A Modest Proposal – Parts 3.2


Dan’s plan

“Today marks a full 5 weeks since I voluntarily committed myself to the guy with the bone saw, and chisels, and grinders.”

Back in the saddle – sorta’.

Today marks a full 5 weeks since I voluntarily committed myself to the guy with the bone saw, and chisels, and grinders. I’m thinking there was a chain saw in there someplace, too. It’s been a hard fought month and a quarter; trying to get the leg with the new knee to operate “like normal.” And, I’m not really supposed to be doing shop stuff yet. But a committed Type-A with a strong tendency toward ADHD, can sit in a recliner with his leg wrapped in compression hose and toes pointed towards the moons of Jupiter, only so long. I’ll bet you know somebody like that, now don’t you?

Fortunately, the Christmas elves have done a splendid job of completing a number of the Holiday projects on my list. That saved me the ire of my physical therapist. She’s been insisting that 15 minutes on my feet out in the shop, followed by the balance of each hour back ensconced in that damn chair. And, apparently, some of the guys from the night shift have been making reasonable progress on Mobius, the bunkhouse barge a building out in the Frankenwerke. I really appreciate the help. I have this hairball idea that I’m gonna’ be able to launch and sea trial in January. (It’s right now the week before Christmas, so things could start getting pretty tense around the water cooler over in the Scheduling Department wing.)

I haven’t completely retreated to my sickbed, waxy stare on the ceiling. I do get out to the shop petty regularly, just to look around. And, most days there’s something new. At least, the crew has been good enough to keep chippin’ away, while I’m, stuck here, with an ice bag and a still-swollen starboard pin. In fact, one of the whizbang’s over in the Wunderwhat Section came up with this ojet d’arte. He claims it’s just what I need to hang on Miss Kathleen’s fanny, to improve steering.

He figures that, paired with the robust anti-torque steering gear that came out of Mobius’ hull, this outboard rudder setup will finally balance Miss K’s somewhat unpredictable steering ability. It’ll take some rather invasive surgery (amputation of the current rudder at the one-inch bronze rod serving as a rudder stock, for starters.) At least I now know what happened to a large chunk of the Duck’pox and glass order that the Pony Express rider brought all the way from the Texas Hill Country hideout of legendary El ‘Weber. But, that is just sort of a diversion.

As I was saying, it’s the week before Christmas. And we who denizen around the 49th parallel this time of year, often get to do the Currier & Ives re-enactments. In fact, The Boss and I were just out on Alice the tractor. Neither one of us can sing, but if we could I think the appropriate acapella version would be a full-throated rendition of “Dulcinea.” At least to my view, nothing resembles “The Man from LaMancha,” i. e., jousting at windmills, more than pushing snow around. We have the temerity to shove the white stuff from where God saw fit to put it, to where we think it might be more convenient to store it. And, as soon as we get it all pushed and shoved into some other place; well, it just melts-or snows some more. Either way, a windmill joust for sure. Anyhow.

We came in kinda cold, and sorta wet. When we are in that sort of situation the better part of valor is to go change clothes in the shop. And, lo and behold! The furnace was running huckity buck, and it was a balmy 70 degrees in there. A harbinger of Duck’poxification for sure.

The Boss decided to sign off on the work, from a distance. But, I just had to know how this went down. Seems the day crew has gotten a bit antsy about our planned January launch over the endless weeks of my medical incarceration. Nobody seemed to be making any progress on the aft cockpit-especially the motor well. So, finally, yesterday some nimrod just grabbed the sawzall and started hacking away. In order to allow for all the interferences to stop colliding, he just chopped a great big swath out of the boat’s hind quarters.

As I came to understand, this long-shaft motor is gonna’ have to do its teeter totter act through this transom and aft deck.

So, after deciding the guzzintas for calculating all the potential movements of an outboard were too many for finger counting; he just cut the whole thing out of the way. Simple, for sure. Elegant, maybe not so much.

And then, to keep the ocean out, a chunk of ¾ mdo and some bi-ax cloth, brought things into an approximation of what I had sort of backed away from.

There’s a modicum of carpenter work, still, to un-do and re-do. Unfortunately, I can either lie all the way down a’ la’ Cleopatra and a bunch of grapes; or I can stand flat footed and stoop. Kneeling isn’t on the list of approved activities yet. And, speaking of approved activities; it seems there were more things to discuss, that have been going on while I’m supposed to “ice and elevate.”

More about that in a bit.

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