Saturday, November 28, 2020

The Blue Book

 The Blue Book is where you find used car values, right? Well, not in 1906, when there weren't enough used cars to create a market or the demand for the Blue as we know it today.

In fact, since roadmaps didn't really exist, it was a travel guide.

It also provided some information regarding regulations. Remember, driver education and driving licenses did not exist yet.

And then finally, there is the general non-existence of good roads and uniform signage.  For example, this description of the northern Virginia suburbs is interesting:
  • The road described as leading to Manassas is almost certainly route 7, but it had not been given a number. 
  • Manassas is west of Alexandria. Both are good size cities now.
  • It seems not even one car made the trip from Washington DC to Richmond each year. Now, it would be one car every few tenths of a second.

I wish I could read through this with my grandfather (born 1898). He was learning to drive during this period, driving logging trucks without a license. The sections on Pennsylvania, where he lived often said things like "turn left at the large oak tree 2 miles past the church," in areas where we now drive the Pennsylvania Turnpike at over 70 MPH.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Fall Brings the Wind! And the Cold.


90 degree heat and single-digit speeds suck.  A nice 15-knot breeze and speeds over 10 knots  make with worth the extra layers and a little nip on the nose. At least you can add more layers.

What I does it take to keep warm? 

  • Soccer training pants.
  • Either water repellent wind pants or Gore-Tex, depending on how much spray.
  • Base lay fleece top.
  • Turtle neck.
  • Fleece pullover
  • Wind breaker or light Gore-Tex pullover.
  • Very thin balaclava. Keeps the neck warm, but more importantly, it locks the hat on.
  • Ball cap with bump cap insert or fleece hat.
  • Sunglasses (with bifocal).
  • Musto winter sailing gloves
  • Deck shoes.
  • Waterproof socks.


  • Add long underwear.
  • Add second fleece jacket.
  • Possibly heavier wind breaker. Possibly drysuit if really nasty.
  • Heavier balaclava.
  • Ski googles. Keeps you face a lot warmer, even if there is no spray. 
  • Disposable heaters for gloves. They really help, and they keep you in thinner gloves. But I also carry ski gloves (warm but not agile) and insulated waterproof coated gloves (Hydroflector--totally waterproof, excellent grip, and reasonably agile if fitted properly).
  • Thicker waterproof socks, or just a pair of fleece socks under the standard waterproof socks (not if wearing drysuit--waterproof feet are integral.
  • Sometimes Gore-Tex shoes instead of deck shoes. But less agile.

So what am I testing for this season? 

  • Waterproof socks. I used them decades ago for hiking and was unimpressed, but I got several new pairs for this sailing season, and so far, they are a big winner. Comfortable, and they allow me to stay in deck shoes. Gill (top quality) and Randy Sun (great price) are contenders.
  • Seat cushions for a few more sitting locations. A foam pad adds comfort and warmth.
  • Fleece closures for companionway. In two separate layers, they will attach with Velcro, much like my mosquito screens. I don't do much cool/cold weather cruising any more, but they're nice even for a lunch stop. They go well with vented stove-top cabin heater.

Featured in Good Old Boat Magazine, it is nothing more than an old stainless pot inverted over the burner, a flexible 1-inch flue, and a place to place a cooking pot on top of it. Great for warming the cabin and heating up left-overs, all while venting the combustion gasses and CO2 out of the cabin. Very efficient too; the flue is barely warm where it exits the cabin.





Wednesday, November 4, 2020

A Close Race?

In fact a good many have been one by a single electoral college vote.

history of close races 

The voter turnout is the striking thing. Over the past few decades, 60-65% of registered voters was typical, with very little fluctuation. This time the total looks to be closer to 80%. Of course, only about 2/3 of qualified voters registered, lowering that figure to about 50% participation. I guess 1/2 the people figure one vote does not matter and it's not worth their time.

From a point of view, I guess it's surprising that even 1/2 the people can do anything together.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Hiding e15 in the E10 Pump

I missed this one. We all heard when Trump ruled that e15 could be sold. What we missed, probably because it was only publicized in Iowa (tight election!), is that e15 can be put in an e10 pump without labeling it as such, subject only to state approval.

 reuters--e15 allowed in e10 pumps

 I'm not sure it's much of a news item. It may very well be reversed, and probably will never move far out of the heartland.  

 But the thing to remember is that marine engines, including outboards, do NOT have computers and CANNOT adjust to the leaner conditions this creates.

 boating industry mag. e15 in e10 pumps

 Be careful what gas you buy. E10 is sort of OK. e15 is probably OK in your car. But not in your outboard.


Interestingly, this was announced mostly in Iowa 52 days before the election. Kinna obvious. If I lived in Iowa I'd ask "Why not three years ago? And will you change it back in a few months to court big oil... again?"


Actually, it seems there is no such executive order. He just tweated that there would be. So he lied to Iowa?

federal register--list of EOs

 If I'm wrong, post the link. I'd really like to see the text.

 Election Day 2020: Where to get the best food freebies

I was at the poll at 6:30 AM. An old habit, from when I had to vote before going to work. Afternoon lines suck.

I don't get the concern that votes be tabulated by the end of the day, or even within a week. We're just impatient.  A number of laws define timelines for certain actions; overall, months are provided.

We'll just have to wait.