Friday, May 31, 2013

The Best Laid Plans

Of mice and men aft gang askew.
The house needs new gutters and downspouts. It has for some time. It has gotten to the point that when it rains, it spills out right over the front steps. It is very irritating walking through a cold shower to get in or out.
So we called a gutter guy.
He said he couldn't help us until we got the roof fixed. He handed us over to his "roofing guy". The roofing guy said it was too late to update the roof, it needed to be replaced. I have been dreading this for the last couple of years.
I had the roof replaced with a 20 year guarantee roof, about nineteen years ago. I knew it was about time to renew the roof, but it is not currently leaking, and I am of the opinion that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. So the roofing guy is writing up an estimate, and meanwhile we are getting a second estimate.
Since I want to retire in less than two years, we want to get the house ready to sell before then. I knew that a roof replacement was one of the probable improvements we would have to do before we would be able to sell, I just wasn't prepared to do it NOW.
Life is what happens while you are busy making plans.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Kelly Mulford Scrimshaw

I have shown a quite a few pictures of my cousin Kelly's scrimshaw before, but I have never shown a picture of this. He gave me this in a Christmas present exchange some years ago. I gave him a .45 cal muzzle loader cap and ball pistol I had put together from a kit, and he gave me this.
It is a picture of Kelly and his wife aboard a cat boat on Lake Union in Seattle. He was the Librarian for the Wooden Boat Society, and he and I both spent time sanding and working on this exact boat.
He and I also sailed this boat on the lake.
I remember the day was real blustery and coming from the North. The dock was at the South end of the lake, so we had to start out tacking back and forth into the wind, trying to make headway. It was a real lesson in sailing. We must have made six tacks back and forth before we cleared the end of the pier. Every time I see this I remember that day.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ecola Park

Photos from our trip to Oregon. They are from Ecola Park, which is right at the North edge of the town on Cannon Beach. As you can see, the weather was fantastic for May. Blue skies and 70 degrees.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Skagit River Bridge

The Skagit River Bridge is North of Seattle. Right after you pass over the town of Mount Vernon and before Burlington. Yesterday it  spanned the Skagit River. Today, not so much. It ALMOST crosses over the river. Three quarters of a bridge is no better than no bridge at all.
     The Blue object is the front end of the load being hauled over the bridge that is suspected of causing the collapse. It is an open sided box structure with what looks like a forty foot I-beam beefy enough to be freespan for its entire length. That I beam hit one of the supports for the bridge, I imagine the one right in the center of the span, The concrete roadway appears to be a single piece construction, which collapsed in on itself, thereby unseating the ends of the section of road.
     Very luckily there was minimal Traffic. One car, a pickup and a trailer went into the water. No serious injuries, thank God. If this had happened earlier, during rush hour it would have been a disaster. Or if it happened tonight with everyone on the road for the weekend. They say that 70,000 cars a day travel this section of road, so it will be a mess for months.
My granddaughter, Amelia went over this bridge about five minutes before the collapse.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Home Again

We went to Cannon Beach in Oregon for four days. I didn't mention this before because posting it and then leaving is like placing a big neon sign on the roof saying "OWNERS GONE, BURGLARS WELCOME" on the roof of your house. Having been hit twice before, I would like to avoid a third burglary.
This is part of out tenth anniversary. I wanted to go to Bora Bora for a week, but Mrs A thought that was much too extravagant. She preferred several little vacations over one big one.
Our anniversary was in April, but the odds of having decent weather on the coast in April are exceedingly slim, so we put it off until last weekend.
The weather Gods smiled on us.
Saturday we travelled, stopped at the Westport Winery, where we belong to the wine club, and picked up a couple of bottles of wine and stopped in at the restaurant and had lunch. The pan fried oysters were from Brady's, which is about a half mile down the road. Can you say FRESH?.
We stayed at the Lighthouse Inn, unit 29. Essentially a little apartment with a separate bedroom and a kitchenette. Very cozy.
Sunday we went into town to wander through the shops. We found a couple of things we couldn't do without. Went to the Driftwood Restaurant for lunch. They have the best clam chowder. I have eaten a lot of clam chowder, and I mean the BEST. Had A Dungeness Crab Cheddar Sandwich to go with it. SOOOOO good and SOOOOO rich.
Monday dawned with Blue skies and a mild offshore breeze. After running a few errands we spent the remainder of the day at Ecola State Park, which is right at Cannon Beach at the North end of town. A beautiful day to explore the beach and the park.
Tuesday cold and rainy, but that was OK because we had to go home.
A very nice weekend and one we will remember for a long time.
Pictures to follow.
A note on the pictures: I had been having problems getting pictures to come out clear. I couldn't figure out what was wrong.
I checked the lense, and someone had bumped the automatic focus function off, turning it to manual. Since I was not adjusting the aperature or time, they were coming out all blurry. Once I figured theat out, it worked out just fine. They probably would have been fine if I was using a tripod, but I guess my hands are not steady enough any more.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Westie Updates

Last weekend I installed the new rear bumper and fold out tray on the Westfalia. They afre manufactured by Rocky Mountain Westie. I was impressed by the quality of the materials. They are really built to last.
The bumper is modular and installs in five pieces. Pretty easy to install
The swing out tray was a little harder to do. It bolts through the side hatch sopport structure. You have to drill several holes to match a piece on the inside. The inner piece slipped out od my hand once and got jammed down in the channel. It was a difficult thing to get it back in place. Eventually it went together.
The instructions did not include anything on how to install the tray, but it was pretty intuitive. I guess the hardest thing was matching up the latch mechanism, but everything worked out fine.
It took all of Saturday and a couple of hours on Sunday.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Wallace Falls

This shot is of the middle falls of Wallace Falls State Park just outside Gold Bar. Unfortunately it didn't come out very clear. I blame the camera.

This is a shot of one of the lower falls.

Another part of the lower falls.

Monk in a stump. It was a beautiful, blue sky, 80 degree day. The hike was a couple of miles. Straight up. The hike is classified as "Moderate". It this was moderate, hard must be straight up. The hike is a couple of miles.
What a wonderful day with my sweetie

Thursday, May 02, 2013

The Z

Here's the Z as it sits at the moment.
When I added the ground effects kit so I could get rid of the terrible ghastly ugly bumpers, I had a partial respray done. If you look closely, you can see that the lower portion below the beltline has a faint golden cast to it.
Now I am going to have to have the whole thing redone.
Not everyone would even notice it, but unfortunately, I can.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Just another Wednesday

Yesterday I had four new teeth put in. Everything on that side of my mouth is pretty sore, but not bad enough that I have taken any kind of pain killers. I can't say the same for yesterday. Although I really don't like the stuff, Percocet does a good job of killing the pain enough that I can do other things. As long as they aren't too complicated, because that stuff also kicks my butt.
I got the Westie back from the shop, and it tracks straight and doesn't wander. I also had them put in new H4 headlights while it was there, and they fixed one turn signal that was acting erratic. Now that it is home, I need to put on the new rear bumper and carrier shelf.
The dash is back in the Z and everything seems to work, including a couple of things that never have. Still trying to get the horn to work. Waiting on Seat covers.
This coming weekend is supposed to be beautiful, so I will need to set one day aside to do something with Mrs A. I feel a road trip coming on. The Tulip fields in Mount Vernon sound like a pretty good destination..
Then probably on to Anecortes to the brewery and Rockfish Cafe for Oysters and Porter.
And some place in there there must be a nap.