Sunday, June 17, 2018

Guideboat Half Hull Model

Just finished an Adirondack Guideboat made from John Blanchard's plans from Mystic Seaport.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Half Hull Modeling

I just started to get into making half hull boat models.  I got started with a model of the boat "Wave" which I purchased plans from the WoodenBoat store.  It is the first picture shown in this series.  I also got some good tips from Douglas Brooks' tutorial.  I really like his idea when gluing up the wood to include a colored piece of construction paper for the waterline.  It seems too thin but it shows up just perfect.
I also found a great video series on YouTube where Malcolm Crosby (from the Crosby catboat family of boatbuilders in Osterville, Cape Cod) builds half hull models.  Betsy Crosby Thompson has put together great videos of her father building these models.  This is a real treasure as his model are exquisite and he provides all kinds of tips and details how he does it.  Every part of the process is shown too.
I am currently working on a John Blanchard Adirondack guideboat where I purchased the plans from Mystic Seaport. I really like making models of small craft rather than the large yachts 

 Flatiron Skiff
 Chamberlain Dory

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Baseball Life Lessons

  • Even the best teams will lose 70 out of the 162 scheduled games in a season
  • The best of the best players will fail to get a hit 70% of the time
  • Take it one pitch at a time, one inning at a time.  Don’t dwell on yesterday except to learn from it.
  • “It ain’t over til its over” (Yogi Berra) – anything can happen even if you are down in the ninth inning with 2 strikes and 2 outs.
  • Run everything out as hard as you can.  Joe DiMaggio said, “There is always some kid who may be seeing me play for the first time. I owe him my best”.
  • You don’t always need the home run.  Lots of singles and walks can add up runs quickly. 
  • Be patient and wait for something you can hit
  • Keep your eye on the ball (the process, the goal, etc.)
  • Even if you are on the bench, be ready to go in at any time.
  • Take a moment to relax and refresh (7th inning stretch).  Rushing a play can lead to errors.
  • Slumps don’t last forever and neither do hot streaks.  Consistency over the long term is key.
  • You may not always get calls in your favor (umpire calls).  You will get calls that balance that out over time.  Focus on what you can control.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Eagles Win and the Kelce Rant

Any football fan has to appreciate what the Philadelphia Eagles did to win Super Bowl VII. They had several injuries to key players but just kept on winning. There were no stand out superstars that distracted from the team purpose. I do believe Doug Pederson's statement that this winning is a new norm for the team. As long as they continue to keep humble and stay focused as a team, I don't see why they could not continue. We'll have to see if the play style of Carson Wentz will be able to keep him healthy for an entire season.

The team became likable and it seems that the city could overcome the bad events of the past like throwing snowballs at Santa Claus and cheering when Michael Irvin was hit so hard he was not moving on the field. Just when you thought that could be turned around, you get Jason Kelce's parade celebration speech which was completely out of line especially when he used profanity in front of a crowd full of families. Then on top of that, the crowd is cheering him on and later writing that his speech was spectacular. Really? I may be the only one that did not like his speech at all.

Doesn't Kelce know that by winning the super bowl, you silence all of the critics? You no longer have to moan and complain how the media made it so hard for you to succeed because it was the exact opposite. Instead of “F-em!” and “F-you!” why not take the high road and say “To all the critics, Thank you, because it gave us even more incentive to prove everyone wrong”?  You just won a championship. Act like you are a champion and not some drunken buffoon.  Instead, here he was, dressed up in full Mummer costume and made himself stand out from all the other teammates. He wanted all of the spotlight and was so unlike the character of this Eagles team. Lead by quiet selfless players like Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Brandon Graham, the team is group of players that pull for each other without the superstar diva special treatment that plagues so many teams now. Even very outspoken players like Malcom Jenkins gave a short speech, then retreated back behind the curtain of the team. Kelce was the only one that had to make a spectacle of himself. I am sure the team and the NFL had to cringe at his foul language but kept smiles on their faces because there was nothing they could do.

Just because it was a super bowl championship celebration and he had a platform did not excuse it. I am hopeful that after the euphoria of the championship wears down some that people will rethink his speech and demand from the NFL, the team and owners that we don't hear that kind of thing again.

If Kelce is not fined and reprimanded for not following the rules then speeches like this will become the “new norm” and that is sad. In an NFL season that was full of controversy, the Eagles helped to save the season by authoring an epic “Underdog” story that every fan can relate to and hope for. Yet Kelce ruined it for many NFL fans in 5 minutes and added to the poor image of the Philadelphia fan base. This is an opportunity for the NFL to step in and put a stop to this kind of thing that does nothing to uplift the image that so many good players work hard to maintain.

Monday, October 9, 2017

The NFL Will Soon Perish

excerpted from David Gornoski's article:

"By 2050, the National Football League (NFL) will be like the Barnum and Bailey Circus of today. Bankrupt, closed, irrelevant, morally passe."

"...Its massive billion dollar stadiums and marketing machines seem immortal for now. But these titanic playpens will soon crumble under the same cultural force that killed the circus: our culture’s growing concern for victims."

"Meanwhile, diehard fans once thrilled by simulated violence are losing interest with ever constrained penalty rules and concussion concerns. The suspension of disbelief required to enjoy the game is waning: talks of brain damage, flags no longer able to unify people around soldiers’ sacrificial deaths, spousal abuse, and racial undertones are all exposing football as just a silly game to appease desires for tribalism and aggression—and make fat cat owners fatter. Not worth all the drama."
Image result for no more football
Good riddance too.  I hope it does not take until 2050.  I can't watch it anymore.  It is becoming more and more boring.  The teams are not that good and the play is more sloppy.  The frequency of commercials is unbearable now and there are penalties called all the time.  The celebration dances after every run, catch or touchdown are the last straw for me!  I am finally realizing how bad it is.  It is fixed, corrupt, protects criminals and killing off players.  The concussion problem won't be fixed no matter what helmet is worn and the national anthem silliness are the symptoms of the eventual crumble. 
Does anyone really watch the Thursday, Sunday night and Monday night games.? I never thought it could eventually fall but now I think it is a real possibility.  The buffoons running it better enjoy it while they can.  Things can move really quickly now compared to years ago and once this league takes on water they'll be no stopping it.

Friday, September 8, 2017

New York Yankees and Retired Numbers

The retired numbers and plaques are getting so silly now with the Yankees that here is what will be coming in a few years:
  • John Sterling
  • Suzyn Waldman
  • Michael Kay
  • Brian Cashman
  • Mike Francessa
Retired numbers coming:
  • Joe Girardi
  • Paul O'Neill
  • Mark Texiera
  • Alex Rodriguez
  • CC Sabathia
  • Scott Brosius
  • Hideki Matsui - first Japanese Yankee to be honored
It's ridiculous and the Yankees should say after Jeter, there will be NO MORE retired numbers again.
The team is bigger than whoever happens to be wearing the uniform at any given time.
A retired number should only go to the players who were so outstanding and one of a kind immortal that there will never be one like that again.
While these players below were absolutely great and fan favorites they are not in that category in my opinion:
  • #1 Billy Martin 
  • #6 Joe Torre
  • #10 Phil Rizzuto
  • #20 Jorge Posada
  • #23 Don Mattingly
  • #32 Elston Howard
  • #44 Reggie Jackson
  • #46 Andy Petitte
  • #49 Ron Guidry
  • #51 Bernie Williams
These players had wonderful careers but we will likely see more like them in the future. 
It cheapens the distinction when all these players get retired numbers when they are no where near the stature of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMagggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra....
The exceptions to this for the modern guys are Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter.  There is no way we will ever see players like these 2 again so they qualify.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Recycled Recumbent Bike Project

I vowed after bike riding in the 2017 Bike-A-Thon and Tour de Shore events (Philadelphia to Atlantic City) that next year I would not do 5 hours on an upright bike for 65 miles again.  I test rode a few recumbent bicycles in early August and really liked them however the cost for one is around $1800+.  So of course I decided to try making one.  I found some good plans from AD Carlson of Recycled Recumbents.  This is the Mach 1 design and he shares all his plans for free.  I have about 60 miles on the bike now and it is very comfortable.  I really love it.  I learned some new skills with this project including arc and mig welding.  I also did some brazing.
More construction pictures here on my Flickr site.