And I can’t quite compare myself with Tod and Buz, on Route 66.

I’m nervous and tentative about transmogrifying this blog from the open sea … or, at least, the open Bay, the hallowed if shallow Chesapeake Bay, my muse for the past decade … to the “open” road, the realm of the open-topped roadster, like my current Muse Among The Motors, to loosely quote my favorite 19/20th century poet, Rudyard Kipling.

Sailing, or ‘pottering about in boats’ (to quote ‘Wind In The Willows’ Kenneth Graeme), is a wonderful lot of fun, at best, depending on the wind, the waves, and the weather. Since I was retired, I could sail any day the weather was suitable, and anchor out overnight in a good number of sheltered anchorages within sailing distance. My 30-foot “Halcyon” was big enough for a few days out, and I’d bought her at first as a “stepping stone” to something large enough to sail across the oceans; but after an open-water yacht delivery that ended with the yacht sinking 100 miles south of Grand Cayman, my enthusiasm for that level of adventure was quite diminished. I decided that The Bay was big enough for me.

Then, in the beginning of 2019, I resolved to change my way of eating, to lose weight and get fit. The easiest way, for me, was to cut carbohydrates out of my diet and go with the Atkins plan — “for life,” as Dr. Atkins put it. By sailing-season, I’d lost some 25-plus pounds, and I felt a whole lot more fit and energetic — but it wasn’t easy to cook that way aboard Halcyon, where my meals were meat-and-rice “pilafs” and “curries” cooked in a ‘Shuttle Pot,’ a cookpot with a Thermos-bottle jacket that worked like a Crock Pot without electricity or external heat. That wouldn’t do, and I decided to limit my boating further; now it was day trips only. Still fun, but … you can see where this is going.

The next “break” was during my Thanksgiving holiday with my folks in Atlanta, when my brother-in-law David gave me a chance to drive his 2004 “C5” (fifth-generation) Corvette. Wow, that was thrilling! And this was a “thrill-ride” that I could park in front of my house, as opposed to driving an hour to The Bay! And the final straw was when I got home to find the bill for 2021’s dock-fee, $3000 — which amounted to $250 for every afternoon I got out sailing in 2019 and 2020. That was IT — I called the broker who had sold me Halcyon, and put it on the market for just under $20,000. And I started shopping for a Corvette to call my own.

Greg soon found a buyer, a young woman who was as thrilled with Halcyon as I’d been, when I bought it ten years before. She bid a couple of thousand below my asking price, but she was ready to take the boat “as is,” which would save me a lot of travel and trouble and elbow-grease! And when I met her and her boyfriend for the sea-trial, and saw how excited they were about the boat, I was overwhelmed with gratitude myself; I was passing Halcyon on to someone who would love it and sail it as it deserved!

And I drove home, that afternoon — my last visit to the marina, and my farewell to “the sailing life” — in my new Fiberglass Mistress, my 2001 Corvette “Pewter Bullet.”

Since I bought the Vette in January 2021, I have put 27,000 miles on the car. I’ve driven it twice across the country, and crossed through 29 states. I’ve driven the length of Historic Route 66; I’ve seen the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, and Meteor Crater; I’ve slept in a concrete tepee at the Wigwam Motel (both Wigwam Motels, in San Bernardino, CA and Holbrook, AZ), and driven across the spine of the Nation at Monarch Mountain, Colorado, where US-50 crosses the Continental Divide. I’ve “tamed” the Tail of the Dragon, in Tennessee (318 hairpin turns in 11 miles of 1930s-grade highway), as well as the “Arizona Sidewinder,” Route 66 between Oatman and Kingman, Arizona. I’ve even had it out on the track — the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park, in Bowling Green, KY, where I took an “Introduction to High Performance Driving” in October. (A little too thrilling! But I can truly say, “been there, done that, got the T-shirt.)

I will definitely say, though, I don’t need to push the limits to get the thrill. Just turning the key and waking up that big, rumbling V-8 is a pleasure. Getting it out on the road is a delight, whether for a road trip, a Cars & Coffee morning, or even a simple trip to the grocery store. It’s even better when it’s warm and dry enough to fold back that top — I couldn’t have survived the summer without high-SPF sunscreen! Best of all, though, is getting out on a nice, twisty country road and putting it through its paces.

Once we get through the short-days winter season, I’ve got some more cross-country plans in mind. I’ve taken the Lincoln Highway from its eastern terminus at Times Square, NYC, to a reasonable way-station at Breezewood, PA; maybe in May or June, I’m planning to follow the Old Road to San Francisco. I also want to get up into New England for the autumn leaves, and maybe out to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the EAA AirVenture fly-in.

Last September, I met a fellow named Steve Stone, who was driving to the Lancaster, Ohio All Corvette Gathering in his 1963 Corvette convertible. He bought the car new, as a teenager, and hung onto it ever since. He’s driven it through all the Lower 48 States and all the Canadian provinces, and he has put over 600,000 miles on it. Frankly, I find him an inspiration — and even though I won’t have time to match his mileage, I plan to take it through the 19 states I haven’t visited in it, and to drive it until I’m too old and decrepit to drive any more.

There’s a hoary old saying about boat ownership: “The two happiest days of a boat owner’s life are the day he buys it, and the day he sells it.” The saying bears a certain justice, though “the day I sold it” was far too bittersweet for me to call it a “happiest” day. But my life and my lifestyle have changed enough, in the last couple of years, that selling Halcyon was the best thing to do, for me, for Halcyon, and for Halcyon’s new owner.

Halcyon, in August 2019, taken from a fellow Bristol 29.9 in the Rhode River.

The situation (not really a ‘problem’) was that I simply wasn’t getting out on the boat all that often. Oh, the COVID restrictions in early 2020 played a part in that, when Maryland banned pleasure-boating for a couple of months in the beginning of the season; but I’d only got out for a dozen afternoons in 2019, and I had to admit, the thrill was ebbing. Then in July, I took a three-week road trip across to the Pacific Northwest — and found a whole new thrill, and a great pleasure in seeing and driving through the beauty and majesty of the Western states!

So that became “Strike One” against continuing to own a boat.

A couple of months later, my “adopted mother,” Pat, decided she’d had enough of living alone under the strictures of COVID isolation. She sold her condo in Bel Air, MD and moved in with her daughter and son-in-law, who have “adopted” me as well; I’ve spent Thanksgiving with them, the last couple of years, and last year David introduced me to “car culture” by taking me to Caffeine and Octane in his well-restored 1971 Corvette. Wow, that was cool … and later that afternoon, when he handed me the keys to his 2004 “daily driver” Corvette, let’s just say that set the hook deep! Definitely I’d found another “new thrill” … and a Corvette of my own, especially a fifth-generation ‘Vette like David’s “daily driver,” was well within my means and my ability to pay for its maintenance.

For Halcyon, that was “Strike Two.”

Then, in mid-December, I got the bill for next year’s slip fee — $3000, for the privilege of parking my boat at the marina. Back in November, I’d paid about $900 to have Halcyon “hauled out” for winter storage on-the-hard, and there had been other expenses as well … but if I round-off to $3900, and divide that by the twelve day-sails I’d taken, I was paying $325 for each afternoon on the boat. Plus, I had to round the Washington Beltway (or cross north of the Beltway through Laurel, then I-68) to get to this Big Boy’s Big Toy … and it just wasn’t worth it any more.

By comparison, a fifth-generation (“C5”) Corvette would sit nicely in my townhouse’s assigned parking place, a thirty-second walk from my front door. Oh, it would use a hell of a lot more fuel … but I already knew that “miles per gallon” would be secondary to “SMILES per gallon,” cruising in that low, lean, powerful, iconic American sports-car. And even at $3.899 per gallon for high-test, it would take a thousand gallons (about 25,000 miles’ worth of driving) to equal the fixed cost of keeping my sailboat at the marina.

So that was, “Strike Three — ye’rrOUT!”

That afternoon, I called the yacht-broker who had sold me Halcyon, ten years ago, and who had brokered the sail of my trailer-sailor, Bossa Nova, some time afterwards. I listed the boat with him, and started clearing it out and cleaning it up — and days later, he told me he had an offer some $1500 (7.5%) below the asking price we’d established. I quoted Molly Bloom, from James Joyce’s Ulysses — “Yes I said yes I will Yes!”

A couple of months later, when the weather had gotten warm enough for a sea-trial, I met the purchaser and her boyfriend. She was excited and THRILLED about the boat, and attentive and appreciative about the upgrades and “Easter-eggs” I’d added over the years. She was just what Halcyon needed, an excited and thrilled new owner who would get her out sailing, and really enjoy her. There was a satisfaction for me in that, that sweetened the bitterness of saying goodbye to my old “fiberglass mistress” and the sailing life. But it was time for me to move on, and time for the new owner to move in.

And for my part, I drove over to the marina in my 2001 Corvette convertible – my new Thrill, my own “Big Boy’s Toy,” which I showed off to the buyer and her boyfriend, to Greg the broker and the marina staff, before I kissed Halcyon farewell and drove off West, “Beyond The Sunset.”

My “NEW Fiberglass Mistress,” at the west end of Arizona’s “Historic Route 66.”

Obviously, I’ve come to a turning point in my life … having abandoned sailing in favor of The Open Road. I’d like to think I’ve grown, but there’s no doubt I’ve changed direction.

I still figure this is an appropriate place to share the stories of my travels, starting with last month’s cross-country trip in “The Pewter Bullet.” (One of my friends called it “The Silver Bullet,” but the color is “Light Pewter,” and that name’s already taken by a low-carb light beer in a skinny silver can.) And you could say I’m still “going beyond the sunset,” but now it’s a mountain sunset, or a desert sunset, or at any rate, the sunset west of my home sweet home.

Another old, hanging story that needs to be completed … I wrote Part 1 in March 2015, and I never added the update until today.

Actually, the windscreen and side-curtains were completed in November 2017. I picked them up from the canvas shop Thanksgiving weekend — and Halcyon was “on the hard,” stored ashore for the winter, when I fitted them to check them out, and took these photos.

And here’s a photo of Halcyon under sail, taken from a similar Bristol 29.9 on the Rhode River, the following summer:


The dodger is big enough to shelter under, out of the rain … but I confess, I don’t go sailing in rainy weather. I really should get used to it.

More to the point, it completes all of the improvements I wanted to add — except, maybe, to install a cold-plate refrigerator in the boat’s icebox ….

There’s a saying among boaters: “There’s always something to fix, on a boat. Once you’ve got everything fixed, there’s still something to improve or add to the boat. And once you’ve added everything you want, and have the boat completely fixed up the way you want it … then it’s time to get another boat to fix up.”

(Not that I intend to do so. Halcyon is all the boat I need, for what I’m doing — knocking around the Chesapeake Bay.)

This afternoon’s log-in to Runa Skarbo’s WordPress blog reminded me that I haven’t done anything with THIS blog for a long, long time. And looking back through my old posts, here, I see that I’ve failed to blog A LOT of my life — including some life-changing events and some really good times.

I didn’t post anything about getting shipwrecked in December 2012, which has changed my mind about actually sailing “beyond the Sunset” … nor about my first visit to Thailand in December 2014, which led to more than a dozen trips to the Far East, and even to a six-week “trial Expat” stay on Subic Bay in the Philippines. Nothing about how I got back into scuba-diving — got excited with it, again — and I’ve been making it the focus of my vacations, with 250-plus dives in the past five years. And nothing about the passing of my Dear Demented Auntie, who finally shuffled off this mortal coil in 2017 … though I wouldn’t dwell on that; Death came to her as a friend, and a blessing.

I’ve had some mind-changing experiences, withal … the sinking of the Palenque, 100 miles south of Grand Cayman, was an indelible reminder that we cannot be sure of seeing the next sunrise. (To be honest, I saw my next sunrise from the deck of the container-ship that came to our rescue, the M/V Cap Domingo!) It also left me more timid about the idea of “sailing away” across the Seven Seas … and more in the mind-set of “Enjoy Yourself, It’s Later Than You Think!”

And when I look back through this blog, and especially at the not-yet-posted posts in my “waiting” queue, I realize that I’ve changed my world-view; I’m not quite the firebrand for MGTOW that I was at the start of the Twenty-Teens. Maybe I’ve grown … maybe I’ve just gotten tired … or maybe I’ve gotten to (and past) the end-product of the MGTOW process, because I am — definitely, and comfortably — Going My Own Way.

I’m surprised there are still a few people “following” this blog. I’m grateful to WordPress, that they didn’t just delete it and free-up the disk-space. And I’m going to make a tentative promise, to get back into it and give you something to follow.

I have been one of the moderators on a major “Men Going Their Own Way” web-forum, since it was launched a bit more than two years ago. I took my post seriously, and I did what I could to protect it from trolls and to keep the tone of the site positive. I figured it was my duty to log onto the site repeatedly during the day, to check all the latest posts, and to take action from revising or deleting posts up to banning the trolls, the spammers and the too-too-negative characters who brought their excessive pessimism to the mix.

I was surprised, then, to get a private message, this morning, that I have been kicked off the moderators’ team. The reason was, evidently, a remark I’d meant as harmless teasing, that the owner of the site took, as a challenge to his authority. So, as was his right, he gave me the congé.

That’s one meaning of “relieved,” I’ve been removed from the watch list.

But I’m “relieved” in another way – I can turn my time and attention to other things. Managing, or helping to manage, that board, is no longer my problem; I don’t need to watch over it, worry about it, spend my time on the computer when I could be out on the water.

It is a relief….

I’m proud of what I contributed to that board. It was because of that pride, and the sense of responsibility that went with it, that I “helicoptered” over it as … well, as “obsessively” as I did. But … well, that’s at an end.

Now, I’ll have a lot more attention to spend on the rest of my life … some of it, with bringing more to this blog. Much more of it, to getting out on Halcyon, free from the umbilical cord of the Internet, and living my life. And hopefully, I’ll bring back some good stories to share.

Pax —

Fatherless Day

This article was hosted, June 15, 2012, on the A Voice For Men website. It was published the Friday before Father’s Day … and on the first anniversary of the day Thomas James Ball, driven to despair by the machinations of Family Services and faced with an “indefinite” jail term for falling behind on child-support payments, committed suicide by making himself a human torch on the steps of the Keene (New Hampshire) Family Court. I’ve decided to keep a copy of it here, so I don’t lose it in cyberspace.

Posted here on Father’s Day, June 19, 2016 …

Happy Father’s Day, from a boy who grew up fatherless.

Fatherless Day

June 15, 2012      By Rick Westlake         76 Comments

A few weeks ago, we celebrated the Goddess-worshiping festival that we call Mother’s Day. It’s more than a day. The build-up, in advertisers touting flowers and jewelry and day-spa packages and special treats for “the Mom in your life” had gone on practically since Easter.

For restaurants, it is the busiest day of the year, a day for expansive and expensive brunch buffets, crowded with families “giving Mom a break from the kitchen” – families who needed to get the reservations weeks in advance. Flowers, a party, gifts, general lionization – it’s almost like a mini-Bridezilla experience, all in worship of Mom, Glorious Mom.

I wouldn’t be surprised if many single moms and divorced moms feel left-out. Without husbands to take them out to brunch, buy them the choice gifts and pay the tab. With children who have so little, after Mommy does what she pleases with the “child-support” payments (from Daddy via “Child Services”), that they can scarcely give more than hugs and perhaps a few flowers rustled out of somebody’s garden.

They have only part of a thug-boyfriend’s attention; after all, she’s not the mother of his kids. And when the children are put to bed (there’s school tomorrow, after all), she is left alone, sitting on the couch that her “ex” paid for, in the house that her “ex” paid for, with nothing for solace but a bottle of wine. Or gin. Or whatever.

The day before Mother’s Day, A Voice for Men published, This Mother’s Day: Daffodils for Dumpsters – a harsh scolding for the millions of women who have abortions rather than become mothers themselves. One of the comments attached to the article went off-topic, but stung me personally:

How about instead of addressing abortion, we address the fact that mothers, even “good” mothers, do fuck-all nothing about men raised without fathers.

So we do the same thing. Hand out ribbons, black ribbons, which say, “what are you doing to make sure a mother doesn’t deny a man access to his children?”

This stung me because I was raised without a father, but it’s not just my own experience that demands my attention to this problem. Mom-only households were rare while I was growing up. “Single-mom families” and “divorced-mom families” are much more common today. The children from these disabled, dysfunctional families are growing up disabled themselves; subtly, emotionally disabled, in ways that hurt but that don’t show in a physical sense.

There’s an empty place in their hearts, a Daddy-shaped hole that neither Mommy nor her boyfriends can even patch over. There’s an empty space in their learning, too; they don’t learn the value of fathers. They don’t get the lessons that can only be taught subliminally by that role-model in their lives. And they don’t even know what they’re missing – rather I should say that I grew up fatherless with only the haziest idea of what I was missing. But I knew that I had no one to play catch with me. No one to swat me when I messed with his tools, then help me build my Pinewood Derby car. No one to treat me like “his boy.” No one to show me, really show me, that a man has a deserved and necessary place with his children, with his family, in his home. No one to live with me and show me what it is to be a man.

Don’t even try to tell me that isn’t important. I fucking-well know how important it is.

The third Sunday in June is labeled “Father’s Day.” It sounds like a day to celebrate and lionize Father – but if past years are any indication, the main course will be shaming for the men that “should have done better,” and vituperative scorn for the “Deadbeat Dads” who aren’t with their children.

Many of those “deadbeat dads” don’t even know they have children. Many others have had their children torn from their lives in a brutal divorce.

Some of them languish in prison because they could no longer pay ruinous child-support demands, set when they had a much better job – and before their reputations, and their employability, were ruined by their former wives’ mendacious and malicious charges of “domestic violence” and “child abuse.”

Yeah, there are thugs who don’t care, but they are very much in the minority, as are the “dads” who are not merely “deadbeat,” but actually dead; leaving, perhaps, some photos, some shiny trinkets, and a flag folded in a triangular display case.

Most fatherless kids, though, are fatherless because their mothers pushed the fathers out of their lives.

I’d like to propose some recognition for these fatherless children, and the men who would have been with them as fathers if their mothers hadn’t kicked them out. Let’s call it “Fatherless Day.”

It should be a day to remind women everywhere that their children need their Daddies, too – and all the time, not just two weekends a month. A day to remind children just how important and precious their fathers are. A time to remind fathers, themselves, that they are worthy of having a major role in their children’s lives.

And a time to remind “Daddy Government,” and its enabling whores in the Main Scream Media, that fathers are important – not just as sperm donors and ATMs, not just for paying the fuckin’ bills, but for the sake of the children.

A few days ago, on Going Your Own Way, we had a deep discussion on “what does a good MGTOW life look like?” The opening post was from a young man who sees himself at a crossroads … “MGTOW is in some ways, still an alien concept to me. I mean, here I am, deciding that I might want to have a future on my own, instead of with a permanent partner that lives with me, while I have been afraid of exactly that (having a future without a wife) almost my entire youth.”

The problem is, the “permanent partner” concept has been eroded away. It was still part of the Social Contract during my childhood – but that Contract has been denied, opposed, attacked and overwhelmed by the Sexual Revolution, the Feminist Revolution, no-fault (read his-fault) divorce and the excesses of “empowered, entitled” mass narcissism.

I decided my own reply was worth re-blogging here:

Our parents, our family, our friends, our “moral guardians” and our Society all tell us to follow the standard life-script, i.e. devote your life, your fortune and your sacred honor to the pursuit of sex, the worship of the Almighty Goddess Incarnate who gives it to you, and the lifelong ‘privilege’ of providing for said Goddess and her children (with the assumption that those children are YOURS, too, and no attention to whoever might have supplied the sperm).

The message includes a few other core concepts that reinforce it and snare us even tighter:

  • You aren’t a man without a Significant Other; at best, you’re a crippled travesty of manhood.
  • Your worth depends on the approval of that Significant Other, or generally on the good opinion of women.
  • It is a mark of your worth to spend all the time, energy, and money you can scrape together, in pursuit of a S.O.
  • It is a privilege to give your all to that S.O. – all your money, all your time, all your attention, all your beingness.
  • Everything you own, everything you earn, everything you amass, should BY RIGHT become the property of your S.O.
  • It is your particular, unending, unrelenting duty to ensure the happiness of your S.O. Anything else is … unworthy.
  • If something goes wrong, it’s your fault. Society agrees with this and will blame you for your lacks.
  • If she leaves you, you’re the one who leaves, and you leave behind all that you’ve built for HER family.

This is Society’s norm. It is the Blue Pill. It is reinforced by our raging hormones and our engorged gonads, from puberty on. And just to make sure we obey, Society teaches us most carefully that the ONLY thinkable way to relieve that hormonal pressure is to woo and win your own Special Cupcake, and make all your deposits in her sperm-depository; thus your Marriage will be Blessed by Children, and God will be Happy With You.

Once upon a time, that was workable. The Princesses were indoctrinated too. They were given their role as ‘helpmeet’ and ‘home-maker,’ they were sold the story of Luv Undying as assiduously as the men were, and Society expected them to do their part (and brought its sanctions against them if they didn’t; check out Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter for an example. That was on the schools’ reading list, in the day.)

In the past half-century, it’s been shot down … for the Princess. They rose up and said “No! Housekeeping is oppression! Child-raising is oppression! Chastity, fidelity, the Marriage Contract – is OPPRESSION!!! Give us our rights – to our own job in the marketplace, our own income, our own self-direction, our own self-expression, our bodies, our wombs, our abortions, our freedom, our rights, and all the freedom and rights YOU have – because Patriarchy!” And Society – by which I mean, now, the White Knights In Power that make the decisions and pass the laws – promptly gave it up and laid it all at their feet, like a good hunting dog bringing back a fine duck to the shooting blind, because a pat on the head and a “Good Boy” is SO much more valuable when it comes from a Princess!

There is no more “social contract” between you and that hoped-for “permanent partner” i.e. wife. She has no obligations to you, not to love you, nor honor you, and most emphatically not to obey … She can kick your sorry ass to the curb, on a whim, and the cops and the courts will back her up, because now the Social Contract is between Cupcake and Big Daddy Government. You are expendable. You don’t count.

What we are saying here, in the MGTOW philosophy, is that the Almighty Goddess isn’t worth worshiping; that measuring yourself by the “Getting-Any” standard or the “Who’s-Your-Woman” standard is unnecessary, counter-productive, and damned perilous to your own Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness; and that neither Society nor Cupcake, but you yourself as a Sovereign Man, are ultimately empowered to decide how you will spend your time, your money, your energy, and your life itself.

As for friendship? It’s not facilitated by Goddess-worship. The Goddess Incarnate demands your fealty, all of it, plus all of your time and energy and money. Goddess doesn’t have time for you to have friends.

As for sex? Outside of the United States and a few other puritanical, religion-ridden sex deserts, one can find escorts, or sex-centers, or happy-ending massage parlors, to drain the pain. Or you can take matters into your own hand (which I’ve done for all but a few “lucky” interludes over my sixty years on this sorry excuse for a home-world).

As for identity, self-worth and the Meaning Of (Your) Life, you are worth everything to yourself, because your “self” is the only “self” you’ve got. Even if you were married, that would remain the same. Even if you were the Patriarch with a loving, cooking, housekeeping wife of fifty years, ten children, a hundred grandchildren, and those first few great-grandchildren coming forth, that would remain the same, because “self-worth” springs from the “self” and again, you’re the only “self” you’ve got. You choose who you are; you choose the Meaning to put into your own life …

Measure your self-worth by your own Self. Be the best person, the truest to thine own self, the most rationally self-directed, you can be. Be a lamp unto thine own feet in the darkness, and lead yourself your own way to your own goals and your own fulfillment.

That’s the best I can offer, to a Man Going His Own Way.

Doubling Down

I’ve been away for a few weeks, and for at least part of it I have an unusual excuse for it: I was scuba-diving in Key Largo, Florida, fine-tuning my newly-adopted side-mount scuba rig. Yeah, now I’m diving with doubles.

P927-lionfish-webMost people regard scuba-diving as a high-adventure, high-risk sport, based on impressions they get from movies like  JAWS and The Deep. There are risks, but predators are very low on the risk profile, and venomous fish (like this lionfish – a native of the South Pacific, a pest in the Caribbean) are dangerous only to the unaware. The real risks come from the fact that you’re carrying your air with you – a small closet’s worth, about 80 cubic feet (2265 litres) in the most commonly-used tanks – and the regulator feeds it to you at depth pressure: At 33 feet (1 atmosphere water pressure), each breath takes about twice as much air out of the tank as you would at the surface; at 66 feet (2 atm), three times as much; and so forth. You also use more air when you’re excited or nervous, or when you’re swimming hard … plus big guys use more air than smaller divers … and some of us just have less efficient lungs than others, and so we’ll go through a tank of air faster than the average diver.

That’s me. I’m an air hog, an airoholic. I’m the first one to run low on air, the limiting factor on the dive. I can use larger tanks at home, but very few dive-resort operators have anything on hand larger than the ubiquitous “aluminum 80.” But there’s a solution … carry more than one tank. Where? You can mount them as independent doubles (each with its own regulator) on your back … or you can clip them at your sides, below your shoulders, in a system called “side-mount.” That’s what I chose, and I was able to take a side-mount diving course in Thailand last December. (I didn’t go there for the course – no, of course not. But the diving wasn’t all that good – poor visibility – and the course was available, so I took the opportunity.)

When I got home, I went straight to work on converting my DiveRite Transpac (a harness-and-wings buoyancy compensator, or ‘BC,’ designed for both side-mount and the much-more-usual back-mount) for side-mount use. It’s different from the Hollis BC I’d used in my course, and I found that DiveRite had both the instructions and the hardware I needed to make the change. I mounted bungee-straps and rings under my armpits (a DiveRite kit), and two pairs of ‘stand-off’ D-rings on my waist belt, for attaching my tanks. My integrated weight pockets needed to go behind the “upper” D-rings, almost over my kidneys.


Stage-straps and tank hardware

I also needed a way to attach clips to the dive-operator’s tanks; my instructor used a big bolt-snap on a “lark’s-head” loop of line on the neck of his tanks, and another one tied to the same sort of ‘cam-bands’ we use to strap the tanks to our BCs, on the tail of the tank. I decided to use something like the “stage straps” tech divers use to handle their extra tanks, with a strap looped around the neck of the tank (for the top snap) and the cam-band; this way, I could almost-automatically put the top and tail clips exactly where I needed them to hook into my BC. When I had it “all together,” a dive-instructor friend let me do the ‘final’ (I thought) adjustments in the pool where he was running his basic-scuba class, and lent me a pair of ’empty’ (unfilled, low-pressure) aluminum 80 tanks to work with. It worked very nicely, and I set up a trip to the Florida Keys to get the practice I’d need to “take it on the road.”

My first dive-day in the open ocean brought out flaws in my system that I hadn’t noticed in the pool. I’m sorry to say I embarrassed myself; the cam-bands on my tanks were slipping, and I was struggling with them to get them tight, and it left me floundering. There was a strong current that day, which certainly didn’t help … and I took a one-third-empty tank as my second tank on the second dive, then lost much of it to a free-flowing regulator that I didn’t catch in time. So I came up low on air, and exhausted from a hard surface swim back to the boat. I made a dismal showing … and I lost my new-to-me SeaLife camera and the strobe I’ve been using for a couple of years, on the first dive.

The good thing? I figured out what went wrong with the tank-bands. One, I’d put them on dry, and they’d loosened while wet; the other, I had the stage-straps rigged so the cam-buckle closed on top of them, and that made the cam-bands even more prone to loosening (and one buckle, once, popped open in the water!) So I switched things around so the tank-band’s tail went away from the stage-strap, and when I tried it on a tank on the dock, it held firm and stayed in place. Problem solved. (And it stayed solved.)

The worse thing? The manager of the resort called me up to the office, that evening, to tell me I’d have to dive back-mount like everyone else … I told her that in that case I might as well go home tomorrow, because working the kinks out of my gear was the whole purpose of my trip. I brought my C-card and the course handbook with me, to show I’d been trained; I explained the cause I’d found for the trouble I’d been having with the tank-bands; and, finally, I agreed to pay for an instructor to dive with me as a ‘personal guide’ for the rest of my trips. She said she’d call the captain and get back to me later….


Side-mount ready, relaxed and competent

The best thing? The rest of my diving went smoothly. My tanks stayed perfectly in place, whether clipped high on my waist (when they were full and heavy) or low (when they were less-full and ‘floaty’). I got two fresh tanks for my second dives (and paid extra for them), rather than trying to “save air” by carrying one of my first dive’s tanks on my second dive. And I found my Zen-place, relaxed, and smoothed out, practicing the lessons of my side-mount course and joining them up with the experience I’ve had with years of “regular” diving. Best of all, I did my third day’s diving with the instructor who had wanted to throw me off the boat the first day – and he was surprised at how smooth, careful and relaxed I’d become, and perhaps a little amazed at how I followed him through a tight swim-through by unclipping the tails of my tanks, swinging them up and pushing them tails-first in front of me – even more streamlined than he was, with his back-mount gear.

Yeah, I’m a full-out convert to side-mount diving, and I’m ready to take it traveling.

This is a guest post from Jagrmeister, the founder and administrator of the Going Your Own Way web-forum. It was originally posted to that forum, and I would like to thank him for letting me post it here.

Never Submit to a Woman

Some people think of blue pill as a set of ideas, but they’re actually a sophisticated form of social conditioning. Conditioning is hypnosis; it rewires the brain. It produces automatic behavior. When we’re conditioned in a way to be subservient, it explains the anger of becoming the red pill. What demented society would rewire the minds of men to defer to women and thrill to be their toadies! If it’s any consolation, this has been going on a while; what’s different is that female worship is not accompanied any longer by the shaping of female behavior to be decent and desirable to men (traditionalism). So we’re worshipping what turns out to be a flaming turd. This is why I oppose feminism, believe feminism’s primary form of impact is carried out through television brainwashing (not radfem diatribes), and why I believe feminism is far more sinister than the general population believes. If feminism were ideas alone, it would rot; but it serves the purpose of cultural marxism, and its adversarialism is amplified by others, who enhance the social conditioning of men to genuflect before women, in their sublime and pristine “beauty”, inside and out. That they are more worthy than us; that a key part of our reason for being is to serve them (this is what Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” campaigns with corporations are about).

This subservience is enhanced by three factors: Male lust (porn, Maxim, sex everywhere), supposed female nobility (fairytales, television, feminist campaigns; ie: “women are more ‘peaceful’ than men”), and female victim status (ie: trafficking, domestic violence; while whitewashing abortion, female psychological violence, etc.). From this you can see where the white knight mental ‘program’ has been constructed in men. Feminist conditioning instills blue pill/white knight in 80%’er males (as evidenced by the fact it’s the 80%’er who has the WK sexual strategy on television/movies) through classical conditioning, we are shown the 80%’er male can successfully get the girl in romcoms from the 20%’er male through blue pill toadying, and it’s no wonder so many men think it’ll work; in truth it ‘works’ in terms of getting them to commit for life (and PROVIDE) to a substandard woman, for reasons unknown to their conscious mind. All the man knowns is he’s “happy!” (for a short while until reality contradicts the carefully warped implanted life script.)

(MGTOW is the deprogramming of this conditioning, which is why feminists and the controlled media seek to discredit us. Earlier I was stumped why no man or woman could answer my question what are women good for in a relationship, but now I realize why men can’t answer me; they themselves don’t know, they just know they “need” women.)

Back to the main point: the fact that it’s conditioning means that awareness is helpful but the old neural connections are still there; it is programming that is lodged deeply. There may be times still where you are tempted to please a woman, even defer to her. You will get a momentary thrill from it before perhaps realizing what is going on. I will admit, it angers me still that on occasion, this old programming comes back. That those in charge have created a rewards cycle pathway in people’s minds towards pleasing women. Here is where I entirely object with the idea that ‘attraction is non-negotiable” or that human preferences are set in stone. Neural plasticity is a scientific fact and it shows that our very attraction to things, to people; our desires, our motivations are programmable. Of course, this is known at high levels. (It is known in low levels of advertising as well.) We have been programmed to submit. Even though on a conscious level, we know that women prefer men to be strong, to lead; even important women we may work for, every woman; it is possible to slip back into old ways because for years our minds had no firewall.

Some may object, but sometimes purple programming helps root out blue pill programming. When a thought comes of looking forward to defer to a woman in conversation comes to mind, remember “She won’t like this”. I know this sounds hokey, because the better thought is “What would I want?”. But sometimes a purple pill thought can be a good bridge from momentary relapse of blue pill back to safe shores, and then firmly to red pill camp. Purple pill inner thoughts can sometimes be helpful; in this case, acknowledging that insofar as some mental vestige wants to supplicate to women, recalling that even she would be repulsed by it should be enough to assume the dominant or at least a confident posture. From there, the red pill thoughts should be easily accessible again.


Stop Being a Good Little Boy, by ‘thereticle’ on Reddit Red Pill, explores another aspect of this conditioning, and one that is planted early in our lives – the association of obedience with rewards, which is Mommy’s preferred way to “civilize” toddlers into becoming “good boys.” It’s effective, but it becomes a trap in our adult lives – and to evade it, we need to break out of that stimulus/response mechanism, stop relying on others for validation, and frankly, think and act for ourselves.

Women’s Primordial Fear, on The Avenging Red Hand’s blog, offers a fascinating evo-psych explanation for why so many women are so insistent on invading any male-only space that men set up for themselves, from Irish pubs to the Australian “Men’s Shed” organizations: The one thing women fear most is social exclusion, or in ancient terms, being cast out of the tribe….

Team Womyn, I’m talking to you.

I’m talking to your great-grandmothers who rioted in the streets, smashed storefront windows and torched manor houses, for “Women’s Suffrage.”

I’m talking to your grandmothers who took over the factory jobs of the “home front,” in World War II,  so the men could join the military, and fight – and die – on the battlefront. (And who sent their “Dear John” letters when they took up with some 4-F draft-dodger in a zoot suit.)

I’m talking to your mothers, who protested and marched in the streets about “Equal Rights” and “Women’s Lib” – but drove out the Equal Rights Amendment because it might have reduced their historical “feminine privileges” in the interest of the self-defined, selfishly-defined “equality” that was just an excuse for greed, arrogance and contempt.

And I’m talking to you, the recipients of all the fruits of these actions – all the goodies and privileges and overbalanced “equality” that has been given you by the legislatures and the courts. You have the right to any job, anywhere, and the privilege to skip over tough entry-level jobs and go straight to administrative “boss” positions. You have the right to go anywhere and the privilege to have your own “ladies only” spaces free of men. You have the right to have your man turned out of the home he’s buying for you and your family, at the whim of an unproven accusation, and the privilege that Government will force him to keep paying the rent or the mortgage.

Yes, you’ve won it all – you’ve got it, and everything that comes with it!

But there’s something missing, isn’t there? With all that you’ve won, there’s something still missing.

You have won complete control of the workplace, between Affirmative Action and “Equal Pay For Equal Work” and your Sisterhood in all the Human Resources positions. You’re the first to be hired and the last to be fired, and you can get rid of the male competition just by alleging “sexual harassment.” You will be believed, even if your claim is bogus, just because you’re a woman.

You OWN the court system. Where a man might get ten to twenty, you’ll get parole and counseling. Britain’s legislators are even talking about closing the women’s prisons completely down. And Family Court? Solidly in your pocket.

You are the Favored Sex in the church.  Pastors write their sermons with you in mind. They uphold your sex as the paragon of good and of virtue, and if there’s something wrong in your relationships they’ll side with you in a heartbeat.

You own the college system. Nearly two-thirds of the student body in the American college system are women. Your professors, teachers and instructors are mostly women, too – those men who still remain in the profession are scared of your shadow.

It looks like you’ve got it all. But something is still missing … where are all the “good” men?

Where are the guys who were supposed to flirt with you, and court you, and build you up, and support you, and protect you, and … dare you say it … marry you, and take care of you for life (even after you divorce them)?

Where is the boyfriend, the “special guy,” the man who’s ready to meet you at the altar? Where are the candidates to happily-ever-after with you?

We’re elsewhere. We’re voting “Absent.” We’ve gone Galt. We’ve retreated into our Man-Caves and disappeared.

After the centuries and millenia within which we strove and worked and killed ourselves to make this world comfortable for you ladies – and during which we exerted ourselves in every fashion, every direction, every possible way to praise you and uplift you and put you on a pedestal for our worship (think Shakespeare’s sonnets, as a bare and primitive minimum!) – we are completely weary of the message you’ve been spouting for all these years: You regard us as defective, and you want no more to do with us. After listening to the rants and rhetoric of your spokeswomen, echoed and re-echoed in the Main Scream Media for the past fifty years, more and more of us are taking you at your word. We oppress you with our help, our presence, our “objectifying gaze?” A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle? It’s all our fault? Okay, we get it, we are removing ourselves from your presence.

How many of the guys you snubbed and spurned, the guys you dealt out of the rotation, actually have the decency and self-value that might have made them into faithful, hard-working, nurturing, instructive FATHERS???!!! You’ll never know, because you and the Courts denied them “fatherhood” from the git-go. You’ve managed to get the Guns Of Government to back up your claim – that “fathers are meaningless and worthless” and that “Women Are The Perfect Care-Givers, so long as the Bastard Man is forced to pay for our care-giving and pay extra for babysitters while we go out in search of Alpha Cock!”

It’s too late to ask, now, for our help and support.

You want to Have It All – meaning all the privileges, all the “rights,” but nothing even remotely resembling “responsibility.” Trouble is, that “responsibility” is inextricably, innately wed to the privileges and “rights” that you want to claim. They are represented by “everything that comes with it” – which is shorthand for “now you’ve got to do that hidden work, that men have always done in the background, to keep everything running!”

Well, now you’ve got it all – including the responsibility you wanted to evade, the children and teenagers you want someone else to bring into line, the “corporate career” that those 1960s “Mad Men”  would have gladly taken up on your behalf so you wouldn’t have to worry your “pretty little head” about it. You may find that statement “patronizing” – I meant it so. But in fact, it echoes the sentiments of that long-ago time, when men strove to spare their wives the problems, the upsets, the stress they were undergoing in the workaday world; they LOVED their wives and wanted nothing so much as to promote their happiness and leisure and all of that.

Now it’s your turn at bat. You’ve got all the benefits, all the “rights” and privileges and judicial protection and advantages, that our poor society had left to bestow. And you’re complaining, that these “rights” and “privileges” and “protection” and “advantages” aren’t worth a rat’s ass if you don’t have a male slavey out there to do the work you dislike.

Sorry, darlin’s. It’s up to you, now, to repair the “broken plumbing” of Society. Your “male slaveys” are abdicating, abandoning, their role as Society’s plumbers, re-wirers, repairmen and valets. You’ve told them – told US – shown us – dictated to us, again and again and again, your spurning and scorn for our efforts, our dedication, and our effective work to keep Society running. Enough. You can fix it better? Go ahead and fix it.

I wish you luck – you’ll need it!!