May 09, 2016

Looking North

Kingston Ferry at its berth in Edmonds, Washington, April 2016

May 06, 2016

The Sinking of Boaty McBoatface

In an ill-concieved attempt to raise public support for the construction of a £200 million Arctic research vessel, the Natural Environment Research Council of Britain engaged the public in a contest to nominate and vote for the name of the new ship. James Hand, exercising what he later came to regret as an excess of whimsey, offered the name "Boaty McBoatface" for the vessel, and the public, responding to the poll with a resounding unseriousness, voted overwhelmingly in its favor.

Embarassingly, nothing in the remit of the Natural Environment Research Council encouraged whimsey. They had a fallback position, which they hastened to exercise: ignore the poll result completely and go with their own choice in the matter.

Thus Sir Other Attenbourough was called in from the bullpen to lend his anodyne name and its associations to the ship, which even James Hand allowed was probably for the best.

May 05, 2016

Arbitrary Harbor View

Harbor Dredgers, Santa Cruz, February 2016

May 02, 2016

An Even-Numbered Year in Song And Story

A month into this year's baseball season the San Francisco Giants are the only club in MLB's National League West Division with a winning record at home. In April the Arizona Diamondbacks staggered around the unfriendly confines of their own home Chase Field for a stretch of 17 games of which they won only five. The Dodgers gained but five wins at home during that time, too, losing eight of the 13 they've hosted so far. All the teams in the division have lost at least eight games at home, except, of course, for the San Francisco Giants with their winning record, who have lost only six at AT&T Park a month now into the season.

May 01, 2016

Jazz Is Never Out Of Date

by Max Roach and C. Bayen

Mendacity, mendacity, it makes the world go round.
A politician makes a speech and never hears the sound.
The campaign trail winds on and on in towns from coast to coast.
The winner ain't the one who's straight, but he who lies the most.

Now voting rights in this fair land we know are not denied.
But if I tried in certain states, from treetops I'd be tied.
Mendacity, mendacity, it seems is everywhere.
But try and tell the truth, and most folks scream "Not Fair!"