Thursday, December 20, 2007

Home for the Holidays

In about an hour and a half, I will be on vacation through January 2, 2008. Can't wait. All the kids and my grandson will be home for Christmas. Anyone who stops by to read this, have a great holiday. I have to rest up for a new year of churns, moves, projects, etc.


Hope every one has a great holiday week. Happy New Year and all that stuff. In a few hours, I will be off until January 2, 2008. all the kids are going to be home and we will see our first grandchild in just a couple of days. So I'm ready for a great time. It will be a nice long rest which I really need.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


in 1966 the Noank Fishing Smack Emma C. Berry celebrated her 100th anniversary. The ECB was docked at Admiral Farragut Academy for a number of years in the 60's. Thanks to one of our teachers Dayton Newton, we got to practice restoration techniques on her. Eventually she wound up at Mystic Connecticut. One of the more disappointing aspects of this adventure though is that no where is there literature attesting to the fact that she was resident at AFA and that we did some work on her. Not at Mystic, not in a book detailing her history and restoration. no record anywhere. So I feel an important piece was left out of her history. About the only proof that she was at Farragut during those years are photographs of the ECB at the waterfront which are on the flyleafs of our yearbooks back then.

Happy Thanksgiving All....

We'll be spending it at the in-laws who have a huge home because the extended family is very large. I'll have to try to figure out how to be nice and politely refuse second helpings, etc. Because there are always gargantuan amounts of food at these events and we always take a ton of it home with us. But my docotor has told me to be a good little boy and cut down on a lot of food that I love.

I can't eat steak, shellfish, turkey, spinach, beans and on and on. I told her you might as well just hook me up to a bag of glucose since you took all the fun out of eating anyway.

At any rate it will be good to see everyone around the table if even for a short while. I just want Dallas to lose that's all!! :0-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Long Relaxing Weekend!!

Went to Mystic, Connecticut last weekend, Regina went to needlepoint classes and I read alot and visited the Aquarium. Those Beluga whales are really something. Smart and funny to watch. The trainers can really get them going with all kinds of racket. I purchased a membership at the Aquarium for the two of us. Next time we come it will be at no charge. I'm aiming for this summer.

The only thing that bothered me is that Sunday was Veteran's Day and while my service to the nation was thanked, it was thanked with me wearing the cap of the USS Zuni, I did indeed serve on the physical ship but only when she was the Tamaroa. In other words, people definitely recognized me as a veteran because of a Navy cap. But Coast Guard service on the same vessel rarely got me as many thanks as I received this past weekend. Kind of a disappointment.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Are You a Fountain Pen Addict????

I've loved fountain pens for years. You can tell a real fountain pen lover by the ink stains on their hands usually caused by recalcitrant fountain pens. I have some expensive ones and some not so very expensive. Just like watches or cars though, the cost does not mean its the best. I have several pens that cost a fortune and they don't write near as well as a 45.00 Parker pen that I own. One of my favorite sites is Its a great board that has a yellow board (pen conversations only) and a green board (buy,sell,trade). It has a lot of great people on board who are eager to share their knowledge and enthusiam about fountain pens. A vendor I go to a lot is Its a great store in New York City. Not the best prices around but if you need something quick, they get it to you overnight tout suite no problem.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Zuni-Tamaroa Staff Meeting

Trucked on down to Virginia on Friday night for a staff meeting on Saturday morning to discuss what we should do about the Zuni-Tamaroa. We talked about fund raising, gathering a base of volunteers in the Newport News area, the website and moving to a new anchorage for the Zuni-Tam.

All agreed we need to finish the gray paint job on her. She looks like a wreck now. It does not reflect the 5 years of volunteer work done so far. It is also important to get the website updated. We will put a ship's store page on her listing products that will be sent to people who donate certain levels of funds.

I still wish she was just the plain old Tam, but oddly enough once we stuck Zuni on the name, things started to move.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Last Weekend - - Faeries Galore!!

We had an interesting weekend 10/12-14/07. Ange my eldest is a nut on Faerie lore. Regina and I went with her to Philadelphia for the First Faeriecon at the Philadelphia convention Center. I attended lectures on the differences between good faeries and bad faeries and other little gems about faerie wings or the lack thereof. :) Some of the costumes were great, really outrageous, the art was good, the writers and artists were extremely accessible signing their works and talking about their books.

Angela wore us out, that kid can boogy. In the evenings they had fantasy movies and a good faery ball one night and a bad faerie ball the next. Her costume was great. Most were...well to use an overused word, awsome. But some were pretty bad. It kind of reminded me of my Civil War reenacting days. Some of us were authentic as possible and others wore blue jeans.

Anyway it was a fun experience and last night the family got together for a nice dinner to send Ange off back to Oregon.

If you want to see some great faerie art check out Brian Froud or his wife Wendy's work. They were the Guests of Honor at the convention. Their website is It is impressive stuff.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Who will be the next President??

This subject really scares me. When was the last time you voted in a presidential election BECAUSE you WANTED that candidate to win as opposed to voting for a candidate because they were the lesser of two evils? Just prior to the last presidential election, I took an internet quiz which was allegedly designed to help me make a choice. It said that Bush was closest to my way of thinking followed by Dennis Kucinich. That made me a bit nervous because first I didn't even know who Kucinich was at the time and when I found out that he was a liberal democrat I was not happy.

Not that I have anything against Democrats per se. In fact, I would probably classify myself as a Reagan Democrat because where as the Democrats of the last few decades do not seem to believe in a strong national defense, I do. The democrats of the past that I admire are Harry Truman and to some extent FDR, although in many ways, he was too liberal for me. At least he knew how to fight for his country.

But look at the current crop of people out there now. I do not trust one of them, not one. Where one is good say in national defense or law enforcement, he (she) is bad when it comes to immigration. I like Tom Tancredo's stance on immigration, but he doesn't stand a chance in the general election, never mind the primaries. Hillary I don't trust, Rudy I like law-enforcement-wise but he is too liberal in other respects. Rominey is an empty suit so far as I can tell.

So right now, I don't know what to do. I'll basically have to wait til the 2nd tier folks go away and then probably vote for the one who most likely reflects my views on immigration which are pretty elementary. That being If you're legal I'm all for you. If you're not get out and I don't care what the illegal's circumstances are since they do everything thay can to take advantage of the system then stick it to the middle class tax payer.

My rant for now.......

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Diana Krall

I must not be with it in the music scene. Not long ago, I saw the movie about Cole Porter with Kevin Kline in it. Diana Krall sang a song in it and I thought she had a great voice. I had never heard of her before the movie. At any rate, months later, I was visiting a web site looking for CD's and up pops an avert for Diana Krall "The Very Best of." Remembering I like her song in the movie and that the CD/DVD was on sale, I figured what the heck and bought it. I was not disappointed. I have to get a couple more of her albums. They're jazz oriented and I get a kick out of the lyrics.

There was one song in particular that I really enjoyed called "Frim Fram Sauce". There is a verse in it that goes:

"I don’t want fish cakes and rye bread

You heard what I said

Waiter please make mine fried

I want the Frim Fram Sauce with the Awsin Fay

With Shefifa on the side."

by (Ricardel,Evans)

Anyway, she actually won three grammys for her Jazz singing. Worth a listen.


The day has arrived, we are under tow, presently (October 2, 2007) nearing the Key bridge heading toward Newport News. The tow is estimated to be about 20 hours long. We are all very excited and triumphant. This tow marks the end of the beginning. A new era awaits us as the Zuni-Tamaroa now heads toward Virginia waters. Thanks to McAllister Towing for the prompt response.

We hope to gather a new pool of volunteers in the Newport News area, very heavily oriented toward the Navy and Marine Industry. When I get photos of the tow, I will post them.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The U.N. Is it worthwhile or a P.I.T.A.?

Here we go again. Another annual round of BS. The property I manage is stuck in the middle of all this mayhem. So for a week we are inundated by the Secret Service, FBI and New York's Finest. What a fiasco! they have concrete Jersey barriers all over the place blocking access to our loading dock. Every time one of these alleged world leaders decides to take a jaunt, our truck dock gets shut down. Add to that, all the law enforcement agencies around here are using so much juice that my radio communications has a ton of interference zapping through it.

We had advance notice about this, so I had notified all the vendors that work in the building to get material in the week before if they needed to do work this week. Politically speaking I have no use for the UN. They are nothing more than a mouth piece for a kind of rudimentary communism: take from the haves and give to the have-nots, right! I think they should take the whole place and move it to somewhere like France or Bolivia, maybe even the Russian Steppes. In New York, people are delayed, business' lose money and the "alleged" diplomats just go about town doing what they want with impunity.

On second thought, how's this for an idea? Build a wall topped with razor wire around the UN grounds and a couple of hotels. All entry to and from the compound should be by water. Do not allow them out of the compound. That way, we could go about our business. No vendors would lose money, no traffic would be slowed and the diplomats would be bored to tears and want to leave immediately. I'm only half kidding here. This week is always the week from hell, when the General Assembly goes into session.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


JLB is my favorite author. If you like mysteries, you must read him. He will knock your socks off. He is particularly known for his series of books about a reformed alcoholic detective named Dave Robicheaux down in New Iberia Louisana. JLB has a talent to pull you right in to the story hook line and sinker.

His descriptions of the bayous and surrounding areas of Louisana are incredible. Just the titles of his books make you take notice. I've read them all but here are some samples: Stained White Radiance, Lay Down My Sword and Shield, Black Cherry Blues, Cimmaron Rose, Tin Roof Blow Down, Pegasus Decending, Dixie City Jam, Joli Blon's Bounce; the list goes on and on.

Buy one and you will be hooked immediately.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I'm a Grandpa!!

Here is a photo of my 5 week old grandson Liam and Son Sean. He's a cute little twerp, no? I mean Liam not Sean :-)
I sent Liam a Redskin's Onesy size 12 months to break him in early. Sean and I are Redskins fans.


Being the nice husband I am, I took Regina into the city (the place I love to hate) to see the play Curtains a week ago Saturday. I'm actually glad I went. It was pretty funny with some catchy show tunes. The story revolves around a murder in a play within a play and David Hyde Pierce (Frazier's Brother) was pretty funny, though he couldn't sing as well as some of the other headliners. Pierce plays a stage struck detective who wants to solve a murder and help put on the play at the same time. But it was funny and entertaining nonetheless. Afterwards, we went to Arthur's Landing a restaurant in Weehawken that had a great view of the NYC Skyline.

Keeping my fingers crossed.............

We are very close to an agreement to tow the Zuni-Tamaroa from Baltimore to Norfolk. Once we're in Virginia, the fund raising to restore the ship can begin in earnest. She's touched a lot of lives in her 51 years of service. That's why many of us are very adamant about saving her. As the Tamaroa, she saved the lives of 4 helicopter crew during the Perfect Storm in 1991. The "Damn Tam" as she was affectionately known was strong enough at age 48 to endure 40 foot seas and 100 knot winds to rescue the downed aircrew.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mandy Moore

A couple of months back, I stumbled across samples from a CD that I really liked. It turned out to be a former pop tart named Mandy Moore who has blossomed into a terrific singer with a bit of a country flavor.

I had heard the name before but never her music. I really like her latest album "Wild Hope." There's a little bit of Joni Mitchell and Mary Chapin Carpenter in the album. It's good stuff. The odd part is that for the first time I listened to her early music and I thought it was terrible. Wild Hope though is completely different. Her voice has really matured. Try it and see for yourself. You can go on Amazon and look up the album. The site plays samples of the songs. I hope the recording does well enough to keep her going in the country-folk direction.


Decided to start a blog and see where it went. I'm new at this kind of thing so don't expect miracles. I'm interested in U.S. History, maritime preservation and I read alot. My favorite author is James Lee Burke. I have a son who's in the Navy and a daughter who works in a Vet's clinic out in Oregon. Another son is still finding himself. I'm a Coast Guard Veteran and proud of it.

My big, huge labor of love right now is that i'm involved with the restoration of the Fleet tug USS Zuni AKA USCGC TAMAROA. I served on board her in 1967 and 1968, so its a personal thing for me.