Saturday, August 30, 2014


Bless the Seven Mad gods of the Sea, for we have been bestowed the rarest of rare gems: a quet weekend alongside a pier that allows shore access.

 I've been walking until my legs are sore, enjoying the sights and smells of New York. I've also been able to check off the following 'must see' things one looks for while in The Big Apple:

Down n' out mime? Check.

Sassy Large Black Woman looking directly at my crotch while asking if I've got the time? Check.

Arab child running into traffic, causing car to lock up brakes in a screeching halt? Check. Angry Arab father screaming at car for driving in the road his child desired to dart across? Also check.

 Late-30's women with bowl haircuts referring to their awful little dogs as their 'kids?" Oh, mais oui, check.

 Panhandler with sneakers which are more expensive than mine? Si.

400lb cop struggling to get out of his cruiser in front of the Italian Ice place? Yah.

2 old Italian guys nose to nose, talking loudly, hands flailing wildly? Check. Also, awesome.

 Only thing I missed out on on this morning's stereotype walk was an aggressive guy in a tank top yelling "Hey I'm walking here!" at traffic,

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Detox, but for reals, yo.

Man, I kinda feel shitty.

   I've been back at HAWSEPIPER's Afloat Global HQ/ recovery clinic for about 48 hours, and I...feel...rough.

    This is what happens when a recovering fat guy goes off the wagon for a week, I guess. Last week at home, I ate like a king, drank like a fish, exercised not at all and slept... well, not much, really. I packed a lot of living into one week, and Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife and I were glued shoulder to shoulder most of that time, so she's feeling it as well. I'm logy, grumpy and my energy level is in the toilet.

 Awesome time, totally worth it.

 But, back to it. I dragged my ass through my Day One Aboard exercises last night, even though it was Day Two, and it was a simple shake-out-the-cobwebs routine- an hour's walk around the deck, interspersed with pushups, situps and some curls with 30lb dumbells- not even enough to get me sore, but enough to get the lead out, you know?  And sure, I feel OK, now that I'm on the far side of a 6-hour nap since then, but I'm still not energetic.

 I need another day or two I guess, but some of that is, of course, because even though I poisoned myself for a week at home, it WAS only a week, and for a Family Man, that's not enough time for the Man... or the Family, really. My kid was super-excited to have me home, and we only had limited time together, as he's already in school, and the wife and I had to use school hours to run errands and do the hundred things that must be done when the breadwinner is home to win bread. My bank account is a smoking hole, for certain, and it's probably a good time to buy stock in Home Depot. Seriously, considering my affinity for good scotch and bad beer, you'd think I'd have spent all my discretionary money on consumables, but nope, Home Depot's garden section kicked my ass. On the upside, my patio is well on the way to looking more like an oasis, and less like a concrete slab with a bug screen around it.

    Anyhow, I managed not to wake up with a hangover during the week, which I credit to my kid's presence, as I don't need him to see me like that, but it certainly wasn't for the lack of trying. Once he was in bed, I retreated to the patio to watch the bass jumping in my pond and enjoy the breeze through my small collection of palms and Bird-Of-Paradise plants with the Mrs, pretty much as a nightly ritual. If there's any moment more sweet and homesickness-inducing, I couldn't say. There was a decent moon most nights, no rain (some heat lightning and distant thunder), and my neighbors on the far side of the pond are older than Moses, so they seem to go to bed with the sun.
 Yup, altogether a great week, but not enough to recharge my batteries to 100% because it was only a week, and I've overworked myself this year. Still not recovered from that, mentally, I guess. When I go home next, I'm going home for my full allotted time, and I plan to cry havoc and let slip my personal dogs of war then, in an effort to come back here the fucking ray of sunshine that is my usual self.

 On the upside, it looks like upon completion of our next cargo, we might get a morning off and shore access, to boot, so yours truly can get a decent 6-7 mile walk in and hypercaffeinate in an effort to get my cobwebs cleared and undo the damage done by a week of good livin.'

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Home for a few days. I'll be back at work much too quickly. Stand by.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Old photos

Here's some old photos from the wayback machine, featuring yours truly.

Friday, August 15, 2014

In Which I Solve Problems to Everyone's Satisfaction

As you may have heard, there was recent publicity  around an unskilled yet opinionated writer's assertion that women's plumbing supplies (tampons, pads and that sort of thing) should be subsidized by the Gubmint, as they were a basic human right because feelings.

 You can read a more exacting and thoughtful synopsis here.

"We need to move beyond the stigma of “that time of the month” – women’s feminine hygiene products should be free for all, all the time."

 I dunno. This is what I hear. 

 Anyhow, I have a solution. 

  Look at the surface area of the average pad or tampon. Plenty of surface area.   So you sell off advertising space, and using hypoallergenic ink, Stayfree and Co. can write off transport costs, AND IT WON'T COST TAXPAYER DOLLARS to do so. 

 Anyhow, what a shame, to let all that marketable advertising space go to waste. Think about it. Everyone's going to get on board, because it's for the children, or something. 

I can see it now:

"Trust Dr. Scholls"
"Radio Shack: We're still a thing."
"If you can read this, you could be reading COSMO"
"Brought to you by Disney."

Problem solved. 


So how bad is the manpower shortage in the maritime industry?

 It's bad enough that my employer is paying me my relatively princely wage to fill in a job as an Ordinary Seaman, an entry-level position in the maritime world.

 I'm working on a tugboat, something I never really got to do.  You see, I'm a tankerman, and paid my dues in a ship's engine room before breaking out onto the deck of a tanker, and then I came here to HAWSEPIPER'S Afloat Global HQ/center for sexual deprivation, skipping my employer's usual advancement route aboard their fleet of tugs.

 So, yeah. They're paying me my rate to do a job that normally pays substantially less, because they don't have the people to fill the spots. I'm doing the job of a raw greenhorn.

   No one wants unskilled labor on a boat, so companies hire the bare minimum of shoemakers and then many hope to promote from within. BUT, when there's a gap between fieldable employees and minimum crew figures for a vessel to leave the dock, stuff like this happens.

 And this is why I'm shouting out to the world that if you're out of work and worried, contact me. If you're unemployed and turning your nose up at a $50,000 a year job, you're obviously not THAT worried.

Monday, August 11, 2014

no time

Crew change tomorrow, so it's pretty busy tonight. No time to post. Here, look at this until I get back.