Tuesday, October 16, 2007

So we did get an afternoon boat trip out of last weekend. Mark that off of Things To Do before the end of the year is up. I'd be out in it again right now if I had the time. Hopefully next year all my free days will be out playing in it instead of working in it. Or working at all, for that matter.

It was fun. We only went out for a few hours and just trolled around the harbor, but it seemed to work okay. There's still a few funny noises. Perhaps they'll just go away on their own. I got it up to a good speed a couple times without the BLAM! broken pushrod I'm used to. I think it still needs to break in the new parts, so I'm going to try and fire it up at least once a week to remind it that it's alive. We should all be fired up for at least once a week, now that I think of it.

When we first launched and had it running for a few minutes, we untied the lines and pushed away from the dock and guess what: STEERING WAS OUT. So there we are drifting off, me trying to maintain composure so as not to panic the passengers and surrounding boats. Turns out the steering wheel hadn't been rotated in a year, so it was stiff as a log. I eased a few rotations out of it to help lube the cables, and soon enough, everything seemed to work okay. (That was a close one.) And then there was the minor problem of not being able to get into gear. Seems when I put it all back together I didn't get the shifting linkage adjusted properly. That's an easy fix, though one I can only do out on the water, so there's the next trip out right there.

And then there was Uncle D in his full leg cast, determined to not get it wet by wearing a trash bag around Oceanside. As if the old bucket of bolts didn't get enough raised eyebrows already. He was sitting on the long seat when it collapsed beneath him while we were motoring around. Seems I'll have to fix that, too. And the trailer lights. And some of the gauges. And so forth.

But it was fun -it was a nice day and the Little Ditchman got used to her life vest after a few minutes and seemed to enjoy it. Mrs. Ditchman was immensely tolerant of the whole event until an opened container of yogurt spilled over everything. One of the things about kids that I just can't seem to get used to is all the unfinished food. It's everywhere. Half-eaten bananas on the counter, old pancakes wrapped in foil, half a cup of yogurt here and pieces of hot dog rolling over there. And then there's the perpetual sippy-cup of half-drunk milk: is this bad? how long has this been out? MAN it bugs me. Just toss it all and take the loss, I say.

It happens into adulthood, you know. You'll have six people over and you'll all be standing there holding a beer and there will be one half-finished bottle of beer sitting right there in the middle. WHO'S?! Shrugs all around. I hate waste, but wasted beer I abhor. An offense punishable by No More Beer. I'll need a sign at the next get-together: ATTENTION PARTY-GOERS: MIND YOUR BEER. I don't expect it to work at all. Friends like mine see a sign like that and they immediately empty half of a fresh beer into a houseplant and then leave it on the counter. Sheez, you guys...

Lileks has been posting about his new carafe-less coffee maker and how it continues to not work. I have taken great interests in these posts, as I have had my eye on the carafe-less coffee maker ever since I first saw it earlier this year. We have no need for a new coffee maker at our house, of course, and my wife frowns upon the idea of throwing money at a new one, since we threw money at a new one last year when the old one worked just fine. Last year's excuse was that the new one was stainless steel and that it matched the other appliances for that "design magazine" look we're going for in our house. I kicked in that we needed two pots anyway for when all the guests sleep over once a year, which seemed to win her over. Now the excuse is that it's One Less Thing to wash, which I was certain would work on her, but hard financial times have cemented her position. Now Lileks reports that the carafe-less coffee maker is unreliable, which works against my position. The Extended Service Contract is certainly in order for this purchase, but then it'll cost more. We'll see. It seems Lileks has broken coffee makers all the time, now that I think about it. He must drink a lot more joe than I do. They last forever for me, (unfortunately.)

Back to the grind (so to speak.) HUGE job in Chula Vista, which is a HUGE drive. All additional profits are spent on gas on this one. Coming home yesterday, I just pulled over and walked around CostCo for twenty minutes because I got sick of driving. They were out of stock on the carafe-less coffee maker.