A Proper Prop

No wind or rain today! Here’s a chance for the Captain to put the troller on the grid and exchange the old prop for a new one while the tide is out.

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He’ll have to work fast before that water rises again and floats the boat. As soon as the tide has dropped enough to give him a working surface on the grid, he begins.

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The old prop needs to be pulled off, but that isn’t so easy. Nor should it be. It’s meant to be on there good and tight. Not something you want to have wobbling on the shaft or twirling right off the shaft and whooshing away into the deep. It’s hard work but the wheel puller (fishermen often call the prop a wheel) that he puts around the propeller puts physics to work and with a bit of elbow grease and a few grunts, the old prop pops loose.

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This boat is going nowhere until the new propeller is put on. You can see the gadget that helped pull off the old prop lying on the ground next to blue kneeling pad. The propane bottle on the left was used to heat and expand the hub of the propeller, making it easier to release it from its tight fit on the shaft. Like holding a stubborn jar lid under hot water to make it easier to open.

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The new propeller is placed on the shaft. It’s a bit like changing a tire only harder work. The blocks of wood under the bottom blade will stop the prop from wanting to turn as the wheel nut is tightened to hold it in place.

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Whew! That was hard work. The Captain drops the pipe wrench on the ground while he stretches his legs and gives his arms and shoulders a rest. But OH! Look at the back of his coveralls. Which washing machine will want that mess in its tub? Bottom-of-the-boat scunge and copper paint. So much fun for Ahab’s wife.

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The annual spring cleanup of the hull of the boat is yet to come. A proper shipyard will be needed for that job. For now, Ahab’s wife will try to enjoy how shiny the new propeller is and forget about how grungy her Captain looks after a hard day’s work.

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If you have made it to the end of this post, I would like to invite you to check out my other blog http://annelisplace.wordpress.com  and comment or follow it if it interests you at all. That blog is dedicated to writing-related posts, and introduces authors and their books. All of you are readers or you wouldn’t be reading this post, so why not see what else is out there in the reading world?

The Seamless Web

Anneli's Place

My guest today is Joe Eliseon. He is looking at you over his glasses because he wants to make direct eye contact with you, dear readers, as he is about to share his interesting history with you.

A Profile A51

The well-seasoned old codger looked at me sideways, stroking his clean-shaven chin.  “You know, if we hire you, you’ll be the only lawyer in the firm with a beard.”

“What is it?” I asked. “Some sort of hormonal problem?”

Honest to God, I thought it was something in the water.

Times have changed since I was in law school, interviewing for jobs. I grew my beard back then, wanting to do something women couldn’t do, at least not well. Recruiters described a law firm as “casual” and “relaxed” if they allowed you to take off your suit coat on a hot day. The constant, staccato beat of secretaries’ typewriters told the partners they were making money. Big…

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Sweater goes on (De)Tour without Owner

Recently, while in Olympia, Washington, I took advantage of a great post-Christmas sale. Most of my purchases came home with me, but the jacket featured below, had to be ordered from the other side of the US. I still had 10 days left in my visit and since the company used Fed Ex, I thought I might have the jacket before I left to go back home to Vancouver Island.

I was looking forward to receiving this cuddly sweater-jacket with the hoodie lining that felt like a Gund stuffed animal, SO soft! On Dec. 28, 2015, I was given a tracking number and followed its journey from the state of Georgia, or maybe it was South Carolina, across the country. Four days later, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the sweater stopped for a rest. It seems the weather was more than it could handle. It was advised not to travel while extreme flooding and mud slides cut off highways. So it rested in Cheyenne for several days. The weather improved but the sweater stayed put. Cheyenne, Wyoming must be a wonderful place because the sweater didn’t want to leave there for nearly a week.

At last it was told to either buy a house and settle down, or move on. It moved on and was very close to Olympia the day before I had to leave to go home. When it arrived, just hours after I had to leave without it, my sister-in-law graciously agreed to mail it to me. I had left her some money to cover her costs – I thought!

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She went to the nearest postal outlet to mail it and was told the postage would cost her $60. I had only paid about half that (on sale) for the sweater. The postal workers tried to be helpful and suggested repackaging it. Still, it would cost $45. At another postal outlet, they told my sister-in-law it would cost $22. At this point she decided to pay it for the parcel’s eight-hour trip to my house.

And now, the sweater must have had a hissy-fit. It left for another tour of the continent, without me in it.

Date and Time Location Status
Mon 1/11/2016 12:06 pm OLYMPIA, WA 98516 Shipping Label Created
Mon 1/11/2016 5:17 pm LACEY, WA 98503 Shipment Picked Up
Tue 1/12/2016 9:33 am OLYMPIA, WA 98516 Accepted at USPS Origin Sort Facility
Tue 1/12/2016 10:48 am KENT, WA 98032 Arrived at USPS Facility
Tue 1/12/2016 6:26 pm KENT, WA 98032 Departed USPS Facility
Thu 1/14/2016 10:44 am LOS ANGELES, CA 90009 Arrived at USPS Facility
Thu 1/14/2016 11:07 am ISC LOS ANGELES CA (USPS) Arrived at Sort Facility
Thu 1/14/2016 6:54 pm LOS ANGELES, CA 90009 Departed USPS Facility
Fri 1/15/2016 4:07 am ISC LOS ANGELES CA (USPS) Processed Through Sort Facility
Fri 1/15/2016 6:55 pm Los Angeles, UNITED STATES Arrived
Fri 1/15/2016 11:17 pm Los Angeles, UNITED STATES Departed
Sat 1/16/2016 11:30 pm Detroit, UNITED STATES Departed
Sun 1/17/2016 5:27 am Toronto, CANADA Departed
Tue 1/19/2016 1:31 pm CANADA Processed Through Sort Facility

Did the postal people even read the label? Hello? I’m  a day’s drive away. No wonder it cost so much to send the parcel. It went for a tour of the country first before coming home. There is a Customs office at the border crossing near Vancouver, BC, just 200 miles from Olympia. I can almost throw a rock to Vancouver. Why did it have to go to Toronto, 2723 miles away?

I do have to give the postal service credit though. After sending the parcel all the way to Toronto, almost on the other side of the country, it only took three days to come back. So from Dec. 28, 2015, it took until January 22, 2016 for this sweater to arrive at its destination. Eleven of those days were spent doing what for me was only an eight-hour drive.

As a friend suggested, if I had known the sweater would become such a traveler, I would have asked it to send me postcards from all the exotic locations it passed as it detoured around the continent.

Eagle Eyes

Today the sun was out for a short time, perfect for a walk through the fields with our dogs, Emma and Ruby. In the cornfield below, some bits of corn might still be left, but by now they would be hard to find. Almost all the corn and new shoots of grass have been eaten. The odd bird still flies in to see if anything was missed. The Canada geese flying over this field will probably land in the one to the left, behind the trees, and glean the last grain seeds they can find.

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Watching and waiting are the bald eagles. They keep their eagle eyes open for any bird that can’t keep up with the flock, a bird that is weak or hurt and would be easier to take down.

Four eagles (and a lump that looks like an eagle but isn’t one) have taken up positions in these trees. Great place to sit and survey the whole area. Eagles have excellent eyesight for this kind of  hunting.

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Here is one of the adults in this group. Notice his sharp hooked beak, perfect for tearing meat. He’s keeping a close eye on Emma, but so are we.

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The immature bald eagle below may be the chick of one the adult eagles in this group, but they weren’t telling me. His head is not white yet, nor is his beak completely yellow.

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The ducks that spent a lot of time in this field over the past weeks have left very little to eat. The kernels of corns that were left in the cobs of corn missed by the harvester, are all gone.You may be able to see that the blades of grass are clipped off. That was probably the work of large groups of widgeons. You can see widgeons in an earlier post. The link is http://wordsfromanneli.com/2016/01/11/the-estuary/

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I also saw evidence of crippled or sick birds that the eagles finished off. Just the feathers were left. I could have taken a picture of that evidence, but my camera’s battery died just then and you’ve been spared.

 

 

More Herons

Heavy gray winter sky, darker charcoal sea underneath – any boats on the waters of Vancouver Island would have to wonder if the  sky was going to press down and suffocate them. I’d be racing for the sunny gap at the south end of the channel. Is that Mexico I see there? Or at least California? No such luck.002

A trip to Mexico or California is out for now. Since I have nowhere to run to, I’ll just take a drive in the landward direction, down towards town and right through to the other side. There, at the base of the hills, are some farms where I might find something interesting. As it turns out, huge flocks of ducks flew out of the fields just as I arrived and there was hardly a living thing left except for a few swans.

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But then on my way home, I saw a fine fellow in the grass. What’s he doing in a field of grasses? Look closely. See the water on the left of the photo? Where there’s water, there might be a frog or some other small creature that will make a fine lunch for our blue heron.

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Isn’t he a handsome fellow?

Fasching – the Carnival Season

When I was five and my brother was three, we lived in Germany. In the spring, they have their Carnival time in connection with Lent (which, I think is during the 40 days before Easter). We wanted to take part in the fun of the local customs.  When we heard there was to be a dress-up parade, my brother and I wanted to be in it.

My mother was concerned that we were too young, but she said if my older cousin, Brigitte, would look after us and we promised to stay by her side, then we could be in the parade. I don’t remember what my brother was supposed to be – maybe  a messenger, as he had something in his hand, but I was going to be a Dutch Boy (incidentally, now a famous pickled herring brand). I put on blue pants and I had a blue hat. My mother added her trademark makeup to our faces. Every “dress-up” occasion called for red lipstick hearts being drawn onto our cheeks. I think she was the original face painter.

 

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We held hands to look after each other. I took Brigitte’s hand and, as always, I took my brother’s hand. We felt very important as we walked through the streets of town along with the rest of the citizens who were also dressed up. Brigitte’s outfit needs some explaining because of the black and white photo. Her dress and cape were bright red with big white polka dots on them. She was dressed up as a fly agaric (amanita) mushroom.

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It looks like my mom reclaimed my brother after a while. He was only three and probably got tired, but I was quite happy to continue, with Brigitte lending me courage.

Fasching - Brigitte und Anneli

Good Things, Small Packages

If good things come in small packages, the chickadee could be easily be the mascot for this saying. These birds seem to be everywhere, chirping and singing happily, “Chicka-dee-dee-dee.” They’re tiny. Three or four of them would easily fit into the palm of your hand. And they are almost tame enough to come and sit there. In the bird sanctuary they do just that, in hopes of getting a birdseed handout.

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My late father-in-law, Harris,  used to love hearing the chickadees. He imitated their call the way he remembered it from his younger days on the east coast (where they probably had a different variety of chickadees) – “Chicka-dee-dee-dee, chicka-paw-paw-paw.”

Here he is at the bird sanctuary where we left him near the truck while we went looking for birds, meaning to call him over when we found some. But the birds came to him while we went looking. Seems he was a bird magnet with a magic touch of his own. The chickadee had no qualms about landing on his palm to eat a bit of seed, and Harris does look thrilled.

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