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

Posts tagged “learning curves

(Fiction) December 19th 2020

She’s been in there for two days now, mask on to answer the door and working from home. Won’t even go out to get groceries: has them delivered to her doorstep.

I’ve been watching since the 14th. Well, longer actually, but full stalk the last five. When she wrote that article in The Nation, I was done waffling. She became my target. One of many, but the closest one to me.

Here comes her daily delivery of that crap she calls food. Never have understood how people think they can subsist on beansprouts. Good to build up vitamin C in winter time, but thats about the only advantage.

“Hey, man. Do you have the time?” I say as I approach the delivery boy near the corner. I made sure that there wasn’t a spot in front of the house so he had to park out of sight. A big white work van and some traffic cones do wonders and the sheep don’t seem to question such things, even though there are no markings on it.

“Yeah, hold on,,,,” he says as he shifts his load around to pull out his phone. That’s when I slip the ether soaked rag in his face and slid around behind him to hold him, and drag him into the alley. He’s gonna have a hell of a headache since the ether I’m using was starting fluid in a can 5 minutes ago. Gotta move quick. Shirt and jacket off. Zip-ties to wrist and ankles. Slap duct tape over his mouth. Since its cold, I toss an old ratty comforter I found in the trash over him. Slip on his shirt and jacket grab his bags of her delivery and head to her house.

“Where’s Justin?”

“He was loaded up and asked me to help out. We’re swamped right now with the curfews and lockdowns. ” I say from behind my mask covered face. She swings the door a little wider so she can get the bags from me. I use the slip to barge the door out of her hands as I shove the bags into them. Her reflexes kick in, grabbing the bags, as I shove her further inside and slap that ether covered rag into her mouth as she starts to scream. I quickly, but gently close the door behind me. I’m in overdrive, moving faster than she can think and my moves are practiced; hers are pure reaction.

“I’m not going to make a big production of this.” I say to her as I knock the bags out of her hands and cover her mouth to keep her from spitting the rag out. I can see the ether is kicking in a little but most of it has evaporated. Likely she’ll feel fuzzy-headed, but it won’t knock her out. Good. I want her to know whats happening. “Since you and yours have decided that laws mean nothing, me and Mine find your terms acceptable. I am now your jury, judge and executioner.” Her eyes go wide and she starts to struggle. I grab her by the back of the neck, pinching the tendons there, HARD. I can hear her squeak through the rag. Walking her through her kitchen, facing that very same alley where poor Justin is sleeping the sleep of the innocent, I grab up the longest knife from her knife block. Her eyes go even wider seeing this.

I slam her back against the door to her pantry, slamming that knife through her throat, spine, and into the wood door. Immediately she starts gurgling but can’t talk as that knife is right through her larnyx. I pull the rag out of her mouth.

“Welcome to the world you created by spreading lies as truth. Sentencing complete. ” I say as I press a small .22 cal pistol in the center of her forehead and pull the trigger. The sound is muffled as the expanding gases follow the bullet into her skull. I hear her sinuses ‘pop’ from the overpressure and blood starts flowing from her nose and ears. Her body twitches but doesn’t fall, suspended by that knife stuck through her throat into the door.

I drop Justins shirt and jacket to the floor at the foyer, lock the door and exit. I have no idea whose van I stole yesterday and leave it where it is in front of the girls place. One more misdirection in whatever investigation follows when they find her. I swing around the other direction to where my car is, 3 blocks away. Just another nobody headed home before the curfew starts.

Monday, write prompts

I don’t normally do write prompts since I tend to write several times a day without being prompted.  My brain never stops churning and there are times where the writing muse takes over and I ‘stop everything’ long enough to set down some notes.  If I don’t,  the idea scatters like a murder of Crows in a corn field being shot at. (You did know that a group of crows is called a murder, right?)

Todays writing prompt that I don’t use (🤪) was inspired by a short conversation on FB.  “When did the kayak bug strike you?” 

Well, it wasn’t in July of 2018, though that was the first time I owned one.  The real bug bite was in ’92, when I lived in O-side Kaliforniastan.  I lived across the street from a custom surfboard shop and the owner lived above it.  I liked the atmosphere of the shop and would hang out when Shem, my GF, was in her creative phase and a complete terror to be near. He was getting out of the shortboard craze and going back to long boards when one of his customers came in, wanting a repair for a sea kayak.  When they showed up with it, I was lost.  Those lines and curves, just bedazzled me.  Then I saw that same kayak out in the surf off La Jolla, near seal rock.  I watched it out there for two hours, skimming the waves, backsurfing, rolling under breakers to come up the other side and get back out in the swells. I was in awe.

I wanted one.

A short spurt of shopping.

Hope sank like the Titanic with TWO holes in it.  There was no way I could even consider $4000 for a boat that only held one person and was twice as long as my car (not quite, but I was driving a Fiat X/1-9 then.  Where do you strap a kayak to a two seater sportscar?  )  (and as I have found, the intial cost of boat/lathe/car/house, is just the admission fee, its the add-ons that get ya!)

26 years later, serendipity dropped the Carolina in my lap and the ramp up began.  2 years later ,,,

Have to clear the work space

Three skin on frame kayaks, two white water yaks, and a stripbuilt expedition boat in process. And I have more investment in the peripheral gear than the boats themselves. Spray skirts, PFDs, wetsuits, dry tops, dry bags, floatbags, etc. I can outfit another paddler my size without stretching things and two if one has their own PFD.

And like I saw another person say, “I’m still on the swim team” meaning. I haven’t learned to roll yet. Oh, but so so close. Just need more seat time and a couple more sessions with someone in the know. B swears I only need one more session and I’ll be rollin’, but I am a pessimist. I know how stubborn I can be. I practice the different motions so the muscles know the routine, and keep the dialogue in my head. Soon,,,,

But that was the day I knew I wanted to kayak. I can even tell you the make and the designers name. It was a P&H Biadarka designed by Derek Hutchinson. I knew NOTHING about either the boat or Derek until recent years, but I remember the owner being VERY proud of his boat and who designed it. Now, I own books written by Derek, made a paddle based on one of his designs, and used some of his lines when designing Serena.

Talk about a long gestation period for a bug!!! LOL. It was just one of those things that kept getting shuffled to the side or to the back burner to simmer a bit longer. It was never a priority in my world, but it NEVER went away either.

I’ll be back at the running commentary of this Asylum we call 2020 tomorrow.

Words of advice

As another once told me: Everything you want or desire is on the othereside of HARD.

The more effort you exert, the easier things become until they seemingly happen without effort.

But if you don’t put forth that effort first, nothing will ever happen.

More later.


When the world is topseyturvey and normality is asleep in the trunk of an old lead sled careening out of control without brakes?

Build a flippin paddle. Thats my answer anyways. Weather is just as crazy as the rest of the world right now with the remnants of a hurricane breaking over us, so paddling is out (its not the rain, its the electricity in the air that stops me)

Here are the pics.

Same length as my older paddle, same loom but I decided to try a shoulderless design this round.

Not finished, still a lot of shaping to do and sanding, sanding, sanding. I plan on glassing the lower section of the blade, more as protection than looks, from beating anti-social rocks into submission. The loom will be a linseed oil and beeswax mix I found works great and doesn’t tear waterlogged hands to ribbons.

Alright, thats that for the weekend.

A question to all the readers, please respond in comments. Do you feel something in your soul right now? A kind of ‘impatiently waiting’ feeling?

No need to elaborate in comments (unless ya really wanna) a simple thumbs up or down will suffice.

The Tuttle Twins - a child's foundation of freedom

Somedays, the bear gets you

This ‘bear’ has been creeping up on me for awhile. Not real certain how it came to be, or if there is even a ‘fix’. But the problem is very obvious now.

The gunwales in Serena have warped and the entire boat now has a noticable twist from bow to stern. Seen on deck the bow leans to port where the stern deck leans to starboard. At the hull, the keel, which when I first skinned her was dead straight, now has an obvious ‘S’ shape and the cutwaters are leaning at odds to each other. Last time I had her on water was for rolling practice and she was quite damp inside after the fact. Being tied down to the rack probably helped keep things from being worse than they are (and a possible clue to a fix, maybe,,,)

She can be paddled, she will roll, but she is no longer the “Expedition class ” kayak. Sure, you could do it, and after a 1/2 mile, the correcting strokes would be as absent minded as my ex-wife, but you would feel it the next day. And getting into a ‘good’ boat would have you flustered in seconds until your hind-brain adapted again.

I’m tempted to try this and see if it fixes the issue. Fill her with water and let it soak in for a period of days/week. Drain it out and clamp in the rafters of an out building over the winter. Let the frame ‘relax’ by being wet then ‘train it’ with the clamping. Over the winter because the humidity slowly shifts from “scuba req’d” summer months to “dry out a mummy” winter chills.

That will likely be my course of action as I have time and money tied up in her . If it doesn’t work, I’ll strip the frame, clean it up and put in on the market as a conversation piece. I’ve seen yak frames in th Rafters of seafood places a time or two, and if she isn’t a good boat afloat, she can be a great wallflower for others to enjoy seeing.

The Tuttle Twins - a child's foundation of freedom

Keep watching,,,,

I’ll keep saying it. Watch this stuff and you are gonna want to learn more about it.

Kiwi goes crypto

The basics aren’t hard. If you were to want to start ‘mining’, thats a whole different game, but learning what it is and how it is used; that, you want to learn.

Seeing how the last couple of posts about this are showing growth in credible markets, I am seeing the beginnings of a snowball effect. Keep watching.

Personal hurdles

One of my biggest issues and one I have fought time and again is ‘perfection’. I say it all the time; ‘I’m an imperfect perfectionist ‘ and it has been my Achilles heel since time out of mind. I’ve always been of the ‘if you want it done right, do it yourself” types. Even now, DIY is very much the center of my universe (and likely always will be for much of what I do.). When I was touring, it worked for me, but only during the shows; load-ins and load-outs were ‘hands-off’ thanks to IATSE and Teamsters unions, all depending on where we were and how the house was setup. New York was the worst for me and I would have to jam my hands deep into my pockets to keep from jumping in: directions by voice and head nods only. Otherwise, the unions would go to break, and I’m not talking about a 15 minute smoke break here, but schedule busting, budget eating hour long lunch breaks.

Well, that hurdle is one I am facing again, from a different perspective. I want money to work for me, but there are only so many hours in a day available to me.

Heck, everyone is limited to the same time frames, so how do you ‘get more time’?

Hire it out! Leverage with other peoples time. The saying is “build your dream or get hired to build someone elses” and that is where my learning curve is at right now. I’m trying to build that dream and finding there are things that will be far better for me to pay others for than to do myself. Like spending an entire saturday doing yard work, blech! If I can hire a local kid to do it for me, even if I have to pay him $50-75, I come out ahead as that frees up my time to do those other things that make money, and more than I am paying him. He’s happy, I’m happy, and my yard doesn’t look like an abandoned field.

Now where did all those kids split to,,,


Addendum: this goes back to those questions I began asking myself a few months back, and is an answer to the last one. If you aren’t buying time, your spending it.

Or wasting it,,,