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.

3 thoughts on “About Me and BaurLife

  1. John, the next chunk of text will explain why I’m here. But first I want to say how much I resonate with your bio, above. You seem to enjoy life and have a wonderful family; that’s how I grew up too. And your peeves about improper use of words and punctuation hits home with me. (Its/it’s—even “professional” writers screw that up.) I had a client once who didn’t want his project just perfect, he wanted it perfect perfect! (Sorry, you’ll have to settle for perfect.)

    I chatted with Mark Axton today and suggested adding an SSL certificate to your website—otherwise some people (including me) will get a message that warns it’s not safe and secure (I assumed it was, but others might not). It’s simple to do, and just let me know if you need advice.

    Okay, here’s what I wrote on your TLAPD Facebook page:

    Thank you Ol’ Chumbucket & Cap’n Slappy, for inspiring a personal design project of mine with your Talk Like a Pirate Day. (I’m lousy at dialects so I can’t talk like a pirate, but we do have something in common: we are the founders of a couple special days. Yours, International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and mine, World Ampersand Day.)
    My project is a monthly poster design that always features the “fun & fabulous” ampersand. Your TLAPD gave me the idea to forge the Cap’n’s hook into an ampersand for the phrase Yo Ho Ho & a Bottle of Rum. You can see the entire post, and all 11 years’ worth, at
    I am anxious to join the party via live stream, and made most of my September issue about TLAPD with links to the Facebook stream. Hope it sends a few pirates your way. Ahoy!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s