Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yes, once upon a time your Mother read entire books

I had a wonderful chat with a close friend of mine this evening. She has two kiddlets, and anyways I was telling her about this Gladiator book I'm reading... Her wistful response made me giggle... and I just knew that it was my duty to share this with all the other Mom's in my life.
"One day I'll read again...
Books with chapters."


Ze French-fingure-stache
In support of Men's health a bunch of the guys at the office have been painstakingly growing and grooming mustaches for the entire month... with varying levels of success.

Today we celebrated their efforts, the Mo-Bros supported by the Mo-Sista's, were rewarded with a public shaving... (those who haven't become attached to their manly handlebars that is). Four shaves, and no nicks, cuts or pressure leaks later and I'm practically a professional... besides ~ *holds hands up* it's okay I know first aid ~.

Together we've raised just over $1600 which is going to be matched! w00t w00t!! If you can help us raise a little bit more, by donating to me or our team, that would be spectacular of you. Thanks :)

Way to go everyone!!!

From the Captain...

Sitting in Seattle waiting for the last flight.

The dateline works this way.  My two flights in north am are listed on the itinerary BEFORE the flight from Auckland.   Leave LA at 10 am 29 Nov, Leave Seattle for Edmonton around 2 pm, Leave Auckland at 3 pm. 29 Nov.  Go figure.

By the time I'm in Edmonton, with airport time and normal wake up, I'll have been travelling around 32 hours.

Did not sleep on the Pacific flight so in "reel gud shape"

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The only reason I need to not wear camo, I'd never find my pants

I just lost my 16GB usb key in my blue winter jacket in the back seat of my car for two days. You know the car I drive everywhere... the worst of it is, it wasn't even tucked in behind on the passenger side... or underneath something, no, it was on the drivers side just hanging out, waiting for me... right where I left it.

I soooooo wouldn't make it as a secret agent...

Do you think it's a bit of an indication that I have been working too many hours, and not taking enough dead days? Meeeee too, but somehow I don't think my boss will go for it.

Left to my own devices


Sunday, November 27, 2011


I think a cement truck snuck into my room last night and filled up my sinuses.

Sent... While in transit ;)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I see your high beams and I'll raise you my PIAA's

My new headlights are so bright, I can see into the future!!!

Sent... While in transit ;)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


From the last of my Halloween candy, I totally saved the best for last!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Nothing starts the day off quite like...

Not one, but TWO wet socks!

I was wandering around my kitchen getting ready for work, when I stepped in a puddle. I *hate* stepping in water with socks on... but I knew it was just my fridge with dementia, which is great cause usually it forgets it has an incontinence problem.

Anyways being in my usual state of almost late I went and changed my wet sock. Yes they still matched ;)

...and then I promptly stepped in the fridge dribble with the other sock, like ten seconds later...

That'll teach me for not cleaning it up the first time *sigh*

Sent... While in transit ;)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday, a day of rest... except for the wicked

You might be Canadian... if as a spectator you've had to shovel the field off *before* watching the kids play football in the snow!!!

See those pretty coloured lines, or even just the green bits... Well we had to shovel 'em off just so they could keep track of the game!

I'm totally not even kidding you, it's one of those expensive futuristic astro-turf fields... so apparently you can't just plow it or snow-blow it because it's made up of rubberized fish turds... and despite all the money they spent on it they forgot to take into account the fact that it snows up here... and the kids still play football.

The Saskquatch and I were directed to shovel the hash-marks clear, so we did.  Up one side of the field... and down the other. All 220 yards of it. Mostly 4 feet wide... until it narrowed down to about a foot and a half for the last 25 yards. Okay, so we were a little played out by then.

It wasn't even 11am and I had already worked off my Timmy's breakfast sandwich! *shakes head* the things I'm voluntold for...

I'll make you a deal... you run on the snow and *I'll* run on the grass...
Who thought this was a good idea?!?!

After a fantastically hard fought game, in which they cut the score in half from the last time they faced off against the Mission Lions, the Yellow-jackets ended the season second in their division. Great job guys!

Rome wasn't built in a day...

Two days later I'd like to present my culinary masterpiece work in progress... rice pudding!

Two days?!?

Yes, two days... Have I mentioned that cooking and baking are not one of the skills I've mastered yet? Yet being the operative word. Well y'see here's the thing. I had some leftover rice, actually I needed the small pot and *it* had leftover rice in it... and I figured since I was being Debbie Domestic that while I was making myself dinner I'd just whip up a little rice pudding for dessert! (I like to think I can be amazing like that sometimes)

Well I can follow directions, and they said mix everything together in a bowl, pour into a casserole type thingee, put it in a roasting pan and fill it with an inch of boiling water... two boiled kettles later and it was finally ready to go into the oven.  It was then supposed to cook for half an hour, have a quick stir, then cook for 20 mins and be done.

Sounds simple enough right?

That's what I thought... half an hour later I figured it should have *some* substance, but no it was just as runny as when I put it in...  *shrugs* I set the timer for twenty more minutes... and then I set the timer for twenty more minutes... and then I set the timer for twenty more minutes...

...and then I turned the oven off, and went to bed. Who has time for this kind of thing? I mean really!?!? (No we don't really wonder why I'm not married)

This morning I left to watch footy footy football, which is another 'omg you are never going to believe what I did today' kind of moment... but when I got home I remembered I still had half finished rice pudding in the oven.

That's right I picked it up where I left off... turned the oven on, waited until it got back up to temperature and set the timer for, wait for it... yep another twenty minutes.

Now despite the fact that it looks, um... well kinda gross, it isn't actually burnt - that's cinnamon, and it was delicious I'll have you know! It had a beautiful creamy texture... and it was so good in fact that I had seconds, even though I was still full from lunch.

Not bad, not bad at all.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Doing whatever I want

I woke up with a scratchy throat this morning
It's not fair.
This is my weekend
Somebody owes me big for this!


This is my life
My parents said when I grew up I could do whatever I want...

And so, here I am at work on my weekend.

Not because I have to be
But because I want to be
Because I'm excited!

I'm proud of what I've done...
and I want to show off a little...
I need to be able to show off a little

I want everyone to be as excited about it as I am
Even if it's just because I'm excited

Even if you don't understand exactly what it is that I do

*mutters* Besides, that whole do whatever you want thing? it didn't come with the clarification that you'd have other things, more important things to worry about... things that had nothing to do with what you wanted or didn't want *mutters*

Friday, November 18, 2011

From the Captain...

There is a substancial cruisers community here which makes for a generally nice and "interesting" social atmosphere, so there's lots of people to talk to etc. and learn from. This week has is the "All points Ralley" which is a semi organized series of seminars and social events for the cruisers that have arrived here and who are settling in for the season.  There are several hundred boats in the immediate vicinity.  Today I went on a bus trip with several 'tourist' stops (wood worker craft shop, chocolate factory, shopping mall, heritage house / store etc.) so I got away from the boat and saw some country side for a change.  
The seminars have included ocean weather and trip planning in the S Pac, mechanics, corrosion,  batteries and electrical issues, NZ culture, splicing, fishing and crusing in NZ  Another weather guru is around tomorrow and something else.  There's also been some BBQ's, local talent and comedy evenings etc.  It's all geared to getting to know people.  
Interesting how many people / boats that are familiar that I've met on the travels and how many know / have seen me.  Solo sailor's  seem to have a special category in the crusier community.  Meanwhile I pick away at the jobs.  What the next move is I don't know. 

On the bright side, I'm generally enjoying my time here.  The weather has been cool but by my standards pretty pleasent.  The people around are great and I really like the NZ attitudes, and most of the boaties are good folk.  Some better than others but almost to a person good people.  

I could send you a list of jobs crossed off but you don't need that. I'm looking forward to getting home.   Having been part of this community for a bit, and listened to people and their travels, my enthusiasm is getting better.  One thing might be to spend the year in NZ waters and not head back to the Pac. Islands until 2013.  I'm currently working on the assumption of heading home next season, leaving here in April or May and going up the Line Islands from Tahiti to Hawaii and then to BC

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I feel fantastic!

Despite waking up to the power being out... crawling back into bed, staying late at work all week, smelting my brains into minor moments of brilliance, a super shcweaty taekwondo work out and getting to bed way past my bedtime.

I really do feel fantastic!

Must be the fresh snow, it's kind of like Bill Watterson said: It's like brand new piece of paper to draw on.

Sent... While in transit ;)

From the Captain...

I thought you'd appreciate the effort to reduce the smell from the head.  Well - I tried.  I pulled apart the holding tank (YUK) and reset the gaskets and added Sikaflex.  That didn't really solve it so I've checked all the joints and nary a leak.  I did discover that you do not put a valve on two sides of the hand discharge pump - anything organic in solution grows and gases - and the pump diaphram bulges and it's a bit permeable - but a wipe with bleach once and awhile (and leaving the isolation valve open) deals with that.  

I went to the store and got a bottle of red food coloring and dump the works in the toilet.  I then pumped the holding tank full so I could see the red water in the vent pipe - the whole system presurized to about 1.5 psi at the top.  Left it.  Two things - the level didn't h old and there were no leaks in the pipe work.  It's back flowing into the bowl   This means that the flapper valve in the head pump doesn't seal all that well.  I could replace / rebuild it but they're not that great a check valve anyway - I'm thinking I just might cut in another ball valve into the pipe work and use that   It's 'positive' and doesn't depend on gravity or a flap of rubber etc.  It will add a complication to using the head but so be it.

In coral, you anchor with chain, minimum 2.5:1 scope.  (5:1 with rode (rope) and a short piece of chain)  The anchor locker under the windlass will only take 80' chain, so at best, the depth is limited to a bit over 30'.  Problem is most of the anchorages are at least 40 and typically more like 80'.   You can use a combination of chain and rode but you have to be careful that the rode never gets near the bottom where it can snag on a coral head, chafe and then cut you loose - so floats are used, which are a pain, and the scope ratio goes up towards the 5:1 range depending on how much chain is down - there's no fixed rule.  So, I opened up the chain locker and found that the space for the spare chain is a piece of 6' plastic pipe, which expains why it only holds about 20', and the main locker is limited by the geometry.  
The solution is two fold.  First to remove the pipe and now the current locker becomes the "spare" and can handle 100+' no problem - but is not easily served by the windlass that is placed to feed the chain down the hawse underneath it, that goes to a pipe on a slope that delivers the chain forward.  That pipe and the slope are a problem.  Second, a new chain locker is build as a closed box that extends into the forepeak a bit.  Now the chain will drop straight down into that.  the box will be attached to the deck above and the bulkhead forward, leaving "foot room" under it for anyone sleeping in the forepeak.  It means losing 60% of the shelf space across the bow.  Anyway, I spent a good chunk of the morning sketching and finally drawing it up - I'm going to get a price from a local boat carpenter to do it - I just don't have the tools here to work with.  Anyway, that problem should be solved.

Otherwise, picking off things from the list - just not a very productive day today.

A minor crisis and my own fault.  Yesterday there were a couple of the local native (Maori) chaps on the dock and the one asked to borrow a screw driver.  I didn't think and lent it to him, and he proceeded to harvest oysters from the dock floats - until he dropped the driver.  To him it was nothing - just walked away - to me it was a pain because it was my good one, the only large one I have (you dropped the other one at the NYC mast tower) and there's no place handy to replace it.  
Sigh.  My own fault.  

Take Care

Thursday, November 10, 2011

When you thought you had everything...

Happy belated birthday.
Did you do something fun?
I delivered some babies on your birthday.
But no one named their babies Sam.

I will try again next year.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Don't let those snap dragons fool you...

Putting the punk in Steampunk (parts1-57)

You would think that after trying to explain steampunk for the entire month of October... and then some, I would have come up with something clever by now, but I haven't really. My best description is: Victorian-era style as though steam emerged *the* main source of power from the Industrial Revolution... with a DaVinci-style gadgety twist.

As usual though, wikipedia says it much better... although I have always wondered why it isn't wikipaedia, with that funny 'ae' like encyclopaedia... No, for serious.

So without further ado... here are some shots from the no-less-than four times that we dressed up for Halloween this year. Some of the odds and ends are way cooler up close and personal, and a little hard to pick out in the pictures... so I'll fill you in as we go.

The Eyeglasses... they were sufficiently Victorian style until I pulled something out of an ancient crt tv that looked like the extra lenses from the glasses in the National Treasure movie.  I spent days trying to figure out how to attach it to them, because I really wanted it to be able to swing up out of the way... and then it hit me! The squeeze tube on my hand soap which closes and locks for your traveling convenience!!! The skies opened up and the angels sang.
My satchel with my spyglass... and Indian Jones whip
My glowing bits

The Jacket. Nobody knows how old it is, or whence it came but it received a little extra aging courtesy of a foot file. Edging was done along the main seams with some copper wire pulled out of some ferrite winding inside an old tv, or it might have been the dvd player... There are furniture tacks on the shoulder seam and rivets down the back, although they weren't quite picture worthy.

Treasure's wicked steampunk wings... that fit through doorways
Note to self: Photoshop in better head... when I learn photoshop
*whispers* I am a little embarrassed to admit that I totally forgot to dress up for work Monday morning... like didn't even cross my mind forgot. THE freaking day-of I was half way to work when I heard it on the radio pulled a questionably legal u-turn and was late for work.

Both gauntlets were built on a kids soccer shin guard base... sprayed to a nice coppery colour. My nephew had a cardiac because he thought they were his, but they weren't... this time ;) The right gauntlet suffered most of the casualties every time we went out, but it was just odds and ends... including the dial from inside a thermostat. The left gauntlet has the entire inner mechanism of an optical drive riveted to it, motor and gears intact... so you can slide it back and forth!!!
Blastering a hole in the floor!
The Ray Gun" This was actually a functional super-soaker until we modded it,  my nephew hasn't forgiven us for it yet... but it was totally worth it. The glowing ball was actually a toy we found on one of our scavenging trips, it was a clear ball with a spinning disc inside with led's around the edge of the disc... some weird kid picture in the middle and batteries in the handle with a push button.  As soon as I saw it I knew that as cool as it was, it would be EVEN COOLER on my gun!

A few evenings of taking it apart, soldering various pieces back together... testing, soldering... changing batteries and testing!?! *phew* Then cutting the bare minimum plastic bits down to size, hacking out the inside of the screw on water filler cap and it fit like a glove... with some hot glue. But this setup meant that we could unscrew it at any time and change the batteries... brilliant! The batteries ended up working perfectly in their original holder (cut down to the bare minimum also) and had tonnes of room to rattle around inside the super soaker. During the soldering ordeal we drilled a hole through the handle so the start button could be mounted on the trigger position of the handle. Oh and we coated the inside of the ball with glow in the dark powder, because glowing things are awesome!

The holster for "The Ray Gun"... was a pair/set? of strategically wrapped suspenders.

Monday, November 07, 2011

It's all about context

Dear G-John,

Today your Aunt called me at work to relate the sordid tale of what happened the other day when you were at school. I guess you were telling your friends about the ant that crawled up your leg and bit your penis.  As if that wasn't bad enough, unfortunately the story doesn't end there...

The school called your house, your Mom was working till 4... So you got a thousand and one questions from your non-biological-Dad who they were unwilling to discuss the days events with. When they finally connected and related what the hall monitor overheard to your Mom, she was luckily able to provide that vital piece of clarification, namely that it was "an ant" that bit your penis and most certainly *not* "your Auntie" ...I'm not going to lie, we laughed until we cried.

I know you are completely mortified by it right now and can't look either of your Aunties in the eye... but don't worry, we will be sure to remind you about it years from now. Possibly when you get married. Hopefully you will be able to find it as funny then as we do now.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

After all the bluster of the day

Give me spherical droplets of water, so perfect they are lit from within...

*shhhh* Don't even breath on them. Although I have to confess that the shadowing was completely unintentional, even though I think it looks really cool! Soooo I definitely need to learn how to do this on purpose.

More beautiful than diamonds, their time here is fleeting... and depending on the weather, leaves and lighting may be some time before they are seen around these parts again.

See things the way no one else sees them

Nothing to see here folks, move along, move along... I'm just that crazy lady standing out in the middle of the street in the pouring rain taking pictures of the tree you drive by every day.

It may be "just a tree", but then again it may not be. To me it *looks* like an ordinary one, just like every other one... except that it stands on the corner where the hero started her journey on a dark and stormy night... many moons ago on a night much like this... A night when rescuing princes and slaying evil witches were furthest from her mind.


And you thought windows had obscure error codes!

I got this on a blank page... instead of the entire site which I've been slaving over for the last few months.  My heart skipped a few times, I reloaded the files from backup... no change... I racked my brains for anything I might have changed yesterday that could have created an infinite loop?!?!

Just before my head exploded I remembered that I had changed the mysql root password for localhost...  Reset it in configuration.php in the root of my joomla directory and PRESTO!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

From the Captain...

Made it, will provide a longer reply shortly.  Basically the last 4 or 5 days are a blur and eventually got towed in by another (Canadian, from Vancouver, an engineer with family) boat with a mildly exciting docking.

The quarantine dock is a long structure aligned with the current, wind is from the stern, tide is running with the wind about 3.5 k - the tow was dropped and I coasted to the dock leapt off with a long stern line in hand and passed it into an eye and tried to stop the boat. slowed it, grabbed the line on the other side of the eye and carried down the dock and snubbed against a big pile.


Slithered around the outside of the pile with the rope as the boat starts going again and got a knot into the next eye bolt for  a full stop and secured.  About a minute later the Customs guy shows up aplogizing he wasn't there to help as expected!  No harm done.

Basically crashed and burned after I'd dealt with Customs - don't remember lying down.  I'd been up for way too many hours ghosting across the shipping lanes on the outside.  90 mi to 4.5 days in light airs after having been clobbered in a 'squash zone" between pressure systems.

Big seas, lots of wind.  The boat worked well.

Mechanics have looked at the installation and diagnosed the probable cause - now to fix.

More notes to come.

Take care

At 25/10/2011 7:26 PM (utc) our position was 35°18.88'S 174°07.36'E

To the little puke...

Who stole my nephew's candy and made him emotional, you're lucky you aren't counting stars. We went trick or treating despite you, and I'm fairly confident we've got more booty than you do, especially since this is just his haul!

Ze dragon...

Eees steel stuck at night!

Miss Appropriation (of company resources?)

This just in, scientistical confirmation of how hot I am... literally *nerd face* Oooooh yeah! That is, only if you can ignore the fact that I look like a giant wiener.

There's a dragon in the yard

Hey Mom, here's the dragon in the front yard!

I think that he's dead... he was trapped by a spider, caught in her web.

She must be a specimen of an epic proportion, to finish a meal so huge and ginormption.

This guy has had an awfully rough day, it ended abruptly what can we say... He doesn't look like he's feeling too stellar, he's awfully skinny for such a little feller.

A wickedly convoluted web that she weaves, if you're not careful you'll end up dead like the leaves!

I'm all out of rhymes and I'm ready for bed, safe trick or treating... beware of the dead!