Monday, January 23, 2017

Single handed

 I was 11 years old when I read Joshua Slocum’s “Sailing Around the World Alone”. I’ve read it at least 5 times since. I like to sail alone too. I’d like to sail around the world but it’s too late, at least I think it is.

Webb Chiles has sailed around the world 6 times, alone. One circumnavigation he didn’t finish, he quit in the Canary Islands. Chiles made that trip in an open 18 foot boat, San Diego to New Zealand to Africa to the Red Sea. Chiles was arrested in Saudi Arabia for being a “spy”. He spent two weeks in jail and his boat was confiscated. He got a new one and continued his trip only to have it end in the Canaries.

Later Chiles and his wife Jill left New Zealand, sailed around Cape Horn and up the South American coast to Montevideo, Uruguay. They continued on to Key West.  

In Key West Jill left him. Chiles continued his trip alone.

Off Fort Lauderdale, he made a decision. He opened the sea cocks on his 37 foot boat and sailed it until it sunk. At the last moment Chiles stepped off the boat and into the Gulf Stream wearing a tee shirt and shorts. He had committed himself to dying at sea. He took off his glasses. He unstrapped his watch and let it go into the water. It was 11 at night. The next morning he was still treading water. He made another decision, he started to swim, he swam all day and all night. 26 hours and 125 miles north of Fort Lauderdale he was rescued by two young fishermen.

Since then Chiles has married his 6th wife and circumnavigated once again in a Moore 24.

Webb Chiles is almost 75 years old, he listens to classical music, reads and enjoys his daily drink of scotch from a crystal high ball glass, whether ashore or at sea.

Chiles writes…

“Old men should be explorers.”  I first read that in a book by Jan de Hartog, but subsequently came across it in T. S. Eliot’s FOUR QUARTETS, which predates Hartog by several decades.”

A life well lived.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Deep Shit, a transition recap...

We are a day away from Donald J. Trump becoming the 45th President of the United States of America. Here is how the Make America Great Again team is doing so far..

Billionaire Betsy DeVos the nominee for Education Secretary has donated money to 10 of the 12 Republicans on the committee tasked to vet her for the job. That, not to mention she doesn’t know jack shit about education.

Dimwitted ex-Texas Governor Rick Perry, the guy who wanted to eliminate the Energy Department, will be replacing this guy, Ernest J. Moniz, who was chairman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology physics department and directed the linear accelerator at M.I.T.’s Laboratory for Nuclear Science. Before Mr. Moniz, the job belonged to Steven Chu, a physicist who won a Nobel Prize. Mr. Perry didn’t know that the Energy department is responsible for the maintenance and up grading of our nuclear arsenal. Perry thought he was going to be, in his words, “Ambassador of Oil and Gas.”

Health and Human Serves nominee Congressman Dr. Tom Price of Georgia has admitted to charges of insider trading on the stock of a medical device manufacturer.

I could go on and on but all you really need to know is this. Overall, out of 690 positions requiring Senate confirmation tracked by the Washington Post and Partnership for Public Service, Trump has come up with only 28 people so far.

This is not normal, this is not the way things work. This is not draining the swamp.

The Obama administration has prepared thousands of briefing papers for the new administration; Team Trump has not acknowledged their receipt. This is not normal or in the best interests of our country.

Trump is taking the weekend off after he’s sworn in, he’ll probably go to Mar a Lago or back to Trump Tower after showing up at a few parties. He says he’ll get to work on Monday. What if something happens?

This is not normal, this not the way things work, this is not draining the swamp and this is not “Make(ing) America Great” again.

Remember the hullabaloo about Hillary giving speeches to Goldman Sachs executives? It was an OMG situation. Bill O’Reilly looked like he was going to stroke out. Bill doesn’t seem the least bit concerned that 6 Goldman Sachs executives have joined the new Trump administration…6 of the bastards.

We are in deep shit kids…

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Lunch at the Garden Club with Milt....

At the first of our lunches, I ate my clam chowder and listened to Milt, here's some of what he said.

"For so many years the league and the teams ignored American plyers, living here I went to a lot of college games and I knew there were American kids who could play in the NHL."

"I was 17, lived in a boarding house in Brookline, took the trolley to the Garden for practice. Wore a suit, a white shirt and tie everyday."

"The big road trip was out to Chicago on the train. On the way back we'd play the Wings and the Leafs. Sometimes we'd play Montreal too, then back to Boston."

"6 teams, 48 game season, played each other 8 times a year, 4 and 4."

"Montreal, it was always Montreal, still is isn't it?"

"We played a lot of cards on the train."

"I think Frankie Brimsek was the first American I had as a team mate. Frankie was a great goal tender. When he came up from the Reds in in 38-39 he had 6 shut outs in his first 7 games, if I remember correctly there were 3 or 4 players that made the NFL from Eveleth at that time."

Milt was the center on the Bruins' "Kraut Line" with wingers Bobby Bauer and Woody Dumart. All three of them grew up together in Kitchener, Ontario. They won two Stanley Cups together, After winning the cup in 40-41 they all joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and served for the duration of WWII.

"Woody, Bobby and I finished 1-2-3 in scoring in 39 and we won the Stanley Cup. The Bruins wanted to cut our salaries from $4100 to $3700 for the next season."

I was introduced to Milt Schmidt in 1979. Milt died the other day at 98, the oldest living NHL player. Milt was the only player to Captain his team, coach his team and become the General Manager of his team. Milt had an incredible career,
  • Stanley Cup champion - all with Boston (1939 and 1941 as a player), (1970 and 1972 as general manager)
  • Finished his career with 229 goals and 346 assists for 575 points in 776 games.
  • At the time of his retirement, was fourth in NHL history in points scored and third in assists.
  • Named to the NHL First All-Star Team in 1940, 1947 and 1951.
  • Named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 1952.
  • Played in NHL All-Star Game in 1947, 1948, 1951 and 1952.
  • Won the Lester Patrick Trophy for contributions to hockey in 1996.
  • Was the last active NHL player who played during the 1930s.
  • In 1998, he was ranked number 27 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.
  • Won the Hart Trophy in 1951
  • NHL Scoring Champion in 1940

  • Milt was one of the two greatest Bruins of all time. Milt said the greatest is Bobby Orr, Bobby says the greatest is Milt.

    Here they are being honored at a Bruins game, the 80th anniversary of Milt becoming a Bruin and Bobby's 50th. (Milt first noticed Bobby when he was 12 and took a personal interest in his development as a young player)

    I cherish the time I spent with Milt, I know you're skating again like you did when you were a 17 year old kid with the Bruins. It was an honor to get to know you.