Guitar Repair

Time for a short post.

My guitar has had this annoying buzz on it for months now, and I finally got around to fixing it, which basically meant opening it up, finding the buzz (a slightly loose structural support beam) and gluing it solid. No big deal, but I’ve been avoiding guitar practice for AGES because it annoyed me so much that I couldnt’ play. It took me half an hour to fix, and now I’ve been practicing every day since.



Moral of the tale: Um. Do I really need to tell you?

Drydock ’08

The sweat drips from my nose, and splashes, sizzling, onto the soldering iron.

It’s roasting hot, and the cables are all around me, as squashed into a small space behind the audio rack I put the finishing touches to the new audio lines I just ran across from the desk opposite.

It’s dry-dock again.My third, now, and this time, I’m just not enjoying it.

I have quite a lot on my plate at the moment, what with trying to sort out many technical issues in the A/V equipment, and also get as much as possible done to allow us to expand and use what we have better throughout this coming year.


Also, the other members of the A/V team are busy with other projects, and I’m helping out a bit again with the deck ladder-repair and making crew.


Bink!

That’s the sound that the lights make when blackouts happen.

We just had another powercut.

Vrum bzzzzzt! Klunk! Klunk! Klunkklunkklunkduhduhduhduh!

That’s the sound that the fanrooms make when the power comes back on again.

The power just came back on again, by the way.

So, anyway. Right.

Yeah, there’s another fairly huge but unofficial project on which has pretty much sucked all the free time out of one of my team for the last 10 months – even from well before he joined AV – and also has been increasingly impinging upon the time of the rest of us.

They created an(other) unrealistic deadline to finish it before the end of this drydock, and I knew he would push all his time and energy into it.

So I pretty much gave him his work time to get this thing finished.

Which is good, I guess.

I mean, he’s not dead, which if we’d pushed hard at the AV jobs as well, I think he would be.

He just wouldn’t have slept at all.

We barely did anyway.

I was up until 3 one night working on an animation for the project.


Anyway.

Many of the AV tasks I had (I wrote down 58 jobs I’d have liked to either do, or investigate the feasibility of) have not been done, and most of them I didn’t even get a chance to investigate how possible they were.

So.. somewhat frustrating.

The first version is done now, which is good.

Anyway.

Still plenty of logistics and miscommunication issues to sort out.

So.

What else…

I’ve been making sure I keep time for myself, not burning out, and part of that includes focussing more on painting and artwork.. we’ve begun “creative communities” on board – basically an internal art/photography/creative writing club, with picking a theme per month.

The theme last month was “Freedom”.

This month it’s “Love”.

Here’s a painting of mine – “Searching for Love”

I helped out a bit with the ladderwork again this drydock.

Pretty much the same as last year.. this time we stretched the rope slightly more thoroughly.. Check out before and after stretching:

Quite impressive.

I feel somewhat drawn out and stretched myself.


I don’t think I’ll snap.. but hopefully I’ll be all the more resilient to whatever life throws at me in the future because of it.

And my current work in progress.

The North, and sailing

I was just up in Famagusta over night, meeting the Anglican church there who’ve been praying for me while I’m on Doulos. I’m slowly putting together a video about Cyprus, and so while there was able to get some photos and a bit of video footage which hopefully I can use.


Cyprus is beautiful. The Anglican church there meets in an old old church which has been in disrepair for quite a while, and now is actually a cultural centre for the university, or something like that. So there are plenty of old icons around.

We’ve been out sailing a few times now, it’s great. The boat is pretty well amazing with all the new ropes and such we’ve put on it.

Here’s a quick photo of the Out-haul on the mainsail (the yellow lines and tackle which pull the sail out along the boom, making it slightly wider, and the shape flatter, which can help to get ripples out of the sail, thus improving the shape, and speed, take a bit of power out of the sail in heavy winds, and so on.)


Dad’s quite happy with it all, but alas last Saturday when we went out sailing, the waves were very big, and while coming back in we managed to damage the centreboard (the big wooden thing I spent time sanding and varnishing a few weeks back). So now we’ve taken that out again, and today I’ve added some glass-fibre filler stuff, and will try and finish it back to decent shape again by this Saturday. Yes, I did leave it a bit late.

Last Saturday’s sailing was fun though. We and our sailing friends went out only for about an hour, and crossed pathes a few times while tacking, so when we did the first time, I put on my best piratey third-mate voice and roared “Port side cannon teams 1 3 and 5 fire a full broadside! Naaar!” and then the next time we crossed, they made cannonball flying and splashing noises, so just as they passed us, again I shouted “All torpedo tubes togeather, fire!”

So. There you go.

3 weeks until I’m back to work, for a while I’ll be in the UK working at the office there doing mediary things, and learning stuff to bring back to the ship.

Still almost 3 months ’til I’m on Doulos again though.

So. More about Cyprus. It’s wintertime, right now. That means cold. Freezing icy blasts of super-chilled air writhing and curling around in whirlpools of semi-defrosted almost-liquid oxygen, CO2, cigarette smoke, car fumes, and various other frigid things which make up common Larnaka air.

OK. So, slight exaggeration on the whole coldness thing. It was about 12 today, I guess. Still, that’s pretty cold, especially as it was about 37 when I left Doulos.

Also, Larnaka is really clean, mostly. Not so polluted at all. It’s beautiful, actually.

I’ve been helping a little at the theatre where I was working. This is the set from their new play “The History of Cyprus in 60 minutes”, which my dad and I helped set up the lights for last week. I also recorded it on video for one of the actors. I’d love to actually record it properly, with multiple decent cameras, tripods and so on. This was just a single home camera.


I’ve also been helping my dad a little at the office, doing a bit of logo/animation, and probably will do some more soon.

I’ve been helping him a bit more with his boat too, whipping/splicing/seizing, etc. This is the new out-haul block (I think. So many ropes on this little boat, I forget what they’re all for right now, as I’ve STILL not been out sailing on it…).

Anyway. It’s funny doing all this ropework on such tiny little ropes. Kind of like working on a model railway, or something. It’s nice though. I like it a lot.

Here is the new jib sheet (again, I think). We got this rig idea from his Wayfarer Book, and then I whipped it up. There are 3 seporate seizings to to make up this next piece. It should hold nicely, and will be good to work with. I’ve no idea how much pressure it’ll actually be taking, so I look forward to going out sailing soon to get more of an idea.

Today we also started work replacing the rudder stock. The old one is kind of shot, and so we’re making it almost completely afresh from (hopefully) marine ply. This is the old one (dismantled).

And here is the new one to be. We’ve jigsawed it, and now it’s being held and glued overnight so we can finish the two halfs and then start varnishing the pieces tomorrow, hopefully.
So, I’m still getting to use my Deckie skills. I miss ships so much. Maybe it’s just I miss Doulos… but I do miss ships. I miss sea-watch. I miss working with cargo, mooring stations, ropework, water tanks, painting, loading water, blocks and purchesses, bosun’s chairs, stages, all of it. *sigh*

Is it the work I miss, or is it just the people, my ship, my home of the last 2 and a bit years?

I feel part of it is the work. I also know I was so tired of it by the end. So tired of Deck Dept, so tired of the long hours and stress as waterman.

Will I ever do that work again? Except in Dry-docks on Doulos? Only God knows…

Hong Kong is beautiful. The colours of the place are really spectacular. It’s kind of similar to singapore in some ways, yet also totally different. I feel it’s kind of more peaceful, and also more human. Some of the countries/places we’ve been in the last months have been very clean, tidy, and beautiful, yet also, almost too stark. From the tiny ammount I’ve seen of HK, it seems less so. Still clean, but not clinical. I like it.
I bought a camera here, something I’ve been thinking about for about 3 years, and here is my first photo I’ve taken and been happy with. Hopefully this will also encourage me to post more frequently.