Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day

Today we remember those who fell in the service of our nation.

     As I age, I regret more and more that I can't number myself among the veterans of this nation. My father, uncles, brother, sister, and nephew have all served. My immature 18-year old self had an invite to try for Nuke school in the navy, but I wanted to fish and be a scientist, numbnuts that I can be.

 Well, I woke up, just  a bit late for that.
            The pastor at my old church when I lived in Boston recently left for boot camp. He was really psyched up- a diminutive, 30-something Catholic priest, of Indian (dots not feathers) descent, he absolutely didn't fit the mold, but by now he's out of boot camp and is a chaplain and a reservist.  I honor that guy.

   For those that do make it back, but suffer physically, mentally or spiritually as a result, I am always saddened that we are so willing to throw money at those who do nothing but take it, but for our veterans, there is so little we as a nation are willing to give.  God bless them all.

Sunday, May 29, 2016


Well, summer's here. It went from low 70's to high 80's in just one day. I'm sweating like a whore in church for now. I don't mind the heat at home- I can have a beer or go inside if the heat bothers me. At work, work gotta get done. So it goes.

 I don't really mind- I don't love adult diaper rash season at work, but I like it a lot more than 5 degrees outside and blowing 35.

                The weekend has been slow for us- we've got a busy first half of the week coming up, but the weekend has been clear, so painting and needle gunning is happening, as well as daily walks after the sun goes down.

 It's been a good weekend to be me, for sure.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

rule of unintended consequences, or just being whiny

So, this happened:

  (DNV GL) – Ships constructed on or after January 1, 2016 and entering into the North American or U.S. Caribbean Emission Control Areas (ECA) must comply with the Tier III NOx requirement of MARPOL Annex VI, Chapter 3, Regulation

 Basically, that means that new ships need new, low-emissions engines in our neighborhood.

 An ECA is an 'Emission Control Area'  A region designated by the MARPOL treaty, one of the big anti-pollution treaties that you deal with when you work on the water. I'm not going to get into nomenclature and details too heavily- too many memories of when I had to study this shit under some  real A-holes back in the day. 
     Anyways, ECA's are mostly about the sulfur content in boat fuel, but have been implemented to be ready to manage oxides, as well- NOx, for short, and another source of air pollution on top of sulfur.

         My employer replaced the HQ's  cargo pump engines (2 big diesels) with Tier III compliant engines, after the Coast guard expressed concerns about the electronic management system of the old engines. Sort of a twofer, was my impression.

          The new engines were rated for the same horsepower, and had a smaller footprint. All to the good- fuel consumption is about the same. But that's the upsides. The downsides? The new engines have significantly less torque, poor performance at low temperatures, and a less able governor system- they do like to stall out more when taking a load at low speeds.
 I'm not bitching here. Just the way things are. The new engines work fine, for what they are, and I'm a bit of a Luddite, anyhow. I wish they were old school turbo'd  Detroit 871's or Cat 3608's, something that you fix with a hammer and a pipe wrench, you know? Newer diesels, you look at them funny, something falls off them. They're awful expensive, too, but they do burn cleaner, I'll say that.

    At any rate, for the bigger picture, I get it. I like clean air, especially because working so much around NY harbor, there's not a lot of it. Every time I get home, I'm hacking up lung clams for the first day, and then it stops. I'm all for things that make that better for everyone, though I'm aware that there's a price to be paid, in cash, for the effort.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sailors and ironworkers know about this

Needle gun season is in high gear! We're already making inroads on killing off last years' rust. Ah, metal chips in the eye, black snot, and the energizing feeling of grit, paint chips and dirt between one's butt cheeks as you dream of the shower at the end of the watch, capped off by NO FUCKING CHANCE whatsoever that anyone  within 500 feet will be resting or able to hear anything.

the best laid plans

With no orders currently, sitting at anchor overnight, somewhere around sunrise I woke up, briefly, and thought I might do some needle gunning ater breakfast,  break up rust on deck here and there, something I used to do for hours and days and weeks at a time when I was first going to sea.
 I'm currently waiting for my back to stop being sore. Slept on it wrong, and it's cranky. 

 A needle gun is a cylindrical air tool, about 18 inches long, with 18 or 24 long steel needles sticking out of one end. Pushing the trigger while connected to an air hose makes the needles vibrate about 3/8 of an inch back and forth, hundreds of times a second, and the vibration and impact of this causes any rust and paint to fly off the steel underneath. It's incredibly loud, and also very dirty work. After a quick buffing with a grinder, the spots are treated with an acid bath, then rinsed off a few hours later and repainted.

Friday, May 20, 2016

no quarter in Brazil

I've really enjoyed getting caught up on the news and innuendo (but I repeat myself) online, after being at home and more or less ignoring what's been happening.

     One thing we did see at home is that while Venezuela's in the news of late, as they're Feeling the Bern of socialism, there hasn't been as much attention focused on Brazil, where the government, led by President Dilma Roussef, a communist and former terrorist (who was naturally placed in charge of Brazil's state run oil company, Petrobras, prior to being president...

 Well, have you heard about this? Petrobras has been exposed for major corruption- over 100 billion US dollars down the memory hole, and half the standing government is implicated.  Last week, Roussef was impeached, and in 6 months she'll face  a senate trial. There's a strong feeling that she's a puppet, with former President Lula Da Silva, a socialist former union leader (the man who appointed her to head Petrobras) elbow deep, still calling the shots.

 The call for impeachment was already in the air, but when investigators started closing in on Lula, Roussef attempted to appoint him to a governmental cabinet position that came with prosecutorial immunity, which would have made him bulletproof. The attempted appointment was blocked by government, and this seemed to have been the last nail in the coffin. The impeachment vote happened, and Roussef is out. Of course, the interim leader, her political opponent, was her Vice President, and he too is under investigation.

        I never allow the TV to be on when we're eating a meal at home- I make a point that we sit down and eat as a family. We might be eating hot dogs and hamburgers, but we're eating it off of good plates and silverware, with the table properly set... but I made an exception when all this was going down in Brazil- we ate and watched the action, my wife and kid translating the bigger words for me.

 Honest to God, the drama of all this, and the utter ridiculousness, it was like watching one of their soap opera novellas.

    As things wound down, and shockingly, Roussef initially refused to step down, but was escorted off peacefully, surrounded by her cronies, we gave up on the TV, but it was pretty exciting.

 I'm slightly optimistic here. Brazil has a chance to make some positive changes and join civilized humanity, rather than being a banana republic with mines and oil instead of bananas. Getting over spending Other People's Money will be hard, and the people have gotten used to socialism after 30 years of indoctrination- it's cheaper to buy a poor man's vote than a wealthy one's, for certain, and Brazil has an ample supply of poor, plus, on top of that they have this really awful variety of morality, where, if no one sees you sin, it's not really a sin, and from the top down in their culture, this has poisoned them and made efforts at democracy almost impossible. I mean, their counterculture is Christian evangelism.
       Even religion is poisoned there. My own Catholic faith, which has certainly got very little room to throw stones, is absolutely openly corrupted in Brazil. I walked out of the cathedral church of St. Bonfim in Salvador, in the state of Bahia, physically nauseated. People were being encouraged to buy their way out of sin and illness. Shit that was a big part of causing the fucking Protestant Reformation, for God's sake, still going on. A big chunk of what little respect I had left for my own church died that day. Now I view Catholicism the same way I view the United States. Wonderful, except for the people that run it.

       Anyhow, Socialists and Communists have been calling the shots politically in Brazil for the past generation, and the graft that is so openly accepted seems to be getting harder to get away with as Other People's Money starts running out. The Olympics is coming up, and I suspect that's going to make things rough in Brazil- aside from the fact that it has been a running money-redistribution scheme for the pals of the folks in Government, and now the country has no money and massive unemployment now, and between Zika and pollution and other nice things that are going to be an issue, too, daylight is a hell of a disinfectant, and there's more opportunity for Brazil's corruptocrats to have a Come To Jesus moment. Amidst the chaos, there is opportunity for positive change.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Housekeeping- new blogs!

I had to clean up my blogroll a bit, and added some new blogs in there- stuff I've been reading a while. I'm terrible at linking to people who's stuff I like.

John C. Wright's Journal- sci-fi writer, recovering lawyer, and a deeply religious man, John Wright writes with a great gift for metaphor and  he's not someone you want to get into a debate with if you don't come armed with subject-matter expertise. Dude will pray for you then dissect you. I enjoy seeing him do this.

Captain Jill's Journey's- Captain Jill is a ship's master who specializes in oil rigs (they have maritime officers just like a traditional hulled ship), and writes about her travel, domestic adventures in Texas, blogging and photography, and the state of the oil patch (currently horrible). She's an avid Libertarian and lover of the remains of formerly free America, and is very persuasive but writes sparingly on politics.

Nobody Asked Me- A retired naval Intelligence officer, Old NFO writes about military stuff, flying, America, and the absurdities of politics.

 Check 'em out- they're in my list of sites I check every day, and maybe you'll see why...

cute little booger

I may end up with one of these little dogs. Small body, big spirit.

Channeling Winston Churchill to Battle Eurotrash in Miami

My 42nd birthday was almost perfect.

           My kid had a busy weekend preparing for a competition later this summer, and had asked to spend the weekend at a friends' house. As it happened, that Saturday was my birthday, so my wife and I agreed, and made reservations at a hotel on South beach in Miami.

   South Beach is one of the biggest party spots in the US. I booked a hotel room that was horrifyingly expensive, because I don't want to hear dance music at 3am, or deal with idiots flipping their shit back at the hotel after the clubs get out.

     Man, this place was POSH. It's called the Z Ocean Hotel, and I got a rooftop balcony suite- aside from my room, which had a full bar and a marble shower with heads in the ceiling and several of the walls, couple of TV's, nice bose stereo, etc... you know, how the other half is supposed to live, I guess. Anyways, wicked nice, and there was a covered balcony outside that overlooked the pool down below, and a spiral staircase off of that that led to the rooftop.
 The roof of this place... holy shit. Well, you get what you pay for. There was a sun bed, table, private entrance for the waitstaff, and tons of privacy away from the deck edge and balcony- a 4-person jacuzzi on a raised marble dais in the corner, and an outdoor sound system for the music of our choice. No shit, I felt like, as expensive as it was, I got a good deal. Plus, big jacuzzi.

 So, other than a light lunch downstairs, we stayed in our suite for the next 22 hours. And by 'stayed in our suite' I mean hung out on the roof, drank champagne (I brought a couple of bottles of the moderately good stuff - hey, I ain't paying $100 for a $20 bottle of hotel champagne). ordered room service, drank wine and whisky, and got drunk in the jacuzzi, then ordered room service again, until about 3 am.

Funny thing is, neither of us actually like south beach very much. We go mostly for the people watching- it's a freak show- the beautiful people advertized on TV? Not so much. Every corner seems to have a shemale fighting with someone over the phone, yelling energetically, and people of every color, nationality and orientation all being rude to each other while going from A to B. Great to watch.

 This time, though, other than our lunch and the walk back and forth to the hotel, we kept to ourselves, and that was even better, in my book. Although by this time I had already been home for a week and a half, and Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife and I had spent most of every day together, it was nice to do so in relative isolation, and enjoy the sun, food, jacuzzi, drinks, music and each other's company.
     Seriously, if you're a mariner, and work on a long or longer rotation, you know what I mean- you can make your life such that every trip home can be a little honeymoon. Normally we don't splurge like this, paying out a week's pay for normal people on an overnight trip, but surprisingly, it was worth it, and I went home the next day tired, but with no guilt.

   Oh, the downside? This hotel is on South Beach, and attracts Eurotrash 20-somethings. Who have money and are as a rule, rude. So at 3:15AM, just as we went to bed, the afterparty picked up a couple of doors down, and rather than party on the roof, they did so in their suite, and the awful techno music wasn't audible, but the ridiculous bass was, so that happened. My wife is a sound sleeper. She dozed right off. Half drunk or no, I'm not going to be sleeping with that. Ever had a black kid pull up next to you in a car with the bass blasting so much that it makes your teeth itch? Yeah, that.
     So, after a while, the wind being just right for it, I went outside, lit up a horrifically foul-smelling ancient cheap torpedo cigar out on the balcony, and clad in a bathrobe and naught else, parts cooling in the breeze just out of sight, put my feet up and stank the hell out of those inconsiderate little shits 2 doors over downwind for about 90 minutes. I'm not kidding, this cigar has been languishing in the bottom of a bag for over a year, and was the size and diameter of a sawed-off baseball bat. I had to get a glass of whisky and ice to deal with the dryness of it. So I smoked my cigar, drank my whisky (which, the tapering off effect combined with drinking lots of water, I credit with preventing a hangover), and read a book on my Kindle. You know, making lemonade from lemons.
       After about an hour, listening to accents and languages only half-understood, comments from the balcony down the way ("My God, the smell" "Vulgar" "Why won't he go to bed?" Someone turned the music down, and I had finished Satan's Stogie as I watched the sky lighten up, took a shower, brushed my teeth and went to bed for a few hours.

      My wife, being a late sleeper but normally a light drinker, was surprisingly enough, up at a reasonable hour. We packed up, surveyed the carnage, and went to breakfast.

 Oh, one last, cool thing. The hotel pool has glass windows on the bottom, and on the floor below the pool is a bar adjoining the restaurant. So you have shade, but the skylights are actually the pool. Pretty neat, and while, like most hotels, the American breakfast is of indifferent quality, the mimosas were excellent and there was a giant chessboard next to our seats, where we discovered that after all these years, neither of us actually enjoy chess at all.
It also doesn't help when neither of you know the name of the pieces in the others' native language. 

       After we got out of there, I suddenly had enough, and although we were going to spend a couple of hours, the knowledge that I was heading back to work in a couple of days really hit home, and I wanted to just go get my kid and have the day as a family, so that is exactly what we did.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

do the hustle!

Back to work.
 I was back aboard by 11am yesterday, and all is as it was, for the most part.

 Naturally, I'm  not feeling super-inspired, so here is something to look at while I get back into my groove.

Friday, May 13, 2016

drunkblogging- coming up for air

I wrote this the other night- I was pretty hammered. I had to fix some typos, but overall, I write better drunk than I can speak when sober. Hmmm. 
*     *     *    *      *

It’s a funny thing, comfort.

     I’m sitting on my patio, listening to the trickle of water in my fountain, smoking a cigar, writing my little screed, and sipping at a glass of ice and Jamison. There are smallmouth and bluegills jumping at the bugs above the pond I share with my neighbors. My patio has a screenhouse, so there’s no bugs here, but between my wife’s collection of massive tropical plants and orchids inside here, and the warm concrete under my feet, it’s tropical enough.  I spent today repotting her hybrid roses that like the tropics, trimming the palms and lime trees inside the patio, and hauling out a 100lb bag of soil that the ants got into. Seriously. 100lb bag of ants. It was horrible, cutting that fucker open.

     For all the breathtaking beauty, it’s not natural to me. We were talking about that after dinner. My wife and I went for a swim, then did the 3-mile walk around the neighborhood.

    When I was a child, and a teen, I worked, and it was dirty. One time, pulling the old timer’s docks up on the beach one frozen November, I slipped and fell on the deck of the dock, and my thigh landed directly on a frozen knot in a piece of rope. The pain was intense, and I was glad no one saw the tears as I walked it off. It hurt for a while, but bruised up, and I was fine in a few hours. No problem walking or anything, though it was pretty tender for a few days. 3 months later, a buddy went pie eyed at the jet black bruise that ran from above my knee to my waist when we were changing after swimming at the Y. Took 6 months before that bruise completely went away. I didn’t think anything of it except that he brought it up 10 years later when we were both presenting papers at the same academic conference.
        This place, my home in Florida, is beautiful, an artificial construct. The kids in my neighborhood ride their bikes at 11pm in the summer, when it’s cool outside and they can play. It’s the opposite of racing to finish up a game before the streetlights came on, when I was growing up, but it’s pure and fine to see, nonetheless. Even the kids know that we’re in an oasis of privilege, where such things can still be a thing. On Mondays the landscapers come and do everything. I don’t own a lawnmower because I live in a gated community.
     When I was 13, we made stuff, sometimes.  My kid at 13,  is so amazingly creative, it makes my heart ache to see the things that he can picture in his mind’s eye, and put into paper. He’s been working on a 2x3 painting of a single rose for a few weeks, off and on, up in his room, where his easel is next to the Xbox and the compound bow he shoots religiously, already pressuring me to go turkey hunting with, come this fall.  Creativity for me, at 13, with a mouth full of copper nails, inch and a quarter long, I’d nail the oak laths to the frame of a lobster trap, cut it flush with a hack saw, and be proud of my artistry. 6 nails. 2 to the kitchen end, 2 to the bridge, 2 to the parlor end of the trap, cut and continue, until the 6 foot laths were too short to use, and then they’d go into a kindling pile.
 I’m not sure who enjoyed the craftwork more, me or my kid. I can’t draw, and my hands are so knotted that signing my name is uncomfortable. I can still sew, and braid netting (I made a little net with a box of floss last month), but the last wooden lobster pot passed under my hand when I was just a little older than my kid is now. The wire and metal mesh ones are easier and better in most ways, but the visceral experience of fixing them isn’t there. Fuck, I haven’t handled a lobster pot in 6 years.  

   This place… I’m so proud of what my little place has become, and it IS my place, but it’s not, at the same time. It’s not natural to me. I walk through the woods, and the plants and trees passing under my hands are plants of the tropics, not the temperate and boreal plants I know by name and touch. I love where I live, but sometimes, when I’m in my cups, I miss New England, too, even though the things that I loved most were the things I mostly gave up before moving here.
     Fact is, I miss things being simple, and I can’t go back to that… or at least, I don’t want to pay the price I’d have to pay to go back to that. Copper nail, oak lath, start the engine and go catch food. That was a part of my life once, and even though I don’t want JUST that for my life, I do miss it.  In 1987, fogbound in Nantasket Roads, no GPS, no sounder(the boat had just a compass), the old guy got turned around, and with maybe 100 feet of visibility, and the shipping channels around the harbor quite active, kicked the controls to idle, went below, and pulled out a sounding lead, a tool from the age of sail, a metal slug about 6 inches long, with a little hollow at one end, at the base of a rope with depths marked off on it. He took a big dollop of lubricating grease and stuffed it in the end of the iron, threw it over the side of the boat, let it hit bottom, marked the depth, and pulled it back up. Sand and cobble, with bits of broken corraline algae in it.  He kicked the boat in gear, swung it according to the compass, drive for a minute or two, stopped the boat, and armed the lead again (put more grease in the end), repeated his sounding, again looking at the armed lead. From there, he adjusted course again, throttled up and rode a few minutes until we met with a channel marker, whereupon we just rode marker to marker and headed in. Reading the bottom like that was a regular activity- I could do it just a little, here and there, and when talking about lobstering with other lobstermen, we’d sometimes talk about spots a few miles offshore, where the bottom quality would change (“you know that mud hole south and east of Thieves ledge, where there’s a cobble streak to the north?”). But there’s a world of difference between knowing bottom quality in an area and being lost in the fog and navigating by using the depth, compass bearing and substrate type. At my best it would be an associative tool. I certainly couldn’t do what the old guy did. Chances are, no one can anymore.
     At any rate, I’m not bitching- I’m blessed, and I know it, and you’d have to point a gun at me for me to move up north again, but there ARE aspects of it that I miss. Being up north is fine, except for the people and the weather.
 Hell with it, I’m going fishing. I can’t fish and stay on the patio, but it’s only like 40 feet from the pond to my fridge where the beer is. 

 Couple more days until I have to go back to work. 
       I'm going to be 42 this week, also. I met a Brazilian guy over the last weekend who was really bad at hiding the fact that I look older than that.  I don't think they realize how much a life spent outdoors beats on the skin of a man who can't really tan, but between sun damage, a hairline that says 'maybe chemo, maybe not' and my naturally pink/purple complexion, what can you do?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I can still hear myself screaming inside.

Well, I made it home after THE worst travel day I've had in years. Now I regret bitching about most of them, as holy shit, not much went right.

 It started off with promise- we would finish discharging alongside a ship in Pt. Newark, NJ, about 3am on Tuesday, then sail at 4ish to our lay berth in Brooklyn, where we'd lie from about 5-to- 11:30 am, when we'd leave for the next load. About 10am, we'd crew change, and I'd be on my way with about 3 hours to negotiate traffic and get my flight. By Monday night it was all arranged with my relief and my company's dispatcher.

 Tuesday 3:10 AM, I'm finished and ready to sail. But the night dispatcher, for some reason, sent my tugboat to do another job that another boat was supposed to do (the other boat was available, not like it was an issue). We didn't get off that  ship until 5am, and got stuck behind a ship transiting under  the Bayonne bridge.

 FINALLY, at 7am, we're off the dock at the lay berth, and the tug captain calls me and says there's a change of plans, we're going to the next job, right now. I get annoyed, obviously, and call- the night guy says that the terminal wants us at the dock right away.

 So, no shit, we tie up at the dock where I'm supposed to crew change, and the tug shifts position to go into the next dock, and we sail to the dock. At 0730, we're there.

 Oh, along the way, turns out there was an engineer standing by at the layberth in his truck, there to diagnose an issue with a generator we have which likes to die in the middle of the night for no reason. I waited a damn month for the guy to finally get time to look at that thing. He was pretty pissed, too, having set aside time for this.

 And the pisser is that at the terminal, the dockman asks why the hell we're 4 hours early, as they didn't want us there, there was other work to be done. The night guy was just being an asshole, apparently.

       At any rate, my relief rushed in, and got there early because now there's an unplanned-for boat ride involved, and it ruined his morning, and we crew changed, finally. The cab company was pissed off, as I held up their guy for a long time with the change in plans.

    OK, so this sucks, but whatever, it happens when you work on boats.

      I get to the airport, and I'm there earlier than I planned for- 4 hours. OK, no big deal, too. I can have a beer, read my book. But my flight has no gate assigned, so I can't check in. They won't let me. Jetblue is weird. I swore I wouldn't use them after they fucked me in the past, but here I am, and I saved $200 on a round-trip ticket.

 Well, my flight gets delayed 2 hours. The weather is bad, but this happens- rain and fog, and NY's airports are overcrowded and prone to delays anyhow. But they didn't announce a gate until I had been sitting at check-in for 3 hours.

 I get to my gate and play the waiting game. I have a glass of whiskey, and it helps.
     I finally get on my plane, with the insane cattle call that Jetblue likes to use. Waiting to board, there are 20 or so people in wheelchairs because I live in Florida. This takes, no shit, 30 minutes just to get them loaded on the plane. The Caribbean girls who move the wheelchairs are fighting and yelling into walkie-talkies, and also fighting with whoever is on the other end. The ladies in the chairs are complaining, and some of them have little dogs which are trying to escape.

 Eventually, we do get on the plane, and we sit. And sit. Some of a group of ladies behind me, 50-70ish, some of whom were in the wheelchairs, are walking back and forth to the bathroom, and the pilot tells us that we won't move until everyone is seated and buckled in. One of the ladies, who is in the row behind me, Sylvia, is complaining in a very strong Brooklyn Jewish accent, about the delay, to her husband Bernie, who is complaining right back to her, both failing to notice that it is their group who is causing the delay.

       We take off, and it's turbulent as hell- and it stayed that way the entire time. It did calm a little, and one point, enough for the rude and dirty stewards, one very large black lady and two very petite very gay men, to fling doritos and sodas to those what wanted them. I got mine. It was warm.
 Anyhow, about 2 hours in, the turbulence crescendo'd. The ladies behind me were all complaining every time there was a bump, so, call it every 4 seconds. "Ooooh my gawd, this is awwwwwful. Patches, calm down for mommy (the dog was whining and digging for all it was worth, before peeing on the floor and stinking up the place." Oh, baby, you're shaking! Eddie, look at my poor dawg, she's shaking. Ask the girl to turn the heat up, the dawg's cold, and so is everyone."
I was not. But sure enough, the ladies behind me complain, and suddenly I'm sweating.

    Plane full of discontented anxious old people and their dogs. It's about 80 inside, and I'm sweating. It smells of warm used diapers and scared dogs. You know that smell they get? Like ammonia and old bologna.  There's a couple of dogs yipping and yelping and whining because of the turbulence, but it's hard to hear them over the sound of elderly discontented Jewish stereotypes come to life.

 ... and then the announcement that we're only 15 minutes from the airport, but there's a thunderstorm passing by, so we have to wait. Well... fuck.
      We wait. We finally land, and it's a brutal landing, the plane just was getting borked all the way down by turbulence, and the pilot dove for the deck like he was trying to catch the #4 wire before doing a go-around.

 And then we stop at the end of the runway. Because there was a thunderstorm just passed by, they had reopened the runways, but not the taxiways, and, this is no shit, it's 20 minutes before they get us moving to the gate. But there's another plane at our gate. My local airport is a ghost town at night, there are 20 gates, of which usually 3-5 have something happening. I look out the window- there are 2 planes in the terminal, and they want to use the gate that is occupied. It takes 10 minutes for the plane to get out of there.
         We get to the gate. We're here! Oh, wait, for some reason, the wheelchair people get to leave first. No shit. I never saw that before. We have to wait 20 fucking minutes before we can get up and leave the fucking plane. They get off, trailing dogs who are pissing in the aisle because, poor little bastards have been on a plane almost 5 hours  after being delayed for a couple hours BEFORE leaving the ground in NY.

 I've been in Florida for over an hour when I get off the plane. I didn't have a checked bag, I just make a beeline and get my grumpy ass to the curb, and wonder of wonders, I put my bag down, and there's my wife's car swinging to the curb. I get in the car, get a kiss and my wife says "Hi amor, welcome home, why you face is so color purple?" She then wrinkles her nose and says  "Hohnee, you smell no good, like wet dog."
 I got a good laugh out of that, and explained a little- but by then it didn't matter, I was of the plane.

 So fuck air travel generally, and JetBlue specifically. I have to take them back to NY in 2 weeks for the second part of the round trip I paid for.

 Fuck it, there's a reason I guess why other airlines are more expensive. Because they're worth it. I said before that Jetblue is a flying trailer park, and I stand by what I said.

 By the time I got home and into shorts and my bare feet and a beer in hand, I was already calming down. I can still hear the screaming, however, that I was doing inside my own head for about 16 hours yesterday. NOT ONE THING went right, right up until I locked eyes with my wife, but even though It took 14 hours to get home where normally it takes about 5, door-to-door, I mean, it did end very well.