Sunday, March 25, 2012

Travis said I have to update this


Well here goes. Erdene and the lad have been with me since November of 2011. We are living in Coronado for as long as we can afford it. I've never been happier. More to come particular attention to be paid to Erdene and Amara' adjustment and reflections on life here in the land of the big PX.


Somehow I'm going to try and sum up a tribute to Captain Carroll LeFon USN Ret he lived and died in the service of his country. A warrior, aviator and poet who never quit, a truly gifted writer, father of three and inspiration to so many. His funeral service will occur Tuesday 27 March 1300 PST at Rosencrans National Cemetery here in San Diego (Sandy Eggo, as he was want to refer to this city by the ocean). I recall a line by a historical fiction writer that I enjoyed once upon a time; Edison Marshall I think. "I would not have you know my parents; Rueben and Rebecca should you come to know them as I did". Captain LeFon; you should know, if for no other reason than to enjoy his prose and even minded politics.

As of Saturday evening 1,639 comments on the post which commemorates his passing. He could have done worse, but damn it not now.

Friday, June 10, 2011

English as a fourth, or fifth, or sixth language


I’m over the missing Red Sox cap, kinda. Seems like someone slice open the bottom of my last package to Erdene and lad and removed his Red Sox hat. I’m still a bit peeved, but as Erdene noted, no one in Mongolia follows the Sox, they barely have a college baseball team in UB. Pumpkin is all about the wrestling anyway.

On a positive note, Erdene is in the second week of an English grammar and advanced vocabulary class. Three months long, seven days a week and six hours a day for the most part and all for $120 a month. The owner of the class is a professor from UB who speaks 25 languages, at least on a conversational level. I’ve heard his lectures on the tube while in Mongolia and he is very persuasive in his approach. Day to day, the teacher is one of his students, but his approach transcends the individual teacher. I was impressed enough to buy his book for sister Selenge and brother Amara. E’s classmates are middle school students and she is happy to be first in the class so far. While her vocabulary is excellent, she missed some things in her earlier college classes, that while familiar to a native speaker, don’t appear in Mongolian language. Items such as; possessives, tenses, and definite articles. Mongolians, historically, just don’t write or speak in the past, future, or possessive and the he, she, it, tends to devolve to a gender neutral article. The course will cover French and German after a couple of months of English and if the student is thought to be receptive to languages, they offer another segment dealing with Chinese. To say I am impressed with her abilities would be an understatement. Also, she has to arise early and take two crazy rat vans from apartment 3 across the valley to the school site. Plus, dealing with himself in the morning.


She is enjoying herself and the lad has been packed off to Grandpa’s where under Aunt Solta’s supervision he is running amok in the countryside as every young boy should do.

Immigration has all the paperwork required and fees and is digesting at it's own pace. While slow, at least they have everything and it seems to be in order. Hoping to have them here in sunny Sandy Eggo, before the chinese class starts, although I"m sure she will make the grade, I would just as soon she finishes up her lessons here, although I hope she has time to speak in french a bit. I love the accent and Mongolian sibilants lend themselves to the Francois. I'll update this with pics when her schedule provides.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Be careful what you wish for


I picked this piece of the interweb this week. As I have mentioned before, the Mongolian government has deployed to the middle east for quite some time. Instructor troops and peacekeepers. Well, they are taking a step up.

Mongolia to Step Up African Peacekeeping Contributions
March 21, 2011 - 2:57pm, by Joshua Kucera
The Bug PitMongolia
Mongolia is proposing to send 1,500 peacekeepers to Cote d'Ivoire, in what would be by far its largest troop contribution to an international mission (and, if we want to be cute about it, the largest troop deployment abroad since the days of the Mongol Empire).
Mongolia is a useful comparison to other post-Soviet states, in particular Central Asian ones, which have similar cultures and histories. But Mongolia has been much more active than any of those countries in contributing to UN missions. Over 2,300 Mongolian peacekeepers have served in Sierra Leone alone, with contributions in several other UN missions, as well as in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The only comparable country in the Caucasus and Central Asia would be Georgia, which has contributed several thousand troops to the U.S.-led efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. But while Georgia is trying, with its contributions, to gain favor with the West and especially the U.S., Mongolia is taking the UN peacekeeping approach to gain international support, stuck as it is between two large powers, China and Russia.
Mongolia now has 228 (pdf) soldiers on UN missions, mainly Sudan and Sierra Leone. Compare that to 22 UN peacekeepers from Kyrgyzstan, 2 from Kazakhstan, and not a one from any other country in the Caucasus or Central Asia.
Sending an additional 1,500 troops to Ivory Coast would make Mongolians about 1/6 of the total force there, where 54 UN troops have already been killed.

So there you have it. The Mongol gov't is sitting on the request for the moment, but if I was a Mongolian soldier the warm climes of the Ivory Coast would be looking pretty appealing right now. Lets just hope they don't get into the whole world domination thing again. Then again, Rapine and slaughter aside, the Mongols did allright by strict conquering standards during their fifteen minutes of fame. Perhaps, they should join up with the Nepalase Ghurkas and enjoy Ghengis Round II.
For my part, I really love the term "largest troop deployment abroad since the days of the Mongol Empire" Ignore history at your peril.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hey, I have a blog. I don't need to comment on some elses lame assed outhouse

I'm a recently done merchant mariner from the US. I've witnessed the damage wrought on the US Maritime Industry through high union rate scales on the US merchant marine fleet. Weighed against the equally exorbitant profit margins exhibited the fleets, it is no wonder the majority of crewman held are not exactly cared for by the UN.
I still feel some compassion for my third world seaman brothers. Not much mind you, no one enjoys being undercut. The sea will kill you in many ways and sailing with a company unwilling to provide a reasonable number of watch standers to prevent boarding by skiff or to keep engineering standards high enough to avoid skiffs is fairly big among the list of items to avoid when selecting a job offshore. Brass Tacks are: that most of these third world seafarers are more than happy to take any job they can get and most mariners would agree that the purpose of a government that uses the sea for transport has an obligation to provide safe passage for all. Bible salesman on yachts included

Monday, December 20, 2010

In one week


I'll be in Ulan Baatar with Erdene and lad, no longer known as the Pumpkin. Erdene showed him a picture of his cousins in the pumpkin patch and he decided that he would prefer to be known by his name, Alan Amara. Go figure.
Anyway, I'll be flying through Beijing for obvious reasons and hoping for good weather at the airport. UB gets some fierce cross winds.

Friday, December 17, 2010

New Advice


Back when I was a kid, it was pretty well accepted that "duck and cover" wouldn't allow you to survive nuclear war. Not a bad idea, as nuclear war at that time involved hundreds of megaton warheads. Thankfully, not so many in a bunch of different areas these days, now we are concerned with the likely arrival of just one delivered a container port near you The NYThas even joined the choir. For once, I believe the NYT has removed their collective heads from the sand, so I'm sharing the advice. Make a note of it.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In Remembrance

When I read of Leslie Neilson passing last night, I thought of Glenn D and his story of meeting the man, told with typical Glen hilarity. So, in honor of two men who always bring a smile to my face, here is Glenn's story.

801- DID YOU JUST FART?.. FLASHBACK 11
I JUST DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT

Here is a rather humorous story about a weekend in Maui, a celebrity and a couple of bodacious farts.
The scenario:
I was working on the Island of Kauai, Hawaii when my boss told me I should go to Maui for a Golf Course Builders Association convention. He explained that many people in the golf industry would be there and since we would be working and meeting a lot of these members during the course of our work I should go to meet and get acquainted with them. So I went. The place was the Westin Maui Hotel and Resort, the kind of place people save for years to go to on vacation.
So off I went:
I was only planning to stay for that day so I didn't pack any extra clothing or even plan to spend the night. Just to go there and fly back that same day. It was kinda like going to Guam for a day and returning the same day, no big deal. There were architects, suppliers, builders, and lots of golf related people there, just as he said. But the thing that surprised me the most was there were hundreds of movie stars, celebrities and famous people there and they were everywhere you looked. It turned to be a celebrity golf tournament for the John Wayne Cancer Society, a fund raising drive for cancer.. Everybody there was there..
Returning to Maui:
I flew home that evening and grabbed a buddy, packed some bags and flew back for the weekend. We were gonna rub elbows with the rich and famous. Now this story could get really long so I'll get to the main gist of it now.
At the pool bar:
I was sitting at the pool bar beside Leslie Nielson (The Naked Gun Movies, see photo), his wife and another lady. Kirk Douglas, Lloyd Bridges, his sons Beau and Jeff along with Heather Locklear, were at the pool also. Harvey Korman (Carol Burnett show) getting ready to go play his round of golf was there too. Quiet a bunch for us 'regular' dudes.
Soon Leslie struck up a conversation with me about things like, What do you do, where are you from, small chat, friendly stuff, when all of a sudden he FARTED, yes, a long loud fart, but he never missed a beat in his conversation, like it never happened. I didn't know whether to laugh, act surprised or ignore it like it never happened, too, so I did the latter, just choked back my laugh and ignored it, then he FARTED again. Now what's a guy to do, this was funny stuff, before I could react to the second fart he FARTED again. Now these weren't little squeakers these were loud and long, it was undeniable that they were happening.
Well this was all a set-up to see how I'd react and for him to get a few laughs on me. His wife now seeing my puzzled look leaned over and said, "He's got a whoopee cushion and he likes to see the reactions of people when he does that, so never mind its just a joke." Now I must say that broke the ice, or should I say 'cut the wind', and we had a grand time sipping a few drinks together that afternoon. What a fun guy, made my day.
What a great weekend it was, everyone was so gracious and friendly, another fond memory...
.....GED.....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Carnival Spam

I'm feeling a bit better. I can laugh at the silliness of the world and Erdene and the lad are well, so here goes.
Most of the world is aware of my prediliction for that tasty processed meat product known as Spam and those with tv or internet access are also aware of the trials of the passengers on that foreign flagged and operated Carnival cruise ship which lost power off the coast of Baja Mexico this past week. I just wanted to get on my soap box and rebut the slander spread by Carnival cruise line as reported here. To wit, we didn't serve Spam to our passengers set adrift on the high seas. Like there is something wrong with Spam? and this after USN went to all the trouble to divert an aircraft carrier. I wouldn't have let them dock in any US port until all the spam was gone. They had croissants for heavens sakes. Many is the day, I would have loved to lay my sweet Spam slice on a croissant rather than a slice of doubtful sliced bread. Shame on you Carnival. Enforce the Jones Act. Employ US mariners on cruise ships which dock in the US. We in the merchant marine were never too proud to enjoy a can of Spam and we made damn sure the ice machine was on a working buss feed. How could any post devoted to Spam not include this or maybe this.Labels: merchant marine, Spam draft

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I might phrase this headline differently

Four of the most advanced submarines built, converted to cruise missile launchers could be sitting off your coast waiting to shoot 612 missiles with thousand pound plus cruise missiles payloads. Now if that isn't deploy able deterrence, I don't know what is. . with all the bad news this past week, this is heartening.
The subs in question are excess Ohio class strategic missile submarines converted to carry tomahawk ground attack missiles in place of the Trident D-5 ICBM. The leaders of Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea can sleep a bit less soundly knowing these ships are at sea.
People are writing here, but seem to be missing the point of how useful a weapon is, that can be used, vs one that, while valuable from a deterrent standpoint is also totally politically unacceptable these days. Unless of course someone identifiable nukes us first and I'll be on board for the conventional destruction of Qom way before that day happens.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

For Glen D

I grabbed the following from the lioness of Luzon. I'm still chuckling. Erdene and the lad are well, but still in MN. I'm thinking about posting again, but just not that into it. Depression avoidance, I suppose, but as the day draws nearer, I feel the need. The need to laugh and share. Anyway,

Humor for the day
These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are
things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now
published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these
exchanges were actually taking place.

______________________________
ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
______________________________ ______________
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you
forgot?
______________________________ ______________
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, "isn't it true that when a person dies in his
sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?"
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
______________________________ ______
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He's twenty, much like your IQ.
______________________________ _____________
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Getting laid
______________________________ ______________
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
WITNESS: None.
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney.
Can I get a new attorney?
______________________________ ______________
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.
______________________________ ______________
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about 20, medium height, and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male.
______________________________ _______
ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead
people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
______________________________ ___________
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK?
What school did you go to?
WITNESS: Oral.
______________________________ ___________
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
ATTORNEY: And, Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
______________________________ ______________
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?
______________________________ ________
And the best for last:

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a
pulse?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you
began the autopsy?
WITNESS: No .
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive,
nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and
practicing law.

Monday, May 31, 2010

My brother is so mean


I think he hasn't forgotten me running him down with the mower, as he dragged J's into his photo gallery of his anniversary visit to Portland. Happy days you two. This is without a doubt my mostest favoritest resteraunt to date. They have changed the interior and added to the menu, but if I can't have five meals there without dissapointment, I would be surprised. If you should ever have reason to visit in the state of Maine, I wouldn't miss a visit.

Starters


Raw Scallop Cocktail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.50
Lobster Claw Cocktail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.50
Shrimp Cocktail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.50
Steamed Mussels pan steamed in a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.50
savory garlic sauce

Combo Cocktail crab, lobster, shrimp, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.50
raw scallops & raw oysters

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms topped w/ bacon . . . . . . . . . 10.50
& parmesan cheese



Oysters
Half Dozen (Raw) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.50
Bakers Dozen (Raw) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.50
served w/ lemon, cocktail sauce, horseradish & crackers

Baked Stuffed Oysters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 for 7.50
with lobster stuffing

Oysters Rockefeller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 for 7.50
spinach, cheese and bacon

Oysters Mornay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 for 7.50
swiss cheese topping

Oyster Sampler (one of each: raw, baked . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.50
stuffed, rockefeller & mornay)



Odds and Ends
Garlic Bread . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.50
Mac & Cheese . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.50
Coleslaw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.50
Potato Salad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.50
Pasta w/ marinara or garlic sauce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.50



From our Steamers

Steamers (steamed clams) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sm . . . 11.50 Med. .15.50
Lg. . . 18.50



Salads
Garden Salad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.50
Chef's Salad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.50
Tuna Salad Plate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.50
Crab Salad Plate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.50
Lobster Salad Plate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.50
salad plates served with cole slaw & potato salad
Dressings: Bleu Cheese, Lite Italian, Ranch, Thousand Island, Parmesan Peppercorn OR Oil & Vinegar



Soups

New England Clam Chowder . . . . . . . . Cup 5.25 .... Bowl 6.50
Fish Chowder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cup 5.25 .... Bowl 6.50
Oyster Stew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cup 6.50 .... Bowl 8.50
Lobster Stew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cup 9.00 .. Bowl 13.00
Soup of the Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Prices May Vary



Sandwiches
all sandwiches served w/ chips & a pickle

Haddock Filet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.50
Grilled Chicken Breast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.50
Chicken Teriyaki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.50
Reuben . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.50
Pastrami & Swiss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.50
B. L. T. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5.50
Ham & Cheese . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.50
Turkey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.50
Grilled Ham & Cheese . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.50
Tuna Melt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5.50
Hamburger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.50
Cheeseburger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.00
Bacon Cheeseburger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.50
Hot Dog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.50
Grilled Cheese . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.50
Tuna Roll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.50
Lobster Roll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.50
Crab Roll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.50



Entrees

Broiled Haddock Filet served over rice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15.50
Scallops with Lemon & Dill over Angel Hair . . . . . . . . . . 19.00
J's Scallops En Casserole broiled w/ honey & butter . . . . 18.00

"Crabby Janice" crab en casserole w/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16.50
spinach, morney & crumb topping

Shrimp Scampi over Angel Hair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.50
Shrimp Marinara over Linguini . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.50
Mussels Marinara (in the shell) over Linguini . . . . . . . . . . . 15.95
Seafood Bouillabaisse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23.50
Lobster Pernod over Linguini . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19.50
Lobster Scampi over Angel Hair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19.50
J's Seafood Casserole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19.50
Seafood Stir Fry over Wild Rice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.95
Chicken Special available daily . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.50
Steamed Lobster with clams & corn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MARKET
Alaskan King Crab Legs with clams & corn . . . . . . . . . . MARKET



Dessert

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Glad we aren't depending on gov't or industry to save us from an inbound astroid.

CHICAGO, May 29 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Saturday that authorities would pursue all "responsible" ways to plug a leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico now that it was clear that BP's (BP.L) "top kill" attempt had not worked.

"While we initially received optimistic reports about the (top kill) procedure, it is now clear that it has not worked," Obama said in a statement. "Rear Admiral Mary Landry today directed BP to launch a new procedure whereby the riser pipe will be cut and a containment structure fitted over the leak."

He said the new attempt to stop the flow of oil and gas from the sea floor would be difficult and take several days and that it was not activated until now because it posed risks and had never been attempted before at the depth of the BP spill.

"We will continue to pursue any and all responsible means of stopping this leak until the completion of the two relief wells currently being drilled," said Obama, who has been working to counteract public doubts about his administration's handling of the oil spill.

The relief wells could take several months to complete.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

going out with glory

I see Thad Allen the commandant of the United States Coast Guard is retiring soon. Hell of a guy and able to speak his mind in plain fashion. I really hope he isn't the last. I still owe pictures from Capt Tom in Haiti. Very striking and will make all the travelers of Beach Road a bit more contented. My old class of ships didn't make it to Haiti, but we are prepared to unload in the stream off Inchon, should the short fellow in the ill fitting suit stay the course. Miss you all.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sox win the first, pictures from Haiti, and an Earthquake.

My friend Captain Tom of Saipan US Bonneyman fame, recently returned from a gig on a ship which supported the relief effort in Haiti. Two and a half months anchored a couple miles off, while the supplies and equipment went ashore. No email, no cell phone, and no beer. He sent me some pictures, which I'm hoping I can post. Mainly because these pics were taken by people I trust, as opposed to newspeople and that says a lot about my state of mind. In other news, survived my most serious earth tremor to date. Too bad, I thought the wind had picked up beyond all rational explanation. And did I mention the Red Sox beat the wretched new york yankees in the season opener. Had some drama back home in Maine, but that is a post in itself.