Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Headbanger's Ball

I realize that the above photo probably looks a little strange, so I'll do my best to interpret.
This was taken at Allen's Landing in Houston, along the Buffalo Bayou.
When Chris Harrison and I left the hotel on the morning of our rowing expedition there, it had been raining for several hours. In addition to the unexpected downstream current, we also showed up to a gondola with six inches of water in her.

She had a bilge pump, but I'd instructed Chris to remove all the batteries from the boat when we put her on trailer in Irving. This gondola has an auxiliary motor - which I had no plans to make use of, so to remove the extra weight (and remove all doubt as well), we got rid of the batteries. In the "didn't quite think it through" department, on that rainy morning there was no power source for the bilge pump. We'd brought a shop-vac and an adaptor to power it from one of the vehicles, but I think it required too much amperage.

non-operational shop-vac
no power to the bilge pump
gondola full of water.
What the heck do you do in such a situation?

Here's how we solved the problem.
I clipped the bilge pump wires from their sources and stripped the ends.
Chris threw me the female ends of two extension cords.
I stuffed the freshly stripped wires into the extension cords - one per cord, using the center hole on the bottom where the ground wire is.
Chris pulled his Toyota up to the edge of the wall and popped the hood.
Next, Chris touched the two ground prongs on the other ends of the extension cords to the positive and negative posts on his car battery.
And victory, we had "pumpage"!

Chris secured the two extension cords and I turned up the Metallica on the car stereo (hey, might as well rock out a bit while we wait for the pump to do it's job).

So that's when Chris started to get into the music.
He started head-banging to the beat.
more and more vigorous was his head-banging display.
In fact he shook his head so hard, that he almost fell backwards off the wall and into the boat.

I missed the leaning back "whoa! I think I'm gonna fall" shot, but caught this next one where he came forward off the wall and steadied himself on one of the giant iron posts.

After a brief moment, (which I'm sure included some thanks to the Man Upstairs) Chris looked over at me:
taking photos and laughing my butt off.

Knowing he'd been caught on camera, Chris made this gesture. Click on the image to gain a true appreciation of the look on his face.

If Chris ever records an album, I think this should be the cover shot.


DG Beat said...

Oh man. That fall could have hurt. Sorry you witnessed the ranting on my blog. I have some pretty wacky friends and the banter can get pretty foul. Thank you for commenting on my photos though. You take some great photos yourself. I would love to row in the vogalonga this year, but the last time I went I had to repeat a semester of school. I will go again one day though. Are you going? I'm really enjoying all of your posts. I know I haven't commented for bit, but I am checking and reading everyday.

Gondola Greg said...

Hi John.
Sorry to say that I won't be in Venice this May either. The expedition rowing we're doing has monopolized my away-time.
Funny comment about "the last time I went I had to repeat a semester of school".
Thanks for checking back each day. I try to throw SOMETHING up each day, no matter how inane.
Good rowing to you,