Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha


Sorry, facts are facts

Saw a lot of memes over the holiday touting regret over the displacement of indigenous peoples. Thats PC for “white man kicked injun butt” by the way.

I find this whole thing sad to be honest; not neccesarily that history fell out the way it did, but that so many feel a need for regret of things that happened several generations ago. Its the same thing with reparations for slavery: how can I be held accountable for things that happened 50, 100, 200 years ago? Just because I am a white male? Born happenstance upon this continent? Would you blame me the same way if I were a white male born in South Africa that relocated here? How about blaming me for the genocide of Jews in Nazi Germany as well, that was induced by white males. I also find it interesting and quite ironic that the ones crying about this (for now, until the next crisis/emotional outpouring/whatever, comes along.) are also some of the biggest supporters of OPEN BORDERS. Umm, I do think the indians here had open borders and were invaded. See any coorelation? Probably not but then,,,,

But I digress.

It’s far to easy to take a historical fact and twist it into something its not, to push an emotional wedge in a society. Hitler and Goebel did it to exaggerate hatred of the Jews to accomplish their goal. Stalin and Lenin used political history for the same ends. Pol Pot, Mao, etc etc etc. When you start playing on that field, you might want to recall that the ones that came before you have buckets of blood to their credit.

FACT: there is not one square inch of available (usable) landmass on this earth that doesn’t have the blood of some conquered race soaked into it. From the dawn of man, its was our nature to acquire and defend, and that being said, some one was going to die in the defense while the others acquired. 2+2=4. QED.

As it happens, and for many on this continent where their families have been here for a few generations, I have traces of Native American blood in me. I can’t say for certain, but it wouldn’t surprise me to find that there is some negroid blood as well. Its a known fact that many slave owners would use their slaves as sexual toys; one thing leads to another and,,,

That doesnt change things. Six of one, half dozen the other, it changes nothing . I won’t be held accountable for the doings of ancestery that may or may not be able to be tied to my bloodline. They aren’t accountable for my actions, even if they may inspire or discourage said actions.

Redraw the map if it makes you feel better; the map is not the territory. But DO NOT try to force feed lies to the next generation out of your personal guilt. Allow them the freedom of choice to decide if they will bear a guilt or not. Instead, teach the facts and encourage different behaviours. Good luck with it.

We have learned a lot through history, and the biggest lesson I learned is “human nature does not change, no matter how ‘enlightened’ a society is” . Envy, greed, sloth, gluttony; you know ’em, the seven deadly sins, they’ve been around since before the catholics cataloged them, and are still with us. Try to adjust that! (And if you want change, you have to start with yourself. Are you really willing to open those doors inside your soul to see the beast within? Be honest!)

But the fact is, history is just that; history. Unless you can time travel, you can’t change it. You can bury it, try to hide it, cover it in marshmallow goo and sprinkles to make it taste better, but, YOU. CAN. NOT. CHANGE. IT. Ignoring it, trying to atone for it, whatever, doesn’t do a damned thing about it. It may make you feel better about yourself, and that may say more about your inner beasts than you may be comfortable with. But it does nothing. Look forward, look to your children. Teach them reality, not feel good stuffing, and hope you do your job well. Thats all anyone can really hope for.

Metaphysical question for ya

If a main premise for a persons life is based on a myth or lie: is that person living a life of reality?

Discuss in comments. Keep it civil please.

Thanksgiving here

And for many of my readers. Those that live elsewhere, we give thanks for, well, pretty much LIFE in general on this day.

Sadly it has been commercialized to death but for many, the spirit is still alive.

For me it is. Doesn’t matter about all the awesome food being served in homes nationwide. Thats just the icing on this cake.

This year, things have been all over the spectrum of life for me. And I am giving thanks to universe for gifting me with all that grey matter between my ears to process it, and not be swallowed by it. I honestly believe that this year has been the most educational to me of the many past. Things started to precipitate out of the mix of chaos between my ears, and in more ways than one, fogs and mists have been lifted off my eyes.

Been some things going on of a very personal nature with me as well and that will soon be, while solved is too extreme, alleviated is more accurate. Won’t dwell on it here, but hopefully this will mark a turning point. One where I can start getting the spiral to start upwards again. And for that turning point, I give thanks.

So, while many (most all ) of my American readers will catch up here tomorrow, I extend a mighty BIG thanks to all my readers, here and abroad. I may not post much, but when I do, your activity shows, even though most never comment. Your reading my rambles deserves my thanks, and more.

Happy Thanksgiving day to all my readers.

Next up: water time.

When? Anyones guess, its frickin’ winter.

Poly finish cured in above pics, just needing rigged and fittings. That was done and now she is water ready.

I really dig the way this one turned out. Some of the lessons Duh!k taught me carried through into this build and the results are self evident. Better and deeper finish, not nearly as splotchy. Better, cleaner lines overall (other than that sloppy demarcation between colors: note to self. Blue painters tape isn’t the right product here.)

Heavier fabric as well.

The one on the left is what I put on this round. The stuff on the right is what Duh!k is wearing and has a long gash still in need of repair. (Next on my list IF I dont decide to just strip her and re-skin in the heavier stuff. Possible, but not decided yet.)

Final specs.

Multi-chine skin on frame kayak

200″ length tip to stern.

23″ beam.

Depth (low deck to keel) 9″

Final weight with all rig n fit: 32.1lb.

Maiden voyage soon, weather dependent .

The wind out

Its that time of year again. Daylight is creeping into obscurity and my productivity drops as well. But I’m not being unproductive, just not as productive. When my evening chores devour the remaining daylight, my hobbies get put on the backburner, awaiting free days. Sure, I could crank up the lighting, dip deeper into the battery storage and ‘do my thing’, but the load on my batteries takes a hit this time of year for the same reason my productivity does: limited daylight. In addition, there are more cloud covered days and then I have to be even more frugal to make sure I don’t push my reserves below whats good for them. Batteries do not like dropping below a certain point and rarely recover well if they do. Like I said though, I’m not being unproductive. Things have moved along since my last post.The wrap in the above pic is just packing wrap: strictly a test float thing. It might have worked, but had some holes large enough that I wasn’t going to try it. I did get a good look at how she sits though and really liked what I saw. I ordered the skin the next day. That is now sitting in a bucket of water waiting for a cool and rainy weekend to stretch it. (The forecasters are prognosticating that will be this coming weekend. Fingers are crossed.) Nylon stretches best when damp and cool. Cold we have had, damp, not so much. This has been a very dry half of the year, and a couple of old-timers have even stated they have never seen the river this low. It seems funny that the year started so wet that Cumberland falls was a ripple in the river in Feburary, but now you can walk across most sections of the river and not get wet above your ankles. I had posted a short video of my driveway in flood mode on July 7th. Since then, we have had less than 1 inch of rain. Our average for the year is slightly down, but the year started off so wet, people were considering boats over cars.Weather: don’t like it? Stick around, it’ll change. Another ‘dry spell ‘ is income is down. Not much but enough that I’m feeling it. Work is a touch seasonal, and we are in our down season. Been getting some odd projects done at work and its re-enforcing a maxim I’ve recently learned; “build your dream or get hired to build someone elses.”. I really need to get things back in gear with my ‘dream’. I’ve had a dry spell there as well. I could make excuses about kittens and computer keyboards, but I won’t; I’ve been lazy. Now that things are in slow down outside, I need to pick it back up inside. Well, its time to get back at it and rent my time to others for the day. Chat more later.

In reflection

It’s a bad day on my hill. I had to do something I really did not want to do, but necessity dictated otherwise. I had to take Buzzies kittens to the shelter to find new homes.Its All-hallows Eve. This is the time of year when the Ancients felt the underworld was at its closest and that doorways between could be opened easily, and not so easily closed. Even if you don’t believe all that, its still a spooky time of year. Its also harvest time, and many of our traditions are centered around that, with smatterings of pagan beliefs and a myriad of others. After a few millennium, sorting them out can be a Gordian Knot, not one I want to dwell on here. It is a good time to harvest your thoughts and share them with others though. So that is what I’ll do here today, to help hold back the karmic backlash of breaking a cats trust.People are truly inspiring. Coming from this old Curmudgeon, thats saying something. And I am sure a few people that know me are trying to pick up their jaws right now. Bear with me and I will explain.When the first proto-human climbed out of the trees, or whatever actually happened when that spark struck a nerve and started our evolution, the resources they had were exactly the same as we have today. Think about that for a minute. Dude is sitting in some shallow cave, banging rocks together for whatever purpose, and behind him in the wall is iron, gold silver, copper, silica, limestone, etc. Below his feet is clay, mineral infused dirts perfect for growing food. Below that(and at that time sometimes bubbling to the surface) is crude oil, coal, even more metallic basics, etc etc. Its all there to be had.The ONLY difference between then and now is Knowledge. Not any one persons knowledge, but everybody’s between accumulated and passed on. The accumulation of that knowledge is not linear. Its very logarithmic. Slow starts, slow climbs, but each step forward builds on the last and expands even more. Look at our ‘revolutions’ and how quickly they are starting to happen. The agricultural revolution took ages to mature. The industrial revolution took a couple of centuries. The computer revolution isn’t even a hundred years old yet and its starting to show signs of evolving as well.Too many people will only see the bad of this, never looking at the facts. And I readily admit that I have been guilty as charged in the past. Its not the people that are the problem, its the governments in control of said people that are. The part of that statement that bothers me the most is that sometimes, government also helps. But only sometimes, and usually by doing whats right and stepping out of the way.It doesnt happen often. Nor often enough IMO.Some of this is why I’ve slowed my posting down. I am seeing through a different set of lenses now (thanks in no small part to a couple of very innocent questions asked not so long ago)Malthius was wrong.All the other doomsayers have been wrong.And for one reason. Human ingenuity.When we, as a species, have our back to the wall, we find a way to keep going.Period.And what we come up with is usually better, cheaper, and easier to use than the problem we ‘fixed’.Peak oil? Maybe, maybe not. But there are many many people working solutions, and the ones harping on it tend to not be part of that group. Will the solution be better? Maybe, maybe not. But the resources are there just waiting for someone to hit the right pair of rocks together. They always have been. Maybe we just need to take all the nuclear weapons and turn them all into reactors generating electricity. People will raise hell about nuclear waste. But people used to bitch about the gasoline that kerosene refiners were dumping in the Hudson river. Now we produce gasoline to use for our cars, and in quantities that would stagger J.P. Morgans mind. Todays waste may be tomorrows solution. We may find a way to reclaim depleted uranium and make it more useful than a slug in a rifled barrel.There is a revolution taking place right now in the world. People feel it but may not know what it is they are feeling. Our government is blocking that revolution at every turn as best they can, and if they keep doing so, this country will be, and I’ll stress this WILL BE , left behind, and all us citizens left behind with it. That revolution is taking place on the fringes of the computer revolution and will absorb all of that knowledge when it finally breaks through. If you think things move fast now, you haven’t seen anything yet.As an example for how fast this may be, I want you to think back to 1980. Cable TV was new, and took over everything. Then the personal computer came out in parallel with home video game consoles. In less than 40 years, we have smart phones that have more computing power and more memory than my first computer. A phone that fits in my pocket that is better and faster than the desktop computer that took up the whole desktop.It all starts with knowledge. Knowing which rock to hit with which rock to make that spark.The first block our government has set up is in knowledge. We are NOT teaching our children the things they need. Instead our schools are genderbending and rewarding attendence, while drugging all of the one that don’t “fit”, without teaching or inspiring anything.The second block is in technology. We have a chance to be on the doorstep of the new tech advancing on the world, an our government is getting in pissing wars with the government that ‘stepped out of the way of progress’. And to add insult to injury, many of their brightest came here to get the polish on at the few universities that still do the job, then took that home to make life better.The third block is one that won’t be able to be ignored when it gets traction. Money. The dollar may be the ‘goto’ currency of the world, but its teetering on a razors edge. When it falls, if we aren’t part of the solution, we will be at the bottom of the rubble pile. And that is completely in the hands of our government. People are already starting to find alternatives to the dollar, and while none are perfect, they are working, and they are gaining traction.But, ya know what? None of that matters a damned bit, because people will always find a way. We always do. Some get left behind, some fade away, but always there remains some kernel of that spark, and things keep going. The best and brightest today, may be tomrrows ‘just below average’. But we must keep exchanging our knowledge or things will start to go backwards. Its that exchange that makes us so unique and why we are at the top of the food chain. (And its that exchange that is currently being blocked from on high)In closing, I do believe we need to hold on to some of the past. There has to be a foundation to build on or its all just a stack of cards in a breezeway. I like my old machines: they still work. But I can’t deny the speed and accuracy of thenew stuff. Its the difference between an old 10L straight 8 putting out 120hp and a small 1.5L supercharged mini-cooper engine putting out 200hp. The advances are real, and they need to keep going, but we always need to remember that we are standing on the shoulders of giants that came before us. That foundation needs to be in our knowledge that we are taught/are should be teaching.I’m smart, I know this, but some of the people working out there on that fringe I mentioned, make me look like that slope headed proto-human banging rocks together. One of them built a server out of nvidia chip sets. Those chips are hardware accelerators for video processing. I have no clue how to wire something like that up, let alone write the code to make it all work. These guys eat stuff like that for breakfast then go run marathons in the afternoon.The stuff they are coming up with is on par with what Tesla and Edison were doing back in the early 1900’s. Rough, but a foundation for all that follows it. They are innovators creating the next world.And our government is getting in the way.

Maybe I need a life😋

About 50% complete on frame, and I haven’t been trying! Just fiddling here n there in evenings and on weekends. I need to cut more rib stock and cut 4 more pieces to round out the ribs shown (keeping several pieces aside near the steamer for the inevitable broken rib.) But I am just about ready to steam ribs and fit the rest of the frame.

I’m really digging how well this one is coming along. That bow cutwater is just screaming for speed and waves. Its a touch oversized right now; it will get trimmed to fit when I am fitting the keel.

There are two ‘ribs’ in place in the pic. Those are plastic strips I use to get a better feel for the shape and adjust the rib cuts as needed. I like what I’m seeing so no adjustment needed. That may change when I see them all in place. Or not, I’ll know soon enough.

It may be I have a talent for this, or I’m being gifted with that talent temporarily.

But I’m having fun and not sittin’round bored to tears, and thats good enough, right?

Update: weighed frame at this point. Not including ribs, 13.8 pounds. Ribs might add another 4, skin and dope another 6 or 7, plus the coaming and hardware, I’m likely looking at a 35 pound kayak when its all finished. Not to shabby for a boat that will be ( almost) 17′ long. Still half that of my Perception at 67# empty.