E is for ENSCO- #AtoZChallenge

E” is for ENSCO. I used to work there off and on. I worked for the marine crewing agency C-Mar (among others). Back when there was still work to be had in the offshore sector.

ENSCO is a drilling company. They bought out Pride and built up a pretty good fleet of offshore drilling assets. I worked on many of their vessels over the last few years: the Deep Ocean Mendocino (renamed DS-5), the DS-3, and most of their semi-submersibles.

I spent time on the ENSCO 8500, 8501, 8503 and 8506. The 8506 was one of my favorites. Maybe just because I spent the most time on her. Maybe because I was officially the “Hurricane Master” on board.

That was one of the best jobs I ever had. If it had been located anywhere other than the Gulf of Mexico, I would have said one of the top 2. 🙂

My job basically was to watch the weather, stay on alert for any hurricanes approaching the Gulf and to get the rig ready to move if we had to run from one. I joined the 8506 in the shipyard in Corpus Christi and brought her out to a test location and then on to her first well. I had a great crew to work with and the rig was pretty much brand new.

Eventually, Ensco hired their own crews and stopped using temps like me. 😦

Sadly, even the vessel itself has been out of work for a while.

Color Your World: Burnt Sienna

Another post for Jennifer’s Color Your World challenge. Maybe I’m blind, but I really don’t see much difference between today’s color (burnt sienna) and yesterday’s (vivid tangerine). I think today’s is a little darker hue, but I can’t be sure that’s it.

Here’s my best guess for today…

More of the interesting architecture from Singapore. They’ve really fixed up a lot of these old ‘shop houses’ around the Chinatown area. I really enjoyed wandering around down there when we were able to get off the ship and spend some time in port.

A to Z: X


Today’s post for the A to Z challenge is: X. Oh boy, this is really a hard one. There just aren’t that many words in English that begin with the letter X. I’m assuming it would be cheating to use words starting with “ex-“, right?

So, I’m going to use x as it’s used in math. Specifically as the ‘unknown’. As in- “solve for x”. Do you remember in algebra class, when the problems you were given would be something like…

2x + 6 = 8

2x = 2

so x =1

Right! We all remember that. 😉

Writing 101: Be Brief

Along the Old River the shrimp boats unloaded. A battered white envelope drifted in the breeze. Bored, I picked it up. Something interesting?

“Dave” was the only address. I opened it.

“Dear Dave” it began. Would Dave clean up his act if he read the list of his shortcomings?


3 Significant Songs

Todays’ assignment from the Writing 101 Challenge is to write about the ‘three most important songs in your life’. Then they carry on in the assignment about ‘free writing’ and ‘committing to a writing practice”.

Here goes…

1. Son of a Son of a Sailor by Jimmy Buffet. I’m sure some of you might have an idea of why this song is important to me. “I went out on the sea for adventure”. Yep, that’s me. I always have identified with this particular song. I always loved Jimmy Buffet. I think he’s a great songwriter. He always tells a story in his songs and it’s usually a story I can understand and relate to. I grew up on the beach in Florida. My town used to be a little fishing village. We had plenty of characters hanging around. Many of them were the same familiar types Buffet sings about. I remember a few times growing up when Buffet would come through our town visiting. I saw him play a few times at some of my favorite local bars (I was still underage). My stepmother told me once that his manager was married to my stepsister. I never was that close to her so I never investigated any of that. I love that particular song since it seems to tell so much of what I feel like. The only thing that gets me is the whole “SON” of a “SON” of a Sailor. They never talk about the ‘daughter’ of a sailor, unless it’s something like she’s sitting around waiting for her loved one to come home. I was always a little jealous (maybe more than a little) about how the men always had it so easy. They could do all the things I always wanted to do so badly. For ME, it was always such a huge fight. Even now, it’s still a struggle. I should have been born a man!

2. House of the Rising Sun. I always loved this song. It was the first song I learned how to play on the guitar. It’s such a soulful song and so easy to sing. I still sing it for kareoke sometimes. I love New Orleans. It’s one of the reasons I chose to move to Texas to go to school for my AB ticket instead of one of the other 2 schools in the country at the time (San Diego or North Carolina). I thought I would be able to go to New Orleans every weekend to party. I thought I could go to Mexico every other weekend and El Paso to visit family fairly often too. I had NO idea how big Texas was or how long it took to drive to any of those places from where I moved to go to school.

3. What do you do with a Drunken Sailor. This was the song we sang all the time when we were getting rowdy when I was in high school on the sailing ships. We sang it at the end of my high school graduation on the wharf in Copenhagen. We were all dressed in our blue jeans and blue Oceanic t- shirts with our yellow foul weather jackets on. We had our diplomas printed on the back side of some Russian chocolate wrappers we had saved up special for it. I love how this song is such a FUN song to sing. It gets more and more creative after the first few verses.


OK. I went a couple of minutes over my time limit that I set for myself to ‘free write’. I had a hard time holding back from adding some interesting links. No editing, no thinking hard, just letting the words flllooooowwwww…

So, I didn’t want to deprive anyone of seeing what I’m talking about, so here are some links. 🙂

Here’s a video Son of a Son of a Sailor

Here’s one of the Animals singing the House of the Rising Sun

And here’s a link to an earlier post with a great video of the Drunken Sailor Song. 🙂

Pirates Hauling $400 Million Since ’05 Pocket Little of Booty, Report Shows

Pirates Hauling $400 Million Since ’05 Pocket Little of Booty, Report Shows | gCaptain

I’m amazed they needed to do a study to learn this! Pirates work for bosses too, just like pirate leader Muse told Tom Hanks in the movie Captain Phillips. 😦

According to the study, the pirates only get about 0.01 percent of what they manage to collect. The rest goes to the ‘financiers’. Wow!

One of the comments makes an excellent point and its too bad that no one will actually follow up on this idea…

“So! — the real crooks behind this reign of terror at sea are (as elsewhere) the financiers and the companies, who are profiting from the work of their ‘foot-soldiers’.”

Civil forfeiture: The grabbing hand of the law

Civil forfeiture: The grabbing hand of the law | The Economist.

I’m always amazed at how many people still don’t understand the way our government has changed. Our government that was formed ONLY to PROTECT our rights has somehow morphed into something intent on destroying them instead. Asset forfeiture or civil forfeiture as they call it in this article is just one particularly horrible example.

I started paying more attention to this issue years ago when I heard about a case where a man had his airplane stolen (confiscated) by the government. He spent years and thousands of dollars trying to get it back. It’s hard to fight the government when they’ve already stolen every asset you might have to pay for a lawyer to fight them with. 😦

Since then, I’ve heard of SO many cases around the country. It’s really sad. The laws are written so that they are technically filing charges against the PROPERTY. Property is not a person. Property has no rights. Property can not defend itself. Property is guilty until proven innocent (which is VERY hard to do)!

We now have over 200 federal forfeiture statutes!! Any one of which could be used to steal everything you own. You are not likely to win any part of it back (unless you have big bucks hidden away someplace). Even then, good luck!

This article from the Economist concentrates on the Dehkos, who are fighting right now to keep their grocery store. Grocery store! Apparently the grocery store has been ‘money laundering’ for the last couple of years! Pretty obviously the grocery store is NOT guilty of anything, much less ‘money laundering’ (which is not a crime anyway since there is no victim).

This charge against the ‘grocery store’ leaves the Dehkos (who actually own/operate the store) in deep trouble. The government has already confiscated all the money they had in the bank. How hard do you think it is to run a business when all your money has just been stolen?

Thanks to the Institute for Justice (www.ij.org), the Dehkos might just have a fighting chance. They’ve stepped in to help fight government overreach and will try to help these people recover their money and their lives.

The article mentions a case involving a motel. This case was just recently settled. The Caswells spent almost 4 years fighting the attempted government theft of the property that had been in their family for generations. Thanks to the help of the Institute for Justice they were finally able to prevail. Here’s a link for more on that case http://www.ij.org/massachusetts-civil-forfeiture-release-3-15-2013. Its a pretty good example of the kinds of things going on around the country.

Sorry to say, most people in this country don’t have the help of the Institute for Justice. I wish more did. I’ve been a supporter of the IJ for years, I REALLY appreciate everything they do. Most people don’t have the resources to fight the government. So most people will lose.

It’s a legal fiction to charge the property. It is ONLY done to make it easier for the government to win its case. Cases that most probably could NOT be won if they had to play by the rules.

Take a look at some of the information posted by the Forfeiture Endangers American Rights Foundation (F.E.A.R.- www.fear.org). They’ve been at the forefront of this issue for years. They’re trying to make some very needed changes but seems they’re not making much headway. Here’s a link to a ‘position paper’ from F.E.A.R. on asset forfeiture http://www.fear.org/fposit.html.

I keep hoping that if more people only knew about all these violations of our rights. Of all the ways the government is stealing our freedoms. Of all the ways they are making our society poorer and meaner. Then people would stand up for themselves and put a stop to it. Say ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’. I keep hoping…