Saturday, January 14, 2012


Deb reminded me that her Mom reads the blog from time to time, and my last post contained some "unnecessary use of foul language". My apologies. I will use abbreviations from now on, so here are some examples so you know what I'm saying/thinking without actually reading it:

fu*k, f^&king, Fa King, Fk me!, frakking bullsh!t, WTF, fking Frenadians, frak you, you wine sipping....

I think there are more, but that should suffice.

Had a sailing dream last night, but I was on our old Hunter, Whisper III. Sometimes I wonder if the old gal may have been suitable for ocean voyages, with a few upgrades to make her blue water ready. Then I remember the Hunter 34 we saw in Bermuda.

No Fa King way!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Long Weekend

Got a long weekend coming up, and I might head out to the boat if the weather is cooperative, and my van is not revolting too much. It's been in the 40's this week, but the temps are dropping into the 20's for the weekend. I notice a few folks around work that have been climate change deniers, are now strangely silent about the topic. Sunny and near 50 degrees in January has some affect I guess. I'm keeping my mouth shut, as some subjects around here get people yelling, and all red faced. For a large group of GM engineers, you would think that the data itself would be enough evidence, but some people need it to slap them in the face I guess. Me, I'm a bit nervous about all this change, and I want to get out there and enjoy nature while I can.

We ordered the new holding tank for the aft cabin. We'll be able to carry an extra thirty gallons of crap around the lake this year, which is a less than the forward holding tank, and a lot less than the crap I'm usually spreading around the marina. This spring, the forward holding tank, which used to be a fresh water tank, is being removed by some poor bastard from the yacht works across the street. A bit pricey to have done, but I will make it a point to see the look on the guys face when he's hauling the pieces of smelly tank out of the v-berth, just to make me feel better about the bill. I have a feeling that this is a job worth farming out. When completed, this will give us 60 gallons of waste storage, which should be OK, if we cut back on the fiber.

I had to give a tour of our department to some young engineering students yesterday. I could see by the look on their faces, that they weren't too excited about another old man showing them how it used to be done. So, I made it a little more interesting, by pointing out some of the "less than perfect" (screw ups) engineering we've done over the years, mixed in with some things we like to brag about. This brought a smile to their faces, but a slight frown to the HR rep. that was with them. Oh well.

I notice sailors tend to talk about how they really screwed a job up, and not so much bragging about how perfect a job went. This is good, especially for the new folks, trying to care for an aging sailboat. This is different from a homeowner talking about a job they did on the house. I don't know how many times I hear "Well, they way I did it, blah, blah, blah", and they explain every little detail of the job. Boring. You tend to tune that person out, but if they're talking about how they really fucked things up, then it's got your attention, because number one, it's fun to laugh at someone Else's screw ups, and number two, you don't want to do the same thing. So, this spring, when I tell you how I fucked up trying to seal the ports again, or how the holding tank removal made the boat smell like shit for a month, I'm sure I'll have your attention.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A good water based bottom paint?

Well, this is interesting. A water based bottom paint that out performed all other solvent based paints. We just have to wait for EPA approval to get our hands on this stuff. Latitude 38 - 'bottom paint' I currently have some West Marine ablative stuff, CPP Plus I think. Works well up here, but in these cold waters, you really do not need much. I will have to consider something better when bugging out of NY. I'll look at the survey on SSCA and see what folks are using.

Monday, January 9, 2012


I know I shouldn't complain, with so many folks out of work, but a couple 20 hr days, and a Saturday of work and I'm trashed. Big problems in getting emissions systems ready for the Chevy Colorado, because of a Windows 3.1 system failure. Yes, Windows 3.1. Actually it was the hard drive that pretty much died of natural causes, and this prevented a plastic welding machine from running, which in turn shut down the whole process. I had to get in the WayBack machine, to 1994, and try to remember how to get a new hard drive back in the system. Not as easy as it sounds. Everntually we did it, finding all the drivers required, and we did not stop a production line, which was a real crowd pleaser. Why such an old machine? Well, it's kind of an out of site, out of mind kind of thing. The machine just kind of ran without a problem for many years, so it went incognito. When I got to it Thursday morning, I was shocked to see the old Windows 3.1, or DOS. We probably should have been proactive and replaced these units years ago. Even if the managers refused to spend the money, I would still have the "I told you so" e-mail. More importantly, had I been alert to the signs of an aging machine. I would have prevented the long stressful hours under pressure, and the loss of a nice weekend. They are precious you know.

This makes me wonder what I have on the boat that is going to go belly up when I need it the most. I have a feeling my inverter/charger is on the way out, as it was a little uncooperative last summer, and I had to use the backup charger. My Alternator/ regulator is kind of funky, and I keep shredding belts from time to time. Maybe I should give everything a good once over, like engine hoses, wiring, water heater, plumbing, etc. Every year I really give the engine a lot of attention, and other systems a glance. Might be time to take a closer look at everything, and replace some critical items, that at first glance look fine, but are up there in age. My steering system cables come to mind, as well as the standing rigging, which is probably the original. There are a couple of seacocks that are original too. Might be a busy spring.