Johns Pass Seafood Festival

I was reading the latest National Geographic Traveler magazine and I happened to notice an ad in the back for the Johns Pass Seafood Festival.

It caught my eye because I grew up there. They just started having the festival when I left to go to school and then moved to Texas.

Johns Pass Florida

Johns Pass Florida

It looks like it’s grown quite a bit. I wonder if any of my old friends would still be around? I used to know all the fishermen. I wonder how many of them are still left? The city was doing an awful good job of clearing them out when I left. Not ‘appropriate’ for the tourist trap they wanted to create. 😦

The Seafood Festival is kind of like the St Patricks Day Parade is here, everybody comes back from wherever they’ve been to have a good time and catch up with old friends. At least we do still have a real community to gather together at Surfside. I can’t say the same for Johns Pass. They destroyed what we had- a REAL community, of REAL fishermen- to replace it with nothing but condos and fake shit! All for the sake of the tourists.

I’m glad someone’s making money off it. (NOT)!

It’s from October 27-30 this year. I don’t have anything planned then. I keep hoping like hell I’ll get some real work, so I’m not planning much very far ahead of time. Also, I’ve already planned a couple of budget busting trips. I think I’ll skip Florida again this year. It makes me more sad than anything to go there now anyway. 😦

Cool Stuff

I was working in Houston on Monday. We finished up pretty early, so I decided to stop at the Museum of Natural Science on the way home.

I’m a member, so it’s free if I don’t go to the special exhibitions. This time they had one on the Virgin of Guadeloupe. I wasn’t really very interested in that, and by the time I got there it was after 3, so I just wandered around the regular exhibits. There’s plenty to see for free. 🙂

I spent a lot of time this time in the exhibit on ancient Egypt. I always thought all that stuff about mummies was pretty cool, and I really love the old stories about gods, goddesses, etc. They had a lot of that kind of thing on display. Quite a few mummies and they explained all about it. I liked how they set up the exhibit too. When you entered, it really put you in the right frame of mind. 😉

Here’s a photo of a mummy case, inside and out.

 

I spent most of my time in this exhibit this week, but I did take a quick look at the section on the Amazon, the rocks/minerals (the gem vault was still closed), and the shells. Here’s a nice shot of some gypsum.

I loved this thing! It’s called a ‘sandstone concretion’. I just think it’s beautiful, the way it twists and turns, spirals around, shades of gray. I could do a lot with photos of this thing. 🙂

I know I’ve been posting a lot of gloom and doom lately. It’s been hard for me to try and come up with cool stuff to write about when my life has been so screwy lately. I do still find things to keep me going, just not nearly as much as when I’m working. I hope you’ll stick around till things get more interesting. 🙂

Computers!

I’ve been having so much trouble with my computers! It’s unbelievable!

All I really want to do with them is write and work on my photography. And, of course, to check email and do a little bit of surfing. Is that so much to ask?

Since I got back from Mexico (end of February), I’ve had nothing but problems! I don’t usually get pissed off that easily, but after days and days of doing everything I know how, calling (on hold for hours), dealing with repairmen, turning everything off and leaving for hours, it finally got to where I was screaming at the computer in total frustration. It got so annoying I actually broke 2 computers. Broke the screen on one, dented one up pretty badly. Of course that did not help.

I’ve already bought 2 new computers. First I bought a new windows (forced to buy a windows 10, which I did NOT want- I HATE IT). Hoping that would solve the problem. But I guess I got a lemon! First problem was- something wrong with the screen. The size of the writing would change for no reason. I would be typing something (or even just trying to read an article) and it would zoom up to 300% and the next second down to 5%.

They fixed the screen, but it still doesn’t work right. It’s soooooooo sloooooow. And, it does the same thing all the other computers around here have been doing. Not just my computers (and iPod and kindle), but my 2 friends computers too. Freezing up constantly, randomly, can’t do anything about it but wait till it decides to go back to work! It’s brand new! still can’t use it for anything!!

So, I bought another Apple computer. To replace the one I banged up so badly. Looking at it, I’m not sure how long I can expect it to last. Besides, it’s stuffed FULL already!

I had them add extra storage on the new apple, since I really don’t have that much on the old one yet. I finally got it the other day and tried to install my photography programs on it. I use Adobe Lightroom to edit my photos. I’ve been trying to find ways to earn some income. One way is to upload photos onto stock photography sites. They MUST be edited first!

On my old windows computer I had Lightroom, Photoshop, and Portrait Professional. I had tons of photos on there, thousands and thousands of them. I never had any problem with it being ‘full’.

On the apple, I don’t even have a quarter of my photos on there. I only have Lightroom on it. It’s stuffed full. Constantly telling me I need to remove items! That might be OK, if I could figure out HOW to remove items that I don’t really need!

Windows computers are so much better in that regard. I can clearly see which are programs, which are apps, which are simply files- written or photos. On the apples, I can’t tell a damn thing about anything! I don’t want to just randomly start deleting things! I can’t even tell how large the files are! At least on windows, you can tell the size of a file and can get some idea of what they are that way.

So, now I have another new apple, with more memory. I don’t have anything on it but what it came with. I’m trying tonight to put Lightroom on it. I’ve been having a lot of trouble with that too. It seems I have put it onto too many computers already. I went and bought another copy, just so I could put it on this new computer. I’ve tried for 4 days now to get it to download.

Tonight I tried again with customer service (online chat) and after having to give them remote control of my computer (which I REALLY don’t like to do), they finally got it working for me. Apparently, there was a ‘block’ from their end!

I hope, now, finally, I will be able to get some work done around here!

One Day

I worked yesterday. One day. That’s it for the month. I got a total of 4 days for July. I’m thankful, but somehow that’s just not enough.

I was reading the latest Workboat Magazine. I saw an ad for cooks and galley hands and it actually got my hopes up. Until I called this afternoon and they told me they weren’t really looking for anyone. They got a special deal on ads, so they were running them every month regardless of not needing anyone. 😦

I never imagined that I would ever again be so thrilled at the prospect of a job as a galley hand! I thought those days were long gone. After all the time, effort and money I’ve invested in myself to earn a master mariners license and I’m back to the position of jumping at any chance to be a galley hand, and thrilled for the opportunity. How sad.

It seems to have become standard practice for companies these days to advertise constantly when they don’t want to hire anybody. Then most of them refuse to respond in any way. I was lucky today to reach a company that actually answered the phone with a human being! It’s much better to be told the truth, rather than hanging on hope when there’s really nothing there to hope for.

I keep wondering what society will be like when such large numbers of people are put out of work. So many people are now being replaced by robots. What are we all going to do? It’s bad enough already when people who used to make good money have lost those jobs to overseas workers and have to work for minimum wage instead. They can’t afford to buy anything American made anymore, so even more jobs are shipped overseas.

People say it’s like back in the days when cars replaced the horse and buggy. What happened to the people that made horse whips? Or swept up the horse shit? I understand why they bring up that comparison, but I don’t think it’s really the same situation.

First of all, we had a much smaller population (in the US and worldwide). Second of all, we were not so ‘globalized’ back then. Americans were not all competing against foreigners who could do the work so much cheaper- transportation and communication systems were not up to the job. Third, the pace of change is so much faster. A person used to be able to learn a trade and spend decades, if not a lifetime, doing one thing. Not any more.

How many skills can one learn in a lifetime? How good can you get at a skill if you’re forced to learn another every couple of years? How can you afford to constantly re-educate yourself, especially when everything now requires specialized, expensive ‘training’ and a piece of paper?

Can this country survive when the vast majority of us are either unemployed or barely surviving on minimum wage jobs?

Maybe, but I’m not sure I want to see it.

Songs of the Sea: Big Blue Sea

Here’s another one for my Songs of the Sea series. I know I’ve skipped a couple of weeks, but here’s a good one to get back in the groove. 🙂

I’ve never heard of Bob Schneider before, but if this song is a good idea of his work, I’ll definitely be checking him out further.

I love all the beautiful photographs of the underwater world in this video. I hope you enjoy it too. 🙂

Warning: ‘explicit lyrics’ for all the PC types out there- don’t play it if you’re easily offended by a couple of cuss words. 😦

Big Blue Sea Lyrics

 
Woke up in a stupor
Guess it’s time to face the pooper
Sometimes I feel like superman
Sometimes I’m just recuperating

My head is twisting in its cage
My mind feels like a twenty gage
I hope it’s just a passing stage
My heart’s not red it’s
Beige

And its days like this that burn me
Turn me inside out and learn me
Not to tell you anything I think I know
Well I think I’ll tell you all that I know
Try to tell you all about it thought you
Might’ve lord i doubt it
Everyday’s a waste I know everyday’s a funeral

I’m cutting out I’m feeling lost
I’ve lost my mind I’m Mr. Frost
I’ve collected all the evidence
I’m off the edge I’m on the fence

And its days like this that burn me
Turn me inside out and learn me
Not to tell you anything I think I know
Well I think I’ll tell you all that I know

I don’t want to be alone I want to be a stone
I want to sink to the bottom of the ocean
And lie there with you til I’m gone

At the bottom of the big blue sea
Just you and me At the bottom of the big blue sea
The bottom of the big blue sea
Just you and me At the bottom of the big blue sea

I know I’ll never know nobody
Better than I know myself
But I can’t even figure out
Just what the fuck I’m all about

I’m sinking, I’m swimming no wait a minute
I’m drowning no I ain’t kidding around
Sometimes i think i’m gonna make it
Sometimes I fake it

And its days like this that burn me
Turn me inside out and learn me
Not to tell you anything I think I know
Well I think I’ll tell you all that I know

Anywhere and everywhere
Made up my mind it’s getting weird
It’s queer to think it might not
Get much better than today I fear
Won’t know true happiness
I tried so hard I did my best
My best wasn’t good enough
Oh god I hate this stuff

And its days like this that burn me
Turn me inside out and learn me
Not to tell you anything I think I know
Well I think I’ll tell you all that I know
I don’t want to be alone I want to be a stone
I want to sink to the bottom of the ocean
And lie there laugh there with you laugh
Yhere with you til I’m gone

At the bottom of the big blue sea
Just you and me At the bottom of the big blue sea
the bottom of the big blue sea
Just you and me At the bottom of the big blue sea

And its days like this that burn me
Turn me inside out and learn me
Its days like this that burn me
Turn me inside out and learn me
And its days like this that burn me
Turn me inside out and learn me
Not to tell you anything I think I know

Read more:  Bob Schneider – Big Blue Sea Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Another Week at Home

It’s getting harder and harder to motivate myself. If you’re wondering where I’ve been lately, why I haven’t been posting much. I really just haven’t felt like doing anything. It’s getting really hard to make myself do anything that I don’t feel like I ‘have’ to. 😦

It’s not like I’ve just been lying on the couch watching the boob tube. I have been out and about. I went to visit a good friend on Monday, spent the afternoon and evening over there. I brought over a Cottage pie (with hamburger) and we had dinner together.

She’s also been having some computer issues, but we actually managed to fix hers (it was only the printer). Mine are still not working right which makes it even harder to try and do anything online. 😦

I also got around to applying to Dominos as a delivery driver. They called me Tuesday morning while I was at work up in Houston to come in for an interview.

So, Tuesday was pretty busy. I had to get up at 0430 to get to work on time. Afterwards I met another friend for lunch (great big plate of Chinese food). Got home just in time to go to the weekly political meeting at the Italian place (we moved from the Greek place cause it went out of business).

Yeah, I overdid it on the meal plan Tuesday. 😉

Wednesday I had an interview at Domino’s to be a pizza delivery driver. I’ve been a good customer of theirs for years, but never thought I might wind up on the other side. I don’t know yet if they’re going to hire me, but it sounded like they might.

I got home in time to sign on to the teach English webinar. I try to listen in every week. I’m still hoping to do some teaching as soon as I can take care of all my Coast Guard license stuff this fall. I’m really getting frustrated with the situation here.

I’d like to go use that TEFL certificate I earned back in February, but since I have to be back here by September, I don’t think it’s practical for me to even try. So, I hang out here at the house and wait. I spend a lot of time doing online applications. Many of them for companies that are just trying to ‘prove’ there are no Americans to do the work so they can get a waiver and hire cheap foreigners. Those places never respond in any way, they’re just scams.

I spent most of the day yesterday on that kind of thing. Filling out online applications (they all take so long!)- and then went up to Houston for another ‘networking event’. For some reason, I was not getting a good vibe there and left early. It was pretty much a waste of time going all the way up to Houston for that, but there really isn’t anything down here in any way related to my previous experience, so I go to those things any time I think there might be even the slightest possibility of meeting someone that could help me find some sort of work.

Today is the first day all week that things have sorted out, I have some time and I’m not falling asleep sitting here on the couch. 🙂

I went out this evening to the reception at the Art League gallery. They’ve opened a new show: Art Through the Ages. Some of that stuff was REALLY good! I especially loved the Klimt, but then I’ve always loved his work. Check this out…

 

I liked it so much, I even made a bid on it. The group projects are all for sale by silent auction. 🙂

PS- those photos are not mine, I took them from the internet

Maritime Monday for July 18th, 2016

I’ve always enjoyed this Maritime Monday series from Monkey Fist and so glad they’re back again. Thanks to Monkey Fist and to gCaptain for promoting them. There’s so much interesting history, science, art, music, movies, culture and just all around maritime fun. 🙂

I hope you enjoy this weeks collection of maritime stuff in Maritime Monday…

Scientists call for better plastics design to protect marine life Improved materials would encourage recycling and prevent single-use containers from entering the oceans  “[It comes from] 60 years of being a throwaway society,” Thompson said. Most of the plastic litter comes from single-use items, which have been inadequately disposed of and not recycled. “They have […]

Source: Maritime Monday for July 18th, 2016 – gCaptain

PS- My first job as third officer was on a sister ship to the Okeanos Explorer. Another T-AGOS ship, the USNS Invincible.

300px-USNS_Invincible_(T-AGM_24)

Iffy Internet- Crappy Computer

Trying to blog with shitty internet and crappy computers really sucks!

I’m still struggling to grow my audience. It’s been so hard the last few months with all the issues I’ve had (still having) with the internet and my computers. I’ve tried everything I can think of to fix the problems, but nothing’s really worked. The only thing left to do is to move!

And yes, I would LOVE to be able to do that! Trying hard to find ways to support myself somewhere other than the USA. Being unemployed gives me plenty of time to spend working online, trying to do that. I’ve been trying to sell my writing and photography. Not having working computer or internet kills that whole deal!

Of course, I would very much prefer to be able to go back to work at sea! Working out there gives me the time off to travel, and the money to go.

In the meantime, while I wait for the price of oil to go back up-so the ships will go back to work, so they’ll start hiring people again, I spend my time working on writing, photography, blogging, and looking for jobs around town. None of that is easy without working computer and internet! 😦

Share Your Blog

Originally posted on Roberta Pimentel: First of all If you reblog this post you help me, I help you and you help your readers, so everyone wins.. There are thousands of good blogs out there and think of all of that we are missing just because they are not visible to us. That’s why I… via […]

via Share your blog! — The Main Focus — Blogger at the Edge of the Universe.

Nice idea, great project. Blogging is about community. I’ll help and share.

Sharing

via 5 Tips For Amazingly Clickable Blog Titles! —

Likes

I just posted this-below- on my new (self hosted) blog, www.captainjillsjourneys.com. (I have not received this ‘award’ from WordPress here). I’m curious as to what you all think about the difference in response between the two blogs. I post pretty much the same things on both. And what would you say to the questions I ask at the end?

Hooray! I noticed this in my comments the other day. WordPress let me know that I had received 1000 likes on this blog. 🙂

1000 Likes

1000 Likes

I’m happy about it, especially since it seems that on this blog, getting any kind of response is like pulling teeth compared to my old one (which was just on WordPress).

People say it’s because WordPress already has a built in audience- through the reader. Self hosted blogs, like this one, have to do it all on their own (somehow).

I wish I knew what I was doing to get those likes.

Let me ask you…what do you like about my blog? Any specific posts you remember? Any particular subjects? Anything you’d like more of? less of? what do you think would make my blog even better? what would make it stand out?

8:00 Friday Night

…And I’ve been nodding off for the last half hour.

What the hell is happening to me?

Yeah, I know I’m getting older, but I used to be up til 2-3 in the morning every weekend. I never went to bed before midnight even during the week when I had early classes. I was quite the party girl for a lot of years. You would never know it now. 😦

Now, I’m almost always in bed by 11 pm. I might read for a few minutes. But I used to read for a couple of hours, or even all night if it was a good book. Now, I’m too tired and sleeping within a half hour no matter how good the book is.

I can’t even blame it on getting up early. The only time I wake up early now is when I go to work in Houston (3-5 days/month). That wipes me out for the week. I go up there Monday-Tuesday. So I’m up til 1-2 in the morning Sunday night. Get up at 0430 Monday morning. To sleep around midnight Monday night. Up at 0430 Tuesday. And a good thing they cancelled work Wednesday cause I’ve been so sleepy driving to and from work.

I’ve been home since December, other than my month in Puerto Vallarta getting TEFL certified. In all that time, I haven’t accomplished anything, partly due to nodding off half the time. I think the stress of being in limbo is really getting to me. 😦

Tuesday Meetup

I just got home from the weekly meetup of the Texas Liberty Campaign of Brazoria County.

It’s always an interesting way to spend an evening. We have wide ranging discussions about current events, politics, history, economics, health, gardening, and various conspiracy theories to boot. 😉

We’ve started various projects to do with self sufficiency, healthy living, natural gardening, education, community, and liberty candidates. Many, if not most have fallen apart due to lack of membership growth and involvement.

I joined this group a few years ago because I wanted to find effective ways to improve life. I wanted to help fix all the things I saw going wrong around me. I wanted to find ways to fight for real freedom and individual liberty.

I wanted to help stop Americas slide into just one more statist country, one with little to no regard to individual rights-no regard to individual liberty. I wanted to help return America to the purpose it was founded for- to protect and defend the rights of the people. Rights that are inherent to all people, simply because they are human beings- that did not come from any government. As stated in our Declaration of Independence (emphasis mine)…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, 

Tonight I volunteered to take over our website. Apparently, a few meetings ago the members voted to discontinue it. I still think it’s a good way to inform people, to inspire people, and to get them involved. We all hope it will get them to come out to the weekly meetings, but so far it has not done much in that respect.

I hope I can help improve that.

Anybody out there willing to take a look and give me some suggestions for improvement? I’d appreciate it. If you’re anywhere near Brazoria County, Texas, please join up and come out to our meetings some time! We’re always welcome to new faces and new ideas. We really could use all the help we can get. 😉

All images in this post were found on google.

Daily Walk

I just got back from my daily walk. Interesting to see so many bats flying around this evening. I wonder if it was just because of the time I happened to be out today, or if there were more than usual.

I’ve had friends staying with me until recently and when they were here I was walking much later than usual. Lots of days not until close to midnight. That’s not normal for me. Usually, I try to go before noon, before it gets super hot and humid. Or after 5, when it starts cooling down again. I think the night time walks are probably what caused my vitamin D level to get so low.

I haven’t seen the bats until tonight. Except the ones they found in my telephone box when they came to fix my internet. After the 4th-5th time I called them to come out, someone FINALLY climbed up on the telephone pole to check it out. They cleaned them out of there, and the internet actually worked pretty good for a few days, but I think the bats must be back. My internet is still crap and getting worse again daily!

So I wonder if it’s just the time they come out, twilight? Or do they come out all night and I just don’t notice them when it’s darker? Or do they come out more in certain seasons? Anybody know?

I like to see them since they eat lots of mosquitos (and other bugs). So far, I haven’t noticed all that many mosquitos yet. With all the rain we’ve had around here, I was expecting a lot more of them by now!

We’ve still got almost 3 weeks to go until the Great Texas Mosquito Festival. Maybe they’ll wait to show up til then. 😉

Wouldn’t kill me if they skipped this year altogether. 🙂

Maritime Monday for July 4th, 2016: Boomy McBoomface

What is it with the weird names you Brits? Boaty McBoatface? Boomy McBoomface?? Cockchafer???

Check it out in this weeks edition of Maritime Monday. There’s more from the Brits, submarine art, fake Hawaii, the start of Jaws, and a couple of my favorites this week: Nessies bones?, the Lyman M. Davis, and the Houseboats of Shoreham.

Thanks to Monkey Fist for another great collection of Maritime tales and tidbits. 🙂

Icelandic firm offers England players free whale-watching holiday to “recover from defeat” A sailing holiday company has offered to cheer up England’s players after Iceland beat them on Monday by taking them on a free whale-watching day-trip. The Guardian – “The poor English players will anyways not be able to return immediately to England after […]

Source: Maritime Monday for July 4th, 2016: Boomy McBoomface – gCaptain

Want to Go Sailing But Don’t Have a Boat?

Check out this great post from Astrolabe Sailing for some great tips on how to be a great guest so you’ll be invited back. Yes, it is just as much fun and MUCH cheaper to go with friends!

So you’ve been invited to go and stay on someone’s boat? Awesome! The next best thing to having a boat of your own is having friends who have boats. It is much cheaper and just about as much fun. So to increase your chances of having a fantastic time – and being invited to come […]

via Being a good boat guest — Astrolabe Sailing

Movie Review: Tarzan

I went to see the latest Tarzan movie, “The Legend of Tarzan“, the other day. I liked it. I pretty much always like Tarzan movies. I used to watch Tarzan every Saturday morning when I was growing up. I used to wish I could live like that- wild, in the jungle, friends with all the animals.

I’ve always loved animals. All kinds. Growing up we had cats, dogs, lizards, turtles, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, birds (parakeets, cockatiels, myna birds), fish and even a kinkajou for a while.

I got an animal encyclopedia one year for a present and read through each book, cover to cover. I was fascinated by all the beautiful creatures, all the glorious diversity. I wanted to be a scientist, studying how to save the animals. Or a vet.

My grandparents were pharmacists and wanted me to be a doctor, but I didn’t really like people that much. Especially not sick people! I think I would have made a great vet tho!

I still think we have too many people running around. I thought that way back then and of course since we have WAY more people (and all the problems that causes), I think it much more strongly now. Even with all the improvements we’ve made and increased standards of living for so many, we’re still destroying the planet and wiping out other species at increasing rates.

I think everything on this planet has just as much ‘right’ to be here as we do. I really object to the position so many people take that we have the right to do whatever the hell we want to with whatever we can. Still acting like cave men (which might have been alright back then with only a few hundred thousand people on the planet), it’s definitely not OK now with over 7 BILLION people here (projected to be over 11 BILLION by 2100)!

I don’t think it’s a good idea to just cover the planet with people. More and more and more people! Our cities, our towns, our farms, OURS, to use and abuse as we see fit. What about all the OTHER species we’re supposed to SHARE this planet with?

I love how Tarzan was able to co-exist with the animals. He was always a protector of the land. He lived in the jungle and knew how to use it’s resources without abusing them. He didn’t have a bunch of kids (who would each have a bunch more, etc).

I love how he was always able to keep ‘his’ forests safe from the greedy men who came to rape the wilderness. For diamonds, for oil, for hides, for tusks, for whatever they could take.

This latest movie sets the scene in the Congo during the time of King Leopold II of Belgium. He was really awful, you should check out the book “King Leopold’s Ghost“. I read it a while ago and it’s a pretty good story (tho pretty sad history).

Leopold has basically been raping the Congo. Gobbling up resources and enslaving the people. His henchman- slick, suited Mr Rom (Christoph Waltz) makes a deal to trade diamonds for Tarzan with a tribal leader with a major grudge.

Tarzan gets lured back to Africa by American George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson), who convinces him to accept the Kings invitation- to verify rumors of slavery and destruction of his beloved home in the jungle.

I loved watching Tarzan swing through the trees (do gorillas really do that?). Such a great way to travel! He always finds such freedom, joy and wonder to share. Alexander Skarsgard plays the part well. He doesn’t say much, but he does a great job with the character (and he’s nice to watch with his shirt off). In this movie version Jane (Margot Robbie) plays a pretty big part. She does a good job as a ‘damsel in distress’, you really wind up rooting for Tarzan to come and save her.

The Legend of Tarzan was a fun way to spend a couple of hours. The movie had it all- adventure, gorgeous scenery, great looking actors, romance, action, wildlife, history. I was cheering for the animals in a few places and hoping the despicable Mr Rom got ripped apart in a few more. I really enjoyed it. I might even go see it again. Or hope for a sequel.

If you go for a matinee and skip the popcorn, it’s only $5.51!

Zydeco Festival

Last Saturday I went up to Houston for the Zydeco Fest. I’ve been having a hard time getting motivated to do much of anything around here. Just too much stress to enjoy the time at home. Weird, isn’t it? When I’m offshore working, I can’t wait to get off and spend time at home. Now that I’ve been home for so long without work, I can hardly stand it.

If I wasn’t so worried about finances, I would be off traveling somewhere. Since I have to be here to jump on any job offer that comes by (no matter how bad), I can’t leave or do anything really.

I had finally seen the light at the end of the tunnel last week (or thought I did), so I decided to go have a little celebration. I’ve always loved zydeco music, all kinds of music really- except rap and opera. I used to go up to Houston every couple of weeks. I’d go catch a live band, spend the night, and do a museum or something on the way home.

I got a late start last week and didn’t get to the show until about 5. They had it right downtown at Jones Plaza. I found a nice hotel only a couple of blocks away and not super expensive. The worst part was the parking fees! At least by the time I got to the show, it had cooled down a little. It was still hot! I didn’t bring anything to sit on and what few seats there were were already occupied.

I just walked around, looked over the little shops people set up- selling food, drinks, t-shirts, etc. They had a couple of food trucks parked by the entrance and more cooks scattered around the park. People were picnicking and enjoying the sunshine with their families. Old folks and babies, the whole range of ages loved the music. Everybody was dancing and having a good time.

I got there in time for the last part of Lil Nate and the Zydeco Big Timers. I saw Marcus Ardoin and the Zydeco Legend, and finished the night off with Step Rideau & the Zydeco Outlaws (all the pictures are of Step and his band).

  

I didn’t find out til I was leaving the Zydeco Fest, but they also had a Gay Pride parade that evening. All the crowds from that were thronging the downtown streets right around the time they were shutting down the Zydeco Fest. It looked like it must have been a lot of fun. Everybody was in a good mood and from what I could see of the costumes, they all had a great time.

Houston needs to get a better way to let people know what’s going on around town!

Here’s a little music to tide us over til next year’s zydeco festival. 🙂

Daily Walk

Guess what I saw on my daily walk?

I’ve been having a real hard time getting motivated to do much of anything lately. About all I have been able to do is to stick with my daily walks.

I started to walk every day when I was living in Austin. I was going to school at UT (chemical engineering) and I started on the Nutrisystem program. I figured since I had a fairly regular schedule for once, I could try it out and see if it would work for me. It did. I did pretty good sticking to their packaged food and actually managed to lose 40 lbs over the 8 months I was able to follow their rules.

As long as I was on a regular schedule and living on the beach full time, it did work. I started walking every day. It was a nice break from my stressful studies, and it got me outside to pay attention to what was going on in the neighborhood.

That was back around 1998. I gained back all the weight I lost (about 40 lbs) in my first hitch back offshore (no more packaged food), but I’ve kept up the daily walks. I still enjoy them for the same reasons I did back then.

I see all kinds of interesting things around the neighborhood. Not just who’s moving in or out, what the kids are up to, who’s into gardening or pets, but the natural world. Yes, even in the middle of town I still see nature all around.

There’s a ditch down my street. It has different wildflowers all the time. I see frogs, toads, tadpoles, and raccoon tracks. Sometimes I see the actual critters: raccoons, possums, squirrels and armadillos. 🙂

There’s another ditch further up the block, a big turtle lives there, but it hides a lot. I see lots of different birds (I’m not a birder so can only identify a few). This is what I saw today.

I wish I could have gotten a better picture, but this is the best I could do. I think it’s a yellow-crowned night heron. It has a few babies in that nest, but I’m not sure how many (2+ for sure). I called the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory since I’d just read an article about how they had a program where they were into banding local birds. They pretty much confirmed my ID over the phone tho they didn’t seem interested in coming out to band the birds. They apparently just do that at their facility. It sounds like it might be interesting to go check it out one day.

I also saw (and heard) this guy. He was way up high and so hard to see exactly what kind of bird he was, except he was for sure some kind of woodpecker with a red head. I think it might be a red-bellied woodpecker.

I like to try and keep up with what’s going on around me. I prefer keeping up with this kind of stuff, instead of what’s on TV. Seems that kind of news is unavoidable, no matter how much I try. 😦