Sunday, January 28, 2024


 The T-15 Tippecanoe Racing Sloop



For over a year now, I have wanted to build a couple free sailing wooden pond yachts for the boys spending their winter months aboard SV AIRSPEED. I made a few videos for them last season; Warderick Wells Cay example.

Maybe a good home-school lesson or two assembling a couple free sailing pond yachts, testing them in the shallows along various beaches. 

This past week, I have been spending hours researching small pond yachts in hopes of learning a simple design I could build and send them.

I have ordered a book on the design and building of small self sailing pond yachts and, from all the time spent so far plus this book, I hope to design, build and test a small self sailing model during these winter months. There are plenty of local lakes and ponds to test-sail a couple of models.

The G-12 POND YACHT (example) is a beautiful design, but I have not heard back from an inquiry on purchasing one.


Another great example, and contacting the owner was as easy as a phone call. I ordered two of the T-15 beginner models to assemble and learn from. With over 85,000 models built and sold, this company has been progressing the hobby of sailing pond yachts for young and old. A proven track-record. Check out his website and all of the models he makes. I could spend a lifetime working and playing in his shop.

The conversation with the owner was wonderful. He took the time to visit with me. We talked of common interests in modeling, sailing and places visited in Washington State where I lived for 55 years. His business is located in Everson, Washington.

As with any new project planning, I have to start somewhere. Kits arrive soon and I will be covering the unboxing with a video and share experiences along the way here.

The kid in this old man is still alive. How much fun could you have sitting down with your son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter and building boats together? You would also be keeping this hobby alive for future generations.



Photo on the strand of beach right before Key Biscayne.


and in the why not category..


Baked potato dinners come around here every other month. What for dinner? What do you want for dinner? I don't know, what do you want? It is too late to thaw something out. I am tired of salads and so forth. 

How about a baked potato? An hour later a spinoff taco, burrito, hamburger, kitchen sink potato meal. Filling, tasty, never disappointing. 

Potato boats started in the 1950's for me. My folks would eat a potato half with butter, salt, maybe sour cream and the leftover baked skin would be filled with meted butter, salt, pepper and eaten much like a hot dog. My mother called the name of treat "potato boat." The term and meal treat stuck like glue ever since then. Potato skins are healthy, to boot.

Like so many meals and simple classic dishes, baked potatoes can be anything you want them to be. No rules. Well, maybe one, they should be messy to eat.

Cut the ends off a russet potato of medium to large size. Rinse then coat the skin with salt. Set in the oven on about 375 for about 45 minutes. Test "doneness" with a paring knife. Adjust final cooking time as needed. Yes, there other ways to bake a potato. 




A relative shared a small bag of roasted pecans with us a few weeks ago and we were surprised at how much more the nut "popped" with flavor. Brought on the "cannot eat just one" snacking crave. The bride roasted these in the oven. Find an option of time and temperature that will work for you.

Health benefits of eating pecans? Yes, you bet! A great add-in to lunches or a nighttime snack. I throw a small handful into green salad mixes.



A week of "wow's" being muttered from my wife as she combs the mornings nets. 

Governor Abbot saying "NO" again and again to the Federal Government. Unfolding.

Truckers and bikers heading to the border. Unfolding. Twenty-six other states sending support to Texas to help with the border issues. 

Apparently, installing all of the rivets and bolts when building a jet airliner is still important.

Wars around the world also unfolding, but who knows the truths on any or all of them.

Of course, the elections this year are a crap shoot at best!

Lunch out with a good friend Friday.  We always sit at the bar. Coffee for me and friend gets his favorite beer on tap. BLT/fries for him, salad for me. Good food, good service always. But the days of a $10 lunch outing are over.

I cannot remember how the conversations were going for our bar tender to tell us that the kitchen was full of teenagers working. They were not doing food prep, but other jobs that keep a busy restaurant kitchen working. "You have no idea how hard it is to find and get good help these days," the bartender/waitress said in passing. 

Kids from 15 to 18 filling for these jobs and not many kids at that. But starting to work these kinds of jobs has most always been by youngsters starting out in the the workforce. Lots to learn plus turning a dollar. Big deal? I get a gut-level feeling that the kids these days are not the kids of yesterday. Work ethic, dependability and attention to detail. The wanting to work. The things parents taught me as I entered the work force at 15 appear to be much different now.

This is a common story we have heard quite a few times. Some local restaurants have had to shut their doors because they cannot find anyone who wants to work.

And, some of the kids who have waited on us at other fast food restaurants have killed any desire my wife and I have to ever visit those particular establishments again.

January 2024 is in the books. Quick month. Officially winter now in Texas for the months of February, then we wake up to what needs to be planted.

Appreciate the visit this week. Stay warm and away from crowds and get out for a walk in the woods.







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