Saturday, July 30, 2011

Growing Marijuana as a Newbie

I have been busy tending to my new venture growing marijuana for the first time.

My 93 year old mother has an Oregon Medical Marijuana License. I am her caregiver allowed to grow plants for her use. I missed the whole drug culture like I missed being a baby boomer by the skin of my teeth. I never got into smoking pot let alone trying to grow it.

I started with donated seedlings that I kept in the green house until June when our weather stabilized into what we call our air-conditioned summer. I got a hold of a book and read on the Internet how to take care of marijuana plants. Needless to say, much of what you read is written by not only marijuana educated folk, but many are high when they write their information. I warn you that if you get on YouTube to find out what someone has to say about the culture of marijuana, you will find the guy hard to listen to. Since, I am not a user, the jargon and the presentation seems like listening to someone who has a disconnect with reality of how to present information that can be given credibility. It is difficult to get what you are certain is actually sound advice. I admit that I am biased about knowledge being dispersed by someone under the influence. Much of what you find is for those growing inside a facility with special lights and forced maturity the desired outcome. Those growers want a crop to produce in 75 days. I want something to produce in a season; which is 3-4 months time.

I have been a passionate gardener for years not understanding why all the special care would be needed for a weed. I am very concerned with mold as advised, but how concerned should I be is the question. My husband put up a support system so that I could pull green house plastic up and over the plants if rain comes, or it gets foggy here up river. I am not even sure all this is necessary. We will find out in September what we have done right or wrong. The plants look fine to me, but whether they are male or female has escaped my ability to discern. I have to wait for something to let me know. I think I will know when this something appears. I have pictures of males in all their glory. Anyway, let's hope I can, because I hear that you need to yank up and throw away the male plants. I have a concern that all my plants may be male and that be just wrong on so many levels.

The new bed I created for the pot plants was amended before planting, but at first you could tell that there was not enough green to the color of the leaf. We added bone meal to help with this problem and it worked. The two plants I put into good potting soil in 5 gallon containers did much better. All the plants look pretty much the same at this point in time. I do have one plant that refused to grow. Can you imagine that! That little bugger just sits there very much alive and very much stunted. I know I should yank that out of the bed, but I keep hoping he will find the will to live like his other family does reaching for the sky.

I have a problem with killing most anything so the ruthlessness of yanking out those males will hurt my gardening heart. I will do it as everything I read tells me to do this, but it won't be easy. Males should have some value just for thriving like they should. They have been good boys.

I know those of you that might be reading this that know just how to grow their pot, find me pretty amazingly stupid about the process, but I will learn. Maybe if I would smoke some every once in awhile, I wouldn't be so worried about the process and find a zen feeling just rustling the leaves smelling the possibilities of mom having some fine weed to get that back pain under control. I have found that my dogs will take a nibble as they walk by. Are my dogs becoming stoners?

I will keep you updated with my failures and successes of growing my first crop of marijuana.

Monday, May 24, 2010

2010 Salmon season opening

The 2010 salmon season has begun. This is a favorite activity for many fishermen/gals on the southern oregon coast and it provides some of the most unforgettable fishing thrills to be had. The season runs until September. If we are lucky we will get another 4-10 days of fishing in October in what we call the 'Trophy Season'. By then the fish are fattened up and ready to head up the river to spawn and they are BIG. So we are now getting the boat and gear ready for salmon action.

Fishing the ocean in june-july can be challenging as the weather is variable and the ocean can get rough. It is common to have swells at 8-9 feet with wind waves at 3 ft, making for a bumpy ride and green passengers. Fighting and netting a fish under those conditions can be very challenging, and then there is the ride home at the end of the day. The ocean is often so rough the Coast Guard will not allow small boats (under 26 ft) to leave port. August and Sept are much nicer with light winds and larger fish. But Lynnette and I are not bothered with motion sickness and we will be out on the water if the c/g allows it. Any day with waves in the single digits is a good day for us.

It seems that salt water and boats are not made for each other. The salt gets into everything and corrodes all metal. Electrical wiring is especially vulnerable with the electrical potential on the wires making the corrosive power of the salt even more effective at creating trouble. All of the splices and connections have to be cleaned and many repaired each season. I have spent several days with my head in the bilges insuring that we will not have electrical problems at sea. Today the Down-riggers will get checked out, completing the electrical work.

Another hazard in the ocean is sea lions. These 400-800 lb critters love salmon and will eat several at a meal. They are about as smart as a dog, and the rascals will quickly learn which boats catch the more fish, and follow them. They also know that a salmon hooked up to a fisherman is far easier to catch than a free one, and that a bent rod and a landing net means---LUNCH. They can quickly cut a fish in half and do so right at the fish gill plate, leaving the head for the fisherman and the rest of the fish is their meal. Above is a pic of a 30+ lb salmon reduced to a couple of pounds of bone by a sea lion. In the last 9 years I have hooked up to 3 sea lions, with the lion getting hooked while stealing a fish, my bait and one even hit a bottom fishing jig. When you get a hook into one of those things it is pretty obvious you aren't gonna want to land the thing. Just break it off soon and hope you have enough line left to continue fishing for the day.

The southern pacific has a lot of warm water this year and we are hoping that some of it will come up our way bringing with it albacore and other warm water fish. A couple of years ago we had 62 degree water only 12 miles out of port. More typically it is at 30-40 miles in August-September. Albacore are the fastest fish in the pacific, having been clocked at 60+ MPH. They travel in schools usually with porpoise nearby, looking for bait fish. These fish cruise at 15-25 MPH all day long. We troll for them at about 10 knots with at least 4 lines in the water. The fish see the prop-wash of the boat followed by the lures and assume it is a school of bait fish. We commonly have 3-4 fish on, which is a pretty busy time for 2 fishermen. The fish are very fast and do not give up easily. My daughter/fishing partner has given me her fishing rod only 2 times in 30 years of fishing together. The last time was when she had an albacore on and was just too tired to land it. A good day fishing 'Albys' will wear out anyone. Above is a pic of an average alby;

So there are some good days ahead. Looking back on last years season there is one fish that stands out to me. I was fishing in the Chetco River estuary out of my electric powered kayak, trolling a 'plug cut ' herring for salmon. The boat is shown above. Most other boats were trolling with anchovies and were not doing well. The previous day I had brought home a 20+ lb fish and smoked it. Today I was looking for a big fish, just to see if I could get it in, with the intention of releasing it. The Brookings boat harbor is in the Chetco river with a levee isolating it from the rivers current. Motoring out the harbor puts you in the river about 1/2 mi from the ocean. On the south side is a coast guard dock that is used primarily by sea lions for sleeping and watching the fishermen, looking for lunch.

I was slow trolling a plug cut herring in a riff where the downstream river current met the still water of the harbor. The fish-finder indicated fish there but the boats using anchovies were not getting any action. The electric kayak is very quiet and it may have been the difference between spooking the fish and hooking up to one. In any case the rod went down and I set the hook. It felt like a large fish as it didn't even move for a few seconds after the hook set, but then slowly swam up stream. The pull on the line was steady, much like the pull of a freight train. It towed the boat up river for a couple of hundred yards and settled into a deep hole. I stayed over the fish putting as much pressure on it as the line would tolerate. Across the river was a couple of sea lions sunning on 'their dock' looking half asleep.This fish was big enough to feed both of them, and I wondered how long it would take for them to notice my struggle with this fish. After several minutes the fish moved out of the hole and down stream toward a platform where folks often fish for crab using small throw-nets with bait attached. It moved back and forth in front of the crabbing area and it looked like it would end up fouled in a crab line. Now the goal had changed from landing a large salmon to just getting a look at this fish. I felt there was no hope of lifting this monster out of the water and into the boat, and I didn't want to kill it and tow it ashore as it would be a female and it was more important that it complete its spawning cycle. But I really did want to see her.

The fish now headed down river toward the breakwater and the ocean. The swells were too big that day to safely deal with the fish there and my chances of seeing this fish were rapidly fading. A small fishing boat appeared at the harbor entrance heading down river and out to sea. As it approached I waved and shouted 'fish on' pointing to the bent over rod and the fish location. Still the boat did not change course and was moving between me and the fish. More shouting and waving had no effect. I shoved my rod tip as far underwater as I could hoping to get my line deep enough to clear the boats propeller. As the boat crossed my line I felt the fish break free. I yelled a few comments about the skippers eyesight and ancestry while reeling in the slack line. I was surprised to find that I still had my hooks, and they must have pulled out of the fish- the line was not cut. I checked the time and was surprised to find the fish had been on for only half an hour. I was arm-sore and ready to call it a day.

I also had a new appreciation for the little kayaks boat control qualities. The boat is controlled with ones feet. I could steer it, turn the motor off-on and select forward and reverse using only my feet. There was never a time when the boat was not in the best possible position to deal with the fish. Given more room to work the fish I am sure it could have been brought alongside and taken or released. Sadly I never got a look at the fish, but I have caught several salmon over 40 pounds and this one was as big as any I have had a hook into. I am sure as time goes on the size of it will only grow in my recalling that contest. It was a big one.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Two Person Electric Fishing Kayak

This information is a reply that I made to an interested person that asked a question from my website:

The boat is coming along nicely. I took the proto-type down to the San Fran Delta this summer for some bass fishing and was very pleased with it. You are right, it is a far better boat for a person of your size. A number of small changes have been made to make is easier to build, improve fit and so on. The plans and manual are being updated.

I put a camera mount on the boat and will be making some videos of this seasons steel head fishing on the Chetco river. They will be put on Utube as they are completed. You can see them by going to Youtube and searching for ( videos-sports-kingfisher electric). I have one there now that is titled Searching for Dead Fred that has the 12 foot boat in it. Check it out.

I will check out the completed documentation by building another boat from it. I plan to make a video of that effort so that folks with no building experience can have a clear view of what the job will be like. It will probably be at least one disc long, possibly 2, so that is going to take some time to put together. The plans/manual will be available first, probably in the next 2-3 months. Here are some pics of the proto-type boat.

In the first picture, I have put a 1000 watt Honda motor generator in the back and a battery charger. The M/G has the ability to change its motor speed according to power demand. So if the electric motor is not drawing battery power, the Honda just idles along quietly. At full electric power the Honda is running at half power and the battery remains fully charged. When I start fishing, the Honda is shut down and I have a fully charged battery to work with. The m/g will run all day on a tank of fuel, about 1/2 gallon. This greatly extends the range of the boat, but is just experimental for now. I think it is the first hybrid electric kayak.

In the pictures, the boat is set up for salmon fishing on the river. Sadly the fish/game folks closed the river this year so I didn't have a chance to get into some larger fish. But you can see there is plenty of room in the back seat area for cooler and tackle.

Ready to go fishing. The boat is loaded into my P/U just as you see it with the cart wheels resting on the tail gate and tied in. When I get to the river it just slides off and is towed to the water. The strap securing the cart is released and the cart is left in the truck. The pipe on the right side (behind the seat) is the bilge pump outlet and camera mount. The font of the boat is clear of hardware to make fishing easier.

Thanks for your interest. Keep an eye on Youtube and the website for progress on this boat. It is a ton of fun to operate.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Needles and knives

Back in the days when the Vikings were the terror of Europe the folks that came in contact with them noticed that the Viking men often had hands that were unable to be opened completely. It was thought then that the cause was all those hours pulling on an oar in their boats. Their claw-like hands became known as Vikings Disease.

Hundreds of years later a fellow in France named Dupuytren discovered the reason for the limited mobility of the fingers was caused by scaring in the hands near the tendons that eventually involved the tendon, thus limiting the fingers travel. He developed an operation that freed the tendon from the scar tissue, thus restoring mobility to the affected finger. The disease was dubbed 'Dupuytrens Disease'.

The fingers most likely to be a problem is the ring finger and sometimes the little finger. Nodules can be seen in the palm of the hand on the tendon that serves the finger. The tendency for this condition is now known to be genetically passed on, most often occurring in men. The origin of the disease is still thought to be those Viking sailors, with the most affected populations being those that had contact with them. Apparently there is a Viking sailor in my family tree (or the nearby bushes) as most of the male members in my family are afflicted with this problem.

The disorder is progressive and over time the finger can curl to the point of being unable to open at all. Its progression makes little things like washing ones hands or face very difficult. Fishing your car keys out of your pocket becomes a two handed exercise, pushing the keys up with one hand and snagging them with the forefinger of the other. Tying a lure on the end of my line is darn near impossible, especially on a cold morning. So it was time to consider what to do about it.

There are presently two methods of correcting the problem. The 'standard' procedure in the US is to fillet the skin near the affected tendon and expose the underlying fascia, a membrane covering the tendons. This is lifted and the scar tissue is cut from the tendon and removed. The hand is then sewed up and the patient sent home to recover. The work is done in a hospital operating room under general anesthesia with several attending persons. Recovery time is several weeks and due to the local trauma of the operation, it is a one-time procedure.

About 30 years ago a doctor in Paris developed a procedure that uses a needle. The needle is inserted under the skin/fascia and moving it laterally along the tendon, the surgeon cuts away the connecting scar tissue around the tendon. Several insertions are made along the length of the tendon until it is cut free and mobility is restored to the finger. This is an out-patient procedure that is performed under a local anesthetic. Upon completion of the procedure the patient can observe the restored mobility of the finger and is sent home with a bandage on their hand. No further visits to the doctor are usually required for follow up treatment.

So what are the differences in the results of these two types of treatments? I searched the web for info and found little to hang my hat on. The disease is not cured by either operation, and it is possible (likely?) that the scar tissue under the fascia will continue to develop until the tendon is again involved, and mobility of the finger is reduced. How long will that take? I could find no answers, perhaps years, perhaps months. Both operations involve risk of infection, nerve damage, skin trauma that requires grafting and so on.

The Needle procedure leaves far less scaring in the hand and it can usually be repeated if necessary. The procedure is also far less invasive and recovery time is less. Being an outpatient is far more attractive than 'going under the knife', especially at the medical facilities we have available up here in So Oregon. So I searched the web for doctors that use the Needle procedure (it is abbreviated - Dupuytrens N.A.) To my astonishment, there are only a few doctors in the US that are trained to use this procedure. You can find a listing of them on the web under Dupuytrens NA . We had a choice of Dr Kline in Boise ID or a doctor near San Fransisco CA. You can't get to Boise from here so I opted for Dr. K Denkler in Larkspur CA.

The procedure was much like going to the dentist. The needle used for the local anesthetic was the worse part of the procedure and I had both hands done in about 1 hour. During the procedure we could talk about kayaks, fishing in Alaska and even Dr stuff, and in the end I could enjoy the mobility of the ring finger on both hands. That was 2 days ago. Today the needle punctures are closed over and there is no pain at all. I will keep my hands clean and bandaged for a few days, and see if I can stay away from strenuous activity. This is the first time in a while that I can type using more than 3-4 fingers and it is a pleasure. Fishing will be even better.

I am not a medical guy and don't even take an aspirin unless I am in serious pain. So medical things are not all that interesting to me. I have found that a positive attitude, healthy food and activity and reliance on my immune system for 70 years has worked pretty well. Of course there are times when intervention is a must, and this was one of them. So I offer this experience in hopes that it will be helpfull to others with this disease. Please do not take it as a recommendation for you. Learn all you can about your condition and then make an informed decision.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Building an Electric Fishing Kayak

Build your KF-10 with confidence

The KF10 is offered as a kit boat with all parts available except the skin and finsh material. The skin panels (4 x 8 ft) are too large to package and ship. We have left these for the builder to purchase locally. The frame of the boat is first constructed with provisions for installation of all parts completed. then the skin is then placed on the frame. The skin panels are designed so that precise cutting of the material is avoided, and ordinary tools and skills give good results. The skin is then covered with 4 oz. fiber lass for additional strength. Finally the motor and electrics are installed to complete the job.

The Construction/Operation and Maintenance manual provides over 100 pages of text, pictures and drawings of all of the parts that make up the boat. Schematics and assembly drawings of electrical assemblies are provided so you can fabricate these, or you can purchase them ready to install. The critical parts of the frame are full sized drawings and are easily transferred to wood making the construction of the frame easy and accurate. Step by step instructions are provided so that builders can avoid most of the pitfalls boat builders face.

The Motor Control Unit is not a kit, but a component that must be ordered from Kingfisher Electric Boats.

Building Options

Option 1 -DIY (least expensive)

Purchase the Manual and Motor Controller Unit. Find, fabricate or scrounge all of the material and parts called for in the manual. Assemble the boat from these. The time required will vary depending upon your gathering skills, but figure around 100 + hours.

Option 2 (less expensive)

Purchase parts and kits in the table below and assemble smaller assemblies as instructed in the manual. Build the boat. Time required will be many hours but less than option 1. See Table 2 below.

Option 3 (a little more money, a lot less time)

Order kits in the following table. Notice the electrical kit, modified motor, control panel and steering hardware are assembled and either installed (Frame 2 pedal assembly) or ready to install. All are tested and insure a trouble-free boat. Build time about 70 hours. See Table 3 below.

Option 4 (Bend the Budget - fastest way)

The KF10 is available as a completely constructed boat. It and the manual is crated and shipped to your home ready to mount the included motor. Buy yourself a PFD, a paddle and a battery to power the boat. Get your gear and head for the water. Be sure to have someone read the operation section of the manual to you while traveling to the lake.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Kingfisher Electric Kayak 12 Foot Two-Seater Coming Soon

We have had many request for a 12 foot two-seater kayak. We decided that what you want is what you get! The kayak is still not finished, but here is a slide show illustrating the progress made so far. We sure would love to hear your comments..sarcastic or not.

Monday, February 25, 2008

New 12 Foot Electric Kayak Coming Soon

This is Karen reporting for Jim. He has been swamped with finishing up his patent for his Kingfisher Kayak and now he is buried in building another kayak. This time it is the two seater that so many people have requested. He should be done in another week, so look forward to seeing it on his website, Kingfisher Electric Boats.

We also took the time to have official logos made; which you can see above. We also purchased a toy hauler to take the kayaks to boat and sport shows in the Pacific Northwest. We can now eat, sleep and haul in one trailer.

We look forward to attending Mess Abouts with an Oregon based hand-built boating group that Jim met up in Port Townsand, WA at the Wooden Boat Show. In May, they are meeting up at the Lagoon Area just south of us below Crescent City, CA. Jim has always thought he would love to fish those lagoons.

Jim has built into the toy hauler brackets to hold two kayaks up against one wall to take the least amount of space. We even have room for a couple recliners! We think we may need those if we stand on our feet all day at a boat show. After all, we aren't as young as we used to be. We are pulling the trailer with our old trusty diesel truck. They will hear us coming! We could even put a couple of our dogs in the back of the truck for camping situations. I know Mags would love going. She is Jim's shadow and hates to be left behind.

Sadie, our youngest lab, would also enjoy swimming and hiking. She has defective hips, but isn't limping yet. We keep her close so she won't ruin herself, but swimming is the best thing she can do for herself. She swims in our pond all year long and then comes into the house dripping wet! I haven't managed to get her to understand that wet dogs are not welcome. Sometimes, a dog door isn't the best thing.

You might just meet up with us at one of the shows or in a camp ground somewhere within a few hundred miles of Brookings, Oregon. We will be putting large logos on the top sides of the toy hauler and on the back. We will be easy to spot. I will get a schedule onto Jim's website soon.

I also ordered Jim and I white T-shirts with the logo on them. You can spot us easy - we are are a gray haired couple talking kayak talk wearing white t-shirts with a Kingfisher logo. I'll have to hide the shirts while we are at home, or Jim will manage to get fiberglass stuck on the front of his! He has fiberglass on my favorite down vest. It is his vest, but I love to wear it too - and now it just doesn't look so good.