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Date: 11 July 2017. Summertime Computer Woes.


I have missed y'all! My Toshiba netbook is an NB305 and I love her when she works properly. She uses just 15 watts of power which means I seldom have to shut her off. When the Toshiba is quirky life spirals. I am very glad to be back posting. Thanks for waiting for me!

I believe the last time I had to close down the computer for lack of battery power was at least four years ago. That was back in Pearl Bayou with no wind, no sun and a lot of pine pollen covering the solar panel.

PEARL BAYOU is a quiet anchorage, except when the jets from Tyndall Air Force base fly overhead.

Side Note: Four years ago I had just one 75 watt solar panel along with the Air-Breeze wind generator. I have upgraded since then as a direct result of being without power for those ten days.



My life off grid at the beginning was minimalistic. That was because of economics. I am not rich except in lifestyle. There, well, I am so totally blessed. Life aboard Seaweed is extraordinary. It has however taken nine years to reach this level of decadence.

I truly am fortunate.

For folks starting out, yes, you too can have it all however if your budget is as limited as mine is, well, decadence will not occur in a day or three. Accepting that as you live aboard you will find more and more ways to improve your comfort level is important for continued happiness in my view.

The "fishing boat" I was born aboard:

She's 40+ years old in this photograph.

I am grateful I understood that the life I would have at the beginning was far from what would develop further down the waterway. For proof positive of the changes a boat can undergo with time, dedication and a limited budget read The Fishing Boat article.

That is where I began, literally. Precisely because I knew the trajectory Seaweed could take was why I bought an Inadequate Boat (Gulfport too).

Your boat does not have to be perfect at purchase.


No boat is ever finished. Every vessel has something that needs fixing.
There are always projects or good ideas to consider and implement.

But I digress. After posting the
On Island Time (Schucker 440 Motorsailor) article I took a few days off. There are a lot of photos in that article. A couple I met (Janet and Keith) consider the Schucker a Dream Boat. It is easy to see why. Island Time is a beautiful vessel, so open and airy I love visiting her. Each time aboard I spot something new and pretty.

Island Time at anchor off Cabbage Key, FL.

You may wonder why pictures take so much more time for me than others. This is because of me. When I go to a website I love clicking on the pictures and getting a BIG photo. Dinky little pictures simply do not make my tired eyes happy.

Just south of Tampa's Skyway Bridge fishermen are enjoying the morning.
The tide is out and more shoreline shows. Low tide equals a larger beach.

A couple years back I upped the size of the ones I upload from 1000 pixels across to 2500-plus. In essence the photos here are twice as large as whatever you see on your screen. Click the above photograph to see it at the "real" size. (Some may have to click twice.) Now not all of the pictures are that big. Some are larger and lots of others are much smaller.

If you click on this photo the grey blob turns into a school of mullet.

This picture processing takes time. I add a copyright
to each photo too. Someday that may be important.


For those who are curious I use Windows Paint. The standard one that comes with the Windows operating system is my picture program. Do you remember drawing squiggly lines an pouring colors into each section? I do too, and just did again. It was more fun decades ago...



Paint works okay doing what I require. I crop the pictures to center the point of interest. The photos are not real fancy. Neither am I. Then I add a copyright mark.

Friends email me pictures too. That is always welcome. It is interesting to see what others enjoy while out here.

I am always looking for boating related photographs to use as illustrations for my articles. Your contributions are attributed and appreciated.


When my Toshiba (running Win7) is happy all is well with the world. Not only does the Toshiba netbook have to be cooperative, so too does FrontPage Professional. I have been using this program for better than twenty years. FrontPage and I understand each other.


The thought of having to learn a new system for *WYSIWYG is, well, daunting. I am retired. I do not want to do that. I would rather experience this wonderful world than try to figure out a new computer program.

*WYSIWYG: Computer talk for What You See Is What You Get. Viewing what I type on the screen, deciding on the placement of photos, the proportions (90% or 75% of screen width) and such are all second nature for me after this many years using FrontPage.

Speaking of views, check out what is peeking in my pilothouse:

That is the "I want hot dogs NOW" look I receive when I try ignoring my feathered friend.

In the meantime I am checking NewEgg regularly for another laptop. Because mine is so important for my website, having two is something I should have taken care of a long time ago. One is none, you know?!?

NewEgg is my old favorite and where I shop for electronics. I am looking for a small Toshiba laptop downgraded to Win7 so I can use FrontPage. I have seen a couple over the past month. Both were out of my price range. They were too big/too fancy. I do not need anything super spiffy.

My Toshiba is usually sitting on the dinette. Having a beautiful view makes me happy.

Smaller laptops use less power. Except for a five month nightmare using a pair of ASUS lemons I have been with Toshiba since 1993. Before that I had a Tandy100, bought 12 October 1984. I am a dinosaur who has never owned a "full-sized" computer, nor do I want one.

In any event because I prefer using larger pictures for my website, I devote time to making that happen. When the computer is finicky, quirky, slow, freezing up, etc. my sense of humor goes on vacation.

Like many boaters "vacation" translates to "start the engine and go for a boat ride" so I do! McDonald's is a favorite destination. I do like my iced coffees. See The Birds (ordering iced coffee) article for money saving details.

Fortunately I recently began using an android tablet. It's spiffy as heck. Definitely that helped me keep my sanity while I fought my Toshiba. I had no idea androids could do so many things. It is definitely Christmas aboard Seaweed.

I find it relaxing and fun to surf the internet, read and now visit YouTube all too frequently. I had not previously had the bandwidth to view videos so YouTube is a whole new experience for me. YouTube can be both wonderful and appalling!

I would find a topic and sit down to watch a ten minute video. Four hours later I would come up for air having spent a tremendous amount of time viewing stuff I did not realize interested me. Some videos were informative. I did learn three things:

  1. Wasp spray is not recommended for personal protection. On the label the product says it is against the law to use it in any way inconsistent with labeling. Bear spray has the same restriction. Both are classified as pesticides incidentally. Pepper spray is an alternative.

  2. When canning meats, wipe the top of the jars with vinegar on a lint-free cloth. Then put on the preheated lids and rings on the glass jars. The vinegar cuts grease and makes the lids adhere better. That is something I am going to try with the next batch of chicken I process.

  3. Preppers ashore are real interested in owning the biggest knives made and powerful weapons too. They prefer using fire-starters rather than Bic lighters. Plus many advocate huge BOBs (Bug Out Bags: think backpacks) that nobody except the most physically fit could pick up much less carry. The theory is you hike to a safe location carrying this monstrosity on your back with all your essential gear for survival. "Everyone" needs a community for Armageddon, and while you are at it bring all your supplies to the YouTube guys' spot in the mountains.

    Er, no.

I had wondered about foodstuffs and storage of same. The quantities recommended seemed excessive. I eat bean soup however a year's supply would simply bore me to tears. Ugh. And mine surely looked better than the ones I saw advocated.

Recipe upcoming one of these days. This is an autumn meal. It is too hearty for a summer repast.

For folks in tiny homes, I did not see much of value in many prepper channels. Seaweed is small so what would work for the majority has little cross-over for someone like me. I do not have acreage, nor do I want that. My life is afloat and it is wonderful just as it is.

There are a lot of folks on YouTube who remind me of a Thomas Sowell aphorism:

Degrees show that you have knowledge in some special area. Too often they embolden people to pontificate on a wide range of other subjects where they don't know what they are talking about. Thomas Sowell, born 30 June 1930.

Many experts on YouTube are true characters. I do watch though. Picking up a nugget here and there helps me be a better boater. For instance I love my oil lanterns aboard Seaweed. They remind me of life aboard our 40'er when I was growing up.

This is the lantern that was in my cabin decades ago:


When I found out that Aladdin Genie III lamps put off 2500btu of heat I knew I wanted one. That would be a lot easier than using my catalytic heater when the temperatures dip. Fuel is cheaper too as the Aladdin burns kerosene.

The Coleman catalytic heater puts off 750btu. An Aladdin Genie is rated 2500btu. That's nearly 4 times as much heat.

I am definitely getting an Aladdin before winter. I will not use it for the bright light it emits. Instead the heating factor has made it a wish for me. I want one. I will be shopping for a couple of the wall mounted brackets too so I can use it both in my galley and down in my cabin.

In both the springtime and autumn I have often used my catalytic heater first thing in the morning to take off the chill. Lighting the catalytic can warm up my cabin and make it more comfortable with minimal expenditure of propane. Even if later in the day all the windows are open and the fans are running on high, a half hour of heat at the crack of dawn can be welcome.

A cup of coffee or hot chocolate can be a delightful belly warmer too!

Later in the day I will be sipping iced tea or lemonade. Life afloat is wonderful. It is even better when my computer functions properly. Wish me luck in finding another Toshiba that has Win7.

In the meantime I'm learning more and more about the android system. It is very spiffy. With the netbook a bit quirky I'm very grateful to have another means of getting online. An android tablet is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Waving hello, and thanks for visiting. I've missed you.

Important Addendum: "THANK YOU KEN for making comments work again."

I'll be updating/changing all the rest of the pages over the next week or three to the new link. He did it. I am so happy. Thanks Sparrow! You are the best.

Does anyone still use FrontPage and will it work with Win10?
So, what have you done while I fought the Toshiba for a month?!? Hope you had fun. :)

Regarding the Comments Section, found at the end of every article:

  • Before you type in each block be sure to hit the backspace key. Coding inserts a space in every box. Your email address will come back as malformed unless you remove that space. (You don't have to include your email address.)

  • The capcha is case sensitive.


2017, 2023

Categories: Anchorages, Boat Talk, Boats, Characters, Comfort, Entertainment, Gear, Locations, Money, Wild Things,

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Aphorism Alert:  Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don't need to be done. Andy Rooney.

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