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The Gearboat Chronicles

Give the gift of holding it together

More proof that boat straps are the greatest thing ever.

Last week gearboat master Todd Kruger again proved he’s one of the nicest guys in the universe by helping me install soffits on a house in the freezing, single-digit cold. Soffet? Soffit? Doesn’t matter how you spell that word, it looks wrong. They’re the thingies covering the underneath part of your roof that hang over the ends. Those deals.

Tools required for the job include: Thermos of coffee. Woodstove in house to warm up next to. Portable table saw. New buckle for my tool belt because it kept coming unclipped. NRS boat straps. And other things like nails and stuff.

A precarious ladder situation got the boat straps out first. Todd thought of this safety measure seen here to help anchor our scene. In temperatures like we were dealing with, had we fallen off the ladder, most likely we would have shattered into thousands of tiny little shards. Nobody wants that.


Back to that problem belt buckle. Thing just wouldn’t stay clipped. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Yes, technically, based on medical definitions taking into account various indexes, I probably qualify, especially in the winter, as being what doctors would call “fatty fatty two-by-four.” Hey, it’s the off season. I don’t really have an excuse for the on season.

But that wasn’t entirely what was going on. I’ve had my nail bags for probably 15 years or more and they always stayed on just fine. The original plastic buckle had a piece break off. Still worked. Still stayed buckled and held up the belt, but in a fit of preventative maintenance I bought a replacement belt with new buckle, threw the old one that still worked into the garbage and – kids, let this be a lesson – the new one was a cheap piece of sh@# and complete waste of money that wouldn’t stay clipped and was making me fly into a very un-holiday spirit-like rage.

Enter boat straps. Threaded a short strap through the loops and voila’. No more fits of rage and Todd and I could get back to soffit hanging.


Originally this photo also pictured the %^&*@#! defective zipper on one particular pair of Carhartt pants that has always refused to stay zipped. The combination of that defective zipper AND defective nail pouch buckle was sending my blood pressure up where there is no gravity and the only beverage is Tang. But removing the faulty zipper part seemed like a good use of the crop feature in the photo editing program. You’re welcome.

Now. This heartwarming tale boils down to another recommendation for everybody on the planet to have their own collection of boat straps. Perfect stocking stuffers. Penny has them in the Boathouse Shop. She also has a ridiculous sale coming up this Saturday. Here’s the update from the Winding Waters page on The Facebooks:

50% off all T-Shirts in the Boathouse Shop this coming Saturday, December 21st.

One Day Only!!

And 30% off all Patagonia wear. 10AM-5PM.

But that’s not all. Check this little item out, which is headed to my wee nephew Jack, who is all of one year old. Water bottle/sippy cup combo? Brilliant, I say. Also available at the Winding Waters Boathouse Shop.


Little Jack’s sisters have guitars and put on some pretty sweet living room concerts. They do some covers, but their original stuff is just fantastic. Young Anna was composing songs in the back of the minivan and my sister overheard a preview of her upcoming single. The lyrics went something like: “If you’re a bad guy/I’ll punch you in the face/If you’re a good guy/I might forget/and still punch you/but just a little bit…..”

(Disclaimer: the parenting of these children is absolutely top-notch, discouraging violence and all that . . . it’s just . . . c’mon, those lyrics are adorable. She probably was inspired by Pixar movies. They’re so violent.)

The girls use a shoelace for a guitar strap on their acoustic Barbie guitars. I got them some fancy-dancy guitar straps for Christmas, with cardboard box packaging that looks like this:


So good luck with your last minute shopping. Here’s some pretty Wallowa Mountains and clouds to look at: