ANCHORS AWEIGH – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Anchor

“It’s not anchors away,” she said, more than a small hint of snark in her voice. It’s ‘aweigh’ and it’s about getting the anchor up from the bottom and the sand into which it usually sinks. So when they sing “Anchors Aweigh” they mean they are supposed to haul the anchor off the bottom before setting sail.”

“But doesn’t that mean the same thing?” he argued.

“No, it doesn’t. One means ‘lift up the anchor’ and the other means ‘go.'”

“But in the end,” he persisted, “It means ‘move on out,’ or whatever they used to yell in Wagon Train.”

“Those were cows. Beef. Move’em on out refers to animals. With legs. Anchors are not alive unless you count the barnacles — which I don’t. Honestly, you landlubbers never learn anything.”



Above and below are two little videos of a racing Solings. That was the sailboat I had way back when. There have been a few changes made, but not many. The soling is a racing sailboat, but if you aren’t using her to race, you can open her deck and install benches. They are more comfortable for sitting or napping if you are out on the water for a long afternoon.

She was a dandy vessel for an afternoon in shallow water, such as we had along the south shore of Long Island (New York). Sailing by wind only, the birds seemed to think we were one of them. We didn’t have much power anyway, just a 5 hp outboard for when tide and wind were against us, or we had to drop the mainsail to go under a bridge. 

Ours was, just like this one including that lovely Omega which all Solings show on their sails. Our too was entirely white with just a hint of teak as decoration.

We were careful to never drop anchor where we were told not to. Jeff was a great swimmer, but no one wanted to dive into channel waters. They were filthy — and you had to keep your eyes open while you untangled the anchor. Even so, sometimes, you couldn’t finish the job before you ran out of air. Without an air tank, holding your breath is difficult while you are working underwater. 


And with that, she dropped the sailboat’s little anchor, completely ignoring the huge signs all along the shoreline with big painted letters saying “DO NOT ANCHOR HERE! CABLE BELOW!” The problem wasn’t what the anchor could do to the cable. Those were pretty big cables and this was a rather small sailboat. The problem was that the anchor would likely hook onto a cable and be impossible to release.

After that, the only way to get it loose would be to jump into the water and swim down deep enough to unhook the anchor from the cable. Some people did that, especially when it was an expensive anchor and the water wasn’t too deep, but most people, having ignored the warnings to not anchor wound up leaving their anchor behind, thus sailing away rather than aweigh.

She was no great swimmer. He could just about tread water with a short doggy paddle in between. So, as their anchor cleverly hooked the heavy telephone cable, was when she decided it was time to weigh the anchor, they would try winding it up, but it would stop and refuse to budge.

That was when she would finally notice all the signs along the inlet about not anchoring here. Unable to release the anchor from the cable, she would end up releasing the anchor.

One new anchor, one replaced anchor chain. And probably a new crank and case and a serious dive into some credit card. Oops.

It would be just one more anchor sunk to the sandy bottom of the inlet. The bottom of the inlet must be full of them by now.

He was lying on his back on one of the benches when she came back holding two gin and tonics. He smiled when he realized she had taken off the top of her bikini.

He’d mention the anchor later. This was the fun part of the sail. Why ruin it?

I SIMPLY CANNOT FATHOM … – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP-SUNDAY:  FATHOM

“I simply cannot fathom,” she said, “How anyone with a dribble of intelligence can think like you.”

“Not everyone thinks everything Trump does is always a bad idea,” he countered. “After all, we wouldn’t want to give those babies back to ‘bad parents,’ would we?”

“Really?” she said as one of her eyebrows rose high above her right eye. “I think he is a moron without a moral center — or even a concept of right and wrong — and anyone who supports him and whatever crap he’s pandering is at least a double moron. Bad enough to be a moron — I have to assume that’s DNA at work — but to willingly follow one? That is literally unfathomable.”


A fathom is a unit of length in the imperial and the U.S. customary systems equal to six feet (1.8288 m), used especially for measuring the depth of water. There are two yards (6 feet) in an imperial fathom.


What could he say? She was unreasonable. He thought maybe it was all about language skills. He wasn’t even sure what “fathom” meant and he sure as hell wasn’t going to let her know that.

“I’d become,” he thought gloomily, “A triple moron.”


Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) loved the paddlewheel steamboat and the river. As a matter of fact, it was during his years on the river he chose his pen name. “Mark Twain” was a frequent call of the leadsman. It meant that the water was 2 fathoms (12 feet) deep and therefore safe water.


He didn’t consider the possibility of changing his political opinions. Not for a second.

Fathom.

He’d have to look it up online, assuming it was spelled like it sounded.

DIVIDED WE FALL – Rich Paschall

Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all, 
By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall; 
In so righteous a cause let us hope to succeed, 
For heaven approves of each generous deed.

-John Dickinson, The Liberty Song, 1768

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Throughout the history of this country, the concept that we stand together has been expressed in song, in writing, and at the podium in speech.  It was the rallying cry of the Revolution and the days following 9/11.  It was spoken during the Civil War and the armed conflicts since.  It was the thought of trade unions fighting for better working conditions.  We may never have all stood together, but we were never divided at critical times in history.  Until now, that is.

From the opening of his campaign until the present day, the leader of our country has worked hard to divide Americans with an “Us versus them” attitude.  He speaks it, he tweets it, he lies about it.

In the opening salvo, he started by trying to assert that many of our neighbors who came from other countries were the enemy.  Of Mexico he stated: “They are not our friend, believe me. But they’re killing us economically. The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems.”  You likely know the most egregious things he said about Mexico.  Let’s consider another statement.

Dividing us from other friends, 45 went on to say: “It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably— probably— from the Middle East. But we don’t know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don’t know what’s happening.”  This was stated despite a strict immigration policy under President Obama.  Ask anyone who entered (or was deported) at that time.

Also at the time of his announcement, China and Japan were particularly criticised, along with the leaders of our own country.  It is not unusual to criticize the other party during a campaign, but consider carefully the deals the country made during the Obama presidency and the comments made by Trump, the candidate.  There is campaign rhetoric, and then there are falsehoods and divisions.  The announcement of candidacy is filled with quotes that are not attributed to specific people and many statistics that raise questions of accuracy.  Did he portray us correctly?

After a campaign of insults and hateful comments, 45 has spent a great deal of time on his twitter account blasting out hateful and divisive comments among people here and abroad.  How do we feel about this?  Early in the year the Quinnipiac University National Poll found that the Tweeter in Chief is dividing the nation.  While polls results show that the majority of Republicans do not feel this way, Americans by 64 to 31 per cent feel that 45 is actually doing more to divide the country.

Worse yet, many are unsure if the man is actually stable. “President Donald Trump can’t seem to improve his approval rating, perhaps because of the troubling fact that half of the voters we spoke to think he is mentally unstable,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.  But apparently, some of those voters are willing to stand by him anyway.

He tried to change the narrative on the NFL anthem controversy, perhaps because he could not get an NFL franchise years ago.  The NFL commissioner and the NFL Players Association fired back. “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players,” commissioner, Roger Goodell, said.  NFLPA executive director, DeMaurice Smith, indicated that they would not back down.

NFL QB Tom Brady, believed to be a Republican, responded “I believe in bringing people together and respect and love and trust. I just want to support my teammates.”

Last year in September, the New York Times’ Peter Baker provided this news analysis, “Never in modern times has an occupant of the Oval Office seemed to reject so thoroughly the nostrum that a president’s duty is to bring the country together.”  Isn’t it troubling that our leader has so many negative things to say?

Baker also noted, “In his brief career as president and a candidate for president, Mr. Trump has attacked virtually every major institution in American life: Congress, the courts, Democrats, Republicans, the news media, the Justice Department, Hollywood, the military, NATO, the intelligence agencies, the cast of “Hamilton,” the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” the pope and now professional sports. ”  Is this presidential?

While the tweeter is in a rage, outside forces are also trying to undermine American life.  Fake social media accounts have reportedly planted fake stories and memes meant to drive a wedge between parts of our society.  Apparently it has been working.  If you have been a regular user of facebook or twitter you know exactly what the problem is.  As these fake stories pop up, unwitting supporters retweet, reblog and share these items on their news feed.  Do you think foreign influences are behind this?

isys6621.com

Social media believes we are under cyber attack. Google, the parent of YouTube and other media platforms, deleted Iranian accounts.  Facebook and others have removed Russian accounts.  These accounts were there to influence opinion and perhaps even divide Americans through fake stories.  Was there collusion by 45 and/or his minions to help spread lies posted by Russians?  Time will reveal the answer.

With full-blown propaganda wars in play, some started by and perpetuated by our leader, our enemies must be rejoicing.  They see the unraveling of the American fabric, aided by our own leader, allowing them to advance to a stronger position in the world.  If they can divide us and turn American against American, with Trump’s help, then our foes will watch as we stumble and fall in the eyes of the world.

Sources: “The Liberty Song,”  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Liberty_Song
“History of the Motto,” Smithsonian Museum of American History 
Here’s Donald Trump’s Presidential Announcement Speech,” Time, June 16, 2015
Quinnipiac University National Poll, January 17, 2018
“Roger Goodell, NFLPA angrily denounce Trump’s ‘divisive comments’,” NBCSPORTS.COM, September, 23, 2017
“Tom Brady: I Disagree With Trump’s ‘Divisive’ Comments,” thedailybeast.com
“A Divider, Not a Uniter, Trump Widens the Breach,” The New York Times, September 24, 2017
“Not just Russians: Google follows Facebook to remove
Iranian accounts,” Financial Times, http://www.ft.com
“President Trump has made 4,229 false or misleading claims in 558 days,” The Washington Post, August 1, 2018

Click on the source links above for further information on the above statements.

RIGHT TIME, RIGHT PLACE WITH GREAT LIGHT! – Marilyn Armstrong

Weekly Photo Challenge: Right Place, Right Time!


Right place, right time is the name of the photography game. That and the right light. Most of my best photographs were a combination of having a camera when I needed it and being where something happened worth commemorating.

From sunsets to laughter, it’s always about being there and having a camera ready. I always keep a camera with me and even though it weighs down my bag, you just never know what out of nowhere, suddenly, there’s a great picture.

Herons are pretty good about standing still while you take their picture. Unless you startle them.

Waiting for me in the river, one Great Blue Heron

The thing was, I didn’t have a long lens on the camera or even with me, so instead of zooming, I had to creep up on him.

More heron!

The ground was mucky and muddy, but I decided I could cope with mud because I wanted that bird. Except I was wearing open-back shoes and when I tried to clamber up from the bank of the river, my shoes stuck in the mud. My feet moved on, but my shoes stayed put. That was when I discovered I could not climb up the hill without my shoes. So I sat down to wait. I figured eventually, Garry would wander by and we’d work it out.

Which we did.

Don’t wear open back shoes in the mud by the river. And it’s always good to have a long lens with you.

THE FENWAY WALL – SQUARELY PINK – Marilyn Armstrong

The Wall at Fenway Park

So today was lovely. Friends and food and too many desserts. Laughter and the joy of good friends. And now, it’s another day, a perfect day for a lovely square pink photograph.

What a crazy week it has been. Flooding and typhoons and tornadoes and insane politicians saying the most godawful idiotic things.

Here, at home, other than a few dozen homes in Andover, South Andover, and Lawrence blowing up because the gas company was inept, it has been peaceful.

Best we think of baseball. One, two, three strikes you’re out and there’s no arguing with the umpire!

Painted on the old brick walls at Fenway Park