Sunday, September 25, 2005

A light wind race...

starting with great hopes

Took Dog Days out to challenge our Encinal Yacht Club commodore in the annual Commodore's Challenge Cup race. Okay, Dog Days is not a racer. With her 201 PHRF rating against the 75 PHRF of Commodore's Antrim 27, it was no match. We came in last, DFL, but what the hell, we had a lot of fun. And now we get to arise early for work on Monday morn. Cheers all!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Hawaiian memories...

My sweetie went back to work today after a long vacation. It was hard to roll out of bed and dress for the day, but I know she's happy to be making a contribution to the world. I'll be joining her soon - albeit only for a few weeks and part-time at that - and, I agree, it feels good. But going back to work sharpens the memories of our summer's adventures.

Last week, we took a drop-of-the-hat trip to Kaua'i for five days, invited by friends Michael and Judy. What a treat! Swimming in warm Hawaiian waters, visiting lush tropical landscapes, eating the freshest of fish, and being warm all over all of the time. It's hard to imagine what could be a better end to a summer.

And, to top it off, just before we left, Michael and I caught a ride with Doug Gibson in his personally constructed catamaran Malihini for the first race in Nawiliwili Yacht Club's Harvest Series. Winds topped 30-knots true, and swells reached at least 10 feet.


More photos

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Our friends, the energy companies...

David Lazarus writes about corporate "fuzzy feel-good ads" in the San Francisco Chronicle. A nice article, it reminded me of the long history of this sort of corporate behavior.

These sorts of corporate advertising campaigns date back to World War One, when corporations shifted product-oriented ads to corporate-good-citizen ads so as not to appear too self-interested to the citizenry. They, of course, have persisted ever since, allowing corporations to get their name out there while not appearing to be hucksters for their products. Indeed, public radio and public television, which boast they have no advertising, have given in to the corporate world almost completely by allowing "non-advertising" advertising from their corporate sponsors.

Lazarus points to the case of Chevron, which recently ran an ad in the New Yorker announcing that "the world consumers two barrels of oil for every barrel discovered. So isn't this something you should be worried about?" Well, Chevron has been billing itself as an "energy company" not an "oil company" since the 1970s oil crises. Then it put on a major ad campaign about its efforts in "alternative energy sources" and "renewables," including hosting educational retreats for community college social science and humanities professors who the company perceived were bashing the oil and gas industry. I went to one, a lavish all-expenses paid weekend in Carmel-by-the-Sea, and was stunned by the firm's self-aggrandizement. Why am I not surprised to see that Chevron hasn't changed.

They easily spent $100 million a year in the 1970s on these efforts; and now they brag that they're spending that much now. $100 million per year for thirty years that's $3 billion. And what alternatives have they come up with? Just lots of corporate advertising. It's an absolute abomination!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

An estuary sunset...

A gorgeous two days of sailing the bay on Dog Days closed with a short trip home under our navigation lights and in the setting sun after a visit to Jack London Square for dinner. It just doesn't get any better than this.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Boat haul-out...

On the way back from our camping trip, Deb and I first headed for the marina showers, and then spent the night aboard Spindrift, our Cal 39 II. Next morning, we took her down to Svendsen's Boatyard for a haul-out.

It's always a thrill to watch them hoist a 17,000+ pound boat out of the water (for more see Spindrift's maintenance log)

Annual camping trip...

As the tragedy of the gulf coast seemed to worsen and worsen over the Labor Day Weekend, our annual camping trip with age-old friends was more than a welcome relief. We ventured off to Stampede Reservoir, a bit northeast of Truckee and north of Lake Tahoe. We expected a mob of campers, but were thrilled to discover that we had the waterfront near our group campsite to ourselves. It was peaceful - just the sort of escape from the world we all seemed to want. Photo album