Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Must Be Getting Better -

Well, what a surprise. I was completely, totally, 100% susceptible to the INTENSE GRAVITATIONAL FIELD they managed to install at the L&L Hawaiian Barbecue here on Fulton Street, just south of the Brooklyn Bridge. I'm fully aware of the risk run by Hawaii-raised people who venture within ten blocks of this address, but I thought the lingering uneasiness in my tummy would give me a LITTLE resistance to the pull. But no.

I must be getting better.

Or maybe I'm just bored with baked potatoes.

This started out as post-work exersize. Honest.

Oh, maybe with a little picture-taking mixed in.

Manhattan Bridge

Brooklyn & Manhattan Bridge (that's the Brooklyn Bridge Park across the East River, btw - nice location, huh? It's just got to be on the New York City Watertrail.)

Great mnemonic for remembering the order of the 3 classic bridges on the Lower East Side:

Just think of the car. BMW.

B rooklym
M anhattan
W illiamsburg

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mind-Body Winter Dichotomy - A Dramatization

Well, here it is, Fall edging on towards Winter and once again I've been struggling through an internal battle against the off-season lazies.

Seems like every winter, the battle's a little harder. I don't know whether that's really the case, or whether maybe this year I just don't remember last year's that clearly - but what I do know is every year around this time, I do find my mind & body to be in less than 100% agreement about what's best for the whole package.

It's not like that in the summertime, when the days are long, the air is warm, and the gear is kept to a comfortable minimum.

Here's the summer Mind-Body discussion -

Mind: Ah, the forecast is for sunny, and the windspeeds are
Body: GREAT! Let's go fall in the water!
Mind: Shush. We must analyze the situation for the activity that will provide the most satisfactory growth of skills...
Body: OK! Whatevahs! Can we just go fall in the water already!

Pretty much goes on like that, either I end up kayaking & include a skills & rolling practice session (GREAT! We're falling in the water!) or this last year, dinghy sailing (GREAT! We're falling in the water!)

As the weather cools down, though, things get a little more complicated. Body seems to have an inherent desire to stay home, cook, eat, & hibernate. Mind knows this is not really a feasible plan for either physical or mental well-being:

Mind: Ah, the forecast is for sunny, and the windspeeds are...
Body: It's effin' cold out there. Forget it. Wanna stay home.
Mind: Oh, come on now, we've got all the proper gear, we'll take the thermoses of cider and soup, you'll be as snug and warm as you need to be, it's going to be a lovely day & it would be better for us to get outside & get you moving.
Body: We'll die of hypothermia. We'll get eaten by a polar bear. Let's stay home on the couch. No polar bears in this apartment. Nice couch though. Nice fuzzy blue throw. We can curl up under that, nice and warm. And we can finish off the chocolate TQ brought last week.
Mind: There are no polar bears in Jamaica Bay.
Body: There is ice in Jamaica Bay. Polar Bears live where there is ice. Therefore, we may get eaten by a polar bear.
Mind: Oh, dear. Would you please leave the logic to me?
Body: I'll leave the logic to you if you'll leave the gut instinct to me. I have a gut, you don't. And Gut says that now that we've worked hard all summer hunting and gathering, drying and canning, pickling & preserving & lining the larder, now it's time to rest, preserving our energy for staying alive through the long cold...
Mind: STOP IT! We are not a hunter-gatherer! We are a finance analyst! We spend five days a week with our okole firmly planted on an office chair in a flourescently-lit, centrally-heated cubicle, crunching numbers!
Body: Oh...yeah. Sorry. I forgot. Wow, that's tough work crunching numbers all day. C'mon, why don't we just take off these sneakers, curl up on the couch with a good book, maybe pop some cookies in the oven just to get the place smelling extra-comfy, oh, here, let me pour you a nice glass of Shiraz...
Mind: Mmmm, Shiraz...berry and vanilla oak...subdued earthy tones...
Body: yeah, displayed in perfect harmony with fine cannons...
Mind: Tannins, silly. But yes. Perfect harmony, fine tannins, hmm, and some of that bittersweet chocolate TQ brought us, with the dried cranberries and hazelnuh...haze...HEY! What are you trying to pull?
Body: (looking innocently skyward & making "who me" mug) Oh, nothing, just...
Mind: Just trying to pull a fast one on us, huh?
Body: No, you're the one who wants to go fast. I would like to sit still, and be warm, without wearing all that crap you make me wear when we go out this time year. Like you said, we're a finance analyst, we make O.K. money, we have this nice warm cozy snug apartment, why go through all the gear packing-up, thermos filling-up, weather checking-up BS - if the whole point is staying warm, there's a way easier way to do that & that's stay home with the sssssssteam heat! Ha. Smartypants mind, think you're so smart, smart is as smart does...
Mind: Oh, come on, it's for our own good. You know we both really enjoy getting outside. Have I ever suggested an outside trip where we didn't both come back purring?
Body: Well, how 'bout the one where you forgot to put sunscreen on me and I ended up with a second-degree sunburn?
Mind: Well, ok, maybe we weren't exactly purring after that one...
Body: Yeah, more like whimpering all the way to the Bactine aisle at the Rite-Aid...
Mind: And you're never gonna let me forget it, are you?
Body: Darned straight, lady. So let's avoid the golf-ball sized blisters and...
Mind: Hey! OK, that one was my fault, never again, but you are not dragging sunburn woes into this argument when one of the things you're whining about is how I put all those layers and layers of clothing on you when you're happiest in a swimsuit & board shorts. Plus you never seem to care about the sunburn thing in the summertime...
Body: Well...that's 'cause most of the time you take good care of me - sunscreen, funny hats, long-sleeved shirts, lots of water.
Mind: Right. So you trust me on that in the summertime - whydon'cha gimme a break here on this going outside in the winter time. Come on. It'll be pretty. It'll be fun. And maybe you'll feel like falling in the water just to show what a tough bod you are. You know you like that.
Body: Weeellllll...
Mind: And if we don't we have to go run on the treadmill this week. You know we both hate the treadmill.
Body: You wouldn't...
Mind: Try me. Jeeze. You'd atrophy by April if I let you make these decisions. Then who'd be sorry?
Body: Uh...both of us?
Mind: Darned straight, lady.
Body: Well, ok then. But if we get eaten by a polar bear, I get to pick the last words and they're gonna be "Told you so, smarty!", OK?
Mind: You got it, ol' body, ol' pal. And just think how nice that snuggly blanket & glass of Shiraz will be when we get home after a good day outside! OK, now I'm emailing the gang, gonna make it a Plan, so there'll be no weaselling out at the last minute.
Body: Oh, come now, would I...
Mind:(raising a skeptical eyebrow)
Body: (grins sheepishly)...well, actually that's probably a good idea.

Epilogue -

Body & Mind: This is GREAT! Let's fall in the water!

They - or now that they're united, just plain she - splashes down, she sweep out, she rises whooping with glee, then charges off with her companions on the last quarter-mile to the Paerdegat, paddling in perfect harmony as the brants call from the shoreline and the setting sun sets the western sky aflame in gold and rose - cue music (Gone with the Wind-y type triumphal, you know the kind) - The End!

Closing note: Ethical standards demand that I acknowledge that the Shiraz description was not a product of my imagination, but was in fact lifted straight off the label of the bottle of Yellow Tail which happens to be hanging out in the kitchen. I appreciate a good glass of wine, but seldom verbalize that appreciation in anything resembling proper oenospeak.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Rats, no Brooklyn Bridge Park meeting for me...

5 a.m., I was rousted by a most unpleasant tummy bug. Stayed home. Blech.

I'm going to go try eating some rice now. That's all the excitement I can handle right now. So no Brooklyn Bridge Park meeting.

If this is a divine message that I should stay out of stupid park politics, seems like there would've been gentler ways to drop the hint!

Bleah. Well, at least it was 5 a.m. Monday morning, not Sunday, or Saturday, or while I was up in CT. What a good weekend.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Last Plant Standing

Who'd think the delicate-looking sugar-snap pea would be the last of the lot?

The peppers lost the race between the peppers and the frost. It went below freezing on Friday night; Saturday I found the pepper plants still green, but with leaves as limp as soggy tissue.

The peas carry on, though. Didn't have the heart to rip them out today - that was OK though, because today's goal was to help put the community beds to bed. I'll finish mine some other weekend. I did take out the peppers, and the last marigold (saving the seedheads for next season), and did a terribly quick & clumsy transplant of some of the green onions to a pot, going to see if I can keep 'em going on the windowsill - but mostly just did what the garden co-chairs told me to do.

Most of the private beds have been wrapped up for the season - in some cases both literally and figuratively.

Still work to do on the club flowerbeds, but here's the gardening chair surveying her domain - she was happy with what we got done today.

And I've now had four consecutive days of being outside & enjoying it. Needed that. Been suffering from a bad case of mind-body winter dichotomy since it got cold, I think this holiday weekend had just the weather & time I needed.

The internal debate I end up carrying on with myself to get myself to go out will probably be the topic of the next post. Seems like every winter it's a little more work for mind to convince body that hibernating really isn't good for the average modern North American homo sapiens.

Thanksgiving was great, though - I was absolutely itching for a walk after dinner, so TQ and I took the dog for a good long post-dinner walk. Red beard sponges weren't my first first of the weekend - on that Thanksgiving evening ramble, we first heard, then saw, a pair of great horned owls.

What a payoff for getting outside!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sponge Spotting

Check this out. These are red beard sponges (thank you City Birder for the identification, found via Google). Did you ever imagine that the waters of New York City could harbor a living organism of such vivid hue?

Me neither. Only reason I know better now is because my trip planning for the Paddle Off the Turkey Paddle I like to do after Thanksgiving was a little on the loosey-goosey side. All I cared about was getting a few miles in at a good clip.

Three of us set out from the club today for a Paddle Off the Turkey Paddle. We set out at 11 with vague plans of grabbing a slice in Broad Channel. However, as is sometimes the case in less-than-thoroughly planned paddles in Jamaica Bay, there simply wasn't enough water for us to get to Broad Channel using the route we thought we were going to use, and there wasn't enough time to use the route that was available (it's getting chilly enough that I'm not terribly interested in being out after dark now). So we switched to pizza in Howard Beach instead.

The absence of water issue was caused by the fact that our paddling time spanned low water, and if that wasn't a full moon tonight, it was pretty darned close. Full moon means spring tide, which means low water's EXTRA low.

Getting to Howard Beach took us under Cross Bay Boulevard. Note the high-water mark, and look at the paddlers for scale. I've paddled under this bridge several times before but never with the water low enough to see these sponges. As you can see, they're doing quite nicely.

Also doing quite nicely is this lovely 1930 motor yacht. The owner was on board getting her all tucked in against the winter's insults. Lucky boat to have such a good caretaker. It shows, doesn't it?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just about to head up to CT for Thanksgiving - in case I don't get a chance, happy Thanksgiving (and for the non-US, happy Thursday!).

Random Mexico Bus Picture

It was fun. It was a bus. It was from Mexico, or owned by people who liked Mexico, or quite possibly both.

It was enlivening my neighborhood for a few weeks late in the summer.

That's all I know. Stumbled across it looking for a couple of other pictures & realized I'd never posted.

Brooklyn's kinda cool.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Book Launch at a Boat Launch!

Big boats, that is. Ships in fact. I remember my dad telling me one time when I was very young & asked the difference, "A boat fits on the deck of a ship".

Book launch at boat launch is more entertainingly alliterative - but PortSide NY uses the proper terminology for their Arts Event #2 - which sounds fantastic:

A Book Launch where Ships Launch - Readings from The Graving Dock by Gabriel Cohen. That's on Thursday the 29th. Full details at the link.

Sounds great. I'll have to try to make this one. Still sorry I missed the opera!

If I do make it, that'll actually be the second reading I've been to this year - few more & I'll get to thinking I'm, like, some kinda intelligentsia type or something.

Or maybe I'll just feel like I'm finally making up for my TOTAL lack of culture this summer. Usually I get to a couple of the fantastic free performances that abound in the city during the summer - this year, just didn't seem to have time. Shame to live in NYC & not take advantage - but I was having too much fun learning to sail dinghies & stuff, I guess.

The other one, btw, was readings from Legends of the Chelsea Hotel, by Ed Hamilton, the author of the blog Living with Legends: Hotel Chelsea Blog. My friend Larry invited me. Really enjoyed it - Ed is not just a good writer, but also a good reader, really brings the strangeness of life in the Chelsea Hotel (past and present, from the sound of things the future will be far less interesting) to life. Don't see any more readings posted in the site, but if I hear about any I'll post 'em. I'm not much of a Chelsea blogger since I bailed out from the Hudson River Park, but it was fun getting back there.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Brooklyn Bridge Park Meeting Monday 11/26!

Updating - just to make sure it's clear, that's NEXT week Monday, the 26th.

I wonder what the New York City waterfront is going to look like in 50 years. All these waterfront parks initiatives...

The Hudson River Park is well on the way.

An East River Park downtown is in the most preliminary planning stages (and I still wish I'd been able to attend the CB1 meeting where the nut job who wants to fill in the Harlem River if they won't let him do another Battery Park City downtown was going to speak, with Marcy Behnstock, aka "the woman who stopped Westway" in the same room...),

Halfway between the two lies the Brooklyn Bridge Park. This one's contentious issue involves the luxury apartment buildings that planned as income-generators. Of course me being me, what I'm really interested in is water access there. What a great put-in that would be for journeys in the upper harbor, East River, or North River! To see where that's gone (the conservancy had some weird ideas about how to accomodate kayakers at one point, seemed to think kayaking was all Downtown Boathouse type free sitatops between a couple of piers - that's a nice thing if you can get enough people to make it work, but there are SO many more levels of human-powered boating than that going on in NYC!) I'll probably go to the meeting they're having on Monday evening. Know it's Thanksgiving week, and people are busy, but anyone interested in the future of that stretch of waterfront should try to attend!

Thanks, Tim, for the heads up!

Wanna see a few pictures of the park in question, at least as it was a couple of years ago? Here's a post from a gorgeous December day when Pia of Courting Destiny and I did a little urban hiking.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I think it's time to cancel my subscription!

I think it's officially time that I cancel my Travel and Leisure subscription.

I'm not quite sure how I ended up subscribing in the first place. I'm sure it was one of those things where you get a free 3-month trial subscription and if you want to cancel, you check the box on the card provided on page 253 (between the Ski Lapland and Tivoli Radio ads) of the 4th issue. I'm a doofus about stuff like that.

This magazine...well, let's just say I'm not their target demographic. There's a fine line between pipe dreaming, and pressing one's grubby little middle-class nose against the candy store window.

Sometimes it's kinda fun looking at the fancy resorts & stuff.


It was really dreary today.

How dreary was it?

SO dreary that when it was time to make the decision of whether I was going to make it a play day and go paddling, or get some jolly fun overdue home projects done, I picked the projects.

I chose reorganizing the home filing system & scrubbing mildew off the shower curtain over paddling (well, actually I just chose filing over paddling, that involved a Staples trip, hence the either-or choice - but I did do a little basic cleaning after I finished the big project). Actually I'm kind of glad it wasn't nice out, I'm pretty happy with the new filing setup. The old milk crate had ceased to cut it a long time ago, & maybe it'll help me keep my dining room table available for dining instead of half of it being permanently dedicated to storing heaps of insufficiently sorted STUFF.

But still -

When you have a day that's so BLEAH that when you ask yourself, "Housework, or paddling?", and you answer, "Housework" after a surprisingly short period of indecision, you just don't need to have THIS lying around!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Time to put the beds to bed.

Here's pix from last weekend's project. Got going kind of late to paddle on Sunday (it's dark at 5 now, and getting cooler), so this was the perfect project instead.

I knew it was getting to be that time. Xris of Flatbush Gardener had posted a first-frost warning for Brooklyn. The Paddling Chef had sent out a great little writeup of his end-of-season shutdown, including how happy he was with a lovely 'trellis' he found in the trash during the Fall work-day - "Every bed needs a headboard!" - and how nice it will look covered with cucumbers & morning glories.

Looks nice, indeed. He's already got garlic in. Hmmm, that's one more piece of my pesto that could be homegrown, I guess...

I found myself wavering when I got to the club. The cosmos, though fallen, still had some buds; there were cherry tomatoes ripening; the mystery mesclun was still leafy and green. But I've found that the garden is winding itself down without my help. The flowers were OK from a distance, but close up, looking tired. The cherry tomatoes have these little black spots & the ones I took home to ripen weren't as sweet as they'd been, and seemed to go bad the minute they were ripe. The greens had succumbed to the first bad aphid infestation I'd seen all summer, I had to inspect every leaf to be sure there weren't bugs in my salad.

So...out with almost everything.

Here go the cosmos. What a root ball. That's like one of the bags of dirt I bought in the Spring wrapped up in there! You can't really see well in this picture but there was an IMPRESSIVE crater there. Shook most of it loose but the bed definitely needs replenishing, the plants took dirt with them plus of course there's been an entire season of nutrients sucked out of the good stuff I put in there in Spring.

Discoveries that this neophyte gardener has made -

Root balls can EXPLODE when you go to pull them apart. It is a good idea not to be holding them a foot from the end of your nose when that happens.

Beets are craftier than one might think. This one evaded harvest by cleverly concealing itself beneath the cherry tomatoes.

Next year, the peppers really have to be planted on the other side of the giant towering thicket of cosmos. They were having flowers all season but it wasn't until the cosmos fell over & the peppers started getting more sun that the flowers started turning into peppers! In fact if there are cosmos next year, they will be at the far end of the bed from where they were this year - that'll let the shorter plants (which was EVERYTHING - get much more sun.

I picked that one, it was good. I doubt these ones are going to make it up to a decent size, but I decided to leave the plants in, let 'em try until the bitter frosty end.

End result - peppers & peas & onions & one marigold allowed to keep going. Thyme transferred to a pot on a windowsill at home. Seeds collected from the remnants of the basil, planted in a pot & sharing that windowsill (one's starting already). Everything else in the compost heap (which I turned for the exercise!).

And I hear from a credible source that all I need now is 12 cubic feet of horsesh** & I'm done for the season.

Heeeeeere, horsie horsie horsie!

cross-posted at the Sebago Canoe Club blog

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Barge News!

Day of my last paddle out of the barge at Pier 63. - Photo Hosted at Buzznet
My last day paddling at the barge, Sept. 2006

The barge now.

OK, it's not exactly NEW news. I've been waaaaay out of the loop since I left Pier 63, got into major disagreements with the self-appointed leaders of the sea kayak community there, and got myself kicked off the mailing list where most of the barge news had gotten cornered (still upsets me when I think about it, what a miserable few months of losing the place I thought I had had - and I'm not just talking about my storage space or water access) - but I JUST stumbled across this article, which gives a really good update.

Glad to see that there's hope for the barge to at least open for a place for people to go. Won't be quite the same, but better than the bureaucratic limbo of this year.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Fun game!

Good cause!

Great words!

Go play!

Thanks, Kayak Girl!

P.S. - I hate to brag but I was visiting levels 49 & 50 regularly on Sunday night. Awesome words up there. Can't recall a blessed one but I know they were wonderful.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Speaking of Boats Nobody Cares About -

The other day, when I posted that gratuitous act of boat destruction (and no, Michael B, the guy was not trying to make a double, he was trying to make it fit in our dumpster - funny story!), I ended up leaving a partial explanation in the comments. Story behind that ill-fated el cheapo PVC dinghy was that somebody at the club had expressed a desire to have such a thing to play with up at Lake Sebago, right around the time the Downtown Boathouse was closing & looking to pare down their fleet. The white boat was one of theirs. The person who said they wanted it never got around to getting it up to the lake (their end of the deal), and to add to the lack of much interest to any of the sailing committee folks, all of whom have access to a pretty nice little selection of dinghies (as mentioned yesterday) - besides being a bit of a clunky big thing, really designed for the job of trying to dumb down sailing enough to make it not require much learning, it had a hole in it. Nobody cared enough to do anything with it, hence the eventual dismemberment.

Speaking of boats that no one cares about reminded me of something I've been wondering, every time I pass the Diamond Point Yacht Club - how long a small sloop has to sit alone & untended to for a roller-furling jib to get this funky little fringed effect?

Now that's sort of sad, isn't it?
That's next door at the Diamond Point Yacht Club. Wonder when that boat last got in the water.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

To Buy, or Not To Buy.

Nope. I'm not buying it. At least not right now.

The Laser, I mean.

The one that's sitting on a rack at the club not getting used at all by one of the two guys who bought it a couple of years ago. The other guy uses it a bit, but I ran into the guy who doesn't use it (he's taken up whitewater kayaking, since his retirement spends much of each summer out of the city, and with his wife's imminent retirement is looking forward to a lot more travel with her - like me, he'd taken the sailing committee's sailing class a couple of years ago & really enjoyed it, enough to go in with another club member on a Laser with a few nice bells & whistles - but it just never worked out that he had time) right when I was all bubbly & giddy after my own reasonably succesful first time in a Laser & mentioned that he might consider selling his share.

I have to say it was ever so slightly tempting. More than the various kayaks-for-sale ads that people send me. My toys & entertainment budget is only so high, so I have to know for sure that buying something is for SURE going to increase my enjoyment of my paddling by a level appropriate to the expense. Right now, I have a sea kayak that's not the fastest in the world, and also a bit on the heavy side - but in every other way a boat I truly love paddling. I also have an old, old surfski that's great on a summer evening where I just want to get out & paddle fast & not be stuck in a cockpit. The missing boat is a fast sea kayak, which I used to have in the form of a Seda Glider - I liked having that but the fact is that I get along fine without it. Getting a replacement for the Glider would be nice - but "nice" isn't enough for me to have much interest in spending a sum that would almost surely be approaching or past $2K. Only way I really see getting a fast sea kayak (assuming that I continue to not win the lottery, which is highly probable since I don't buy tickets) would involve the Romany getting stolen (I'd bawl) or damaged irreparably (which is tough with a glass boat, you can repair a LOT).

But buying a share in a sailboat I can sail myself?

Well, that was a little more tempting. That would be not just a boat that was basically the same as one I already have, just a little better for covering the miles. No, this would be a different kind of boat entirely.

And the boat is THERE. That's pretty huge when you're a person without a car. In fact part of the reason I bought the Glider as my first boat was because it was there - there was more to that, though, I was actually about at the same skill level as a kayaker at that point as I am as a dinghy sailor now, and again ideally I would've held off (the Glider was a bit challenging for my skill level then), but I'd had my first round of having kayaking abruptly taken away from me & I thought of buying a boat as the best way of getting my own "keys to the river" instead of relying on somebody else as completely as I had my first year.

Anyhow - between the boat being there, and the price being within reason, I did have to think about it. The fact is, though, that financial issues aside, I'm just not ready to buy a Laser. Even half a Laser. In fact I'm not ready to buy a dinghy, period.

Because quite simply, I wouldn't know which kind to buy. I'm up against the conundrum of the first year boater -

Do you buy the boat you KNOW you can handle, or do you buy the boat that's a little beyond your current skill level and gamble that you'll grow into it?

It's actually a gamble either way.

I know I could buy a shiny new Sunfish and have a lovely time kicking around Jamaica Bay.

But if I start doing more Laser sailing next year, there's some chance that by the end of the summer I'd feel like a kayaker who decided to buy a Pungo for their first boat, then went & took some lessons - "OK, this is still fun for knocking around, but this just won't do for my primary boat anymore".

Fortunately unlike my first kayak purchase, where I bought because I thought there would be fewer risks to my access if I had my own boat (ha, ha), this is a club situation - so I don't HAVE to decide, and that's the option I'm going to take. Now since the sailing committee has been doing a pretty good job of turning out dinghy sailors, there's been talk of a fundraising effort to get another secondhand Laser to add to the fleet.

If that happens, I fully intend to throw some money that way.

I just won't gamble a big chunk of money on a boat I might or might not be able to deal with. I would rather go take a couple of good, challenging classes somewhere. Four star training with AKT springs to mind - yes, I'm already a four star paddler, but I just think it would be a lot of fun to go take the training as a brush-up. I've had that in mind for a while, just haven't been able to swing it.

Guess I'd rather buy knowledge than things these days. Got pretty much all the things I need.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Congratulations Reid & Soanya...

Congratulations Reid & Soanya, who, despite a huge early setback in the form of a midnight collision, have stuck with it and are now 1/5th of the way to their stated goal of staying at sea for 1000 days. You can follow their story here.

More of my photos from their launch day over here on my involuntary Flickr gallery.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Gratuitous Violence

I know the standard of quality of this blog has been pretty shaky over the last few weeks - infrequent posts, slapdash writing...

Tonight I just figure, heck, why not just roll around in the gutter a little bit.

So here's some gratuitous violence for ya.

Sensitive types might want to look away - or here, go revisit the gratuitous cuteness of Tucker the Puppy.

The rest - well, here it is. Enjoy.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Bringing new meaning to the term "coop board".

So all this summer I thought I was getting so quaint & rustic with my little Canarsie vegetable garden.

Then I was listening to the radio on Sunday & discovered that, nope, I'm a mere dilettante when it comes to urban agriculture.

These folks? That's hardcore.

btw the tall plants are cosmos...they grew and grew and grew all summer - then very abruptly did this:

Then they fell over!

Of course the minute they fell over, the green peppers that had languished in their shade all summer suddenly went to town & now it's a race between the peppers & weather too cold for pepper survival. That's one of the lessons I plan to apply next year - tall stuff at the far of the bed.

Yup, still a newbie.

I honestly had no idea how tall the mixed flowers were going to get when I planted 'em.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Staten Island Ferry from Adirondack

Just another picture. Sorry been such a bad blogger lately but got back from Rhode Island to find myself feeling motivated to catch up on a lot of stuff I've inherited from people who are now gone.

Amazing what a different a major staff change can make. We'd been badly understaffed, and we're getting back up to a working level now, but more importantly, the atmosphere at the office has gone from one that felt very junior high school (complete with "cool kids table" at lunch - don't let me get started on that) to one that now feels like a finance department at a Really Big Children's Publishing House.

I work a lot better when I don't go to work feeling like somebody is just waiting for a chance to pull the rug out from me. I'm just funny that way.

Direct result of that plus wonderfully relaxing vacation - came back & suddenly found myself in a mood to work some long days of fairly concentrated work. Finally feel like I'm making some progress.

2 weeks of 10 hour plus days would ordinarily not constitute "Life is good" - but it's a distinct improvement. Hoping another week or so & I will have all the new stuff caught up enough that I'll be able to resume having a life!

Fortunately the temporary workaholism has not spilled over into weekends. Today I went and played tourist on my way home from CT - that was fun, meandered from the Union Square Farmer's Market all the way down to the Staten Island Ferry. Wandered around Trinity Churchyard (it is a little strange walking around looking at Revolutionary War-era gravestones & realizing that back then, I would be getting up to senior citizen - awful lot of folks there in their forty-somethingth year, many younger - found myself wondering "How on earth did people manage to squeeze entire lives into such a short span?" - guess it was both simpler and harder then), something I'd never done before. Wandered on down to the ferry, thought about both going to the Museum of the American Indian or riding the ferry. There was a gale warning on today, I love riding the ferry on stormy days, but when I got down there it wasn't looking that much more exciting than it was last week when I took the picture above. And for all I hate shopping, I had bought myself a new toy at an appliance shop near City Hall - a $12.99 electric chopper, which I bought pretty much exclusively for the purpose of making pesto-making a less labor-intensive exercise, so instead I came home & tried that out (worked great), baked cookies, read...aaah.

Wish I'd had my camera along today if for no other reason than to take pictures of the new fad that's sprung up among a set of buskers in Battery Park (or at least I never noticed 'em before). There's one busker who is a little famous as a Statue of Liberty impersonator. She, and other Statue impersonators I've seen here & there in the past, are all women who dress in full Liberty regalia and use green paint on all exposed flesh. The new breed are cheaters - an over-the-head Statue of Liberty mask and a long robe (not Liberty's Grecian draperies, either, but more of a long tunic-esque affair). The effect is actually rather eerily reminiscent of the killer from the "Scream" movies (actually I think somebody needs to make a horror movie set in NY and featuring one of these guys), plus there's a whole chorus line of 'em working at Castle Clinton, and on a dreary day like today you get the even weirder scenes of busker who've gone on break leaving a small heap of folded green robe, and a Statue of Liberty heads (wearing shades) stuck on a THAT was what I wanted to take a picture of.

Breezy Point with Sebago and also the Yonkers Paddling & Rowing Club tomorrow - should be fun! Forecast still involves a bit of gusty winds, but settling in the afternoon, and it will be nice to paddle with the YPRC crew.

Oh, must remember to check with them about the storage I have heard may be becoming available up there. Great to hear as I think the YPRC clubhouse (which dates back years) reached capacity a couple of years ago.