i_id: (Here's Matt!)
Today came with an unexpected amount of progress on Gandalf! Dad, apparently, woke up with a bug in his ear about it, and so he provided the motivation I was missing to just Get To Work. Together, we pulled out the entire port bunk and the shelf behind it, cut, pried, and unscrewed the v-berth locker from the main cabin bulkhead, and worked the entire port side of the main bulkhead loose. In the process, we found many dead wasps's nests, both of the mud and paper varieties, wet and dry, and a few strange surprises in Gandalf's anatomy. We now think, but aren't sure, that it was once ducted to use the engine's heat to warm the for'ard cabin. Neat, though not something I'll be recreating. Albin Vegas are built in Sweden, so maybe it makes sense that they plan for sub-zero cruising.

With the current fervor between the two of us, Dad and I hope to have the main bulkheads out by May. There are a few steps between us and that point, but not so many as it seemed. Unfortunately, the next one is the grossest: the head and all of its plumbing have to come out. This is a 39 year-old toilet, with a tank of unknown age... and fluid. Not even speculating as to the composition of that. But out it must come and so it shall be.

Also, I found what might be the first difficult-to-repair structural damage: Under one of my life-line stanchions, someone has jury-rigged a repair with some aluminum plates to shore up two serious-looking cracks in the fiberglass, near the hull-deck joint. I need to be able to trust every one of my life-line stanchions, so I have to figure out a solid, lasting repair for this.

Right now, below-decks looks a bit like chaos as things come apart. There are loose bolts and nuts and bits of trim scattered everywhere. But this is major progress. Things are finally moving again.
i_id: (Default)

Hats's hapless team
Original Characters

Some ovMennet

[personal profile] gruesome
@Bete Noire - [community profile] betenoire_rp, @The Games - [community profile] thecapitol
Fandom Characters

Rory "Roronicus" Williams
Doctor Who

[personal profile] rpondicus
@Bete Noire - [community profile] betenoire_rp, @Throne of Shadows - [community profile] dagaz

Darius Shield
The Hunger Games

[personal profile] peacekeeperavox
@The Games - [community profile] thecapitol, @Throne of Shadows - [community profile] dagaz

Temeraire Series

[personal profile] bravetemeraire
@Bete Noire - [community profile] betenoire_rp

Nicholas St. North
Rise of the Guardians (Books)

[personal profile] thenorth
- Currently homeless.

(( Format credited to [community profile] tookthestars.))
i_id: (Default)
0245 hours, 48.3xxxx,-122.4xxxx, 29.84in baro


It took 9 years and the terms of four presidents for the courts to find a solid, consistant balance between the constitutions of the two nations. No one was terribly happy with it, but the compromises kept the economy limping along despite the continuing rise in food prices. The same year also saw Russia's invasion of North Korea, a military action as decisive as the swatting of a fly, in response to Korea using Russia wastelands for nuclear testing without official permission. It only lasted eight days, but there were six nuclear strikes in that time, not counting the two that had provoked the coup. South Korea and North Korea had still officially been at war, under the same half-hearted cease fire that had endured from 1953, but South Korea had still objected vocally to the take-over, accusing Russia of having faked the instigating incident.

Things simmered along for a long time, political tensions building while Panem became more and more isolationist, tending to their own needs. Their population was too few to step back into the USA's old self-imposed role as guardians of world peace, and the UN was in nearly as poor a shape. The famine was more than four decades old in 2067 when the population, analyists said, had reached a sustainable low at last. From seven billion, the world's numbers had fallen to to less than three, mostly concentrated in Africa, Australia, and the southern reaches of China and India.

[Gap; 2068-2143, world war III]

In 2143, Doctor Eli Snow invented the [highly technical name for a giant air filter]. It was immediately implemented in every major city in Panem, but it was an anonymous letter to the editor that suggested an alternate use; the [htnfgaf] could not only be used to filter pollutants out of cubic miles of atmosphere in a matter of days, it could also be used to filter the very oxygen itself out. The implication was obvious. It took four filters, a dedicated power plant, and eleven months to extinguish the Prudhoe Bay Fire.

Notes to timeline:
2019 - Prudhoe Fire
2021 - Martial law, Chinitook War
2035 - Panem founded
2044 - Russia/Korean war, nuclear winter
2067 - World pop drops below 3bil.
2145 - End of Prudhoe fire
2170 - Dark Days Rebellion
2174 - Dark Days ends.
2208 - President Snow takes office
2249 - Beginning of the Neverending Quell.
i_id: (Default)
0520 hours, 48.393288,-122.496242, 30.38in baro.


This is nothing but speculation.

cw: murder, child murder, conspiracy, and a pessimistic view of human nature.

Panem: (Non- Newsflesh version)
In the early 21st century, there was a recession. and by the end of the second decade, people thought that they were climbing out of it, were climbing beyond it. Scientific advancement, fueled by the desire to reduce the cost of... well, everything, was at an all time high. Transportation, computers, astrophysics, medicine.

And of course, war.

It began in Alaska, of all places, and the enemy was not Russia, not North Korea, not China. No old boogeyman reared its head. No. It was revolution, and it began outside a small town in Alaska, as a terrorist action against an oil field that the locals had been protesting for a decade. It was nine men or maybe ten, and one ultimatum, and then it was ninety two workers dead. They blew up the oil rig with bombs made of fertilizer, sugar, and plastic pipes. Much later, it would come to light that they hadn't intended the explosion to go anywhere beyond the rig itself, but that would be hindsight, and we know what they say about that.

Intentions or not, what happened in 2019 was the complete destruction of the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field, the largest oil field in the United States. 213, 535 acres of land were burning by morning, the ground erupting to spew more and more oil up to fuel the flames, brought up from 9000 feet down by the intense heat. The clouds of fumes covered all of Alaska and Canada, and the northern half of Russia and Europe too. Within a week, the oil slick covered the Arctic ocean and began to bleed south. The environmental predictions were grim, and the scaremongering was grimmer. Hundreds of species to become extinct! All northern shipping and fishing destroyed! Sea levels and current change and all of the meteological monsters. Half of America's oil gone!

Blame flew fast and thick. The oil companies across the country, and more than a few abroad, demanded martial law to prevent another attack, even though all available reports said that the perpetrators had died on the scene. Because the public had not forgotten that BP, owners of the field, had been responsible for the massive Deep Water spill a decade before, and had gotten away with a slap on the wrist. And as they posted armed guards and raised prices to pay for them, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Attacks began to happen across the country on BP refineries and even gas stations as gas prices hit eight dollars a galln and kept climbing. Analyists, those men and women paid to predict the future in numbers, began to beg to be heard, to point out the ruinous slope on which the country found itself. No one listened.

To them, perhaps it looked like dominos. A shooting in a BP-owned all-night gas station in Chinitook, Michigan, caught a school bus in the cross-fire, and nineteen children died, four wounded. Before the blood was even dry, their teacher, an unbandaged bullet wound in her thigh and the bloody handprint of a dead child on her cheek, looked directly into the camera of the first reporter on the scene and told the world that gun control was the answer. It may as well have been a second bomb.

The political climate was ripe for it. The current president, a young Republican, had won his seat with a campaign that had balanced its moderateness with the promise to be as tough on crime as he would be on the ethics of his own administration. With him bringing the focus of the entire nation to the tragedy, the trail was a media circus, the verdict quick and punitive, and the appeals that followed spread the blame far and wide. An avalanche of lawsuits followed, and those climbed the circuit too. One, a law suit against the men who had sold the perpetrators their firearms, reached the Supreme Court.

Again, if these seeds had fallen into a different kind of soil, perhaps recovery would have happened. But the world was scared. The fallout from Prudhoe Bay was ongoing - the oil field still burned after two years, with no signs of extinguishing, and the northern hemisphere was still shrouded in stinking smoke. Famines were declared in Russia, Canada, the European Union, and finally, in the United States. The National Guard was put on 'indefinite' duty to guard food supplies, farms, and even water reservoirs. Their ranks swelled, and there were accusations of them acting outside their charter.

Into this soil dropped the verdict of the Supreme Court. They decreed, after an eight-day deliberation and in a fourteen minute press conference, that while the Constitution guaranteed a man's right to bear arms to defend his life and loves, that was not automatically spread to all weapons, and a city could, as Chinitook had, make a law against the sale or possession of any gun with a large clip.

That was all it took. No actual federal laws against the ownership of assault rifles had time to be filed, let alone deliberated upon. Militias formed almost overnight, and coordinated to declare war against any figure of authority they saw. No one predicted the swiftness with which they organized and on one day, on June 19, 2021, policemen, sheriffs, national guardsmen, and soldiers, both off-duty and on, began to die by the thousands. The authorities responded in kind, and abruptly, within a week, the entire nation was a police state, which did precisely nothing to calm the situation.

The media called it 'The Chinitook War.' The government called it insurrection, and it was fought on a hundred thousand fronts. Washington was the first state to declare that any citizen caught carrying a weapon, so much as an airsoft gun, could be shot on sight. Texas was the last.

2022 was a year of gunfire, and a terrorist sect who called themselves the Minutemen attacked military installations across the country. The same installations that had risen up to protect the food supply. The news was too full of murder and riots to report on the rising, rocketting food prices as the fields continued to grow sickly under the cloud. There were children beginning preschool in the northern states who had never seen a clear sky in their lives.

By 2023, the death toll was rising past thirty thousand. American refugees were fleeing south, seeking sanctuary in Mexico and beyond. The border hostility had been reversed, and border-jumpers faced guns and desert, but at least there was food in Mexico. Forty countries had closed their borders to US citizens, and there were stranded ex-patriots across the globe who were not allowed to return home.

The famine was not only in the USA. Canada had become entirely reliant on imported grain from Australia and India, and Russia had offered China land, two square miles for one, in exchange for a huge swatch of Chinese farmland, and the deal was in process. Estimates of the starving included nearly a hundred million dead. Just in 2023.

In 2024, a can of tuna fish cost eighteen dollars. A gallon of milk cost more than twenty. More if you wanted it from an American cow. The minimum wage had been forced to double in almost every state, and even that wasn't enough. 89% of Americans were now living under the new standards of poverty, and this time, no one thought the market would recover. Desperation and despair drove the poles of thinking further and further apart, and the violence only escalated. And both sides starved.

The elections that year were a whole new explosion of violence. Polling stations were attacked, and citizens were afraid to vote. That young Republican president was still winning by a hair's breadth when a woman who waited in line in the rain for six hours to shake his hand, three days before the results, pulled a plastic gun from her coat and pulled the trigger. It was a one-use gun, the shot destoying it, but she only needed one. She died in custody, leaving a nation screaming questions without answers.

Each side accused the other, loudly, angrily. And while they argued, two of the larger militias, a moderate army who called themselves The Peacekeepers, and another, larger coalition of former farmers who called themselves The Breadbasket, joined forces for the first time, stepping up into the empty shoes left by the collapsed state government in Colorado.

The trails and skirmishes over the empty President's office went on for six years. The death toll of the combined war and famine rose and rose, with no end in sight. Except in Colorado and the neighboring states who, one by one, let the new coalition, Panem, assume the responsibilities and costs of government. Those states flourished, by that decade's standards. They made the most of the limited ability to grow crops. They instigated a state-wide healthcare system, paid for by high taxes on any land not being used to either house citizens or grow food. The fiction of state sovereignty was upheld by their status as 'contractors,' but that became flimsier and flimsier until, in 2030, when the circumstances and parties of the first election since the assassination where finally all agreed upon, Panem submitted their own candidate for President, Tyrone Beecham.

There were 14 million people left in the United States of America. 8 million of them voted. More than 5 million voted for Beecham, almost all of them residents of the Panem-run states. In his first four years, Beecham spread the polices of Panem throughout the country, and "The United States of Panem" became less and less a joke. When Canada, entirely bereft of arable land by then and even more diminished than the States, petitioned to join the United States on the condition that they not be relegated to the status of states, the nation's name was changed officially. What was left of the UN recognized Panem officially on January 9th, 2035
i_id: (Default)
2013 hours; 48.512898,-122.619138; 30.3in baro pressure

There's a forty-minute long coda at the end of The Dark Tower: Song of Susannah, that's a collection of journal entries by the books' fictional version of Stephen King, and while it's there to support the story, there are glimmers of the man's real process in there, the way he writes every day, rain, shine, or storm.

I used to be able to do that. I did 50,000 words in 14 days once. I want it back. So right now, for now, the goal is 15 minutes a day. No topics set ahead of time, just journalling. (Okay, I might borrow the LJI topics, if any strike me, but I won't commit to that.)

I donated blood today. It's my fourth go. I have a process about it already, and it's always a good experience. I listen to my audiobook while the needle's in me, but I usually spend the little recovery period talking to the volunteer there in charge of cookies. And since it's usually an older person, the stories are sometimes amazing, like the woman today who spent three years living in India doing bookkeeping for a Doctors Without Borders hospital. She says she'd never be treated anywhere else. And she was so beautiful, at seventy-four. I hope I look half so fine.

I bought a coat today. This, you'd think, would be easy in January. But apparently, no. Women don't need coats in January, they need bikinis and see-through patterned shirts and sweaters you could use to net fish with. It didn't matter which store we went to, but cold-weather coats were isolated to three or four pieces on the clearance racks while the rest of the outerware departments were full of swimsuits and airy skirts. I wound up buying a man's coat, because the choices were many and varied and much, much cheaper. It may need some tailoring, but it'll do.

There, that's 15 minutes. No content at all, but I wrote.
i_id: (Default)

38hrs, 1.2 skeins purple, 1.1 skeins orange, .80 skeins red. For sale, please inquire.
18hrs. For Skylanth
One small Gryffindor scarf, for The Frog.

Lots of hrs. For sale, please inquire. :D

LJ Idol entries:
00 - Introduction 63/206 voters
01 - Dragons 38/307 voters
02 - Deconstruction 36/258 voters
03 - 'It's a trap' 57/180 voters (1st in tribe.)
04 - The elephant in the room - Bye #1
05 - Afterthought 36/239 voters
06 - Not of your world
07 - Brouhahah
08 - First World Problems
09 - Marching Orders
10 - Icarus
11 - Haute - Bye #2

12 - The Sincerest Form of Flattery
i_id: (Default)
I don't plan to disappear.

I have a life, here on solid land. Well, mostly on the internet. A pretty solid social life, good relationships with a few tight friends and a few dozen amicable aquaintences. The people I interact with every day.

(Though I wonder, because we all do, how long it would take them to notice if I stopped turning up. A few days, at least. A month, at most? But that's not the type of disappearance I'm talking about.)

I can't take the internet with me on my Cruise. Oh, it's possible, thank the technology race. There's satellite internet and a host of other options. Expensive options. Options that cost more than my little boat, more than my college tuition. So no, I will not be dragging this series of tubes with me across the wide empty expanses of ocean. For months at a time, this Cruise, this choice, will cut me off.

But I refuse to be invisible. Every port, I will bring updates and pictures and a hundred new little stories. Expect tales of sea turtles and visiting birds, of passing strange debris and chance encounters with other trekkers like myself. Even the daily minutia of a logbook, if anyone cares to read it.

June 7, 2014, 1325 || 0 0' 0.0" N / 147 40' 59" W || Wind WNW ~20kts Gusty swells and slight chop. Unlimited visability. || Crossing the equator at last! I threw myself a party and ate the last orange from Hilo, 1400 miles ago. I'll never complain about the weather back home again. I think I am going to melt to the deck. Saw one bird today. No clouds. Tomorrow will maybe be laundry day if the wind dies down. Kind of roaring along right now.

October 1, 2016, 0721 || 35 59' 31" N / 5 41' 22" W || Wind nonexistant, big queasy swells moving west, fog/rain, visib ~100yds || Think I saw Gibralter, but the rain closed in on me again. Everything's gray and wet. I just want to spend tonight in a hotel in Spain, but the wind may not get me there until tomorrow. One liter of fuel in the tank won't get me there. Sounding the horn every 3 minutes, no sleep. I think I'm on the edge of the shipping lane.

And those would be the exciting days.

I expect to write. All alone, with only my reflection and my boat to listen to the stories I know I can tell. I'll bring fiction ashore with me too. I expect stories about the end of the world to come as naturally as autobiographical fragments, made-up histories of everything I pass. It will all pass from my boat to the internet until I am trailing a flotsom raft of communication, a big banner of 'Listen to me! I still exist!' to wave proudly whenever I meet another human being out there in the blue.

I'm not going out there to disappear.

I'm going out there to write my way around the whole damn world.

Reader Participation
If you were following my blog while I sail around the world, what would you like to read?

  • Log entries, like the ones above, full of trivial data and on-the-spot remarks?
  • Narrative, memoir-style entries?
  • Simply accountings of daily life at sea?
  • Fictionalized, sensational narrative entries that make the months at sea much more exciting than they really are? (Zombies! Pirates! Sea monsters!)
  • Just the highlights?
  • Internal reflection a la Walden?
  • Other, which you will expand upon in the comments?

[This entry was written for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol, a livejournal-based write-off competition. Voting is up, so read everyone's entries here and vote for me your favorites!
i_id: (Default)
[This entry is nonfiction, but not an accounting of a true event. It is a mashup of the conversations I’ve had with various people since I began declaring my intent to sail around the world.]


I'm going alone. )


This entry was written for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol, a Survivor-style LJ write-off. Voting starts tomorrow and will be a weekly thing until there is Only One. Wish me luck.
i_id: (Default)
The day the hummingbird attacked us on the island, I had been whistling. I was thirteen, with long skinny legs and cut-off shorts, harper-blue leather hiking boots, and a tie-dye t-shirt, and I was hiking along a narrow sandstone bluff whistling the finale from the Firebird Suite. My dad, puffing behind me, kept laughing, and every time I turned back to ask why, he waved me onwards.

"Only my daughter," I heard him mutter. He was proud, and I had faith in his pride and myself. And the day is sealed jewel-bright in my memory, as detailed and perfect as the tiny lichen-and-spiderwebs nest we found by the trail, the two tiny breathing bodies within defended by their jeweled dart of a father.

I'm not that daughter anymore.

I pay lip service to it, of course. I still whistle classical music. I own a sailboat of my own. And I have plans, big plans. The world is at my feet.

But I don't go sailing with Dad when he asks. He rarely asks anymore. I bought a new mattress, instead of a mainsail. I'm saving for a laptop first, not the new rigging my boat will need. The world, literally, is at my feet, open to me and my little boat, and I'm not taking those steps.

It's winter, I tell myself. Next weekend, I tell myself. I need this time to rest, I tell myself.

I don't tell myself to maintain my self. To put in the effort, strap on my boots, and go back to that island by myself, and climb that bluff again and again until I have shaken years of sloth out of my lungs and my long skinny legs.

I don't tell myself to maintain my boat, to finish the projects I start. Two weeks ago, I spent two hours with Dad trying to free the old fuel tank from the bilge, wrestling with block and tackle and ten gallons of ancient diesel in the narrow, grimy confines of the bilge. I didn't feel like his daughter when I was the one to call it quits for the day, knowing it would be for the week at least. The tank is still in the bilge, and it was chastening to feel how weak my legs were from just a few trips up and down the ladder.

And I don't tell myself to have faith. Faith that I can do the work if only I make the choices. If only I can get out of bed, step up, and step to it.

Have faith.

This entry was written for <lj user="therealljidol", a Survivor-style LJ write-out. If you want to enter too, do so today! Voting starts tomorrow and will be a weekly thing until there is Only One. Wish me luck.
i_id: (Default)
I hereby declare my intent to win the heck out of LJ Idol this year!

... Man, I haven't even changed my default icon since last year.
i_id: (Lightbringer)
This is just a sentence I need to immortalize:

No, I don't think I was eating bear spit. I know what bears smell like.

Thank you.


Aug. 30th, 2011 10:01 am
i_id: (Dad)
The Canals of France.

This is mostly for me. Here's hoping none silt up too badly in the next few years. Gandalf draws 1.2m in salt water, a little more in fresh.

Maps under here )

Med to Lux = ~ 956km, or 594 miles
Lux to the Atlantic via Paris = ~ 900km, or 560 miles
i_id: ([grue] peevish)
The planet Kaarethode had, when the Federation discovered it 50 years ago, been stagnating at a pre-warp level of technology, having visited their three moons and the closest planet in their solar system, then stopped their space program without so much as an orbiting station or an attempt to send a satellite out of their system. An early, clandestine visit had revealed little, save that the planet was curiously underpopulated for a post-industrial world, with most people living in walled cities on the mountain plateaus that lined the Western edge of their single massive continent or out in the scattering of coral islands that freckled the other hemisphere. There was a strange number of abandoned cities, both ancient and apparently recent, but no evidence of any major war or disaster. No contact was made, and the planet was remitted to remote observation.

It was a surprise to everyone when Kaarethode's first warp-capable vessel, the Greikaar, made it to the next star before their engines failed, leaving them drifting, broadcasting a cry for help that they never expected to have answered.
i_id: (Flamethrower)
I should name a pair of characters Apophenia and Pareidolia.

The ice maker in one of my hotels sounds like two people. When it's just humming, it sounds like a man singing softly, or distantly. A steady, atonal little song. I picture a young patient, soft-faced and vague, sitting, staring, rocking, and singing to no one.

When it starts its stirring cycle, it sounds like an old woman whispering, complete with the click of loose dentures and the rasp of dry lips.

The coffee maker's reheating cycle sounds like a person walking in the kitchen and trying to be quiet. It shuffles and taps and hisses to itself.

At the other hotel, high tide percolating through the rocks under the lobby sounds like air bubbling up through thick fluid, and the sound seems to locate itself in the ceiling above room 107, for no apparent reason. Brings to mind the Death Drop, that Scottish myth about the sound of dripping water in a house foretelling a death.
i_id: (Dad)
This list is by no means complete, and will continue to evolve.

In no particular order: )


May. 14th, 2011 03:34 am
i_id: (Voyager)
So, April 30th, I happened to be checking my bank account and browsing craigslist at the same time. "Huh," I said to myself, seeing the price of the most recent listing in one window, and my balance in the other. "These numbers just about match." And then I saw what that price was attached to.

A 1974 Albin Vega 27.

A sturdy little blue-water boat already famous for being a handy circumnavigator the perfect size for a single sailor. In sailable condition. For less than $3500. The listing was barely an hour old, and I leapt on it. Called the man and left a message. He called me back, and after some scheduling mishaps, I arranged to come out and see the boat the next day. It was in Deming, a little town some miles Northeast of Bellingham.

I may be ambitious, but I'm still pretty much a boat novice, so I took Dad up with me to see this too-good-to-be-true boat, trying to rein in my hopes. I needn't have bothered. Despite having been up on sticks for somewhere between three and seven years, and lived aboard by a nonsailing family of three before that, the boat was in better shape than I could have hoped. Save one strange through-hole on the transom, I could stick her in the water today and sail her around, if the rigging is as sound as it all appears to be. She even comes with three usable sails, and an engine that turns over, which means it's repairable. The original 1974 engine, I think. The owner, an older man with a jack-of-all-trades sort of demeanor (thoroughly supported by the massive workshop on his property, the barn, the co-op school, and the 40' wooden sloop being used as a playhouse) even had all of her original paperwork, including manuals for both ship and engine. Honestly, my biggest complaint about the Vega is that wasps have moved in and eaten a great deal of the interior woodwork, which I would have been likely to replace anyway.

So I bought the boat. Not quite on the spot; he gave me a night to think it over (a night in which he received three other offers. I'm so very glad I put down my earnest money first), and I brought him a check the next day. He's been kind enough to let me keep the boat on her sticks at his place while I track down a place to keep her while I work on her, which I hope to do in the next few days. I like him. He's a little crazy, but he loves boats and keeps goats.

Her name is Gandalf. I'm not sure I'll change it. The dinghy will probably have to be named after a hobbit.

Pictures beneath the cut.  )


Apr. 7th, 2011 01:22 pm
i_id: (Default)
If anyone knows where to find good fanfiction for The Prestige, by Christopher Priest, it would be deliriously appreciated. Why do good books ever have to end?
i_id: (Default)
I have been awake for an hour? Why are my eyes still doing that blurry just-opened-for-the-first-time-in-hours thing?

It makes reading very hard.


i_id: (Default)

April 2013

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