RDP: Truck

I found a new challenge through my WordPress Reader (and Cee). It’s called the Ragtag Daily Prompt (RDP). I’ll give it a try. Here’s mine for today on truck

I’ve always liked trucks. I’ve had one of my own for years. I drove a 1973 El Camino until I overheated the engine and froze up the block. I loved that old car! Sometimes I felt like Fred Flintstone since the floor was rusted out so bad. The bed was just about useless for hauling anything because of the huge holes rusted through the metal. It leaked so bad when it rained, even hitchhikers didn’t want to ride with me. 😉

When I couldn’t justify buying a new engine, I got a 1983 El Camino. I kept it for a few years until I got tired of having to fix one thing or another every time I got in from the ship and bought my first ever brand new car (truck). A 1997 Ford F-150.

I’m still driving that one. It’s already a ‘classic’ at 21 years old. I’ve been trying to baby it as much as possible but she’s definitely starting to show her age. After buying this one new and seeing just how much of a rip-off a new car is, I will never buy another new car again in my life! I need to make this one last until I don’t need a car anymore. Practically speaking, that means until I can get my ass out of Texas!

I need to move somewhere I don’t need a car! Right now, Mexico is looking pretty good to me. 🙂

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Sail Away

Like I said yesterday for the Daily Post’s prompt, I have more than 1 favorite quote. Quotes that inspire me. Quotes that I wish I could follow more closely. All of my favorite quotes have the same theme. They’re all related in some way or another to FREEDOM.

Yesterdays was about the freedom of a ship at sea. There’s nothing else like it. You’re out there in your own little world. You have to deal with your fellow shipmates, the ship itself, and the surrounding environment. It really is special.

Today, I’d like to share another favorite. I love this quote by Mark Twain (he used to be a riverboat pilot). It really speaks to me, more and more as I get older and more fearful. Also more aware of time passing by. I’ve been wanting to leave the US and travel the world ever since I went to school with the Oceanics when I was a teenager.

I’ve spent my entire life at sea, trying to have those same kinds of experiences again. But the world at sea has changed SO much since then. They’ve taken all the fun and enjoyment out of it. Now, it’s pretty much just another job.

I still love the time off it offers. It gave me plenty of opportunity to travel on my time off. I did, every chance I got. Whenever I had the money and I wasn’t spending my time off in ‘training’, I would take a trip somewhere.

I started investigating what it would take for me to move overseas and found out that I would not be able to do that until I was old enough to retire (or won the lottery).

I don’t have the resources it would take to start a business, which is actually a good option in a lot of places, but I could not find a single country that would allow me to move there and WORK to support myself for the time it would take to become a citizen. The only option left was to teach English.

So, I started looking into learning how to teach English. I was never really very serious about it. I was still able to work offshore and the pay differential is just HUGE. I was able to earn more in 1 day at sea than I would earn as a teacher in a month (or even 2 months)!

So, I continued working and traveling when I could on my time off. Too fearful to take the plunge and just GO. I would never have hesitated when I was younger. I knew then (and I know now) that I could find something to do that would allow me to travel and spend time in a place I liked. Back then, I would never have let worries about not having a work visa stop me from taking whatever opportunities offered.

I know there are people all over the world working under the table as bartenders, waiters, baby-sitters, time-share salesmen, etc. I know I could do a lot of those jobs too. But I’ve been letting my fears stop me from doing anything about my desire to get out of here!

I hate the idea of being forced to give up my chosen livelihood. I really still love working at sea, sailing for a living. I don’t want to give it up and never would have by choice.

So I guess it’s a good thing for me that the price of oil is so low that there is no hope of work for the foreseeable future. If there was, I would still be sitting here at home, spending most of my time applying for non-existent jobs and hoping for a phone call.

Since I finally admitted to myself that there IS no hope, I could finally force myself into signing up for the TEFL course and probably even spending some time afterwards in a foreign country.

I am still fearful, nervous and depressed, but I’m throwing off those lines anyway. 🙂

This is also a post for the Just Jot It January challenge. 🙂

Teen Idol

The Daily Post asks today (yesterday actually) who was your teenage idol?

Hard to remember that far back. 😉

I would have to say my biggest crush was on David Cassidy from the Partridge Family TV show. I liked the whole cast, but I thought he was just sooooooo cute! And he could sing too.

David Cassidy- photo from google

David Cassidy- photo from google

I liked their music. I guess it was pretty much made for little teeny-bopper girls. I even got my mom and my stepfather to take me to a concert one time. That was a thrill. Yeah, I remember screaming along with all the other little girls. My parents were amused by it all.

ROY G BIV

Here is my entry for the Daily Posts challenge on ROY G BIV. The colors of the rainbow. I thought I’d try to post all maritime images in this post. Maybe I’ll do another one later with other types of things. I do have a lot of colorful photos. I like strong, vivid colors, they always catch my eye, so I take a lot of pictures when I see them. 🙂

Red. I took this one while passing through the jetties in Fouchon, LA.

Orange. This is actually a photo of a pastel drawing of a junk I did years ago.

Yellow. A cute, curious little fish. I got this shot at Moody Gardens in Galveston.

Green. A couple of derelict schooners laid up in Makassar, Indonesia.

Blue. Jellyfish at the Houston Zoo.

 

Indigo. I took this while at work on the DB-50. We were in and out of Singapore doing sea trials.

Violet. I’m not really sure of the difference between violet and indigo, but here’s my best interpretation. 😉 I took this one in Honiara, Solomon Islands while working on the tuna boat.

Daily Post: Blur

Here’s my entry for the Daily Posts’ Photo Challenge: Blur.

Normally, I wouldn’t have kept these pictures, they’re too blurred. They work great for this challenge tho. 😉

I took them at the ‘festival’ going on next door to our hotel in Mauritius. The belly dancer was very good. I never did get a decent picture of her while she was dancing. I was lucky, I saw her later and she posed for me. 🙂

Walk the Line- Live and Let Live

 

Today’s prompt from the Daily Post…

Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?

I don’t usually think too deep about that kind of thing. But after I thought about it again, in response to the prompt today, I realize that yes, I really DO have a code I live by.

That code is simple:

LIVE AND LET LIVE

I’ve always thought that philosophy would make the world a MUCH better place if more people would live that way.

I thought when I was growing up I was alone in my thought processes. For so long, it seemed that everyone else around always thought for some strange reason that someone else (god, family, state, etc.) had some sort of ‘right’ to dictate how others should live their lives.

It was very encouraging for me to learn a few years ago that there are actually a lot of other people who think the way I do. Who believe in the philosophy of liberty and value freedom for all (actually, Americas’ founding fathers thought the same way and tried hard to form a government that would protect our rights to live this way- too bad their vision has been totally destroyed in only 200 years).

I only found out about the libertarians when my local Texas congressman Ron Paul was running for President as a Libertarian. It was SO nice to find that there were other people I could talk to who actually agreed with me. 🙂

(On most things- or at least the basic principles. Of course, if you’ve ever been in a room full of libertarians, you’d never believe that since we can argue for hours over the minute details of some proposal.)

But, the BASIC principals are not really an issue.

Self ownership: YOU own your life! No one else!

Everything else comes out of that most basic principle. Things like personal responsibility, honesty and respect for others. Everything comes together in a very sensible, ethical way for people in society to live. Each person is free to chose how to live their own lives in the best way possible for them (live according to their own values), taking into consideration their personal circumstances, and remember that they’re free to do whatever they choose as long as they don’t hurt anyone else while doing it (and, that they’re responsible for their own choices/actions!). That brings up a biggie.

There is also the non-aggression principle. Here is a good explanation of that by Dr. Mary Ruwart…

QUESTION: What is the libertarian “non-aggression principle” (or “non-aggression axiom”)?

MY SHORT ANSWER: Libertarianism is based on a single ideal, the non-aggression principle, so libertarian rhetoric tends to be remarkably consistent.

Libertarians oppose the initiation of force to achieve social or political goals. They reject “first-strike” force, fraud or theft against others; they only use force in self-defense. Those who violate this “non-aggression principle” are expected to make their victims whole as much as possible.

This “Good Neighbor Policy” is what most of us were taught as children. We were told not to lie, cheat, steal, not to strike our playmates unless they hit us first. If we broke a friend’s toy, we were expected to replace it.

Most of us still practice what we learned as children with other individuals, but we have grown accustomed to letting government aggress against others when we think we benefit. Consequently, our world is full of poverty and strife, instead of the harmony and abundance that freedom (i.e., freedom from aggression) brings.

Simply put, libertarians take the non-aggression principle that most people implicitly follow in their interactions with other individuals, and apply it to group actions, including government actions, as well.

You might have heard the Libertarian Party (LP) referred to as the “Party of Principle.” This is because the LP bases its programs and policy positions on the non-aggression principle.

Yeah, I really DO believe in these principles and yes, I do live by them.

If I haven’t gone too far off the deep end for you, and you’re interested in learning more, try taking the quiz (that’s why I keep it as a sticky first post on my blog). Check out the links in this post, or try the Advocates for Self-Government or the International Society for Individual Liberty, they’re both full of good information and more links to other resources for the liberty movement around the world.

Have you ever heard of libertarians before? Do you agree with these principles? If you don’t mind me asking, why or why not?

(Yes, I am hoping to start a discussion here). 🙂

 

Dreamy: Las Vegas

Up for a challenge? Here’s another entry for this weeks challenge from the Daily Post. The challenge is to illustrate the idea of ‘Dreamy’. Here’s what they have to say about it…

This week, we’d like to see an image that looks dreamy to you. A photo of a place you often visit in dreams. A snapshot of your dreamy boy- or girlfriend. A scene that looks a bit out-of-this world. Take us on a flight of fancy!

 

I already posted one photo from my trip to Las Vegas, but it’s such a dreamy kind of place. I thought about it and came up with some more ideas.

I posted another one about an Elvis impersonator who was performing right outside my hotel. Lots of women thought Elvis was pretty ‘dreamy’. Then I posted some dreamy girls for the guys. 🙂

Las Vegas really is a dreamy kind of place. I think it’s one of those places that’s built on dreams. All kinds of dreams going on there. People go there dreaming to hit the jackpot and get rich. They go there hoping to hit it big and make a name for themselves as a singer or a dancer or chef or…

I love to hang out in old downtown. It’s not like the Strip (which is interesting in a different way), where things are spread out and isolated. Every casino has it’s own attractions and you pretty much stick to one since it’s a pain to move on to the next.

Downtown is different. Everything is close together. There’s lots to do (Mob Museum, Container Park, Neon Museum), and all kinds of things going on. Fremont Street is the hub of all the action. There are at least a dozen different casinos all within easy walking distance. It’s easy to hit one for drinks, another to eat, try the poker at one, blackjack at another…

Fremont Street is really pretty cool. They have a light show projected on a huge blocks-long overhead screen. You can go zip-lining right over the top of all the crowds. There are artists at work, lots of little shops along the street. They have all kinds of bands and performers scheduled to play on the various stages. And then there are all the unscheduled ‘performers’. People who just like to come out and play. 🙂

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Dreamy: Hotties

Up for a challenge? Here’s another entry for this weeks challenge from the Daily Post. The challenge is to illustrate the idea of ‘Dreamy’. Here’s what they have to say about it…

This week, we’d like to see an image that looks dreamy to you. A photo of a place you often visit in dreams. A snapshot of your dreamy boy- or girlfriend. A scene that looks a bit out-of-this world. Take us on a flight of fancy!

 

I already posted one photo from my trip to Las Vegas, but it’s such a dreamy kind of place. I thought about it and came up with some more ideas.

I posted another one about an Elvis impersonator who was performing right outside my hotel. Lots of women thought Elvis was pretty ‘dreamy’.

Since I posted a dreamy guy for the ladies, I thought I’d post some dreamy girls for the guys. 🙂

These ladies (‘Hotties’ was the name of their group) were also on stage singing and dancing. I love to watch people dance! These Hotties put on a really great show. They even got some audience participation. A couple of ladies volunteered to be in a ‘dance-off’ up on stage (no- they did not have those nice costumes or high heels!). The lady from France won. The audience loved it. 🙂

Fremont Street is really pretty cool. They have a light show projected on a huge blocks-long overhead screen. They have all kinds of bands and performers scheduled to play on the various stages. And then there are all the unscheduled ‘performers’. People who just like to come out and play (more on that later). 🙂

  

 

 

Dreamy: Elvis

Up for a challenge? Here’s another entry for this weeks challenge from the Daily Post. The challenge is to illustrate the idea of ‘Dreamy’. Here’s what they have to say about it…

This week, we’d like to see an image that looks dreamy to you. A photo of a place you often visit in dreams. A snapshot of your dreamy boy- or girlfriend. A scene that looks a bit out-of-this world. Take us on a flight of fancy!

 

I already posted one photo from my trip so Las Vegas, but it’s such a dreamy kind of place. I thought about it and came up with some more ideas.

He was a little before my time, (I preferred David Cassidy from the Partridge Family), but I’ve heard plenty of women say they thought ELVIS was ‘the bomb’, ‘hot’, ‘somethin’ else’, ‘sexy’. Dreamy, in other words. 🙂

Here are a few photos I took of Elvis (impersonator) on Fremont Street. He was performing right outside my door (while I was staying downtown at the Golden Nugget). He did put on a good show, everyone enjoyed it. 🙂

WPC: Dreamy (Out of This World)

Up for another challenge? Here’s my entry for this weeks challenge from the Daily Post. The challenge is to illustrate the idea of ‘Dreamy”.

This week, we’d like to see an image that looks dreamy to you. A photo of a place you often visit in dreams. A snapshot of your dreamy boy- or girlfriend. A scene that looks a bit out-of-this world. Take us on a flight of fancy!

Well, it’s not something I’ve dreamed about, but it does look out of this world. Especially with the dome behind it and the guy standing there right next to it.

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago when I was in Las Vegas. This is right at the entrance to the Container Park, right downtown. They have all kinds of neat shops, galleries, restaurants and even music and other events. The mantis lights up and even shoots flames at night (I missed that part).

Doesn’t it kind-of remind you of one of those old B movies?

You know, the ones where the bugs mutated and attacked after getting hit by radiation? Or the BEMs landed and were out to get you?

I used to LOVE watching that stuff! Old sci-fi, creature feature, horror, bring it on! 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture (Mineral)

 

I’ve already posted for the Weekly Photo Challenge some photos of animals, and vegetables, so now I figured I might as well post some ‘minerals’. 😉

I took the first one while driving home along the beach on the Bluewater Highway from Galveston yesterday. It was such a gorgeous day! I was just interested in looking at the patterns and the textures of the land along the road.

I guess mud is some kind of mineral. It’s not animal or vegetable, right? 😉

The others I took at the Houston Museum of Natural Science a couple of months ago. I can’t remember what kinds of minerals these were. They had so many of them. I just thought that a lot of them were really beautiful.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture (Vegetable)

 

Here’s another entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge. I’ve got so many great photos for this theme! I did animals already so now I’ll do some plants (animal, vegetable, mineral). 😉

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

This is my entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic. Here’s the story behind the photos I chose for my entry.

I took a trip to Indonesia a couple of years ago to look into having a sailboat built for me. I have been trying to find a way to move out of the USA for years.

The main hold up has been that no other country will give me a work visa (unless I can do something no one else in their country can do). I thought about teaching English (TEFL) and I still think about doing that sometimes (maybe I will one of these days, but I hate to  put myself in a situation where that is my only option. I started writing and blogging as another option to hopefully help me make a living without being stuck in the USA.

I am looking for more freedom. I don’t want to jump from the frying pan of the USA (which is rapidly becoming a police state) into a situation where I don’t really know the rules and have restricted myself by not having the finances (because I had to take a low paying job) to get out of any trouble I don’t know enough to stay out of.

So, maybe I’m trying to have my cake and eat it too, but I really think we all deserve to live a wonderful life. The life WE choose. Free to do the things we enjoy, in the physical location we want to be.

I don’t agree with borders in principle. I don’t agree with the idea of any political authority. “Leaders” are just regular people and governments are just groups of people. None of them are any more special than you or me. I believe we are ALL equal under the law (natural law) and we should ALL have the same opportunity to live our own lives without interference.

I think we ALL have the inherent right to do anything we want as long as we don’t hurt anyone else (who has the same rights as we do). The founding fathers of the USA enshrined that principle in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (Bill of Rights), but the government we have now has corrupted that ideal beyond belief.

We are already FAR beyond the point where the original colonists revolted. I keep wondering WTF has happened to the American people that they submit without question to things like the TSA groping their children in the airports.

We have gone from a country where we had a revolution over a 4% tax on TEA, to a country where the government routinely locks up people for LIFE for mere possession of a harmless plant!?!

OK, enough with the politics (for now). 😉

I went to Indonesia look into buying a boat. I thought I could build a business with it that would allow me to live in a foreign country. I thought if I had a means to support myself, I could make the move. Too bad the price of the boats had gone up so much since I first heard about them. There was really no way I could afford one.

Unless it was one like the ones in these pictures. 😦

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/relic/

Daily Prompt: Food for the Soul (and Stomach)

Yeah! Margaritas!! Great way to start a meal.

Yeah! Margaritas!! Great way to start a meal.

Start off with a round of drinks…a little appetizer to go with…

chips and dip Mexican style

chips and dip Mexican style

bacon burger with onion rings

bacon burger with onion rings

This is one of my favorite meals, I love cheeseburgers!! 🙂

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/daily-prompt-food/