Sunday, January 17, 2016

Boat Updates!

The picture to the left is the view from my new home away from home.  It's been awhile since my last post so here's a summary.

We took the boat out into Deep Creek Lake a couple of times.  DCL has a size limit of 25' for boats.  Ours is 22', so it was one of the bigger boats out there, definitely the biggest sailboat.

We sailed it around for a bit and that was fun, but there were a few things that were pains in the butt.  Stepping the mast is chore, but one I was able to simplify over time and with some research on the Internet.  Trailering the boat is a chore.  It's heavy, at the upper range of my vehicle, and it's wide.  Getting back to the DCL ramp requires travel on some small, hilly roads.  You can't really spend the night on the boat at DCL unless you get a slip somewhere.  That means putting in and taking it out on the same day.  DCL is not that big, especially the part accessible from the ramp on a boat with a mast (i.e. getting under bridges).  It was OK to learn how the boat works, but you can only sail up and down the lake so many times.

Given all of that, we decided to find a bigger stomping ground, that of the Chesapeake Bay.  We shopped around several marinas down there.  We were looking for something affordable and with some amenities.  We also wanted something within a couple hours drive from us (Western Maryland).  That left Middle River, Patapsco River, and Magothy River.  We looked at a dozen marinas in each place and finally settled on Cutter Marina on Middle River.  The picture above is the view from our slip there.

They are usually booked solid but we lucked into a slip with uncanny timing.  Our slip contract starts in March.  I'm planning on trailering the boat down to Cutter as close to March 1 as possible.  Cutter looks to be a great place.  It's well protected, very clean, 24-hour lounge, nice showers and bathrooms.

Right now I have all of the teak trim from the outside removed and I'm sanding and refinishing it.  I'm just about done and I'll be putting everything back together between now and March.  Once I get it together I'll post pictures.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Catalina 22

Here are some pictures of my new sailboat!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Salesman of the Year!

I may have posted it on here somewhere, maybe not, but I'm in the market for a sailboat.  I've been looking at several on Craigslist and I came across one the other day.  It's one of the worst ads I've ever seen.

First, the title says "Sailboar - $990," and yes, that's his typo, not mine.  Then the ad goes on to explain that it's a 25 foot boat, eight foot beam, draws 2.5 feet of water, etc.  But it never actually says what kind of boat it is.

There are three pictures of the boat on a trailer, taken at night, from below and close up, so you really can't make that much out.  So I email the guy, hoping to get a little more information, like the make and model and whether or not it comes with a trailer.  The ad mentions that he can trailer it to the new owner but that's it.

Here's what I said:


What kind of boat is this?  Are you including the trailer with the boat?

And here's his response:

It is a $1000 boat. does it matter beyond that. I will throw in the trailer for an extra $32,000.

OK then. From the pictures it doesn't look like much more than a free boat you see on Craigslist, so yes, I think the make and model might matter a little bit.  That's like someone trying to sell a car and saying "Car -$990, 4 wheels, steering wheel, seats."

Looking back at the pictures, the trailer that the boat is on is obviously a nicer trailer for transporting boats and not one that would come with a boat, but seriously?  Can't you just say, no, it doesn't come with a trailer?

How would you ever think that you could make a sale being a total jerk like that?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Cookie Tin Banjo!

A while back I built a cookie tin banjo out of a big cookie tin and some wood.  I just sold it today on eBay for far less than I wanted, but oh well, it's gotta go.  Here are some pictures of it below.  It's on its way to Finland now, hopefully to a good home.

Friday, November 21, 2014

All the News We Think You Want to See

Earlier I posted something about Huffington Post and how they were driving me crazy with all their numbered lists.  I was seeing a constant flow of these articles in my Facebook feed so I posited that maybe Facebook thinks I want to see articles with numbers in them so it keeps suggesting them to me.  Well, Yahoo News does just that and really had me going for a brief moment.

I used to check Yahoo News every day, couple of times each day usually.  At some point in the past, I clicked on an article about a UFO sighting.  I'm not a hard core UFO guy but I do find the stories interesting on occasion.  The next day I noticed another UFO article in the Yahoo feed and I thought, "Hmmm, interesting, two UFO articles in a short span of time."  Then the next day, two more UFO articles, "Holy Smokes!  We're being INVADED!"

That's when it hit me.  Yahoo thinks I want to read UFO articles because I clicked on one, so it keeps showing me more.  I suppose this could be a useful tool to have, but it can also be a little dangerous.  If it keeps suggesting articles that it thinks I might want to see, over time it could easily distort my perception like it did briefly with the UFO article.

Yahoo ended up changing their news site and I hate the new format so, I stopped using it.  Now I use Google News.  Google is a little better about suggesting articles though because they have a section of news that says, "Hey, these are articles we think you might want to read because you searched for/viewed/whatevered this one term."  Then it gives you the option to say, "yes, I am interested in that" or "no, that's not my bag."

Yet another stunning example of how people's perceptions can be distorted by the news media.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Vibram Five Fingers KSO Initial Impression

OK, as promised, here are my first impressions of my new Vibram Five Fingers.

These are the Vibram Five Fingers KSO, M148 in size 42.  I used to wear a size 10, but I've been wearing barefoot shoes for at least a year and some change and I think my shoe size has gone down to 9.5.  So far, these fit pretty good.  I feel like they are just a hair too long, but not enough to make me want a new size.  My big toe feels like it is close to the end of its toe pocket, but my pinky toe is far from touching the end.  I guess this is good, because not everyone has the same size toes so imagine it could fit a range of feet.  My pinky toe doesn't lay flat anyway, so maybe that's why it's not filling its pocket.

Real quick background on my barefoot experience.  I started about a year or so ago switching to the Merrell Tough Glove as my full time at work and walking around shoe.  I liked them so much I added the Merrell Flux Glove as my running shoe.  I have been wearing one or the other almost exclusively for the past year plus.

My first thought when putting on the KSOs was that they are much lighter, much more non-shoe than the Merrells.  It took some getting used to when I bought the Merrells, getting used to the zero heel drop and the light weight, but these KSOs are even more zero than the Merrells.  They seem much thinner all over.  The sole is thinner and it also seems more flexible.  The upper is thinner too.

The first thing that slightly annoyed me with the KSOs was the strap that wraps around the back.  It hit me right on the Achilles.  I have a slight tendinitis issue there, so felt a slight pain.  I loosed the strap a little and it went away and the show felt better on that foot.  I have a pair of Merrell Barefoot Jungle Mocs, and the top of the spandex upper hit me in the same spot on the Achilles and it hurt for the first day or two that I wore them.  Now they have stretched a little and I can't feel it anymore.

Overall, they have a good feel when walking around.  It's totally different than the Merrell Barefoots and has much more of a barefoot feeling.  When I'm not wearing shoes around the house, I am usually wearing a leather moccasin.  The KSOs feel more like the moccasin, but much more secure on my foot.

The one odd feeling I get is a slight instability around the heel.  I can really feel the thickness of the shoe's heel on my heel.  If I start to lean to one side or the other on my heel, it feels like the shoe's heel gets thinner suddenly and I start to feel a slight pull or roll to whichever side I lean toward, like I'm rolling off the heel.  It's so slight that it's not an issue and I don't notice it all the time, but it's there.

Because these shoes are much thinner than my Merrells, I think my feet are going to be cold.  It's already getting colder around here and I noticed my feet were cold yesterday when I ran to the store.  I have a pair of Injinji toe socks I can wear with them, but right now they are in the wash, so I haven't tried them yet.  I got the toe socks last year when I was thinking about getting Vibrams just so I could get used to the sensation of foot gloves.  I really like wearing them, so the feeling of the KSOs was equally pleasant.

That's about all for now.  I'll post more later after I wear them around a bit more.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I Can See Your Toes!

My latest barefoot shoe acquisition,  Vibrams!  I'll be posting a first impression soon.