Twittering Tales #91 – Chains – 3 July 2018

It’s time again for Kat Myrman’s wonderful challenge to tax our creative souls. Just take her photo prompt and write a story, inspired by it, in 280 characters or fewer.

img_2309.jpg Photo by analogicus at pixabay.com

Here is this week’s prompt and my contribution. Check out all the fabulous entries here.

Someone said the link is broken.

I think it is missing, entirely.

Really it’s just an illusion; there is no continuity, no strength, no security!

If I can see it, why can so many others not?

I pray we can forge new links, pick up the broken and missing, and join together in harmony.

(280 characters)

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July 4, 2018

Margo, “That little voice“, has a few very pertinent questions for the American people on this, their Independence Day. The same questions apply to all countries, to all societies, to all peoples, and it is the people who must decide the answers. I do so hope that they get it right!

that little voice

July 4, 2018, America,

July 4, 2018

Can I celebrate this day the way I have past Independence Days: without thought, concern, doubt, fear, disgust, or alarm?

The question plagues me as I watch the sun rise on this two hundred and forty-second birthday of the United States of America. On this day more than two centuries ago a group of men signed a paper declaring America would no longer be ruled by another nation. Our country would be independent of and from outside dominance. Henceforth we would determine our own fate, decide how we would be governed, guided by a Constitution that promised equality.

Not a perfect document, but one filled with hope, determination, and belief that individual voices can better chart the future of this new democracy, not one person.

So I wonder if we, the people of this fragile yet strong, and relatively new nation, can weather the storm of today’s internal…

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A different point of view

REFUGEES – An upside down poem!

They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
Welcome here
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
They cannot
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way

(now read from bottom to top)

– Brian Bilston

This poem is taken from You Took the Last Bus Home, a collection of Brian Bilston’s poetry published by Unbound in October 2016
http://www.brianbilston.com

Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 17 June 2018

Kat is a very talented lady, a fine poet, a beautiful singer, a lady who knows her own mind. Her patience is wearing very thin though, and here she sums up her week and only pulls a few punches. Check out her blog – you will be amused, amazed, and, probably, in agreement!

like mercury colliding...

I realized that I started two of my magnetic poems this week with the phrase “there is no sanctuary”. It was completely accidental, or perhaps it was subliminal. I think it was most likely the latter. I have felt helpless against the recent atrocities perpetrated by my government on innocent people in my name as an American, and now most egregiously in the name of God as well. We are learning more and more about the Trump/Sessions'”Zero Tolerance” agenda for those crossing our southern borders; the horrors experienced by families seeking asylum in the U.S.; children being ripped from their parents’ arms and shipped to holding facilities, some even lost in the system. A system that uses intimidation and fear to dissuade people from coming here. And now we have a president who is using these innocent children as ransom for his ludicrous border wall.

To be honest, I don’t…

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The Finale! A2Z Challenge–X for Xenophobia

Margo may well be a little late in finishing her A2Z challenge for April. She may have gone a little bit out of sequence, but, my goodness, she certainly saved the best ’til last.
Check out this fabulous commentary on the scourge of modern society. Just how can people be carried along by such hatred, such unfairness, and such sheer malice.
Let’s join Margo’s revolution and refuse to accept even a hint of xenophobia.

that little voice

Finally I have finished the A2Z April Word Challenge that was to end on April 30. A month + past the deadline is not too bad, some would say, and I will agree. You can read what others said about words from the letters of the alphabet at a-to-zchallenge.com.

X for Xenophobia

Admittedly my vocabulary is not classified as abundant, and I don’t race around adding words willy-nilly to my limited supply of verbiage. However, in today’s world, new words seem to find their way to my mouth’s attention more often than just a few years ago.

One of those surprise additions is Xenophobia, meaning chauvinism, racism, nationalism, prejudice, racial intolerance and dislike of foreigners. The word has been around for many moons, but it had not crept into my consciousness until the last Presidential campaign.

Suddenly it became a household word, at least to a segment of my friends. Xenophobia was…

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Sunday sayings #34

df5228ae03c590bc5da370d517137406.jpg

Life was oh so simple once, I knew its every whim,

but now it seems we need more rules, it’s getting really grim.

What became of common sense, fair play, and honesty?

We seem to have forgotten just how precious life can be!

 

The youngsters blame the older folk, the oldsters blame the young,

what became of tolerance, we’re all so highly strung?

We seem to analyse each move, and everything we do.

I used to understand my world but now I have no clue!

The not so Old Girl and The Sea

A reblog of a reblog.
A long post but really worth the read.

Tales from the Romulan Neutral Zone

It started with a Hashtag.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, the tributary streams of our modern world flowing into the big river of awareness. Then the conventional media outlets caught on and before we knew it, the Weinstein dam broke and it was Land Under in Hollywood.

I’ll admit, my brain went into ‘white noise’ mode after the first few hundred Tweets. It seemed yet another sad, frustrating déjà vu moment in history – I’ve already seen this, and not once but twice, three times … it’s like we’re forming a brave bucket brigade on the Titanic, shouting encouragement to each other while that sad, lonely SOS echoes over the frozen Atlantic. If anybody out there really gave a damn, wouldn’t they have answered by now?

So, I was resigned to have another talk with my teenage girls about why life isn’t fair,

Related image

about politics and the legal system, and that there…

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The People Are The Difference

A lovely article, written by a lovely man, and shared by another lovely man, and I know neither of them, nor have I met them. It’s often the little things that make the biggest impact.

Mitigating Chaos

There was “something about Aiken” that I first noticed during my visits in early 1999.  We were considering buying the funeral homes and cemetery there and surely didn’t want to make a bad decision.   I didn’t feel the stress we sometimes felt in Columbia, where we had lived for three years. Aiken was different.  This guy and his wife, both from New Jersey, took the leap, purchased the businesses and moved to a beautiful, small Southern city.  th-3

Funeral service, like many businesses,  depends on the building of trusting relationships and following through on promises made.  I was fortunate to get acquainted with many community leaders and their help, guidance and example were invaluable. For me, it was the people that made Aiken different.

One of those people/leaders was Jeff Wallace. Jeff was the editor of The Aiken Standard for most of the years we owned our businesses.  We…

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All at sea – Flying through the air, with, and without, the aid of a helicopter.

This is part of a recollection of “Some things I’ve done that you probably haven’t.

Number 2, Transferred between Royal Naval ships at sea by Jackstay, and 3, Transferred between Royal Naval ships at sea by helicopter can be recounted together because normally, when you go on a journey, you want to end up back where you started!

When I was posted to Gibraltar we (The Army) often entertained Royal Naval personnel when they had shore leave. We invited them to functions in the various messes (Officers Mess/Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess/Other ranks Mess, and we invited them to dine with us, often arranging a special dinner.

 In return, they reciprocated, and we were often invited on board ship.

 I came to know several of the Petty Officers of HMS Charybdis quite well, during 1976. I was invited to spend time at sea with the ship, in an exchange with a member of the ship’s crew, where we swapped jobs for a few days.

hms charybdis Life on board a Royal Naval vessel is unlike anything you may imagine. Space is at a premium and everything has to be stowed away to maximise space, and to ensure there are no hazards created by loose gear.

 Before departing from any port, the ship must be fully provisioned with fuel, stores, ammunition, food, and a myriad of items you wouldn’t even begin to think of. This is to ensure that, should the vessel be called upon to sail into conflict, or to aid others, it can proceed immediately, without having to stock up first. There is a good deal of manual labour involved in this, and the whole ships company (of 260 in this case) is put to work, less a few essential personnel. It is hard work, and I experienced it!

 Imagine having to stock a freezer so you can retrieve food, to feed 260 hungry people for 2 months, when you can only reach things right at the front. Just where do you put all those potato sacks, carrots, toilet rolls, extra large cans, butter, fat, oil, flour, spices. The list is huge, as is the quantity. You cannot run out.

 I shall not go into disposal of waste, recycling, or what can, under international law, be discharged into the sea. I mention it only because sometimes it flies off the ship!

 Whilst at sea it is sometimes necessary to load, or offload personnel, or materiel.

 This may be for changes in personnel, removal of severely ill, or deceased, replenishment of food, fuel, supplies, and the removal of waste for disposal, or recycling.

 The Royal Navy is supported at sea by Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessels.

The RFA is staffed by civilians, and they have a variety of ships that can supply fuel and stores, effect repairs at sea, and even supply hospital facilities. They have a helicopter on board, and also cranes mounted on either side.

 Most modern warships have a helicopter on board, or a helipad that can receive a visiting helicopter so stores can be transferred from one vessel to another by underslung load. However, there is a restriction on how much weight can be carried that way, and it is an expensive method of resupply.

 The alternative method of transfer is by Jackstay, a method of using ropes and pulleys to carry personnel and materiel between vessels.
jackstay trfs

The light jackstay, employing human power, is used for transferring personnel, provisions, and light stores with a maximum load of about 250kg. The hauling end of the jackstay is manned by up to 25 hands. The other end is secured by a grommet strop to slip in the receiving ship. A traveller block is hauled back and forth along the jackstay wire by an in–haul rope in the receiving ship and an out–haul rope in the delivering ship manned by up to six crew in each ship. Working distance limits are normally between 24–61 meters with a normal working distance of about 34 meters.

 The heavy Jackstay, uses steel ropes for transfer of heavier loads, or to support feed pipes during transfer of fuel or water. Normally a powered winch is used.

 The ropes are passed from one ship to the other by first firing a thin twine by rifle and pulling this across, with increasing thickness of twine, then cord, then rope.

 Ships are unstable platforms when stopped in most seas and it is extremely dangerous to bring two ships directly alongside one another. All transfers are therefore done with the ships steaming side by side, in to the wind, at a distance determined by the state of the seas. It is a hazardous operation and constant adjustment is needed to ensure identical speed, and to ensure the distance between vessels does nor vary. The procedure needs to be practiced often to ensure the crew knows exactly what to do when the need arises. It is the ultimate in team work!

 This is how I came to “volunteer” for my first, and only, experience of transfer at sea by Jackstay, and return by helicopter. I was one of a dozen.

 Having watched others being hauled across from Charybdis to another visiting Frigate, it was soon my turn. Apart from a little dampness from sea spray I arrived safely on the other ship and was hurried along to the stern to jump into the helicopter for the return trip. This was only my second flight in a helicopter. The whole procedure took less than 30 minutes, but was very exhilarating!

 Flights by small helicopter are normally from, and to, a stable surface, and the take off pattern is normally a vertical lift into the air, transferring into forward flight whilst gaining height. Larger helicopters use a running takeoff and landing whenever possible.

 Taking off from, and landing on, a ship at sea, entails a helipad moving at quite a speed, often with buffeting wind, and large chunks of solid metal very close by. It is a very specialised skill!

 On take off, the aircraft has to rise off the pad and move to the left, or right, immediately moving away from the vessel.

 Landing is the more difficult skill. The helicopter must approach the vessel from the rear and then fly, at the speed of the ship, slightly to the left or right of the helipad. It then has to move slowly across so that it is hovering above the pad, but is, in fact, still flying forwards at the speed of the vessel. It must then drop down on to the moving deck, immediately ceasing forward flight.

 Naval pilots, I salute you!

 To the crews of both vessels, Thank you for not getting me wet!charybdis.jpg

 

HMS Charybdis was affectionately  called “The Cherry B.” Hence the cherry tree on the ship’s plaque.

 

 

 

Light Jackstay information courtesy of: MacFarlane, John M. (2013) Jackstay Transfer (Replenishment) at Sea. Nauticapedia.ca 2013. http://nauticapedia.ca/Articles/Jackstay_Transfer.php