Spears, Big Bangs, and Invisiblity Cloaks

We went to the SSCA cruiser’s flea market a few weekends ago, because we just can not pass up a nautical flea market for anything, and gathered up a couple good finds. I got a flat stainless steel cheese grater that fits sweetly in my galley drawer. Yay. I also picked up Chris Parker’s book and two cookbooks, one for a pressure cooker and one for Asian food.

I was super excited about my $1.00 pressure cooker cook book and quickly picked out two recipes to try out as I have a pressure cooker and had yet to make a yummy meal in it……..and…….I still have yet to make a yummy meal in it. 😦 I didn’t know pork chops could be so tough. Then, the very next night, I turn out some horrid slop that earned the name “splat cabbage” -because that was the sound it made hitting the plate (and the dog bowl). “Tender-crisp” it was promised-but it was not. Keith offered to go pick up pizza. Funny thing is Kai could not get enough of it. He went berserk, to the point we felt a little embarrassed for him. Silly, mushy-cabbage-eating dog. Sorry buddy, I won’t be making that dinner again.

Keith, however, is the one who really got the big scores of the day. He raked in two Hawaiian slings, five spears, and brand new gaff for less than $40.00. He also scored a new set of binaculars. Good job! We also learned carrying around a handful of spears and large hooks clears the crowd from around you pretty efficiently. Unfortunately, not quite fast enough as we missed the best deal of day by just seconds. Right before our eyes someone bought all the flags for the Caribbean for $20.00. Damn that was a good deal!!

Also at the SSCA flea market, there were several round-table discussions groups set up, including a group for the Winlink ham radio network. I am still having one issue with our ham radio/email set up and had been waiting weeks to get an opportunity to talk to the top gurus. As I walked around the room, people were fluently moving from one table (presenter) to another. Except for the ham radio table in the corner. No one was getting up and no one new was joining in. It was just a tight little huddle. I milled around for a while and just lost my nerve to go up to the locked-down table. I decided to walk away when one of the guys noticed me. Ok, he noticed me because Keith was shoving me towards the table at my reluctance knowing I was going to whine all day about missing my opportunity if I didn’t take it.

What happened next was like walking into an episode of The Big Bang Theory. “Sheldon”, the one who noticed me being shoved too close to his personal space, greeted me. I rushed to explained that since his presentation last year I had gotten my license and was using his system and had some questions. It was like the verbal key that unlocked the secret door. I swear I heard him say ” well, why didn’t you say so” as he ushered me closer to the table and found me a seat-not his seat.. He asked what my problem was, I told him, he asked me something back that sounded like he was speaking Klingon as I didn’t understand any of it, we volleyed back and forth a few times making no forward progress before he said “here, speak to “Leonard”. He might be able to talk to you better.” It was true, “Leonard” was able to carry on a decent conversation with someone not as knowledgable as himself and provided translation between “Sheldon” and I as needed. Then they consulted the rest of the gang at the table but they were still puzzled. “Sheldon” then asked if I could afford to make a long distance phone call. Like the Sheldon on TV, I am sure he has some lovable, quirky characteristics that make him endearing once you get to really know him. I didn’t really get to know him that well. So, yes, I might not be as brainy as you, but I am successful enough to be able to make a long-distance phone call, thank you. Another minute of discussion between the group and I was told to call THE guy of all guys. I could hear the admiration in their voices. It was like I was being given the number for Steven Hawking. I was told to call him and tell him “Sheldon” and “Leonard” directed me to him. I was reassured if he couldn’t figure it out no one could.

The thing is, I am not trying do something new, hundreds of boats have made the same system we have work, it shouldn’t be that hard. I just want to control the radio frequency by the computer software and I seem to have verified that everything is set up correctly. Ugh. That’s when the lightbulb went off, I had had a table full of the brains and creators of this system all brainstorming together and they didn’t figure it out. The only plausible answer is that it is something so simple (or so dumb) that they didn’t even think to think of it. Something so obvious that it is assumed. And with that realization, I haven’t had the nerve to call “Hawking”. I swear, everything is ON and plugged in, but I just know it’s got to be something so stupidly simple.

Kai, on the other hand, is all about the figuring out lately. The other day I moved the garbage bag from the securely locked, dog-proof cabinet to the hall while I was doing some major cleaning. The temptation was overwhelming and my little guy just couldn’t resist. After being scolded to “leave it” one too many times he switched up his tactics. I turned around to see my rug, with a very large lump under it, scooting down the passageway. I grabbed my camera and just as the lumpy rug made it to the trash bag it stopped. Surprise, surprise!! Out popped an adorable little muzzle. Caught you!!


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