Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Of course the big news is Cataclysm, the next add on to WOW. I fear that I am out of disk space so I will either have to purchase an external disk (they say it takes 40 gigabytes) or just take a pass. Hummmmmmm.
The web site says that its target is small and medium businesses. The hook is links to local service providers who can assist you with making your site better.
I was both disappointed and interested that the telephone number used in the search is one that I have not used in a number of years. The current phone number does not return any results. I used a couple of the search engines listed and found the correct listing. It made me wonder.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Imagine my surprise when I received a email announcing my first five matches. As expected they were all intelligent and very accomplished. What I did not expect is that they were, well, steaming hot! They were, however, all in their late 20's or early 30's. Now being male I can appreciate women of that age - in fact I can appreciate women of just about any (legal) age. But I was immediately struck by two questions:
1. Is there something in the water at Harvard that makes exceptionally beautiful, intelligent and accomplished young women crave to meet much older men?
2. Why are these women on a matching site in the first place?
1. No, most likely not. The sign up process has a minor flaw, they don't ask the age range of people you would like to be matched with when you sign up.
2. I don't know. Perhaps they are so accomplished and beautiful that they are a bit intimidating. But I never met anyone at Harvard Business School that could be intimidated by anything. This suggests that perhaps the young ladies will meet their match.
I then received an email from a physicist who was more my age. She told me that with the exception of my profile all her matches had also been quite young. I asked her if the word "cougar" appeared in her profile.
I post this as a public service to "interested parties." There are some really beautiful and accomplished women out there looking to meet someone that sparks their interest. Go for it!
PS. When Spencer was looking at colleges we investigated Carnegie Mellon University. It is one of the finest if not the finest Computer Science school in the nation. It is also one of the best Fine Arts schools. The interactions of computer science nerds and young art students are apparently legendary. I mention this because all of my Harvard matches had fine arts backgrounds. Maybe there is more to the answer to #1 then I perceived.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Actually everyone should demand QoS. It doesn't matter if the packets for your web page arrive out of order but it really matters if your audio or video stream doesn't arrive in the correct order and on time. QoS gives higher priority to the audio and video packets to help guarantee the "Quality of Service.) However the law of unexpected consequences has now kicked in. With so much streaming video and audio the routers can get flooded and the non-video users get the equivalent of a Denial of service attack. Apparently one or more people at the marina must stream video because every once in a while my service becomes non-existent for a couple of hours. Ughhhhhhhhh!
Now the problem is that the current powers that be love net neutrality. So there is no point in spending money fixing the problem when a federal regulator could arbitrarily force you to remove all the code with a simple administrative rule. So here I sit with no bandwidth. I love our politicians. Thank you (the as&(*holes) is silent!
The night before last a group of us old guys took over the TV and popped in Jim's DVD of Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World (Widescreen Edition). I had forgotten the opening scene. They are sailing along and think they might see another ship in heavy fog. Next moment - flashes of light and loud booms. Someone yells "everybody down on deck" and then all hell breaks loose. And for the next 130 or so minutes you are taken back to 1805 and life in the British Navy. A quite satisfying evening for all.
I have been toying with purchasing the The Complete Aubrey/Maturin Novels. I have read perhaps 5 of the series and enjoyed them all. I am reaching the point where I guess I will have to spring for the $126.
Best line in Master and Commander: England is under threat of invasion, and though we be on the far side of the world, this ship is our home. This ship *is* England.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Thanksgiving is a special time for cruisers. In various locations they gather together to celebrate. Last Thanksgiving I spent in St. Mary's GA with 130 other cruising sailboats. Green Cove Springs Marina (where we are currently working on the boats) had a Thanksgiving celebration of staff and slip holders that we were also invited to join. I think it makes it particularly special when a group of people that you don't know well get together to give thanks for living in the United States.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I have discovered that Miss Strahovski is a supporter of the Ken-Mar Rescue organization in Los Angeles. I presume that she has a soft spot for dogs, particularly those in need of rescue. So I want Miss Strahovski to know that in addition to being a sailor (with all the faults that implies) my friends would tell you that I am a dog very much in the need of rescue! This nom de plume goes all the way back to my high school days when Lou Christie's Lightening Strikes was voted the song that best described me!
The best part is that each upgrade seems to come with new functionality! For example version 6.2 for my 5xxx series chart plotters added a graph function. Cool!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Yesterday while getting engine parts with Jim for Hobo II I struck up a conversation with another customer. It turned out that he is the local Yanmar (diesel engine) repair guy. We were discussing the "sweet spot", the engine RPM that gives the best miles per gallon for the current conditions. He told me that Flowscan made such a device and I asked him how much it cost. He said he would get back to me, and the final answer was about $1,700. Jim pointed out that I would have to burn an awful lot of fuel to recover the $1,700 cost so I put the idea to bed. I also knew that no matter how cool I didn't have $1,700 to spend.
This morning the local marine refrigeration expert came down to look at two problems on Reboot: the refrigerator and the air conditioning. Short story, both units are sneakers up and need to be replaced. The cost for the refrigerator is about $1,200 and the air conditioning closer to $4,000. I have to have a refrigerator so the new unit was ordered and hopefully will go in tomorrow. I don't, however, have $4,000 to invest in a unit I use maybe once or twice a month, I spent most of today removing the old air conditioner. On the bright side I now have a bunch of storage space I did not have before.
In the interim I tried to clean the contacts on my remote VHF microphone up in the cockpit. It has decided to stop working. After cleaning the contacts it is still not working. Such is the life of a live aboard.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Jim (Hobo II) was able to track down his engine problems to a couple of gaskets he needs to replace. He is going to pick up the parts on Monday and get the engine fixed. He also ordered a new autopilot that he will pick up on Tuesday and we will install.
We expect to stay here for a couple of days. With a clean bottom I am motivated to clean up the sides and deck of Reboot. She has not had a real cleaning and waxing in over a year. Also I have a large number of small projects that I hope to address while we are here.
Green Cove Springs is well known by the cruising community. I had never been here and was delighted that it lived up to its excellent reputation. The people were friendly, the work was done quickly and competently, and the price was quite reasonable. I would recommend this yard to anyone in the area who needs services.
When we finish up here we will be looking for a weather window to head down to Key West, a trip of 5 to 8 days.
Postscript: Wisconsin hammered Michigan. GO BADGERS!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
XO and I are at Jacksonville Landing in Jacksonville FL. It is a great place to watch the sun go down. The city has done a nice job of decorative lighting on the bridges both up and down the St. John's River. There is a pretty illuminated fountain across the way. It is a bit far but of course we sailors have binoculars and XO has cat eye vision (as he is a cat!)
We transited down from Doboy Sound GA (Latitude: 31-23'40'' N Longitude: 081-17'54'' W) last night. We had light following winds so we ended up motoring most of the way. In addition to Hobo II and Water Hobo we picked up a new boat (from Toronto, Canada of course) Spice of Life. Water Hobo peeled off at the St. John's River entrance to continue down to Daytona to meet friends. I am here to provision at the Naval Air Station Jacksonville and most likely haul Reboot to check the bottom before proceeding down to Key West, Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. I also hope to see my ham radio friend Bill (KI4MMZ) who has been taking care of me via radio for over a year. I am also still having problems with both my fresh water pump (the new one seized up after about 1/2 hour of operation) and my water maker (which once again only worked for about 2 gallons of production before going sneakers up.) Hopefully I can get both sorted out before I continue.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
2. Re "1" I think we both took some pleasure when we heard on the radio that he had run aground. Fortunately for him it was on a rising tide.
3. Any similarity between the charts and the channel is pure coincidence. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong. Its like driving thru a speed trap with your attention on the speedometer. Except on the boat it is the depth gauge. Try that for 10 hours a day.
4. The channel is narrow and subject to shoaling. We have been fortunate in that during the days we have stayed inside to avoid the strong adverse winds offshore high tide has been centered around the daylight hours. Since the Georgia tidal range is 6 to 9 feet this gave us a greater margin for error. Now as the high tide times shift toward evening we find that the early morning runs are very stressful.
5. The distance between point "A" and point "B" is frequently much longer than a straight line. We left downtown Savannah and headed to Thunderbolt for fuel, a distance of about 10 miles on the ICW. As the bird flies it is about 1.7 miles.
6. And 7,8,9,... See reason "1"
Monday, November 15, 2010
Jim, Branko, Maggie and I took a bus tour of the city on Sunday morning. It was fun but given that it was Sunday most of the places we might have stopped and seen were closed until the afternoon. Unfortunate. Then Jim and I took the "Ghost Tour." Savannah is quite proud of its ghosts, drunks, murderers and philanders. At least the tour guide operators are.
Jim and I did meet some people on Friday night and ended up going to a dance club. The band was dressed like ZZ Top. When we first arrived I was put off by the music.but they were just finishing a set. When they came back the music was very danceable (or I had consumed enough beverage.) The crowd was mixed - everything from 20 somethings to we old people. ("Stand Up, Old People" as they say at Wisconsin.) The gal that we had met before coming to the club and I went out on the floor. Next thing I knew I had been dancing with a number of partners until bar time. It was a very fun night.
It was a good time. Since several of my friends have commented that they prefer Charleston to Savannah I guess I will have to give it a shot next time. Unfortunately Charleston does not have the downtown dockage (except at great cost) like that available in Savannah.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I got an interesting note from my son Trevor. Apparently Balyu, his girlfriend, is a big fan of "Chuck." So Trevor gets to watch all the episodes. Perhaps he can give me some pointers in getting in touch.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Yesterday I got a radio call from a passing boat. It seems that they were headed for Wrightsville to have lunch with Tom Young and Maggie before they flew back to Milwaukee. I was disappointed that I would miss them as Reboot could not make the bridges in time. I did talk to Tom on the cell phone to catch up.
The trip yesterday was very ugly. We have be combating low temperatures for a couple of days. Even when well dressed the continuous 15 knot cold winds chill one and make for long days. Yesterday included 3 bridge openings that were perfectly timed to make us wait at each one. The Wrightsville Beach Bridge in particular was as Jim of HOBO II so aptly described it "the nightmare on Elm Street." We are traveling with a large number of snowbirds so each time we wait for a bridge we are in the company of 20 to 30 other boats. Coming down on Wrightsville the current was about 2 1/2 knots sweeping us to a bridge that only opens once per hour. Trying to stand still in a narrow channel with 20 other boats for 45 minutes or so was a real treat. Of course the time went by faster watching Towboat US try to pull another sailboat off the shoal. Of course he went aground at high tide so we got to check his bottom paint almost to the keel.
Once thru the bridge there are two marinas, one on each side. Several boats stopped to tie up to the docks. More than one tossed out a bow line in a following current with the inevitable results. Then a number of us turned to port into the harbor channel which was shoaled to about 3 feet since the tide was unusually low. After bumping 3 times in 1 minute I turned around only to be confronted with other boats trying to enter and several sailboats also aground. Great fun! Jim (HOBO II) noticing the difficulties of REBOOT and WATER HOBO just continued down the ICW. Both of us extracted ourselves and followed Jim along. We took the alternative channel (which turns out to be much wider and deeper.) On the way in we chatted with a Sea Tow boat and he suggested that we would be fine anchoring where we were for the night.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Normally it is very quiet on Reboot at anchor. In fact you can usually hear the voices of anyone in the cockpit of the boats around you. Imagine my dismay when the quiet of the evening was disturbed as some stink potter ran his generator all night so that he could have heat and light. Great stuff. Ugh.
I feel like I did when after many years of camping with my family in a tent we were run out of our favorite campsites by the sounds of the RVers running their air conditioning all night.
Friday, November 5, 2010
This morning we shifted over from Town Creek (where I dragged last night) to the Morehead City side. The three (H2OBO, Hobo II, and Reboot are at the beginning of the Bogue Sound stretch of the Intracostal. As we came around the corner by the State Port Terminal we heard a "special marine alert" for the Bogue Sound inlet - basically - don't even think about trying to go thru it for a couple of days because the waves and wind are so bad. Nice. Then we have Tomas doing his thing down off Haiti. I thought that after Earl and Igor I had paid my dues for this season. I guess not.
It rained pretty much all afternoon which was OK since I was tired from being up last night waiting for Reboot to re-float. So XO and I took a nice nap. He was unusually cuddly, he always sleeps in my bed when I am there but today he tucked himself in my arms. A big ball of warm fur. It was nice.
We were thinking about heading down the inside tomorrow but we will first have to see what the weather brings. We would of course go down Bogue Sound and right past Bogue Inlet. Maybe not the best strategy.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
"Dame Jane" or whatever. It is always good to have a Brit around who knows such things.)
So after a pleasant dinner and games we came out on deck to find that Reboot had dragged anchor and run aground. Or to be more precise - run a-mud. I got to inspect the first foot of bottom paint in the light of Branko's flashlight. It actually looked better than expected! The tide was going out and by midnight Reboot had picked up about a 15 degree list.
This morning at about 4:30 AM I checked the status to find that Reboot was back afloat. Branko called out to me (the noise of raising my anchor chain had woken Maggie) and I motored over to Water Hobo. Since we plan to leave this morning to continue our trip South we just rafted up. Maggie and Branko went back to bed but I was too jazzed up so I have being doing mail and blog things waiting for dawn.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
The fuse is the type that are in your late model car. It is difficult given where the pump is installed to check or pull the fuse. When I went to Advance Auto Parts I discovered that they now make fuses with LED's built in. When the fuse blows it glows to tell you it has blown. Pretty neat idea, one I took advantage of.
Went to the dentist this morning. Second day in a row and not done. On the way home Hamido (my driver, helper, and in general all around goo...
I was invited by Nick to help him move his Swan 46 from Key West to Galveston TX a distance across the Gulf of Mexico of about 7500 nau...
There has always been a great interest in knowing how much to budget for the cruising life. The answer is always "it depends." I t...
I had a great conversation with Jerome "Jerry" Sullivan today to bring me up to speed on Merlin's future racing plans. Merl...