Thursday, April 17, 2014

Not that I have any expectations of success...

This is just nuts, from coonskin hats to suicide parties, and if the last one was not depressing enough Ian Welsh has just the thing...

I'm not sure if any of you have noticed but, apparently, sanity has truly got up and left the building some time ago and is now residing on some undisclosed island where Elvis spends his days on the beach strumming his Gibson J200.

Then again, maybe the guy with the J200 just looks a lot like Elvis...

The fact remains that a world without sanity or Elvis looks a lot like a world without hope. Which is why I sorta/kinda like to think that they're still around and, if I voyage to out of the way places far from milk runs and cruising rallies, I just might find that undisclosed island in the ultima thule.

Everyone needs a goal...

Listening to Dread Zeppelin

So it goes...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Something you won't find at WEST...

Some food for thought, this got me thinking, and, apparently, someone who might have been better off with a bit more cogitation...

Speaking of thinking, it would seem that Grivel has come up with a better mousetrap locking carabiner...



I can foresee an upgrade to my harness tethers in the near future...

Listening to Blackie & The Rodeo Kings

So it goes...



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

On avoiding stasis...

Some alarming stats concerning seafood crime, Krugman making a lot of sense, and you know it would be no bad thing if someone did a boat building/rehabbing workshop along these lines...

I finally got around to buying a handheld depth sounder for the dinghy and it's been a "Why didn't I do this ages ago" experience.

I mention this because while a firm believer in running stuff through the need/want computer (a re-purposed wayback machine for those who care about such things) and always do a cost benefit analysis. That said, there really is a case for just buying the damn thing when your head tells you that something is needful.


It's easy to get carried away in research and finding the best thing/best deal/best alignment of planets when buying stuff but it is really a lot of time-consuming hard work and, like some folks say...

"Time is money"

I mentioned over at VolksCruiser that the older Columbia 34s seem to be a good boat at an excellent price point and yesterday there seemed like a lot of good deals floating around. Of course, the problem is that what's cheap today may not be cheap or available tomorrow and that folks who are indecisive tend to miss opportunities when they reveal themselves.

Which is not to say that you should be jumping into stuff without thinking or doing needful homework but that over-thinking is just as great a problem as not thinking at all.

Listening to Spirit

So it goes...



Monday, April 14, 2014

A quick thought on the whole "marine" thang...

On pervasive market values, musing on a messy business, and Lefsetz with a great post on Jesse Winchester (who, sadly, just passed away)...

The other day I mentioned that I was having issues splicing a rope made by Samson called Tenex and, like a lot of posts, it got some people writing. Some to ask me about the rope, others to advise me how to deal with the splice, and several to tell me I was an idiot because Tenex is not a "MARINE" product.

So, to answer some questions...

There are two sorts of Tenex. Tenex Tec which I have been using for a couple of years and Tenex which is new to me and is a bit different hence the issues splicing the other day as it behaves quite differently than the Tenex Tec.

Both ropes seem to be aimed at the arborist and commercial rigging markets. I also see a lot of Tenex/Tenex Tec being sold in venues who deal with commercial fisheries.

I was attracted to it because it's a polyester, doesn't stretch much at all, has excellent UV resistance, tough, is comfortable in the hand, and is cheap in comparison to other ropes with the same strength/characteristics. Point of fact, I first started using it as a tail material for high tech halyards using small diameter Amsteel (Dyneema) but then discovered the Tenex Tec had a lot of properties that made it extremely useful for a lot of stuff on the boat...

And, I did mention it was cheap, didn't I?

What you need to keep in mind when deciding what products to use on your boat is not whether it's a marine/non-marine thing but will the product or products do the job. If you take a look at the specs of either of the Tenex ropes you'll see that it is actually a very impressive line. My advice is to always figure out what your needs are first and then find a rope that's a good match.

Oh yeah. as far as the problematic nature of splicing the Tenex... It was not a problem at all once I realized I was simply using the wrong splice. The Tenex Tec works great with a Brummel splice but the Tenex not so much in the way I like to work. The easy answer was to simply look at the Samson site and see which splice they recommended.

Listening to Jesse Winchester

So it goes...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The purge continues...

An education of sorts, about what you'd expect, and a pretty good reason to rethink using Dropbox...

I've been cleaning out lockers and organizing them in an ongoing spring cleaning purge and it's amazing just how much stuff falls into the what-is-this-why-did-we-ever-get-it category.

I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time...

On the positive side, you also find a lot of stuff you knew you had but has somehow migrated to places they don't belong. For the record, I have no clue why or how a pair of new Lewmar blocks had found their way into a box set aside for electrical oddities shoved away in an unreachable space that I'd put aside for fixing film and video gear.

Listening to ? & The Mysterians

So it goes...



Thursday, April 10, 2014

and evil Spock might have been just around the corner...

Being poor can be tough, who actually benefits is always an important bit of data, and a sweet mini-Simmons...

Yesterday, while shopping, I noticed that Velveeta cost $14.95 for a two pound box...


So, I just have to ask...

WTF?

Really, when did pseudo-cheese-like-substitute start costing more than real cheese?

As it happens, I bought some Muenster and Monterey Jack for $5.98 a pound and I'm pretty sure you can do the math.

It gets weirder, Spam cost more than ham and canned corned beef cost more than beef roast. It was like all the poor people's cruising staples had become gourmet or some such.

To tell you the truth, I was too afraid to even go down the aisle where they keep the Ramen...

Maybe I was just having one of those stepped into an alternate universe sort of days yesterday.

Listening to The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

So it goes...

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Be wary of using the phrase "slam dunk"...

Orlov with the old foolish or dead question, something anyone with half a brain should be watching, and on the subject of crazy people taking children cruising...

You can't take anything for granted.

Yesterday my task for the day was to measure some line, cut it into four pieces, and do eight eye splices. Something of slam dunk...

I'm not sure about how things work on your boat but whenever I have the thought that a job is a slam dunk or no problem it tends to get hinky to the max.

So, what happened was the new 600-foot spool of of Samson Tenex seemed a little different than all of the other Tenex we've spliced before and, to cut to the chase, I simply could not manage to do a single splice.

One of the things I love about Tenex is that it is so easy to splice using a Brummel and you hardly even had to bother using a fid as it just seemed to go together so easily.

I, of course, consulted the tomes of Brion Toss and even resorted to calling Samson and asked for advice (soak in water and soap). Tried it and despite the aftermath of looking like I had just washed a reluctant Great Pyrenees, still no joy.

The fact of the matter is, there's a definite difference between the Tenex I'm trying to splice and the Tenex I've spliced in the past. I suspect it's the Samthane coating being clear rather than a color and it's going to take a completely different approach and some out of the box thinking to do a successful splice.

So much for yesterday's easy work day...

Listening to 10cc

So it goes...

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A link well worth checking out...

This is all sorts of interesting, a whole lot of lobster dinners, and why the big difference...

I've mentioned before how I think that learning how to sail is no bad thing and, by learning to sail, I don't mean going to some McDonaldsesque franchise that specializes in giving you a piece of paper that says you know enough to sail a bumperboat bareboat.

Something like this program is more the sort of thing you should be looking for. Certainly worth checking it out...

Listening to Ashford & Simpson

So it goes...

Monday, April 07, 2014

armchairs and suchlike...

How not to engender respect for authority, something to think about, and this might make a lot of sense on a boat...

This morning I had several emails asking me what I thought about the Rebel Heart saga...

Boy, talk about a whole lot of Monday morning quarterbacking... The bandwidth on the rescue and loss of Rebel Heart is simply staggering.The internet is a scary thing.

Scary, I might add, in a very negative way.

The fact is: no matter what boat you choose, how well prepared you are, or how many i's dotted and t's crossed Murphy's law is a major force to be reckoned with. No one is immune.

No one...

More importantly armchairs seldom, if ever, give you the sort of vantage point to understand how clusterfucks happen, what someone should have done to avoid said clusterfuck, and what they should have done to sort things out once the clusterfuck was in play.

So, nope I've nothing to really say on the subject...

Listening to Jethro Tull

So it goes...



Sunday, April 06, 2014

Clueless...

Battle lines being drawn, not just about guitars, and a cruising family in the news...

Reading the news about the rescue of Rebel Heart as it's gone viral is something of a head-thumper-against-the-bulkhead experience... The press and the general public simply does not have a clue.

Though, that being said, the comments to the article are very enlightening in a sorta/kinda depressing way.

The thing is, folks outside the cruising world don't have a very good idea about what cruising or living aboard boats is really like because "we", in general, are not very good at telling people about it. This blog included...

I expect the reason is we tend to, as a group, have something of a ghetto mentality in play so we really don't talk to people outside sailing or cruising about sailing or cruising.

We don't often actually talk all that much about a lot of pertinent points regarding sailing and cruising to folks into sailing and cruising either. The bulk of what we do talk about tends to be Pollyanna-ish at best. Which, I'm sure, is a big contributing factor to the high number of people who abandon cruising in their first year because the sailing/cruising life is nothing at all like their expectations.

Maybe that's something we could fix...

Listening to Quicksilver Messenger Service

So it goes...