Friday, July 29, 2005

I want this boat. Unfortunately it's for sale, which means I actually might get it.

River Cat coming back. It's wake was really fun to ride in Edith.

The River Cat.

Torque is almost twisting this boat apart. That's a big propeller.

Work Barge. Nice Sky

Swamping out the photo bilge.

I've got lots of photos piling up that I've been meaning to post. I guess I'll post them by subject. First up: Petaluma River, and it's working boats.

Boats, ships, and the 1st world vs the third

So I'm listening to this book The Outlaw Sea, and while I cannot highly reccomend it, it enlightened me on a question I've been pondering for awhile: Where do all the old ships go? They used to go to places like Texas, Alabama, and Louisiana to get cut up. With rising wages, better jobs, and increased environmental regulation ship breaking has moved onto cheaper shores. First South Korea and Taiwan but now India, Pakistan, Bangladesh. The book talks about Alang, India. A village that fronts on the Arabian Sea that experiences extreme tides. At the highest of the high tides (every two weeks) they plow ships onto the sand at full power and wait for the waters to recede. Then they cut them up.

The images of this are stunning. Imagine miles of beach/mudflats with the world's ships lined up in various stages of dissection. It's beautiful if not for the horrendous pollution, danger, and death that this industry causes. There is little to no thought for worker safety or protecting the environment. Greenpeace has become very vocal about this and has begun patrolling, infiltrating and documenting the worst of it, but sadly I think this strikes at the wrong target.

The worker safety is something that should be addressed, but the pollution is more our fault then India's in my mind. There are laws on the books that mandate before selling for scrap that all the toxic materials are to be removed and disposed of properly. Of course this is almost never done and there's no enforcement. So the Indians are left to clean up, or not clean up the mess. With margins so thin on ship-breaking if they impose to many expensive regulations, practices the whole industry will simply move somewhere else, as it has twice before because there is no real global oversight.

I'm stumped on the right solution. Something that is less patronizing than greenpeace's approach, but something that does solve the problem and not merely let a bad situation continue because peoples live depend on it...

At any rate the photos are stunning. Do an image search on Alang.

Monday, July 18, 2005


I went camping this weekend up to Grover's Hot Springs in the eastern sierra. Man was it hot. Super hot. The drive both there and back was pretty gruelling, 105 degress, traffic and no A/C. Thanks to Andy and Laurel for letting me hitch a ride. I got to see a bunch of my friends and we mostly sat around and talked. Some played with Dan & Julies wonderful baby, who was probably the mellowest person there.

The best part, other than seeing my friends, was stacking rocks. I love stacking rocks. Laurel had a great idea that I won't post here, because she might actually do it and I don't want it getting poached.

But my idea was to write a grant to get big rock boxes installed in airports, kinda like sand boxes, but with river rocks. So you could pass the time waiting for your delayed flight by stacking rocks. Of course they'd probably have to be small so that no one got hurt lifting heavy rocks or having fingers and toes smashed but, even so, I discovered that stacking pebbles is also fun, if not quite as grandiose.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

What's that behind you? the A-Team!

'Thunder, thunder, thundercats, Ho! Thundercats are on the move, Thundercats are loose. Feel the magic, hear the roar, Thundercats are loose. Thunder, thunder, thunder, Thundercats! Thunder, thunder, thunder, Thundercats! Thunder, thunder, thunder, Thundercats! Thunder, thunder, thunder, Thundercats! Thundercats!

There's a voice that keeps on calling me. Down the road, that's where I'll always be. Every stop I make, I make a new friend. Can't stay for long, just turn around and I'm gone again. Maybe tomorrow, I'll want to settle down, Until tomorrow, I'll just keep moving on.

Ten years ago a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem and no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-team.'

All of a sudden after years of silence, A-team references are popping up like zombies. The above 3 paragraphs came from a random text generator I wanted to use for formating instead of the standard lorum ipsum stuff. Now I feel like I'm going to see Mr. T in the produce section....

Monday, July 11, 2005

It's like Tex-mex but with muppets

So fusion is all about taking complimentary flavors and smashing them together to get something great. That's almost what we have for the next great idea. I seem to remember this came to us during a very hot August while putting a roof on.

Title: D stands for Do the Right Thing
Plot: Have you seen Do the Right Thing? Have you seen Sesame Street? Ok you can see how the thing writes itself. It's just a matter of mapping the characters correctly.

Mookie: Big Bird
Buggin Out: Oscar
Radio Raheem: Snuffleupagus (sp?)
Sal: Hooper (yeah I know he's dead, what about what his name, one of the human guys..yeah him)
Da Mayor: the Count? I can't remember who we had cast for Da Mayor...Ben do you know?
Bedford-Stuvesant: Sesame Street
Racial Tension between black and white? Speciel tension between muppet and human....

Finer moments:
racial epithet scene based on physical difference between muppets and humans.
Watching Big Bird throw a garbage can through a window.
oo! oo! maybe we can do a little muppet show cross over and have the old balcony guys and the swedish chef as the old guys who sit on the corner all day.

If they made Herbie...

Some of my best ideas are collaborative, but the secret in getting the credit for collaborative ideas (DNA discovery?) is to be louder and more obnoxious than your partner. Ben Saari and I came up with two movie ideas while we were carpentering together, and we even had some ideas about casting. Let's take a look at what some fresh minds, unsullied by hollywood glitz or decent agents can create.

Title: A-Team 2000 (working title, may need to be updated...)
Plot: In this particular time-stream (Trek fans will know what I mean) the A-Team was a real unit, and now 20 years after they went into hiding, Hollywood digs them out and starts filming a movie 'based on the true story.' Except the meglomaniacal dictator (who hits women, and maybe has a bad scar on his cheek) that was overthrown by the A-Team is out for revenge, and sends his hapless goons (lots of black sweaters and vans) to kidnap them and bring them back to his caribbian fortress. His goons, being goons, kidnap the wrong A-Team, they kidnap the actors who were hired to play the A-Team! Which means the 'real' A-Team has to come out of retirement, storm the island and save the actors, with plenty of explosions, jeeps rolling over in mid air, choppers flying over palm trees. It's perfect. Maybe we can even get a couple of Cigarette boats in there for some Miami Vice flavor (can someone get in touch with Phillip Michael Thomas? It'd be a great cameo, and face it, he needs the work).

Actors playing themselves, as actors portraying the A-Team:
B.A. Barracas: Ving Rhaimes (oo! oo! we could remake the A-Team van into a Hummer!)
Face: George Clooney (too old? Ok, fine how about Christian Bale?)
Madman Murdock: Jim Carrey, come on, who else?

And of course, Mr. T, George Peppard and those other guys playing the 'real' ATeam....

Oh my god, it's brilliant!

First one, is my latest. I think it's great, but probably the trickiest to accomplish. Check it out: Cross breed an avacodo with peppers. The result will be a spicy avocado which I call "Lavacado" (remember, 42' Sloop, berth in SF). Not only is the name cool, but you won't need so many peppers when you make guacomole!

Lavacado folks, now go and spread the word.

Great ideas

Sometimes I think I'm in the wrong business, I mean, I'm a great idea man. Not so good with the details or the follow through, but for ideas? I'm good. I've been hoarding my best for a while, but I realize that I will probably never do much with any of them, so in the spirit of giving I will share and if anyone actually gets these things off the ground, give me a little credit and send me a postcard. If you make millions off of my idea, I'd like a 41' Center cockpit sloop and a live aboard berth near downtown SF. Thanks.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Wheee..summer time

A little reccomendation: Go find a copy of Tom Waits "Step Right Up." and find a fun car to drive (say, like a 2002) through west county at dusk. It does wonders to blow away the stress. Bonus points for sunroofs or convertables.

PS. Search and Destroy by Iggy and the Stooges is also acceptable.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Wow part deux: Wabi-sabi

Meredith's art is hanging in a show that openned last night: Wabi-Sabi at the O'hanlon Center in Mill Valley. This is her first exhibition of her new encaustic work. Go check it out!


This morning when I started up my mac, it took me to the apple home page, and lo and behold there was Shannon Ferguson's band Longwave being the featured iTunes Ad! Funny thing this life...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Ok I did it. I"ve been whinging on for months about wanting a new mac laptop, and yesterday I finally bought one. I haven't owned a fruit-box since the Macintosh Plus (and I was jealous of those who had the super-cool external 20 Mb hard drives, which were the size of phone books). Since then it's been a long string of windows and linux boxes, including my poor ailing HP laptop which took a beating and got me through college, but as it's now missing keys, overheating and the fan makes a terrible grinding/flapping noise which was really embarrassing in class. I've been following the press and the blogs about OS X, and it's latest incarnation Tiger, but every time I sat down to work on one I couldn't figure out the GUI, so I'd just admire from afar. But when it came down to spend some serious money on a new laptop I really wanted it to be a mac.

So how's 'The Switch?' my geekier friends may be asking..

I got to say, I like it. In fact I love it. It took a few hours to retrain my hands, but now that I've been running this thing since about noon yesterday almost nothing feels odd or out of place. It's certainly easier to pickup than windows > linux. The secret is in the built in mega-search tool Spotlight, and a little 3rd party app called Quicksilver. Quicksilver is simply the best thing to come along to laptop computing since wifi. The website doesn't do it justice. It's a search tool/launcher that learns how you use your machine. For example, I'm writing this blog, but say I want iTunes open, all i have to do is hit 4 keys and iTunes is open. No mouse hunting, or drilling down application menus. Just four keys. And it works with all the stuff on my machine. Apps, documents, commands, whatever. It's simply brilliant and I haven't even begun to use it's capabilities yet. It does more than I can even comprehend at the moment, but if you have a mac, get quicksilver right now. You'll be amazed.

So. I'll pause on the mac-fanatic tip for a moment and post some photos that have been piling up.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Paella. Super tasty.

Friday fun

Today was our company Open House party. We moved into a new place on 4/15 and finally got around to having a grand openning. And what an openning. We had Paella for 100 by Gerard the Paella Guy. Cheese from Cowgirl Creamery (I highly reccomend the Red Hawk on baguette with figs). I'm sooo stuffed, and because we didn't have enough people show up, I have tons of leftovers (hooray!).

And (here's the best part) I get all weekend off. I am a happy happy camper.