Monday, April 30, 2012

Back at the weekly grind!

It's been a few days, again... Sorry for the dropping below the radar.

As I mentioned Wednesday, I have suspended the intake of beer and wine. I am getting bored with my routine and thought I would try out clear headed evenings, just like when I was a teenager. Not saying that every evening was spent in a "hammered" state, but the daily drinking takes a toll both in tonnage and mental clarity.

One thing I have been enjoying is having a coke poured over ice! We have one with lunch everyday. A real treat as a beverage, but I try to have sprite or ginger ale at other times.

The nice reader is wondering where I am going with all this, and it's not where you think. Thursday morning I felt a little ill and it got worse as the day progressed and I found myself bed ridden by late afternoon. It wasn't food poisoning, or anything like that. But there was definitely something going on that was double-plus-ungood.

This was my body telling me to stop the non-drinking nonsense, and get back on the suds!

Or not. Can't be sure. All I know was there was discomfort so off to the 'Net I went, in search of answers.

Remember the sage advice given by somebody wearing a sausage spice; "One who practices medicine on himself is seeing a Quack!"

The Web tells me that I am obviously in need of a "Liver Cleanse".

Hmmm, could be. Liver is bad (Have you eaten liver? Bad!) and it must be punished. No one has done more punishing of the liver than I. All those kegs and bottles through out thirty years of consummate boozing must have some sort of consequences, right?

I figure there must be something to the holistic gabbledygook, so off I go on my new course of quackery.

By Thursday afternoon I am completely verklempt, and feeling in the weeds. So I drive to Winn Dixie and get the prescribed Epsom Salts, lemons and grapefruit. Back home in a flash, as my eyes were crossing and waves of cramping in the ol' gut.

By the way; My duties to She Who Will Be Obeyed have not been dismissed due to a little stomach bug, oh noes. I still had to perform my normal go-get functions, while enjoying the intense cramping that my possible affliction with liver stones/gall stones provide.

So get this; The first step of this so-called liver cleanse is to eat a non fat lunch. No problem there. Fast from 1400  on. No problem there, either. At 1800 fix 3/4 cup of water with one heaping tablespoon of epsom salts, with a little grapefruit juice to flavor it up. Shake until a solution, enjoy. Same thing at 2000. During the waiting periods I napped in discomfort. At 2145, I was to mix 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (nothing but fresh!), 1/4 cup of lemon juice, poured into a jar. Next, measure 3/4 cup of light olive oil and add to the cup. Shake and mix thoroughly. "It will mix, provided you follow instructions and use freshly squeezed juice", rebuked the official instructions...

I did as instructed. Next step; Go to the bathroom... (I don't need to be told, believe me!) Wait until 2200 sharp, shake the mixture and drink while standing up.  (???!!!) Is this because I might hurl?

Yes, I kept it down.

Next step; Go to bed, lay on your right side in a fetal position and think warm and pleasant thoughts about your liver and close off any negative thoughts about other people or things. Here is the actual quote;

Try to think about what is happening in the liver. Think loving thoughts - your liver is sensitive and responsive to feelings of resentment, vindictiveness and hate. Try to keep perfectly still for about half an hour or at least 20 minutes.

There is no way a real man would utter that quoted paragraph. Written by a "womyn", for sure. Look, I just want this pain gone, not buy the world a coke and keep it company. (That link is nothing but Socialism as our Betters envision it)

I was too far gone into this deal so I just went to bed along with three very interested Siamese kittehs who wanted to perform Cat-Scans on me. I let them, and we slept in a uncomfortable pile of too much warmth and the now usual stomach discomfort. I was awake every hour or so, but would quickly go back to sleep.

Up at 0630, I was surprised that I still was uncomfortable but not needing to run to the Head to get rid of these nasty potions I had taken. At 0700 I treated myself to another epsom salt tonic which was repeated at 0900 and thankfully, was the final treatment. I also helped myself to some fresh water to help rehydrate.

The "Cleanse treatment" recommends that this day is for yourself, lay down and relax, visit the Head whenever needed. Breakfast will be at 1100, they recommend fruit and juices...

At 0930 I mustered quickly to the Head. The seal had finally broke and I was freeeee! The epsom salts had performed as advertised. The release of abdominal pressure and subsequent expulsion reminded me of the shuttle leaving the pad... I expect a radio call any moment informing me that I was now clear of the launch tower, Houston was controlling and that I should start my roll program.

I'm adding this graphic video because I can. I miss our space program...

There was some more napping which was interrupted by emergent visits to the head. Six, to be exact. I was still feeling the pain in my stomach, but there was no doubt that a cleansing had been performed. Knowing (pessimistically) the lack of availability for health care, I knew I would have to wait to make an appointment on Monday to see a doctor, or else go to the emergency room. So I decided I was not really in extremis, so I could wait to make a proper appointment later on.

The rest of Friday I felt a little better, and felt extremely stupid for going through that cleanse operation. I still had some cramping, but the situation was improving. As I write this there is the occasional twinge, but nothing like Thursday afternoon. I am a quack.

I had my first small meal on Friday evening. Saturday, I had two light meals and some ginger ale. We even spent a few hours at the Yacht Club, admiring the beautiful St Johns River and the clear blue skies.

Mission wrap up: Small stomach virus. I will see the Doc in the next few days to get his concurrence and do a physical while I am at it. As for the beer and wine, I will keep it a severe minimum. Maybe a bottle with dinner but that will be it. I am enjoying my clear head and soda pop.

Have a great rest of the week, and keep stroking!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sort of a public service from the Barco Sin Vela

Tonight, we are cooking that ol' mainstay; Spaghetti and Italian Sausage.

But instead of doing it the normal way, I cheated and used a can of Hunt's Spaghetti Sauce from our hurricane locker. For drill.

Here is what I did: Read. The. Back. Of. The. Can. There is an eight digit number.

I normally don't think of some charities as being "cool", but here is a link to a good one:

The sauce was very inexpensive (70 cents at the Commissary!) and I
entered the eight digit code on back at the website. Conagra Foods gave a dollar to the Foodbank here in Jacksonville. I have at least 20 other cans... Go forth and do something nice, at no charge to yourself!

I think I shall go to the Commissary tomorrow, and buy a hundred cans, send in the code and then donate the sauce to a Church (And get a receipt!!!)

I love living in America!


Well, the dinner came out pretty good.  Just about as nice if I had created a sauce on my own.
"But canned pasta sauce isn't as good as scratch made sauce", you might say.

Back when we were sailing on a rocking boat, we relied on the canned version of pasta sauce to help with the care and feeding of the crew. We would boil the pasta in a pot and when it was finished, we would drain the water into the sink. Then we opened a can of sauce and just poured it straight into the pot of pasta, letting the residual heat warm the sauce. The pasta was then dished into bowls. This kept dirty pots to a minimum and expedited the eating process. We never had meat to go with the sauce unless it was already in the can. We tend to be more vegetarian on the sea, it's better that way!

For today's fare, we did it different:

I cut two links of Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausage into small, bite size chunks.

Placed the chunks into a full sized sauce pan, I browned the pieces until well done, with a bit of slightly charred edges.

Poured one can of the Traditional Hunt's Sauce into the same pan. I turned the heat down to "2" and stirred the sauce, allowing it to deglaze the pan.

Add 2 tablespoons of Oregano, stir to mix.

Add 1 tablespoon of coarsely ground Garlic Powder, stir to mix.

Add 1/4 teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes. You could steal a packet from a pizza shop, but I had a container. Stir well.

Turn the heat down to "1", just above "Lo". Cover and heat for twenty minutes to get the flavors merged in the sauce.

I cut a half loaf of Sour Dough Bread into thick slices, spread butter on one side. Place buttered Sour Dough bread (I wish we had some Colombo Bread from San Francisco!) onto a pan, sprinkle each slice liberally with coarse garlic powder. Stand By to Stand By for the next step...

I heat a dutch oven filled with water and two tablespoons of Olive Oil to boil. Once it is boiling pour a box of Rigatoni (Mueller's is 90 cents at the Commissary!) and set timer to twelve minutes.

Place pan of prepared bread into the broiler, about two inches from the heat. Rotate pan until the bread slices are uniformly toasted. Turn off broiler and place bread pan onto bottom rack to stay heated.

Note: Normally, the Fire Detector will let me know when the garlic bread is done.

Upon reaching the twelve minutes of boiling, the pasta is done. Turn off stove and pour pasta carefully into colander.

We usually serve the dinner with a fine Candoni Chianti, especially since I have a crush on Caterina Candoni, but I digress. Tonight, She Who Will Be Obeyed had Cavit Pinot Grigio as her beverage. I had water. (No alcohol for me until the weekend, no reason!)

The sauce was a little spicy, but that is how we like it!

Carry on with the rest of your evening...

The Fewtchums err 'bout hir!

I can't wait for all this to come! Windows '69!

I got the idea from watching an associated video to Buck's post about old tv commercials.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Thinking of traveling, eh?

Pay the proper fare and this won't happen to you....

Friday, April 20, 2012

And Friday, it shall be.

Now, that title is a shining example of a fragmented sentence, hmm? Yes.

Sorta like the world's shortest story, "For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn." Hemingway's greatest work, apparently.

Another week down as we continue along the path of healing that darn ankle. We have had to use ice packs to keep the swelling down, but there is little in the pain department, thank goodness. We must take all the good deals provided to us, and be grateful.

As for anything else? Nope, nothing. Other than watching the flowers bloom and the continuous progression of the tomato and honey dew plants. Ah ha! I did put a new bird feeder out. The squirrels had destroyed the old feeder, so I got a fancy metal feeder that rests on springs. When a squirrel hops on the feeder for a free meal, he will be confounded by the feeder sliding closed due to the squirrel's weight.

Those metal leaves will close up the holes when squirrel's weight is pressed on the perches.

The squirrels broke the loop holding the feeder and smashed it open.

Take that, you socialist parasites!

As you all know, The Spousal Unit uses the sun room as her work office. This allows her to be able to watch the humming birds and other creatures of the backyard as they do their business while she performs her duties on the computer. Ahh, many hours are also spent on teleconferences, too. Tech- Nology!  My job is to keep the snacks and beverages coming, along with serving a warm lunch around noon. Today, guests from work will be by around 1430, for an hour meeting followed by wine and cheese. Or, maybe the plan is whine and cheesing about the the new initiatives in health care, followed by a snack. Not really sure, I'm just the staff.

Some extra photos of Easter Dinner from a couple weeks back along with this morning's flowers and veggies.

Easter Dinner with Pinot Noir and Ham. 

After dinner by the Cement Pond

Phil likes a fine stogie with his after dinner beverage, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

Pondering the imponderables by the pond.

Marigolds are rockin', today! That's a small pepper plant and coffee filter with the flowers.

Red Solo Cup provides the red cover for the humming bird feeder. Humming birds like red for some reason.

I have no idea what these are, but they look great.

Cement Pond

Carol planted these flowers in a palm frond next to the rosemary. Looks cool, does it not?

The honey dew are making a real go of it. In between is a new onion plant making it's debut.

Chives are getting shaggy.

These flowers will become tomatoes, shortly.

All of these plants were planted by the Spousal Unit's Mom, Carol. With the exception of the onion plant. The onion had sprouted in our kitchen and rather than throwing it away I planted it. I have never really cared about flowers in the past, but having these nice plants blooming in our backyard is so nice and colorful. Now I understand why people work so diligently in their gardens, year after year. I wish Carol could stop by more often to keep these plants alive, as I know I will cause them all to pass early in the blazing Florida sunshine. "All things must pass..." said George Harrison.

Have a fine weekend, stay healthy and safe!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Snooping the net today...

I got on the subject of Spruance Class Destroyers. As most of you already know, I spent a few weeks on the DD-989 Deyo, back in '91 and '92. The Deyo was a fairly modern ship, it was propelled by Gas Turbine engines similar to the ones that pushed the Lockheed L-1011 airliners. What this means to you and me is that the ship was not steam propelled and that meant  we got to use the freshwater ordinarily used by the steam plant for feeding and cleaning the ship and crew. Showers, that is. In the 80's, I was always on steam powered ships which rationed water severely, which naturally required that our hygiene be somewhat abbreviated. The term, "Hollywood Shower" referred to someone running the water longer than 30 seconds. Not good to waste water! So having missiles, guns and other special weapons or warfighting capability is not so important to the individual enlisted crew member, who might be focused on the micro rather than the macro. I liked being clean, having decent food and nice facilities to perform my duties. My duties were primarily performed in the SH-60B as an aircrewman. When I was not flying I was in the helo office performing what little administrative duties I did in support of the flying operations. Which meant I did very little, and spent much time avoiding any actual work.

There I was on the wiki-site concerning the DD-989 and the two main images are the Deyo escorting the Russian Carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov. 10 DEC 91. Hmmph. Seems I was on that flight and it was on the 5th or 6th. I looked into my logbook to verify the dates and times. And I do remember the photographer on that flight, Photographers Mate Second Class Vise, USN. The Team brought all the goodies for properly studying the Kuznetsov, and they had the early versions of the digital cameras, in fact the first I had ever seen. This was so the digitized photos could be data linked back to Washington D.C. in almost real time, right after landing on the Deyo.

Us Antisubmarine Warfare Operators used to use these klunky 35 mm cameras for regular intel stuff (like ships or surfaced subs) which were not going to be adequate on those historic flights, so the Fleet decided to bring in the Combat Camera team to do the job right. This was the first time we would see the newest Russian Carrier, so our ship was tasked to follow from the Black Sea all the way to Gibraltar.

Our helo detachment had five pilots and two enlisted aircrew, and the regular complement in the SH-60B was two pilots and one aircrewman, so me and my colleague were flying our butts off, available for all missions required. Our helicopter was constantly on the move carrying the Navy Combat Camera team for close in photography and I also set out a few sonobuoy barriers to record the acoustic signature of the Kuznetsov as it passed through our mini-barriers. I used a Sony walkman illegally wired into the acoustic circuit to make the tapes which were turned in with all the other gathered intel. Looking back, I'm sure my tapes were laughed off because one or more of our sub's were probably making better recordings as they tagged along. But I have no actual knowledge of such a thing occurring and I may be wrong, just a guess.

Photo by PH2 Vise USN. I am fairly positive that I am standing right next to the photographer as this was taken.

Photo by PH2 Vise USN

We pulled in to Rota Spain after handing off the trail duties to another ship, and we got to prepare for the return home.

We had a couple musicians in the Detachment who thought it would be cute to change the existing squadron Fox to a Disco Fox.

Official Navy Cruise Patch for that cruise
So endeth a minor sea story. Have a great weekend!

I was over at another site and this blogger called Mellojihadi had an even better description of the Navy Shower phenomenon. People conserving water at home have taken up with the staggered shower concept. Not me! I take Hollywood Showers whenever I can. My water bill, my choice. But on a sailboat we do conserve because water is precious.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy birthday Dad!

Click on this. Cool car! We are now famous on the internet. The Shorpy site is fun to watch everyday, there are wonderful old photos from the Library of Congress and from general photographic history. Shorpy also lets us regular readers upload our old pictures.

We are almost one month down on the recovery thing, about three more to go. The nice thing is that the Spousal Unit and myself are spending a lot of time together, almost as if we were out sailing again!

The weather has been very cooperative, and we have spent some time by the pool soaking up the vitamin D.

Off to bed I go... Have a nice night.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Move the boat before the weather comes a howling!

It was the middle of the week and I had watered and took care of our flowers in the back yard. I also put Crisco shortening on the poles holding the flowers and Hummingbird feeders. This keeps the squirrels from climbing up and enjoying the sugar water snack instead of the birds. We couldn't get a photo of the first failed squirrel, but I heard he was licking the white grease off his paws in anger, by the fence.
Note the greasy poles. One of the joys of life is to confound our opponents!

No free bird seed for skwiddles.

Tomatoes, peppers, bay leaf and chives

Honey dew melon experiment
The Spousal Unit is now back at work in the sunroom office. While on conference calls she has the nice view of the pool and adjacent green areas and the constant company of Siamese cats. I bring her snackage and cool drinks. Her colleagues have no idea.

Some cats will move about on patrol; others just sit.

Flowers are looking nice. Where are the hummingbirds?

"Yeah, where are the birds?"

"Birds! Where???"

"I'm Saffy."

Mally keeps an eye on things.
It's a pleasant place to work surrounded by nature outside, open windows and talkative cat friends.

Got the call on Wednesday afternoon saying the Barco was finished and that I could pick the boat up and take it home. I decided to do it on early Thursday since it was supposed to be the calm before the stormy afternoon.
Underway and wearing safety gear.

I approached the Ortega River bridge and called on channel 9 asking if the bridge was able to open. I was assured the bridge would open on request. Good thing I called early, this would not be nice if I had to return to Sadler Point. I arrived at the bridge about ten minutes later (I wanted to give them plenty of time to move people around.) Once calling for the lift, I stood off at a safe distance. After waiting for about five minutes, the Union Construction dudes got into the cranes and lifted one side of the bridge. I drank a coke while watching the action on the roadway, as the workers came out as slowly as possible. I can assure those guys that they make a lot more in annual salary than me, but they were thinking (I'm sure) that I was one of them rich-ins' out on a toodle aboard my yatch (sp. int).

Whatever. Just do your job, ok?

Slowly, the lever raises.

I was intentionally not getting upset at the wait. It's a beautiful morning on the river and I get to be on my boat. So as I passed carefully by the bridge, I thanked the nice workers for helping out. And I got the boat lined up on the channel markers, the depth is a bit skinny with silt just outside the bridge.

Rearward view

Downtown, just a couple miles away. Note the markers on the water.

The channel to/from the bridge. Do not go outside those markers!

Safely inside the channel, was I.

A coke and a compass. It's all I need this morning!

Crew of the Barco. Me and Me. Btw, I wear my pfd when alone or always on the ocean.

NAS Jax in the distance

P-3's doing the pattern

Approaching the Home base

Florida Yacht Club, home base of the Barco Sin Vela.

I had a great hour or two on the boat. I wished I could have had the Spousal Unit with me, and if I did we would have made a longer trip of it. Thursday was supposed to have some exciting weather and indeed it did. Only it was sunshine and gentle breezes vice thunderstorms and rain. Hah!

As I pulled into the berth, an attractive blonde lady handed lines to me and she asked if I needed any help which I graciously declined. You see, I have all the lines set up on the dock, all I have to do is grab them and drop the loop onto the cleats, once I stop the boat.

I did not take a photo of the lady because it would be rude, sorry.

After securing all systems I called Sadler Point and they sent the Service Manager out to give me a lift back to my truck. Great service!

As for this weekend; I have a nice Easter dinner planned for Sunday, but we will be fairly subdued otherwise. We will have Mom and our friend Phil over for big dinner, but other than that we will just have a quiet one. Hope you all do, too.

I spotted this video and enjoyed it, what a great idea! We Americans have been waiting for the flying cars ever since the 60's, and it's about time we get the opportunity to buy one.

Yes, I would like one of the items in the following video. Maybe the second or third year model. (One never wants to fly the "A" model of anything!) After the bugs are worked out of the flying car, perhaps I will be able to afford a used model in the distant future.

One last thing; Yesterday, April 6th was the thirty-third anniversary of my graduation from Recruit Training. Where does the time go?

I hope my fellow recruits are doing well. Even my old friend Wayne Adam Ford. (May he find peace and forgiveness)

Platoon 3001 Entered training 17 JAN 79 graduated 06 APR 79