As usual, I make a promise in a blog post and then forget all about it. At the end of Shift in Focus, I said I’d tell you all about Raven in my next boat related post. Then I posted 2 more times about boat stuff, but no introduction! So here I am, making amends.

The Mister has been doing research on sailboats that would be a good option for live-aboard since I’ve met him. Not just for him, but his 3 children and now me as well. His criteria has changed over time with all the looking and bringing me and the kids on board some of his finds. He’s mostly used Yacht World and Craigslist to do online boat shopping.

We knew we needed enough room where the kids were comfortable and a head that didn’t smell (their biggest complaint about our current boat). The Mister finally found a good layout in the Vagabond 47. He didn’t find our Raven right away. In fact, he looked at several others and lost a lead on one in Oregon before he went down to Los Angeles and Marina Del Ray to see Raven.

Here is a G+ album of pictures that the broker took for us before The Mister went down to see it. Here is the original sale post (although this will probably disappear in time). Just an FYI, he did not pay the full asking price. During the haul out and survey there were a few things that need to be fixed. Some before she can sail, so she’ll be decommissioned and hauled up to Seattle. We also intend to replace the counters and sinks in the galley and heads before we move in.

I fell in love with the pictures, but also knew that nothing is as good when you see it in person. The Mister thought this one was different with a broker taking the pictures. He took a chance and went down to look at her and he was very happy with what he found. I came down to see her during the survey, and I was also very happy.

See? Happy!

We still can’t believe how beautiful these teak decks are. We really didn’t think we’d want anything with wood on the deck. Too much of a chance that what’s underneath is no good.

Fast forward to yesterday: The Mister signed the final papers and paid Washington State sales tax. He’s secured moorage at Shilshole Bay Marina and Raven should be coming out of the water for final prepping for her journey in the next week or so. Wish us luck!

On our travels this week, The Mister and I have talked a lot about wishes for the boat. He mentioned replacing the counter tops with granite and installing sweep sinks (inset sinks where you can push water and debris straight into the sink without that pesky lip in the way). I am all for both of those. Then he mentioned magnetic knife holders. !!!

I was thinking that with the way the boat moves, magnetic wouldn’t be strong enough to hold items without them falling if we went sailing.  Who wants knives and spices caroming around while you’re sailing? Not me. However, the Mister says that Raven will not be rocking as wildly as Serenity does when she’s heeled over or we’re in some weather. He thinks that magnets will work great. !!!

So, I’m rethinking my spice storage strategy. There’s a blank wall in the galley that would be great for mounting both knifes and spices on a magnetic strip or square and then I can use stainless instead of plastic.

 

Place to mount knife and spice holders.

Knife storage example

This is one spice option I’m considering

 

I will want to see these options in person, in order to evaluate size of the container and strength of the magnet. The knife bar is easy–Ikea. I could even get several of those to use with the spice tins, but that could lead to not being able to pry them off when I wanted to use them. Most of the magnetic spice storage sets come with a regular metal sheet and the magnet is glued to the tin. I’d also like to get empty tins, rather than a set that comes with spices. I have plenty of spices, and usually like to buy them as I need them (thus all the little bags in my drawer currently).

In the sailing realm, I’m trying two new apps that I’m hoping will help me remember terms and rules: Sailing Flashcards and Sailing Right of Way. As expected, there are not a lot of apps out there for sailing instruction. I’ve started using Sailing Flashcards, but it is not very complex, either in function or the diagrams used. Cons: In the 2D drawings it can be hard to figure out what part of the boat they are pointing at for identification and the order of the cards doesn’t change each time you start the app, so you always answer the same ones first. Pros: I’m getting more exposure to the terms than I would otherwise and repetition is making it easier to remember them. Once I’ve started Sailing Right of Way, I’ll give some feedback on that one as well.

I’m thinking about the things I want to take with me. There are certain things that I really enjoy, like a cold beer in my bike pint glass or a warm cup of coffee in a mug. Plastic and stainless just won’t do it.

I also have a mess of spices–and I mean a mess. I don’t want messes on the boat. Space is limited and I don’t want to live like a hoarder. I’ve always had a little problem with accumulating things in the corners of my room or not organizing things that would be easy to organize with the right containers. The spice drawer is one of the latter.

I’ve found a couple of options for spices. One is just using a rack and being really selective with what I keep. The other is to get these snap in holders and plastic containers.

SpiceStor 10-Pack 2″ Spice Bottle Set with Organizer

I’m not 100% sure how I feel about keeping my spices in plastic, but these seem like a good solution. If you click on the picture it should take you to a user review on Amazon. You can stick these to the inside of your cupboard and people seem very happy with how they stay put.

The Mister and I are going on a road trip this week and I think that when we get back I will order one of these and give them a try. If they pass my test, I’ll purchase enough to hold all of my essentials. This will also be a good test of my ability to get rid of perfectly good things that I don’t use.

Here’s a little eye candy to make getting through the boring post worth it:

Raven from the bowsprit. What a beautiful deck!

Going Somewhere: A Bicycle Journey Across AmericaGoing Somewhere: A Bicycle Journey Across America by Brian Benson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Brian and Rachel set off on bikes across the country, testing their strength and relationship during the thrilling and grueling days in the saddle. Written from Brian’s point of view, he spends a lot of time being apologetic for his white maleness and inspecting his interactions with Rachel. I loved the descriptions of the ride and both the good and bad feelings (physical and emotional) that went with it. However, Brian’s voice got a little whiny at times and I often wished that Rachel was the voice of the story.

View all my reviews

I think I’ve always struggled a little bit with this blog because I don’t have a sharp focus for the content. That’s probably not going to get any better. However, I have a new subject that I’d like to add in, which is pretty far off from my norm.  I may lose readers (ha! I’d have to have more than 5 to be too worried about that).

The Mister has purchased a sailboat. Yes, I know he already had one. That one will go up for sale and we will eventually move onto this new one. Just for you trolls out there, I will disclose that I have nothing to do financially with the purchase of this or the previous vessel. However, I will be moving onto it and paying part of the mortgage/moorage, so I’ll have a fair investment into how we outfit her. There are a few luxuries that I don’t want to give up, like ceramic coffee mugs, that will require some innovative storage solutions to make sure they don’t break while we are sailing.

It will be 8-10 months before we make the move, so I have some time to figure these things out. While I don’t want to buy a bunch of duplicates in order to test these solutions out, I do want to make sure I get the best thing I can for each situation. So, to keep track of my efforts and research, I’ll be using some of my blog posts to document the process of outfitting our beautiful new home.

Her name is Raven, and I’ll tell you all about her in my next boat related post.

Afterworlds

 

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved loved loved this. Here is a list of what I loved:

 

The two plot lines: one fantasy, one realistic fiction
The insight into the YA writer’s life, the writing process, and publishing industry
The impressionable young author moving to the big city and taking a chance
The lesbian relationship without the book being about lesbian relationships
The dark plot of the fantasy story, the death lord and new psychopomp, the bad man and the patchcoat man, the ghosts
The complexity of the characters
The bits of the other characters/writer’s books that were included

I could go on and on. I did not want it to end.

This book is fairly experimental and it worked for me. I think a lot of adults and teens will like it.

View all my reviews

Enough with all that negative stuff. Summer is going great. We’re having a lot of fun giving out books and signing kids up for the Summer of Learning. The teen program is less fulfilling, but I still love giving teens books and for right now we still have some to give, so that is wonderful.

The sign up for two of my teen programs are filling up. We have an Arduino program and a Digital Fabrications showcase planned. The rest of the summer is filled with drop-ins where teens can use our region’s new iPad mini to make digital content for our Tumblr or just make something fun with the supplies I will put out.

In reading news, I just finished the yummy new book by Scott Westerfeld that’s coming out in September, Afterworlds. A longer review will come in the next few days.

I got to see The Boy for dinner and a movie on Sunday. I took him and The Mister to see The Fault in Our Stars and it got all three of us sniffling (sorry to out you guys, but I saw you crying! :) It is a truly wonderful adaptation of the book. The Boy’s been waiting for his new job to start and the date keeps getting pushed back. It was great to see him. I wish he was closer or interested in working in Seattle.

In my biking, I’ve had 2 chains break–on different bikes–in the last month. I guess I’m just hard on them, as they both still showed signs of life when I checked them at the co-op. I’m picking up Lucile (Bike Friday Tikit) tonight after work. I had her looked over to make sure there wasn’t anything else major I was overlooking. I’ve been riding my Surly while she’s been in the shop.

I have to say that bike repairs are much more affordable than car repairs were. I certainly don’t miss that.

I got home from a great day at the library to this article by Linda Braun. Linda is our Youth Services Manager and since she put this article out into the world in a professional capacity, but not a Seattle Public Library outlet, I feel comfortable answering it in the politest terms I can muster.

Linda, do you work in public services? No? How long has it been since you have? From what I’ve read on your resume, it’s been a while. Many years, in fact. And no, dropping into a program every few months does not count.

So when you tell us that being busy during Summer Reading (Sorry, Summer of Learning) isn’t a reason for concern, I wonder which library world you’re living in.

According to your piece, this is the only time that our libraries are busy. How would you know? And actually, have you seen our circulation stats? Our program attendance? The number of programs and outreach visits we plan in house each year?

The real argument against your opinion piece is this: How can we give good customer service to these hundreds of families that descend upon us when the summer program starts when we have the same staffing level we had the day before?  How can librarians suggest just right books to parents, teens and children when there are 10 more behind them and only one of us in the building? How can circulation staff keep up with all the fine payments and new cards (because the old ones expired) etc that come with this influx? We do the best we can and we do it cheerfully.

And yes, we complain to each other in private as a means of support through a crazy time. Then things settle down after a week or two and we can do a better job. Welcome to the library Linda. Maybe someday you’ll be one of us.

Half Bad (Half Life, #1)Half Bad by Sally Green

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nathan ended up with a better childhood than you would think, what with being the son of a black witch and a white witch in a world where white witches rule. Only one of his siblings hate him and the sanctions aren’t that bad.

Until one day they are; Torture and imprisonment become Nathan’s life, despite the fact that he’s done nothing wrong. It brings into question whether “white” is in fact equal to “good.” Nathan makes it through his time with his tormentor and escapes to find someone who can help him reach his full birthright as a witch.

Half Bad is dark and often depressing, like the later Harry Potter books. Also like the Harry Potter books, the plot twists will keep you reading and the magical world will intrigue you. Nathan is a worthy, complicated character learning not to judge a witch by their color, including his dark father.

View all my reviews

Right after getting back from Florida I went to to Wenatchee for a library conference. I had The Boy ride along on the first leg of his journey to Spokane. He’s gone to stay with his grandparents on his father’s side to see if he can find a job over there for a while. Job prospects in Arlington and Darrington were pretty slim before the 530 Slide and they’re even more dismal now. He’s having a tough time over there. He’s lonely and really just wants to go home.

In split family drama, The Boy’s step mother reacted badly to him saying that and sent some messages to him and his grandmother. Some of what she said was negative about me. Usually I let their relationship be their relationship and just try to give The Boy perspective, but I really don’t like the badmouthing and drama that always seems to go with these blow ups, so this time I just blocked her from my life. I don’t need it and now it’s not my problem.

The conference itself was educational. I took a Video making pre-conference where I learned a lot about lighting and sound. My organization gave some really good talks–so much so that I ended up staying at those presentations rather than going to hear others, which was my intention. There was an interesting talk on reimagined spaces–something hot on our list–given by the next county over. I also got to network with a lot of cool folks, some of whom I’ve seen before, but just never got to connect with. Others I didn’t get to talk to enough. Now that I’ve been elected to the CAYAS board, I want to get to know the other key members better.

Tomorrow I’m representing Books on Bikes and the library on Bike to Work day. We’ll be giving away some library swag and have the ability to issue library cards and check out materials. Should be fun!

I’ll get a review up of Half Bad in a day or so. It was quite good.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.