Good morning all:

Quote Of The Week:

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” — John Wooden (Basketball Hall of Fame coach)

I love spring as I have written previously, so won’t bore you more. It is just that now that the pear trees are in full bloom all over the city that I realize their blossoms are rather pungent. It’s really distinct, not subtle, and not the best thing that’s ever hit my nose. Actually, give me the smell of my morning coffee any day.

Last week I mentioned that we “have a nesting pair of American Kestrels in a nearby tree.” Wrong! Sorry, but I had only seen the birds fly over and by. It was our neighbor from across the street that called and pointed out what’s really going on. It appears that a pair of hawks have built a nest in the large tree in our front yard. Now that I know where to look it’s amazing to see these creatures swoop in on 4-foot wingspans. By size and markings they appear to be Red Tails.

Jason let me borrow his 8X50 binoculars with a zoom function and a tripod. Sitting here writing it just occurred to me that I should be amazed that I have not been reported as yet, sneaking from between trees through neighbors’ yards trying to gain a better line of sight of the nest. At least that will be my excuse. The next thing you’ll read about is me getting caught slinking about with night-vision goggles. Please back me up on my story.

After much research, last fall, I bought a used Folbot folding kayak. It’s a 17 foot 2-person boat, bought new by the previous owner, and is now thirty years old. It was lovingly cared for, but as you can imagine it does need some work. But hey, spring fever is in the air, and so I started on the project.

This model and style is still being built and over the years this model boat has been used extensively by Special Forces throughout the world. Additionally, expeditions have used it from exploration work in jungles to Antarctica. The fact that the 2-person model is extremely stable and can handle 720 pounds is a large part of why it’s been used by these groups. The load carrying ability is also perfect for folk my size. Folbots have a rich history. It is just that the price for a new one would have caused another major family “discussion.”

On two pages of written assembly instructions – each sheet being 22” by 17.5” – it is very clearly marked at the start that the world record for assembling a Folbot is 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Six hours after my start the kayak was recognizable as being a boat. I should point out that I lost a bit of time when, at one point, I had to stop for a tad to wash a wound and stop the bleeding.

The next time I assemble it, I’ll cut the assembly time minimally in half. The kayak bottom (read: critically important) section is absolutely sound. The decking repair is coming along nicely.

It would be a done project except for the fact that the rains came in. Also, I had to run back to the Home Depot to purchase their remaining supply of Marine Epoxy.

April 26th Adrianne and I will be walking as members of our fund raising team for The March of Dimes. Tevita is also practicing and Marcia claims that she’s ready. As Adrianne states so beautifully, “everyone has causes that are close to their heart and mine happens to be the March of Dimes. The March of Dimes’ goal is that one day all babies will be born healthy.”

Our youngest granddaughter came into the world at 26 weeks, weighing 1 pound, 14 ounces. For 103 days she was cared for in the hospital NICU. The incredible level of care our little “sliver” of humanity received means that our Vaioleti, today, at 6½ months, is a healthy and bouncing 12 pounds and 12 ounces—and she’s amazingly alert with no apparent health issues. Underlying the treatment knowledge base is all part of what the March of Dimes is about.

Alright, that’s enough for the build-up. We’re looking for support. Times are tough so the Ongolea/Pastoor team is looking for pennies – skip the dime stuff. On the other hand a dollar here or there will be just fine. We’ll have a great time walking (Vai will join us in a fully decorated ‘pram’) and a little support will just add to the event. You’ll recognize you’re on the right page by the great photo of Vai.

Here is the link to our team site:
http://www.marchforbabies.org/aongolea

Make it a great week everyone. And thanks much.

Cheers,

Dirk

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