Friday, October 22, 2010

It's good to have someone who can answer your stupid questions...

E-mail conversation between my dad and I about the range we're about to purchase for the boat:

SUBJECT: I know I sound stupid right now and I will probably write about this in my blog later...

... but what exactly do we want? CNG or LPG? Is LPG just propane?

<3 Allie


LPG is liquid propane gas. It’s what’s in the can.

LNG is liquid natural gas. You won’t get that, it really takes humongous pressure to liquify ng.

What we want is CNG, which is compressed natural gas.

This is the one I’ve always really liked. CNG is really popular in Europe; this is one that several of the Danes had. Note the nifty broiler you wanted.

Can we get a guarantee on one from one of the salvage yards?

Yeah. What he said. So what do you think, readers?

Finally shopping for the range of my dreams...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My new best friend...

I would like to announce to the entirety of the blogosphere that I, Aleksandra Robinson, have a new best friend.

His name is Buster. Dust Buster.

For the past six months I have had a tiny shop vac. It's a workhorse. It's a great vacuum. Except when it comes to the small stuff. It just doesn't have a lot of sucking power. It makes cleaning the little bitty dusty bits difficult, I'm sad to say.

But the other day, my mother offered me a DustBuster. She originally bought it to vacuum crumbs off of my grandfather. Lately? She hasn't needed it for that. Poor Buster has been sitting -- unloved -- in my parents' basement.

I'd forgotten to take him with me the last few times I'd visited my parents, but when I went over to do laundry and give blood (at a donor center, not at their house) this week, I finally remembered to take Buster with me.

He needed a bit of a charge when I got him home, but then he was ready for action. This morning I pulled him out and got all the itty gritty little corners and cobwebs that plague me. Seriously. They plague me.

Now my floor and nooks and crannies are all clean and dust-free.

I'd recommend a DustBuster to any liveaboard for this reason. They're easy to pull out and use quickly. My shop vac is a bear to get out and use. This little thing is a breeze.

When you've got a tiny space to keep clean, it's much more of a challenge than a large space because any clutter or dirt makes the whole deal look dirty. For instance, today I had crusty bread. Normally, I'd break bread outside, hanging over the side of the boat to keep the crumbs away.

Today? I broke bread with abandon and Buster was there to clean up the aftermath.

I'm telling you. Buster is my new bff...

Monday, October 11, 2010

There's no place like home...

Well, folks, I just got back from a gloriously relaxing and rejuvenating weekend with my friends on the beach in Virginia. We actually stayed in a town on the Bay called White Stone. I checked? Three days minimum to sail there. Too bad we didn't have the time! It was a beautiful weekend with perfect perfect weather. Steady, light breeze every day and lots of nice warm sun.

I feel so relaxed right now, but I can't tell you how nice it is to be home. I set out my beach chair when I got here, and I've been sitting on the dock watching the sunset ever since.

I guess it really is like they say. It's very nice to go traveling. But it's oh so nice to come home...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The solution to all my boat problems....

Pack up books. Take them to boat. Read books. Pack books back up. Take them home. Pick out new books. Take them to boat. Read books....

Seriously. That was my life up until recently.

It seemed my car was always filled with books. The boat had them crammed into her shelves willy-nilly, while my canned goods were relegated to a dark and scary cabinet.

It wasn't pretty, readers. It wasn't pretty at all.

But all that changed recently.

No, I didn't stop reading. Oh no. I got an iPod touch. And discovered the Amazon Kindle application.

My mother has had a Kindle for years and for years the darn thing has cramped my style.

"Oh that book?" Mom would say when I inquired after the sixth book in a series we both read. "I read it on the Kindle."

And then my hopes for not having to buy that particular book were dashed.

Now, I can download and read books.

Now I know what you're thinking. I've always been a purist, too. I love the feel of paper in my hands and the flutter of the pages.

But the eBook? It rocks for liveaboards. It's the perfect solution.

I can have hundreds of books in a space that isn't even 6 inches square. Romances, mysteries, fiction, non-fiction, Shakespeare... it's all there for my reading pleasure.

And if there's nothing that meets my reading whims? I can download something else.

It's amazing.

Of course the screen my iPod is pretty small, so I won't lie, I'm holding out for one of these:

But we can't have everything can we? Oh well... Christmas is coming, right? All joking aside, this is a great solution to the age-old entertainment problem. You're cooped up in a tiny boat with no TV and limited Internet and you're running out of books... the eBook comes to the rescue.

It's also great because you can have a newspaper delivered. Any other liveaboards out there miss having a paper delivered every morning? Now you can have papers delivered to your eBook and you can read from the comfort of your vee-berth without arguing with the newspaper delivery people at The Sun over why they should toss a paper 100 yards from the production plant and into the boat. Not that I've done that. Lately.

Now, I think I'll dial up a vampire mystery. I mean, why not?