Ramblings, a Taste of What’s to Come

May 1


A rainy day in Jamestown today, which is good for the grass patchwork I’ve done over the past few weeks. It’s easy to grow grass if you do it right, but doing it right is labor intensive. I got some good shade and sun seed and laid down a good, thick layer of loam. I mixed the loam and the seed, sprinkled some grass patch (a mix of seed and fertilizer suspened in what looks like recycled newspapers) over that and watered the hell out of it. Even with such diligent work, I was surprised when the first delicate strands of new grass started to appear last weekend. Next planting? Tomatoes in pots, and maybe some hot peppers.

Things I can’t do without:

iPhoneSkypeGMail, Internet, Cable Television, LibraryMiller Lite, Digital cameras, IPod, GPS, Airport Extreme, Bic lighters, Flat Screens, Feather Beds, iTunes, Money, Instant Messaging, Shields Fleet 9FaceBook (the jury’s still out on Twitter), Don Imus.

Things I can do without:

Airport: Scanning, NetFlix, Video Stores, Burger King ads, 1-800-cars for kids, Right-Wing Loudmouths, Left-Wing Loudmouths, Windows, Spam, Credit Cards, Ann Coulter, December-March, Deadlines, OEM Splits, Leaky Pens.



I went out in my mid-Spring garden and took this image with my Sony CyberShot 7.2 MegaPixel SLR-wannabe camera today. According to a friend: “They’re a succulent called Hens and Chicks.” Good stuff.

Whenever I’m offshore for a long period of time I miss the color green, and especially leaves on trees. The first time every year is during the Block Island Race, a sprightly jaunt from Stamford, CT, out the Eastern end of Long Island Sound, around Block Island, and back to Stamford. It’s in late May, and the water is still cold. The weather can be great, but it can also suck. The older I get, the shorter time it takes, as boats are getting faster. Last year’s race took 22 hours, so it was bearable, but it was still nice to get back to the dock at Yacht Haven, drink a few (OK, more than a few, but I wasn’t driving) beers, and gaze benignly at the Springtime erupting on either side of 95 Northbound.

I digress, but that’s the point of a blog, isn’t it? we’re both wasting time, you and I, and digression is an important part of wasting time, take it from an expert.

Things that are interesting me today are as follows:

H1N1, the politically correct name for the near pandemic Swine Flu out of Mexico. I’m worried about it because I read too many novels about the aftermath of apocalypse.


The President went to Mexico on April 16-18, and we’ve been assured there’s no worries about him getting H1N1. Um, OK.

You can’t get H1N1 from pigs. Someone tell that to the Egyptian government.


Arlan Specter rejoining the Democratic Party in order to get re-elected in Pennsylvania. Now that’s politics!

The fact that I finished in 17,230th in the Volvo Ocean Race Virtual Game, which I’ve been playing since halfway through Leg One. My current overall ranking is 17,358th, pretty good considering that almost 200,000 people are playing. It’s interesting to me how I’m sailing constantly at that level; neither worse or better on each leg. My best finish is 13,013th, my worst, 31,597th (on the first leg, which I joined late). I have (actually my iMac) has spent an appalling 56 days, 3 hours, 15 minutes online. It’s great fun, though, and I’ll miss it when it’s over. For any who might be interested, or who are playing themselves, my boat is named Jamestown Express.

Like a good car wreck, I find myself unable to stop looking at the Fox News website. Unfortunate, because it’s so damned biased and hysteria ridden. Is that why I like it, though? To counteract that dismal habit, I also spend a fair amount of time on SlateThe New York Times, and The Huffington Post sites as well.

Check out the Firefox Beta 3.5b4 that just came out. I’m using it now and it seems to be working well on my Mac.

Also check out what I’ using to create this blog, Google Page Creator. I’ve used more than a few Content Management Systems, and this interface is outstanding. If you’re not a Google fan, you should be. Ignore the fact that they’re taking over the World and will be accessing all your data forever. I do see a time when it’s limited abilities will cause me to move to a more feature-rich environment.

Ever get a song stuck in your head? Do you know the only way to get rid of it? Stick it in someone else’s head. Enjoy Edge of Seventeen my friends!

Our ex-Governor, Bruce Sundlun, has given up his license after a semi-humorous outing by the Providence Journal, which detailed the Governor’s truly terrifying driving record of late. Here’s the story.

This public AIS site is very cool, especially if you like ships and AIS, and are just plain nosey.


Liberty Ship being towed away for scrapping. Sad to see such a piece of history being turned into Hyundais.

One way to avoid jury duty. Although I think it’s important to do one’s civic duty, I can see where this guy’s coming from.

From the plane crash archives:

SWA HIts Deer @ BWI:

** Report created 4/29/2009 Record 3 **


Regis#: 398SW Make/Model: B737 Description: 737

Date: 04/28/2009 Time: 1236

Event Type: Incident Highest Injury: None Mid Air: N Missing: N

Damage: Unknown


City: BALTIMORE State: MD Country: US



INJURY DATA Total Fatal: 0

# Crew: 5 Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:

# Pass: 90 Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:

# Grnd: Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:



Activity: Business Phase: Landing Operation: Air Carrier

FAA FSDO: BALTIMORE, MD (EA07) Entry date: 04/29/2009

Last weekend was  gorgeous, hot, dry, and clear. I had to go to Newport on Saturday to drop something off and I noticed, and felt, something strange. Newport is a dreadful place to be on a nice weekend. Morons on motorcycles bwapping or screaming their way through the streets. Tourists driving like sleepwalkers. Locals driving like the jackasses they can be when they feel like it.

Of course this all was going on when I lived there, but none of it seemed as objectionable. I guess after two years of living on the North end of Conanicut Island, in the middle of the woods, has changed my perceptions. As the sun set, I listened to the motorcycles cross the Jamestown bridge, the noise brought by the warm southwesterly. The muted rumbling sounded better from where I sat.

From the NYT: Everett Ruess in many ways defined the template. A poet, painter and confidant to a leathery set of Western artists in the 1930s, including Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams, the 20-year-old Mr. Ruess rode off into the desert of the Southwest in 1934 with two burros and a notebook full of dreams, never to be seen again. Over the next 75 years, the West became tamer, but Mr. Ruess and his legend did not, and the lingering mystery of his disappearance only added to the romantic aura of the time and fueled the periodic search for evidence of his fate. Story here.

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