Color Your World: Cerise

Today’s color for Jennifer’s Color Your World challenge is: cerise. Here’s my take on it.

Check out her cape. 🙂

This little girl is a great model. She’s a member of the Brazoria County Models and Photographers Meetup group (along with her mom and more of their friends). 🙂

This group is a great way to practice for all of us- models, photographers, make-up artists. We all have a good time. I only wish they scheduled their events more often. I very rarely get to attend since I don’t want to sign up til I know for sure I’ll be around. By then I usually get put on a waitlist and hope for the best.

Next one is coming up soon: “Hipsters”. I went to one like that a few months ago. I’m not sure if I’ll go again since it’s on the same day as the Adopt-a-beach event at Surfside and I plan to make that an event for my own Mariners Meetup group. 🙂

Another Busy Week

And not accomplishing much of anything. 😦

I’ve been working on all the usual stuff around here. Still looking for work. Spending hours filling out online applications for any offshore job I happen to see posted. I’ve been talking to one company for a couple of weeks now, but they don’t seem to have any idea of when they might (or might not) need me. It’s very frustrating, but at least they’re still talking to me. That’s more than I’ve had in over 18 months now!

We finished up working on one apartment and got it ready to rent. I thought we had it rented before we even finished working on it, but that fell through. I think it will go pretty quick (I hope so). I’m still waiting for the roofers to fix a leak and the levelers to honor their warranty (good luck!!).

I have one more apartment over there that needs work, but I need to wait til the rents start coming in before I can afford to start on it. It doesn’t look like it needs as much work as the last one, but I never know what I’ll find once I get started. 😦

I had some good friends come down and visit. We pigged out at the Chinese buffet and had a good time catching up on everything.

Other than that, I finished 2 paintings in class on Tuesday. I took them both to Hobby Lobby to get them framed. One of them was finished in time for me to enter it in the People’s Choice show (I’m always amazed at how many really talented people we have around here in this area). The other won’t be ready for at least another week. I think they both turned out OK, but especially with the lighthouse, not really what I was trying to do with them.

I wasn’t quite finished with the lighthouse when I took this photo. I’ll get another when I get it back with the frame.

I went to my usual political meeting Tuesday night. We’ve decided to re-start our project to get the BWA to remove the fluoride from our drinking water. It really doesn’t do anything for your teeth by drinking it. It only helps if you apply it topically (like with toothpaste). It’s really not at all good for you. Yeah, I know, most people will read that and think I’m just another tin foil conspiracy theorist. I think there’s more than enough evidence to show it’s not really necessary for good teeth (or any other reason).

So, I spent some time researching that. I also got a writing assignment for Great Escape Publishing. Whoo-whoo! Another byline!! I really need to find the time to query more publications. But that takes a HUGE amount of time! I was very hopeful when I applied to Big Grey Horse when they said they were looking for Texas writers. I think they would’ve contacted me by now if they were interested. 😦

I’ve been working on my yard the last few days. In between the rain. I’ve got the front yard about 25% finished now. It makes a big difference when I pull all the clematis vines off and put a little mulch out. All my citrus trees are starting to bloom. The grape vines are starting to leaf out. The strawberries are coming back!

Today I took a break and went to the movies. I go to the matinee when it’s cheaper. I wasn’t sure what to watch, either Logan or Get Out. I decided to watch Logan. It was pretty good. One of the X-Men movies. A pretty good action movie featuring Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine fighting the forces of evil in the shape of another mutant (Boyd Holbrook as Pierce).

I don’t want to spoil it, since it really was pretty good, but it’s not all blood and guts. There was actually a pretty good story. I’m sure there will be more sequels down the road. 🙂

Tomorrow is the biggest day of the year around here. St Patrick’s Day Parade at Surfside Beach! I have to get up early so I can get down to the beach in time to check everything out before the judging. Take a look here. Once the parade starts, I’m done with that! Time to wander off to the various parties. 😉

I hope the weather cooperates. It’s calling for 90% chance of rain tomorrow. 😦

Fishing: Istanbul

I saw this post come up in my Reader from the Daily Post, re: Fishing. I thought I should be able to come up with something. 😉

Here are a couple of photos from my recent trip to Turkey. The people around Istanbul love to go fishing all around the Bosphorus. I went one day to walk across the Galata Bridge, just to see what they were catching.

It was a beautiful day. I walked from my hotel near the Blue Mosque around Topkapi Palace and down to the waterfront. I watched the ferries come and go and the fishermen all along the quay. They were using bread as bait, and seemed to be doing pretty good.

I walked up to the bridge and crossed over on the lower level. It’s full of restaurants, famous for fish and seafood. I try to avoid seafood as much as possible, just because I’ve had to eat it day after day for months on end and never know when I might have to do that again. 😉

The waiters had no idea of my aversion, so they continued to call out. Trying to convince me to step up and try their specialty (looked like pretty much the same at all of them). I probably should have stopped to see what all the fuss was about. I’m sure a few must have wondered why I was hanging around if I didn’t like fish. I don’t like to eat them anymore, but I still do love to catch them (and I like to watch other people catch them too). 😉

On the way back, I crossed on the upper level. Between a gauntlet of fishermen casting their lines and masses of traffic- cars, trucks, busses, and pedestrians- crossing the bridge, it was an interesting experience. I was glad to get back down to land and away from the traffic.

I descended to a plaza, right next to the bridge. It was full of more fishermen lined up along the water and in between dozens of small barges, gaudily decorated in red and gold. All selling ‘belik-ekmek’ (fish sandwiches) and doing a brisk business.  Waiters dressed in ‘traditional’ Turkish costume, hustling with trays full of tiny cups full of coffee, tea and shalgam– the weird spicy sour drink thats specially for the fish.

I’m not sure what kind of fish they were catching (or selling), I didn’t actually eat any. Here’s a picture, does anybody know what kind they are?

Ongoing Arts

It’s been a busy couple of days around here. I got an email last week about today’s Sunset Sip going on tonight in Freeport. I was interested in entering some of my art in the show. I found out the information I needed a couple of days ago.

I spent all day yesterday getting my photos ready. Signing them, matting them, and framing them. I met the lady in charge of the operation (Jennifer) yesterday afternoon in her Freeport office. She has some stunning artwork from previous events decorating the place.

She kindly showed me to the Heritage Ballroom, and then helped me set up in the entry. I brought my big painting of the underwater scene I had painted one winter when it was too rough to go outside on the tanker. I’ve had it hanging on my living room wall ever since. I do really like it. I think it turned out pretty good, especially considering I was using the ships deck paint (and a little wonky from the fumes on the last part- after I had to move it to my room).

Most of the rest I’m bringing are photos. I’m also in the show at the Brazosport Art League  Gallery next to the college. I’ll pick up the ones I have there now and bring a few more to enter there.

Once I do the trade at the BAL Gallery, I’m headed to a photo shoot with the Brazoria County Models & Photographers out in West Columbia for the Day of the Dead. That should give me some awesome photos! The models are all great to work with and I always have a lot of fun. I hate to cut it short, but I’ll have to, in order to get back to Freeport in time for the Sunset Sip.

I’m looking forward to this event. I’m sure to meet lots of interesting people. I hope I get a chance to wander around and check out everyone else’s work. They’re having a zydeco band, a brewery, a winery, and all kinds of food.

I’ll have to tend to my booth, so not sure how much time I’ll have to look around. After all, I do really want to sell some things too.

PS- if you like my work, please let me know. I can have it uploaded and put on all kinds of things. Check it out…https://society6.com/captainjillsjourneys/collection/jill-friedman

New Orleans Was A Trip!

I just got home from New Orleans. What a trip! I got in around midnight last Thursday (after  attending the Nautical Institute seminar). Friday morning the workshop started bright and early 8 AM. I’m not a morning person.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday was spent 8-5 in the travel writing workshop I was there for. Monday addition on ‘Social Media’. My brain was spinning by then and ready for some down time.

Tuesday, I slept in and was able to spend the day around New Orleans gathering information for my planned writing projects. I had researched beforehand and thanks to Mike at Hospitality21 and Christine at the New Orleans CVB, I was comped tickets to a couple of wonderful New Orleans attractions.

Everyone I talked to about the World War II Museum raved about how good it was. I had been wanting to go for a couple of years. I spent all afternoon there and still didn’t get the complete experience (I missed the movie and show- I’ll have to go back for that).

I made it to the Steamboat Natchez just in time for departure. A really nice way to spend the evening. A jazz dinner cruise on the Mississippi River. You could imagine yourself back in the day of Tom Sawyer if you ignored all the people taking ‘selfies’.

I had a late flight out on Wednesday, so spent the morning wandering around the French Quarter: walking down Royal Street, checking out the antique shops, looking at the artists working along Pirates Alley and Jackson Square, breakfast (brunch) at Monty’s, listening to jazz at Latrobe Park, timidly tasting a couple selections at the Pepper Palace, wandering through the French Market, and then taking the Riverfront streetcar back up to Canal Street.

I spent the last couple hours wasting my time (and my money) at Harrah’s Casino and before I knew it, it was time to head back to the hotel to catch my ride to the airport. I guess it’s a good thing they don’t allow smoking anymore, I might have missed my plane if I hadn’t needed a smoke!

More later, as I get my photos uploaded. 🙂

Maritime Monday for September 19th 2016: Disjecta membra

Arrrgh, it’s Monday already again. The good thing about it is- it’s officially ‘International Talk Like a Pirate Day’. Aye, we wait for this all year. 😉

Check out Monkey Fist’s post of the week’s interesting maritime stuff. Flotsam and jetsam from all over the world.

Don’t forget to head to Krispy Kreme for your free donuts and Long John Silvers for a free sandwich. Thanks to both for supporting us pirates! 🙂

“There were no marks to separate one day from another, no rule whereby to measure …

Source: Maritime Monday for September 19th, 2016: Disjecta membra – gCaptain

Back In New Orleans

Whew! It’s been a hectic couple of days. I actually got to work Monday-Tuesday this week. Was supposed to have Wednesday too, but the students finished up early and so no role players were needed. Sucks!! I really could’ve used that extra day of pay.

But, I put the extra time to good use. I’ve been trying hard to get my taxes to the accountant before leaving for this weeklong trip. I managed to get a few things sorted out and dropped off a package for her on the way to Houston this morning.

I made it just in time for the seminar the Nautical Institute was putting on at the WGMA facility (near the ship channel). They had a pretty good turnout. I was happy to see a few old friends there and had a chance to catch up a little bit. Might even turn into a bit more work for me.

They had 5 different presentations. Everything from how the new DP scheme worked to how the new regulations for low sulfur fuel affected ship handling, to a historical perspective re: shipping and refugees, a very interesting slideshow on the newly opened Panama Canal expansion, to testing life saving equipment in the Arctic (I certainly would NOT want to have to try using any of it up there)! It was really very interesting. Especially the part about polar bears and walrus. 😉

I left the seminar at 5:00 and of course got stuck in traffic. It wasn’t too bad yet and I made it to Hobby in plenty of time for my flight. Actually, I tried to get an earlier flight. I had plenty of time for it, but they would have charged me 3 times what I already paid to get the earlier flight. WOW!

I did not take the earlier flight. What the hell!? Why in the world do they do that sort of thing? It doesn’t cost them a single damn cent to put somebody on a different flight, but they all want to make like it’s some huge big deal and just gouge the hell out of you! All it does is ruin their customer satisfaction. Anybody out there work for the airlines have another reason for this other than that they do it because they can get away with it?

I just checked into my hotel. It was a pretty quick ride from the airport. It only took about a half hour. I took the shuttle ($36 round trip). Usually it takes much longer, it seems I’m always the last one they drop off.

I’m too tired to do much tonight. I arrived here after midnight so all I did was check out the room and go out for a cigarette (no smoking hotel). I was hoping for a room with a view, but no such luck. I’m right next to the elevators, convenient but noisy, and I’m looking at a wall about 20 ft away and down into a garage ($42 for parking- wow- gouging again). 😦

Looks like I got real lucky to get a room at all. Even in the short time I was down in the lobby, I heard 2 people that had reservations but the hotel had no more rooms. They were pissed (and I don’t blame them one bit)!

I’m so excited to finally be here! Looking forward to starting the travel writing workshop in the morning. It’s going to be a very full weekend. We’ll be in the workshop from 8-5 every day and then (of course) going out to explore at night.

I’ve already missed tonights bourbon tasting set up by a few people on the group Facebook page. That’s probably not something I really needed to do anyway. I’ve got plenty of plans for later, once I get a little sleep. 🙂

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. 😦

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

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. 😦

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. 😉

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]

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

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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

Red Wing

It’s been another crazy day here in Minneapolis. Up early and busy all day attending presentations, meeting people from all over the country, speed networking, and picking up information from various travel related businesses. I’ve been running non-stop since I got here.

Yesterday, I was treated to a tour of the historic town of Red Wing by Erica from Explore Minnesota, along with 3 fellow bloggers. It was a great way to spend the day. A nice drive through rolling hills, farms, lakes and rivers. It took about an hour or so to get to get there. We crossed the Mississippi River, drove through town and headed to Memorial Park atop the bluffs.

We had about an hour to enjoy the view overlooking the town of Red Wing and the Mississippi River. I spent my time wandering through the park, enjoying the cool fresh air. I learned some interesting Minnesota history (first ski jumping in America began here), by reading the ‘interpretive signs’ while following the path of the ‘disc golf course’. This park would be a great place for a picnic. 🙂

We were on a ‘schedule’ so we headed back down to town. The historic downtown was very pretty. Lots of old stone buildings, flower baskets and American flags hanging from the lampposts and shady trees fronting quirky little shops. Our first stop was the Fair Trade Books store.

They have a great ‘marketing strategy’. On your first visit to their store, they give you a free book. 🙂

They pick it out for you (they ask first what kind of books you like). The only catch is, you have to say “books make great gifts’- loud enough for everyone to hear. 😉

My free book was “Lieutenant Hornblower” by C.S. Forester. A very popular series featuring naval hero Horatio Hornblower. I haven’t read any of this series yet, but it’s right up my alley. I bought “Dead Wake” by Erik Larson (about the Lusitania) while I was browsing around. I can hardly wait to start it.

really liked this little bookstore. It’s right downtown, in an interesting old building with architectural details like high, patterned metal ceilings. There are cozy chairs and tables where you can linger a little longer making up your mind on the reading material.

They were very knowledgeable about all kinds of books, helpful and friendly (even to dogs). It’s an independent bookstore, but more than just a bookstore. They’re very community focused, they have all kinds of other things going on. Not only the ‘usual’ book signing events, but ‘open read’ where you can come share your writing with others, game nights, and open mike nights. They share other local events and even have an ‘arts and entertainment auction’ coming up on July 1. 🙂

From the bookstore, we headed to the shoe store. The Red Wing store, home of the “World’s Largest Boot“. I wear Red Wing (steel toed) boots all the time for work, but I didn’t know anything about this giant boot- or the shoe museum upstairs– until this visit. Since I already have a half dozen pairs of Red Wings in my closet, I passed on the shopping and spent my time in the museum- which actually was pretty interesting. If you’re into that kind of thing. 😉

 

We were all ready for lunch so we headed across the construction zone* on the main drag to the St James Hotel.

It’s located in a historic building (1874-1875) next to a pretty little park with a fountain right downtown and convenient to everything. We sat at the rooftop patio to enjoy the view over the park, train depot, and glimpses of the river.

 

Sunday brunch was tempting. The buffet was loaded with fresh strawberries and cream, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, apples, bananas, and pineapple slices. There were fresh cinnamon buns, french toast sticks, blueberry muffins, waffles, biscuits and gravy, cold cuts and cheeses. Cereals, yogurt and oatmeal were out if you didn’t want to splurge. There were chocolate cakes and dainty little squares of petit fours if you did. There was an omelet bar, with eggs cooked to order with your choice of ham, cheese, onions, or peppers added. Next to that was a ham sliced to order. Yum!

If you could eat your way through all of that, you were welcome to go back for more. 🙂

We all enjoyed our meal there. The food was great, the service was fast and friendly, and the prices were reasonable. It’s worth a try if you’re in the area.

On the way back to the car, I just had to stop in the chocolate shop I had noticed on the way over. The Red Wing Confectionary makes the cutest little chocolate critters.

They also had a great selection of other sweets, including taffy, jelly beans, chocolate covered cherries, gift boxes, ice cream and a large menu of coffees and other hot (and cold) drinks.

After tasting a free sample, I made up my mind and bought a few things- sea salted caramels, chocolate covered cherries to share, and a small gift box.

Next stop was the “Uffda” Shop– full of Scandinavian stuff. Enough to make you think you somehow landed in small town Sweden instead of Minnesota. They had everything from sweaters to socks, snacks to snowmen. Lots of beautiful decorated china, crystal and jewelry. A great place for Christmas shopping.

 

We headed back to the city before we spent too much money. The drive back was just as pretty. Rolling farmlands, green fields, and hills passed by quickly. We got back just in time for a quick nap before the ‘Opening Night Party” at the Nickelodeon Universe. 🙂

I’ll have to tell you about that tomorrow. Stay tuned. 😉

In the meantime, check out what my fellow bloggers had to say about our journey through small town Minnesota (and other things).

www.travelwithsara.com, https://twitter.com/TravelWithSara

https://twitter.com/PrairieStylFile, http://prairiestylefile.com

https://twitter.com/SheilaShttp://www.sheilasguide.com

* to ease the pain of the construction, the town has been promoting Hard Hat Thursdays.

See Sea Turtles on Thursday

I just got this email from the Houston Zoo (I’m a member). They’ve been helping to save sea turtles with other organizations around the world. This Thursday (May 26th), they’re turning some loose on the beach in Galveston. 🙂

If you’re anywhere around the area, it would be a real treat to come out and watch. Here’s the announcement I got…

Watch Sea Turtles Return to Wild 

Thanks to a rewarding partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), nine injured sea turtles have been rehabilitated and are ready to be returned to the wild. The release will take place Thursday, May 26 promptly at 2:00 p.m. at Stewart Beach Park, 201 Seawall Blvd. The public is invited to come out and witness this exciting release.
 I’m going to put it on my calendar and take another drive up to Galveston. That is, IF the weather is better than the last time I was up there! 😉
I went to see the turtles when I was in Nicaragua too, but it was too dark to see much. I hope the weather holds and I can really see them this time.

Paints and Politics

Tuesdays are usually busy days for me. I get up early so I have time to check email, take out the garbage, eat breakfast and get out of the house by 9:00.

I’ve been going to take painting classes at the Art & Science Center every Tuesday morning (if I’m not able to go to work in Houston). I’ve missed quite a few classes, but I can still see some improvement.

I have only completed 2 paintings so far. I’ve started a few others, but not close to finishing them yet. I don’t really like any of them very much so far. One friend of mine told me she really liked one abstract (mess) I was working on. I thought about it for a while and then turned it into an alien jungle scene. Kind of reminded me of something Rousseau might have done. Here’s the before…

I had it framed and gave it to my friend. I wasn’t all that surprised, but she liked it better before I added to it. She thought I ‘ruined it’. Here’s the after…

Which one do you like best?

The other one I’ve finished was the 1st one I started in this class. I’ve really been trying to learn how to paint water. I found a picture in one of the art books in the classroom and tried to get the technique down. It didn’t turn out much like my reference, but I think it wasn’t too bad for my first try.

Today, I was trying to finish up a couple of others I’ve been working on for a while. This will be my last class since I’ll be at the TBEX next Tuesday. I still have a long way to go on both of them, but I think they’re shaping up nicely.

I especially like this one (below), the photo doesn’t really do it justice. 🙂

I really get the feeling like I’m out there on the water. I wish I really was. 🙂

So, that’s what I do Tuesday mornings.

Tuesday evenings I go meetup with my friends from the local Campaign for Liberty group (ex- Ron Paul meetup group). We like to talk politics over dinner at a local restaurant. Lately we’ve been meeting at the Bella Roma on highway 332, next to the old skating rink. They serve large portions of pretty decent Italian favorites (pizza, pasta, etc). I usually get either ravioli with Alfredo sauce or the Philly cheesesteak sandwich. The Italian Cream Cake and Cheesecake for dessert is good too.

Lately we’ve been talking a lot about how we’ve managed to come so far from our beginnings as a free country. Last week we were watching a slide show, but as we kept stopping to discuss various points, we didn’t finish the whole program before they started closing down the place- it didn’t help that we had one extremely socialist guest. 😉

I do like to argue, but this guy put me to shame! I think the only thing we all agreed on was that the ‘banksters’ were screwing us and the entire world.

The more I learn about what’s really going on, the more frustrated and depressed I get. At this point, I think the only way possible to really live as we’re meant to- is to get completely out of the ‘system’. I don’t know how to do that, or if it’s even possible any more. All I know is that I’ll never accept the way things are now (even tho I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall most days).

So, I go to the meetings on Tuesday nights, just for a change- to talk to a few people who mostly do ‘get it’. Yeah, we still argue about things, we still struggle to understand- but we try mostly to inform people. We’ll never fix what’s wrong with this country or the world as long as the vast majority prefers the status quo.

Yeah, OK- call me a ‘conspiracy theorist’. But what if it’s true?

Maritime Day 2016

I gave you a preview the other day, now on to the real deal. 🙂 Today, May 22, is actually Maritime Day. We even got a “Presidential Proclamation“. 🙂

This years Maritime Day celebration in Galveston (on the 19th) wasn’t as good as last years, if only because of the weather. We didn’t get to sit outside and watch the traffic in the harbor, or get a salute from a tugboat this year, but thank goodness they planned to move it into the cruise ship terminal a couple of days earlier! It was streaming down rain all day long! Thunder and lightning shook the building, drowned out the speakers and split the sky.

But we persevered and had our little memorial with the few hardy souls who managed to make it out before the storm hit in full force.

Galveston’s celebration started off with music by the ‘Singing Stars’ from the Odyssey Academy.

Captain John Peterlin III from the Port of Galveston welcomed everyone to the event and then led into a program explaining the history of the US Merchant Marine and Maritime Day. There was a moment of silence in appreciation of all mariners past and present.

Tammy Lobaugh from Texas A & M Galveston talked a bit about maritime education and a few of the many maritime organizations that contribute to our maritime heritage. Some of them were represented at the event- WISTA, the maritime unions (SIUMEBA, AMO), the seamans centers, maritime museums, ports, etc.

Cristina Galego representing the Port of Galveston read John Masefield’s poem Sea Fever

Sea Fever
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
 
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; 
            And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
 
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
The wreath was laid*
and Father Stelios Sitaras led the benediction before the closing remarks and a reading of Carl Sandburg’s Young Sea.

YOUNG SEA

THE sea is never still.
It pounds on the shore
Restless as a young heart,
Hunting.

The sea speaks
And only the stormy hearts
Know what it says:
It is the face
of a rough mother speaking.

The sea is young.
One storm cleans all the hoar
And loosens the age of it.
I hear it laughing, reckless.

They love the sea,
Men who ride on it
And know they will die
Under the salt of it

Let only the young come,
Says the sea.

Let them kiss my face
And hear me.
I am the last word
And I tell
Where storms and stars come from.

A fitting closing to the memorial on a stormy day.

*due to the terrible weather, they’ll save the wreath and send it out later from the memorial at Pier 21