Curious Tidbits

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What is Normal in Yachting...


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Might be considered ??? not sure what the word might be for the over the top, crazy, does that thing really cost that much? Purchases that gone on in this world. It is a little world which one gets a peek at while working on this big shiny white thing that floats. Really it’s a HUGE toy / pleasure vessel / Floating Hotel however you want to describe it. For example the tissue holder that caught my eye at the “Suppliers” store.


Robb often calls the Supplier Guy for those hard to find electrical hook up thingys that seem to go on the blink fairly often and cost more then most people’s monthly food bill. I usually do not go through the suppliers as I like to feel and touch and see my galley stuff before it arrives on the boat and I’m stuck with it. And when all is said and done, I carry in my heart/mind/consciousness (into the back slashes today) the vestiges of grandparents who grew up during the Depression and a father who was always told to only order from the left hand side of the menu – check it out, it’s true the right side is notoriously more pricey.


So when I stopped by the Supplier Guy to pick up another electrical hook up thing I happened to ask if they could source these really cool plastic glasses called “Click Clack” made by Strahl. These are plastic glasses of the indestructible variety and due to improper washing technique by an earlier crew member (no names pls) our glasses were looking a might shabby. I tried to source them but the website has a super secret whole sale only code that does not allow the normal person to purchase said item – Grrrr!!! While speaking with the ever helpful Supplier Gal, I noticed a beautiful Tissue holder on display that the Mrs. would appreciate. The Supplier place has a whole section of do dads on display to entice the yachtie stew on the prowl. The Supplier Gal sent me the link in order to pass along the find to Mrs.


Hence this blog posting about the confounding excesses that one encounters while yachting – this beautiful tissue holder is a mere $285.00. Really? Truly? The trash can is a pittance at $510 – what and this s--- comes from the Philippines, where I’m thinking that the creation of said items is a mere fraction of the posted price tag. What is the average wage of a person that lives in the Philippines? And how much of the profit trickles down as the proponents of the BS of our current economic policy laud? Trickle Down my ass.


And this is only one example but really, $285, for a tissue holder, how can one offer that with a straight face?


And no, I will NOT be passing along that to the Mrs. She would look at me as if I’ve lost my marbles.


Questionable Excess x 2

Monkey? Skull? Monkey? Skull?

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Personally I’m offended by the seeming honor of pirates by the plastering of the pirate/skull head on everything from t-shirts to flags to diamond bracelet (yes that is diamond bracelet – pictured above - who knew there were such things as black diamonds?).



Pirates are the original gangster thugs. They ride around in their floating cars killing people and stealing stuff, it puzzles me why people want to honor this behavior. You wouldn’t believe how many pirate themed yachtie parties are available to idiots who obviously do not know the history of the waters they cruise.



But the afore mentioned and pictured diamond bracelet baffles me not only on the pirate issue but on so many other levels:



  • it’s ugly
  • price tag - $250,000
  • it looks like a scary strange monkey head
  • it’s ugly
  • it sold

Really, someone actually purchased that? Really? One more lesson in that money certainly does not buy good taste.



Ewwww!!!



April 4, 1968

What have you done with 39 years?

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Martin Luther King died at 39. How well he used his time! He was murdered on April 4, 1968 and yet he is still so alive. Hear that voice and you know he lives. The dream of so many he articulated so well has yet to reach fruition. Laws are written but it is what lurks in the hearts that resists alteration. What do you see when you see black man? What first pops into your mind when a black man a Mercedes drives by? Drug dealer, pimp? Do you hold your bag close? The dream of justice and peace for all lives in my heart but what else lives there?

Swimming with Sharks

Swimming with Sharks
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You ever met those girls who didn’t like other girls, whose goal in life was to destroy, defame, disdain? Have you ever met those women who do not know how to show respect for others of their sex? Their fear and pain results in vainglory, competition and slanderous snips? There is no excuse for this violence and it is such violence. Acres of space must exist between this type and myself. A no trespassing sign stands at the edge of my sphere. No evil beyond this line shut the door as evil reaps only destruction. Now we all know there are men of this ilk but I do not dwell on those today. No I focus on the female ones who believe they must live in constant competition to stay on top, in control, above those they deem less. You might think there are no women such as these on this boat but you would be mistaken. This darkness comes in all forms and it lives here on this tiny bit of space. You might consider a 100’ foot boat a vast arena but when evil morphs it seeps into every crack until the impulse is to swim with sharks – it would feel safer.
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Disneyland on Crack


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It always strikes me odd where people will drag their children. We have all witnessed the 3 year old at the “R” rated movie, the 5 year old in the bar or how about the annual family sojourn in Vegas? Remember when the Vegas PR firms tried to sell that? Bugsy is rapidly rolling. Add one more destination to the pseudo kid friendly environs. Atlantis is touted as “the” resort in Nassau but to me it’s like taking LSD and heading to Disneyland with Vegas wrapped inside. Close your eyes and imagine thousands of drunk people with minimal clothing, garish lights, casino desperation and the hard sell at every turn? In its defense Atlantis comes with several extremely cool pools and one of the best aquariums on this side of the planet but do you really want to cart your children there? We were docked there one night and I’m still recovering. All right, I don’t have children – never have, never will – so maybe my disdain is unwarranted? Vacation is defined by dreams but this one gives me nightmares.







Pass the PEDS


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I crave performance-enhancing drugs (PED). Where would one acquire such products? Are they illegal? I’m not Barry Bonds or Marion Jones. I don’t compete so I can’t be a cheat. Or can I? Hm? It’s a dilemma. Who doesn’t want more energy, more memory, more muscle to do more, be more and well, not to have more – more stuff just means more of a headache but just to enjoy more. Who said we needed to sleep? And isn’t coffee a performance enhancing drug? I don’t want to hit a home run I just want something that can give me a bit more pep. When the owners leave after two weeks and we are ‘stuck’ in the Bahamas I just want to enjoy it. Can’t sleep simply be an option among many, like scuba diving? Any ideas?

Richistan by Robert Frank

Do you feel secure?

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A study by PNC Advisors, a wealth-management firm, shows a surprising pattern among Richistanis when they’re asked how much money would make them secure. They almost always answer that the amount they need to feel secure is twice their current level of net worth or income. Those worth $500,000 to $1 million said they needed $2.4 million. Those worth $1 million to $1.49 million said $3 million. And those with $10 million or more said $18 million. In other words, people’s definition of ‘rich’ is subjective and is usually twice their current net worth.

Books are my Life

Just rec’d my new Oprah mag.  The boat boys mock my O but who cares if it is cheesy and silly? To say nothing about the Oprah’s picks for must haves, $50 lipstick? Oh yeah right!
But I love flipping quickly to the section on books and the monthly missive titled ‘books that changed my life.’  Every month a luminary offers up five or six books that changed their life.  Given that it is Oprah most are women.  Every month I read this column and ponder, ‘what books would I chose?’  What books would I consider life altering? Normally, the spotlighted books are profound, deep, ‘hard’ books, i.e. nobody picks a John Grisham novel.  John Grisham novels and their ilk do not alter your life; they offer a respite from it (which is a highly valued attribute in my opinion).  My first thought this a.m. continued my pondering last night, what books would I choose?  For someone who reads voraciously this is too difficult, especially because I have no bookshelf to reference.  Books are also precious during particular times and moods so one book at this moment would not offer insight tomorrow – is this a version of ‘when the student is ready the teacher will appear?”. 
One book that crosses all boundaries is the Bible, (alright all you eye rollers just stop).  The truth is that the Bible did change my life but not in the way many would assume.  It’s the only book I continue to read repeatedly not because I ‘have to’ but because I my soul hungers for it.  Another book that ‘changed my life’ was Let’s Go Europe. It was the Bible for my first foray into foreign adventure.  Books have always been about educating me how to live, where to go and how to think.  Let’s Go is a literal passeral into Europe.  Every time I see it in a book store a delighted smile springs up, what a great adventure it offers.  Usually Oprah’s guests pick a book of poetry but I can’t.  How embarrassing to admit that reading poetry does not do it for me – listening to poetry by the writer now that is when poetry flowers.  The whole slam poetry contest thing jazzes me as it offers an opportunity to hear poetry from raging, passionate poets.  One more book comes to mind today, it’s a ‘story’ book, the Secret Life of Bees.  It sticks with me particularly b/c it’s told from the perspective of a 14 year old girl/women and one line that sums up something so profound, “people who saying dying is hard have never tried really living.”  Isn’t that true?  
What books changed your life?

Which Criterion Determines Your Vote

Which criterion determines your vote?

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This election is of great interest. Robb and I are paying close attention to the twists and turns and revelations. Who will win that coveted and controversial role of ‘leader of the free world’? The power this one person and his minions possess is frightening. One of my greatest concerns is how each espouses to end the horror in Iraq. Almost 4,000 United States soldiers and over 85,000 Iraq civilians have died in this “victorious” war. How many more must die before someone calls an end to this madness?

Blessed are the Peacemaker


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So I flew to Dallas a couple of weeks ago to visit family and sell my car. Gratefully the car went quick, which left me with ample opportunity to sit
back and enjoy my hometown milieu. My first morning I was greeted by the headlines on the new ‘castle’ law in Texas. Now I don’t have all the ins and outs but suffice it to say any wacko can shoot someone entering their home. Hm? Makes me a bit nervous but I usually do not enter people’s home unexpectantly so maybe I’m safe. BUT added to that law is the codicil that ANYONE can carry a gun in their car. Oh yeah, as long as they are not involved in gang activity – what defines gang activity? And they are not breaking the law – does driving 70 down the freeway constitute law breaking? Anyone can carry a gun in their car in Texas. This scares me. How many times have you mockingly shot a pointed finger at someone who cut you off? Since I’m usually the one cutting you off this kinda freaks me out. I’ve met these people who drive around on the city streets. These people are not sane. Now they legally carry guns with them? And can shoot me if they feel threatened? What!!! I feel threatened. Hey maybe I’ll buy a gun too and we can all shoot each other. Scary. (I know all the gun advocates are hurmping!) Have we become so fearful of fellow humans that carrying a gun is the only solution? And I bet many of these gun toters are card-carrying church members. To illustrate this assumption, I witnessed a vehicle, which carried the ‘real women pray’ bumper picture with a woman bowing before a cross on her back window and a sign advertising her all weapons firearms training on the side window. Oh goody, we can pray and then practice how to blow someone’s head off. I know the whole WWJD thing was a commercial nightmare embarrassment but the question remains. Would Jesus be a loud and proud member of the NRA? Does anyone remember a little old sermon titled Sermon on the Mount? Lord have mercy on us all.
P.S. Blind persons can get hunting licenses in Texas – nosh on that for a bit! Wouldn’t want to discriminate now would we?

HBO: Alive Day Memories

Consider the Cost
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The solider pictured above suffered multiple injuries to include the loss of both eyes. He placed the diamonds of the ring his fiancée returned to him in one glass eye. She called off their engagement, as she could not live with his injuries.

The HBO special “Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq” documents soldiers who suffered severe injury during their service in Iraq. Due to advances in trauma surgery, 90% of the wounded will survive their injuries. The show documents stories of soldiers from their enlistment to life altering injury. Timothy Greenfield Sanders photographs these soldiers allowing the many to confront the sacrifice of the few. The photographs allow the viewer to contemplate how she would manage without eyes, an arm, both legs. It is not only the physical injuries but also the mental injuries that shape a soldier’s postwar life. The New York Time recently ran a series of articles on violent crimes committed by Iraq vets. The financial cost of the war is in the billions; the personal cost to the United States soldiers and society has yet to be fully determined.