Betty Ann 2010 Southbound – Point Judith Rhode Island to Charleston South Carolina

October 27, 2010  – 9:00 PM

Sunset Off the Bow

Wow, I forgot how much I hate writing by hand.  It took me three false starts just to get going.  I tried the left-hand pages, I tried starting at the back of the book, nothing was comfortable.

You see, being left-handed, the whole ‘writing by hand’ thing was always a bit of a chore.  Quite honestly, my handwriting looks like a friggin’ Kindergartner wrote it.  This was actually one of the first things I noticed when going from hand-written to typed papers in school, my grades immediately went up.  It turns out I was a better writer than I realized, it was just that nobody could read it before.

So, anyway, my hand is already sore, that’s nice.  But you’re not here to listen to my handwriting woes, you want to hear a sailing story, right?  Let’s get on with it, shall we? Continue reading “Betty Ann 2010 Southbound – Point Judith Rhode Island to Charleston South Carolina”

Maïna Sailing Trip Log – August 2003

Sailing Maina - Pointing Well Up To Concarneau

Sailing Log of Maïna

What follows is the log of our trip to France sailing on Maïna, a Beneteau Oceanis 411. The convention is pretty easy to follow, sections starting with “(A)” were log entries written by Andrew, sections beginning with “(D)” were written by Dad (Jim). Truly an awesome experience!

Also, you will see reference to “bets” between dad and I.  This is an idea we stole from a book “My Old Man and The Sea” where the son and father use large, fake bets to make the trip more interesting. (The book is a good read and I recommend it to anyone who likes reading this kind if stuff, which, if you’re reading this (and like it), you probably do.)

Anyway…on with the show!

Continue reading “Maïna Sailing Trip Log – August 2003”

Replace the Headlight Bulbs on a 2001 Ford Ranger

On my truck, a 2001 Ranger, I first have to remove a little plastic plate that is above the headlight. It comes off after removing three small bolts on top. Remove that plastic and you’ll find two metal tabs behind the headlight housing (the glass part). If you pull up on those they will release the housing, and after a little bit of wiggling you’ll be able to get the housing out, and get at the rear of the housing is where you’ll find the retaining ring that holds the bulb in.

Unscrew the retaining ring (I think it only needs about a quarter turn), pull out the bulb and detach it from the wiring harness, replace with the new bulb, re-insert it back into the housing, and secure it in place with the retaining ring. Now you have to wiggle the light housing’s threaded rods (there are three) back into those tabs that you released to get it out. The threaded rods can be moved around to make this easier. When the housing is back in place, you’ll be able to see these little plastic things sticking out of the tabs, push back down on the tabs to lock the housing into place. Make sure that the housing it secure and doesn’t move around, if it does it means you didn’t get it back into place well enough. Replace the plastic plate on top and you’re done. The procedure for both headlights is essentially the same.

At first I was thinking to myself “This is so stupid and typical of newer cars.” But after I figured it out, it’s pretty easy to do. The second headlight only took me about 5 minutes.

Journal from the 2007 (Northbound) Betty Ann Boat Delivery



This is the journal from my experience on the Betty Ann sailboat during a delivery from Annapolis, Maryland to Point Judith, Rhode Island.  This would be my first of many trips aboard this fine vessel.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did living (and writing) it!

After reading (or during, whatever your preference), make sure to view the pictures of this trip over at!  There are also some pictures of a more recent southbound delivery, which are even geotagged, a new feature I was trying out.

Eventually, I’ll get my pictures of yet another northbound delivery, this one from Tampa, Florida to Charlestown, South Carolina.  We had a stopover in Key West, which was, obviously, one of the highlights of the trip.

So grab a glass of your favorite beverage, light a fire if it’s cold out, and prepare to go on an adventure with me and the crew of the Betty Ann…

Sunday, May 20th : 8:38 PM

Whew man, long day. Today started at 5:30am in Quonny, RI. I cautiously opened my eyes to reveal a day starting much darker than I’m used to. “What is this daylight savings?”, no, just dawn AM, or the butt crack of morning, whatever you want to call it. No one cares about this part of the trip so I’ll just get right to the point so we can get to the good stuff:

  • Drive to George’s house
  • Park dad’s truck and Gerry’s car at some logger’s log storage area (what else would be in a logger’s storage area?)
  • All pile into George’s car with his wife Maime.
  • Get to KPVD, and unload the bags. The frozen Italian Country Chicken dinner made it through the x-ray scanner ok. This was slightly surprising, we expected to be asked at least a couple questions about it.
  • Dad got the full security scan because of his steel hip parts. “I’m sorry sir, but you’re going to have to leave your hip here, I can’t let it on the plane.”
  • Land at BWI, and all pile in Eric’s explorer and head for the marina where the Betty Ann is waiting for us.
  • We sat down for some breakfast and Archie joined us. His breakfast turned out to be the best, the Crème Brulee comes highly recommended.
  • Say goodbye to Eric who looked like he really wanted to come with us.
  • Shove off into the Chesapeake.

Ok, now we’re getting to some boat talk, after all that’s why you’re reading this right? Let’s back up a little bit to breakfast. We all watched in detached pleasure (pleasure because it wasn’t us) as a sailboat attempted to depart its slip only to realize that the turn was too tight, and they weren’t ready for the wind that was going to blow them down towards the pier wall. I bet the wish they had a bow thruster (we do, ha ha ha). After watching the mini-drama unfold we took our first crew-vote on what to do today. There were two options:

  1. Leave tomorrow morning, and go visit the surrounding area.
  2. Leave right now.

We all chose option 2, let’s go sail!

Continue reading “Journal from the 2007 (Northbound) Betty Ann Boat Delivery”

Bowling Rocks!

I went bowling last night for the first time in…15 years?…my first game really sucked, I even had a couple gutter balls, but my second game was really good.  I had a few strikes, and one set of three strikes in a row.  Don’t tell anyone, but I’m pretty sure it was all luck.

I was starting to feel bad for the guys I was playing against until we played Halo later on in the night (around 1:00am).  They took their bowling frustrations out on me by completly kicking my ass.  Even with major handicaps on their part I was still only getting 8 kills out of 20 or whatever.


I’ve still got my homework list of programming chores for home.  With the nice weather it’s hard to motivate myself to do any programming at home, but the current list is:

  • Fix some of the problems with ADAL
  • Start work on MASS (Multi Author Story System)
  • Start work on Mage (.NET port of coppermine…sort of)
  • Start work on the AGI Application Gateway Interface
  • Maye install an open source CMS on the killfly root (
  • Delete this shitty Linux OS from my laptop and put XP back on.

I Wish I Had a Camera

I can think of two times that I wish I had a camera, or at least that someone had taken a picture of me.

The first is the time I wanted to see how fast I could run. I ran alongside a car while the driver kept pace with me tracking my speed. I started slow but quickly built speed until my legs were a blur of supernatural running power. Somewhere around thirty-five miles per hour on the car’s speedometer (I’m pretty sure I remember that speed correctly), I disappeared from the driver’s view.

“You were right there…and then you were gone.” said the driver, “I looked into the rearview mirror and saw you behind the car.”

What the driver saw is what I wish I had a picture of; my body rolling and bouncing down the road. I had attempted to slow down and ended up locking my knee by accident which caused me to “spin out of control”. I landed on the pavement hard, rolled a few times, and eventually came to a sliding stop, which is where most of the damage to my skin came from. Don’t worry, nothing permanent.

Why do I wish there was a picture? Because that must have been one of the funniest things in the world to see…and i didn’t get to see it. I can only hope that someone saw it from their house and now has an awesome story to tell about the “day they saw this dumbass roll down the road.” I know we tell that story at least once a month in my house because it’s always good for a laugh, but if we had pictures it would be so much better.

What’s the second time I wish I had a camera? I’m not going to tell you because it doesn’t sound nearly as funny as the story I just told. I’m going to ammend my answer, I can think of only one time I wish I had a camera, but I’m sure there’s more.

On Religion

A recent conversation at a coffee shop caused me to start thinking about religion, specifically mine. I’ve never been an ultra religious person, but sometimes you can’t avoid being asked the question. I ended up writing the text below at around 3 in the morning in order to answer the question more thoroughly for myself. And for anyone else who is interested….obviously.

“So Andrew, what about you?” John asked.

“I guess I would have to say agnostic.” Andrew replied.

Discussions on religion, like politics, are ones I tend to do my best to stay out of, partly because of their ability to so quickly divide a group. I realize that submitting a typed document on the subject is directly opposed to that behavior, but my answer has been bothering me and I think it needs clarification. Since I tend to write better than I speak, this seems like a good way to submit that clarification.

As I spoke aloud my original answer to John’s question, I felt like I lost standing in John’s eyes, and possibly Jane’s as well. This is certainly what bothers me about my response most, enough so that I had to get up out of bed and work out this explanation. I definitely feel like the answer I gave was incomplete, and that I need to fill in the gaps.

A better, but still incomplete answer to John’s question would have been to reply that I’m a non-practicing Congregationalist (Protestant). This is how someone else at the table responded to the question, although for a different faith. Basically, Congregationalism has as a defining characteristic no select Priesthood; the Ministers and Deacons are “leaders in a community of equals” 1. This is the religion I was taught and baptized as a child; I just haven’t been to the church in a while except for the occasional wedding or funeral, thankfully more of the former than the latter. In fact, as is obvious from the footnote above, I had to do some research just to make sure I had the correct definition of Congregationalist.

In order to begin my search for more information, I first need to see exactly what it is I said in my original answer to John’s question. My first stop was a few Google searches, the first of which led me to a page defining agnostic as:

An agnostic thinks it impossible to know the truth in matters such as God and the future life with which Christianity and other religions are concerned. Or, if not impossible, at least impossible at the present time. 2

I agree with those two sentences. Actually, after reading that entire page it turns out that I agree with a lot of what is said. However, that’s just one person’s view on agnostic beliefs.

I suppose that’s what bothered me a little about my original answer, the fact that I was compelled to place beliefs after agnostic in that last sentence. Also, agnostic seems to carry with it a negative connotation, which is why I felt like I had lost some standing in both John and Jane’s eyes. Being labeled agnostic by my own answer to a question, I begin to feel constrained already by the limits of a definition.

One day I took one of those “See what religion you should be” tests. One of the religions that came to the top of the list was Buddhism. Another Google search led me to the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order web site where they offer a definition of Buddhism as:

Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development leading to Insight into the true nature of life. Buddhist practices such as meditation are means of changing oneself in order to develop the qualities of awareness, kindness, and wisdom. 3

Another definition I can agree with. Who can deny that awareness, kindness and wisdom are things that we should strive for? However, I again run into the same problem of feeling constrained by the boundaries of one particular system. Why should we have to force ourselves into one definition when most religions contain things we believe anyway? I have a feeling I could probably continue this exercise of investigating different religions and find that I agree with a lot of what is said, but there may always be a few things here and there that make me take pause.

I suppose the conclusion I’m starting to arrive at is that I have no answer for the question “What is your religion?” because I shy away from anything labeled as such. I definitely have a personal set of beliefs and principles that I try to follow to the best of my ability, but I cannot say that they all belong to one religion. So the real answer to John’s question is that I have no answer, and yes, I realize that that’s a lousy answer.




Bad Mix – Hip-Tow lesson

Was just looking at at the last of my Gin and Tonic and thought….I wonder what a splash of Cointreau would taste like in there. The answer is not very good.

When I was coming back from work I stopped by the boat club to see if anyone was down there. Nobody was, but I did see my dad moored off Bill’s Island. I also noticed that the inflatable raft was still in with the dinghies but in need of air……a plan was born.

I drove back to the house. Threw a 12-pack and a bunch of ice into a cooler. Grabbed the air pump for the inflatable and launched the canoe with my supplies. I paddled out in the canoe to meet my dad who was moored on the “saff-tee” mooring off Bills Island. The plan was to be a hero and arrive with a 12-pack of ice-cold beer and hang out there for a while. However, when I rounded the point I realized he had already left the mooring to go back to the boat club. Since I was already out there I figured I would paddle over to the club (long paddle into the wind). This would have to substitute for my excercise, no running today.

Getting closer to the club I realized that he was getting ready to leave.

“You THIRSTY?” I yelled. Of course he was. I tied up my canoe to the boat club dock next to Tresta, cracked two beers and handed one to him. Now properly equiped with a cold beer I began pumping up the inflatable which I would be using for the return trip. When it was drum-tight we slid it into the water and I side-paddled it over to the waiting canoe. We tied the canoe the inflatable hip-tow style (side-by-side), I started the engine on the inflatable and I was off.

I couldn’t turn! We had tied the canoe too far to the front of the inflatable and even with the engine turned 90-degrees to the side I couldn’t turn one degree. After re-adjusting the lines I regained control of the two and was able to motor out of the morring field and made my slow downwind journy across the pond back home.