Sal’s little skateboard of a boat has been ‘dead-in-the-water’ for a year – ever since she had her knee surgery. At first it just wouldn’t run right so I took the motor up to the shop and, when I was done, it would not run at all. I put it back on the boat. So, then Sal got on it. She must have stripped the carb down (in situ which is impossible for me) at least four times and each time found something wrong – even got it firing up again – but it was still just back to ‘not running right’.
Enter the dragon in the form of J the outboard mechanic. J whipped everything off as well as the carb and went at it. Got some new parts. Found more ills. Spent four hours at least. Maybe six. “Can’t seem to get it right. It almost feels as if you are towing a ton of bottom growth.”
“Nah, said Sal, I cleaned most of it off. I can reach under. Should be good enough.”
“Well, I’ll continue to think about it but I don’t know what more I can do. Maybe time for another motor?“
Sal is very good with her boat. She knows it well. But she kinda forgot how long it had stayed in the water and, despite her protestations, she cannot reach far enough under the boat. Last week we hauled it up the little marine ways we built. Under her boat was the equivalent of the Sargasso Sea. We scraped off pounds of mussels and barnacles. Her boat looked like a White Portuguese Man-o-War (a huge jellyfish).
We cleaned and painted the bottom over the next few days. Sal was under the boat the whole time. I attended to the top and sides. She was covered in crap, marine creature bits and slime. Then marine bottom paint. Sal was not a happy camper.
We launched it the other night, when the tide was up high enough to get it off the ways, and she gave it a test spin. It went like a scalded cat! Woohoo!!! Sal had a grin as wide as her boat. It was a beautiful sight.
Our ‘funicular’ was acting up. The ‘track’ was catching up the cart. It was all covered in barnacles and crap. It was time to clean and check the tracks (first real effort in 15 years). So, we did. Lo and behold! A bolt had rusted and one track was almost fully disengaged. So, we went at it using my portable grinder (what a great tool) and some pry bars, sledge hammer and such. A few hours later and the track was fixed. Much more to do, tho. Got a few seized wheels on the cart, too. We’ll get at that stuff later.
Some buttons wouldn’t work on the upper and lower control panel, others ‘buttoned’ the wrong thing. So, we opened up the black box and started to diagnose which wires did what and which ones led to which buttons and so on. And, consistent with our skills, we got nowhere, despite more than a few hours over several days cleaning connections, replacing switches and some buttons and checking all the wires. Enter dragon #2 in the form of my techie/nerd/engineer/Gyro Gearloose friend, B. B originally programmed the Siemens motor controller (which can only be done in German which he does not speak). The three of us were on several hour-long conference calls. He would instruct me, I would relay to Sal and then back to B. After awhile, thanks to B, we got it working. It would still not ‘button’ right but, with some toggling, I could get it to work well enough. We were happy.
Then, about a week later, I was working the cart up and down the hill and, when unconsciously using the buttons, I discovered that it was all working as it should. The buttoning was all right! Funicular miracle!
A lesson was emerging……...”Try not to touch anything, sweetie…”
Which segues poorly into the government NOT touching………..
Once again the media and the government are either lying to us or they are simply totally out of touch with reality. Inflation is already back. It is back with a bullet. It is not just a possibility (which is the tiny bit of information they are sharing infrequently and on the back pages). It is raging.
Admittedly, it is raging in my world and maybe not so much in someone else’s but my expenses have risen in excess of 20%. Food, fuel and gasoline up at least 15%. Building supplies up as much as 100%. Used boats up 100%. Used cars up 35%. And everything we look at is up. A contractor friend in Vancouver reported that, “Everyone knows lumber has gone up as much as 300% but what they don’t know is that all building supplies have risen with it. We are paying vast amounts more for everything from nails and screws to wire and outlets, from plumbing pipe and faucets to subtrade-supplied cabinets and counters. Building costs also increase as the labour and contractors start to increase their labour cost, too. Lumber may go down but everything will stay more expensive. It’s insane!”
Property OTG was never really cheap but it was a lot less expensive a year ago. That is now changing, too. Properties are snapped up now where before they might linger on the market for as long as two or even three years. There has been a huge up-tick in sales and prices. Of course, that means little to us (we aren’t selling) but the added ‘value’ increases taxes at the very least. So, we’ll pay more one way or the other.
I guess sustainable is no longer fashionable…….