Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ship stuff

I usually forget my background in the merchant marine. However, now that I'm working in a new field, I find myself drifting back to issues that concerned me way back when. Here is a link back to those days.

There has been a notable lull in the number of ships captured by pirates in the Gulf of Aden thus far this year. But the European Union's anti-piracy mission came under the spotlight once again on Thursday when Somali pirates boarded a German gas tanker, ending an ususual two-week-long stretch with no attacks reported in the risky waters.
The German vessel, laden with liquefied petroleum gas, was the third seizure this year, according to the International Maritime Bureau, which monitors piracy.

Hamburg-based Bernard Schulte Ship Management, responsible for the Longchamp, said the tanker was captured while traveling with a larger convoy -- but that statement has been challenged by a spokesman for the EU's Atalanta mission, the EU's first combat force against pirates. He argued that the German vessel, with its 13-strong crew, was traveling alone after failing to wait for the convoy.
Officials also berated the crew of the Longchamp for not registering with the EU mission in the Gulf of Aden, a stretch between Somalia and Yemen where boats are at greatest risk of attack. "The master and ship manager falsely assumed that e-mails with their location were sufficient to register themselves," said the spokesman at the operation's base in Northwood, Britain.

My read on the above is a typical lame assed comment along the lines of; "how dare you assume to know you know better than us Cheese eating surrender monkeys" Or, along thes lines of "stop, and wait for our ineffiency to catch up and protect you".

Anyway, there is another story out there about a crew from a mainland Chinese ship who managed to repell pirates and received money for their efforts. Quite a lot of money, actually. Suffice it to say, the crew of the chinese registered ship, repelled borders by barricading themselves in the "house" (where the sailors live). Used to be known as the "forecastle", but these days they let the men before the mast dwell in the same vicinity as the officers. The well drilled crew retreated to the house as the pirates gained the deck and repelled them from advancing to control of the ship through the judicious use of fire bombs (molotov cocktails, perhaps Mao cocktails in this case) and fire hoses. Those options might seem to be self-defeating, but if anyone has been on the receiving end of a firehose with a decent pressure, you will know what I mean by the phrase; "thrust back bodily, while threatened by immolation" The decision process occurs fairly quickly in such circumstances. I finally found the link, here.

My ship in a small gale off the coast of Spain. <Funny how the weather changes so quickly when the ship can travel faster than and against the wind. Blowing spray and gloomy clouds give way to sunny skies after an overnight passage. My Saipan readers should turn their children into a short history lesson via Stephen Thomas' book "The Last Navigator" I'm still amazed at how the islanders of the Pacific managed to travel the far flung islands with the tools of their ancestors. The Mongolians won't have it, but truth is the Pacific Islander's could plot a course while the land lubbers merely followed their fleeing enemies.
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Strange world, but I have a bunch of pictures from "the day" Some of them are equal in beauty to pictures of Saipan and the mysterious east. Just as well, as I'm out of Mongolian pictures (fresh) and can't find the camera I've been using here in San Diego. Maybe, I could start my own WW contest. As in Where in The World is it, but sadly, I'm one one of the few that can identify the locations. yes, Virginia, the oceans of the world have very different characteristics, still most oceans look the same at least on the surface.
Erdene and Alan Amara (the PmPkn) are warm and well. I spend a fair bit of my time thinking about little RUDI up in LA and have decided that my lot isn't all that bad. GO RUDI..

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cats and Saipan

I was nosing around Harry Blalocks (sp) diving page (new) tonight and headed over to his wife Kelli's page. She seems as at home in the water as her dinosaur husband. Impressive, especially since she has only a few months of scuba diving. Her land pictures are as entertaining and well set up as her underwater shots and I noticed this cat. I

It must be a Saipan thing, as we were lucky enough to have a similar specimen for the length of our stay in Garapan. I fell in love with him the first time we met. My watch partner Merlin and I were waiting for the ladies at closing time while parked on the side of Beach Road across from Jonnies when the little fur ball just managed to cross the street in front of traffic, and proceeded to find the softest touch for a kitten on all of Saipan. He spent the next couple of weeks nestled in the front of my jacket and I had no trouble convincing Erdene of his good qualities. Honestly, he was and I hope is, a great cat. Independant, yet loving, pattable, but non scratching. I've always enjoyed the odd cat, if only because, they are so independant. You might think you are the owner, but the cat knows who the pet really is the boss.

Plus, the Hyatt has his grandfather. This big old tom is the father of all green eyed tigers on Saipan and given his location, not surprsingly, possesed of a pleasent dispostion. We left our little guy with the tiger trainer at the Hyatt. Last heard he spends his time at Erdene's old barracks and the tiger cages. Pumpkin is going to grow up with a cat in his life without a doubt.


All righty then, work is moving along comfortably. I enjoy my job and coworkers, new apartment is finest kind, and the immigration process is underway with all the ponderous trappings as befits a bureaucratic process. Erdene and I talked last night for a little bit. All is well, the lad is a bit stressed from two days in the house due to extreme cold. Pretty extreme too, negative forty-five fahrenheit with the wind chill as a high. The camera I mailed back in early December arrived Monday along with toys and other goodies (French Mints, if you must know) so we'll have pictures soon. I'm pschyed. Pumpkin has grown a lot; reaches the faucets in the kitchen without standing on something and he has a full head of hair to go along with his mouthful of teeth.
In my news, I finally bought a video game that I can run on my computer. The long suffering lapptop just doesn't have the git up and go of the newer models. I was thinking of trying the Zsbomb approach (see my early spam post for an explanation. In brief, he's a friend of the "drunken face of evil" and editor of the bloggers news network. He also put a computer in an old beer box, which has put ideas in my mind of updating my laptop's video card by installing the components which still work in some other container. Since, I need an external monitor and CD drive, I don't have much to loose as far as transportibility is concered. Anyway, for the sum of $49.00 USD, I purchase the latest version of Harpoon, the naval strategy game. This game is one of my first loves, but was designed so long ago, most computers won't support it. Due to the efforts of a bunch of like-minded gaming misfits, it has been adapted to XP. Yea... I did the mental equivalent of jumping in the air when I got the good news last sunday night. Here is a screen shot well maybe not just yet. I'll have to save it as a jpeg or some such, but here is a link to the producer. Not that everyone will be as excited as I am, but I love this game. Unfortunately, I'm working this weekend. My sister B in Coronado is celebrating her return to the world and I'm cook and bartender for the coming back party, but there will be time. About four months, before anymore immigration paperwork is needed. The wheels grind exceedingly slowly. Here's a picture of Becky's garden patio site of the party of the decade.
On a fairly funny note. I'm adjusting to California. It's Boni's fault for using the word "mellow" on facebook. as in "harshing my mellow" I figured she made the term up, but events this morning made me think again. I was biking to work in an infrequent drizzle when a driver thought to make my day by sounding her horn as she squeezed by me on an otherwise wide pathway. I couldn't find her car in the office complex' parking lots, so carried a little angst into work and expounded on how she ruined my mellow mood. Yes, I used the word mellow in a sentence for the first time in probably fifteen years. One of my cubicle mates, responed by saying; "Aw, she harshed your mellow, man" There you have my small world theory of the day.
Cheers to all, looking forward to posting some pictures next week. Here's one, just because I miss his cuteness

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Had to post this picture

Now, how to get the fries to cling??

While we are at it, if I promise to write something worth reading, can we have a second week of this?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I'm dying here

Not really, but my mom is coming to visit and I need to drum up some support. I was watching this utube video (very cool and a great song) I tried to save the url and I got this. Too funny.. Anyway, watch the video, it's way cute. The perfect present if I was endowed with this guy's gift.

500 Internal Server Error
Sorry, something went wrong.

A team of highly trained monkeys has been dispatched to deal with this situation.

Also, please include the following information in your error report:


Friday, January 16, 2009

Friggin internet connection

Oh well, what I wrote wasn't in the league of O'Brian or William Buttersworth III, but it was mine. Dedicated Delurkers will google William Buttersworth the third and WEB Griffin to catch the five degrees of seperations, but I'll probably end up expaining myself. Why did you take it away, interenet lord? so it goes. All is well in California and Mongolia. Erdene does admit to being a bit tired from the cease less demands of the lad and I can understand that. Seems strange thatwhile just a bit tired from lack of sleep, wondering how the two to them are, she can find time to worry about me. Apparently, he is tall enough now, to reach the faucet on the kitchen sink. Bless his little heart, he's trying to help with the dish washing and, therfore is a big help with preparing the floor for washing. Seems funny from a distance and would be amusing from close up, if I was the only person to deal with the mess, or so I assume from Erdene's read of the disaster which was monday morning dish washing. OOps, have to insert Amy's tree picture here. This is the glory of all Christmas tree's, next to sister Becky's. Amy's is large and beutiful, while Becks is full of vibrant color. The population of Jerusalem could sit around this tree and not bump knees.
Me, I'm adjusting to my job. Happy in that I'm being paid on a regular basis. I probably won't be able to shoot an automatic weapon on company time, but sometimes I ask for too much from my work. Otherwise, I'm extremely happy to land in my job and thankful to my family for supporting me during the process. I'm sure you all know the quote; "visiting relatives and fish begin to stink after a few days". Well, my family has always put up with that issue, more than most would.
Couldn't have done it without you..
I'm waiting for the picture where; my brother in law, Rich, nephew, Mikey, and I all wear the same blue blazer in a picture together. Mine is in the closet, if only because I don't want to have the family appear too blue. No, obligatory pmpkn pictures, but here is a frozen bush from Maine. It's pretty damn cold up there. My brother Andy compared the difference in temperature as being a pretty warm day by our standards. Mongolia remains cold. Not sure if it is colder than last year, but pretty darn cold. The sun is broken there for around four months solid. Too bad there isn't more precipatation or they could corner the ice market. As it is, I read they are asking China for a three billion dollar loan to cover the drop in the metals market. And I'm calling bullshit on that one.

Monday, January 5, 2009


I missed the Charger’s playoff game. Even worse, I was shopping in the area and trying my best to finish up before the game let out. An overtime wouldn't have bothered me at all as I needed a little more time in the rain wear section of the Sports Authority. Shame on me. I did watch the highlights show later after fleeing the vicinity of the stadium.
Here is the latest edition to the clan. My brother's little girl wearing a dell passed down from Erdene's days as a baby. I had a wonderful time in the frozen wasteland that is Maine, but more on that another day.

Life is good at the moment. I’m settling into a new apartment near my work and fighting the good fight. My carbon footprint is still low, I’ve left my car on the east coast and am commuting across Mission Valley by bike. One of these days, I’ll tackle a hill, but I’m enjoying the flatlands for the time being.
I’m glad to report Erdene and the Pumpkin are both well. On the immigration front, I’m expecting a response to my I-30 petition for immigration of a spouse any day now and have the money for a lawyer set aside for the remainder of the process. I really don’t want to tell E the process will take longer because I screwed up a form, so I’m looking at the expense as worthwhile.
It isn’t funny how much I miss the two of them. Thank you, cheap phone card company. We talk most days still and hearing the lad’s little giggles keeps my head in the game. I called a few days ago and was greeted by his happy chortling, but mom was out and he hung up after a minute or so of somewhat one-sided but enjoyable talk and laughter. I tracked Erdene down on the other phone, to find she was at the market and was heading home in a few minutes, when I called back she told me the little one greeted her at the door phone in hand. I quess, he hasn’t forgotten the old man just yet. If I have one re-occurring day dream, it is the moment she turns the corner of LAX immigration with Alan Amara in tow. Until then, I don’t quite feel complete, but I’m managing.
San Diego is a fun town, no dramas and I’m happy to trade the sounds of Ulan Baatar for the more Saipanish flavor of southern California.
Erdene is going to love the familiar flowers and palm trees. Not to mention the Ikea store down the road and the Iowa meat market on Mission Gorge. I haven’t told her about the humongous bead store up on Airo drive. I think it safe to say she will enjoy life here even if there weren’t miles upon miles of beaches.
I’ll try and start a San Diego blog while I’m waiting. I have wireless at the apartment and I’m soon to have a working portable computer again (The sad tale of my laptop is a story in itself, I should get around to writing one day). I have a camera in the post to Erdene, we may have some pictures soon. I quess I’ll post a little email exchange from last night, although she’ll beat me for not cleaning up her grammer, but the reader might get a little flavor of our exchanges from opposite sides of the world. Not surprisingly, I’m reading a lot of eighteenth century sailing novels lately. The idea of taking a year to sail to the Indian ocean and back seems to fit our circumstances. Anyway, here is Erdene and I.
On Sat, 1/3/09, mark scease wrote:
From: mark scease Subject: Love you Honey
To: "Erdene oyun"
Date: Saturday, January 3, 2009, 8:21 PM
Hi Darling, seems like our phone calls are always too short for me to tell you how much I love you and appreciate how well you are taking care of our darling

Re: Love you Honey
Sunday, January 4, 2009 12:18 AM
This sender is DomainKeys verified
"Erdene oyun" View contact details
tell you what oh i`m so enjoyded Conners mom`s blog.lot`s of interesting photos was there.
i think little Conner was so much similar moods with pmpk i think. thank you honey reminded me about this youhoney.miss you!

That’s about it from here. Congratulations Missy. Two boys to keep you hopping. I’m wishing everyone a Happy New Year full of love and new experiences