Thursday, May 26, 2016

I'd like to introduce to you the rowing schooner: The Missouri River Mermaid.

I think the pictures should do most of the talking.

This week is the final push.  Basically I had my last day in the Air Force, had to finish building the boat, and get my place ready to sell.  The boat took priority for me. Luckily, Amateur-Sophist came into town for a relaxing week/vacation.  Obviously, he ended up taking the completely full gas tank out of the Buick to find a shitty bit of wiring on my part... So, his easy vacation became a working one.  

Long into the night.  

Things eventually got finished enough that it was time for sea trials under sail.  So after a short ceremony, she was rolled back down the road and across the street into the Gulf of Mexico.  

Right into the water... with a little set up.  The plan was to slowly test and add sails as we figured how it worked.  Increasing the amount of sail in a controlled and reasonable way.  At first that worked fine.  The Mermaid was sailing along just fine under only the foresail. Just as we were getting things under control, a gust of wind came and unfurled the Main.  Boom!  And just like that she was a full on schooner!

Monday, May 02, 2016

Last active duty TDY. (Awkward restaurant moments had by all)

Recently I was TDY with a bunch of guys from work.  Fairly typical TDY… a Lt spilled tortilla soup in the rental car the first day, our circadian rhythm was upside down the whole trip, the main topic of conversation was farts, and most of our free time was spent picking where all of us could agree to eat.  
On a typical TDY, eventually someone suggests sushi… As they did on this one.  As is typical, after a few days of the suggestion, the non-sushi eating dudes capitulate and agree to go, but also promise not to be happy and to hate everyone involved in making them sit in the same room as a bunch of dead fish.

The last time a few Osprey crews went to a sushi place… we went to one that had conveyor belts that trolled little plates of food all around the restaurant.  When one went by that you liked, you picked the plate off the conveyor belt and ate it.  They made your bill by counting the stack of plates by your seat. Still technically a sushi place, but about the right level of classy that you can bring a pile of aircrew in and no one immediately gasps. (Either the restaurant staff or the air crew…)  

That time one of our pilots, who we will call “Driving shoes,” challenged our largest and most proficient at eating flight engineer, who we will call “Smash,” to a sushi eating contest.  Yea really. (Hot dogs, tacos, pizza… sure reasonable things to have eating contests with.  Raw fish!??!?! not a reasonable thing to have an eating contest with!) Smash won hands down with 90 something plates consumed to Driving Shoes 60 something plates consumed.  (That is fucking plates of sushi!) 

(If you are reading this and fly ospreys… you know both of these guys.)

Lets just say there were fish sweats and involuntary shivering afterwards on the part of the contestants.  Thank god the aircraft broke or the weather was shit that night, because they were both in rough shape!

Fast forward to present day:

As always we eventually grudgingly ended up at a sushi place.  This time instead of conveyor belts dragging pre made plates of american acceptable versions of sushi around the restaurant, we were faced with starched white napkins prefolded like birds at the tables and expensive art on the wall.  

There were gasps.

I am sure that the owners thought they had just been invaded by barbarians.  

Half of our guys did some mental math on per diem and figured this day was not going to come out ahead.

Still, for some reason we didn’t turn back.  We sat right down at those white starched folded napkins and proceeded to imagine we ordered something we actually wanted to eat. And to be honest, we really did think we had actually ordered food.

The first thing to come out was the absolutely most beautiful hamburger I have ever seen.  It was literally perfect.  (Oh yea… I forgot… one guy always orders a hamburger at the sushi joint.)

Anyways… if that was any indication this food was going to be incredible!

Then the actual fish came out.

We didn’t recognize a god damn thing on that table.  Eventually we narrowed these weird objects down roughly to who had ordered what… and figured out that one guy (who for other reasons was soon to be known as “Oops”) had somehow only ordered a hollowed out zucchini filled with tiny fish eggs.

How does one even eat a hollowed out zucchini full of tiny fish eggs? You have to also remember the only utensil available is a pair of chop sticks.  I still don’t know how one would eat that think with any utensil know.  As far as I can tell, no one knows.  It is an impossible task.  (Maybe a combination large diameter straw and a mellon baller would work.)

One moment I looked over and saw a hungry man sizing up the task of eating that thing… and the next moment I looked over… 
…fish eggs everywhere.

The thing had either fallen over and spilled or somehow burst, either way the tiny gold colored eggs were everywhere! Each little egg shinned it’s own yellow glow. You would have gotten the same result visually if you had given a 6 year old a glass jar of glitter and a hammer. 


Obviously we had to stop at a gas station on our way in to work to get some actual food.