Charest Family on the Web Posts

2010 Bayliner 175 “Sea Dragon

Estimated reading time: 22 minutes

Boats have a reputation for being expensive. However, this is not completely true. Boats are very inexpensive to maintain and operate, as long as you don’t put them into the water. Once a boat gets wet, all bets are off and “boat” does in fact become the acronym “Bust Out Another Thousand.”

A few years ago, I made a horrifying discovery that water was seeping inside the wood-cored transom of our family boat “Sea Dragon.” Water and wood do not mix, and this issue required some serious remediation work. So, I’ve spent the past several years drying and waterproofing “Sea Dragon.”

Family Stories On The Water

Tina Turner performing at Drammen, Norway, in 1985. Source: Wikipedia Entry - Tina Turner
Tina Turner performing at Drammen, Norway, in 1985

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Today we are once again forced into saying “Goodbye” to a musical legend. Singer, dancer, actress, and author, known as the “Queen of Rock and Roll,” Tina Turner has passed at age 83. She leaves behind a legacy in music as “one of the greatest singers of all time.”

Just For Fun

Loss and Prayer, 2023
Loss And Prayer

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on my career these past months. Most of this reflection is on the many different people I’ve dealt with over my professional life. And how I’ve learned something from every person I’ve worked with.

Some of the lessons I learned were positive experiences, and I count those people as mentors and role models. Other lessons- not so much. One constantly recurring lesson I remember is how so many people I’ve worked with put effort into making other people look bad.

Career Management Family Stories

A strand of bamboo
Wild Bamboo

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Winnie is an excellent gardener. Over the years we’ve lived in Northern Virginia, her annual vegetable gardens have become larger and more ambitious. By “ambitious,” I mean she’s been more adventurous with the variety of vegetables she’s tried growing. Sometimes, her experiments don’t do so well. Most of the time they do. So I have frequent opportunities to learn, and taste, another new veggie.

One vegetable Winnie hasn’t tried growing is bamboo shoots. But, no matter, because she’s learned where she can get bamboo shoots in the wild. So hunting wild bamboo has become another annual adventure in fine dining.

Family Stories

comparing service on navy submarines to service on surface ships.
Composite of submarine USS Scamp and cruiser USS Port Royal

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

My Navy career was rather unusual as I served on both submarines and surface ships. These were considered “different navies,” with different traditions and duty requirements. In that era, very few sailors ever made a switch between surface and subs. For the most part, the only sub sailors who typically went to the surface fleet were those kicked off subs for disciplinary issues, and who also lost their “Qualified in Submarines” status.

I qualified submarines on USS Scamp, SSN 588. I maintained my submarine qualification status when, years later, I joined the Aegis Cruiser USS Port Royal , CG 73. This dual service gave me an interesting perspective on the different communities that make up our U.S. Navy.

In the Navy Quora Re-Posts

Springtime Snail, Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-black-and-brown-snail-on-green-leaf-209074/
Springtime Moving As Slow As A Snail

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Spring has sprung, and the world is waking up after a long winter’s nap. Leaves are budding on bare tree branches. Brown remnants of last year’s grass is turning green. Bird are happily chirping while temps are climbing back into the no-jackets-needed range.

Meanwhile, I’m here in a doldrum of Springtime lethargy. Seemingly moving with the exuberance of a lowly snail. When the rest of the world is coming alive, why do my feet feel like they’re embedded in concrete-filled buckets?

Family Stories

Libertarian House Cats. Photo by NastyaSensei: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-and-white-bicolor-cat-3318214/
Libertarian House Cats

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

I’ve never previously posted about my political awakening and journey to Radical Left Wing Liberal in this humble blog.

My political journey started as first uninterested, then a registered Libertarian, to Democrat, and on to my present Radical Liberalism. But, I started remembering my brief foray into the world of Libertarianism with the fallout over Silicon Valley Bank’s sudden collapse this past Friday.

Which brings me to the best comparison I’ve heard yet about Libertarians as house cats.

Opinions & Commentary

This and That Mad Hatter Cartoon
This and That News Messenger

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

So here we are in almost mid-March. Trees are showing leaf buds and blooms, flowers are popping out of the ground. Night time temps are still in the mid-thirties, but daytime temps are up in the fifties and sixties. Tonight we change the clocks ahead one hour in anticipation of Spring, which this year is already happening.

I don’t much care for winter cold, but I’m wondering if trees budding in the beginning of March is such a good thing?

Family Stories

Huxley, Julian. At the Zoo (Woking: Unwin, 1936) (hardcover books)
The Bible of Woke

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

It’s always refreshing to hear politicians telling me what I’m thinking, and what I want. As in “the American People have spoken, and they want [ fill in the blank ].” At least, when I’m hearing Democratic politicians talk about what the “American People” want, it’s probably something a sizable group of Americans actually do want. Like, getting in to see a doctor without first taking out a loan.

But, with Republican politicians, it’s increasingly more likely that their view of what “American People” want is skewed with their latest talking points. Their latest talking point of “woke” seems to be the new black – highly fashionable without anyone really being able to explain why.

Opinions & Commentary

Auto mechanic as a business
Auto Mechanics At Work

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

The term “Sticker Shock” typically means the shock at seeing just how much something new, usually an automobile, costs as determined by the price tag or sticker. After my recent experience with an auto dealership service department, I’m now extending the term “Sticker Shock” to auto maintenance. Honestly, with pricing that can only be described as obscene, auto dealers are putting themselves out of business.

Family Stories