"Oh yeah...you've got the disease now."
--Statement from one of my coworkers after I purchased a WASR-10, a Romanian AK-47 knockoff.
The arsenal has topped off now at 6 guns:
-S&W Model 66 .357 revolver (my first gun, and now MizBubs' home defense weapon)
-Glock Model 21 .45 semiauto (my first semi-auto, carried it on duty for 10 years)
-Glock Model 26 (my off-duty gun, it replaced a .38 snub)
-Winchester Model 12 shotgun (made in 1949, a gift from one of my brothers-in-law)
-WASR10 7.62x39 rifle (my first scary-looking assault weapon, when I asked MizBubs about buying it, and she heard the great price, she was like "well, yeah, go ahead, you've always wanted one haven't you?)
-Remington 870 shotgun (another great deal, and it's got an interchangeable barrel so I can modify it easily for deer hunting)
Each one of these weapons has some backstory, special meaning or purpose. I joke about how I have enough guns to fit out the entire family as a CQB fire team, but seriously, we're not quite there yet.
But, as much as I LOVE gun talk, that's not the disease I'm talking about today. Today I'm talking about the disease of repair & restoration projects. And canoes.
Some of the very best times I've ever had in my life have involved camping and canoeing, and especially a couple of canoe trips we've taken with my father-in-law: one on the Kickapoo River in Wisconsin, and one in the Boundary Waters in Minnesota. We left for our Kickapoo trip the morning of September 11, 2001, listening to the events unfold on the radio, and then didn't hear anything else about what had happened until the morning of the 13th.
While I've got literally hundreds of wonderful memories of camping trips with MizBubs' family--from laid back outings at Finally Farm to crawling through cave mud at Maquoketa Caves to hanging around a cabin in Minnesota--any trip that involves time in a canoe stands out.
We came close a few years ago to buying a form to make our own wood and canvas canoes, but a change in fortunes stopped us from going ahead.
We've got some decent places to canoe around here, nothing spectacular, but enough that I'm always vaguely on the lookout for a decent used canoe. Well, there I was wasting time on eBay and I found this 17' Old Town canoe. Up until that moment I'd been looking at cheap Royalex and aluminum canoes that were being auctioned here in Illinois. But the moment I saw that husk of a wood canoe, I felt the fever. That monomaniacal oh yeah we can put on a show in the barn how hard could it be delusional fever. Any of my family members reading this will know exactly what I'm talking about.
I have two books on wood & canvas canoe building that were a gift from my father-in-law years ago. I'm digging them out now to prepare. I've made sudden frantic calls and emails to other in-laws to secure garage or barn space to work on this thing, if I get it. I'm attending the Cubs-Brewers game in Milwaukee tonight (an FOP outing, and I'm not even sure why I'm going) so I won't be home when the bidding on this skeletal beauty ends. MizBubs, as she has for so many years in this marriage, is going to do my bidding. Only this time for good, not evil.
I'm not sure if I'm more scared of not getting this canoe, or of getting it and having to deal with the reality of restoring and finishing a workable canoe, something I, in all honesty, have no f*cking idea how to do beyond having read a book on the subject. Clearly the guy selling this ran out of time, patience, space money or whatever needed to finish this thing. I don't want to be that guy myself, re-selling a partially finished canoe in two years. Then again, plenty of my grandiose schemes have worked out quite well.
So we'll see how this goes.