Christmas boat parade season

I think I did a post awhile back describing how I purchased what I thought was parsley plants only to find out later that they were celery plants. Vowing not to have that happen again, I started some parsley plants and some celery plants from seed. Let me tell you, had I not carefully labeled the containers, at this point I couldn’t tell them apart. If you look at some kind of development tree, bet they come from common roots. The parsley germinated a few days faster, although both took 2-3 weeks, and after 6 weeks the parsley is noticeably bigger, but beyond that, they would appear identical to the casual observer.

December is the boat parade season on the St. Johns River. We have invitations to view a parade in Astor from a friends home on the river Dec 6 and another in Welaka on the 13th. Two years ago we froze our cookies off watching one parade from the Wharf, a watering hole and restaurant on the St. Johns at Deland but last year we enjoyed the one in Welaka sipping drinks on lawn chairs in shirt sleeve weather. I remember the first one we attended about 3 years ago. We had spent the day in Daytona watching Olivia at a cheerleading competition. When that ended we rushed back to Astor and finished off a fun day. That was fairly cold as I recall and we were dressed for the beach, not the tundra. The fun thing about that one was the announcer who kept a steady commentary going as each boat went by. He had a large glass of bourbon in front of him and as the evening and boats went by, he refilled the glass a few times. By the tail end of the parade I thought he was going to dive in and chase them. You couldn’t understand a word he was saying. Nobody enjoyed the parade like he did. Last year Joey and Mark entered a boat parade at Cocoa Village and we rode along in that. We had a great time but I think there were only 4 boats including a canoe with a candle mounted up front. For whatever reason they decided not to participate this year. The problem this year is a conflict with the Fla-Ala game. It starts around 4PM and the parade starts at 6:30. If Ala is blowing out Fla, it’s parade time. Other than that…………………

Last month we set out on a crabbing trip with some old friends from our Altamonte Springs days. Our destination was the Bulow Sugar Plantation State Park and we agreed to meet up in a Publix parking lot about 2 miles from the final destination. We drove the truck. We got to Publix about 15 minutes before the Sloboda’s so Nancy took the opportunity for a quick shopping trip. By the time she finished and we set out for the park, about 30 minutes had transpired. We were on Old King’s Highway for about a mile and then turned on to Bulow Plantation Blvd, a single lane dirt road. I was in the lead and got about a 100yds before the “check engine” light came on and the truck died. Of course within 2 minutes there was someone leaving the park and I had the road blocked. Three of us pushed the truck a couple hundred feet to a wide spot so traffic could pass by. I tried several times to restart the truck but no go. Plenty of battery to turn over the starter but no ignition at all. I called AAA for a tow and took Nancy, Bob and Dottie down to the river so they could continue the crabbing trip. AAA showed up in about 45 minutes during which I tried several times to restart . We loaded it on the truck, I gave instructions where to take it, and heading back to the crabbing fields. We drove home later that evening with a good load of crabs. The next morning I called the mechanic and he said it had started just fine and added that this often happens after being bounced around on the tow truck. He had no idea why it had been dropped off and had been running tests all morning trying to figure out why it was there at all. I told him what happened and he decided to just run it a few hours. It did die that day and he determined that there was no spark at all. To make a long story short, they eventually diagnosed it as a distributor and a week later I picked it up. Now for the interesting stuff. About 6 months ago, one of the fuel sensors crapped out. The truck has two fuel tanks and the gauge worked fine on one tank but read empty on the other. Since one worked and I knew how many miles I got on a tank, I figured I would just live with the situation rather than get involved with removing the fuel tank etc. So when i got the truck back I noticed that the gauge showed half a tank which was about where it was when I left it. So I guessed that they had been running it all that time on the other tank so I would have no idea how far I could actually go on that tank. I headed around the corner to a gas station and filled both tanks for a fresh start. The gauge read full so I switched to the other tank – it read full also. I switched back and forth several times on the way home and it seems that the tank gauges now work. I can’t imagine the distributor problem could have anyway effected the fuel sensor but I got a bonus fix out of the whole thing. There must have been a loose wire somewhere in the system that was reseated with all the messing around in the electrical system. So the whole experience ended on a positive note.

Closing with some football comments – How is it that Ala is #1 in the nation by every poll but Florida is favored to win the game today by 8 points or so? Seems to me that the number one team should be favored over any team they play, especially if they’re playing a team ranked #4. Doesn’t #1 mean you’re the best in the country? Makes the ranking thing kind of worthless. And I plan to watch the Missouri – Oklahoma game. I want little Tommy’s team to end the season on a big positive – kind of doubt it but stranger things have happened.

2 thoughts on “Christmas boat parade season

  1. Joe…re:the distributor/fuel gauge issue…from one electrical engineer to another…I believe that what transpired in this process laymens terms: “they fixed the short in the wire”


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