FAQ

Here are some FAQ sorts of things that I sent as answers in emails that you may enjoy:

>This week I’ve been seeing news reports of big protests in Turkey. Having
>to do with the conservative bent of the current president or prime
>minister……, I think? I’m reminded frequently of the old Chinese
>curse: May you live in interesting times.

Indeed we do. So far there has been no glimmer of perceived danger where we are. But we are watching the situation. And it is kind of reassuring to have my own means of international transportation. Not to say that a government gunboat or a gang of rabble could not force me to do something I don’t want to do. But, I think the odds are overwhelming, that if I get nervous, I could quickly move to someplace where I am less nervous. That’s always a nice option to have. I guess in order to be able to exercise that option, I should put some food on the boat.

As I said, when I returned to the boat I disposed of a lot of the food and was deliberately not restocking things, because it seemed unnecessary and everything deteriorates with age. Obviously some things quickly and something slowly. But, it might be sensible to have a couple of weeks food supply on board, and rotate my stock to keep it up-to-date.

With the wonderful Saturday market, and the much smaller but still nice, Wednesday market, I have been concentrating on fresh foods, not canned, dried, or processed. But having a few storable choices on board is probably the way I should go.

>I have a newspaper article to mail to you, about Portland’s Lincoln Street
>Kayak and Canoe Museum. Have you been there? Nowadays your dad comes to
>mind whenever I hear or read the word “kayak.”

Thank you for telling me about it! I Googled:
Portland’s Lincoln Street Kayak and Canoe Museum
and 15,300 links popped up.
http://blog.oregonlive.com/terryrichard/2012/10/lincoln_street_kayak_canoe_mus.html
http://www.oregonlive.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2010/06/the_golden_age_of_kayaks.html etc

Usually newspaper articles are online somewhere. I just Google some of the distinctive or especially unusual words from the article, and 90% of the time they pop up. Saves on stamps.

Harvey Golden, and his wife and son, are wonderful folks. Janet and I stayed with them on two our road trips. They visited my mom, Janet and I on a road trip they were on shortly after they married. Harvey and many others of this small community of kayak fans, were good friends of my dad. Harvey has my dad’s love for the original kayak designs.

For some reason, a tremendous amount of data, gained by Artic peoples over hundreds and probably thousands of years of trial and error was ignored. From the Rob Roy canoe, through modern European kayak design, so much knowledge was ignored for so many years. My dad was one of a very few people that tried to rectify this ignorance beginning in the 1950s. Harvey is one of a now much larger, but still very small community, that carries the torch. I go on about it at length in older parts of the blog.

>I know the blog’s words don’t begin to describe how difficult your
>one-sailor life is these days,

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I try to emphasize the positive and downplay the negative, and this area is no exception. My life is still a roller coaster ride, however, clearly things are getting so much better. Janet’s birthday was a little hard. I really, really miss her, but the Dr. Seuss approach, “Don’t cry because it’s over, but smile because it happened” is what keeps me going. The over 40 years of having the pleasure of knowing her as a very good friend, and over 32 years of ‘being an item’ were wonderful. And, fortunately and unfortunately, I now have a better perspective of just how wonderful.

>I am busy planning a northern European trip this summer.

That does sound like a great trip! If I get enough projects done, I may do some travel by land in the fall or winter. We will see. It feels really good
to get some of these projects done, so, even though many of them have been put off for a long time because I did not look forward to doing them, and many of them are much harder to do with one person, they are very satisfying to get checked off the list. Having pending responsibilities can wear on me. Especially when there are many pages of them.

>Dad was stationed in London during the last days of the war, and was
>billetted with a family. He kept in touch with them his whole life, never
>seeing them again in person. I kept up the communication, and now will
>finally meet the woman who was a teen-age girl in that family when Dad got
>the news of my birth by telegram. I’m so looking forward to having lunch
>with her.

That’s wonderful. We are very lucky to live in a time when international travel is so much easier than it used to be. 200 years ago, almost no one
made repeat Intercontinental travel. When you moved even a few hundred miles, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that you would never again see those people that you left behind.

Of course there were exceptions. The thought that comes to mind is when I was perhaps 10 years old. That would make it about 1953. We were living in the Los Angeles area. My folks decided to drive from Los Angeles to Houston for Christmas. They were on a very tight schedule, so they drove straight through. I think it is about 1500 miles. At like 1 o’clock in the morning, they stopped in the only place they saw open, to have some coffee and go to the bathroom. I think it was Alpine, Texas. Which was relatively out in the middle of nowhere. There were some drunk cowboys at the table next to them that were talking loudly. One of the Cowboys decided that they needed to drive over to Fort Stockton and get a bowl of chili. Somehow I remember that at the time Fort Stockton was about 120 miles away. But, looking at the map now I see is only about 60 or 70 miles away. So, maybe I’m remembering the round-trip distance. I was asleep in the car at the time and of just heard the story dozens of times since then.

This whole trip was done long before there was an interstate highway system. So, it required a lot of map reading, and I’m sure it was noticeably further and slower than it would be today. My best clear memory of the difference is driving north and south along Highway 99, when that was the state-of-the-art, and how much better it was when they opened I5.

I worked with a man at Boeing, whose hobby seem to be long-distance driving. This was in 1961, which was also before most of the interstate highway system existed. To hear him tell it, he would routinely drive to Portland and back after dinner, and drive to San Francisco or even Southern California for the weekend. On a two-week vacation he would drive to Florida and back. He seemed to remember every minute detail of every route. He loved to tell us exactly how to drive to some distant place, like Florida. He would be talking about Oklahoma or some distant spot, where then you watch for the Texaco station because that was where you turn to get on a different road. I have no doubt that his stories were accurate. He had a gift for remembering minutiae. At the time I was an aero mechanic and riveter at Boeing, as was he. Each part of an airplane has a great long part number, like 12 or 14 digits may be more. If I asked him what length rivet will I need for the a particular part, I wanted him to just give me the dash number.

I definitely do not have his memory. I just Googled aircraft rivet part number and found this as a representative number. I certainly don’t recall them accurately, but it looks reasonable.

MS20470AD4-5 The dash 5 indicates that it is 5/16 inch long. Naturally he would recite the entire number just for fun. I usually enjoy people with a sense of humor and people that are a little bit weird, like me. I’ve met quite a few of them over the years.

>The weather in the US has been just nuts this spring – never at all
>predictable. We had a couple of weeks of summer in April, then weeks of
>pouring rain in May. Just now it’s starting to get to 70F again and there
>are days without rain, although they’re never correctly predicted, so we
>can’t plan anything. No complaints really though, considering the
>horrible storms and flooding in other parts of the country. I’m wondering
>if this is world-wide (Turkey?) or just here.

Turkey is a big country, and the weather is often different from one part to another. But, when I first arrived, the weather here in Finike was cold enough that I needed a coat in the mornings. And then, actually fairly suddenly, it got annoyingly hot about a month ago for two or three weeks. We thought, holy moly what’s the summer going to be like, if it is already this hot so early in the year? But, then it cooled off and the weather the last three weeks or so has been really perfect by my standards.

But everyone has their own requirements. I recently talked to a Scandinavian, who was already suffering from the heat in my ideal weather. In the past he has had heatstroke here, and another time the stress from the heat was so much that his kidneys started not doing what they were supposed to. His body became polluted with toxins and he became very violent and had to be restrained and hospitalized probably figured out what was wrong. No fun for anybody I’m sure. I have to wonder if he was dehydrated. That can cause a multitude of problems.

Like anyone, I prefer weather that I like. Not too hot, or too cold. But, everyone’s ideal spectrum is different. Mine is towards the warmer end of the range. But I certainly do hope that it does not get too hot. One of the reasons that I like it here in Finike, is that the climate is relatively mild compared to other places that I’ve lived.

>The I-5 bridge collapse near Mt. Vernon was so strange and unsettling.
>They’re planning on having a temporary span in place by mid-June, but
>meanwhile traffic has to go by way of small roads west and east of the
>freeway. It’s frightening to think how easy it would be for those with
>evil intentions to damage our infrastructure and have a terrible effect on
>commercial and other kinds of necessary transportation.

Indeed! In reading about that collapse on the web, I discovered articles about bridge design and how some modern bridges are designed so that they are much harder to accidentally collapse. As an engineer, and supposed to know a lot about these things, I found it interesting. It is obvious after the fact, but I had not thought of that aspect until it was pointed out to me.

Many older style American bridges were kind of like the Eiffel Tower laid on its side. Steel trusses going this way and that. If an over height truck
smashed into the trusses, that seriously weakens the bridge. The generally more recent design, is I-beams enclosed in concrete, so there is no issue with height. From the articles, it appears that they believe that that design is dramatically more reliable. Could be.

I had a professor in college, who really disliked that sort of design. He felt that the Aurora Bridge in Seattle was a much better design than these concrete bridges. He felt that when you designed a bridge you needed to calculate the cost of returning the situation back to its original state. Not just the cost to get the thing built. But, to include the cost of removing it when it was obsolete. And, of course, how long is it’s life expectancy?

He felt that the Aurora Bridge, if maintained properly, could last hundreds of years, and was probably worth more for scrap, in the mid-1960s, when I was taking his class, than it had originally cost to be built. Of course, this gets more complicated due to inflation, but I think you see what he means. Disposing of an obsolete concrete bridge, does seem to be more difficult and less efficient. But, I certainly don’t know much about these things. I do see his point, however.

>I’ve been tutoring students of Spanish at the local high school a lot this
>spring. As finals are approaching in a few days, my help is in great
>demand. This spring’s kids are a great bunch, motivated to do well and to
>go on to fourth-year Spanish in the fall. It’s a joy to spend time with
>them. But I wouldn’t teach in a classroom again for anything.

I have always enjoyed the Spanish language very much, although I forgotten almost all of what I once knew, because of not using it for anything for so long. I really wish I were is good at languages as Janet was. Every country we went into, she spent a couple of hours a day, every single day, learning what she could about the local language. She was not gifted. Some people are really quite startlingly good. They soak up a new language like a sponge. But, she was tenacious. Extremely tenacious, on anything she set her mind to.

So, I relied on her language skills. I would learn a little bit of the local language, but very little. Mostly I would just ask Janet to ask the person whatever I wanted to know. Those days are gone. But, I think I’m pretty good at improvising and pantomime. I cannot do nearly what I would like to be able to do, but I can do quite a bit.

Well, I have some laundry soaking up in the laundry room. I need to go mash it about a little bit. I do it in a bucket with the plumbers helper. A plumbers helper that is only used for that purpose by the way. For those of you not from America, I mean a giant suction cup on the end of the stick. It works very well for agitating the clothes, especially in hot water that you don’t really want to put your hands into.

Its its original function was to fund stop American style toilets that were plugged up. Most of the toilets that I seem to see over here, have a very large almost rectangular opening at the outlet. They don’t seem to plug up very often, but an American plumbers helper would not begin to fit them.

But, as Janet used to say,”When I get done the clothes are not really clean. But at least it’s clean dirt in them.” Being able to do dazzling laundry, is also a gift. But, neither Janet nor I seem to have it. But, I settle for ‘clean dirt’ and they smell good.

Someone once to find do-it-yourself work as, “Lowering your expectations to something you can accomplish.”

Dave

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2 thoughts on “FAQ

  1. Dave your Kayak comments reminded me of the Gulf Islanders we built in my parents basement when we were teenagers. I still have mine, it sits on the beach awaiting repairs. I did use it once about a year ago, when I was anchoring my skiff on a shoreline, the idea being to push it off with the anchor balanced on the bow, and jerk the anchor off when it goes out as far as it will go, thereby being able to retrieve it at a lower tide. Unfortunately, I neglected to tie the shoreline to the anchor, and by the time I got something to tie to the shoreline to throw into the boat, it was out of range. The only option was to swim in the 40 degree water, or use the leaky kayak. I used the kayak, and only got a wet cold butt out of the deal. I really must fix that someday.

  2. Love reading our post. Interesting to hear your thoughts on the trouble in Turkey. Its gives us a real grassroots look.
    On my side of the pond, I am proud OMA of a little granddaughter! This is my son & his wife’s 4th child but first girl! All is well. Take care, Millie

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