Tuesday, December 27, 2011
I took the good advice offered by others and backed up pretty much everything, but this little machine would never hold the 120 programs I had on the other machine let alone the thousands of photos and video. The old machine was 2.25Terrabites...(2250GiG)
It finally died on Boxing day...looks like I'll be searching for a new top end machine this month (sigh!)
I hope your Christmas went well for you and the new year lifts you up even more...
How are you going with your new years resolutions?
About 20yrs ago I got sick of people asking what mine were, so I made a resolution to NEVER make a New Years Resolution again...and I've stuck to it. How many people can say they've never broken their resolutions? LOL
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
My garden was smashed with the trees stripped of leaves and that nest which had a baby bird in it yesterday...empty today. (feelings of sadness sweep over me)
I took 8 min of video which I will process soon enough...
This car was at the end of my street, windows smashed, all the panels dented. Probably a write off.
Men never really grow up do they?
Our local mall, the Westlands was completely surrounded by a lake.... including inside
Some hailstones were as large as this, but most were golf ball sized.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
This PC is about to die, it overheated badly while recently editing a friends very bad video footage from a holiday in New Zealand. 6 hours of vid which took an entire day to edit and burn and cook the motherboard etc. It's going now but for how long?
I have a nice laptop but it does not have my favorite web shit on it, my stories and my pictures... when this one dies I will have trouble posting worthwhile stuff.. (dont you say a word..)
Bear with me...
*I took a cheap package tour across the Bass Straight to Tasmania. I should have read the fine print or at least suspected something when it was so cheap… or when they took us past the big boats and into a small dark yard at the end of the docks.
Sure enough I found myself chained to a rowing bench with sixty other suckers who also thought they were onto a bargain. With the drums beating and the lash snapping around our ears we made our way out into the open sea.
I turned to the bloke next to me “Strewth, I hope they're going to fly us back”
He says: “I don’t think so mate, they didn’t last year”
*I’ve been divorced for some time now so I’m nearly over it enough to tell you the story of how it all came to an end.
We were up before the judge seeking a divorce and after hearing both sides of the story the judge gave his verdict.
He glared down at me, “You have obviously neglected this woman and failed in your duty to her.” He scolded. “I thereby award her the sum of $150.00 per week.”
“That’s very good of you, your honor,” I said. “I’ll try to slip her a few bucks myself from time to time.”
*Fred Farmer went to take some money from the bank, he took a slip from the counter and filled it in before getting in line. When he finally got to the front of the line the Teller noticed that Fred had filled in the form using a pencil. “Sorry sir but you’ll have to ink it over.” And gestured back toward the counter.
Fred took his form and went back to start again.
After a time Fred had made his way to the front of the queue and again presented the penciled form. “I’ve thought it over, and I still want the $50.00.”
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
After the Epoxy coating was put on and rubbed I took a recommended short cut by using car body filler to fix the tiny marks here and there just because I’d got carried away by this stage. Of course I used a really good brand of the best marine type, then sanded it to perfection before putting the first coat of two pack primer over it… (gulp!)
The two pack primer melted the filler and the whole sticky mess had to be scraped and sanded off.
The company who made the filler (3M) and the paint company (International Marine) got their heads together and discovered there was a chemical in the still curing Epoxy* that reacted with the Filler only when exposed to another chemical in the primer. They duly made notes for their information sheets… (Lucky me, making scientific/chemical discoveries in my shed)
Thankfully I’d only had to put filler in a few places so the re-sanding then repainting wasn’t too nasty.
*Freshly painted and glossy
I’d picked out a beautiful dark blue two pack paint which took weeks to get here, I went in and checked it but (foolishly) waited a few days until coming back to pick it up. When I did come back the paint was missing, gone! One of the workers at the paint store had stolen the paint (no one knew who) and they could only order more…or I could take what they did have. With Winter fast approaching I couldn’t wait weeks more so I went through their stock and picked the least nasty paint they had, which is an awful sort of crème. The other reason I couldn’t wait was that I had all the materials and permissions for a new shed and just weeks to have it up and finished, I had to finish the canoe because it had to go outside in the weather until I had a shed to put it in.*Close enough to finished...
I had the usual dramas putting on the four coats of two pack paint but after what I’d already been through it went smoothly enough.
Finally finished and with 11 coats of epoxy, primers and paints it was put in the water just once in our local marina before being plastic wrapped and put out in the back yard for the long three months of Winter.
The shed is finished now and complete with boat racks close to the roof so I can simply slide the canoe from racks to the boat racks custom made for my trailer and back again… every thing is perfect except for that one little kick in the tail….
*It's one and only time on the water.
During Winter I took a fall off my Yamaha, a seemingly small incident except that I came down heavily on my left shoulder. I felt something give immediately but tried to ignore it hoping it would go away but after several doctors appointments, x-rays, scans and eventually three Cortisone shots into the shoulder I have to admit it isn’t getting any better. There are three new tears in the shoulder to go nicely with the one that was already there. I cant lift my arm above my head, cant lift weight (like the canoe) and certainly cant paddle a canoe until at least three to six months AFTER my full shoulder reconstruction sometime in the second half of next year!
Now you might be thinking I’d be pretty upset about that but I can see the irony in it...
I will eventually get to use the boat and maybe even catch a fish or two from it but the point of it was the challenge to build the boat and whether I can use it or not, I took the challenge and achieved what I started out to do and I feel pretty good about that!
* the Epoxy cures over several weeks but can be finished off well before that.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
This year has been busy…
I've had to clear out and tear down my 20 year old shed to build a much bigger one, as all this was done a few things went missing. A few tools taken by someone who thinks they need them much more than I do, some paint obviously taken by neighborhood kids to paint their bikes etc and a few very strange things too...
Among the strange things that went mising I noticed a lot of my plastic cable ties had vanished, I put that down to kids as well. They can be lots of fun you know, putting them around your fingers or wrist until the blood flow stops and the appendage goes numb...or better yet, someone else’s wrist..
..but I digress, as I was wondering around my back yard the other day I found the thief and my cable ties.
I am temped to snatch them back but I cant… They’ve been put to a better use than I would have done and I just cant take them without running the risk of taking a life.
Although we live between the sea and the desert, sticks aren’t that scarce here, we do have twigs to build a nest with… we do have grasses.. Hell, I’ve got a back yard full of nice big native trees planted especially to attract birds.…but in this plastic age and knowing just how long plastics can last I guess we shouldn’t be all that surprised that the birds are looking ahead to nests that last forever and can be used over and over for generations...
A close look at the nest shows plastic zip ties, plastic rope and even multi-strand stainless wire...at least this bird shows good taste for quality materials.
Evenings are especially noisy at my place as hundreds of tiny birds hop about in the trees taking their turn at the bird bath. Many people have commented that I must have a big aviary judging by the sounds coming from my yard but I don't believe in caging birds, I'd much rather watch them doing their thing in peace...except lately. A new kind of bird has found my place much to it's liking and early morning and evenings it's trill warbling song can be heard inside with all the doors closed as it goes on and on until nightfall.
A lovely sound of course but I can see a day, sometime in the future, with head pounding that I wont like it very much at all.
Oh well, that's what I get for encouraging them in the first place..
Monday, December 5, 2011
So the pics in the last post about this canoe looked like it was about finished eh?...
That’s what I thought too.
But then I still had the front and rear bulkheads to make, fit a deck front and rear to keep the water out and make room for storage and floatation, then add strengthening strips to keep me on the inside and the water on the outside when I stood up or hit a rock. (Remember this entire boat is made just 6mm or ¼ inch thick)
Again this called for lots of wood glue, screws and a liberal sprinkling of Silicon bronze ring nails. (don’t ask)
*With the bulkheads in, the reinforcing done and the joins all epoxy resin coated and rubbed back.
By the way, the glue dried on my hands in minutes and felt like a second skin which had to be picked off bit by bit for days each time I got even a speck on me, bad enough? Not a bit of it, it also had the strange effect of staining my skin black, this black hands thing lasted pretty much the entire time I was making the canoe. (a harmless enzyme reaction to moist skin) I know what you're thinking…gloves? The glue is so tacky that the gloves fingers stick together within seconds of touching the glue and tear rather than separate…I was like a seal spreading the glue with flippers..
*The first coat of resin inside the boat all done, now to let it dry, rub it back and do it again!
I had something of a crisis of doubts here as it dawned on me that I had to coat the entire boat with the same resin and sand it back three times to encapsulate it.
I stopped work and went back to the web for information, on a forum I found an American who specializes in making these boats, he gave me the information I needed BEFORE I started.
He starts by coating the original plywood sheets with the resin before cutting them up thereby saving himself the huge job of coating and rubbing the boat. It’s much easier to paint and rub a flat sheet and you can use power sanders if you do it on the flat.
*Second coat done...now just one more coat (after rubbing it back)
Three coats of Epoxy Resin were required with a complete overall sanding of every millimeter between every coat because the epoxy dries glossy and the next coat wont stick unless the previous one is sanded… all while wearing a chemical respirator to avoid the poisonous fumes and dust. In fact nearly everything required a respirator, the wood dust while cutting or sanding is dangerous, the Epoxy and the paints are dangerous and anything to do with Fiberglass is dangerous… it was like ‘Darth Vader builds a boat!’
*Three coats of epoxy, holes filled and sanded, hollows filled and sanded and three coats of white 2pack marine primer. Now all I have to do is put the decks on and prime them before the actual painting starts. (enter huge list of doubts here)
Note: I haven't even started the outside of the canoe yet...still raw wood!
Thursday, December 1, 2011
HOW TO SATISFY A WOMAN EVERY TIME
Caress, chat, praise, pamper, relish, savor, massage, make plans, fix, empathize, serenade, compliment, support, feed, tantalize, bathe, humour, placate, stimulate, stroke, console, purr, hug, coddle, excite, pacify, protect, phone, correspond, anticipate, nuzzle, smooch, toast, minister to, forgive, sacrifice for, ply, accessorize, leave, return, beseech, sublimate, entertain, charm, lug, drag, crawl, treat equally, spackle, oblige, fascinate, attend, implore, bawl, shower, shave, trust, grovel, ignore, tease, defend, coax, clothe, brag about, arouse, acquiesce, fuse, fizz, rationalize, detoxify, sanctify, help, acknowledge, polish, enticing, tempting, upgrade, spoil, embrace, accept, butter-up, hear, understand, jitterbug, locomote, beg, plead, borrow, steal, climb, swim, nurse, resuscitate, repair, patch, super-glue, respect, intimate, entertain, calm, allay, kill for, die for, dream of, promise, deliver, tease, flirt, commit, lecherous, enlist, pine, cajole, murmur, snuggle, snoozle, snurfle, elevate, enervate, alleviate, serve, rub, rib, salve, bite, taste, nibble, gratify, take her places, scuttle like a crab on the ocean floor of her existence, diddle, doodle, hokey-pokey, hanky-panky, crystal blue, persuade, flip, flop, fly, don't care if I die, swing, slip, slide, provocative, slather, mollycoddle, squeeze, moisturize, humidify, lather, tingle, slam-dunk, risqué, keep on rockin' in the free world, wet, slicken, undulate, gelatinize, brush, tingle, dribble, drip, dry, knead, fluff, fold, ingratiate, indulge, wow, dazzle, amaze, flabbergast, enchant, idolize and worship, and then go back, Jack, and do it again.
HOW TO SATISFY A MAN EVERY TIME
Show up naked ... with beer.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
I was complaining to my neighbor that I was having trouble with ants invading my kitchen. He suggested a sure fire way of ridding my house of these tiny pests.
“I’ve got a mate” He started, “He’ll get some Heroin for you to sprinkle around their nest and they will go away.”
A few days later he was back with the bag of white powder which he sprinkled around the nest.
I didn’t see an ant for over a week, but then they came back and stole my DVD player…
A drunk gets up from the bar and staggers toward for the toilet. A few minutes later there is a blood curdling scream from the toilets.
A few minutes later another terrible scream is heard coming from the Mens Room.
The bartender gets up and goes to find out why the drunk keeps screaming like that.
“Why all the screaming in there?” he asks “You're scaring all my customers.”
“I’m just sitting here on the toilet and every time I flush something grabs my balls and squeezes the heck out of them.”
With that the barman opens the door to survey the damage, he looks at the scene before him for a few seconds before he says,
“You idiot, you’re sitting on the mop bucket!”
A bloke walks into a pub and sees a notice above the bar that reads:
Cheese sandwich: $2.00
Chicken sandwich: $3.50
Hand Jobs: $10.00
He walks up to the bar and beckons to one of the exceptionally attractive blondes serving drinks to the large group of men.
“Yes?” she inquires with a knowing smile. “Can I help you?”
“I was wondering,” whispers the man, “are you the one who gives the hand jobs?”
“Yes,” she replies, “indeed I am.”
The man replies, “Well, wash your hands. I want a cheese sandwich!”
You know how it is as you get older? Every time you see a doctor you leave with yet another prescription for drugs you have to take for the rest of your life?
Recently my doctor prescribed half a Viagra before bed. It’s not helping my love life any, but at least I don’t roll out of bed during the night any more…
Thursday, November 24, 2011
When I was young and foolish… I’m not young anymore!
I did some foolish things; some of them were legal, so they can be told here.
I had to have two serious hip operations one a few weeks after the other, so I set my dirt bike up in the spare room and pulled it to pieces. I got together all the paints, parts and tools for a full rebuild.
When I got out of hospital on crutches I started the painstaking job of rebuilding it. You may have read the first part of this story and know that I got myself into a lot of trouble with my girl friend at the time for riding a drag bike not long after getting out of hospital.
While not in the dog house I was building up my bike…
At first I did the small bits and pieces that I was capable of doing, but as I got stronger I managed the motor back into the frame and the wheels back on. Three months later the bike looked just like it did when I bought it new just two years earlier…only more shiny.
Just before going back into hospital I put the bike backward into my shed, right under a roof truss so I could climb it onto the bike.
A week later I was home on crutches again, and bored out of my head…
The bike was done, there was nothing for me to do. Nothing on TV, I couldn’t drive… did I mention that I was bored?
Less than two weeks after surgery I decided to try to start the bike, I clambered up onto the bike holding the truss above it and managed two painful kicks. I hung there for a few minutes and had another kick…mercifully, it started amid a cloud of rebuild oils. It sputtered until the plug cleared then the new motor idled cleanly. I adjusted the carb and since the motor was running so well…I decided to take it around the block…just the once!
Out on the wet roads (did I mention it rained all night?) the motor was crisp, after so long incapacitated I loved the freedom the bike gave me.
Since it was going so well….You know where I’m going with this don’t you?
Nearly an hour later, and far out into the bush I’m going slowly down a well known track to check out a nearby dam then home…..home because my hip is hurting like hell and I need to rest it…but cant. The crutches are leaning on the workbench back home and I can’t walk without them, if I stop I’ll fall over and I wont be able to start the bike anyway.
There is an inch of soft mud over the whole area and as I try to stay on the high ground I feel the bike slide away from me. I cant stop it and so I decide to go down with it and try to save the hip by pressing hard against the bike. Gracefully (almost) the bike slides down the embankment and we end up in a small gully full of mud, the bike on my sore leg.
I had no choice but to use my good leg against the new seat to push the bike up…and over. It crashed against the other side of the gully and I lay there considering the possible scratches on my newly built bike, it’s mud spattered corpse laying against the muddy embankment.
I’m looking about me and the nearest tree is nearly 100 metres away through soft mud and I cant stand (I tried already) I looked at the bandages on my leg and it was spotted with blood so I decide to save the hip by just waiting to be found, even if that takes until tomorrow.
I consider what my girl friend will do to me after that last incident…Hmmm!
Only an hour and a bit later I heard the thump thump of a big 4 stroke bike in the distance, I waited, hoped and willed the bike to come my way. After a while I could tell it was coming my way and presently it turned the corner above me, circled a couple of times looking for somewhere hard enough to stand the bike and stopped. The biker walked over and asked if I was “fucked up or what?”
After a short explanation he dragged my bike from the gully and set it up idling near his bike then came back and helped me up. We struggled through the mud and he just about had to lift me onto my bike. He said he’d follow me until I got to harder ground and let me go. I rode carefully the couple of kilometers to the bitumen with the thumping sound of his bike behind me, as we got near I heard him accelerate away down another track.
I was in a lot of pain, wet through and covered in mud. I wound my way home and turned the bike off as I coasted into the shed; I left it there covered with mud and went straight into the shower.
I rinsed the mud off my clothes and showered, after changing the bandage and noticing a couple of stitches were torn through I washed all the dirty clothes in the house and put dinner on.
SO…when my girl friend got home from work she found all the clothes washed and dinner ready. What a good boyfriend she had…. She didn’t suspect a thing, and didn’t go out to the shed to check the bike. Whew!
A few days later I managed to get the bike out, washed and put away, the crash hurt my leg a lot, but did no long term damage. Even now there is a wide scar on my leg to remind me of those pulled stitches.
I never told any of my friends (who would have told their GF’s, who would have told my GF, who would have killed me!) I never told anyone, ever. This is the first time I’ve told that story.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
It’s up to you.
What does that mean anyway? I guess before I ask you to translate it for me, I should ask you which sex you are…believe me, it seems to make a difference.
Let me tell you the story of the first time I heard those four little words and how it shaped my life.
I had to have two serious hip operations, one a few weeks after the other. This was operation one and after a few days I was home on crutches to get stronger ready for the second operation.
Previously, two mates and I had started our first foray into motor sports by buying a Yamaha 750 and were doing it up for drag racing. We put high compression pistons in it, bigger valves and ….and I’m starting to bore you now aren’t I?
How about I just say we opened up the motor and poured many hundreds of dollars into it hoping to make it faster.
The last of the engine bits came as I was in hospital so my mates finished putting it together and made a date and time to meet out at our local drag strip for testing.
I turned up with my girlfriend as I couldn’t walk let alone drive. We looked the bike over and started it up, after a few adjustments the guys took a few runs down the strip, giving it a bit more each successive run.
Just before we left to go home one of my mates asked me if I wanted to have a run down the strip… I looked to my girlfriend who uttered these words.
“It’s up to you!”
Well, if it was up to me then I was going to run it down the strip…obviously!
They put the bike on its stand and helped me onto it; they even had to lift my leg onto the foot peg as I couldn’t do it myself. Then they stood the bike upright and held it that way as I got ready to go.
I gunned the engine and dropped the clutch, my two mates let go as the bike stormed away in a cloud of tyre smoke. It held the front wheel in the air for forty yards with me leaning right on the front to keep it down, it weaved across the track with the rear wheel spinning most of the way down the strip. Wow, what a rush!
By now I was out of track and had to brake hard before I ran off the end of the strip, I turned back and took it easy down the track to cool the motor before shutting it down as I was caught by my mates.
I did notice that my girl was kinda quiet as we packed up to go home, but I didn’t realize just how pissed she was until she had me captive in the car heading back down the road. That’s when I ran headlong into a shit storm of hurricane proportions.
Apparently, in this case ‘it’s up to you’ actually meant ‘Don’t you dare.’
The next couple of weeks were very uncomfortable, she did eventually start speaking to me again and I did eventually get my leg over again, but not for quite some time…
This is part one of this story….
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Outback Australia can be an isolated and strange place at times, take for instance my experience last year as I drove the back way from Alice Springs to Gidgialpa Station in North Eastern South Australia.
The water pump on my Toyota failed and I found myself in some quiet little town too small to have a proper name. The local mechanic said it would be two days until parts arrived so I booked a room at the local hotel and went to the bar for a drink.
I found an empty bar stool and ordered a whiskey.
“Sorry mate” said the barman, “we’re not allowed to serve spirits. Local by-law”
“You mean a man can’t get a whiskey around here at all?” I inquired.
“Well,” said the barman, “You could try the chemist. He’s allowed to sell whiskey for medical purposes.”
So off I go to the chemist, where I ask for a shot of their finest whiskey.
The chemist frowned, tut-tutted and shook his head. “Whiskeys for medical purposes,” he said. “You must have a prescription. Why don’t you go see Dr.Bury. His place is just up the road. He might be able to help.”
So off I go to the doctors’ surgery.
“Cant help you son,” The doctor told me. “I’m only allowed to write a prescription for whiskey for someone who’s been bitten by a snake. I suggest you head on down to the shire office. The clerk down there keeps a pet snake.”
Half an hour later I’m back at the bar and asking for a beer.
“Couldn’t get a whiskey then?” asked the barman.
“Nah,” says I, “The bloody snake’s booked up for the next three weeks.”
Thursday, November 17, 2011
For those of you from other countries who will not know it, this is just to let you know that Australians and New Zealanders (who come from the same stock) love to poke fun at each other. You will have the same rivalry between states or close countries where you live I’m sure.
All jokes aside though we are great friends with much in common like… er, then there's.. um! …..I’ll get back to you.
Generally we kick their asses in cricket and by padding their teams with huge Maori they wipe us up at Rugby. They like to make fun at our Aussie Strine (our version of ‘English’) and we like to tease them about their strange and unfamiliar accents.
We love to point out that they have far too many sheep to be JUST farming them and the jokes kinda go like this…
*Boy. “Dad, dad, I got lucky and had sex for the first time last night”
Dad. “That’s great son, how was it?”
Boy. “ It was great right up until her mother saw us doing it”
Dad. “Gosh, that’s bad…what did she say?”
Boy. “ Bahhhh!”
*The New Zealand seven dwarfs went off to work in the mine one day, while Snow White stayed at home to do the housework and cook their lunch.
However when she went to the mine to deliver their lunches, she found there had been a cave-in, and there was no sign of the dwarfs.
Tearfully she yelled in to the mine entrance: "hello - is anyone there. Can anyone hear me".
A voice floated up from the bowels of the mine:
" Australia will win the Rugby World Cup"
"Thank god" said Snow White "at least Dopey's still alive"
*Two Aussie cattle drovers standing in an Outback bar.
One asked, "What are you up to, Mate?"
Ahh, I'm takin' a mob of 6000 cattle from Goondiwindi to Gympie."
"Oh yeah ... and what route are you takin'?"
"Ah, prob'ly the Missus; after all, she stuck by me all these years."
*Why does New Zealand have some of the fastest race horses in the world?
Because the horses have seen what they do with their sheep.
*An Australian ventriloquist visiting New Zealand walks into a small village and sees a local sitting on his veranda patting his dog.
He figures he'll have a little fun, so he says to a local ,
'G'day, mind if I talk to your dog?'
Villager: 'The dog doesn't talk, you stupid Aussie.'
Ventriloquist: 'Hello dog, how's it going mate?'
Dog: 'Yeah, doin' all right.'
Kiwi (look of extreme shock)
Ventriloquist: 'Is this villager your owner?' (pointing at the Villager)
Ventriloquist: 'How does he treat you?'
Dog: 'Yeah, real good. He walks me twice a day, feeds me great food And takes me to the lake once a week to play.'
Kiwi: (look of utter disbelief)
Ventriloquist: 'Mind if I talk to your horse?'
Kiwi: 'Uh, the horse doesn't talk either....I think.'
Ventriloquist: 'Hey horse, how's it going?'
Kiwi: (absolutely dumbfounded)
Ventriloquist: 'Is this your owner?' (Pointing at the villager)
Ventriloquist: How does he treat you?
Horse: 'Pretty good, thanks for asking. He rides me regularly, Brushes me down often and keeps me in the shed to protect me from the Elements..'
Kiwi: (total look of amazement)
Ventriloquist: 'Mind if I talk to your sheep?'
Kiwi: (in a panic) 'The sheep's a f***ing liar.
*Wiremu, a New Zealander, was in Australia to watch the upcoming Rugby World Cup and was not feeling well, so he decided to see a doctor.
"Hey doc, I dun't feel so good, ey" said Wiremu.
The Aussie doctor gave him a thorough examination and informed Wiremu that he had long existing and advanced prostate problem and that the only cure was testicular removal.
"No way doc" replied Wiremu "I'm gitting a sicond opinion ey!"
The second Aussie doctor gave Wiremu the same diagnosis and also advised him that testicular removal was the only cure. Not surprisingly, Wiremu refused the treatment.
Wiremu was devastated, but with the Rugby World Cup just around the corner he found an expat Kiwi doctor and decided to get one last opinion from someone he could trust.
The Kiwi doctor examined him and said: "Wiremu Cuzzy Bro, you huv Prostate suckness ey."
"What's the cure thin doc ?" asked Wiremu hoping for a different answer.
"Wull, Wiremu", said the Kiwi doctor "Wi're gonna huv to cut off your balls."
"Phew, thunk god for thut!" said Wiremu, "those Aussie bastards wanted to take my test tickets off me!"
Monday, November 14, 2011
Until recently I had a big dog...a big unfriendly dog!
He wasn’t always unfriendly, he just got grumpier as he got older, and he got old…
Regulars here will know his story and perhaps you’re wondering why I’m bringing it up… Fish, that’s why!
I also have a small pond with a couple of goldfish in it, I carefully selected gold goldfish so if they died (which they did) I could replace them without my daughter knowing her pets had been replaced.
Flipper and Fish Finger lived through many, many reincarnations.
Recently the dog died and the Grandkids could finally and for the first time ever go out into my back yard. The first time they ventured forth they were timid and constantly on the lookout for the big dog but soon learned that my yard has many cool hiding places for kids.
It came to pass that I was working on their parents car (my daughter and son-in-law) when one of the kids came to tell me that the fish ‘feel funny’.
I gave them the ‘fish are to look at and not touch’ talk but the next morning they were floating belly up.
Who’d have thought that having a big grumpy dog would mean your fish live longer?
Aside: Only a couple of years ago my now adult daughter said her goldfish must be the longest lived fish she ever heard about...I told her the truth...and about Santa and the Easter Bunny.
These are the only pics of one of the fish..(no idea which is which or which reincarnation this one was) But as you can see it was for a Photoshop trick. (no fish were harmed during this photo)
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Looking from the front at the fitted floor and inside of the canoe.
Does this look finished to you....you wouldn't believe the amount of work still to do at this point.
About here I was thinking I was on the home stretch.. Dream on!
After putting the sides together and joining in the floor sections with wooden batons, stainless screws and lots of waterproof wood glue, all that remains is to plane, sand and make the joints all look good with filler and sandpaper before painting.
Sounds easy doesn’t it?
This whole section was just one sentence in the plans but took many weeks to do.
Plane the edges to perfection…took a week. Sand the joints smooth as a babies bottom… another week.
I filled the many screw holes and fibreglassed the stem and stern posts* into the boat then discovered that fiberglass resin is not the right resin for the job.
The plans were a budget set and when I checked I found the resin they recommended is not at all suitable for wood.
In a panic I consulted the web forums… to find out that I had no option but to tear the fiberglass and resin out of the boat and start again… Easier said than done, I had to pry the edges up with screw drivers, tire irons and anything else that came to hand. (there was some hammering) Then I pulled the fiber glass off with pliers, it actually tore the surface of the wood off with the fiberglass and I had to sand it all smooth again in the tightest of areas. (another two weeks effort and a little weeping)
With the right shipbuilding grade Epoxy Resin and fiberglass cloth I started back where I had been weeks earlier by glassing the stem and stern posts* and refilling the screw holes and gouges I’d made removing the original dodgy fiberglass. (mutter, swear)
Making filler from sifted sawdust and Epoxy Resin** then filling every tiny hollow took another week. Filling the bits I missed, sanding again, another fill and another sanding etc.
It was about here that I learned just how hard Epoxy Resin actually is. It’s a mixture of several nasty chemicals in a two part mix that sets faster than you want it to, then continues to harden until it’s so hard you cant sand it…
It’s so damn tough that it blunts sandpaper in seconds…and I MIGHT have used a little too much of it and had to sand most of it off to get the smooth surface I needed. I ended up using two hundred dollars worth of sandpaper, boxes and boxes of the very best quality paper I could buy.
As an aside I bought over 50 new paintbrushes and used them all just once.
The resin sets in just 5 minutes and the brushes cant be washed clean. Cheap brushes loose bristles into the coating so you have to use good quality brushes. If it’s not hot you might get 7 minutes to spread the resin before you have to throw the brush and unused resin away, mix more resin and start again with a new brush and container.
*The wooden sticky-uppy things at the front and back where the sides join.
**The official way of doing it…can you see why I don’t work with wood? Dodgy stuff..
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
We have just one Formula 500 meeting at our local track this season and it's this weekend.. It will be a good meeting as we've had rain all afternoon today making for a nice damp track and fast racing but...
Our number one driver had to have a full knee reconstruction two weeks ago and he's still not walking without crutches. He wont be racing this week... ( a football injury)
Our number two driver had to change his license from the saloon car to the Formula 500 and it still hasn't come through so he wont be racing either..
A chance to fly the colors locally and we miss out!
Not a happy team.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Ah, memories! (Better retell them before the Alzheimer's sets in)
Over the years I’ve ridden many motorbikes but one ride sticks in my memory particularly well. The first time I rode a Harley Davidson…
Being raised on Japanese bikes I’d got used to bikes that start, stop and go very well, every time you want them to.
At the time I had a new and particularly fast Yamaha XJ750 and I met a bloke with a hardtail sporster chopper, he wanted very much to ride my bike and offered his as a trade for a rip around the block. I accepted the deal because…well, at just 19 I didn’t know any better.
I started the motor and got used to the shake and vibration of the big V twin… Hmm, none of my Jap bikes ever shook like that! (couldn’t even see the mirrors)
I snicked it into gear and found it still wasn’t… I found I had to stomp on the gear lever and it eventually crashed into gear with a shudder, I wasn’t so sure I was getting the best of this deal any more.
I let out the heavy clutch and the thing moved off with all the effort of a locomotive.
As I accelerated down the street I became aware of the incredible weight and power of this thing, not light, punchy and screaming like my Yamaha but throbbing and full of torque.
I settled into the seat and took the attitude of a Harley rider.. “yeah, F*** you!”
I heaved up on the gear shift and it went through the gears with the usual crunch, then accelerated away strongly…I was liking this big beast.
All to soon the end of the street came up and I eased back on the throttle and applied the brakes…Nothing!
I squeezed harder and the thing just kept going, it weighed twice what the Yammy weighed. (like the afore mentioned locomotive)
In the end I was standing on the foot brake and squeezing as hard as I could at the hand brake as it eventually started to slow, all the while the corner was coming up fast.
I had no choice but to turn as it hurtled into the T junction so I leaned into the corner…Nothing! It kept going straight ahead, those long forks prevented it going where it was pointed.
At this point and with the hackles standing up on my neck I gave the brakes everything I had and as it overshot the corner I aimed for the footpath on the opposite side of the road. If there had been any cars coming....
Slowing to nearly walking pace I managed to turn the beast along the street and with shaking hands rode the rest of the way around the block like granny going to church.
I couldn’t wait to get off it, my love affair with Harleys over.
My new friend was soon back with the Yamaha enthusing about it’s lightness, power, it’s incredible brakes and it’s ability to corner like it was on rails.
To be fair I’ve ridden other Harleys sine then and they were somewhat better but when you go Jap… you never go back!
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Translated: I'm going to drink myself dangerously stupid, and sit in a boat with a stick in my hand, while the fish swim by in complete safety."
"IT'S A GUY THING"
Translated: "There is no rational thought pattern connected with it, and you have no chance at all of making it logical".
"CAN I HELP WITH DINNER?"
Translated: "Why isn't it already on the table?"
"UH HUH, SURE HONEY," or, "YES, DEAR."
Translated: Absolutely nothing. It's a conditioned response.
"IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TO EXPLAIN"
Translated: "I haven't the foggiest."
"I WAS LISTENING TO YOU. IT'S JUST . . . I HAVE LOTS OF THINGS ON MY MIND."
Translated: "Is that woman over there wearing a bra?"
"TAKE A BREAK HONEY, YOU'RE WORKING TOO HARD".
Translated: "I can't hear the game over the vacuum cleaner."
"THAT'S INTERESTING, DEAR."
Translated: "Are you still talking?"
"YOU KNOW HOW BAD MY MEMORY IS."
Translated: "I remember the theme song to "F-Troop," the address of the first girl I ever kissed, the license plate numbers of every car I've ever owned, I just forgot your birthday."
"I DUNNO . . . I WAS JUST THINKING ABOUT YOU, AND I GOT YOU THESE ROSES. . ."
Translated: "The girl selling them on the corner was a real babe."
"OH, DON'T FUSS. I JUST CUT MYSELF, IT'S NO BIG DEAL."
Translated: "I have actually severed a limb, but I will bleed to death before I admit that I am hurt."
"I'VE GOT MY REASONS FOR WHAT I'M DOING".
Translated: ". . . and I sure hope I think of some soon."
"I CAN'T FIND IT."
Translated: "It didn't fall into my out stretched hands, so I'm completely clueless."
"WHAT DID I DO THIS TIME?"
Translated: "What did you catch me at?"
"I HEARD YOU."
Translated: "I have no idea what you just said, and am hoping desperately that I can fake it well enough so that you don't find out."
"YOU LOOK TERRIFIC."
Translated: "Oh God, please don't try on MORE clothes."
"I'M NOT LOST. I KNOW EXACTLY WHERE WE ARE."
Translated: "No one will ever see us alive again."
Saturday, October 29, 2011
This is the offending floor section after the repairs were made and the holes were filled. Dont look too closely at the edges, my sawing isn't the best.
(This was a long project so you will see bits and pieces now and again for a while)
If it looks like something you might have seen on a waterway near you dont be surprised, it's an old American design.
Reputedly the Six Hour Canoe can be built in just six hours... if you’re a ham fisted, rough as guts bushy who doesn’t care how it looks or how long it lasts.
But I tend to get a bit carried away with projects like this.
I was feeling a bit jaded and needed something new, something different.
It’s somewhat well known that the only thing I can build from wood is a decent fire, but what else would you expect from an ex-boy scout...
So what else would I choose but to make a wooden boat.
I’ve had printed plans to make the canoe for nine years now and thought it was just about time to actually make it. As I started I thought it would be easy enough and I could bore you with all the details...but that’s not what my blog is about.
Instead, I’ll tell you about the things that went wrong, and the things that went really, really wrong. (laugh with me now!)
First up you mark up two eight foot sheets of thin, flimsy ply wood and cut out the shapes, remarkably, this went well and I ended up with four bits that make up the sides and two more bits that joined together to make the bottom.
Joining the two side bits together went well enough, lots of glue, a thin cover plate of ply and clamps to hold it all together while it dries, but just where do you join a floor that measures out to 16 feet?
I decided to sweep the cement driveway clean and use that to lay out the pieces nice and flat, again lots of glue, a cover plate of the same marine ply and a big stack of bricks to weigh it all down. Clever eh?
Well, not really, you see the next day when I removed the bricks I found I’d glued the canoe bottom to the driveway and I couldn’t get it up, I had no choice but to use a power sander to slowly sand away the quarter inch thick joining ply. Eventually I was able to lift the sides one bit at a time with only a little damage.
I started gluing again and eventually ended up with all the bits ready to turn into a boat…
The sides came together rather well eventually. This stage took weeks as the stem and stern posts as well as the middle joints all had to be planed exactly to size and shape before I could put it together.
These pics were taken in my old cramped shed before it was torn down to make way for a new much larger shed. Now I've got room to swing a cat...if I had a cat.