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~~~~~~~ WITandWISDOM™ - May 19, 1999
"Some people expect that opportunity, when she knocks, will make dents in door panels and wear off the paint." - Unknown, "Signs of the Times," January 4, 1927
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer's well. The farmer heard the mule 'braying' - or - whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened. . .and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.
Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back. . .a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back. . .HE SHOULD SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP! This he did, blow after blow.
"Shake it off and step up. . .shake it off and step up. . .shake it off and step up!" he repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows, or distressing the situation seemed the old mule fought "panic" and just kept right on SHAKING IT OFF AND STEPPING UP!
You're right! It wasn't long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, STEPPED TRIUMPHANTLY OVER THE WALL OF THAT WELL! What seemed like it would bury him, actually blessed him. . .all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.
THAT'S LIFE! If we face our problems and respond to them positively, and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity. . .THE ADVERSITIES THAT COME ALONG TO BURY US USUALLY HAVE WITHIN THEM THE POTENTIAL TO BENEFIT AND BLESS US! Remember that FORGIVENESS - FAITH - PRAYER - PRAISE and HOPE. . .all are excellent ways to "SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP" out of the wells in which we find ourselves!
(Eugene Williams, Jo Walters)
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
It is with regret and haste that I write this letter to you; regret that such a small misunderstanding could lead to the following circumstances, and haste in order that you will get this report before you form your own preconceived opinions from reports in the World Press, for I am sure that they will tend to over dramatize the affair.
We had just picked up the pilot, and the apprentice had returned from changing the 'G' flag for the 'H', and being his first trip was having difficulty in rolling the 'G' flag up. I therefore proceeded to show him how, coming to the last part I told him to 'let go'. The lad, although willing, is not too bright, necessitating my having to repeat the order in a sharper tone.
At this moment the Chief Officer appeared from the chartroom, having been plotting the vessel's progress, and thinking that it was the anchors that were being referred to, repeated the 'let go' to the Third Officer on the forecastle. The port anchor, having been cleared away, but not walked out, was promptly let go. The effect of letting the anchor drop from the 'pipe' while the vessel was proceeding at full harbor speed proved too much for the windlass brake, and the entire length of the port cable was pulled out 'by the roots'. I fear that the damage to the chain locker may be extensive. The braking effect of the port anchor naturally caused the vessel to sheer in that direction, right towards the swing bridge that spans a tributary to the river up which we were proceeding.
The swing bridge operator showed great presence of mind by opening the bridge for my vessel. Unfortunately he did not think to stop the vehicular traffic. The result being that the bridge partly opened and deposited a Volkswagen, two cyclists and a cattle truck on the foredeck. My ship's company are at present rounding up the contents of the latter, which from the noise I would say were pigs. In his efforts to stop the progress of the vessel the Third Officer dropped the starboard anchor, too late to be of practical use for it fell on the swing bridge operator's control cabin.
After the port anchor was let go and the vessel started to sheer I gave a double ring Full Astern on the Engine Room Telegraph, and personally rang the Engine Room to order maximum astern revolutions. I was informed that the temperature was 83 degrees, and was asked if there was a film tonight. My reply would not add constructively to this report.
Up to now I have confined my report to the activities at the forward end of my vessel. Down aft they were having their own problems. At the moment the port anchor was let go, the Second Officer was supervising the making fast of the aft tug, and was lowering the ship's towing spring down into the tug.
The sudden braking effect of the port anchor caused the tug to 'run in under' the stern of my vessel, just at the moment when the propeller was answering my double ring Full Astern. The prompt action of the Second Officer in securing the shipboard end of the towing spring delayed the sinking of the tug by some minutes thereby allowing the safe abandoning of that vessel.
It is strange, but at the very same moment of letting go the port anchor there was a power cut ashore. The fact that we were passing over a 'cable area' at that time may suggest that we may have touched something on the river bed. It is perhaps lucky that the high-tension cables brought down by the foremast were not live, possibly being replaced by the underwater cable, but owing to the shore blackout it is impossible to say where the pylon fell.
It never fails to amaze me, the actions and behavior of people during moments of minor crisis. The pilot for instance, is at this moment huddled in the corner of my day cabin, alternately crooning to himself and crying after having consumed a bottle of gin in a time that is worthy of inclusion in the Guinness Book of Records. The tug captain on the other hand reacted violently and had to forcibly be restrained by the Steward, who has him handcuffed in the ship's hospital while he is telling me to do impossible things.
I enclose the names and addresses of the drivers, and insurance companies of the vehicles on my foredeck, which the Third Officer collected after his somewhat hurried evacuation of the forecastle. These particulars will enable you to claim back the damage that they did to the railings of number one hold.
I am closing this preliminary report for I am finding it difficult to concentrate with the sound of police sirens and the flashing lights.
It is sad to think that had the apprentice realized that there's no need to fly pilot flags after dark, none of this would have happened.
Master. . .
(Funny Pages Mailing List)
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
When my daughter was about four years old, she still had a hard time grasping the concept of marriage. But anyway, I got out our wedding album, thinking visual images would help, and explained the entire service to her. Once finished, I asked if she had any questions, and she replied, "Oh. I see. Is that when Mommy came to work for us?" - Author Unknown
142857 is a cyclic number - its digits always appear in the same order but will rotate around when multiplied by any number from 1 to 6:
142857 x 1 = 142857
142857 x 2 = 285714
142857 x 3 = 428571
142857 x 4 = 571428
142857 x 5 = 714285
142857 x 6 = 857142
Pretty cool, huh? Now multiply 142857 by 7.