Friday, September 27, 2013

Vespers, waiting for Compline

So big news in the commercial fishing world. The major backer of the proposed Pebble Mine (a massive gold mine project proposed in Alaska, unfortunately located in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, home of the largest Sockeye Salmon breeding grounds in the world) pulled out this week, taking a half BILLION dollar loss, apparently choosing to not spend good money after bad.

 While not the end of the road (there is still a minority partner who doesn't want to walk from their near $200 million stake), this represents the first victory of any sort I can think of for the commercial fishermen of the US, who, in this case, organized a fantastic campaign with the assistance of assorted green fruits and nuts.

 Sun Tzu was on to something with that whole 'the enemy of my enemy...' thing.  It's really unfair he never got a chicken dish named after him like generals Gao and Tso.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Brazilian girls of the month: special edition!

So this month's presentation of girls from Brazil is going to be a little different. This month I'm going to post just regular attractive ladies- attractive, of course, but unexceptional by Brazilian standards. Just want you to know where the bar is set.
 Unfortunately, being in the middle of a 10-week work marathon to build up my savings account, I won't be going to Brazil in the immediate future.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Everything wrong with America in just 5 minutes...

Stay Frosty gents. This one is going to set your rage-o-meter to 11.

"My husband had moved to our farm on Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington with our two dogs to pursue his dream of being a homesteader, changing our marriage into a long-distance arrangement with occasional weekend visits"

Read: My husband, realizing he couldn't divorce me without impoverishing himself, decided voluntarily to impoverish himself in exchange for moving way the hell away. 

"Then in May, the school year ended and my daughter came home for the summer. After being away for so long, she could barely wait to see her boyfriend. He moved into her bedroom the night she arrived and hardly ever left, except to attend his last few classes of high school.
The two of them were so enamored of each other, I didn’t have the heart to separate them. I assumed they’d soon grow bored with seeing each other every day and he’d go home. This didn’t happen.
The biggest problem was that my daughter and her boyfriend brought with them a level of messiness I had grown unaccustomed to. They shed clothing like dogs shed fur, peppering the apartment with sweatshirts, T-shirts and underwear. They preferred my shower to hers and soon the drain was clogged with hair.
While I was out of town on business, they moved into my bedroom, too; I have a king-size bed and they found it roomier. They produced mounds of laundry, garbage and recycling. The water and electricity bills both shot up."

 Read: "Because I never taught my daughter about boundaries, she fucked me over in every way while her boyfriend did the same to her, literally. Because she thinks of me as a friend and not as her mother, she and her boyfriend never learned what respect means and are comfortable enough around me to be fucking slobs. Because he came inside her and not on my sheets, I accepted that they would use my bed for this. Good thing I'm so nonjudgemental, because my sheets smell like Sea World.

 The boyfriend IS asian, so it might be discriminatory to complain.  I mean, that wouldn't be celebrating diversity.

“Liberal mother syndrome?” I said. “It’s probably a reaction to my own experience.” I was raised in a conservative Midwestern family by a mother whose worst fear was that one of her four daughters would get pregnant out of wedlock. Nothing, short of maybe our dying, could have been worse. Even when we had reached college age and were all responsibly taking the pill, we still weren’t allowed to sleep with our boyfriends at her house."

The poor, poor lady. Her mother had boundaries and demanded the respect due a parent. What a raging bitch her mom must have been. Jesus, I bet she made her daughters clean, too. 

“I’m not your dog!” I screamed. “Don’t ever call me that or park in my spot again.”
“It’s not your spot,” my daughter said.
“As long as I’m the one paying for it, it is!” I hollered. “If you want to pay for it, then we’ll talk.”
Blown away by my rage, the boyfriend gathered his clothes, put on his Nikes and went home. Later that night, I sat down my glowering daughter and outlined the rules of engagement: The boyfriend was welcome to stay over, but only one or two nights a week. They were to clean up after themselves. My bathroom and bedroom were off limits, and he was never to park in my spot again. 

I guess this is where we're supposed to give her a participation trophy just for doing her fucking job. Too bad everyone else does it when their kid is 3. 

 2 bucks says the girl is studying Art or Education. I think Women's studies is out because she was spreading for her boyfriend on mommy's mattress.

 If you're excuse me, I'm going to go out on deck and air-punch some imaginary hippies. 
 I'm glad I work on the water. I don't have to tolerate people like this. I just really wish that they didn't exist. 


Sunday, September 22, 2013

three years already.

Hard to believe that my dad's been gone three years already. Sometimes it feels like longer. Interminable, maybe. Good or bad, though, it's not possible to stay in an intensely hyperemotional state. Thy body can't sustain that level of intensity forever. These days my first thoughts of him are of the great memories, not his absence, and that's entirely to the good. I miss him, though.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Moby Dick Revisited

 Before I left my house 5 weeks ago, I pulled a box out from the top of the coat closet- one of 3 boxes that I would regularly mail to and from my old ship the "New River" prior to starting and shortly before finishing a voyage. Books, clothes and things like that which I picked up and wanted to bring home or to work, pretty much. Well, it had been a few years since I opened this box. I was looking for some work-quality (stained) flannel shirts and stuff for the upcoming autumn. I found my paperback unabridged copy of Moby Dick by Herman Melville. No shirts, though.

        I'm a voracious reader. Although unedited from the archaic english Melville wrote in, it took me about 5 nights to read the book. About 1/3 slower than normal. I try to drag it out, enjoy it, you know?

 Anyhow, among my favorite passages is Ahab's moment to harpoon the whale after chasing it across time and much of the globe. There are so few passages in books that truly capture the emotional weight of a true emotional climax for a man who has utterly and entirely committed himself to an action. You know that moment you think of, maybe one you've never truly even had to be in, where you utterly throw yourself at a goal that has become an obsession, where costs, consequences and calculations become meaningless in the name of a shot at catharsis? To me, surviving a moment like that is the very epitome of what it is to be a man- and the genius of Melville shows when he narrates this moment where a simple case of revenge has devolved into a one-way journey into hell.


All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby-Dick. He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it.

Goddam right he did. 

presented without comment

Saturday, September 14, 2013

vroom vroom

 Congrats to my big brother for finishing the restoration of his '71 Cutlass 442!  Nothing left but to buff and wax the body and rims!

 I forgot to ask what tape he's got in the 8-track. Hoping it's not Starland Vocal Band.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

not feeling it

Inspiration is scarce on the ground.

 I'm finished with my regular tour, now working over on someone else's bunker barge, still here in NY. Trying to be polite while living out of a duffel bag. Man I miss my galley.

Here's stuff to look at.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Posted Without Com...*snort*...without commen...(Oh Dear Lord)...without...BWAHHAHHHAHHHAHAHAAAAA!!

My goodness. Please, read the above article. I found it hilarious, then batshit insane, then hilarious again. Then sad. Then hilarious once more. Dude married his sex doll.

 Here. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then at least 500 of the ones that aren't "What" "The" or "Fuck" are probably variants on "Oh, well, this explains a lot."

 Please take a moment, have an anti-emetic, and go Purell your hands. I promise it will help. Best I can do, as they don't make Purell for the mind... well, Jack Daniels will do fine there, I guess.

Well, on the off chance you're a bleeding heart who thinks I'm a dick for poking fun at a 'free spirit' or 'troubled person' (or as we call them at home "fuckin' weeihd"), or for anyone who thinks I'm just being a dick and a bully, I'll open up my heart and say that I understand this guy. Not at the point where I'm going to get a boner for the furniture, you understand, but I've had a deep and abiding affection for my first sex toy, too. We've worked together, vacationed together, and had our ups and downs, but she's always been there for me, and in 25 years, never has said no to me yet.

I even put a ring on her.

Thanks, and have a good night. Don't forget to tip your waitress!

Monday, September 2, 2013

the father-by-phone checks in

A recent post by Captain Capitalism has spurred me to share this little shitbit from home a few months ago. If you haven't met the Captain, please do so. You'll learn something, guaranteed, and the fact that he's another guy who has turned his back on making a living in the field he was trained in makes him a kindred spirit to yours truly, anyhow.

        I have an awesome kid. I try to leave my boy some privacy so I don't go on and on here, but I got very lucky in most every way with my family, especially considering my life and lifestyle, and the fact that I spend so much time at sea. My kid's a real individual- smart, about a head taller and half again as big across the shoulders as most other boys his age. He prefers the company of adults compared to other kids, for the most part, with the exception of a few friends. He has the ability, at 10 years old, to tell women what they want to hear, which makes me nervous. He's also incredibly stubborn yet very well behaved. Strange combination, but bear with me, as it pertains to this story.

 My boy learned Portuguese first, and, while fluent in English, he learned Portuguese first, which put him behind his peers early on, so he spent 3 years in supplemental ESL classes in his first years in grade school.
     Anyhow, all last year I was receiving progress reports showing that my kid was excelling in math, but lagging in English classes. I wasn't actually home for the regular parent/teacher conferences until the end-of-year conference, so I never actually met my kid's teacher last year. I know that my wife was ambivalent about the woman, who had complained that my boy was disruptive when bored, and corrected the teacher. A LOT. Comes with the territory I guess of spending too much time with adults. I'll admit that I was a little dismissive of my wife's opinion, as I thought her dislike came from the woman's having given some constructive criticism, and my wife is pretty fierce about anyone talking shit about her boy.

 Anyhow, I got some not-so-subtle classism/racism overtones from one of the teachers who had been in contact with my wife. The woman spoke very quickly and ignored my wife's look of confusion when she couldn't keep up with the flow of rapid English. Bowled right over her. (all these years together, my wife still won't admit when she can't understand someone's English, including mine at times). The woman shifted over to me and ignored my wife, and I was trying to figure out what was going on with all the undertones.  Since I don't have a foreign accent, I am obviously the smart parent.
What a bitch. Really.
    Turns out, my kid's teacher last year was into grouping the students randomly, not by ability, and handed out group assignments. In the hour or so alloted to math work, my kid would finish the independent parts in 2-3 minutes, leaving him 20 or more minutes to wait for the others to finish. He was not allowed to do something else, but he could 'help' other students in his group. Well, turns out he didn't like doing that. Hey, he's an individual, and I sympathize. I don't like instructing others either, which is why I'm not a biology teacher getting paid to work 5 hours a day and mentally masturbate for 25 years 'till retirement.
 Anyhow, my kid doesn't like teaching, not least because he tends to do math intuitively in his head. And this teacher was going on and on about his 'difficulty' and her 'difficulty'. And I was wroth. Very wroth, in fact, but I disguised it as confusion.

 "Well, I'm not sure I understand," says I. "You won't teach him at his level, so he's bored, and you're asking him to do your job for you, and he doesn't want to teach the slow kids-"
"Oh, we don't use that word!"
"OK, he doesn't want to sit with the dullards and do your job, but you're not happy that he doesn't want to help the kids who are struggling, and you don't want to give him work that will interest him. Do I understand this correctly?"
"We're concerned that his socialization..."
"We're still talking about math, right?" Math?

     Anyhow, after listening politely while the teacher talked about how bad my kid made the other kids feel because he's bored out of his trees in math class and some of them aren't, I asked if the teacher ever read "Harrison Bergeron." At this point, the ESL teacher, who was sitting with us, looked at me like she had just bit into a lemon.  I hit a nerve, but luckily my kid's main teacher went to a liberal arts college so she hadn't read anything written by a man and had no idea I had just landed a solid body blow.
 Well, my wife explained again that she didn't feel a need or desire to discipline my boy for the crime of being bored and a boy, and I paraphrased to bridge the gap between my wife's version of English and a more clear version, for the sake of clarity, and noted that I concurred, but that we would talk about being more deferential in the future, if they would consider trying to teach our son a little more.

 Anyhow, now I understand what happened in my college days when the students who bombed out of the core bio/chem/physics/calculus classes would reappear in my gen-ed classes the next semester. They couldn't pass a high-school math class, but apparently they can teach it.
 Gah, I wonder what's going to happen when the elderly, knowlegeable but crabby teachers retire? All the students are going to feel great about themselves and their collection of participation trophies, right up until they run into a guy like me at work.