Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Moonlight Drifter

Early evening sailing with close to a full moon to light the way.  That's the stuff dreams are made of.  It seems the best winds are late afternoon/early evening.

Morning into p.m. sailing is the pits.  Hot.  No wind.  Tried early morning sailing today.   The sails were hoisted by 7 a.m.  It was worth a couple hours of time on the lake mostly to decide whether the wind was coming up or not.  Not.  Thank goodness for the outboard.

It's likely we'll hit the lake one afternoon soon around 4 or 5 and sail until after 8.  We'll have groovy jazz on the boat's sound system.  There will be lots of munchies and drinks to consume.  Might even take a butt naked dip in the lake.  

Wanna join us?
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Nawwww, it couldn't be

RIP Chuck

I understand that Chuck recently passed away.   He will always be in Redding.

Motorcycle v. Pickup

Yesterday, late afternoon, an accident on the highway close to the marinia.  The video here was taken shot by a bystander and placed in this morning's local on line newspaper.

On Three
Friday Grace and Wifey went swimming at the Elk's Lodge. The pool is large, usually not crowded and an easy use.  There's a snack bar, mixed drinks from the bar inside the lodge, and lots of lounges under shade trees.  Swimming at the Lodge is a fun thing for Grace.  She loves to swim and usually ends up at the end of the day with two new friends.

Our girl loves to jump off, not dive, off of the diving board.  At eight years old Grace has her diving routine down pat:  Hold your nose, run down the board.
And into the water she goes!

The pool is larger, much larger, than what's shown here.  What's in these photos are one end of the pool reserved for diving only.  On the other side of the brick wall shown here is a small wading pool for the little ones.

Marina Bob's son lives in Sacramento and was visiting his dad this past week.  We asked Bob if it was okay for his son Albert to swim with us at the Lodge.  Since he was working, Bob was thankful for his kid to have something to do.    Like Marina Bob, Albert is a character and is definitely a chip off the old block. 
Come to think of it, what Bob isn't a character?   
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

One Bob Gone Stupid

There are at least three Bob's on the Marina.

Marina Bob:  He manages the docks and rents boats.

Sparkle Plenty Bob:  That would be me.

On The Edge Bob:  That's the name of the boat you see here.  He's the One Bob Gone Stupid.

On The Edge Bob doesn't maintain his sailboat.  Apart from the month he spent on it last summer all due to his significant other booting his sorry ass out the house, he rarely checks on or sails his boat.  Take this for example.  During last winter's many storms, when all of the other owners made certain their boats were secured, On The Edge Bob was content to do anything but that.  In return on one cold, dark, stormy night, the bracket on his outboard motor came loose resulting in both the motor and bracket going to the bottom of the lake.

There's always bird crap on his boat and water in the cabin of the boat (there's no cabin door . . . only a piece of plastic to keep out the weather).

Last Sunday took On The Edge out of its slip for a day on the lake.  The winds, if any, were light.  It was a day to swim the lake and not sail it. 

Bob had not been out long when he and his friend motored into the marina in the condition that you see here.   No one knows exactly how or why On The Edge was demasted but it had to be one of two things:

#1  Metal fatigue and the headstay snapped (the wire from the of the mast to the bow).  It's evident that the supporting mast wires on this boat have never been replaced.  Most manufacturers recommend replacement every 10-15 years.  This sailboat is easily 25 years old. 

#2  Someone, during the course of hoisting the jib, pulled the pin that holds the headstay wire in place.  When that happens, down comes the mast.

It's lucky that no one on board On The Edge was hurt or killed.  One or both of those things usually happens when a boat loses it mast. 

The mast, as seen here, is beyond any repair as it is big time bent in the middle.  FUBAR, to put it mildly

The photo here shows the end of the dock with the upper most part of the mast protruding outside of his slip and partially submerged in the water.  This is a navigational hazard for his neighbors to contend with.

As is the habit of On The Edge Bob, the boat sits exactly as it did a week ago.  Check on it in a month or two, it's likely to be exactly as it sits today.  On The Edge Bob is like that. 

This once again proves that even in a small group of shining star Bob's, there's always one gone stupid.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

From There to Here

It began here. Born in a midwest hospital with the first years spent just a few miles from there and in this home.

Mom, grandmother, grandfather ("Pop"), mom's two high school age sisters and me: We lived there. Bio dad was not in the picture nor was he ever. I never quite understood why and would have liked to have heard his side of the story. Bio dad died at the age of 67 a few years back. I'll never really know "the rest of the story".

The home remains today much the same as it was back then located on a corner lot just across the street to the left of the home from the Union Pacific railroad tracks, primary to the travel of passengers and freight through the midwest.

I often wondered how things would have turned out had mom not married a soldier and the three of us moved to his home in California.  Growing up midwest probably would have been a good thing.

This home, the place where mother and her sisters grew up and which served as my first home, was up for sale a year ago.  $48,000 for 2 bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, 1,600 square feet including the basement.

It was tempting to buy.  Grandfather purchased the home in the 1920's. It had just been built.  A little piece of family history would have been neat to own.  But the distance from here to there was great, the midwest winters tough (frozen pipes) and the question of whether to rent it or use it infrequently a tough one to answer. 

I'd relocate to the midwest and live in this home.  In a heartbeat.  My heart belongs to the midwest.  Never was much of a California boy.    Most likely Wifey would choose to remain here.  I'd be there.  She'd be here.

Then what?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Anything For a Buck

Here's a new product that's due to be on the shelves come August. 

First reaction:  Anything for a buck. 

Second reaction:  As if we don't have enough shit to makes us fat or clog the arteries. 

And last reaction:  Yet one more thing that can't be recycled.

But, coming up with weird shit is the American way, isn't it?

It was a horrible night last night.  Kiri.  Krink.  Krunch.  Krink.  Krunch.  All night long.  I was up with her four times.  Wifey did three turns.  She had to pee, poop, drink water, run around.  She must be uncomfortable and in some pain or discomfort.  The cone on her head is enough to drive anyone nuts.  Major surgery has its own aftermath issues. 

We grin.  We bear it.  We take afternoon naps knowing this will be over shortly and our girl will be back to sleeping through the night without the Krink Krunch cone around her neck. 

Busy day.  I should be sailing but taking care of biz has its own priorities like:  Bank deposit.  Check out a new gym.  Haircut.  Buy nylon line for the weed eater.  Check out an other storage facility to store the boat trailer.  Shop at Target.   My turn to cook dinner so need to shop for that...thinking about preparing chicken stew. 

Then there's always other things like yard work (still raking up leaves from last fall thanks to the 30 plus oak trees - there's still a few left), hitting the lake, wiping the boat down and starting the engine to charge the batteries. 

Gracie will be with us this morning until about 5:30 this afternoon.  She's always one of the bright spots in the day.  After her voice lesson this morning it's likely Grace and Wifey will go swimming at the Elks Lodge.  They keep busy doing girl things . . . things that Gracie will forever treasure as precious memories of her grandmother. 

Sitting at the computer is not doing anything to dwindle the list of things to do.   Gotta get my butt in gear.   It's likely I'll get hungry while out and about doing errands.  Wish I had a can of sandwich for a midday snack.  Not.

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


There once was a boater named Bob.

The price of fuel made him sob.

He said with a wail,

I'll turn to sail

and let the damn wind do its job.
 Kiri Cone Head

Seven months old, it was time to slice and dice Kiri.   She was close to coming into heat.   Being a mother was not in her future. 

In the name of keeping Kiri away from her "wound" we're destined to live for the next 8 days with a dog who clunks around with a cone around her neck.  Last night was her first one home from the proccedure.  Confined to her crate (it's a large open wired thing), Kiri rolled and tossed through the night which created the sound of crinkling plastic.  Not exactly music to anyones ears. 

At 1 a.m. enough was enough.  Kiri was taken outside to relieve herself and stretch.  Then it was back in the crate for the second half of the night's double header restless sleep. 

In the interest of a good night's sleep we could place Kiri in another room.  But I feel that it's important to have her close in the event the cone comes off or she needs meds to kill the itch and/or pain. 

You'd think there would be a better way to isolate a dog's wound other than subjecting them to cone headed torture.  In researching the Internet I did find that following this procedure a few owners place t-shirts on their pups in lieu of the cone.  Somehow I can't see this working as (a) The dog will find a way to the wound at the bottom of the shirt and (b) If that doesn't work they'll tear the shirt to pieces.  Or so it seems.

It's going to be a long 8 days.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Taken at the county fair a while back. Need I say more?

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So that's why...

There's nothing like a good, juicy medium rare rump roast or a well seasoned and grilled chicken breast.

Hmm, maybe this explains why they're a preference.

Ya think?  :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Get on the stick, Bob!!

August marks the end of the fourth year of blogging and nearly 1,400 posts on What About Bob.   Four years!   Time does fly whether you're having fun or not.

Posting has become somewhat lax. It's summer. Things to do outside, inside. Sailing. Hiking. Walking. The days are full and they go very fast. There just hasn't been time made to sit here and write about Lord knows what. What? That's the problem. It's the what in blogging that's been missing. There really has not been any "what" that struck my fancy to write about.
It's not like there's not a lot happening. There is. Basically, I need to get on the stick. Take more pictures to post here. Think crazy, juvenile thoughts and jot them down to post on the blog. It's not that I don't think of things. I do. But four or five hours later I forget what the hell it was I was thinking about. Life is like that. And if you don't know what I'm talking about just you wait for one day you will.

It seems like a couple of months ago but we were sailing early Monday morning.  Several new friends having never sailed wanted to tag along.  They met us at the boat just before 8 and we were on the water by 8:15. 

Wifey took her usual position on the boat:  On the cabin steps.  Notice the flat water.  Yup.  No wind.

We actually had fun even without any wind to fill the sails.  You'd never know it by the bored look on my face.  Marc has about the same expression.  I think it's a guy thing to look bored even though you're not.  Marc's girl friend Trudi seems to be enjoying herself.  Notice the water and that it's still flat.  No wind.
Wifey instructs me to turn around and put on a halfway decent happy face.  And this is what I come up with.  Marc on the other hand maintains the same expression even though he's having the time of his life.  Or, so I thought.  Maybe it was the lack of wind?

After over three hours sails hoisted but moving with the aid of the motor we called it a day.   It was close to 90 on the lake and no place to be when there's no wind unless you're in the water.

In parting we promised to take them sailing again when there was a least a breeze to power the boat.  Hopefully, Marc and I will take on happier expressions during the next sailing "photo shoot".  I can do that.  I'm not so sure about Marc.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

More Than Meets The Eye

I often hear, "Oh, how we'd love to sail around the world or to some warm, exotic place.  It would be so fun, so romantic, so exciting."  The accompanying sentiment is that once past learning how to successfully maneuver a sailboat from point A to B it's all peaches and cream . . . you now have the ability to sail just about anywhere you want.  Free lodging  - you sleep onboard.  Prepare meals that are fresh from the sea.  On the surface, sailing looks like fun.

Sailing can be fun when you know what you're doing.  Inland lake sailing is a favorite.   Inland lake conditions are predictable.  Warm water.  Wind in the morning.  No wind in the afternoon until 4 or 5.  Wind dies later on for the rest of the night.  No big deal to anchor, barbecue off the stern, take a swim to cool off, watch the starry night sky.  Listen to the sound of water fowl settling down for the night and gentle waves slapping against the boat's hull...sweet music that will lull you to sleep.  Doesn't get any better than that.

Lake sailing is all well and good.  What you see is what you get.  Predictable.  Ocean sailing is another story.  Unlike lake sailing/what you see is what you get, ocean sailing is unpredictible and dangerous. 

Like this:

And this which supports my point:

"The accident that took place onboard WindChild the morning of April 1, seriously injuring Michael Kalahar, has led to a renewed appreciation and an increased awareness of many things. It’s not that we take things ‘for granted’, but we do get used to a way of life — especially having support systems nearby.

When boaters head out onto the ocean for those big crossings, they’ve prepared for a long time. They work to acquire experience, education and equipment. During those crossings, they are acutely aware that they are outside the range of coastal rescue. It’s 2,800 miles from Mexico to the Marquesas. It had taken WindChild about 10 days to get 1,400 miles and it would certainly be another 10 before they’d reach land. Sailors out there accept that they are on their own and they take many steps to be self-reliant. Sometimes that isn’t enough."

And this one, too...a video of a knockdown (very end of video):

Then consider this:

Pirates.  Passing through unfriendly, we hate Americans, custom searches at each port.  Marina police (bribes anyone?).  Thieves.  People who love to hurt other people.

Toothaches.  Injuries.  Illness.

Then there are things that break on the sailboat and no mechanic nearby for repairs.  Ya got to be handy with the right tools and the right stuff to fix things that break.

All things going wrong are tended to at sea all by your little lonesome and without resources.  

It's like ....Tag!  You're it!!  Ball is in your court.  Fix it.  Or else.

Ocean sailing is more than meets the eye.  Romantic at times.  Exciting.  Fun.  Educational.  But potentially deadly.  All this said, short ocean trips and not lengthy ones make for not only successful trips but a happy marriage.

All this said, this (the video below) could happen while lake sailing.  Whoa Nellie!  I can hardly wait!!! 

 Monday is another day sailing on Whiskeytown.  We'll have two new friends with us to share the day.  Just another day in Paradise.

Friday, July 09, 2010

American Girl

A letter arrived last week for our Grace.  It was an invitation to a camp-out, sleep outside birthday party for a friend who's turning eight years old.  Enclosed with the invitation was a handwritten note that said, "Bring your American Girl doll or favorite doll to the party."

For those of you who don't know about the American Girl doll collection it's worth an investigation.  Twelve of the dolls portray historical characters. 

"Each of these American Girl dolls is not only the star of a historical six-book series, but also a shining example for girls today. Lessons of love, friendship, courage, compassion, and tolerance are at the heart of every American Girl story. These 18-inch dolls are for ages 8 and up."

On her own, Grace selected and bought one of these dolls, Kit Kitridge, paid with money she had earned working at home for her mother, here for her grandmother and during the time she spends with her father.  The dolls don't come cheap:  $115 (which includes a story book about the character doll) plus shipping.   It's due to arrive Monday.

Grace had already decided to buy the Kit Kitridge doll before she had received the invitation.  I could not help but wonder about the little girls who will attend the party without an American Girl doll.   How are they going to feel?  Left out?   The competition to keep up with the Joneses now begins at a very early age.

And yes, the school Gracie attends has predominently upper middle class parents who are highly educated and makes a lot of $$.   In this economy who else could afford a $115 doll?  And did I mention the ton of accessories that go with each doll?  Check out:

The story unfolds about Kit Kitridge in the year is 1934:  "As a girl growing up during the Great Depression, Kit sees her dad lose his business overnight. To help save their home, Kit becomes resourceful. With Ruthie by her side, Kit also learns to treasure what money can’t buy—friends and family."

Last century old school lessons still applicable for life today.

There's also a Kit Kitridge video which we watched last night on HBO.  It will be replayed on HBO at various times July 13th - July 17th.  You would not regret taking the time to watch it.

Did you ever wonder why dolls are most always female?  Who would want a hairy backed, beer bellied, steak breath, butt cracked, balding doll?  I just answered my own question.
Little Stinker

Me holding you know who: Little Stinker.  She's got an eye mischief and a nose for trouble.

Take yesterday.  I'm cooking a special chicken dish that needs to be put in the slow cooker.  It's close to noon and I'm late getting it started.  I rush.  I open a cupboard for a large stainless steel bowl and forget to close it.

A half hour later I notice Kiri in my office chewing on something that looks like a round doggie toy.  Oh good, I think.  A closer look tells me that it's something other than a dog toy.  It's a round plastic cover for a small container that the dog had snitched from the bottom of the open cupboard.   Kiri has managed to chew better than half of the rim off of it.  What's worse, the parts are nowhere to be found.  An educated guess:  The dog didn't eat my homework but something worse.

I look at Kiri and she shines back a look much like what's in the photo here.  All smiles and an Alfred E. Newman look of "What me worry?"  I know this is not a good thing and I have to do something fast before any of what's been eaten is "digested". 

I quickly pack up the dog, jump in the truck and rush her to the Vet's office.  They say that they'll induce vomiting (as I thought they would) and ask to me leave Kiri in their care for about three hours.  At this point Kiri is sweating bullets and senses what's coming.  Tail is down.  She tries to hide her face in my arm or chest.  Poor thing.    

I leave Kiri with the Vet feeling guilty and like a stupid shit for leaving the cupboard door open.  Can't blame the dog.  She's a pup and a stinker at that who will chew anything and everything that's available.  Nothing is safe.  Nothing.

Three hours later I pick Kiri up at the Vet.  Our lady Vet who knows us so very well that we're on a first name basis, produces a quart sized ziploc baggie.  The width of the bottom of the bag . . . the complete width - at least a quarter inch wide, is lined with small red plastic pieces along with a few other organic looking things (grass, bark with a few rug fibers sprinkled in for good measure).  She says it was a good thing the dog was brought in to do a little impromptu close to on cue vomiting.

All is well.  We shake hands.  I leave a little wiser and 150 bucks lighter.  I assure myself that this is much better than surgery to remove all those things and that I should be thankful it was only an out of pocket $150. 

Past yesterday's trauma we watch Kiri like a hawk.  But this morning the wife forgets to shut her walk in closet door and quickly finds that the dog has taken a leather sandal for a mid morning snack.  There's no letting our guard down.

I'm hoping that at seven months of age this pup will soon outgrow the need to chew on everything and anything.  It's getting expensive.
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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Blogging Problems

Blogger changed up on their program making it close to impossible to post new entries. This has been going on since July 1st.   Bear with me until their editing system is repaired.

That said, check this out.  Bob made the local newspaper.   Yuck, yuck, yuck!

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States