Monday, October 10, 2011

Kaw Lake, Day 7

There was a nip in the air this morning, and sea smoke drifted across the lake. While we were having breakfast, the DJ on the local FM radio station was unwittingly doing a commentary on the Oklahoma public education system. I surely hope it’s one that’s undeserved. We sat there alternately laughing and shaking our heads. He claimed to be good at math, and was surprised at how many homework problems his daughter had gotten wrong. She insisted her solutions were correct, so he proceeded to explain the process of subtracting two numbers. He couldn’t remember what to do with the zeros in a minuend or larger number. He knew a zero had to be changed to ten, but never borrowed anything. By his description, 200 - 24 = 286. And he was on the radio explaining this process to thousands. Jean added that perhaps he should run for Congress. A lot of our politicians have problems with zeros too.

Back on February 5th, I described the U-Haul Universal One-Man Canoe Loader. I’ve had to abandon it in favor of a simpler, cheaper, and safer method of loading the canoe by myself. The theory behind the One-Man Canoe Loader was great, and it specifically addressed my problem of getting a heavy canoe on top of a very high truck cap and rack. It managed okay on the stripper Micmac canoe pictured in that article, but it fell short on application with the Superior Expedition. The pole had too much movement. The swivel bar would not hold the canoe in place, and several times spun around and dropped the canoe with its sharp rudder on the cap roof. I incorporated controlling and stabilizing lines, and before long the rigging of the canoe started taking a ridiculous amount of time. Now, I can load the canoe in a fraction of that time. I lay a doubled blanket across the rear of the cap roof. One end of the canoe’s bottom is propped against the blanketed roof. Grabbing the other end that is on the ground, I just shove the canoe up onto the rack as it slides on the blanket. I then climb up onto the tailgate, roll the canoe over so it rests on the cockpit coaming and tie it down.

The U-Haul Universal One-Man Canoe Loader

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