Saturday, November 19, 2016

Getting Skooled

It's time to get tutored again by Garmin to keep my certification valid. The last time was in Ft Lauderdale a couple of years ago. This required getting up at 3 am to get my sorry ass to Lauderdale by 8 am. The 4 hour drive return trip wasn't any more fun either. This time fortunately training was in Tampa so I only had to get up at the crack of dark and drive an hour. The format this time was very different, and much improved.


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Screen scenes day

What do you mean your chart plotter is growing ferns and has bugs in it? Are you serious? You really are? Okay I'll come over and take a look. One of the interesting things about this job is trying to translate what people tell you about a problem into something useful you can use. More often than not it's collection of vague recollections. It's acting up, it doesn't seem right, there was a message on the screen but I don't remember it, my sonar isn't working. 

The end result is my verbal interrogation skills have to kick in. I sit them down in a metaphorical chair, shine a bright spotlight in their face and sweat some additional meager tidbits out of them. "So Bob what do you mean your sonar is broken? What did you do to it? You'll feel better if you get it off your chest, tell me the truth Bob. Did you push the wrong button? You say you did nothing? Do you have any witnesses? No? This isn't looking too good for you Bob. I think you better call your tech. You're going to need representation, and repair money.

I get it. It can be difficult. It's like telling your mechanic you car won't start. He then thinks to himself there are a zillion reasons why this could be happening. It can be even worse. A owner tells the dealer something is wrong. It's already fuzzy enough now, and then the dealer calls me and makes it even fuzzier. Hi Bill, something is broke on Bob's boat, can you go over and fix it? Hell I don't know Bill, it's something to do with the electronics, just go fix it. 

In this case when I was told there were ferns and bugs in his chart plotter I'm not sure I could have done a better job of describing it. I just gawked at it for a moment trying desperately to think of something to say that sounded real smart. Failing miserably at this I just blurted "It's broke and it won't grow back."


Monday, November 7, 2016

Presidential boating, a reprised post with a note

I assiduously avoid politics on the The Rant, and I'm not changing this stance now. Even being careful a story that is patently fictional to the point it even includes characters such as zombies or aliens, can on occasion incur the wrath of those that somehow can't tell the difference. I made the little cartoon just before the election in 2012 and it was crafted so no one was a winner or loser. This year is different and all of us will have been the losers in this process no matter who wins, but the biggest loser of all is public civility and rational discussion. Go vote tomorrow for anyone you want and on Wednesday we will all collectively be grateful the political ads will have disappeared from our TV. The story below is exactly as it originally appeared in 2012. Bill

After doing some research, most modern presidents have generally eschewed recreational boating. When you see them on a boat, it's generally for a photo op, or a day trip on a friends yacht. The notable exceptions are Jack Kennedy who was by all measures an enthusiastic boater, George Bush Sr. who has, and uses a center console fishing boat, and Herbert Hover who was avid fisherman. Although Jimmy Carter was a graduate of the Naval  Academy, and a submariner, his boating presidency is marked by the selling of the Sequoia, and the infamous rabbit incident.

Let's put President Obama, and Governor Romney in a debate setting, and have them talk about boats. In this case Governor Romney owns at least a 29' Searay bowrider, a small Boston Whaler, ski boat, and a couple PWC's that are kept at his vacation home in New Hampshire. It is not believed that President Obama has a boat. They both do support boating, in their own ways.



Sunday, November 6, 2016

Quit whining damn you!

It's a problem that I'm seeing more often. In this case it's problem I could improve, but not fix completely. I should rephrase this. It can be completely fixed but the costs are exorbitant and no one is willing to pay for it. Fingers point in all directions. The builder will say I didn't install it so it's not my fault. The dealer will say I installed it, but the builders design is the problem. The owner says "Why me? It's not my monkey, not my circus. Just fix the damn thing."