Keep Fighting

President Trump appears willing to exhaust every legal means to verify and count every legal ballot cast in the November 3rd national elections. This is good also for down-ticket races. It isn’t over until the verification process and legal challenges run their parallel courses or int he event the Orange Man concedes. That’s how it should be.

For the first time during my life, we’ve had an American president who puts this nation’s interests first and whose administration has consistently taken care to govern according the Constitution. I admire Trump’s courage in the face of continual negative press and the tangled difficulty involved in working in close procedural proximity to Deep State lifers.

Here’s an article I read this morning at The American Conservative – “No Surrender” by Declan Leary. I agree with most of what this guy has written there.

Reformation Day Paddle

Paddling toward Hwy 41-A

NB – photo/caption alignment is unreliable in this version of WordPress editor.

Last Saturday, 31 October 2020, I paddled my new-to-me Long Haul Mark I kayak for the first time. I put in at Estill Springs City Park – an easily accessible primitive launch site – dirt, no real ramp, park where you can. Before leaving the house, I’d already planned to put in and paddle to the right – toward the populated by lake houses banks of Tims Ford Lake and as far as the Loop. I thought the water levels at the lake would be winter-pool low, so didn’t think I’d get far if I paddled up toward the dam at Woods Reservoir.

When I got to the put in, the water level looked sufficiently high to paddle in either direction, but I carried on with my planned route. There was a headwind to paddle against in the direction I chose, but I hoped that would have the wind at my back on my return trip.

Problems

Before getting to the water, I had to solve two new problems. The Long Haul Comfort Seat in the Mark I tends to flip forward – a circumstance that cannot but cause problems when the paddler enters the cockpit. I fixed that by using a small bungie cord. See the photo, below.

This short bungie keeps the seatback from flipping forward

The second problem, and one I should have considered more fully when assembling the kayak Friday, was that I needed to move the rudder pedal assembly forward from where I originally pinned it into place in the middle of the bow keelson’s track. Mark Eckhart, in his instructional video for the MK I assembly, recommends attaching the rudder pedal assembly before the forward frame half is inserted into the hullskin. The reason for this, as I learned, is that the attachment track and the pins that secure the assembly to the track are most easily accessible while the frame half is outside the skin.

Saturday morning, before loading the kayak onto the car, I decided to move the assembly closer to Rib No. 3 because at 5’9-5’10”, my legs might not reach much further forward while underway. Thought it was better to reach the pedals even if slightly uncomfortable than to not reach them at all while on the water.

I almost didn’t get the assembly reattached. I sweated and prayed a good deal but my efforts were ultimately successful. I then adjusted the number of chainlinks for the rudder cables at the carabiner on each rudder pedal. Less annoyingly difficult than what went before.

An older problem long since solved is getting a heavy, wood-framed folding kayak onto a car’s roof rack. Ralph Hoehn suggested this to me years ago. Open the car’s front door, lift the bow end of the kayak and set it on the top of the open door. Then lift the stern end onto the car’s rear crossbar. Then the bow end onto the front crossbar. Make adjustments, secure the kayak, go. Here’s an illustration – bow end on front door, stern end on back crossbar:

Door loading/unloading trick

Immediately after I got underway, I felt the tension in the left rudder pedal give way with a sound that seemed to indicate something’d broken. I got out of the kayak at shoreline and, negotiating the spraydeck’s opening with arms, head, shoulders while using my teeth as a third hand, I counted out the cable links and re-fastened the chain to the left pedal’s carabiner. Nothing had broken, I’d just failed to make secure the connection before I left the house. Thought I had, but was mistaken. Getting that corrected was more difficult than solving my rudder assembly placement earlier in the day.

Paddling Impressions

In an online forum, I noted that I felt weak or out of shape when it came to paddling this kayak for the first time. In the last ten years or so, I haven’t paddled regularly. When my son got old enough to miss me when I was gone all day, I started cycling instead.

Part of the problem was I used an unfamiliar paddle for the first time Saturday, too. I bought a 240 cm Werner Camano paddle from Ebay early last month knowing I’d be getting Mark I.

That’s my Ebay 240 cm Werner Camano paddle

As I think back about it, I would have been better off using my old Eric Renshaw Greenland paddle or even my heavy Aqua-Bound paddle. 240 centimeters is too long for this solo kayak. 230 or 225 would be better for me. The Werner’s a nice paddle. Lightweight, strong. It’ll work for my RZ-96 or even my old Grumman canoe.

Rail bridge foreground and bridge at 41-A

It took me a while to feel like I was equal to paddling, controlling the Mark I. The kayak is 15′ 10″ in length and 28″ wide. The manufacturer’s website says the kayak weighs 69#, but I think that’s without rudder/pedals and the seat. It’s pretty heavy.

After paddling past the rail and highway bridges at 41-A, I found the robotic, ab-crunching torso rotation reliant paddling style that has always got me out and back again even when feeling so worn out that paddling felt like a clumsy, tedious slog.

I do lift weights most days a gym, but the artificial practice of strength training with machines and free weights is crap compared to using my muscles to do real work in the real world. Paddling versus weights – paddling’s better. So’s cycling.

The Long Haul I don’t paddle as fast as I did my old E-68. It’s more immediately stable than the E-68. Because I wasn’t totally comfortable with my connection to the kayak at the rudder pedals or with my knees against the gunwales and also because I wasn’t comfortable with my new paddle, I didn’t try to lean the kayak or do any braces. Maybe next time with a shorter paddle.

All in all, counting breaks for bladder relief (out of sight of any lakehouse residents) and a lunch stop, I was probably on the lake for about four hours. My paddling experience was pretty awful due to being out of shape and out of practice.

Shallow grove

I saw a grove of trees standing in shallow water with oddly shaped trunks. I saw some great blue herons, other birds I couldn’t identify, some turtles. Mossy rocks.

I paddled out to the Loop, then explored a backwater accessed through a tunnel under the highway that leads to Loop Drive, I think it’s called. I passed numerous palatial lake houses. One of them reminded me of the Apple Barn restaurant and shops in Sevierville. On the way back to the put in, I saw a bald eagle. The picture didn’t turn out very well. The bird looked alert and oriented, a beautiful creature.

Estill Springs City Park put in

By the time I got back to Estill Springs City Park I was glad to see the car again. Got some dirt or sand on my back deck – no idea how that happened.

Dirt? No idea how it got there
Inexpertly tied painter knots

Long Haul Mark I

The Long Haul Mark I Kayak I purchased earlier this month. First assembly 10/30/20.

The kayak arrived in boxes last Wednesday and I only had time at lunch to unbox the parts, stow them in their bags. My wife noticed them in the garage when she got home in the afternoon.

Longerons, keelson halves, gunwales, yellow spraydeck. Looking top-down into the packing box.
Bags, ribs, rudder assembly, Comfort Seat.

I got the kayak at a bargain price. Mark had sewn a new deck on a customer’s hull but the fellow found it unsatisfactory – had to do with the rubber bash-pads either side of the cockpit – he thought they leaked, over-applied Aqua-Seal to the seams. Looks awful. Mark, the manufacturer, hypothesized the rubber pads stiffen up and form concavities with deck fabric inboard their inner edges allowing some water to pool there and seep in through the deck seam. Since I’m not an ocean going paddler crossing several miles between mainland and island fairly often, the hullskin will probably suffice for my uses. And the keelstrips on that hull – keelstrips on top of keelstrips.

Again, regarding the bargain price – Mark assembled the frame from odd parts remaining in his workshop. So they don’t all match – I’ll post some photos when I get a chance to illustrate what I mean. A few Klepper parts mixed in. Some had been finished with Line-X versus varnished. I have a maroon seat. Yellow spray deck and a gray skirt to go with it. Klepper rudder modified slightly.

Because I have been working from home, when there’s a hole in my schedule, as long as my documentation’s caught up, I have some freedom relative to time use. Yesterday, in my spare time and during my lunch hour, I assembled the Mark I for the first time. I think I’ve got the rudder pedals further forward than is going to work well, and I’ll have to correct seat placement. Hopefully will get a couple of hours on the water today.

Lately, instead of Star Wars expanded universe novels, I’ve been reading the Galaxy’s Edge series. From the Star Wars universe I first read the work of one Karen Traviss – Republic Commandos series, a few others, a lot of thought put into the Mandalorian background, language, culture, history, planetary dispersion, etc. Good character development, not too preachy. A good friend of mine refers to her characters as “the Fett Brothers.”

A few weeks ago, I had a look at her blog and saw an entry about a novel she’d published in late 2019 entitled The Best of Us. I’ve reviewed it on Amazon. Like a Mitford novel with actual peril, guns, spies, spaceships, aliens, artificial intelligence – by “like Mitford” I mean not alarmingly fast paced with good depth of character development, a “richness” (although I don’t like using advertising copy words) to the novel’s “texture” (another one of those words) that is unusual for Science Fiction and is an element of Traviss’ work that sets it apart.

Since Ms. Traviss’ next installment has not been published yet, I’ve passed the time reading a lot of the other novels from the series. I’ve reviewed on Amazon Anspach and Cole’s “Madame Guillotine” – can’t figure out how to get the blog posting software to underline. Pretty good critique of contemporary political culture in the U.S. and Western countries, particularly. If I have any criticism of Anspach and Cole’s work, it is they tend to over-use elements of contemporary popular culture. For instance, the “Ready Player One” thing from their “Gods and Legionnaires” novel – second in the Savage Wars series. That said, whichever of them wrote the parts about Southern California in the 70s to the 80s got it right. I remember it from my own childhood and youth.

That’s the sticker corner in my boatshed. My Article 19 sticker’s going on the car.

New Folding Kayak

If you’ve noticed, in the Flickr feed at main page’s left side is a photo of a blue folding kayak. That is a Long Haul Mark I solo boat with expedition hull and associated accessories and I should be in possession of it by month’s end. In time to do some Fall paddling before freezing weather sets in. This week, I’ll send my Bombergear Radiator drysuit in for service and should have that back about the time the kayak gets here. So looking forward to time on the water in a single that’s faster than my Aleut. Got a second hand Werner Camano paddle from Ebay a week ago.

Update 10-23-20

The Mark I is scheduled for delivery next Wednesday. 🙂

Last Saturday, 10-17-20, I sent my ancient BomberGear Radiator drysuit to Drysuits Plus, Inc, in Texas for needed repairs. It’d been folded up on a shelf in my bedroom closet for about the past 10 or 11 years. Gaskets both brittle and gooey. I thought the suit would be fine in that temperature controlled environment. I was wrong.

The postal service still hasn’t completed the delivery. Mail-in voting? Yeah, right.

A

Black Lives Don’t Matter

any more than any other lives matter. 

Read it all together – Black lives don’t matter any more than any other lives matter.

I think lives matter to individuals on an individual basis and are evaluated by individuals on character traits as well as behavior.  Lives of family members matter or not on the basis of similar criteria, but also within the context of familial affection and family culture obligation.

For example – the life of a Charles Manson has less value than the life of just about anybody who’s not a manipulative mass murderer.  The life of violent street mob member is less valuable than the life of a public school custodian who is not a member of a violent street mob.  The life of a robber is less valuable, often, than the life of the person robbed.  And so forth.

Furthermore, as I’ve written earlier in this space, life isn’t color-coded.  Seriously, it’s not.

Hey Tameka, Watch Your Mouth

Chicago’s unwell-looking mayor, Lori Lightfoot, made an asinine and threatening Twitter comment to the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany.  Lightfoot and the entire Illinois Democrat apparatus are derelict in maintaining rule of law and carrying out the legitimate work of government in a constitutional republic.  Ms. McEnany cast no ‘racial’ aspersions, it was Ms. Lightfoot who whistled up her dogs.

Tameka = Karen

That’s right, Tameka = Karen.  Both are run of the mill, common names within the Black and White cultural groups, respectively.

We’ve heard a lot about so-called Karens lately –that woman in a New York city park walking her dog off the leash and upset because a Black birdwatcher threatened to lure her dog over to him because she didn’t comply with his, in a way, reasonable request is the most well known version of this usage.  If you click on the Quara link – linked to the word “Karens,” above – I prefer the Geoff Hathaway version although he errs when he labels as Karens Black women behaving badly.

Equality is equality.  I mean, shouldn’t every subgroup have its own label?

Let’s pick a more typically Black female name for those women – to use a typically White name is a sort of cultural appropriation and fails to accurately reflect what we’re seeing in the larger society.

Hathaway’s also mistaken when he notes this bad behavior among women of color is a new phenomenon.  Humans have been behaving badly in ways that reflect the worst of  whatever our culture since the beginning of time, er, since there’ve been humans.  There’s a lot of documentation available to substantiate this.

Here are some recent Tamekas –

Those women arrested for attacking airline employees over a flight delay.

Another problematic airport encounter.  Who started it?  Who knows?  Isn’t “fighting words” a legal defense only in pre-1980 Texas?

There’re plenty of black female mob violence videos on the Internet.  You can find them yourself if you’re interested.  The nation would be shocked and in an uproar if the roles were reversed in terms of race/ethnicity in the videos linked above.

Comfort Speech Mandated By BLM/Antifa/SJWs/PC-Culture

Is comfort-speech required of all White people when interacting with all Black people?  Speech cannot be mandated – that’s unconstitutional.  What is ‘hate speech’ – is it any statement less than uncritically accepting of whatever behavior or person encountered by a White person?  Is a public beating the penalty for failing to smilingly and quickly comply with the BLM/Antifa/SJW/PC comfort speech mandate?

Not Racist

Nothing I’ve said here is racist.  What I’ve done mocked BLM/Antifa/SJW/PC-culture, Lori Lightfoot and Black women behaving badly.  I’ve criticized in other places and at other times my own cultural roots.

I despise the class warfare paradigm foisted upon this nation by the maintstream media and the Academy.  It’s Marxist. No good can come of it.

Instead of giving everyone or group a shot at the bottom and a turn with the whip, why not simply find means of equitable reconciliation and destroy the whip?  When we start openly airing our observations and discussing our thoughts and ideas, that’s something that might happen.

 

 

 

Kung-Flu? Ha Ha. No Regrets.

Yesterday afternoon, I watched a White House press briefing on YouTube.  That’s an interesting exercise, in itself, and a good way to get a clear idea of what the Trump Administration is communicating without media gatekeeper spin.

An Asian female reporter for one of the mainstream media outlets repeatedly asked whether President regretted having used the “racist” term or phrase Kung-Flu to describe the Chinese coronavirus.  The manner in which she spoke trumpeted the assumption that it is a matter of settled fact that Kung-Flu is a racist term and no right thinking individual would dispute that assumption.  That struck me as nonsensical.  I wish Ms. McEnany had said so, but because the Washington Press Corps is comprised of anti-Trump activists – as evidenced by their typically silly, clearly biased questions – she was kept busy playing a sort of Space-Invaders game responding to the group’s more egregious attempts to denigrate the work of the current administration.

I admire Ms. McEnany’s preparation.  She frequently refers to organized material in a notebook on the podium from which she cites verifiable information in refutation of most of the claims made by the activist press corps on a given day.  I also, to a degree, admire her patience with the often childish behavior and inane questions shouted at her by several of the activists in the room.

As a citizen, can you imagine wasting an opportunity to ask a member of the administration real questions about serious matters relevant to the well-being of the republic?  What passes for journalism today is sorry spectacle irrelevant to the lives of most of this nation’s people.

Four Days Off

Since gyms have reopened in Tennessee and since I’ve been working from home since mid-March, I’ve been lifting weights/strength training about six days a week.  When it’s not pouring rain and I feel like it, I ride my bike to the fitness center.  My routine’s been to awaken around 4:00 am, drink a cup of coffee and read the news on the Internet, then head out.  Thursday, I took a day off work to drive to another town with my wife and skipped the early morning weight room workout.  Yesterday morning, I felt unreal tired after getting up, had a cup of coffee, read the news, went back to bed.  Same thing today.  Anyway, I’ve been fighting off a sore throat/cold so I probably need the rest.

I’ll probably sleep in tomorrow, too.  Dunno yet.  That would make four days off.

That Sharpie pen scribble is something I drew on a grocery bag probably 25 years ago, at least.  Found it folded up in a drawer at my mom’s house when we were going through papers, shredding stuff.  I probably should export it to Illustrator and have it put on a T-shirt.Eep

I’ve reread the post and found it has too much since.

Leftist Voter Fraud Strategy

This is more stuff that should be obvious even to the meanest intelligence –

Loss

My mom died last Friday 24 April, a little over a month after her 79th birthday, of complications associated with her small cell lung cancer, treatments for same, and a confluence of other health problems that have been ongoing for about the past 10 years.  I didn’t understand her as a human being and I wish I had.  I wish I’d been a better son.  Easy for me it is to justify the steps I’ve taken over my lifespan to differentiate, but today I just feel a sense of guilt and failure. Sadness. Grief.