A Million Days

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See that guy on the right with the scepter and crown? That’s Sargon II, King of Assyria. And about 1,000,000 days ago he was a really really big deal.

Not so much of a big deal now.

We with our big egos. And our glorious free will. But we’re all simply souls on a speck of dust. 

Strangely, the Creator has figured us into it all anyway.  I guess he has his reasons. Teilhard de Chardin said that God wanted us to participate in His grand Creation, to in a sense be co-creators along side him — in a small way of course. That, and to take care of one another. Yes especially that one.

Which brings up the question: Where will the people of this planet be a million days from now? 

 

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All Hail, USCG!

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USCG 47′ MLB off the coast of Oregon.

“The 47′ Motor Lifeboat (MLB) is designed as a first response rescue resource in high seas, surf and heavy weather environments. They are built to withstand the most severe conditions at sea (winds up to 60 knots, breaking surf up to 20 feet, and impacts up to three G’s) and are capable of effecting a rescue at sea even under the most difficult circumstances. They are self-bailing, self-righting, almost unsinkable, and have a long cruising radius for their size.”

Now THAT’S a boat, mate!

And a great thanks to the men and women of the USCG. 

Mega-Yacht Park, er Marina

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The Pacific Eagle may look in the photo above like a fairly ordinary ketch-type sailboat cruiser. But appearances can be deceiving. Imagine you are at Jurassic World, seeing a brontosaurus at a distance. Seems rather ordinary. But then you get up close…

And that’s the same with this boat: this boat is a mega-yacht.

PACIFIC EAGLE

Builder: Alloy Yachts International
Year: 1989
Designer: Don Brooke
Flag of Registry: New Zealand

Dimensions
LOA: 102 ft.
Beam: 25 ft.
LWL: 88 ft. (guessing)
Draft: 8.5 ft.

She carries a whopping 3400 square feet (yowsah!) of sail. And if that’s not enough, it can get through 200 nautical miles per day on her dual 240 hp diesel engines.

Also, according to the description, she “holds 5000 litres of fresh water that produces 4 litres per minute. She has a massive storage on-board, including over 30 cubic feet of customised freezer space and can be self-contained for over 6 months.” Simply put, this girl was meant to circumnavigate — whether you stop and party at every port is up to you.

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Current cost for this mega-yacht (and remember the Pacific Eagle is now almost 30 years old) is EUR 1,950,000.

It isn’t the biggest sailing yacht in the world. Since 1989 there have been even bigger boats. But the Pacific Eagle was one of the models that launched the limited yet very enthusiastic craze. Me, I’d feel pretty alone on that big ketch all by myself — guess I’d have to hire some friends. LOL

Well, I’ve got about $20. So I was thinking about buying the Titanic. $20 should be enough considering that particular mega-yacht is lying at the bottom of the ocean, broken in two big pieces.

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The Wild Wind is Roaring

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My soul is awakened, my spirit is soaring,
And carried aloft on the wings of the breeze;
For, above, and around me, the wild wind is roaring
Arousing to rapture the earth and the seas.

The long withered grass in the sunshine is glancing,
The bare trees are tossing their branches on high;
The dead leaves beneath them are merrily dancing,
The white clouds are scudding across the blue sky.

I wish I could see how the ocean is lashing
The foam of its billows to whirlwinds of spray,
I wish I could see how its proud waves are dashing
And hear the wild roar of their thunder today!

— Anne Brontë

 

Sailing the Globe All Alone

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The youngest person to circumnavigate the globe single handedly in a sailboat is currently Dutch sailor Laura Dekker, who completed her 518-day trip at the age of 16. She was sailing the Guppy, an older style and slightly modified Jeanneau Gin Fizz ketch.*

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*ketch = these days cruisers called a ketch are more properly a yawl, with a larger main mast and a smaller rearward mizzen mast.

The oldest human to circumnavigate the globe is Minoru Saito of Japan, who completed his extremely difficult “wrong way around” (east to west) voyage at age 77. He did it in a custom 50’ sloop, the Shuten-dohji III.

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This is what the nav station of a circumnavigator looks like (on the Guppy).

Rilke: from The Book of Hours

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You are the future, the great sunrise red
above the broad plains of eternity.
You are the cock-crow when time’s night has fled,
You are the dew, the matins, and the maid,
the stranger and the mother, you are death.

You are the changeful shape that out of Fate
rears up in everlasting solitude,
the unlamented and the unacclaimed,
beyond describing as some savage wood.

You are the deep epitome of things
that keeps its being’s secret with locked lip,
and shows itself to others otherwise:
to the ship, a haven — to the land, a ship.

 

– Rainer Maria Rilke, Poems from the Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
Translated by Babette Deutsch.

 

Private Reserve

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My private reserve.

Of one bottle. 

But that is acceptable. I drink hardly at all anymore. And as far as celebratory occasions go — well one can always hope but in truth that would be a rarity. 

The Browne’s Addition label refers to a neighborhood here in Spokane. My own neighborhood. Which is why I bought it. In truth though as far as the dancers on the label go, that is the Marie Antoinette Ballroom at the Davenport Hotel. Which is very close but actually downtown, not Browne’s Addition. 

Sargent’s Gifts

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I suppose it is natural when thinking of John Singer Sargent for the word “elegance” to pop into one’s head.

But for me, the amazing thing about Sargent has always been his genius for composition, for handling blocks of space. 

“A Venetian woman” (1882) is a great example of what makes me sit and stare at so many of Sargent’s paintings. It is almost as if Sargent said to himself:  “Hey, I know, I’ll take this simply huge rectangular block of dark space. And I’ll put it into a portrait. And make it like half the portrait. And yet somehow…somehow…I’ll get it all to balance out perfectly.”

And so he does. Amazing.

Also a bit unusual in this one: Hiding the left foot. 

Deborah Turbeville 1

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Deborah Turbeville’s fashion editorial for Vogue Italia, 1977. 

The designer was Blumarine. But I can just imagine what their people thought when they first saw the proofs of Turbeville’s gloomy, ghost-like photos showing off their pretty dresses.

To their credit, they decided to run with the editorial anyway. 

Amazing. 

A Few Notes

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God is a creative god, he does not destroy directly. But as creative beings ourselves, like the angels, it is given to us to destroy. In generating the letter sets for a piece of fiction, if we use a set making use of a block such as is used in 12-tone serialism, you essentially end up with nothing more sliding from letter to letter to generate the text than if you simply used the first line of the set:

C R E A T I O N I S T
R E A T I O N I S T C
E A T I O N I S T C R
A T I O N I S T C R E
T I O N I S T C R E A
I O N I S T C R E A T
O N I S T C R E A T I
N I S T C R E A T I O
I S T C R E A T I O N
S T C R E A T I O N I
T C R E A T I O N I S

which in the letter set method is functionally the same as:

C R E A T I O N I S T

and nothing more.
So how do you get the letters to skip?
The answer is you destroy. You remove every other line of the regular block:

C R E A T I O N I S T
E A T I O N I S T C R
T I O N I S T C R E A
O N I S T C R E A T I
I S T C R E A T I O N
T C R E A T I O N I S

I might also mention you could just as well remove two or three rows at a time, but then you would end up with fewer final rows to work with.