Monthly Archives: April 2008

An excess of silicone…

I guess this is what comes with a 31 year old boat that’s been through several owners and declining care. Fortunately the mechanical issues were handled, oil changes and such, were attended to, and that is what counts the most. But when it came to other random maintenance, I suppose the intentions were good, but the repairs, in some cases, did more damage than good. Boats, by nature, develop leaks as they age and bedding loses its bond. Hatches, ports, fittings, you name it. Water finds its way into places it isn’t meant to be, and left unchecked, does damage.  I suppose you can say he tried, but apparently, the previous owner’s solution was to apply liberal amounts of silicone to the areas in question. As I said, it seems well intentioned. But often, silicone is NOT the ideal sealant, as it has a tendency not to stay sealed, yet is near impossible to remove.  One such example, the running lights, while minor, is aggravating all the same. These massive, heavy, intricately constructed masterpieces are presently buried beneath a rubbery, opaque film of gop that has sealed them together, yet did not keep the intended water out. Internal electrical in the starboard light was replaced with non-marine grade components, which corroded to a lump of rust. Yesterday, I spent three hours with an assortment of razor blades and picks, removing this silicone snot, yet more silicone long ago oozed into inaccessible areas, and the light is still sealed quite securely together.


Hmmm… I think that might be one of mine!

Where did I leave those rose-colored glasses?

I finally found them, but it took all weekend, and required a whole lot of scrubbing, scraping, and tossing of many hefty bags. This is what you get for buying a 31 year old boat.  We knew the previous owners had let maintenance slide over recent years, and in the light of a bright sunny day, it was becoming apparent just how much. There was a point we began to question our sanity, but forged ahead all the same. Gradually she began to resemble the boat we imagined her as.

Then there’s the ladders. The boat is backed to a retaining wall beside a launch ramp. We park on the side of the ramp. I put a ladder there so I don’t have to walk the long way around. That’s about 4 feet. A 10 foot ladder beside the boat almost reaches to the side deck. Climb aboard, down into the cockpit and it’s another 8 feet up to the bridge, where I was doing much of my work. Add, then multiply by every time I got to the top, then realized a tool I needed was down in the car. On the bright side, my arms and legs will look great by time we launch.

And yes, I am having fun! (Which again, says something about my sanity.)

I see Thestrals…

Too often.

I’m going about nothing much, and I glance out the window for a moment. Some movement caught my eye. The neighbor’s cat is flipping something small and live in the air. So I run out, chasing the cat off, and find the resulting damage. It’s a baby hare, small enough to fit in the palm of my hand, so perfect and beautiful if not for the clearly broken back and large chunk of exposed thigh muscle. There’s nothing I can do, and I know it, but I can’t leave it there, with the cat lying in the bushes, just waiting. This isn’t the food chain here, Fluffy has a bowl of Friskies waiting at home, and I have a dying bunny nestled in my hand.

Why is it I always seem to find these things, enough that I know by the way it’s breathing it only has a minute, maybe two. So I hold it, and the breaths become slower, more strained, the racing heart beats unevenly. The cat waits. A last gasp, then limpness. My neighbor pulls in as I stand with a handful of dead baby bunny.

“Cat got another one, eh?” He laughs. “Least those things breed like, well, you know. And cats, well, you know how they are.”

Yeah, I do. Almost every night my kids stalk and kill that elusive little red dot from the laser pointer. Ruthlessly, relentlessly. They wake me as they play hockey with a hair tie, or some string, or just chase each other up and down the halls. They’re fond of stalking cornstarch packing noodles and knocking change off the counter. High score if it ends up in the dog water bowl. Yesterday they unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper. I know how cats are.

I walked away and buried the hare in my flowerbed. At least it got a decent burial.

Count down to launch…

30 days and counting. One month, possibly less, and Annabel Lee will be off the hard. The yard is looking to get everything that floats floating ASAP, so as soon as we give the word, in she goes. But first, she needs bottom paint, new zincs, and there’s issues with the steering and shifting that need attention.

More reasons to question the term ‘humanity’…

And this is called ‘ART’??? Why?

Outrage at ‘starvation’ of a stray dog for art

Gerard Couzens in Madrid
Sunday March 30, 2008

Chaining up a dog and forcing it to go without food and water in the name of art is a surefire way of making yourself unpopular with animal lovers. The furore created by Damien Hirst’s pickled sheep and Tracey Emin’s dirty bed pales into insignificance against the international outrage Guillermo ‘Habacuc’ Vargas has unleashed.

The Costa Rican has been called an animal abuser, killer and worse over claims that a stray dog called Natividad died of starvation after he displayed it at an exhibition last year at the Códice Gallery in Managua, Nicaragua. Vargas tethered the animal without food and water under the words ‘Eres Lo Que Lees’ – ‘You Are What You Read’ – made out of dog biscuits while he played the Sandinista anthem backwards and set 175 pieces of crack cocaine alight in a massive incense burner. More than a million people have signed an online petition urging organisers of this year’s event to stop Vargas taking part.

Vargas, 32, said he wanted to test the public’s reaction, and insisted none of the exhibition visitors intervened to stop the animal’s suffering. He refused to say whether the animal had survived the show, but said he had received dozens of death threats.

Juanita Bermúdez, director of the Códice Gallery, insisted Natividad escaped after just one day. She said: ‘It was untied all the time except for the three hours the exhibition lasted and it was fed regularly with dog food Habacuc himself brought in.’

There’s far more on this, if you can stomach the search of the artist’s name and the photos you’ll find, including references to other so-called ‘art’. Personally, I think people like this should be banished from the planet. There’s a petition to have his ‘art’ banned, though it seems to be getting so many hits it won’t load for me. Sadly, even an outcry against him is still media attention.

Kitties meet Vista…

Humorous Pictures

No, the kitties haven’t pwned my computer.  The last few weeks, I’ve been in ‘revision’ mode, working on edits. Funny how sometimes you can’t see the forest for all the trees, and I needed to do some pruning, replanting, and fertilizing. I finally finished, only to have Vista screw me over, (see previous post), but I think I fixed most of that.  Unfortunately, due to generally crappy weather, the start of ‘get boat ready for launch’ is in holding for yet another weekend.  Damn! Oh well. Another weekend of chores around the house and writing. Let the mayhem continue!