I’m your captain
Though I’m feeling mighty sick
Everybody, listen to me
And return me my ship

I’m your captain, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
I’m your captain, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
I’m your captain, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
I’m your captain, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

I’m getting closer to my home
I’m getting closer to my home
I’m getting closer to my home
I’m getting closer to my home, oh

I’m getting closer to my home
I’m getting closer to my home

I’m getting closer to my home
I’m getting closer to my home

Mermaid Parade

This sounds like my kind of thing! I always wanted to be a mermaid. Or a dolphin. 😉

Don’t forget, today is World Oceans Day. 🙂

images-3images

Sorry I won’t be able to attend the parade (this year). I only just found out about it. I don’t remember this from when I was spending time up in that neck of the woods. I guess they hadn’t started it yet. If you’re going to be anywhere around NYC, you should plan a trip out to Coney Island. The 34th Annual Mermaid Parade is on for June 18th. It looks like a blast!

Anybody going?

Info on The 34th Annual Mermaid Parade, June 18, 2016, 1pm, including Registration, FAQ, Judgeship, Sponsorship Opportunities and Parade Route!

Source: The Mermaid Parade | Coney Island USA

580kenny9

Share Your World: 2016- Week 23

I’ve got a semi-workable computer today, so I’m joining in Cee’s Share Your World challenge for this week (week 23-2016). She always has really great challenges and in this one she’ll just ask a few simple questions. It’s always interesting to see all the different ways people answer.

What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)? My first moneymaking jobs (other than working for my father painting, plumbing and pulling weeds for $3/hr) were working on a party fishing boat as a galley hand/deckhand on the weekends, and working as a dishwasher at a little family owned Greek restaurant down the street after school.

What is your favorite month of the year? I’ve never really thought about it, but I would probably choose March. It’s not too hot yet, and the weather is usually pretty nice. Not so gloomy/cloudy/rainy and temps are decent- in the 70’s still. The wildflowers are in bloom and here in Texas, they are really amazing. Just acres and acres of bluebonnets, or driving along the roads with indian paintbrush, bluebonnets, buttercups and the rest. It’s stunningly beautiful. It’s also the month for St Patricks Day parties and parades and one of my favorite holidays. 🙂

What three things in nature do you find most beautiful? The sea, the sky, mountains. So many aspects of all three of those things, too many to describe, I find beautiful. Sunsets, sunrises, rainbows, the way the clouds form and shift, the STARS in a clear night sky! The rolling waves, crystal clear turquoise waters lapping a sugar sand beach, the amazing diversity of sea life on a coral reef. Tall peaks against the sky, flowery alpine meadows, majestic glaciers. SO much beauty all around just those 3 things.

List at least five of your favorite spices? (excluding salt and pepper) I like garlic salt, onion salt, Mrs Dash, Nature’s Seasonings, cinnamon, cloves, dried chopped onions, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and some mustards. Those are about the only ones I use.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to attend the TBEX (blogging conference) in Minnesota. I met a lot of cool people and learned a lot. I’m looking forward to having 3 days of paid work next week.

Maritime Monday: Spanish, Maine

Another post for Maritime Monday thanks to Monkey Fist and gCaptain. I always enjoy all the interesting little tidbits put together for these posts, but I really love this one today.

I’ve always loved art, pretty much all kinds (except the abstracts I sometimes see in museums where I can’t help wondering why someone would actually pay for that- white painted canvas and that sort of thing).

I always thought, “I could do better than that!”. I’ve actually started trying to learn how to paint. I’ve been trying to learn how to paint seascapes (of course). 😉

I am especially fond of maritime art. I can’t think of any I’ve seen that I haven’t liked. A Facebook friend “Baristo Uno” likes to post this stuff occasionally and it’s always a joy to see. It helps educate people and open our eyes to the wider world…

Past and present, worldwide locations- the sea is the same, but how we deal with it may change. It’s always the same, yet always changing. It keeps us on our toes.

I do love it out there, and these paintings remind me of how much there is to love! 🙂

  John ‘Jack’ Travers Cornwell, who was just 16, remained at his post on the HMS Chester awaiting orders despite having suffered mortal shrapnel injuries. Initially, Jack was buried in a common grave but the British press took up his story and he was eventually laid to rest with full military honours and posthumously awarded […]

Source: Maritime Monday for June 5th, 2016: Spanish, Maine – gCaptain

Songs of the Sea: Rolling on the River

Here’s a classic for my Songs of the Sea series. Ike and Tina Turner with “Rolling on the River’ (Proud Mary). Back in the days! Love this stuff!

I was recently ‘rolling down the river’ myself, complements to the great people of Minnesota. They put on a great party for the attendees of the TBEX, with great food, drinks, music and even a ride on a riverboat! I couldn’t help thinking of this song. 😉

Tina Turner – Rolling On De River Lyrics

 Send “Rolling On De River” Ringtone to your Cell 

Y’ know, every now and then

I think you might like to hear something from us

Nice and easy

But there’s just one thing

You see we never ever do nothing

Nice and easy

We always do it nice and rough

So we’re gonna take the beginning of this song

And do it easy

Then we’re gonna do the finish rough

This is the way we do proud mary

And we’re rolling, rolling, rolling on the river

Listen to the story

I left a good job in the city

Working for the man every night and day

And I never lost one minute of sleeping

Worrying ’bout the way things might have been

Big wheel keep on turning

Proud mary keep on burning

And we’re rolling, rolling

Rolling on the river

Cleaned a lot of plates in memphis

Pumped a lot of tane down in new orleans

But I never saw the good side of the city

Till I hitched a ride on a riverboat queen

Big wheel keep on turning

Proud mary keep on burning

And we’re rolling, rolling

Rolling on the river

If you come down to the river

I bet you gonna find some people who live

You don’t have to worry if you got no money

People on the river are happy to give

Another Party!

Attending the travel bloggers exchange (TBEX) has been a real eye opener. I’ve been busy since the moment I arrived at MSP (airport). I’ve been learning a lot, meeting tons of interesting people, going places, seeing things and attending dinners and parties every day!

TBEX actually started on Monday, with a full day of conferencing. It was held at the Radisson Blu at the Mall of America (a great location). Afterwards, we headed downtown to a party planned for us at the First Avenue. This is a famous Minneapolis club, where many great musicians have played. For the first hour or so, they played music by Prince (who used to play there) as we mingled over munchies provided by Common Roots Catering (thanks!).

 

Live bands played in another part of the place. Ness NiteLydia Liza and Joey Joey Michael were scheduled to play. As the drinks went down, the dance floor filled up and things got more lively. I had a  nice view from above of dancers showing their stuff. The big screen behind them showed scenes of Minnesota. I heard more than 1 complaint of sore muscles the next morning.

 

Remembering that I had another full day of TBEX and an early wakeup call, I left by midnight. It was easy to find our way back to the METRO, even tho the guides who helped us find our way earlier were gone. Comparing notes on the ride home with a dozen other bloggers was fun. We all agreed it was a great way to spend an evening out in Minneapolis. Thanks to all who made it happen! 🙂

Great Party

Opening Night Party was held inside the Mall of America at Nickelodeon Universe. It’s an amusement park! Woo hoo!

  

Rides, rides, rides! There are all kinds of fun rides. Roller coasters, water flumes, carousels, slides, and the latest “Fly Over America”. That was really cool! You go inside, sit on tiers of benches, take off anything loose, strap yourself in and then the ‘theatre’ goes totally dark for a minute.

 

When the lights come back on, you’re flying in the air high up above the scenery as you fly across the USA. You feel the wind as you swoop and soar, high over the snowy mountains to check out a couple of skiers, then sweeping down to follow a few cowboys round up the herd. You pass through the clouds, feeling their mist on your face and another scene opens up before you.

It was a fantastic experience and the beautiful landscapes would inspire anyone to take a cross country road trip. I wish I was driving home!

Wandering around the park, meeting up with characters like Sponge Bob Square Pants, the Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the bearded lady and her man was pretty cool. Plenty of people had their pictures taken to show the kids back home (me too). 😉

Playing games is always fun, it’s never been so easy to win before. Everyone was happy to play and take home a prize.

The food was great too, Minnesota specialties like walleye sandwiches, wild rice soup and tater-tot pie. A S’mores bar was a great idea. You can book them to come to your party and roast your own specialty marshmallows and ‘fancy’ chocolates. Yum! 🙂