Kevin's stories, or, The fish that got away

Since @Michel asked, I will share some stories here. We will start with a short one, since it is late and I am on my mobile phone.

This one is more musing than anything. I was reading @Sams story and it got me thinking of the great sea stories @Sam must have, and the sailing stories @Michel must have.

It makes me think of the time sailing a 54’ Bermuda rigged sloop out the Florida intercoastal waterway to the Atlantic. The ship had just been paid off early, there had been a mortgage burning ceremony at Hooters with the goal of spending the savings. We accomplished that, left the buxom waitress a $900 tip, and the drunk 6 man, 2 woman crew, headed to the liquor store and then on to the ship.

We headed out with full knowledge that we didn’t have the required horn to get the bridges to lift. You might be surprised at how horn like a bunch of drunk sailors sound. We got past the cruise ships and into the Atlantic though.

We were ill prepared for the Gale force winds that came up out of nowhere. Somehow, by the grace of G-d, we made it back to the intercoastal entry, but found the bridge keeper sound asleep. Holler all we could, we couldn’t get him up.

One of the crew (yes, still plastered) decided he would jump in, swim ashore, and wake the bridge tender. He was swept out towards Sea but was fortunately rescued by a skiff from a cruise ship.

We did finally get the bridge tender awake and headed in to dock, only to find the pier to be in flames. What could we do but sit and finish the beer and tequila watching it burn.

Risky, yes. Well thought out and intelligent, no. Lucky, heck yes.

Head on over to my blog for stories on my travels in Russia, Ukraine, and occupied Crimea. You may even find the stories of G-d’s hand in bringing my wife and I together, and some of my near death medical stories with my wife as the heroine.

I will warm that if you are pro-Ukraine, anti Russia, offended by Christian beliefs, or trust our media to be true and unbiased, you will be offended.


I have a right to not be offended by your thoughts. Take it down. :wink:

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I was going to tell a story of doing security for… young women in impoverished countries choosing a living to better their lives, and the, nice men who provided those opportunities to them and who paid me ungodly amounts of money.

But since you are offended, and the 28th Amendment to the Constitution overrides the First Amendment, I guess I will have to start with my early years and my very protective mother (G-d rest her soul) who always secretly packed ungodly amounts of “emergency supplies” for me to do things other kids did. Like going to scout camp, accompanied by my father, thinking I didn’t know that “being special” meant i was not allowed to do what other kids did, how fragile I was, and how I was treated differently than other kids. I knew those supplies were in the medical tent I had to go to in order to get injections before eating.

Not on purpose, mind you. They were protecting me while attempting to teach me that I was no different than other kids, but instead taught me I had limitations because of my diabetes.

But at least the other kids in kindergarten benefited. My teacher ensured they all had a mid morning snack of Graham crackers and milk when my porcine insulin peaked.

Thank G-d Coach Napoli (G-d rest his soul) came into my life in high school. Hearing “Michelizzi! You ain’t crippled! Put on yer gym shorts and git yer a** out on that football field. I don’t care of it is 0 degrees out and snowing!”

“You ain’t crippled” became my life motto after that. He opened a world of opportunities to me, to my mother’s horror.

Better? :smiley:


" I was going to tell a story
of doing security for… young women in impoverished countries choosing a living to better their lives, and the, nice men who provided those opportunities to them and who paid me ungodly amounts of money."

How long ago was that and
where? I wonder if we ever crossed paths…

I only have e-mail connection
currently so I don’t see about 99% of threads and replies currently, but this one came through to my e-mail… must have been a direct reply to me.


12-15 years ago. Puerto Rico, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, and a few other CIS countries as needed. I was kind of behind the scenes doing network security, some location based security, and billing and “interaction” security. The later would be most likely where we would meet. I did work for two different “corporations.”

I still own my Romanian base of operations (an apartment)

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Hmm. In high school, I was a geek. I studied Spanish and French, built my own computers, and took every writing class I could. I got thrown out of my second time at computer science for having into the State University computer system, and my favorite class was biology taught by a nun from St. Petersburg (yeah, I went to a Catholic HS). That is when I feel in love with Russia, which was the basis of most of my interesting stories.

I canoed the Boundary Waters canoe area and down the St. Louis River many times. I had become relatively independent as a diabetic, and other than my insulin, syringes, and urine test strips, I carried nothing out of the ordinary food or emergency wise. That is also when I became an “under the stars” camper. I was still a Boy Scout. Fun days.

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@kmichel, love the stories! Keep them coming!

My older son and I have done that too. My younger T1D son joined us in water camping for the first time last summer, MDI. No special emergency gear except for spare meters and Dexcom gear. The Dexcom gear failed, as did two out of three meters. I hope to take my younger son back to the Boundary Waters when we are back to the States in 2 years.

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Did you store them in vacuum sealed food bags? I usually keep my spare that way, and my main in a ziplock freezer bag.

My early adulthood was focused more on a young family than anything, so there wasn’t much adventure. Technical college, getting a job outside my field and ending up living the life of a charmed computer programmer. There were a couple trips that stood out though.

First was hang gliding in the Blue Ridge of North and South Carolina. Couldn’t carry much with us, but it was only a few days. I crashed on the 3rd day and destroyed my glider. Had to hike out after that.

The other one was in the mountains for a week. Me, a buddy, and our kids. We arrived at where we were going, to find a Boy Scout and Girl Scout troop had beat us to our remote location. It started to pour rain that evening. We had no tents, but we, fortunately, had a bunch of rope and some tarps. The rain got so bad by the second day that the scouts pulled out. We lived in our little “tarp city” for the rest of the wet week. I was on a pump by then, and it was cold, so no problem.

Then about 2003, I started doing some side work that entailed traveling the world. It did cost me my first marriage and my bank account with a large sum of money. Can’t blame her - I was flying around the world at a moment’s notice and hanging out with beautiful women (but never cheated - I’m Italian, I am nothing if not faithful). But life for me is more about the adventure. Just two different perspectives. Ultimately, it was the best thing that happened to both of us. She got the safe stability she wanted, and I got the adventure of a lifetime.

Then life started getting interesting…

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Heh. I remember my first trip to Romania. I knew people I was going to meet, and I had no concerns. However, I recall the woman in the seat next to me as we landed in Timisoara. She looked out the window and saw the runway lined with Mig’s and guys with automatic weapons. She panicked. I told her it was for her own safety. No planes get hijacked in places like this due to the military presence.

I also remember staying in a condo owned by the head of federal passport control. He was my best buddy. He expedited my residency in 2 days - nobody would say “no” to such a high ranking government official. I got stamps that would normally take months to get.

I also incorporated a business there. It took the name of a high profile graphics company in the US - but hey, I owned the name. All it cost me was a bottle of Jack Daniels brought from the US.

Getting out of the country was a bit more difficult. My insulin pump was a problem. It was something that wasn’t available there at the time, and there was no explaining it. This led to my using MDI on my future trips and while living there.

One of the people I met there was a beautiful Romanian woman who was in debt on her business she ran to pay for her and her sister’s tuition. She was a medical university student, so I ended up with good medical care - for Romania anyway (see quote above :wink: )

I ended up buying an apartment with her, and we remodeled it with a guy from Ireland. I only remember this detail because he was the only guy driving with the steering wheel on the right side of his van. Lots of good memories.


I will take the easy way out tonight. This story started some wild rides, personally and medically: