Three Thing Friday

1. Just do your job – I am not surprised by any of this, I feel like I should be, but I am not. A coworker had one of the most unproductive days in a long time, and it was through no fault… well, a little fault, of her own. She accidently locked her computer access card, preventing her from being able to get into her own computer. Now, she did this on Thursday, got a new card, but had to get the permissions on her computer reset.

And here is where we have the beginnings of many problems. Well, my co-worker called in, told the “help desk” that she couldn’t access her computer because she needed her permissions reset. The person on the line told her to log into her computer…. What? After some conversations back and forth, trying to get the helpers to understand the problem (which is not an uncommon problem), they help desk agreed that there is a problem.

When my co-worker finally got the help desk to fill out the help ticket to get everything fixed, they forgot to actually submit it. 12 hours later and a couple of phone calls later, that problem was found, and finally the ticket was submitted.

What is wrong with these people?

2. Random Thought – I had a random thought sitting here watching TV. A commercial for a flea and tick treatment for dogs came up. It got me thinking about all of the dog commercials (flea collars, pet food, etc) that come up. I remember hearing that there are more pet cats in the world than there are pet dogs, and I wondered why there aren’t more cat commercials than dog commercials…

Then I realized what it was. There are more cats, but more dog owners. Crazy cat owners tend to have more than one…

We will not talk about this any more.

3. Another Cull – Well, it looks like Australia will be heading towards another shark cull. Add that to the bear who attacked a hiker being put down, and I begin to ask, why did we even bother getting upset with one lion named Cecil.

Everyone was up in arms over one lion (including me), but no one bats an eye at the bear or the thousands of sharks that are killed. The sea is the shark’s home. Sharks don’t infest the sea… humans do. The forest is the bear’s home, he doesn’t infest it, we do.

I like animals…. I really do hate mankind. Maybe global warming is a good thing. The Earth will survive, we will not. And that may be for the best.

Three Thing Friday

1. What to call it – I just saw a post on Facebook where someone was saying that we should stop calling shark attacks “shark attacks”. His hope would be to stop making sharks out to be villains who plan on hurting and killing humans. At first, I thought this might be a good idea. The sharks are just behaving as they are supposed to. They are hunting in some cases and just curious in others.

And this is when it hit me. It’s the fact that most people are just not educated enough about sharks. No one bats an eye when someone says lion attack. This is probably because it rarely happens near home. Obviously, I am speaking as an American and someone who is fascinated by sharks.

Changing what you call it will not change the perception of the average American. You need to change the perception. People need to realize that a shark attack usually will not be fatal. It is usually a case of mistaken identity. The shark is just curious.

It is still an attack, but the shark is not targeting humans, it is just looking for food in it’s own house.

seal and shark 2

2. Assumptions – So, I caught a new special on Shark Week this year that made me question some of the assumptions by the producers and researchers in the special. The title of the episode was “Return of the Great White Serial Killer”. And even though the title shows part of the problem with perceptions, it was actually a fairly good episode. Some of the scientific pages I follow even stated that a lot of what they said was actually factual.

The story behind the episode, in short, is that there have been very localized shark attacks in California. The attacks have occurred in 2008, 2010, 2012, and some kayakers were attacked in 2014 while filming the episode was taking place. Some, but not all, of these attacks were fatal. The researcher wanted to find out if it was a single shark and tag the shark so that the authorities can warn the locals in 2016.

Now, if we agree with some of his assumptions, that it was a single shark, that the shark is on a two-year migration (which is very possible), and that the shark if a large female, his final assumption seemed a little far fetched.

After some work in California, he went to Guadeloupe to get a DNA sample of some large female sharks and compare their DNA to the DNA recovered from one of the shark attacks. The problem I have here is the timing. Guadeloupe is thought to be a mating ground for sharks, and in November, there are a lot of large female whites. But with the gestation period of a Great White being about 11 months (ok, got this from Wikipedia so not sure about this), I would assume that she would be in Guadeloupe in an odd number year. Going from the coast of California to Guadeloupe is very doable for these creatures, I am just not sure it would do it in a month.

Think about this, she’s big, she’s pregnant, and she’s probably hungry. That may be why she’s attacking so much in even number years in California. They should try to get DNA from sharks in Guadeloupe in the odd number years. And my theory is just as good as the researcher’s, and just as easily proven. In other words, not easy at all.

Dotty Surface 2

3. Another Shark Week – Every year I say that it is going to be the last time I watch shark week. And every year, I find myself watching it again. This year wasn’t as bad as prior years. There were some episodes that were just wrong, but others that were actually factual. One example was the episode that measured the same shark twice, and came up with two significantly different sizes. Another example was when they were talking about a large female shark, then showed footage of a male.

But at least there were no shows like “Submarine” or a show about how the Megladon still lives. Over all, this has been the best Shark Week in years.

I am not going to say that I won’t watch it next year, even I know that I will. I might as well accept it; I am addicted to Shark Week. Plus, is it nice to see the Islander and her crew on specials.

It brings back a lot of great memories. I really enjoy taking those trips to Guadeloupe on the Islander. The food, crew, sharks, and everything else are amazing. If anyone plans on going themselves, use the Islander, it is worth the cost. Hell, I will be back at Guadeloupe in 2016. Even I am on a two-year migration.

Dotty 1

Three Thing Friday

1. Off the Wagon – Last night was the first time I had alcohol of any sort in over a month. And I fell off the wagon hard. I went to a friend’s house in NJ, and the group polished off a lot of wine.

Problem, I ended up with a hell of a hang over. When I was younger, my recovery time was much faster. This time it is taking me all day to get back. I think I am going to end up taking another, shorter break from drinking.

And I am pretty sure I made a similar post about this already.

2. Shark Week – Well, finally shark week is starting this Sunday. However, I am so impatient that I may have to put on some of my shark week DVDs. Yes, I am such a shark freak that I bought a few DVDs of shark week programming. I even have some on blu-ray.

You know what? Maybe that isn’t such a bad idea.

3. Weird things – There have been some really odd things been going on lately on the east coast. The Carolinas have already had 10 shark attacks this year. This is significantly above average. The average is usually 6 a year. And we are just now hitting the 4th of July.

Shark attacks are not the only thing out of the ordinary. Man-o-wars have washed up on the jersey coast. These jellyfish are way out of their usual comfort zone. I am not saying that this is the first time they have washed up on the Jersey Shore, but they are not a common sight.

There is other out of the ordinary things going on as well. There can be many reasons for this. I am not a scientist, maybe we should ask the pope (hey, he is actually a scientist!). I do believe that what my friend said is probably true. The Gulf Stream may be shifting. I am not saying this is because of Global warming… no, I am saying that. If the current is shifting, and waters are warming up closer to the shores of the US, that could explain these odd occurrences.

Getting it Right

Today I saw a movie that is three years older than I am, and I saw it in the theater. I paid $13.13 to see the movie Jaws. And Spielberg didn’t update it. It was just redigitized and everything else was left alone. This is actually the second movie I have seen in the theater in the last five days. And between the two, Jaws got it right, even if it was by accident.

Bruce, the mechanical shark, was not working for most of the filming. Spielberg had to make a judgment call, keep filming without the shark, or delay the filming and wait for the shark to work. He kept filming, and most of the shots were from the shark’s perspective, meaning that for most of the movie, you actually do not see the shark. What could have been a massive problem ended up making the film much more thrilling.

The movie, which I have seen more times than I can count, is much better on the big screen. I cannot even explain why. Even the opening sequence, the one of the shark swimming through the water (again, from the sharks perspective) got me excited, but that may be due to how excited I was to see the movie.

Now, having seen this right after seeing Jurassic World, I can say that both films have unrealistic looking sharks in at least one point of the film. But Jaws, was a much better film. And when you realize that it was made in the 1970’s, the “special effects” are that much better.

I am glad that I can finally say that I saw Jaws in the theaters. And now I can understand what in 1975, people were afraid to go into the water.

Three Thing Friday

1. Jurassic World – Ok, I just left the movie, and I will try not to have too many spoilers. Skip to #2 if you want to play it safe.

First I will go into the positive aspects. The special effects were really good. The only thing that looked unrealistic was the great white shark used in feeding. The dinosaurs, the explosions, and the park all looked really good. The kids, as much as I am not sure they were necessary, were not as annoying as they could have been. I also enjoyed seeing BD Wong reprise his role from the original film.

Having said all of that, there were a lot of negative aspects from the film. There was a small sub plot, the parents going through a divorce, which just seemed unnecessary. The movie also was very campy. There was actually a moment in the final battle where a raptor actually rode a T. Rex for a few moments. The plot itself seemed very forced. I am not even going to talk about the fact that the entire story is very predictable… oops, I just did. Once you meet a character, you know if they will survive till the end of the film, for the most part. I was wrong about 2, and only because I was surprised they survived. Everyone else… no surprises.

Overall, I would give it a 4.5 out of 10. Chris Pratt was good, same with most of the other actors. It is better than the second and third films, but that isn’t saying much. And I did appreciate some of the nods to the original film. If you do go and see it, please remember that gasoline likely wouldn’t last 20 years. It’s important.

Oh, and you say EVACUATION PLAN?!?!?! Most parks have them.

2. Shark Week – Shark Week is only a few weeks away, and I am already super excited. To prepare myself, I took a day off to go see a movie three years older than I am. I will be seeing Jaws in the theater for the first time in my life.

The movie is fictional, based off of a book, which was based off of actual shark attacks in NJ. However, shark attacks are not common. Yes, two people were attacked in North Carolina recently. And yes, they were lucky to survive. But these are still uncommon. And when you enter the ocean, you are entering the shark’s domain.

Shark week disappoints me every year. I always hope for a week of great programming. I usually get one, maybe two shows that are great. The rest is crap, sometimes fictional crap.

I have high hopes for this year’s shark week, but I also expect to be disappointed.

3. A week off – Obviously, I missed last weeks three thing Friday. I wish I could say that I had a good excuse, but I don’t. I just didn’t feel like writing. I guess, I just needed a brief break.

Well, I am back.

For now.

Three Thing Friday

1. It’s just a game – All hell recently broke lose in a game I play. People were offended. People stopped playing. Insults were thrown. It was not pretty, and all of this over a game.

The biggest problem I had was the threats that were made for not taking the game seriously enough. It was like we were going to actual war, not a fictional war that is supposed to be fun.

Having had enough, I left. The game was no longer fun; it was being taken too seriously. I have enough stress in my life, a mortgage, work, and an aging car. I do not need fictional stress.

2. 40-Years Ago – Back in 1975, one film proceeded to scare people out of the water for an entire summer. It also caused a backlash that no one predicted. Jaws premiered 40 years ago and changed the face of the film industry, the shore industry, and the lives of billions of sharks.

The FICTIONAL film was treated as fact and demonized the shark. Even Peter Benchley stated that if he knew what would happen to the sharks, he would never have written the book. That is not to say that only bad things happened because of this film, people got interested in sharks. Plenty of shark biologists credit Jaws with getting them into their chosen field.

It also gave us the summer blockbuster… which may not be a good thing. This was the first true summer blockbuster, and now we have a film industry who will dump millions into a film hoping to be the next big thing.

On June 21st the film will be in select theaters. Will I see it? Probably.

3. Put to work – From Monday the 18th to Monday the 25th my friends put me to work. First, I had to help unload a moving van full of crap into a friend’s house on the first hot day of the year. This wouldn’t be so bad, except I know that in a few weeks they will be moving back out. This is just a temporary storage place. Can someone say POD?

After that I went up to New Jersey to help two more friends with moving. They just got a house (congratulations guys) and needed to pack up, move out, and toss crap into the garbage. I helped with their desk, couch, animals, and just general packing.

The final task I have was to water another friend’s yard. He just had sod installed and it needed daily watering. With it being a holiday weekend, he went up to see his parents. So, I found myself watering his lawn on Sunday and Monday.

And that was my week…

Three Thing Friday

1. Mary Lee – Off the coasts of Virginia, Maryland, and currently New Jersey is a fairly large female great white shark. How do I know this? Well a good portion of my friends decided to send me all of the articles about her and how Ocearch has tagged her. Well, I actually already knew that she was nearby, but I do appreciate that my friends decided to point it out to me.

My issue is that I am torn with the Ocearch tracking. I love the fact that I can track Great White Sharks. The fact that Ocearch has tagged sharks in the Atlantic and the Pacific, and you can follow what they do almost daily is amazing. However, I hate their tagging practices. They say that their methods are safe, but I cannot believe that taking a shark out of the water to tag it, when you can accomplish the same thing leaving them in the water (where they live), is necessary.

Honestly, I think the guy is doing it for the publicity. So I am torn, I want to follow these sharks, but I do not want to support Ocearch.

Either way, a tagged female is hanging off the coast; I should try and find her.

2. A.C. is on – I can already feel my electric bill climbing. Less than a month ago I had the heat on and I already have the AC on. I hate heat, and with the temps already in the 80’s, I decided to crank on the A.C. This house gets hot during the day, and with a very hairy cat, I want to keep it manageable.

I know I am in the minority, but I already miss winter. Yes, I like my summer sports like kayaking and SCUBA diving, but I prefer the cold to the heat. So I now say, it is open season. I didn’t complain about the cold, prepare to hear me bitch about how hot it is.

3. Alarm Cat – Loki has been acting weird lately, but last night (early this morning) takes the cake. At 3:30 am he decided that I needed to be awake. He has never done this before. He was pushing on me. Bumping me. Doing everything he could to wake me up. Which is why I know it was 3:30, I looked.

I rolled over, look at him, and stated (calmly, of course), “I have over an hour left to sleep you bastard.” And with that, Loki curled up next to me and fell asleep.

Of course, I spent the next hour pondering, “What the hell is wrong with my cat?”

Three Thing Friday

1. A Day Off – I find myself writing this blog at 6 am on a Friday that I have off. What thought is running through my mind? What the heck am I doing up at 6 am on my day off? I blame my mother. She always had the mentality of “If I am up, everyone is up!” Well, now I am up. Even the cat has gone back to sleep. Me, I am sitting in my living room waiting for this day to get started.

I hate not being able to sleep in.

2. Pollen – I don’t remember having allergies when I was younger, but I guess this is another aspect of aging. Allergies are kicking my ass right now. The MINI has turned an ugly shade of yellow thanks to all of the pollen. It’s just that time of the year.

I understand that it is important for the birds and the bees. But come on, does it really have to kick my ass worse and worse each year? Well, at least I only have to deal with this for the rest of the pollen season (which seems to be nearly year round now) and I guess I have to deal with it for the rest of my life (which may not be all that long with all of the stupid shit I do).

3. Selfies – I realized two things recently. I was asked for a picture of myself from one of my cage diving trips. After being asked, I realized that I don’t really have any pictures except for the two pictures of my in my business suit with my friend T.J.. Actually, I don’t have that many pictures of me in general, but I really had to struggle to find pictures of myself from those trips. So, what did I realize?

Well, first, I was too busy taking pictures of sharks to take selfies. I was on these trips to see these amazing animals, not to take pictures of me. It’s not like I am going anywhere.

Secondly, I don’t like pictures of me. Pictures of other people I am fine with. Pictures of animals are all over my house (ok, mostly sharks). But pictures of myself? I just don’t like them. If I want to look at myself, which is what a mirror is for, and even those I will avoid as much as possible.

So, I had to dig up a picture, and it wasn’t even my picture.

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.

Three Thing Friday

1. Bond, James Bond – After finishing X-files I was facing an issue of deciding what to watch next. I settled on watching all of the Bond movies in order, excluding the original Casino Royale. I am already up to the Roger Moore era, which means I already made it past the worst Bond movie ever made. Too bad I still have to get through the Dalton years.

When I started watching this, for some reason I got to thinking about Doctor Who, another British series that didn’t let an aging actor prevent the series from stopping. I have to get the British credit, they do keep me entertained.

And while I am thinking about it, you would that with all the hits to the head, Bond would have a concussion by now. Obviously I should not watch TV while trying to blog, my ADD seems to take over.

2. Random Memory – For some reason I have been thinking about a time from a few years ago. A friend of mine had to put her house on the market because she got a new job that “forced” her to move to the Bahamas. Well, the house didn’t sell quickly, so she asked some of her friends to keep an eye on the place.

One time, during the winter, I went to check on the house and I found that her pipes had frozen and broke. I spent a good portion of the night waiting on a plumber to come and fix them for her. At one point, while on the phone with her, she said “I cannot believe I am in the Bahamas worried about frozen pipes.” Well, of course I had to respond that I was freezing outside worried about frozen pipes that were not even mine. And I did get a place to stay for a trip to the Bahamas, so I should not complain.

All this snow much have reminded me about this…

3. Bond Villain – Having watched a good chunk of the early Bond films, I suddenly realized that I want to be a Bond villain. In almost every movie, the villain has an awesome pet. I’ve seen Alligators, Snakes, and Sharks. Lots of sharks actually, and none of them have freaking lasers attached to their heads.

Yes, I realize the down side would be that I would have to try and take over the world… plus I would probably die as well.

But come one! My own pet shark! That would be awesome.