Never Give Up

Never, ever give up on your dreams.  No matter what happens.  No matter how many people tell you “Can’t do that”.  Naysayers do no service to themselves and others.  In fact, Naysayers are the direct cause of many failures in business and in life.

I say this all with the full understanding that many people believe me to be a severe pessimist in life, and to an exte t that is trueand accurate, but my pessimmism has always had a purpose.  Safey, avoiding greater dangers, avoiding a waste of time at work and ultimately protectingmyself and those whom I love.

But when you have dreams, whether they are to sail around the world  or to just go fishing on the weekend, never give up on those dreams for if you do, you re doomed to never complete your dreams.

In May I had a heart attack.

The year before, my darling wife  JoAnne was diagnosed with cancer and under went surgery, then chemo.

Weve never once given up on our dream of moving to our sailboat.

On Tuesday the doctors released me to go back to work on Monday.  They also told me that u less I had any issues, they don’t need me in again for a year.

JoAnne goes infor onemore checkup on the 2nd, and she’s having her port removed as well.  I’m considering departure in about three weeks  assuming my work accepts my resignation.  I can’t imagine them saying no at this point.

Wih all we’ve been through, it’s really time to go….

The boat should have been painted by now, with new bottom paint, boot stripe and zincs…. that means we need to arrive, unload our stuff to the boat and set sail… we’ll travel the ICW until we’re safe to head for the Caribbean after hurricane season.

Onward…. Adventure!



Update: Heart attack

I posted last I’d had a heart attack.  Since my last post a few weeks ago, I’ve undergone open heart surgery, with an aortic valve replacement and a single arterial bypass.  I’m now the proud owner of a new tissue valve, and an old vein from my leg used to do the artery bypass.

I’m going to cardio rehab on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at this point.  It will be three weeks from surgery on this coming Monday.  I’m walking about 4 miles a day, and my goal is 5.  Yesterday I got in 4.5 miles.  I’d really like to shoot for 8 weeks to be ready to head for the sailboat.  I wont be 100% but I should be building up my strength rapidly after my bone has knitted well.  Trying not to over do it, so no walk today, and because I have rehab this evening I’ll get my exercise then.  Just won’t get my 10k steps in.

Another Delay

Hi all;

Wanted to let you know what’s happening with me.  I’ve only posted normal stuff here for the past few days, but I’m sitting in the hospital.  On Wednesday on the way home from work I suffered a minor heart attack, but didnt realize thats exactly what it was.

It was minor enough they can descerne no damage in the tests I’ve had.  However, in 2012 I was diagnosed with aortic valve stenosis, narrowing of the valve between heart and aorta.  It wasnt too urgent at the time.

Today, it’s pretty urgent.

After a bunch of ultrasounds, an angiogram, blood tests and examinations it looks like I will be undergoing open heart surgery next week, probably Monday and probably not later than Wednesday.   JoAnne and I still have to discuss this, and we’re supposed to meet with one of the surgeons on the team tomorrow morning.

I wasnt going to post anything at all, but folks at work are asking about me and my coworkers were keeping it quiet so for everyone’s sake and sanity, and because I dont really have a problem with people knowing, I’m telling it here.

On the history, I was born witha bicuspid valve.  Normal people have three leaves in the aortic valve.  But people with two invariably end up in this condition.  As you age, your valves become calcified.  A person withmy condition ends up with problems intheir late 50s to early 60s.  Normal people see this kind of progrssive calcification at 70-80.  Statistically speaking, going two years without fixing the problem once you see symptoms will kill you in two or less years.

The next decision is to go with an animal valve or mechanical.  Mechanical means anti-coagulant drugs for the rest of my life.  A pig or cow valve means 10-15 years before it fails and I have to start over.  Given that we want to live on a boat, travel and enjoy what is left of our lives together, taking drugs that can make you bleed out from small injuries is simply outof the questio .

My company,  Coact, Inc, was kind enough to withdraw my resignation and retirement letter on Wednesday and for that, I am thankful.  It lets me keep my current insurance without interruption.   JoAnne’s job has also been very helpful in that respect as well.

So, we will be staying in Colorado a little bit longer.

Take care all.


Free Book Day: 18 March 2015

Tomorrow my  book is free for the Kindle.  24 hours only.

Please if you get a copy, go to and write an honest review, go to and post a comment somewhere under the book articles and let me know you liked it (or not, and why if not) at my contact page on the above site. (Book Link) (this link) (Author’s blog and page) (Rick’s Amazon Author’s Page)

Please visit all of those if you have time, thanks a million.


Basic Survival and Communications Skills – Free Book Day

Heads up friends, families, survivalists, preppers and ham radio operators, sailors and everyone.

My book will be up free on for the Kindle for one day only next week. Check the link on 18 March 2015 any time in that 24 hour period and you can pick it up for free.

Here’s the link:

Please do me the honor of writing a review after you read it. Thanks a million!

Here’s the Kindle Author Page as well:

Remember that’s Wednesday, 18 March 2015 for 24 hours.

Posted on – Sailing Blog

Space… the Final Frontier


I was saddened to hear of Leonard Nimoy’s death.  I was a child in the 1960s and watched Star Trek, the original series on television.  As a Science Fiction Fan, I knew the show was somewhat outlandish even back then, but it opened the imagination to so much more.  As a child I followed the space program so closely that at one time I could name all the astronauts, and their “stats” as if they were baseball players.  In fact, I made my own “space-ball cards” when I was young.  Had them for all the astronauts back then (The original Seven and a few extra, and continued until Skylab).

Eventually, I lost track of the astronauts until I worked at the White House. I met several of them on trips to Houston and Florida, but to this day I have never once gotten to witness a launch of a rocket into space in person, only on television.  But, I saw Nimoy once in passing somewhere in Los Angeles or some such place while traveling.  I did meet James Doohan in Detroit Michigan when I was in HS when I managed to get into the Star Trek Convention there.  Many years later, the Challenger was flown into Tinker AFB on the back of it’s taxi (a 747) and flew over my houses several times for photo opportunities.  I got several good shots of it.  I’ve been to the Air and Space museum many times in DC. I’ve talked to people on ham radio on the ISS, on various shuttle missions and even spoke to one of the missions live from NASA in Houston while working for the WH.  I even saw the original Star Ship Enterprise at the Smithsonian as well.  I’ve visited Johnson Space Center on several occasions… so I have stayed connected to Science Fiction, Science Fact and even to Space through television, and my job, my ham radio and various other ways.

Leonard Nimoy was a brilliant actor and the embodiment of Mr. Spock.  The character was as real to us growing up as any character today – and yet, so much more than some of the paper actors in videos, movies and television.  He lived to be 83 – something we all aspire to get to (and further) but for many they never get that far.  His acting career spanned several decades, as he started at the age of 10 or so.  I remember him in many shows, including Twilight Zone, and playing as Mustapha Mond in “Brave New World” (Aldous Huxley, writer).  He was even in “The Man from U.N.C.L.E. appearing with William Shatter in at least one episode that I recall.

Today at the ripe age of 57 I don’t feel “old”, just achy and sometimes problems (like my teeth, currently) get the best of me.  Nimoy continued acting until recently.  He lived a grand life, and is well loved by many.

So, tonight I wish him a fond farewell, Fair Winds and Following Seas into the journey beyond.

Live Long, and Prosper

Closing on a boat

Greetings friends.

We close on our selected boat on Monday.  There were some glitches with the banks, moving money around and various questions about this and that.

At this point it appears though, everything is in place, all parties are satisfied on the transfer, the paperwork for USCG documentation is in the works, we’ll be registering the vessel in Delaware and sometime this spring or early summer if all the other things work themselves out, we’ll travel to the location where the boat is living and move it south for the Summer and eventually, next winter we will be heading for the Bahamas and Caribbean.

From where the boat lives now, we will likely do a lot of ICW travel, mostly, it appears under engine power.  Not precisely what I wanted to do right off with a sailboat, but, you know what?  As Emerson said, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.

A journey entails learning, travel, examination of the things around one’s self.  A journey through life ought to be enjoyed with stopping to smell the roses (I don’t remember who said that).  OK, enough cliches for now.

The point is, the boat is 41′ long, has two masts and is a beauty.  She needs some work inside.  I need to change some hose clamps, work on some woodwork outside, and JoAnne thinks a case of Brasso might be helpful on the portal hatches.  I’m not as sure about that part (especially if it requires me to be polishing the brass, I had my share of that in the military… but I am certain I can find a swabby somewhere that will be working on if that’s what she wants!)

The running rigging needs replacement, the sails are “useful” but I wouldn’t cross an ocean with them.  Sailing offshore a ways will be fine for short stints, but not a long trip.  The sails will require replacement eventually.  The standing rigging is ok, but I still need a rigger to climb up (I’m afraid of heights, so I won’t be doing it just yet) and check the mast heads.  From what I could see with zoomed in cameras and binocs though, the head SHOULD be good to go.

The bilge is a mess, but nothing a light pressure wash won’t handle, and there’s a broken float switch that requires replacing.

The name is changing (and yes, to all of you who know better, we’ll have a ceremony. No need to tempt dangerous and jealous ocean and wind gods and all that) as well as the hailing port.

When the paper work is complete, and all is said and done, money exchanges hands and everyone is happy, I will post pictures of the vessel.

In the mean time, I could use a few book purchases /grin, you know, to help offset the costs (Honestly, I don’t make much off a book.  Less than 2 bucks.  So, seriously, check it out)

Speaking of books, I will be launching an author web site as well because I’m working on a SF series which I hope to have published sometime this year, depending on a lot of factors.  (Wish me luck there).

Neil Armstrong

As a young boy I had a handful of heroes.  My Father who was a Marine and served in the Korean War.  My other heroes in general, were astronauts.  Any and all of them.  In fact I was pretty geeky as a kid before that word came into normal usage and didn’t mean something creepy.

I was soooo into the space program that I recall creating my own “Astronaut Baseball Cards”.  They didn’t sell them in the dime store, so I used to cut out pictures of the various astronauts and make up “stats” about them, like how many space walks they’d done, how many times they went into space, and crap like “How long they can hold their breath”.  I think I made some of it up.

A few days ago, one of my childhood heroes died.  Neil Armstrong was born on August 5th, 1930 – exactly 27 years to the day that I was born.  Yup, I shared a birthday with him.  Armstrong was the first man to walk on the Moon on 21 July 1969.  He and “Buzz” Aldrin landed there on the 20th of July and I watched for days while they flew, landed, walked and lifted off to meet up with Michael Collins in Apollo 11.

Last night there was a “Blue Moon”…. a Blue moon I am sure any sailor reading will know, is the second full moon of the month and happens rather rarely.  Yesterday was the day they buried Neil Armstrong.  When they announced his death, it hit me pretty hard.  I’ve never met the man, but I consider him a National Hero.  He was one of those people who did great things and never bragged about it, never let it go to his head.  He stood out from the crowd and avoided contact with the public and the media for most of the rest of his life.  I don’t know enough about him to understand his thinking but he was humble, unafraid of the world I am sure. Anyone who can jump in a tiny speck of dust and fly to, and land on the moon, walk on it and come home in one piece is a person who is courageous, heroic and deserving of any praise applied to him, regardless of his own beliefs about himself.

Neil Armstrong, while not “quite” the hero I consider my father to be, or even my father-in-law (who served in World War II in the US Army) is still one of those men who come rarely to this Earth and even more rarely distinguish themselves as a pioneer, a hero and a person every child might aspire to be like.

The original Seven Astronauts were the first guys I made “Baseball cards” for…. and when Grissom died in Apollo Eight, I remember crying about him.  I didn’t cry for Neil… But I pulled my car over for a moment.  Below are the the original Seven Mercury Astronauts.

As a sailor I read a lot about the sailors of old, Cook, Columbus, Degama, Polo and so on.  As an American born in the early 20th Century and having lived into the 21st century I sincerely expected our Astronauts would pioneer the way to Mars, a Lunar Colony and perhaps even land on an asteroid.  But our political structure has thus far prevented such things.

To me, I guess I will leave it to the grandchildren and perhaps the great-grandchildren to get there…. and get the politics right (or remove politics from the equation) but for me, I’ll head to the Caribbean, do an Atlantic circumnavigation and be happy with tracing the steps of the Vikings, Pirates, Privateers and great Explorers of 15th, 16th and 17th centuries…..

Bon Voyage Astronaut Armstrong – may you fly to many planets and stars and explore them ahead of us all.

Good bye to a friend; Ted Allison N0NKG and his wife Mary

Hi all.  Well, we’re getting ready for our vow renewal ceremony in September, then a vacation – we’ll call it a honeymoon we never got.

The roof is replaced after a massive hail storm back in May, as well as new gutters.  The house has been painted outside.  When we’re back from vacation the carpets get ripped out, the walls painted and some internal repairs that I’ve been putting off, then new carpet goes in.

At that point, the house goes up for sale.  Probably October or mid November we hope.  Today is the 21st of August so we are officially at 4 years of our five year plan!

Winds of Change is for sale – as is “Small Change” (the dinghy).  I’ll probably get my old 2000 Jeep Cherokee up for sale soon as well.  We have a lot of junk in the house to go through, pack and get rid of as well.

JoAnne has been in and out of the doctor and dentist getting examines, physicals and her teeth fixed.  I’ve been into the dentist a couple of times as well and had one of my wisdom teeth pulled.  Two more to go.

I’m writing this blog post on our new “Navigation” and Boat computer.  We picked up a new laptop yesterday.  I have been adding OpenCPN, charts and some gps drivers.  I’ve also tested it with my amateur radio communications software and that works as well.

Right now, I’m decompressing the charts for the US.

We will use this program some for navigation, but likely not a lot.  We will tend to rely on paper charts most of the time.  I prefer the feel and look of paper, plus, you can’t get those darned plotted lines off the screen when I forget and use ink 🙂

Looks like we have several folks who are somewhat interested in the boat.  Nothing firm.  One offer was well below what we were asking (in fact it was low enough I didn’t counter offer, and their second offer wasn’t enough either.  I countered that one and they didn’t want the boat after that I guess… too bad, because it would have been a good boat for them as they were new sailors).

At this point we’ve had two interested parties contact JoAnne personally and one saw our sign and came by on Sunday.  I’ve not heard back from that person yet.  He seemed pretty interested though.  Well, so far most people who I have spoken to said I don’t have the boat priced too high for the area or for the boat.  Some have told me different, but they don’t know anything about boats, and know even less about the stuff on the coast. /shrug

I’ve not really had a lot of time to put anything here – so this is going to be the last for awhile until we get through with our ceremony and get on vacation.

I’ll post more if we sell the boat, the dinghy, or anything significant happens.

Oh, I wanted to say one more thing.  Over the past couple of years, I’ve lost several friends, my sister and nearly my dad, either through cancer or other things.  Nine days ago a friend of ours and his wife were involved in a pretty terrible accident.  Ted and Mary Ann Allison – Ted was a ham radio (N0NKG) operator I’ve known since coming to Colorado.  He was active in ARES, and he was a mountain climber and a fast-walker.  He died a couple of days after the accident and his wife passed a few days later.

The man who hit them still has not been charged.  He was apparently speeding (he flipped their car), going the wrong way on a one-way street and went through a light or traffic sign without stopping.

Life moves too fast for some, and not fast enough for others.

Ted will be terribly missed.

I will leave you with this thought….

Slow down and get where you’re trying to get without killing yourself and others.  Nothing is so terribly urgent as to run traffic signs, speed way over the limit or go the wrong way.


Good Bye Ted.