Saturday, May 27, 2006

We're not in Kansas anymore...

Ok, so I've finally settled down for the moment, well for the next 6 or 7 weeks anyways. Wonderful Neptune/Freehold, New Jersey. I must say, an.......intresting aroma that comes from this state. Don't know how anyone can stand to live here let alone breath the air, guess I"m just spoiled by really clean air, not to mention drinking water that's better then bottled water right out of the tap.

A lot of this training I'm going through I've already done, but company requirements that it's manditory for everyone to go through their own training. So friday I finished up a refresher/review of marine fire fighting. I didn't let on that I've already gone through Advanced Marine Fire Fighting in the past, and this is only a Basic course. I just let the instructors think I was paying attention and was learning fast ;) So, the final practical module we did involved putting out a fuel fire onboard a deck mock up of a ship. According to the instructors, it'd take us 10 minutes to put this fire out AFTER they shut the fuel supply off, well when it came to my turn on the nozzle, I almost had it out before they quickly swapped me out lest i did put it out. It's all a matter of being aggresive, probably one of the few times in my life where I am.

You can't help but loose weight while in that bunker gear fighting "Bravo" fires which run pretty hot, not to mention the outside air standing around waiting your turn to go into the ship mock up. Of course, the bit of fuel mixed with water I managed to swallow learning how to patch up holes in a ship's side while taking on water didn't help me keep my dinners down either.

They sure aren't wasting much time with me, already my training has been cut by 1 week after they've reviewed my training, still I may be here until the 14th of July as they find new classes to take up the time of the ones they've cut.

Anyways, I won't be as active posting until I can figure out why I can't access the wireless internet at the hotel, I will be online briefly each morning as I wait for class to start, they at least have WiFi in the school.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I hate credit bureaus

Well, I won't hide it, I can't exactly say I've had perfet credit in the past, but I was actually surprised when I took a look at my credit report for the first time in almost a decade last night. It reflects what my philosophy is, I may not pay my debts as fast as I'd like but I do pay 'em off.

Now, once I get rested up today, I have the fun task of disputing an account that's showing up on there that is definately not mine. I have never, to the best of my recollection, dealt with this company, the type of account is not something I would have opened, it has no open date, nor any dates of notices of deliquency it's just simply there that I haven't paid it and its been refered to a collection agency, in the amount of almost $10k. Best line of credit I ever had was $3k.

This is not the first time I've had to deal with false reports showing up on my credit history, only previous times left me so pissed off, I was ready to check out my small arms out of the arms room head to one of their local offices and show them the value of accuracy.

I'll be a man and accept the mistakes I've made, correct them when I can, but I loath be accused of something I haven't done. I'm getting a sneaky suspicion that this is the root cause of my credit problems lately, I just never investigated it until now.

Just another opportunity to take charge of my life and no longer just roll over when something bad happens, I'll have to keep ya posted on what's gonna happen when I have all my ducks in a row and I start gunning for the State of South Carolina's Department of Revenue. I learned the value of keeping complete and accurate accounts from two accountants, if I can only get copies of what they have on file for taxes will decide if I press charges for forgery and/or fraud.

I'm an easy going, happy go lucky guy but push me too far and I will come after ya and I load for bear. M'k I'm done venting, so you won't have to worry about some crazed gun man shooting up some credit bureau's office here in Virginia.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

bored again

You Were A Jaguar

A shapeshifter that understands the patterns of chaos.
You are powerful and move without fear in dark places.

Ok, so I get bored easliy, but at least I'm also easily entertained. Intresting, since I do prefer to to stuff at night, I keep forgetting to ask my eye doctor why I have light sensitive eyes.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Of Last Minute Plans

Ok, so I know I said I was suppose to ship out on the M/V Taku. Well that part was true enough, but I was told to pack for a week long rotation, I meet the ship and go through crew change, I find out I'm a "turn-around" which means just heading north for two stops and turning around. I was back in Juneau 18 hours after we left.

So, as I was rushing around yesterday morning getting my bag packed for the week, just as I was about to shower/shave for work, I get a call from MSC. I've been waiting for this call for almost 2 months now, they ask if I'm still interested in working first of all (no, I just like applying for the hell of it). So, when I verify that I still want the position, I'm told that I have to report to Norfolk, VA by noon on the 15th.

This is when the panic starts to set in, I figure I'm going to be gone until at least the 12th, it's at least a full day to travel back east, no problem, it'll be close but doable. I still have to take a puddle jumper home, drop off the clothes that I won't be needing now and pick up stuff I will, not to mention finish putting my stuff back into storage. Again, doable but gonna be very close and extremely busy Friday afternoon until Saturday evening.

I report on board, having doubts I should even go and get my assignment and am told that I'll be back on shore first thing this morning. Now comes the delemia of letting someone know that all this training is for naught with me since I'll be switching jobs PDQ? I hold off, until the end of shift and ask the Chief Steward how I go about contacting dispatch on the weekend that I'll have to undergo a change of plans since I was already scheduled to go back out onboard the flagship of the fleet, the M/V Columbia for the whole week this time. I get a hold of dispatch about 10:30 local, don't want to disturb the person too much since it is their own time and let 'em know I have another job offer I'm accepting and that basically I'm quitting and my position on the Columbia now needs someone else to fill it. I'm not worried about it not being filled, there are something like 100 new highers for this Department. I was rather surprised that there were no hard feelings and she actually sounded happy that I gave her almost 2 full days to track down a replacement.

Anyways, my whole 12 hour shift as a Steward gave me a bit more respect for them as workers, and a bit more loathing for these high school students from the out lying communities. It was the different coaches' policy that whenever we traveled onboard the Alaska Marine Highway System, that we represented our community and our school. So, if we used an area, we cleaned up after ourselves, if it was dirty when we got there, it was clean when we left. As a student council representative for many years, I distinctly remember receiving a letter of appreciation from AMHS for our efforts to be neat, clean and well behaved on board each of the vessels.

So, I have plans to be traveling all day the 14th, and my oldest sister who lives in D.C. was a little put out about being excluded from the plans. She wanted to pick me up and drive me down to Norfolk, but I don't like taking chances, and she's not one to live up to my own punctuality requirements. I now have a lay over in D.C and get on a plane to Norfolk bright and early, landing with ample time to get from the airport to the hotel I'm suppose to report to in time. I always factor in things going wrong and allowing time for it, what can I say, when I plan something it's usually over planned.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Some Indian Wisdom

Two Eagles, an old Indian chief, sat in his hut on the reservation smoking a ceremonial pipe and eyeing two US government officials sent to interview him.

One US official said to Chief Two Eagles, "You have observed the whiteman for 90 years. You've seen his wars and his technological advances. You've seen his progress, and the damage he has done."The Chief nodded in agreement.

The official continued, "Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?"The Chief stared at the two government officials for over a minute, and then he calmly replied:

"When white man found the land, Indians were running it.
No taxes,
No debt,
Plenty buffalo,
Plenty beaver,
Women did all the work,
Medicine man free,
Indian man spent all day hunting and fishing,
All night having sex.

"Then the chief leaned back and smiled before he added,"Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Oh, Happy Days

a little bit of panic this morning to get the blood flowing, so I've forgone the usual half a pot of coffee. Got a call from dispatch about putting to sea tonight at 19:00 local, I told 'em yesterday when i turned in a copy of my drug screen that I needed a few days to put together the uniforms, since I'll be switching from the Deck Dept to the more formal Steward Dept for a few weeks anyways. So I called dispatch back and they rescheduled me for friday. So friday morning I start my training voyage, since this job doesn't official begin until the end of may, onboard the M/V Taku.

Friday I should be finding out when I'll be heading East as well. I haven't told AMHS that I have another job lined up and just waiting on the word. I'll give 'em as much time as I can, but this was just for the summer and more then likely i'd be laid off when they do a reduction in force come mid september since i won't have senority built up by then.