Friday, February 20

Nominated for Liebster Award

Questions for the Liebster Nominee from Bigdumboat: 

Our task was to answer Dyad's ten questions that they hear too often about their boat.

1. What kind of a boat is that anyway? 

Catalina 34, cruising sailboat.  We enjoy the journey and studying the natural beauty of the world, as much as the destination.  

We spend more money on beer per week than fuel for the year.

Wednesday, January 28

Run Diesel Run

We love the internal combustion engine, a marvel of human creation.  Listen to her humming along.  Never take her for granted, listen to her, know her sounds, and always maintain her parts.  Having a knowledgeable hands on husband is always a good thing.

Sunday, January 11

A year of Life, the Universe, and Everything

Second Pint of Sailing Santa, by Saint Arnold
For those not in the know of my favorite books and author (Douglas Adams, series of Hitchhiker's Guide...), I am on the ultimate Guide's trail for at least a day or 365 days to seek the question because as of that day I am the answer.  Cold and nasty rainy day this must be a Saturday.  I never could get a hang of Saturdays especially the second one in January of 2015.

I partook in at least three pints of beer (liquid refreshments from Dr. Ink) to cushion the transition to a new age.  An evolutionary voyage through space and time that had me back in a time where I could not remember my last name.  Not to worry the last restaurant had warm chocolate chip cookies to make the end and the beginning of the Universe a sweet transition.  

Tuesday, January 6

It Means What It is.

If I knew where I was sailing from, I could calculate where I was sailing to from Aaron Angell on Vimeo.

I created this blog three years ago because our story of our first cruise kept getting deleted from a cruising association website that we were active at that time.  I learned to write html code and how to personalize our blog so that it is easy for me or anyone to find information about cruising, dogs, or cooking.  Since blogger is free, I have been careful about not putting too much personal  information about us.  

Google had offered the analytic tool a few years ago, which I signed up for but never used until recently. A recent active visitor sparked my curiosity.  Most of our visitors were coming from search engines which I allowed and encouraged.  But what was most shocking to me is the repeated visits from the US DOJ server and social security administration server. Why would they be looking at our blog about sailing, cooking, and dogs?

Monday, November 10

Gaze Upon That Fire Show

Enjoying a quiet, cool Friday (11-7-14) night on the cockpit of the boat, JT saw a meteor shooting across the sky at 8:14pm central time zone at 233.5 degrees (over Clear Lake Shores-Kemah area) from the boat about 1000 feet (30 degrees) in the air.  He yelled down at me in the cabin to come see.  

As I threw open the cover, I saw two yellowish white lights hovering high in the sky.  Are they helicopters? No.  

They moved to the east & west slightly. Two more broke out from them showing four burning objects falling to the ground.  One began a fiery spiral, helix, to the ground, while the remaining three still lingered in the dark night sky.  I stood on the cabin steps for a couple minutes not wanting to miss a second. Another fell off to the west in a fiery spiral again and it's light finally died out close to the ground.  

JT yelled to get his cell phone.  I grabbed the phone, and he started recording when the last two fiery objects died out.  Too late.  But oh what a spectator fiery meteor show it was for us.

From the Andromedid Meteor Shower, American Meteor Society says a giant fireball reported in Texas the next night on November 8, 2014, possibly 4,000 pounds.

Thursday, November 6

Stop Pooping on my Boat

Cease Bescumbering our Vessel with Avian Ordure. 

In Texas we have lots of birds year round due to the warm weather. I accept them and enjoying their sighting, but just not their poop on my boat or dinghy or vehicles. Come migratory season the drenching of ordure on our pier and boat is unrelenting. We choose not a fimicolous lifestyle.
When Bud was healthier and we were living on the boat more, my morning and evening ritual before walking the dogs for their bathroom breaks was to clean off the bird poop on the pier. I stop at multiple sections and use their hoses to clean off the pier as the dogs waited patiently. I did not want to track bird poo and disease onto our boat and especially not in the cabin.

Thursday, October 30

Fire Prevention on Boats

First boat (Boatox) fire of the fall by the Kemah Boardwalk in September
After two fires in the Kemah area this fall (destroyed 3 boats), let's remember some good fire safety rules.  Practice fire prevention and encourage your boat neighbors to do the same. (January 2015, one fire at South Shore Harbor (3 boats burned))

Upgrade your older boats electrical wiring.   We had a certified marine electrician replace the old wires on our boat, but we still had to go after him and tighten everything up.  AC and ice box shorted out.  Be meticulous on the electrical upgrades or hire someone who is a proven meticulous electrician.  Not just because they are marina certified electrician.  We speak from experience.  Look at our worker page for a suggestion. 

Notify boat neighbors if you are leaving your canine or feline on the boat for a few hours.  Safety First is a practice not just a motto.

Check out what happened to Lobo Del Mar sailboat neighbor at Kemah Boardwalk in October. 
    Kemah Fire Department: Small Boat and Marina Fires Safety
  • Portable fire extinguishers that are properly certified. Make sure that you have a sufficient number of the appropriate extinguishers and that the extinguishers are in good condition.
  • A fire blanket may provide an alternative method of extinguishing a cooking pan fire or allowing safe escape from the boat.
  • Bucket

Service and inspect your fire extinguisher(s) yearly!!
They can’t help you if they don’t work!

Monday, October 27

No Blisters in the Sun

First Coat on the Bottom and fixing 4 blisters, not bad for 5 years

With the quarterly scrubbing of our bottom free of barnacles and growth and plus maintaining zincs on our propeller shaft in the hot Texas salty waters, our bottom looks pretty good.

We used 4 coats of antifouling bottom paint, and fixed 4-5 blisters on the hull.  Choose the right paint for your climate and your planning-to-go area.  Interlux is good and common in our area.

Tuesday, October 14

A Way to Go through Life

Over the past week I tried the delicious Pumpkin Ale from Smuttynose, Post Road, and Southern Tier with real pumpkin puree in them.  Love them.  One night enjoyed Smashed Pumpkin by Shipyard for a dessert beer.  The Pumpkinhead needs some work compared to the others.
Not fat, drunk, and stupid (quote from the movie, Animal House).

We planned our tenth anniversary months in advance.  But with Bud's health concerns (cancer) we changed our minds on a long trip to either Marfa, Terlingua, Lajitas, Big Bend State Park, or Burnet, and stayed close to Houston.  Bud is in great spirits and very active for a 13+ year old dog with or without cancer or blind, so we could have gone on a trip with the dogs.  

We really enjoyed the Houstonian Hotel and loved the hospitality and extras in the room and on the grounds.  We plan on returning.  We didn't have to drive hours away to feel like we got away.  We drove through Memorial Park to begin the feel of heading into paradise.  No dogs allowed here though.  Keeping them at home for the night was so easy. 

Thursday, September 25

Preparing for Six Pack Captain License

We have been considering getting our Six Pack License so that we can make some money captaining our sailboat with up to 6 paying passengers on our boat.  But it is very expensive to get your license.  

Here is some basic information that I have found for our area.
Generally, operations that carry 6 or fewer passengers for hire are referred to as Uninspected Passenger Vessels (UPV), 6 Passenger (pax), or 6 Pack operations. These are your typical charter boat fishing guide or tour boat operations that may use a state numbered boat. UPV operations traveling on navigable waters of the United States under U.S. Coast Guard jurisdiction are not required to be inspected by the Coast Guard. They must comply with minimal federal standards for safety, navigation, pollution prevention and the vessel operator must hold an Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV) license issued by the Coast Guard.  

The Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary provide courtesy UPV examinations to assist you. These exams are free of charge, comprehensive and confidential. Contact your local Coast Guard Sector Office. Many times they can put you in touch with a Coast Guard Auxiliarist in your own town.

CODE of FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS , Title 33, navigation, and for the OUPV (Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels) aka Six Pack Captain's License, 46 CFR 11.467
  1. Drug Test Application
  2. 360 days of experience
  3. 90 of those 360 days must be within 3 years
  4. Valid First Aid/Safety Aid certificate 
  5. Passport/Birth Certificate
  6. Passed TEST 
  7. Back ground check through TSA 
  8. Passed Medical evaluation from selected doctors, TWIC
130 questions for Test
  1. Rules of the Road, 30 questions, closed book, 90% to pass
  2. Navigation General, 20 questions, open book, 70% to pass
  3. Plotting, 10 questions, open book, 70% to pass
  4. 2 part of Deck General/Deck Safety, 70 questions, open book, 70% to pass

Tuesday, August 26

Leading New Cruisers to Moody Gardens

Turning into Offatts Bayou channel

We organized and lead our first cruise to Moody Gardens Marina in Offatts Bayou.  Our other sailboat cruisers had never been to Offatts.  We slowed down and stayed behind another tug to insure that everyone made it under the Galveston Causeway RR bridge together.  We radioed the bridge using their call sign to make sure that all the sailboats will be able to go under before they dropped the bridge for the train.  We all made it with no problems from the courteous bridge tender.  Dolphins greeted us along the way.

The cruise was made so much easier with A Quickie Guide for Sailing Destinations in Texas.

Wednesday, May 28

Guess Who Is Coming to Make Dinner, Joan Roca

Introduction to the Roca family (translated from Spanish by Harvard University, listed below in post)
As I try to master (or at least minor) the art of cooking (in small places), noted chefs, Joan Roca, and his brothers, Jordi (pastry chef) and Josep (wine expert, sommelier), from the restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca in TaialĂ , Spain (near Girona) are coming to Houston August 4-6, 2014 at the Rienzi (MFAH house museum for European decorative arts and paintings in River Oaks) to show 300 select individuals what magical foods that they can create (including new version of chili con carne or make ice cream with breathe with yeast).

Pictures from August 4 meal at the Rienzi from Houston Chronicle (14 courses) from Alison Cook

Second set of Pictures from Culture Map Houston, Eric Sandler
Opening dish of tapas is presented as a tree with a black lantern canopy that opens to reveal the gifts of a tiny taco, and more delicious bites.

Featuring Spanish wines: Vega SiciliaGramona, Grans Muralles and Mas La Plana from Bodegas Torres

They are also bringing their restaurant and 20 workers to Dallas for 2 days as well.  Then continue to Central and South America. 

Two students from Art Institute of Houston, International Cooking program, and two students from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Art in Dallas will be selected to go to Spain and apprentice under the Roca brothers in their restaurant.

Thanks to the BBVA Compass Bank.

Roca & Roll World Tour

Thursday, March 20

Sailing Across the Gulf

Sunset from Key West, March 2014
Sailing across the blue water to the Dry Tortugas, 70 miles south route
Center of Fort Jefferson National Park, 2 park rangers live there for 2 weeks on.
One of our crew sailed from the Dry Tortugas and back to Texas across the Gulf of Mexico.  Preparation is the key to any successful trip.  So for some added preparation, I added some ways to make the trip better.

Monday, March 10

Salt Sensitivity and the Sea

No brining for this chick.  Low to no sodium foods are impossible to find (where are no salt El Milagro Tortilla Chips anymore).  Plenty of gluten-free but no foods (without sodium) for me (sodium sensitivity) besides cooking from scratch.

The Mother Load at Central Market in Houston, are five bags enough for the month?
Here is the supporting research that 1 in 4 suffer from sensitivity to salt (possibly from sodium).  

For over ten years after moving to Mississippi I suffered from what I thought was food poisoning or acute (hot burning pain) pain in my left shoulder blade and left arm (felt like hot lava burn to my left ring finger) after eating but over the past 2 years discovered that it is the salt and it is a genetic trait.  A piece of brined turkey or pork will have me suffering all night long.

Tuesday, March 4

TWIA: Blow Me Away

After a quick education about WPI-8, now repealed WPI-12, and the waiver, I have received a real lesson on the latest nonsense that is TX windstorm insurance compliance

Wednesday, February 19

Monday, January 27

Galveston Bay and Texas Oyster Appellations

Christmas and Thanksgiving with my family always includes Scalloped Oysters: baked oysters with milk, butter, crackers like Beaumont Inn's recipe. My mother absolutely loves oysters: fried, grilled, scalloped, raw-not so much, but never had Galveston Bay oysters until she moved to Texas. 

Thursday, January 23

HYC Commodore's Ball and Table Dancing

2015, Saturday, January 17, shared the guest pier with Lakewood Yacht Club motor boat and enjoyed the HYC Sailboat Ice Sculpture with fresh shrimp, salmon, and delicious morsels before dinner accompanied by live steel drum music.
Beautiful table arrangements for our dining table
Commodore Robert Williams of HYC and Commodore Joyce Maxwell of Lakewood Yacht Club

Sunday, January 12

Ethanol Gas killing our small engines

Our little outboard engine has been a continuous problem until we started only using non ethanol gas.  From are the gas stations where you can find nonethanol gas.

Apparently Harris County and all counties touching the county can not sell nonethanol at public gas stations (blame the US government, EPA regulations and statutes).  But allegedly you can get it at airports that is used for planes which is 100 octane.

Tuesday, January 7

Merry Christmas & Happy 2014

Christmas in Galveston at the Bishop's Palace, 2013 with Inlaws and BOI'ers

We rented a recently updated older home a few blocks from the Seawall for the extended week.  Much more room to move around than the boat like last year and a full size kitchen to prepare food for the six of us plus 2 dogs.

If you have never been to the 1892 Bishop's Palace on 1402 Broadway, then make a stop at this beautiful old home also known as the Gresham's Castle for $10 audio tour or a guide tour twice a day and fabulous gift store-book store where you enter and exit into the house.

Healthy and delicious mexican style Southern Corn Cakes with fresh strawberry lemonade, and breakfast with the best cinnamon rolls and cheese scones at the Sunflower Cafe on 512 14th Street.  A few doors down we enjoyed warm hearty (made from scratch) split pea soup and (made from scratch) tomato basil soup at Mosquito Cafe.  Plus savored the appetizers of humus and garlic mix at the greek restaurant, Olympia Grill, at Pier 21

Whitley, our 10 yr old Golden Retriever, stayed attached to me the whole week.  She was deeply disappointed that she did not go to the beach and swim in the Gulf.  Every night when I left her downstairs with Bud, our 13 yr old Yellow Lab who could not make it up the stairs, she would immediately leave Bud's bed and dash upstairs after me.  Their new Christmas toys were a drool fest for Bud, and Whitley carried her new dog toy around like a puppy and would mimic the toy's sound.  We accidentally left the beloved toy there, but didn't know it until we received an email with a picture of Whitley's toy.  The homeowners graciously mailed the toy to us and so now we have 2 happy puppies again.

Boat gifts and galley gifts were received and cherished.  Fancy apron, silicon mat for making pastries, and new copper bowl for whipping fluffier egg whites as taught for the Science and Cooking class.

For New Year's Eve we celebrate at the yacht club and discovered by new favorite thing for NYE celebration, breakfast right after midnight.  Hot buttermilk biscuits, eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, fruit, black eyed peas, and cabbage, and this after eating from the pasta bar and bread pudding before midnight.  Never have I been served breakfast after ringing in the new year and now it is the beginning of a new tradition.

Adventures of upward mobility on Clear Lake Channel,

Wednesday, December 11

Harvard Lessons for Cooking on a Boat

My total benefits for agonizing over once forgotten college physics, chemistry, and biology:
  1. searing your meat or vegetable creates maillard reaction (flavor compounds) over 120 degrees Celsuis (~250 degrees Fahrenheit)
  2. Cooking with wine or alcohol helps break down the beef tissue (reduces the crosslinks).
  3. Ledenfrost effect: for a drop of water on a skillet of 190 degrees Celsius (374 degrees Fahrenheit), gas suspends the liquid over the skillet
  4. Making cheese with whole milk and a little white vinegar or buttermilk
  5. 1 part salt to 10 parts ice & water, drops the temperature the best to cool the beer down
  6. Avocado brown when in contact with oxygen.  Cilantro has low pH (vit A) and bond to avocado to block attachment to oxygen.  Lemon, lime, or orange juice (acidic) blocks the bonding to oxygen
  7. How many and the types of meals can I cook on a tank of propane
  8. How much heat per mass of food will be needed to cook the meal.
  9. Idea of building a solar oven on the deck when anchored out
  10. Reducing chances of getting sick from microbes in our food
  11. Is my temperature of the oven or pot on the stove correct, use a thermometer
  12. Use the scale and measure in grams!
  13. Make soups thicker or thinner (viscosity) with appropriate hydrocolloid
  14. Bread Flour make my buttermilk biscuits better.
  15. Making Ice cream on the boat is so easy using small and large ziploc bags.  Large bag with 600g of ice and 200g of salt (temperature drops to 22F), and small bag with 90g cream, 100g milk, and 20g sugar placed the larger bag and shake for 10 minutes.
  16. Not a fan of chocolate, so I had to eat all those Chocolate Lava cakes-no chocolate for a year or more now.
  17. Fermentation for beer and wine.  Understanding distillation of alcohol. Why whisky or rum will stay good on the boat but not beer and wine, because nothing can grow in the high alcohol content.
  18. Making breads and pastries: thank you Joanne Chang, understanding why salt is needed to kill off some of the overproducing yeast in the bread.  Burping and farting yeast molecules.
  19. 10 sessions of research, homework, and labs (eating)
  20. Pesto (adding a little flat parsley to reduce darking of the basil)
  21. Viscosity: Mac and cheese, make a roux of flour and butter before adding the cheeses and milk-increases the viscosity and improves the taste on the tongue
  22. Elasticity: cooked proteins in bread or meat changed the mouth feel and reduces the chew factor from the uncooked foods
  23. Cooked Noodles: you do not have to wait for the water to boil before adding the uncooked noodles.  Add the noodles when the water is cold and heat it up and use less water, to save energy and water.  Adding salt to the water barely affects the temperature, so save the salt and do not add to the water.
Here I am into week eight of a 10 week course about science and cooking that was produced and created by the Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Science on college courses.  I am calculating how much energy is needed cook a steak to its preferred elasticity or mouth feel.  What is the temperature the grill, oven, or time in the pressure cooker to reach the browning reaction (maillard) to get the delicious taste.

Even though the course is currently free, it is by no means easy.  We do not have tests but the homework can turn into an late night research online looking for the right answers.  And the delicious labs of ice cream, molten lava cake, mac and cheese, steak, and my final experiment (not sure yet.  There are well over 2 hours of lectures to watch and study.  You have to take notes and study.

Scoop out the ice cream and serve (avoid the salt on the outside)

Final Project  of Cookie Re-engineering
How to make a cookie in a humid environment.  Melt the butter (not browning) and allow to cool to 65 degrees Fahrenheit before mixing it with sugar.  (If added hot, may cause the granulate sugar (sucrose) to split into glucose and fructose before it is place in the oven.

My first Certificate from online course was well earned and quite time consuming.  Next is astrophysics but this time I will just audit it.

Friday, October 18

2013 ACL Music Festival: Dancing in the deepest oceans

Since living in Texas, I have long heard about Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival (beginning in 2002).  But no musician excited in me the desire to get a pet sitter, drive to Austin, battle 75,000 people to see someone sing in the hot October sun or the rain for 3 days, but this year was different.  In the morning that the tickets went on sale at 10 am, I heard that The Cure and Depeche Mode were headlining for both weekends.

First weekend sold out in a matter of hours.  No worry we wanted the second weekend as our anniversary present anyway.

"Please do not take me until after I get to see and hear both bands play."

Thursday, October 10

Quickie Guides Ready for Racing and Cruising

Buy A Quickie Guide for Sailing Destinations in TX Kindle version (best with Fire HD 8.9 or Kindle for Ipad) with live web links. 

Louisiana Kindle version, (best with Fire HD 8.9 or Kindle app for Ipad) with live web links.

Mississippi Kindle version, (best with Fire HD 8.9 or Kindle app for Ipad) with live web links.

2013, Louisiana, Quickie Guide for Sailing
Second Edition, Texas, A Quickie Guide for Sailing Destinations
A Quickie Guide for Sailing Destinations in Mississippi
2013 First Edition Texas, Quickie Guide for Sailing Destinations, $9 at
Sailing and racing around the Gulf Coast just got a little bit easier with the updated Quickie Guides for Sailing Destinations.  Please tell your boat neighbors and friends about the Quickie.

I added a bunch more information in the second version of Texas Quickie on wildlife viewing, scuba diving, and kayaking trails around the bays.  Glance at more colorful facts of the history of the area.  

Pull your head out of the big books and set the sails for Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi destinations on the water.

Perfect for racers and cruisers to find free NOAA uptodate charts, fishing spots, kayaking trails, diving sites, history, and wildlife on the coast.  Keep exploring.

The first version of the Tx Quickie Guide is for $9, but 8.5" by 11" paper size, to insert the NOAA letter-size maps.

The new guides are a bit smaller but can easier slip in a ziplock bag for protection from the elements.

Grab a Quickie and go sailing.

Saturday, August 10

Water is our Wilderness

Walking the docks of our marina, we saw many jellyfish around the sailboats, all shape and sizes.  We saw one with a beautiful long tail called a War O'war.  Oh you do not want to get in these waters now.  With the water so warm and the temperature so high, this is when most people and dogs are jumping into the water to cool off.

The next day a friend had gotten stung by a jellyfish by Redfish Island, but they had no vinegar on board.   She was stung on her rib cage.  So she just drank lots of alcohol to numb the pain until they returned to shore.

Here are some Helpful facts from Judith Klein, MD that I had just watched after seeing all the jellyfish in the marina.  For an hour she talks about dealing with injuries in the wilderness called Into the Wild, Backcountry Medicine 101 found on ItunesU.

Tuesday, August 6

Tough Choices on Leaving

How much longer?

After much researching, organizing, and updating to cruise to blue water, one of your crew may not be up for the trip.  We apply the daily eye drops or ointment so he can see.  Bring his favorite food and toys which he ignores when he is at sea.  Why, is he motion sick? 

Tuesday, June 4

Sunny Denial is a Busy Place

Just another sunny day on the beach in Nice
My latest dangers feel like the newest drivers in the Houston area; all trying to hit me and never using turn signals. But if I avoid the rush hours and keep a far distance from them, I can make it safe and sound to the boat to relax. 

This spring has been nice and cool so much so that I have not thought about sunscreen much. I got my first redness-burn at the HYC opening ceremony forgetting how bright the sun was. Finally now I am pouring on the sunscreen again. 
I had always been good about applying sunscreen since high school. After returning from the pebble beaches of Nice and seeing all the old ladies that looked like the witches from Clash of the Titans, I used sunscreen, big floppy hat, sunglasses, & long flowing hippy skirts with a healthy glow to my skin, not a tan. I tried the numerous chemical tanning creams but they all made my skin smell like meat tenderizer, not a good smell for a vegetarian.

My work put me out in the heat of the Texas Sun 5-6 days a week, but I was always fully covered with the wide-brimmed hard hat and eye protection, knocking back catbriar and saplings. 

So I guess my lapse in judgment for lacking sunscreen is a recent problem and the lack of proper clothing protection since we got the boat. 

I would prefer to stay in a bikini all day long than my old armor of jeans, flannel shirt, steeltoe boots, leather gloves, and hardhat.  Realizing again that the sunscreen is not enough (I was in denial-Egypt I will miss you). This sun and my new age is changing my skin, so back to the proven treatments of hydrate, lotion, sunscreen, hat, glasses, flowing tight dresses, & exercise... 
Apparently denial is a busy place:
MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX finds that more than 2 million Americans will be diagnosed this year with skin cancer. Most skin cancers, the most common cancer in the U.S., is caused by too much exposure to the sun.

Most are highly curable, but one form – malignant melanoma – is much more serious. The number of people with melanoma has increased by more than 100% since 1973. 

Luckily, skin cancer is one of the easiest cancers to prevent and detect. And, be sure to map your moles and scan your skin everywhere for any unusual spots or growths
USA Today article(April 8, 2013): Despite decades of repetition, many of us fail to follow that skin-saving advice - and a new study shows that's true even for people who have had the most serious form of skin cancer.

More than a quarter of people who have had melanoma say they never use sunscreen, according to the study presented at a medical meeting Monday. Even greater numbers eschew hats and long sleeves, and 2% admit they have used a tanning bed in the last year, say researchers from Yale University, who presented the data at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C.

Cancer survivors are a bit more careful than the rest of us: 32% always wear sunscreen, while just 17% of other adults do. Overall, they also are more likely to wear hats and long sleeves and stay in the shade. But when compared with others with the same age, race and insurance coverage, the differences are only significant when it comes to sunscreen use, says researcher Anees Chagpar. In other words, a 40-year-old white person with insurance coverage who has been through cancer treatment is just as likely to use a tanning bed or go outside without a wide-brimmed hat as one who has not.

The study of nearly 27,000 people included 171 who said they had a history of melanoma, which, like other skin cancers, is linked to sun exposure and indoor tanning. It is most common in people with fair skin and a history of sunburns, and it can run in families. It will kill about 9,000 people in the USA this year, according to the non-profit Skin Cancer Foundation.

Survivors are 9 times more likely than other people to have melanoma in the future, so experts advise them to take their skin protection seriously.

"When someone is first diagnosed, they are practicing sun protection, but as the years go by, maybe they tend to fall back on their old habits," she says. "A lot of melanoma survivors have told me that it is very important for them to maintain a normal outdoor lifestyle."

Skin Damage &Cancer Prevention Tips:

A. Wear Sunscreen

  1. Choose your sunscreen wisely: Select one that protects you from both UV-A and UV-B rays. UV-B rays cause sunburns, but UV-A rays also increase your risk for skin cancer.
  2. Use an SPF of at least 30: SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. Keep in mind that protection provided by an SPF does not increase proportionately with the designated SPF number. SPF 15 absorbs 93% of the sun's burning rays. SPF 30 absorbs about 97% of the sun's burning rays, while SPF 45 absorbs about 98%. The SPF number on sunscreens only reflects the product's screening ability for UVB rays. No sunscreen or SPF will completely protect you from the sun.
  3. Apply sunscreen liberally: Apply one ounce of sunscreen (about the size of a ping-pong ball) to every part of your body exposed to the sun. Unprotected skin can be damaged in as little as 15 minutes. Don't forget the ears, feet and behind the neck. Your skin can take up to 30 minutes to absorb sunscreen, so be sure  to apply it about 30 minutes before going outside. 
  4. Remember to reapply sunscreen: Once you're outdoors, reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more often if you're swimming or sweating. Even waterproof sunscreen loses its effectiveness due to humidity, perspiration, swimming and uneven application."Properly applying sunscreen on a regular basis greatly reduces a person's exposure to the sun's harmful rays but it does not eliminate sun exposure, so it is a good idea to take additional sun safety precautions." 
  5. Wear lip balm: Apply lip balm with SPF 30 or higher and reapply it every two hours. 
  6. All sunscreens are safe to use on a daily basis. No evidence exists that suggests daily use of sunscreen is unsafe. People have asked about sunscreens being too effective and contributing to vitamin D deficiency. This is unlikely because regular sunscreen use does not eliminate sun exposure. Taking a daily supplement of vitamin D can further alleviate concerns about this issue.
  7. Environmental conditions that affect sunscreen efficacy: Because an SPF measurement is the most protection a person can receive under the best possible conditions, sunscreens often do not perform up to labeled SPF ratings: because of wind, humidity, perspiration and facial movement, uneven product application, & waiting too long to reapply.

B. Cover Up

  1. Wear sunglasses with UV protection: Choose wrap-around sunglasses that absorb at least 99% of UV rays to protect your eyes and the skin around your eyes.
  2. Wear a hat with a wide brim: The wide brim will shield your face, neck, ears and chest from the sun. Wear a hat that is tightly woven so the sun can't peek through. If you don't have a hat, carry a parasol made of a thick, dark-colored fabric.
  3. Wear sun-protective clothing: The sun's rays can still burn you if you're wearing clothes. So wear special sun-protective swimsuits, shirts, shorts and jackets with a ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) as high as 50. If you can't find clothes with UPF, wear tightly woven, dark-colored fabrics.
  4. Wear clothes that cover more of your skin: Leggings, long dresses, tunic tops, scarves, one-piece bathing suits can provide your body extra protection against the UV-A and UV-B rays. 

C. Plan Your Day

  • Seek shade between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.: This is when the sun’s ultraviolet rays are typically strongest. If you must be outdoors during this time, seek shade.
  • Make a travel-size sun-safety kit: Create a travel size kit with all the items you need to keep your family sun-safe, including sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, lip balm with SPF 15 or higher, a hat, long-sleeved shirt, and sunglasses with UV protection.
  • Never expose babies to direct sunlight: Shield them with protective clothing when out during the day. Sunscreens should not be applied to infants under 6 months of age.

D. Avoid Tanning Beds

  • Don’t use tanning beds: There's no such thing as a healthy tan. Tanning beds expose you to the same ultraviolet (UV) radiation as the sun and have been linked to the development of skin cancer. People who use tanning beds are significantly more likely to develop melanoma than those who don't. If you insist on darkening your skin, try safe self-tanning products.

E. Screening Exams

Get Naked.  Check Everywhere.

Having one or more risks for skin cancer does not mean you will definitely get the disease. It means that you may be more likely to get skin cancer. Persons at increased risk for skin cancer include:
  • Have red or blond hair, fair skin, freckles, and blue or light-colored eyes
  • Live in sunny climates
  • Have a family history of skin cancer, especially melanoma
  • Have a personal history of skin cancer
  • Work around coal, tar, arsenic compounds, creosote, pitch and paraffin oil
  • Have damaged skin, such as a major scar or burn
  • Have actinic keratosis, a precancerous condition of thick, scaly patches of skin. It may also appear as a cracking or peeling lower lip that does not heal with lip balm.
Promptly show your health care provider any:
  • Suspicious skin area
  • Sore that doesn’t heal
  • Change in a mole or freckle

Thursday, May 23

Walkin' on my Hands

I'd stand on my hands for a good drink too.
Here we go.  Ready for Memorial Day weekend.  Now we are not your average Memorial Day weekend party-ers.  We take it to a whole different level.

Sitting back and consuming large amounts of quickly produced beer called american lager with no flavor, or drinking from the dogs water bowl.  That would be a hard one to decide.  it may depend on if the dogs eat anything today.

Well all funny business aside.  Good and Great Beers are no longer in short supply.

Monday, March 25

Thursday, February 14

Ike Dike, Bad Idea?

17 feet high, 60 miles long from High Island to San Luis Pass, $4-6 Billion project to reduce storm surge for Galveston Bay. Really?

After examining the Tx A&M Master thesis that researched this idea, it bases much of its application on the Netherland's System, but they do not have 600 mile wide tropic storms or hurricanes in their area.