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Sunday, January 25, 2015

HARD TO BE A DOG!

As I sit by the fire on this wet and cold winter day, surrounded by our two best friends, Bailey and Bella, I realized, it is hard to be a dog. 

Today offered some examples. 
1. Potty time.  Now today it is wet, cold and just plain yucky. But the girls must venture forth at 7 am for potty time.  Now, I know this does require some smell time but give me a break!  Would you want to walk outside barefooted at 7 am to potty? 

2. Breakfast time:  Now the girls do not have to cook, but cold, dry food in a bowl?  No warm oatmeal here.  No bacon and eggs(unless we feed them during brunch).

3. Medicine time:  Now I have to consume a number of pills daily due to my increasing age(medicare you know).  But Bailey and Bella have to endure some real embarrassment when visiting the Vet.  You know like the temperature taking experience. I used to see a Vet for my medical care but learned the thermometers taste funny!  Even a grooming requires some expression of glands, akin to the prostate exam men endure. How unlady like.  Consuming the pills does required some tasty cheese. 

4. Car Travel: Now we all use our seat belts, right?  Well our girls just have to hack it.  I mean I know they make some new fangled seat belts for dogs but sometimes they just risk it. Sitting up in front, no car seat here, Bailey likes the view.  Bella loves to hang out the window but little one could go flying.  Hitting the brakes typically sends occupants, Bailey and Bella into the dash or back seats, but they only lost two teeth last year.  Now they go "barfff barfff!  What a cute lisp.

5. Sleep:  Now all dogs are expert at napping. But what could we expect.  We require them to sleep on the floor, mats, beds, boat decks, couches, chairs etc.  No temperpedic for this rough crowd.  Then after a rough night on the floor, who could blame them for lounging most of the day on the couch.  Hell, most of us wish we could accomplish the same.  Well, I do have some noon day naps. 

6. Food:  Now that is a treat!  Not really.  Dogs just have to eat what they are provided or what they can kill.  Now, Bailey will eat an anvil if nothing else is available.  Bella on the other paw, is a bit picky.  But dry food in a bowl on the kitchen floor is not your haute cuisine.  Treats are special, but dispensed after a good potty break(rain, snow, wind and hail).  So, the next time you feed your best friend, think of their trials at the table. 

Well enough about a dog's life for the time being. I need to potty, eat a snack, take a nap and find my medication for this evening.  After all, I am the "Captain".


All aboard 0 Regrets with
Adm, Denise, Capt. Barry and deck hands Bailey and Bella 


 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

WINTER BOAT PROJECTS


While lounging around the lake home, watching the wind and sun play on the Cumberland River, one begins to fantasize about the coming cruising season.  My failure is cruising through web sites for boat refitting.  You know, those with unlimited funds to refit the true Yacht.  However, I have been known to steal a few ideas along the way. 

Small projects involve some teak repair and refinish.  Like scratch and patch areas damaged during cruising and locking up or down to areas along the river.  This type of repair has been well displayed on these pages and need no further explanation.  However, while experiencing a cold winter my feeble mind plays tricks.  I think I am capable of a larger project.  Ta Da!  The galley refit!

The picture above is our current galley counter top. Not in bad shape but original to the boat, 30 years ago.  We plan to replace with a solid surface, similar to stone.  We will keep the teak cabinets, of course. 

 
We will remove the microwave. The cooktop is above the microwave but will also be replaced. The old ice maker will hit the drink in order to create more food storage space.  We plan to replace the open cabinets with stained doors to complete the look.
 
 
The current debate is a 2 burner, electric cook top or induction hobs which can be stored when not in use. I think the maker of the new counter top will be the deciding opinion.  The microwave/convection unit will be moved to a wood box near the end of the cabinet.  This is shown above.  Yes I stole the idea. Shoot me.  Again, this opens more storage space for the galley.  We do like to eat. 
 
 The galley refit will include: DEMOLITION
1). Remove old counter top
2). Remove damage teak veneer under windows
3). Remove old microwave
4). Remove old ice maker
5). Remove 2 burner cook top

Refit:
1). Install new hard surface counter top
2). Add shelving under counter after microwave removal
3). Construct box for microwave/convention oven storage
4). Stain and Install new louvered doors on cabinet

OK, that is a summary of the galley refit, as planned. Of course plans may change.  The project is always subject to finances and the whims of Admiral Denise.  Stay tuned.

Happy Sailing,
Capt Barry, Adm. Denise and deckhands Bailey and Bella





Sunday, December 28, 2014

REFLECTIONS ON 2014


I have relented and decided to reflect on 2014.  Not an important or especially unique task but seems I have some "reflections".



I really do not remember the beginning of 2014, I think I was reasonably sober but maybe just bored.  My first thought about 2014 is really a after thought about 2013.


It seems I wished and planned to begin our Great Loop Cruising in October 2013.  Now, this was a wish more than a plan but I wanted it to become a reality.  Alas, this did not happen and I resolved myself to wait ANOTHER year for this journey to begin.  You see, I have somewhat of a fatalistic nature and just know that I have an opportunity to have my last adventure and I also see the opportunity for it to disappear.  Hopes have arisen and let us hope it is not just hope.


Now about 2014.  I realized I wanted to slow down my workload in order to spend more time afloat and enjoying 0 Regrets.  Well this did happen by default. It seems I do not like assignments from AMC'S(appraisal management companies) in that they try to run your life.  NOT!  My schedule is set by my Administrative Assistant, Bailey(4 legged dog) and myself.  Well, I fired at least two AMC's this 2014 and feel better about that.  So, my professional life seems good and in control.  If it becomes uncontrolled, that would be my fault.  

Cruising began with my good friend Joe Collins and his son Noah. Another young sailor joined use but I do not remember his name.  Must not have made a good impression.  This has become an annual spring break cruise and is looked forward to all year. 2014 found us anchoring and enjoying a good storm with a tornado passing nearby.  No harm to us or 0 Regrets, just a bit of fun. The cruise was a bit short due to schedules (their's not mine) but fun was the order of the day. The Captain had ordained that mood when the lines were loosed that first morning. We do plan another cruise in 2015 seeing new water for the crew. We shall see.

Denise and I planned several cruises during the 2014 sailing season. We enjoyed many evenings anchored along the shores of Kentucky Lake and Tennessee River. We first cruised up the Cumberland River with Clarksville, TN as our destination. This was a bit of a test in that I wanted to cruise to the headwaters of the Cumberland in 2014.  But, after this test we found the Cumberland River a bit boring with little to see or enjoy in the few harbors.  We did enjoy the cruise to Clarksville and the new marina but just could not get excited about cruising further.  We may change our minds in the future as our waters become a bit more familiar and repetitive.

2014 found us enjoying our "new" lake home for the first full year. The transformation of condo 4B was complete and now we could enjoy the fruits of our labors and $$$.  With this wonderful view of the Cumberland River (Lake Barkley) you just never know what will cruise by.
Truck,barge,boat
Belle Riverboat

River Cruise Ship
The above are floating "things" as seen along the river. The Belle and River Cruiser passed our lovely lake condo. Cruising the Tennessee River brings more adventure and "sights".
Lovely Wooden Yacht
65 Ft. Yacht Grand Harbor
Nina and Pinta sailing KY Lake

Nina & Pinta Captains





















 
The above are just a few of the sailing vessels we encountered along our way this season. The boats are as endless as are the characters we met along the way.  The exciting part of cruising are the characters we meet along the rivers. They vary from the minimalist persons to the yacht captains.
Daughter Rebecca Cruising
Clifton Marina Crew
Man on right paddling kayak to Knoxville, TN
Gene in rear is marina owner


Tommy is a local cruising buddy and Bella is the trusty companion. Doc is a great cruising friend except he flirts with Denise.  Well he is an old guy. 



 
Doc & Denise Dancing

Tommy & Bella





Lloyd and Bella

Lloyd is a good cruising companion even if he is a lawyer. Bella only bit him twice.  She chases ambulances for him.

Well we have more characters met along the way but they will be included in an additional post. Needless to say, we had a good cruising year with much help from our deckhands(Bailey and Bella) and sailors along the way.

Happy Sailing to all in 2014.

Capt. Barry
Adm. Denise
Deckhands Bailey and Bella

 






Sunday, December 21, 2014

NOT A VICTIM

NOW THIS IS A VICTIM!

This old, white guy is not a victim.  It has occurred to me in recent years that some of our brethren feel all of us are victims of something or someone. Now if we are playing house and you want to tie me you up, then voluntary victimization can be a reality.  Just don't tie the knots real tight! 

But in everyday life I think we encounter very few "victims".  As defined by Webster;
  a person who has been attacked, injured, robbed, or killed by someone else
: a person who is cheated or fooled by someone else
: someone or something that is harmed by an unpleasant event (such as an illness or accident)
 
As an opinionated, non-victim, I disagree with some other definitions found in Webster, but that is my liberty.  Of course, many people fit the above definition and I would submit many of these "events" cannot be avoided. Now if you are a victim in that your spouse "cheated", I cannot agree.  Sure it may hurt but you can control many aspects of that condition.  Just get over it. 
 
I started this essay(I like that word) having found this "victim" stuff rolling around in the orb on my shoulders.  Not that may really care about my opinion.  Hey, maybe I am a victim.  Maybe being ignored or having your opinion ignored creates a victim.  WOW, we can all qualify.  There we are, back to the definition.
 
How about the "working poor"?  Some would call them victims, maybe of our society.  Hummm, that does not compute with my calculator.  Have we not always had "working poor".  I think we used to call them struggling.  Nothing wrong with a struggle, it can make you strong and pull you up.  Many parents have help more than one job while educating their children, putting food on a table and retaining the dignity of work and the struggle.  They do not and did not feel they were victims.  I would put forward we have the "poor" who receive their government determined benefits but remain a contributing citizen and work.  That does not, in my un-humble opinion, make them a victim.  I doubt they truly feel like a victim.
 
Now, warning here, there will be more to this topic.  It remains my belief that my readers can only take so much ranting.  I will always accept your opinions to my essays, just post them here for all to read.  I promise not to feel like a VICTIM!
 
As always, 
Barry 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

WINTER BOAT FUN

During the winter months, ugh, boat fun continues. No, you don't just winterize and sit in front of the fire.  I do that some but once a Captain always and Captain.  During the winter months it is time to work on teak, bright work and interior teak.
I do enjoy this type of work and I am learning the process.  One of my first tasks this winter is applying a clear coat to the stained teak.  The temp must be 50 deg. or higher and no pollen in the air. I have stained small areas which were chaffed during the cruising months and now the protective coat is applied.  
 This photo gives a good indication of the teak cap rail and handrail adjacent to the natural teak deck.  I have applied a 2nd coat since this photo. The teak decks get a cleaning in the spring but never, never put any stain or oil on these decks.  I do not have a full time crew to maintain teak decks.
This rather unique hatch has always caught my eye. We do not usually have it uncovered, but we have had some good compliments on the "shippy" look of this hatch.  Fortunately the hatch is in good condition with no rust on the metal parts.  The hatch is located over the cutty cabin in the bow of the boat.  Typically used for ventilation and an escape hatch in case of an emergency. 
This is a view of 0 Regrets 2 years ago when we painted the bottom and hull.   We still plan to paint the cabin and bridge, hopefully in the coming year.  Spring would work except for the flying pollen. Maybe early summer will be a good time for more painting.  The next project will be working in the galley to upgrade appliances and counter top.
 
More to come as the winter projects continue.  All improvements are geared to long range sailing.  Our happy ship will sail us to many locations on rivers, gulf, seas and permit us to explore living on the water.  Please come along for the sail.
 
Happy Sailing,
Barry, Denise, Bailey and Bella
aboard 0 Regrets

Sunday, December 7, 2014

I do not give a Damn!



In my previous post, I discussed my current attitude of "not giving a damn".  Well, that has not changed.  However, I had an "ununique" (not a new English word) thought.  What do I really care about.  No, that is not all the tragedies around the world, I am not trying to right all the wrongs.  But I do have a few items of caring. 

Now, I am called selfish, self centered, maybe egotistical and sometimes maniacal.  Sounds like a good horror movie, don't you think?  Well, I got over it!  

I do care about my life as I choose to live it.  I do not care if you dislike my opinions.  I care about finding that elusive place or character who makes me smile or shed that tear.  Yes I can cry.  I do not really like to be alone for extended periods, but I can tolerate it.  I do find I like myself. 

I no longer care about Christmas decorating.  Not that I ever did.  I do not need shining lights or manger scenes to brighten my day.  I do embrace my views of Lake Barkley, the shine on teak bright work on 0 Regrets and the laugh of my loving wife, Denise.  So, hang those icicles from you roof, inflate the Santa, reindeer(Rudolph) and manger scenes in your yard and enjoy.  I do not give a damn!

I care about my schedules, work and personal, for my time is important to me.  I do not care about your schedules.  My time is important and I will enjoy that time.  I do not share the importance of trivial events, i.e. birthdays, decorating, your grandchild's first birthday, new recipes, new cars, trains, planes and public transit.  I do like boats, RV's and the people who navigate the earth and waters.  These characters have character.  They tend to see the world through nature's eyes not cluttered with all the seemingly important crap. 

On the light side, I love our dogs!  They, unlike me, do not judge.  Much!  I would suggest you step out of that office, coal mine, train, truck, car that your are circling the earth aboard and set your own schedule.  There comes a time! Find that time and cut that "string" above your head.  .

But that is just my opinion.

Well enough said, Happy Sailing.
aboard 0 Regrets


  

Sunday, November 30, 2014

No Longer Do I Give a Damn

0 Regrets 

Unlike my typical blog post, this is not a travel post.  While the winter months are upon us I have had time to reflect on my attitude.  I find that it has changed in the past couple of years.  Imagine that, turning 65, freedom of travel and the realization life can be very short.  This is where I normally post a picture of nature or our travel location, but this is now where I rant!

I am not much into politics.  I do sometimes about CNN coverage and wonder who invented FOX News.  This is one of the moments when "I just don't give a damn"!  Now I have moments where I really care but sometimes it is just an act.  You know, when someone worries about the state of this or that.  Well, I just "don't give a damn". 

That attitude may seem like a cop out but it was a realization to me in the past couple of months that this brings a freedom.  If you do not give a damn, then you do not have to make any decisions or a stand on some issue.  Really, in most situations no one wants to hear my opinion.  I tend to be a bit cynical, imagine that!  Really? 

I find my wants are limited to a few conditions.  Like my travel plans, new home at Barkley Lake and cruising with my lovely wife. Most other things are just things.  I imagine I have maybe 20% of my life span left to enjoy. So, get with it.  This leads back to the "I don't give a damn" attitude.  Get another glass of wine you fool.

If you really think about things, all those "needs" seem small in comparison to traveling, seeing all the "sights" as my mother used to say. You know they do not put luggage racks on hearses.  When I can set my heading south to the unknown of saltwater sailing, that "don't giver a damn" attitude will be in full blossom.  I will "give a damn" when the boat runs aground, or the bottom needs painting or something breaks.  But that is my "damn" and not guided by anyone else.   Rant, Rant, Rant.  But, that is my decision not guided by the wants of society or some monetary pressure.

Do I see a "theme" developing here?

But that is just my opinion!

Happy Sailing