Sunday, May 5, 2024


I have excuses for not keeping up with posting. A little lazy mixed with weather events.

The After is experiencing some of "the after" of a mini-EMP accompanying a nearby lightening strike last weekend. While bragging to my wife that the 30 hours of uneventful running on our home generator was about over and that it appeared that the last thunderstorm cell of the that stationary storm was just about to pass, a close lightening strike occurred a few hundred feet from the house.

A ripping, tearing sound and the bright light. A close lightening strike literally brought her and me out of our chairs. The internet went out which is normal in most of the big storms that pass through. And the utility power had been out for 30 hours and we were progressing just fine with the whole house generator. 

When the utility power had been restored, we noticed our neighbors lights were on meaning that the utility power to our home had also been restored. BUT, the generator was not shutting off. New problem on a Saturday night with no one to call for help. 

Shutting down the whole house generator means shutting the utility power off manually and then sticking a small metal rod with a protective rubber handle inside the transfer panel to move the switch to manual. Problem is that that operation comes with it a life-changing event should I miss the receptacle in the dark and hit one of the main wired electrical lines in that panel. 

I am old enough now for things like this to cause me pause and answer with a "hell no." Experience and all of that. I have been shocked before and never ever want that experience again. Sticking a small metal rod into 240 volt panel hoping to hit the correct connecting hole seemed fraught with the possibility of making that life-changing mistake. 

Longer story short, a master electrician had moved into the neighborhood two years ago. A short drive to his home brought his help and together, we safely turned off the generator and the flipped the main switch back on. All of that did entail removing the second safety panel from the transfer panel revealing all of the major electrical wiring that could fully cook a horse in an instant if misunderstood. 

In all of this early dark evening event, I managed to drive into and under a tree that had fallen across the road in my travels to the electrician's house. No damage, thank you.

There is truth in the old adage that nothing "bad" ever happens until the weekend or on a holiday. 

Adding to our immediate problem were the needs of all of the other 2,000+ folks who were also getting back their power from the long outage. 

We are still waiting in the queue for our electrician to arrive to help sort out the problems with the in home generator. 

Back to us, the wi-fi modem was fried, the CAT 5 lines were fried, my laptop lost the DMI port and one USB port, my wife's computer is still offline, our back-up lap top is still in the repair shop.

I could go on, but the mini EMP that accompanies all electrical strikes can wreak havoc on top of other storm damage. We currently seem to be in a reoccurring storm after storm after storm here in east Texas. 

However, we have adapted and are looking forward to getting the whole house generator and hard-wired internet working again.



If you are looking for new "stuff" to read and ponder, consider this blog site. You may just hate it, but drill down through some of the articles and you may find stories that will cause you to ponder the times ahead. 





12-gauge mild steel keel cut using a cardboard template by the local welding shop.

Western red cedar hull glued using marine epoxy. 

Tablesaw kerfs cut to help achieve bottom hull shape and battery jigsaw used to roughcut hull shape. 

Next is roughing out final hull shape and that gives me pause at this stage of the build. Since all of this is new to me, every planned step brings with it new questions that I need to address as one wrong move can set me back to starting all over. 

This process is called "off-hand" model construction and originated in the late 1800s. There are some general guidelines but at this stage, I am neither wrong nor right as I am the designer and builder. The end product will be unique and the boat's ability to sail correctly will teach me and answer many of the questions I have had along the way.

Suffice it to say, that this project is good for the head and I am having fun. Having fun is a good thing.



Passing storms have taken up our time these past two weeks. The model above has been a wonderful distraction. Working outside in the yards have also given my wife and me reasons to get out in the warm weather and work on yard improvements. Keeping busy and staying away from worldly concerns is very healthy.

Not to beat a dead horse, but crazy is coming with more on the horizon.  Live, love and plan.


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