Saturday, May 31, 2008


A religious group in San Diego calling itself The Resistance has decided that a logo that Starbucks is now using is somehow pornographic. The group very cleverly referred to Starbucks as Slutbucks. While that would be a great name for a competing coffee shop, it's really silly when referring to the new logo. It's amazing how some people can take anything and make it sexual. It's also amazing how a group that claims "over 3000 members nationwide" (or less than .001% of the total US population) thinks that the rest of the world should conform to their beliefs. Just more rightwing conservative wingnuttery.

Kinda funny

I'm still mostly staying away from politics on my blog, but once in a while something funny just cries out to be posted. I admit, I used to really like Hillary. A year ago I thought she'd make a great president with ideas that meant something to me (like her health care concept). Now I just wish she'd go away. She's doing the political version of jumping up and down screaming "Look at me! Look at me!"

Friday, May 30, 2008

Speaking of yachts...

My birthday is coming up in a couple of months and I will be 40. Seeing as that's a milestone birthday I would think a gift that goes beyond the usual is in order. Something like this would suffice.

Friday yacht spotting

As summer approaches (albeit very slowly) here in Seattle, larger yachts begin to show up in town. Most of them are merely passing through on their way north to BC or Alaska. A couple of weeks ago Senses was in town, but she left while we were on vacation. I only got a couple of pictures of her but they're not very good so I'm not sharing.

Today there are a few other interesting boats in town. First, and largest, is Paraffin. She's 198' and was built by Feadship at the Royal Van Lent yard. The owners are the founders of the Yankee Candle Company, hence the name. The interior is not my style, but it is impressive that the owners designed the entire interior themselves. That's almost unheard of on a large yacht with the 1,000,001 details to consider. We were anchored next to this boat in St. Barth's 6 years ago and I was impressed with it then. You can get an idea of the scale of the thing from the two crewman working at the top of the mast. Even the nooks and crannies hidden from view need to cleaned...

Behind Paraffin in the picture you can just make out the stern of Piano Bar, a 156' Picchiotti. Behind that you can see a yacht with a blue-grey hull; that's the 151' Daedalus, the Boeing yacht. She was built in Seattle by Delta Marine almost 10 years ago and was previously named Affinity. She used to have a dark green hull and I think I liked her better then.

The other big boat at the marina is Bossy Boots. Kind of a silly name for a serious boat. It's 136' and was built in Savannah, GA by Intermarine. I don't really know much more about the boat other than that.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Back to real life

We survived the camping trip, and ended up having a good time. The weather improved which meant we could spend more time outside. We built some camp fires, spent time on the beach, did some sight-seeing, and just relaxed. The last two nights at the campground we sat out under the awning next to fire and drank margaritas. That's definitely my idea of camping. We visited the aquarium on Saturday after spending some time wandering the beach at low tide, then went back to the beach on Sunday morning to climb some of the rocks that were exposed at low tide. I know...why climb them? Because they were there. We only flew kites once on the beach. It was either too cold/wet or there was no wind. We got out once in the early evening on Saturday but it was getting dark and getting cold very quickly. Anthony got to fly his first stunt kite and he seems to enjoy the hell out of it. We all very much enjoyed the whole area and I'm sure we'll go back again sometime.

Monday was the day we had to pack it in and head home, and that turned out to be a long drive. We eventually got on the rode around noon after having breakfast and didn't make it back home until almost 20:00. We did stop a time or two, but it gets really boring after a few hours in the car. The only bad thing was that the cat was somehow agitated and meowed for the first three hours. After we got home we hurriedly unpacked the camper, but it still took almost 2 hours to get everything gathered up and carried into the house. It's still sitting where we dropped it waiting to be sorted out and unpacked. We definitely took too much stuff. Half of it we didn't use because once it got put away in the camper we forgot we had it. And, if we didn't miss it, we probably didn't need it in the first place. Live and learn.

I got the dubious pleasure of driving the camper back up to the rental place on Tuesday, in rush hour traffic I might add. Such fun, but it was all good and then we were done with it. After that, it was back to real life, which hasn't been exciting this week. I'm back at work, and as always seems to happen after vacation, someone is out sick. I think having to cover my job and someone else's after each and every vacation is my punishment for taking time off. At least it was a short 3-day work week.

In other news, Anthony starts a new job on Friday. He's gotten a job at Amazon and goes for orientation tomorrow. He'll then be working Wednesday through Saturday starting next week. The schedule kinda sucks but he's told there's a good chance it will change in the near future to not include weekends. I'm excited that he's gotten something else, and so quickly too. There's a slight pay increase, so even a negative can turn out to be a positive.

Other than that, that's all I have to report. So, here are some pictures of our trip. I realized after I looked through them that there are a lot of pictures of rocks. They looked nice at the time, so enjoy them for what they are.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Soggy camping

Since I have absolutley no mobile service at our campground, and I've been too lazy to get the laptop connected to wireless, I've not posted as much about our as I thought I might. Now that I'm in town for a few minutes I'm taking advantage of mobile service and typing this on my phone.

We made it to the campground in Oregon with no problem after a long drive down the coast. We headed to the coast after leaving Astoria and enjoyed the drive. It was much slower going than than the interstate but worth it. We stopped along the way several times, including the time we thought we were pulling into a state park parking area but realized we'd missed the turn and ended up in a driveway for a house. It took all three of us to back the trailer out of the place without hitting anything. We looked like the three stooges. We finally got to the campground around 19:30 without any further ado.

The next challenge was to back the trailer into the campsite. While it's not as difficult as it looks, it is not fun trying to back an almost-30 foot trailer into a spot only twice as wide as the trailer. After a little tweaking we got it, and without hitting anything (or anyone) too. The campground and site turned out to be nicer than we expected. We're right above the beach with a great view of the ocean. It's remarkably private and quiet too. It's also just a 5 minute walk down to the beach and there are some amazing rock formations and tide pools at low tide.

The only downside has been the weather. The forecast calls for sun every day but then is changed at the last minute to say cloudy and rainy, which is what we get. The camper has heat and is nice and cozy but we've not spent as much time outside as we expected. We're still enjoying ourselves and have done some enjoyable sightseeing. We're about to head to the aquarium after lunch and then maybe stop at one of the two lighthouses right near here. Anthony and I walked to the town of Seal Rock this morning to check it out. It's just a wide spot in the road, but it was a nice walk. Thiis afternoon we might hang out in the camper and play games.

I'm hoping we still get a chance to fly kites on the beach. Thanks to my friend C who loaned me two of his kites, we have five with us: three stunt kites and two just plain kites. I really want to get out to use them.

That's it for now. I'll do my best to update more if/ when I have service and anything worth saying.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Camping, day one

We survived the trip out of Seattle well enough and even set up the camper the first time without breaking anything or setting it on fire. We're now off to Oregon where we'll spend the next 5 days. We decided on a route down the coast starting in Astoria. It will take us longer but will be much more attractive than the interstate the whole way.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The long long(-ish) trailer

It's not as big as Nicky and Tacy's, but it's big compared to what I've pulled before (nothing). We survived the journey from the RV dealer to home...we made it 15 miles! Only 320 more to go before we're there. So far so good. I've already gotten the hang of going in a straight line with the thing, so at least I got the easy part out of the way early.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Post-weekend, pre-vacation

Well that was a busy weekend. In fact, it was a busy week. We had a dinner with B on his birthday Wednesday, dinner with mom who was here overnight on a layover before she flew off to Turkey (the country...that's not what she had for dinner), dinner with another friend on Friday for his birthday, and finally dinner with B & C, along with 9 other people, at B's surprise birthday gathering on Saturday. The three of us (Jayson, Anthony, me) spent most of the day Saturday getting things ready for the trip tomorrow. I had to the take the truck to get it serviced and washed, and then there were a ton of other errands to run. We had to wrap it all up by 18:00 to head to B's birthday thing. It was very much a success and I was very glad for that. I got to meet his brother and sister, and her son. I also got to meet C's parents which was a nice treat since I've heard so much about them. I wish I'd been able to spend more time talking with them. Bob truly enjoyed the dinner...I think we all did.

Sunday we slept in very late and then finished up our packing for the trip, along with a visit to the market for food. Jayson had asked Anthony and me to go with him to his temple that evening so we did. He's been a member of ISKCON for over 20 years now but has fallen out of the habit of taking part. Last night was the celebration of the appearance day of Lord Nrsinga Dev (pronounced Nur-Sing-A-Dave), who happens to be Jayson's personal deity. I'd been to temple with J once before and A had never been. To anyone who's not familiar, it's a different experience. Last night's program included bathing the deity while the congregation chanted, followed by a the temple leader discussing the significance of the appearance. That was followed by a "pasttime", which was really a short narrative play to act out the story of the appearance. After that, it's the feast. The feast is the best part, at least for me. The temple is not my thing since I don't really feel comfortable dealing with any organized religion. I do respect a religion that is thousands of years old, but it's still not my thing. But, it is J's thing and I was glad to accompany him. Anthony seemed completely weirded out by it but he was a trooper. I've encouraged A to get more involved in the temple since he seems to get a lot out of it, so hopefully after last night he'll feel more comfortable going regularly. We were some of the few westerners there and we could not have been made to feel more comfortable and welcomed.

Other than that, I'm just waiting for vacation to begin. Today was my last day of work until next Tuesday. I'm so looking forward to our camping trip starting tomorrow. We moved the departure date up one day since we had the option and now I'm just ready to go. We have everything packed and all we have to do it pick up the trailer and load it up. We had wanted to drive down Hwy 101 on the trip south but didn't think we had time since it's slow going. But, I think now we do so that will be a lot more fun than spending hours on I-5 looking at nothing. I'm a little nervous about pulling a trailer, especially one that's almost 30' long, but I'll manage. Plus I won't be the only one doing the driving! We don't have any set plans once we're there other than to sight-see, fly kites, relax, eat, etc. I'll probably try to update here every day or every other day but I'll see how I feel.

Be afraid of the dancing

From the comes mention of this remarkably well-done (cough) political ad:

Do people in the midwest actually think that folks in SFO hang out at empty bars and dance like that? And even if they do, how does that embody any values or ethics? I especially liked what looked like a mullet on the one girl (lesbian?) and the token black man (be afraid, be very afraid) to point out those San Francisco values. It's convinced me.

A survey...why the hell not

Via Hillboy8 via Romach

I don't usually do these but I'm just burning time today at work in preparation for a much-desired vacation that begins in 3.75 hours.

1. What time is it?

12:17 PDT

2. What’s your full name?

Just call me Todd

3. What are you most afraid of?

Being alone in life.

4. What was the last movie that you saw in a theater?


5. Place of birth:

Tulsa, OK

6. Favorite food

Mexican or Indian

7. What’s your natural hair color?

Dark-ish brown

8. Ever been to Alaska

Yes, three times now

9. Ever been toilet paper rolling?

Nope, never did it. It never seemed like much fun to me. I'm more of a productive person as opposed to destructive.

10. Love someone so much it made you cry?

Yes, and I still do

11. Been in a car accident?

Only two so far. The second one could have been very serious (the car was totaled) but no one was badly hurt.

12. Croutons or bacon bits:

Croutons. I don't eat pork.

13. Favorite day of the week:

Usually Saturday

14. Favorite restaurant:

Bistro Benito in Earls Court, London. I always a good time there.

15. Favorite Flower:


16. Favorite sport to watch:

None. I don't follow sports at all. Sailing is my sport of choice, but only if I'm participating.

17. Favorite drink:

Tea with cream no sugar. The variety changes, but it's usually Darjeeling, English Breakfast, or Earl Grey

18. Favorite ice cream:

Raspberry sorbet with vanilla

19. Disney or Warner Brothers:

Warner Brothers

20. Ever been on a ship?

Yes, numerous times. I've been on large freighters, large and small ferries, an in-commission US aircraft carrier, a day-trip cruise ship, and the Queen Mary

21. What color is your bedroom carpet?

Beige...very exciting

22. How many times did you fail your driver’s test?


23. From whom did you get your last e-mail

My friend Wes (NSFW)

24. What do you do when you are bored?

I don't usually get bored. My grandmother told me that we allow ourselves to be bored, and I still believe that. I never seem to run out of things to do to occupy myself.

25. Bedtime:

Usually about 22:30

26. Who will also post this on their blog ?

Probably no one! I think the two of the three people who read my blog already posted this.

27. Who is the person you sent this to that is least likely to respond?

Not sending it to anyone so I have no expectations. I don't do spam e-mail.

28. Who is the person that you are most curious to see their responses?

Anyone really...

29. Favorite TV show :

I'm not a huge TV person, but I'd have to say I Love Lucy. Having seen every episode 100 times, it's still entertaining.

30. Last person you went to dinner with:

My partners Jayson and Anthony. We were at the ISKCON temple in Redmond and after the ceremony there was food served (as always) so we had dinner with several hundred people we don't know.

31. Who do you think will be president?

I'm not sure, but if it's anyone but McCain, I'll be happier. I really not caring so much year since I'm completely burned out on politics.

32. What are your favorite colors?

Green, the hunter variety

33. How many tattoos do you have?


34. How many pets do you have?

Two: a Cocker/Blue Healer mixed dog who thinks he's a cat and a 20 pound tabby cat who thinks he's a dog.

35. Which came first, the chicken or the egg

Does it matter? They both exist now.

36. What do you want to do before you die?

Go to India.

37. Have you ever been to Hawaii

Yes, several times and I want to go back.

38. Have you been to countries outside the U.S.

Yes. Do you want a list? There's too many to name but it's about 21 different countries so far.

39. How many people do you think will do this ?

Um, I don't know, what with free will and all that.

40. Time this survey ended:

12:43 PDT

Saturday, May 17, 2008


I was wondering if it would hit three-digits before it stopped, but the gas pump shut off at $88.30 when I just filled up. The tank still had about 3 gallons in it when I started so if it had been closer to empty it might have cost $100. Now I remember why we changed our vacation plans from driving to Yellowstone pulling a camping trailer(750 miles one way with mountain ranges to cross) to driving to the Oregon coast pulling a camping trailer (about 320 miles with no mountains).

We leave on our trip Wednesday morning and I can't wait. I'm looking forward to spending time on the coast actually more than I was looking forward to Yellowstone. We're headed for Seal Rock, OR and from what I can tell there's tons of stuff to do. If it's anything like the northern coast it will also be really beautiful. Our campground is about 20 feet off the beach and our campsite looks like it has a nice view of the ocean.

Hopefully it won't take more than 2 tanks of gas each way!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

This is actually a catchy tune

The song and this video have been making the rounds of the internets since yesterday and now it's stuck in my head. The original song can be found here.

...ask what you can do for your country

And apparently our magnanimous leader has made the ultimate sacrifice. I never knew that George suffered so and sacrificed so much for the people in the military dying in his illegal war. I mean, this must have been very traumatic for him. How dare those soldiers whine about losing limbs and body parts. How dare their families be upset when their loved ones have died. They need to look at how George is suffering and just STF up.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I don't usually find SNL funny but this was pretty good. At least someone on network television is saying what many of us already know about Hillary.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

May is the month of...

Masturbation. I didn't know until today that May is National Masturbation Month, and in honor of that the Center For Sex & Culture in SFO are hosting a Masturbate-a-thon. You can participate online or in person, and there's plenty of time to practice before the event on May 25th. Several people I know, both online and in person, won't be waiting until the 25th to participate I'm sure.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Fear and ignorance reach another new low

Are there really people out there who are afraid of wizardry? Is it possible that there really was a child who was that traumatized by a simple magic trick? The article says that the teacher explained the trick and showed the kids how it was done. Even if the teacher was practicing wizardry, why should he lose his job? Last I checked wizardry was not illegal (but give it time if the evangelicals have their way). I can see how it's entirely possible that a child being raised in a household by christian extremist parents would think that a magic trick was the devil's work. It's the same reason witches have been killed in this country and others. Just ignorant people afraid of what they don't understand merely because it's different than what they've been taught. It's very sad.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Most Trusted Name in Bears

I wonder how Anderson Cooper feels about this.

Whoever put this together did a great job of matching up the voice-over with the original video.