Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Mya

Here's Ted Kennedy single-handing a 60 foot schooner called the 'Mya.' He was an expert at doing this, and while he loved taking family and friends offshore for a sail, he basically did it all despite a crippling injury he had in 1996. I don't know if the Mya was an Alden design or some other racing schooner design, but she was a fast girl and Ted Kennedy was one of the fastest sailors. I could only drool about possessing such a boat down here on SPI.

You know, I don't care what in the cotton patch you think about Ted Kennedy and his brand of politics. Go tell it on the mountain. But anyone who could single-hand a two-masted sailboat with five sails, wow, this guy was good. I can almost see the man putting the autopilot on two points lee of the wind and cranking up the main, then the fore, then the staysail, and if it's not too windy, the jib. Ahhh, turn off the pooter diesel and set the lines just so.

Very few people can even attempt to do this, although I think I could give it a whirl because I grew up on sailboats. Not that I ever had a million dollar sailboat. You have to give credit to Ted Kennedy because he could handle 20 lines all by himself to win or place in a sailboat race.

Like a punk kid like me, Ted was always in the shadow of his brothers like John and Robert, who were both assassinated by retarded redneck assholes. But nobody shot poor Ted (although the hatred exists even today), and thus the legacy of the Mya continues today. Last I heard, one of the family hauled up the American flag halfway up the main halyard of the Mya, just as they would do a century ago. The poor Mya has nobody to love her anymore, something I find quite sad.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Another Season Passes

photo credit: Sandy Feet

There are still a bunch of people on SPI, although the massive droves appear to be gone until next year. It was a good year, aside from being dry. I guess a bunch of rain would have hurt the tourism industry, but we're ready for rain now.

It's my favorite time of year now, all the way until when the first cool northers blow in sometime at the end of October or early November. It's when us islanders start doing stuff, like that remodeling project or fixing the lawn (if it would rain, thank you). We're looking at a new back porch patio door, for example. I had to go to remedial school just to learn how to get the engineering and permitting in the works! Fortunately, I know the local engineer and the building permit dude, so all isn't that bad - just involves pushing some paper for Texas Windstorm and of course, paying more money than you originally thought.

On the news front, not much to report other than Dewey the city manager abruptly left office on Thursday morning, details not known and nobody is talking. The body surfing was good yesterday and we might hit the beach for another session today. Sure is nice on the beach now, honest.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Feeling "Music-y"

For some reason the media somewhere mentioned Woodstock and the glory days of rock 'n' roll and well here I am. In addition, Les Paul, guitar inventor and wizard, died today on the 13th. I could talk island scuttlebutt, county corruption, or why a SPI forum really sucks but naw, other things are on my mind: musica.

Lets try this for starters: 'Star Spangled Banner'

Oh yeah baby, get your ukuleles and kazoos in the "up" position and let's play along. Hey imagine doing this when they set the fireworks off? No problem if you hit a bum note, you got cover! That's really what us islanders are about, having fun.

But you have to admit that Leo Fender and Les Paul, the electric guitar gods, were pretty smart. See, the guitar strings were metal, and the guitar pickups were simply electromagnets powered by some electricity: if you changed the closeness and frequency of the metal strings to the magnet, you change the frequency of the electrical current. It is no coincidence that Leo Fender and Les Paul used to play with radios, since they new about frequency and amplitude issues. I'm still trying to figure it out!

For you acoustic players with no metal strings and a hollow body, your pickup is more like a small microphone, although most the good ones are piezoelectric. If you need a link for amping your D'Jambe or something, here ya go.

Well OK, you can get lost in the sauce on that link, moving right along. I really don't know much about this but I can say, SPI has a recording studio at Dave's and we have some talent you wouldn't believe, like the "digital mixer man" who lives here and has a shop over in Bayview, mastering folks like Joe Ely and stuff.

Let's play the good music and drown out these rats who complain all the time. Kumbaya ...

Monday, August 10, 2009

WTH, Let's Save Mohawk

According to Scarlett Colley, this is Mohawk, a baby dolphin who not only got a prop scar but ended up with some yellow fishing line all entwined into his skin. Hey some kids are like that. So we were out on Scarlett's boat and took this picture -- how cool is that? We got kinda bummed though, because if Mohawk isn't rescued, he or she will most certainly die. Anyway, Mohawk is called that because of a bad prop scar on his head. Or her's. Mama ain't talkin'.

So yeah what to do? Scarlett says getting the boat, equipment, people, and stuff is like a couple of thousand dollars. It is strictly regulated by the Feds and you need hired pros or something. Sounded steep to me too, but we'll see. We've raised money for sick musicians, an island museum, sea turtles, and all kinds of strange things and a couple grand wasn't all that hard. I know my wife is a heckuva fundraiser too when Samantha was a dancer in high school. For now, try this site for contact information - the SPI Nature Center website appears to have been hacked.

I wouldn't be spouting off on this if I hadn't seen Mohawk several times now, who seems to be spouting just fine right now in spite of prop and fishing line injuries. The fear is that that the fishing line will cut into the baby as it grows, literally slicing its fatty outer layer. Pretty gross but that's why we are so concerned. Please can you help?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

More Island Scutlebutt

As the dog days of August roll in, with not a hint of tropical moisture except for some dew, thoughts shift to the more mundane - or at least mine do. I'm pretty oblivious to most of the island rumor mill, although from time to time I catch some of it.

The biggest one is "forms based code" instead of zoning, which appears to be a nice idea although it so politically charged it could explode. One innuendo is that some powerful islanders are trying to sneak it in the back door before us poor sleepy-heads can figure out what happened, and I shall not name names.

The seafood, music, redfish, beer and bait festival will he held sometime in September, not the November time slot like the last two years. We wish it goes well -- I'll be there for a day for sure. The rumor about that one is soooo outlandish and extreme you'll have to bribe me for the inside scoop.

Meanwhile, some residents of the "E" district on the bayside want to kick out everyone except for the residents themselves, thinking themselves far superior to anyone else. That's funny, I live a an old bungalow and think the few travelers we get here are cute, especially the girls who walk to the bay thinking it's the ocean. Of course I have to help these fine Americans find their way, right?

A bay dolphin named Mohawk was found with fishing line wrapped all around it, and I was on Scarlet Colley's boat when she shot film of it. A rescue is underway to save the poor fella.

I guess y'all know the oil washing up on the beach was soooo last week. That was interesting, as the media jumped all over that, not that it had any effect on the tourism. They never did find the source of the crude oil "plops," but there's absolutely no problems now and there is no oil on the beach. There is no jellyfish or seaweed on the beach either -- now that's a little unusual.

Sea turtle nestings are slightly down on SPI as compared to last year, although Jeff George says that turtles are cyclical, good, and not to worry. The nesting season is pretty much over although we could see a couple in August as we have in the past several years.

The Home Rule Commission I sit on only has one more meeting and then we're finis, done. Yay! Every property owner gets a copy and if you have can vote here, there'll be a vote on that and some amendments to the Texas Constitution -- not sure if anyone has any elections of interest.

It's still dry here and unless you sprinkle or have a sprinkler system, your vegetation looks like heck now. It's the driest I've seen it in years or maybe decades. They say Rockport to Austin is even worse, but we're suffering pretty bad. I may lose some plumerias, bummer. The water table is just too low. Even the land crabs have disappeared.

The possum, on the other hand, has reappeared. I saw two tonight. It's almost possum trapping season although not cool enough yet. This year I'm going to mark their back with a painted number to see how many come back from the end of the road!

The Camp Craft gals and thesbians are are up their usual and wily tricks and happiness, and there's no shortage of fun with these gals. Us poor men ... where's the glory and love?

So-and-so got divorced and looks like a million bucks, Rob's wife is having a baby, and Lucinda smiled about a new boyfriend from the old days, all good stuff.

Aside from trying to ID some jerk doofus on the SPI Forums, and coping with the summer weekend crowds, not much else report other than is was great to see my daughter for three weeks. Until the next update,