829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Barnegat Bay: Open for business

Monday was the best of the three days.  Especially since I didn't 
have to work.  And enough of me saying 'Happy Memorial Day'.
It's more like, 'Happy that we can have a holiday where we can
do things we love to do because men and women have served and
fought to preserve our rights to do just that'.

Baywife finishing 'Of Mice and Men'.  Younger daughter is
reading this work for English class, and my better half figured
she'd refresh herself in order to be able to quiz the punk prior
to her being tested on it.  That leaves me to worry about dinner.

Ol' Barney, the same as the last time I gazed upon her.

Wiener dog, happy to be back out on the water.

I proclaim this to be the official start to the end of the
'Unofficial start of summer'.  The Barnegat Bay is in great shape,
as far as I could see today.  It was shallow where it was supposed
to be shallow, and it was deep where it was supposed to be deep.
It blew hard out of the South-southeast, the swells built during the
course of the afternoon, and there were plenty of pleasure craft
out, motor and sail-powered.  Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

If your boat isn't in the water yet, you'd better get your ass in gear!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Where Harry Met Sandy


Above-ground pool.

An acquaintance's home, most likely no longer inhabitable. 

A beach in the back yard is always good, except when 
the ocean is in the front yard.

I don't think they'll end up saving that pool.

The house that survived the new inlet.  An otherwise fairly
unremarkable structure, until you consider the owner's foresight
to build high in case of an unthinkable event.

Too late!  

We rode our bikes down Barnegat Lane on Saturday, stopping to gaze
 at the still unbelievable carnage, and to snap some photos to be 
shared a couple days later.  It's still quite a somber scene there;
  residents were in their yards, quietly raking gravel, picking up 
debris that I assumed would've been picked up months ago.  There
was a distinct smell of lumber in the air, the smell you get when you 
go to the back of the lumber yard to pick up your 2X4s.  I'm sure 
that the smell was not only of new lumber, but of splintered and wea-
thered beams and joists, blasted apart by the rush of the Atlantic as
 it flowed over and through the narrow strip 
of sand they call Mantoloking.

Outsiders like us tend to be detached from the reality of agonizingly
slow progress when it comes to disaster-stricken areas.  We hear
that aid has been granted to such and such towns, so as far as we're
concerned, everything's hunky dory.  Not so for so many of these 
shore folk.  The process continues, very slowly. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Residual Energy Source?

Is it only me, or do both of you wonder what we could do with 
dryer lint to ease the stress on Mother Earth, or at least save a
few bucks a week?  How are my clothes still together with all 
of these loose fibers collecting in my lint filter?  I'm not
going to do it, but I'd thought many times, while out of work and
doing laundry every day, about how I'd collect lint and put it to
work for me.  Luckily I'm not giving it as much thought lately, but
come on.  Seems like we could benefit from this dryer fluff, no? 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Protocol Harry

I'm so proud of my state, as I've always been.  My red-headed
brother from another mother visited our humble region today, and
was escorted by Guvnah Christie.  I know there are a couple of
my readers (which accounts for both of them) who don't think too
highly of our chief executive, but Goddammit, I like him.

They wound their way through Mantoloking, via Barnegat Lane,
which hosted the 'House in the Bay', among other displaced 
residences.  Then they jumped back on 35 South toward Snooki-
land.  There, they toured the Seaside Boardwalk, schmoozing with 
the locals, and even stopped to play a 'throw-the-ball-and-hope-
that-it-lands-in-the right-hole game.

When asked if his visit made a difference in the shore's recovery,
Harry very quickly replied, "No".  He was dead on.  
But it was still really cool that he made the visit. 
He's a refreshed version of his Grandma's and Dad's tired 
humanitarian efforts to convince the villagers that the Royals
sincerely do care about the travails of everyday folk.  
It was his take on  'a brighter shade of stale'.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day Dot!  You're always
right, every time.  Love you.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Game, Playset, Match

I built this playset virtually by myself way back in 1997.
I borrowed the plans from a friend, then hand-selected the
lumber at Homey D's, had it all delivered to the top of
my driveway in a big pile, and then I cut, drilled, planed,
countersunk, beveled, mitered, and drilled some more.
When all of the pieces were up to specs, I lugged them all
to the backyard building site where, over the course of about
a week, I erected this oasis of recreation, where my girls and
their friends made imaginary phone calls, fought off pirates, 
took pizza orders, gazed at the constellations, swung on the
swings, slid down the firemens' pole and yellow sliding board, 
and ultimately avoided the rigors of the main building forty feet
away from them. It was a damn good escape from reality.   

These are but two of the many family portraits taken at Easter in
our backyard, where there were so many places to hide the eggs
filled with jellybeans or, if they were lucky enough, ones, fives,
tens, or twenties.  This photo also shows one of the last Easter
gatherings that my old man (just below me) was able to make. 

Rather than taking a crowbar and sledgehammer to start breaking
down the playset, I grabbed my chainsaw and went to work.
I made my cuts only after surveying the structure I'd created sixteen
years earlier, imagining which directions the sections would
fall.  I did pretty well, with only one 4X4 falling on top of me.

I thought that I might at one point stop and cry, considering the 
memories that continuously coursed through my mind.  It didn't
happen.  I found out later that our backyard neighbors were
watching me most of the afternoon, and they validated  all
of my nostalgic feelings.  Betty said they were keeping an eye on 
me in case anything might have gone wrong.  Nothing did,
but it was good that they were there.  It's gonna be weird
the next time I mow the lawn.    

Friday, May 3, 2013

Another Good Friday

I painted Bay Rhumb's bottom today, with barely a quarter inch of
paint left in the can for the bare spots under the jackstands.  She's
always been a galloner, yet every spring I fret that I'll be left to 
spend more money on an extra quart just to cover those patches.
Note the dregs in the can sitting by the keel.

With the rudder hard to starboard, it's impossible to see my 
deteriorating propeller anode, which no doubt needs to be replaced.
Tillerman, any advice on where I should go for this?

Usually, I take many shots of an arranged pre-dinner plate, and
then go back and forth trying to decide which to post.  FD I said.
Above find the un-plugged version, the one I navigate during dinner.
I'm big on ground black pepper, sriracha, and jalapenos (chopped 
and whole), among other condiments.  We had grilled chicken 
breasts, with asparagus, avocado, olive tapenade, 
and refrigerator quinoa salad.  That means quinoa mixed with olive
oil, vinegar, and any bits that have been left by the wayside on the 
top shelf of the fridge:  black olives, baby corn, edamame, scallions,
cilantro, onion, a lone plum tomato....you get the picture.

Cindy and Mitch.
I just felt like adding a photo of them, seeing that they sail a 
Pearson 303 and love food.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

House In The Bay

According to reports, today will be the day that the 'house in the Bay'
will finally be demolished.  It lies in the channel between the strip
in Mantoloking and Herring Island, a childhood landmark and 
windsurfing turnaround point while sailing off the beach at 829
southdrive.  Beyond Herring Island, I can see the monstrous house
that replaced my Grandmother's.  Those folks don't even sail.

Thanks to Jo Hendley for the photo.  Hope you don't mind.  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Oyster Jones

We walked down Thames Street, stopping at every establishment
and asking, 'do you have an oyster menu?'  As soon as the employee
gave us a blank stare and turned to ask a co-worker, we moved on.  
After about five places on the street, including the Waterfront 
Hotel, I spied in the distance a beacon of hope.  There, I said, 
we will stop for some ersters and hopefully a good martini.  
We were far from disappointed. 

Just by the look of the oyster menu, I knew we'd reached our 
destination.  Someone at our table, however, mistook 'Quahog'
for a reasonably priced oyster and ordered nine of them.  

Daddy had seven of them.  He graciously donated
most of the oysters he had ordered to his overwhelmed
offspring and all at the table had a few guffaws.
The Quahogs were salty, tender, and a mouthful of
Rhode Island, each and every one.  My Dad was
watching over us and loving every minute.  In the cast
iron sauce pan in front of Baywife was a great rendition
of RI clam chowder, made with Quahogs, potatoes,
onions, bacon, and a semi clear broth, with cream, 
but not too thick.  I was only allowed one taste.   

When we went inside to add our name to the wait
list, I asked the hostess to muster a pair of
reading glasses, as I had of course forgotten mine.
Upon being seated, the glasses were handed to
me with the menus.  Attention to requests is always
appreciated.  I will be booking a table for May of 
2015 for my daughter's graduation. And I'll make
sure we all know that Quahogs are big clams.