06/26/2012, Shelburne NS
We have been busy. Saturday saw another auction from which we were able to add to our restoration furniture with a Victorian hall table, a washroom stand, a Victorola music cupboard and an old oak table that I am using for a printer table. On the tool front I was able to get a table sander and shaper, two extension ladders, and a leaf blower. Oh, and another Persian-like rug that is now underfoot in our TV room. All this for very reasonable prices. That's something that is quite remarkable about auctions I am finding - you can get some really great buys and then sit there and watch people spend extraordinary sums on what I think is crap. They might be saying the same thing about us I suppose.
The time is fast approaching that I have to get to work on the upstairs bathroom. I have been avoiding it as I will have to shut off the water for the time of the construction and with Barb's knee I didn't like the idea of her trying to get down the stairs at night to use the facilities. When she gives me the high sign I will get going.
Nelleke is ready for this weekend and our trip to Lockport for the Canada Day weekend. Still only Barb and I as crew so it will be a sedate trip but it promises to be fun. The weather seems to be cooperating so at least it will be clear and if the weather witches are right we will have SW winds which will mean a close reach out of the harbour, a gybe at the mouth and then a broad reach to a run all the way down the coast - all good points of sail for Nelleke. Who knows, we may even get to try out our cruising spinnaker. With only Barb and myself aboard I don't think that I would brave the radial. We are not expecting to be in the hardware at the end of things but it will be nice to participate in the fun.
I am beginning to discover the down side of being a civilian public servant. Everyone it seems feels that they are your boss, and I suppose in some ways they are right, but they can't seem to grasp that there are numerous other "bosses" who also have their pet projects clamouring to be at the top of our to-do list. There is one lady who has an agenda to get a couple of trees cut down that are on town property but overhanging her yard. She is a former politico from somewhere else in Canada who has tried everything to get us to knock the trees down including claiming that they are dying. There is something wrong with them but the local specialists tell me that it is an insect infestation not a disease and that they should be sprayed instead. This person at least is charming and pleasant to speak to even though she isn't necessarily getting what she wants. There is another individual who is proving to be very difficult to deal with and that's a fellow who used to be the senior unelected official in the town, now retired, who is having problems dealing with the fact that things aren't being done as he did them. He keeps ranting about how things should be done which happens to be how they were done back in his day, etc. etc. Oh well. I guess that's one of the little crosses that I have to bear. Of course in a short while we will have rebuilt the cruising kitty enough that, if necessary, I won't have to put up with it if it becomes too much. I have been told that in the past the work atmosphere here was absolutely poisonous which has all changed now that the senior people running the place (not me so much as the new guy that they have hired as CAO). I really would like to get some of the HR things established before I leave, things that will entrench stuff like performance reviews, training plans and career path development; all things that you would expect to be in place in a 21st centrury workplace but which have been studiously avoided by past administrations in order to keep employees "under control". One positive thing is that the current elected officials do have an appetite for this sort of change, but on the other hand there is an election coming up.
|Hiatus on the Hard 2011-?||
06/20/2012, Shelburne NS
Work at the job in town is becoming increasingly busy and this week we are entertaining the Provincial Government Caucus, including the Premier, Ministers and all the other MLAs. I happen to have known the Premier and some of the other MLAs and staff from a previous life about 25 years ago so it will be interesting to see if any of them remember me.
Late last week there was an announcement that the big paper mill in Liverpool, a neighbouring town about 50 kilometers down the road is closing for good after nearly 100 years of operation. I imagine that all the guys that are out and on their pensions are thanking their lucky stars that they were able to finish their careers while the mill was still in business while the younger ones are wondering what hit them. I guess the writing has been on the wall for the newsprint industry as more and more of our communication is changing over to electronic means. I guess to I am wondering why they can't convert the mill to coated paper for books and magazines or to making toilet paper or paper towels or paper plates or whatever. That's what one of the other major firms in Atlantic Canada has done. Irving Paper has a plant that buys up all of the excess pulp from their pulp mills and uses it to make other paper product such as the ones that I have just named. The plants are still in business and the family is making the moola. Why can't the local plant to something similar?
In Shelburne we are hoping that the government will be making some good news announcements while they are down here such as some business coming to town or funding for the Marine Terminal or some such. We have our fingers crossed. I intend to attend the meet-and-greet tonight at the Osprey Arts Centre hopefully to hear such news or at least to talk to them and ask a question or two.
I have found someone to do some of the stainless here in town so I will be getting them to work on the bow roller extension so I can put the Bruce anchor out there. That'll be another of the boat tasks done and complete. He is also going to supply me with some channel rod to support the cabin ceiling under the mizzen mast pulpit so it looks like I will be able to get that done over the next week.
Unfortunately the weather forecast for this weekend is not a good one so we are not going to be able to get away for an overnighter to McNutts as I had hoped, but we are most definitely planning for the Shelburne to Lockport Canada Day Race. We are still looking for crew so if anyone is interested....
|Hiatus on the Hard 2011-?||
06/18/2012, Shelburne NS
The real stuff for Nelleke, I mean. The first thing that I will be working on is the initial phase of the mast step for the mizzen. I plan to jack up the mast in place by slackening off the shrouds and supporting the mast with some 2x6 boards under two conveniently placed winches on the mizzen with a scissor jack for about ½" or until the cabin ceiling reassumes the correct shape. Not that it was on the verge of caving in but I wanted to make shire that it never could. Then I will 520 and screw into place three small beams across the cabin ceiling from one side to the other to add additional support and to spread the load over a larger area. I figure that this should take a couple of evenings to accomplish. Then I will remove the jack and retune the rigging and we should be good to go. I am particularly interested in getting this done prior to the Canada Day Weekend which is from Jun 29th to 2nd July. The yacht club runs a race from Shelburne to Lockport the community just down the road towards Halifax with the yachts arriving in time to take part in their Canada Day festivities before coming back home in a more sedate fashion. I am looking for a couple of folks to be crew if anyone is interested. The party in Lockport will consist of a small town fair, street parades and dances as well as whatever taking place aboard the various yachts. Should be a good time.
I am also going to be manufacturing an adjustable platform for the secondary alternator that I am experimenting with running off the spinning propeller shaft on the boat and while I am doing that I am hoping that Barb will feel comfortable with her new knee to get going on the bright work topsides. I am still looking for someone with some welding experience to build an extension on my bow roller that will allow me to have the secondary anchor off the bow instead of being stowed on deck as it is now. That will make it a lot easier to use and hence more likely as we are all basically lazy. For those of you who may be unaware Nelleke carries three anchors: a CQR as primary and a Bruce secondary forward and a Danforth on the stern rails in case we need to anchor from the bow and stern someday.
I have a list as long as my arm of additional stuff that I want to do ranging from hooking up all the equipment so that they can talk NMEA protocol to each other to making an office out of the middle cabin. I guess the two things that I definitely want to get done this summer is a new support for the instrument pod on the mizzen and dingy lift points on our tender. Our friend Mike from WIndshadow gave us some special non rotting extremely hard take no prisoners wood that I will be making it out of so I had better get on with it.
|Hiatus on the Hard 2011-?||