Welcome to my world! It's sometimes routine, sometimes crazy, and through it all I yearn to travel (and do accomplish some of that).

Location: Everett, Washington

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

I'm doing well. We just pulled out of Hong Kong yesterday, and that was great. I bought so much stuff there! I bought a couple wedding presents for my sister, a three-piece black cashmere suit for me (tailor made), a new silk robe, a long sleeve Von Dutch t-shirt, and more. I also ate some good eight course seafood dinner on Christmas, and a breakfast of dim sum the next day. As well, I had a couple American meals for good measure. These were a meat lovers’ pizza from Pizza Hut on Sunday afternoon, and a late lunch Monday at TGI Fridays.
The ship's mission has changed due to the current events. I'm putting in an article below what I write for you to read about it. It is all due to the natural disaster(s) involving the tsunamis/earthquakes in south and east Asia
I have not received any Christmas presents from my immediate family, yet, but I did get a couple of DVDs from my cousin. I got the 60s miniseries that was on ABC about 5 years ago, and a new Spanish movie that I saw on Amazon and was interested in. As well, I got a few other DVDs this last week. I bought Garden State over the weekend and watched that yesterday. I thought it was quite good. Soon, I will begin to watch The Three Colors Trilogy that came this week, after ordering it online. This is a trilogy of French films that come highly recommended, and I have been waiting to see for a while now. So, I’m excited!
On the literary front, I am about to conclude reading Snow Falling on Cedars. It’s been quite an interesting read, and it’s been cool to read a story set close by Everett…with familiar town names mentioned (Seattle, Anacortes, and Bellingham).

Thursday, December 23, 2004

After seeing that our upcoming port visit is news online, I’m now safe to report where we’re pulling into. We will pull into Hong Kong this weekend for several days. Although I have been here before, now I can add it to my list of exotic (or semi-exotic) locales where I’ve been over the holidays. These spots include Perth/Fremantle (Christmas 2002), Hawaii (Thanksgiving this year), and now this. It is indeed a downer to be so far away, but all that at least makes it bearable J
Work has been going along well, yet busy. Yesterday we had a few hours of ID card issue for those folks that absolutely needed a new military ID card now. These were the old ID cards that we’re not allowed to make any more (because we changed over to a new kind of ID card). We made approximately 30 of them yesterday afternoon. This is whole encompassing the afternoon, considering it takes more than 5 minutes to make each one (maybe 7-8 minutes?).
Merry Christmas everyone! I pray that you stay safe in traveling, and festive activities!!!

Monday, December 20, 2004

Besides, the mail that I mentioned yesterday, I also have received a couple boxes of books this last week. I received one from one of my high school youth pastors from church. I was especially surprised about that box, because I didn’t know it was coming, and it was full of books –all wrapped up individually in Christmas paper!! It was great to get, and there are a lot of classic books and other good ones included.
Today has been a good day. Yesterday, I failed to mention that I was stuck doing the muster report yet, because the duty section personnel were busy with a working party. My part in all that is not meant to be (because it was a Sunday, and everyone but duty section should have the day off). My supervisor noticed that I was doing it, however, and he compensated me three hours today after the muster report was done. This encompassed the 2 hrs of lunch, so it was really only one free hour…but still nice! I watched a movie that I had been looking forward to all morning, and then read further in my book (The Wedding, of which I have now finished).
That’s almost all there is to report. I’m writing this as I wind down my night. I have eighteen minutes left of work for the night, and then I’ll be free to go confirm my choice of the next book.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

It’s been a long and busy week and I haven’t had too much time to write. I have been busy everything from work to reading to power-outages, and most everything else you could imagine from me. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, we had dual-down drills going on. This is where the power is shut down, as well as the a/c ventilation system, for several hours. They have done these a couple times in the past since I’ve been here, yet I don’t really remember the purpose (if I knew it). I imagine its purpose is just to see how well the ship can sustain itself if such events were to occur.
As well, as busyness and work, I’ve gotten a lot of mail this week. I have gotten a couple boxes from folks at church back home, sending books and Christmas cards…as well as Christmas cards solely. I have received a couple boxes from military support organizations that I gave my name and address to. From those organizations I have received a package full of “Prayer Bears” and also a huge box of Christmas cards. In turn, I have dispersed those to all around who were interested. The prayer bears are made up in various fabrics, with a story of the start of them enclosed, as well as a flag/cross pin. I’ll go into the other mail tomorrow. Yes, I do plan to get back on track, and write again tomorrow!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

While far from home, I would imagine that anyone, anywhere, would be surprised to hear the name of a well-known person from (until recently) a stranger. I had this experience yesterday, and once before this last month, from the same man. The air-wing chaplain onboard personally knows my pastor and also a family friend (that’s the one that was revealed yesterday). In all of these kind of situations, the old montage, “It’s a small world after all”, pops its pleasant head up.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Did you ever know anyone who could say, “I ate lunch in the refrigerator today.”? Today, I can say that! This morning, beginning at 0630, I was involved in a 200-man working party. This is was during an underway replenishment that we had. After mustering at the aforementioned time, we were positioned in the spot we were to work, and waited, and waited, and waited some more for boxes to come down. This was during happy hour, so it was nice to have a change, and not have to do that. After a little bit of time waiting, however, I knew I would get bored. So, I decided to discreetly sneak down to the berthing and get my book. I accomplished this determined maneuver without a word from anybody. This was a rather remarkably accomplishment, since we’re not supposed to move around the ship during happy hour, and the officers and chiefs walk around to make sure everyone is working.
The task of my group (numbering twenty folks) in the working party was to “hump” boxes of fruit, vegetables, and other food to the freezer and refrigerator store rooms below decks. These are on the fourth deck and fifth deck, respectively. It was hard work, often heavy, and in the case of the freezer time – quite cold. In the refrigerator, it was easy to feel like it was normal temperature, due to the workload. After approximately 4 straight hours, we had a break for a box lunch. We ate in shifts, with approximately 3-4 eating at a time. After lunch, there was a little work left and we finished about 12:45. IN the end, we had moved endless boxes of potatoes, kiwis, apples, oranges, grapefruits, celery, cucumbers, broccoli, red and yellow peppers, tomatoes, bread and more. Seven hours after this said endeavor, I’m still a little sore and ready to go to bed!
There is a conveyer system designed to carry boxes down to the level they need to go, but it was working very intermittently. So, after a while of it bringing down one load, and stopping, those in charge decided to make it more efficient. Hence, the humping began from that point.
There’s not too much else notable from the rest of today, except a couple of mail calls. I received several Christmas cards today, cookies, and a letter or two. So, it was good, yet not so much the mail I’m waiting for.

Monday, December 06, 2004

The last two days we’ve been experiencing a lot of rough sea. The boat has been consistently rocking all day long. Today hasn’t been as bad for me personally as yesterday was. I don’t get fully seasick when all this goes on, but I do get constant headaches.
After a little bit of marathon reading yesterday afternoon and night, I finished reading The Life Of Pi. It was an absolute great, enjoyable read! I would highly recommend it to anyone who would ask. I have now moved on to read the prequel to The DaVinci Code, which I have borrowed from one of my co-workers. I read it just a little bit during lunch today, and a little bit during dinner, and have begun to be engrossed in the story. The first few chapters have hooked me right away.

Friday, December 03, 2004

DECEMBER 2, 2004

I ate really well today. For lunch, they were serving veal parmesan, spaghetti, and pizza on focaccia bread. The pizza was surprisingly unique and a pleasure to eat. Then, for dinner, I skipped it and read further into The Life of Pi. I started this book last night and I’m ¼ of the way into it. It is really interesting and unique…descriptions of things relating to zoo animals, religion, and India. It’s quite uncharacteristic in comparison to other things I’ve read lately.

DECEMBER 3, 2004

Today has been a little less normal. I did my regular work this morning...and ate lunch (which wasn’t as good as yesterday’s. Then, we had the command frocking ceremony (where the people who are advanced/promoted first get to put on their new rank). I watched that for about half of it -- the people that I work with were at the very beginning (because it was alphabetical by department, and admin is the first one). Then, I spent the last hour and a half cleaning out one of the vent systems around our office. We are required to do maintenance on various things...and what was assigned to me and another guy this week was the vent system. In order to accomplish this, we had to undo three different vent covers, look up in there, and vacuum/wipe out all the dust and dirt in there. It was a messy job let me tell you! I got dirt and dust all over my clothes and face. I'm writing this after I cleaned up and put a new uniform on, so I feel like a new man!
I want to start loaning out books that I have (my own library!) for other people to read, so I'm doing a bit of a project with that. Yesterday, I started making a list on Excel of all the books I have, and then doing a Word document to have little summaries of the books on there. Some of those summaries I wrote, and most I pulled off the Internet ( is a great site I found).
That is the summary of my super fun life at the moment. What do you think! Oh, and tonight we cross the dateline, so we're going to skip forward to Saturday...which is good because Sunday (becomes tomorrow!) is our sleep-in day!