Saturday, January 31, 2009

Today's Rant: Truth in Advertising - The Politics of Slicing Pork Products

I know that if you want to claim your book has been revised, you have to change something like 20% of the content. I also know if you want to claim your food product is 'reduced fat' you have to drop at least 30% of the calories.

My question, who the hell is watching over the bacon industry?

This 'thick sliced' label is a joke. the most recent package of so called thick sliced bacon, which I bought, wouldn't be considered thick by the most anorexic super-model wannabe.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Winter Getaway Recap

Days away - 19
Airline legs - 8
Train legs - 1 (Eurostar from London to Paris)
Blogging sailors we met - 2 (Captain JP and the GPW)
Positive experience with French waiters - 1.5
Nasty French waiters in Paris - 3 (impressive considering we were only in France for 29 hours)
Women on quiet Paris side streets who tossed their heads and huffed after hearing our American accents - 1
Nasty people elsewhere - 0
Days until our planned return to Paris - [insert scientific notation here]
Colds acquired - 1 each
Family and friends caught up with - 4
Tapas plates consumed - dozens
Bottles of Rioja consumed - 1.2 per day (in Spain)
Scarves purchased by Kris - all of them (1 for Greg, 2-3 for friends, many for Kris [all worth it])
Countries visited - 5 Conch Republic, UK, France, Spain, Gibraltar
Sailing excursions - 2
Fish and chip platters - 6
Flamenco bars - 3
Number of times we said of Vejer, "This place is incredible." - 47

Back to Stumptown

We had a great trip to Europe. I posted a bunch of pictures of Spain on my Facebook. Make me your friend (hint: I'm one of the Greg O'Sheas) and you can see them.

I'm putting some shots in here from our daytrip to Barbate, just down the road from Vejer de la Frontera, my new favorite place in the world. There's a shot from the yacht club deck

Some very old bottles of Bordeaux in a display inside the yacht club.

And a couple of shots from the fishing boat basin.

Kris was trying to capture the best angle on a lot full of anchors. Hundreds of old, rusted kedge anchors stacked in a yard near the fishing boats.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Adirondack II

Some more shots from our sail on Adirondack II. This is her first winter in Key West and I'm not sure how well it's going, but it was a fantastic day for a sail for us.

I raised the mainsail and got a turn at the helm on the way out.

There's also a shot of a cruiser we passed on our way in.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Some More Key West

On Day Two in Key West we sailed with the racing schooner Adirondack II and crew. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day for sailing or a more fantastic boat to sail.

Here's Kris making nearly ten knots on a beam reach.

And here's Greg speaking with a couple of young ladies about the finer points of ship's system preventive maintenance. In particular, this discussion centered on the quarterly scheduled maintenance requirements of the DeLaval Lube Oil Purifier.

Some Key West

I've managed to meet two of my fellow sailing bloggers (blogging sailors?). Had a couple of pints in The Boathouse with Captain JP last night, after a weekend of fun in Key West with Jolea.

Here's Kris helming the Liberty Clipper on our way back in from the sunset cruise.

And here are Kris and Jolea with a young lady we met on Duval Street.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Wrath of the Gypsy Pirate Wench

We got in on a sunset sail with the GPW, taking a trip out on the Liberty Schooner. It was a nice little cruise on a beautiful big boat. It was fun hauling the sails up, too. I tried to get at the back of the rope line and the crew moved me up right behind them and made me work. Good thing I'm married, because my forearms are still wiped from hauling that thing up. (This is officially not a family blog.)

Kris had a chance to helm the schooner and we had to pry it away from her, AGAIN. She's showing her true colors each time she gets a chance to go sailing; she somehow ends up with the wheel in hand.

With Kris hogging the helm so often, I expect our boat's autopilot will have a pretty cake job once we get ourselves onboard and underway. Taking applications now.

Jolea also managed to get us into a cabaret show in which I ended up on the stage as the center of attention from a young lady of dubious origin.

I think I PRed last night. I would have thought it was a world record for drunkeness, but I'm in Key West and there seem to be some champions here that are far and away past what I'm capable of.

What a day ... and night.

We hit the pool this morning to help us feel human again. Now we are off to meet the schooner kid and see if we can wrangle a ride on the Adirondack II. She was out last night the same time as us, but managed to sail a hell of a lot further. She's a fast one and we look forward to the chance to sail her today.

Pictures to come!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Omphaloskepsis Virus Spreading

Uh-oh, now Black Hockey Jesus is getting all Derrida on us over at The Wind in your Vagina.

This turn of the calendar, while awaiting the return of our Northern Hemisphere sun, must be the season for us to gaze at our navels and wonder; wonder 'why not go ahead and get the double cheeseburger?"

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Papa Doble, Pint'o'Guiness, A Fine Bordeaux, and some Sherry in Jerez

Kris and I fly tomorrow morning to Ft. Lauderdale for the beginning of our January odyssey. We are hoping to sail with the Gypsy Pirate Wench in Key West this weekend, have lunch with cousin Butch in Miami on Sunday, a pint with Captain JP in Putney on Monday/Tuesday, a glass of Bordeaux with cousin Laurent in Paris the following Friday, tapas in Sevilla that weekend, and a glass of sherry at the source in Jerez!

The timing looks good for me to get a day at the Excel boat show in London, too. Kris will be bogged down with client interaction at the Kensington Olympia, hopefully allowing me time to slip away for a boat ride down the Thames.

Fingers crossed that the winter will be fading by the time we return, end of January. Let the sailing commence!

Friday, January 2, 2009

2009 - Day 2

I just ran to Winco for some taco making supplies for tonight's shindig with old friends. I took A along and left M at home with Kris. I love how my kids immediately seek each other out after short absences away from one another.

As soon as we got in the door A was off like a shot to find her sister. They circle around each other like denizens of the local dog park, tails wagging, sidelong glances only, nothing too direct; me half expecting them to sniff each others' butts, as they quiz one another about what's transpired over the past 35 minutes.

They probe cautiously, expecting the other one to have transformed in some significant way during this absence.