One of the turtles I saw from the jetty at the Port Aransas marina; he was just chomping on the seaweed like he was at a salad bar:
I enjoyed playing with my big-girl-camera while photographing the moon last night. The first one was right after it rose above the horizon, and the second was shot a while (and many frames) later. I was especially pleased that I got a good shot or two given that I took them from the boat. It’s a magical time for a moon dance….
We spent the weekend at Port Aransas – to see wooden boats, birds, waves and to soak up some salt air. I love autumn on the Texas gulf coast.
During my last visit to Seattle, my sister taught me a new game called Ten Thousand. It’s played with six dice, and a pencil/paper to keep score. Two or more people can play.
We’ve played it on the boat the last few times we’ve gone out… and have only lost one die in the lake, so far. I’ve been repurposing them from other games as I go. 🙂
I’ve been told the game is similar to Farkle, but I am not familiar with that game to say if that is true. Here are the rules we use for our version of Ten Thousand:
Order of play: Each player rolls 1 die to determine order of play, highest one goes first, turns proceed clockwise around the table, as follows…
The general idea: To begin, all players start off with a score of zero on the board. Each player’s turn is made up of one or more rolls. A player must roll the dice to accumulate points on each turn, according to the scoring combinations outlined below. She can keep rolling as long as she rolls a scoring combination, but she risks losing all points on a turn if she busts (i.e., rolls without a scoring combination). Each player must first accumulate 1000 points or more on a turn to get “on the board” and to begin recording a score. If player n cannot reach 1000 points or more on her first turn, no points are recorded for that turn, and play passes to the next player. Player n must then try to get on the board on each of her subsequent turns. Once player n is on the board, she can stop at any number of points to end her turn, and those points are added to her score on the board. If a player busts on any turn, no points are recorded for that turn. Standard play ends when one player’s score on the board reaches 10000 or more. At which point each remaining player takes one more turn to see if she can beat it. The player with the highest score after that final round is the winner.
Method of scoring: To start a turn, a player rolls all the dice. To keep rolling, she must roll something that matches one of the scoring combinations. She must then set aside at least one of the scoring combinations as ‘counter(s)’ on each roll that will count towards the point total of that turn. She then rolls the remaining (non-counter) dice to continue her turn. If all 6 of the dice are ‘counters’ a given turn, player must roll all 6 dice again, to continue adding to her total points for that turn. Once a player is ‘on the board,’ she can decide to end her turn with any number of points and add them to her total on the board. However, if a player rolls resulting in no scoring combination for that roll, that player ‘busts,’ her turn is over, and no score is recorded on the board for her on that turn. Play then passes to the next player.
Scoring combinations (* note that ⚀’s are special):
On any roll:
⚄ = 50
⚀ = 100*
In a single roll:
3 of a kind equals that face value in hundreds (e.g., 3 ⚄ = 500).
3 ⚀ = 1000 *
6 of a kind equals that face value in thousand (e.g., 6 ⚁ = 2000)
6 ⚀= 10,000*
A run = 1500 (i.e., ⚀⚁⚂⚄⚃⚅ )
Three sets of pairs = 1500 (e.g., ⚀⚀ ⚃⚃ ⚄⚄…. or even ⚂⚂ ⚂⚂ ⚅⚅, etc).
I hope that made sense. Now find 6 dice and give it a try!
We rafted up with Marty & Sue in Bee Creek over the weekend. No wind, but we had beautiful weather.
We were treated to an exceptionally stunning sunset Saturday evening. This photo is not edited; the colors really were that amazing.
And in the morning we were surrounded by hazy fog rising off the warmer-than-air lake water.
Twas beautiful, indeed.
I planted a 2-gallon sized Pride of Barbados shrub yesterday. It’s a bit late in the season, but I’m hoping that planting it now will give it a good month or so to acclimate to its new home before the cold weather hits. That should make for a good winter’s nap before spring. We’ll see. If this one doesn’t pan out, Monte’s starting a few from seed.
At home I am feeling the absence of the little birdies and squirrels lately. They started making themselves scarce about the same time a hawk was spotted swooping around the trees in our yard. Hopefully this won’t last long.
In the mean time, I was thrilled to see a flock of 20 or more Monk Parakeets flying around the Lamar & 51st street area as we headed home from dinner tonight. We stalked them for a while but didn’t get a great shot.
This is a picture of them near one of their nests. I count 16 or so in this shot. Kind of reminds me of a musical scale with the birds as the notes.
I met some girlfriends downtown last night to listen to a band at The Elephant Room – Kris Kimura’s Wasabi Grande Big, big band. Now, that’s a big band!
Low-light shot of the back of the room.
A week or so ago, we were at anchor and rafted-up in a cove with another boat when we experienced the largest boat wake we have ever seen on Lake Travis, courtesy of a motorhead who is ignorant of the damage that his wake causes other boats and docks along the lake. We never saw him, but his wake caused our two boats to smash into eachother, resulting in our port-side gate stanchion breaking.
The next day I got on the phone with Catalina Direct and ordered a replacement. That was the easy part. The fun-part remained: figuring out how to access the nuts & bolts below deck to make the repair. Suffice to say that it was not a Catalina 320 design point to make access to the stanchion bolts easy or straightforward. The Catalina 320 owners’ association discussion forum was a helpful resource, with some threads describing the repair. I decided to document our experience, along with some photos, in the event it helps another sailor down the line. This is a two-person job, as screwing and unscrewing the nuts requires one person above deck, and one person below. Oh, and the below deck person needs to be small enough and able to contort his/herself in a very confined space for the duration. This repair took about 4 hours. While this post documents replacement of a port-side gate stanchion, I imagine it would be a similar experience for replacing any other stanchion, but the location will dictate a different set of steps to gain access.
In the photo below (new part on the left, broken part on the right) you can see that the threaded rod of the port-side gate stanchion’s aft leg was broken off at the deck. It’s actually a great design, in my opinion, because even though the stanchion was bent significantly enough inboard to pop the weld on the threaded rod, there are no outboard through-deck bolts to damage the deck by being pulled out when the damage occurs. Another thing worth noting is the width of the “h” on the new stanchion was about an inch less than the old one. You can kind of see that in the photo. But we were able to remedy that by a gentle, but firm, pull on the legs to spread them enough to make the bolt holes line up with those on deck. Don’t forget to order the new nuts/bolts/washers that are recommended in the listing for the stanchion on the Catalina Direct website. They have to be ordered separately. Our old bolts were bent pretty good, and the washers were cupped a bit.
The life lines on our 320 connect forward at the bow pulpit. Easy enough to remove for the repair.
Now for the fun part. On a 320, the bolts for the aft leg of the gate stanchion are located behind the aft galley cabinet. The bolts for the forward leg are behind the middle galley cabinet, where the microwave sits. You’ll want to open both of them up to gain access. I recommend taking the divider wall between the two cabinets out as well to make maneuvering a little easier. There is a molded fiberglass cable chase/run behind the wood trim inside the cabinets. You will need to cut away part of that to access all the bolts. A previous owner of our boat had cut some of it away for some other repair or installation.
When I first opened things up to see what I could see, this is what I saw in the aft cabinet. Some of the fiberglass panel had been cut away already, but not enough for this repair.
I used a Dremel tool to cut away another 4 inches or so. BE CAREFUL to not damage the cabling behind the fiberglass panel! Also, take precautions to not work around live electric cables, to avoid damage/death to yourself. I also recommend eye protection and wearing a mask to protect yourself from breathing in the dust while making the cut. And, beware, that cut fiberglass edge is sharp.
This is an upclose view of the 3 bolts for the aft leg of the gate stanchion. The big one is the broken outboard threaded rod. The 2 inboard ones are the smaller through-deck bolts for the aft leg. I had to lower the cabling that was fastened below deck to get access to the bolts. I found that there was no clearance below the threaded rod to allow me to use a socket of any kind. So I had to use a wrench to turn the nut, little by little. As I did, the top of the broken-off rod rose slowly above the deck, eventually enough to be able to put a vicegrips on it above deck, to keep it from turning as I removed the nut the rest of the way. I also will note that the recommended bolt/nut/washer kit that we ordered contained new stainless bolts for the inboard holes of the aft leg that are about an inch longer than the old ones. That might make using a socket difficult, if you don’t have a deep enough one.
This picture shows all 5 bolts – the 3 of the aft leg, and the 2 of the forward leg. It also shows how nice it is to not have the dividing wall between the cabinets there. It made reaching through with tools easier.
We first removed the inboard bolts of the aft leg. Monte unscrewed the bolt above deck, while I held the nut below.
This is a shot of the deck with all the bolts removed, and the old adhesive scraped away. We used fresh marine adhesive, liberally covering the area of each foot. All that remained was to install with the new hardware.
Voila! repair complete.
It’s been a little over a year since my Mom died. I miss her. I was greeted with this on my phone this morning…
Garbage-pail pasta is a quick dinner dish that I throw together using whatever is in the fridge. Last night’s version featured:
- leftover chicken breast meat from the day before – diced (8-10 ounces)
- 1 onion – diced
- 2 garlic cloves – minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp each of kosher salt & ground black pepper
- 2 cups of mushrooms – sliced
- 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces of dry bowtie pasta, cooked before it is added to sauce
- 1 cup of half & half
- 2 cups of baby spinach – coarsely chopped
- 2 ounces of grated parmesan cheese
Pre-cook pasta in salted water. Save the pasta water to use it to thin the cream sauce later, if needed.
I use a 4-5 quart saute pan/pot to make the sauce, so that it is big enough to hold both the sauce and the cooked pasta when it is added later.
Saute onion, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil over medium heat, until soft. Add in the pre-cooked chicken, salt & pepper, and stir for another few minutes til chicken is warm. Add flour and stir, to coat meat and veggies (this will help thicken the cream sauce later).
Add half & half and stir until sauce begins to thicken. Add small amounts of pasta water if sauce gets too thick. Stir in parmesan and spinach, for a minute or two. Then turn off heat under sauce. Add drained, cooked pasta to the sauce and stir.
Not bad. This dish would easily serve 4. Next time, I’d add more mushrooms.