Ramblings

Progress is often shown by changes, but is all change progress?

FLIBS robbreport.com J Christopher
I wish to apologize to all those who got a drenching on the last day of the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show last Sunday. It seems that my comment to the traffic cop that: “Looks like this will be the first show in many years that we won’t have rain” spurred the rain gods into action, resulting in the deluge that followed that afternoon.

It made for a slower than normal Sunday in a slower than normal show that had many exhibitors mulling over theories of why that was. We heard it was a general slowdown in the economy; lack-luster promotion; changes in the show lay-out; that “T” word; and the ever-increasing expense of “doing” these types of shows, both as an exhibitor and as an attendee.

“If things don’t change, they stay the same”, so sayeth someone to someone else for some reason sometime in the past. We get used to routines and to having stuff around us work in a particular way, and get caught out when things fall outside the norms. I’m often leaving rental cars unlocked, as my personal car has a “proximity” key that does that sort of stuff for you as you walk away.

BoatShow RVShowWhat's the difference between a Boat Show and an RV Show?

The ride home into Annapolis at the end of the day usually means navigating heavy traffic on the highway. Three lanes is usually enough to keep everyone rolling along smoothly, but often the left hand lane, the “fast” lane if you will, is seen to be slower than the other two. After much observation, I have come to the conclusion that some drivers must think they are fast and so have a right to occupy a slot in the left lane conga line. Unfortunately, these fast thinkers seem to have a disconnect between their head and their right foot when going uphill, and so slow down the pace and frustrate those bunched up behind.

I had the chance to test the theory this past week on Coastal Climate Control’s road trip to exhibit at America’s Largest RV Show. No, really, that is the actual name of the show, and to those of you wondering, “RV” is for Recreational Vehicle. It was in chocolate land, Hershey Pennsylvania, and was indeed very big to my eyes, but then this is the only RV show I’ve ever been to.

Coastal was there dipping our toes in the RV market to see what the industry is about, and where we might find some sales opportunities. Our main focus was on solar products, and we had some examples of some glass panels that Coastal is now offering from Solarland USA, plus our usual marine items from Solara and Solbian.

apollo 11 command module interior
“It is good to know what our species is capable of when it gets out of its own way”.

That was a comment I read recently, referring to the moon landings 50 years ago. But there’s a fascinating back story to the Apollo 11 adventure that is worthy of note for its pioneering spirit and sense of bravado and derring-do.

Neil Armstrong could not have said it better than “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind”. The amount of innovation and inventiveness required to overcome the technical challenges of getting man to the moon was astronomical in itself. Even so, some of the methods they employed have their roots in ancient navigation practices, and were not what one would expect to find in a spacecraft.

conundrum-world-war-two-fuel-cable-operation
An Englishman’s home is his castle they say, so as a young lad I was intrigued as to why there were doors in the high wooden fencing separating my grandma’s back yard in England from her neighbors’ gardens. That sort of thing was against the norm, as one mostly kept oneself to oneself except when spying on the neighbors from behind net curtains.

The reason became clear when it was explained that grandma’s garden shed, that ugly, half-buried thing made of corrugated steel panels with earth covering the roof, was in fact a communal six-person neighborhood bomb shelter during WW2. As a tool shed it was dark, damp and dank, and I imagine it was probably no more welcoming in its original incarnation.

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