Maritime Monday for May 22nd 2017: Suffren Succotash 

At the start of World War II, it was decided that Queen Elizabeth was so vital to the war effort that she must not have her movements tracked by German spies. Therefore, an elaborate ruse was fabricated involving her sailing to Southampton to complete her fitting out. There were only two spring tides that year […]

Source: Maritime Monday for May 22nd, 2017: Suffren Succotash – gCaptain

P is for Paranoid- #AtoZChallenge

“P” is for ‘paranoid’.

adjective

1. of, characterized by, or resembling paranoia

2. (informalexhibiting undue suspicion, fear of persecution, etc

I’ve been called paranoid a couple of times in my life. I do have to admit, I’ve never been an optimist. I worry about all kinds of things (probably un-necessarily). I worry will I ever be able to find decent work ever again. I worry about how will I be able to pay the bills when my savings runs out. I worry about how we are losing our freedom here in the USA and will we ever wake up and start clawing it back from the power hungry bastards we elect that keep stealing it from us.

But is it really paranoid if they are out to get you?

I must have some sort of mental issue. I mean, I’m definitely not ‘normal’. ‘Normal’ people just ignore all the things that bother me so much. They would pass right by that mass of cameras and not even notice. And if they did happen to notice (like one fell on their head or something), they would only comment (while they bleed all over the place from the injuries it just gave them) ‘it’s all just for our own good’.

My stepmother used to tell me “don’t worry, the universe is in divine order”. I could see that for her, it sure seemed to be. She was very pretty, confident, talented, smart. She made a (very good) living as a topless bartender for decades. She had a beautiful house right on the beach paid for (by ex-husband) and really had nothing to worry about at all. She could (and did) live her life exactly as she pleased.

My best friend tells me all the time, “chill out, don’t worry so much”.  She is retired, with a decent pension, social security, a couple of other checks coming in every month, with a paid for house and although she  has some health issues, she really doesn’t have any concerns either.

For me, whenever I go out anywhere now, I see the red-light cameras everywhere and they drive me crazy! WHY does “our government” feel that they need to spy on us? What gives those people who actually do those jobs the idea that they have any sort of right to do it? I don’t even want to get into the fact that there are so many “laws” on the books that we are ALL guilty of breaking at least a couple every day (no matter how law abiding you may think you are)!

Try reading “Three Felonies a Day“. Take a quick look at the hundreds of thousands of “laws” on the books (last count 178, 277 pages at the end of 2015)! This for a supposedly “free country”. 😦

I go absolutely crazy in the airports over the TSA BS. It’s all I can do to keep my mouth shut. I’m grumbling through the whole process, from the minute I see the line start. It completely ruins the trip for me. WHO in the hell has decided that we must give up our INALIENABLE RIGHTS in order to travel? WHY have so many people just simply accepted their ridiculous excuses that “it’s only for our own safety”?

I have decided I must be some kind of mutant. I mean, I’m in such a tiny minority that it sure seems that way. Am I paranoid? Yeah, I do feel like they’re watching me all the time. The fact is that they ARE. They ARE watching ALL of us all the time! Every single email, phone call, website you visit, everywhere you go, every dollar you spend. Even your own house, phone, TV and appliances ARE spying on you now!

Poor Ed Snowden. He tried to wake us up. I consider him a hero for what he tried to do for us all. He gave up a lot to get the information out there. To put a stop to “our government’s” serious abuse of power. To wake us up so that we could take back our freedoms before it was too late forever.

I already knew most of what he said. It was all dribbled out in the news over the decades. But nobody paid any attention. Everyone still ignores it all. It’s just business as usual. Most people just go right on ignoring all the continuous everyday violations and don’t seem to give a damn at all. When I bring it up, the only thing they have to say is: “but it’s all for our own good”. WOW.

What in the world is “good” about living like that? Like George Orwell’s 1984, but worse?

WHY? That is what I want to know. No, not why they’re doing it. I already know that. It’s because they’re all a bunch of power hungry, greedy bastards! What I want to know is WHY does the general public put up with it? WHY are so few people concerned about it? WHY do so few people understand the real threats to THEM that this represents?

Paranoid? Yeah, I guess I am. But that doesn’t mean they’re not out to ‘get’ me. Or you!

G is for Galveston- #AtoZChallenge

G” is for Galveston. It’s the closest city of any size to me. I consider the Houston/Galveston/Freeport area my stomping grounds now a days.

When I first moved to Texas (almost 40 years ago), I used to really enjoy just wandering around. I moved here to go to college, so I had a bunch of friends I met in class to hang out with. We were all in the Ocean Marine Technology program (except a couple of outlier art students). So we all had an interest in boats.

We used to go up to Galveston all the time. For SCUBA class, for RADAR class, to the US Coast Guard office there. We always used to enjoy trying out new bars and restaurants on the way home.

I don’t get around anywhere near as much as I used to. Last time I went up to Galveston was with those 2 old artist friends from school. 🙂 We wanted to check out the art galleries and take a look around the Strand.

We found a couple of really neat artists, had a nice lunch, checked out all the interesting shops on the Strand, and avoided spending a fortune on some of the really cool nautical ‘junk’ I saw (or even more beautiful art- of which I already have a house full of).

Funny, but with all the changes around here, Galveston and especially the Strand still seems pretty much the same as it was when I first saw it.

Rainy Afternoon

Oh boy! I was at work this morning up in Houston. We were doing some training exercises when we heard the rain start. That was around noon.

I left in the rain at about 3:00 PM and drove all the way home (about 70 miles) in the rain. I could hardly see in some spots. It’s after 4 now, still raining, thundering, lightning and no signs of slowing down.

The weather report says it will be over by 9 tonight. It’s already cooled off quite a bit and I’m enjoying that. 🙂

Wow | New airport checkpoint shocks travelers! | “Orwellian” MrMBB333

Scary? Not really. We are SO FAR beyond Orwell’s 1984 it is no longer scary, it’s TERRIFYING!
What in the HELL are they going to do with this? There is NO POSSIBILITY AT ALL that they will be using this for anything good for the likes of you and me! None whatsoever! There is NO use for this kind of technology but to CONTROL people. YOU and ME!
All those people out there in the world who think they want ‘security’, you had damn well better WAKE THE HELL UP! There IS NO SUCH THING and by your fears, you allow the always present power hungry bastards you’ve put in power to turn ALL of us into nothing but their slaves.
How far has the US come, in only 17 years? We are most certainly NOT a free country at all anymore. We are a police state and this perversion of our FREEDOM to travel is just the latest assault on our liberties.
I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees! Sorry, but I really just can’t understand ANYONE who would choose ‘security’ over freedom. Anyone who does, just does not understand the TRUTH of the matter. There IS no ‘choice’! You can NOT have security, there IS NO SUCH THING! If you make that false choice, you are throwing away your freedom for some imaginary utopia. You loose BOTH your freedom AND your ‘security’.
STOP DOING THAT!!!!!!!

2012 The Awakening

Yet another security checkpoint for travelers LEAVING America. After going through this new “security” point, passengers were stunned, didn’t even want to talk about it.
https://fee.org/articles/welcome-aboa…

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Organic Gardening

I’m re-blogging this post (click the link below)-these guys have some cool ideas about organic gardening. I’ve never had much of a green thumb, tho I used to try pretty hard to keep a jungle of plants around. My idea of organic gardening is just to plant it and leave it alone (no fertilizer, no pesticides, etc). I’ve learned not to count on anything but trees! My lime tree sprouted up like a weed and is extremely productive. Same with the lemon tree. Oranges are coming along. Grapes are doing so-so.

Last year I tried cucumbers for the first time in ages. Something got to it. One day it was gorgeous, next day it was dead as a doornail. Same thing got to my grapes, raspberries and mint. 😦

I’m going to try the cucumbers again and probably try the pomegranates and blueberries again (tho I just found out they don’t like our dirt around here so maybe not). I have one struggling bush left, I didn’t know they needed 2 to produce.

I’ve been working in my yard when the weather’s nice and I’m not busy with something else (like work, or photography, or blogging, etc). I have most of the front yard ready and about a 5th of the back yard done. I need to get it all done soon, before it starts getting hot. I won’t go outside in the summertime here if I can help it. 😉

If I ever get the yard cleaned up, I’ll pick a few plants to try out this year. Anybody have any suggestions for plants that grow well on the north Texas Gulf Coast? They’ll need to be extremely self-sufficient, since if I ever do get a real job again I won’t be around to tend to them for months on end.

Here’s hoping for that! 🙂

Photo: Via Pinterest Keyhole Gardening was introduced in Africa by the Consortium for Southern Africa Food Security Emergency (C-SAFE) to help ailing and frail Africans grow their own produce with minimum effort by means of a specialized raised bed. The bed, which is waist high and in the shape of a keyhole, allows for standing […]

via Five Notable Organic Gardening Methods — Garden Variety

Ships Crew

Pretty good breakdown of crewing on merchant ships.

The field of merchant navy involves a certain order of hierarchy with the seafarers holding different ranks on ships. This ranking system ensures smooth coordination of on board operations and promotes proper management strategies. The nomenclature of merchant navy ranking system is universally accepted by shipping companies and commercial vessels around the world. However, there […]

via A Guide to Merchant Navy Officer Ranks — ‘Expression’ Of A Thoughtful Sailor

Busy Week

Wow! I’m sorry I haven’t been around here for so long. I’ve been occupied with other things all week and just haven’t had time to do much blogging. I’ve been lucky and had a couple days work this week. Tomorrow too. I’ll catch up this weekend.

I promise!

So Cool!

I’ve always loved dolphins and whales. I always wanted to be able to swim freely in the ocean with them. So far, I’ve never been this close to any out in the wild. I’m pretty sure it’s against ‘the rules’ to get so close to them or to touch them like these people were doing. Tho I have to admit, I would have a hard time holding back myself if they came so close. I think they’re beautiful and intelligent creatures. I hate to see how much we’ve destroyed their world, and yet they’re still mostly OK with us. 🙂

Mother Whale and Calf with people on whale watching trip. Very cool to see the Momma raising her Baby to show it the funny looking humans! Like a revers Zoo, were the people out to see the Whales, or was the Momma Whale teaching her baby about humans? The big momma Whale held her baby […]

via Mother Whale Lifting Her Baby to See Humans on Boat — 2012 The Awakening

Just Jot It Jan: 8 Mongrel

I skipped out on the last JusJoJan prompt (for the 6th- Tangible). I still don’t really have anything to say about it, so I’ll just start up with something for today’s prompt- mongrel.

noun
1. a dog of mixed or indeterminate breed.
2. any animal or plant resulting from the crossing of different breeds or varieties.
3. any cross between different things, especially if inharmonious or indiscriminate.
adjective
4. of mixed breed, nature, or origin; of or like a mongrel.
If I had any pictures of old pets, I would post them here. Our family was always partial to mutts. We had pets of all kinds over the years, but I don’t think we ever had a purebred anything. I haven’t been able to keep a dog for years. Or pets of any kind really. Not even plants lately.
Since I’ve been working at sea, I haven’t been able to keep anything alive while I’m gone. No dogs, cats, fish, plants. They’re all dead or gone by the time I come home.
I’ve been out of work for more than a year now. I could have picked up a pet of some sort by now. A mongrel dog or cat would be just fine. I would love to have another dog, or cat. But since I’m still hopeful of finding work at some point, I haven’t done it. It wouldn’t be fair to the dog, cat’s don’t seem to mind quite so much. 😉
My best friend finally got herself another dog after years without. Just to keep her company I think. It was a mongrel. She thinks is was part lab and part blue heeler, but of course not sure. She got it from the pound.
Sad to say, she had to take it back. It freaked out when someone came to the door and she was worried it would hurt someone. She wouldn’t be able to stop it. She still misses it.
jjj-2017

Tuesdays of Texture

I just found a new blog ‘challenge’. It’s from Narami over at her De Monte Y Mar blog. It’s called “Tuesdays of Texture” and it looks interesting so I think I’ll join in (even if I’m a day late). 😉

I’m more of a photographer than a writer, tho I’m trying hard to get better at writing. That was one of the reasons I started my blog. To give me a place to practice and (hopefully) to get some feedback.

Here are a few photos of interesting textures…

  

Those were just a few plants. Orchid, ornamental cabbage of some sort, I don’t know what the 3rd flower is called, and a daylily. They’re all pretty common and fairly easy to spot around town. All of them have very different textures of both the flower and the rest of the plant.

So much variety, even in just one small subject and location. I thought that was interesting. 😉

3 Days to Spare!

finally finished my 2015 taxes! Since tomorrow is the 15th and the deadline for the extension, I thought I had to get them signed and sent before my accountants office closed today. She told me we actually have until Monday to send them in since the 15th is on a weekend this year.

I spent about 2 hours on the phone with her this afternoon, answering last minute questions. I waited at her office for last minute review by the boss before signing the forms.

Whew! Am I glad that’s over with!

Now I can finally relax and move on to other projects. Stuff I know I’ll enjoy a lot more. 🙂

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. 🙂

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!

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. 😦