Kayaking for Dummies

We took a short trip up to Whidbey Island this weekend to visit our friends Fred and Laurie. Included in the trip were kayaking lessons courtesy of Fred and all the fresh goat milk we could drink courtesy of Laurie and her goats Sugar, Kimmy and Soleil. She makes a lot of stuff from the goat juice such as Feta Cheese, creamy goat cheese, yogurt and.....whey. All were pretty good, particularly the Feta. The whey left a little something to be desired......it sends chills down my spine to think of the taste. Laurie insists it is an acquired taste and Fred drinks the stuff like it is iced tea, I couldn't quite share in their enjoyment of it. It is the liquid left over after milk curdles during the cheese making process. Fred and Laurie whipped us up some pretty gourmet meals though, bbq'ed salmon and chicken, fresh eggs for breakfast....very delicious!!

It was a little chilly this weekend but that didn't stop us from going out for a paddle. It was my first time in a kayak and Fred was a very patient instructor. First lesson, getting into the kayak, I guess it never occurred to me that I would have to learn the proper way to get into the thing....Second lesson, escaping the kayak when it turns upside down. This lesson consumed the bulk of my kayaking excursion, not because I wanted to become very good at it but because the first kayak I tried seemed to prefer being bottom up. I think it's because I'm a little top heavy, I must have almost twice the weight in my upper body than the lean mean kayaking machine Fred. Either way, after perfecting the egress technique and slipping into a new boat I managed to shakily paddle all the way around Deer Lake without flipping at all. I was very happy about this and am shopping around for my own kayak now, one that is suited for the heavier paddler.....

This year I will be making my first visit to Sparks Lake. Rachel's family and friends go every year and many of them stay for over two weeks. This weekend we will be going for four days to join about thirty other sparkophiles for camping, swimming, paddling and hammocking....I can't wait!!


Operation JOE M.A.M.A. (Episode II)

In the cold drizzle of a typical winter morning in Everett, Washington one man embarked on a United States Warship with a dream, a mission and...........a doll. His codename is "Danny Boy," his mission, escort G.I. Joe on his travels around the world. This is his story........

Episode II
"Toy Meets Girl"
Joe Visits Hong Kong

One of the most fascinating things about Hong Kong to Westerners is the overwhelming presence of the Buddhist religion, a favorite past time of sailors* is visiting the Buddhist temples including the Giant Buddha on Lantau Island guarded by monks of the Po Lin Monastery:

"Wow! That's a lotta Buddha!"

A long day of walking around looking at Buddhas is bound to make anybody thirsty....Just remember to observe the rules and customs of the host nation when heading out for a good time....

"Yo.....Barkeep! Gimme a
black n' tan, and make
it a triple!"

All good port visits
include a frosty beverage...
or three.....

No Navy** port is far from an Irish Pub. While enjoying the experience of being in a foreign land it's nice to be able to find a place that brings you back to home sweet home.

"Let's roll, this place is dead anyway..."
Have you ever heard of the Sirens in the tale of Odysseus? The streets of Hong Kong are full of the modern version of these hazardous women...the Mama Sans will literally grab you as you walk by and try with all their might to pull you in to their establishment, a drunken sailor is no match for this brutality and in many cases will give in after a long struggle and go watch the naked women for a while.....Joe was not so difficult to convince.....
"Geez lady, quit yankin' my chain!"

"You ladies sure are friendly. Hey, do you validate parking?"

Ahhh, Hong Kong, what a wonderful city, all good things must come to an end though. Cinderella Liberty is well known by anybody who has been in the Navy. Like Cinderella, the sailors must return to their ship by midnight or they will turn into an orange member of the squash family. Well, not quite, but if they don't they won't be seeing land anytime soon!


*In the interest of national security and the safety of my brothers in the Navy, the timeline of this series has been falsified, the names of ports and order in which they were visited may have been changed.

**This site is in no way affiliated with the United States Navy. Opinions and technical information are generated purely by the semi-twisted mind of the author.


The Art 111 Show

I got my portfolio back from my Beginning Drawing class today and wanted to share a few of my favorite drawings from the class. If you are interested in contributing to my tuition fund, I am willing to let go of these fine pieces for a mere $1,253.87 each. ACT NOW!! These things are flying off the shelf!!! Anyways, it was a lot of fun, it always amazes me how quickly you sink into a different reality while drawing. The class was over three hours long four days a week but time speeds up when you have your favorite implement in hand and it seems like the class just flew by me! It was nice because almost every day we started and finished one complete drawing....enjoy.....

Hey Mart, "They're balloons...for a party." Remember that?

For some reason, this one was the most enjoyable to draw...

A Landscape drawn while camping at Olallie Lake...complete with skeeter guts...

Scratch that, THIS was the most enjoyable to draw!! Artists love nudity...

A still life in Charcoal...

I had to whip this one up at home, I really like it but I don't think it's finished,
I think I'll add a mermaid in the middle and go for some much more contrasting values...
Love the Anchor though.....


Oh, Right......My Blog

I finished up my art class and now finally have a little free time to get some blog posts in and take some nice morning runs before the heat gets too bad. It has been a fantastic month for Rach and I, we went to see the best fireworks show I've ever seen at Gasworks park for Fourth of July, two of my very best friends from Omaha, Katie and Kyle took a visit up here to celebrate Katie's recent Graduation, we took a fantastic camping trip with Rachel's parents up to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest at the foot of Mt. Adams and we encountered the Seafair pirates at their landing on Alki Beach. We've been so busy having fun and relaxing that we breathed a sigh of relief this weekend when we finally had no plans. So, what do you do with a weekend off? Well, we decided to reorganize the entire house, buy a fish and finally install some tow hooks on my Jeep that I found at a junkyard about four years ago(talk about procrastination!!) Rachel managed to take the data off her old hunk o' junk computer since she bought a new laptop and she was nice enough to let me borrow her flat screen monitor. So my computer is now running an episode of Family Guy and instant Messenger on my top screen and I'm writing blogs and emails on my bottom screen.....it's geektastic!!!

Here are some pictures of our most recent camping trip on Rachel's family blog, and some from my camera:

The view from our campsite on Olallie Lake at sunrise, Mt. Adams
in the distance, yes I was actually up this early, Dad.

Seaton deftly maneuvers his Jeep along a narrow mountain trail
to the white-knuckled delight of his passengers.

Rach and I took the long way home to get some amazing
views of Mt. Rainier.

Big tree.......