Monday, July 14, 2008

Area Boaters Cement '2nd Place' Status in Port Orchard

For the second consecutive week, two Seattle-area boat owners almost won 'Best Chris Craft.' "I'm stunned. Not stunned-happy, more like stunned 'I can't fricking believe this is happening - again!'" lamented two-time loser Mark Garff.

Returning from a one-point loss the prior weekend, the Garffs polished up the boat anyway in anticipation of a better return at Port Orchard's 19th Annual Chris Craft Rendezvous. The event was well attended this year even though gas prices are so bone-crushingly high that locals have given up wake boarding in favor of floating around completely drunk on their very expensive motorized "rafts." Despite being held on the socially awkward and economically isolated Kitsap Peninsula, over 65 classic and some new fiberglass Chris Crafts drew good crowds to the marina.

The one-time 3rd place winning, two-time 2nd place winning 30' Sedan Cruiser SWIETENIA arrived in Port Orchard late Thursday night, dropping a crab pot on the way in spite of extremely high levels of heavy metals in the local sediment. "Crab's good eatin' if you don't mind the lead," noted long-time show attendee Gary the Viet Nam veteran wheel chair guy.

Garff during happier times, before the "loss"

After 3 days in the sweltering 78 degree sun, most boaters were tired and cranky and just wanted to go home, as did the losing Garffs. "When they announced we were the runner-up again I tried to put on a good show by hooting and clapping, but actually I felt dead inside" a tearful Mark said as he maneuvered the boat smoothly through the cacaphony of Bayliner plastic waiting to get into the large lock. But Ginger, trying to console her husband in his mourning, noted cheerfully that "At least it was a different boat this weekend and he beat us by a pretty decent margin."

Indeed, five votes was the spread and to the victor went the marble plaque. "There's always next year. And we're thinking about changing the name of the boat to SECOND PLACE. It's easier to spell - which might be worth the 5 votes!"

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Area Family Almost Wins 'Best Chris Craft'

Area boaters Mark and Ginger Garff have been instructed by the Lock Attendant to "take it easy out there" for the 5th straight year. Often seen on the water, their boat usually gets a thumbs up from other boaters and tourists alike as they travel through the locks from the Puget Sound back to the lakes. Like clockwork every summer they shine up their restored antique Chris Craft and head out to multiple boat shows in anticipation of possibly winning a "best in show." And every summer their dreams are dashed.

Owner Mark Garff ruefully recalls their "near win" at this year's 32nd Annual Wooden Boat Festival on Seattle's Lake Union: "We were right there. We were really in the game, giving 110 percent. Our offense was dead on, we were shooting daggers." Ginger Garff, interrupts, "You didn't even know this was a judged event until the guys with the clipboards showed up. We just came down here for the fireworks."

Mr. Garff lowered his head and glanced disapprovingly at their dog Lola as she put her paw on a varnished surface, "Yeah, it was mostly so we could dock here and have a front row seat for fireworks, which were awesome. I didn't know they could explode smiley faces. The heart shaped ones were sort of gay though." After removing a smudge from the glass he went on, "But then they make you stay for the rest of the show. The homemade boat race was cool, except no one sunk so it was pretty anti-climatic. " He turned his head to wipe some fingerprints off the perfectly flat varnish.

But not perfect enough. Chris Craft judge Wayne Potter spotted some imperfections in SWIETENIA's restoration. "From the dock, the boat just looks stellar, I gave it a 10 straight away for 'General Appearance.' She scored 10's in all of the other catagories too, except originality, which in this case means 'original' as delivered from the factory." Potter explained that in todays world you have to have modern systems on a boat, particularly navigation, and the judges allow for that such modifications. "But the iPod," Potter seethed, "so prominently displayed at the helm... there's no other word. I was appalled. And they were playing Death Cab for Cutie. I mean really."

The boat the Garff's slaved over for 6 months this winter officially received a 59 out of 60. One point shy of the now 3-in-a-row show winner, SENECA. "They don't lift a finger on their boat. It's all professionally handled," noted Mrs. Garff. Mark added "There should be some rule against the same boat winning over an over. And if we had unlimited funds, we'd sure as hell hide that iPod."

Maybe they'll have better luck this weekend, at Port Orchard's Chris Craft Rendezvous. Unless SENECA is in town...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I think perhaps Summer is here.

Well, if the garden is any indication, anyway. The vegetable garden, that is. I let Mark deal with the fancy plants posts, me, I'm just into the veggies.

This year we expanded the garden! WOOHOO! Now it's maybe a whole 200 square feet (maybe). We're growing more things, too. Radishes, lettuce, carrots, peas, kolhrabi, tomatoes, various squash, lemon cucumbers, and scarlet runner beans. Whether half of these will ever come to fruition is another question entirely. We ate more radishes than was strictly necessary, didn't eat as much lettuce as we should have, and are currently gorging ourselves on snap peas. Mmm.
The carrots aren't quite ready, but I couldn't resist seeing how they were doing. Let's just say that we might, maybe, possibly have a few little rocks in our dirt, and our carrots may all end up being PG13.
Here are some other random garden photos:
Squash leaf - way cool and silvery. I think it's a Delicata of some kind.
Kohlrabi: All evidence aside, I was perfectly sober when I took this photo, I swear!
A bean, beginning to bloom:
Tomato!!!See it??
Big tomato plant
Here you go:
Small tomato
And last but definitely not least, a lone basil plant.
Or folk art, whichever you think it is.
Lemon Basil
(more pictures on our Flickr page if you click through any one of these)

That's the update for now! A post about our best ever 4th of July coming soon.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

This just in: Lies and money always win.

The last Sonics game. That's me in the white hat above the R in GREGOIRE. That game was the last Sonics win I'll ever see. The saddest victory.

Seattle Times columnist Steve Kelly summed it up well:

The Liars won.

Owner Clay Bennett, that man possessed, now possesses a very bad basketball team in a very different city.

The Oklahoma City Bums.

The only consolation for Seattle's hoops cognoscenti is that these OKC Bums are doomed for a long time. The Ford Center could be considered obsolete just about the time that team starts competing for the playoffs. And young superstar Kevin Durant will be playing for, I don't know, the Knicks, maybe?

The pulse is weak in Oklahoma City.

Read the full article here.

I'm so angry today I can't even type. Black Thursday. 41 and done. Well I'm done with the NBA and its ego maniacal commish and I'm done with each and every politician from the Governor on down to the lowliest City Councilman. I'm especially done with our hapless Mayor who had the stones to call yesterday's settlement a "partial victory" for the City. What?! I, and every other jaded Sonics fan, will vote against every politician who played a role in this mess regardless of the stripe of their opponent until they are out of office. I will never again buy Starbucks coffee, though I don't do that anyway. I am done with NBA Basketball.

Ultimately this is Schultz's fault, who when given the opportunity to sell the team to a local buyer, took the money and sold us out to a bunch of redneck liars. And my dear Howard Schultz, we all know where you live. I'm having a nasty banner made for the boat so that when we float by your house, at least I'll spoil your dinner. A small price for you to pay, as fans pay the ultimate price: a sports legacy that is now just sports history.