Share Your World

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to join in on Cee’s Share Your World challenge. I enjoy seeing what everybody comes up with for answers to her interesting questions.

Complete this sentence: I want to learn more about … so many things! I want to learn how to really play saxaphone (I played in the school band 30 years ago, 1st chair, but I don’t consider that playing saxaphone). I want to learn more about how to play piano. I want to learn how to speak Spanish better, and how to speak Russian, and Korean, and Chinese. I want to learn more about writing- how to make interesting characters, how to make the story ‘come alive’. I want to learn more about photography- especially how to use lightroom and photoshop to their full extent. I could go on, but you get the idea. 😉

On a vacation what you would require in any place that you sleep? Number 1 thing I’m concerned with in any place I sleep is safety/security. I want somewhere I can rest without too much concern over myself or my stuff.

What is your greatest extravagance? I don’t really consider myself ‘extravagant’ in anything, but I will spend money on things I really enjoy: books, travel, music, photography.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. I’m not sure it was this week, but I don’t keep up with the news much when I’m offshore. I do remember the stories of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and the Texas Navy and Cajun Navy coming to the rescue. The stories of people coming from all over to help where they could was pretty inspiring. I hope the same is going on in Florida after Irma, but I haven’t heard.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Check out the original post and join in with your own stories. 🙂

Zero to Hero Challenge- Day 12: Inspired by the Fourchon Shuffle

The assignment for day 12 of the Zero to Hero Challenge builds on the one from the day before. The one for day 11 was to leave comments on 3 blogs you’ve never commented on before. Today’s is to build a post out of one of those comments.

I made a comment on the New England Watermans’ blog yesterday. I really liked his post with the video of Port Fourchon. Here’s the link to my comment again.

His video was a time lapse of his work over the last year. Both offshore and in the port of Fourchon, La.

I liked it because it reminded me of a lot of the same things I see all the time at work. He also mentioned the Global Orion which is one of the vessels I used to work on.

Global Orion

Global Orion

I’ve been in and out of Fourchon more times than I can count. It’s NOT my favorite place! It’s the largest port in the USA for the oil and gas industry and it is VERY busy! Usually it’s a huge pain in the ass to go to Fourchon.

We call it the Fourchon Shuffle. Bring your boat to the dock so you can unload your deck cargo. Oh, your halfway done but there’s another boat that has a higher priority. So, MOVE.

OK, so you go to another dock to get some fuel. Wait, there’s no space there. So, you wait. Wait some more. It’s not like parking a car, you can’t just put a boat in park and walk away (tho some DPOs might think so).

Oh, now they’re calling you back to finish unloading. No time to spare, you have to get back offshore again ASAP.

Oh yeah, you still need fuel so go back over there. This time you can get to the dock. Now you need to go to another dock to load up more deck cargo. You’ve got priority so you make 2 other boats move out of the way for you….

That’s just a short verse, the Fourchon Shuffle goes on and on. They’ve improved it slightly with some additional dock space but it’s still far from ideal.

No one in Fourchon ever gets any peace at the dock. I always just wanted to get the hell out of there and back offshore as soon as possible. At least be able to get some rest again.

Here are a few photos I took in Fourchon recently…

 

Luckily, I don’t spend too much time driving around Fourchon anymore. Lately I’ve been working on a lot of large vessels like drillships and they don’t usually go into port. I only go to Fourchon to fly in or out to the rig. 🙂

 

PS- the orange boats are the ones belonging to the Cajun Navy 😉

What Would a Free Society Look Like?

What Would a Free Society Look Like? | Laissez-Faire Bookstore.

I liked this article by Jacob Hornberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation (www.fff.org). I used to belong to them and got these neat little books every month. They always had some great essays by Hornberger, Sheldon Richman and others. I still have a few around the house.

Hornberger is a great advocate for freedom and this short little essay of his is an example. It asks some good questions and at least gets you thinking. At least it did me and I hope it will others. 🙂

You must know enough about me by now to know that I am VERY much in favor of a free society. 😉 I have been a Libertarian for years, working to restore this country to some semblance of the free society we USED to have. I would REALLY like to see the USA return to its founding principles of freedom and liberty for all.

No, we were never perfect, but our principles were (are) sound. Our most basic principle is that of self ownership. Freedom to decide how YOU want to live YOUR life! Since we fought the American Revolution to ensure that one basic human right, our people have fought constantly for freedom.

We have fought against slavery, for womens’ rights, for workers rights, for minority rights, etc. Even today, our soldiers are fighting for what they were TOLD was someones freedom (regardless of whether what they were told was a lie, those soldiers believed it when they left home to fight).

These principles, which hold that the individual is important, are no longer respected in America. Even though it was our support for individual liberty that formed the basis for the most free and prosperous country in the history of the planet. 🙁

Since we stopped following those principles and no longer have any respect for individual liberty, we’ve been going backwards in every way. Most people here don’t agree with me.

They’ll come up with all kinds of excuses and false premises as to what’s wrong with this country. They’ll grasp at any straw to avoid the fact that we have lost most of our liberty already and what’s left of it is fading fast.

They have been manipulated by the government and the media to believe that they are better off trading their freedom for security.

Ben Franklin said it best over 200 years ago…

“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

I agree with Ben! He was a pretty sharp guy and he sure as hell knew what he was talking about when he made that statement!

I am NOT willing to trade my freedom for any kind of security, it’s NOT worth it! I will take my chances with whatever the world brings my way. I only want the FREEDOM to be able to live MY life the way I choose, just like everybody else should be able to do.

I can think of SO many things I could do if our government had not grown so big. Rules and regulations everywhere. Nit picking and harassing me every time I try to break out of the mold and try to do something different. New ideas for businesses, etc. I can imagine that expanding to all the other people around me and the absolute explosion of creativity, which will foster prosperity, which will foster peace.

I can imagine with that freedom that people would be much happier, much more productive, much more friendly open and caring. Just think for a minute what would you do if you had a 30-50% raise.

Would you spend the extra money on something useful or enjoyable? Go back to school, take a trip, buy a bike, etc? Would you spend it on charity? Would you use the TIME instead to spend more time with your friends and family? Would you take the time to relax and just enjoy life?

Just think how much better off we’d all be with less stress in our lives! I’m pretty sure a LOT of that stress comes from work. How many people are just working for the money? I know plenty of people like that. They HATE their jobs, they’re miserable but they can’t quit. They need the money.

Wouldn’t it be great if we all could work at something we loved and didn’t need to worry about the paycheck?  If we cut government back down to its constitutional limits, you would GET that raise! We might even be able to stop choosing jobs only for the money. Imagine!! 🙂

What do YOU think a truly free society would look like? Would you like it? Or do you think you wouldn’t like it? Why?

Fruit Tree Projects

Communities Grow Stronger with Fruit Tree Projects – Community – Utne Reader.

I think this is a great idea and hope it spreads even further. I’d like to see it ‘go viral’, spread world wide, everybody getting involved! It has already spread from Santa Cruz, California all the way to Vancouver, to Australia, and even Fiji! 🙂

I have always hated to waste anything. Especially food. Maybe it has something to do with growing up where my parents always insisted I clean my plate. They warned about the ‘starving children in Africa’. I never figured out how my clean plate would help those starving children, but had to play along anyway.

I’m still a member in good standing of the ‘Clean Plate Club’. I’m sure I’m fatter then I should be because of it. I am working towards creating less waste in my kitchen and everywhere else.

I’ve tried to grow a garden in the past, but because I spend so much time at sea, I have not had much success. I do have a lime tree that is making plenty of fruit. Way more than I could ever use. I hate to see them just rotting in the driveway, so I already told my neighbors to just take whatever they want.

I think it would be a great idea if more people could do the same sort of thing. Like the article mentions, these fruit tree projects not only provide much needed and appreciated fresh fruits, but they build community in the process. They also teach useful skills and promote sustainability. I think they are probably fun too!

I’m not sure what the heck is going on in the US lately with the local vendetta on gardening. We used to encourage everyone to grow a garden. Now, we are allowing localities to force people to tear them up?!? WTF???

I remember a few years ago, my town forced my neighbors across the street to tear out the garden they had in their back yard. Supposedly it was illegal! Illegal to grow a garden? Behind a fence? On your OWN land???? In America, the land of the FREE??? I would have sued the SH*T out of them for a HUGE violation of my property rights!

If you want to tell me what I can do with MY land, then YOU can pay the mortgage and the taxes and every other expense. Then, and ONLY then, will it be your land. That’s when YOU get to decide what to do with it. After all, ownership implies being able to USE the thing you own. If you can’t use it, then you don’t really own it.

Apparently, this abuse of local tyrants citing ‘loss of property values’ as some kind of holy grail is spreading like wildfire around the nation. Here’s a link to an article from just the other day…http://www.care2.com/causes/why-are-cities-attacking-home-gardeners.html.

I really hope enough people are outraged by this kind of thing and will get out and raise holy hell with their city councils and homeowners associations and put a stop to this kind of thing.

Help out by signing the petition, Miami Shores: Let Couple Keep Their Vegetable Garden! – The Petition Site, watch the video and give a hand to the Institute for Justices’ Food Freedom Initiative (www.ij.org/foodfreedom) which is trying to help the couple involved in this latest outrage and by extension all the rest of us. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=avHrPbONTzE

Property values are NOT the be all and end all of the value of a neighborhood. In fact, they are probably far down the list for many people. Friendliness and community spirit are probably up there pretty high. I know they are for me. 🙂

A Recipe for Community

A Recipe for Community.

Here’s another one from Utne Reader. Linda Buzzell writes about what it takes to build a sustainable community. Community- yeah, she’s right, we need it, we yearn for it, we miss it, we seek it out.

I remember growing up in a little fishing village on the beach in Florida. We used to have a real community there. Everybody knew each other and would keep an eye out for each other. Yeah, it was like a soap opera sometimes. But I always knew I was home, I fit in, I was accepted.

I moved to Texas when I was just barely 17. I didn’t know a single person. I moved there to go to school and luckily I found a community in my little group of fellow OMT students (Ocean Marine Technology).

We most definitely did NOT fit in with the rest of the school or the surrounding towns. 😉 Bunch of hippie ‘boat trash’ with long hair, shorts and flip-flops in a town where no one left the house without perfect makeup, new cars all washed and waxed. We were definitely on our own.

I made friends with the only other girl in the class. She took me to meet her ‘mother’ and we’ve been best friends ever since. That was over 30 years ago- wow!

With my friends from class, we went to the beach and had cookouts over the bonfire. We played music. We drank beer. We danced. We hung out with each other even when we weren’t in class. We had many similar interests. After all, we had come from all over the country to take this course in Ocean Marine Technology. We had an automatic community.

When I finished the program, most of my friends wandered off into the wild blue yonder and I never heard from them again. Only occasionally I’ll hear of someone or run into somebody in some unlikely place.

Since then, I’ve tried a few times to find or create another real community. I think I find it most easily at work. I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoy working at sea. After all, we are still isolated out here. In our own little world. We have to depend on each other for everything. To get our work done, to have someone to talk to, to help us if we need it, to take care of us if we get hurt. We get to know and care about each other. It is a community in its own right.

In the article, there’s a checklist for community building success. A list of 16 things to do or have. I think a lot of the things are good to have and I’ll definitely suggest them to our local meetup group (Campaign for Liberty). We’ve been struggling to grow and find more members.

We’re a community, we do a lot of those things, but maybe not consistent about it. Somehow we can’t keep the new people who come excited enough to come back, to join our community. What can we do to make them more comfortable? Maybe the things in the article will help. We can try…

Senior Living: How the Trailer Park Could Save Us All – Mind & Body – Utne Reader

Senior Living: How the Trailer Park Could Save Us All – Mind & Body – Utne Reader.

Another interesting article from Utne Reader. I think they brought up some pretty good points about people living together in a real community. I can see how it would be easier to form a real community in a trailer park than in an apartment complex or many suburban neighborhoods. I can see how it would help people stay healthier and happier longer.  I think the whole idea of community is something we’ve lost somehow. I grew up with that. We had a great community where I grew up, even if we were looked down upon by others. We all knew each other and took care of each other. We all knew what was going on and we were involved with each others lives.  I don’t have it where I live now. I’ve been in this house for over 20 years and barely know my next door neighbors 🙁

I think we ought to try figuring out how to get our sense of community back. If a trailer park makes it easier, we should try to see why that is and copy it in other places. Maybe we should look into how to make it easier for the people in the trailers to be able to live, to set down roots. It seems we might need to think about the obstructions to allowing more people to make that choice. It seems like it might be a good choice for many more people than the ones that do it now.  I get it that there’s prejudice against trailer parks but not sure why.They do mention some things in the article but those things don’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Anybody have some thoughts on that?

Armed Lifeboat: Government’s Response to Natural Disaster – Politics – Utne Reader

Armed Lifeboat: Government’s Response to Natural Disaster – Politics – Utne Reader.

This is an interesting article about opposing reactions to disasters. They are mostly talking about global warming but I think they can mean any kind of disaster. The opposite sides seem to be top down – government- or bottom up- community. Of course, being Utne Reader, they want government to be involved in BOTH. I think things should be done if at all possible (and most everything IS) through bottom up approach. I think most people here (USA) have come to depend on the government approach and many are already very dependent on all sorts of government aid. How will we be able to stop the militarization/dystopian governmental approach they refer to in the article if we do not get some independence back again? I think we are finally starting to wake up to the reality of what “our” government is doing (mostly behind our backs) and some are even starting to fight back and demand whats right. I only hope we’re not too late.