Smoke On The Water, Fire In The Sky

The crew and I set out across the Gulf one afternoon looking forward to an early arrival and a night to just goof off and relax.  I was driving, feet on the dash, music blaring on the radio, both doors open for fresh air, just doin my "Cappy thing".  I had one eye on the GPS, one on the radar, one on the gauges, one on the navigation computer and one lookin' out the window.  The crew was all lounged about the wheelhouse, some inside with me, some sitting on the steps.  The 4 of us were anticipating what shaped up to be a truly wonderful sunset.  I noticed a smoke trail off in the distance, so I grabbed my camera and zoomed in.  It was an oil platform that we service and it was on fire!
I zoomed in my with my camera to see which platform it was for sure, dropped the camera and reached for the VHS radio to report it, when I heard someone on the radio already calling it in.
About that time our Company's phone rang and we were instructed to tie up at a neighboring platform wait for the fire to be put out and then go the platform to pick up crude oil and oily waste water that had not burned.
They got the fire out shortly after dark.  Once things cooled down, literally, the next morning we headed for the platform.
The damage wasn't that bad, mostly burnt paint and slightly warped metal. 
Some one was using a torch and the fumes caught fire.  Thankfully it spread slowly enough that there was no major explosion and no one was hurt.  They were able to extinguish the flames fairly quickly using a foam system so no crude oil got into the water.
Under the watchful eyes of the Coast Guard and Emergency Response teams we loaded the crude oil and oily waste into our barge and brought it in to be recycled.  The platforms in the Gulf number in the tens of thousands and even a small facility like this one has 12 men on board at all times.  Their safety record is very good and you'd be safer on an oil platform than driving or riding on an inerstate highway.  Unfortunately, all too often, even minor accidents like this one and the one that occured this month call national attention and even tho' lives are at stake, lives are at stake in many dangerous jobs around the world. Countrys run on oil. countrys run on nuclear power. Mistakes happen, sometimes on a grandiose scale, like the BP oil spill. But until we have something "safer" and consistantly reliable to replace the energy sources we have, we need to appreciate the talent and hard work that goes into an industry that keeps the country going. There are risks everywhere that could potentially cause major problems that don't have the national media spotlight shining on them. I guess when feces does occur, and it often does, it's fodder for the media. No matter on how large or small a scale of said feces, you can be sure they've got their noses deep in it and love smearing it around. 

Black Out Friday

Out on the boat, me and da crew spent "Black Friday", "Blacked out".  No cell phone, no T.V., no radio, and no computer internet service.  But...we also had no crowded stores and the only line to be found impatiently waiting was the one at the door to the "head" (bathroom) in the morning after the day before's excess.  We feasted on turkey, rice dressing, green beans and sweet tater puddin' for desert.  Maybe not the variety ya get at home but we had plenty.  As ya can see from the pictures of our navigation systems, we truely were at the bottom of the Country. (The little green boat is us. And in the lower photo, we are the where the red arrow is pointing...more than 100 miles south of New Orleans)
You never realize how nice it is to 'have', 'til ya don't.  Something we forgot to be thankful for Thanksgiving is the advantages of the technology we are blessed with.
The quiet day came to a fittin' end as we came in from the extreme southeast of the state.  All of a sudden my phone lit up with several messages and I was again able to hear my sweet Peggy's voice and enjoy listening to the high-school football playoffs.  It's good sometimes to be reminded of the little things that make this such a blessed life we all live.


BBQ'd Redfish

When I bring Redfish home from the boat I usually fillet them off the bone leaving the skin and scales on them.  This is a Cajun trick. (this picture shows one scale side up, two scale side down, for those folks who aren't familiar with good fish or how to cook them. It's pretty obvious to those of us who do.)
By keeping the scales on like this, the flaky flesh holds together and allows ya to put them on the BBQ pit.
Seasoned with our own blend of Cajun Spice we park them on a smokey pit for 15 minutes.
While Pourkey the Pig stands guard, we melt a stick of butter a shot of lemon juice a Tablespoon of Cajun seasoning and half a beer in a pot on the stove. (In the house I told Peg, "Take a sticka budder, a good Tablespoon of our spice, 'bout an ounce of lemon juice and a couple ounces a beer...put 'em in that small pan and heat it some. It's got to get to know itself".) 
The fish basted with the spicy butter sauce are then covered for another 15 minutes re-basted til done. (Don't forget, down here in Cajun country, it's against the law to fire up the pit and not include sausage :-P)
Combine this amazing smokey spicy fish with a pale sweet tater and some of Peg's killer coleslaw and ya got a meal fit for a king.
Too bad yall weren't here or this woulda been your plate.  Don't worry though it didn't go to waste.


Louisiana State Fair 2012

  Cappy was sitting at his laptop, drinking coffee, perusing nothing in particular the other morning, when he came across the news that the Baton Rouge State Fair was going on and that they had a jelly judging contest that day...PLUS, if you were going to compete, you could get into the Fair for free. Well, being the kind of people we are, he said, "Les GO!" And with that, we were off. We would have gone to the Fair, just to go to the Fair, my never having been to a State Fair ever, anywhere, but almost as a joke and a get-in-free kind of joke, we grabbed a jar of our Lemon Jelly on the way out the door.
   First thing, Cappy made sure I had my cotton candy, then meandering around, we found sausage-on-a-stick, sausage with onions and bell peppers, and really GOOD (and HUGE) turkey drum sticks for our lunch and supper, all the while on foot.
We saw some pretty funny sights of course.
 Cappy broke about six balloons in a row and won me a teddy bear! We rode on some rides and Cappy took some great shots of the Fair from atop the ferris wheel.
As it was getting dark, as we munched on our turkey drum sticks, we sat and watched an assembly of some of the coolest musicians: Lousiana Hall of Fame members. They were truly amazing!!! They said to come back the next day, as they were going to be there again...one guy was going to be operating the rides and one guy was going to be working the ring toss...not really, but that's what they said.
 At the end of the day, come to find out, our  Lemon Jelly "contestant", that we had brought along as a joke, and had gotten us in free, actually won First Place while we weren't looking! It was just one of those spur of the moment fun-filled days that turned out to be a winner in every sense of the word...Yeah!   


Our New Look

For years now (since back in 2005) We have had the same plain brown blog.  Blogger has been wanting us to upgrade for some time, so today I took the plunge.  At first we didn't like it, but we are kinda resistant to change be nature.  Anyways this is it.  The ads are not nearly as bad as we thought, 'cause Google picks the ones that kinda apply to what we write.  Who knows, we may be able to retire and blog for a livin. 'Somehow I doubt it though, because so far we have made $3. in 6 months of having ads.  Not enough to keep us in beans.