Thursday, 17 November 2011

Stealth Mode

Up here in the Great White North, winter is approaching. With that, it gets darker, much earlier and stays darker much later.
For those of you who are on foot, on bike, on skateboard or out walking your dog - please
If I can't see you, I can't avoid hitting you with my car. Its that simple. If you are in black, you are pretty much invisible.
Now, I am doing my level best to look out for you but you have to take responsibility for looking out for me.
If you step into the road without looking and I hit you,my insurance will go up.
You will go to the hospital and you will hurt, physically, for a long time.

I don't want to hit you, really, its too much paperwork.
 Look for me when you are on the road. I am looking for you.

Let us both make the effort to make out meeting one of no added paperwork or pain


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

What Does A Man Need?

For all of you who are bombarded with the adds showing what a Real Man is,
and what a Real Man needs, take heart.
There is a simple answer.

A man needs a partner.
A partner he can trust
A partner he can pour his soul out to
A partner who will listen
A partner who will question
A partner who will kick him in the butt when he needs it
A partner who will give him a shoulder to cry on, and who will not think less of him for doing so

Once you have found that partner, you need to work to keep him or her

You have to tell them you love them
You have to trust them
You have to listen to them
You have to question them
You have to be there when they pour their souls to you
You have to kick them in the butt when they need it
You have to give them a shoulder to cry on, and not think less of them for doing so

And that is all a Man needs

Monday, 14 November 2011


Picture this

Its midnight
Somewhere just south of the equator
The sky is awash with stars
The sea is dead flat

And there I was on the flag deck of the Quapple, about 40" above sea level, taking a coffee break.

On this, my first major trip, I had been introduced to seeing some sea life that I knew existed, but had never seen. One of these creatures was the flying fish. As my ship steamed through the sea, these fish would launch themselves out of the water to get away from us. It was pretty spectacular watching one, then 2, then dozens fan out across the water.

Back to my coffee break.
I was looking up at the sky, seeing things that you just can't while surrounded by buildings and night light and I hear this buzzing noise.

Holy @#%@, I just about peed myself. I look down and there was this flying fish looking back at me. How in hell did it get up here? It had mangaged to get itself about 50 feet up, hit one of the radio antennas and then flopped onto the deck beside me.
There it was, looking up at me like it "Hey, you gotta a problem buddy?"
I decided that if it had enough energy to get itself up to where I was, I didn't want to mess with it so I turned, grabbed a broom and flicked it over the side.
Then I decided that it was far to dangerous to be outside, exposed to God know what else...

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Joke time

I saw this joke on Craigslist and just had to post it here

There was a retired Sailor named Jim who started his new job at WalMart 
after spending more than 30 years in the Navy.
He was an excellent employee with a superb work ethic.
 However, he had one problem...
 he kept arriving for work 15-20 minutes late each day. 

Since Jim was such a great worker, his manager really didn't want to fire him, so he decided to sit down with Jim to discuss the issue of him coming in late for every shift. The manager called Jim into his office and said "Jim, I think you are doing a great job here. All of the other employees like you, and several of the shoppers have put comment cards in praising your service. My only problem is you keep coming in late for work. Tell me, what did they say when you were in the Navy and you showed up late?" 

Jim replied "Normally they said good morning Admiral... Would you like some coffee?"

Definition of a hero - Do not forget them

On Friday the 11th, we will stop and remember those who paid the price to allow us to have what we have.

These men and women, they came from farms, from small towns and from cities large and small.
They did not come for glory, nor did they come for a nice shiny medal.
They came to do what needed to be done.

For those who did not come home, remember that they went to help someone else, to do what needed to be done, no matter how awful that job had to be.
For those who did come home, remember that they left a part of themselves where ever it was they were. A part that they will never be able to have again. They saw things that no one should have to see. They did it so someone else would not have to see those things.

On Friday we will gather to remember what was, what happened, and to reflect on what these people have done and the value it has added to our lives.

These people went out and did what needed doing, because of who they are - heroes, each one in their own way.

When you walk down the street remember who they are and what they did so that someone else didn't have to .

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Friday, 4 November 2011

Good Cop, Bad Cop

I heard a rather telling statement on the radio today. In many of the cities here in North America there is a group of people who are "occupying" a small chunk of it in protest of life in general. Fine, for what the protest is all about, I agree with the concept of what they are doing - not what they are doing.

Here in Victoria, there is a group camping out at the green space beside City Hall. On the news cast it was reported that this "occupation" has cost the city, meaning me and all those property owners, $60,000 with a break down of 10k for garbage clean up, 30k for city staff extra work and 20k for police overtime. $60k of money flushed and still it will continue to be pissed away.

There was a snippet from the local police station about that $20k, they get bitched at for taking too long to respond to a call and when they do get there to deal with what ever, POLICE BRUTALITY gets thrown at them. This from a group of people who have deliberately put themselves in a more dangerous situation.

People, you have got to stop with the bullshit. Cops are just like you and I - doing their best to get the job done. A dirty, thankless job that needs to be done. By and large they are a decent group of people, people who are good and really care. Yes, there are some bad apples in the mix, that same number of bad apples are in every mix of people. Unfortunately those are the ones we hear about, or at least that is how people want to portray them.

"Look at that brute of a cop, tasering that poor homeless man" was the cry. What wasn't repeated was the chain that poor homeless man was swinging around at people, nor is it reported that the brute of a cop had just had that chain wrapped across his forehead.

When was the last time you heard about that brute of a cop, holding the little kid who had just been beaten by a drunk parent?

When was the last time you looked at that brute of a cop and remembered that he had just seen some drunk mow a mother over with his car?

The next time you get pulled over because you were doing 60 in a 50 zone, look in the mirror. You knew what speed you were doing, you knew it was wrong. Don't look at that cop and say, "Haven't you got something worthwhile to do?" because the answer is yes, and if keeping you from speeding through a residental area stops one kid from being killed, that cop is doing something worthwhile

Cops have the toughest of jobs, let them do it without making it tougher for them.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Multi Tasking

Okay, so this is about a lot of self promotion.

The bridge of the ship is one of the major positions that has to be filled. Many of my wingers hated to have to sit up there because when you are on the bridge, the CO says something and he wants it NOW! When they are in the CCR, they can easily say "Yes Sir, I am right on it" and hang up the phone.

Up on the bridge, I had to listen for and respond to the CO, the Officer of the Watch and the various chirpings from the 3 or 4 radio stations that were being monitored. One of those radio stations was VHF 16, the international distress and calling station.

Now, here comes the self promotion part.

Our ship had just come to anchor, about 10 miles north of Prince Rupert. The anchor had been let go, the chain had been paid out, the ship was secured to the sea floor - safe and snug, ready to have everyone settle in for a quiet night. The CO gave the command to secure the anchor, turned and left the bridge. I was securing my station, collecting bits that didn't need to stay and generally making things tidy. I had just sent my junior hand down to the CCR with a load of publications. She had just left the bridge, dogged the door.....

"MAYDAY RELAY......" comes out of the VHF radio. Oh shit, so much for a quiet night. I drop my armload of books, grabbed a pencil and started writing. The first thing that came across was the location. As the latitude and longitude comes across I recognize that the site is right close. The OOW takes the position and finds out the location is about 10 miles away. He looks at me and tells me to not to answer that call.

Really Sir? I have only been doing this particular position for 10 years, I am very well aware that I don't answer the phone you pompous waste of skin. (This particular officer was a real piece of work, no one liked him)

He makes a call to the CO, and to the rest of the ship to prepare to haul up the anchor.
The CO makes it back to the bridge and asks what the $#(& is going on OOW? The OOW points at me and I let the CO know what has come over the radio. He says right, tells me to answer the call and ask Rescue Center wishes us to help. Rescue Center tasks us to assist, anchor is pulled and away we go.

By this time, my junior hand is back and she is transcribing all that is coming over the radios - all 5 of them. My boss is directly behind me, making a no entry zone behind me. No One is permitted to bother at this point as I now have VHF channels 16, 83A (rescue center), 22A, 8(our rescue boat) and a UHF channel talking to  an aircraft. I litterally am the center of attention on the bridge. With everyone going back and forth getting the ship to where it needed to be, the rescue boat launched and the other bits, I have to keep track of all the radios, the CO and the OOW and get all the relevant info to the appropriate people. If you have ever scene a photo of the telephone operators, that was me, only I didn't have any head phones.

2 hours later it was all over. It turned out a small boat with a load of drunks ran aground at a navigational beacon. The last of the logging was finished - I must say I was very impressed with my juniors writing capacity. I was told to dismiss the aircraft, and got the rescue boat secured. Things got back to quiet, we went back to our anchoring berth, dropped the anchor, got things secured and made neat for the night and I got to shut down all the extra radio circuits. I was relieved of my post and went to the upper decks and vibrated for a couple of minutes. Once I got myself back to breathing properly, I went below and was given the Bravo Zulu by the CO.

All in all, not a bad way to end the days work <g>

And that is what multi tasking is all about

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


Red in the morning

Sailors take to the warning

King Neptune strikes hard

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Crispy Goodness

Pulled  up from the earth

Sliced with precision and care

Boiling oil bath

Jack Frost

The earth moves to sleep

A new season just begun

Frosted windshield