Saturday, March 31, 2012

the Black Duck R&D Center

I received an email from Kent, our chief researcher at the Black Duck R&D Center in Westport, Connecticut.  It seems as though something has been eating up our profits, even though he says that sales of the traditional Navi-Nut (patent pending) are strong, Navi-Wingnuts are flying off store shelves, and he's really sinking his teeth into the Navi-Almond-Nuts.

Something is eating up the profits.  Kent says Annie, our VP of audit and control (on the left in the pic below) has been sniffing all around the lab, but hasn't come up with anything.

Suzzie (strange spelling, must be African), Annie's assistant (below on the right) is always ready to fetch whatever needs fetching.

Molly, our CEO (pic below), had to tell our staff that they'll need to keep their eyes and ears open for anything squirrelly, which Kent says they're always eager to do.  Molly's winning smile opens many doors for Navi-Nut.

Meanwhile, Kent says someone let the cat out of the bag that we are an equal opportunity employer.

I know Kent is trying to save money, but that is one small cubicle.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Shooting Osprey

First, here's the latest on the Whaler news.  The mechanic showed up yesterday morning and put the cleaned and rebuilt carburetor on.  The Evinrude started but ran rough, and he thought it wasn't pumping water like it oughta.  He said he wanted to have it hauled out to work on it.  OK, says I, whatever it takes.  After he left, I was looking at the Whaler and I was astonished to see how much growth is on it.   It's only been in the water for a few weeks!

The marina guys came and towed the Whaler away.

The marina guys have now traveled farther in the Whaler than I have, a fact they celebrated.

I took the dogs up for their bi-hourly potty break and I saw this boat sitting on its trailer.  Look at all the weeds growing on it.  That poor bastard, I thought.

I went over to check the Whaler.  Look at all the weeds growing on it.  I'm a poor bastard too, I guess.

I hadn't been running the air conditioners on Drift Away since Pam left.  I thought I'd try to acclimate to the warm Georgia weather.  Since the A/C units were shut down and because the Whaler had so much growth on it, I figured it would be a good time to check the seawater strainer for the Cruisair cooling system.  It's inside this unit in the pic below.

Inside is a screen that keeps gunk out of the cooling system.  I removed it and it was completely plugged with mud and grass.  It also stunk to high heaven.  I decided to clean it outside the boat.   "But wait!" you're thinking, "You know how clumsy you are and you're sure to drop it in the drink!"

No, I'll hold onto it tight.  I have this completely under control.  So I took it out onto the dock and rinsed it in the water.  The bottom fell off the strainer and sank to the bottom of the river never to be seen again.  Sigh. 

So I spent a few hours online trying to find a 1 5/8" diameter by 6" long strainer.   I don't think it exists anywhere.  I googled both Perko and Grocco strainers and couldn't find anything close.   Then I heard Dan call my name from outside.  He was in his runabout.   "Grab your camera!"  

I did, and I took his picture.  "No, not me.  Get in!"  It sounded like a great idea!   Off we went.   The dogs looked concerned.  I'm not supposed to have fun without them.

The Ospreys are nesting, and for some reason love to build nests on channel markers.  Maybe it's because each marker is numbered and they can tell which one is theirs.

This Osprey nest is lit at night.

This guy in the pic below was yelling at us to get out of her yard.

Osprey are awesome in flight.

Cormorants are common here too.

Pelicans are everywhere too, and seem to enjoy sitting on pilings.  Most people put pointy plastic caps on their pilings to keep pelicans off, but I guess other people like pelicans and leave the caps off.

Back at the marina, Pat and Jingles were watching for us.  

It seems that dogs have no sense of time, and are always glad to see you when you come home and greet you like you've been gone for days.  Jingles is no exception.

And neither are Chevy and Ruby.

So if any of you know of a 1 5/8" diameter by 6" long strainer, let me know.  I need to get the A/C fixed before Pamela comes home.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's a Dog's Life

I've blogged ad nauseum about life aboard Drift Away and about our boat critters.  When we're not moving, and with Pamela away for the week, my life is revolving around the dogs, Ruby and Chevy, and Dirty Gertie the cat.  They never cease to amuse me and are a constant source of entertainment to me and the folks on C Dock.

The new screens have become a new toy for them.

The more astute of you may have noticed that the big heavy magnet that anchored the bottom corner of the screen is missing.  No, I don't know where it is.  I've looked everywhere.

While writing yesterday's blog, I was interrupted by Ruby and Chevy barking their fool heads off.  There was a diver that had come out of the water.  Of course, Ruby and Chevy have seen divers before, but they don't understand them.

To keep the peace on C Dock, I took the dogs up in the yard to play.  On the way back from playing there, they always insist on playing in the marina's pavilion.

Pit Bulls play by boxing and wrestling.  They're very good at it.  Although Ruby is smaller, she has more experience and so can pretty much whoop Chevy's behind at will.  He is getting better though, and in this pic above you can actually see him trying to get leverage on Ruby (the dark brown dog).

Just when I thought I understood my dogs, they do something that baffles me.  There are pigeons nesting under the floor of the pavilion, which is on pillars above the water.  Chevy and Ruby found them somehow, I guess through the cracks in the floor boards.   This is Chevy's response to finding them.  No, I don't know why he's doing this.

He did this for over a half an hour before I grabbed his collar and dragged him out of there.

The dogs love Isle of Hope Marina, and the staff seem to enjoy the dogs.  It's hard not to like Ruby and Chevy because they're such friendly, outgoing dogs.

Bill noticed what Gene calls a "pterodactyl".  I grabbed my camera.  Pretty bird.

And away it went.

Back on C Dock, Ruby started to mope about, missing Pam.

That's pretty much how I feel too, although I can talk to Pam on the phone.  Pam called later and I put the phone up to Ruby's ear.  She listened for a few seconds and then ran and hid under the dinette table.  No, I don't know why.

Gertie, like all cats, doesn't really give a hoot about people as long as someone fills her food bowl.

Cats belong to places, not people.  Dogs belong to people, not places.

Five more days and momma will be home.  That's 35 dog days.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Poor Ruby

I drove Pam to the Savannah airport yesterday.  She had to go home for some family business.  The two dogs, Chevy and Ruby, are concerned because she's gone.  Every couple of hours, I was barked at.   The dogs insisted on getting off the boat to look for Pam.  They looked in the pavillion, they looked in the boat storage yard, they looked on other boats, no Pam.

But Chevy, being a guy, was quite content to romp and play with the C Dock crowd.  Ruby played a bit, but then would mope about.  Ruby misses Pam and is worried about her. 

It was time to go inside for the evening.  Chevy came in, no problem.  Ruby assumed the waiting position.

She laid on the deck by the steps to the boat, waiting and looking for her momma, and obviously concerned.

Dirty Gertie, not so much.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Different Kind of Cruising

Cruising is a mind set, not just an activity.  I think that the brains of people who cruise are wired a little differently than most, perhaps, but certainly there are plenty of people cruising.  They do it on sailboats, powerboats, bicycles, airplanes, RVs, and sometimes something completely different.  These people came from all over the country (one even from England) to descend on Savannah for a week of cruising, trailering their Model Ts behind them.

Patty called from the marina office to let me know they were parked in the marina parking lot and all along Bluff Drive.   Somehow, she got the word that I love antique and classic cars.  Thanks Patty!

You can view the photos in a larger format by clicking on one of them, and then scrolling to each.

Instead of a temperature gauge inside the car, the Model T (and most cars of that era) had a thermometer in the cap.   Here's a close-up.

This fella was a real motor head.  He was checking out the antique six cylinder engine that powered the old marine railway.

The Model T Ford Club International was in Savannah to celebrate the 100th year in business of a local Ford Dealer, J.C. Lewis.

This yellow roadster was not a standard Ford offering.  It was custom made by its present owner.

The pic below shows the parking brake.  The Model T's braking system was an asbestos band on the transmission that grabbed the drive shaft.

The Crabettes were playing and kids were dancing in the streets.

The Model Ts had arrived at Isle of Hope after visiting Wormsloe and it was now time to cruise to their next stop, a low country boil at the Conch House.

Pam and Chevy.  Pam was watching the cars. 

Chevy was checking out the cute grayhound.

Most of these Model Ts had oak wooden wheels.  Aren't they beautiful?

Here's the same photo as above, but cropped in tight so you can get a better look.

Sometimes wooden wheels would squeak with age.  An old trick to fix it, at least for awhile, was to drive your car into a shallow creek.  The wood would soak up water and the wood would swell, stopping the squeaking.

Notice the Metropolitan in the background?

The club is here in Savannah for a few days, and then they'll cruise up to Beaufort.  Just like us, only we'll be in a boat.