PRINT The Berkeley Bubble – Vol. 1, Issue 2 of The LiveAboard Series

September 24, 2014 - Leave a Response

For the first issue of The LiveAboard Series, Dock Dorks, I tried KickStarter to raise some funds to finish that project.  Despite not knowing much about social media, I raised $6k of the $10k (much of which would have gone to fees and taxes) in one week.  KickStarter rules are that if you don’t raise the whole amount you get none.

So I am trying GoFundMe on the advice of a friend.  There is no deadline for how long the campaign goes, and I can keep improving my pitch, rewards, etc. along the way.

See here for what I have going so far:

If you have any ideas for how I can make the cartoon fundraiser more compelling, please tell me.  I find I start wallowing in a “why would anyone help me?” place that’s dumb but has something to do with the nasty subconscious voice of judgement.  Who has, by the way, appeared in other comics of mine as it’s own character…

GypsyLifeYou can see that comic and the Voice of Judgement Bug more clearly here.

Stretching Our Wings

September 12, 2014 - Leave a Response

The Falconry has begun in earnest.  See below for the first in a series of bird related activities offered by Adam’s Falconry Service.  Especially now that I am officially on the crew.  Click Here.HamiltonFlyer

Landlubber Life

July 31, 2014 - Leave a Response

I’m just as restless on land as I was on the water, so I must conclude,
it’s me, not any particular environment at fault.IMG_1715 Austin, however, is at ease no matter where he is.

He is a good little traveler.  Even when things are starting to look questionable.
In no time at all we will be back on the water, and then, all of this
bumpy, brushy, rainy, mountainy, good ol boy scenery
will be gone.
It will be, as if, a dream.


Apprentice Interruptus

July 4, 2014 - One Response


In March I stopped working for On the Wing Falconry and I thought it would be a long time before I got to spend time with raptors again. Not so! I am now working for the owner of Adam’s Falconry Service and have started my two year apprenticeship clock for real.

I hung out with Lee Lu the female Harris’ Hawk and Tyrian the crabby Aplomado for a day.  Lee Lu decided by the end of the afternoon that I might be ok, as far as humans go.  Tyrian, however, stomped his tiny little feet and said, “you’re not the boss of me! I don’t have to do what you say!” and other things you might utter to an unwelcome substitute teacher.

I know that I will win the teeny raptor over in time.  I just can’t let him eat so much right away.  Teeny bites for a Teeny Birdy.  I can’t be mad at him, he’s too cute.

If you are wondering what that vehicle picture is doing down there, that’s the style van I am considering for my falconry mobile.  I did not imagine I would be seeking a car again so soon.  It’s been ten years since I bought my last car online, sight unseen.

Leaving the Hotel California

June 30, 2014 - Leave a Response


Image Goodbye tiny town with lots of problems.

I thought Avalon might be my “forever home,” in the parlance of animal rescue agencies.  It felt like it had all of the components to allow me to thrive and grow to be more me.  But it did not and I was not.  I am just one of the large herd of wannabe residents who try to set down roots on the rock and then have to leave because the numbers just don’t add up.

I applied for all of the “real” jobs that were appropriate for my skill set.  Over the course of 15 months I was in Avalon I tried for Harbor Patrol twice, Dispatcher, Recreation Dept. Asst., and Harbor Office Admin. I worked as a deckhand, in a cafe, on poop patrol for the camp-in beaches, helped out at Pony Club, taught ballroom dance, had a weekly radio show (which I will be continuing if I can), wrote and took pictures for the local paper, proofed that same paper and covered the Avalon office for three weeks in the winter.  I also spent 10 months learning about how not to do falconry and writing contracts to allow that instructor to continue working there.

It has been a whirlwind.  And strangely hard to leave.

But now I have done it.  In an 8 hour motorsail crossing I have returned to the mainland.

I was not anticipating a feeling of relief being back in “civilization.”  I like how it feels here.   The marina is oddly quiet for a pre-fourth of July week.  The internet is INSTANT.  That was a chief frustration on the rock.  The internet connection in Avalon is very third world.  There are amenities and a stillness here, tied down on four corners, that I do not associate with boats.  I did not like living on a bouncy buoy.  It feels like how it was to enter US Customs after traveling in countries where the the things that we spoiled Americans have grown to expect just don’t exist. 

The week before my departure I participated in an amazing radio bootcamp known as Avalon Speaks run by  I wish I hadn’t been so stressed during that week.   I would have been more playful and engaged and fun.  I am nevertheless glad for the experience and look forward to being able to say “I knew them when” about the very talented participants.  They also helped me notice how “island insular” I had become.  These are people who were not cowed by 20 dollar words.  They spoke fast and had Ideas and Observations.  I miss that.  I realized I had dampened and muffled my own impulse to emote and create in the desire to fit in.  And even muffled, I made waves.

Here is the link to hear the short and amazing audio pieces produced by the Transom Workshop.

So I’ve broken free.  And a new adventure awaits.

Stay tuned, sports fans.


Suspense and Squishy Floaty things

June 8, 2014 - Leave a Response

Waiting to hear your fate be revealed is nerve-wracking in the extreme.  I have applied for some pretty interesting jobs, and so far have been turned down for half.  I try not to take this personally.  I’ve been on the hiring side of the thing and it’s not easy to choose.  So I have been thinking about other things.  Like this weird squishy floating dead thing in the harbor.ImageIt looked like someone misplaced their brain.

Which I sometimes do. 

And then I started imagining my little Tiny House in a perfect location.Image

The golf course has great views, super lawns, and nice flat areas to park in.  Image

Somehow I don’t think the Island Co will go for it. 

And did I show you how Austin insinuates himself into Imageevery situation?

These are the things I think about when I




Mysterious Island Indeed

May 21, 2014 - Leave a Response

I was passed over for Harbor Patrol again.  Oh well.  I am told it takes a few tries before you get in.  At least I didn’t flunk the geography test this year.  If I were on the Patrol I would be a bit more concerned about stolen and sabotaged dinghies I think.  Consider this episode that happened last week.  I got into my borrowed skiff and pumped the bulb to start the outboard and fuel began to spray out of the hose.  This is what I observed:

Image    Image
Looks like sabotage, does it not?  I have a drill bit that would make that diameter hole.  But who would want to drill fuel hose on a dink?  The answer according to three independent sources?  Worms.

Yup, occasionally Avalon is home to some mysterious worms that chew up fuel hoses and then die in there.  Well that would be verifiable, wouldn’t it?  So I cut open the holey hose and found … nothing.  The observation by one “know everything” was that those holes were too big for the worm problem.  Three other males who I will not name, suggested that perhaps the worms were pregnant.

And that’s as far as it went.  I googled fuel eating worms and got zippo.   I replaced the hose and carried on with my day.

In other news, I cut most of the tip off the thumb showing in the picture up there today.  It aches a little now.  I’ve bandaged the bejabbers out of it.  I have a feeling it’s going to pulse tonight while I am trying to sleep.

Sleep might be interrupted for other reasons.  It’s gusting up to 30 mph out there.  But the office isn’t that quiet either.  Is there some basketball playoffs thing going on?  That crowd roar always gives me the image of the collosseum and throwing Christians to the lions.  I’ve been up since before dawn so maybe I won’t notice the wind blowing me sideways.

Dingo Weather

May 21, 2014 - Leave a Response

austin WeatherCould be just my advanced imagination at work, but do you see Austin in this weather pattern?

Skateboarders and Scotsmen

May 7, 2014 - Leave a Response

This has been a whirlwind week – literally.  To start, the weekend was crammed with weirdness.  The island was taken over by skateboarders with crash helmets for the annual downhill speed competition.  Austin hates all skateboards and scooters so we avoided the spectacle, but heard the crowds gathered to see the rolling daredevils wipe out on the hairpin curves of Upper Terrace.  I heard that there were also some Rugby Rats here, but I didn’t see any of that first hand.  We were more charmed by the promenade of Scotsmen led by bagpipers to the Casino where they had a ball.  Literally.  I don’t know how Scotsmen dance.  I would have liked to see that but my kilt was at the dry cleaners.

Then the Santa Anas kicked up.  Waves spewed up over the retaining wall and into the streets.  Ferries were halted, trapping visitors for an unexpected extra night.  Latitude 38 ‘lectronic has some photos taken by our very own Harbor Patrol.  There’s so much people drama going on here all the time that bombastic Nature Drama is rather refreshing in contrast.  The winds whipped up the restless hubbub, making hair stand on end with static electricity. 

I am in a state of suspense, waiting to hear which of my job applications actually becomes real.  The girl’s gotta work!

In the meantime the trippy web cam at Mt. Ada caught this bird in flight over Avalon Harbor.  Good timing.



Spring Sprang Sproing

April 22, 2014 - Leave a Response

Austin is irritable. He’s not getting what he wants and he can’t exactly “use his words.”  Sometimes being a dog, bites.  He lets me know that dinner, or the amount of attention he is getting or how much time he has to spend in our office cave alone is unacceptable. This is what it looks like.

Image Then he complains because all of the stuffing is out of his bed and his bed is lumpy and hard.

The rolling motion of the ocean got to him last night and he sighed loudly and grumbled sarcastically.  We jumped ship at first light.  The buoy is proving to be a challenge.  He has complained about the lack of sunshine in the office cave and so I take him outside to take in the fresh air as frequently as possible.  I’ve been working a lot and that leaves him either on the bouncing boat or in the cave. 

Image   ImageImage

That last picture is his dinghy crate hammock.  Keeps him warm and dry while underway.

  Image  He is the Neighborhood Watch too.

We are in a holding pattern right now.  Waiting and watching to see what opportunities present themselves.  Not unlike fishing.
You may have noticed I haven’t been blogging  – without the adventure of a trip it seemed, um, even more frivolous than usual. 
My mantra continues to be:  Anything Can Happen and Usually Does. 


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