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Monday, Jan. 16, 2006
Man, I just blew the whole weekend on an extravagance.

Unless you count internet time as an expense, and I suppose I should, it didnít cost me much. Bag of Doritos, handfulla beverages. Recliner wear and tear. That sort of expense I can handle.

But itís an awful and insidious sort of thing. A thing that must be thought through. The sort of thing you research online forever, find books with arcane references, search out dusty scrolls with mysterious lines and indecipherable text.

Iím talking about, of course, the building of a wooden boat.

Quick! Somebody fetch a glass of water and a cold compress for CaptRon!

Oh Iím not referring to a big olí cruiser, or a racing sloop, or a J or anything of the sort. My needs are far too pedestrian for that level of insanity. Not to mention the fact that building something like that would involve large amounts of open space, under roof and preferably with a mildly functional heating system. None of which is available here in Rental Land.

I did go out and measure the garage, heretofore mentioned as the Dwarf Garage, and for good reason. I measured it to find just how much free room Iíd have IF I cleaned every last possible thing out of the way and IF all the tools could be rolled or moved to a more suitable pile at the other end of the garage (you know, that end where unimportant things like laundry appliances are kept).

Iíve got about 8 feet in clear width. Not too bad, I suppose. Nearly exactly 12 feet in length, before the term Ďfree roomí began to encroach on the spare refrigerator with its cache of fermented goodness. We doesnít like encroachments, we doesnít.

Now, observe:

This particular vessel (artfully stolen from a site I admire, with apologies) happens to be somewhere in the realm of 11í-5Ē long and about 4í-0Ē wide. Thatís about as small a tub as I can stand for what I want to do. Which is to fish and drift along on a freshwater lake, thinking long thoughts about life and bass and how nice that gunwale looks with the figured mahogany and the spar varnish. I do very well with that sort of assignment on a warmish spring day.

But thatís not the problem. The drifting along, I mean. The problem is that bow to stern this sucker takes up all but 7Ē of my Dwarf Space in length, and leaves 2 feet on either side of it. Working room, that is.

2 feet of working room hasnít worked for me since I wore high top Converse and flitted with the notion of being the first 120 pound starting guard for the Celtics. Had one helluva perimeter shot, I did. But thereís a big diff between dribbling around some other 12 year old from the corner and gooshing epoxy all over $95 a sheet plywood, both from within the 2 foot alleyway. A big 100 pound difference.

I got all day to figure out how. They say building a boat is all about defying physics anyway, what the heck? Iíll be getting an early start on all that.

Oh yeah, one quote I read over the weekend. ďCabinetmakers make the worst boat builders, Ďcause they expect everything to fit all nice . . .Ē and then the swab author trailed off in a fit of snorting giggles or something. Ugh. Does wonders for my confidence.

Howsumever. I got lots of tools, lots of clamps. Ainít much of nothiní I ainít done with wood outside of, well, building a boat with it. Call it the last frontier of the madman. Iíve wanted to do one for years.

And Iíve sorely neglected the harvesting of fish, too.

So weíre gonna see what we can do about all that.

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