McCain is America’s Petain

So, for a long time I’ve thought of establishment hack Senator John McCain of Arizona as a sort of American Marshal Petain. The difference, of course, is that Petain, before becoming a collaborator with German forces after the French surrender during WWII, had actually been a hero of the First World War and had real accomplishments to his credit.

McCain, as we all know, survived a horrific North Vietnamese captivity and had previously flown missions as an American military officer – okay, truthfully, those are two real accomplishments.  Beyond them, though, not much of real value, and those two real accomplishments do not necessarily make the guy a hero.  McCain, as we also all know, functioned during the treasonous administration of Barak Hussein Obama, as a collaborator with that racist and islamist regime.  He continues to toe the line of anti-American, globalist, and neo-conservative establishment appeasement of the Left, needless foreign military intervention, and opposition to meaningful constitutional government.

We know Petain collaborated in selling out French Jews to the insane Nazi anti-semetic death cult.  Dunno whether McCain’s done anything that overtly identifiable as evil.  But here’s an article that manages to sum up John McCain’s post-Viet Nam War political career:  https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/please-just-fucking-die-already-acb3a879656e

Update 7/21/17: Sorry to hear the guy’s got brain cancer, wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but that doesn’t remove John McCain from the A-hat column and elevate him to untouchable sacred cow status, either.  McCain’s a rotten guy who’s got brain cancer.

Crazy Warren County Moth-Thing

Crazy Orange Moth Thing

Yesterday afternoon, I stepped outside the office to make a phone call and saw this crazy moth-thing clinging to a cinder-block wall.  My cellphone photograph fails completely to capture the creature’s strikingly vivid orange colorations and its size.  The moth’s about 2 – 3 inches in length, overall.  Big and strange-looking.

Edit: It is a Regal Moth – http://www.insectidentification.org/insect-description.asp?identification=Regal-Moth. Some of the areas that look yellow in the picture above were a sort of light olive-green.

Aleut on the Elk River

Did I mention the Folbot Aleut is slow compared to the kayaks I’ve been used to?  It is.  Back when I was paddling every available free day I had, was used to traveling fast and a lot farther.  This weekend, I’d planned to paddle the river that runs alongside McMinnville, Tennessee, putting in at Smooth Rapids and having them shuttle me back from the VFW lodge – only about 8 miles and maybe four hours, but downstream so the Aleut’s speed limitations wouldn’t bug me as much.

NOAA indicated only 30% of thunderstorms which meant, to me, 70% chance of no thunderstorms.  Weather radar imagery was clear.  I attached the Folbot to my car’s top, put my overpreparedness gear in a large bag and that bag in the car and set out.  You’ll notice what I’d failed to do before driving 30-odd miles – didn’t call the outfitter to make sure they were operating.

The fellow running the place asked, “Are you sure?”

“Why would I need to be sure about this?”

“The river’s at flood stage – we’ve had storms all week.”

“Yeah, the weather has been crap.”

“Whenever we have storms here, we get trees falling across the river.”  He went on to mention that two or three people had died during the past couple of months in the area – a kayaker on that stretch of river a couple of weeks ago when his boat capsized caught in a strainer and he panicked, and two swimmers drowned at Rock Island.  He said he had no way to tell whether the water was passable.  Said the water was about three feet above normal level.

“Would you do it?”

“No,” he said, “and I’ve (paddled those eight miles) a hundred times.”

So, I left and went in search of some other water to paddle.  On the way back to I-24, I looked for an access point to Womack Lake, but finding none, I decided to put in at Prairie Plains Road Bridge, on the Elk River in maybe Coffee County, and drove out there.

This time, I’d remembered to take my Magellan Cyclo 505 to measure progress in addition to what my wife considers my usual over-prparedness.  It might have been about 11:00 a.m. when I arrived at the put-in.  No one else was there, and during my entire paddle upstream and most of my paddle downstream past where I’d launched, I saw no one else on the water.

Magellan Sat Route Photo

The furthest point on this image shows where I found a place to eat lunch. The 505 unit shared a PFD pocket with my camera and it’s touchscreen apparently got bumped and it shut itself off.  I didn’t get much past this point after eating.  A ways into my paddle back downstream I again looked at the unit and recorded part of the downstream paddle.

I did see about 30 turtles sunning themselves on logs, one large snake, also sunning on a log, and three otters swimming fast downstream while I ate my lunch.  A few great blue herons, numerous other birds I couldn’t identify, and a flock of swallows swarming around the bridge as I came back downstream.

A few pictures with brief descriptions from start to finish:

Elk R 7-8-17

Not far upstream from Prairie Plains Road Bridge.  It turned out not to be as jammed up with broken trees as it looks here.

Elk River Snake

So, as I was paddling by I saw what looked like an iguana sunning itself on a log.  When I got closer, I saw it was instead a snake curled up, sunning itself on a log.  I snapped the picture when I got a little further away using zoom.  During the rest of my time on and around the water I remained mindful of the possibility of snakes on over-hanging tree limbs and nearby logs.

Winged Visitor

This creature landed where you see it and rode with me for about a mile upstream.

Elk R Local Color

My photographic skills and camera failed to capture the bright beauty of these occasional pink flowers I saw from time to time on either bank of the Elk.

Campsis Radicans

Campsis radicans growing on a tree overhead.  Also the name of my old Pouch E68 kayak.

Some Water...

The camera got wet; I guess I paddled more vigorously than usual, yesterday.

Lunch Stop

Here’s where I backed in and ate my lunch – peanut butter and jelly sandwich and one of those wafer-cookie bicyclist snacks – before paddling out and turning left. I made maybe two-tenths of a mile more upstream before I turned back.  I’d wasted half the day driving to McMinnville and then trying to find access to that small lake.  And the current was stronger the farther upstream I paddled.

Flooded Creek

On the way back downstream, on my right, I explored a flooded creek that’s normally impassible. I got this far and photographed the flooded vista beyond.

Flooded Creek Water Plants

Here’re some of the plants growing under the water on that flooded creek.

The Way Out

And here’s the way back out to the Elk.

Floating Downstream

As someone has noted on a FoldingKayaks.org forum thread, the Folbot Aleut is stable enough you can sit back put your legs up outside the cockpit. Floating back downstream was lot less trouble than paddling upstream.  I ate another pbj sandwich and relaxed a bit.

Prairie Plains Rd. Bridge

There’s the bridge beyond which is the dirt ramp where I launched a couple of hours previously.  I paddled down farther, toward some of the islands at the top of Woods Reservoir, got repeatedly buzzed by a wasp, whack the snot out of the insect with my paddle, turned around and headed back to the car.

Red Car Blue Boat

And there’s the car with the kayak on top.

Folbot Aleut First Report

Aleut View Forward

Today, I paddled my new 2003 Anniversary Edition Folbot Aleut for the first time.  Most of you know this already, but the Aleut is Folbot’s 12′ single kayak.  Here’s a link to information on the Folbot line-up of folding kayaks that I think was current when the company went out of business last year (2016).  Weighing about 40#, it’s easy to put on the car’s roof racks.  I used a couple of cheap foam blocks to protect the hull.  The boat’s aluminum frame, probably aluminum in general, ‘feels’ more fragile to me than my previous folders’ wooden frames.  The Aleut’s gothic arch cockpit is huge – it seems even bigger from the inside.  I used a bungie cord to keep the seatback in place.  I remember reading on the old Folbot Forum that the style seat my kayak’s got consistently annoyed users by falling forward when they entered the cockpit.

Aleut Lakeside

The Aleut has zero rocker, is beamy, has a lot of primary stability but I was unsure of its secondary stability so I edged to turn with caution.  It was a little breezy today and I found the kayak didn’t turn into the wind much; no rudder today nor was one needed.  The kayak seems sturdy, stable, not bothered by boat-wake or small wind-waves.

Compared to Campsis Radicans, my old Pouch E68, the Folbot Aleut is pretty slow.  Surely no more than six miles did I paddle this afternoon, but I had no real plan except to put the boat in the water and paddle it around a bit.  It took me a mile or two to remember how and begin to paddle efficiently.   The kayak’s D-rings for perimeter line are placed where I carelessly and repeatedly whacked them with the paddle.  Altering habitual form to avoid that will take at least conscious effort and another excursion to effect.  My form today was sufficiently poor that one of my elbows hurts.

Aleut Beached

As you can see from the pictures, I overprepared – spare paddle, a couple of dry-bags with stuff I might need, a second lunch in case I got hungry, a bilge pump, a bilge sponge, about a gallon of drinking water in a Viet-Nam era military collapsible canteen.

I rode my ’07 Jamis Supernova this morning and again this evening after supper.  Being active outside feels good.

Aleut & Supernova

Old Canoe & New Paddler

Last Sunday afternoon I took my son for his first time on the water in our canoe since he was about two years old.  We paddled about an hour and stopped a couple of times so he could jump in the water.  Here’re three photos:

Canoe Excursion 1

Moorings

MTCanoe

Last week, I reaffixed the peeling edges of three of the Aleut’s keelstrips. This weekend, I’m planning to paddle it for the first time.  Here it is on my Volvo wagon’s crossbars.  I tried to work out how far apart to space them. Got a couple of cheap foam blocks to serve as hull or deck cradles.  Dunno yet whether to cartop it hull-down or deck-up.  Regarding the deck, I stupidly applied the wrong 303 product to it last week – the UV protectant that’s intended for  hull-type material.  It doesn’t seem to have harmed the fabric in any easily discernible way.  I’ll get some Fabric Guard soon, though.

Folbot on Volvo

For those of you who actually know me, my former telephone number ending in 6642 is no longer active. The same area code and prefix with last four digits 1389 is active.  Also, with that phone, I can actually send and receive text messages, although my texting skillset is below average.

 

 

Quick Update

Yesterday morning, I drove up to Knoxville and bought a 2003 Anniversary Edition (also, apparently, the Expedition Edition) Folbot Aleut – a 12′, 40# folding kayak.  This is the first solo boat I’ve owned in several years.  I essentially quit paddling when my son got old enough to miss me and be bugged by the fact I was gone most of the day every Saturday and some Sundays.  Now, he’s been asking to go paddling with me.  I’m still working on, but more seriously now, rehabbing the Pouch RZ96.  This afternoon, we plan on paddling the canoe – an 18′ 1974 Grumman. Gear’s all packed and ready.

My son and I set up the Folbot yesterday afternoon – it was pretty easy compared to the only other aluminum framed folder I’ve had, and super lightweight compared to my wood framed folders.  I got some Harbor Freight super glue gel to stick down the keelstrips that’re coming loose.  Maybe will get that done today, too.

Still sober – about 32 years now, I think.  Still bicycling – working full-time again has cut into my pedaling time, but I’ve been leaving a bike at the office during the week to ride at lunch.  An easy 4.27 mile route, but better than not riding at all.  Recently also been getting up really early Saturday and Sunday mornings to ride to the gym, spending a couple of hours strength training, then back to the house.

I’m amazed I was able to remember my L/P for this site.

Here’s one of the seller’s images of the Folbot Aleut. I’ve still got to get my photo editing software sorted out on this computer.

Folbot Aleut