Monthly Archives: May 2009

Dictator Humor


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Long Trip in a Small Boat

I am a big fan of people who make long trips in small boats. I am also a big fan of  classic working watercraft. I stumbled across this series of videos by Englishman Dylan Winter the other night and will share them over the next weeks.

In this series Dylan takes his 19 foot sailboat on a circumnavigation of his home island and along the way he encounters and films a wide variety of sailing vessels. In this first video there are some great shots of the Thames sailing barges.Thames_Barges-Canthusus

These boats of the 19th century were used in the Thames Estuary. They were in the 80′ to 90′ range with a beam of around 20′, flat bottomed with a shallow draft of about 3′ and sported huge sprit sails on two masts. They normally were worked with only a two-man crew. They were fitted with lee board to work in the shallow waters. There are some excellent views of these barges in Dillon’s first video.

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I could to this stuff, too…

I just don’t feel like it right now, though…

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#5 on Google Search

Looking for ideas for my second blog,, I did a Google Search using the word SHANTYBOAT Building (Shantyboat-one word). MY blog came in #5 on the list of 1,960 links! THIS blog came in at #19 (second page)

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Bringing People Together

My last post mentioned two old friends that I haven’t been in contact with for years. In one case it has been 4 decades. Within hours I heard from both of them and through a comment in Skip Williamson’s blog ( and got in touch with an old roommate from college.

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Back in the hippy-dippy days of 1968 when I was living in Chicago I was good friends with two underground cartoonists; Skip Williamson and Jay Lynch. Jay used to have a fantasy of hybridizing and miniaturizing cattle until they were the size of mice. Then he’d be able to have a whole herd of them in his apartment. He used to talk about how he could stampede them from one room to another.

Of course, with a miniature herd like that you’d need to have a miniature range to graze them on. Today I ran across the answer. It’s called “Grass for your home or office desk:


Do you need a little extra feng-shui in your home or your office? Why not try a grass square to brighten up your desk and give it a little something extra. These grass squares were designed at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, Israel, by Uri Romano and Assaf Yogev of nine99 Design as a way to combine nature and architecture. By bringing some nature indoors like these moss mats, the designers hoped to provide a grounding piece of nature.

The squares of grass were originally inspired by Frank Loyd Wright’s Fallingwater and how Wright continually strove to connect architecture and nature. All of the packaging for the squares is made completely from recycled materials. Openings on the corners of the package let the grass breathe and help give it a longer shelf life.

You can place these squares anywhere, or if you’re into feng-shui, place it in the right spot to balance your place of work or home. Grass is fairly easy to grow, just needs just a little water and sun. You might even find cutting the grass with scissors provides you a bit of therapy. For apartment dwellers, this may be a perfect way to get your outdoor fix and you don’t even need a lawnmower. Unfortunately, we don’t know if these are really for sale anywhere, but it would make for an easy DIY project.


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Just For Fun

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