SoCS: Vol

Linda’s challenge today for Stream of Conciousness Saturday is…

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “vol.” Find a word with “vol” in it, and use it in your post. Have fun!

My first thought was ‘volvo’, I don’t know anything about them. I’m not really into cars, especially not newer models. Then I thought of ‘volunteer’. I volunteer sometimes at our local Seamans Center (in Freeport, TX). I haven’t been able to lately. I’ve just been too busy. I don’t really understand that, since I have hardly been working.

Usually I work offshore. I’m gone for weeks at a time and then home for a while. When I’m home, I have to catch up with all the things I didn’t get to do while I was gone.

Since I haven’t been working, I figured I’d be able to get a lot done. It hasn’t worked out that way at all. I spend so much time looking for work! I also found a couple of part time jobs so that takes up even more of my time.

Oh well. I will continue to volunteer when I can. As a seafarer for most of my life, I appreciate how much any Seamans Center is worth to a sailor. Maybe not quite so much as in the old days, when we had to wait to go ashore and then go find a telephone office. We’d have to wait in line for hours to call home.

Now we have phones on board and some people even have cel phones so they can call home once the ship gets near enough to land. The Seamans centers still offer phones to call home. Now they also have internet access (a BIG plus).

It’s a friendly place in a strange port where you can go hang out and be comfortable.

Anyway, volunteer was only my first good thought. My next thought, and the one I really wanted to write about was voluntarism.

That is at least as important to me as volunteering. In a way they’re connected. I strongly believe that we should all follow the principle of voluntarism. I think it’s the best way to live together as a society. Everyone free to live the way they want, with no one else forcing them into a mold they don’t fit into. All doing the things they really want to do. The way I understand voluntarism is- living life through voluntary actions.

That means I am against the use of force. I agree with the Libertarian NAP (non-agression principle- which does allow for defense of self and others). I do not think any (responsible) human being has the right to control another as long as a person is not harming anyone. There are all kinds of arguments that can be thrown out there, like ‘what does it mean to be responsible?’, ‘what does it mean to harm someone?’. etc, etc, etc.

Serious libertarians spend hours debating such questions. I am just a libertarian ‘lite’. I want to live a peaceful, prosperous life. I want to live as a free human being. I want everyone else in the world to have the same ability.

So many people think it would never work. But it has worked in the past. If you look at the most prosperous, the most advanced societies on the planet you’ll find out that they also had the most liberty. Just compare North and South Korea for a good idea of what I’m talking about. People who are free to live as they chose can get very creative and they do mostly find ways to get along.

I was reading something just the other day about an ancient city. I think it was in Turkey somewhere. The article mentioned that it was, in fact, an anarchy. If this wasn’t a SoCS post, I would go and look it up (I will do that later and post on it). 😉

In the meantime, check out my sticky post at the top of my blog. Take the quiz and see where you stand on the idea.

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SoCS: When I Get Off Of Here…

socsbadge2016-17

…I’m going to have a nice long rest. Not that things have been too awful here so far, but the hitch has just started and I know for sure that crew change is always exhausting. You’re up for work for 12+ hours and then you’re up to watch the pre-departure video about the helicopter (you’ve already seen thousands of times). Then you wait hours for the chopper (if you’re lucky). Or the boat if you’re not.

Then you transit from the rig to shore. Minimum of an hour on the chopper. Maybe 8-12 hours on the boat if you’re not. Then you transit to the airport. That takes another couple of hours. Then you wait some more for your flight. You finally get home after another couple of hours of nodding off.

I usually do absolutely nothing for 2-3 days after I get home but eat, sleep and take a look at the huge pile of mail I’ve collected after being gone for 2+ weeks.

I’m due to be here for 6 weeks this hitch. I know it will get to me before it’s all over.

When I get off of here… I will rest. 🙂

Practice 1

I started following Rebecca L. Weber for tips about how to improve my writing. I got an email from her this morning that struck a nerve. She had gone to a retreat and at the end, the teacher had 3 recommendations for how to improve…

  1. practice every day

  2. practice every day

  3. practice every day

Rebecca says “the best way to improve your writing is to practice every day.” I already try to participate in Linda G. Hill’s SoCS which is a free writing challenge. This will be another challenge, just to myself.

I will write something here, every day. Anything counts. Doesn’t matter what I say (and I don’t mean to piss anybody off), but please comment if you feel like it. The more, the merrier.

If I can, I will keep on posting other interesting stuff here too. Maritime Monday, Songs of the Sea, news about offshore, good food, books, music etc. It’s amazing how little time I get to blog, even when I’m not working! Everyday stuff just keeps on interfering. I hope this will help me focus, as well as improve my writing. 🙂

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! 😦

TBEX

I know some of you are fellow bloggers. Can I get a show of hands? Click ‘like’ if you blog too. Feel free to comment too (even if you’re not a blogger). 🙂

How many are ‘travel bloggers’? I consider myself a travel blogger, even tho I blog about a lot of different things. I love to travel, love to take pictures of everything I see and do, love to try new foods/drinks/music/culture, and love to share all about it.

So, I decided to head up to Minneapolis for the TBEX next weekend. The “Travel Blog Exchange”. It bills itself as the “world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers, writers, new media content creators, and social media savvy travel industry professionals”.

Is anybody out there going to be at the TBEX (Memorial Day Weekend in Minneapolis/St Paul)? If you are, let’s connect!

I’m really looking forward to this as an opportunity to meet some great people and learn more about blogging and how to improve mine.

Have any of you ever been to a blogging event like this? I’m wondering how it all works. What did you like about it? Not like about it? What did you get out of it? Was it helpful? Can you give me any feedback?

Is anybody from around that area? Have any suggestions for things I really should see/do while I’m there?

What’s Going On?

 I looked at my blog this morning and I couldn’t believe my eyes! I had shot up to 72 views (from 8) in the last day. It seems like it’s been really slow lately. I haven’t had more than 10 in the stats bar for at least 2-3 weeks. I went to look at my stats page to try to figure out what was going on and saw that I had 133 views already! That’s the most ever! WTF???
  • Views 141
  • Visitors 121
  • Comments 0

This is very strange. No comments? Only 3 likes out of 141!! views? That is nothing like my usual daily activity on my blog. I’m just wondering what’s going on? I hadn’t even posted anything yet today…

Stats for January 21

Nothing Published

When I looked to see what people were looking at, this is what it showed. That doesn’t add up to anywhere near 141 (or even 133). But when I looked into it more, it showed me a whole long list of posts with 1 view each. Taking all those into account, the numbers did add up. I still have no idea what’s going on.

  • View  14 Home page / Archives
  • View  6 Dave’s Peach Pie Moonshine Recipe
  • View 3 Halloween Treats Recipe Slideshow
  • View 3 SNL: Obama Addresses Putin
  • View 2 Zero to Hero- Day 21: Let the World Know
  • View 2 I’m On Board!
  • View 2 Shadowed
  • View 2 German Coast Guard Trainee
  • View 2 Brrrrr!
  • View 2 Women Rallied Behind Beautiful, Wartless Witches
 It looks like a few people did searches that brought them to me, but that only gives me 8 viewers.
 
 8Search Engines

These are the blogs where people came to visit me from today. Happy to have the interaction, I liked all of those blogs! I’m on bloglovin, but nobody ever seems to look at me there. I think this is maybe my 1st one that showed up here in my stats. I hope that’s a good sign. 🙂

  • ViewsSearch
  • 2 seamans mission limassol cyprus
  • 1 peach pie moonshine
  • 3 Unknown Search Terms
 I always like to see where people are from. I wish more people would tell me more about themselves in their comments, but the little flag widget I have on my sidebar and the stats map are nice to have. They give me a clue. I wonder what makes people from some places come visit my blog. Most of my visitors are from the USA, UK and Canada. I guess today some seamen must be due into port in Limassol (Cyprus) and looking for news about the local Seaman’s Center there. That gives me an idea. I should put a link up for those things! 🙂
ViewsCountry
  • 132United States
  • 3United Kingdom
  • 3Spain
  • 3Cyprus

I’m glad to see some of my older posts are still holding some interest. 🙂

  • ViewsAuthor
  • 127Capt Jill
  • View 6 Dave’s Peach Pie Moonshine Recipe
  • View 3 Halloween Treats Recipe Slideshow

Total comment followers: 37

  • View 109 About
  • View 27 World’s Smallest Political Quiz
  • View 18 In Praise of Alcohol 
  • View 18 WordPress Family Award- I Won One!
  • View 15 Happy New Year 2015
  • View 14 Photography 101 Challenge: A Pop of Color
  • View 14 The War on Jobs Continues
  • View 13 Unexpected News!
  • View 13 Travel Journey of the Week: New Orleans
  • View 13 Zero to Hero- Day 7: Personalize Your Blog
  • View 12 Dreamy: Elvis
 Seems like the categories people like to look at are the things I am posting a lot about, so that’s good. Sometimes it’s hard for me to categorize things, they’ll fit into more than one place, so I label them with more than one label. 🙂 
                 149 lifestyle
  • Total WordPress.com Followers: 597
  • Total Email Followers: 12
  • 418Facebook
  • 162Twitter
  • 24Tumblr

If any of you have any ideas about any of this, please feel free to comment. Any of you had any weird stats today?

Writing 101: An Interesting Character

I met Capt Hugh a few months back at one of the weekly meetings I go to whenever I’m home. The Campaign for Liberty is an offshoot of Ron Paul’s Presidential campaign and I’m a big supporter of his views. So is Capt Hugh.

I still don’t know Capt Hugh very well. We haven’t both been home off our ships at the same time very often. He looks like an ordinary guy. Comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt. Middle aged, average height and weight, nothing really special about his looks. But it all comes out when you talk to him. His passion for life and liberty, his sense of adventure, his determination to do whatever it takes to further his goals.

He doesn’t live near here. He lives up near Dallas somewhere, I think. That’s a few hours drive from here. He comes all the way down to our meetings when he’s home from work. It shows a high level of commitment to the goals we’re working toward (increasing freedom and liberty).

He works offshore like I do. He’s working as captain on some kind of oilfield support vessel. Recently he’s been working out of Africa (me too). I’m working off the Congo River, Hugh is working further north. He’s on a much smaller vessel than I am and so he gets to go into port occasionally.

If you’ve never worked out of Africa, you have no idea what that entails. It’s very chaotic and can be extremely frustrating. It takes a really special person to not only go there and do the work that needs to be done, but to ENJOY it. I’ve only met a couple of people like that so far and each of them was full of great stories and a love of life that showed through.

I follow Capt Hugh on Facebook. He’s quite an adventurer. He’s planning a vacation in Africa whenever he gets off work (who knows when). With everything going on over there, including an epidemic of Ebola, he doesn’t let it stop him. He takes the opportunity when it’s offered. A ‘free’ trip to Africa! What a deal!

Capt Hugh is not only captain of the supply vessel he is employed on, he has his own little sailboat too. That’s another feather in his cap! He’s willing to put everything he has on the line, buy a boat, fix up what he can, and then take off for parts unknown. That all shows a real spirit of adventure, love for the ocean, and a desire to find the freedom we’ve lost here.

I hope he is able to sail off soon. I’ll keep track on Facebook. It’ll inspire me to see where he winds up. I know it’ll be somewhere worth going.

Writing 101: Try Again

OK. I’m going to try this “Writing 101” thing again. I tried it before, but I was on the ship and could never find the time to do the assignments. I’m really glad the folks at WordPress decided to run this challenge again. I would like to improve my writing.

Today is the first day of the challenge. I got home late Friday after a couple of days traveling home from the ship. We were working offshore Angola (West Africa). I worked all night Wednesday and then started my voyage home Thursday morning.

I was basically up for about 60 hours straight, not counting the few minutes at a time I managed to doze off on the plane(s). I’ve had a couple of days to rest up and catch up on mail, etc so I hope I can find the time now to keep up with the assignments for this challenge. 🙂

Today’s assignment is pretty easy. It’s to “JUST WRITE”. Just like talking, I can always find something to say, I can always find things to write. Who knows if anyone will listen to what I have to say either way I put my thoughts out there? It seems most of the time I am ignored. 😦

I think I have some good ideas and some good solutions to a lot of the things no one likes to see happening around the world. It’s all about FREEDOM. Too bad I’m not the dictator of the world. What a paradox. 😉

I would SO love to see this world full of people where everyone is able to live their lives the way they choose. I would love to see everyone able to live to their fullest potential. I would love to see everyone have enough to eat and comfortable surroundings and work that they enjoy.

I used to have long arguments with my best friend J. about this kind of thing. I told her once I would love to buy an island. I would have to buy it so that it would be mine, as legitimately mine as it would be possible to be. (Not to get into the whole argument about is it really legitimate for people to own land at all). I just don’t want it to be claimed by any government, they would ALL be totally against everything I’m trying to do.

I would turn that island into my own country. Anyone could come there and do anything they wanted to do, as long as they didn’t hurt anyone else (no murder, rape, robbery, etc). That is my basic premise in life. That is the idea that I live by.

Of course the USA would probably bomb the hell of my island. There’s NO WAY they would allow the world to see that a place with REAL freedom could exist and prosper. It would prove to the entire world what a fraud (and a danger to the entire planet) the US has become.

Yes, on my island you could drive without a license, without wearing seatbelts or helmets. You could drink or get high on whatever you wanted to (but you would be responsible for your actions whether high or not). There would be no spying allowed for any reason. There would be no universal ID such as social security has become (and therefore a magnet for identity theft). There would be no such things as ‘guilty property’ (asset forfeiture), money laundering laws, etc. Yes, there would be legal gambling and prostitution and there would be no such thing as a ‘victimless crime’. You could work at whatever you chose, for whoever you chose, for whatever wages and benefits you chose. There would be no government licensing of anything.

Since this island is based completely on voluntary action, I can see people working together to provide all the things we need and want without resorting to the use of force. If we need roads, schools, etc, people will come up with ways to provide them just like they did in colonial times in the USA. I can’t even think of anything we would need taxes for, so there probably wouldn’t even be any of those! 🙂

I would base my laws on the US constitution, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights and I would follow the letter and the INTENTION of those documents! That being to promote INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM! To keep the people in control of the government and NOT the other way around.

We would get into huge arguments about what exactly was meant by the word “hurt”. I told her, I think it would have to be defined as an ‘objective’ hurt. Something obvious to everyone else. Otherwise, anyone could just make anything up they wanted.

I think it would have to be something ‘proveable’. Something that you could prove actually happened to you and that it actually did hurt you. You should be able to prove real harm.

So, we got into all these arguments over ‘what if?’…

‘what if she moved in next door to my multi-million dollar mansion and built a junkyard?’, (who said I would have a multi-million dollar mansion? I just spent all my money to buy this island!

‘what if she came to my (multi-million dollar mansion) and shit on my floor?’ (multi-million dollar mansion??), if she shit on my floor on purpose, then I think I would throw her out of my house. If she was sick or something and couldn’t control herself, then I think I would send her to the hospital but still get her out of my house!

‘what if somebody’s feelings got hurt?’ see above point about being objective and proveable

‘what if somebody trashed your boat?’ unbelieveable! they would have to pay restitution for the damages and/or they would get deported!

After a while of this kind of thing, we both got sick of the argument. I decided I would not really want to be dictator after all. It’s too much work!

I really just want to be left alone to live my life in peace. I don’t want to BE alone, I just want to be LEFT alone. There’s a huge difference.

It seems very few people understand where I’m coming from. Almost everyone seems to think people are somehow better off with other people running their lives instead of themselves. I am totally in opposition to that idea.

This is why I am searching so hard to find some PLACE where I can live the rest of my life. It is no longer possible to have that in the USA. The country that was founded to allow people exactly that freedom.

My only hope now is to somehow get out of the US permanently and find some out of the way place where the people will just accept you for who you are. Where they are happy to live and let live. Where their government does not have the resources to constantly interfere. And if it does, where the people will force it to back off!!!

So, OK, I’ve rambled on now for over the 20 minutes the assignment called for. Hope some of you made it all the way to the end. 😉

Any comments on this subject (or any other) is always appreciated. 🙂

 

 

Capt Jill Journeys to Korea!

I’ve hardly been home a week. SO much to do and not nearly enough time to do it all. I had to leave a lot undone. I’m leaving this morning for my vacation/travel writing workshop in Korea. I’m at the airport now so I don’t have much time.

I saw on the news this morning about the capsized ferry. Hoping to learn more about what happened. What a disaster! I feel so sorry for those people and their families. So many kids are missing.

I really want to know what happened. What would make it sink like that? Here we go again with a similar situation to the Costa Concordia where it sounds like the crew did not alert the passengers to abandon ship til it was too late.

From what I gather from the news reports, it sounds like they’re doing a pretty good job of rescuing the people who did escape the ship itself. The water is pretty cold and I think most people would develop hypothermia a lot sooner in 50 F water then the 1.5 hours they’re saying. Jeeze!

Anyway, I’ve got to go catch a plane. More later! 🙂

Hyperbole: Why Exaggerating Is Always the Best Answer

Here’s a helpful post on the use of hyperbole in your writing. There’s a hilarious Monty Python video included. I LOL, you will too! 🙂

The Daily Post

Hyperbole (high-per-bah-lee) is by far the best thing the ancient Greeks gave us (sorry philosophy, epic poetry, and thick, fat-free yogurt).

It works precisely because it draws attention to itself. An overwrought metaphor can kill an entire page. A too-literal analogy might drive a whole argument to the gutter. A subtle hyperbole? Get outta here, (oxy)moron! The more ridiculous the exaggeration (hyperbole is a descendant of the Greek word for excess), the more entertaining the effect.

Today, let’s talk about how to use these deliciously over-baked word pastries in your writing (wasn’t that the best overwrought metaphor, ever?).

View original post 624 more words

Zero to Hero- Day 5: Looking at Themes

Todays assignment for the Zero to Hero Challenge is to take some time to find a theme you like, or if you have one you like already, go take a look around and sample something different.

So far I like the one I have right now. I read over the post on choosing themes to see if there was something I was missing.

I’m looking around the Theme Showcase and there are a few there I like. It looks like I’m still liking the same sorts of themes as when I first looked around and decided on this one. 🙂

Here are a few of the alternatives I almost chose…

Yoko

Mystique

Coraline

Oxygen

I really liked the look of some of the others but I felt they didn’t really fit what I’m trying to do at the moment. Mostly to do with the photography. They had some great themes for showing off photos (ex: Photography) but I want to do more than that. Maybe later. 😉

Also, I’m not ready for a premium theme yet, so I didn’t look very hard at any of those. Some of them looked really nice, but not for me just yet. Maybe later. 😉

Well, this has been an interesting assignment. I originally picked the Twenty Eleven theme and I still like it. Maybe I’ll get tired of it one day and change it. But for now, that’s my theme and I’m sticking to it! 😉

Zero to Hero- Day 3: Bypass the Gatekeepers!

Todays assignment for the Zero to Hero Challenge is to ‘write the post that was on your mind when you decided to start a blog’.

OK, well I didn’t really have any particular ‘post’ on my mind when I decided to start a blog. It was more like a general idea.

I have been trying to find a way to make a living without having to be out on a boat all the time. Yeah, I still like sailing. Yeah, I still like my job (most of the time, most of the things about it). But I’m getting to the point where I’d like to do something a little different. At least for a while.

I’d been hearing for a while about how it’s possible to earn a decent living by working online. Writing, stock photography, copy-writing, etc. I’ve even taken a few short courses/workshops to try and learn how to do it.

I’ve enjoyed going to the workshops. I’ve learned a lot in each one of them. But I’ve never managed to pass muster (yet) and get anything I’ve done accepted for publication.

I admit, I haven’t spent a lot of time trying to ‘sell’ my product; my writing and photography. I tried a couple of times to get some of my photographs accepted onto a couple of the stock photography websites like istock.com.

So far, I haven’t had any luck. My photos were rejected and I had to take a course to even begin to understand what the heck they were talking about when they told me why they rejected them all. 😉

I haven’t even sent in any of my articles to anyone yet, tho I have sent a few queries to a couple of magazines I thought might be interested. One magazine even told me they were interested but they never got back to me and I let it fall by the wayside due to all the other things I’ve been busy with.

FOCUS! I think that’s what I need. I’m pretty sure if I had all the time in the world and no ‘real’ job and wasn’t busy with a dozen other projects, I could find the time to hound the gatekeepers of the publishing world until they let me in. 😉

Too bad I don’t have that kind of schedule right now.

SO……

I decided to start a blog instead.

My plans for the blog have changed a little bit. I’m not focusing so much on putting my magazine type writing on here. Maybe one of these days I’ll post one and see if I can get some feedback from the blog world. I’ve been spending a lot more time just posting about things I find of interest.

I’ve really been posting a lot more about what gets ME going, what interests me, what turns me on, what turns me off. I enjoy catching peoples attention and trying to make them think.

Of course, I am still trying to work on my writing and photography. I still plan to try again to get my photos accepted online and my articles by some magazines. I work on that stuff when I can find time too.

I figured if I started a blog, I could get my work out to people WITHOUT having to go through an editor. Just get it out there and let it stand on it’s own merit. Either people will like it. Or they won’t.

Of course, the original purpose was to find some way to make an income. I’m told you can do that as a blogger too. So far, I haven’t the slightest idea of how to do that, but still hoping to learn. 😉

In the meantime, I’m enjoying myself here. I especially like interacting with people all over the world. It’s really fascinating to me when I look at my blog stats and see people have visited my blog from places like Namibia, or Ghana, or Pakistan, or Ukraine.

I wonder what was it that interested those people and why? I have seen a lot of people online who have so many similar interests. It seems a great community here, even if it’s only ‘virtual’.

It’s great that we can all have blogs now, no need to hold back, just get ourselves out there and the whole world is open to us! 🙂

 

Zero to Hero

Here it is, the start of another new year already. I guess I’m like most people and start thinking about past, present, future at the turn of the year. So, like with the Christmas posts, I’ll probably be posting about things I’m thinking of for the new year, new beginnings, endings, etc.

I got an email a couple of days ago from the Daily Post at WordPress which I follow. It was about a project that I thought would be interesting and I hope it will help me be a better blogger.

It’s called the ‘Zero to Hero 30-day Blogging Challenge.’ 

Yes, I am signing up for it. I am starting off with this, my first post for the challenge. Todays prompt is to publish an introductory post. To tell the blogging world about who you are and what you would like to accomplish with your blog.

Since I’ve already done that (check my ‘about’ page), I thought I would just do a little update.

I’ve been busy. Very busy! Since I started this blog at the AWAI Boston Workshop in mid/late August this year I’ve been out to work on the Ensco 8506, Crossmar 21, Ensco 8501, and Ensco DS-5 (twice).

I’ve done a beach cleanup at Surfside Beach, gone to the Bike and Blues Fest in Freeport, the county fair in Angleton (twice), the Houston Zoo and Museum of Natural Science (couple of times), and the Workboat Show in New Orleans.

I’ve missed out on sailing with Sail La Vie but I’ve made it to a few of the Campaign For Liberty meetings and a good one on healthy food and nutrition by another local group.

I never knew it before, but they put on a good presentation about a dentist by the name of Weston Price who did studies on traditional societies and compared their health to modernized peoples. I LOVE junk food and sweets but now I’m learning more about how that stuff really is killing me. It really made me think.

I’ve had to take care of a few projects at my house and at my rental properties. We almost completely re-did the beach house: painted, new flooring, new kitchen cabinets, new window treatments, fixed electrical issues, fixed plumbing issues, fixed sewerage issues, fixed shaky decks, etc. I’m looking for new tenants if you know anybody! 😉

As for the blog, I am still concentrating on my 3 big passions: traveling the world, sailing/working offshore, and FREEDOM to enjoy living life to the fullest!

As you can tell, if you poke around a little here, I have other interests as well. I love to eat and drink so I post good looking recipes here. I love music of pretty much all genres, so I post about that. I like to take pictures, so I’ll post some of them here. I love to read, so I might post about a good book I’m reading. I post about anything I think is interesting and I think other people might also enjoy.

I hope I can learn through this Zero to Hero challenge to be a better blogger. I hope I can learn how to keep things interesting, entertaining, enjoyable enough to keep the readers I have coming back and that they’ll tell their friends. I’d like to be able to grow my blog and interact with more people from all over the world.

I’ve been so encouraged and excited to see that already in just the 4.5 months I’ve been working on this blog, I’ve had people from 85 countries visit me here! I’d love to have more interaction with all of these people. I’d really love it if more people would comment and let me know what they think of all the things I post about (especially politics). 😉

6 of The Best Pieces of Advice From Successful Writers

6 of The Best Pieces of Advice From Successful Writers – The Buffer Blog.

Good tips and a good post from Belle Beth Cooper at the Buffer Blog.

I’ve got the first one down…give yourself permission to write like crap and JUST START.

Yeah, no problem with the writing badly, it comes out pretty naturally. My problem is when to stop. I can go on and on. 😉

I think I get the part about ‘write like you speak’ too. I’ve never tried to write in any other way (yet).

Eventually, I think I would like to try to write stories or even a book. I’m hoping by writing posts here on my blog, it will get me some good practice and feedback.

In the meantime I hope I can keep things here interesting and entertaining. 🙂

I do wish I could just put everything else on hold, take the time to just chill out and do some real work on this more artistic side of me. So far, I have not managed to do that. I have so many things going on and so I just do a bit here, a bit there, nothing is ever as good or as finished as I would like it to be.

I wonder how anyone can manage to survive, much less THRIVE in this world we are living in today. How does a person manage to ever take the time to relax enough to just let things happen and do what THEY enjoy?

I am doing my best to work hard, so I can save up, so I can one day take a nice long break to do just that. I have so many things I would like to do with my life and I worry that I’m running out of time. I hate to think that I’ve spent so much of my life just working.

Yeah, I’m lucky that I still do enjoy my line of work. Yes, they HAVE taken MOST of the fun out of it. It would be SO much better if they would stop letting the lawyers and accountants run everything and go back to allowing some common sense out there. But it’s still a better job for ME then I can imagine any other type of work to be.

I just hope one day soon, I can drop out of the ‘rat race’ altogether and spend my time doing what I really want to do, instead of spending so much of it doing what I feel like I HAVE to do.

Maybe the tips in the article will help me become a SUCCESSFUL writer. 🙂

Catching Up With Capt Jill

Well, it’s been a little while now since I finished up the November Post-A-Day Challenge (National Blog Posting Month). I needed the break. I actually got home from work the day after Thanksgiving (and missed the big feast). 😦

As usual it took me a few days to catch up on everything.

First couple of days wasted just trying to catch up on SLEEP. I hate switching over from 6-6 nights! It’s SO hard this time of year, both mentally and physically. Never see the sun, no one is awake at home, never get your body in tune with your meals and sleep schedule, etc.

Since I’m home and finally have a chance to get caught up, I thought it might be a good time to write a little about who I am, what I do and what I’m hoping to do with this blog.

OK, so, here goes… I work as a merchant mariner (Merchant Navy for the Brits). For those of you who don’t really know what that means, it’s simply someone who works on a commercial vessel. Anything from small ferries, fishing vessels, to the largest VLCC or drillships. Usually work is in one of 3 departments: deck, engine, or stewards.

I grew up on the water and started working for my father when I was very young. He had an old sailboat that he used as a commercial fishing vessel for a while and he used to make me go out with him. I HATED it!!!

As soon as I could, I got a job down the street on one of the party boats (head boats). I would go out with them on the weekends. I had a great time on those boats. I worked mainly in the galley (kitchen). I sold the passengers sandwiches and drinks.

Sometimes I helped the deckhands with the passengers. I would help them bait hooks, untangle lines, get the fish off their lines, string them up and put them on ice. When we got to the dock at the end of the day, I would help clean up the boat and get everything ready for the next trip. Maybe clean and fillet some fish for tips. I was doing pretty good for a kid and plenty to live on but I wanted to do more.

Way back then (sarcasm), the commercial fishing fleet was where it was at! The fishermen could go out for a week and come back fully loaded. Flush with cash, they were living the good life.It was wild! I wanted some of that too! But, of course, I was a girl. Not possible, or so they said. 😦

I tried to get a job on some of the better boats. The ones who consistently brought in a good catch and treated their crews well. I got nowhere with that. I tried and tried and couldn’t find much of anything.

I finally did go out with a friend. It was a horrible trip for a lot of reasons. We did manage to catch fish but that was the only good part of it. I might go into all that at some later point, but for now, just say that was the turning point for me. I was fed up with everything going on around that place and sick of my life. Everything I wanted to do, I was told was impossible, cause “girls can’t do that”. 😦

To cut this short, I was getting into a lot of things I probably shouldn’t have. What finally happened was that I was very lucky (tho I didn’t know that at the time) and was offered the chance to completely change my life.

I went off to school with the Oceanics and never really looked back. I may not have known at the time, but I was hooked from the minute I got off the plane in Athens and was smuggled from the airport to the hostel we stayed at in the back of a bread truck.

We spent a few months sailing around the world on traditional sailing ships. Studying things like seamanship, navigation, celestial navigation, oceanography, cultural studies, Greek, Russian, Spanish, etc. Part of our day was always spent working on the ship while we were aboard.

I learned to LOVE it! I decided before I came home that I wanted to be a ship captain and sail around the world (and get paid for it). 🙂

My grandmother was really upset! Before I went away to school, I had planned to be a doctor. She never forgave me for changing my plans. I’m sure I made the right choice, even if she never thought so. 😉

The woman who ran the school was such a great help to me (and many others). She set me up in a school in Texas where I could get started toward my goal. A small Jr College in a small town, you would never expect to find such a great deal here.

I moved to Texas to join the Ocean Marine Technology program at Brazosport College in 1978. I managed to complete the 2 year program in only 5 years! I switched from fishing to working in the oil field and now work in all kinds of different areas offshore. Lately as a DPO (dynamic positioning operator).

In school, I learned to work in both the deck and engine departments (and could work stewards dept if I wanted). In the Gulf of Mexico it gets really HOT in the summer! I was working on small boats: crew boats, production boats, standby boats. Their engine rooms were small, smelled strongly of diesel fuel, and HOT all the time! I regret it now, but I never stuck with the engine department. I never even tested for my QMED. 😦

I still had my sights set on becoming a ship captain one day. I fought hard for a long time to get the sea time I needed to work my way up. I’ll get into that some other time. I finally managed, just a couple of years ago, to get my unlimited masters license (whoo hoo!!).

Now, I work freelance. I work mostly for a couple of temp agencies. I like it since it gives me a chance to ‘try before I buy’. It’s also nice to see how different companies run things, to see the different vessels and meet different people.

One of the best things about working freelance is that I can pretty much make my own schedule. One of the bad things is, if there is no work, I’m stuck at home with no money. Too bad I never know beforehand. 😦

When I went back to freelancing a couple of years ago, I took the opportunity to catch up and do a lot of things I’d been wanting to do but never could (since I was always offshore when they happened). I went to a few classes and conferences, I took a couple of nice long vacations. It was great! Til the work slowed down and I wasn’t able to get right back to work when I was ready to. 😦

Now, I’m having a big debate in my mind. Should I stick with freelance? Or, should I go back and get a regular, permanent job again? It’s SO nice to be able to take the time off when I need it, but things are changing a lot with new rules and regulations and the temp agencies are not really keeping up with all that.

I have so many things I’d like to be doing when I’m NOT working. I’ve been trying for a long time to work less and spend more time doing what I like. I’d retire now if I could afford it and I’m working hard towards being able to do that. I have a couple of side businesses.

One is vending machines. I thought that was a great idea. A way for me to slowly work up to having enough income to be able to stop sailing all the time. That didn’t work out for me. I still think it’s a good plan IF I had the time to go find good placements for my machines.

One is real estate. I’m a slumlord like my father was. 😉 No, just kidding. I buy old, run down properties (cheap) and fix them up to rent them out. I started out just buying a place on the water to put a boat (that’s another story). I bought a nice beach house but then wound up renting it out. I’m actually in the process at the moment of fixing it all up again. Hoping to find some new tenants soon. 🙂

I met a really great Realtor while in the process of getting that house and she’s been helping me ever since. I’ve got a few properties now and they do keep me busy while I’m home.

I love to read, I’ve always got a book in my hand! I’ve just finished ‘Half the Sky’, a very good book but kind-of depressing. It’ll stir you up, but then has suggestions for what YOU can do to work off that anger you felt while reading. Right now I’m reading something different,  ‘Choose Yourself’ by James Altucher (who has a blog I also follow).

I like to go to local events like the beach cleanup I wrote about earlier or the JaGa Fest for the great reggae music. That’s where I took those fireworks photos (https://captjillsjourneys.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/weekly-photo-c…ight-celebrate), or the Biker and Blues Fest I plan on doing a post on (soon).

I love to go sailing. I joined a local club called Sail-La-Vie and go out with them when I can. It’s always a lot of fun. I also started my own meetup group, called Mariners Meetup. It’s a way for us old salts to get out and about, do something other then just hang around the house watching TV.

I try to keep up with politics, I’m into FREEDOM and trying my best to keep from losing any more of it here. If I’m home I go to the Campaign for Liberty meetings every Tuesday night. We have a bunch of projects we’re working on like our community garden (on hold for winter) and movie night. Last week we were talking about alternative energy and how to get off the grid.

I LOVE to travel (yes, eventually I will get around to posting some travel posts- I promise!). I like to write and take pictures, and enjoy going to workshops about that kind of thing. In fact, that’s how I started this blog.

I went to the AWAI travel writing/photography workshop in Boston back in August and they had a little bit about blogging. I started this blog right before I went up there so I could ask lots of questions and hopefully learn how to make a good blog. Actually, I heard that you could earn money from blogging and I wanted to learn how to do THAT!

So far, I haven’t learned how to do that. 😦 I’m still trying to figure that part out. If you noticed, I put a link to Amazon down towards the bottom right. I haven’t figured out how to make that work properly tho. It’s supposed to be an Amazon blog and show the posts, but all it shows is the link to 4-5 different links on Amazon. Maybe some of you know what I’m doing wrong and can help me? 😉

I am trying to improve all the time. On here and in real life. 🙂 Now you know what I do when I’m working and when I’m home. Now you know why sometimes I don’t feel like posting for a little while. I do really enjoy it, but sometimes I just get run down. I don’t want this to wind up feeling like a chore, like something else I HAVE to do.

I hope I can keep this interesting and entertaining for all of us for a long time. Thanks for visiting me. 🙂

NaBloPoMo: It’s Over!

Whew! It’s over! I did it! I managed to do a post a day for the entire month of November! 🙂

I don’t know how many of you noticed the little square flag down towards the bottom right of my blog. It’s for the National Blog Posting Month of November. I saw a post about it on another blog and thought it would be interesting. So, I joined the challenge.

I thought it would be motivational (it was) and challenging (it was) and help me get some exposure (I’m not sure that worked out).

I think I need to go back to just doing these posts when I have the time and inclination. I didn’t really like the feeling that I HAD to get one done. So, if you don’t see anything from me for a little while, nothing’s wrong. I’m just taking a break. 😉

How Long Have You Been a Sailor?

How Long Have You Been a Sailor? | gCaptain

sir stuffington cat

What a cute kitty. Too bad it looks like its already been through hell. 😦

I would adopt it if I could. Anyone need a good ships cat?

So, how long have I been a sailor? Almost as long as Sir Stuffington. 😉

I wasn’t born on a boat but my brother almost was. He’s only a year younger than me so that’ll give you some idea. For sure I could swim before I could walk. My family has always been close to the water.

When I was very young, we spent a lot of time playing on the beach and our families had boats we would go out on. We spent a lot of time around Long Island NY. My grandfather had a nice old cruiser we used a lot. We would go to Montauk, East Hampton, Jones Beach, Fire Island…

We settled down in Florida when I was ready for 1st grade. My father fell in love with the Island Girl. She was a large (LOA 72′) staysail schooner built in Detroit in 1910. He bought her and sailed her around from Miami to Madeira Beach where we spent the next few years working and living aboard (part time).

He eventually turned the Island Girl into a commercial fishing boat which is where I got my start working on the water. Between fishing trips, he would take friends out for fun sails around the Gulf of Mexico. We had such a blast with that boat. She was well known around Florida for years.

Island Girl

I moved on to the party boats down the street as soon as I could. That was a much more fun job for me. I could make a couple of trips on the weekends and earn enough to pay my dad rent for the month. I know it was unusual to rent an apartment from my dad instead of living with him but it worked for a while.

I was able to go to high school with the Oceanics. That was a HUGE opportunity for me and I jumped on it. It literally changed my life. I was able to sail around the world and I decided on that trip I was going to be a sea captain (instead of a Dr). 🙂

I’ve been working toward that goal ever since. I moved to Texas to go to school to get certified as an AB/QMED (Able Bodied seaman/Qualified Member of the Engine Department).

I finally earned my license from the US Coast Guard as Master Any Gross Tons just a couple of years ago. I was SO happy! I still haven’t had time to properly celebrate that accomplishment. If any of you reading my blog are sailors, you’ll know what I mean.

I do plan to have a party one of these days. As soon as I can find both the time and the money to spare, we’ll be having one to remember! 😉

So, here’s my question to my readers… how long have YOU been a sailor? Tell us your story. I’d like to hear it.

I’ll call it the ‘How long have you been a sailor’ challenge. Write up your story: when did you start sailing? why? do you still like it? or not? what kind of boat (it doesn’t have to be a sailboat!)? where? If you have a blog, do a link from your blog back here (pingback). If you don’t have a blog, don’t feel left out, just post it as a reply.

Bloggers IRL: Get the Most Out of Blogging Conferences

I had no idea there were blogger conferences. It sounds like a fun and useful thing to go to. 😉

The Daily Post

As bloggers, we bathe in the glow of our computer screens as we snatch moments to post between work, school, kids, the gym, the grocery store, the dry cleaners’, soccer practice, dinner with friends, doing the dishes, sleep…

When we find ourselves in a hotel ballroom with a thousand other bloggers — otherwise known as “being at a blogging conference” — it can be overwhelming. With a little preparation, a basic game plan, and a few tools, you can get a lot more from your conferences than a free tote bag: new friends, new readers, new ideas, and new skills (AND the tote bag).

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10 Blogging Nuggets From a Newbie

Great tips for bloggers 🙂

Uwana

After writing a blog post, do you experience a vulnerable, scary, and exciting rush just before clicking the “Publish” button? Followed by crazy anticipation of how the post will fare in the blogosphere: Will it be liked? Will it have an impact? Will it illicit a response? Will it bless someone?

I’m a newbie to blogging. To date, I’ve published 32 blog posts. Some have been received well, others not so much. In any event, I’ve learned a lot during my short stint with blogging.

  1. To like or not to like. Having a post “liked” is great. It means folks resonated with your message. But not having “likes” or comments, doesn’t necessarily mean the post was unsuccessful. Some of the pieces I was most proud of didn’t receive immediate recognition; however, with time, they made it to my “Top Posts & Pages” list. The moral of the story: Don’t get…

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Bill To Define Journalist Will Get Full Senate Vote

Bill To Define Journalist Will Get Full Senate Vote : Personal Liberty™.

Just got this in an email… URGENT to all bloggers and anyone else concerned with free speech. This bill will destroy it! Call and write your “representatives” asap. It’s very important to defeat this bill. There is no definition of what a ‘journalist’ is in the Constitution and they have NO need to make one up now. All this bill will accomplish is to silence those of us they don’t like for whatever reason. Speak up now before it’s too late!