Sunday, December 26, 2010

Too much fun

Having too much fun up here on the south shore of Ontario, as we have our youngest and LOUDEST daughter up for a visit. Good food and drink with most of the families. Wish we could have all the family together for the holiday, but we do what we can. Seems every year our families get further apart, as kids grow up and move away. Pretty soon marriages, kids and with any luck, jobs will separate us further from our families. The days of everyone living in the same city, or even state seems to be a rarity. We were spread out from Oregon to Texas, Florida and back up to NY, but now we range from Florida to New York. A bit easier, but still tough to get us all together.

Went to Buffalo before Christmas to visit my folks, as my sister had to cancel her holiday dinner. Hope you feel better Chuck. So my Dad wanted to meet at a bar for a few beers. OK, so off to The Brick House tavern we went. Not having been there, it was quite a surprise to see the place filled with guys, and very few women. The women that were there, aside from my family, we dressed in short shorts and halter tops. Well, yahoo! Nice place Dad. The twenty somethings would stop by the booth for a chat, and pretend they were interested in your life story. I looked over at my girls and saw their thoughts hanging over their heads...Tramp. Seriously! Isn't she cold? Skank. You don't need to do this. Dad, you're disgusting. I like those shoes....
My mom was the ambassador for the table, and did all the talking while me and my dad just nodded our heads from time to time. We don't get out much.

We're heading down to Georgia to take my youngest home, and poke around in her new hometown, Savannah. Hoping all the snow along the way is either melted, or plowed to the side.
I still can't believe she's allowing us sleep over in her little apartment. The image of me in boxers, scratching my butt in front of the coffee pot will be etched in her holiday memories for a while. Poor kid. She better sleep in.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Solstice!

According to my Germanic heritage, any dreams on this night foretold events in the coming year. I hope I dream of a working refrigeration system, and a dry rudder.

Hopefully, many of you will see the lunar eclipse. We are covered in clouds :(

Cold Beer

Looks like Sea Frost is going to be the provider of cold beer and food this summer. We went with them based on the SSCA survey results, which showed many cruisers were happy with this system. So now we will not have to run the engine before we head to bed, or when we wake up. Nice. I still have to figure out where the compressors are going to go. For a 44 ft boat, there really is not a lot of storage space.

Our rudder has started to de-laminate again. Looks like a bunch of holes for drying over the winter, then a nice squeeze into shape in the spring. Did not notice any rust colored water, so hopefully the frame is OK. I'm really going to seal it up good this time. In fact, 10 mil of Interprotect should keep it dry, as long as I get a good seal around the shaft. Never owned a boat with a dry rudder.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hibernation

I'm already in the hibernating mood, as winter has settled in. What do you do in a small apartment all winter? Not sure, but if I don't get it figured out, I'll emerge in the spring looking something like this:


When we had the house I was swamped with projects, and had a realistic deadline, so the pressure to complete was real, and the time flew past. My endless source of projects, das boat, is in frozen storage right now, so I'm trying to come up with a list of things for the winter to keep me busy. I want my friends to recognize me in the spring. What do you think of these ideas?

  • Endlessly surf the web, showing my wife all the funny and interesting things I've found.
  • Watch every sporting event that's on TV, including soccer on the Spanish channel, and Worlds Strongest Man. Poker is not a sport, and what's with the sunglasses? Seriously, Dog shows?
  • Watch the History channels and live in the past. Why don't they call it the WWII channel? Also, re-name the travel channel the Traveling glutton channel. Man vs Coronary artery disease is the only show it seems. Watch Americans eat other countries.
  • Curl up in a chair, and read every night, then go for stents in the spring.
  • Practice guitar chords all evening, and study Spanish phrases. Maybe even Spanish guitar! cómo es mi forma de tocar la guitarra? 



maybe not.

I'm on vacation until Jan 3rd, so I'll have time to try some new winter activities. Got any ideas for me? Send them along. I'll be here, all the time, every day, until April...my precious.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Snow

Well, this sucks. We received a few inches of white death already. Buffalo is still getting pounded, as it's up to their waists now.This guy could slow down a tad.



Amazing that this crap has started already. We always feared getting stuck in Buffalo, on one of our trips home. No offense Mom and Dad, but we all know 24 hours together is the absolute limit :)

I have a Sabres game to go to, and probably a Christmas run down the thruway. Hope I make out better than these people did. 


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Home Alone

Got the week off from work, and have been puttering around in the Apt for 3 days now. BORING!! When the days were warmer I would check on the boat, and play around in there, but now that it's about 35 degrees, no thanks. The wind has been blowing stink here for the last week, and our cover is a bit...warn. Hopefully it will last the winter.

Going to finalize the fridge sale today. Business must be good for SeaFrost, as they seem pretty carefree about getting my business. Hopefully that doesn't mean they're about to tank. I pretty much made a commitment to purchase, supplied a drawing of our compartments, and no response. They only seem to respond to a direct phone call, and if the sale is not made during that call, they drift away. We'll see today, if I get bad vibes from this place or not.

Got a shopping list from the Admiral today, so I have to brave the grocery store on the day before the holiday, which I was trying to avoid. I noticed I get called "Sir" a lot more often now. What's up with that? :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Up the Creek

Went for a paddle last Monday. Was a beautiful day, and decided to get some thin water time in Irondequoit Creek (ee-ron-dee-kwoit) Got a little video of the relaxing day. Something about kayaking that just calms you down and gets your mind focused on nature.  Felt good.

Irondequoit creek is Rochester's hidden wilderness. I launched at Bay Creek Paddling Center. They're great people there that love their sport.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tucked in

SV KellyNicole is all tucked in for the winter, and we can now hibernate until about April. I may still have some stuff on the boat that will explode in the deep freeze come January, so I'll have to make a few more trips out there. I hate to remove everything from the boat, then have to put it all back in there in the spring, so we now leave more items on-board. We are also in an apartment, and have little storage for things like cushions, beds, etc. It's 29 degrees  :(

The only good thing about the deep freeze, is all the friggin spiders will die.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Cover-up

I never got to build a tree fort when I was a kid. Kind of making up for that now. Though, looking at my woodworking, I would say I'm lucky I never got that chance, especially in a tall tree.


I'm hoping I can get some work done in this fort I'm constructing. Maybe with a heater going, I can attack some of those projects I have lined up. It would be nice to get the refrigeration units installed this winter, and the v-berth ripped up to get the holding tank removed. That one will be a bear. I might be overly optimistic here, because when the snow starts blowing, and it’s about 20 degrees, I may find it hard to leave the couch in front of the fireplace. Did I tell you I hate NY winters?


There will not be anything happening inside, if I don't get the crappy tarp over this frame. Seems the wind started blowing as soon as I got ready to put it up. It takes two people, so I have to wait for wifey to find time away from work before I can cover up the master carpentry. Inside storage ($$) is looking real good right now. Hmmm..

Friday, October 22, 2010

Refrigeration


Well, we're going with Sea Frost to keep the beer cold. Was not impressed with their public relations at the show, but I get good reports about the units, so let the cash flow. Holding plates seem to work for us, so we'll stick with them. I do have to make the freezer smaller, and add some insulation to the fridge. Maybe a vacuum panel liner for the inside. I suppose a freezer would come in handy, but we don't eat meat, and ice cream is evil, delicious, but evil, so not sure what we will put in there. Guess we could always shut it off until we need it.
I am also considering buying the solar panels real soon, as China has restricted the sales of rare earth minerals to the the US and Japan, which should impact the price of panels in the coming months. Doesn't it figure, that when electric cars are about to hit the market, that the rare earth magnets that the high efficient motors need, are all mined in China.
Not much else going on, except the construction of the framework for the boat cover this weekend. At least  I will not be raking leaves this year :D

Monday, October 18, 2010

Scenes from the Laundromat

On Tuesdays, we go to the laundromat. The one in our building, is just that, one. There is one washer and dryer, and it always has some guys underwear in it. Last Tuesday we were sitting in our brightly lit room full of spinning clothes, at the local laundromat, and I was pretty bored. I'm currently reading a book that is really good about every 100 pages or so. So I keep reading it. I looked up from the book and saw some cute Marisa Tomei looking woman sorting her laundry. OK, I noticed. So about another ten pages into this crappy book, and in walks this Frankie Valli looking guy in a tweed sport coat, and clicky shoes. It sounded like he was about to do a dance on the tile floors, as he tapped his way to a washer. Frankie noticed Marisa,  and  immediately lost all his composure. This guy actually stopped, and stared at her, then took a minute or two, of short steps towards the washing machines with his tiny bag of clothes. He deposited the quarters one at a time, fumbling them while undressing this woman. Finally his machine was running and he paced back and forth for a bit, probably wondering how to get this woman's attention. She wasn't too interested, and he walked out the front door, with a look back, maybe heading for a martini at the bar next door, so he could work up some nerve.

About 20 minutes later, here comes Frankie through the front door, looking like he was ready to run a marathon. Really short shorts, exposing two sticks full of hair, some nylon stretchy shirt, and a stupid looking, not quite a baseball hat on his tan head. Frankie got his laundry, did some stretches, and bent over to put his clothes in the lowest dryer, all in front of this cute uninterested woman. Marisa looked up from doing her nails, smirked, then continued filing. Frankie leaned on the table and asked Marisa how long a quarter would get him. There was a pause, then she laughed the most hideous nasal noise you ever heard. Like her nose was in a vise grip, she said "Ha ha ha about six minutes, ha ha ha ha". Frankie's head jerked back a bit, smiled, said thank you, and after awkwardly starting the dryer, left through the front door with that voice stuck in his head. Marisa quickly gathered her laundry and left before Frankie decided to put his tap shoes back on. Wow, you don't get this kind of entertainment in the suburbs. Love the city, and this trip was way better than the last one, where we just had the crazy guy watching our laundry spin around.


Boat show:
We were strolling the docks at the boat show, when we heard over a PA something like "owners of a French flagged vessel please report to your boat". Hmm, someone is in trouble, I thought. We exited the show, totally bored with the HUGE sailboats, that nobody can afford, and walked the Naval Academy grounds. When we got to the shoreline we saw some towboat US guys around a cat in the harbor. Looking closer, we saw the big cat was up against a mono-hull, and they were gouging themselves nicely.  One of my fears when anchoring is having some boat drag down on us when we're ashore. That, and Whales knocking my keel off.  Imagine the shock these folks have in store for them, when they return to the damage. Wonder how they find out what happened? Will TowboatUS notify them somehow? Were these the folks being paged?

That sucks

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Boat Show

We made it down to Annapolis for the sailboat show, and we've already seen some familiar faces. Funny, you read the cruising blogs, trying to live their dream from your computer, and then you bump into them. You wonder if they get creeped out when you say, "I read your blog, how's the cat been feeling." I myself think back on older blog posts, and wonder if someday someone will come up to me and ask me if I ever got those davits installed, or "you looked so funny with that towel around your head, pretending to be Indian". Worse, "you think you're funny with that bath towel on your head, I curse your family, you..." 

So today we'll hit the tents looking for a deal on refrigeration. I'm not a guy that can swing deals. If I don't hear the right price, I just walk away, so this should be interesting. I know what I want, and there are several manufacturers out there, so we'll see how well we do. Neither one replied to my e-mails requesting a quote, and I will bring that up.
Hopefully we will run into more bloggers, so I can creep them out.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bad rap

I guess I gave Rochester a bad rap. It really can be fun here, as long as you don't think about summer constantly, like I do. If you are willing to give up thoughts of sailing and boats for a few months, you really can entertain yourself. We sit on the Erie canal, and the southern shore of Lake Ontario, and are minutes away from the beauty of the finger lakes and wine country. Fall foliage can be beautiful, and the winter skiing can be great too, as we have some awesome hills locally, and Adirondack park is hours away. So don't let my winter blahs give you a bad impression of Roch cha cha. Come on over and taste some of our apples, walk over some crunchy orange leaves, and pick out your pumpkin. Go on a hay ride, grab some cider, and snuggle up by the bonfire. We live in the city now, and I can say that it is really going to be a fun off season...as long as I don't freeze to death :)

Looks pretty nice

We have water falls

And we have the white and gray death :(  Sorry, it's just so damn depressing

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Winding Down

Well, the summer is winding down for us, and we are thinking  about putting the old barge away for the winter. Many others have a jump start, but no rush for us. It's not like I have yard work to do :)
We'll start next weekend, or maybe I'll come out during the week and get some things like the oil changed,  pump out, and fuel top-off. I have to clean one tank, as it's pretty bad, so looking for ideas on how to accomplish this. I think there is about 20 gallons in there.
Everyone here loves fall, and I can't figure out why. Upstate NY, especially around Rochester, is always overcast and gray. You would be lucky to get maybe 5 days of sunny fall weather, where you can say wow, what a day. Most of the time it's cold, and damp, and very little sun. You might say I'm getting a jump start on miserable.

Apartment life is starting to take shape. The broad, er, uh, woman upstairs really loves her heels. In fact, she wears them all the time. The kitchen sink drain sprung a leak. Deb called the maintenance guy. I'm no longer the fix it guy :) Sweet. I hate plumbing. Aside from the heels, the apartment is ok. As long as we keep that sail away date in mind, we can tolerate it.
985 days.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Echoes

As I walked through our empty house, from room to room, my footsteps echoed off the bare walls and floors. How strange the feeling, that a house once so alive with activity, was now so empty and quiet. Lost in memories in each room, the echoes from my footsteps were replaced with the laughter of the kids on my back as I carried them around the living room. The giggles and screams as I snared them, when playing alligator. The dining room filled with toys, instead of furniture. Kelly and Nicole making pretend dinners, playing house. Our dog Murf, guarding them, and trying to get in on the action from time to time. The kitchen is where I would use every pot and pan to make dinner, and then the playtime afterward as Deb cleaned up my mess. Our family room truly was just that. It was a place to laugh, watch movies, cuddle. Some shenanigans would also happen there too. Can't have a ceiling fan, and not spin some stuffed animals off it, or try to toss them through the spinning blades.
Bed time stories, and chasing kids in pajamas. Hiding under beds, and in closets, made the half hour before bedtime so much fun. Murfy getting a bath, then racing around the house trying to dry off, while the girls screamed trying to  get out of his way. The birthday parties, the friends, and the relatives, so much fun and laughter. It's the laughter I remember most of all, and those are the echoes I hear, as the door closes on another chapter in our lives.
We had a happy home.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Change in the Weather

Damn it got cold. It's like a switch was thrown, and we went from 90 to 70 in an instant. Oh well, it had to end sometime. Cooking up some pasta in the galley, with some summer squash sauteed in garlic, and of course some cool tunes from radio margaritaville. A little grape helps too. You know it's cold when I start drinking wine.
One good thing about the cold is the cyanobacteria is gone! Just like that, it was gone overnight. Not sure if I would take a swim, but it looks a hell of a lot better.

Looks like fall is coming


 She's not liking the cold either

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cyanobacteria

Nice to know we are floating in a toxic soup. They found Cyanobacteria in our waters recently, and more tests are being done to see what other goodies there are out here. Meanwhile, people are still on their PWC's and dinghies, water skiing, etc. Dopes. One guy said he just got his sense of taste and smell back, after a week. The word is getting out slowly, but only through people talking. Maybe some signs posted around the waterfront? Seen too many people still messing around in this stuff. Hell, I don't even want to anchor in it, for fear I'll get some on me. Nasty. Just nasty.

Fall in and die.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Toxic Algae

Couple weeks ago we noticed some light blue "cream" in the water. Thought it was a spill of some sort, but turns out it is a toxic algae bloom. The waters of Sodus Bay and many smaller lakes in northern NY are experiencing this. The reports are saying there are toxins released into the water, and fish, pets, and humans are vulnerable. There is a large fish kill at the south end, and a dog has died from swimming in it. This is not good. I have been in this Bay over 17 yrs, and have never seen this. Environmentalists say it was because of the warm spring we had, which promoted the weed growth, that gave us this algae.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Good day to sail

We were a bit hesitant to leave the slip yesterday, as the wind was howling, and peaking in the twenties. We waited and waited for it to calm down a bit. We don't fear the wind at this speed, we fear the slip exit. The bow can get blown away from you pretty quick, and there isn't much room to maneuver the barge. The wind dropped enough for us to exit, so we went for it. We made it just fine, even as the wind went right beck up to the twenties. Daughter Kelly and Eric were with us, and our friend Don came along. Was a nice ride, but the wind was gusty, which kept us on our toes. Deb did not steer, or tweak the sails at all this ride. Was weird just having her as a passenger / docking master.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Buzz post

I managed to find my way back from Captain Jacks, and amazingly, I can still type. So I would like to make a blog entry. First off, the bartenders were amazing. Very skilled at communication they are. Had me laughing most of the time, except when they were discussing how cheap the tips were. Put the pressure on they did. The most amazing blue eyes for pirate girls I must say. Had me in a trance. Before I knew it, I was 5 beers into the night, and thinking about how long a walk i had back to the marina. Nothing worse than staggering across the road waving to your marina mates, as they glare at your handy footwork on the curbside. "He's in the sailboat on E-dock isn't he. Hmmm, where's his wife? Drunk Ass"
So, Thursdays I get to hang out at the captain for a few laughs and goggles. Tonight it was bachelor night.  Deb was out with some old friends, so I had to go out and make some new one's. Not sure if they will shout out my name next Thursday night as I arrive at the bar, but we'll see :D

Aye Captain.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunday Sail

video

Got a nice sail in on Sunday. Not too crowded out there.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Getting our act together

So much to do before the closing, only weeks away. We really have to get going on clearing out the house, as we are running out of time. Selling all the stuff is not as easy as we thought. Some of our relatives are helping out by taking some things like furniture, and some other household items we do not want in the apartment. Speaking of apartments, we are looking at one on Monday. One bedroom. Still bigger than the boat, but not much room for extra stuff. This is going to remind me of my bachelor days, having a bike in the bedroom. Not sure what Deb will allow in the apartment. The Sunfish leaning against a wall might be too much. Guess we'll have to have a storage facility for now, as we love the Kayaks, and Sunfish racing may still be in my future.
We may get some more sailing in this week, as I am on vacation, and getting the house ready is a priority, so if I get all that crap done early we may have time for a sail or two.
We are now wired to cyberspace, so I can bore you with more posts.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sale Pending :)

Yes!  We have sold the house!  We have to be out by August 20th, so let the mad dash begin. Just so you know, living on the boat has been great. Aside from the fact that I have to get up at 4:45 to get to work by 6, it has been nice. If all goes well (fingers crossed), we should be settled in, and living a house free lifestyle shortly. We are organizing our stuff for sale at the house very shortly. Everything must go! Well, we are keeping some stuff for the apartment, but not much. Minimum is the way to go. First we have to find an apartment for this fall, as this far north you don't live on a boat all year round.

Had a great sail yesterday, then met up with some friends to celebrate the house sale. Got a nice headache for all my fun. No sailing for me today. The boat did well in the first good blow of the year. We had over twenty, and some 2-3 foots swells, but she rode it all nicely. Took a 30 knot gust, and she did good, but I panicked and tried to reef the genny. Lots of lines whipping around until I furled it in. Not very captain like.

No wifi here, so I have not been keeping up the blog very well. We expect to have broadband hookup next week. Amazing how we can't live without internet nowadays.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Living Aboard

Well, we have not sold the house yet. Many lookers, but no takers. We did finally start living aboard the boat, for most of the week. We have to be home to cut the grass and stuff, but other than that we are floating for most of the week. Feels good.

The sailors wind chimes clang and rattle
A full moon slips behind a cloudy shadow
Warm wind changes it course through the night
while the storm slips by, slowly out of sight
We yawn and we groan as we head for our berth
as the night time blankets sweet mother earth

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Asylum

The worst night of racing I've had in seventeen years just occurred. There wasn't anything I, or anyone else could do right. Most people see sailboats offshore barely moving along and think, "How boring that must be. Look how slow they're moving". Well, let me tell you it's a different story when you are out there. One wrong move and everything goes to shit in a hurry. We couldn't make the weather mark, but instead of tacking away early, we tried like hell to eek it out. Didn't work. Took a header close to the mark, then tried to tack away, without hitting it. We fell into irons, and stalled out at the mark in front of thirty five other boats barreling down the line. Oh God what a mess. We managed to slip out of the way of the carnage, and all the cursing and crunching fiberglass. At this point, we should have just pointed towards Canada, and asked for asylum. This was only the beginning of our trouble. The spinnaker set and jibe went well, but the jib never made it past the tangled pole, and the take down was more like a wrestling match with giant rainbow colored marshmallow man. We came in dead last. They were picking up the marks as we went past them.




Look like fun? I know a skipper who is probably looking for crew :(

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Floating

It was a battle, but we just needed one good weekend to get her together, and in the water. We arrived Friday night at Katlynn Marine in Sodus Point. We've met some very nice folks already, and have spotted some friends from Oak Park. The boat is one big dis-organized mess right now, but we've got all summer to get her ship shape. After all the effort on the house, and the craziness at work, it's not going to be a rush job when it comes to the boat. Not stress allowed on board!

Shine On

Lowered into the muck

The fun part. Thought I could just be a bystander...

But we all got involved. Heavy mast.

Ready for her new home. Goodbye Oak Park.

We got to our new marina, but someone was in our slip. We new this, as we had been inspecting earlier, but we had hoped they would be gone by the time we got there. Nope. So we went into a slip a few down, and as we were approaching I thought, "are we going to fit?" Well, we didn't. We wedged the fat old girl right between the piling and the dock. I was barely making way, so it was a love tap, but now what? We thankfully saw the power boat in our slip had crew getting her ready to leave, so we stayed wedged for a bit, much to the delight of the locals. Actually it's a nice way to dock, just pull forward slowly until you stick. After a slight delay, we backed out, and pulled her into her new home.
Feels good.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Getting there

We have half the boat waxed. The other half was going to happen today, but if it doesn't stop raining, we'll have to come up with other chores. We cleaned the hull with 3M Finesse-it, then put on a coat of Fleetwax. Love the Fleetwax. Deb  put it on, I took it off. Team work.

I bumped into the prop, and I noticed it was a bit loose. There is some play in the prop, on the shaft. Looks the the key could be worn, but it looks ok. The prop just came off after I unscrewed the lock nuts. I assumed it would be tougher than that. I will get some new keystock, and see how well it goes back together.

Got a few nibbles on the house, but nothing real promising.  We hope to be in the water next week, if all goes well.

Friday, May 28, 2010

For Sale

We did it. We got the old barn ready, and the sign is in the front yard. Smooth sailing from here on out. Just have to find a buyer. The good thing is, there's no immediate rush. It's not like we have to move, but the sooner the better.
Our poor boat, sitting in the boatyard all by itself. Well, I'm sure the birds are keeping it nice for me. Maybe some nice hornet nests too. It's amazing how fast the boat gets crapped up when it's left alone.

Going to be with some old friends this weekend. This will remove the stress from the last few months. Some adult beverages and laughs poolside will be very nice.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Finally

Well, it's all coming together now, and we will finally get this house on the market. Everyone will finish up this week, and we'll give it a go. With work, the house, the lack of work on the boat, it's all adding up and taking it's toll. My stomach has been in a knot for months it seems, and I'm finally starting to relax a bit, not much, just a little. Deb was actually to the point of tears a few days ago, as we've been doing nothing to relax, just work, work, work. This was much easier when we were younger. Looking back, I don't know how we handled kids, work, school, etc.
I am taking a few vacation days to get the boat ready for the water, and then I will have to figure out the Davit install. We have a getaway weekend with friends we have not seen in a while, and as much as I want to see them, it will take time away from the boat. This will be our first memorial day weekend where we are not in the water. Kind of sad, but hopefully we'll make up for it by living aboard all summer.

A change of subject. As an engineer, I am amazed, and at times frustrated by all the safety measures we design into our machines and processes. We take great pains to insure the safety of our personnel, and the environment, and at cost to the business. We feel that all this is well worth it. Knowing all this, it amazes me that a company can drill a hole in the ocean floor, one mile down, tap an oil pocket under pressure, and not consider what would happen if that connection fails. I know they had a "blow out" valve in place, that obviously did not work, but there was not a backup plan that I could tell. Was there even a thought given to what kind of disaster could happen, or did they not care? I guess when you spill cash in Congress, you don't have to worry about a spill in the Gulf. 

Back to work  :(

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Two Weeks

Up for sale in two weeks! We're in a mad dash right now to get things done, and of course work has to step in and make it even more stressful. Deb has a major project going, right after mine has died down a bit. Driveway contractor is here today, and I have to move the mulch out of the way. Can't believe it's snowing. The last shovel full of mulch, it was eighty degrees.
Hell of a wind last night. Gusting to sixty MPH!  Glad the barge is not in the water yet. Bet the boats out there got pounded. It doesn't really pay to have the boat in this early. It's snowing for God's sake.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Finish the Job

We're at the point now in the house fix up, where it's time to call in the contractors. Yes, my time to finish the job has passed, and the plumbers, and carpenters can step in. Anyone know of a good handyman? The house has to go up for sale now, and we have to get the boat ready for launch. I've got one good weekend to get things done, and then it's off to the boat to get it in shape for launch, plus davits, solar, name change.....

Well, all this work sure made winter fly by.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Another Red Face week

Well, I have another week of long hours coming up, and I better learn to meditate, or do yoga, or something to relax. The last time I went through one of these weeks, I thought my head would explode. I was told my face and ears were the color red all friggin week. I have been trying to get some software completed on this assembly cell for weeks now, but they are running the damn thing, and I need it to be shut down to make my updates. Well, they are shutting it down this week, but the deadline for completion is Thursday. Swell. I've got two more weeks of code to cram into three days. Guess old red face will be making an appearance. If I stroke out in that shitty plant I've been stuck in for twenty seven years, just to get some parts out the door, so some overweight loser in his fifties can drive a camaro around town, I'm going to be really pissed.

You have to admit it is pretty cool.


If there are any of you out there that program machinery, you know how tedious it can be, and if you f^&k up, the expensive contraption will break, or worse, someone will get hurt. I just know that other things will need attention, but it's the other meaningless crap that will pop up, that will kill me.  Let's just say it could get ugly, and it ALWAYS happens when you need to be left alone. I could be hopping around like a monkey loose in a Bazaar. A little red faced monkey.

Sailing. That's what I need. Sailing.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Florida

Took a long weekend to Florida recently. We went down to Ocala to visit Deb's Mom Carol, and John.


We had a great time, and it was perfect weather for a few days. Sunday we got some rain, but we took in a movie, and had a nice dinner. We saw Jeff Bridges movie Crazy Heart.
I think he deserved the award for this movie, but something about alcoholic movies make me queezy. You know they always show the person waking up in a total sweat, hugging a bottle, hair sticking to the face, and always in the clothes from the day before. Eventually they puke. Are all country singers alcoholics? Every movie about them usually has 'em tossing their cookies, and destroying their marriage. I guess rock and roll does the drugs, country does the booze. Found it hard to have a beer after this movie, but I managed.

  I know this annoys Deb, but I like to sit all the way in the back of a theater. Can't stand the cluster in the middle. Carol and John picked seats right smack in the middle of the theater, and I was cringing, for I knew what was going to happen. True to form, everyone else that came in, got as close to us as they could. We were the first there, but one by one, they all plopped down in front, and back, but all in one little cluster in the middle. Why? Spread out people! There has to be some social science theory to explain this.
Once, at a movie, we sat all the way in the last row. We were the only people in there, and this guy came in and sat right in front of us. The whole friggin theater, and he plops his fat ass in front of me. He smelled like a wet dog too. I got ready to say something, but Deb was squeezing the hell out of my arm. I grumbled some derogatory stuff, and we just quietly moved.  If there was a six foot eight guy in a cowboy hat, he would find his way to sit right in front of me, and if I was in the front row, he would kick my seat with his boots from behind, the  whole time humming "All my ex's live in Texas". I must be a tool magnet.

We took a ride to Dunnelon, and had ourselves a ride on the Singing River Tour. This pontoon boat, driven by Captain, Musician, and lawn fertilizer hating Jon Semmes. This was a fun and educating ride, and he is right about the fertilizer, as it is killing the habitat of all our rivers and streams. The ride was on the Rainbow, and Withlacoochee rivers, and we got a nice informative lecture on the local wildlife and habitat. We parked the boat in the reeds, just far enough from the gator, and were entertained by some pretty good singing. The guy had a great sense of humor and a good voice. Amazing how the two rivers, one fresh, one brackish, can form such a distinct separation. There was an actual visible line where the two rivers met. The colder spring fed rainbow slid underneath the Withlacoochee, but from above it looked like a straight line.
Yes I did say gator. Looked like a rubber toy, but we were assured it's real

Chomp Chomp

The singing Captain
One of these days, I would like to Kayak a few places in Florida. Some of these rivers are pretty nice, and I would like to get to them before they are all developed.


More later, on our trip.

We are getting closer to wrapping up the house for a quick sale (fingers crossed). Been really busy, both on the house and at work. If I survive all this, it will be sweet to have it behind us, and to be able to relax on the water for the summer.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter




What a beautiful weekend it was. Nothing done on the boat, but I got the deck in the yard all cleaned up, and looking good. We needed to get the yard spruced up, and I took advantage of the weather being in the 80's and sunny. Just a few more touches on the deck, and Deb can check that off the master list. Can't wait to get out of here and on to life afloat. The picture above is my favorite Easter photo. We were in Key West for Easter years ago, and these folks were outside early in the morning having a great time. The bunny bruised my ribs.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Experimenting

No, not with mind altering drugs, with the blog.
Testing different blog formats, while sipping some caffeine this morning. Got a friggin cold again. Probably the busiest time of the whole year for me at work, and I get a cold. Oh well.

Not sure if I like this new template. Seems slow in loading.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Long Time No Blog

Been too busy to blog, I guess. The house fixing seems to be moving along at a snails pace. We are nailing most of the upstairs this weekend, and I'm going to do some outdoor things, as the weather is relatively nice today.

Our daughter Kelly is moving out again.This should rid the house of a few things, like furniture, clothes, THE CAT!  The damn cat was eating my shoe laces as I'm typing this. Cats are weird. I'll take a dog any day over a cat.
Kelly works at a day care, and she keeps bringing rug rat germs home. Think I'm getting another cold. She really gets pissed off when I pull my shirt over my face as she walks by. Just a few more days Kell, you can do it.

Bought my bottom paint the other day. Twenty bucks off a gallon at WM. I use the CPP Plus, and it seems to work pretty well. Of course, our water temperature is pretty cold most of the year. I could probably get away with nothing for the amount of time we're actually in. Mid May to September in cold water is not enough submersion to produce anything significant, so I don't know why I bother.

I plan on re-bedding all our ports real soon, but WM only had 5200 sealant. You would think with spring here they would have a pretty good supply of that stuff. While I was there I drooled over the Garmin 740. Nice.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Snow

Well, we got dumped on. It's about time really. As much as I hate the white death that falls from the sky, I really can't complain when we get some, after all, it is February.
 
The temperature is around 30 degrees, so the stuff is kind of heavy. The snow blower had a tough time of it, but better the machine, then my back. 
The snow can be beautiful at times. As Kelly and I looked out the back door at the winter wonderland, we had just a hint of blue sky, and as that changed to a deeper blue, the moon appeared, shining through the snow covered branches, casting a shimmering light to the trees. Almost made me want to strap on some snow shoes and go for a walk. Almost.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Work like the devil

It's crunch time, and we don't have enough things done on the house to get it ready to go on the market. Maybe we should just put it up anyway, and see what happens. The roof and the driveway need to get done, and the trim needs to be painted, that should take care of the outside of the house. Carpeting and painting inside. We may make it by April. I started hearing talk about interest rates going up, and that is making me freak out a little too.

The manufacturing engineering side of my life has really started kicking my ass too. On top of all the stress, I came down with a nasty cold. It seems to work that way with me, you get stressed out to the max, and can't afford the time off, and then you get smacked down. I'm so plugged up, I can't hear my self typing this. I have to back off on the hours at work, or we'll never get this house going.

In my mind I am already lining up the boat projects. I want to put a new epoxy barrier coat on the bottom, before we move to the new marina. I have done this before, on a 25 footer, and I realize it will be a challenge on the 44, but I really think we need this done. I have the new Davits to put on, and the name change to take care of. I also have to remove the HUGE aluminum waste tank from the v-berth.

Oh boy, when will I find the time and the energy to do all this?

"Suck it up sailor boy!"  There, I beat Deb to it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Sign?

I am an engineer. Specifically, I am a control systems engineer. I design machinery to make parts for cars. I also maintain, and improve the machinery that makes fuel and emissions systems for cars and trucks. I have been at it for close to thirty years in the automotive business. Previous to that I worked in chemical plants, engineering firms, an energy company, and machine builder. It's been a long winding road, starting when I was nineteen on a drafting board in Niagara Falls, NY.
Recently, at work, we started dismantling an old machine, that made vapor canisters for cars. It's actually a set of machines that produced the parts from start to finish. Plastic parts went in, whole assemblies came out. They came out every nine seconds, about 6,600 parts every day over three shifts, for twenty years. She was the best, the fastest, and the most durable, cutting edge technology. I designed the electrical and computer systems for this machine. Put my heart and soul into it, back in 1991. It was the best running line we had, and I was damn proud every day to hear it humming along.
 
Now, after all these years,  I stand next to it, watching as a millwright lights a torch to cut her in half. "Outlived her usefulness eh", he said with the welders mask perched on his head. "Kind of like the engineer who brought her in", I said. He smiled,  "Better leave, before they take a torch to you!". He pulled the mask down, and proceeded to cut up the crown jewel of my career.
 
I very seldom have moments of reflection. I seem to always be thinking about what's next, whether it be the next hour, or the next year. I may talk about past moments, events, but usually for a laugh, or to remember someone past. But on this day, at this moment, I just stood there thinking back on all the work, the long hours, the STRESS, and most important, the time. It's gone by so fast, and there was a touch of sadness at seeing your creation being dismantled for scrap.
As I stood there, a co-worker came up to me and asked if I was happy to see the machine getting scrapped. "I designed her", I said. "Wow, really?. How many years you been here?" I just smiled. Too many I thought. "So, you're probably sad to see the line go then", she said. After an long pause..."No, time to move on."

Sunday, January 31, 2010

So cold

Sitting here having toast and tea, I see the Sodus Point light is registering a temperature of -9. This is the time of the year, where the snow makes that squeaking noise when you walk on it. We stayed inside all day yesterday. No one even went out to get the mail.
At least the snow has been moderately light so far this season. I know I'll pay for that statement.

I'm reading the blogs of the cruisers who managed to escape the white death this year. I tell you I'm ready to go, I just have a list of items to check off first. Actually Deb has the list, and she is very determined in getting things checked off. It is kind of fun, knowing that every thing off the list is getting you closer to life aboard.
The house projects are underway, with two rooms finished, and two to go upstairs. I think we will be ready to put this old house on the market in the spring. Just have to muster up some energy after a long day at work. Not that easy anymore.


Our daughter Kelly is back home, after her adventure in Portland came to an end. This does not slow us down one bit, and she is reminded with every paint brush stroke, that we are serious about living aboard. Hopefully she will be pitching in soon, as we could use the extra help. Don't think she'll be staying long, and if she does, I'll just have to start painting in a thong to Frank Sinatra tunes. Sorry for that image :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Let the compression begin.

Well, we have actually started to downsize, and think about how we will squeeze a house into a boat. We have one room done, all repainted and cleaned out, with only some stuff belonging to Nicole. I still have my old record albums in there, and I am trying to figure out what to do with them. I thought about buying one of those turntables that convert the tracks, but I hesitate, as that would require time to convert. Do I really want to listen to those old songs? Wonder what others did with all their albums? We have a local music store that buys old records. I'll check them out.

We now have some of our boat stuff stored in the girls bedrooms. It's kind of funny actually. There is our mattress and davits in one room, and our canvas in another. Our house is becoming a marine storage facility.

We may have to have a dumpster delivered, just for the basement alone. My God is there a lot of stuff in here. Amazing what you accumulate over the many years. I used to laugh at the folks who had trouble parting with stuff, but now I realize how hard it is. What to do with all the things folks gave you, and the trophies the kids won, or the sailing trophies?  Our kids do not want this stuff, and I surely do not want to put into storage for 10 yrs, then throw it out. When I was a kid I would marvel at all the stuff my grandmother had in her house. I used to love looking at old photos, and holding my grandfathers old watches. He was a bicycle racer in Germany, and had a chest full of trophies. I loved that stuff. My grandmother hid all that, when I came across pictures of him as a hitler youth member. He soon changed his tune I guess, as he arrived here when he was 16. Stuff like that intrigued me.

Now I have to get rid of all my treasures. You know, stuff like The Kinks albums, old Strohs beer signs, little league football trophies, Beatles albums, WWI compass, free beer chips from old hangouts, a bugle, German Elk horn.......