Can Do!

I just wanted to let everyone know about this upcoming event. It’s at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. It sounds really interesting and if I was going to be in town I would definitely go. I’m leaving tonight to head offshore for a couple of weeks. Yeah!

Today’s prompt for Just Jot It January is: humiliate. I’m not sure I’ll get a chance for another post today or not, so enjoy this one. Maybe it’ll interest you enough to check out some history. The story of the Glomar Challenger (photo below) is really pretty cool, but even more interesting is the saga of the companies other ships, the Glomar Explorer. 😉

Lecture – Can Do! A History of Texas Leading the Way in Energy by Paul Mattingly

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 – 6:30 PM

Running Time: 2 hours

An innovative cast of characters have lead the way in the energy industry–Harry Wiess, Herman Brown, Howard Hughes, Herbert Hunt–and established Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast as the epicenter of the international energy industry. Author and historian Paul Mattingly will tell the fascinating, little-known stories behind the biggest projects of their time and explain the numerous interconnections including the Glomar Challenger, Apollo program robots, Texas Instruments and the proving of theory of plate tectonics.

Mattingly will conclude with how Texas continues to lead the way in new sources of energy for the future. A book signing of “From Orange To Singapore: A Shipyard Builds a Legacy” will follow the presentation.

Members $12, Tickets $18

Advertisements

Renaissance Weekend

Just a quick update since it’s been another busy week. I got up early yesterday to finish up my photos to enter in the fair. I dropped them off and headed up to the Renaissance Festival near Magnolia (NW of Houston).

I didn’t get there til about 1600, but at least there wasn’t the usual huge traffic jam to deal with and I got to park fairly close (without having to pay the $10 ‘preferred parking’ fee. 🙂

It was a good idea showing up so late. It was still hot and humid, but not nearly so bad as if I had shown up at noon. I still got to check out the shops full of old time clothing, weaponry, jewelry and other assorted goods. In between I enjoyed a chocolate ice cream cone and a $6 lemonade.

I stayed to watch the fireworks. That was a blast (literally)! First the fire dancers put on their show. Then Tartanic started playing their spirited rendition of Celtic inspirational music as the rockets whistled into the air. 🙂

I spent the night ‘nearby’ (thought I would save time but got stuck instead). I’ve got to check out of the hotel. More later- with pictures. 🙂

Cool Stuff

I was working in Houston on Monday. We finished up pretty early, so I decided to stop at the Museum of Natural Science on the way home.

I’m a member, so it’s free if I don’t go to the special exhibitions. This time they had one on the Virgin of Guadeloupe. I wasn’t really very interested in that, and by the time I got there it was after 3, so I just wandered around the regular exhibits. There’s plenty to see for free. 🙂

I spent a lot of time this time in the exhibit on ancient Egypt. I always thought all that stuff about mummies was pretty cool, and I really love the old stories about gods, goddesses, etc. They had a lot of that kind of thing on display. Quite a few mummies and they explained all about it. I liked how they set up the exhibit too. When you entered, it really put you in the right frame of mind. 😉

Here’s a photo of a mummy case, inside and out.

 

I spent most of my time in this exhibit this week, but I did take a quick look at the section on the Amazon, the rocks/minerals (the gem vault was still closed), and the shells. Here’s a nice shot of some gypsum.

I loved this thing! It’s called a ‘sandstone concretion’. I just think it’s beautiful, the way it twists and turns, spirals around, shades of gray. I could do a lot with photos of this thing. 🙂

I know I’ve been posting a lot of gloom and doom lately. It’s been hard for me to try and come up with cool stuff to write about when my life has been so screwy lately. I do still find things to keep me going, just not nearly as much as when I’m working. I hope you’ll stick around till things get more interesting. 🙂

Zydeco Festival

Last Saturday I went up to Houston for the Zydeco Fest. I’ve been having a hard time getting motivated to do much of anything around here. Just too much stress to enjoy the time at home. Weird, isn’t it? When I’m offshore working, I can’t wait to get off and spend time at home. Now that I’ve been home for so long without work, I can hardly stand it.

If I wasn’t so worried about finances, I would be off traveling somewhere. Since I have to be here to jump on any job offer that comes by (no matter how bad), I can’t leave or do anything really.

I had finally seen the light at the end of the tunnel last week (or thought I did), so I decided to go have a little celebration. I’ve always loved zydeco music, all kinds of music really- except rap and opera. I used to go up to Houston every couple of weeks. I’d go catch a live band, spend the night, and do a museum or something on the way home.

I got a late start last week and didn’t get to the show until about 5. They had it right downtown at Jones Plaza. I found a nice hotel only a couple of blocks away and not super expensive. The worst part was the parking fees! At least by the time I got to the show, it had cooled down a little. It was still hot! I didn’t bring anything to sit on and what few seats there were were already occupied.

I just walked around, looked over the little shops people set up- selling food, drinks, t-shirts, etc. They had a couple of food trucks parked by the entrance and more cooks scattered around the park. People were picnicking and enjoying the sunshine with their families. Old folks and babies, the whole range of ages loved the music. Everybody was dancing and having a good time.

I got there in time for the last part of Lil Nate and the Zydeco Big Timers. I saw Marcus Ardoin and the Zydeco Legend, and finished the night off with Step Rideau & the Zydeco Outlaws (all the pictures are of Step and his band).

  

I didn’t find out til I was leaving the Zydeco Fest, but they also had a Gay Pride parade that evening. All the crowds from that were thronging the downtown streets right around the time they were shutting down the Zydeco Fest. It looked like it must have been a lot of fun. Everybody was in a good mood and from what I could see of the costumes, they all had a great time.

Houston needs to get a better way to let people know what’s going on around town!

Here’s a little music to tide us over til next year’s zydeco festival. 🙂

Houston Zydeco Festival

I decided to have a little early celebration (hope I’m not jinxing myself). I had 2 prospective jobs last week. The first since last September!

I’m still waiting for confirmation and things change constantly in the offshore world, so I hope I’ll be going back to work soon. It’s a huge step down in both position and pay, but after more than 6 months out of work, I’ll take pretty much anything.

I’ve turned in applications at the Mathnasium, Hastings bookstore and Buc-ee’s in the last week. Tried to avoid applying to jobs like that as long as I could, but I need to do something to bring in some income. My savings are running down fast. 😦

I’ve been stuck hanging around the house so long, broke, stressed and a little depressed. I think I can afford to take a little break. I’m heading to Houston today for the Zydeco Festival. 

It’s going on all day. Lil Nate and the Zydeco Bigtimers, Step Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws, Keyun and the Zydeco Masters, Gino Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, Platinum Players Zydeco Band and dif KO on the turntables are the featured players.

Sculptures, Statues, Carvings

Cee’s Black & White Photography Challenge this week is: Sculptures, Statues, Carvings. I have a few really nice ones, but most look so much better in color!

Here’s one that looks just as good in B&W as in color. I took it at the Houston Musuem of Fine Arts a few months ago. It’s a cool place to spend the day. 🙂

Busy in Houston

I came up to Houston yesterday for a meeting of the Nautical Institute about DP (Dynamic Positioning). I figured since I am a DP operator (DPO), I ought to go and see what they were talking about.

It was actually pretty interesting. I saw quite a few old friends and also got to ask a few questions of the panel. I brought up some of my concerns about the new scheme the NI has brought out on certification of DPOs. I hope the discussion there will cause some serious thinking about some of the problems with this new scheme (more on this later).

I got out of the meeting about 1630 and met up with some friends for dinner. We went to the “Grand Lux Café” over by the Galleria. We sat outside so we could smoke, but they STILL had to complain! I thought that’s why they had outdoor areas now. The food was good, but overpriced. I had no idea til I saw the bill, but it was over $100 for 3 of us (and only 1 drink each)! Next time I’ll stick to the Cheesecake Factory.

I stayed overnight so I could get up early to go get my visa for Angola, I’m supposed to be going back to the ship over there on Monday. They want me to be there by 0800 and I really didn’t feel like dealing with horrible Houston traffic for 2 hours first thing in the morning. Especially when I’ll be dealing with government officials! Better to spend the money for a good nights sleep.

So, I’m hoping it won’t take all day, waiting around the embassy. I’d like to check out some other things while I’m up here in Houston. Maybe go to the zoo later. Or a museum?

Gone to the Birds!

OK, I HAD to get out of the house today! I’ve been trying to catch up on lots of things around here that mostly revolve around working on the computer.

My main computer (that I’ve had for a while now), caught a serious bug in Korea. I took it to the shop already, but they didn’t/couldn’t fix the main problem with it. So, I’ve been trying to use it while I transfer all my stuff onto the new (mac) computer I bought a couple of months ago and haven’t had the time to use yet.

I am having a VERY hard time trying to learn how to use it. It’s incredibly frustrating! I am NOT any kind of computer geek. I know how to turn one on and off and get to my emails. That’s pretty much it. 😦

This is my first Apple computer. I bought it because I’ve heard that Apples are really great to work with photos on. Maybe they are, but I can’t even figure out how to LOOK at my photos on it! Yeah, I can open one at a time, which is frustrating enough, but then I can’t DO anything with it.

On my old computer, I use Windows Photo Viewer or Windows Photo Gallery to look over my photos. It’s very easy to use. I can use Paint to edit them. I could also use a photo editing program like Lightroom or Paintshop if I really wanted to work on them.

On my new Apple computer, I can’t find ANY kind of program to look at or edit my photos at all. 😦

I did finally get Lightroom on the Apple computer, but I don’t really want to load EVERY photo there.

Maybe I’m just missing something simple that people who’re used to Apple products could clue me in on? I could use some help here…

Anyway, I was going stir crazy here, between frustration with my computers not allowing me to get much work done and taking out my frustrations by  arguing with strangers on Facebook, I figured I needed to get the heck out of the house and away from the computers for a while.

So, I went to the zoo. I always like to go and watch the animals. I like to watch the fish swim around, the jellyfish are really calming. I like to watch the monkeys play.  I especially like to see the new zoo babies if they have any (they did). 🙂

I saw the baby elephants. One was only 4 months old and the other was 3.5 yrs old.They were still keeping the baby in the house. It was SO cute! I couldn’t get any decent pictures of it, but I watched it play for a while.

baby elephant

baby elephant (3.5 yrs)

They had some baby lemurs. Those were really cute too, and fun to watch running and jumping all over their little habitat.

Lemur with baby

Lemur with baby

They had young flamingos. They were still gray. Last time I was at the zoo, they were little gray puff balls, they’ve grown a lot in a couple of months.

young flamingo (they turn pink the more they eat)

young flamingo (they turn pink the more they eat)

I got into watching the flamingos for a while, they were out of the water for a change and kind of fun to watch. Here’s a couple more shots…

           

I usually like to try and take pictures of everything but I still haven’t really figured out how to get past the bars and the cages. Sometimes I can get the camera to focus where I want it to and sometimes I can’t.Today wasn’t a good day for that. 😦

So, I concentrated the photos on the birds and the fishes. I know I’ve posted lots of fish pictures here already, so today I’ll do some birds. 😉

 

 

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!). 😉

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

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! 🙂

The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute | Houston Events.

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get around to it. Since it’s time sensitive, I really should have put it up earlier, but things have been very busy lately. So, here it is..

The Houston Museum of Fine Arts is having an exhibition of Impressionist Artists. It is already ongoing and will only last until March 23, 2014. The link to the article will give you all the information as far as location, artists represented, etc.

I was up there at the museum the last time I was home. I thought about going to that exhibition, but I was running short on time and I didn’t want to waste my money. The Houston Museum is FREE on Thursdays (which was when I was there). I figured I would look around at what I could for free with what little time I had.

There is a nice sculpture garden outside. I took a bunch of pictures but I don’t know what happened and they all disappeared off my camera! Luckily, the rest of the pictures I took that day were still on my memory card and I was able to get them onto my computer.

I’ll put a couple of them here just to wet your whistle. I’ll put some more up in a gallery once I get them ready.

I have a little bit of a weird taste in art. Here are a couple of my favorites I found at the MFA…

Takahiro Kondo- Dimension Box

Takahiro Kondo- Dimension Box

1903 eggshell porcelain, decorated by H.G.A. Huyvenaar

1903 eggshell porcelain, decorated by H.G.A. Huyvenaar

a monster by Antonio Berni

plasticine on wood by Grupo Mondongo

plasticine on wood by Grupo Mondongo

detail of skull by Grupo Mondongo

That skull was almost the last thing I saw at the museum that day. They had it down in the basement and I almost missed it. It REALLY impressed me. My photos don’t do it justice.

Every inch of it is made up of small figures and items fitted together to make the whole. It’s VERY detailed if you look closely. It was made by Grupo Mondongo. I had no idea the name means ‘tripe’. Thanks Wikipedia. 😉

I wish I knew Spanish better, all the links I can find about them are in Spanish. I definitely want to find out more about them and see more of their work. 🙂

Excellente!