Feeling Goofy

I realized why I like the sports I like. Kayaking, Skiing, and biking all have one thing in common. I can do them alone. It doesn’t matter how goofy I feel or look, no one I know ever really sees me.

I wear a bike helmet, even though I do not have to. Why? I have taken too many hits to the head not to wear something to protect my head.

I don’t wear a helmet when going skiing. Why not? Because, I just don’t like it. And skiing is what I was doing last time I took a serious blow to the head. Apparently I am not a smart man.

And kayaking, I just wear a life vest. I don’t need to bring much else. When in the ocean I may tie the paddle to the kayak, but no extra life saving devices.

So, while I will on occasion were protection, sometimes it is just easier and more comfortable not too…

Three Thing Friday

1. Off my clock – I took yesterday off. That’s right, I did not go into work. I washed the car, attached the kayak racks to the MINI, changed the A.C. unit’s air filter in my house, and got some food shopping done. In fact, everything I would normally do on a Friday when I am off, I did on a Thursday.

The problem is that now that I have done it all, I feel like today is Saturday. The good part of this is that my weekend will seem even longer. The negative side is that when I finally have to go back to work, it will be that much harder to actually return.

But, I had a productive day off, now I should try to be productive today. I won’t, but I should.

2. Amtrak – So, there obviously was a fatal accident in Philadelphia involving a speeding Amtrak train. As I write this, all I know is that the train was exceeding 100 MPH around a turn that should have been taken at half that. I also know that the person in charge says he has no recollection of what happened.

I do have a couple of issues with what has happened since this accident. For one, the mayor came out and said that the engineer was reckless, even though nothing at the time was known about the accident. It could have been faulty brakes or some other technical issue. It is known that the emergency brakes were on. And I admit, it could have been the conductor’s fault, but let’s make sure we know before we make accusations.

Question number two involves the funding that the government funds Amtrak with. Is this the best use of taxpayer dollars? Should we be funding a business that cannot stand up on it’s own? It’s not like we fund the post office… oh, wait a second. I have admitted in the past that I lean left, but I am not sure that keeping Amtrak afloat is right. Granted, the U.S. Government keeps a lot of businesses afloat, even farmers. I wonder how many people realize how many farmers are paid not to farm, or that the government buys a lot of the farmer’s produce just to burn it. We have to keep the prices up somehow.

3. A watch – So, I have finally seen the apple watch in person. I have to admit, it is pretty cool. I’m sure I haven’t seen all of it’s utility, but what I have seen almost makes me want to get one. There are few things I should point out though. My iPhone is so old a new watch probably would not be able to interface with it. In order to get the watch and use it, I would probably have to order a new phone, and I am not ready to do that just yet. Secondly, I don’t wear a watch now. I own two; I have a dress watch and a sports watch. The only time I wear the sports watch is when I am kayaking, I need to keep time somehow. I wear the dress watch only half past never. I am not sure I have ever put on that watch.

So, should I get a watch that I may never use? Probably not, the money could go somewhere else.


Three Thing Friday

1. Drones – I admit, I was really indifferent to the use of drones. Not really for their use, but not really against it either. I didn’t like how easily this country could use them against our “enemies” and that they had a history of killing non-combatants. But, their use was protecting soldier’s lives.

Now, the president had recently announced that a few months ago a drone mission killed two hostages. This I have a problem with. If you are an American Citizen who takes up arms with terrorists, you have what is coming to you. I have no issues with you being killed without a trial. Sure you are an American citizen, but you waived your rights when you started to hang with the absolute wrong crowd. I would prefer a trial and a conviction, but I can live without one, and sleep perfectly fine at night.

However, we now killed innocent civilians. Apparently we need to work on our information gathering. We need to make sure we know what we know before we launch an attack. Two innocent civilians. Two people who were true non-combatants. And I already had issues with non-combatants being killed; this just makes it even worse.

Maybe we should slow down the drone attacks. And I know a few of my friends who would disagree with that, but killing of innocents is what “they” are supposed to do, not us.

2. Local Shark – This week I was made aware that someone spotted a shark in a local body of water. A coworker said that my diving with sharks just got a lot cheaper for me. Personally, I was thinking that I found a new place to kayak. However, the person who brought this to my attention was more curious about what type of shark it could possible be. I mean, what kind of shark can live in brackish water up here in Maryland?

Well, being the fan of sharks that I am, I could actually answer this. What type of shark would be in this area, and can live in brackish water, and actually cause fear (this is for my enjoyment)? Well, I listed the Bull shark. Sure, they may not be common in this area but it is possible that it was a bull.
Odds are that it wasn’t though. There are other sharks more common in the area, and while they may not survive for long in brackish water, they could survive for a while, depending on the currents.

3. Grover Cleveland – I am currently reading a biography on the only man to serve two non-consecutive terms as president of the United States. And first, this biography is actually a biography, unlike the crap book on Bush Sr. that tried to pass off as a book.

Now, this is a two-volume biography. While I am only half way through the fist volume, I already like President Cleveland. Sure, he was a democrat, but he was actually trying to be honest. At least so far in his career.

I know that I have two presidencies to go through, plus however long he lived after his presidency. So far, he may be one of my top 5 favorite presidents… well, maybe top 10.

Something’s Wrong

Something is very wrong, and I cannot put my finger on exactly what it is. Yes, morale in the office, including my own, no longer exists. I am not happy, so much so that I am looking for new jobs, both in and out of the government, though I would actually prefer to remain within the government. But right now I would take almost anything, as long as I could continue to pay my mortgage. I have even thought of cutting back on my wine and my warhammer models.

I often think about the fact that I used to love my job, well, at least like my job. I never wanted to go into work, but I never actively thought about calling out sick for the mental health day. Even other people have noticed that something is wrong. All you would have to look at is some of the things that have been said to me recently.

“I hope you are OK” – Mom

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” – Bill

“Are you alright?” – countless other people

“You look very tired” – co-worker

I just feel beat up. I am in one hell of a funk, and I have no idea how to get out of it. I haven’t been kayaking or diving at all this year. And I had to drag myself to the winery last week (WTF is that all about?). Actually, there are a few things I look forward too. I look forward to gaming with my friends, because win or lose (usually lose) I have a blast and it really brings my up from my workweek. I also look forward to the long walk back to the car. Not because it’s the end of the day, well not only because it’s the end of the day, but also because it’s a chance to talk to one of my fellow coworkers. He has a similar personality, and I use that time to bring myself down from the stress of the day.

So, yes everyone, I am run down. Yes I am freaking exhausted. But I am alive, and all of this shall pass.

Besides, I just have to make it to October, when I get to swim with some friendly sharks.

Three Thing Friday

1. Weird Weather – I hate heat. I am uncomfortable from late May till October, for the most part. Sure, there may be a few cool days and some very comfortable nights, but for the most part, I am miserable. I would say that at least for the most part, I am indoors, but even the office seems muggy. There is no relief on the horizon, at least till I get home and I can run the air conditioner. Now, since I did not complain about the winter weather, I reserve the right to state “I ALREADY MISS WINTER!” But, as much as I am unhappy with this weather, at least it opens up the ability to kayak and SCUBA dive. Now, if I can only get motivated to go.

And at least I am not in a full fur coat like the cat lying at my side.

2. Throw Back Thursdays – I don’t get them, what is the big deal? Of course, I am not a person who should really talk. I hardly keep any photographs of my past. In fact, the only pictures I have around my house are pictures that I took of sharks. I don’t really keep pictures of my past. And the ones on facebook, I really don’t look at. I don’t have the videos or pictures from old band competitions, from my high school days, or even from my college days.

And honestly, the only thing I think about when I hear about Throw Back Thursday is throwing back a beer. Mmmm…. Beer.

3. Cable Wires – I am so tired of the new Direct TV commercials. Really, going to have a family of puppets sell the fact that your “boxes” are wireless? It’s not really that funny, it actually pretty creepy. The commercial with the “wife” just weirds me out, and the one commercial with the son isn’t any better. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I am the only one who is weirded out.

Of course, I won’t be going to direct TV any time soon, and it has nothing to do with those commercials.

Red Neck Smile

Four or Five years ago, on Memorial Day, I decided to go ocean kayaking. When I was up in New Jersey, ocean kayaking is something I did about once every other week. The routine would be to load up the kayak early in the morning and drive over to Seaside Park. Once I was parked near my parent’s street, I would wetsuit up, grab everything I needed, and haul it all onto the beach. I had, and still have, no issues with kayaking alone. I would tell my mother my plan and when I expect to be done so someone would know if something went wrong. I really enjoy kayaking with company, but I also enjoy being out on the water by myself. And ocean kayaking is something that I would not bring a novice kayaker to go and do. It’s a different type of animal.

This particular morning was amazing. The waves were not massive, the sky was clear, and the water was bloody cold. It was the perfect morning for kayaking. So I dragged the kayak into the water, climbed on board, and started paddling out into the ocean. There is nothing like being in a wetsuit, sweating because of how warm the air is, and having a cold ocean wave slam into you. It is both exhilarating and comforting.

Well, after about 45 minutes, I decided that I had enough. It was still early in the season, and I was not in kayaking shape yet. It wasn’t the first time I was out in the ocean that year, but I haven’t been out all that often. So, I started heading back into shore. While I was out, the waves breaking near the shore got bigger, but nothing I haven’t seen before. However, I was caught by surprise by one wave and was knocked out of the kayak. It was actually fun, but then I did something stupid. I knew better, but I still did something stupid.

I decided I was going to get back into the kayak and continue paddling in. So I swam up to the kayak, and placed the kayak between the oncoming waves and me. When ocean kayaking, you want to see when the waves are coming, and I could not see past the kayak because my head was at sea level. This was the ocean after all; I wasn’t tall enough to touch the bottom. So, as I pushed my self up to climb back into the kayak, a wave came, and lifted up the paddle, and smacked me in the face with it.

The force of the wave hit me so hard with the paddle that it knocked out one of my teeth. It didn’t hurt all the much, although the cold water may have helped. The subsequent waves dragged the kayak and paddle (they were attached to each other) away from me and I had to swim after them. By the time I caught up to them, I could touch land. I walked back to the car, lugging the kayak that assaulted me. As soon as I got to my car, I called my mom, told her what happened, and asked her to start calling dentists (remember, this was Memorial Day).  Lucky for me, her Dentist said she would come into her office and take a look. So, after a quick shower, and washing down my kayaking equipment, I headed over so that she could mend my mouth.

It was one memorable Memorial Day.

Red Neck