Sunday, March 19, 2017

That special post you've been wating for... CARNIVAL!

What better way to brighten up a cold Sunday where I ruined the morning by paying bills?

 Sharing pictures from this year's Carnival!
 This post focuses mostly on the women of Rio De Janeiro, although many Brazilian large cities have their own Carnival celebrations.

 More to come as other shitty days happen.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Let's go shopping!

We're actually pretty busy here at HAWSEPIPER's Afloat Global HQ/ Money Factory. We're cranking out quality cargo on a daily basis, and between weather and scheduling, there just hasn't been time to get any damn fresh groceries.

 Tomorrow was set to be St. Famine's day- the day when I ran out of caffeine. And also food, but the caffeine is the important take-away here. I've been grumpy for 2 days, husbanding my precious supply of caffeine. Being out of green stuff and frozen meat/chicken, but having canned stuff onhand, I could have held out a while, at least another week on canned food, but I would have been an absolute a-hole to live and work with.

 It's the caffeine, not the food, that's the issue. I needs that shit. It's my Lithium.

         So, this afternoon we have a break between jobs, but there's no room at the inn for this virgin Mary, so after anchoring I hitched a ride on our assist tug and got a ride into Brooklyn.

 The grocery story I chose is right next to the Barclay Center (a stadium) in Brooklyn, and turns out, there was a basketball game going on. So that put 10,000 excitable people between me and the damn store, but OK, I can handle that.  For some reason, the crowd outside the stadium was really ill-behaved. People screaming, cops wading into the crowd and yanking people out, etc, etc.
 Oh, turns out, it was also EBT recharge day. The grocery store was a fucking war zone. I'm barely even exaggerating. I saw tho very large women in a shoving match over fucking doritos. People were yelling to other people in other aisles, kids were throwing shit (I got a can of tuna wedged under the wheel of my cart from one feral little bastard, made one of my cases of soda in the underside rack fly out into the aisle. Little shit.), and navigating the aisle was barely possible.
 It was like the Cabbage Patch Doll mall riots from the 80's meets Black Hawk Down.

 We use a car service to do grocery runs- it's a benny arranged by my employer. As such, I didn't have to use the long and ungovernable taxi service line out in front of the store. I called for my ride, waited 20 minutes, and the guy showed up. Then a very loud, very fat woman (I think) tried to get in my ride before me. I was polite, kinda off balance, really, and just said that this was a company driver who was picking me up. The woman then got in front of the car, looked at the plate, and argued that the car had a TLC plate, so it was her taxi, as she was ahead of me in line (she wasn't actually first. There was a wild-eyed Jamaican couple who were as miserable as I was there). I let the driver handle it.
  While this was going on, a Nigerian taxi driver was screaming at another group that he wasn't giving them a ride, as black people never paid without a fight, so he was holding out for a white or asian person.
 Well, that went over just great, and unfortunately the prick was ahead of us and we were boxed in, so I got to watch that little show while I was sitting in my cab being eye-murdered by the Brooklyn Hambeast who had tried to Shanghai my ride. I lost count of how many times that women said 'fuck you' to me through the glass, but I'm sure I could ask her daughter who was with her, who might have been 8.

 Overall, it was a pretty good reminder of how I am not an urban aficionado.
 But you know, the best part, was that when I was on the road home, the night dispatcher (between lost time and lines, it was now 4 hours after I left the HQ) let me know that one of our assist tugs would be bringing me back out to the HQ, and it's the one my nephew works on, and he's just 18 and just got back a few days ago from a trip to Ireland, so I  got to catch up with him and see some great pictures of the Auld Country.

   And Today's St. Patrick's day, one of my favorite feast days of the Catholic church, and I got to see pictures from places that thus far remain unknowns to me. By the time we got out to the anchorage, I was recovered from the melee.
 Well, I still hate people, but that was already the case.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Snow day

A nor'easter, hopefully the last nor'easter of the winter, is upon us.

      Thus far, it's dumped 6 inches or or of ice and snow on the Floating HQ's decks, while we sit at what can laughingly be called a 'hurricane berth,' a berth that isn't one of ours, but which, ironically, provides no shelter, as it frigging faces northeast. So, we're getting rattled around like the last coffee beans in the can, because while the snow hasn't been bad, the wind is pretty zippy, kicking up a nasty chop across miles of fetch, open water for the wind to grab a bite of the water and build up a heavy chop.

 So, yeah, we're pretty much in an awful spot. So it goes. Last nasty disruptive storm, a close-call from a hurricane (Matthew?), same thing happened. Our luck isn't in, so much, but hey, at least we're not working in this shit, because brother, it's shitty out there.

 I'm one week in. Bunkering has been average- we've had some cargo, and presumably this week will be pretty busy as we catch up on fueling up everyone who is waiting to get in or out of town.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Let there be (more) light

Well, we're moored for the night, dinner for the next few meals is in the oven and Daylight Savings Time kicks in in a few hours.S'all good.

       I'm a fan of our seasonal time changes. Doing what I've chosen to do with my time, I've worked through a lot of sunrises and sunsets, and I like having the clock adjusted to keep my circadian rhythm more in sync with the sun. I've never had to deal with depression, thank God, but I'm aware that daylight, like with lies, tends to be sovereign against it. Maybe it helps.I dunno. Maybe all the acid and vitriol that I spit out like one of those lizards in Jurassic Park keeps me flushed out inside, too. Being a shitlord supreme online provides a healthy outlet.

          During my college years, I tended to home base out of downeast Maine, because they'd pay me and lobstering in Boston used to suck during June, July and August anyhow. Being an aspiring marine biologist at the time, and wanting to work on practical shit like keeping fishermen fishing and working with animals that I could eat when I got sick of them, I was in my Graceland for sure.

 When I realized that I hated most of the people I was meeting who weren't fishermen or the guys I lived with in Maine, I left and took the only other job besides being a marine biologist that prevents one from having a savings account- I went back to fishing for a living, and it was nice.

 I'm very lucky in that I don't have any particular problems with getting out of bed whether I'm rested or not. Time to get up means I get up. For some reason, I almost never wake up cranky. That takes a few hours. End result is that I've seen a LOT of sunrises without being a true morning person. I don't have a set wake up time if left to my own devices. I'm a light sleeper, anyhow, so when I'm home, I'm  up usually when my kid is up, who IS a morning person, but at times I'll sleep to 9am if I've been particularly tired. Ruins my day, though. Ideally, I like to be up by 0730 if I've got nothing to do. 0630 is better, but my wife and I like to sit on the porch at night and watch the fish jump in the pond and decompress from the day, and some days, especially if there's whiskey or champagne involved, we stay up late. We're both up by 0730 anyhow, but if we've been up 'till 2am talking, we'll end up sleeping in after my kid's off to school, and then the day is shot. Despite that, it still happens at least once every time I'm home.
      Everyone has their own strategies for dealing with sleep and circadian rhythms, and since my job is mostly an outdoor job, I have mine as well. I have blackout curtains in my bedroom- I like a dark bedroom when I'm sleeping, and the light leaks after sunup will wake me up anyhow. Some guys I work with live on farms in the midwest, so with the nearest neighbor miles off, they have no curtains at all in their bedroom, and rise and rest with the sun. It works for them too. I like the flexibility of sleeping in, even if I don't actually like doing so.
     At any rate, the sun will be up earlier, which does make going to sleep in the morning after a long night at work a touch more difficult, but we have methods of compensating for that too. Me, I read, to relax, after watch. That works for me. I have a deadlight over my room's porthole, anyhow. I actually sleep better at work most days than I do at home. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

because reasons

Well, I had a nice post half-finished, but thanks to the hipsters that infest Brooklyn like flies on shit, my much-anticipated chance to walk ashore was a shitty experience.  

 Lord, we need BASED STICK MAN more than ever.

EDIT: And, seriously, fuck Brooklyn 2 times. I can't upload the picture I planned, because there's no cell signal to speak of.

 I hate this place.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A time to rest

After the whirlwind pace of my week spent in Boston, I spent my last 5 days at home, and thanks to the hard work of my wife and kid, managed to pack plenty of family time and rest into my days, so I returned to work today feeling energized and ready for another 4 weeks of making silk purses out of sow's ears.

 I even took a morning to work on the little boat, and got it all set up to continue on next month, when I get home again.

It's up to about 5lbs now. Best I can figure, I'll need about 40lbs of ballast at some point. I'll probably just use some old dive weights.

 At any rate, I'm back at work and moved back in. Expect greatness... well, mediocrity, really, soon.

Friday, March 3, 2017


Well, time is flying by- already in the last few days of this vacation- I spent the first week in Boston, and it was busy as hell- got a whole bunch of productive stuff done, spent time with loved ones, etc etc. Only downside is that it didn't leave my much time to decompress down here in paradise once I got home, but we're making the most of it.

 I finally had time to do a little work on the little boat, too, which is my therapy. Got it primed to look for spots that needed fairing, and did that- I'm trying to get the hull about 95% fair before continuing on with installing bumpers, chafing strakes and the like. Spending a little time with wet sanding has been a trip down memory lane from my teen years.

 At any rate, I'll be back in the land of ice and snow in a few days.