Friday, August 31, 2007

Finally, a day off...

Today I am home. I'm not going to think about the office, what my staff might be doing, or how business is going. Today I am on vacation.
It's a nice way to stretch a 3 day weekend and hang with Charlie, who is currently asleep, laying on my foot. That can't be comfortable for him, since my foot makes for a lumpy bed and with his body heat my foot is about a thousand degrees. But I don't want to wake him up yet.
Anyway, today I plan to do only one chore, and that is cut the grass. But since it rained last night the grass is wet so I need to wait until after lunch. Other than that I plan to go to the supermarket for football snacking supplies (tomorrow starts Nebraska Football **GO BIG RED**), swing by the pool store to get my water tested, then spend the rest of the day working on the Kayak. And the weather is supposed to be gorgeous.
Yep, I finally am ready to start building the kayak. Last night after work I began building the work bench. It needs to be 14' long to support the entire boat and it needs to be a comfortable working height. It's almost done so I can start fabricating the hull planks today.
It's gonna be a great day...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The sweetest thing...

I can hardly stand it. We are only 4 days away from Nebraska Cornhusker football. I have been waiting for 8 months for the day to arrive, the day we can welcome the Husker spirit fully back into our lives.
My boys play Nevada this Saturday, and I expect we will kick some Wolf Pack ass. It's going to be a nice tune up for the game against USC in two weeks.
I will be making the traditional Runza's for game time snacking as well as a generous amount of my Secret Recipe Cheese Dip. And the beer will be cold and delicious, perhaps some Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, in honor of the team we are about to trounce.
What a wonderful weekend. I think I may be getting a bit emotional. Sorry.
May the Callahan be with you...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Special delivery...

All my kayak building supplies are finally here so I can get down to business. First up is building a work bench 14 feet long and perfectly level. It will just fit in my garage with enough work space all the way around.
After that I will begin cutting plywood for the hull
I can feel the spray in my face already...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Gone for a few days...

Tomorrow I leave for Atlanta for the second largest trade show in our industry. Or so they say. My guess is that Fire Expo in PA is larger as far as the number of people that attend.
Anyway... our company is cutting back on expenses as are many companies right now. Our sales are down and we are tightening our belts. I think my department, Customer Service and Inside Sales, is the only one not touched at this point, but I'm sure we'll feel it soon enough if we don't get some more orders soon.
On a more interesting note, I ordered the stuff I need to build the kayak. I already have the plywood which I purchased locally and now I am awaiting the plans, epoxy and hardware to arrive from Chesapeak Light Craft. When I get home it should be here and I can get started building the boat. I hope to launch it on or before Thanksgiving.
See you soon...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I just want to hang with Charlie...

The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.
-Charles De Gaulle

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The decision is made...

I finally got my copy of the Mill Creek kayak construction manual from Chesapeake Light Craft (called CLC from here forward). It’s surprisingly well written and easy to read and understand, with excellent illustrations and good photos. After reading through the manual I find that the CLC method of building a boat differs slightly from other methods I’ve researched on the web. It should be a little easier, especially for a first time builder like me.
Mind you, I’m far from a novice wood smith. I spent several years (younger years) in the construction business doing everything from concrete work all the way to building custom cabinets. I designed and built my own home from the ground up and almost every piece of furniture in it has been built by me. I think I can handle a wooden boat.
Oh crap… I may have just jinxed myself.
The good news is that the people from CLC seem to be committed to their customers and offer their assistance via phone any time I might need it, which is one of the main reasons I selected to work with them and their plans.
I visited Home Depot yesterday to determine how readily available the materials will be and apparently they saw me coming. I can purchase almost everything I need from them except for the fiberglass, miscellaneous hardware, epoxy and marine paint, so I’ll purchase these items from CLC.
The next step is to clean up the garage in preparation for this project. Clean up is always my least favorite part of any project. I have some time to do this since I will be leaving for Atlanta on Aug 21st and will be out for a week. I’ll try to time the arrival of my CLC materials with my return from Atlanta.
I need to shop for some pirate gear...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Landlubber no more...

I’m looking into starting a project I’ve been thinking about for a long time. When I lived in Nebraska, I spent most of my weekends and free evenings after work at Lake Minatare State Park canoeing, fishing, jet skiing, camping and all kinds of outdoor water fun. Since moving back to Florida, it seems that I never have much time doing those things and that needs to change.
I love building furniture and toys out of wood so it seems only natural (to me that is) to build a wooden boat. Not a big monster outboard boat, but a small one man kayak. Lightweight, easy to store and simple for me to get to the water is the key. I’m also finding that some of my friends are getting into kayaking, although they are buying the plastic type that most likely started life as a detergent bottle or milk carton.
So my natural skills manipulating wood into usable items seems just suited for this project. The boat I want to build is called the Mill Creek 13. The plans are available from Chesapeake Light Craft and seem simple enough. I will be ordering the manual tomorrow for a read through to determine if it’s something I really want to do.
Look out, Popeye…

Thursday, August 2, 2007

SunTrust can go piss up a rope...

Several days ago I looked at my online bank statement as I routinely do, and it showed me that someone in New (freaking) York had made some charges with my check card number. So I had to go through the unbelievible ordeal of working with bank employees, most of whom are so brain dead they need to wear a helmet just so they don't injure themselves while eating lunch, to file a fraud claim and get my old card canceled and order a new one.
"No problem sir, your new card will be delivered in 5 working days".
That was 10 days ago.
I just now got off the phone with Suntrust to find out where the heck my new Check Card is and they told me that I hadn't order a new one. Which is bullshit, I ordered it during the same phone call they deleted my old card. I asked if they show my old one cancelled they said yes and that I need to stop by a branch office to order a new card.
They didn't see my humor when I explained that I had visited a branch office earlier today and they told me that I had to either go to the branch I where I opened my account (like I remember where that was) or call the 800 number.
So the branch I visited told me they can't order a new card for me and the people on the 800 line tell me they cant do it either, that I have to go to a branch office.
Catch 22
I must have talked to 10 people before I finally got someone who finally helped me. Each person would pass me along so someone else could give a try at victimizing me.
What a load of crap.
For the last few years Suntrust has been a huge pain in my ass. You have a difficult time talking to someone unless there is 3" of bullet proof Plexiglas between us or if you can hold on the phone for 30 minutes. I guess it's time to find a new bank.
Piss up a rope and stand under it you freaking Sons-a-Bitches...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Where the hell am I...

I can't believe it's been well over a month since I made an entry on this blog. Time just seems to blow by at MachIII and I keep wondering where it's gone.
I seem to have time to explore some other blogs and search for inspiration but once I find something I can't seem to put it down in words. I guess I just need to open the file and see where I go.
Today, I had to see the vet about Charlie's ear. It seems to be constantly producing some kind of "funk" that looks a lot like tar. When you have a dog with floppy ears like a Golden Retriever or similar breed you always have to be concerned with their ear health. If you don't watch them they can become infected and it can totally screw up their hearing, not to mention be extremely uncomfortable. My other dog, Sunny, also had this ear problem but with some patience and routine cleaning it was always under control
Not so with Charlie. It just won't clear up. So Dr. Osborn gave me some ooey gooey junk that closely resembles yogurt to squirt in there every day. With any luck it will clear up and once again be manageable. If not, it will mean surgery.
And that would bite...