Saturday, October 28, 2006

Fwd: Watch "Messing with Boats" on Google Video

Messing with Boats

13 min 46 sec - Oct 27, 2006
Description: A chronicle of my life in and around boats. From a very early age to the present I have found that they make a most excellent way to live life.

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I was born at a very early age

Friday, October 27, 2006

Fwd: Watch "Zbrushing in the Key of Z" on Google Video

Zbrushing in the Key of Z

5 min 26 sec - Oct 26, 2006
Description: My Zbrush artwork set to a composition I wrote called Killin Moon.

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I was born at a very early age

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fwd: Watch "Zbrush Animations" on Google Video

Zbrush Animations

3 min 16 sec - Oct 24, 2006
Description: These are animations created with Zbrush using zbrush scripts that I wrote. I also composed the music. Zbrush is a hybrid between a 2D paint program and a 3D modeler. It is capable of doing amazing things and on top of that is alot of fun. I hope you enjoy my humble attempt at animation.

I was born at a very early age

Monday, October 23, 2006

"Belly Dancing in Trujillo" on Google Video

Belly Dancing in Trujillo

13 min 2 sec - Oct 22, 2006
Description: Maureen Belly Dancing at a private performance in Trujillo Honduras in 1997.

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I was born at a very early age

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Voyage of the Palantir 1990/93

2 1/2 year adventure to the Carribbean - LA thru the Panama Canal, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize to Florida on a 31ft Mariner Ketch called Palantir

On Mar 3rd 1990 my girlfriend and I left Los Angeles on my 31 ft Mariner Ketch and headed off into the unknown. After 5 yrs of saving and planning we were actually underway and there was no turning back. At that moment contemplating the voyage before us, transiting the Panama Canal, which had sounded good when it was far in the future, hit me. I had no idea what was in store for us, thousands of miles of open ocean and unknown lands to traverse. Each moment Palantir's bow cut closer and closer into places I had never known, it was scary, what was going to happen to us.
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Voyage of the Aphrodite 1984-85

Aphrodite_Sunset_Smallest, originally uploaded by floyd_noise.

The saga of building a 62 ft Schooner called the Aphrodite- sailing thru the Yucatan Straits to Belize and Roatan, Honduras.

Voyage of the Aphrodite

The Beginning of the Dream

In whatever part of the human Psyche dreams are born and grow to maturity, my Father and I shared a common dream. We dreamt along with thousands of others, who are a minority among those who dream but never even take a first step toward the vision they have in their minds.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Horror Stories

Blue Chablis in Catalina 2, originally uploaded by floyd_noise.

Horror stories eh?
Which one to tell, I got me about a million of them :>

Almost overboard in the Yucatan
The lovely smell of deisel in the morning (tanks full of salt water)
How do you get out from under a towed captzized dingy?
Holding 20,000 lbs off the dock in Belize in a Biama (south wind)
Finding your way home drunk in the dark thru the reefs in Roatan
Anchoring in Carretes Mexico
You mean I gotta hitchhike 20 miles to clear my boat in?
The tale of the never ending high pressure fuel pump leak
Rescue from a nighmare in Costa Rica
Dragging in Golfito Costa Rica
How many batteries can you buy that will last more than 2 months here in Mexico?
Almost broadsided in Panama in a whiteout
Injured in Guatamala
Towed up the Rio Dulce in Guatamala
Draggin anchor in Guatamala
Revenge of the Bozo Cowboy in Rio Dulce
1000 ticks on your body in Honduras
1000 trips to Guatamala City for fuel pump and starter
Shearing the chain plate in Belize
Realizing that the Mast is trying to come thru the cabin top
Lugging 1000+ lbs of gear from Maryland to the Rio Dulce
Enjoying ameboes underway
Shearing the Speader off in Belize
Shearing the Bobstay in Florida

Sliding off the road towing Blue Chablis in a snowstorm at 13000 ft

I know there is more, makes you wonder why we do it

Then again, there was Heather's bare breasts in the Tropical sun
There was the best tasting rum and lemon juice ever drunk under a setting sun
There was white sand, crystal clear water and adventure around every turn

I guess I am ready fer more

When do we go?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Watch "KILL CULT!" on Google Video


4 min 19 sec - Sep 25, 200
Description: :Kill Cult Video

Thanks Seven for putting this together

Yours Truly is Thump

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In my virtual life I belong to an Elite group of gamers called Kill Cult. Most of the members are real life friends that have been playing Online games together at least since Ultima Online. They made cyber history in a game called Shadowbane in which they accomplished feats of deception, strategy and just plain havoc in a game that was just as political as it was force in arms. Competing groups of players could build fortresses which then could be attacked and destroyed. Therefore the stakes in the game in terms of effort and playing intelligently could be quite high. Diplomacy with other groups for common defense and antagonism against other alliances based upon "Good" vrs "Chaotic" alignments generated an environment in which great sagas would unfold during weeks of play.

The subterfuge and deception game has never been played more brilliantly than the escapades engineered by Kill Cult during their heyday in Shadowbane. They created a "Secret" merchant city in the game called "Tradewinds" in which they pretended to be CareBear "Roll Players" intent on making profit. This city became the largest city on the server and catered to the most of the player population and thus generated ungodly amounts of virtual gold for the guild's coffers.

Unbeknownst to everyone else, while their aliases pretended to be peaceful and non-violent shopkeepers their alter egos in Kill Cult were the most feared guild on the server. Always outnumbered but never outsmarted they outfoxed, outthought and outplayed any and all comers. The normal engagement for the guild would that they would be outnumbered at least 3 to 1 and during the last days of the game pretty much had the whole player base arrayed against them, and still they won. With unlimited gold from Tradewinds at their disposal they could hurt their enemies economically as well as militarily. Using superb small force tactics and communication they could normally cut swaths thru less organized and less experience players until their reputation grew to almost godlike proportions.

Unfortunately through a disgruntled member their deception of Tradewinds became known thus costing them their economic base. Great Alliances were formed from other guilds with the sole purpose of destroying Kill Cult. Lankmar, Kill Cult's main city and Tradewinds were destroyed, but meanwhile Foehammer's vision of the ultimate city was being created in secret, it was called Blackspire.

Located on an island the city was constructed with only one thought in mind, defense. It was completely impenetrable as the hordes of other players found out after they tried and tried and tried some more to bring it down and could not do so.

Shadowbane was a landmark game, as was Ultima Online, but unfortunately the game engine was not sufficient for the task. But for all its faults I (we) are still looking for that game that could transcend its reality like Shadowbane and Ultima and become something more than its parts. The intrigue and the events that happened could have been real interest if it had been read out of a book. No other game has created that sense of freedom and consequences that those two games encompassed since. Our new hope for virtual land to conquer and pillage is a game called Darkfall which will build alot on the ideas of Shadowbane and even add more possibilities. Look to Kill Cult to be there and to be a force to be reckoned with.

I was born at a very early age

Bringing Blue Chablis Home

Intheditch, originally uploaded by floyd_noise.

Blue Chablis II is our new boat, it is a 1992 Norsea 27. It is the boat that we have been dreaming of and the boat that will take us wherever we may want to go. We woke up one Saturday morning and Eiko said to me, "Why don't we start looking for our Norsea now, that way we can be sailing it and learning until we are ready to take off in five years." I said, "You know Eiko, whenever we find our boat, today or tomorrow it is out there right now. It is sitting somewhere in a slip or voyaging out at sea, it just doesn't know yet that it belongs to us." We went on to breakfast at our little favorite place. Sitting in the warm southern California morning sun Eiko was scanning boat ads in "The Log". "How bout that one? Norsea 27 1992, yada yada". I wonder where it is located and I wander over to the phone book. Looking up the area code it tells me that it is somewhere in Colorado.

Barbara and Steve live on Top of the World, at 10000 ft it is a place of beauty and challenge. "People are not supposed to live up here", says Steve. It takes extraordinary people to survive up in this kind of place and Steve and Barbara go beyond that. Sitting in the yard of a place that they have built with their own hands is Blue Chablis II, named after two of their sled dogs. This boat has taken them down off the mountain every season and has opened up the Sea of Cortez and the wild islands off of the tip of Baja California for the last 7 years. They will continue on in a new Blue Chablis, a Valiant 40, to travel Central America, the Canal and beyond. Eiko and I feel very fortunate that Blue Chablis II will be ours to take us to our dreams and beyond. A boat is not an inanimate object, it is a living breathing thing that protects us and carries us in safety and in comfort. It is our womb in the sea. Like ourselves it learns the world from its parents and like ourselves we are who we are largely because of our parents.

The big day arrived and early one Friday morning before the sun we were sneaking out of LA before the masses make their autonomic march toward the time clocks. Riding in the cab of my brother-in-law's Dodge Ram 2500 Cummings Turbo Diesel truck, listening to the throaty roar of the engine, slipping past the gears into drive, I am one of the big boys now. The general consensus at Eiko's workplace was the impossibility of making Grand Junction Colorado the first day. Pulling into Grand Junction at 7pm we located a room, had dinner and then looked at the weather forecast. DooM and GlooM, 6 to 11 inches of snow due to fall on the Denver area within the next 24hrs. Not unusual I guess for mid Oct but Eiko had promised my testicles to her boss if she wasn't back at work on Tues morning.

Un-thwarted, we continue on up to Leadville and arrive at Steve and Barb's about 10am, the sky an unblemished blue, the sun shining golden on Rocky peaks. Nevertheless haste is needed and we pack up and hook up. After the paper work and after Barbara releases Blue Chablis into our care, we are set to go just as the first freezing flakes of frozen hell begin to descend from the sky. An old familiar sense of anxiety returns to me, thinking of the road ahead and my ability to cruise 8000 lbs of boat over 1000 miles of pavement sea, from the Top of the World to the gentle swell of the Pacific, and adding 2 mountain passes full of snow between me and the sweet downgrade racing the Colorado to the sea.

I shift into granny gear, it moves! I turn onto the hiway, it is wet but unfrozen and I believe as I move on up the grade that this truck actually has the power to pull this beast over the Climax pass. In fact, as I reach the summit and over it looks like we will be able to beat the coming storm and actually get down and over Vale pass before the worst of it hits. It is snowing a little heavier now and we pass over a splotch of white, no problem. Heading down now I keep her slow heedless of the many that are flashing by me like it is a sweet summer's day. Off to the right a small yellow sign informs me that ahead is a 7% downgrade.

Dead Man's Curve
Like the shock of waking up from a nightmare I round the turn and all I can see in front of me is pure unblemished white heading down lost in in the fog of the now heavier falling snow. I ease on the brakes and I slow a bit, but then the front tires begin to plow. "This is not going to work", I say to Eiko. I know that I only have seconds now before I pick up more speed. Speed is bad. I can jackknife, spilling the boat off the edge of the road or into an oncoming vehicle. The pit in my stomach becomes a black hole pulling my insides into a singularity, the Pucker Factor begins to climb. This in not my idea of the first 20mins of ownership of Blue Chablis, how can I face Steve and Barbara and tell them that I killed their baby? I tell Eiko, "Hang on, I am going to try to land us in the ditch, we may roll." My last test of the brakes sent our inertia into the other lane, I steer slightly back and feel the weight of the load shift back. At that point I apply the brakes again and get the truck and boat sliding at a 45 degree angle towards the side of the road. I feel like I am now piloting an aircraft, I steer to keep everything straight. I could not have picked a better spot, there is a wide shoulder leading to a very shallow ditch and a gently sloping mountainside clear of boulders, trees and assorted other problems. A three point landing! We stop! Blue Chablis is still there! The falling snow gets heavier.
Hmmm.... Now what? Listening to the idling diesel which sounds oblivious to our predicament, is this only the beginning of our problems? I struggle to put everything into perspective. We are safe, the boat is safe, Bernie's truck (thank god) is safe, we are stuck on the road in an oncoming storm at the Top of the World. The next big truck down this road may find this a perfect spot to slide into us. Options... not too many. We can't spend the night here, it is very very cold and we barely have enough energy at this altitude to tie our shoelaces without breathing hard. We are about 12 miles from Steve and Barbara's and that is where we need to get back to. I get out and flag the first car coming up the mountain. They stop and we get in. I get to practice my spanish and I am able to convey our desire to head over to Leadville, where they must have been headed anyway. Hopping out of the car at Steve and Barbara's I can only imagine their first thoughts at seeing us, back so soon and without Blue Chablis.

Not to worry, it is just another normal day up at these altitudes. Steve is immediately on the phone informing the Hiway patrol of our location and situation. He arranges a friend to come tomorrow morning with a tow truck to pull us out. We jump in his truck to survey the lay of the land at our crash site. Could not be better. The rest of the evening I take advantage of their knowledge of all the wonderful secret places that they have found while cruising the Sea of Cortez. Eiko and I sleep like babies.

The next morning the sky is blue, the road is melting and it has been scraped and sanded throughout the night. Mickey and the tow truck meet us and soon we are sitting on pavement and saying our good-byes. I believe now that Blue Chablis just didn't want to go without a final farewell to our new friends Steve and Barbara.

Vale Pass which had turned into a nightmare last night was wet but clear and by the time we make it down the other side I am feeling more confident in the trailer and the truck. Old skills and lessons from my father, who I have traveled with many thousands of miles towing various and sometimes exotic vehicles criss-crossing the United States, begin to flow back into my reflexes. We spend the first night in Beaver Utah, a respectable distance.

Heh, our only problem now is getting to LA too early! Just past Las Vegas we stop for fuel and get a free buffet at the "Golden Somethinoranother". Might as well, we got plenty of time. Fed and watered we drop $40 in slots and video poker, I have never gambled before. Eiko wins back $16 from the Roulette Wheel and I feel like I have been cured of that nonsense. We move on, the plan is to spend some hours close to San Bernadino and head on in sometime in the wee hours of the morning to avoid the preverbal freeway tango. In Victorville we find a nice place to stop and camp out in the Aft cabin, our first night aboard. This is great!

In the Midnight Hour we fuel up and head em on out. 10 West is down to one lane for about a mile, thank god we are not here in the daylight. Seems like a blink of an eye we are headed through city streets and arrive outside the boat yard at 2 am. Eiko hails a taxi and heads on home to wake up in 3 hours to go to work. My testicles are safe. At 7:30 the yard opens and I back Blue Chablis into the yard. This adventure is over, we have done it, the next adventure has started.

Blue Chablis II

Blue Chablis II, originally uploaded by floyd_noise.

This is our new boat, a 27ft North Sea called Blue Chablis II

Throughout this blog I shall be mostly posting about my sailing adventures and interesting (to me) portions of my life. Blue Chablis should be a good source of adventure for years to come.