Archive for the ‘Curation’ Category

You Learn Something New Every Day

What  Privateers, Free Cities, and Heavy Metal Bands Have in Common

This is the most random post, but also the post most closely aligned with my original vision for this blog – Curation.  I’m not even going to write much here, but you’ll get the point.

Item the first:

Screenprint of Danzig

Screenprint of Danzig

Item the second:

Danzig at Sweden Rock Festival 2010

Danzig at Sweden Rock Festival 2010

Item the third:

Flag of the Free City of Danzig

Flag of the Free City of Danzig

Item the fourth (bringing us full circle):

The Ship Peter von Danzig

The Ship Peter von Danzig

I am bemused that the screen print that caught my eye, which I thought might be a pirate ship, was of this 15th century ship, which once carried sea salt (a subject of much enchantment for me, thanks to Kurlansky’s book Salt: A World History) and later became a privateer with a letter of marque (a subject of much enchantment for me, thanks to … well … everything, but especially Sherry’s book Raiders and Rebels: A History of the Golden Age of Piracy).  But to get there… I was reminded of the band Danzig (I briefly listened to them in my “I’m gonna be just like my cool older cousin” tween years), and learned of the Free City of Danzing, which was enchanting because of the fact that in my beloved Game of Thrones (or, more accurately, the “A Song of Ice and Fire” saga) there are “Free Cities” like Qarth.

And now you have learned something(s?) new today.  And I have finally achieved my dubious goal of curation.  Curiosity for the win!


Now THAT is a Party Invitation!

Just read it.  Take it all in.  THAT, my friends, is how you do a party invitation.  And yes, this is an actual party I’ve been invited to by some of the most incredible party-throwing friends I’ve ever known.  Let me know in the comments what you think my talent should be, or how I should dress!

Invitation CoverInvitation page1Invitation page 2 Invitation page 3 Invitation page 4 Invitation page 5

Indian Summer Love

San Franciscans love to make a big deal about “Indian Summer,” and every year it seems to be more and more important to me personally.  I’ve always loved it, but living in a foggy neighborhood like Westwood Park means that sunshine is to be celebrated and sometimes, sought out.  The weather forecast had been promising heat for days, and all we got was fog.  Yesterday the mercury finally started to rise, and the sun peeked out from the clouds for a few hours.  And today I awoke to a bright sunny day so I knew the higher temps were finally coming!

With Sean still away at the bachelor party, I packed up the boys and headed east to Oakland.  We spent a couple of hours visiting with family friends similarly without their patriarchs, and then I took the boys to check out a home for sale in Orinda that I’ve been coveting on Trulia for some time.  The home was about what I’d expected, but was really more remote than I was hoping.  Still, it was on 2.72 acres, and had beautiful views of Mt. Diablo, a gorgeous swimming pool, lots of beautiful gardens, and loads more open space to have horses or whatever – I was thinking chickens…  Anyway, the house wasn’t right for us (not to mention really expensive), but it was good to scratch it off my list for daydreaming.

We’ve been pondering the possibility of moving to the east bay.  Hence the Trulia stalking of homes for sale in Oakland, Piedmont, Berkeley, and Orinda.  But today was a day that made us want to stay right where we are.  After the long drive home (translation: that commute would suck), we went to our backyard and set up our tent for the first time since before Declan was born.  The kids, naturally, treated it like some kind of fighting arena.  But whatever – having enough space on the lawn to do this is pretty cool.  Maybe 2.72 acres would give me space for chickens, but at least in the city I have enough room for my monkeys… for now.

Thoughts on the Costa Concordia Tragedy

I’ve been on many cruises and have a family friend who is a retired Captain and Commodore. I greatly respect maritime traditions, and the expectation that the captain goes down with the ship is indisputably the most profound assumption of personal responsibility asked of leaders in modern society. That a man could fall short of this expectation is not surprising.

However, the totality of the circumstances here tell me that Captain Schettino was at best a reckless showboat and a coward, and at worst a monster unconcerned with his passengers’ safety or even determined to harm them. He should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

He’s admitted to running aground while showing off to a retired Captain who lives on the island they were passing. Then he apparently did not issue an SOS for an hour, nor did he instruct passengers to muster; finally, he declared abandon ship. He then claims he tripped and fell into a lifeboat, after which time he refused to comply with orders from the coast guard to re-board the ship and report on the number of crew, passengers, women, and children still aboard.

His actions were cowardly and criminal and cost many innocent lives. My thoughts go out to the victims and their families. And I hope the other ambitious mariners out there who would seek to become captains of luxury cruise ships will think twice about their motivations. With great power comes great responsibility.

Listen for yourself to his conversation with the coast guard

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