Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sailing 101

So time has come to finally start the journey into saildom. I have to admit it was more than I was expecting. The first and most important thing to think about is what kind of boat will do you want; followed by the more important question, what kind of boat can you afford? As it turns out my position is leaning more towards the latter, which by the way is a good thing. I have learned a lot about my first boat recently. The most important thing is saleability, your first boat is not your last and you will upgrade at some point, so it is a good idea to find something that meets several requirements:

1. In your budget, this is not to say what you can afford, but rather what you can afford to lose. You see your first boat will be a learning experience, on all fronts. So make sure it something that in worst case scenario you will not be too terribly upset at seeing the boat at the bottom of [insert area of sailing here].

2. Repair costs, while this would seem to go into the first point, it is something that needs real consideration, as a larger boat will have more expensive parts, and dockage fees this is something that should be looked at as a monthly expense. If you cannot afford this you cannot afford the boat.

3. Saleability, as in if you somehow manage to not sink the boat or rub your nerves raw in the attempt to sail(or sink) and you want to move up to a bigger, faster, or prettier boat you can get rid of the previous boat with little trouble.

4. Right size, make sure you do not bite off more than you can chew, I know this is something you have heard since grade school, but it is especially true with boats, something that is too big will result in a hazard for all, you need to be able to control your boat, start smaller and move up from there. Sailing is an art, and as such cannot be calculated or planned for.

5. You, of course you need to like the boat. As an art it needs to be likable, you must want to visit it, spend time with it, like any relationship in life you must want to be a part of it, otherwise it will sit in dry-dock and rot. There is always the ascetics of anything you will spend money on.

With this in mind I plan to start the journey now, the first thing to do is of course review some boats, find out what is good and see where it goes from there. I will be reviewing four boats to see which one will be crowned the winner of the Das Newf name.

The first matter at hand is of course the budget, as it turns out the Budget subcommittee has found out what our afford to lose amount is and it is much lower than I would have wanted, but then again we do need to eat. We have looked at our options and our want lists and have come up with some things to look at. We will be looking at boats between the 22 ft and 30 ft. This range was chosen because they would accommodate an overnight trip for two at the lower end to weekend sails with friends on the higher end, this way we can enjoy sailing with friends. The range also give us creature comforts of a head, and a bed, and a basic engine to look after and use, without the need to spend lots of money on costly repairs. It also fits into the monthly budget on the higher end.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cell Phones, Minutes, Data, Oh My!

This is insane. People need to wake up and think about things before they just start to yell and scream.

They say that people in Canada pay more every month for cell phone bills, and it has a lot of extra fees and they are right. System access fee? Really, I mean really, it is there because it is a good way to make extra money, it should really be called we just want more money fee. Then they go and change it to Government regulatory recovery fee, which by the way if you check out certain providers website it specially says that this fee is NOT collected to pay the government or required by the government. So really, what is happening here? This is the only industry that says; hey the government is making me pay for my business licence, so I will pass that cost on to you in the form of a fee, but not really because it is not required or even really going to the fee.

Imagine you go to get some street meat and it is 2$, but then they tell you it is 2$+0.50$ street venders licensing fee, or you go to take a taxi and there is another fee on top of everything for their drivers licence and their taxi licence and extra cost for having lots of bags and more money to cover their gas cost. I mean really, would you take a taxi then, would you put up with it from any other industry. No you would not. It would be unthinkable for any other industry, well except maybe airlines... but that is another rant.

That being said, people need to get their act together. You got the 750$ cell phone for 99$ based on a contract that you signed. Complaining that it has been 6 months and you backed over your phone so now you want another one, and they say ok, that I s 750$, and you get mad. Why? You broke the phone, and you got the phone for a cheap cost and the company has not made their money back on your phone yet, and you want another 750$ phone for free. Are you on crack? Then they would be bankrupt. No other industry would do this, if you bought a car on loan then crashed it, you would not go back to the dealer and demand a new car at no cost.

They would laugh at you, and so would I.

People need to think smart, pay more for the phone up front, you will pay way more than 750$ for the phone over the 3 years you signed up for, than if you just paid for the phone and went with a cheaper plan. Then maybe there would be no hidden cost, or fees, or the need to lock you into a contract. Cheap phones have strings, you should try to remove as many as possible.

Think of cell companies as gas stations, you should buy the phone from the dealer, and simply go the station to fill up on minutes or texts or data. The only thing you should really be demanding from them is better coverage, or maybe a full service station, or the occasionally the window squeegee or car wash.

Never get into bed with any company that promises the moon, you may wake up in a tub, missing a kidney.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Blue Marble

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
Neil Armstrong

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wednesdays Squalls

About god

I am not a theologian nor will I ever claim to be. However this notion that god is everywhere all the time seems a bit over the top. It seems to me that a better way to run things would not to be everywhere all
at once. Occam’s razor suggests that being everywhere all the time is neither easy nor efficient. The one thing nature and god as the creator of nature is efficient.
If he's doing everything then he's making my heart beat and your muscles work at the same time making the sun burn and the earth move. This would be an incredible waste of time for an all-powerful being.

It would.

As the creator of the cosmos would you like to spend your time making sure every creature got born ok, hearts worked fine, the sun kept burning? No neither would I.
It would make more sense to have god establish a set of rules to govern everything. As an all powerful being he would be able to create any rules he wished. Like the prime-minister making laws, CEO making rules, they are there to prevent micromanagement, you never see Steve jobs delivering a Mac. No he makes rules and delegates. As much as Steve would like to think so he's not smarter than god so why would god micromanage.

Therefore he created the rules of physics: let there be light.

The rules of biology: he made man from his rib.
The rules of earth sciences: and then he made the sea and the earth raised from it

The rules of science was born.

All we are doing is rediscovering that which he made. We were made in god’s image, and we ate the apple now all we have to do is learn. We must always remember though to keep the moral high ground. It is harder sometimes but there is never an advantage to give an inch. We draw a line in the sand for many things, science and religion should not be divided.

Science without religion is immoral. Religion without science is just stupid.

or as Einstein put it:

"Science without religion is lame, Religion without science is blind."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I am sick of waiting.

Every day I spend most of my time waiting, for buses, in lines, for websites to load. I understand why people steal, it use to be to save money, now it is to save time. I start my day at 8 am getting up to walk the dog, and then it is off to wait for the bus to take me to work. At the bus stop I wait at the transfer for my second bus to arrive. Then I finally get to work, and it is more waiting, for the elevator, for my computer to load, for my job to start. Then it is waiting for my first break, for lunch, for last break, finally time to go home! Yahoo. Then it is back to waiting for the bus. Finally Home.

On my days off its waiting in traffic to go anywhere and once you get somewhere then its waiting for a parking spot. Once in the store you have to get your items and then wait in line. It seems like the lines just get bigger and move slower, all in the interest of saving money for the company.

Time is money

That is what ever company I have ever worked for tells me. 30 seconds wasted per employee makes for lost money that adds up every year. Well my time is money too. If I am wasting it at your store you should pay me.

People tell me the big city is more convenient, ba-hum-bug. The convenience factor will never out weight the waiting involved with the big city and all these people who waste their and my time waiting.

That is why I am starting to shop at independents around town. Mom and Pop shops may not have the cheapest stuff, but they are always personable, and my time is never wasted. Some of the best stuff that I own has been found with the smallest store, and the best people.

I hope my boat has the same feel to it. I will spend my time wisely in searching and buying a boat. Once on a beautiful ship of the line, my time will never be wasted, but wisely spend enjoying all the leisure that craft can offer.

Long may your big jib draw.

Das Newf

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Wheels on the Bus

So I know it has been awhile since my last post, and this is something that needs to be corrected. As it turns out I am concerned about expressing myself and making sure not to sound too preachy and/or self-indulgent. Then I was told by a very wise family member that the whole point of a blog is just as such, those who want to know will, those who will get offended or bored will not.

Good Point.

As it turns out the new job that I have applied for is a government job, one that will lend itself to the pursuit of a sailing vessel. The Canadian Coast Guard is a great way to have a good career doing something interesting and challenging while working with people who share my passion. Like all government jobs it requires moving at the speed of the bureaucracy, which I am sure has tried to be measured by someone, but is probably still waiting for the results to come back.

I have applied via their “fast and convenient” website, as all public employees must, I was then told that they will process my request and forward it on to the hiring committee where it would sit for an unspecified amount of time until someone in the expanse known as government would get back to me. Well almost two months later and I finally have a response, I have been selected to do an assessment to determine if I qualify to do an interview, which will allow me to write a test to see if I will be able to do the training required to be able to do the job to which I have applied.

At least it is a move in the right direction, slowly but surely in the right direction.
My first test will have me tested in the following areas:

Arithmetic, 2+2 is still 5 right?

Checking, well will have to brush up on this, anyone for a game of chess?

Memory, what?

Coding, some of those bar codes use a lot of ink, bring pens!

Spatial reasoning, paper airplanes, check, paper boats, well it kind of floats!

Memory, no problem here

On a different note does anyone know why everyone engraves their wedding date on the inside of their wedding band? These areas all seem pretty straight forward. So off I go the see if I have what it takes.

The boat show this year was a pass, it was not filled with much in the way of new and improved, and there were many missing venues and boats, so all in all we did not miss much. Next year should be better. Until then we will just have to keep looking for something that fits us.

Long may your big jib draw