Thursday, December 25, 2014

Spammy Christmas To All (plus fun with gasket).

Spammy Christmas To All, 
And To All, MUSUBI!

TQ and I are having a nice staycation this year. I'm very excited because that means this year we get to attend the Mele Kalikimaka party hosted by an Iolani classmate of mine and his family. Malasadas and poke and Portuguese bean soup, oh my! And sometime in the last few days, I saw a Spam musubi tree posted somewhere on a Hawaiian Facebook group, and said I MUST DO THAT FOR THE PARTY!!!

So yesterday, after TQ and I got back from a nice dinner with his folks up in CT, I peeled off and came home and got the musubi factory going. I cut them in half, sounds like there is going to be plenty ono-kine grinds (lots of good food) there and a whole Spam musubi is a very filling thing, so mini ones seemed better - plus they stack up into a Christmas tree better. Mele Kalikimaka!

Rice and spam, ready to go!

Manufacturing the musubi (with a little help from Harpoon)

Ready to wrap - and of course the finished product is above. 

The party in a midafternoon thing so since I had the morning to myself, it was the perfect time to do something that had suddenly needed doing as of Monday afternoon - it wasn't the prettiest day but Tuesday was supposed to be worse (and it was, just drizzled all day) and with no other plans I decided to go for a paddle. The gaskets weren't looking ready to go, none of the stickiness or alligator cracks that are the usual signs that it's about to bust, but when I put my right hand through, it tore like wet paper. Maybe it had gotten nicked or something. Anyhow, I went paddling anyways, just velcro'd the cuff good and tight and stayed even closer to shore than I usually do when paddling solo (especially in the wintertime) and had a nice 9 miles (lots of birds, including a few talkative loons, always lovely to hear). Tuesday I made an emergency trip in to New York Kayak and picked up a replacement kit. Saturday looks like a possibly nice paddling day so with a free morning this morning, I decided to go ahead and get the sticky icky job done.

Things got a little messy as my upstairs neighbors, who seem to like to roll boulders around to amuse their baby, chose the exact moment that the aqua seal had come into play to start rolling their boulders (I have no actual idea what they do up there but boy, that's what it sounds like - I can't wait for the day when they outgrow that apartment), but in the end I think it'll do. I hope it does, I can't miss out on our New Year's Day rolling!

Bad gasket. Bad. 

Gasket repair kit. Comes with gasket, AquaSeal, sandpaper and 303. You supply rubbing alcohol and some sort of form (I found that a large Chinese food container, with the top cut off carefully so as not to have any pointy bits to snag the latex, was just the right size). 

Sleeve, turned inside out after cutting off the old gasket, with form inserted. You usually leave the attached part of the old gasket attached and the new gasket gets stuck to that. You clean the attached part of the old gasket and the large end of the new one with rubbing alcohol and then you sand them.
New gasket added to the setup. I think there may have been a little preliminary boulder roll here 'cause I think I've gotten it inside out - hopefully that doesn't make a big difference. 

Now things get messy (note that I've now put some some newspapers down over my nice wood floor). You fold the overlapping piece of the new gasket up. You run AquaSeal around the old gasket that you're using as an attachment base and the new gasket that you're attaching. You use something you can throw away to spread it around and then you roll the new gasket into place. This is a particularly fine time for your upstairs neighbors to launch into some extra-enthusiastic boulder activity, but it's OK, remember this is all on the inside of your suit and no one will ever know what you did (except maybe Kokatat - see below). yep. 
That's a wrap. It has to set for at least 8 hours, then I'll be ready to roll.

Nice little how-to video here - seriously, I usually send my suit back to Kokatat for gasket replacements during the warmer season because a) it's a smelly, messy job and b) they also check for leaks, and that's really important - but a busted gasket absolutely doesn't need to put much of a crimp in your winter paddling, this is a pretty simple repair. 

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