James Herman Buehner

My photo
Lubec, Maine
Jimmy likes compost and maritime history. Building stuff improves his humor and and he has found that dirt on his knees encourages the lettuce and garlic growing in his garden. Peanut butter and garlic toast and strong French Roast revive his spirits most mornings.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Back to the Ship at Hand: pictorial

I'm posting the latest photos from Steve Newman from the shop on Campobello Island:

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Change in the Weather

We have been very lucky to have had unseasonably mild temperatures in Wyoming over the past few weeks that allowed us to stay on task nursing Wandah's wounds. Just a little more caulking and she'll be road ready as we take off after a Buffalo Thanksgiving for Albion to rescue - that may be too strong an infinitive, we could say "to aid" - Cardinal Puff. www.webtender.com/handbook/games/cardinalpuff.game Sunday, we installed the locally fabricated wheel well, Renee doing the honors with a smile and a few "oh, brothers" as I was taking pictures. Oh, Ned taught me Cardinal Puff at Tulagi's in Boulder way back when.....

Friday, November 5, 2010

Diapensia's New Coats

Diapensia has now gotten five coats of primer on her hull and topsides. We've just received some photos of the progress of the painting from Steve Newman of Campobello Island. We're excited that we're almost to the point of the final finish coats of Awlgrip. It certainly has been a slow process albeit a thorough one which was begun by me last May removing all the hardware from the decks, cabin top and cockpit. When we left Maine in September, the cabin top and deck sanding (top photo) had been completed, and Awlgrip www.jamestowndistributors.com/ was selected as a final finish.

Steve, a friendly lad and a fellow director of the Passamaquoddy Yacht Club http://www.passamaquoddyyachtclub.org/index.html, has been interested in boat building since he was a teenager nourished in part by visits to  Jim and Nicole Moores at Colson's Boat Shop when they  owned it in the 1970's. Jim  moved on to Palm Beach, Florida where he owns a successful boat building business specializing in the restoration of Trumpy Yachts.  http://www.woodenboatrepair.com/

Colson's was started by Ralph Colson in 1915 when he floated the structure we see today across the Lubec Narrows from Campobello Island. It had been a portion of a 19th century hotel complex that succumbed to fire (Campobello had been a playground for the wealthy of New York and Philadelphia, including the Roosevelts, but that is another story).

Steve, however, pursued plastic boats specializing in  custom fiberglass and wood finishing of cabins and interiors.  His web page can be found by clicking the photo of Renee and Diapensia.

As I'm writing,  it's another gorgeous day here on Clear Creek where we're nearly ready to re-install the propane furnace. A little more repair to the floor in the head is in order and then we can install Powder River's custom wheel well as well. The plumbing and electrical is complete.  We have great cause to smile on this account.

However, all cannot always be so rosy since we learned yesterday the Duramax diesel's injectors must all be replaced.   Even at only 104 k miles under her belt, apparently, after web research and talking to the Chevy dealer in Spearfish, South Dakota where she bought the truck, this has been a problem with all Duramaxes.  The injectors begin to leak and the exhaust begins to smoke as we noticed last summer,  especially at lower rpm.  Renee is hopeful Chevrolet will cover some of the $4500 expense. Renee will make the two hour trip to the South Dakota dealership Monday, if we expect to get any compensation. Oh, well, she'll get a loaner and we'll have her place ourselves for a week as Ruby and John http://makedelicioushappen.blogspot.com/2010/10/seared-venison-and-wild-watercress-with.html are headed to California for a wedding.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Post Election and Virtual Reality.

Well, that's a very deep subject, soothing to a dry throat that doesn't anticipate very much happening in Washington beyond the continued rancor and political posturing answering to the voice of the "American People."

It is difficult to believe such a platitude when in fact the American People are those who are most organized and who have the most money to influence phony politicians that will help the rich stay rich.

Ron Herbert suggests in the NYT  "that the economic struggles of the middle and working classes in the U.S. since the late-1970s were not primarily the result of globalization and technological changes but rather a long series of policy changes in government that overwhelmingly favored the very rich."

This view is elaborated in a new book, “Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer — and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class" by Jacob Hacker of Yale and Paul Pierson of the University of California, Berkeley. I really hate to be cynical, but the largest question before the electorate, and for Tea Party types, is how are we to distinguish between the evils of government and the evils of those who are actually pulling the strings to maintain their position and power?

I am cynical because I ask again the perennial question, "So what else is new?" Which leaves us: The Battleground. My predictions for the next two years are the rancor will reach new heights , as I've already mentioned, a turtle will pull along the economy - what most people don't realize, incidentally, is that while unemployment is in the sewer, stock markets aren't doing that badly with the Dow smelling good above 1l,000 - and Obama will be re-elected in 2012, which in part is based on one Tea Party guy enthusing, "I hope there is gridlock, then we won't have any new laws. "

Argh, gosh darn, the cynicism.  I'm gonna hafta' start chokin' up like John (Boehner) did before "The American People."  The best thing we can do now is appropriate from the airlines for national distribution all those air sickness bags.....

Well - and this goes deep - we have Wandah to care for and American Prosperity is always just around the corner. I salute Freedom, Liberty and, above all, Profitability and Kudos to dah Rich.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It Feels Like Sunday

I've been getting up early these days in the darkness. Mountain Time. We are ensconced in Maxine's western house, all brown with a swooping cathedral ceiling. You can look around outside and then bring your view back to where I'm sitting and it's hard to distinguish where out ends and in begins.  I don't know whether this is good or bad.  But it is Wyoming. Cowboys and horses and Cottonwoods.  Like the Plains, we're spread out, so much so that it takes about four minutes for the hot water to reach the Master Bedroom Suite.  As for the business at hand - getting old Wandah into road shape - last night before dark fell, I glued up the aft floor with plywood and cedar for strength and for resistance to rot. And this morning, more beefing up the floor stringers and caulking. The last photo shows the wheel well, the handiwork of Powder River Heating and Plumbing. They have a well-equipped shop and real friendly fabricators sporting broad-brimmed cowboys hats.  In a dry run the new wheel well fit wheel well.

Monday, November 1, 2010

How I spent my Sunday

Or,  How to not watch the World Series making templates for trailer wheel wells and replacing oriented strand board flooring with plywood glued and laminated into the subframe.  Wandah was manufactured in 1995 by Sunline in a factory near Harrisburg, PA.  They still have a web site up but when we drove to the address last year in hopes of yucking it up with her Makers, we were disappointed to discover another business there.  Sunline had gone under two years before, which only tells one that virtual reality may be, after all,  superior to real, everyday reality.  Like a lot of travel trailers, these things are stapled together with the cheapest and flimsiest of modern, American ingenuity.  We were heartened to hear, incidentally, that our Wandah was better than most, according to a Santa Barbara welder who rebuilt the rear bumper. "There's at least something in the frame to weld to," he told Renee. "All these newer ones, forget about it."

So, we're into the template and floor replacement not to mention bringing the furnace plenum back to life, which involved hammering and pinching in the vise with clamps and custom cut wood pieces and wedges.  The forward floor bit went "supah"  with Gorilla Glue lamination pressed together with 5 "C" clamps.  The plenum, the sheet metal box that distributes the heated air,  loved my caresses and should see action again soon. We're talking to Buffalo sheet metal guys who can create their masterpiece from our cardboard template.  Can you see Renee slowly recovering from her earlier gloom?

And we've heard from Cardinal Puff,  aka stalwart Ned, who's lamenting the course of developments on the Albion River where the Redwoods still stand, though he tore his house down.  Maybe I forgot to tell you that parts of it were rotting, so everything had to go except the kitchen, mostly because there are beautiful cabinets there that Ned has made (and, naturally, has not finished as all carpenters who work on their own, and mostly other people's houses, know. It's the time thing and how much carpentry can you stand in one day and stay away from your guitar, or the lettuce in your garden, or the latest book that's got you hooked.  Oh yeah, and you gotta play with the children. Definitely).

So, Cardinal Puff, aka Huff, wants construction to move forward in a timely manner, but not too fast, which may be the case now, because in desperation - well not exactly tearing out your hair desperation- The Cardinal, since his first telephone call to me before the tire thing where I said I was coming as fast as I could, has hired a crew that is "fitting him in" and hurrying up to get to another job. "This is wearing me out," Ned said. "Supervising.  So much is happening so fast, I don't have any time to work. If you came, Jimmy, we could find some time to breathe, get the job done and have a little fun, too." Right on!