Monday, July 31, 2017

Distractions



So, the Captain realizes he promised you a tour of The Tiki Hut...

Several weeks ago.

But there have been all these distractions…

Press Secretary Sean Spice got wind that President Trumpf was going to appoint Anthony Scaramucci as the White House Communications Director.


And he quit.

The self-named “Mooch”, who has experience in neither communications nor politics, immediately launched into a profanity-laced telephone interview with a reporter from the New Yorker Magazine.

On the record.

He told her Steve Bannon just “sits around sucking his own cock”, and that Reince Priebus is the White House leak.

Then Priebus, the White House Chief of Staff, quit.

And the Mooch’s wife filed for divorce.

Reportedly, she hated his clawing and scratching over the past seven months to get close to Trumpf.

And she hates Trumpf.

So she filed for divorce, even though she was nine months pregnant with a baby Mooch.

Scaramucci sent her a text message after she delivered his child.


General John Kelly (ret.) was moved from Homeland Security to the White House Chief, and upon his advice, The Mooch was out.

After only 5 days!

Meanwhile, Trumpf announced a total ban on trans persons serving in the military in any capacity.

And he told a gathering of police officers that it’s okay to rough up suspects they arrest.

All this possibly to distract the general public from the Senate Judiciary Committee testimony of Bill Browder, one of the biggest portfolio investors in Russia.


So. Who wants a tour of The Tiki Hut?



She’s a 25-foot Sea Ray Sundancer with a 360 Mercruiser in/out motor.

Amenities include a spacious cabin…



With a guest room...

 
Running water…




We'll eventually replace the cook top.
 
And here's the “head”.


...important for the Captain.

Damned prostate!

The Tiki Hut is in really good shape for a 1985 model, but there are a few details we want to improve as soon as possible.


Then we hope to start inviting friends and family out for a day on the lakes...

...once we learn how to not crash into the piers when docking!


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Another Week of Trumpf



It wasn’t bad enough that a poll came out last week showing that 45% of President Trumpf’s supporters would still vote for him even if he (presumably unjustifiably) shot someone.

Remember his boast during the campaign?

Sadly, another 26% responded that they were “unsure”.

That comes to 71% who blindly follow this president.

Seriously? Mates, your Captain cannot even fathom the depths of this stupidity.

Meanwhile, on this side of reality, Trumpf is giving liberals enough fodder to keep their heads in a perpetual spin.

Your Captain briefly thought it was simply motion-sickness.

Turns out I’ve got a bad case of politics.


On July 22, while commissioning the USS Gerald Ford (CVN-78) – a new aircraft carrier described as “the biggest, baddest, most expensive” supercarrier ever built – the President not only took credit for this ship which was begun in 2005, but he interjected into his speech a call for those present to call their congress persons and encourage them to support his proposed defense budget… and his healthcare proposal.

Since he is the Commander-in-Chief, this off-the-cuff comment was viewed by some in uniform as an order.

A very, very inappropriate order.


From there he moved on to the Boy Scout Jamboree. The President of the United States is the honorary president of Boy Scouts USA. And each president has been invited to speak to the gathering.

It should be noted that the National President of Boy Scouts USA is Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, a company which is seeking Congressional approval for their takeover bid of Time Warner.


So on Monday night, even after promising to not mix politics into his address to the 40,000 Boy Scouts and parents gathered at the Jamboree, Trumpf starts out, “Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?”

Well, apparently he “the hell” wanted to.

And he did, throwing in digs at Secretary Clinton and President Obama, bragging about winning the election, and threatening his Secretary of Health and Human Services if the Trumpcare vote fails.

To some critics - and there were plenty of them! - it smacked of the Hitler Youth rallies of 1940s Germany.

Captain's Note: Friends, the Captain is not one to easily throw around modern day comparisons to Hitler or the Holocaust. There is very little - if anything - that can compare. Just know that right now, I am very concerned about what I see happening in our country.

And then yesterday, to distract us from what many most have deemed an “embarrassing”, “mortifying” and “disgusting display” at the Jamboree, the President unexpectedly tweeted out – can we call it an order? – that transgender soldiers can no longer serve “in any capacity” in the U.S. military.


He said it was because their medical costs were prohibitive.

Despite the fact that those medical costs are the annual equivalent of four of Trumpf’s golf outings to Mar-a-lago.

A mere drop in the bucket compared to what the military spends on Viagra each year!

Captain's Note: I shit you not! The military reportedly spends in excess of $70 million on “the little blue pill”!

In a bold move in defiance of the President, Major General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, responded, “There will be no modification to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance.”

Perhaps the next Trumpf appointee to get the ax?

And throughout it all, the President continues to badger his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, for (rightfully) recusing himself from the Russia probe. 


Yes, that is still going on, despite the fact that 72% of Trumpf supporters think it is “fake news”.

Sessions, originally opposed by many for his past racist positions, has now become a sympathetic figure in Washington.

The Captain has long suspected that the President’s asinine tweets and inappropriate remarks are simply designed to distract the media and public from other business being conducted behind the scenes.


You of course remember Steve Bannon, the President's chief strategist...

One would suspect such business would be the Senate’s attempt (once again – YAWN!) to repeal and replace Obamacare. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delayed the vote once already because he did not have the votes he needed. 

Then, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was diagnosed with a brain tumor – which explains a lot!


Don’t get me started on McCain…

But this week, Senator McCain dragged himself from his hospital bed (just kidding!) to Washington for the big vote. He was given the opportunity to address the Senate, where he quite appropriately ripped them a new one for all their recent shenanigans, and excoriated them for the unconscionable healthcare bill that was before them.

And then he joined with his party and voted “Yea”.


Captain's Note: Meanwhile, Senator Maize Hirono (D-HI), who was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer in May, quietly returned from two recent surgeries and voted against the Republican bill that would strip 22-30 million Americans of health care.

So far the Republicans have been unable to get anything of substance passed. Truth is, there really is no “bill” to vote on, simply the repeal of Obamacare – which has been their goal for more than seven years now. McConnell’s latest proposal would repeal Obamacare in two years, which would (hopefully) give the Republicans time to sort out a real replacement.

SMH!

And they are rushing ahead to make this happen despite opposition from state governors, every major medical organization, and even the insurance lobby!

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) was one of two brave Republicans who voted against her party. The President immediately tweeted his disapproval, and later she and fellow Republican Senator Dan Sullivan received a call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke warning that if Senator Murkowski did not get on board with the party line, Alaskan nominees to critical Interior department positions would be ignored and several state-specific projects would not be realized.


Needless to say, the Captain is not very optimistic these days.

I wonder just how far from all of this The Tiki Hut could take me?


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Rituals, Ceremonies, Superstitions






 Finally, after a month of boat ownership and one failed attempt at organizing a naming ceremony, yesterday the Captain and First Mate successfully hosted our first "De-Naming / Re-Naming Ceremony".

Captain's Note: Sailors are a superstitious lot and it is considered bad luck to change the name of a ship without first performing the proper rituals.

Bringing bananas on board is also considered bad luck... Who knew?
 
She had a name when I acquired her - a mash-up of the names of the children of the previous owner. 

How quaint!

But now, after completing the de-naming ritual, that name has been stricken from the records of Poseidon and will be remembered no more.


Yesterday was a hot day on the waters - "feels like 110!" - but upon comparing our calendars, we realized that it was now or never.

Well, at least now or not until the end of August.

I had removed the original lettering a couple weeks ago in anticipation of a ceremony that did not happen, and neither the Captain nor the boat has felt quite right since then. 

In fact, the Captain had begun referring to her as "that damn boat"!
 
So we needed to do this ASAP.

We gathered four of our closest boating friends, food enough to feed a small Navy, and a cooler full of booze - enough to satiate the gods AND a small Navy - and headed out to a relatively secluded cove to complete the necessary rituals. 

Here is a copy of the ritual, for your edification. (It was adapted from a website called bluewatersailing.com

Come on... Say it with me... Reading Is Sexy!
 De-Naming / Re-Naming Ceremony
July 22, 2017

(Everyone should have a glass or drink of choice for toasting.)

Opening Invocation and Blessing
          “In the name of all who have sailed aboard this vessel in the past
and in the name of all will who sail aboard her in the future,
we invoke the ancient gods of the wind, Aeolus,
and of the sea, Poseidon,
to favor us with their blessing today.”

Expression of Gratitude
          (Prayer) “Mighty Poseidon,
King of all that moves in or on the waves,
and mighty Aeolus, guardian of the winds
and all that blows before them,
we offer thanks for the protection you have afford this vessel
in the past.
We voice our gratitude that she has always found shelter
from tempest and storm
and enjoyed safe passage to port.”

          “A toast to ‘[boat's previous name]’ and her previous owner, [name].”

(Everyone toasts the boat.)

Supplication and De-Naming
          (Prayer) “O mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans,
to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain
are required to pay homage,
we implore you in your graciousness to expunge for all time
from your records and recollection
the name ‘[boat's previous name]’
and any other name she might have sailed under –
which has ceased to be an entity in your kingdom.
As proof thereof, we submit this ingot bearing her name
to be corrupted through your powers
and forever be purged from the sea.
Now therefore, we submit this supplication,
that the name of this vessel hitherto known as ‘[boat's previous name]’
be struck and removed from your records and archives.”

(Drop the prepared metal tag from the bow of the boat into the water.)

          “Further, we ask that when she is again presented for blessing
with her new name,
she shall be recognized and shall be accorded once again
the same privileges she previously enjoyed.”
In grateful acknowledgement of your munificence and dispensation, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court.”
         
(Pour the bottle of rum into the water from East to West.)

Rededication and Re-Naming
          “In return for this, we rededicate this vessel to thy domain
 in full knowledge that she shall be subject as always
to the immutable laws of the Gods of wind and sea.”

          (Prayer) “O mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans,
to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain
are required to pay homage,
we implore you in your graciousness
to take unto your records and recollection this worthy vessel
hereafter and for all time to be known as ‘The Tiki Hut’,
guarding her with your mighty arm and trident
and ensuring her of safe and rapid passage throughout her journeys
within your realm.”

Libation and Ceremonial Rituals
          “In consequence whereof, and in good faith,
we seal this pact with a libation
offered according to the hallowed ritual of the sea.”
         
(Pour red wine on the bow of the boat, offer some to Neptune, then share with guests.)

          “In appreciation of your munificence and dispensation,
and in honor of your greatness,
we offer these libations to your majesty and court.”
         
(Pour champagne #2 into the water – less one glass for the Captain and one for the First Mate – from East to West.)

          (Prayer) “O mighty rulers of the winds,
through whose power our frail vessels traverse
the wild and faceless deep,
we implore you to grant this worthy vessel, ‘The Tiki Hut’,
the benefits and pleasures of your bounty,
ensuring us of your gentle ministration according to our needs.”

(Facing North, pour a generous libation of Champagne #3 into a Champagne flute and fling to the North.)

          (Prayer) “Great Boreas, exalted ruler of the North Wind,
grant us permission to use your mighty powers
in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors,
[nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more...]
ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your frigid breath.”

(Facing West, pour a generous libation of Champagne #3 into a Champagne flute and fling to the West.)

          (Prayer) “Great Zephyrus, exalted ruler of the West Wind,
grant us permission to use your mighty powers
in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, 
[nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more...]
ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your wild breath.”

(Facing East, pour a generous libation of Champagne #3 into a Champagne flute and fling to the East.)

(Prayer) “Great Eurus, exalted ruler of the East Wind,
grant us permission to use your mighty powers
in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, 
[nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more...]
ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your mighty breath.”

(Facing south, pour a generous libation of Champagne #3 into a Champagne flute and fling to the South.)

(Prayer) “Great Notus, exalted ruler of the South Wind,
grant us permission to use your mighty powers
in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, 
[nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more...]
ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your scalding breath.”

          “Hail, Aeolus and Poseidon!
We seek your benevolence upon this vessel,
now to be known as ‘The Tiki Hut’!”
         
(Prayer) “Aeolus, whose mighty hand doth charge the winds,
to this vessel gentle zephyrs send,
and we who sail within will bend our heads in awe and tribute,
without end.
With breath from on high that maketh heaven’s breeze,
to cause we sailors joy or fear upon the seas,
we call upon you to grant this ship and all its mortals ease.”
         
“To Aeolus!”
(Everyone drinks a toast to Aeolus. Pour champagne #3 into the air.)

          (Prayer) “O Poseidon, you spirit god of waters great and small,
on this vessel, by your grace, allow these sons and daughters all,
to pass from port of hailing to their port of call,
and on these sailing subjects make your gentle blessings fall.
You who cause the seas to rage or lie in sweet repose,
please list to we mariners here, your servants of the flows.
This ship, the Captain, crew, and all of those
who love the wind and seas, will follow where thee goes.”
         
“To Poseidon!”
(Everyone drinks a toast to Poseidon. Pour champagne #3 into the water.)

The Naming
          “Let it be recorded that on this day, July 22, 2017,
and forevermore,
this fine vessel is named ‘The Tiki Hut’.
And may God – who ruleth over both wind and sea –
bless her and all who sail on her!”

(Pour some champagne #4 on the bow of the boat.)

Toasting
          (First Mate): “First, a toast to the Captain!”
          (Captain): “Next, a toast to my lovely First Mate!”
          (First Mate): “Next, a toast to ‘The Tiki Hut’!”

          “We will place this silver dollar in the boat as a good luck charm
and as a symbol of generosity toward this vessel
and to all who come aboard.”

          (Captain): “Finally, a toast to good friends
with whom we gladly share this moment and this boat!”

*In all, we poured into the lake and/or consumed four bottles of champagne, a bottle of red wine, and a bottle of Rum. 

Tears were shed.

The silver dollar, stowed in a safe location on the boat, is a 1922 Silver "Peace" Dollar.

And tomorrow morning, with fair weather at my back, I will return to her to wash away all the booze poured onto her bow and to finish the new lettering on the transom, making official her new name and position of honor in the marina.


More pictures will follow at a later date. 

The Captain promises to take you on a virtual tour soon.