A cabinetmaker and the angry dragonfly.

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The Angry Dragonfly

Weeks ago, we had a frost here in Florida. My banana trees have the illusion of being dead, and one of my mango trees, is. Another side effect I have noticed is that the dragon flies had not visited the shop.

Today, I noticed a small one that was calmly taking residency on a chart of the boat that hangs over my tool box. He was smaller then my usual visitor with a green body and yellow and black tail. He didn’t appear to need repair so I just let him stay on my chart.

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Nine hours later, I began to clean my work area, and had forgot about the dragon fly. Having blown all of the sawdust off of my bench, below the bench, out from under the shelves, and off of the saw, I turned and shot compressed air against my tool box, my radio, and then the dragon fly.

“OOPS!”

It was abruptly smashed against the wall with the force of the air. Snapping to consciousness from it’s sleeping spot, he flew across the shop, into the far wall, and fell through several dusty cabinet parts and into the floor. I followed his flight plan and saw him trying to get off the floor with cobwebs hampering his escape.

I gently cupped my hands around him and carried him outside. The sun was setting on the west coast and some large rain clouds reflected the amber hue. I opened my hands and began pulling the cobwebs from his wings and legs. I raised my hand up and down to make him fly to freedom. He held firmly to the cracks in my palm. Something was wrong?

I raised my hand to my face and looked closely at his head. He stared back at me, tilted his head to one side, stuck his tongue out at me, and flew away.

For the original dragonfly stories, and insights into my books, go to ADBanyan.com 

and scroll down to Dragonfly visits the Cabinetmaker.

Alligator Bait. A short full moon experience. Florida nature reserve. NASA, Space-X,

 

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Alligator Bait.

I left the cabinet shop after a hot day of doing things over. The partially visible hinges between the doors and the jams were not perfectly spaced. They wanted them to show 50/50 in case someone took a flashlight and checked the dark space between. There were three hinges on nine doors.

The veneer on one side of a finished door had been damaged and had to be sanded off and re-veneered. This required me sanding with 80 grit sandpaper for two hours, then leaving the door and veneer overnight in the vacuum table.

A cedar wardrobe that went into the starboard stateroom was complete, except for the missing door and trim for the front. I pushed it aside until the walnut arrives and started on another wardrobe that was also missing the walnut parts.

After the standard ten-hour day, I laid my thumbprint on the timeclock and ducked out of the side door to my 2006 pickup. I waved at the guard at the guard-shack and wove through the traffic of 428. I exited onto Courtenay and zoomed north toward Kennedy Space Center. The radar detector was working fine. I had a 5:00 appointment with the cable company at my land home to check the cables to my high-speed modem.

As I came to the light at 405, I smelled antifreeze. My truck was running hot and as I passed the intersection, the steam came through the hood and across my windshield. I sat puzzled for a second as the steam came through the dash vents of my A/C. I opened the windows, turned off the outside air, and popped the hood.

The hose that went into the heater core had broken.

My adrenalin was peaking and I pulled the tools from behind the seat and removed the clamps. Between the hose on the core, and the hose to the engine, was a cheap plastic part that had a small fitting for service. The front of the plastic part was still in the hose and I ungracefully dug it out in pieces with needle nose pliers. With my hands bleeding, I tried to push it over a flange that was just a little too big. I laid my cell phone on the fender and pressed my mechanic’s number.

“Yeah Alex, if you pull the rest of the hose fitting off, you should be able to push the long hose onto the heater core tubing! If it doesn’t work, call me back and I’ll send a wrecker.”

“Okay! Thanks Tony.”

I managed to get the other clamp off that was recessed back against the firewall, with other hoses inconveniently around it.

Space-X had just released their employees and cars were zooming by in a four-lane frenzy. I laid the broken plastic part in the floor of the truck and resumed pushing the hose onto the BRASS fitting of the core. I had to use a screwdriver to push the clamp back far enough, but finally had it secure.

“My appointment!” I have a 5:00 appointment!” I hit the button for my service provider.

“If you are calling to pay your bill press…”

“If you would like to change the services on your account press or say…”

“If you are calling for technical assistance press three.”

THREE… I pressed three!

“Please press one, for English… Press two for Spanish…”

ONE… damb it! English!

“Thank you… your estimated wait time is…”

AAaaahhhh! I pressed zero… and zero… and zero…

“Spectrum-Brighthouse, how can I assist you?”

 

“Look! I am on the side of a busy road with a broken-down truck. My hands are covered in grease, antifreeze and blood, and I have a rather large alligator that wonders if my legs may taste like chicken. I have a 5:00 appointment at my home with your service rep. and it appears that I will not be there.”

“Is this the account associated with the number showing on my caller ID?”

“Yes.”

He was laughing and snickering. “Don’t worry sir. I wall take care of it.”

“Thank you.”

 

Fortunately, I had been working on my sailboat last week and had all of the fairing compound, primer, sandpaper, and longboards in the back. (My truck has a fiberglass shell.) I cleaned all of the blood, grease, and antifreeze off of my hands, and took out a five gallon bucket to dip replacement water from the nature reserve.

“Crap!” I stared at the gator. He stared at me. I walked away from him, and got more water, as we watched each other closely. I added the water and drove home watching the temperature gauge all of the way. I relaxed when I pulled in the driveway.

I took a quick shower and popped the cap on a cold Heineken. I pulled the handle on the recliner and pushed the Netflix option on the remote. It downloaded a movie, started, and kicked back to antenna TV. After doing this over and over, I went to my office and turned on the computer. No Netflix, no Twitter, no WordPress, no Pinterest, and only old email, from eight mailboxes.

Long drink… and started running through the tests on the modem. In the end, the Tampa server was out, and I was exhausted. I remembered that it was a full moon… and went to bed.

 

#wordpress #gator #alligator Brokedown #overheated #travel #Florida #MerrittIsland #AutoRepair #Bait #RocketLaunch #Space-X #NASA

 

A day on NEVIS Island. #NEVIS #ST KITTS #TRAVEL

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I did a forty-five minute ferry crossing from St. Kitts this morning. It was a calm day on the Caribbean with happy companions from many different countries. In the above photo, I was up in the mountains with the Atlantic behind me. I have completed three books that I hope will be out this next year. In each book, the main character runs to Nevis for peace and solitude. St. Kitts/Nevis are a sovereign country and therefor a safe haven for him. I had done all of my research on the internet, and took this opportunity to get my facts straight before the readers point it out to me.

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The volcano on Nevis, from the beach.

 

 

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Down the street from the Police Station, and the Fire Department, is a small park type area. In my book Louis often played chess with an old island man named Charles. Charles always won, and was undefeated by all challengers. While I was trying to locate this park, a security guard at the bank told me that there is a man that plays chess and checkers in the square, is rarely defeated, but his name is not, Charles.

 

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As I worked my way around the island, I spotted a small building by itself. Newcastle Pottery had many un-glazed pieces to offer and had to wipe her hands from the large piece she was creating, to take my money. When the piece is to her liking, she fires it behind the building, in coconut husks.

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Toward the end of my circumnavigation of Nevis, I had a delicious lunch at Sunshine Beach Bar. Bob Marley played on the speakers as the breeze blew in from the Caribbean. I was told to order a Killer Bee to drink, which I did. They reminded me of a scaled down Painkiller in the BVI. After a few of them, I walked a bit slower. If coming to Nevis, this is a place you must stop.

I have lived here before, in my books. As a writer, this is a new experience. As I walk through the streets I see all of the characters, experiences, storms, and tragedies, that were only in my head yesterday. Often I look at places, pointing to tell someone about my experience there. I had to laugh at myself realizing that it is only fiction.

Alex

#BANYAN #NEVIS #BOOK #ST. KITTS #POTTERY #VOLCANO #BEACH #VACATION #ADVENTURE #FERRY #CARIBBEAN #Newcastle Pottery #Sunshine

Dragonfly visits the cabinet maker.

When not writing, I build cabinets for a local yacht company.

Yesterday morning, a cold front came into Florida. It was 65 deg at my workbench when I unlocked at 5:45 am.I sat my coffee on the toolbox and noticed a large dragonfly hanging on the side by my clamps. I moved around him all morning as I worked, sometimes within inches, and he just watched me and occasionally moved himself around.

We joked about him all morning and started calling him George. After lunch the temp was near 70 and George had left. About 3:30, George came back with a friend. His friend had cobwebs tangled on his wings and tail, and I cleared the webs and released him. They both flew into the upper level of the huge shop, and I suppose they plan to stay warm until tomorrow.

I was building this cedar cabinet for a 70′ yacht’s, SSR.

#dragonfly #cabinetry #insects #woodworking #yacht #Florida #WordPress #author #writer