Friday, August 21, 2015

Texan II



I stopped at the TEXAN II tonight on my way back from my hotel from dinner and I did something I’ve never done before.

I had a few beers, ok nothing new; and I and I had a few random conversations; again nothing new.   However, right before I left, I met a girl.   She was far from my type.   She was COVERED in tattoes.   On her arms, her chest, even her face.   In fact, she had just gotten a new face tattoo, but she was sweet.

I don’t know how I knew she was sweet, but I knew she was. I talked to her for only a few minutes.   Not long.    She ordered some drinks for her friends.   She ordered drinks for her friends even though she didn’t have enough money for them, but she paid in cash, regardless, because she ‘owed’ them because they had bought her drinks.   

I asked her “is someone gave you $100, what would you do with it?”   

She said “I’d save it.”     I need $800 to take my barber’s class and I have $650 right now”
I said “You wouldn’t spend it on shots or tattoos?”

She said “No way,  $100 would change my life”

I gave her $100.

She cried and said “thank you, Sir” about 15 times.    I told her “make it count”.   “Don’t tell your friends, stop crying and make it count”.    “DO something with it.”    “Don’t tell anyone and don’t’ follow me.”   “Put it to something useful”
 
Then I left.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sad story about the Calypso

Wow,  long time - no post.    Thank you very much Facebook. 

If I had more money than sense (and some would argue that I've already reached that threshold), I'd buy that boat and spend the rest of my life combing the globe.    Ktwn has already said she doesn't want to live aboard a ship.   So, this will be a hard sell.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/28/world/europe/once-a-beloved-french-symbol-a-ship-now-rusts-into-oblivion.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0



CONCARNEAU, France — In its day, the Calypso was more than an oceanographic research vessel. It was the constant companion of the famed French explorer Jacques Cousteau, as the ship and its captain logged over a million nautical miles together from the Red Sea and the Amazon to Antarctica and the Indian Ocean.
Now, all that can be seen of it is a skeletal frame, extending outside a warehouse in this small port town on the coast of Brittany in western France.
It is difficult to recognize it as the same boat that starred in award-winning films and televised adventures beginning in the mid-1950s and extending into the 1980s. Over those years, the Calypso and Mr. Cousteau turned into icons of a vibrant ecology movement, raising awareness of the wonders and fragility of the world’s oceans. Their travels brought the duo fame and made them synonymous with the romance of marine exploration, as they pursued sharks, sea sponges and shipwrecks across the globe.
Today, the Calypso rots in the warehouse where it was brought to be repaired in 2007. Stripped of the metal and wood that once encased it, weeds curling among the wooden beams of its frame, the ship is now a symbol of how Mr. Cousteau has faded in the collective memory and how despite France’s sailing tradition, neither the government nor his heirs have found a solution for its restoration.
Continue reading the main story
BRITAIN
IRELAND
English Channel
Paris
Atlantic Ocean
BRITTANY
Concarneau
FRANCE
Bay of Biscay
SPAIN
200 Miles
PORTUGAL
Mr. Cousteau, the country’s premier oceanographer and environmental advocate, was as much showman as scientist, and he astutely recognized that in order to get funding, scientific research had to appeal to a popular audience. By refining underwater filming, he did just that, creating a wealth of documentation of life beneath the oceans’ waves.
But he left little clear direction about what should become of the vessel that accompanied him in his explorations for more than 40 years when he died at 87 at his home in Paris in 1997.
Still in use in 1996, the Calypso was in the Singapore harbor when a barge accidentally rammed into it, sinking the boat to the seafloor. It took days to bring it to the surface and much longer to bring it back to France.
Although the Cousteau Society, a nonprofit environmental organization founded by the explorer, set out to restore it after Mr. Cousteau’s death, there have been lawsuits and disputes that have left the boat’s wooden frame weathering and its famous false nose with an underwater chamber rusting away.
“It is depressing to see that no one has come to be its patron,” said Pascale Bladier-Chassaigne, the managing director of the Association for Maritime and Fluvial Patrimony, describing the ship as “mythic” and “emblematic” for France.
In 2014, the association designated the Calypso as part of the country’s maritime cultural heritage, but it has yet to be considered a national monument by the state, which would give it a chance to compete for preservation funding.
The neglect is hardly surprising, said GĂ©rard D’Aboville, the captain of PlanetSolar, a solar-powered research vessel. Despite France’s ample seacoast and its many island territories, the government has never shown much enthusiasm for preserving the country’s ships, he said.
The register of historic monuments designated by the Culture Ministry, lists 43,000 buildings and, among other things, 1,400 pipe organs (many of them in churches), but just 133 boats. “We are a country where the maritime heritage has great difficulties existing,” said Mr. D’Aboville, who spoke by phone from his boat.
The Calypso’s chances for government sponsorship have also diminished as its fame recedes into memory, he noted.
“If you ask the younger generation in France, they don’t know about it at all,” Mr. D’Aboville said.
The unresolved fate of the Calypso raises questions about what should happen to a ship when it reaches the end of its working life, especially a boat that was groundbreaking in its day.
Yet, the frequent practice of chopping a boat into bits for recycling strikes many as a painful insult to a boat with such an august history.
No one was talking about such a dire option when the boat arrived in Concarneau for a complete restoration in 2007. Crowds thronged the quays to see it towed into port. The Cousteau Society handed out red caps in memory of those worn by Mr. Cousteau and people applauded.
“When we learned that the workshop had succeeded in obtaining the order for the renovation of the Calypso, it was greeted with great joy and pride,” recalled Bruno Quillivic, the deputy mayor for ports in Concarneau, referring to the workshop of Piriou Naval Services, one of the largest employers here and one of France’s biggest shipbuilders.
“We all remembered the Sunday evenings when we would watch the documentaries,” he added.
All went well, initially.
But by the beginning of 2009, the Cousteau Society decided the renovations were inadequate and stopped payment. Piriou stopped working on the boat and a series of court actions ensued.
A judge ruled in favor of Piriou, saying the Cousteau Society needed to pay the shipbuilder 273,000 euros, about $300,000, and to remove the boat from the Concarneau warehouse. Piriou said that if the Cousteau Society failed to remove the boat by mid-March, it would take steps to auction off the Calypso.
That date has come and gone and no sale has taken place. It is not clear if the company has the right to sell the boat and, even if it did, if there would be a buyer.
A spokesman for Piriou refused to comment on the boat’s status or whether there had been expressions of interest from private parties. So far, no city or country has come forward to offer the boat a home.
The Cousteau Society has said only that it is in discussions with Monaco, where Mr. Cousteau directed the Oceanographic Museum for many years. The society said that Mr. Cousteau’s widow, Francine, did not wish to comment on the boat.
Ms. Cousteau, who has the title of president, has publicly said that she has wanted to make the boat seaworthy again. But Piriou has disputed this account, saying that the company was contracted to make it into a museum and that the society changed its mind.
On the docks at Concarneau, in the shipyards, and among the fisherman, there is little dispute about the right way to pay respect to the Calpyso: It should be sent to the ocean floor.
Jacques Scavennec, a 70-year old sailor who was checking the repairs done on his boat at a local dealer before heading to check his lobster pots, spoke firmly: “It must be sunk 3,000 meters deep and not spoken of anymore,” he said.
“Yes, it’s possible to renovate it, but no one has the financing.”
Pierre Nerzic, 36, who runs Concar’nautic, a company near the shipyards that sells, rents and repairs small boats, and who like many mariners here speaks of Mr. Cousteau as if he knew him personally, was equally confident in his judgment.
“The wish of Cousteau was for it to be sunk in the deep so that it could become a home for the fish,” he said. “Then the next Cousteau will find it.”

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sailing on a Beneteau 39

I went sailing for the first time in 6 years this weekend.    It was wonderful.   We sailed out to Redfish Island in Galveston Bay (no oil visible) and spent about 9 hours out on the water.   I am sore and very happy.




Lauren, Matt and Capt. Roger

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

Duration of Pop Songs by decade


Average Pop Song Length By Decade*


1. 2010's: 4'26"
2. 1990's: 4'14"
3. 2000's: 4'10"
4. 1980's: 4'08"
5. 1970's: 3'55"
6. 1960's: 2'59"
7. 1940's: 2'41"
8. 1950's: 2'36"

*The Billboard Experiment