About JDC

Late sixties. Short, thick, brutish, mildly amusing when not angry or depressed. Married. Two kids - both great! Twelve years in social work. Ten years in real estate development. Last 15 as a chartered arbitrator, chartered mediator, roving trouble-shooter (Have problem? Will travel), China volunteer, traveler and amateur handy-guy living remote and experiencing regular emergency medical care as a result. Fiscal conservative, cultural liberal, institutional anarchist and social pariah. Not to be left alone with the vulnerable, the stupid, the greedy or any member of any government bureaucracy.

The Trump Effect

Firstly, I readily admit that there are a lot of real and direct effects as a result of the Donald being elected. And it is NOT my intention to list them all. Or any of the ones that affect the larger American or global population.  The NY Times can do that.  The Trump effect I am talking about is the one he has on me.  It’s personal.  I didn’t think it would be.

But it is.  Tomorrow is our provincial election and I am feeling measurably depressed and apathetic about it.  And I blame Trump. If there are that many people in the US of A and a corresponding number in BC (and France) who think like him, act like him and value what he represents, I have lost all hope in the majority of people to be human, caring, tolerant and working for the greater good.

I say ‘majority’ because, after all, he won the election even though we know that it was NOT a majority in the truest sense. But that basic fact of his victory is still truly and deeply depressing – not because of him so much – but because of the now visibly large numbers of those he represents.  These are angry, bitter, cynical and ugly people who care little for others – especially ‘different’ others.

I have not lost ALL hope, of course.  If that were the case, I’d just end it.  But I have lost a lot of hope, faith and trust in a populace and system that, though flawed, seemed to keep us all generally aimed in the right direction.  Mostly.  Admittedly, it was two steps forward and 1.9 steps back but there was some progress. I think.  Mankind seemed to be getting better.  A bit.

Maybe not.  Maybe I was just fooling myself.  Maybe all the progress I saw was quietly being erased by the destruction wrought on the planet and the increased exploitation of the masses but those are larger hard-to-grasp issues and the ones I saw on a daily basis seemed a smidge more positive.  With the grim realization that Trump-ets and Marine Le Pen-ites are on the ascendancy, it feels much more like we are heading in the wrong direction.

Our incumbent premier is a Trumpet crumpet (written that way primarily because it is all so onomatopoeic) and she represents all that is bigoted, biased and ignorant in BC but, admittedly, at a subtler level than Bluster Trump, the original orange clown.  She has been revealed as a corrupt, incompetent and bald-faced liar but she’ll likely get back in.  A great number of people WANT her to represent them.  How is that even possible?

How is that even possible???? 

I do NOT get it.

Again, I have to admit that my optimism had been crushed many years ago and was, and still is, one of the reasons I now live off the grid.  I feel that I am now very much removed from much of the lying, cheating and hypocrisy that passes for life-as-we-know-it in the urban world.  OTG just feels better.  I think OTG is better.  But OTG is also a retreat, a resignation and a vote of surrender.  It is not fighting the good fight.  It is not adding to the greater good.

Why let Trump affect me?  Why give up?  Why feel that way?  Well, Trump seems to be a harbinger.  He is NOT the little canary dying in the coal mine, he is Big Bird opening up the coal mine.  He is Hitler-esque in a trend-indicating kind of way.  His very presence is not a good sign.  His victory as a politician is a terrible sign.  Harper was also a very bad sign.  Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilder, Brexit and Brietbart are all bad signs.  Why are we heading that way?

The world may indeed be headed for Hell in a hand basket.

CHOOSING Off the Grid

The Kindle edition of Choosing Off the Grid is now up on Amazon.  The ‘actual, real-life book’ with paper pages and all that, will be up and available in a day or so.  The paper version has some pictures in it.  Otherwise it is the same content.

Kinda ol’ hat stuff for you guys, tho…..

This second book is really just a more detailed look at the motivation and inspiration behind us moving off the grid.  Stuff you already know about from labouring through the blog.  It includes some of the mental hurdles and the adjustments that were made.  I included a bit on ‘how to do it’ but, of course, there are as many ways to go off the grid as there are ways to leave your lover. You can even Get on the bus, Gus or Get a new plan, Stan.  

Basically, it’s about Get yourself free.

Paul Simon could have written it.

It’s about 200 or so pages.  Not as long as OUR LIFE OTG.  Took awhile to crank this baby out, tho, I must admit.  It’s a bit of a ramble.  I don’t advise buying the damn thing but you might want to borrow it from the library some day.  Buy it if you are wondering when to make the leap yourself (answer: NOW!) or if you are young (under 50 is now considered young) and have time to ‘salvage’ (a portion of the book is on the merits of having a one-ton, 4×4 and some free time).

In this blog, you sometimes had to read about an event to ‘get’ what makes Dave and Sal tick.  In the book, we just come out and say it.  “This is what makes us tick and this is what ticked me off!”  It’s more revealing but, really, who needs more Dave revealed?

This blog post is also a smidge late………..been busy……the boat-haul-out is coming along nicely.  We are pleased.  Weird, tho…….the haul-out represents more work and effort than the planned work-on-boats it will allow us to do.  Still, it is good to have this amenity.  It’s almost a necessity, really.  Boats need repair and we need to repair ’em.  So, we are happy with it. Pictures soon.

A short anecdote: a community gathering and the person around whom the gathering was focused was not there.  Calls were made.  No answer.  Sal came to get me.  We went lookin’ for him…..’was our guy OK?’  We got to his dock.  Boat was there.  Then we got to his house and heard music.  Knocked.  He answered with a smile and a warm greeting.

“Didja forget?  Today?  You and the gathering?”

Blank look………”Yep.  Forgot completely.  Total blank.  Happening more and more lately. Want some tea?”

“No thanks.  Gotta run.  Glad you are good.  Got some calls to make.  We gotta do ’em while we remember ’cause we are forgetting more and more, too.  You might want to make a few calls, yourself?”

“Good idea.  Nice seein’ ya.”

So, the point:  Well, I am 69 and a half….that’s close to 70 by my reckoning….and my memory ain’t what it used to be (altho I remember everything better than Sal.  What planet did she live on these past 47 years?).  We are all getting older and, as my children imply with their raised eyes, getting stupider all the time. The other day, I was feeling so old and tired that, when I bent over to take off my shoes, I spent an extra second wondering, ‘since I am down here, is there anything else I can do?’

Can’t remember if I did anything extra or not while down there…but you get my point.

Sad, gross, pathetic

Well, the new haul-out is underway.  That’s good.  Got the first two ‘tracks’ on and secure.  Two more to add.  Then a work-deck to be built beside it comes next. Progress is slow.  Sporadic.  NOT steady.  So much to do.  So many things to attend to. Busy, busy, busy.

Mind you, I am reminded of my dad many years ago saying, “Well, I would like to play golf next week but on Monday, I pick up my dry cleaning and on Wednesday, I get a haircut.  Thursday is shopping day and well, I am pretty beat by Friday when the cleaning lady comes so that’s out.  So, I guess Tuesday is my only free day . Does that work?”

Of course, I said (to myself – at the time) that I pick up dry-cleaning, have four meetings, go to the bank, see a friend and then stop for a late 15 minute lunch before doing twice as much in the afternoon and getting back in time to clean the pool, mow the lawn and help with dinner.  How could a whole day be set aside for a haircut?  But I didn’t say it.  I just assumed that older people slowed down.

Now I know.

They do.  I am barely at glacial-speed now with global warming being what it is…..

I have been ‘good’ for only a four hour work-day for awhile now.  I am busy for eight but physically ‘working’ is limited to four hours.  I don’t count writing or anything that doesn’t require lifting as physical labour but even with that kind of non-physical activity, I am only good for an eight hour day and that may be dropping to seven because wine-drinking is part of the last hour.

Hard to say…rarely does a day go by without some heavy lifting or mountain climbing or hammer-drilling or something crazy.  But definitely shorter times.  On a horribly rainy day, I don’t work physically at all but I do sometimes nap. So, clearly my GDP is dropping.  Moody’s has down-graded me to Z.

Well, according to Sal, my gross part is still strong but the domestic production is dropping, for sure.

Last night was pathetic.  We had earlier put a large work bench on Sal’s boat to float into the lagoon at high tide.  That’s where the haul-out is being constructed. At 6:00 pm Sal said, “Wanna go drop the bench?  Or are you too tired?” 

“Aaaaaah, I am too tired.  Tomorrow.”

“Nah.  I want it out of my boat.  I’ll do it.  You do the dishes.”

“You can’t lift the bench!”

“Not gonna.  It’s high tide.  I’ll go in, nudge up to the rocks, push the workbench out and then tie it up to a tree.  Then I’ll come home to inspect a pile of clean dishes. Tomorrow we can go get it and place it where we want to on OUR WAY up the hill to fix the water system.”

I felt more tired just listening.  “OK.  Be careful.  The rocks are slippery.  Don’t worry about it being as high on the beach as possible.  It’ll float.  We’ll get it up the beach tomorrow.”

And so I did the dishes while Sal moved the workbench into the lagoon.

Worse, she inspected my dishes when she got back!

What is the world coming to?

 

 

Blah, blah….meh…

It is the 18th and I last wrote on the 12th.  Long time between blah-blah for me. Usually, I have plenty to say but this week, not so much.  We had a nice Easter weekend with my son and his wife.  And, with his help, we got some really hard stuff done. That was good. We pushed a seven-foot diameter water tank out from under the house where the widest spot was only 6′ 6″ .  That was a chore.

We also drilled holes in rocks to support the soon-to-be-built marine ways but that was held up somewhat by the hammer-drill refusing to hammer after the first few holes.  It still spun, just wouldn’t hammer.  In other words, it did NOT get the final half of the holes drilled.  But we’ll get it done.

It rained.  That’s my main excuse.  It rained.

Greenhouse performing well, tho.  Solar-powered fan works a charm – when there is a solar presence.  We’re getting happy with that addition to the empire.

Basically, it is all same ol’, same ol’….but slightly different ol’ stuff.  Which is nice, really. For me.  OK, the boat sinks, guests keep arriving, drills break, water stops flowing (but we got it half-back) and outside demands must be addressed but, honestly, that is just life and you keep on keeping on….right?

And I must admit that such a deep ambivalence is the only thing I am concerned about right now. That status-quo-ness.  That same ol’……ho hum….blah, blah….

The provincial election is looming and there is about as much excitement in the air as at a funeral. Gawd almighty!  It’s like, ‘After Trump, no act can follow.’  I mean; how do you generate political suspense when some plump, middle-aged, smiling cheerleader runs her cliche-ridden corruption-party against a dim, half-invisible pablum-peddling, boring-as-hell do-nothing NDP while, at the same time, Trump dangles the third world war in your face?

It’s M-O-A-B.    

Trump has the Mother of all bombs.  We have the mother of all bores.

Admittedly, boring is good in politics but it also portends the status quo.  And the status quo is criminal-level corruption and mismanagement by the current gang of sleaze bags, the Liberals. So, in this case, boring is bad.  NOT causing a fuss over their entrenched evil is likely gonna result in same ol’, same ol’.  More of it.

For evil to be done, good people only have to get bored of it.

 

 

 

Ethical dissent part 2

As stated in the last blog, I do not endorse all of that which Snyder promotes (ON TYRANNY by Timothy Snyder) but I respect his thinking process and especially his attempt to put words to the feelings I think we all have to some extent. I have a few more suggestions, actually.  And I might delete a few of his on my own list.  But the point is: there is something we can all do in an effort to limit the increasing tyranny in our lives.

“Dave!  WHAT Tyranny?  I am feeling no sense of being controlled, manipulated or lied to.  I don’t see bogeymen or tyrants around every corner.  I feel free.  I feel happy.  I do not see any reason whatsoever for getting off Facebook or NOT watching TV.  I love pizza delivery, man!  In fact, I applaud the government’s attempts at keeping me safe by monitoring and restricting some of the freedoms that are being exploited by terrorists.”

I understand.  You may be right.  Snyder doesn’t think so.  I don’t think so.  He and I think it is prudent to resist at least at a passive, civil, legal level.  But, maybe it is all OK.  Maybe the government is nothing but good and maybe they will not ever err or sweep you up in some police-action or control net. Maybe the real threat is somewhere else.

But that kind of thing has happened before.  It is happening now in the USA to people-with-foreign-sounding names or darker skin and many other countries as well. If you feel really free and safe, why not run a short test.  Get a tan, call yourself Ishmael and say Allahu Akbar as your standard greeting when dealing with the authorities.  Yell it in airports.  Leave bail money with your loved ones and buy life insurance before you do this.

Snyder further advises:

11. Investigate.  Figure things out for yourself.  Take responsibility for what you communicate.  Make the news your own (search out your own sources).  Snyder is attempting to dissuade the reader from the spoon-fed news sources and, by implication, spoon-fed, so-called education.  Learning is personal.  Make it so.

12.Make eye contact and small talk.  Lessen the emailing.  Intimate and personal is good.  It provides the fabric of real society and breaks down the fears of the unknown.

13. Practice corporeal politics.  Get your bum out of the chair.  Put yourself in unfamiliar places.  Seek out new life forms and boldly go where no one has gone before.  The corrupt power-holders prefer you to eat and sit and get fat while watching a screen.  Do the opposite.

14. Consciously create a private life.  Avoid the same institutions you otherwise support because they are used by power to KNOW you and how to find you. Minimize internet use.  Be less Facebook and more ‘personal journal’, preferably in handwriting.

15. Contribute to good causes.  Support organizations that reflect your values.

16. Learn from peers in other countries.  Keep up your friendships abroad.  Make sure you have a valid passport. Maybe get a bug-out bag?

17. Listen for dangerous words.  Be alert to the increasing use of ‘dramatic’ words like: threat, extremist, terror, restricted, security check, emergency, warning, danger, etc.).  They are the word-tools of corruption and tyranny.  Resist the treachery of dire warnings and patriotic rhetoric.  Write to BC Ferries and tell ’em to drop that stupid Mar-sec designation.  I always ask them if they ever experienced a change from Mar-sec 1 to Mar-sec 2.  The answer: “Never.”  So why have it?  When a Mar-sec (marine security) event happens, there will be no time to change the signs at the ticket counter and, even if there was, who is going to buy a ticket on a ferry sitting in a Mar-sec 5 situation?  It’s just fear mongering and providing a false sense of them providing security. Just another institutional lie.

18. Know that real threats and terrorism will be used to escalate and concentrate power.  Be calm during such events because uniformed tyranny will be present and ready to ‘control’ you!

19. BE a good patriot (presumably without resorting to rhetoric) and set a good example for your fellow citizens by exercising your Constitutional rights.  Without good patriots, patriotism will be exploited and corrupted by tyranny.

20. Be as courageous as you can be speaking truth to power and ACTING freely.

I would add to his list:

A. pay cash whenever possible.  The digital money trail will always find you.

B. Consider moving away from the city.

C. Consider having a place to go to in an emergency.  It does not have to be a better-homes-and-garden fortress in Idaho or the Rockies.  Just identify a place you can go to…..?  Why not?

D. Develop a skill.  Get in shape.  Buy some tools. Do more of your own work. Grow some food. Fill your pantry.  In small increments, become more independent.

The list could go on forever and, sadly, it would include increasingly dramatic suggestions like stockpiling, bug-out vehicles, arms and such nonsense.  I do NOT think that the threat has increased to that level and I hope it never does.  But Snyder’s list and my own four additions are NOT extreme in any way.  They are simply ‘positioning’ and ‘attitudinal’ suggestions that, at the very least, would make you a better and more powerful citizen.  No bullets or camo required.

 

I occasionally stray….

….from OTG stuff.  I admit that, freely (and obviously somewhat regularly).  I kinda do my own twisted version of political commentary now and again and I know that it it is not always well received by my readers. I apologize to those who see it as simply politics but it is not – at least politics is NOT the primary motivation. Protest is the primary motivation. I feel the need to speak my truth to power.  I call it ethical dissent.

I am a stated GREENIE but, honestly, I am mostly and largely non-partisan.  I don’t like career politicians, political parties, the party system, the structure of government and, of course, the inevitable corruption of all of those so I am not a fan of any of them, really.  I am a GREEN for obvious reasons but one of them is that a vote for the GREENs is a legitimate protest vote. They won’t likely ever win.  Not in my lifetime, anyway. And so, for me, a vote for the GREENs is a middle finger gesture to the others.

I mention all this because a middle finger salute is not enough.  I know that.  You know that.  The system is broken and not voting or protest-voting is simply not changing things at all.  In fact, it is all getting worse despite what I/we do.

I suppose ‘contradictory-voting’ is the next thing. Some are advocating for it.   If you normally vote Liberal, then try the NDP.  If you normally vote Conservative, then try the Greens. Basically, those people are not voting for the ‘opposite’ party so much as voting for changing their own party.  A prominent Liberal party member in Langley, BC, (the mayor) has recently come out with that.  He said, “Well, I guess Hell has frozen over because I am going to vote for the NDP this May!”

I applaud that.  He shows an honesty, a truth-telling, an open-mind.  He does not like the NDP but now he thinks HIS party has gone rotten and needs a major cleansing.  Change gotta happen!  And he’s right.  100% right!

But, even that is still not enough.

What we, the voters, are trying to do is not just change the corrupt system but also to reject the overt and subtle tyranny that such corruption masks.  Corrupt politics not only cheats the public, it lies to them, manipulates them, manages them and controls them. In the extreme, they will harass, restrict, persecute, incarcerate and execute the public if they get in the way. We can all see it when it is extreme AND in another country (see: the USA today vs thirty years ago.  See Russia and China anytime.  See Mexico – if it isn’t the government there, it is the resulting corrupt drug cartels doing it).

Power corrupts.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The point is: anything short of pure, good government verges on some degree of tyranny inflicted on the people.  Usually someone is getting royally screwed all the time by powerful government and more and more and now, most of us, are being overly screwed these days. (see: Canadian millennials, the poor, indigenous, immigrants, rural-folks).

So, what is the solution?  Timothy Snyder’s book, ON TYRANNY, suggests 20 ways to ethically dissent.  1. Do not obey in advance.  In other words, we tend to go along to get along and, in so doing, do NOT protest when we should. Do not walk willingly to the orders of the powers-that-be.  Resistance is a virtue.  It’s also easier to do in the beginning.

2.  Defend Institutions.  As flawed as they are, they are the first line of defense. Obey the law, queue for buses, pay your bills, say, ‘have a nice day’.  The reason: the institution’s stated values are good ones and they need our support.

3.Beware the one-party state (and, by inference, the two-party state is only somewhat better).

4.  Take responsibility for the face of the world.  DO NOT accept swastikas and ugly graffiti as the new norm.  Clean up your yard.  Looking ugly and being ugly are kissing cousins.  Beautify your neighbourhood.  Look after things.  Beauty is as beauty does.

5. Remember your professional and personal ethics.  Live up to the values you respect and hold dear.  Manifest them daily.

6. Beware paramilitaries and, by extension, paramilitary behaviours.  Ditch the camo.

7.  If you are in the paramilitaries (police, security, etc.) be reflective.  Be kind. Be aware that you are in a position of power and exercise it extremely consciously and cautiously.

8. Stand up.  Get counted.  Speak your mind.  Let them know how you feel. Write to the editor.  Tweet.  Talk to people.  Gossip and yak….it’s all glue for the society.

9. Be kind to your language.  Speak your own phrases.  Do not use jargon, cliche and vulgarities.  Think before you speak and then speak articulately what you think. Like, duh!

10. Believe (and exercise) the truth.  Work for it.  Say it.  Check it.  Review it.  Truth is real power.  We all want it.  Tell the truth.

There are 10 more suggested ‘actions’ from Snyder.  I will do the others later.  My readers don’t read more than 750 words at a time willingly and much more than 1000 is simply ‘not on.’

But, in summary, I am, personally, supportive of his suggestions on the whole but I do NOT see them as ‘the wisdom of the ages’.  Still, he is ethically dissenting and putting words to it.  THAT is good.  He is making positive suggestions for ‘doing more’ than just voting contra or not voting at all.  Or worse, like me, complaining all the live long day in a blog.  He is advocating for constructive but corrective behaviours that WILL make a difference.  And I applaud that.

I try to do some of that already and will seriously consider his other suggestions. But the point is: he is making suggestions as to how to ethically dissent and how to stand up to the beginnings of tyranny.

I am pretty sure it is much, much harder to stand up to well-entrenched tyranny.  Ask a Mainland Chinese or a Russian….

In fact, by the time tyranny has risen to even just Trumpian levels, it may be too late. We’ll see.  Harper’s Canada never got anywhere near as bad as even Bush’s America but it was bad enough for us to balk. Canada stood up.  Harper gone. But the US now has Trump.  It may already be too late to stand up but many there are trying.

It’s ironic and tragic that those who voted for Trump were, in fact, trying to stand up to ‘established power’ and thought they were voting for an ethical dissenter. Sad.    

Maybe Americans just need to be pushed a little further.  We’ll see.  Tomahawking Syria got their attention.  Maybe Trump nuking North Korea will make them stand up. I wish them luck in that.  We all need it.

Indicators

If you were in a coal mine and there was a dead canary lying in his cage, wouldn’t you recognize that as an ‘indicator’ of danger?  At the very least, would you not at least recognize the old metaphor/adage/cliche regarding canaries and coal mines?

Of course you would.  But what about indicators that are NOT cliche metaphors? What of indicators, harbingers, signs and omens telling you something in a language you are entirely unfamiliar with?  Do you still listen to the little voice that usually whispers at such times?  Do you stare at such signs-o’-the-times and try to read ’em?  Do you stop to think?  ‘Hmmmmm….what’s wrong with this picture?’

As a rule, I am a bit oblivious to that sort of thing, myself.  And Sal is usually focused on squirrels or shoes so I don’t rely on her observational skills.  Neither of us has a sixth sense and, at our age, we are starting to wonder about the first five, actually.

I am not much better than Sal.  A bit. Not much.  No interest in shoes or squirrels allows me time to scan for other things but I don’t do that as much anymore.  I could easily get 100 feet into a busy mall that was vacant and not really notice the absence of people as quickly as I should.  I am just not all that observant anymore. But I still NOTICE. Eventually.  It might take me a few steps into the mall before I wondered what ‘was wrong’, but I would still see the absence of people…in a few seconds….under a minute…I hope.  I am not blind.

Well, I just noticed something wrong.  Stupidly late, actually.  Especially since I cracked a joke about it last January:  “One thing about Trump that is for sure, book sales will continue if not increase. Any sane person will at least consider getting out. They have to!”

And we both laughed.

Sal checked sales figures today.  We are selling at twice the rate as the two previous years for the same period reviewed.  Admittedly two-times minuscule is still insignificant and hardly a dead canary or a candlestick in the library but it has been a remarkably consistent double-the-fun-run since January.  I think Trump really HAS boosted sales.

I am looking for the cruise missile attack on Syria to boost sales even further. Hey! If you can’t add boobs, guns and rock and roll to the title of the book, scaring the hell out of people with the threat of WW3 is a good motivator for off-the-grid books.

Jus’ sayin’.

“Man, oh man!  When they nuke Kim Jong-un, we’ll make out like bandits!” 

You think I am kidding?  That is the precise conversation that the US military industrial complex is having around their boardroom tables right now.  Probably have been since January 20th….I was just too busy to notice til now.

 

 

A change?

I am considering making a ‘hosting server’ change for the blog.  If I do, the site will be down for a bit…a day or so….not unlike the porn-hack interruption.  I do NOT think the change will alter anything for the reader.  Same URL, address, name, whatever. Just a different ‘host’.  But…if I move….it should be less prone to whacked-out hackers.

I have also deleted all the ‘plug-ins’ like the Facebook ‘like’ button.  I may have deleted too much.  But I can add them back as it is determined they are ‘safe’ or not.  Seems the hackers ride in on plug-ins…or something… who knows?

So….out to meet the barge with the too-late-ordered wood to build the too-late marine ways so as to too-late fix the holes in the boat which still weep a smidge but should be a slow enough leak to allow me to build the haul-out.

Barge broke it’s hy-ab arm but it was broke in a way they could still drop our load of lumber….made it a little ‘haywire’ but we got it.  Didn’t help that it was blowing like hell and the barge had to make two passes.  After they left, Sal and I took the lumber over to the marine-ways site and dragged each piece up the slippery rocks. Sixteen foot six-by-six treated beams weigh a lot!  And we only had four of them. Might have been better to get 6.  No room on the ‘lift’ for extra 6×6’s.  We’ll see how this goes.  But we also had a bunch of 2×8’s to go with ’em.  And 2×12’s.  We will be busy.

Sheeesh……..and people wonder what we do all day…

Trump, sex, crime and ignorance.

I got nothing (ignorance) on any of that……

But I needed the headline (the crime).  Why?  Because no comments are coming in (Trump gets ALL the attention).

And my sex life is none of your business but it is safe to say, nothing much to write novels about but it has to be included in the headline to get the numbers.

I am still on the beach, still weaseling my way around the logs, the boat and the rocks trying not to get too wet while always lying on a board in a small stream of run-off from the constant rain. As per one of my OWN comments on the last blog, the patches all still ‘weep’ a smidge like a fat man’s sweat but that is a 97% improvement on gaping holes. I will attempt to fix the cry-babies today.

Squeezing under the boat

It’s NOT raining right now but the tide is up.  When it falls away, it may rain.  That seems to be the pattern.

Halfway there

I am not a religious person but if someone started the Church of St. Murphy, I would have to join.  How could I not?  I believe in Murphy.

Positioned for grinding and glassing

The book is delayed a couple of weeks.  Waiting on the cover and a few bureaucratic processes – like ISBN numbers and that sort of thing.  We have two beta readers unaccounted for but not being accounted for kinda means they are accounted for – they aren’t doing it. That says something.

I have been feeling (about the book) that I have missed something that I wanted to say…..but I couldn’t put my finger on it…..still can’t…but the feeling is dissipating anyway.  I am starting to feel as if I may have said it, after all.  I think I am good. Rotten book but I am now good with that.  So, I am good.

For the last little while I have been doing some research on OTG living (It’s not my style to do research.  I am now fully onside with post-truth and alt-facts.  That kind of ADHD insanity actually works well for me).  But I got side-tracked into focusing for a bit and actually went and learned something.  Accidental student, that I am.

Seems the book addresses a series of issues that other authors and documentarians have also identified and attempted.  Basically this: “Why the hell do it in the first place?”

In this second, monkey-on-my-back book I try to answer that while, at the same time, describing my own, personal way of defining OTG. In other words, it is entirely subjective and I step into that subjective breach like the know-it-all OTG’er I am pretending to be.  I mention this because some of my research has revealed others who have half-addressed it, others who have fully-but-erroneously addressed it and still others who simply went about describing and listing the mechanics and logistics of it without any self-awareness of the whys and why-nots.  I hope to do a smidge better in the motivation category at least.

‘Cept for one category that I do not fully embrace anyway: the lone wolf (or pair) of eccentrics in the crazy-remote areas like Deadhorse, Alaska (on the Arctic ocean) or the wilds of Tasmania.  I do not believe living OTG requires a mad-trapper mentality and so I am not including that branch of OTG mutants in my book.  They are a category unto themselves. The rest of us are sane.

So, after breakfast I will go back under the logs and work on an old boat and contemplate my own sanity.

Doesn’t portend well for the book, does it?

 

Spelunking boat repairs

Spelunking?

Because I have to exhale to get under the logs on which the boat is resting so as to insert myself under the hull to get at the hole in the hull.  And it’s dark under there. Even doing that, I am like toothpaste squeezed out of a tube as I wriggle and wrestle to get into position.

The position?  Face to face with the bottom of a boat at way too intimate a distance for my personal preference.  Then I grind off the under-crap and try to get at the clean f’glass underneath.  There is not enough room to turn the grinder except one way and it is just enough to get at the spot. Lots of crap-in-the-face doing this kind of fine finishing work.

But the ugliest part of the prepping got done a few days ago.  Then we waited for a dry day to put on the patch. Today.  I went under and cleaned the area with acetone and cleaned inside the hole, too. Everything dry and clean, we proceeded.  Sal mixed the resin and hardener and passed it under to me with some f’glass cloth and I covered and smoothed and let resin fall on my face.  It was a lovely thing to see the hole get covered and the patch take form – from the eye without resin in it.

Beautiful.

A drip formed on the downside end of the patch.  I wiped it away.  Cursed the dripping resin.  A few seconds later another drip.  I wiped it away.  And again. Hmmmmmm…..these drips don’t seem like resin…?  They were not!  They were water drips!!

Where the hell did the water come from?

The boat has been high and dry for a few days…..I checked the hole…..I cleaned the hole….I acetoned the hole…..nada…no water when I checked and cleaned…not then…..?

But there is water now, now that that the patch is in place.  Water is leaking from the trailing end of the patch that is intended to keep the water out.  This is NOT beautiful.  Worse, the stream of water seems to be increasing….?  How is that possible?  Murphy?  You there?

Outcome: I formed the patch anyway.  I’ll let it harden up to cover the majority of the hole. Let the channel that the drip formed drip away.  Guess what?  The hole left by the dripping water will be the size of a cocktail straw.  Where have I heard that before?

Tomorrow, after the patch has set up, I’ll grind the straw-sized channel out leaving a small cocktail-straw-sized hole that will get plugged with Sikaflex and then, when NOT dripping, glassed over again.

“Dave!  Isn’t glasswork supposed to be done when the old surface is dry?”

Yes.  Yes it is.  That would be a good thing, that would.  But, in this case some magic water appeared and so I have had to adjust.  It must be holy water….it came from a hole….

Fortunately, I was using cold cure.  Cold cure is an epoxy that will set up under water.  This is NOT under water but there is magic water appearing where no water was supposed to be and so I am glad I used cold cure.  Blessed holy cold cure. The patch I put on today will be good for the bulk of the problem.  If there is a God in heaven!

The straw-hole will be a patch-on-a-patch and done tomorrow.

Nothing is simple.  Not even a patch on a hole.

BREAKING NEWS!!!!

Job is done!  Patches holding.  Wasabi is afloat and dry inside.  We caught the trailing edge of the ebbing tide and hauled it off the beach logs back into the water.  It was touch and go…literally…the makeshift ramp was disintegrating as we winched it back into the almost-too-shallow water (boat and motor just touching the bottom), spun it on the last of the log and floated it back to it’s rightful place in our lives.  Happy is the man whose boat gets floated.  Happier is the woman freed up for quilting.