I’m kinda beat. Yesterday, I finished up seven straight 12 hour shifts. I have three days off and then I get to do seven more. I had some time to catch up on some things today. I’ve emptied most of the boat stuff from my car. The sail bags are still in there, though. I need to pull out the sails, spread them out and examine them and then fold them neatly for the winter. The genoa will need some stitching repairs, but the others seem OK. The battery is in the basement, getting a 10 amp charge today to hold it through the winter. I dried out the bimini (fancy word for the boat’s sun shade) and put it away this afternoon.
The Focus is sold – the auction ended yesterday. I am just a little worried about the e-bay sale. The high bidder had only two feedback listings – both from this year. E-bay provided me with the winning bidder’s shipping address, and after only a couple of googles, I have a pretty good idea of who he is. He seems like a solid guy. The car sold for a little more than I expected it to, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. He should be here at noon on Thursday to pick up the car.
Did you know how high ebay fees are getting for selling cars? I owe them $127.40 for selling my car. That’s what it costs, even if your car sells for $300. The fees are not based on the value of your car anymore. In my case, I think I received good value, as the Focus has a manual trans and needed some exposure to bring a good price. If I had a popular car, I would probably try Craigslist.
So much got done this week.
The sailboat is wrapped up for the winter. Dave, the guy that owned our boat before me, had fabricated a frame for the tarps. Two plastic tarps drape over the frame and keep most of the wind and snow and dirt away from the boat. We assembled the frame, put the tarps up and using generous amounts of duct tape, joined them together around the mast and the shrouds – hoping to keep most of the elements away from our baby. Bonnie went with us. It was a nice day – crisp, but not really cold. There was very little wind to interfere with the tarping. One thing that I noticed was that the recent rains had caused some rain to build up in the buckets that we keep under the leaky windows. Before the tarps come off, I’m going to have to remove those windows and re-bed them in generous amounts of new caulk. Dave put them in about 15 years ago – it’s probably time to do that. I’ll likely do some painting topside as well. The bottom looks really good, except that the bottom six inches of both the rudder and keel have been turned brown by the mud that the little boat sits in. We’ve found a new marina for next year. It’s farther from home and it costs twice as much but it has enough water to keep my keel free from the muddy bottom’s icky grip. There have been times this fall when I went to the marina and couldn’t move the boat because the tide was out. I don’t want that to happen anymore.
The Christmas tree is up. Sunday, before I went to work, we broke out our new tree and the ornaments. It already has lights – about a third of them twinkle randomly. The lights look very nice like that. Monica made bows out of ribbon and we added the balls and beads. The top of the tree originally had a light-up star – we replaced it today with something a little less garish.
The Roomba is back from the dead. I was able (with some difficulty) to replace the dead cells in the battery – I was willing to pay $17 for the cells, but not $49 for a new battery module. The screws on the battery module had weird triangle-head recesses to keep folks like me from messing with them, I suppose. However, you can take a Dremel tool and put a straight slot for a screwdriver in almost anything. Most folks handy enough to order battery cells probably own a Dremel tool. I tested the Roomba for a minute or so before fully charging the batteries. Bonnie was barking at it and challenging it as it bumped its way around the room. It cracks me up when she does that.
Monica is driving every day – getting some experience and building some confidence with our Explorer and our roads. This afternoon, as we were pulling from a parking space, Monica had to stop the car and back up to finish a turn. She had pulled from the space before turning the steering wheel all of the way, and her turn was a bit wide. As she is accustomed to smaller cars and manual transmissions, it was a normal and understandable error. She backed up, turned the wheel all of the way and pulled easily from the parking spot. While she was doing this, a lady in the passenger seat of a car across from us was frowning and shaking her head disapprovingly. She made sure to do this so Monica and I could see it. Did she know that my wife had just learned to drive a year ago? That the was driving an unfamiliar vehicle, much larger than she was accustomed to? That Monica is in a different country with different rules and a different language? Nope. She just sat there in the passenger seat frowning and shaking her head as Monica backed up and easily solved her little error. This little display of disapproval did nothing for Monica or myself – it just made the lady look like a jerk. I can understand why her husband left her in the car. Did she derive some sort of smug pleasure from her little display of disapproval? What a small person. I’ll bet her dog doesn’t like her and her kids forget her birthday.
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