Can't Type. . . Must. . . . Link.

The final frame is so true.
Dino Truth

Twin Falls, ID.
Family Fun

Politics Suck
Also True

P-A-R-T-Y? (Because I gotta!)
Final Nights in Finland

And what post would be complete without a picture of some people drinking in a freezing warehouse. . .
Final Warehouse Party
The best part of the job?


Getting Home

Sitting in Terminal 5 at Heathrow I finally have the time to write about the end of our work on Oasis of the Seas in Turku.  I stress that it's only our work in Turku that is done because when the Oasis arrives in Fort Lauderdale on November 11th it's like a whole new job will start.  The ship is 99% finished, or will be upon arrival stateside, but one key are is missing a few things.  We haven't put in the trees and plants for Central Park.  We're talking 30'+ trees and a ton of other foliage.  Such is the task that we have to use a 650 ton crane to reach up and over decks 15 and 16 where the pools are to drop the trees down onto deck 8 which is open to the sky for Central Park on the center line of the ship.  That part doesn't bother me so much and will probably be pretty interesting to set up and work. 

The other projects that are going on will probably bother me a little.  Good Morning America will shoot live on the ship one day and not too soon after there is a concert planned with Rihanna on the stern which is the Aqua Theatre.  The amount of road boxes and gear that we're going to have to load will necessitate another crane to work the aft end of the ship.  And seeing how everyone involved is in entertainment (or as my co-worker Skippy calls them, the dancers and the prancers) I'm sure it will be, um. . . made much more difficult than it needs to be.  On top of those two cranes we also have 3-4 shell gate doors that will see a steady influx of provisions, shop goods, wine, etc. and a steady outflux of garbage and tools from the work still going on during the Atlantic crossing.  (And why the heck isn't outflux a word?)

But, as usual, I undress. . .  uh, digress.

The end of the job was hectic but from our side it was well in control.  Actually if some areas on the ship had been ready sooner we would have been done with all the loading at least a week before departure.  As it was we were still lifting things to the Boardwalk and Central Park well past midnight and the ship pulled away from the pier at 0600 on Friday.  The best part was the safety items that absolutely had to be on board before departure. . . two small air shipments that went from Copenhagen to Helsinki and didn't arrive to the ship until midnight and about 0500 respectively.  I do find it a little ridiculous that the ship has been loading heavily for two months and we can't even get everything we need locally from the EU on board.  Oh well, done now.  Skippy and I cleaned up the warehouse on Friday and loaded containers to Miami and containers to stay in the yard for storage for the Allure.  There's a pretty good chance I'll be going back to Finland next year for the Allure around the same time.  There's a rumor that the Allure will be commissioned a month earlier which would be truly awesome because we would be in Finland for the better part of the summer.

After cleaning up the yard Skip and I took a shot of Jagermeister and had a 500ml Lapin Kulta (local beer) at the hotel.  But the celebration was only just beginning.  The fork lift and truck drivers from the shipyard invited us to an Ice Cream Sauna party.  I know, doesn't sound too good with just a bunch of dudes but its only called the ice cream party because these guys sell ice cream for a small profit throughout the year at their office and use the proceeds to rent a large sauna every few months.  SO, it should have been called the beer and sauna party, cause that's exactly what it was.  We got the sauna up to 75 degrees Celsius, which I am told is NUTHIN' for these guys, and it was interesting to sit there and wonder if your skin can actually spontaneously begin to blister from the heat of the steam.  Also interesting to roll in there with a cold beer and before you can finish the darn thing it's damn near boiling hot.  (Of course, I had to commit the ultimate party foul and allow a beer bottle to break on the floor in the sauna. . . fellas took it pretty well though.) 

Sauna party lasted till 11pm and then we headed to one of our favorite places called The Castle. . . I may have spoken of it before.  Closed that place down and all in all had an excellent last night in Turku.  Had a nice dinner in Helsinki last night with a new local friend and significantly less alcohol but significantly more food than the night before.  Early to bed, early to rise and now I'll be in Miami around 6:15 if all goes well.

Hope to catch up with people this week.  I'm supposed to be off the whole week but there's too much work for me to ignore so I'll settle for sleeping later than 0600 and maybe multiple sushi meals!   Kiipis!


Congratulations Are In Order

Just want to send out a sincere congratulations to my man TC for his recent engagement. She's an amazing girl and I wish you both the best for all the years to come.


The Bosses Have Gone Home

After tomorrow we'll have brought in 67 containers this week.  There's about 320 total for the project so that's a pretty good chunk for one week.  That leaves only 19 containers left for next week which is a walk in the park.  The ship is struggling in a few areas but overall it's looking quite amazing.  My bosses (literally; my manager, director and VP) were here this week which kinda slowed things down a little.  Not too bad though and it was good to have them see a little of what I'm doing here.  Of course my manager has done 3 ships here so it was nothing new to him.  Went on the piss last night so I'm trying to turn in early tonight.  There will be plenty of time to celebrate once this behemoth sails away on the 29th and I have a long Halloween weekend in a downtown Turku hotel before returning to the states around November 3rd.  Can't wait for that meeting in downtown Miami on November 4th. . . right. 

I'm lookin' at Thanksgiving with family in Idaho, possibly Xmas with broham in Wisconsin and definitely a visit to the Bay Area in early January right before I fly to Singapore for my next project.  Maybe I should try for a few days in Tokyo right before since I gotta fly through there anyway.  Gotta get off the eternal, infernal machine now.  G'night.


Trial By Sea

Don't you hate it when people put a title on something that's MUCH more interesting than the actual writing below will be? At least you've been warned this time around.

I'm writing mostly because the ship comes back at 0400 tomorrow and though I don't have to be there when it arrives the actual arrival is nonetheless a distinct representation of a shift in lifestyle for me. Gone are the ten to twelve hour days and newly born are the twelve-plus (at least) days. In a way I look forward to it because there's never a dull moment and at the end of most days we can kick back with a beer in the warehouse and reflect on how much we loaded on the ship that day and all the fun complications we had. There's certainly more satisfaction in physically seeing things get done than writing emails and fielding phone calls all day.

That being said, I had a moment today when I realized (probably for the Nth time) how much I'm actually following my chosen university studies. I had two majors in college; broadcasting and journalism. Granted I don't think I spend nearly enough time in front of the camera (the news world would melt from either adoration or madness if my mug appeared on the nightly news) but despite my horrible grammar I do spend plenty of time writing emails and reports. Mostly I remember courses that focused on future technologies and that was at a time when I didn't even own a cell phone. Now I carry a minimum of two mobiles with me almost always and half the time there's a radio or two involved and I've thought about getting a pager just cause I like that retro-look. (There's an 8-track in my Honda Element.)

So that's about it for my night before the storm login event. I might still have a few minutes to myself online every day but as I've proven before I doubt I'll be writing much here. Sadly I probably won't even have any interesting pictures until the ship is closer to finish and then certainly once it gets to Fort Lauderdale. I'm off to bed at twenty-two hundred and feeling pretty okay about that. However, a little White Stripes on the Archos might have something to say about that. A little late night work ever killed anyone. . . but if you've ever seen a guy who looks like he got maimed by his computer you might have accidentally stumbled upon a little something the interwebs don't want you to hear about. User Abuse: when a computer abuses it's user by dragging them into a cybertronic abyss despite Hurculean efforts to avoid it and often completely unbeknownst to the user until three hours later when cramps have formed and social life has been abandoned.

And as usual. . . I regress.



Things are going pretty well over here. Obviously work is about eighty percent of my time but the free time is okay, though too brief. As you may have noticed I try to stay off the laptop when I get back to the hotel (and with the nine or ten hour time difference for most of you I haven't been keeping up with too many people). Been hitting the basketball court at least a few times a week and of course there is occasionally a night on the town. No Finnish girlfriend though and in about a week I'm probably going to move onto the ship.

It's nice living on the ship cause my commute drops from twenty minutes to twenty seconds but of course it's also nice to get away from the yard each night right now. Guess there's nothing left to do but convert our office container into a bar every night around twenty-one hundred hours. I just hope they finish the basketball court on deck 15 soon since basketball (and lifting heavy boxes that give me drunken Yoda looking bruises) seems to be the only exercise I'm interested in these days. Finally got a cruiser bike in the yard though and rode the whole shipyard today.

The ship is getting there. There used to be a pontoon with cranes on the starboard side but they've removed that in preparation for departure for sea trials on Monday.


Yeah. . . she's huge. And yes, the lower part is also baby blue. I hear the under water hull is hot pink with purple stripes and teal writing that says, "Eat our wake." But that could all be rumor.

I've got an easy day tomorrow and I'm not even going in until nine o'clock!!! Holy cow, whatever will I do. (Oh yeah. . . sleep.) Of course there's always a million things I can do to get ready for the storm that's about to hit. We've got more than two-hundred, forty-foot containers worth of material to load between about October first and October twenty-eighth. Should be good times. However, the ship is on sea trials from Monday till Thursday this week so I can get a lot of rest if I want to. Amazingly it hasn't gotten very cold here yet. It's actually fifty-four degrees right now at half past ten at night. However, apparently we'll wake up one morning over here and it will just be downright cold. . . and then it will stay that way until about June. I'm hoping for one more week of good weather since the ship will be gone and I can tear up the blacktop (and my knees) playing ball every afternoon. (Knock on Wood for good weather. But try not to hurt my brother too bad. (And if you got that joke I say, "mornin' to you."))

Along a different stratification I think I'll be heading to Idaho for Thanksgiving this year. After three months of working almost every day it will be amazing to sit back, play with my adorable nieces and eat a twenty-four pound turkey over the course of a week. Mmmmm, tryptophan induced coma. (Insert drool here.) Off to a good book and a soft bed. Kiipis from Turku.


Photo Diary: Life in Turku, Finland

The Hotel.

The Ship.

The Work.

The Bruise.

The Work (reverse view).

The Courts.

The Nightlife.

The Scenery.


I Got Words

Ooh, and pictures! But pictures are probably worth more than words. . . and I do have quite a few pictures. . . so does that mean my words are moot?. . . or mute? Hmm, something not to think about. You may think that I've been drinking (and there might be a smidgen of truth to that) but the reality is that I've mostly been poring (if not pouring) over gigantic spreadsheets all day trying to get a handle on this job I find myself on. Not that I don't love container manifests, airway bills, obscure reference numbers that people tend to make up and place in a spreadsheet as if they hold some significance other than on their own spreadsheet, oh! but I don't. (You corporate people are probably with me. The rest of you take note; live an "alternative" lifestyle. I don't care what it takes. Live with your parents, shoot for the olympics, sell beanie babies on ebay. . . I don't care what it is, just don't let it be "corporate." The best part being if this post manages to get me fired or suspended or somehow otherwise able to find myself with some quality time off because corporations can't let people have private lives anymore and they hafta check if we're just a little too into Weezer on our facebook page. (By the way, I'm not too into Weezer. I think I'm fairly well balanced into an occasional Weezer session.))

But I regress.

Anywhere, here's my suggestion. Check out today's comic on XKCD (right side) and then pick one of my last albums on flickr (same side). Something a little fun is the wedding pictures. Something a little overwhelming (if you know ships) are the pictures of the Oasis. More to come, always more to come. In the meantime I'm gonna try to call it an early night. The days are gonna start startin' earlier and last lasting later. . . darn, couldn't quite make that work.

Oh yeah, and this.


Travel Update Version 8.4.9

Well another month gone and here's the latest and greatest. There's a few more pictures up on Flickr (link on right) and I'll try to start getting Oasis pictures up starting next week. So. . .

August 7-9 in Seattle: Last wedding of the season!

8/11 - 10/31 in Turku, Finland: Oasis of the Seas new build project.

Thanksgiving? Christmas?


January 18-28 in Singapore: Legend of the Seas dry dock.

April 18 - May 3 in Freeport, Bahamas: Freedom of the Seas and Celebrity Century dry docks.

August - November in Turku, Finland: Allure of the Seas new build project.

If that doesn't make much sense to anyone I guess the main thing to take away from this is that I MIGHT not be traveling as much next year. By the end of 2009 I'll have been out of the country for about 6 months. . . 2010 looks like it might be less than 4 months. Of course all things are subject to change and I imagine things won't stay this way.

For now suffice to say that I leave for Finland on Monday so I hope to catch quite a few people on the ol' telephonic cellular devices this week and weekend. After that I'll be trying to use Skype with my work computer (not always a plan that works). I hope this finds everyone enjoying summer in one way or another.


And Then He Cruised

The Vision of the Seas

Ok, a little blasphemous as usual, but whaddaya expect? Got off the cruise in Stockholm last Monday and I gotta say it was exactly what I expected. Awfully nice to wake up in a different country every morning and not have to pack my bags. Pretty nice to almost always have food and hot tubs available. Rather nice to finally take a cruise so now I can have a slightly more enlightened take on the whole thing. Of course there were a few cons. (Seriously, I met some ex-cons at the pool.) I don't like feeling herded around and I don't like being waited upon (though that second one is obviously something I created myself) But all in all I had a good time. Really it was only the cost of the drinks that killed me. Though some might argue that the actual drinks themselves were the ones doing that.


As you can tell I've put some pictures up on Flickr. I'll be the first to admit they're nothing special. The lighting was sub-par in both Tallinn and St. Petersburg due to overcast weather and all kinds of other excuses. As usual what's really missing is an adequate number of pictures with people in them. But just as I'm sitting here alone at eight-thirty on a Saturday night in the Netherlands it just so happens that when traveling alone I don't do a very good job of making friends. Ah well, so it goes.


I'm in Eemshaven now. About two and half hour drive Northeast from Amsterdam (and isn't THAT a shame). Doing a bit of work on a new ship that Celebrity is bringing out in a few weeks. The Equinox. She's a beautiful ship but I don't know her specs offhand. Things might change but I think I'll be here for another week and then spend a week in Southampton, UK for some final loading with this ship. Then two weeks in Miami before a wedding near Seattle and then straight to Finland for two and a half months on the Oasis of the Seas. I MIGHT have a few things to write about that job. . . if I'm not tearing my hair out. (Of course, if you know me then you know that's why I keep in short. Don't get me wrong, the shortness isn't stopping it from Falling out, but it certainly is harder to tear out on a tough job. I just don't have the patience for tweezing hairs off the top of my head when there's chaos going on around me.)

Excuse Me

May the rapture find your pet well taken care of.
Oh yeah, and I didn't actually meet ex-cons at the pool. . . they were just heavy equipment operators.


Two Days Gone

Welp, two days in Stockholm flew right by. Could have been all the walking, all the beer or the accumulation of all the naps. (I do love a good nap.) Gorgeous city and the people seem friendly. Not that I've met too many, been keeping to myself for the most part. But with eighty degree weather and all this sunlight it's easy to catch a few smiles on the street. . . and a lot of smiles at the outdoors seating at the bars.

I board the cruise tomorrow and guess I'm looking forward to it. I know, I know, I'm going to love it. Probably just wish I had invited someone with who could actually come along. Oh well, we'll see how she goes. No matter what it should at least be restful (though I'm not sure how I can forget about my work in the cruise industry while I'm on board a cruise ship). Life is SO rough.

Got a few pictures around Stockholm but nothing too stunning so maybe I'll post a few on flickr later. I'm sure to have a ton of pictures to upload once I join the Equinox in Eemshaven and have good access again. Yeah. Excitement, adventure, a Jedi craves not these things. . . well, I'm neither a Jedi or an adventure junky. . . I wonder how much a massage costs on the ship. . .


It's Been A While

(Heavy emphasis on the "H" in while.)

Turns out that I haven't been to a new country in quite some time. So to remedy that I just arrived in Stockholm, Sweden a few hours ago. I'm here to do the smart thing and take advantage of a free cruise bequeathed to me thru work after one year or employment. Yeah, I know, I've been there well over a year (and I almost lost the chance to take this cruise cause they put a time limit on it). Well, the remedy is a quick four day jaunt from Stockholm to Tallinn, Estonia then on to St. Petersburg, Russia and back to Stockholm. That'll be three new countries on my tally. . . if I had a tally.

There's Wimbledon on TV (though my Swedish is a little rusty so I'm listening to music on my cell phone instead of the Swedish Chef commentary (Bork! Bork!)), there's a relatively clean bed to sleep in and there's a new city to explore outside. And by the way right now it's only dark here from about midnight to three in the morning. Of course not all things go smoothly which is why my luggage decided to stay in London (turns out luggage really likes tennis) and I'm here with nothing but my grubby-eleven-hour-plane-ride clothes to wear out tonight. Not to fear. . . British Airways gave me a spiffy little bag of toiletries and it included a T-SHIRT! Hooray! Oh and by the way if you haven't heard about Terminal 5 in Heathrow Airport, stay as far away as possible. Take it from someone who travels a little bit these days, that terminal is the thirteenth layer of hades.

Anyway, fairly uneventful trip as usual. Just hope I get my luggage sometime tonight. Got a good cab ride from a young guy who gave me the skinny on what to do and where to go. Turns out all the guide books are right. . . go where they tell you. So I've got two days of kicking around the city and seeing what kind of trouble I can't get into and then I cruise, for the first time in my life. Oh, and for those trying to keep track of my whereabouts I head to Eemshaven, Netherlands after the cruise on July 6th. Should be there a couple weeks and then a week in Southampton, England. That's all for work on our latest ship coming out called the Equinox on the Celebrity side. Finland is calling my name in mid-August as well so there's one more country off the big board.

Alrighty, if I'm going to be in the hotel room and not outside with the pretties then I better be sleeping. Beautiful thing about midnight sun when you're on vacation. . . I can nap till ten at night and still enjoy a beer with the sunset. Stay calm, all is well.

Don't Panic.


Yosemite National Park

I haven't been to Yosemite since my older brother and I did a quick drive through two years ago when I was moving out to Florida. I did a little hiking there yesterday and decided two years is definitely too long to go in between visits.


A friend and I did about thirteen miles and thoroughly wrecked ourselves in the process. For those interested we took 4-Mile Trail from the valley floor to Glacier Point. Then we took Panorama Trail past Illouette Falls to the top of Nevada Falls and finally dropped down past Vernal Falls back to the valley floor. About six thousand vertical up and back down by the end. I won't lie, my legs were a little shaky at the end since Nevada Falls to the valley floor is a two thousand foot drop over just two and a half miles



Back Down the Valley

Above Nevada Falls

From Glacier Point


Heading Back To So Flo

My brother asked me tonight if it was strange to think about going back to Florida after about nine weeks away. Not as weird as you would think. Last year I spent almost half the year out of Florida and this year I'm looking at pulling well over six months away from "home." My schedule this summer (between weddings and work) dictates that I won't be in any one place longer than two weeks until December (and even that isn't for sure depending on if I take off for Christmas early). Welp, I'm not complaining, just stating facts. I'll be back in Florida tomorrow afternoon and back at work on Monday but I hope to get some snorkeling and other beach fun in pretty soon.

This past week in Idaho has been great. I haven't set an alarm since Monday (I think) and that wasn't for any specific reason. . . probably just habit I guess. Unfortunately I'm not the shiniest muffin in the tin and I booked a flight at seven in the morning for tomorrow out of Boise. Yeah, uh, Boise is two hours from Twin Falls so I pretty well doomed my day (and my mom's) with that little maneuver. Could be worse.


For those of you listed as my friends and family on flickr you can see plenty of pics of my brother's two little girls. . . the rest of you will have to make due with the same ol' dry dock pictures. Suppose I best call it an early night. Wouldn't want to have too much fun on my last night of vacation.


Back In The USA

Sittin' in the Portland airport for a few hours, waiting for a flight to Boise to go see family in Idaho. Got myself a week off and I plan to use it to get absolutely no work accomplished. (Ok, that's a lie of course but I swear I'll be doing very little. I just cleaned out my work inbox and am ready to shut this computer down for everything except personal fun.) Hoping to spend my time playing with the nieces, sleeping and anything involving the outdoors. There are some hot springs just south of Twin that I went to when I was a tour guide. . . sounds good to me.

Recently I spent 2 weeks in Victoria for a dry dock of the Millennium. Victoria is a great city and to have it sandwiched between time spent eating sushi in Vancouver is exceptional. I only got out a few nights in Victoria but after being on dry dock for a while every night out, even for a single beer, is a glorious victory. A buddy in Vancouver hooked up some tickets to the International Rugby Test between Canada and Ireland yesterday and thankfully Ireland was fielding it's C squad so they only beat Canada by 19. Ok, it was brutally clear how far behind Ireland is when it comes to rugby but it was still a good time.

The dry dock itself went pretty well after the first few days. Celebrity threw about 10 million into the refurbishment of the hotel side of the Millennium and the marine side saw some new bearings into both azipods and one new slewing bearing as well. Pictures up on Flickr if anyone is interested. Took a small seaplane from Victoria harbor right down town to downtown Vancouver. . . if you're ever up that way I'd strongly suggest it. Shot of Victoria as we were flying out.

Victoria From Air

Currently trying my 3rd type of beer here at PDX from Laurelwood Beers, "Portland's Original Certified Organic Brewery." Didn't know such certifications existed but I must say the Tree Hugger Porter, Space Stout and Hooligan beers offered by this company don't need any organic cert to convince me they're good.

Okay, enough procrastination. . . my gmail inbox needs cleaning even more than my work inbox did.

Nothing But A Few New Pictures

And Flickr is the only place to find them online. (I swear this isn't a commercial endorsement for any websites and I also swear that I don't care if anyone thinks it is.) Just look at the pictures.


No Time To Update

Okay, the title's not entirely true. . . I just SHOULDN'T be taking the time to update. So we'll call this a photo up date for my 2.3 die hard fans out there. Finally got a few pics up on Flickr. Either click on the Flickr window on the right or go to:

Happy days, happy days. I fly to SF on Sunday, then to Vancouver on Tuesday, sail with the ship to Victoria on that Saturday and then work a dry dock in Victoria till May 22nd.

For those of you NorCal folks, I've already booked my tickets for the June wedding (not mine) and will be there the week before. Prepare your drinking shoes and your dancing liver.


"Crisis" Averted

Yeah, we can step it down from code orange people. I won't be flying to Vancouver. . . or at least not before tomorrow! (Thank Dog we don't use the Homeland security color coding system of possible terror level to describe everything we're doing in life. It has just got to be the stupidest rating system ever. Right now the ship has fliers pasted all over that put the ship on "orange" alert of some such nonsense. They always do that during dry dock but it seems to me that a person is much more likely to get clipped by a fork lift walking along the pier than to suffer at the hands of some demented terrorist hell bent on destroying all western influence on the world. All I know is that I get frisked each night when I board the ship to go to bed. . . even when I don't set off the metal detector. Must be my sheer animal magnetism.

It's later now. And actually right after I typed that last little ditty it's even later now. Later and with slightly more libations. And to that end I'M DONE. Not even DUNN. . . past that. . . right on to just not wanting to do anything but sleep. Enough bitching, badgering, bantering, blasphemy, buoyancy and basic biology. It's the Bed for me.


Somethin's Gotta Give

. . . and it might be me.  Point of fact, I find it pathetic that I only seem to be motivated to write on this page when I'm pissed and feel like moaning about it.  Piss and moan, that's my style I guess.  Well, I guess the only other motivation is sharing exactly how silly my travel plans can be sometimes.  Case in point is my current situation. . . I'm currently in Bremerhaven, Germany on a job that goes through the beginning of May.  Not too big a deal as far as my job is concerned.  I've already got a trip planned to DC for a good friend's wedding at the end of April which is great because I normally wouldn't leave a job, even one as long as this. I get to jet out of here for a quick weekend of No Work and good people.  Then there's the other end of that spectrum, cause sure, it sucks that I'll be flying to DC on Friday and back to Germany on Sunday but it's for a good cause.  The other end is what might happen to me next week.  Last minute flight to Victoria, BC from Germany.  Leave Sunday, in Victoria on Monday, meetings on Tuesday, flight Wednesday morning, back in Germany on Thursday afternoon.  Work the dry dock on Friday. 

Not exactly my idea of a good time.  Maybe if I fit in an airline seat I'd take it a little better.  I used to think I was uncomfortable in plane seats cause I'm overweight. . . or cause of my height. . . then I noticed how much wider my shoulders are than the damn back of the seat.  Ridiculous that the airlines get away with selling the same seat to everyone.  But as usual, I really can't complain. . . rather be tall than not.  By the way the airport codes in Canada are awesomeness. 

Example1:  San Francisco = SFO = Logical
Example1a:  Vancouver  = VYR = Quasi-logical
Example 2:  Oakland = OAK = Logical
Example 2a:  Victoria = YYJ = completely illogical as far as I'm concerned.
Ok, I'm sure there's a good reason for those airport codes, but I'm truly just too lazy to look them up.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch. . . Yes, I'm procrastinating.  Not from anything in particular.  Actually, I'm about to head onto the ship and go straight to bed (sleep being the greatest procrastination tool of all time) but I should really spend another 20 minutes rifling through my bloated inbox and wantonly erasing things I should probably keep.  Maybe my hard drive will crash. . . my oldest bro already had to help me revive this piece of junk once this job. .  . a few days without emails would be awesomeness personified in the person of me, being awesome, not answering emails, exemplifying awesomeosity and generally walking around awesoming it up.  If you know what I mean.

Tomorrow's word to butchasdardize. . . . stellar.

(AC gets three points (not called) off the glass for being the inspiration of tomorrow's word.)
(Just spelled checked this bad boy and awesomeness is actually a word.  Guess what that is.  That's right. . . that's awesome.)
(BTW, CC gets props for retro-actively inspiring today's basbutchardized word. . . cause I seem to remember her saying it all the time.)


Travel Highlights

So I flew from Miami to Frankfurt to Bremen, Germany today. . . yesterday? . .  arrived today. . . whatever.  Don't take the following as bitching, I'm well aware that I might be in for the most grueling experience of my life anytime I travel.  And this trip wasn't nearly that bad but it did have a lot of firsts.

My flight from Miami to Frankfurt was delayed by, get this, a faulty power line for one of the kitchen heating units.  An hour and a half later Lufthansa got the crisis under control.  Super.  Predictably I missed my connecting flight in Bremen by about 5 minutes (I watched the plan pull away from the jetway) and had to spend about 5 extra hours in the Frankfurt airport.  Time flew.  I tried to work, I dozed.  I tried to read, I dozed.  I tried to doze, I dozed.  Sometimes things just work out.  Thought I had my second wind getting on the flight to Bremen and read through take-off and even got some water before I put the book (and my arms) down on the tray table and really went for a world class snooze.  (Ed. note:  I can never sleep on planes, not even that one time when JG got us hooked up with 1st class seats from SFO to Newark. . . but that might have been because we were too busy being giddy with our champagne, screwdrivers, multiple choices of breakfast and, of course, hot washcloths.)  So I doze off and then apparently REALLY tune out. I didn't wake up till the wheels of the plane first touched the ground and you know what? my tray table was still down. . . probably because my arms where completely covering it.  Don't know if they tried to wake me but all I know is I beat the system, I landed in a plane with my tray table down and everything was okay.  Aaron 1 - Airline Rules 0

Other highlights from my flights:
-- I had an aisle seat. The guy to my left was about half my size and asked if I'd be willing to take the inside seat so he could put his extra carry-on bag under the seat.  To use the vernacular:  WTF?  This kid had no clue what he was doing.  We all waited 5 minutes while he tried to wedge a rolling carry-on under the 2nd seat in before he asked me to switch.  After I refused a kindly stewardess helped him find some room in an overhead compartment.  Bizarre.
-- I read one book and watched about the last 5 episodes of LOST on my Archos.  Talk about passing the time. . . if it wasn't for my seatmate it would have been a great flight.
-- My seatmate (the same kid/younger guy/Indian dude with no concept of personal space) decided that my waist was obviously a great place to store his right elbow during the flight.  Nevermind the luv handles takin' up space there, dude. . . go right ahead and stick that bony elbow about 4 inches over the armrest. 
--  I handled the bony elbow in it's more innocent form but later in the flight I was treated to the same elbow crashing down on my shoulder.  I can only assume that he dozed off and awoke with a start but when I looked over at him there wasn't so much as an acknowledgement coming my way, let a long a courtesy, "My Bad" from him.  Guess I'm overly sensitive. . . or severely bruised.

Well, I had planned to make those short but that didn't work so I'm cutting myself off.  Bremerhaven seems like a nice German town and I walked around a bit today.  It's about 40-45 during the day, mostly cloudy, but it'll be nice to work in this weather instead of the Bahamas.  My lids are drooping so I'm off to bed.  Got a week of receiving trucks, loading containers and trying to keep track of everything on a massive spreadsheet before the ship pulls in Friday night.  I hate spreadsheets. . . which is odd since I live to collate.  Good night.


Project Down

Three Pods Are Better?
What's wrong with this picture?

Completed another little dry dock a little more than a week ago. Another Freeport number with all the fun/typical BS that goes with it. More pictures at Flickr under the set named, "Summit E-Dry Dock 2009."

Went to Germany last week for meetings but am home now till March 11th. . . then it's super-happy-fun time in Phoenix for a good friend's bachelor party weekend. After that things get a little more interesting. All is well. Stay calm.


Not Much Really

Well, as usual time has passed and I've had about a dozen ideas for things I should put on here and yet what do we see? Nothing. Nada. Bupkis. (How the hell do you spell "bupkis?" Oh, I got it right. . . I think there should be a 't' in there. Ah well, you can't win 'em all.)

It's been cool here for about a week. Probably hasn't gotten over 75 ONCE! Ha. This place is hilarious. Longest cool spell I can remember since I moved here. It's nice to sleep without the a/c on. Had a good weekend in the nice weather. Happy hour, gym, Lewis Black, biking, new web cam, boat work and maybe a mixed drink somewhere in there. But my free time is once again drawing nigh as another dry dock approaches.

The Summit is only a quick 4-day "emergency" dry dock but it'll still steal a weekend away from me. I suppose I should follow everyone's advice and just be grateful that I have a job. . . but then I wouldn't get to bitch nearly as much. And speaking of bitching, I'm writing this from work and should really get out of this dismal office. The nearest window from me is 80 feet away and I have to stand up like a prairie dog in my little cubicle to see over the rest of the little prairie dog homes and try to figure out if it's day or night outside. Someday I should just learn how to tell time and then look up the sunset time on the intertwebs. . . but that sounds horribly efficient and I'm sure that's the wrong path for me.

I'm not sure if the gym or the bottle is calling me tonight. Guy at the boat told me that a buddy of his drinks vodka/sprite while they play hockey. Now THAT'S dedication. Bah, I guess the gym will win out. . . damnable sensibility, I'll get my parents back one of these days for passing that trait along. I finish with a warehouse shot. Why?

Can you even see the other end of this place?! Sheesh.


The Might, Mighty Shamrock

Welp, thar she blows!


She ain't much to look at right now because she's at the most gutted point in her life. We're abating mold, cleaning tanks, checking lines, removing old equipment, drawing new layouts, over-hauling the engines, etc, etc. . . of course my part in all this is to perform the most menial of tasks seeing as how my technical capabilities are somewhat less than my compatriots. There's quite a few more pictures up on my flickr page (find the flickr window on the right hand side of this site).


Man, these pictures really don't do much for this boat. It's 53' long and wedged in between other boats in a Ft. Lauderdale neighborhood waterway. For those of you who have never been to south Florida, Ft. Lauderdale is a bit like Venice in that there are a ton of houses along a myriad of waterways and each house has it's own pier in the backyard. Kinda crazy, fairly polluted, awfully cramped at times but a nice feature for a region driven by fun in the water.

I'm off to dinner (and the AFL Playoff game) in a minute so I don't have time to tell much more of the story. Long and short of this boat is that we're planning to get the basics taken care of in the water and then take her into dry dock. After dry dock we should just have finish work left and when she's completely done we'll use her for our pleasure and rent her out for charter trips. The timeline is for us all to be watching New Year's Even fireworks aboard our completed vessel going into 2010.

I know, a year sounds like a long time but we're pretty much only working on the weekends and most of us travel quite a lot for work. I'm the lowliest owner (I think) as a project manager. . . most people are Directors or VPs or other such nonsense. Busy people and their toy. That's what we are.

Except me. I'm not busy. But I gotta go.


On Being A Good American

I am a good American.  Which is not much different than being a good Amur'can.  So far this year I done gone 'n got invested in a small business AND bought a luxury item.  The small business involves a boat and would require a number of posts to properly explain (without actually boring you to death) and the luxury piece came in the form of a gee-tar.  Despite working for a cruise line I don't know much about boats and despite growing up with piano and trumpet lessons I don't know a thing about playing the guitar.  Should make for an interesting winter before I travel again in March.

I'll start to post pictures of the boat and give a few specs and the story once I get everyone's approval for the story going "public" via the interwebs.  And when I say Everyone's approval, I mean it.  There are fourteen people who own part of this boat and before anyone get's too excited you should know that it's definitely a work in progress. . . and probably will be for another year or so.  The guitar on the other hand doesn't need any work at all. . . just needs someone to play it (or learn how).  I'd give both ventures about a fifty-fifty chance of panning out in any sort of positive way.  Cause I'm both a glass half-full AND a glass half-empty kind of guy. . . hence the fifty-fifty. . . what?  Do you want a pie chart for clarification?

What else. . . oh yeah, on a much more important note, I'm an Uncle again!  (Implying that I wasn't for a while?) Now I've got TWO nieces to influence in my own particular way.  I'm still debating which Uncle personality to go with.  I'm leaning towards the slightly-off-Uncle-that-the-kids-like-cause-he-brings-them-stuff-from-other-countries but there's always the classic quasi-cool-uncle-that's-never-around. . . but then of course, I've have to be cool.  

Well, I'm definitely not cool but I am finishing off my work day by writing this.  Sorry there's no fun work stories or amusing anecdotes about monkeys or lemurs.  So Flo is surprisingly lacking in both animals.  I do have a short, four day dry dock coming up in February.  We're gonna exchange a whole azipod on the Summit.  Should be interesting in only four days. . . kinda like exchanging that diesel engine block on the Jewel in four days in Boston back in October.  Like Kevin Nealon once said, "Life is circular, Happy.  You've gotta block out the bad and let in the good."

Block, Bad.
In, Good.