The Spaight Street Syndicate

The Spaight Street Syndicate Iceboat Shop

Daniel Hearn’s reports from his iceboat shop where DNs and most recently, a C Class Skeeter are built and tuned.

Spaight St. Syndicate: C-Section

The patient and the target.

Previously at the Spaight St Syndicate
Winter is definitely coming! Daniel Hearn’s C Skeeter has emerged from the basement incubator.

C-Section

The delivery was scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 30. The natural way was not going to be possible, and after nine months, my beloved was ready for this to be over. So I let my household duties slip a bit—what’s a clogged bathroom sink when we’ve got sinks on other floors? And so a couple of kitchen cabinet doors fell off—makes it easier to put stuff in and take stuff out? Little sympathy, here! Can you blame a man in my condition?

I’ve been crying myself asleep nightly ever since she told me she wouldn’t be right at my side. I know she loves me, but she said there are just some things she’s not equipped to handle. I’ve come to understand that the miracle of birth is not just about bringing a new life into this world. It’s also an incomprehensible feat of physics. That… is going to get from here to there, how? Many a visitor, starring at the large mass late in my gestation period, offered their unsolicited input, “dude, that ain’t happen’n.” I appreciated their offer of help.

Now I don’t have the smartest friends, but they weren’t completely wrong. This was not going to be your normal delivery. Only way this girl was coming out was a surgical extraction through a window under the back porch that’s never been opened in the 29 years we’ve lived in the house.

Admittedly, I’m a wuss, so I told the doc to use any scientific crutch available. Accordingly, she instructed the operating team to remove the bubble. “No need to stress the incision any more than necessary.” I nodded my head in agreement, my mind racing with marginally rational thoughts. What if she’s b(road)reach? What if the sheet is wrapped around the steering wheel? What if they drop her? What if she’s an Ohio State fan? I requested the epidural, even though I was having a C-section.

Next thing I know, my little bundle of joy is resting peacefully in her 25 foot aluminum bassinet with tandem torsion axles and electric brakes. Crazy the gear they have for the little tikes these days!

Time to learn to sew, because now my little girl is going to need a blankie.

Spaight St. Syndicate: What’s In a Name

Uplifting art

Previously at the Spaight St. Syndicate
Daniel Hearn is inspired to name his C Skeeter by, well, read on…..

What’s In a Name

“What, are you thirteen,” she said rolling her eyes? I had to take a quick mental inventory. Let’s see—I still think there’s nothing funnier than a fart in church. I have many names for my male member, and each includes an adjective found on the Thesaurus page for huge. I burp out loud when I think no one else is around. I sometimes forget to put the toilet seat back down. I think Hershey’s is good chocolate. Even though I know I’m not supposed to, I often cut all the food on my plate at one time, because it’s so much more efficient. “Yeah, pretty much,” I replied. “So, what you’re saying is that C-Man is not an appropriate name for a C-Skeeter driven by a man my age who has four children—three of them daughters?” She just walked away, so I took that as an affirmative. Maybe I can still cancel the decal order.

 

Probably needs to be more sophisticated to win the approval of my Mrs. I hadn’t recalled asking for her approval, but nonetheless, it became clear that she thought she had a vote. I had carved up the districts within our household trying to prevent that, but clearly my gerrymandering was ineffective.

 

Maybe something from literature? The classics? Or how about mythology? Those Greeks were so sophisticated they convinced people to see pornography as art. I think the sculptors were just as juvenile as me. Their wives were certainly rolling their eyes when the Mr. was out back in the shed chiseling the fine form of a woman with a righteous amount of junk in the trunk.

 

There must be a cool-sounding “C” name in mythology, with deep meaning, that would be a fitting reflection of my masterpiece. (Well, it may not be a masterpiece, but it’s the best this paint-by-numbers kind of guy can do). That’s it—Callipygian! I think it’s perfect. And I’ll score points with the Mrs. when I tell her that I named the boat after her. But this time, I’m not disclosing the name until the fat bottomed girl hits the ice.

 

Now that you’ve Googled my name, let me know what you think. Will I be sleeping on the couch again, or will she be flattered by her juvenile husband of 32 years?

 

Official team gear available here: Righteous Junk

Spaight St. Syndicate: Bubble Baby Skeeter Got Back


Daniel Hearn continues to work like a mad scientist while building his Class C Skeeter in his basement laboratory.
Previously at the Spaight St. Syndicate

Baby Got Back

The little hussy is no longer prancing around leaving little to the imagination.  I call it the Lulu Lemon Effect. Much to the delight of testosterone-filled young men across the country (OK, the old guys don’t mind either), stretchy pants have become acceptable casual wear, formal wear and everything in between for young women.  I’m dying to know how they wear them without ANY undergarment lines showing.  I’d ask my wife, but that would be a dead giveaway that I might occasionally look.  All three of my daughters pull this off, as well, but I decided I probably really don’t want to know.  But know this, young men—big daddio is watching.  He may not be all that big, but he’s Pitbull-mean and fights dirty.  Eyes on the horizon, Bevis.

 

She’s still got her tramp stamp showing, however.  I’m pretty sure she’s intentionally leaving the small of her back exposed, like she’s proud of her decision to deface her body for life.  You’d think spending time at a waterpark would be enough to demonstrate that these things don’t end well.  What she doesn’t know is that I’ve tipped off her mother.  Yesterday will be the last time the base of her spine sees the light of day, unless she’s wearing a swimming suit.  Which is going to be NEVER, because iceboats and swimming don’t go together.

Spaight St. Syndicate: The Old Man and the C


Previously at the Spaight St. Syndicate
A wise visitor from the south, Skeeter Iceboat Club’s Lou Lonnecke, pays a visit to the Spaight St. Syndicate. Daniel Hearn reports:

The Old Man and the C

If they had ice in Cuba, I’m certain Earnest Hemingway would have been an ice sailor. Last Sunday I was the (not-so)-young apprentice “Mandolin,” learning from the Grand Master Lou, “Santiago” Loenneke. One of the realities of ice sailing is that you can be an old man yourself, but still the youngest guy in the room. We may be gray, but we know how to play!

Hemingway’s last major work, the novel tells the story of a battle between an aging, experienced fisherman, Santiago, and a massive marlin. Mandolin has great admiration for Santiago, but Santiago is on a bit of an unlucky streak. Kind of like getting tossed at the leeward mark on Lake Pepin last winter, but I’m not mentioning any names. Santiago eventually hooks the big one and battles the fish for three days until he is worn out and nearly delirious. That’s exactly the way Lou felt when he left the Syndicate on Sunday after battling with the top deck of my prized Madison marlin. She didn’t lay down easy, but in the end the old salt showed her who was boss. OSHA would frown upon the flattening method, but she complied, nonetheless, with 155 lbs. of movable “encouragement.”

Someday I hope my work will land in the hands of an adoring fan, who will find the creator’s signature hidden away inside a bulkhead.

That Thing Got A Hemi?

You’re about the find out.


Are you ready for another Spaight Street Syndicate installment? Daniel Hearn’s C Class Skeeter build enters the “sweeeet” phase.
Previously at the Spaight St. Syndicate

No hemi, but all sorts of other, hopefully, go-fast stuff under the hood.

Springboard attachment brackets. Not fast if your springboard falls off. First time I ever sailed an iceboat was Donny Anderson’s Nite on Lake Kegonsa. Springboard fell off. I didn’t know there was hazing before I joined the fraternity.

read more…

“Left Alone With Big Fat Fanny”

The Fat Bottomed Girl gets some knickers.

Previously:
“A Space for Cowboys:
“The Inspector”
“Building In The Big City”
“New Ways to Shave”
“Heavy Metal Lightweight”
“It’s a Bubble”
“Simon Says”
“Frosting For Frozen Fun”
“When Your Plank Needs Work”
“A Weak Moment
Hang on folks, here we go with another Spaight Street Syndicate report from Daniel Hearn:


I was just a skinny dad

Never knew no good from bad
But I knew life before I left my shop dusty
Left alone with big fat fanny
She was such a naughty lassie
Heap big woman
You made a bad boy out of me

I was focused on her bottom last night when Spotify served up a classic. Coincidence? I think not. Just me and my fat bottomed girl havin’ at it in the basement. And my wife doesn’t seem to care, unless things get too loud, but even then she just calmly asks, “can’t you do that when I’m not home?” Reasonable request. She walked in on us a couple days ago when I was nailing her with the pneumatic gun. I apologized profusely for that indiscretion, as I appreciated that it can be shocking when not expected.

Thanks for the sign, Freddie. Enjoyed your movie earlier this year. Rock on and tell my dad I miss him.

The Fat Bottomed Girl gets some knickers.


A Space for Cowboys

After a short break, Daniel Hearn is back in the saddle, so to speak, with his C Skeeter basement build.

Previously:
“The Inspector”
“Building In The Big City”
“New Ways to Shave”
“Heavy Metal Lightweight”
“It’s a Bubble”
“Simon Says”
“Frosting For Frozen Fun”
“When Your Plank Needs Work”
“A Weak Moment

Saddle Up, Cowboy

Yeah, I know, it’s been awhile since my last update. In between that work thing and summer pursuits, my time blocks for the shop are short and less frequent, but I’ve been chipping away at the iCe rocket. (No, that’s not the boat name, but it will be a subject of a future blog). My internal mechanicals are now complete, and I’ve been doing lots of sanding on the cockpit carbon to make it look all purdy. I’ll give you the full tour in my next blog.

 

My nightly ritual this week has been laminating carbon to form the “saddle” which will attach my rocket to the launch pad. At the center point of the plank I laid out a layer of peel ply, then formed the saddle around the plank. I lost track of how many layers, but it was a great way to use up my scraps of both uni and cloth, interspersed with full size pieces. My technical consultant advised that the saddle needed to be stronger than the hull itself, so I just kept adding layers each night until I got to a thickness of about 3/8”. Once there, I rough trimmed the saddle and cut a matching profile in the bottom of my hull to prepare it for glue on. After I glue it on, I’ll reinforce the attachment with carbon fillets on the inside and outside of the hull. The outside fillets will cover up the mounting plates for the titanium axle that holds my exit block in position.

 

It was noticeably cooler this morning for my sun-up open water swim. Ice is a good way off yet, but the seasons are starting to sniffle. This cowboy is excited to break in a wild mare branded M-177!

“The Inspector”: Spaight St. Syndicate C(bd) Skeeter Update


Previously:
“Building In The Big City”
“New Ways to Shave”
“Heavy Metal Lightweight”
“It’s a Bubble”
“Simon Says”
“Frosting For Frozen Fun”
“When Your Plank Needs Work”
“A Weak Moment

The Inspector

I imagined it would be like Frank Lloyd Wright stopping by to check out our Convention Center. He’d be wearing the half circle reading glasses occasionally glancing over the top and then returning to the precise plans which captured his vision. The pockets of his finely tailored suit coat would be filled with measuring devices—a digital caliper, a laser guided tape measure, an atomic plumbometer—all calibrated by NASA. He’d pace around the structure, all too frequently grumbling a seemingly agitated “hmmmm,” which could only be interpreted as, “did this epoxy sniffer really think THIS is what I had in mind?” I was prepared for a tirade.

The night before, I had that dream where you’re supposed to be taking the final exam, but you realize you never went to class. Not one time. Or read any of the books. I needed something to relieve my anxiety. As luck would have it, a CBD store opened in my neighborhood. The proprietor is an old hippie, who goes by the name “Moon Dart.” He somehow rationalized that cashing in on people’s physical and mental struggles didn’t make him “the man.” Looks and smells like a capitalist to me, but in my hood we’re even left of Bernie, so that’s worse than calling someone the other “c” word. Yeah, that one. I went right for the highest potency, figuring it was like DN runners—more is always better.

Turns out, my anxiety was completely unnecessary. Inspector Heppert was very kind. At least in-person. When he gets a few beers in him, he might have the entire bar giggling like 7th grade girls at a slumber party, showing pictures of my incompetence on his iPad. But at least I won’t be around to hear it. After I slap a bunch of carbon on the outside, most of my infractions will be hidden anyway. And I know a good painter. So, I’m counting on at least “looking” fast. By the way, Moon Dart says the CBD oil is great for stoning runners. He advises stopping at 420. Makes sense.

“Building In The Big City”: A C-Skeeter Rises

Pre-Glue Test Fit

Daniel Hearn elevates his C-Skeeter build.
Previously:
“New Ways to Shave”
“Heavy Metal Lightweight”
“It’s a Bubble”
“Simon Says”
“Frosting For Frozen Fun”
“When Your Plank Needs Work”
“A Weak Moment”

Building in the Big City

I’m going to need new business cards, After completing my pre-glue test fit, I realized I’m not just a “Builder” anymore. I’ve gone vertical, so I must be a “Developer.” My basement projects have consumed all the available horizontal space. Anything more and you might see me featured on an episode of “Hoarders.” Is anyone else amazed at the kind of crap people will watch on TV? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly what you’d call “highbrow.” My wife has been training the Oconomowoc hillbilly out of me for 35 years, with limited success. But come on, “Moonshiners!?” When subtitles are necessary to understand a show’s characters who are speaking something that resembles English, that might be a good indication of a waste of time.

Back to development. As is typical with construction projects, my staging was a bit off. An unforeseen problem with my Sitka supply chain left me one board short. Not wanting to idle my high-priced labor and delay progress, I charged ahead with the available materials. Fast forward to today, and I’ve got a mostly completed frame, but nowhere to glue up my second side board. Hmm…what would a Developer do? Yes, that’s it, bring in the crane and scrape the sky!

At this point in my build, my mechanical equipment was collecting dust, so why not put it to use? With my Harken powered crane in place, I hoisted my frame out of the way and created the space I needed to glue up my second sideboard. Whoa…and when I cut her loose from the oppressive chains of the building table, if she didn’t go into an immediate hike, like she was rounding the top mark in a blow! This frozen filly may be a hard one to tame.
Daniel Hearn

Big City Building

“New Ways to Shave” a C Skeeter Plank

Final shape edge checks

Daniel Hearn shares another installment on his C Skeeter build proving again that iceboating attracts creative types!
Previously:
“Heavy Metal Lightweight”
“It’s a Bubble”
“Simon Says”
“Frosting For Frozen Fun”
“When Your Plank Needs Work”
“A Weak Moment”

New Ways to Shave

I’ve been receiving AARP mailings now for 8 years. To add to the insult, it started before I even officially hit the big 5-0. It’s a mystery how they even found me. When we were hunting Bin Laden, we should have put them on the case. If you were born before seat belts were required, they know where you are.

As we get older maybe we do get stuck in our ways. I’ve been shaving the same way for decades. Good News Plus razors with the lubrication strip and the cheapest cream on the shelf. Two blades were always good enough for me, and as far as I was concerned, any white cream would do the job. But shampoo? Nothing but the best for me. Not for what the fancy fluids do for my locks, though I’m sure you’ve noticed the sheen, bounce and manageability. But because when my daughters were all home, they would move on to the next miracle liquid before the last one was gone. I may have a lifetime supply of wounded soldiers. And I smell like a sorority house.

Before Amazon, my wife picked up my shaving supplies at an actual store. Now they’re delivered to my door with a single click. Making it easy has made Jeff Bezos 158.1 billion. But now Harry’s has made it even easier. And better. I don’t even have to click. Not one time. The blades just show up when I need them. They’re probably using a top secret algorithm to calculate the precise speed of my facial hair growth and the corresponding life span of each blade, based the Rockwell rating of my whiskers and my shaving frequency. I may be on the cutting edge of shaving (I’m slightly embarrassed about that pun), but I’m at the dull center of fashion. I still wear socks with my dress shoes. And see no need to sport pants so short that my ankles show. Who decided “floods” were a “look?” Plus, MY suit jackets actually fit ME. When did it become fashionable to look like the “oops” of a Catholic family–the boy who was last in line to wear the First Communion suit, when he was much taller than his older brothers at the same age.

The razors from Harry’s have like 17 blades and they stay sharp for a long time. MBAs who want to sound smart would call this a “core competency.” Me, well, my MBA is a Mop Bucket Attitude, so I’m thinking they should get into runners. Perfectly profiled and optimally sharp (or dull) for the upcoming conditions, delivered right to my door the day before the regatta is even called “ON”. This may be the next move for Amazon. I’d better call a patent attorney to protect my “intellectual property.” When you charge $900/hr., you have to use expensive words. Translation for those of you with an MBA like mine—my “good idea.” If I don’t, Amazon, Google or Apple will most certainly steal my good idea. And I think they’ve got enough money.

All the DN planks I’ve built were “close enough” planks. I’d bend them up following all the conventional wisdom, then start eyeball hand-planing until I thought they looked cool. Then I’d add glass in search of deflection that would match what the fast guys said would be calibrated to my weight, and called it good. But with my C-Skeeter project, I thought I needed to break from my old ways. So, the first thing I did was look up NACA foils. I don’t even know what that stands for, but I stumbled upon the section with foil shapes that were neither lifty or draggy. (These are highly technical terms beyond the scope of this recap). I sized one to the width of my plank, built a router jig to create shape reference cuts, estimated the declining depth of my cuts to account for the ½” tapering of the plank from inboard to outboard, then made lots of sawdust. Not as precise as a CNC router, but a sophisticated shave for me!

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