Fake Monday

Today is Tuesday, but it’s technically the start of the week since yesterday was Victoria Day, a statutory holiday here in Canada.

The holiday long weekend was gorgeous. I technically took Friday off of work also, so it was a four-day weekend full of sunny boat repair work. I got so much done! Where to begin…

Thursday night I went out to the Anza Club to catch a show – Tarran the Tailor was playing upstairs. Excellent time, great music as usual – afterwards I biked back to my rowboat, but as I approached I noticed a couple of bicycles abandoned at the top of the dock ramp. As I arrived, I found three 20-something folks sitting in my boat, drinking bourbon – they mistook me for a fellow Midnight Mass rider and invited me to join them. As I explained that I was actually there to kick them out of my boat and go home, they were shocked and extremely apologetic, but really, it’s not like they were hurting anything. The boat is always locked up with a padlock, and there’s nothing left in it to steal. I mean, if they’d thrown my oars in the water or tried to damage the boat in some way, it would have gone much more sourly – but as it was, they were nice enough folks, geeks even. We exchanged names and URLs, so Adam, Andrew and Rebecca, if you’re reading this, feel free to drop me a line. 🙂

Friday and Saturday I got up at 8am and worked hard on the boat – I finished a bunch of epoxy work, got hinges onto all the storage hatches finally, and made progress in getting the hinges and hasps onto the cabin hatches – that project still needs more work, of course, but the end is finally in sight. I spent a bunch of time in the engine compartment working to get the kill switch in place, and finally succeeded – but when I went to test it, it didn’t work, and in fact I’ve apparently damaged the cable to the point that I need to go and find a new one. Boo – at least now, after two visits to the marine store and one visit to Canadian Tire, I know that the cable is called a ‘utility cable’ and that I should be able to get a new one from LloydCo Auto Parts.

I also removed the traveler on Friday – ie the seven-foot-long pulleys-on-rails thing that the boom attaches to – so that I could fix a few leaks in the bedding hardware. The leaks were directly over the stove, which meant that every time it rained I’d have to use steel wool on the cast iron stove grill again to get rid of the big patch of resulting rust. The leak had, over time, caused some of the roof to rot; this led to the first cutting of a large hole in the boat roof, and the bulk of the 1/4″ of sawdust that covers everything in the galley at the moment. The hole is patched, the surface is fiberglassed, sanded, faired perfectly with epoxy and fairing compound, and the traveler is now ready to be rebedded – perhaps this afternoon, if the weather clears up for a while.

Sunday I had a few guests over helping me work on the boat – it seems unfortunately that adding more people to a project doesn’t necessarily make the project go any quicker. Still, it was nice to have the company, and a few projects got nailed down properly – though when I removed the trampolines to fix a few small cosmetic problems on the center bow of the boat, we discovered a few patches of rot that quickly grew into a huge seven-foot hole in the boat. The rot wasn’t structural, which was a relief, but all that wood still needed to be replaced. I got a bunch of the wood in, but then Sunday was mostly rainy, so I had to cover the work site with tarps and pray for the best, spending the day curled up, drinking rum and watching movies with a friend. Sunday night was more rain and a lot more wind, which picked up the tarps and blew a cold wind through the boat, though as far as I can tell not much rain got in. It’s supposed to be rainy today and tomorrow, but then it’s supposed to be calm and sunny for another five or so days in a row, so this coming weekend I should be able to completely nail down the problems in the bow, and be done with it for the foreseeable future.

Today, however, I’m back to the day job. I’m working to figure out why the bottleneck in our EC2 migration appears to be network traffic – the frontend webservers seem to handle my load testing without a hiccup, but the database server spikes to a load of over 50, even though it’s an “extra large” EC2 instance. It doesn’t appear to be file I/O wait, nor a lack of CPU time, so I’m stuck. I’m not sure what I can do about that – I’ve always been under the assumption that network bandwidth between EC2 instances would be incredible, seeing as they’re virtual instances on more or less the same physical hardware. This week I have to solve the problem, but I’m not sure how just yet.

There’s still a few holes in the boat. I still don’t have clean water, though that’s just a matter of time – a reasonable amount of time actually, because filling the tanks takes a good fifteen minutes, then the bleach should be left in for an hour or so, then fifteen minutes to empty the tanks, then fifteen minutes to refill, fifteen minutes to empty, fifteen minutes to refill, fifteen minutes to empty, and finally a final refill. The traveler is still sitting a few feet away from where it should be mounted, and I still have more research to do on epoxy compounds before I can put the hatch doors properly back on the boat. The work is tiring, but very fulfilling, and a few long days of working in the sun have topped up my stores of vitamin D and left me with a positive outlook and a fantastic tan.