February 2008

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I finally FINALLY have a new new keyboard for my crappylappy (thanks Mom!), with the letter UUUUUUUU!! as well as the various other buttons lacking on the CL. It’s a Targus rollable rubber membrane ‘board; still getting used to the key action, but dang it seems otherwise boat-perfect.
On the boat itself lately, well, hmmm. So crazy busy with client boats right now (worked through last weekend, and will through this one too) that I’ve had precious little time for Centaurea. At least all the hours piling up will help with the expenses!
Prior to this last crazy week, I’ve gotten past/over/through/beyond a handful of key obtacles on the boat. Chiefly, not only is the engine in, but the new shaft, flange, and coupling are installed, aligned, and secured. Also, the much-modified new-old-new boomkin is once again back on the boat, this time sporting a Sturdy Mount for the Aries. Go Aries! Now the only things that stand between me and floating are: paint (again again! AGAIN! When will it end!?), ie., the bootstripe, a section of topsides at the stb bow, and then the primer(s) and anti-fouling on the bottom. Oh, and the other obstacle; my psychoholic boss, whose erratic and sparking craziness always threatens to throw last-minute tangles into the mix.
The rigging has been going together really well. I have now just the upper shrouds and backstay to build. The uppers are straight-forward, but I’m having yet further internal debates over the arrangement of the backstay. I’d like to have an adjustable backstay rig, but the two usual turnbuckle-replacement options are too expensive, and a split backstay adjuster is a bit of a step backwards. The other option is a (rather too complicated an not exactly cheap either, although cheaper) cascaded direct purchase… I fear that the rig will be installed with a limp and hanging over-length backstay, with me still undecided.
The other major bits to do now are: install the last of the exhaust plumbing, including a water-injection fitting, find and install a new engine heat exchanger (ouch), and install the engine controls and cables. Still many other smaller bits to take care of, but the engine bits and rigging will make me pretty autonomous, even if not ready for offshore workouts.
A couple of good friends here have just bought their own First Real Boat, which they are likewise readying for an imminent launch. The pace and excitement of their preparations largely mirrors my own, excepting that they are working over a proven boat to simply float around the local waters, whereas I am prepping a long-since-decommissioned craft for a month of North Atlantic spring! Ah well, no frets, no fears; even the usually naysaying wags gruffly oblige that Centaurea is far more than up to the task.

Earlier that day, that sore-shoulder day, while we sat together under the umbrella, through rain and sun showers, you with your breakfast and I with my expectations, that day I looked right at you, right at you, and had my longings batted away.

We were discussing music, or more correctly, you were waxing with passion, and all of a sudden, I just saw, just saw, and you were so beautiful, swimming in life and love and energy, careless and thoughtless of any other moment except that very one, and I sighed inwardly, rested chin on hand, and let my own awe wash over me.

I must have had some beautific look upon my face, but you, so blessedly mindless and free of me, saw only another weird look, and laughingly accused me of not taking your words seriously. I probably wasn’t taking your words, in any fashion at all. I was somewhere else; right there, free of thought. Just so happy to find myself in the circle of your own joyful moment.

These days, I’m still not so certain that Love isn’t a myth spread by the greeting card industry. Maybe I’ve just lost hold of it, or have never really grasped it all. Or maybe, just maybe, Love flits right past my nose, is wafted on the air, is etherial, ether itself, an essence that fills me without my ever knowing.

And on that morning, you never saw it either. Oh, you saw something, read or mis-read it according to whatever synaethestic custom found you in that moment, but with a simple single laugh and wrinkle of brow, blew the ether away from me, and returned us to our entry into the sore-shouldered day.

ooh happy

Yesterday mid-morning I got a call from a friend in town, saying that they were at a local chandlery (boat parts store) that was having a last day blow-out before shutting down. I caught a lift into town, and took a look around. Most goodies were already gone, but I had a few things in mind which were still available.

There was this tail-end of a roll of 7mm 1×19 316 stainless wire, what I need for my standing rig. The sticker price was $2.65/foot, and knowing that most everything was at least 50% off that day, I offered $1/foot, for whatever was left on the spool; it didn’t look like much. It was busy and frantic, and none of us wanted to unspool it for a measure, so everyone put in a guess. One fellow guessed 200 feet, while his boss was sure there was no more than 150. So I bought the unmeasured spool for $150 cash.

Back at the boatyard, we unspooled it for a measure. Just pulling it off, I had a feeling there was probably over 150 feet. Eventually, we had the sloppy wraps off the spool, doubled across the grass… and the doubled length measured 155 feet. 310 feet of wire, and all I need is 270! At $0.50/foot, whew, and good Gibb wire too. The lowest quote I’d previously had was $550 for 300 feet.