“If you liked Descent, you’ll love this… Trust me, I work at GameStop”

ONCE… Just once has a suggestion from game stop actually been worth the effort.

This was back in 1999. I believe I was still living at home and was associating with my good friend Rocky at the time.

The suggestion was thus, “You would like to play Tribes”.

I had never heard of tribes, and didn’t know what the game was about. It was a FPS with a twist, you had a jetpack and could ski across HUGE amounts of land very quickly. Of all the game I think I have ever played, this one is by far the fastest playing and requires the most amount of twitch.

Well, after playing tribes for a bit, I realized that this game was quite entertaining. I mean, REALLY entertaining.

So, after figuring that out, as a child of the era when the internet was still new, what did I do? I uttered the rallying cry that wasn’t even a phrase yet…. “TO THE INTERNET!”.

I fired up google (Because I used google before it was a verb), and looked up tribes. I found screenshots and such from the game. And honestly, this is pretty much what I was playing…

Nothing fancy. Well, the internet told me that there was going to be a sequal. I even knew roughly when the release date was.

Since game marketing was still young, the best you could get was a display in the electronics portion of the local walmart or fred meyer.

While at the electronics department of the freddies down in Bremerton Washington one afternoon while I was with Rocky, we spied something. It was what appeared to be Tribes 2.

I looked at rocky and exclaimed, “It’s Out!” and ran over…

The following is a decent account of what took place as I stepped up to the display.

diamond, sword, sand, raker, blood, eagle, tribe, tribes, ascend, beta, closed, open, free, powerup, code, video, screenshot, download, crack, hack, sanic, gotta, go, fast, brute, pathfinder, technician, wallpaper, download

The boxes on that display were empty. The game wasn’t supposed to be out for a few more days at least. What is really sad is I knew this. What is even MORE sad is that I had seen this comic that morning before Rocky and I went down to Fred Meyer.

Yeah, that’s right, I got suckered in to a display. Honestly, it sucked. So, I waited the extra week and sure enough, the actual game was out.

I purchased my new game, I went home, I installed it, and started running the updater. (All while Playing Descent 2 on Kali in the background).


After the updater was complete (I already knew it was a horrible update system they were using after glancing it it), I was faced with a situation a lot like this one….

I took my beating and the update completed. I was playing tribes 2.

Much better eh?

Well, time passed, games come and go, and I moved on.

Well, here I am, 10 years later and I found a link to a new game. Tribes: Ascend.

Just like Team Fortress 2 (GREAT GAME BTW!), it was free to play.

In my head, I started doing the “No-Pants, I’m so happy Dance”.

I clicked join.

I clicked install.

I clicked update. (No kicking this time)

I clicked play.

What did I see?


 diamond, sword, sand, raker, blood, eagle, tribe, tribes, ascend, beta, closed, open, free, powerup, code, video, screenshot, download, crack, hack, sanic, gotta, go, fast, brute, pathfinder, technician, wallpaper, download, reddit, 4chan, butchers, butcher, flag, deathmatch, arena, rabbit, free, porn 

(Oh yeah, click the pics to make them bigger… will ya?)

Bar far, this is the best tribes yet in the way of looks.

But how does it play? Well, it’s still as fast as the first two. It’s still got all of my favorite features. But it’s a tad different.

Lets look at this video before we get too far. Just to give you an idea of some of the things that take place in this amazing game.

It used to be that you couldn’t change your loadouts on the fly anymore, they have since fixed that, but it wasn’t a big deal because your life expectancy isn’t long enough to really matter.

Oddly enough though, after my first few minutes, it reminded me a lot of playing Halo. The first one. Something about the way the gun is carried. The general feeling of the architecture. The overall mood seemed kinda like something Bungie would put out.

Honestly, I’ve only had two hours logged in game when I wrote this, but I’m really enjoying it. Little things like the the damage effect, the key layouts, and the ability to use grenades are pleasing to see.

Will I keep playing? Probably. Do I want my friends to play? YES! Yes I do.

Would I be crazy excited if my wife and/or son decided to play with me? HELL YES!

I’m a little excited honestly. Okay, maybe a little more than I like to admit. But regardless, it’s a hoot.


Scenes from Underway – 1

Life underway creates some interesting experiences.

You see some things that just can’t really be captured unless you are there.

Let’s see if we can try though.


While working in the warehouse prior to getting underway, we found the rolling bottom to a garbage can.

We weren’t quite sure what we wanted to do with it, so being the awesomely immature people that we are, my shipmate and I decided that the best use for such a thing would be to roll around on the floor like a skateboard with it. Marks in saftey? Threes!


I was standing watch in Main Control during some drills a few weeks back. I was monitoring some equipment on the CCTV system and I had noticed the the majority of the crew had mustered on the pier. I figured I’d get a snapshot of the ordeal.

Usually both screens look like the one on the right, but in this case I wanted to see a better view of the crew. That’s a lot of screens to monitor at any given time.


I had just walked back in to the ship from the fantail recently. It was cold. It was windy. I was getting a little seasick (read VERY seasick!) and I was looking forward to going down to the messdeck for some crackers. After closing the door behind me and taking off my hat I turned around to see this. It’s a closed hatch with a closed scuttle. For the record, I hate scuttles. I sighed quite heavily, turned around and went back outside to find a different door into the ship that didn’t require me to open a scuttle. FWIW…Totally worth going back into the cold.


We were underway near Mackinaw Island the other day. It was cold (20 degrees), there was a strong 25kt wind, and it was cloudy as hell. While we were out there the deck was starting to accumulate some lake effect snow. The Island was visible in the distance. I was out there a few months back during the summer while it was green and covered in trees and grass. But now, it’s just snow, cold, grey, and hibernating waiting for the spring to come back.



I came in one morning getting ready for a duty day and this was the scene that I found. The Cutter Alder was tied up next to the Mackinaw. They had been there overnight and were getting ready to get underway. We are bigger than the Alder by a good 15 feet (Doesn’t seem like much on the outside) and we have been tied up with them once or twice in the past. It never ceases to amaze me though to see two ships of this size tied up together. You don’t get to see it very often though so I guess that makes sense.


Frigid weather, high winds, and a mooring evolution. This shot shows a few members of the crew putting heaving lines over to the pier and being involved in the mooring of the ship. Considering the weather and conditions involved in that particular evolution, this was a hairy one. They are highly skilled though so it went flawlessly, just like it always does.



So, that’s it for this entry. These are a few scenes from underway on the Mackinaw.

Scenes from underway ( A precursor)

Underway life on a Coast Guard Cutter is interesting.

There are so many aspects of life that each person experiences on a ship that the regular world never even knows exist. From schedules, to work routines, to the simple types of every day humor that the world at large just doesn’t get. The whole thing is laced with little jokes, actions that produce snickers and laughter, and general innuendo that some people might raise an eyebrow at but those of us on board see as signs of affection and comraderie. We have names for people that just don’t make sense anywhere else. Life underway is an almost etherial experience. There is nothing else like it anywhere I have ever worked. When you cram 60 people into a steel box for months on end and tell them to go complete some vague task under the flag of military direction, you get some weird stuff.

Since I already know that I want to take pictures of this kind of thing, and try to give people a glimpse of what it is we’re doing out there, I figured I’ve give you a precursor and let you know that I am going to blog about those Scenes from Underway and see what you think.

Comments are always good.

Here we go. The posts will follow soon.


My current dilemma

 So, I have a dilemma. As some of you may or may not know, I am a smoker.

I know, it’s bad for your health. It’s gross. It shortens lives. It’s against the word of wisdom. It goes against everything I was raised to know. Etc. etc. etc.


I don’t need the lecture right here or now. That isn’t the point of this post.

 The point of this post is this, my Engineering Officer has asked me to quit.

 Seems simple enough. He is even dangling a carrot in front of my while I work on it.

 One of my better friends (Chris Monkiewicz), was confronted with the same request/offer.

 So, after a few minutes of discussion, we have decided that this may actually be a good idea.

 So, after deciding that this might be a good idea, we decided that it will probably be a complete pain in the ass to actually do.  But still, it’s probably going to happen.

 As with everything else in life, there comes the serious of questions that define everything that happens; Who, What, When, Why, Where.

 So I offer up the following to you.

 WHO: Myself (Garen Anderson), and my friend (Chris Monkiewicz).

WHAT: Quit Smoking

WHERE: Uhm… right here? At… me? The boat? C’MON… this is a dumb one anyways.

WHEN: That’s the kicker right there now isn’t it?  We don’t know. I only know that it’s most likely going to happen. Probably within the next week considering I only have enough supplies for another carton on board.  The date will be posted soon.

WHY: Because as much as we may or may not enjoy the habit, we don’t really want to smoke. And we are being bribed.

 So, now that I know that this is most likely going to take place, I figure I’d talk a moment on why I do this.

Do I like to smoke? Not really. It’s a stress relief. Considering my life as of late, anything that relieves stress is a good thing in my book.

Does it taste good? Sometimes. Sometimes no. It really depends on the day, the brand, the weather, if I’ve been drinking lead laced water, and if I have just had a meal or not.

Additionally, have you ever had that first smoke after a meal? Oh my goodness, there is an odd satisfaction from it that just doesn’t come from anywhere else.

 I don’t like smoking. I don’t want to be that ex-smoker that makes everyone elses life hard. And I don’t want to come across as holier than thou to the rest of my friends, co-workers, or wife.

 So, if I pull it off, or if I don’t, I’m still going to try apparently.

 Here is to not being a smoker anymore.


I have been betrayed.

I have actual proof!

I’m serious, something in this world is conspiring against me.

 I’m aware that as you get older some things change. Voice, physique, tolerance for liberals (decreased!), and various other things.

Well, while shaving this morning, I took note of the graying I am getting around my ears. I know that is happening and I’m slowly coming to terms with it.

BUT, where the betrayal is taking place is slightly less comforting.

 Look at this AMAZING self portrait.



You will notice that I have amazingly thick, dark, and lush eyebrows. I’m very proud of those dark brown squirrels that sleep above my eyeballs.


While combing through them this morning, I stumbled on something….





SERIOUSLY! This isn’t cool.

Hiding beneath  those fuzzy manly forests of upper eyeball hair is… White, Grey, Lighter brown, EVIL.

I’m not cool with my eyebrows changing color.

This is unacceptable.

A world within a world next to a world in a pineapple under the sea.

So, I’m sitting in my house (not home, see my previous posts) watching TV.

The Shawshank Redemption comes on and I figure I might as well watch it. I’ve never sat through it so now seems like as good a time as any.

Well, while I was watching this amazing masterpiece of a film, I stumbled upon something amazing.

Oh, just a side note… The internet is AMAZING!

Okay, here we go.

Three things are about to have amazing ties put together between them.





Go ahead, click the links if you want. I’ll explain what we’re looking at in a moment.

okay.. we good?

Now, did you notice anything while you were looking?

What? You didn’t even look at the links? Well, I’ll fill you in on what we are looking at.

Clancy Brown. He’s not much in the way of an amazing actor, but he does command a certain screen presence. Or, a portray a rather stingy crab.

Either way. I’m aware you just went back and looked at the Spongebob link.

Yeah, Clancy Brown played Mr. Krabs. So, in your head you are most likely saying something along the lines of “Oh, so that’s what he looks like”.

Well, Mr. Krabs has nothing to do with this actual post. He’s just the third part of what I’m talking about. People like it when things are posted in threes, so that’s what I’m doing. Don’t believe me about the threes thing? Well, just like deaths, disasters, and commercials, they always come in threes. Maybe you see what I just did? I handed you a list of THREE things.

But, I digress. Lets look at the other two links.

The first is from the Shawshank Redemption. There is a jailer by the name of Captain Hadley. He’s a bit of a badass. Knocks people around. Gets beer and such for the inmates. Overall he’s a great character in the movie.

The second one is from The Guardian. The CO of the Air Station by the name of Captain Hadley. He is a friend of Kevin Costners character. Flys helo’s. All sorts of cool stuff. His character in the guardian isn’t that deep though.

Odd thing about both of those characters, other than the fact that they have the same name is the fact that they are played by the same actor. Who? You guessed it… Clancy Brown.

So, Captain Hadley the Jailer, Captain Hadley the Coast Guardsman, and Mr. Krabs the restauranteur are all the same person, the same actor, and since I don’t have a third (because we like lists of three) I’ll say the same person again.

Pretty crazy huh?

Admit it… your mind = blown!

In and Out and In and Out and In and…

So, to make a long story very short, I just finished moving back in to my house.

First, I moved out of the house. You should see the process involved in moving out. In fact, you’re going to see it even if you don’t want to because the pictures are already on your screen.


Now that the pictures are off of the walls, I can start packing stuff.

GAH! Now it’s a mess.


There we go, most everything is out.


But now that I moved out, I moved back in. (This process happened twice for a number of reasons.)


I got the last of my worldly posessions out of my storage unit and in to my house. They are still in boxes, taken apart, and sitting all over the place, but they are at least sitting inside my house.

There is a funny thing about houses and homes but I’ll get in to that in a minute. For now, I am wanting to point out that my stuff is in the house.

I put my table and chairs back up in the kitchen. I got the dressers back in to the bedrooms. My clothes are in drawers instead of a seabag. I am slowly moving back in.

As soon as my medical stuff is taken care of I still plan on having the movers take my crap out of here and I’ll move on to the ship. But for now, I’m back in the house.

The house. That is an interesting statement.

I have lived in this house for a little over two years. Up till about July of this year, this was my home. But now, it’s just a house.

I remember right after I got married I was excited about having a home of my own. My wife and I had a little two bedroom apartment in Reedsport Oregon. It was a small place but it was home. We only had a 13 inch TV, a mattress on the floor, and a glider rocker that my lovely wife sat in while she was pregnant. This simple apartment was Home. We moved around with the Coast Guard and in each place we went to, that was home. Just like those previous houses, this one in Michigan was home.

After a series of events took place, the family moved out and I was left here alone. Suddenly, within a matter of moments, this home became a house.

The laughter of my children, the thudding of feet down a hallway, the constant mess of chips, soda cans, and papers from school… all of it was gone.

This home is now a house.

And I just finished moving back in.

I guess I have some boxes to go unpack.


Hipsters… Ugh.

Horn rimmed black glasses.
A Mackbook Pro under their arm.
PBR in their hand.
Skinny Jeans.
A scarf regardless of the weather.
Liberal ideas and attitudes.
Only travel on a fixed gear bicycle.
Side swept hair.
Vegan or Vegetarian.
Only shop at Whole Foods.
Like independant, no-name crappy bands that no one has heard of.
Wear a headband and/or v-neck shirts/sweaters.
Carry a shoulder strap messenger bag.
Underground mentalities.
And the ever so common, but popularly labeled “underground free thinking” mentality.
All of it based off of IRONY!

These are the signs of a hipster.

I cannot STAND hipsters.

Unfortunately, hipsters are currently the bread and butter of the Occupy movement. Another thing that I cannot stand.

Want to see another of their most recent charades?


This is a travesty. This is unacceptable. And while I believe that this is within their first amendment rights, and I wouldn’t say they can’t do it. It still find it to be complete and utter trash. (This is MY 1st amendment right speaking BTW).

Lousy hipsters. Take a bath, get a haircut, and get a job.