All posts by Steve

Hurry Up Or Wait — OddGodfrey: The Oddly Compelling Story of a Sailing Circumnavigation of the World

May 12, 2020. 60 days down, 30 remaining on our Maldivian Tourist Visa. It’s been a couple weeks since the Radio Transmission to Scare the Ink Out of Me, and our anchor is still nestled in the Maldivian sand. For a brief moment, we thought we might be turning back. After all the worried contac

Source: Hurry Up Or Wait — OddGodfrey: The Oddly Compelling Story of a Sailing Circumnavigation of the World

A Masque

Don’t remember who this is of, but the artwork is in Dublin.

It is mandatory at the moment in Nevada to wear a face mask (masque) in public. Most people are okay with that, but there are always some very vocal opponents to anything that smacks of not letting one do whatever one wishes. So I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to Wal-Mart a while ago for a loaf of Italian bread and some other things. I was amazed to see that compliance seemed to be 100 percent. Yes, everyone I saw was wearing the required face covering. I don’t know if the die-hards gave up, or are simply staying home. Either way, it works for all of us in general. This got me thinking.

Are there fewer narcissists in other countries? I’ve been studying France, not just the language, but the nation, preparing for a planned relocation (déménager). France has almost the identical constitutional guarantees as the US. In fact, no less than Thomas Jefferson gave advice to Pierre L’Enfant as he was writing “The Declaraton of the Rights of Man and the Citizen” during the French revolution. The same L’Enfant for whom a plaza in DC is named. The two countries have very similar philosophical underpinnings. Yet, in France, they were able to enforce with stiff fines social distancing, staying home, and mask wearing. (As a result, France is emerging well from their crisis conditions, while the US struggles with renewed incidences of infection.) That’s right: you’ll pay up if you violate the special coronavirus restrictions. Yet, the French worship individual freedom, they like to put one over on the government (they use what they call “System B”, which means getting things done without the government finding out.) Their rights of speech and action are spelled out, much like ours. Yet, they did not  use any clever methods to evade the special restrictions imposed by the pandemic. In America, some swear that wearing a mask in public was the first step toward the SS dragging people out of their homes. (Which is ironic, since the idea is to keep people in their homes.) Well, most of us know that mask wearing is probably the fastest way to get over this mess, but in this country, there is a very vocal minority who can’t yell and scream enough about their rights being violated by mask-wearing orders. Huh? Ever hear of “promoting the general welfare?” It’s somewhere in the Supreme Law of the Land. You should check for it.

Which is why I ask the question about narcissists. Are there fewer narcissists in France? In Germany? In Spain? Or is it that we allow those people to influence our national policy, even though most of us know that they are dead (yes, dead) wrong. I honestly don’t know. I think I’ll Google it, then post a virulent rant on Facebook. That’s how to get things done, right? 😉

 

 

Obtaining Survival Food Rations in the Era Of Covid 19, By Katherine “Kitty” Hepburn, The Sea Lion — OddGodfrey: The Oddly Compelling Story of a Sailing Circumnavigation of the World

Twilight is here, changing the night shadows that dance through the open hatches into grey-purple. There are no stars to fade away this morning, the thick blanket that howls and sometimes spits at me has been laid atop our sky, blocking me from communing with Orien. I gave up trying a couple hours

Source: Obtaining Survival Food Rations in the Era Of Covid 19, By Katherine “Kitty” Hepburn, The Sea Lion — OddGodfrey: The Oddly Compelling Story of a Sailing Circumnavigation of the World

Hurry Up Or Wait — OddGodfrey: The Oddly Compelling Story of a Sailing Circumnavigation of the World

May 12, 2020. 60 days down, 30 remaining on our Maldivian Tourist Visa. It’s been a couple weeks since the Radio Transmission to Scare the Ink Out of Me, and our anchor is still nestled in the Maldivian sand. For a brief moment, we thought we might be turning back. After all the worried contac

Source: Hurry Up Or Wait — OddGodfrey: The Oddly Compelling Story of a Sailing Circumnavigation of the World

ATTENTION!

A Home-Town Landmark that was Gone When I was Born

This post is about some of the effects of Attention Deficit Disorder. A few sentences first to explain what that is.

First, it is not really a disorder, and no one blessed with the condition has any shortage of ability to pay attention. The main effect is that one is incapable of being bored. If one gets bored enough, one loses consciousness. That’s why often kids with the condition seem hyper. Movement creates interest, it’s as simple as that.

Second, one of the major effects on the blessed recipient is that the child misses out on a lot of social cues. For instance, they might miss the subtleties of how to kid, and actually insult friends without meaning to. Also, the child may well miss some deeply ingrained and important societal constructs. Remember these two things as you read this.*

Third, someone blessed with ADD can usually tell when they’re being lied to.

As you may have guessed, I am so blessed. I had teachers in elementary school who were very frustrated with me. One kept sending home nasty notes, to no avail. Occasionally I was asked why, since my test scores showed that I was smart, did I not do better in school. The first time, and only the first time, I told the truth: school was boring. Somehow, the faculty and administration were not impressed with my honesty on that point. But it is time to move to my main point.

My main point is that I missed a lot of subtle, unspoken socialization. I did have trouble in school resulting from not knowing the proper way to “praise insult” a friend. But there is one really big part of general American socialization that I completely missed out on. That is, the idea that some people are more equal than others. I have felt, and been grateful for, what is now being called White Privilege for almost my entire life. Sheesh, would I hate to be a minority. I even got to take advantage of a whole boatload of White Privilege without asking for it! I did not ask because, from school days to now, the people one asked for even more, extra-special privileges, are people who, basically, I tend to despise. Yes, folks, I hate seeing a succession of pasty, old, white dudes in charge of the country. (Okay, one of them is now orange, but it’s the same difference.) I’ve never liked the pasty old dudes in charge of, well, anything. Churches, clubs, government organizations, anything. The first group of such dudes, who, honestly, I admire in many respects, set up a system of hypocritical lies right in the founding documents of this country. Sure, all free white men are created equal, and endowed by their creator, etc. But nobody else is! The roots of racism lie in those men having to justify to themselves holding other groups (anyone not one of them, initially) in slavery, exile, inferior status, second-class citizenship. Over centuries, the definition of “whole person” got expanded by adding other ethnic groups (slowly, don’t want to rock any boats here) and, very reluctantly, to women, but the jury’s not totally back in yet on that one. Anyone else, well, fuck ’em and the horse they rode in on, dontcha know?

And I did not get that. I knew that “Coloreds,” as known in the 50s were denied certain rights, but I couldn’t see why. It was obvious that John Law was using Marijuana to keep a thumb on the Mexican migrants who picked produce outside of town, but I couldn’t see why. When, at nineteen, I first smoked the stuff myself, I really couldn’t see why, but that’s probably for another post. The net effect of ADD for me, then, was being able to see American society more for what it is than for what my teachers taught me that it was. It’s not bad in design. In fact, rather than White Privilege, we should extend American Privilege to anyone born here or naturalized, at the very least. Nothing wrong with young people getting help when they need it, after all. And some people are a lot happier governing than most of us would be, so I’m okay with them grooming their own. But, their own has to be an open group based on inclination and talent, not on being lucky enough to be born an Old Pasty White Dude.

And, for the record, I’m a genuine White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. William Powell was living in Philadelphia in 1729. In 1730 he married a girl from Ocean City. Twelve of their sons (!) fought in the revolution. In particular, one Phillip, who fought with a Connecticut regiment, and who received a nice letter of recommendation from his CO. My great-grandfather Andrew Powell fought for the Union with the 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and got himself shot in the ass in triplicate for his trouble. He limped for the rest of his life. He was father to my grandmother Bertha Powell, who gave birth to my mother, who, well, you know. So, I have old-time American Cred, and I’m sick and tired of the cretins who think immigrants are the ruination of America. If you think that, you’re deluding yourself. I know this because I can see our society without the subtle prejudices that most of us soak up without knowing we’re doing it. Thanks to the blessings of ADD.

By the Way, I’m pretty sure that an army of medical professionals and scientists knows more about epidemiology and diseases than a gaggle of pasty white dudes in the white house. Again I say, Sheesh!

 

 

  • Worried about your child having ADD? Here’s a quick test. Give them unlimited access to Mountain Dew for an afternoon. If they have any form of ADD, they will have a calm and happy day. (Sugar does not make a child hyper, that is a total myth. If anything, it may make them sleepy.) If your child is a third-grade boy, and they do not have ADD, they will not be calmed by the caffeine. What you have is a third-grade boy.

QUEEN ME!

Never mind, I did it to myself. Yesterday, as I was checking my new hives, I discovered that the one we’ve labelled “Targaryan” has decided to put the brood in the middle super. I should maybe not have said anything about not liking that. I put the middle super down, as one does, to check the bottom, bigger one. The brood chamber was therefore right next to my ankles. Normally I don’t worry about my ankles, after all, what are the odds of a bee finding its way up under my bee suit leg? Well, good enough, because later I realized that my ankle was hurting. A lot. It was bright red and a little swollen. Ouch, huh? I developed a bit of a fever (99.6 Fahrenheit to be exact.) The fever didn’t last too long, and this morning the redness and swelling was gone, so I checked to see what was the matter. There, on my ankle, is a pattern that looks like I was attacked by a sewing machine. At least twenty stings, all in a row. Only a queen bee can do that. So, I guess I’m impressed that I managed to actually tick off a queen to the point where she’d attack me. Sorry, your majesty. I’m reasonably sure she’s still in the hive, but afraid to open it up to look lest she remember me. Queens are unique amongst bees, you see.

The queen has no barb on her stinger. The queen is the largest bee in the colony. The queen has independence, that is, within certain constraints, such as we all have, she can do what she thinks is best. Worker bees can only work, at one of three jobs basically, which they rotate up through until they die. Workers have barbed stingers, so if they sting you, they die. (Something I’ve enjoyed reminding myself about at times.) Drone bees are the only males, and they have no stingers at all. They fly out, find a queen flying around (which queens do for a week or so when first hatched,) mate with her, and die. I see why they don’t need stingers. So, a bee is harmless (drones are bigger than workers, but smaller than queens,) one ouch and done, or they’re about as good as a hornet, and you really should run. Just ask her majesty, the Queen of Targaryen.

That bee at the top is a Carniolan worker. Thousands who look just like her are living in my hives. They’re sometimes called “gray bees” due to their color. They are favored because they are not aggressive (except for some of mine apparently) and they resist insect parasite infestations, which is what took out my last hives. They also make lots and lots of honey. Her majesty and I are okay with each other, so long as I don’t disturb her brood, and she stays off of my ankles. I hope all is well with you, too!

Healing Vibes of Mountains and Medicines of Ella, Sri Lanka — OddGodfrey: The Oddly Compelling Story of a Sailing Circumnavigation of the World

There are many things to do and see in the area of Ella, but we only had two days slated for this portion of our trip. “What should we prioritize?” I ask Andrew as I dab a tea bag into a mug. “Legend has it, the Sri Lankan Highlands not Africa is the place humanity began. There is a Hindu cave

Source: Healing Vibes of Mountains and Medicines of Ella, Sri Lanka — OddGodfrey: The Oddly Compelling Story of a Sailing Circumnavigation of the World

The Most Scenic Railroad in the World — OddGodfrey: The Oddly Compelling Story of a Sailing Circumnavigation of the World

We had read that Sri Lanka boast the “Most Scenic Railroad in the World.” Much to our taxi driver’s chagrin, we couldn’t miss out on that experience. So, after a breakfast involving a carefully presented three course meal on china custom printed with the hotel’s logo at the Noratake factory down t

Source: The Most Scenic Railroad in the World — OddGodfrey: The Oddly Compelling Story of a Sailing Circumnavigation of the World

What Am I Doing Here?

Zabriskie Point View 2010

I could put up pictures of places I’ve been without me in them and without explanation for years and not repeat myself. Take that, recent Facebook diversion!

By “here” I’m not waxing philosophical, I mean with this writing gig. Thing is, this is probably the first thing I’ve written since the Coronavirus pandemic started looking serious. I’m forcing myself to not here and now render any opinions on anything to do with COVID 19. I have rendered some opinions on my Facebook page, if you want to see some, but even there, not too many. That’s not what I’m about.

I do have a project in process. It’s a rewrite from scratch, in a different voice, and in such a telling that not one paragraph does not involve some sort of action. Not body movements, but actual action, as in somebody is effing doing something. It’s a good story. I’ve known that all along, and it’s looking pretty easy to read after the rewrite, but it’s been weeks since I did anything. It was the sixth of March, in fact, which is, hmmm, let’s see, carry the 14, gloss over the six, um, 24 days ago. I have slow periods, but this is getting close to a record outside of the fall holidays, when I mostly just take time off. This whole shelter in place, pandemic, folks are going to die thing is just too absorbing, I guess.

Then there’s the bathroom floor. We’re putting in a floor made of pennies in our master bath. It’s gonna look great, and it’s getting near the point where all the pennies are installed (but there are always problems.) That, too, has been quite absorbing. Yesterday we put our bed back into the master bedroom, on top of the lovely new rug, and it is nice and comfortable compared to the temporary bed we’ve been sleeping on. Physical work reminds me of my advancing age, because half a day is the absolute limit, and it’s better to stop at three hours or so, because otherwise I actually feel ill from overwork. I’d be ashamed of myself, but, hey, I’m seventy years old, kid, gimme a break!

I hope that shortly (this week if I’m lucky) I’ll be able to convince myself to get back to work on my rewrite. (It isn’t writers’ block, it’s pandemic.) If so, I’ll let you know. I hope so, because it really is a good story, and it deserves to be told.

Thank you for reading, you joyous funmuffin, you!