T is for Travel- #AtoZChallenge

T” is for traveling. One of my all time favorite things! I love a good book, but I love it even more when I’m reading it in some new place, somewhere I’ve never been.

My last trip was a big one. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere for a while. I pretty much accept now that I won’t be able to go back to work for months, if not years. Until I start ‘earning a living’ again and have more than enough to just barely pay the bills by using up my savings, I won’t be going anywhere.

I did go to the big Travel Show in Dallas a couple of weeks ago. That was just to see what’s on the RADAR. Exploring what I can work on for my new travel writing and photography career.

I took a detour on the way home, stopped in Ennis and did the Bluebonnet Trail. The flowers were beautiful. Fields full of bluebonnets, indian paintbrush and other spring blooms.

I will be going to the TBEX in Huntsville AL next month. I’m really looking forward to that. I hope to make some contacts and improve my blogging. 🙂

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite travel quotes. I hope they inspire you, like they do me. Enjoy. 🙂

     

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.

Dallas Travel Show

Well it wasn’t quite what I expected, but it was interesting. The show was held in the Dallas Market Hall. The place was full of booths promoting travel and adventure all over the world. Also, for some reason, there were a few outliers offering home improvements: gutter systems, windows, roofing, etc and beauty systems.

The place was packed with all kinds of people looking for information on places to go, things to do, how to get there and where to stay when they did.

I talked to quite a few people yesterday (and will see more today). I was a little surprised by the huge differences in prices for pretty much the same thing. Transportation and a place to sleep at night.

I think one reason for the higher prices was a more individualized trip. I talked to a few different outfits that specialized in catering to your specific interests. Others that were all about ‘improvement’ in some way.

Like the trip I just took to Tanzania, they would have experts along to guide you and help you with your photography. There was a company at the show called “Art Treks” that would show you around Italy, Ireland or Croatia and help you better your skills at painting and/or photography. It sounds like a fantastic trip, but out of my price range at the moment. 😦

Another, more affordable option, still concentrating on the idea of ‘improvement’ is “Wander Themes“. Their theme is “go places, tell stories”. Sounds good to me! They have programs in Colombia, Panama, Mexico and Costa Rica but it looks like they have other options. According to their brochure, they “provide student travelers and their teachers with custom designed, impactful opportunities to enhance their academic programs…”.

I wouldn’t mind going on a trip with either of those companies (or any of the others I talked to yesterday). I only hope I’ll be able to get back to work soon, so I can afford to start traveling again!

Heading to Dallas

I’ll be getting up early in the morning to drive to Dallas. I’ll be going to the big Travel Show at the Dallas Market Hall.

I’m looking forward to it. I’ve only been to Dallas once in all the years I’ve lived in Texas. My old room mate took me up there once to pick up some dogs or furniture or something. Almost 40 years ago, it’s hard to remember much about the trip.

This should be a pretty big show and lots of interesting things to learn about. I’m going to spend the weekend poking around. I doubt I’ll get to see much of Dallas. Does anybody have any “must see” recommendations for me?

I’ll be driving straight up I-45 to get there, but I can take my time coming home. I might wander around some, on the lookout for the bluebonnets. I haven’t seen any around here, but the Paintbrush is out all up and down the Bluewater Highway between Surfside and Galveston.

I went up to Galveston a couple of times in the last week. I didn’t really have time to stop for photos and only had my iPod with me (which takes crummy pictures). Maybe they’ll still be blooming next week. I’ve only got 1 day of work scheduled so far.

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. 😦

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]

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.

A Word A Week: Arid

I saw this challenge from Sue over at her ‘A Word in Your Ear’ blog. The word of the week is: arid. I don’t have many photos that would fit this weeks word, since I spend most of my time at sea. But I did happen to have a couple on my computer.

I took these last summer, we hadn’t had any rain for a while and everything was drying up. I was on the way back home from Galveston. I always like to drive the beach road, especially when I’m not in a hurry. It’s a nice drive, right along the beach with some pretty scenery and some good places to stop and enjoy the day. 🙂

Photography 101: Rodeo Moments

I haven’t been able to get out to get many new pictures lately, so I’m looking through some old ones for the Photography 101 Challenge: Moment.

The idea is to ‘”capture a fleeting moment and experiment with blur and movement”.

I did try this last time they ran this challenge, but I found some different pictures this time. I took these at the Brazoria County Fair a couple of years ago. I don’t think these turned out as good as the earlier ones I just posted. It was SO hard to get a good shot of the cowboys once they came out of the gate on those bulls!

I’m thinking of going to the Houston Rodeo tomorrow tho, so maybe I’ll be able to get some better ones this time. I really love going to the rodeo. I’m lucky to be home for this one. I’m in Houston tonight anyway, so might as well do something here in the morning before I go home. It’ll be either the rodeo or the zoo. 🙂

Watch: Flowers Bloom

Spring is coming! I’m looking forward to seeing the flowers in bloom while I’m at home this time. My garden is not the greatest, I don’t have many flowers (except on the weeds). I can’t really take care of it when I’m gone so much. But I do enjoy messing around out there in the yard, especially this time of year when the weather can be just gorgeous. 🙂

Here’re a few (googled) pictures of what Texas looks like in the Spring. People like to go leaf-peeping up north in the Fall. We like to go checking out the bluebonnets in the Spring down here. 🙂

Thanks to Ladybird Johnson for her efforts to promote Texas wildflowers. We’re all able to enjoy the beautiful scenery even more now. 🙂

I might be fired from my job because of the low price of oil, but at least the gas is cheap enough again now to go drive around looking for the best show in the fields. Maybe bring a couple of friends and have a picnic. It’s a great way to spend the day.

Silhouette: While Sailing

 

Here\s another one to illustrate the Weekly Photo Challenge from the Daily Post. This week the subject is “silhouette”.

I took the photo a while ago when I was out sailing Galveston Bay with the Sail-La-Vie meetup group. We were coming in to Kemah after a great day out in the bay and everyone was relaxed and just chillin’ out.

I really liked how this photo turned out. 🙂

Getting Moody

I’ve only been home a few days so far. I’ve been really busy trying to catch up with everything that’s been needing to get done while I was at work over the last few weeks. Especially my TAXES (UGH)!! 😦

I decided I needed a break. I got free tickets to “SHARKS After Hours” at Moody Gardens. I’m going. 🙂

Moody Gardens is in Galveston and the show is from 7-10 pm. I know I’m not going to feel like driving all the way home at that hour, so I got a hotel for the night. I figure I can hang out for a while before I head home and then stop and see my friends at Surfside on the way home.

I hope to get some more decent pictures while I’m up there, (these are from last time I went).

Moody Gardens has a bunch of cool stuff to see. They have a ‘rain forest pyramid’, an ‘aquarium pyramid’, another one that has special exhibits (last time I went it was about pirates), a water park with nice white sandy beach, zip lines, a paddle boat, etc.

I don’t have any kids but apparently it’s a great place to take them. I always see lots of families. They all look like they’re having a good time. 🙂

green sea anemone

green sea anemone

underbelly of a sea star

underbelly of a sea star

sea dragon

sea dragon

pot bellied sea horse

pot bellied sea horse

puffer fish

puffer fish

sea turtle

sea turtle

chameleon

chameleon

penguins

penguins

orchids DSC04855

Capt Jills Journey into History: Houston Maritime Museum

It’s already time to go back to work. It seems like I just got off!

Yes, I did have a couple of weeks at home. Tomorrow would have been 3 weeks. WOW! It sure flew by. 🙂

I have been pretty busy this time home. I went up to Houston a couple of times. I went to the Houston Rodeo (yeehaw!). Only my 2nd time in all the years I’ve been here. It was fun, I watched the barrel racing and the mutton busting. I tried the fried Snickers ice cream sundae (yummy). Took TONS of pictures. 🙂

I was hoping to meet a friend who was volunteering at the Wine Garden. I did actually meet her, but she was pretty busy by that time and I was on my way out. I was on the way to a meeting with the Sail La Vie sailing club I belong to (check out my post on last Saturdays sail).

That was an interesting meeting. 😉

I spent the night up there in Houston. I had planned to go to the zoo in the morning since the weather looked nice. Apparently everybody else in town had the same idea. I couldn’t get into a parking lot anywhere within a half mile.

I decided to try something else instead. I decided to check out the Houston Maritime Museum. It was actually pretty close to where I spent the night and the Zoo but I drove around for a while looking for it.

I finally found it and was glad I did. Of course, yes, I am always interested in a good maritime museum. 😉

This one didn’t look like much from outside, or even when you first walked in. But the more you wandered around, the more it opened up. There was something interesting to see around every corner.

The Houston Maritime Museum was founded by James L. Manzolillo (merchant mariner and cruise ship lecturer), and opened to the public in 2000. Since then, it’s worked to educate the public about maritime history and the continued importance of the maritime industry to Houston and the State of Texas.

I enjoyed exploring rooms full of models recreating everything from aircraft carriers (including tiny little airplanes on deck) to Liberty ships to semi submersible drilling rigs to the USS Constitution and famous ships of the age of exploration.

The museum counts Master Modeler and restoration expert Lorena Alvarez as a valued member of the team. Her expertise shows! The time and effort that goes into building even one of those models is just unbelievable and they had dozens of models!

They had an excellent collection of navigation equipment: sextants, astrolabes, starfinders, compasses, barometers and barographs, etc.

They had a nice display of ships (and other things) in bottles. I still don’t really know how they get all that done, but it looks like a good project to work on if you don’t have a blog or another hobby to keep you busy at sea. 🙂

They had a mock up of a ships conning station with the ships wheel, compass and engine order telegraph.

They had a room covering war ships and it had a pretty good exhibit on how the merchant marine functioned during war time. Convoys and Liberty ships, sinkings, explosions and other disasters, navy escorts, etc.

They had a room with memorabilia from the old cargo liners and another display of things relating to the passenger liners “Titanic”, “Olympic”, “Britannia” and the SS United States (still one of the fastest ships ever!).

They had a room to tell the history of the Port of Houston. It did a pretty good job of explaining how important the Port was and still is to Houston. How the founders built up Buffalo Bayou and brought cotton and sugar to/from Allens Landing and all up and down the Bayou. Those old photos were really fascinating!

There was another room full of really interesting stuff from the oilfield. There was a painting and write up on Howard Hughes’ (spy ship) Glomar Explorer. There were models of drillships, floating production facilities and semi submersibles. There was a nice little section on whaling (not much of that going on in Houston). 😉

They even had a room just for the kids to learn about maritime stuff. The day I was there, it was still a work in progress. They had costumes for the kids to dress up in and have fun pretending to be ships captains, pirates, mermaids, engineers, etc. 🙂

One of the staff was working on installing a cushion for the floor in the kids room and I started talking to her about the museum. Turns out she was the Director of Operations so I got a really good person to talk to and answer all of my questions.

My biggest one was: why in the world was the Maritime Museum located in such an out of the way place and not nearer to the Ship Channel where people would expect it to be? Turns out, they are in the process of building a new place right over there and it will be opening in 2014 for the 100th Anniversary of the opening of the Houston Ship Channel.

That will be a good move for the Museum, for the Port of Houston and for the general public. It should be easier to find and they will have a partnership with the M/V Sam Houston (which gives free tours of the ship channel), that should help both parties.

That tour is a very interesting thing to do too, especially if the weather is nice. Free boat ride! Woot Woot!!

It really is amazing all the things that go on in our own backyards and most people have no idea. The maritime industry is one of those things that I think more people would be interested in if they only knew about it. I think the Houston Maritime Museum will be a good place to go to learn more about it and I hope more people will take advantage of the opportunity. 🙂

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Sail La Vie

I went out sailing this Saturday with the Sail La Vie meetup group (FINALLY!!). It’s been way too long since I’ve been out sailing. I always have a good time with them and this trip was no exception.

My only issue with them is that they are up in the Houston area. They usually sail out of Kemah and it is so far away, I have to get up around 0800 (on a WEEKEND) to get everything done and drive all the way up there. 😦

I did my usual morning rush around to get out of the house before I’m too late to make the departure time. They don’t leave until noon, but they ask people to be there by 1130 to get settled and then go over the safety briefing.

I had to stop for some snacks. I got some honey BBQ chicken, cheese (smoked gouda and muenster), and some surprisingly good store made brownies. And beer (of course).

Everybody always brings so much good food, we never wind up eating it all. This time we had a full boat and we still had plenty of food, beer, wine, etc. People brought brie cheese and crackers to start with, sandwiches, calzones, chips, olives, etc.

We took the Paradise out for this trip. She’s a (1994) Hunter 42. There were 10 of us and I think she can take 12.

When we left the dock it was pretty dreary. We got out past our marina and the fog really started moving in. It was only about 1/2 to 3/4 mile visibility for a while. Some people were concerned about heading out into that. We passed quite a few boats already returning to their docks.

We continued on out, figuring that we could just go check it out and see if the fog would burn off as it warmed up. It did. Once we got out on the bay, the visibility got better. It turned into a BEAUTIFUL day for sailing. 🙂

The fog did come back for a bit later on and we got out the foghorn (hold your ears!!). Anyone who wanted to practice got plenty of time on the helm.

We did a few tacks around the bay, going nowhere in particular. We got up close to Bayport and took a look at one of the cruise ships at the dock. We talked for a while about setting up a cruise for the Sail La Vie club which I would love to be able to go on! 🙂

We headed back to our marina in time for the sunset. The Kemah Boardwalk was full of people and the docks at “Outriggers” were packed with boats.

We got everything secured at the dock by about 1830, then hung around “Paradise” for a while to BS and eat/drink the rest of our supplies while we tried to decide if we wanted to continue on.

There was some talk earlier about heading over to the Kemah Crawfish Festival, but I think most of us weren’t really up for that. We called to get a table at the ‘Swamp Shack” but they had a 1-2 hour wait and we weren’t sure if they reserved one for us or not (and nobody wanted to take a chance on possibly having to wait around so long).

A couple of people had to get on home since it was getting dark. I figured I had better just go on home too. I still had to drive over an hour to get home. I’m not too thrilled about driving at night anymore.

It’s a good thing I didn’t stay later. The fog came back on the drive home and it’s not one of my favorite things to deal with (65 mph speed limit on a 2 lane highway in thick fog).

I made it home OK and wishing I didn’t live so far from all the action! I’m already ready to go sailing again but I’m heading back to work soon and still don’t have any kind of regular schedule.

I just have to hope I’ll be home long enough next time to take another cruise with Sail La Vie (or at least make it to one of their great parties!). 😉

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These photos are a combo of this Saturdays sail and the last one I was on (Jan 26, 2013).

Surfside Beach St Patricks Day Parade

I stuck around as long as I could stand it. At least I got to see a lot of old friends and catch up on the news down at the beach. Too bad the weather just SUCKED!

I hate it when the rain gets all over my glasses and I can’t see!

People down there work and plan all year to make this event a success and the cold and rainy weather put a damper on it once more. 😦

I think only the regulars showed up down there to start with, and only the real die hards stuck around til the parade started.

I wound up leaving right before they started the parade. For some strange reason, I didn’t really feel like hanging around drinking all day (the bars were PACKED with people trying to dry off).

At least I got a few decent pictures. I got to try out my new Olympus Tough camera. It’s waterproof! 🙂

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Preview: Surfside St Patricks Day Parade

Sorry I haven’t had time to do a whole lot of posting here this week. I hope I can catch up some in the next few days.

I’ve been enjoying my time home and busy doing some fun stuff for a change. I went to the Houston Rodeo, the Houston Maritime Museum, the Sail La Vie meeting, the Campaign for Liberty meeting, and this morning I went to the St Patricks Day Parade at the beach.

I haven’t had time yet to get my pictures together, but here’s a preview. I’ll get them up tomorrow! 🙂

This Video Will Make You Want to Become a Houston Harbor Pilot

gCaptain Maritime & Offshore News | This Video Will Make You Want to Become a Houston Harbor Pilot.

 

I agree! It’s a good video, a good advertisement for the Houston Pilots.

I almost don’t even think about it any more; what a pilot does, what it takes to become one, what it’s like to be one, how much we depend on them.

I’ve sailed on dozens of ships when we’ve used pilots. I’ve been on the helm entering Cape Hinchinbrook going to Valdez, AK. I’ve been on the helm entering San Francisco Bay heading up to Benicia. I’ve been on the helm passing through New York Harbor. I’ve been on the helm transiting the Houston Ship Channel.

I’ve always admired the skill, experience and local knowledge the pilots have. They’re a fantastic aid to any ship passing through an unfamiliar port.

I’ve never really wanted to be a pilot myself, tho it is definitely a challenging job. I still like traveling and HOPE to be able to go somewhere interesting again one of these days. Pilots are experts on their port and they stay in one place.

It seems the pilots job is one most captains hope for one day but not me. 😉

Texas Beach Cleanup: Update

Following up on my earlier (https://captjillsjourneys.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/texas-adopt-a-beach) post about the Texas Beach Cleanup last month, I was able to find the results of our efforts online this morning.

Stahlman Park, Fall Beach Cleanup 2013

Stahlman Park, Fall Beach Cleanup 2013

At Surfside Beach, (which was where I went-along with a few friends), they had 1200 (!!) volunteers who cleaned up 13.35 tons of trash over 14 miles of beach! WOW! What a great turnout for a day that wasn’t expected to be nice weather wise. It was fairly windy and it actually did rain a bit after noon. And remember, Surfside Beach only has about 450 full time residents.

Houston Zoomers came down to help out

Houston Zoomers came down to help out

The great bunch of SaveOurBeachAssociation (www.sobatx.org) volunteers manned the home front at Stahlman Park and provided plenty of (FREE!!) hot dogs, chips and cold drinks to the hordes of cleanup crews. They served over 1800 volunteers around Brazoria County that day!! Here’s a big Thank You to S.O.B.A.!! 🙂

SOBA volunteers serving up the cleanup crews at the 2013 fall cleanup

SOBA volunteers serving up the cleanup crews at the 2013 fall cleanup

Quintana Beach had another 174 volunteers who cleaned up 2 miles of beach and found 2.32 tons of ‘marine debris’. Yeah!!

I was not prepared to see bus after bus unloading at Stahlman Park and along the beach. People came from all over the area: representatives from Houston, Galveston and even further away. It was great to see so many people out and about, helping out. School kids in uniforms, church groups, civics clubs, sports teams…Young and old, all colors, all types, from prim and proper to young punks to grizzly old fishermen.

Bus unloads helpers at Surfside Beach

Bus unloads helpers at Surfside Beach

I didn’t really understand until I got there and started wandering the beach how the data would be gathered. It was a little harder than expected to keep track of every piece of garbage we found, from cigarette butts, bottle caps, plastic and glass bottles (none with messages inside), plastic bags, soda cans, plastic cutlery and tiny pieces of unrecognizable plastic to dead fish, old tires, fishing line, floats, escaped balloons, etc. The organizers gave us tally cards along with our collection bags. Great job everyone!

Assigned search areas for Surfside Beach 2013

Assigned search areas for Surfside Beach 2013

You can see the results for all of Texas here…http://www.glo.texas.gov/adopt-a-beach/pdfs/results/2013-fall-results.pdf.

And if you want to help out with the next one, you can find more information on that here: http://www.glo.texas.gov/adopt-a-beach/cleanups/overview.html

Worldwide, the place to go is: http://www.oceanconservancy.org/our-work/international-coastal-cleanup/sign-up-to-clean-up.html

I had a lot of fun at this event. It was a wonderful way to get out of the house, play on the beach, enjoy the natural world, learn something new, have a good time with friends old and new. I hope I’ll be able to make the next one. I didn’t know it until I looked it up for this post, but there are at least 3 more cleanups in Texas coming up before the main one in Spring (April 26, 2014).

Just curious, but did anybody make it to one of these events where you live?

Surfside Beach 2013 Fall Cleanup

Surfside Beach 2013 Fall Cleanup

For-Your-Own-Good Tax

For-Your-Own-Good Tax.

A good article from Kelly Diamond writing for Global Wealth Protection. She mentions a few instances of taxes that have been enacted “for-your-own-good”. One of which is the law stating that you MUST wear a seatbelt or pay a huge fine. This has been a pet peeve of mine for years, so I’ll concentrate on that one in my comments and you can read her article for the others (rain, sunshine, recycling).

I have been bitching about that seatbelt ‘law’ since they first started talking about it here in Texas. I’ve been ticketed for it and it just infuriates me that I can’t find even ONE lawyer to fight against the law itself! As usual, the legislature lied through their teeth to pass this “law” and so now we’re stuck with one more unconstitutional bunch of BS on the books just to make more money for the state to waste. I consider it a major violation of my rights. Yeah, most people think I’m flat out nuts to think that way but what else would YOU call something that literally restricts your bodily freedom as it TIES YOU UP???

I am not hurting anyone by not wearing a seat belt. I am not even hurting myself. I might have a very slight chance of being more hurt one of these days by not wearing one then if I was. Who the hell knows??? I may or may not ever get in an accident. I may or may not be hurt. I may or may not be hurt badly enough to need medical attention. I may or may not be helped by wearing a seatbelt. In fact, I could be hurt WORSE by wearing one! When did we start punishing people for something that hasn’t happened yet???

It should be MY decision and mine alone whether to wear a seatbelt or not. This all ties into the BS brainwashing going on that we’re all responsible for each other and we need to take care of each other. All because they forced us to buy insurance that we wouldn’t have needed if they hadn’t forced us to buy it (it more than tripled in price when they made car insurance mandatory)! Because everybody thinks their insurance cost goes up if anybody else gets hurt, they insist that they need to make sure that nobody gets hurt (so their insurance doesn’t go up any more). That is nothing but a load of CRAP! We are adults, we are supposed to be responsible for OURSELVES! If I am responsible for myself, and you are for yourself, we do not need anybody else to step in and make stupid rules about what kind of choices we can make in OUR lives.

“They” are stealing away my choices with their ridiculous “laws”, by stealing my choices, they ALSO take away any responsibility I have for whatever actions I take from that point on. Of course, they don’t admit the truth of that. They want me to still take the responsibility when I really have no option, no choice, no freedom. If someone is being FORCED to do something, then how in the hell can you say they have any responsibility??? They don’t! You took that away when you took away their choices!!

The other point to make in regards to their stealing away my choices, is that by taking away my choices, they are taking away my freedom and my liberty. By doing that, they are making me a slave. They are in effect taking away my very LIFE. How can someone say they are living THIER life if they have no say-so about what happens in it????? In fact, your life becomes someone elses! You are now nothing more than some sort of zombie, out there in the world working your ass off so someone else gets to tell you what you can and can’t do down to the nit-picking little detail of telling you that you MUST conform to their wishes and wear a seat belt! In the meantime, stay safe and healthy so you can keep working to pay the taxes they’ll waste on something stupid like one more war in the Middle East we have no business being involved in.

New Bridge Simulators for Houston Pilots

Houston Pilots, San Jacinto College Provide.

This is great news for the Houston Pilots and San Jacinto College. I’m sure those simulators will benefit not only the pilots but the entire maritime community. I think SanJac has a good program and a good network around the area with the various companies that need to train maritime workers. I went up there (Pasadena) to look into doing some part time teaching on my time off. I actually got to help teach a class 🙂

My class was off a jack-up rig. They had probably never seen a real lifeboat before. For sure they didn’t have them on their rig! But for whatever reason, their company decided they all needed to get certified as lifeboatmen. So, we started from scratch in the classroom. We went over all the things they could find in a lifeboat and life raft, we went out in the parking lot to practice with the signaling mirror. We even took a ride over to Texas A & M in Galveston to practice launching and rowing a REAL lifeboat! Everybody got a chance to be in charge of lowering the boat. Everybody got to be coxswain (in charge of the boat) once it was in the water. Everybody got some time on the oars. It was a fun day 😉

I hope to get another chance to help out up there again. Capt Mitch Schacter is in charge over there and he’s really been working hard to make it a success. This simulator will be a big help!