Sunday, June 25, 2006

Often I tell stories to the kids in math class while I’m erasing the overhead scroll to make room for more class notes.  Usually the stories are short and not really stories but just little anecdotes or cautionary tales, snippets from my past.

With the senior Calculus math class this past year, I often didn’t know what story to tell, as they’d heard so many of my stories.  One day I came to the end of the blank space on the scroll, “Well, it looks like we’re out of space.  Normally, I have a story ready to go, but today I don’t.  Is there any story you want to hear?”

Most of the class didn’t have anything in mind.  But in the front row, Miss Holmes gave a big smile and said, “Tell us what it’s like when you put the boys to sleep.  What happens at bed time?”  Then she put her elbows on the desk and rested her chin on her hands and settled in for a story.

I thought to myself, that doesn’t sound like much to work from.  But I’ll give it a try.

“Well, here’s how it works at our house.” I said.

“Holly is all about patterns and routines for the boys.  She thinks it’s good for them to have daily verbal and musical cues for just about everything that happens.  There’s a song she sings before each meal is served that tells us all that it’s time to come to the table.

“Well, bedtime works like this:  First we read the boys a story.  We always have a very large pile of books from the library.  This week its stories with dogs in them.  I often read a story to Mark near bedtime, around 8:30 PM or so.  While I’m doing that, Holly goes and removes her contacts and puts on her glasses. Then while she’s brushing her teeth, Mark and I go in and brush teeth too.  I use one of the gadgety tooth brushes, Mark uses a dragon tooth brush.

“Then Holly goes to the piano room and starts playing the either an old folk tune from the big yellow book or an old church song or spiritual.  Mark runs in and sits on the piano bench with his mother.  Then eventually she starts playing, the final song of the evening, which is always the same, ‘Good night, Ma-ark, good night, Ma-ark, etc… using the tune from the Music Man, Goodnight Ladies.

“After that, Holly nurses Luke to sleep and I read one final story to Mark; usually a story from a bible story book or another book that Mark likes and has requested.

“Then comes the bed-time prayers, where Holly sticks her hand over and holds my hand and Mark’s hand.  Luke hasn’t learned to hold hands yet.  Usually I pray.”

“Then it’s time to go to sleep, but usually the boys can’t go to sleep, so Holly takes them out to the big black chair and sings them to sleep with songs out of the hold church hymnal my parents taught us to sing from.”

Then Miss Holmes smiled said, “That sounds rather idyllic.”

“Well,” I said, “sometimes it doesn’t work out so well.”  And I looked out the window kind of sadly,  “Sometimes, after Holly has sung and sung, then I have to take a turn.”

A Day of Rest

Friday, June 23, 2006

With the running gear maintanence done on the boat for the year and the boat comfortably in its slip, today was a day of rest and quiet with the family.  I haven’t looked at the lazarette yet to see how my leak fixing went, but I’ll check that tomorrow when I fuel up.

Tomorrow is Luke Michael’s first birthday.  Wow.  It’s supposed to feel like the time just flew by.

But it doesn’t. 

It feels just about like a year went by since he was born.  Maybe next year will fly by real fast.  He can walk in a halting tentative manner now but when his brother comes nearby he often drops to his bum just to stave off a dangerous fall.  Tonight after I washed the dishes, they both climbed in the sink and played in the running water.

The men of note met tonight and we have three new members since last I was there: Kee Heywood, Tristan Sebens, and Marley Horner.  It’s nice to have some new blood in the group and they will probably do fine.  I understand that we’re supposed to sing this Saturday at the fair grounds ceremony for the community garden or some such: should be fun.

Holly is reading Dave Berry’s Guide to Life and chuckling at nearly regular intervals on her side of the bed.  Luke is sleeping the way babies often do, with intermittent crying.  Holly says he has numerous teeth that are about to come in and are probably causing pain.  Mark is looking at a pop-up book, Who’s Afraid of Tigers, in his crib and just accidentally ripped out a couple of people.  Groan.  I hate it when the pop-up people get ripped.  I guess it’s time to get out the clear tape…  I have to admit, I got kind of angry and said, “Why’d you rip them out?”

Holly said “Let’s try to say things in a positive way.”

To Mark she said, “How can we fix it?” 

She’s right of course. 

We need to always frame our words in such a way that success is pictured in the mind, rather than details leading down the road to failure.  I’ve noted that is is the best approach, but it’s hard to do.  I like it when I succeed at this with the kids at school, and with people on the street too.  Why is it do you suppose that this is sometimes difficult to do with family, or my own kids?  How can I frame that question in a positive way?  Or is it just the wrong question to be asking.

It’s important to ask yourself the right questions.  I’ll work on that.

Have a good night.

The underside is now ready to go.

Well, a bit more boat maintenance is done now.

After the closure on Tuesday at noon, I put the boat on the grid at 10 pm with the help of Orion Falvey and my new greenhorn deckhand, Matt Wagner.  At 2 am, I got up and changed the zincs.  At three AM, I went to Orion’s house to get the boys, because they wanted to help and use the power washer.  At six AM, the boat was clean, so I took them home and crashed on the Windbreaker at 6:30.  At 7: 15, Holly showed up at the boat with a cheerful grin and two very cute boys.  I regret to say that I didn’t receive them with open arms, but sent them away in a gruff manner. 

But of course I couldn’t sleep after that and had to get up and go find them.  They were a the harbor bathroom, of all places.  Mark was in the bathroom doing #2, as Luke rode around on Holly’s back in the backpack. 

We made up.

The first tide didn’t lift me off, as it may have.  It was touch and go for a while, but for another shift on the grid, so it was back to work.

At precisely high tide, and with only four feet of water over the lowest section of the grid, John White pulled up in the Glacier Point behind me ready to put one last coat of bottom paint on her before she left town with her knew owner from Tenake Springs (price for the Glacier point and five nets: $25,000.  Wow.  That was a deal.  That’s what I paid for the Windbreaker with no nets, and no nice looking boat).  Note to self: don’t buy a gillnetter on spec (speculating to sell it later at a profit).

Starting at 1 pm, I re-power washed the boat, then worked for a few more hours.Working by myself on the grid this second time was not too smart.  All the climbing up and down, all that bending and leaning under the hull kinda left me itired.

But…  Now…

The Windbreaker has a new coat of black Bottomkote @ $119 for the single gallon, plus new zincs, plus another go ’round at stopping that infernal leak in the lazzarette.  This time to stop the water from spoiling the 4200’s seal, I created a negative air pressure space in the lazzarette.

I used duct tape to seal off the two vents into the lazzarette which are near the fuel fill pipes, then removed the hatch cover astern of the reel and covered it with cardboard taped to the deck all around to seal in the air; through the cardboard I cut a hole the size of my shop vac hose, then stuck the vac on suck duty for three hours whilst I removed the rudder nut and repacked the surfaces with fresh sealant and let it set up.  I let the vacuum run for three hours like that, constantly removing the possibility of any water leaking by force of gravity out of the lazzarette. 

I will be interested to see if this solves the problem.  I’m going to tighten down the rudder stuffing box tomorrow until there is no drip. 

Then we’ll see who’s boss.

The first Mab Island Opener is now in the bag

It was a good week (it’s strange that the week is over and it’s only Tuesday afternoon but I go up on the grid tonight at nine, which makes it an all-nighter for me).  We got more fish than we expected and are hoping to get more money for them than we need.  I’m not sure what the price is going to be, but all the rumors are that the price will be better than last year, which is fine by me.

Matt Wagner is my deckhand and he learns fast, is strong, cheerful, and wakes up really quickly.  He’s getting his sea legs pretty fast too, and is toughening up well too.  There is a lot to learn for him, but there’s a lot to learn for me as well, and I’ve been doing this for five years.

I’ll try to come up with a good story in the next few days.  Stay tuned.

Mark, Lensie, Royal, Patrick, & Holden’s album is done

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to blog.  Sorry about that.  I’ve been busy, and I don’t have internet on the boat–which is about the only place I have time to write.

The Wedding at Paradise cove was very fun to shoot.  All-in-all, I shot probably 2200 pictures during the three days.  I had a lot of fun shooting until the actual day of the wedding, when I got dehydrated and weak.  It was still fun, and I didn’t realize how worn out I was getting or how little I’d drank until I got home that night–took me two days to get my energy back.

But the wedding was fun. And I think I achieved my goal.  I went into the wedding wanting to make Mark and Lenise a wedding album that they would want to have and cherish for many, many years, an album that could be put on the coffee table at first, then shown to the little one as he got older and tell him about the day mommy and daddy got married, and look at the pictures in the album.

I love to do the albums.  The more I shoot, the more I visualize how I want the photos to appear on the page in its final form.  I shoot some basic types of shots: detail shots, portraits with smiling faces, candid’s with natural faces, serious or laughing faces, environmental shots which show the overall conditions of either the building interior or the weather and scenery, actions shots, pictures that show progression of the day or the event (this was the beginning, this was the meal, this was the end of the celebration, etc.), crowd shots, shots where one set of people is looking at another set of people (crowd vs. actors for instance). 

While I’m shooting, I visualize which of these I want.  What I’m not good at yet is knowing beforehand whether I’ll need or want a vertical or a horizontal of every shots.  Some are obvious, a group shot of people is almost always going to be a horizontal, a single portrait shot is most commonly going to be a vertical.  But there are a lot of other types of shots.  So on many photos, I try to take them in both formats. 

Enough about the album.  If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a link to the album.  Please check it out and leave me some feedback or drop me an email.

I could write about the last three weeks of king fishing down in Taku, or getting the nets ready, or the boat, but that’s not really what’s on my heart.  Although my ‘baby’ hands, as Greg Bigsby calls them are a bit sore and torn up.

The boys have been very fun to hang out with these last few weeks.  I’ve had quite a bit of time at home lately and they’ve been out and about climbing over the lines and the mesh while we’ve been sticking corks.

–I’ve got to go because I need to read Mark Daniel his bedtime story.

Bad Thoughts at night


Do you remember when you were a kid and would try to go to sleep?  Sometimes it was easy.  You wouldn’t even have to TRY at all, it would just happen.  But then other times, your mind would start to go to work and terrible thoughts would come up and the harder you tried the harder it would get to go to sleep.

Well, that’s the way it’s been lately with our oldest boy.

Tonight, he stood up in his crib, which is right next to the ‘big bed’ as he calls it, and said to us, “I’m having terrible thoughts.  I’m having bad thoughts and I can’t go to sleep.”

I said, “What have you been thinking about, Mark?”

He said, “I’ve been thinking about a huge black bear.  A daddy black bear.  And mommy, and daddy, and Luke, and me are all trapped by the big bear.  And bears are mean, because they’re all afraid that someone is going to hurt their cubs.  And they have real cubs, not pretend, and mostly it’s the mommies that have the cubs.

So, I said, “Wow.  That’s tough I bet, huh?”

He said, “Yeah.  Because I know what a big black bear, or a polar bear would do to me.”

“What would he do to you Mark Daniel?”

“He’d kill me.  Because he’s afraid for his cubs.  Especially, the mommies are afraid for their cubs.”

Holly then told him some fun things to think about that wouldn’t be scary, and he settled down (he’s not asleep yet, but at least he’s not afraid anymore).

So, if you’re having a tough time getting to sleep, or if you know someone that’s having trouble.  Do what Holly suggested, and think of something fun and good.  I think you’ll go to sleep easier.

Take care, gentle reader.

Sleep tight.

One Week Down…

Saturday, June 03, 2006: 

So, I’m done with my first week of gillnetting now. The plan is to go fishing every week this summer, so I generally will not be able to update this page on Sunday through Wednesday or so, but that will vary.

Mark just climbed back into bed, stepping over my head.

The fishing was good, the Kings were there for us, but it’s good to be home.  Yesterday was our FIVE year anniversary, so we celbrated by eating out at the Fireweed: half canadian bacon and half veggy.

Luke just woke up. Have a good day!