From the Boatshop
by Ron Magen

2001 - not a SPACE odyssey

I tried to write this column at least six times.

Every time I found a theme, something else came up. Before I realized it the month was gone. There were many things that I wanted to say; that needed to be said.

This year has indeed met the definition: “ . . . an extended wandering or journey”.

We started not even knowing who our President was. The process of the decision was filled with a great deal of animosity and acrimony, almost to the point of religious fanaticism. Regardless of anyone’s personal view, once it was adjudicated by a court of law, once it was finished it was OVER. It was accepted and the country, and the world, moved on.

The year is ending with the compass needle swinging to the opposite pole. We have seen the horrors that a good deal of the world has been experiencing visited on our shores. Many parts of the globe do not abide by the rule of law and consensus. For whatever reason they can not seem to ‘agree to disagree’ and move on for the betterment of their own people.

For some reason I have been strangely unemotional about what transpired on September 11th, even though I was watching it laterally from the actual beginning. It may be due to the fact that the ‘visual technology’ of today bombards us with images of damage and destruction on a regular basis, to the point of it being a ‘video game’ commercial. Maybe it is a case of ‘information overload’. Or it could be that there is something closer to home that is in my heart. I have been caring for one of our family who not at all well. Our 14-year old Malamute, effectively our son, is dying. In his perspective he is well over 100, but it doesn’t make it any easier for him, my wife, or myself.

When I read ‘threads’ and comments that have vicious attacks on opponents of such issues as ‘Which wood is best?’, ‘Polyester or Epoxy ?’, and other arcane issues that may effect the design and construction of a ‘Supertanker’ but have no point on any amateur endeavor, it makes me feel very sad.

Thanksgiving has just passed. Last night, on a certain History Channel program, the comment was made that Americans are the most ‘movable’ people on earth. On average we move about 11 times during our lives. Why? Because it is so EASY . . . we don’t need any ‘papers’, our states are not ‘borders’, even the very poorest have access to some form of transportation that can take us from coast to coast and Canada to Mexico. When our leaders make a law we can change it, or them; we have the opportunity every four years. We do it on a regular basis WITHOUT the use of force or firearms. We have the ability to assemble and discuss and argue and yell and scream - out where everyone can see, not hidden in some dark corner; in fact many seek out the bright light of the public news camera. We are free to have any ‘belief system’ we want, and espouse that belief to anyone who will listen. We are free to grieve, each in our own way. Has anyone given thanks for these so very simple and common things? Are they taken for granted, for us?

If you share your home with a dog, no explanation is necessary.
 In Memorandum . . . Remington, you are and will be very much missed.