Work on the Scow has Begun!

I’m joking of course. I call her a scow because she’s quite a dirty little girl. It took 3 years of disuse to put lichen and scum all over my sailboat, but I’m thankful to say that now I’m cleaning the poor little thing up. And she needs it.

My father (bless his 92 year old soul) has been “working” on it for months, of course. This really bothers me for couple of reasons. The first one concerns his well being. The floating dock where my boat rests is connected to the shore by a very broken-down walkway that could break or fail in some way whenever anyone walks on it. (Yes fixing this is yet another project around the house – that’s the subject of another post.) There is a real possibility of a plank breaking underfoot or the attachment at the shore breaking free. But I’ve had no luck in trying to get him to stay off the dock. What can you tell a 92 year old man? And even if he is listening to me when I warn him, chances are by the next morning he’s forgotten everything we talked about the day before.

The other reason I don’t like him working on the sailboat is practical. I want to keep the interior clean and safe, as well as the exterior. Shortly after we got the boat, he drilled holes through the cabin wall to mount a compass on a crude piece of aluminum. I’m just glad the holes in the cabin aren’t too big, but the placement of the compass makes it hazardous to anyone scrambling around on the boat during operation. A slip next to this kluge could cause a serious injury. I keep thinking about him mounting something inside the cabin and drilling a hole through the hull under the water line. If you had seen his last attempt at fixing plumbing in the house (resulting in $500 plumber’s bill) you’d know why this worries me.

At any rate, over the last few days I’ve been out their scrubbing the dirty scow down, getting here sharp and clean enough to take out for a shakedown cruise. Just take a glance at the grime I’m dealing with!



So stay tuned friends! Soon I’ll have it out on the Gulf, and that should be some great fun!

How do I Tell Real News from Fake News?

With Russians poisoning social media against challengers to Donald Trump, and propaganda being thrown out by everyone from your over-ambitious prepper to your local anti-vaxxer patrol, determining what is real news and what is fake has never been more important. While we all have our favorite methods, and many different methods work, I use one method consistently because it’s so fast and easy. To demonstrate, let’s use a news headline I saw today on my Facebook page.

Russia and Iran just responded to Trump’s Syria strike with a terrifying ultimatum

Now the original post came from Occupy Democrats. So, let’s just say you see something like that on your Facebook page. Now, it doesn’t matter if you are a Trump supporter or a Hillary supporter, a Republican or Democrat. It’s YOUR DUTY to determine if this is fake news before you spread it around or scoff at it. So click the link and go to the source of the headline. While reading the article I saw a quote.

“What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines. From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well, …”

I then copied the following and put it into my favorite search engine (because god knows, people are politicizing them too).

“What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines. From now on we will respond with ”

My search engine found several other websites containing the exact quote. Now here’s where you’ll have to work.

I then went to five of these websites to see why the search string of text was being picked up and I found the exact same quote, and glanced through the accompanying articles enough to see parity with the original article. So in this case Occupy Democrats disseminated REAL NEWS, not FAKE NEWS.

What if it had been fake news? I might have found the quote, but it may be attributed to someone other than who/where the original poster indicated. It may include MORE material not included in the original post (this is a favorite tactic of Fox News, by the way). I may not have found the quote at all, anywhere. That would be very suspect.

Now this method is quick and dirty and not perfect. There are many ways to tell real news from fake news, but the responsibility is yours. This is just one method.