30 September 2014


Months ago a friend Sloppy declared he'd make me the best cup of coffee.
Guess he forgot I dropped joe cold turkey.
Not one to give up,
we settled on the best cup of tea.
He brought out his old percolator,
and I was hooked.
Easily one of the best versions.
It took all summer to find one!
I thought they'd be throw away common.
Little did I realize the cult following of these workhorses.
Last week I finally found a small aluminum one at a dead ladies estate sale - $3!!
A little TMI back story here.
My painter friend How saw my daily green tea bag ritual.
I'd rebrew it by adding water throughout the day.
Like a crack dealer,
he gave up a can of the Kings Series oolong tea.
Super smooth and really packed a punch.
His brew method wasn't as refined.
Throw some tea in a cup and drink it.
The rolled balls would unfurl and fill up the cup!
Once I realized how expensive the 403 Kings Blend was,
I searched good old eBay and found a thriving tea trade.
With names like Red Robe, Iron Goddess, Iron Monk, Dong Ding...
I had to try these different varieties,
at $1-2 a bag how could I not.
Some are balls of rolled leaves,
some are open leaves,
each has a different flavor.
Yeah quite the connoisseur!
I've found that with the percolator,
I can make a 4 cup pot...
and by the time it's done have either lunch or breakfast made.
Guess this is how rituals begin,
and a good way to get chit done.
Way better than standing in line at the coffee shop.

28 September 2014

Bug vs Caribou Season - v2

What could be a better deadline for boat work,
then the first day of lobster season.
Each time we've gone out,
the goal is to rush in before dark.
No lights,
no late night fun.
A $10 eBay score bow light,
and a section of the old mahogany seat was resurrected.
A little pad was roughed out.
Bummer was the internal light wires hidden in the hull were cut short. 
In typical night before form,
the brightwork wasn't too bright.
As long as it's sealed up for mounting,
I can make it pretty later on.
The first Epifanes can I cheaped out,
went with the smaller can not realizing how much I'd need.
At $30 a pint I shoulda got the $45 quart.
For the next supply I went online,
and found quarts for $29,
and $5 shipping after $50!
(SMS distributors)
Spend money to save money!
Now I need to find a project to use it on!
Don't worry I've got a couple in mind.
I rushed to rig the running lights,
and ran out of time to do a finished job.
Why didn't I start earlier!?
One thing I would change,
is adapting a 12 volt rechargeable tool battery,
then modify the drill base for an snap plug.
For half the price of this sealed battery,
I coulda scrounged a swap meet dewalt set up,
and it woulda been easier to recharge.
Next time...
The lights worked bitchin,
and it was relieving to be legal and safe.
We did have a different deadline then bug season.
The Pixies were playing at Humphreys on Shelter Island.
PIXIES - CARIBOU - San Diego Humphreys - 27 september 2014
Cool can always rely on youtube to get a close up view!!
We made it just in time.
They rocked out even with the new bassist.
After the show we cruised the harbor to check out the bug hunters.
Tons of boats out at 11pm.
The kids were able to pull start the suzuki dt30 engine,
and Jake did a slam dunk job getting the boat on the trailer,
to the surprise of many other boaters.
Anyway it was a fun time,
and a needed opportunity to clear the head!

PIXIES - Where is my mind - San Diego Humphreys - 27 september 2014
A great finale

26 September 2014

Little Lady

Had a fun time the other evening cruising through mission beach.
Instead of rushing through to get home for dinner,
we took a pit stop.
Here's another pit stop,
just like old times.

Chico Hamilton - Lady Gabor
Hasn't been easy to add tunes in with the blogging lately,
but ya gotta check this one out.
Just enough crazy mixed in with the mellow.
Guys rockin the flute!
Guess Macey had never checked out the rollercoaster and rides of Belmont park.
I forget how many memories can be made in even a half hour.
 No wonder all the tourists flock to this location.
Good times!

23 September 2014


 Over the summer I stockpiled a few too many projects.
The house was becoming cluttered,
driving the wife to the brink.
I've slowly been purging the goods.
These bitchin empty Barzilay speaker cabinets recently left.
A friend had donated them to the cause,
and through their freeness,
I had justified filling them with the missing components.
The choice was scrapping a pair of $40 cheapy speakers for parts,
or finding era correct drivers costing $400+.
Way too much time spent researching woofers, tweeters and crossovers.
That is the problem with open ended projects,
they're energy suckers.
There's a point when the time adds up,
and momentum stalls.
Of course there's always a catch.
Now they're gone,
the stash corner is abnormally uncluttered,
and the wife says,
"Why do you always get rid of the stuff I like?"

22 September 2014

end of summer burn out

I've always been conscientious about recycling,
and that's carried over to things that don't recycle.
It's taken about a year for this wood pile to grow.
Last minute we decided to have a bonfire.
We snagged a spot early.
While we waited for evening to come,
you'll never guess what I did.
Yeah more bricks.
So many reasons to clear out the debris.
Kids had a good time.
For some of the boys friends 
this was their first bonfire experience.
Dogs and s'mores.
We took the boat out too. 
Way wet and salty for pics.
Anyhow a good summer burn out.

19 September 2014

Brightwork - part 1

Traditional hot rodding has a ball and chain type mentality,
a lot of work per mile,
however there's a satisfaction 
that a part of history is kept alive,
be it style or techniques.
I've fallen in that trap with most of my hobbies you've read about,
and this little whaler is getting it's share of sweat equity.
The kids will either embrace it or think I'm crazy!
My go to analogy in building is the movie Iron Giant,
when the robot parts have the power to accumulate on their own and assemble themselves.
Many times I feel there's a strange coincidence
on how parts are found that are meant to be together.
It nurtures a sentimental value in a thing.
For instance,
the wood seat pieces were thrashed from sun and neglect.
One day the kids and I happened on a going out of business sale.
A cancer-stricken woodworker - Quimby Carpentery,
(which happens to be our street name)
had the exact mahogany needed for super cheap.
It was really meant to be.
Of course only enough wood to replace the worst pieces,
the others had to be refinished.
This is where that traditional thing kicks in.
New boats like new cars are simple,
lots of gel coated fiberglass, plastic and stainless.
Easy hose-off maintenance.
Older boats tend to have wood and brass that needs constant attention,
this is called brightwork.
There's an environmental responsibility in saving this old hardwood.
If ancient forests and habitats were pilfered,
then it deserves our respect.
You'll no doubt see a future project from the replaced seat.
Amazing how faded wood is rejuvenated after sanding,
and some old school varnishing.
Years ago I apprenticed under a couple salty captains,
each with their own tried and tested methods.
One thing they had in common was Epifanes Varnish.
This made the decision of varnish vs polyurethane,
and all the different brands and mixes easy.
Dang this stuff is pricey!!
I did modify the traditional application to my own hack methods.
A DA with 80 grit ripped off the old varnish,
and cheap 3" rollers were used to roll on the gold.
Man the smell brought back memories.
Even with the best bristle brush,
the technique for a smooth lay is difficult to master.
I had to try rolling and super happy I did.
Everything about this project was rushed.
In one hot day I applied 3 thinned coats,
only giving enough time to get tacky,
no sanding inbetween.
In addition the tops were double coated each time.
A sure recipe for failure.
Captain Cecil would be rolling in his grave!
Less then 24 hours later 
the resins had dried up enough to assemble,
and the sheen was almost perfect,
except for the typical flies.
I should have stained the bleached out hatch cover,
and yeah painted the hull interior!
Later on I'll add a couple more varnish coats to fill in the grains,
but for now the wood seems fully encapsulated.
We just want to get it back in the water!
The engine was also cleaned up.
I tried to get rid of that old man rattlecan.
If you look closely there's also a new panga-style tiller seat,
didn't want to waste that scrap!