Interesting Lecture

I just wanted to let everyone know about this upcoming event.Β 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. πŸ˜‰

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

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 – 6:30 PM

Running Time:Β 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

Catching Up

I’ve been busy for the last week or so. I was lucky and got to work for 3 whole days last week. I’m scheduled for 3 more days this week and one more day the week after that! That’s the most work I’ve had since I went on that delivery job as AB down to Colombia (in August)! I hope it keeps picking up, but right now it looks like this little spurt will be it for a while.

Offshore things still look pretty grim. I did hear of one company hiring, which is great news, but even tho I’ve sent them my resume, I don’t think they’ll even look at it this time around. Looks like they’ve hired a crewing agency to fill their positions and since I’ve already ‘contacted’ them, I won’t be one of the people considered.Β  Continue reading

Back In New Orleans

Whew! It’s been a hectic couple of days. I actually got to work Monday-Tuesday this week. Was supposed to have Wednesday too, but the students finished up early and so no role players were needed. Sucks!! I really could’ve used that extra day of pay.

But, I put the extra time to good use. I’ve been trying hard to get my taxes to the accountant before leaving for this weeklong trip. I managed to get a few things sorted out and dropped off a package for her on the way to Houston this morning.

I made it just in time for the seminar the Nautical Institute was putting on at the WGMA facility (near the ship channel). They had a pretty good turnout. I was happy to see a few old friends there and had a chance to catch up a little bit. Might even turn into a bit more work for me.

They had 5 different presentations. Everything from how the new DP scheme worked to how the new regulations for low sulfur fuel affected ship handling, to a historical perspective re: shipping and refugees, a very interesting slideshow on the newly opened Panama Canal expansion, to testing life saving equipment in the Arctic (I certainly would NOT want to have to try using any of it up there)! It was really very interesting. Especially the part about polar bears and walrus. πŸ˜‰

I left the seminar at 5:00 and of course got stuck in traffic. It wasn’t too bad yet and I made it to Hobby in plenty of time for my flight. Actually, I tried to get an earlier flight. I had plenty of time for it, but they would have charged me 3 times what I already paid to get the earlier flight. WOW!

I did not take the earlier flight. What the hell!? Why in the world do they do that sort of thing? It doesn’t cost them a single damn cent to put somebody on a different flight, but they all want to make like it’s some huge big deal and just gouge the hell out of you! All it does is ruin their customer satisfaction. Anybody out there work for the airlines have another reason for this other than that they do it because they can get away with it?

I just checked into my hotel. It was a pretty quick ride from the airport. It only took about a half hour. I took the shuttle ($36 round trip). Usually it takes much longer, it seems I’m always the last one they drop off.

I’m too tired to do much tonight. I arrived here after midnight so all I did was check out the room and go out for a cigarette (no smoking hotel). I was hoping for a room with a view, but no such luck. I’m right next to the elevators, convenient but noisy, and I’m looking at a wall about 20 ft away and down into a garage ($42 for parking- wow- gouging again). πŸ™

Looks like I got real lucky to get a room at all. Even in the short time I was down in the lobby, I heard 2 people that had reservations but the hotel had no more rooms. They were pissed (and I don’t blame them one bit)!

I’m so excited to finally be here! Looking forward to starting the travel writing workshop in the morning. It’s going to be a very full weekend. We’ll be in the workshop from 8-5 every day and then (of course) going out to explore at night.

I’ve already missed tonights bourbon tasting set up by a few people on the group Facebook page. That’s probably not something I really needed to do anyway. I’ve got plenty of plans for later, once I get a little sleep. πŸ™‚

Songs of the Sea: The Storms are on the Ocean

Here’s another one for my Songs of the Sea series. It was filmed at the HoustonFest last year (2015), with the Church Sisters. It’s a good one for today. It’s been storming all night and most of the day. I just got back from a short delivery job and it was stormy pretty much the whole voyage.

It’s an old bluegrass song. I like bluegrass a lot. My dad used to rent an apartment to a couple (hi Roberta and Eddie), who played around town in a bluegrass band. I used to love hanging out with them, trying to learn how to play guitar and singing along. I really do miss my music. Just somehow never have time to play anymore. πŸ™

“The Storms Are On The Ocean”
Β 

I’m going away to leave you, love
I’m going away for a while
But I’ll return to you some time
If I go 10,000 miles

The storms are on the ocean
The heavens may cease to be
This world may lose its motion, love
If I prove false to thee

Oh, who will dress your pretty little feet
Oh, who will glove your hand
Who will kiss your rosy red cheeks
When I’m in the far off land

The storms are on the ocean
The heavens may cease to be
This world may lose its motion, love
If I prove false to thee

[Instrumental break]

Oh, papa will dress my pretty little feet
And mama will glove my hand
You can kiss my rosy red cheeks
When you return again

The storms are on the ocean
The heavens may cease to be
This world may lose its motion, love
If I prove false to thee

[Instrumental break]

Oh, have you seen those lonesome doves
Flying from pine to pine
A-mourning for their own true loves
Just like I mourn for mine

The storms are on the ocean
The heavens may cease to be
This world may lose its motion, love
If I prove false to thee

[Instrumental break]

I’ll never go back on the ocean, love
I’ll never go back on the sea
I’ll never go back on the blue-eyed girl
Till she goes back on me

[Chorus]

Zydeco Fest

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 I 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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™

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.Β 

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.

 

Two and a Half

HOURS!

Thats how long it took me to get home from work today!

There was an accident and they had highway 288 shut down. It wasn’t even rush hour yet, but the traffic was bumper to bumper, stop and go from highway 59 all the way down to Beltway 8! They blocked the highway at Reed Road.

They did have warning signs up on 610, but didn’t really hint at how bad the traffic would be. Wow! I’m so sorry I didn’t flip around to 45 and Almeda-Genoa. I could have cut an hour off my drive.

I did try to avoid the mess and drove around a bunch of back roads, but plenty of others had the same idea. Traffic was ridiculous on the surface streets too.

One of the biggest benefits of working offshore is NOT having to deal with traffic! I’ll never understand how people manage to deal with that every day for years on end and not go completely nuts.