Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday morning warmth

Cruising the morning web, I was visiting twitchy and saw
the Rob Lowe tweet. Hollywood types like Rob Lowe,
Gary Sinise, Chuck Woolery, Tom Selleck and  a few others
who are very notable in their quiet yet powerful support of
our wounded veterans. We need to keep supporting those
films and tv shows that hire the actors who keep up good work
such as this:

With American hero and  fan, Army Ranger Cory

I stole the photo from
Let us all hope for more healing for the soldier, too.

Social activities are scheduled tomorrow, the Club has a "Dock Walloper"
party with live music on the shore of the St Johns River. Here's hopin' the
no seeums stay away for the evening, my ankles need to
heal (get it? Bad Pun.) from last week's dining out for insects.

Have a nice weekend.

Brought to you by someone else who has always thought of others...

I hear she dresses much better, nowadays.

About the same time period. I wish I knew then what I know now!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Done with the paperwork and it is submitted.

The Coast Guard needed $145.00 for evaluating my application and issuing a license. The Agent needs $250.00 to look over my application package and once ready, to walk it over to the Boston Coast Guard Center and turn it in. UPS wanted $55.00 to carry my package to Boston... $450.00 just in handling charges.

Everyone involved must think I have Obama/Romney cash laying around because I go out boating a bit...

The weather on Saturday was gorgeous, I was in and out of my CPR/First Aid course in less than an hour. $75 bucks for that little bit of heaven! Anyway, got the Barco set up and ready and we were underway at 1300, heading Southward into the Florida afternoon, enjoying the slightest cooling breeze within a couple hours. It was just nice to be moving on an empty river with our friends Bill and Kelly. We were at the Six Mile Creek at the crack of 1630 where we met a few other friends from the Navy Jax and Florida Yacht Clubs.

We tried to tell them we resigned from Navy Jax but nobody believed me.  So, we had a number of beers and glasses of wine and went on having a nice time.

The newest Member of Florida Yacht Club was present and he generously paid for the Barco Crew's dinner and drinks. Thanks, T.J.!

We told sea stories, ate and drank until sundown. T.J. and his lovely bride had to leave so the Barco Crew returned for sunset rum. Which lasted until the designated daughter arrived at 2300 to take Bill and Kelly home. It was a late night!

Up and at 'em at 0700, we lingered over coffee and fruit while enjoying the quiet and cool Florida morning, with the rising sun just penetrating the thick oaks and cypress of Six Mile Creek. What a great time of year to be on the water in our sunshine state!

We took no photos of this trip (to protect the innocent?), actually I forgot my camera in all the packing and rushing about to get underway. Next time, we promise to have cameras.

See you all later...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hello again, Sports Fans!

The Captain of Blowhard has been hard at work today, writing up the sailing resume. Day by day, not counting charters or short trips on friends boats I come up with 1261 days of boating since 1991. There are more, but I'm not counting my at sea time with the Navy and also, I'm not counting any time that I can't prove or find the owners of boats going back to 1990 and before. The Coast Guard requirement for One Hundred Ton Master is 720 days of sea time logged. I will have to document the size and tonnage of the vessels I sailed, too. Busy next couple of days, for sure. I'm hoping the Authorities don't kick back too much of my time. The Navy time is in excess of four years onboard and underway at sea but I'm sure there are reasons why they don't allow me all of that time.

I found three respectable citizens to write letters of recommendation for me. I won't be able to see those letters, so I hope I don't get too much of a verbal flogging.  I will keep LL  in mind from out in the Occupied California Republic.

Pizza at Moon River is the plan for tonight, we will be with a local Boat Broker. Maybe I can get a line on some future deliveries!

See you all, later.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Aarrrgggh! It be "Talk like a pirate day, Me Mateys"

I find it humorous that this phenomenon has been with us for the past ten years, who would have known? 

Pirate Ships name generator came up with these vile names for your pirate ship;
Murderer's Bloody Saber
Night's Trident
Ocean's Barnacle
Pirate's Coral Sword
Pirate's Damned Plague
The Damned Demon
The Damned Privateer
The Foul Eel                  
The Mad Corsair
The Wandering Shark
The Angry Hangman of the West
The Angry Killer of Hades
The Cursed Anger
The Dark Doom
The Dark Fear
The Death of the West
The Disgraceful Killer
The Dishonorable Raider of the Ocean
The Fear of the Hangman
The Greedy Barnacle of the South
The Lust of Hades
The Poison Cutlass of Tortuga
The Poison Dagger
The Pride of Tortuga
The Vile Executioner of the Ocean

One thing I do have to say about the Pirate thing; I don't think pirates are cool. Pirates are not  romantic, misunderstood, likable guys looking for fun on the high seas. No, they are sea gangsters who rob, kidnap and kill. Nothing more and nothing less. So you won't see a Jolly Roger flag on any of my boats because I know what that flag really represented (Country-less Brigands) and it does not represent my values.

But I do like to make an occasional "Arrgh" to make fun of what people consider to be a pirates accent, which sounds like drunken Welsh to me.

So talk like a pirate today, enjoy the movie image as if it were real. Then, let us all go after the real pirates off of Africa, give them a proper hanging and send them where they belong; In the Deep. 


Old video from a couple years ago, Pirate Tour Boats in St Augustine;
The funny part comes up in the middle of the three minute video, the Crew responds to the Scurvy Dog of a Captain with a hearty Pirate Growl!

Another thing about the Pirate tour boats in the video; They are handled exceedingly well, considering the windage and tight quarters for pulling those boats into their berths. I would be a shaky mess after pulling out in between the dock and the restaurant.

Off to my duties!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Still focused on completing the mission.

Saturday, it will be the First Aid/CPR class. $60 bucks. I need to find three upstanding citizens to write non-condemnatory letters about my boating ability and temperance.

Then a gathering of boat ownership documents and a thorough accounting for 22 years of on the water experience, day by day and waters sailed. The documents for the first two sailboats will be difficult to acquire since we sold those boats in August of 1995 and there have been five household moves since that month and year. Funny enough; There are a couple boxes in the back closet from 1995 which have not really been opened up to now. Let's hope that I have some files buried which contain registration papers.

I did try the Department of Motor Vehicles last week in the hopes that they kept a computerized listing of boat transactions. They had nothing about my boats from the 90's and they weren't much help otherwise, except for a Tallahassee phone number. We'll see...

The costs are adding up for all this licensing fun, everyone has their hand out whether Governmental entities or just private businesses. No wonder the population of Professional Boat Captains seem to be dwindling since nobody can afford the costs or the hassle. I'm in this for the long haul! After I get my paperwork organized, it will be a final $140 for the Coast Guard and another $250 to the Agent up in Framingham, Taxachussetts who will hand carry my package to the Coast Guard Licensing Bubba's and ensure they see my gear, first.

See you all, later.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ooh, look what just arrived!

Let's open up the big envelope, (Addressed to Captain Blowhard!)

Look what the Mail Dude (I mean Sanity Clause) brought the big kid:

They called me Captain...

I swoon!

Not so fast. I still have to get my paperwork together and submit to the high holies at the Ghost Card. Maybe I can really get the title afterwards. At least another few weeks, since I have the CPR/First Aid course next Saturday, and all the Sea Time to be documented from the past 22 years.

Still, it's fun to get mail, especially when the title is one I haven't earned, yet.


Have a great weekend! (and prayers for our American Folks doing the hard work in those dangerous lands!)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Garbage Day

Or should I title it; My Morning Whine?

Some trash I would like to talk:

Seems I have an appointment this afternoon with my Gubmint Overseer and will have the opportunity to ask humbly for an application for my TSA ID card, just so I can respectfully request to apply for a license to work. Afterwards, I will go get my Gubmint required physical examination to see that I can do the boating thing without harming myself or others. For a price, of course. Funny thing is that I don't need a license to be dangerous on the waters. But as long as I try to make a  buck, it can only be through the benevolence of the State/Big Brother, hallowed be its name.

Perhaps I should ask Big Brother if I can also do that Troops to Teachers thing. I could live in Chicago and make over $70K a year and not have to actually do my job of teaching young people. Nope, never happen because I would not be hired due to ideologic differences between myself and my Socialist Betters. The Teachers Union in Chicago, (All wearing the Red Garb of International Communism) say that they only care about the children, intend to indoctrinate them critically, and to make a few bucks along the way. Is it not ironic that leftists want us all to live as peasants in a collective, but don't mind an above average salary while doing what they can to drag America down? Khruschev did say that we would pay for the rope that hangs us.

Meanwhile in Washington, the Overpaid Gubmint can't seem to keep an Embassy or two safe in the Middle East.  Methinks our National Ship has a steering casualty and our vessel is heading for a rocky shoreline.

In an answer to the Middle Eastern Moderates, the President thinks we should curtail our Freedom of Speech to appease the Barbaric Mobs in the hopes they won't use Their Right to Murder Us For Religious Reasons on us weak infidels. No one noticed that these attacks happened on the anniversary of 09/11...  A film happened to come out recently and every illiterate Libyan/Egyptian mobster (too poor to own a personal computer) happened to see that film on the internet and they get spun up in a righteous, murderous frenzy. Just. An. Impromptu. Riot.

What a coincidence!

Well, today is also garbage day, and this is the occasion that well paid City Employees come out and pick up the detritus of weekly living and make it all disappear and we get to carry the bags to the curb for their convenience. Forty years ago in Hayward, the trash guys actually walked up to the backyard gate and opened the gate to grab both cans, carry the cans to the truck, empty and then return the cans to where they lived, on the side of the house. Luxury.

Yes, I wish I could be gainfully employed as a trash guy, too. Good living, great pension and also the respect and admiration of the Citizenry for keeping our city clean.

As my morning gathering progressed, I was surprised by this big creature in the garage as I was grabbing the trashbags to carry outside...

The creature could not escape the recycling bin. So I carried him outside and let him free in the yard. We have lots of bugs cruising around us so I hope he gets all he can eat and lives a long life.

Scavenging is a big business these days.

Have a nice day!

It's 4:33 and I just got back from accomplishing stuff; Got my Transport Worker Card applied for, got my physical completed and actually got my Drug Screening Whiz Quiz finished! All this in the past four hours. Mark me down as completely surprised.

I await the Drug test to return and will begin my documentation of Sea Time in earnest. I may actually have my paperwork finished and in the hands of the Coast Guard in the next ten days... Just need to finish the First Aid and CPR baloney.

Sorry for ranting up above. The news is never very good where it concerns America's safety, nowadays. Our current crop of Gubmint politicians (Especially Both Houses of Congress) rate a big fat "F" and I'm feeling a bit frustrated.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Things to see and people to dew!

Full week ahead, I have scheduled an appointment to apply for a "TWIC" card, Thursday afternoon. Complete bulls%^t that should take up an afternoon, what with traveling and standing in line and so forth.

When the Gubmint wants to create "real jobs" for special, deserving people, they create massive bureaucracies like the Transportation Security Administration. The requirements for justifying the presence of this behemoth of waste becomes work in itself; "Every transportation worker shall be vetted and given a biometric identification card to ensure the safety of the public".

Uh-huh. Every fish will be issued with a gubmint bicycle, dammit!

No friends, we now have to pay for the thousands of ne'er-do-wells who recently had unsuccessful careers making french fries who now make twenty bucks an hour making up ID cards for a living. With benefits, retirement and all that comes with working for the Gubmint, too! Aah, 43,000 nice and fully employed people who are keeping us all safe. What did America do before the TSA? I shudder with fear...

What begins to annoy me is that the Coast Guard wants me to have this identification as a way to perform a criminal background check. I don't have a problem with the check so much as me having to pay $130 for someone to take my application and fingerprints in less than fifteen minutes. After waiting for a couple weeks, I can return to pick up a fancy card with a computer chip which will act as a pass into the secure areas at our nation's docks and waterfronts.

I WILL NOT BE WORKING AROUND CARGO OR REQUIRE ACCESS INTO  ANY SECURE AREAS! I am trying to build my own business and the Man is keeping me down. Don't make me go Galt on everyone! 

By the way, it is too late about the Galt thing. I am already there.

My intentions do not matter to the State, you see.  There is a protocol in place to ensure the safety of the American people and provide sustainable employment for those previously unable to get Gubmint jobs. There are good people who need jobs out there and they have to be paid. See; Congress can create jobs out of nothing which are self sustaining and they can employ the otherwise unemployable to perform these necessary tasks.

If you couldn't tell before, I am a strict non-conformist and I blame the Government for my social disability. I am a victim! (I wonder if I can apply to receive Government Benefits for my mental ailment(s)?)

I know, me so bitter because me cannot ever be cool enough to get hired to make ID's for my betters... It kinda sounds like a good gig and darn it, I could be good at making cards, really!

Ok, after I get this unnecessary/necessary card, I will still have to get a Gubmint Required CPR and First Aid Card (All from the nice people of the Red Cross, another sort of quasi-governmental agency which gets it's money directly from us people) which will cost about $40 apiece. Oh yeah, and the Drug test and physical examination. I will also have to enroll in a urinalysis program (More wasted money to keep another industry gainfully employed!) Whew! Finally, I pay the Coast Guard $140 bucks for my actual license card. The Coast Guard stopped making the pretty certificates to save money. I don't know how they couldn't just charge me a few more bucks for the pride of a framed certificate, always thinking of the little guy, I guess.

Yes. I understand that I am very fortunate to be whining about everyday annoyances, all with a full stomach of Government Cheese. I guess I wish that my daily job was indeed with the government so that I did not need to do my boating ID hunt on my own (unpaid for!) time.

My joy and happiness factor will improve once I get by my big to-do list and can get on with the boating-on-the-water business.

The Barco is ready and waiting to get underway and the second Florida nice season of the year is just starting with our outside temperatures being somewhat endurable. Next trip planned is an Outback Crabshack run on the 22nd with the Navy Jax Yacht Club. This will be the final event for the Barco Crew concerning the Navy Jax Yacht Club; Sadly, we will be resigning our membership after 20 years on that weekend.  Like Frankie say; "Anyway the wind blows..."

Have a nice week!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I freaked completely out!

Took a test online (last night) on the differences between International Rules of the Road and the Rules of the Rivers/Lakes. Failed.

I completely lost it! At five o'clock wednesday, I began all my courses again on an iPad which was hooked up to the Hampton Inn's completely worthless WiFi. It was looking really ugly, but since I was there, I may as well give it my best shot. Dinner was a half sandwich and I had three beers to help bring down the jitters. I went to bed at ten but was still unsatisfied.

My nerves woke me up every hour on the hour and finally, I got up at zero four hundred local (5:00am Eastern) and went for a crappy morning meal at one of the local Waffle House's. Back to the room by five forty-five, I began my courses again. Along with five cups of commercial coffee...

I arrived at the testing facility at 9:30, fully charged with caffeine and exam jitters. There was one other fellow there for the test and we both exchanged study stories. At 10:00 the test began, Rules of the Road. 70 question quiz, fail is anything less than a 90. I finished in about fifteen minutes. Next portion was Deck, which talks about everything from firefighting to knots, another 70 question exam. Afterwards is Navigation and finally Chart Plotting.

Chart plotting is kind of rough, you are expected to figure out where and when you are on a small chart and also the time of arrival at what ever place. This is the toughest part of the exam because it is subjective to where you place the marks on the paper, whether you are in the right place or not.

After about two hours, I turned in my Chart Plotting exam and sat down fully winded. My test Buddy finished a moment later and gathered his gear to leave, he was only going for the Six Pack License. I had another 70 question quiz for the Hundred Ton Master.

The Proctor asked me if I was ready to take the test. I asked if I was qualified to take the test, since I had no idea if I passed all the other segments.

The Proctor laughed, said I should have known I had done all right... I Aced the Rules of the Road and Plotting portions, scored a 90 each on the Navigation and Deck.

Wow. I was floored!

The Master Test was worse than I imagined, there were so many questions that I had to guess on. After an hour I gave up and turned it in, my day was through. I figured it was a success even if I had to return to retest at another day for the Master Qualification.

I waited patiently while the Proctor scribbled and I finally got the nerve to ask how I did; I missed seven out of seventy.


All I need to do is get a drug test, finish my paper work and submit my pile o' paper to the Coast Guard (Along with a couple hundred bucks) and I will be an Operator of an Uninspected Six Passenger Vessel and Master of a Hundred Ton (or Fifty Ton, depends on what they think of my boating resume) Commercial Vessel.

My Title will be "Captain", of course. I am whelmed. And caffeine tired, too. Have  fine Friday!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Westbound and down...

Off and running to the Ghost Card testing facility, in sunny beach Florida. Hope all this study I been doin' was of the correct parts of the Captain course(s), cuz I hates failin'! My study has been consisting of repeating the entire online course every day for the past couple weeks and I have this stuff memorized and locked in my mind-jellies. Of course, this will mean that the test prolly will be on subjects not completely covered so I will stay humble until all dem chickens have roosted properly after crossing da road.

Our Cats decided to get me up at the crack of 0345 this morning, so I have that going for me. Good thing the test is tomorrow at 1000.

Hope you are all having a fine September.

See you on Friday!

Cool road song;