Travel. . . Yes, Please

Fund app that I use through Facebook. I think I need to start working on spreading the pins out a little bit.

We've got a new year coming up. . . maybe it's time to put a little personal travel on the calendar.


Yuletide Cheer

In Idaho it's cold outside. Cold and windy. Snowy, cold and windy. Wintry, snowy, cold, windy and some other descriptive adjectives and it feels goooooooood. Merry Christmas to everyone reading this and I suppose to the rest of the world too. Got a typical holiday planned today with family, food, presents, a cute kid, a warm house and good times. For most of my family this is the first Christmas in Idaho, but my sister-in-law's family has been here for years. Not years as in, "I remember when this was all orange groves (which don't grow here) as far as the eye can see," but years nonetheless. All the locals say that it's never this cold for this long here. Good for me. . . I came to shake off the oppressive Florida heat and that slightly unsettling feeling of almost breaking into a sweat at the slightest movement. . . and I think it's working.

I'm dubbing this the Laptop Christmas. I'm sure there are plenty of families that have had multiple holidays dominated by mobile computing devices but this winter is the first year we've found ourselves sitting around with a computer on every lap. Times change and so do we, I guess. Now don't get me wrong. . . computer time has been fiercely rivaled by Scrabble time but of course the circuit boards have their say in that game now as well. Easier to let the Scrabble website tell you what word is legal than sift through those pesky pages in a big, fat dictionary.

Speaking of things big and fat. . . I'm heading over to the bro's house soon where the snacking will likely be epic. Better get in gear and eat some cookies. I mean, pack some cookies up to take over. Sure, that's what I mean.

The snow is coming straight down now and the other bro says we're supposed to get 1-3 inches today. When was the last time that you had a white Christmas? Personally I'm gonna go enjoy the one we're having right now.

A very Merry Christmas and perhaps a tall mug of something warm (and partially toxic) coming right up. Cheers.


FWD From A Family Member

The following was presumably sent to me in order to make fun of my lack of belief in a higher being. However, I just want to know. . . do I get the day off or not? -AD

In Florida , an atheist created a case against the upcoming Easter & Passover holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians, Jews & observances of their holy days. The argument was it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized day(s).

The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring, 'Case dismissed.'

The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, 'Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter & others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur & Hanukkah. Yet my client & all other atheists have no such holidays.'

The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, 'But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant.' The lawyer said, 'Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists.'

The judge said, 'The calendar says April 1st is 'April Fools Day.' Psalm 14:1 states 'The fool says in his heart, there is no God.' Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day.

Court is adjourned.


Hi. My Name Is Aaron Diffleboppersen, And I Have A Drinking Solution

All together now. . . "HI, AARON."

I'm trying to figure out why we only refer to someone having a drinking problem but never a drinking solution. Do people really believe that no good ideas have ever been spawned throughout history without the assistance of a little Dutch Courage? Now don't get me wrong, I would never go so far as to argue that the imbibing of toxic liquids has produced MORE good ideas than bad over the years. I mean, let's face it, the old, "We're driving to Florida!" announcement at 5am has never worked out very well. . . or, indeed, ever even gotten out of the parking lot. (Thank you Larry Miller.) But (almost) seriously, doesn't the effect of alcohol on our brains make us think a little more loosely? Maybe you'll not just dance tonight but you'll dance with that midget on the bar? Ok, maybe not.

Sadly, that last paragraph does not mean that I've just cured cancer whilst having a cocktail. I merely want to remind people that some of our vices are just a part of life and maybe not as evil as some people might pretend. (But don't be afraid of taking a couple weeks off from Beelzebub's shillelagh. . . okay, I might have made that last one up but that doesn't mean it won't be popular vernacular for a drink by the end of the weekend.)

I'm watching Michael Phelps on The Colbert Report but I'm also clearing my gmail inbox, my work inbox, christmas shopping, planning my Tuesday night with some local Atheists, checking out a website my brother recommended, having a cocktail, holding my bed down, pondering 3 of life's 13 great mysteries, calculating 2 quadratic equations, eagerly awaiting the next installment of XKCD and watching the clock. Who said my generation suffers from ADD. I'm just AD. . . no extra D required. Of course trying to do all that necessitates the reality that this current sentence is now being typed almost 30 minutes after the beginning of this paragraph.

As usual I had grand plans for this post, including an expose explaining why it's strange to return to the states after a month in the islands (though island in the singular is certainly more accurate). However, it is not to be. . . so I will leave you with this one unprofound fact.

1) When I tell people that I'm working in the Bahamas the inevitable response is something along the lines of, "Oh, you lucky bastard!" But the truth is that when I tell you I've been working on "South Beach" for a month it's got nothing to do with swanky (overpriced) bars and beautiful women. THIS is South Beach (in Grand Bahama Shipyard on Grand Bahama Island) and yes, everything that looks like scrap metal in these pictures IS scrap metal. . . and there's a lot of it.

South Beach Misery
South Beach

And THIS is our office container where BBQs are frequent and the beer flows like, uh, sorry there's actually no beer here. The shipyard doesn't allow it. (Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. Say no more.) The actual "office" container is the tan one and yes, that is a wood deck out front.
South Beach BBQ
South Beach Full Effect A-#1 BBQ

So I guess I haven't taken the time to fully explain the misery of working on South Beach 12+ hours a day. The reality of the "beach" is that it's made of dirt, sand blast grit, trash, scrap metal and the tears of children. It truly is a hellish place, but the shipyard is too cheap to pave it over (or even spray a little tar to keep the dust down). When the wind picks up it's common to see a dust wave of carcinogens descending upon one's self like soul crushing truth descends upon a person watching a documentary about a topic they'd rather not think about. (Britney Spears once said that she didn't like the films at the Sundance Festival because she had to think while watching them. Awesome. Now how do I get down off this soap box? It's a long way down and I'm without a single carabiner.)

Tangent complete. I've moved on to Craig Ferguson on CBS. So much funnier than Leno and Letterman it's not even funny. Wait. . . huh?

I leave you with some sage words.
Do Not Block Light
That's right, people, let's stay out of the dark and as they say in biking, Keep the rubber side down.


Not Even The Least Bit Interesting

This is what I normally carry during dry dock (- the radio). I either need me some suspenders or a purse.

In Need of a Purse

In all fairness, the giant silver Bahamian cell phone died on me and I bought me a spanky new tiny Bahamian cell phone. Either way, I need some bigger/better cargo work pants for all that junk.

Ifin you're bored I dunn gone 'n put up a bunch of work photos on Flickr. Sorry there ain't much interestin' on the personnel front. . . 'fraid people might be 'fraid of their souls bein' stolen by the photog boogeyman (or just that climbing the corporate ladder is kinda hard when there's lascivious pictures of your person online).

Either way, enjoy. If you're a family/friend type person of mine you only need to request the whole shebang and I'll laden you with photos in such a way that will put my Pa's camping pictures to shame. When the camera's a clickin' I certainly knows from wheres I gets it.

Common grammar aside (obviously). . . I guess it's good to be back stateside, but it will probably be better in two weeks when I head to the land of potatoes and rednecks without ye olde company laptop (for once). Merry Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good. . . crap. What?!?! I missed Thanksgiving?

Awww, shucks.


One More Month Gone

Still stuck on Grand Bahama Island until tomorrow afternoon.  Turns out the name of the island does not seem to transcend to the island itself.  But then again, I'm not exactly here for the beaches.

Another dry dock done but not gone.  The clean up and return shipments along with the invoices for the past month of work are the worst part.  But at least I've found a good sushi restaurant near my hotel and I plan on using my whole day's food allowance on dinner tonight. 

Strangest thing about finishing these jobs is getting back to Florida and not really knowing what to do with myself.  I should either join or start a cult.  Nothing makes time fly like craziness incarnate.

Rambling, rambling. . . as usual, I got nuthin' and I need to get back to work.