Monday, February 05, 2007

Weekend Outline

On Friday after working into the middle of the afternoon, I picked up Carol Anne and Tad, who had boxed and loaded the felines into their carriers. We stopped at Quarters so Carol Anne could get a case or so of boutique beer, then changed drivers to allow Tad to get driving experience on the trip south.

En route we stopped at the Socorro Springs brewpub to fill Carol Anne's growler. I was the designated beer refiller, so I chose "Brown Eyed Molly", a nice dark ale with a little bit of everything in the way of taste.

Enroute we learned that Dino was back in El Paso; we also learned we'd need to move our temporary Team Black Magic southern ommand center out of the apartment in Truth or Consequences and into a double wide. Dino had just returned from a trip to a south Texas hunting ranch (deer, pig, turkey) where he got to ride in a helicopter that was used as part of a cattle roundup. He also was relieved to find out that Your Mom was almost entirely unscathed after a storm severely damaged the marina in Kaneohe Bay on the east side of Oahu, breaking up some piers and causing the failure of Your Mom's mooring. Your Mom had grounded, fortunately, in a muddy/sandy area and barely scratched her paint, as a subsequent survey discovered.

We spoke with Zorro; learned of rear-end trouble in part of the Panzerflo"te. Conner had joined with cats in voting down Blondie's Hawaiian proposition but office product sales were up.

We spoke with Seattle and learned that the NM Tech sailors were about to get the vice presidential yacht. That is, the neglected J-24 belonging to the vice president/provost for research was going to be donated to the student sailing club.

Leaving the cats at the apartment, we ran to Bullocks for groceries. Some great small-town bargains were soon ours, such as five pounds of potatoes for eighty-nine cents and twenty-five key limes for a buck. At the store we saw Marina Manager Mike and Captain Groovy and chatted with them for a few minutes. We had a nice dinner and Tadpole also practiced on his cello into the night.

Zorro's car trouble kept him away and Cornhusker was off in Cruces with Bassmaster. So, we were short on both crew, and as it turned out, wind; very light breezes made the idea of sailing a bit of a yawn.

The ring base was now too flat for the boom and we couldn't locate replacement needles for the stitching awl, so we had to accept another delay in setting up a mount for the spin pole.

We went to the marina, seeing Sutherland, Dixie, and Teddy Bear on White Lightnin' approaching the Dam Site courtesy dock. Pat kayaked from Rock Canyon marina to the boat ramp and courtesy dock next to the Dam Site marina, then returned after getting in a nice half hour of exercise. And, even though I'm no swift paddler, in the almost non-existent winds my kayak was the fastest thing moving on the water. (The only power boaters in the neighborhood were drift-fishing.)

Pat brought Carol Anne and Tad to the Dam Site restaurant overlooking the harbor for a lunch and the more-or-less first-ever and Organizational Meeting of Etchells Fleet 31. Actually we did discuss several fleet related topics, along with a hot-button issue for the White Lightnin' crew: how to get from the cockpit to the foredeck. We may be able to give them some steps.

Especially Pat and Tad lots more packing, organizing, and cleaning. We also cooked up a nice dinner, our last in the Myrtle Street apartment.

That night, Carol Anne suffered her first bad migraine in years, and I got to suffer along a wee bit, too and try to help.

We learned that Zorro had patched up one of his Mercedes and would be up that morning. Husker was staying home with a cold. We went by Desert Lakes Realty to get the key for the elderly double-wide we'd be moving our lake stuff into; after a few hiccups the errant key was apprehended and turned over to us.

Upon approaching the cove in the southern end of Elephant Butte Lake we saw the White Lightnin' crew at the Dam Site ramp and visited; Sutherland and Dixie planned to sail White Lightnin' a few miles north to the main marina boat ramp, where Teddy Bear would be waiting with Sutherland's truck. Winds extremely light, around 1 kt. Carol Anne was invited aboard and decided instead to go to Rock Canyon and rig Black Magic, wait to see whether Zorro arrived first or Sutherland and White Lightnin'. White Lightnin' took about 45 minutes to arrive; Zorro about 65 minutes, so Carol Anne was on White Lightnin' and a short distance from the marina when Zorro arrived and rigged USA 38, Constellation.

About that time, a nice wind arrived, allowing for good sailing for the two boats. Constellation quickly caught up with White Lightnin' and sailed some lazy circles around her while Sutherland called out various detailed sorts of commands to his crew. After White Lightnin' arrived at the main marina, Carol Anne jumped ship (the 574 crew was famished for lunch but Carol Anne was more in need of quality on-the-water time) and sailed with Zorro. The wind faded, but didn't wholly die before they came to within a quarter mile of Rock Canyon marina.

Meanwhile, Pat and Tad were busy with moving. We relocated Black Magic's trailer to a corner parking spot, and moved Syzygy (our MacGregor 26) to dry storage in Elephant Butte at CD's place where we updated him on our happenings and paid three months' rent. We moved a couple of loads of furniture, boat gear, and miscellaneous household stuff, including one load in our 6x12' utility trailer, to the small double-wide. There we met a new neighbor and got help finding the water cutoff and Tad began to attack the grime in the kitchen. Dulce got very excited when she saw a mouse in the bathroom; we think we'll now call the doublewide Dulce's Hunting Lodge. Tadpole had a brief conversation with the months-old remains of a Mickey D's Happy Meal in the fridge that seemed to have evolved far enough to have acquired crude powers of speech.

I also ran a quick side errand to Alco, where I was able to buy a couple of gallons of bleach for cleaning the trailer more intensively than we'd originally planned upon, but found they were out of key blanks for duplicating the trailer key. In between a couple of our trips, we visited the Rock Canyon Marina and had a lengthy conversation with Rodeo Mom, who has the idea that the lake level will go down a bunch this year, which doesn't seem likely to other people I've asked. We phoned Carol Anne, who with Zorro was sailing slowly near Rattlesnake Island at the time. We visited Husker and got her signed on board as the registered agent for Etchells Fleet 31 - a requirement incidental to incorporating the Etchells Fleet as a New Mexico nonprofit corporation. Husker was feeling better and also reported that GI Jane had enjoyed the first session of the sailing class at NMSU, led by Dumbledore and Mother.

Tad and I made a final trip back to the old apartment to get the last few things out of there and found the new tenant was already starting to clean and prepare to move in. We gave her some useful hints about the apartment and how things worked in it and introduced ourselves to her and her teen daughter.

We caught up with Carol Anne and Zorro shortly after they'd returned to the marina and de-rigged and covered their boats. Zorro signed some Etchells Fleet 31 paperwork and we traded information. Zorro's estimates for the lake this year are about 30 or 40 feet of elevation more positive than Rodeo Mom's estimates.

Before returning to the trailer, we and Zorro convoyed up to the main marina, where the 574 crew was hauling out their boat ... again as it turned out; when being dipped into the water to try to remove some slime, White Lightnin' had not been tied to her trailer, with no crew on board, and drifted out into the harbour, to be chased down by a marina employee in a pontoon boat. There was also the response to "Throw me a line" and the long-distance key throwing competition. Ah, the joys of "oh no, not another learning experience!".

Returning to Dulce's Hunting Lodge, we organized a few more things. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to do much unpacking or find out whether the water heater or furnace were working. Even though we've tried to set up the lake apartment in "camping" style and minimize junk, we still have quite a few hours ahead of us before to trailer will be quite civilized.

Then we headed for the nearby La Hacienda restaurant. The waitress was happy to turn on the small television so Carol Anne could see the third quarter of a football game; that also pleased the cook, who also seemed to be a football fan. The albondigas (meatball) soup was great and the meals were good values; also, Carol Anne was pleased that Negro Modelo and Bohemia were only a quarter more than domestic beers. Unfortunately, she later learned that Da Bears didn't quite win in spite of hanging in there and leading for parts of the game.

Soon it was time to leave. Tad got to drive all the way north through Socorro to Albuquerque, getting more valuable driving hours and getting to tow our utility trailer (and get more hours of night driving, which he may have as many of as daytime driving - I guess our family is more nocturnal than most.) In Socorro we stopped at NM Tech to retrieve one of our Sunfish sailing dinghies; it had been used as a prop to attract attention at the NM Tech Club Fair the previous Monday. We also fueled Babe and refilled Carol Anne's growler with "Get Well Pale Ale". It was rather late by the time we returned to Albuquerque on Sunday night.

Coming soon:
Bureaucracy and the Dawn of the Corporation. Bankers' rules.
Sutherland and Susy Q plan a knot-tying adventure.
Managing the race -- dashing to the gulf.
The challenge.


At 1:34 AM, February 06, 2007, Blogger Carol Anne said...

An interesting observation: Dino's hunting trip was in the same part of Texas where Dick Cheney goes hunting, but Dino didn't have any lawyers to shoot at, much as he might have liked the prospect.

And the sack of potatoes was only 77 cents, not 89, and the key limes were 25 for 89 cents, not $1.

And the migraine was Friday night/Saturday morning, not Saturday/Sunday.

The Saturday Albuquerque paper includes a column from a pest-control expert who favors less toxic approaches to pest control, and this past weekend, he answered a question about how to deal with a serious mouse infestation. He recommends snap-traps, baited with bits of Slim Jims, placed perpendicularly to walls along which the mice run, with the baited end toward the wall. We can try that when Dulce's not on duty -- although I hope the mice like Jack Link's, since the stores in T or C have better prices on that brand than on Slim Jims.


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