Sunday, March 27, 2011

Activity on Many Fronts!

How many Active Projects can you see in this photo?
 (I count 6 - plus one future)

It has been pointed out that I tend to work more than one project at a time, and this is true for two reasons.  First, is if I get to a stopping point, e.g. supplies needed, this allows me to move over to other tasks while I either make a shopping list, or wait for parts to arrive.  The other reason to be honest, is it keeps me from getting bored..  I guess a 3rd reason would be weather - no reason to be working outside when it is blowing cold, just wait a few hours and it will clear up!
This approach does however tend to turn Viking Star into a total disaster area.  And we are in the midst of it.  At this point, I am working the following:
  • Batteries: almost done with the relocation.  Need to finish up the heavy wire to the forward power distribution point (will pick up the main engine alternator at the same time), and run the wires back to the generator.  Also need to paint the battery box cover.
  • Aft cabin cork floors:  Started the trim around the raw edges.  Have most all of it glued, next step will be a bit of sanding and a varnish cycle.
  • Relocating Inverters.  This is also mostly completed, however I need to re-wire up the air compressor.  Am taking the time to also switch over the search light from the 12v bulb which has not been made for 22+ years (and is totally unavailable) to a more common 28v bulb.   Plus we will grow from 200w to 600w! FYI:  The new bulb is the same one the 747's use for their landing lights.
  • Shelving in forward engine room.  This uses the space freed up when we moved the batteries back.  Painting is the next (and final) step..
  • A bit more storage
  • Cleaning up overhead above stairs to aft cabin.  This is some simple cabinet building, and will hold the AIS Black Box, our WiFi repeater, as well as a spot reserved for future installation of  an auto radio.  Need to glue on veneer mahogany, and start a varnish cycle.
  • At the same time, I have cut and will glue some mahogany next to the refrigerator opening.  Have put on hold any ideas of making a finished cabinet around the refrigerator.
  • Aft cabin door:  Need to mount a bit more trim around the door opening, and do a varnish cycle.
  • Wine Glass Rack - have cut some wood, but need to do more trials to decide design.
  • Custom electrical panels:  Upgraded the Navigation electrical sub panel, installed the Propane panel.  Need to finish installing switches and bolt them down.

As you can see, I am working up to a varnish cycle on several items.  Will likely start that Tuesday, or maybe Monday.  And even with all this, some things have been 'completed' - installed Barameter and Wind Guage, new washer / dryer.
Oh, and am starting to work on the garage some.  Pulled another 5 tubs yesterday, and looking to make a scrap metal run this week - perhaps some Dumpster filling as well.. . . .

Next up once the above winds down:  Aft cabin cork flooring, pick back up the hydronic heater, order and install water maker parts, aft head, holding tank pumpout.  Then get ready for Haul Out, and painting entire boat.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


We arrived back in Portland yesterday afternoon, and crossed to Vancouver to our apartment.  The remainder of the afternoon was spent with laundry and Al catching up on email and news.  We were able to stay awake for all but the last few minutes of 'Survivor'--I will have to go to to view the tribal council again (?).  I think I saw it.....but I couldn't tell you what happened.

But it wasn't until just a few minutes ago, when we arrived at Viking Star, that it really felt we were home.

Al promptly changed into his 'boat clothes' and dove in to projects.  He is giddy.

And I have easy fast internet. And a Starbucks Chai Tea Latte.  Life is good!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ultimate Window Shopping

It's our last day in Washington DC.  We had just a few more things we really wanted to see, and we wanted to have lunch at the American Indian Museum.  We both ended up having the turkey and cranberries, and I had baked turnips and corn succotash for sides, and a squash calabash salad.

While Al was checking out the energy exhibit at the American History Museum, I first photographed my favorite First Lady gown, then later I texted him from the Museum of Natural History 'Wow!  Ultimate window shopping!'

Worn by Mamie Eisenhower

The Hope Diamond
THOUSANDS of carats
Sapphires, my birthstone
And green is my favorite color

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Monumental Day

Shall we just get to the pictures?

Arlington House, home of Robert E Lee

The view from Arlington House
Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown
The Laying of a Wreath
Taps.  It brought tears to our eyes.
To honor those lost in the Challenger
The Kennedys
Some of JFK's most famous words

Moments of excitement!  While we were walking from Arlington, we saw several  helicopters, most like this, which is dark blue and says 'United States of America' on it.  There was another one that was different, green, and Al said that was like the one they use for the President.  This evening's news said Obama visited an Arlington middle school today.  We may have see the President fly over!!!
The view from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  Work began on the reflecting pool last October, and is not expected to be completed until summer of NEXT year.

The Vietnam Memorial

Reflecting on The Wall

The Korean War Memorial

Ghostly Images
some engraved, some reflected

The Jefferson Memorial

The World War II Memorial

4048 stars, explained below

Earlier, Sarah asked if we had seen the snipers on top of the White House and we said 'No'.  Couldn't miss him today!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Beautiful Sunday in DC

The National Cathedral is simply magnificent!

After services we walked down the hill, fortified ourselves with a visit to Starbucks, and then crossed into the National Zoo.  We were here especially to see the Pandas, but we had to hunt for them!  We had assumed since it was such a nice day that they would be outside.  We overheard several people say that no one could see them.  Finally we saw a zoo keeper cleaning one of the outdoor enclosures, and he told us that they were inside for the day, and told us how to get there.  We first saw a research station, then the bears.  I was surprised that they were in separate enclosures.  The first we saw was quietly eating his bamboo and was easy to photograph.

He's smiling, just for Ryker!
The second one was more active, but a bit shy.

The cheetahs were right next to the zebras, literally on the other side of the fence.  Several people noted that the zebras seemed to be almost taunting the cheetahs.

This one loved the 'zoo' at HIS window!

Poor Tiger!  It must have been past his feeding time.  He kept pacing from door to door, 'RAWR'-ing all the time.  They finally let him in.

Prairie Dog
Ha ha!  Can you read the sign?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Whole Day with Al

Actually, I had last evening with Al too, which is where our photos start today.  It was a cold night, and breezy, but very uncrowded.

After dinner we stopped by to see if the Obamas were home

This is the Zero Milepost, the point from which all distances from Washington DC are measured
Today began with a tour of the Capitol building.  Which is actually only a tour of three rooms, but they are FABULOUS rooms.  Here is the compass in the room called 'the crypt'.  All streets in Washington DC are measured from this point, and from where the city is divided NW,SW, NE, SE.
The little red brick marks North
Here is our tour guide Zoya in the Rotunda.  Two more groups are across the way.  When we came back through, there were groups all the way around!

The mural at the top of the Rotunda
Statuary Hall.  Also called 'the Whispering Room'
I like patterns and textures.  

From the Capitol to the Washington Monument,  the Mall
The other side of the Capitol from yesterday's view.  I don't know which is 'front' and 'back'.
Grant's Monument
The traditional shot
We DID find some cherry blossoms!
And a quick run through the Air and Space Museum, where we saw 'The Spirit of St. Louis'

This explains the following photo
The Wright Flyer

The day ended with dinner with Sarah Tunall, known from the Forest Grove United Methodist Church, who is attending seminary in Washington DC.  It was great to see her and share a meal and conversation.