John at the Fort Walton Beach Landing
John at the Fort Walton Beach Landing

I’m John Baur, and this blog is about the four parts of my life.

FAMILY LIFE – I am, first and foremost, a family man – married more than a quarter century now to the love of my life, Tori Baur. Between us we’ve raised six kids. We have moved from Oregon, where we met and did most of the child raising, to the U.S. Virgin Islands for four years. Then we moved to the New Orleans area, where we’ve been since the summer of 2012.

PIRATE LIFE – I’m best known to the world as a pirate. My friend Mark Summers and I invented International Talk Like a Pirate Day, then took the idea way too far. It’s not the way your parents would choose for you to come to the world’s attention, but – hey! – when the wave comes up, you ride the wave. It’s been a wild ride and we’ll keep going as long as it’s fun. And I have to admit here, and Mark would agree, that virtually all our best ideas were really Tori’s. In the pirate world (surprisingly big) I’m Ol’ Chumbucket, Tori is Mad sally, and Mark is Cap’n Slappy.

Ol' Chumbucet and cigar
John ‘Ol’ Chumbucket’ Baur at one of Captain Killy’s infamous midnight pirate parties at Cane Bay, St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

WRITING LIFE – I’ve paid the rent as a writer and editor all my adult life. I’ve worked for a variety od small daily papers, a magazine and a university. I started in the days of manual typewriters, glue pots and hot lead, and I now work for the Virgin Islands Source, an online “newspaper with no paper” that covers the V.I. I’m one of those grizzled old news guys who grumble when reporters use phrases like “free gift” and “more unique,” or confuse adverbs and adjectives or “that” and “which.” But I’m also an author. I’ve co-written two books of humor with Cap’n Slappy, and I’ve written three novels. All young adult pirate adventures. My agent – who I refer to as Eddie the Agent – is currently pushing “Scurvy Dogs” in the marketplace.

CLINGING TO LIFE – OK, that’s a little hyperbole. I went to the doctor for the first time in ten years. I’m one of those guys who figures, “No problem, Shake it off.” I’d get chest pains, or my knees would hurt, and I’d say, “Don’t be a whiner. Take some aspirin and move on.” I was taking 12 to 16 aspirin a day. Well, turns out I’m in better shape than I had any reason to hope, my heart is fine. Mostly all I need to do is lose some weight and lower my cholesterol. (My blood is officially “rich and creamy.” The only ratings higher than that are “Gravy” and “Crunchy.” So from time to time I’ll be writing about how that’s going.

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