Monday, February 8, 2016

crew change tomorrow

Tomorrow marks another crew change. Time to go home. I was planning on working an extra week, but never got up the minerals to ask for it, rather, in a fit of pique one day a few weeks ago, I just said the hell with it and booked my trip home.

 Good pique.

Anyhow, the downside is that now I won't be spending my filthy lucre on wiping out the local ammo supply back home. instead, doing my usual, trying to ensure that I go back to work with 250 more rounds in each calibre I shoot than I started out with. And that's OK, too, I guess.

        Lot of home maintenance scheduled this time. It's unusually cold this week (60's during the day, 50's at night) down in Margaritaville, so it's a great time to fire up the pressure washer and flush out all the mildew and cobwebs and such around my home's exterior, pathways and patio, which means, obviously, that I need to purchase a beer hat to ensure proper hydration and to work the cobwebs out of my liver, as well.
     Tax season is upon us as well, and I joyfully anticipate not filing state taxes for the first time since I was 14. Massachusetts can truly go and eat a dick now that I'm in Heaven's Waiting Room.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

wakey wakey

Situational Awareness has always been important to me, even before I had ever heard the words in relation to safety management.

 I've got a nice fairly cushy job, compared to what I used to do when I was younger. The easiest day I ever had fishing was harder than the average hard day in my current job. Routine for me has always been both comfort and curse. I hate realizing when my situational awareness has slipped.

      I grew up knowing that my father was living on borrowed time. That colored everything in my life. Between age 12 and my late 30's,  I was woken up in the middle of the night at least 20 times to meet everyone and possibly say my goodbyes. When my wife and I were first married, and her asshole friends would call from Brazil in the middle of the night just to say hi, I once threatened to leave her if she didn't turn her phone off when we went to bed. It took a while for her to understand. Couple of late night phone calls on MY phone changed that, seeing me in fight-or-flight, outwardly calm, but very directed, you know? that and a couple of 'stop calling at night or I'm going to end up divorced' calls on her side of things stopped that shit too.

    More than anything else, I'd get angry at my reaction to these events. I'd be mad at myself for not being prepared better for them, despite long practice. 

    Whether it's sleep or just the appalling drone of long routine, when something breaks through the fug and brings on Full Awareness, it's astonishing how negative it makes you feel about yourself, even when you've been relatively good at maintaining situational awareness. You tend to focus on what you didn't see, and that holds true in a professional capacity, as well, and we've all been there, when you realize that you've been smelling burnt insulation or scorched oil for a minute, but it takes longer than it should have (as in it wasn't instant) to realize that action is needed.

      Situational awareness is one of those concepts that is, while not downplayed, not always emphasized enough, in my opinion. You can't legislate love, or safety-mindedness, it has to be user-driven. Situational awareness, too.

         I have a better-than average record for safe, complete cargo transfers. I've had some near misses, and a direct hit, like everyone, but I'm very proud of my record there, and I credit much of that to good training and an emphasis on situational awareness, taught by men whose efforts I didn't always appreciate at the time.
          The Cake, one of the chief mates I worked with on a tanker, was one of those guys. I didn't always treat the guy with the respect he always deserved, and I truly regret that. I had a mad-on for the guy because I thought that he was oblivious to the impact of morale on his crew. In the years since I last worked with or saw him, I realized that he was suppressing his own sympathy and empathy for his crew, trying to get a difficult job done on a ship that was circling the drain for reasons out of the crew's control. I am ashamed of myself because I should have seen it; emotional maturity lags behind the physical, I guess. I regret never truly apologizing to the man. My lack of awareness cost me a fantastic opportunity to learn more about my job.

    Today I luxuriated in a late sleep- I didn't have to set my alarm. At 0730ish, I realized that I'd been smelling hot lube oil for a little bit, and when it finally got through to me, I shot outside and into the generator house like an underwear-clad watermelon seed squeezed between two fingers. The rear main seal on one of our generators had let go, and lube oil was dripping right into the damn fan shroud at the radiator, there to be scattered on the four winds all over the deck, bulkheads and overhead in the generator house.
 So that was my morning. 

Friday, February 5, 2016


My post on the shipping slowdown has been delayed- I've got a little more homework to do, trying to organize citations to explain what the container industries are doing, digging their own graves to avoid taxes. I'll get back to you.

 Couple more days here at the HQ, then I can go home, at which point my productivity will plummet, I hope.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

wasting time

Had one of those extended fall down moments today.

 If you're a, uh... maladroit person like me, you get used to just falling down sometimes. I'm clumsy, and I'll cop to it.

    So, today we're at a lay berth, and I hang an aluminum ladder over the side, tie off the end, and down I do to the dock. No big deal. I get to the bottom of the ladder, which is in about a foot-deep snow pile, step over it onto the pavement of the dock, and my foot slides... so I'm either going to end up doing a split or landing face first in a pile of filthy black snow... but like a dumbass, I try to stay upright, so I stagger, step, stagger again and start drifting off to the side, still not quite balanced, and still moving- I made it a good 15 feet from the ladder, step dancing, doing jazz hands, everything, and no matter how fast I move, my ass is outrunning my upper body, so I get the brilliant idea to aim for the side of the warehouse on the dock- and I almost made it, too. About 5 feet from the wall of the warehouse, my feet finally lock up, and I end up with my top half bouncing off the wall, and from my gut to my forehead, I hit that wall like a fly on a windshield... but I don't stick- with back arched, I just slide down the wall and end up toppling over on my side.

 Total time elapsed had to have been at least 20 seconds.

 So, being a dignified, proud man, I jump up, immediately, and look around. Obviously I must kill any witnesses. Thankfully there are none.

 So, since I'm wearing work clothes, I'm OK. They were shitty clothes before I rolled around on the damp ground. I walk back to the ladder with the intention of setting it properly so it won't get crushed if the barge moves in and out at all, and when I get back from my walk, everything should be easy.

 One hand on the ladder, I slip in the damn snow. Down I go again.

 I got up, got on the ladder, and went back on board. Fuck going for a walk today.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

a question...

How come the most vocal opponents of Abrahamic religions like Judaism and Christianity are the first ones to post asinine shit about angels and crystals and the 'universe' having a plan for them?

 Oh... wait, excuse me a second, my chakras are misaligned. *cups balls.*

 There we go. Much better.

turning the corner

OK, things are looking brighter.

1). First good sleep on my off-watch in over a week.
2). Finally got cold medication that helped. I can sort of breathe. Not quite the same as not being sick, but better.
3) People realized that there is a difference between Trump supporters and Trump voters, and maybe the very accurate things he was saying will be attended to.
4). Comment moderation is working. My troll sent me a message, but I sense that his heart just wasn't in it.
5). One week to go, then I can go home. I have a week to get healthy.