Friday, May 14, 2010

can't fight tempus fugit...

I'm 36 today.

I'm all growed up, I guess. 35 may have been a vintage year, as it ended with a positive balance, in terms of the gestalt of yours truly.

Rather than make a list and check it twice, I'm going to mention that I'm sailing down the Delaware river to Wilmington, DE, with thundersqualls all about- a hint of things to come in the next few months, I guess. We're loaded fairly deep, bucking the tide and steaming slow to make our midnight appointment with one of the most beautiful ships I know of, as far as tankers go... pictures some other time, certainly, after the fact.
Of late I've been sort of focused on my hairline. Contrary to the genetic history of my family, I seem to be getting a little thin at my old hairline... this is worrysome as I've already got a gigantic forehead. I already look like I can talk to dolphins underwater, so I don't need any help there. Id say the stress of the last year has done me in. My sister took my blood pressure just before I drove south to rejoin my barge, and, well, it was high. I could probably stick a lump of coal up my ass and make a diamond.
So, 36 sees some changes in the ol' life and lifestyle. 35 saw me drop 20 pounds from start to finish, which is a step in the right direction. I now have to avoid salt, which is not to my liking. There are salads for lunch and with every dinner.
Ah, but, there is also a lot of positive. I look ahead, instead of behind, when I want to go to my happy place. Good plans in store. I didn't achieve every goal I reasonably set for myself for age 35, but I did knock out some things. I hope 36 is as good or better.

Now, on a more maritime-y note, I'm starting to get a feel for the activity levels of the port of Philadelphia. It seems like this place has become a major transshipment point for goodies set to go to and from Puerto Rico. This is a surprise, but I've noticed that Thursdays and Fridays see a spike in container traffic bound for the Caribbean. I don't yet know why Jacksonville or Norfolk aren't carrying this traffic, but I'd suspect that they're both rather expensive to operate out of, being top-tier container hubs.
The regular liners that I see running on a less-than-2-week turnaround aren't great in number, that I can see, but there's plenty of commerce going on... enough so that I'm starting to put a schedule in my head of when I can expect a slowdown in the backlog of bunker jobs on the horizon-it seems like it will be an every-other week Monday and Tuesday slowdown for liner services. Now, the next thing will be to start becoming more aware of breakbulk and bulk shipping. The fruit boats and cocoa boats (Hershey's IS in Pennsylvania, after all!) are regular as clockwork, as is the OJ tanker...
You know, I'm writing this stream-of-consciousness style, it occurs to me. I always hated reading books written in that fashion (Yes, James Joyce, I'm looking at you. I hope you're being suspended in the air with fishing line, hung by your testicles, in use as the pendulum in Satan's grandfather clock). It also occurs to me that what I've been doing. I'm formulating the opening arguments of a predictive algorithm to guess at when I can reasonably expect time to sit in the sun and read a book, or something equally nonproductive. I'm such a geek.

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