Stay tuned (patiently) as we occasionally throw updates on here about what steps we're taking to get to our end goals, DIY tricks and life-hacks, child-rearing tactics (strategery), etc.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Interior Decorating?

I had these awesome prints of various that I had accumulated over the years, and decided now was the time to use it or lose it. Here is my awesome retro Star Trek poster from the episode with Joan Collins, as well as a matching insignia from the original series. Both covered old, sticky pieces on the wall, and I must say, add a certain element of hipster class to this boat.... it makes up for the big retro Denver Bronco helmet on the door to the front v-berth.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Rewards for a Fixed Toilet

The project for the weekend was to fix the head. Inevitably, as a side note, I need to remind myself (and The Girl when she gets home) that I need to out a sticker on the door to the head that says "If you didn't swallow it, the toilet won't either."

Starting at the toilet, I systematically removed, cleaned, and reinstalled each hose until I find the culprit, a paper towel from the lack of toilet paper times.

After a couple of hours of cleaning up after myself, I needed to shave my head and take a shower. I finished up to The Dog enjoying time on the deck with the rare sunshine.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

NY Police

That's the random name given to this picture. I downloaded a new app for my phone which allows me to manipulate photos. It seemed fun to go back and find a picture from the old Chronicles and play around. Here is a sunset over Mount Shavano from Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center in Salida, Colorado.

"Cascades" by Richmond Fontaine

He inherited $1400 from his mother who lived in a house in a town in the cascades. He hadn't seen her in 5 years. His step-brother drove him there, along with his step-brother's friend, who he didn't know, to get the money and some of her things, to see where she lived, maybe who she was, by seeing who she was with at the time.

The Cascades, oh, the Cascades, where the rivers are like moving lakes. Oh, the cascades, the Cascades, where it's dark and wet, and you can disappear without a trace. Without a trace. Without a trace.

And on the way back, he bought his girlfriend a camera, bought his dad a knife and them dinner and a case of beer. And in the back, he waited in the car. They sat for hours in a bar, because he was underage. Then in the mountains, they pulled off on a Forest Service road, and dragged him from the car. They took all the money, his i.d.bracelet, and all of her things, and left him there. $1400. $1400. $1400.

Oh, the Cascades. Oh, the Cascades, where the rivers are like moving lakes. Oh, the Cascades, the Cascades, where it's always dark and wet with rain. Oh, the Cascades, the Cascades. Disappear without a trace. Without a trace. Without a trace.

My Noble Mutt

Today, I have a serious project ahead of me. I'm going too unclog the head on the boat. I had to clean stuff up to make an easy path from the head to the outside, where I have a large bucket waiting so I can dump my $#!t appropriately. It's going to be interesting. At least Dash, The Dog, is waiting patiently.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Wonder Dog and Other Shenanigans

This morning, I took time away from work to spend with The Girl as she packs and gets ready to leave for weeks doing her part with kids on a canoe adventure over on Prince of Wales Island. The program she's working with is designed to take troubled youth and teenagers. She loves it, and is gone most of the summer doing it. I'm actually excited for the time I'm going to have to get to know the boat, and to do stuff like play with my three-legged wonder dog.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Samsung Galaxy II and GCI

Let me tell you all a story about electronic equipment and wireless providers that fail.

I have a Samsung Galaxy II. I love it. It's the means by which I update this blog, get in touch with family, etc. Small, thin, fast, bright, it's a great phone.

At least, it was. The swype started failing on it. I went in to GCI, and the customer service rep looked at it, played with it a little bit, and then downloaded updates for the apps I downloaded (totally unrelated), and told me that my phone was just fine, only I souls use a regular keyboard, not swype. Seriously? Basically, nothing changed.

I took it home, frustrated, and called tech support. I waited on hold for almost half an hour before I was told that the contract I've been paying for every month will cover it... with a $200 deductable.

So now the phone has a deteriorating condition. The voice command program just opens when it feels like it. It shuts off on a whim. It interrupts phone calls and basically just sucks.

I went in to GCI again, talked to the manager, who was preoccupied. He called my phone from his big iPad like device, and apparently, if my phone can receive that one call, it's all in my head.

Then, while still distracted, he hands me one of the brochures there in the store... for the tech support number... and the insurance claim info... with the $200 deductible.

Oh, how I miss T-mobile, where I would walk in and say, "hey, I have this problem with my phone," to which they would respond "oh, no! (with genuine concern) let's see what's up?" They'd dig, they'd make my phone do things that I'd never seen, and they'd either fix my problem or replace my phone. That's it. One visit, maybe half a hour invested. GCI, while I'm forced to continue using you for lack of better options, this has left a very bitter taste in my mouth.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dogs on Boats

I was nervous at first to be moving onto a sailboat with my dog. I didn't know if my dog was going to do alright with the close quarters, the jumping and climbing around, the docks, all that stuff.

First off, Ketchikan has very drastic tides. The average difference between high and low tides is something around 16 feet. That means when the tide is low, the ramps leading to the docks are very, very step. One half of any ramp here in town has these pseudo steps built in so you can climb them like stairs when it's steep.

The dog struggled at first. Some of the walkways are metal grates that you can see through. I image he was either scared or it was painful to walk on. But, with some gentle coaxing and bribery, the dog found his way.

Down the ramp and to the wooden walkways of the docks, he's now good to go off leash for the entire experience.

Getting into the boat was scary at first, too. He couldn't commit to taking that first step. It took him a couple of weeks to figure it out, but he got there.

Here he is on the dock just hanging out.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Monday Night Lights

Tonight, Joey and I went with the theme of colors on the radio facsimile of the blog. I've been volunteering for KRBD for over a year now here in Ketchikan. I've never really had a set style of music that I've played, so it's really fun to see what other people bring to the table.

Tonight, we played an eclectic mix, stuff like Coldplay and The Old 97s, Incubus and Bon Iver, M83 and Jimi Hendrix, and all of the on air antics... it's awesome.

Always a good time on community radio, and KRBD is the best outlet for that sort of creativity that I've ever been a part of.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Joe Island Camping Trip

Saturday afternoon, we decided to take the dog out on a conoe. We wanted to see how he handled the ocean in a small, wobbly boat. We rented a canoe from the wonderful people at Ketchikan Parks and Recreation. If you're ever in Ketchikan and looking for stuff for cheap, rent a canoe from the rec center. $15/day or $25 for the weekend, which starts Friday and ends Monday. Hell of a deal.

Anyway, we rented this canoe and took off around 4. Destination: a beach on nearby Joe Island. We paddled across the calm water and got there as it had just started to rain. Our friend who came across with us in a kayak went back to the big island, and we started setting up camp.

The nice thing about Alaska is you can camp just about anywhere you want. We climbed up from the beach a little ways, find a nice moss bed with some wind protection, started a fire, and got settled.

We let the fire make some good coals, and went for a short walk before deciding to go back and have the good conversation that always comes before sleep while you're camping.

The next morning, we got up, and I walked to the beach to find a seal close by snacking on some of the tiny fish that were eating bugs in unison on the water's surface. About 50 yards off shore, a couple of humpback whales were spouting.

After a brief and vein effort to hop in the boat to catch up with them, we decided to paddle around our tiny island and check it out.

About three quarters of the way around, we decided to pill up on a beach and hike up to the top of the island. After getting immersed in the unending mossy green of the forest, she turned to me and said "Narnia". So beautiful.

We hiked back down, grabbed a quick snack, and paddled back home, another beautiful Alaskan weekend in the books.

Three Sheets to the Wind

May 15th was the day. The down payment was transferred. The keys were exchanged. I moved onto the boat.

Getting used to the quarters were the hardest part. I only hit my head twice, though. Next to the first BattleWagon, this place seems palatial.

What I am living on is a 1972 Hallberg-Rassy yacht. Made in Ellös, Sweden, this model was one of the first to feature a glass wind screen on the pilot house, a feature that now comes standard on almost every cruising sailboat in the world.

In the bow, there is a v-berth which I leave concerted to a single bed. There are shelves on either side, storage underneath, and a couple of small cubby holes with lights and an electrical outlet nearby.

Behind the front berth, on the port side, there is a head with a toilet and a sink who's faucet detaches for showering. The floor has a pump below it to get the shower water out. Across the small hallway, there is a small closet and the water pump and point-of-use water heater are located in there.

Moving backwards, there is a big dinette on the port side, which also folds down into sleeping space. On the starboard side, there is a gallery with a sink, fridge, and propane-powered oven and stove, as well as a gaslight and plenty of storage for stuff.

The door seals all of this in, keeps the heat really well. Behind the door, there is the pilot house, which has the controls for the diesel engine, the wheel, and all of the navigation equipment, from radar to GPS and old fashioned maps. There is a built-in cooler out there for drinks under one if the seats.

In the stern, behind the wheelhouse, another v-berth is just hanging it, waiting for guests to visit, and guarding my outdoor gear until that happens.

Her name is Three Sheets to the Wind, and she is spectacular.