A Modest Proposal 6.1


“Gypsy Wagon can actually perform the mission as assigned for those cruises-as hospitality wagon. I did get stuck trying to get back into the shop yesterday. None of the easy fixes will work. Like lowering the trailer tires, even taking them off altogether.”

Dan’s plan

So. Now, what?

It’s a three-horse race, with NOBODY winning. Except, maybe the calendar. And, everybody knows that P-l-a-n is just another four-letter word. At the beginning of the last football season, I dreamed up this notion. I was gonna go up in front of God, and Chuck, and Bob and everybody, and offer to host a series of mini-cruises over here on the east coast of Washington State. In order to fit ’em all in, and not conflict with too many other events of a similar bent; I decided to spread six trips over seven months. Granted, I went to public schools, and I never really mastered arithmetic. But, even a mathematical dolt such as I can count on his fingers. I had to get things rolling by March, and continue to throw boat-shaped darts at the calendar through September. And, if you look at your COOT calendar, your TSCA calendar, your PTPY calendar, and duly reported in the venerable pages of MAIB, and digitally replicated in DW; there you will find my grand and glorious P-l-a-n.

It’s now the prime meridian of March. First trip is supposed to be this coming weekend. Still snowed in. Not quite what anybody had in mind. Calendars, or not. Boating is supposed to be fun. And, safe. Every cotton pickin’ lake within a hundred miles of here still has deer walking across it. And, leaving tracks in the snow. The river even froze-over for a while. It’s back to a robust thirty-two degrees and flowing, now. Not the best for skinny dipping.

So. That horse race.

Gypsy Wagon can actually perform the mission as assigned for those cruises – as hospitality wagon. I did get stuck trying to get back into the shop yesterday. None of the easy fixes will work. Like lowering the trailer tires, even taking them off altogether. It has to do with things like a couple not-good-as-new knees and stuff like that, as well. Clambering under a trailer and pulling things like axles are for people who don’t act their age – like me, most of the time. We aren’t trimmed out, wired, and stuff like that. But, we’ve still got the basics, as advertised. So, just as soon as those boys and girls down at the NOAA office get their Easter bonnets on, the show can go on. Meanwhile.

The Planning Department here at Frankenwerke has been busy. OK. That’s two, four-letter words, glued together. While God doesn’t share too many secrets with me about the long range forecast; Chuck was good enough to offer the use of Texas, if I simply can’t get things organized up this way. Soooooo. We’re moving ahead with a different horse. For the meantime, anyway.

Good ol’ Miss Kathleen was rode real hard, and sorta’ put away wet at the end of last season. But, here’s what she looked like on one of our last outings.

There’s the normal stuff to attend to, any Frankenbot will have after a winter in an un-heated shelter. And, I didn’t mention the Planning Department guys. But, we should be able to “answer all bells” in a couple weeks. I just hope I don’t have to take Chuck up on his offer to borrow Texas.

In my spare time, I put together a stern-hung rudder for Miss K. I hope it’s as robust as it looks. The idea is to be able take some hard knocks in some out-of-the-way places. The inboard rudder will go the way of the Passenger Pidgeon. Probably. The motor will climb up an additional 6 inches with the cavitation plate snugged up against the hull. And, presto! Our effective draft should be less than 18 inches-just in case. You know. Texas, and all. (Oops. I better watch what I mumble about. Stuff happens, when I do that.)

Also. If there was such a thing as an actual drawing board, here at the Frankenwerke; I would say that a somewhat-novel stern platform has sprung from it. But, just like most everything else, it just sort of popped up on its own. No drawings.

Well, of course, this is only the starboard side. I’m kinda hoping that the port side will be out there when I go check on things in the morning. And, wait’ll you see how this thing is gonna’ get steered. And, where the boarding ladder is gonna’ go. And, where the anchor chock will go, and a whole raft of stuff.

Just ignore that white stuff that filtered in under the shed side. And, while you’re at it, “.pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

And speaking of. Our New Boss is a bit of an expert on snow. He’s from Minnesota. Jamieson Patrick Rogers. But, you can call him Jamey. We do.

Spring is in the air!

A Modest Proposal 6.1a

The lesson of humility, presents the gift of time and the mandate of patience.

“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.”

Or, as the Literary Department, here at Frankenwerke would put it, “There comes a time, when the ice begins to melt. And, the mud is yet to be born.” Today was that day. The likes of Napoleon, Patton, and certainly those poor sods of the BEF, circa 1915, knew all about this. General Winter stopped his retreat, and counter-attacked. General Mud stopped them. He stopped us.

We made it this far.

We came this close to disaster. (It drops three feet off the edge of this homemade bridge of ours. The tire tracks are off the edge, into that melting snow bank.)

We spun and shoveled and traded ends and spun some more and dug some more and tried again and again.

But, when all is said, and done. There just ain’t a thing worth saying. And, not a thing worth doing, got done. Other than, we all lived to fight another day. A day when General Winter has left the field. A day when General Mud has marched away.

The gift of time.

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