Wednesday, March 25, 2015

back at it

Well, I'm not yet into a routine here at the ol' 'HQ, but I'm getting there.

    Last week was great. I enjoyed my time at home immensely. In terms of productivity, not much happened. I started an herb garden, tended my orchids, drank the proceeds from my first limes grown from my own tree (mixed with Cachaca, Brazilian rum, of course), and basically hunkered down and spent as much time with my wife and kid as possible. I've spent so much of my time at work and not with my loved ones that I'm pretty run down from it- 'fragile' as my wife says. So, rather than run around and be the morale officer in my house, I took a step back and just enjoyed not doing too much.

   Not doing too much is surprisingly expensive. Worth it, though.

 Anyhow, I just wasn't there yet in terms of getting my shit together to go back to work, but I went back anyhow. I only got 5 1/2 days at home, which is not enough to undo the damage when it takes a full 3 days before I can sit in a chair for more than 5 minutes.

 Relaxing has never been my thing.

 But, rather than cry about it, I'm back at work, earning my keep and saving towards a longer time home four weeks from now. Regardless of what it does to my plan to stockpile mad cash this year, I'm taking the time I need to take time, if you know what I mean. Understanding that, it's helping me settle in more here.

 Busy schedule here at the HQ, anyhow. We're still moving oil more or less nonstop. So it goes. I'm OK with it, as I get paid to do this shit, anyhow.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

fcuk, reprised

Back at work.

 Wasn't ready.

 Not bueno.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Dashing off a quick post while my wife is out running an errand.

 I made it home yesterday, had dinner outside on the patio, listening to the fish jump in my pond, the crickets singing, and the two little frogs that live under the north and south retaining walls of my patio. They live 30 feet apart, but never meet, and call back and forth all night.

 Anyhow, time to brag. When I got home, there was beer in the fridge, ribs and rice n' beans and a salad on the table, and outside by the pond, a bottle of champagne in the ice bucket and cuban cigar, fresh from the wife's trip to Nassau last week.

 If I can get my local Burger King to, say, dodecatuple their manager's salary, I could stay home and do this stuff more often.

Monday, March 16, 2015


Here's some proof that you've got a filthy mind.

 You can find more ways to beat your childhood to death with a spade shovel here:

Sunday, March 15, 2015

channel fever

I gots the channel fever right now. Couple days to go, and lots of work ahead in between. It's looking very much like a crappy crew change. I'll shit if I miss out on too much time home.

 Anyhow, I'm all shitty as far as moods go. Look at these Brazilian ladies until I get back.

Friday, March 13, 2015

This is why we can't have nice things

I enjoy working as a fill-in guy on other vessels sometimes because I have to get outside my comfort zone, which makes my world shrink down to the point where my area of concern is pretty much just inside the hull of the boat, and everything else gets reclassed as white noise for a while.

 But, reality intrudes. Nothing makes me want to suck-start a .45 more than reading the comments section in an article I've posted online, after it's had a day or two to ferment.

 You know how it goes. First few comments, someone brings up a point that supports or detracts from my central theme, or is interesting in a topical sense. Then a white knight tells them they're on the wrong path. After that, camps are forming up, with one side spearheaded by a person who insists on writing the entire biography of the person who first invented whatever I'm talking about,and no actual connection between that person and the particulars I was talking about. You know what I mean. I could have written about the Large Hadron Collider, and then we're all treated to a 10,000 word discourse on Isaac Newton's bowel habits in the comments section.

 5 comments later, it's Obama/Bush's fault, and we're all racists and/or dupes.   Exactly 3 minutes later, it's a Zionist conspiracy, and after the first cry of 'Dem Joooooooooz" there's no more talking about the shit I wrote about.

 And all I can think about is how the fuck we got here. In this instance, I had written about the incredible reliability of the old Detroit diesel engines.

 The more I dwell on it, the old timer who first brought me out on his commercial fishing boat when I was seven used to bellow 'eyes in the boat!' when I was distracted or looking elsewhere. His point was that my safety depended on limiting myself to what was in front of me.

 Man had a point.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Well, I made my first round-trip voyage up the Hudson river for the year.

        Ice-out is already happening. The icepack that choked traffic on the river and threatened to make heating oil scarce for the good folks of the Poconos region is breaking up and heading to sea after a couple of days of above-freezing weather.

 It's pretty, anyhow, but noisy. Sailing over growlers and pack ice isn't terrible- there's a white-noise sound, and up on our bow there's some vibration and rumbling. When the icepack is breaking up, there are sections of clear water, and then the odd 20-foot by 20-foot chunks of ice that are two feet thick, and you know when you hit one of those bad boys. It sounds like a shotgun going off the next street over, then the vibration hits, then the resonance vibration, as the shock waves run through the hull and make the dishes and plates in the galley clatter- once when the shock wave hits, then about a second later when the shockwave bounces back to the bow and reflects back a second time to the house on the stern it happens again, a little more mildly.

 Also, every now and again we hit one of those chunks square, run it down, and it just scrapes the whole way down the hull, like riding over a tall hump in your car, where you look in the rearview and pray like hell that you don't see the fuel tank in the road. Those are the ones that you feel through your feet and make the 'ooooh face. '