Rounded

Joining in on this weeks challenge from Ben. It’s at the Daily Post: Rounded. Here’s what he had to say about it…

This week, share your take on “rounded.” it’s a broad theme, so I look forward to your personal interpretations, whether you choose to focus on a curving street, limbs caught mid-way through a dance, a bowl of fruit (think of all the round shapes!), or any other object, landscape, or texture that fits within your definition of the theme. As always, less-literal takes are equally welcome.

It’s fun to think of ways to respond to the challenge, and neat to see what all everyone else comes up to. Feel free to join in, just click the link above.

My first thought for this challenge was about how it seems like it used to be much more important to be a ‘well rounded’ person. People were educated differently years ago. It seems they got a decent education in math, science, history, government and civics, sports, geography, languages, music and arts, and even rounded it out with travel.

Today, it seems our ‘educational system’ is focused on ‘teaching to the tests’. I don’t see that producing many ‘well rounded’ students, or even ’rounded’ at all!

I think we should go back to giving everyone a well rounded education. Let people focus on their interests and encourage them to learn about other things they might not even know they’ll love.

Here’s a few ’rounded’ shots. Just for the hell of it…

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A Speck in the Sea

I’ve been reading some good books lately. A Speck in the Sea by lobstermen John Aldridge and Anthony Sosinski is one of them.

Subtitled “A story of survival and rescue”, it tells the story of how John fell overboard late one night and the subsequent search and rescue efforts.

I’ve always loved reading stories of disasters and survival. I like to see how people react to unusual circumstances and imagine what I might do if something happened to me. I read about nuclear wars and EMP attacks, alien invasions, the zombie apocalypse, global pandemics, environmental destruction and the more likely (for me personally) disaster at sea stories.

A Speck in the Sea is one of those.

As the Anna Mary motored out from Montauk late one night, John stood watch while his parters slept below. Instead of waking them up as planned, he decided to let them sleep a little longer and started to prepare for the fishing grounds instead.

One small ‘oops’ and he was over the side. In the middle of the night. In the North Atlantic. With nothing but the clothes on his back. With no one aware of his situation.

The book does a great job of telling the story from both sides: John tells what he’s thinking and doing while he’s bobbing around in the cold dark ocean. Anthony and the Coast Guard tell us what’s going on as they discover John’s missing and their reaction. The entire community gets involved. Yes, they would. The seafaring communities are still like that.

As a fisherman myself, with a brother who’s still trying to make a living out there, I could immediately relate. I admire John’s resourcefulness and will to survive. I’m not so sure I would react like he did. I have a much more pessimistic outlook on life. Still, it’s nice to know that it IS possible to survive.

If you’re into sea stories, or in how to survive the unexpected, you might like this book. I recommend it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Share Your World- October 16 2017

Cee always has interesting challenges on her blog. She does photography challenges a lot and she also does this “Share Your World” post every week. Here are her questions (in bold) and my answers for this week.

If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?ย This is such a hard question for me. I’ve been thinking of moving overseas for years now. I can’t make up my mind. I’ve considered Mexico (of course), Nicaragua, Panama, Thailand, Chile, Italy, France, Ecuador, Viet Nam, Korea, Ireland, even Russia!

The main reason I haven’t left yet, for anywhere, is that no place will give me a work visa. At least not for anything like what I’ve spent my entire life doing. The only thing I can do (legally) is to teach English. I have now gone and got certified to do that now, but now can’t figure out how to pay all my bills here at home while only earning teachers pay in some foreign country.

IF finances were taken out of the equation, I think I would move to Ireland. I’ve only been there once, but I didn’t want to leave. The people were really friendly and I had such a wonderful time there. I loved the landscape, the weather was gorgeous, and the fact that it’s an island just adds to the perfection for me. I love the music, the sound of the language, the peoples love of literature, horses and whisky. I would move there in a NY second if they would let me!

What color would you like your bedroom to be? Light blue. I would paint a mural on the walls to remind me of the ocean and the ceiling like a starry night. Maybe put some twinkling lights up there. ๐Ÿ™‚

What makes you Happy? Make a list of things in your life that bring you joy. A good book. Music, especially cajun, bluegrass or reggae music. Delicious food shared with good friends. Deep conversations, solving the problems of the world. Exploring. Learning new things. Travel. Meeting up with old friends in unexpected places. Creating something beautiful like when my paintings turn out better than I thought they would, or one of my photos comes out perfect, right out of the camera. Sailing. Night watch out at sea where I can really see the stars.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? ย Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.ย I read an email from a man, Jon Morrow, who has some major serious medical issues. He somehow managed to overcome all his physical limitations, sold everything he owned, moved to a foreign country (broke), and made a successful blogging career. He talked about how he was able to buy his father a car and how proud he was. I admire him for what he’s been able to do and how he (says) he is helping other people now (I did not buy his program, I’m broke, but it did sound helpful). He’s definitely an inspiration.

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 โ€ฆ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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? ย Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.ย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

PS- the orange boats are the ones belonging to the Cajun Navy ๐Ÿ˜‰

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

You must know enough about me by now to know that I am VERY much in favor of a free society. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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. ๐Ÿ™

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…

โ€œThose who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.โ€

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? ย 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!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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,ย Miami Shores: Let Couple Keep Their Vegetable Garden! – The Petition Site,ย 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.ย 

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. ๐Ÿ™‚