Sunday, December 30, 2012

Boating marital issues

Happy new year, be safe!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Barnacle blues and sex

The tiny larva knows it's running out of energy, and its antennae are frantically twitching. It can't feed until it has found a home. A current starts to pull on it. The larva instinctively knows something is wrong, and desperately tries to swim against it. It's sucked into a black abyss, and then the current stops. Larva antennae feel something, and grab it. Cement glands immediately extrude a glue, and the larva is now securely attached by its head.  Now it feeds.

The one eye knows it's dark, but limbs reach out and snatch food. Secreting calcium carbonate, the larva bonds even more firmly to the unwilling host. The current starts again, but it can no longer budge the larva. It has built solid walls around it. The flowing water provides food, and it grows. Now secure, it creates offspring and sets them free to infest the new unwilling host.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The nautical "Twas the Night Before"

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the boat
Not a creature was stirring, not even a stoat.
The stockings were hung by the nav station with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their berths,
With visions of hardtack, all dancing with mirth.
And mama in her hairnet, and I in my cap,
Had just settled ourselves for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the deck there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bunk to see what was the matter,
Away to the port hole I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the calm winter ocean,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to the boat's soft motion,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature trawler, and eight tiny key deer.

With a tipsy old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than sea gulls his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Aquaholic! now, Luna Sea! now, Stocks and Blondes!
On, Chum Bucket! On, Ship Face!, and Crossing the Ponds!
To the top of the fo’c’sle! to the top of the gaff!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash with a laugh"

As canvas sheets that before the wild hurricane flies,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the skies.
So up past the mast top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of gear, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard up on my deck,
Prancing and pawing making my topsides a wreck,
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the dorade box St Nick came with a bound.

He was dressed in foul weather gear, from head to foot,
And his oilskins were salty, wet, worn out and kaput.
A bundle of LORAN's he had flung on his back,
And he looked like an installer, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled, his dimples how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.
His bourbon breathed mouth was drawn like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as pale as fresh snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the ganga smoke circled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a huge round belly,
That shook as he slurred, and he was so smelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a belch from his head,
Soon gave me to know I had something to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his third finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the dorade box he rose!

He sprang to his trawler, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him mumble, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!

Exhausted from St. Nick, and concerned instead,
To my berth I stagger for a few hours abed.
Awaking in the morn, I find all of my rum gone,
And a pile of manure on the deck from a fawn.

I hope you were good, l seemed to have gotten nothing but anthracite.

Merry Christmas, and boat safely from the Installer and family.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sonic repair

"The boats making a real loud buzzing noise, and I can't reach the owner. Can you take a quick look at it, and what should I do?", asked the dock master. "Sure, give me a half hour to get there, and let's show an abundance of caution, and please turn off the shore power breaker."

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Software management woes

If boat builders built airplanes, they would be falling out of the sky faster then we could scurry around and pick up the wreckage and luggage. Somehow lessons that have been learned by most manufacturers of complex items, have been left behind by all too many boat builders. Oops, Mr. Grunion, we left our lessons learned on the train station platform. Never mind Bob. Don't worry. The buyers don't pay any attention to that documentation stuff when they write the check for the boat, and when the warranty expires, it's not our problem anymore.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Experimenting with Bob the navigator

I'm feeling not so smart. By that I mean not as smart as a 16 year old kid. I know a lot, but it has become apparent that being intuitive in today's world takes some real effort. I barely survived the changes in Facebook, I do have a Twitter account, but have never tweeted. But today I am a winner, even though I only get a small red ribbon.

After mucking around I have finally gotten a video to work right. I kept reading about embedding videos, and with my tedious Blogger software, it just won't work. There is a little insert video button on my toolbar. But because my Internet connection is slow, it always opened with just a button that said upload video. Had I been a little more patient additional lines would have appeared say from You Tube? My You Tube? My Cam? Phone?...... As I said I should have asked a kid first. So here is belatedly the first appearance  of a properly installed video on MIR.

This little piece is a rainy day experiment. I have been looking for old public domain archival materiels related to boating, with the idea It could be edited for some other more insidious purposes. It's harder that it looks. These excerpts are from a Navy navigation training film circa 1943 titled "Night Piloting.". Out of 17 minutes of excruciatingly tedious and pedantic film, I salvaged just about two minutes.

I was intrigued because it dealt with navigation techniques that are now 70 years old, but still applicable today, sort of. It didn't turn out exactly like I thought it might, but this is often the way a lot of my projects end up. I had footage, I arranged it into an order, and then made up the dialog. It ended up being a oddly twisted version of a morality play. So no Oscar, but a lot of education in editing, and locating the material.

Here is the link to the original "Night Piloting"

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Neolithic yachting

Boat nice Grob. Like too Ruk. Took many Cro-Magnons to carve from real big tree. They not smart like Neanderthals, but work hard. Boat cost me many clams, but got best stuff.

Look Ruk, fancy thing always point at Polaris so know which way to go. Lodestone box make noise. Cro-Magon man tell me scrat run fast circles inside. Tell loadestone which way boat leans.