The Present

began with the sort of joke store items kids love - flatus cushions, stinky stuff, boxes with exploding snakes rather than candy; you know the kind of thing.

The Author Steps Out

Over the past four months, I returned to the 1960s and '70s for some good and not so great memories. I've always tried to keep within limits of what could have happened when I took a frolicking detour from what occurred. I cleaned things up.

Favorites

It sails on my wall with a cherry ocean and sky heading east from Japan or China towards Los Angelos. I think my father is pleased that his ship is restored to an essential place in our lives, through the unexpected kindness of a fellow seaman.

Baltimore

After a few days, Bob and Chris would sweep us out of the house if we hadn't already crisped our welcome by arguing too loud at four in the morning.

R.M.S. Servia – 1881

I've been interested in steam/sail transition vessels for years. Ships with steam Auxillary and later sail auxiliary revolutionized travel at sea. Oceanic travel was no longer at the mercy of the winds.

Slap shot

Ultimately someone unfamiliar with his proud Canadian heritage would suggest that the game could be cat soccer. At which point, I'd recommend that they came around some night when the Maple Leafs played the Bruins.

Geedunks

I'd learned in the Navy that what geedunks ( sweets and specialty items not served at meals) the ship sold were not necessarily what I wanted. So I had a private stash.

What You Know

My recurrent dream that week was sitting down to write my essays in the traditional little blue books, but my writing disappeared as soon as I finished.

Eagle Eyes

While teaching, I always like to decorate the workshop with carving examples for students to use as a reference. Week-long excursions to teach away from home mean emptying the house of many of my carvings. But samples in three dimensions often are better than pictures or demonstration, and the extra work was worth it.

Communard

Not being one to hold my feeling in, I shared my opinions. At my favorite drinking establishment, the wise heads of the Harvard Gardens sagely nodded their heads in agreement.

Operations

I spent about nine years all told working in Operating Rooms, and a substantial bit of my education money came from working there. It was by turns the friendliest, and most stressful environment I have ever worked in.

A Cat’s Take On The Bible

My black cat, Smidgen, was sitting purring in my lap. Once in a while, it was her habit to correct my take on life by sharing feline wisdom tidbits, black double pawed cats specifically. The formula followed was usually a reminder that her Ancestors had been gods in Eygpt.

The Shop

A twelve-step program for compulsive tool buyers might help. But I have a thing about being away from my tools for meetings. Just taking the time to write this keeps me away from browsing the Lee Valley site, not to mention Rockler, Woodcraft, and Highland Woodworking.

A Rangeley Boat

it was the reek of pure Old Woodsman. Over the long lifespan of the boat, gallons must have been spilled in it, because no amount of restoration would ever remove all that smell.

Flotation

Sitting on the float, I could look at my reflection in the water. If I shifted focus, I could see the thousands of small jellyfish swarming around the float and the nearby wharf.

Twentyone

The problem with imagination is that it's boundless. On the wall is a poster telling you that you can do it if you can imagine it. Don't take it too literally.

Riding

I have to quit driving straight through from North Carolina to Massachusetts in one go. The fifteenth hour of driving is the worst.

Cardinals

Periodically the landlord, other tenants, the current resident feature of the Teahead's affection, caused a general eviction.

True Places

"Queequeg was a native of Kokovoko, an island far away to the West and South. It is not down in any map; true places never are." Herman Melville

Welcome Mat

the Teahead of the August Moon- thought a poet and psychic would be an exciting addition to our menagerie of odd bits and pieces.

Boxes and Spills

An old saying says, "Keep your eye on the donut, not on the hole." Well, this time, I was deep into hole territory. A simple build turned major construction.

Playtime

If your play is your business, you have to take care that the fun remains in the mix - or you might find yourself doing something you hate.

On The Road

What's the old saying? If wishes were horses, beggars would ride? Well if you were hitching around in the 1960's you wished a lot and sometimes rode.

The House Of Pain

The House of Pain is what my fellow UPS'ers and I called the hub (central terminal) in which we worked.

Encouragement

I invited Charlotte to Community boating to go sailing. We were not on the water five minutes before asking when we would get to where we were going. I had to explain that we were already there.