Sunday, August 26, 2012

Oprah is a Couch-Surfer

This is a repost from Yahoo - Virginia Heffernan - but I had to broadcast because it so eloquently qualified what I have been trying to concisely capture for decades... OPRAH IS A COUCH SURFER and all that you can draw on your own from that!!!! However, the early astronauts represented all that I wanted to be - times have changed and now robots are designed to do what man was once called upon to do, but the qualities of a man of Neil Armstrong's caliber never change - rest in peace Rocketman!
"A lot of people couldn't figure out Armstrong." With those words Tom Wolfe introduced Neil Armstrong, the astronaut hero of his nonfiction masterpiece, "The Right Stuff." Armstrong, of course, was a masterpiece himself: the commander of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission and the first man ever to walk on the moon. Armstrong died Saturday from complications relating to heart surgery. He was 82. All these decades, Armstrong, the lunar Adam, has represented a code his admirers knew better than to try to crack. Not that, early on, great literary minds—besotted by the baby-faced genius—didn't try. Wolfe continued: "You'd ask him a question, and he would just stare at you with those pale-blue eyes of his, and you'd start to ask the question again, figuring he hadn't understood, and— click —out of his mouth would come forth a sequence of long, quiet, perfectly formed, precisely thought-out sentences." So Wolfe warned against understanding Armstrong in "The Right Stuff." And that warning was more or less heeded, somewhat miraculously, until Armstrong's dying day. Profilers kept their mitts off him. Hollywood starlets didn't swoop in to wreck his family. And, most mercifully of all, Carson and Merv Griffin and Dinah Shore and Ali G and Oprah didn't demand that he couch-surf with them. This is astounding. In the 1960s and '70s , the national pastime was psychologizing postwar celebrities—John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali. And once a hero is cracked open by one Vanity Fair profile, the pile-on never ends. This one had a sex addiction; this one had a chip on her shoulder; this one could never live up to his big brother. Let's not do that to Armstrong, Wolfe pleaded. In any case, the great man simply would not succumb. Armstrong was simply, at heart, not homo psychologico. He was homo machinator, homo ingeniator. The engineering man. In an era when everyone was expected to evince the adolescent emotionality of Marlon Brando or Allen Ginsberg, Armstrong was resolutely adult and elegantly square. He was a Navy pilot from a small town who married a home-ec major at Purdue whom he had no recollection of courting or even proposing to. (Janet Armstrong, with whom he had three children, evidently didn't remember any courtship either.) Though astronauts in the time were represented as hard-partying matinee idols, Armstrong always described himself as a "white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer." He wasn't boasting, though engineers are, of course, the hotshots of today: the hackers and technologists who keep pushing into the new breach—the postfinal frontiers of cyberspace. Once in 1969, Norman Mailer bullied Armstrong into saying something—anything—romantic about going to the moon. (Armstrong would have to cough up the romance, Mailer wrote, or be considered "a spiritual neuter.") Armstrong stood his ground like a Buddha. "I think we're going to the moon because it's in the nature of the human being to face challenges," he said, defying Mailer. "It's by the nature of his deep inner soul ... We're required to do these things just as salmon swim upstream." Those words are perhaps the most gorgeous words the press-shy astronaut ever said, including his famous scripted line about the giant leap. Michael Collins, an Apollo 11 crewmate, wrote that Armstrong "never transmits anything but the surface layer, and that only sparingly ... I like him, but I don't know what to make of him, or how to get to know him better." Maybe we weren't meant to fully understand Armstrong. Only to hold him in awe. Like the moon itself.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

13 Months

That's how long it took to collect this hodge-podge of shells, seed pods, seaglass and operculums. Jimmy - not as sorted and extensive as your collection, but it is what I ended up with. The jar is from Michaels (and it stands about 18" high).

2013 Tacos

So pictures of the 2013 Toyota Tacoma have come out. This is the "Limited" trimmed version - heated simuleather seats, chrome mirror-bumper-nose trim, electronic adjustable seats and remote start are the adds; no scoop on the hood is the minus. Chrome = gross to me. I LOVE MY 2012!!! I'll go without the heated bun warmers. Sorry for the radio silence, but I've been drydocked for a couple of weeks now - no real fishing to speak of, no paddling and no trips to the beach. We've got some good stuff coming up on the schedule soon - Annapolis Sail Boat Show, a Virginia Beach run, and an upcoming equipment swap that should change the tone of a majority of the upcoming posts.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Surf Taco Rack Assembled

I took some time after work to put the 422XT rack together based on the research I did on the web last night. If you have a Tacoma and want to use these upright bed racks, you will need to cut off the curved end of the liner on the bottom of the rack foot (first picture). I just took a razor blade, scored the liner/pad and pulled. After that, everything else lined up and I bolted it on. Use 5.5 inches from the outer edge of the upright to the end of the aluminum cross bar (not the black end cap) and the distance should be good laterally. The height lines up within millimeters of the roof racks - I couldn't ask for a better setup. There is more wind noise using this setup (if you roll your windows down) past 45 mph - but that is a small price to pay for way more secure long load (SUP boards) carrying capability. After SEVERAL years of seeing this type of rig ferrying boards around Oahu - I FINALLY have mine!!! Now to go surfing....

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Third Rack on the Surf Taco

Not quite "plug and play". Here's the rack Thule 422XT rack I picked up today. My first attempt at installation had me scratching my head. The brackets that hold the rack onto the bed rail weren't clamping down tightly. I did some research on the web and I saw another lead. I'll have to try again tomorrow - ran out of daylight today.

Odds and Ends

The museum even had a knot board and a "Ray and Skate" display. For the smaller size of this museum, they sure did have a lot of interesting exhibits.

RC Sailing Regatta

Marlon had a particular interest in the racing going on - light winds so the action was slower.

Megalodon Mock Up

I got a lead (and a great deal) on a single Thule 422XT rack and we went for a drive to pick it up. On the way back, we stopped in to check out the Calvert Maritime Museum. This place had a little bit of everything I am interested in (almost - no surfboards). Fishing, diving, sailing, aquariums, woodcarving and ecology (and paleontology for Marlon, Noe and La). This place is definitely worth stopping by if you find yourself in the Southern Maryland area. This megalodon skeleton dwarfed everything in the room -

Sand Crab Fly

Gearing up for Virginia Beach...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Kite Speed Sailing Article

No picture for this post - The latest Outside magazine (with Bear on the front) has a pretty interesting article on the pointy tip of the spear collective exploits to push the world's fastest wind powered speed record up. Definitely made me want to put up a kite again (too bad I'm 4 hours from the spot where I know I can do said activity...) Realistically, on our next trip down to the beach, I'll probably get SUP surf and SUP Wavesailing sessions in - you can hardly get skunked with that combo. Throw in the paipo and an 8 wt flyrod and you can't beat those odds. Did I mention I miss the beach???

Friday, August 10, 2012

Break - Fast

We haven't been fishing in over a week or so (plus or minus - work, errands, and all that other "Not Fishing" stuff). Well - we broke that streak today. I used the fatter and heavier killer bug and caught roughly 8 in 30 minutes. For the type of fishing here at the lake, I need to make these flies a little lighter. Tied per instructions with the copper wire winds, these sink pretty quick. I've also been researching whitewater SUP surfing... check back shortly for more on that stuff...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Off The Hook Extreme Catch
This show rocks!!! It just started this week - I saw two episodes and I am HOOKED!!! Eric tries different techniques and different equipment (SUP and homemade raft so far - there are glimpses of jet skis and neck deep wading). If I were to be in a TV series, it'd be this!!! Photo credits to the Discovery Channel/Animal Planet folks.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Tai Gyotaku (and Dinner)

This is my first gyotaku since getting back to Virginia. I worked some with the kids which made the whole experience even better. After printing, I filleted the snapper and served it "blackened" (La approved). I have a few more of these to finish, but this is the first completed print.

Fly Tying Material Organization

I've been looking at websites that show how to tie certain flies. I saw this idea on one of those sites - a cork board set up to show what tying materials you have available. With a 20% off coupon at Michaels, some Gorilla Glue, left over door skin plywood and a few picture frame hangers (I only had to buy the cork panels - everything else was lying around) I now have a wall hanger for fly stuff.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Swabbing the Decks

Life is not all fun and games. We got a lot of errands done today - including cleaning some of the teak furniture we have out in the back porch. Here is a before and after of the larger pieces. After the double seat comes four individual chairs (ugh). Just like on a sailboat, proper maintenance (SWABBING THE DECK YEE LANDLUBBERS) leads to a ready boat.

Helmet Mounted GoPro 2 Tenkara Pictures

I tried out the remote/wifi setup - I was targeting a big catch to get pictures of the Daiwa Soyokaze 27SR getting bent while kicking a big bluegill's tail.
I think the funny thing is when you want something to happen, it usually doesn't - the fish weren't taking. I caught two the whole afternoon. The first was very early on and I didn't have the camera on; the second was a big one, but I filled the SD card and couldn't get it on film.
The wind was really up and casting a No.3 level line was very hard - there is always tomorrow....

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New Shrimp!!!

I ordered a colony of Opae ula (the Hawaiian name for the indigenous Anchialine Shrimp). We got them in today and got the tank setup. I have seen these guys through the years - at the Waikiki Aquarium and in stores on Oahu where they are kept in sealed containers in "ecosystems". After doing a bunch of research, I got this colony from Fuku-Bonsai on the Big Island. The kids are pretty excited (and so am I)!

Fly Tying Progress

The latest flies I tied up: from the bottom up - kebari-ish on a 16, a half-thickness Killer Bug and a "per instruction" full-thickness Killer Bug - both on 14 size hooks. On the vise is the head on a clouser on a size 4 hook. The small flies are obviously for the freshwater (lake behind our neighborhood), but the clousers and the sand crab flies I will be tying are targeting Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks (later in August or September).