Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Monster

It's been taken from the deep. . . this monster of ours.  Three people three hours later, Sparkle Plenty was loaded onto the trailer and readied for a 10 minute drive home.  And there she sits.  A trailered SP parked at home makes a 6' high cedar fence look small.

Marina Bob and I made plans on how best to pull the monster out of the lake.  We're trying our best to make it look like we knew what the hell that we were doing.  In the meantime Wifey patiently waited in the truck and ready to back it down into the water.

Little did Wifey know but in order to set the boat on the trailer she had to surround the truck in water deep enough to submerge the rear wheels and part of the bed completely in water.  Once in position  water was lapping around all four doors of the truck.  Had Wifey opened any of the doors it would have been SPLISH SPASH!  SHE'S A TAKING A BATH!  time.  The interior of the truck would have definitely filled with water.

Judging by the photo Wifey snapped in the driver's seat it's easy to see that she's taken the truck deep into the water.  While she waited for "the boys" to figure out what they hell they were going to do Wifey snapped artsy photos like this.  Like my legs?

It took some doing to secure the boat onto the was just not deep enough. .. the grade of the ramp as just not enough to get the job done.    We could not take the truck any deeper without flooding the interior and causing damage to the engine.  So, it had to be muscled, all 5 thousand pounds of her, onto the trailer.  Not an easy task.

While I look high and dry in this photo it took a quick swim to the rear of the trailer to get to the winch. 

I quickly found that even in 6' of water the damn thing still didn't float onto the trailer. . .  it was all about the length keel of the boat and not enough water under it.

Sparkle Plenty will sit alongside the house until March/April.  There will be lots of repairs, polishing and upgrading from now until then.  We'll raise the mast as some point and just in time for Christmas.  The mast, top to bottom side to side will be covered with multi-colored lights to celebrate the season. 

Come time to put her back into the lake we'll do a few things differently to make the job a lot easier.  I like to work smart and not like yesterday's stupid.

But as Marina Bob said, we got the job done in three hours, no one was killed, no one was hurt, and we didn't have to duke it out.  That my friends, is the world according to Marina Bob.   

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Work To Do
Busy day.  I've got work to do. 

Take the dogs for a haircut.

Tow the utility trailer home from storage.

Drive to the marina to prepare Sparkle Plenty for Wednesday pull out.

Check the tires of the boat trailer, fill with air as needed.

Rearrange the side yard shed to make room for sailing gear.

Rake leaves, clip shrubs.

Haul "white elephant" crap to the Lodge for their upcoming garage sale.

Shop and then drop.

Dinner tonight with friends at their house.  That has to be the bright spot in the day.

But before then I've got work to do...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Indian Summer?

That was yesterday.  The wireless temperature gauge outside the master bedroom read 97.7. Today it's reading just over 101.  Is this autumn weather or is it an Indian Summer?  And just what is an Indian Summer and where did that come from?  Why isn't 101 the end of September a Donna Summer? . . . you know, the old Disco Queen.  She was hot and now in the autumn of her life . . . just like it is in Cowtown on September 27th.  Autumn.  Hot.  Just like Donna Summer.

When the sun goes down and it's a bit cooler we retreat outdoors to a place just outside the family room.  It's private.  It's cool.  It's not in the least bit a Donna Summer time of the day.  We play games.  Strip poker is popular.  Hide the salami on the appetizer plate another.  Duck, duck, GOOSE! is all mine. 

In our little outdoor space carved into our large one acre backyard we eat.  We drink.  We laugh.  We romp with the dogs.  We don't answer the phone.  We talk about what was and what could have been.  Then we count our blessings and become overwhelmingly thankful for what is. 

In the chapters of life (which chapter are you on?) is this the autumn of our lives or is it our Donna Summer? 

If it's a Donna Summer then Wifey's a Bad, Bad Girl, Love Love You Baby, Hot Stuff, Last Dance, She Works Hard for Her Money (that would be Wifey) and I Feel Love . . . all over my rapidly decaying little body. 

Sums up this lad's autumn chapter of life?   Maybe.  Just maybe.  Whatever the case I'm sticking to it. 

Should I add that it's all good?  Well it is.  And that's a fact, Jack!

Friday, September 24, 2010

By Any Other Name

 "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

 - William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.

Roses from the backyard.  Summer's last hurrah.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Next Year

Gotta do it.   Sparkle Plenty is being taken out of the water Wednesday.  The mechanism to tilt the motor up and down needs repair.  There's no way to sail without having access to power when needed. I could make do without it but it's just not safe.

Wifey, Marina Bob and I will pull her out and tow SP to the house where she'll spend the winter in our gated RV parking space.  We'll make repairs (there are more than a couple), shine her up and launch her for another season come March/April. 

Having the boat at home will also remove the need to travel to the marina several time a week to make certain all is secure.  Winter storms often loosen or break mooring lines and there's always the possibility of water seeping into the cabin.  Both scenarios did occur during several severe storms this last winter.

Look!  Look!   Wasn't that a sea monkey jumping out of the water!   Marc is looking at Wifey who's taking this photo and thinking, "There's Bob spouting his bull shit again just to impress my girl friend."

Ya think?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Worth a Thousand Words

Marc, Capt. Bob, Wifey.  Photo by Trudi.  Wind and rain made us smile, at least on Sunday.

It doesn't get any better than this.

What you see here is a fine example of the old saying:  "A picture worth a thousand words".

Need I say more?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Stormy Weather

Sunday on the lake with friends.  It was overcast and chilly but each of us were bundled up in warm clothing ready for another day sailing.

We motored out of the marina at 7:30 just in time to set the anchor at a spot close to the highway to watch the Whiskeytown Relays.  While the many runners passed by the four of us downed hot coffee, scarfed on breakfast rolls and munched on freshly picked apples.  Music from the the boat's sound system added to a most pleasant breakfast.  It was just down right civilized.

Once the last runner passed by I hoisted the sails and pointed the boat for open water where there was definitely a lot of wind.  The photos taken yesterday don't reflect how much wind there really was on the lake.  Believe me there was enough wind to whitecap the lake and heel Sparkle Plenty wayyyy over. 

Shortly after hoisting the sails it began to rain.  Wifey and the two friends went down into the cabin to keep dry and be warm.  Capt. Bob remained at the helm who was soon soaked head to toe.   In spite of the elements the Capt. maintained a shit ass eating grin on his face as evidence that he was indeed loving every minute of sailing. 

The two friends, having downed a fair amount of coffee had to hit the "head" during the storm.  Be this fair warning to anyone planning an outing on Capt. Bob's boat:  He delights in heeling the boat as far over as possible when anyone is sitting on the head.  And he howls with laughter when he does that.  When each of the guests exited the head Capt Bob yells out:  How's that head working for ya?  hahahahahah.

Taking a leak on Sparkle Plenty can be an experience in itself.

After being thoroughly drenched but nonetheless willing to keep sailing, it was apparent that the two guests even though smiling were ready to call it a day.  I prepared to lower the sails and hit the switch to lower the motor so the engine could be started.  The tilting motor whined but the motor remained in the upright position.  Regardless of what was tried the motor would not budge.  Oh, oh.  Bad news.

There we were.  On the lake.  Powerless.  Yes, I could have sailed Sparkle Plenty back into her slip with no problem at all.  But our guests were miserably cold and wet and sailing back to the slip would have taken at least an hour or more.  I got on the radio and call Marina Bob for help who quickly motored from the marina to SP's location in less than 10 minutes.  Wifey found a fix it in the out-board's manual . . . a relief screw that would allow the motor to tilt back into the water . .. an accessible only by someone to the rear of the boat and Marina Bob was at exactly that spot.  A twist of the screwdriver and the motor eased back into the water.  Whew!

We motored back to the slip.  We said good-bye to our friends and spent the next 20 minutes putting the boat back in order and covering her up.

Marina Bob and I will spend time today checking the tilting mechanism on the outboard and determine what, if anything, needs to be repaired.  Owning a boat is wonderful . . . maintaining it is yet another. 

Comes with the territory. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Another Day At The Office

Yeah, yeah.  Life is tough.  Here I am at the office hard at work.  Looking for wind here.  Looking for wind there.

As it was on this day last week there was a slight north westerly wind.  As you can see the mainsail is back winded and pushing Sparkle Plenty south east.   From one end of the lake to the other in less than 30 minutes.

A day at the office is can be tiring.  Sandwiches to down, chicken wings to bite into, drinks to chug.  No beer on the water, though.  Not good, not good, not good.  Back in the day beer anywhere was good, good, good.  No more.  Save the beer for the sitting at home in the Lazy Boy.  Yup.

I should hire a secretary for my office.  Take a letter, I'd say.  No, hold that, I would add.  Bring up some chicken wings.  Please.  I might have to say to my secretary, "I think it would be a good idea if you put your bikini top on before we enter the marina.  Don't want to freak Marina Bob out with those 36DDD's of yours."

While at the office I'd probably get a call from Wifey wondering how the secretary is working out.  That conversation could get a little dicey so I'd have to really think about what to say before I say.

Me:  Hi Wifey.  Everything is fine.  Yes, the new secretary is working out fine but the boat seems to be a little top heavy with her on board.  Can't figure out why.  I'll probably have to massage this matter for a while to find out why we're top heavy."

Yeah, I need a secretary. There's just too much office work on Sparkle Plenty for one person to manage.

I could get used to sailing a top heavy Sparkle Plenty in  a heart beat. I could, I could, I could.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Have you seen it?  It's KFC's new sandwich.  Bacon.  Cheese.  Mayo.   All between two slathered and fried chicken breasts.  It doesn't even look remotely appealing.

In a time when some of us are thinking healthy eating KFC thinks bottom line revenue and comes up with this.  If America wasn't still hungry for and buying food like this you'd never see a Double Down KFC sandwich.  America is fat and getting chubbier by the minute.

I read yesterday that a Disney amusement park has made alterations to one of its rides to accommodate overweight people.  It seems they wouldn't fit in any of the seats on this ride.  Now, thanks to the adjustments, they'll fit.  I'm wondering what Disney will do when people become so rotund that they no longer fit in the seats that were altered.

Where and when is our gluttony going to end? 

Don't get me wrong.  I love fried chicken, especially what can be had at KFC.  But it's not an everyday or even once a month deal.  It's an every once in a while deal.  Even at that I peel the fried skin off of the breast meat and discard it.  Yeah, tasty as it is I just can't come to put anything into me with that much fat.  But it's ohhhhh so good.  Damn it!   How can anything so not so good for you taste so great?  The salt......has to be the salt. 

Take this sandwich . . . like 1,380 milligrams of sodium.  Whew!  That's a bunch.  Calories are close to 540 clocking in with 32 grams of fat.  This shit would definitely get your arteries humming.  Downing a cup of Crisco would probably be better for you.  Whatta thought.

The American Heart Association recommends a daily intake of 1,000 calories with sodium at 1,000 mg's per day, too. 

Need I say more?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

High 10!  Low Dough!

I've got the dynamo of volition
With po-pole position
Automatic transmission with lo-ow emissions
I'm a brand new addition to the old edition
with the love unconditional

I'm a drama abolitionist
Damn no opposition to my proposition
Half of a man, half magician
Half a politician holding the mic
Like ammunition
And my vision is as simple as light

Ain't no reason we should be in a fight
No demolition
Get to vote, get to say what you like
Compositions already written by themselves
Heck is for the people not believin' in gosh

Good Job
Get 'em up way high
Gimme gimme that high five
Good time

Get 'em way down low
Gimme gimme that low dough
Good God
Bring 'em back again
Gimme gimme that high ten
You're the best definition of good intention

I do not answer the call if
I do not know who is calling
I guess the whole point of it all is
That we never know really
I'm tryin' to keep with the Joneses
While waiting for guns and the roses
To finish what we all suppose is gonna be
That shit was so lame

Oh, fist like pumpin and wrist lock
twisting up a rizla
Kid Icarus on the transister
Nintendo been givin' me the blister
I bend over take it in the kisser

Best friends are hittin' on my sister
Try to tell them that they still wish-a
'Cause she already got herself a mister
And besides that's gross to want to dis her
Didn't I say, didn't I say

Good Job
Get 'em up way high
Gimme gimme that high five
Good time
Get 'em way down low
Gimme gimme that low dough

Good God
Bring 'em back again
Gimme gimme that high ten
You're the best definition of good versus evil

I do not keep up with statistics
I do not sleep without a mistress
I do not eat unless it's fixed with
some kind of sweet like a licorice
My home is deep inside the mystics
I'm known to keep diggin on existence
I'm holdin' in the heat like a fishstick
My phone it beeps because I missed it
I do not answer the call if
I do not know who is calling
I'm making no sense of it all
Say, can I get a witness

I'm only a boy in a story
Just a hallucinatory
Trippin' on nothing there is
Living in the wilderness
With a tiger spot on my back
Living life of a cat
I just wanna relax here
And write another rap tune
Driving off on your blind man's bike
You can say just what you like
Or nothing can stop you

Good Job
Get 'em up way high
Gimme gimme that high five
Good time
Get 'em way down low
Gimme gimme that low dough
Good God
Bring 'em back again
Gimme gimme that high ten
You're the best (x7)

Good Job
Get 'em up way high
Gimme gimme that high five
Good time
Get 'em way down low
Gimme gimme that low dough
Good God
Bring 'em back again
Gimme gimme that high ten
You're the best definition of good intention (x3)
You're the best around

Saturday, September 11, 2010

All Over the Board

When it comes to music I'm all over the board.  You name it I not only like it but I probably have your favorite genre in my CD collection or on the computer. 

It's the beat, tempo, feel, composition . . .. etc. etc. etc. . . that attracts my interest in a particular piece of music.  Most like a song because they identify with not only the music but the lyrics, too.  I'm more about the music . . . lyrics?  I usually don't identify with what's sung.  Take this one for example.  Great tune.  Lyrics mean nothing.  Enjoy this one for whatever reason you like it . . . or not.

Friday, September 10, 2010

In Passing

There were services today for the thirty something daughter of a friend who passed awayseveral weeks ago.  The chapel of the mortuary was packed:  Standing room only with many people forced to stand outside.  There was like parked cars from hell to breakfast.  No room inside.  No room to park.

A recorded song was played at the beginning of the service.   No doubt the song had special meaning to the family.   Each of us listened.  Each if us probably reflected.  And most likely most in attendance thought of another song we'd like played at our memorial service.  There's those of us who don't think there's not ever going to be a memorial service for them because we're going to live forever.  Like those vampire people on HBO.  That's what I'm talking about.

Well, hell.  A song popped into my mind during the service and thought it would have been a much better choice today.  If I die (and I'm not) the memorial plans would be to:

Have the memorial service at the homeless rescue mission.

A steak dinner and a bottle of Jack for everyone.

After dinner everyone is directed to stand up, put their hands together, and dance a few steps to this one.

Better than any sermon about and for Bob. . . .

Turn up your speakers.  Stand up, put your hands together, dance a little boogie to this one.  And take my IOU for the steak dinner and bottle of Jack.  Bob ain't dead yet.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Don't Bother Knocking

Ding-dong, ding-dong.  It's someone ringing the doorbell.  The dogs go nuts.  I go nuts knowing that I must be polite to some stiff selling something and trying to make a living.  The answer is always, No thank you.  Door shuts.  That's it.  Waste of their time and mine.

Two weeks ago it was a guy selling insulation.  Last week it was two guys selling solar panels.  This week it was two people wanting to fix any windshield cracks we might have for FREE but only if we give them our insurance ID card.  Yeah, free alright.  Free today, insurance rates rise tomorrow.

I want to place a sign somewhere close to the front door that reads, No Solicitors.  Wifey forbids that I do that.  It's so unfriendly, she says.  Well I say it's so unfriendly that I have to get up off my ass and answer the door knowing that the answer will be always the same, No Thank you.  Slam.

Ding.  Lightbulb goes on.  Hell, a No Solicitor sign is not necessary.  I'll put up a sign by the door that makes a simple statement.  THANK YOU BUT NO THANK YOU!  Damn, I'm brillant. That should be polite enough to satisfy Wifey's civilized, love thy neighbor and whoever rings the doorbell side of her.

But I know Wifey.  It's all about getting to chat with whoever happens onto our doorstep.  Wifey loves to talk.  Wifey says that she knows that I'm a man of few words, that I'm stoic and can always cowboy up when the going gets tough . . . but doesn't chat a lot about it.  Yeah, that's me.  Man of action, few words.

But when it comes to solicitors over 16 years of age I have no patience.  Peddling Girl Scout cookies, school raffle tickets and cookie dough is one thing if you're 16 and under.  Love kids.  Love seeing them on the doorstep.  They're exception to Bob's Rule of Thank You But No Thank You.

If I put a sign like this up the older folks will no doubt read it and do an about face.  Kids who read this sign usually don't take Thank You But No Thank You! for an answer and ring the bell anyway. 

That's what I just love about the younger generation.

Thank you for visiting this blog today and ringing my doorbell.  Was anyone home?

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Wifey Mixes It Up

Wifey mixes up each of the dressings used on our salads.  Caesar.  French.  Curry.  Just to name a few.  Recently she prepared French dressing and thought the mixure should be photographed.  So Wifey arranges some of the stuff on the counter around the pitcher of dressing and VIOLA!  Here's her compostion. 

Friday, September 03, 2010

Baby You Can Drive My Car

Two peas in a pod.  That would be Wifey and Gracie.  Together they're always on the move, always busy doing something and happy in whatever it is that they do.   A grandchild/grandmother relationship if often very special.  This relationship is strongly bonded and one that is extra extra special.

Grace spent the weekend with us several weeks ago.  Washing Wifey's car is how the two kicked off their Saturday.  The girls didn't want to ride around Cowtown in a dirty car. 

Gracie is holding a small brush designed to clean the inbetween places on car's alloy wheels.  She's pretty good at things like that.

Our girl has it all planned out that one day the BWM will be hers.  It's well cared for, has low miles and probably will still be shiny and perky in 8 years . . . and just ready for a new driver to take the reins. 

I wonder, will there still be any gasoline left for her to put in it?  Hmmmmm.......

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Red Faced Bob

Yesterday morning it was an early drive to the lake.  It was me on Sparkle Plenty at 7 a.m. to open her up, remove the sail,wheel, winch, motor, and cabin covers, warm up the outboard, ready the mooring lines for casting off, wash her down a bit, hoist the American flag, tighten the life lines, and connect the mainsail to its halyard.

Soon after friend Marc arrived.  He climbed aboard.  We cast off, hoisted the sails and with a wind of around 10-15 miles Sparkle Plenty began to do her stuff. 

It was just not a day for sailing but one for talking, eating, drinking and sunshine.

Five hours later the wind calmed.    I pulled the sails down and motored back to the marina.  Marc jumped off the boat, smiling and mumbling as he made his way down the dock, "I should have slathered a little sunscreen on my face."  Ha, I thought.  Ain't no thang.

It takes a while to close the boat up.  It was hot.  94 degrees.  30 minutes later I too walked the dock back up to the truck.  After starting the pickup and turning the a/c on high, I glanced in the rearview mirror and mumbled, "I should have slathered a little sunscreen on my face."  Arms and legs looked mighty tan.  But the nose, cheeks, chin and neck didn't fare was well for they were red all over. 

After all of those years on the water you'd think I'd be wiser and apply a little protection before sailing.    Never entered my mind. 

Case of old dog no new tricks?  Nawww.  Certainly a case of stupid is as stupid does.

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States