Start 'er Up

Not that I know who she is or why she needs starting, but. . .

Found a possible beacon of civilization (or at least a kind-er soul) down here. Went to see a PT for my elbow today and it's possible that he will be resolving my knee issues on the side. BTW ('cause apparently I'm hip enough to use Y-Gen acronyms now), my primary care "physician" most likely missed (or misdiagnosed) my knee problem so badly that I may as well collapse to the left in his honor. Who's surprised by a show of hands? Mighty fine absence of hands I don't see out there right now.

In my physician's honor I'm going to wade a little further into the system, change my HMO to a PPO during the only fifteen days of the year they (my co.) allow us to and continue to fight the non-chalant, give me your co-pay, if-I-don't-look-you-in-the-eye-maybe-you'll-go-away medical system that has been created in this land of the free. The word free only existing in our mottos these days and not in, or around, any other part of this civilized society.

On the up/down side my new PT took one look at the x-ray pics of my elbow on my flickr page, asked how he could put his pictures online and proceeded to enlighten me as to the fact that without surgery on my elbow I might as well be signing up for the hi-pain-threshold club when it came to retirement. We'll see how that one plays out. Don't get me wrong, the HPT club has been around longer than the Stone Masons (or so the Simpsons tell me) but I'm not sure I should be one to join an old-boys-type club. My delicate rear never did bear the spanking sessions well.

Three physical therapy sessions next week. I figure they'll cause me to drop thirty pounds and take away any joint problems I may have in about a week and I can go on with my life just as I did coming out of high school. Wait. . . what? It DOESN'T work that way? Damnable brochures and their shiny pictures always showin' the best.

Oh yeah, I'll be moving into the house I originally booked passage into (back in March) sometime either during November or at the end of said month. The internet connection looks to not be poached anymore and I'm not sure how I feel about that. Kinda enjoy borrowing connectivity from my neighbors. I swear I'm not changing their internet preferences to cat fetish sites and the 24-hour weather website. . . cause they're already there.

As Ik would say; A-out (though I may be a bit further out than should be allowed. Is somebody gonna throw a brotha a line or what?)


Free Meals Are OK

Group lunch today footed for by some body's corporate card. Nice. Sucked into a meeting at four-thirty in the afternoon. Probably not going to be nice. Meeting goes till about eight o'clock, after a mandatory stroll through the warehouse. (At least we toured the empty, but still cold, freezer section.) What's that? Our gracious visitors who want our business would like to buy us dinner. Ow, my arm hurts. The Italian piano bar hasn't gone the way of the dingo in So Flo just yet. Wine, fish, limonchello, desert, champagne. . . are we celebrating something? Nope. The game was one. I hate the Red Sox.

Go A's. Go to Fremont, apparently. I doubt I'll ever see a live game again after they move.


I Didn't Even Know I Was Gone

Surprise! I flew out to France on Monday afternoon. Got into Paris Tuesday morning and then immediately flew to Nantes, France. Picked up my rental car and drove about forty-five minutes to St. Nazaire. Got in around noon and slept. Then I slept. Then I slept some more. Knee was killing me from the flights and the driving so didn't get much of a look at St. Nazaire. Small city though and I'll probably be back one day. Made it out for dinner at a local bistro which was good. Slept.

Spent all Wednesday in meetings with the local shipyard and two logistics companies. Getting people to work together. . . good times. Dinner out with colleague Wednesday night but travel plans the next morning necessitated an early evening.

Up at two-thirty in the morning, not part of the plan. Couldn't get back to sleep so stayed mildly entertained with French music videos till four-thirty. Took a bath, since there was no shower in the room. Drive from St. Nazaire back to Nantes and try to check in for my flight to Madrid. Woman kindly tells me that the flight is delayed at least an hour and they are looking at how to get me to Miami once I actually reach Madrid. It's six-thirty in the morning. Oh shit.

Somebody was mistaken. Flight from Nantes leaves just a few minutes late and even though it's a forty passenger jet and a bumpy ride it isn't full and the service is good. Things are looking up. Typical layover at Madrid then American Airlines decides to show what it can do. Full flight, a/v system that doesn't work, terrible food, crying babies. . . the whole nine. A/V system finally starts to work but our row doesn't get audio. Two cherries on top. One; our reading lights turn on and off without you bidding them too. Two; it's the hottest transatlantic flight ever. Usually they keep it cool and skinny people use the blankets. Apparently it was a tribute to summer and people were fanning themselves. Seems funny when it's forty below outside.

Good week. I took today off. Yup, there's work to be done but. . . time to go enjoy the TV I finally broke down and bought.

Here's to it. . . whatever it may be.



Well, this is the one-hundredth time that I've posted something on this pitiful little blog. Started it around summer of '05 so at this HIGHLY prolific rate I can expect to hit the one-thousandth post sometime after my grand-kids are getting to college. Not that I hear much guff from my adoring horde of fans (all four family members) and it has become readily apparent to me that while some of my friends are big fans of myspace and facebook and all those others they don't seem to get the knack of looking at this site to see where I am in the world. No to chastise but it never fails, every email I get from a friend back in Cali asks where I am right now. . . . oh well.


That's the real big number in my life. Seventy-eight is the exact temperature that my apartment stays when you open it all up and turn on the fans. At least it's down to that these days. I don't even have to turn on the a/c until it's time to turn in.

Gonna play with some big boxes tomorrow. Hope to take some rather graffic images of the horrors of Asian packing techniques. I swear they're making pallets our of balsa wood over there. We unloaded five forty-footers into LC2 (logistics center 2) this afternoon and not a single pallet made it out in one piece. Anyway, might have to explain another minor logistics snafu later on. If I start a rant on it now I'll never get my ugly rest. Needless to say, there was some miscommunication (seemingly standard in my job) and I can't fit the freight from five forty-footers into the other five forty-footers that we ordered to transload (another great made-up logistiky-type word) the freight into. Ah, nevermind. Good night.

Eat your greens.


Go Figure

My frustration has a name.

And That name is The World.

Has anyone looked at this world lately?

And I'm not just talkin' about network TV and
news channels. Though I am talkin' about the
fact that my local channels seem to think that
B-Spears getting a flat is more important than,
well, more important that ANYTHING ELSE!

I'm going to try and go to bed without writing
something mean. It's a tough job, but. . .

I wish I were insane.


Back In Miami

I swear it's gotten more humid since I left.
Flights were typical flights.  Booked completely full, faulty entertainment system, multiple screaming babies, good times all around.  Not sure yet what my feelings are about being back in an office.  The Office.  I finally have my own cubicle to colorfully decorate with Dilbert cartoons and other trinkets that show that I'm really not the type of person who normally works in a cubicle. . . even though I work in a cubicle.  Don't remember where I first heard the term "Cubicle Farm" but it is rather fitting for our little logistics office here in So Flo.
I've been working for RCCL for over six months now.  Feels a little longer than that.
Finally have business cards too but since the phone line in my cubicle isn't actually connected to the phone number on my card I'm not sure how effective of a tool the business card really is.  Have a spanky new(er) laptop waiting in the wings as well which is good cause the miniature hampsters that are powering my current laptop are getting tired.  Also their running wheels are a little rusty and I've had a hard time getting any WD-40 in there to help them out.  Man, life is sooo hard.  I haven't had anything delivered to me on a platter actually made of silver in DAYS and this silver spoon is really getting uncomfortable in it's current position.
On to the next phase.
I'm not completely done with the Quest.  I still have to organize crane support, labor, garbage dumpsters, etc. . . for when she arrives in Miami on the 20th.  But in order to prove my worth, earn my keep, justify the existence of my job I guess, I'm going to start working on a diesel engine project for a couple of different ships.  Don't remember what I've wrote about this but whenever I mention it to people in the office they just get this slightly tazed (not dazed) looked on their face and after a few seconds they develop a sad little smile on their lips and shake their heads wistfully, as if to say, "Another one thrown under the bus. . . and he was so young!"  In truth I'm looking forward to it.  Anything I can do to justify my existence is just fine by me, though a pinch on the arm followed by a good yell seems to work just as well.
Came off dry dock with a sore knee, a cold and a cold sore to boot.  Think I'll take it easy this weekend.  The apartment is now cable free and the internet is highly limited to when I can poach it from my neighbors.  Looks like I'll get a lot of reading done this weekend.  Might even find time to unpack. 
Time to work on my expense report. . . hasta la bye-bye.



Flying back to Miami manana. Yeah, it's a little early. No, I didn't do anything bad to get me sent home. However, I did pull a typical move (typical of me at least) and got hurt in an odd way. Strain in my foot turns into a limp. . . add the limp to three days working however many undogly hours in new work boots. . . you've got a recipe for a knee swollen to melon-like proportions and a distinct inability to walk properly. Same sad song; Boy meets boot, boot meets pavement, pain meets boy.

Anyway, I'm not being deported for my lack of mobility. (On-board doc says it might
be a problem with one or both of the meniscus in my knee, which sounds likely and bad and means I'm in for a fun future.)

In terms of logistics this job is going extremely well. Add that to the extreme number of logistics people we have here and people have gotsta shuffle. So, I fly home tomorrow and I'll be back in the office on Friday. (I'll take my medicine and like it gal' darnnit.) The rumor is that there are fires to put out back at base. Fires that will only be squelched by smoothly moving freight and well planned delivery times coupled with flawless cooperation between multiple feuding entities. Logistics, like manna from the heavens. . . or somethin' like that.

Where was I? Ah, yes. . . rambling.

Good and bad. Cold and hot. Well handled yet still FUBAR. However, at least I get to sleep in a decent bed again in a clean room. While I do happen to have my own room on board the ship it hasn't been a cleaned in days and they are doing work in there every day. Two nights ago I came home to metal shavings all over the floor and sawdust in all the drinking glasses. "I'm sorry, Bob, but I'm gonna have to go ahead and skip a night in the room of podiatric lacerations and just, uh yeah, punt."

Yeah, PUNT! If Fitty says it's a good idea then it can't be all bad. Gotta admit that I'm not mentally geared to go back to the land of spontaneously combusting lizards and beach-folk with faces like old leather handbags just yet.

Alas, the travel is over for now. There's a very small possibility that I'll find some distant adventure within this new project I'll be working on, but most likely I'm grounded till Xmas in WI. Good time. Good and cold.

In the meantime I guess I'll have to find my board shorts and flip-flops.
And on that disheveled note. . .

Thirty-two dozen points to the person not named A.C. who can tell me which fairly modern cartoon this is from.

One man speaking all the lines to nobody in particular:

Turns out it ain't cool to talk about how another man's headsail has been trimmed.
Go figure.


Not Quite Worth Five Thousand

With my job I have to deal with this. . .
RTM Warehouse

But I also get to see this.
DT Hamburg

There's a whole lot of this. . .
Container Terminal

But who wouldn't enjoy seeing one of these?
Sweet Spreader

However, this is the reason for it all. . .
I give you, the newly named Azamara Quest.
Dry Quest

She's a small vessel so she don't look like much in the graving dock. Only holds seven-hundred and ten passengers who have paid for white-glove service and a chance to visit some smaller ports that our larger ships can't go to. Celebrity Cruises just bought this vessel from Pullmantur Tours (even though we own them) and everything with the old ship name (Blue Moon) on it needs to be replaced. All new carpet, mattresses (yay!), storage shelving, mini-suites and fancy new Bolidt decking on all the open decks (and that's just the beginning). At this point we're actually more than halfway through the job so I'll have to get a few pictures up of the work being done.

Well, back to it.