Sunday, January 30, 2011

I'll tell you who has it the hardest: White Men. We make the unpopular, difficult decisions - the tough choices. We land on the moon and Normandy Beach and they resent us.
~Jack Donaghy
I often wish that I had clear,
For life, six hundred pounds a year;
A handsome house to lodge a friend;
A river at my garden's end.
~Jonathan Swift


And just in case you live in a hole, the 34th America's Cup is coming to San Francisco!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Beginning of the End.

It is official.  I do not have the patience, nor the resolve, to do this every day until  retirement.   These days go by much too quickly, and I fear that as I become complacent, the days will turn to years, and the years to decades.  And in a blink I will be plagued with age and its inevitable restrictions.  The World Tour by Sail Fund commences today (at least until the missus finds it).  I am taking donations by the by, and they are tax deductible (they aren't). 

What about all the books I want to read?   The stories I want to tell from the experiences I want to experience?  The different roads I want to travel?  And the soul I want to nourish?

The best I can figure is to work two years on, one year off, and take the hit come retirement.  It's either that or work until retirement, retire with a more than healthy amount of financial wherewithal, and die of a heart attack two years later.  Fuck that friends.  Here's to trying something different.  I will keep you all updated on progress, some kind of pie chart graph thing or another.


Let's start this day out right, shall we...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


In 1918 Ernest Hemingway passed through Paris en route to the Italian front, where he served as an ambulance driver in the American Red Cross Field Service.  He returned late in 1921, a recently married man of twenty-two, and with his wife, Hadley, settled into the city that was to become his home until 1928.  Although his stay was soon interrupted by travels throughout Europe and the Near East- partly as foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star - and by a brief return to America, where his first son was born, Hemingway spent most of this period in Paris, "the town," as he once put it, "best organized for a writer to write in that there is."

It's just like Hem said, "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."

I miss it terribly and often, and was incredibly lucky to have lived there as an impressionable youth.  A more eloquent post is due to both Paris and Hem, but for now this shall suffice.

And my flat there on the right.  22 Rue St. Severin in the fifth.  I can go back to Paris... But I can't go back to being young in Paris.  That thought causes me much pain...  But such is life.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


and the hulls hit the water around here.  Lucky for me, I'll be heading to Marina del Rey in a little over a month for a wondeful weekend around the Southern Channel Islands. 


Friday, January 21, 2011


I do love the Scottish.  For all occasions.

Found this one driving through the highlands a few years back.  Stopped in a small pub off the side of a Monroe for a morning snack.  Barkeep said it's the best dram for the a.m.  So...
The best breakfast whisky: Auchentoshan Three Wood

The best all around day drinking: Highland Mist

The best after work: Dalwhinnie 15

The special occasion: Talisker 25

Take your peaty, fish and diesel-fumed Islays somewhere else.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Apologies for the Absence...

Just getting in to the swing of things at the new firm.  Should be back on this old bag more consistently here shortly.  Until then, go get this book:

Rupert Christiansen is as excellent a writer as they come, and makes an exciting, turbulent time all the more enjoyable in his dissection and analysis of the transition from the second empire to the third republic of France.  The similarities to our present American pandemic are uncanny...

The world knew Paris for its carnival flash, a crazy tinsel circus of all fleshly pleasures and all earthly magnificence.  Moralists were chilled by the siren grin behind which rotted a greed and cynicism without parallel in 19th century Europe.  "The religion of money is the only one today that has no unbelievers," wrote Theophile Gautier.  "All very beautiful for the moment," said another disenchanted romantic, Alfred de Musset, of a ball at the Tuileries palace, "but I wouldn't give two sous to see the last act."  "I think there never was a more corrupt, abominable city, nothing but a brothel and a gambling hall," roared the splenetic Thomas Carlyle.  He was not alone in his sentiments.  By 1869 the knowledge that the curtain would soon fall on the extravagant spectacle the city had made of itself was coming uncomfortably closer.  Government functioned without any clear chain of command or direction.  Authority clouded, alliances shifted, certainties crumbled, as the French drummed their fingers and waited for the Second Empire to admit its own political bankruptcy and bring to an end - if not a nemesis - an extraordinary episode in French history.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

And so begins...

My English driving experience.  Just bought a Land Rover Discovery II.  Have always loved the lines and look.  Mechanics say the British attitude towards motoring is the opposite of the Americans.  To illustrate, quality means to each: British, maintenance=long life; Americans, treat like shit=still runs.  She'll be up on the trails this weekend.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Give me whisky, wine and death...

Stop and consider!  Life is but a day;
A fragile dew-drop on its perilous way
From a tree's summit; a poor indian's sleep
While his boat hastens to the monstrous steep
Of Montmerci.  Why so sad a moan?
Life is the rose's hope while yet unblown;
The reading of an ever-changing tale;
The light uplifting of a maiden's veil;
A pigeon tumbling in clear summer air;
A laughing school-boy, without grief or care;
Riding the springy branches of an elm.

John Keats

Monday, January 3, 2011

Back to the Grind...

This Monday marks the day I go back to slaving for the man.  Here's hoping for the best.  The following, my only reprieve after hours of monotonous spiritual sacrifice.

Forgive the fact that I can't figure out how to resize this, and lose yourself in one of my favorite clips of all time.