Sunday, July 21, 2024


This is my first pond yacht build. I have shared photos in past posts. The model is finished. Here are some of the highlights of the build, a short version and video at the end.

POND YACHTS - how to build and sail them  by M. de Lesseps. An excellent book on free-sailing model boats. I used this book as a main source for this 20" model build. "OFFhand" is an older term used to describe these pond yachts and simply means hand-made.

H/T to Tippecanoe Boats. The owner took time to visit with me over the phone, answering questions and helping me order the "T-15 Racing Sloop".  Kick-started this new hobby. The model was 100% quality. Thank you!!

- Material: 1"x 6" western red cedar boards. Easy wood to work with and other choices of wood are slim to none here.

- Keel. Drew up a cardboard design, cut it out and had a local welding shop cut out two from thin, mild steel. Expensive. But simplified the keel need and weight requirements. Table saw cut groove in bottom of hull before any shaping. All glueing of wood and this keel was done using (West System 2-part epoxy) (Gflex). I used this glue building my wooden fishing boat.

- Hull was coated with 50% spar varnish and 50% mineral spirits for float tests.

- Used picture hanging materials to help with rigging. Made pond yacht bowsies from old plastic credit cards and popsicle sticks. Worked great.

- Booms and mast made from strips of cedar ripped to 1/2" x 1/2". Hand-sanded the square shape into octagonal shape.

- Small parts and pieces found at various local hardware stores. What I could not find, I tried making from what was in the shop or by re-purposing other materials. 

- Sails are from dacron/fabric glue purchased at Wmart. Patterns made from card stock and transferred to the fabric. My wife was helpful in showing me how to make and glue the hems. Grommets are 3/16", purchased online. Sail making and working with cloth, in any fashion, was a first for me. Several test sails were made for practice and learning.

- Mast placement was computed from reviewing dozens and dozens of photos of old pond yachts. The center of the main sail always appeared to be in close proximity to the center of the keel and the mast located close to the leading edge of the keel. I made that my rule in the final rigging of this model.

- The overall design and build is representative of much time reading and looking at how "oldtimers" built/rigged their models. 

I hope to find a small lake and dock from which I can set this model free (but tethered) to see if it does sail. Regardless, the model is wonderful art sitting on my computer desk. And yes, model number two is in the planning stage.

 YouTube video of pond yacht build



Interesting times huh?  I think I have taken to becoming a spectator and enjoying the myriad of events unfolding daily. To get lost any deeper serves no purpose. Constantly shaking my head is starting to hurt my neck.

Appreciate the visit this week. Family, friends and time together. Laughter is good.

Sunday, July 14, 2024


It appears that all I have is jibber jabber this week. Having problems with simple downloading of photos and will get that checked out this coming week. Feels like more and more entities want to get involved/between me and simple blogging content. Do not know.

Hurricane Beryl tracked within 5 miles of us and evaporated into a low front and rainstorm when it arrived. It was a rainstorm with some 20 mph winds. We were happy for that given we had anticipated damage/power outages associated with being in the path of the eye of that storm.


The times we are living in takes me back this morning to November 1963 with news that President Kennedy had just been shot. I was walking down an outdoor corridor at our local junior college when I heard the news. There was noticeably much activity of students hurriedly moving out of classrooms and going to the parking lot. Not panic, but movements with purpose. 

I checked into my next class only to find out that the campus had just been closed and we were being told to go home. Our president had been shot, but in my "American Graffiti" world, I felt that "all would be well." I believed that the president had been wounded and details would follow. 

I started my old 1956 Chev and turned on the news. "Assassinated." Radio reports from very solemn reporters immediately brought to life the severity of the event. 

Turning down the winding hill to our college, I can still remember that feeling that something was terribly wrong that was a defining moment. It was a growing up moment for me that I did not understand.

We headed to our homes for the comfort and safety of family. It was the only news event for several weeks as the story unfolded and President Kennedy's funeral and family emotions played in front of the American people. I think many of us, were very naive in the ways of the political world. I know I was. For years. That moment came up again yesterday with the assassination attempt on Donald Trump. 

But this weekend, I am much older. Somewhat better informed and opinionated in an unfolding clown world. President Biden is a challenged leader of this country. I can see this in live news events that play out on the world stage. Commentary from either side of the political spectrum spews, but it is what my eyes and ears tell me that sticks. 

Yesterday live news coverage shows Donald Trump being shot on the side of his head and bending down to minimize himself as a target. The secret service in on him with in a few moments and there is also audio of this interaction with them. I believe that what I saw unfold on live television was a real event of an attempt to assassinate Trump. I will stay with this until proven otherwise. 

It will take time now for the news outlets to feast on each other in their attempt to report "truths" or do everything they can to minimize or turn what we have all seen into being something other that what it is/was. 

And this morning, the talking heads are picking sides and you can find information from the truth to political jibber jabber. My bet is that you too may have already had interactions with family/friends regarding live coverage of Biden's recent press conference and yesterday's attempt on Trump's life.

The photographs of Trump's fist in the air, bleeding from his head shot wound, the American Flag flying above his position and covered with secret service agents, will life on forever and become an iconic photograph that will never go away. Long diatribes will be instantly erased using that photograph.

So today we read and learn, work on Sunday chores and outside chores being  completed before 10AM. Gonna be hot today.


Sitting on the emergency room bed last night, reading my name and age on a wall-hung computer screen caused me to shake my head. For several reasons. Seeing my name and age as 79 years old struck home. Where in the hell did all of these years go. Where? 

I had mistakenly taken an an extra Eloquis blood thinner tablet last night, realized it too late and told my wife to take me to the local emergency room as a precautionary trip.  As I could not find anyone to talk to for good advice, the emergency room was the best choice.

Short version was that taking one extra blood thinner pill would not upset my system and that I should simply forego the morning pill. I would be just fine. But do not make these kinds of mistake again.

I guess I am getting forgetful and do not want to accept the fact. Mistaking pills is a clue and I am aware enough and along with my wife's help, have instituted a fail safe morning and evening document regime starting today. Take pill, check off of list with pen and paper. An hour later should I wonder, go see if the box is checked the pill is gone. Of course, the bride will be there help, reminding and reinforcing. We are a good team. This will become a habit and when our daily schedule is interrupted, this procedure should still work just fine.

As a side note worthy of mentioning. While visiting with the doctor last night, we mentioned to him that I had had a saddle pulmonary embolism (a life-threatening condition characterized by a large blood clot that lodges at the bifurcation of the pulmonary artery, obstructing blood flow to both lungs) a few months back and he, like all of the other doctors looked at me and said that I was lucky to be alive. 

My wife explained how the emergency room there and doctor on call that night was instrumental in saving my life. We had to wait 12 hours for a room to open up at the cardiac hospital before being transported there. 

Last night, the doctor told us that it is common now for local emergency rooms to keep patients several days before being able to transport them to a hospital. He said that this is not just Texas, but a growing problem all across the Untied States. "There are not enough hospital beds".


In keeping with this blogs encouraging of self-sufficiency and planning for down times, living and practicing healthy behaviors will pay off. Being able to get help from medical facilities may not be as available as they have been in the past.


Middle of July, 2024. What ever is coming, is still coming. I do not know what but do not fret over knowing exactly what that will be. My gut tells me though to be the best I can be, take all this **** seriously, and tie up loose ends. 

Thanks for the visit this week.


Wednesday, July 3, 2024



The tall grass in an adjacent field is ready for cutting (shredding). A large parcel of land and our neighbor has made many passes with his tractor and shredder over this past week. Daybreak working and back at dusk working as temperatures in east Texas now are triple digits nearly everyday. Most folks who have outdoor work/chores to do adjust to an early daylight morning, late evening work schedule. Those who can do, for sure. 



In a clown world gone wild, there are still folks who can build and perform to the highest standards an industry demands. Enjoy.


THE SILENT GENERATION   born between 1928 and 1945

+ hard work, loyalty and thriftiness

+ often repair an item before replacing it

show respect to others

+ unlikely to give up when challenges arise

rebound in ways that reflect growth and learning

+ strong work ethic

+ analog-first experiences

made great personal sacrifices

+ fought for their principles early in life

completely or mostly retired now

+ "the builder generation"

 I was born in that era and raised by the folks of the Greatest Generation. Proud of it!

The list above the shovel photo is well representative of my generation. 

The shovel above is one my everyday tools. To this day I have guilt pangs of not maintaining these tools like my grandparents and my folks did. I cleaned, sharpened and oiled this shovel for the photo. Shame on me. It is the best looking yard tool hanging on my tool wall. 

After use, grandparents/parents mandated to clean, wash, sharpen if needed, oil and put away. Never set aside a dirty tool. Tools like these were costly to purchase and with a little care would last a lifetime. Broken handles were replaced from cured branches stacked in the barn. Axe handles and the like, too. Dependable tools meant jobs getting completed. A sharp shovel with a smooth handle works much easier than a dirty, rusty shovel. Spend a few hours using a shovel in daily life routines and that becomes proof positive.

Work ethic:

To this day I remember my mother talking to me when I went for my first job interview at 15 years old. She told me that I was to never sit down or stand around waiting for someone to come to me and find me a job/task. If I found myself with time on my hands, I was to pick up a broom and sweep. Stay busy. There were always little jobs to be done and to be working on. 

That is exactly what I did on the first day when I was hired to work at a Richfield gas station. 

There is great satisfaction and accomplishments putting in a hard day's work. To this day!!!



Finished the pond yacht build earlier this week. A post dedicated to this project later this month. This project has been a great distraction and good for the head. Learned new things every step along the way. 



Made it through June. I was expecting "an event" last month but now the chatter seems to be pointing to the month of September. Big shake up in the presidency now and how all of this is going to shake out is anyone's guess, at best. 

Independence day tomorrow. A chunk of meat goes on the pellet grill at midnight and we will be taking part in good eats that come with this holiday tomorrow. Two hundred and forty eight years since the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. 

A hundred degrees here tomorrow. I will spend the day in flip flops, swim trunks, an old junk t-shirt and enjoy one cold beer as a treat.We are planning a relaxing day.

Have a wonderful 4th, enjoy family and friends, grill something. 

Appreciate the visit.