Sunday, January 29, 2017

Phone Etiquette

This will be quick, so please pay attention.

A few day ago a friend included the Captain in a "Group Text". This was not for the purpose of discussion. He was simply being lazy, making an announcement to a dozen friends all at the same time.

Oooh. Easy.

It was an important announcement, I will not deny that.

Problem was, when a Group Text is sent, everyone feels the need to reply, if just with an affirmation that it was received.

Whenever I see this, I always wonder if they are texting each other!

So from a Group Text of a dozen, my phone buzzes at least eleven more times as everyone responds with "Ok. Thanks."

This is annoying, as I rely on my personal cellphone for business calls; I feel compelled to check it every time it buzzes.

Captain's Note: What's more, I keep my phone on "vibrate" so as to not disturb others. It's a simple courtesy that more people should adopt.

The kicker came when one of those friends suddenly realized she missed the Group Text... two days later... just before 6 a.m. on Saturday morning... a day without commitments on which I was planning to sleep in.

But suddenly the Captain was awakened as my phone came to life.

And I was awake for the rest of the day.

Back in the days before cell phones, there were generally accepted rules of etiquette for telephones. Foremost among those was that one does not call before a certain hour in the morning or after a certain hour in the evening.

Apple introduced the iPhone ten years ago this June.

The Captain thinks it is time we agreed upon some rules of etiquette.

That is all.

Okay, that is all.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Please Stop!

This is an open letter to my crew mates who have so faithfully followed the Captain over the years, and to my more recent friends on social media.

Since the election on November 8th, the national news media have quite naturally been awash with images of the President-elect. The storm of coverage didn’t relent over the past weekend as this unfortunate choice was formally inaugurated.

He is now our President.

For better, for worse.

Captain’s Note: Beware, my friends. When the media now reports “The White House denies such-and-such”, they are no longer talking about the Obama White House. The Captain was momentarily confused this morning.

There were protests in Washington D.C. during the Inauguration, as one might expect. After all – we are Americans. This nation was founded on protests.

Although it really pissed off the Captain when you set fire to my limousine!

For those Republicans who complained about the protests, insisting that they had quietly accepted the elections of 2008 & 2012 when our first black President took office, let me remind you of just a few scenes from the recent past.

My appeal to you today, brothers and sisters, is to stop posting pictures of the President and his spokespersons on social media.

Every day when I open my Facebook feed, there are pictures of The Great Orange Wonder – and usually not the most flattering mages of him!

Mates, the Captain dislikes him as much as you do. And I get it that most of your posts are protests – sentiments with which I frequently agree.

However, I am simply sick and tired of seeing his ugly mug!

And that creepy blonde spokesperson too!

This needs to stop.

And with good reason. Hear me out.

The Captain and First Mate have long held a theory that news reporters are aliens from a distant planet who thrive on the feelings of others.

 “A tornado just roared through your neighborhood and blew away your single-wide trailer. You didn’t have much before, but now you have even less; you don’t know where your dog is or any of your neighbors… Tell us how you FEEL…”

Om nom nom.

“Your house just burned to the ground with your five children and all your pets trapped inside. Tell us how you FEEL…”

Om nom nom…

“You were buried underground for three days with only your own urine to drink. Tell us how you FEEL…”

Om nom nom…

Anger. Sorrow. Depression. Tears. The elixir of life!

But into this world came an alien from another distant planet, an alien who thrives on ego. He loves to see his own image, hear his own voice, hear others speak his name. With every photo of himself in the press – good or bad – he grows a little bit stronger.

He puts his name on tall buildings in big, golden letters, and people admire him.

Om nom nom.

He buys a pageant in which the most beautiful women in the world let him have his way with them in hopes of winning a cheap, shiny tiara.

Om nom nom.

He throws around other peoples’ money so paeans will clamor about him.

Om nom nom.

And then, unbelievably, he wins the ultimate prize: the Presidency of the United States of America. He is now the most powerful man in the world. People will praise him, adore him, bow down before him.

Om nom nom.

But the beast has a weakness, as all monsters do. The only way to stop this creature is to deprive him of nourishment. Deprive him of what he most needs to live.

Stop feeding his ego.

This was demonstrated on Friday when the National Park Service released a photo of the Inauguration 2017 crowd.

Captain’s Note: Republican apologists explained away the photo with several excuses, not the least of which was, “Unlike the Democrats who elected Obama, Republicans have jobs; so they couldn’t attend.”

A more likely explanation would be that residents in the greater D.C. area – who recognized the creature for what he is – voted overwhelmingly against him and did not turn out, depriving him of his glory.

Then there is this possible explanation…

This shot from the parade route was telling.

The fact that the nation did not turn out in droves to worship the alien nearly drove him mad!

He ordered the National Park Service to shut down its twitter accounts, accusing them of spreading lies about the crowd strength.

He sent his Press Secretary out to expose the media’s “lies”.

Captain’s Note: Yes, in his first official performance, the new press secretary was sent out to berate the press corps and lie to the nation.

And in a speech to the CIA – yes, the intelligence community – he insisted that the crowd numbered at least 1.5 million.

Did I mention he was addressing the “intelligence” community?

Making the talk-show tour the next morning, the weakened creature’s spokesperson described the discrepancy between his count and most everybody else’s count as “alternative facts”.

Here's a fun "alternative fact": Since making his New Year Resolution, the Captain is down to 175 lbs.


In the church we call that a “Preacher count.”

And the strength of the alien grew dim.

The alien’s presumed big day was followed by a day of peaceful, organized protests around the world. Women and allies took to the streets to protest the election of such a horrid creature, as well as the dreadful policies that he and the Republican-controlled Congress are already pursuing.

In fact, three times as many women marched in D.C. the next day as the total that showed up for the Inauguration.

Again, the alien few into a rage, publicly denigrating the protesters and decrying the press coverage of the women’s marches.

He believed that his picture – and his alone – should grace the cover of every newspaper and magazine, and be the lead sole story of each telecast… for all time!

And the monster grew even weaker.

So the Captain believes the only way to defeat this beast is to stop feeding it!

Do not misunderstand: by all means, continue to protest. Continue to fight. Continue to resist.

But do so without feeding his ego. No more photos. Don't watch his press conferences. Don't react to his Twitter outbursts. Don’t even mention his name in public.

And in doing so, hopefully we will force him to return to the planet from which he came – an evil place where lying and cheating and grabbing women by the pussy are completely acceptable.

That is not my planet.

And not even close to my country.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Greatest Show on Earth?

The Captain was saddened to read of the coming demise of the Ringling Brothers / Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Although not surprised. To the best of my recollection, the last RB/B&B circus I attended was probably 15 years ago. If they were counting on my ticket purchases to stay afloat, they were sadly mistaken.

In large part, the demise of the circus is because groups like PETA protested very strongly about the treatment of circus animals. RB/B&B agreed to retire their elephants to greener pastures.

But honestly, at the last circus I went to (not RB/B&B), the lions were so lethargic that a handler outside the cage had to poke them with a broom handle to get them to do their tricks!

So what was once "The Greatest Show on Earth" has become tired and sad. One can find all that entertainment - including death-defying stunts AND the bearded lady - on television and YouTube now.

So while saddened about this 146-year-old institution dying, perhaps it is for the better.

This means, of course, people will lose their jobs.

And where is an unemployed circus clown going to find a job in 2017?

Ah, yes. President-elect Trump is still filling out his Cabinet!

Yesterday, Trump's pick for Education Secretary said she thought guns needed to be in the public schools, if for no other reason than to protect children from - I kid you not! - grizzly bear attacks!

Stephen Colbert should be very relieved!

In reality, the Congressional hearings that are going on this week are simply a formality. Despite a glaring lack of qualifications in virtually every candidate, and despite their having not submitted to the requisite background checks, they will all be confirmed simply because the Republicans have control of Congress.

Lord help us!

So on Friday, Donald Trump will be officially sworn in and become President Trump.

Captain's Note: Despite his promises to accomplish so much in his first day in office, he has already announced he plans to take off the weekend after the inauguration.

This Presidential stuff must be really hard work!

So get ready, me hearties! The Trump Presidency is about to begin!

Get yer popcorn here!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Is this cat walking up the stairs or down?

We have reached a sad point in history when even the Captain doesn’t know who to believe.

Last night, an alleged intelligence report was leaked to the press. In it were “bombshell allegations” against President-elect Donald Trump. Two main points were lifted up: 1) his failed businesses have been financially propped up by Russia / the Russian Mob for more than five years, and 2) Russia has blackmail video of Trump asking for and participating in a “golden shower” with Russian prostitutes.

For those who don’t know what a “golden shower” is, the Captain will simply say that it is NOT a plumbing fixture!

When, during the campaign, candidate Trump proclaimed, “I know things”, perhaps he wasn’t just boasting!

Captain’s Note: Among other things, this story demonstrates just how fast the morals of the American public are declining. No one cares that he might have been cavorting with Russian prostitutes. It’s the “golden shower” thing that has folks worked up!

Let it be known that, as of this writing, none of these allegations have been confirmed. They reportedly come from “credible sources”, but there is so far no credible evidence.

Only gleeful speculation by Trump-haters.

With the preponderance of “fake news” during the campaign, the Captain cannot help but wonder if this, too, is more of the same.

Except this time written by people on the Left.

In my humble estimation, the President-elect having a fetish for “golden showers” is perhaps a little more believable than his opposition candidate running a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor…

...which many on the Right swallowed as gospel. But still…

In truth, the Captain believes these allegations against Trump are all wet… ahem.

And sadly, I don’t see anyone doing anything about it even if they are true! Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker of the House Ryan are too busy breaking with protocol trying to get quick Congressional approval for all of Trump’s preposterous Cabinet picks. 

Yes, we're  getting a gigantic "FU!" from our own elected leaders right now!
And with a Republican majority in Congress now, there appears to be no one with the intestinal fortitude to bring impeachment charges even if CNN showed the alleged video to the nation during the 6:00 news!

If you will recall from the campaign, candidate Trump once boasted, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters!”

Assuming he didn’t shoot one of his own voters…

And – while it boggles the Captain’s mind that anyone would say such a thing... out loud! – it appears he was right.

Despite his general lack of interest in national security briefings and the mechanics of the “transition”, despite his continuous flow of petulant tweets about anyone who would speak against him, despite his egregious (and perhaps unlawful) selections for his Cabinet and advisors, and despite a record-low popularity rating for a newly-elected President (yes, he’s polling at 37% favorable), those who were for him on November 8th are still for him today!

This all disturbs the Captain deeply. And yet, as has been pointed out so many times (and I've written here), by rule of law Donald Trump was elected to be our President, and he will be inaugurated on Friday, January 20th.

I don’t like it, and I won’t watch it.

But all the whining and protests and secret revelations will accomplish nothing now.

What really disturbs the Captain today is the inability to trust. 

Who is telling the truth today? 

About anything?


When did we sacrificed “Thou shalt not lie” on the altar of Party Politics?

Is it true that our President-elect enjoys the occasional “golden shower” and is being black-mailed by Russian entities? I don’t know.

Penthouse magazine has offered up to $1 million for a corroborating Trump sex tape, which surprises the Captain.

Normally it is Larry Flynt making such seedy offers!

Trump denies everything. Naturally.

Russian President Putin denies a video exists. Naturally.

So who are these people saying that it is true? Russian spies?

Former British intelligence officers?


Who can we trust anymore?

I simply don’t know.

And that bothers me greatly.