sailing the NorSea


WEEK 23 2010

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First Post, 17 March 2002
Eight Years Ago, This Week, 2002 Seven Years Ago, This Week, 2003 Six Years Ago, this week, 2004 Five Years Ago, this week, 2005 Four Years Ago, This Week, 2006
Three Years Ago, This Week, 2007
Two Years Ago, This Week, 2008
One Year Ago, This Week, 2009

Saturday 12 June 2010
Saturday - Spent the day doing chore after chore. Not much in the way of exciting.

The big thing was to get the Probe smogged again. Yesterday I changed the oil (went with all synthetic) and air filter, put gas cleaner in it, and bought a set of spark plugs. This morning, with the car engine cold, I changed out the plugs. I then drove to Mojave and back, put more Chevron Super in it, and took it to the smog place, where it passed. So, I'm good for a couple more years.

"Stupid is as stupid does." As I mentioned, yesterday I did a fairly tedious procedure of going out and buying Muriatic acid, steeping the rusted metal in it, then soaking the de-oxidized dowels in baking soda solution to neutralize the acid.  I then left them on the patio to dry.

Where this morning the shiny new exposed metal was watered by the sprinklers and promptly acquired a nice patina of new iron oxide by the time I got done with car smogging duties. Sheesh. So, I had to repeat the process, this time boiling the metal in baking soda, so that the warm dowels immediately self dried. Then a quick spray with WD-40, to keep them rust free until welded and ready to paint.

What I didn't mention yesterday was that it took hours of cleaning up in the garage, just to get to the point where I could easily and safely work. More of that type of stuff today as well. Also a lot of Dad & Mom's and Grandpa's stuff was in boxes (& loose)  in the garage, I needed to bring it indoors. Where there isn't much room - I need to toss some more junk of my own to make space for it. Boxes of old notes and papers going back to the 1980's are definite candidates!

Book #39 was Spinneret, by Timothy Zahn. A good effort, Zahn can be creative on the plot/technology side, although his characters tend to be a little stiff. But he does try and the book was enjoyable. Though technically, the suggestion that asteroid belts & iron are scarce is a bit unlikely.

Friday 11 June 2010
Friday - I spent a bit of time getting the bits together to reinforce the pirate ship rails. The old wooded dowels just weren't strong enough and posed something of a safety hazard.

I had a number of pieces of 3/4" mild steel round stock that I had got for free years ago, and used for welding practice, so I cut some of the remaining bits to length with a SawzAll. I then plopped them into a bucket of Muriatic Acid (HCL) as they were pretty rusty, and after a few hours they were pretty clean. Right now they are sitting in a bucket of baking soda, to cancel out the acid. I picked up some 2"w x 1/4" thick bar stock at Lowe's (Home Depot had a terrible selection), and I'll use that as end pieces, to fasten to the wooden rails, and thru-bolt to the deck underneath.

The trick will be to set up a little jig to hold the steel bits and keep them from warping during the weld.

It should safe for small children and adults after this!

Actually it will all be dark red, and the steel flanges are smaller than those depicted here.

Well, Abby Sunderland is alive and well, apparently. A plane flying over the emergency beacons found the boat, Wild Eyes, dismasted but afloat, and apparently spoke to the skipper on radio. Good news.

A small boat in a big sea, dismasted but afloat, keeping her crew safe.

I see that this week in 2008 I had linked to Abby's older brother, Zac Sunderland.

Thursday 10 June 2010

Thursday - Working in the morning, about 4 hours, then back up to Lancaster. I had an errand at the bank, and had to be there before 5:00pm.

The weather in Ventura was nice, and while the temperature was nice in Lancaster there was also a howling gale - leaves and twigs being blown right off the trees. It's always kind of a shock coming back.

There is a huge lenticular cloud over the Tehachapi's. It must be twenty miles long!

Bad news: Abby Sunderland's boat Wild Eyes has apparently foundered in the South Indian Ocean. She had experienced multiple knockdowns, and after a final radio message, manually activated both her emergency beacons. No contact has been made since then, but the beacons are still running.

It's a huge ocean, and it'll be tomorrow before anyone can fly to that location, and a couple of days before any ships get there. A basic possibility is that she has been dismasted, and lost her aerials and satellite phone. She may be awash, or the fin of her boat may have snapped off (it happens, fin keels aren't good in that ocean), or, perhaps, something worse.

We'll have to keep our fingers crossed.


Wednesday 9 June 2010

Wednesday - Down to Ventura. I was going to work at one place all day, but ended up doing only a half day at the clients (OK, 3 hours), and spending some time with the boss and a co-worker working on other stuff, until 8:00pm. So it goes.

It was cool and nice down at the boat. Earplugs too keep the noise out. People just talking on the balconies sound like they are five feet away...

I put the swamp cooler on a timer. I'm a little concerned about no central air backup, but that will just have to wait until I get around to it. I have a cat sitter to check on things anyway.

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Tuesday - If I was President I'd have the Olympia restored and use her as a Presidential Yacht. It'd be so cool... Probably I wouldn't use her to visit Spain, however.

Monday 7 June 2010

Monday - spent some time painting on my friends pirate ship. It was getting a bit weathered, so we varnished the paint job on the hull (which is plywood painted to look like weathered planks) and redid the flat black areas with new flat black paint. We still need to update the dark red trim, and I'm going to see if I can permanently reinforce the railings, which continually fall apart. People, quite naturally, want to hold onto them for getting in and out of the boat, and when it's moving, and they just aren't strong enough.

Sunday 6 June_2010

Sunday - doing various things about the house. Keeping cool...

Book #38 was Strange Encounters: Adventures of a Renegade Naturalist, by Daniel Botkin. This is a book of essays, primarily biographical, of Botkin. Interesting stuff, often funny,. Botkin isn't afraid to point out the foibles and stupidity of people in his own profession, and particularly the 'experts' lack of knowledge about even basic things (How many leaves on a tree? how many salmon does a sea lion eat in a day? etc).

It was a gift, a year or two ago, and I've been pecking away at it. I finally decided to finish it, rather than work on that consarned ACCESS 2000 database :-p

Botkin has a blog, or at least a page on the Internet, entitled Adventures of a Renegade Naturalist. Looks like he is a (lukewarm) Global Warming type.

Picture of the Week

Sign for Harmony Glassworks, Harmony, Ca.
Photo Notes: Sign for Harmony Glassworks, Harmony, Ca.

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