Friday, November 29, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ticked Off Turkey! from Bonnie on Vimeo.

Sorry the blog's been a bit on the dormant side. Here's my homemade turkey again. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Upcoming Events - Opening at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, plus Gowanus Canal Cleanup Info Sessions, plus VOTE FOR PIE PLEASE!

Still at work tonight, but I thought I'd just take a quick blog break to share a couple of upcoming events.

The first...oh shoot, I thought this was next week, it's actually this week but I'll go ahead and post it anyways. The EPA is holding a pair of information sessions on the cleanup of the Gowanus Canal, one tonight in Gowanus, the other tomorrow in Red Hook. They're both from 6:30 to 9:00 - the first one I'm afraid has already begun as I'm typing this, sorry! Working Harbor blog has full details.

The second one is this Saturday, 11/16 in the Brooklyn Bridge Park. From 10 - 1 there will be a celebration in honor of the opening of the uplands of Piers 3 and 4, completing the Brooklyn Bridge Park section of the Brooklyn Greenway. Weather looks cooperative, high of 59 (warming back up, yay!) and mostly sunny, there will be music, family fun, and tours, should be a fun day by the water! Click here for full details.

Oh, and as long as I'm doing a quick post - Steve's Key Lime Pies, where you can get the best darned key lime pie in New York City and which is also a real part of the Red Hook renaissance, and a very active member of that community, is participating in a Mission Main Street grant contest. They took a hard hit during Sandy and although they've made a pretty good comeback, this would be a big help for them! I hope you'll vote for them!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day - Hawai'i Aloha

Hope everyone had a happy Veteran's Day, and a sincere thank you to any veterans who might happen to be reading for your service. 

 Somehow of all the very moving posts I saw in honor of Veteran's Day (I have so many friends who are so much better at coming up with the words for days like this), this one, posted by a friend from Iolani, was the one that choked me up the most. Two lovely young women, soldiers in Iraq, singing a simple but beautiful rendition of Hawai'i Aloha, the unofficial state song of their faraway Hawaiian home.

Hawaii's anthem is Hawai'i Ponoi, which was composed by King David Kalakaua, and is also very special to the people of the islands - but this song is sung at almost every gathering, with everyone joining hands for the singing. Always makes me a little homesick to hear it and seeing these soldiers singing it off in Iraq was so moving.

Verse 1:
 E Hawai'i e ku'u one hanau e

Ku'u home kulaiwi nei
'Oli no au i na pono lani ou
E Hawai'i, aloha e

 E hau'oli na 'opio o Hawai'i nei
'Oli e! 'Oli e!
Mai na aheahe makani e pa mai nei
Mau ke aloha, no Hawai'i

Verse 2:
 E ha'i mai kou mau kini lani e
Kou mau kupa aloha, e Hawai'i
Na mea 'olino kamaha'o no luna mai
E Hawai'i aloha e


E hau'oli...

verse 3: 
Na ke Akua e malama mai ia 'oe
Kou mau kualona aloha nei
Kou mau kahawai 'olinolino mau
Kou mau mala pua nani e

O Hawaii, O sands of my birth
My native home
I rejoice in the blessings of heaven
O Hawaii, aloha.

Happy youth of Hawaii
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Gentle breezes blow
Love always for Hawaii.

verse 2:
May your divine throngs speak
Your loving people, O Hawaii
The holy light from above
O Hawaii, aloha.


verse 3: 
God protects you
Your beloved ridges
Your ever glistening streams
Your beautiful flower gardens.

One more note - this was in 2006 and judging by the comments, I think they made it home OK. They would sing songs from home like this to help themselves relax from the pressure they were under there.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I'll Be Back! - Surfski looks likely to rise (or at least float) again. Plus, end of garden season.

"I'll be back!" says my surfski. Woohoo!

 There are lots of workdays at the club this time of year as we're cleaning the boats and putting away the lawn furniture and generally packing things in for the wintertime. Today, I decided it was time to have my own private personal workday.

I set out in the early afternoon. I had 2 main goals for the day - the garden is pretty much played out for the year and it's time to put the bed to bed, and then I also wanted to take a look at the ski. The poor boat had broken 2 seasons ago and although I love this boat, I just somehow had never managed to make the time to attend to it. I just don't do that many trips out there on my own anymore - it's always either for a club activity, or else for a paddle or sail with TQ. In either case, there's generally a ride involved and I just don't like telling someone who's being nice enough to give me a lift home, "Oh, could you maybe wait for half an hour while I do something with my boat?"

And this year, I'd gotten to the point with the ski that I felt like I needed to either fix it already, or suck it up and let her go. Aside from the ridiculousness of paying for indoor storage for a broken boat, there's a sort of new thing going on at the club - we've got so many new members that boat storage is getting close to being an issue. Earlier this year, after a meeting where we discussed how to make sure that new members understand that we're running a club, not a storage facility, I began to feel something of an obligation -- time to "go or get off the pot", if we're running out of space then storing a broken boat is being a dog in the manger.

I was a little worried by the dark clouds that looked to be moving in as I headed out to the club, but I figured that even if it started to pour, I could still work on the surfski in the container. 

Fortunately, except for a few little spits of rain here and there, the clouds passed over without dropping anything, so I was able to accomplish both self-appointed tasks. 
I decided to start with the garden; the clouds were still looming ominously when I arrived at the club so I figured I would start with that & get as much done as I could, and then if it did start to rain I would switch to the boat work.

I went expecting to come home with chard, the last of the basil, and green tomatoes, but there were a couple of fun surprises - this itty bitty beet, which had hidden in a corner:

Plus a couple of actual vine-ripened tomatoes! Totally wasn't expecting that but what a nice thing to find. 

Dramatic skies above the chard. This one's almost worth clicking for detail - it was a good sky and the chard is also about as dramatic as chard gets! :D
I'd come in planning to pick everything except the onions (which overwinter fine), then come home and do some freezing. The remaining basil was looking pretty bedraggled so I stuck with the pick-and-freeze plan for that (haven't frozen yet but will as soon as I finish this post - instead of another full-on pestofest, I'll just chop it up with olive oil and freeze it that way), but chard is very hardy and I decided to only pick some to cook over the week, and leave the rest in the ground. There really isn't all that much left and I think I'll be able to use it all fresh.

End of the gardening session - laid out the stakes and tomato cages to try to discourage our local feral cats from using it as a litterbox. All done!
Oh, and the boat repair? That went GREAT. Almost annoyingly so in fact. A rudder pedal had broken off with half a rivet stuck in the hole by which the pedal is attached. The whole delay in fixing has been that it was stuck in there so good that I thought I was going to need to drill that out and I haven't got a drill.

Now that I was committed to fixing it or letting it go, and had set aside enough time to just sit down and mess around with the boat and my very basic tool kit long enough to decide which it was going to be, it turned out that there was enough of the broken rivet sticking out that after a good soaking with WD-40, a couple of whacks with a small hammer was enough to knock it loose. YAY, but also ARGH -  If I'd had any idea it wasn't going to involve a power tool that I don't own I would have done this right when it broke, year before last!

I was very happy about how simple it turned out to be, but also very annoyed with myself for not even trying before this. The long procrastination had actually caused another issue -- the hinges for the rudder pedals had frozen up. That issue, I had been able to do a little prep work on ahead of time - I'd doused 'em with WD-40 a couple of times over the last couple of weeks and one more soaking today plus some patient persuasion with a pair of pliers cracked those loose.

I didn't re-attach the pedals today, if the hinges freeze up again over the winter it'll be easier to loosen them up again without the pedals on there. But we're pretty much ready to go. Re-wetting was going have to wait until next year anyways because there are a couple of cracks that could do with some epoxy and it's now too cool for epoxy to set, but once it warms up enough to do that next spring, I'm seriously looking forward to getting this boat back in commission! 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Sad day in Haleiwa

I'm so glad I took this picture last time I was home. Never in a million years imagined then that that would be the last time I saw this place but it's over now.

Please pardon the language below, I usually keep a squeaky-clean blog that way (parental blog controls - that is to say, my parents read my blog) but the Aoki family still runs this business (now from a gift shop across the street, where I hope that they'll be selling their wonderful shave ice by the next time I'm able to get out there) they were incredibly good sports about this for a long time but it's been a long and frustrating haul for them and seeing this kind of family legacy go under the bulldozer's teeth has got to be miserable.
For more about the shave ice scene in Haleiwa, in happier times, visit my "Ono-rable Mentions post and scroll down to the shave ice.  


For more about the shave ice scene in Haleiwa, in happier times, visit my "Ono-rable Mentions post and scroll down to the shave ice.  

Monday, November 04, 2013

Scallop fishing, Sebago style!

Marc goes foraging in the Sand Hole in Oyster Bay! Click on first pic for nice slideshow view of his big catch. 

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Making sure the drysuit is dry, plus a few more pix from Oyster Bay

Wonderful club paddle out in Oyster Bay today. Lovely fall foliage, perfect weather except for just enough drizzle at the end to produce a snippet of rainbow. Couldn't resist a little lunchtime rolling practice. 

A few more shots from the day. Might be more, I am just too sleepy to go through all the pictures tonight! As usual, click on a picture for a slideshow view. 

Wonderful club paddle out in Oyster Bay. Lovely fall foliage, perfect weather except for just enough drizzle at the end to produce a snippet of rainbow. Couldn't resist a little lunchtime rolling practice.

Friday, November 01, 2013



Water's getting cold, it IS that time. Also, quick reminder for all my NY State boating friends - it's November 1st and that means that the NY State off-season lifejacket regulations are now in effect. If you are out on the water in a recreational craft of 20' or less, the law requires that a properly fitting lifejacket be worn at all times. This rule is in effect until May 1, 2014.

Sensible, sensible rule.

Not Seeing the 40th Annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade.

Hope everybody had a Happy Halloween!

Mine was sort of abortive. NYC has this very famous crazy Halloween parade down in the famous crazy West Village every year, people go all out on costumes and there are some great ones, some funny, some beautiful, many very dirty but hysterical, and then there are giant puppets, marching bands, and all sorts of stuff. I don't go to this very often even though I don't work far from the route; usually I get enough of a Halloween kick just seeing the costumes on the subways, in the streets, and at the office. New York people really get into their Halloween. This year I was feeling a bit of a yen to go for some reason, so I brought my camera and had a book to read while I waited for the parade to start. I went but then I gave up. 

I did give it the good old college try, I'm not crazy about mob scenes, which a lot of the NYC parades tend to be (you couldn't pay me enough to go to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade), and when I got there the crowd was already four deep along the barricades in the streets, four deep on the sidewalk, and with the gap between the two rapidly filling in. Still, everyone was being very calm and civil about the sardinefest, so I inserted myself and waited for probably half an hour. At that point a really obnoxious little pack of junior high school girls pulled in behind me and the atmosphere instantly went from tedious to trying - after fifteen minutes of gritting my teeth and biting my tongue I decided it just wasn't worth the aggravation and headed home. 

I also tried and failed to see one of those famous Banksy art thingies we've had going on in the city. Awesome night. 

Woman in SoHo tends to her pet giant bioluminescent cnidarian.

Massive crowds await the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. And await, and await, and await. I'm assuming that by now they have seen their parade, but on the other hand, they may still be a-waiting. 

Vendor of illuminated toys and trifles, Union Square

Back home at Newkirk Plaza.

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!