Friday, February 15, 2019

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A material I'll be checking out...

Sea Shepard's "Farley Mowat" attacked, an op-ed of note, and in the "A startling degree of predictability" department...



They had me at recyclable and affordable.

Listening to Jorge Drexler

So it goes...

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

North...

A new high point set in Brexit stupidity, incentive to steal, and some depressing news on the dumbing-down of America...

Here's some interesting stuff on the magnetic North thing. Very much worth checking out.

Listening to some Neil Young coverage

So it goes...

Monday, February 04, 2019

and in the "What to do with your old flip-flops" department...

Badtux making a needful point, some interesting publishing news, and something about the Solar Insurrection front lines in Puerto Rico...



Listening to Los Lobos

So it goes...

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Some information on machine screws, nuts, and bolts...

Two and a half minutes worth watching, never ending cycle of profit, and EBM on how the John D. MacDonald/Travis McGee retirement plan makes a whole lot of sense...

One of the reasons I buy most of my screws and suchlike from Albany County Fasteners is the fact that their ongoing advice series is just excellent.

Like this one...



That said, since they always have what I need at very good prices with excellent service doesn't hurt either.

Listening to the Ally Venable Band

So it goes...

Thursday, January 31, 2019

and in the "I'll miss my daily Golden Globe feed" department...

Regime change follies, regarding a hero of mine, and an alternative to plastic that seems to make sense...

So, the Golden Globe is almost now history and Jean-Luc Van Den Heede at the age of 73 is the winner.

I'll be honest and say that while I was following the Golden Globe race with some interest it was something of an odd duck in what most people consider a "race" to be.

It was not fast.

Not even close to being sexy.

Far from being even close to cutting-edge.

Even worse is it was packaged and promoted by folks who seemed to have nary a clue about what made the race interesting, compelling, and exciting.

Meanwhile, I keep hearing a lot of talk from critics of the race suggesting it be changed to make it less interesting, compelling, and exciting.

Obviously a whole lot of people seemed to have missed the point.

Listening to Drug Church

So it goes...

Friday, January 25, 2019

A project worth supporting...

Greta Thunberg making sense, a quick future reality check, and while the climate is going to hell take comfort that someone is going to make a profit on it...

David Reece dropped me a line regarding a kids boatbuilding project he was working on which is all kinds of cool but could use a little love and support. Truth be told, he had me at "kids building boats" and the fact that it's a Bolger boat they're building is just icing on the proverbial cake.

So, I'll let David tell you all about it...

Bob was kind enough to let me write a post on his blog so that I can let you all know about an exciting new boat building project of my own.

Several months ago, after a stint abroad with my wife and young kids, I was back home in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, looking for a job.  A friend tipped me off to an extraordinary private middle/high school called “Springhouse Community School.” Under the umbrella of the organization Reimagining Education, this school seemed to be doing just that.



They didn't have a position open for me, but when I told them about my experiences building boats with school kids in the past, I was hired on to run a semester-long boatbuilding program that I have dubbed “SpringShip.”  In SpringShip, I serve two roles. Two days a week, I lead a group of students in building a yet unnamed boat, hopefully the first in a series. The rest of the week, I co-teach a class that teaches Math and Science through the lens of boat building and sailing, with a touch of nautical culture thrown in by literature and the singing of sea shanties.


The program will culminate in a camping/sailing trip to the Chesapeake Bay in May.

The Class


In the class, we use sailing and sailboats as a lens on math and science.

In our exploration of scale and proportion, we had the students practice scaling boat plans down to cardboard models, one measurement at at time.


For a little geometry practice, the students built fully functioning sails to match their boats.



Just so they could see the boats in action and learn a little bit about aerodynamics, I built them a carousel to attach them to.  We took it outside and put the models through their paces.


The Shop


We didn't have a build space, so we had to convert on bay of an old dairy barn (the one they used to scoop the manure out of with a loader) to a heated boat shop, basically by building a plastic room.



The Boat


For a boat, we chose a scaled-up version of a Phil Bolger design called, Pirate Racer.
 

After adding side air boxes and a couple more masts to keep our “pirate crew” of teens busy, we have a unique, but serviceable design. 



The Benefits for Students

I never would have guessed it, but these kids are taking to boat building like seagulls to a bag of cheetos. For those of you who love boats and sailing, you know how rare and rewarding it is when the younger generation gets excited about those things, too. Here is a group of kids from a tiny rural town in the mountains, willingly learning about boats, boat design, sailing, construction, woodworking, and nautical life. 
 

The kind of skills they are learning are beyond my expectations.  Not only manual skills, but highly transferable skills like problem solving and cooperation, resilience and creativity. When problems arise, these students confront them with the same determination and grit that you would expect from adults. This is going to be transformative for them.

The Problem

The only catch is that the school hasn't been able to raise enough money to complete the project. Therefore we have started a Kickstarter campaign, hoping to make up the shortfall.

If you could make a donation, however small, it would go a long way toward passing on the love we all share for “Simply messing about in boats.” 

Thanks again to Bob for giving me the space on his great publication to spread the word.
-David Reece

   ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You know you want to do the right thing.

Listening to the Beach Boys

So it goes...











Wednesday, January 23, 2019

An excellent design to check out...

Some photo-shop hijinks, a marina to avoid and in the "politicians take note" department...


I see that Duckworks (an excellent purveyor of needful things) is now selling plans for Eric Henseval's awesome Aviateur design which is a design I'm quite partial to. What can I say but, having lived and built a bunch of boats in France, I do like domes.



Well worth checking out!

By the way, I still think Eric should design a nine or so meter version of his Souriceau/Aviateur so I'd have room for my guitars...

Listening to Aaron Lee Tasjan

So it goes...

Monday, January 21, 2019

Just saying...

Some weather stuff, an artistic use of masking tape, and five film suggestions which might lighten your mood...

A very long time ago I was lucky enough to have a couple of classes with Victor Papanak who, pretty much pretty shook up my world on the subject of what made good design and the world in general. His book, "Design for the Real World", is still a major influence on my life and the way I look at things in terms of design. I mention this because I was just looking at this years Pittman Innovation awards.

I'm pretty sure no one at Sail Magazine has read "Design for the Real World".

I think I'll just leave it at that.

Listening to All-4-One

So it goes...

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Some cool plywood...

The best commercial I've seen in ages, some seriously heinous shit, and something you may want to check out...



Listening to Coverville

So it goes...