Monday, June 21, 2010


Today is the official First Day of Summer... Hope yours is a nice one :)

We've had a pretty crappy windy and rainy weekend but it could have been worse.  It was a reminder to put "fix leaky hatches above the bed" on The List. We had a tropical wave pop through which was one of those that might develop into something.  The sky was back to its normal pretty blue color this morning but now it is gray and a bit rainy looking... So It Goes...

I was surprised to see that there's a new weather system (Invest 93) now sitting on top of Curacao.  That is where we had planned to go for this "summer" season (don't use the "H" word).

The first day of summer means today is FĂȘte de la Musique!  Oh, to be in Paris today... It is so cool because there are bandstands set up everywhere (along with stalls for food & drink) and it seems like each time you turn a corner there's someone playing...

One year we accidentally ran across Joan Baez singing at Place de la Concorde. That was a surprise.

Of course it is not just a Paris festival but all over.  It is just that LOTS happened in the Paris area. We had good times in the south as well.

Maybe next year :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Star Wreck, the movie

Last night we watched STAR WRECK.

It is a low-budget, foreign-made Star Trek comedy and really quite well done.  It is in Finnish, but with English subtitles.  The only problem I had with the Finnish is that when I looked down to pick up some spilled popcorn, I missed some of the dialog that went by :)

We got our copy from of Star Wreck from AMAZON.

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Hey! Where did that "L" come from on the Hurricane Weather Widget over in the right column? Must check that out... NOW!

Oh, it's the same one again... I thought it was something new. We like ZERO percent !!!

Statement as of 2:00 PM EDT on June 17, 2010
For the North Atlantic... Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico... A strong tropical wave approaching the Leeward Islands is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms as it moves to the west-northwest at about 15 mph.  Although strong upper-level winds should prevent tropical cyclone formation...locally heavy rain and gusty winds are possible in the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico over the next day or two.  There is a low chance...near 0 percent...of this system becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours. Tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 48 hours.

UPDATE: Friday June 18th : This morning it was back to 20%.  Maybe they made a typo yesterday when they said zero... So It Goes

I wonder what tonight's DVD viewing pleasure will be?  BIG LOVE, perhaps?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Word Processing & Office Suites: Lotus Symphony

We have Apple MacBooks. When we bought these just over 3 years ago (yes, just out of AppleCare Warranty) to replace our previous MacBooks which replaced our iBooks, we decided to not go with Microsoft Office that we previously used.  We had Apple Works on our previous MacBooks but this time we went with the newer Apple product that people were touting which was iWork.

I've never liked iWork Pages word processing application and I have given it a pretty good chance. We didn't get iWorks Numbers app because it was sold separately and therefore cost more and we don't really use spreadsheets.

When someone sends us a Word document it opens in Pages but never quite correctly... Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought this was Apple's answer to MS Word.  Also, when someone sends us an .xls file, I don't have an application to open it and use my Mac's default "Quick Look" viewer.  This works to look at a file but it is still lacking...

So, this morning I found IBM Lotus Symphony which is a FREE office suite package.  Yes, FREE.  I used to use Lotus-1-2-3 way back when in Paris!  I watched their video presentations for the word processor which seemed similar to the Word I used to use.

This was a no-brainer for Ms CheapSeats... Free download of a "Lotus" product.  Cool.

The only problem so far is that it took about 90 minutes to download (229MB), but my connection didn't fail and it installed OK. I had a bit of a problem finding it in my Applications Folder. I looked for "IBM" and "Lotus", then found that it was named "Symphony". Not a big deal, just took a few moments of searching in Finder. It is now residing on my Dock.

There isn't an "import" command, so I tried opening a Pages document with the ".pages" file extension and it was not recogized as a valid file type.

The Pages document I had was of a charter contract which has a combination of text and tables with shaded rows.  Using Pages, I exported this as a Rich Text Document. I opened this in Symphony and tables and text formatting had disappeared.  I then exported it as a Word document and when I opened it in Symphony my tables were still there... HURRAY!  I probably have to do a bit of text formatting, but that's OK.

I just tried to open an Excel (.xls) spreadsheet in Symphony and it worked finest kind.

Looking forward to playing with this new application.

You can find it here and try it yourself:

This is the Beta 3 version

I just found a blog I'll have to check out:

This afternoon we are going to make some progress on our new dinghy that we are building. Must remember to take photos... my little pocket digital camera eats batteries. So It Goes...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jeannie Kuich : Celebration Of Life & Obituary Announcement

A celebration of the life of Jeannie Kuich will be held at Latitude 18 (Red Hook, St Thomas, USVI) from 4:30 to 6:30 on Wednesday, June 16, 2010.  There will be a cash bar.  Please bring hors d’oeuvres.

In lieu of contributions, please give to the Humane Society of St. Thomas, 340-775-0599 in the name of Jeanne Kuich.

Jeanne Zimmerman Kuich, St. Thomas, USVI

Jeannie, to her many friends on St. Thomas, died June 9, 2010. She was born October 20, 1936 in Louisiana and lived in Houston, Texas from the time she was two. She left for college in 1954. A graduate of Colorado University in 1958 she married Mike  Kuich in Houston August 20, 1959. Jeannie and Mike moved to St. Thomas in 1967 where they went into the charter business. With Michael she co-owned 5 different sail boats ranging in size from the 50 foot Stargazer to the 84 foot Queen of Sheba. An avid sailor, Jeannie sailed the islands from Grenada to St. Thomas many times. With Mike she sailed to Bermuda 5 times, New England twice, Nova Scotia twice with one trip to Norway and all the points in between.

In 1982 she ventured on a two year sail around the world.

Jeannie is the author of the astronomy book “Soap Operas of the Sky”.  She contributed many articles on Sailing and Astronomy to such publications as Cruising World, All At Sea and the Compass plus she wrote the regular feature "Sky Lights" for the VI Daily News.

Jeannie is survived by her husband Michael Kuich, her step sister Sarah in Houston and her many friends on St. Thomas, the BVI and abroad. Jeannie was an active member of the Audubon Society and EAST.

Thanks, Sue, for this information.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer is off to an early start

The first day of summer is June 21st this year but the summer storm season (don't like using the "H" word) officially began already on June 1st.

So, we are two weeks into the season and they say that Invest 92 might become something...


The tracks of this model are higher than they were yesterday.  It is still quite a ways off so maybe they will keep shifting upward and away from us.  Hopefully nothing will become of this potential storm for anyone.

Good incentive for getting those needed boat projects done :)

UPDATE:  HURRAY!!! The 2pm forecast now says 40% chance

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Onion Dip Recipe & Amazon Gift Certificates

Bob sent me this link to this Onion Dip recipe at the King Arthur Flour website. (remember the King Biscuit Flower Hour?)

It's only just after 8am and I so much desire some chips and dip... or a waffle :)

Amazon sent me an email this morning about their Summer Reading Store.  We need to get some new reading material so I'll check this out later today.

Father's Day is coming up soon (June 20th) and maybe an Amazon Gift Certificate is just THE gift.  Especially easy for all of the cruisers out there. You can have the card emailed and schedule the date for it to be sent. This is handy... Say you are doing a long passage and your sister's birthday will happen during that time.  No problem. Schedule the gift certificate to be emailed on her birthday.  Cool, huh?

Still nothing on the epoxy delivery front :(

So It Goes...

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Mast update

Still haven't received our 3-gallon epoxy order...

We have moved stuff out of Jerry's shop and are moving things out of the parking lot.  We are thinking up cunning plans on how the two of us can move the mast to the dock so we can place it on So It Goes and finish it on the boat.

Ordered a used (very good) staysail from yesterday.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Popcorn Kittens Video

Bob showed me this video because he knew it would make me laugh & smile.  So right he was!

So, now I'd like to share it with you folks.

Hope this gets your weekend off to a good start. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Mr Zip on Vacation? Active "summer" season

Yesterday (Wednesday) we received our mast's "sock" in the mail. This was shipped Priority Mail on Friday so it seemed to me that we should have received our 3-gallon epoxy kit that we ordered last Tuesday.  I called up RAKA and they said it had been sent but they had a problem at the post office.  The postal employee said it couldn't be shipped via Priority Mail which is odd because they did it 3 weeks ago and many other times, so it is coming First Class. He said we should get it by Friday, but we'll see...

Maybe Mr Zip's vacation replacement just wasn't hip on such things... Probably doesn't even know that he missed Towel Day a couple of weeks ago :)

So It Goes...

On another front... As you probably know, "they" have forecasted that this will be an above-average, super-hyperactive summer season for those sorts of storms. I don't like to use the H-word.

Yesterday, Bob posted the 2005 storm map on BoatBits which had 28 named storms.  I was happy to see that none of the tracks were in our area of the Caribbean.  Check it out!

This morning's Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog reports on the seasonal h*cane forecast issued June 2, 2010 by Dr. Phil Klotzbach and Dr. Bill Gray of Colorado State University (CSU).

So It Goes...

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Tuesday was a "two fer"

The sky did not look promising at all on Tuesday afternoon.  In fact, it looked a lot like it did in the morning... GRAY.

But, it didn't rain.  It didn't rain all day which is great because we were able to apply the second layer of glass to the mast.

We were scraping the bottom of the barrels with the epoxy :)  I was surprised that the pumps still worked with less than an inch of resin in the bottles. That was great.  For the last batch of epoxy, I had to decant the resin and hardner into their own cups, then measure using a syringe.  Had enough epoxy plus a bit left over!  We should be getting another 3 gallons in the mail today.

The sock material was sent Friday so that should be popping up anytime soon, too.

Happy day.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Two for Tuesday???

We hope to apply the second layer of biaxial cloth today.  We have applied one 12" strip and hope to do the other, weather willing.

We woke up to a solid one-tone gray sky.  No clouds... just solid gray.

We decided to go and get some water and gasoline.  Gasoline has gone up to $3.45/gallon at St.Croix Marine, from $3.20.  Diesel is $3.19/gallon and if you buy more than 500 gallons of diesel (cash) the price is $3.03.  There is a further discount if you buy more than 1000 gallons. Someone who just passed through Bermuda told us it was almost US$4.00 per LITER.

After returning to the boat it still looked like possible rain.

Quite often it will look like this and nothing ever happens... although usually more often than not, it will rain.

So, we went for it !

It took about an hour...

We will wait for another half hour (3:30pm) and go see if we can turn the mast over and complete this second layer of glass.

Finger's crossed!

Another epoxy tip:  When working with epoxy, try not to drip sweat into the epoxy.