A Home with a Name?

11 03 2016

Moving aboard a boat again would mean regaining a home with a name. Boats have names. Carolyn and I own a boat now that might be large enough to inhabit. What new folds and wrinkles of reality might accompany such a move?

My limited knowledge of named homes spans types, reasons and purposes.

For example: The House on Pooh Corner provides a location and a clue to ownership. Bag End also covered both purposes. Tara (Gone with the Wind) was perhaps an homage and an attempt to characterize the estate?

blog photo

Our boat is named Kuokoa. A quick search suggests that in Hawaiian, this means Independence/Liberty and in Swahili it means self-sufficiency. The home port on the transom (Seattle) isn’t even accurate any longer as she’s moored in Tacoma. But she is our old lady.

Somehow I doubt she’ll ever take on the mythic stature of, say, Sherlock Holmes’ Baker Street address, or Windsor Castle. But with appropriate maintenance, she affords us the opportunity to sail with orcas and grey whales en route to visit the San Juan Islands, gunkholing Puget Sound, cruising to Vancouver and to (even) Alaska. Now it’s just a question of finding the time and the $$$ to go…  🙂


Ernest (Arlen) Saves Thanksgiving…

28 11 2014

One of my principal mottos is “done is good.” For this Thanksgiving, it was particularly important.

We’d known for some time the dishwasher and food disposal would need replacing,

but things came to a head this past weekend — dishwasher leaking out onto the kitchen floor and food disposal frozen and limiting drainage down the kitchen sink.

Alas! The kitchen would be unusable to prepare the Thanksgiving Feast

So we bit the bullet and got a deal on a new dishwasher and disposal (and sink and faucet in the bargain).

But for an old guy to be under the counter and all over the floor installing these appliances is an invitation to creaky stiffness.

And voila! By Wednesday night everything was installed and operational – leaks resolved and ready to go.


I confess to some sexist guilt around how manly this made me feel…  but it felt damned good.


with dishwasher





sink and faucet



Shaking off the Rust

10 07 2014

2 happy years at North Sarasota Library and, in addition to all the happy stuff (great teammates, great leadership in our organization, consistent successes), I’m now about to realize something I felt was meant to be way, way back when I was starting to volunteer here.

radio librarian

I’m staging “Conquerin’ John” (one of my SideWalk Chalk street theater/folktale trunk shows) at the library for families to enjoy.

And I haven’t seriously directed anything in quite a few years. So, I’ll be trying to flake off the rust to get back to my actual skills during the rehearsing of it. And I’m ending up acting in it, too. That’s not my ideal circumstance.

The other 2 (lovely) actors are relatively inexperienced. And I’m asking them to venture into a unique and demanding style of performing.

I could comfort myself by saying, “Be careful what you wish for” but that would be the easy way out.

It’s important to me to offer a high quality, entertaining event for those who’ll be in attendance.

And there are possibilities for future performances that might ensue from a successful performance this first time in Sarasota.

Much of the pressure and anxiety may be arising from the fact that we haven’t begun rehearsing. When we’re actually at work, we feel as if we’re doing something about the challenges and obstacles (perceived or literal) in our path. Until we’re actually doing something, our conscience will be kicking us in the butt and yelling at us go “get a move on!”   🙂

Take good care, everybody. Fingers crossed please.

And please don’t forget to check out the 5 minute radio show (now in Year 2) “Have You Heard?” on WSLR (96.5 LP FM, Community Radio in Sarasota). It airs Wednesday evenings around 6:25 PM and Friday mornings around 8:55 AM and can be streamed from the station’s website: www.WSLR.org/

Back episodes can be heard as podcasts from PodOMatic. And you can find the show’s Facebook page at Have You Heard? on WSLR  (Twitter = @HYHwslr).

Bubbling in the waiting room

4 03 2014

Several ways to look at the current down-time – it might be a welcome chance to catch one’s breath, or it might be limbo while waiting for the next shoot of new growth to sprout…

But some things continue apace, like Have You Heard? on WSLR, for example. Mind boggling to apprehend we’re on Week 46 of weekly broadcasts. It’ll be a year before you know it. Our goals include moving up to a 10 minute show from our current 5 minute format.

This week we go over a slew of musical events happening around Sarasota and in her libraries. But I also mention a Fogartyville event to which I’m looking forward:

“True Heroes of Florida, with T.D. Allman”

Finding Florida cover art








After a brief span hearing Mr. Allman on WMNF, Community Radio up in Tampa, FL, I’m looking forward to a fuller interaction with this controversial historian in our community here. Sunday, March 9, 5 PM at 525 Kumquaat Ct., Sarasota, FL  34236. Aloha!






Spinnaker anyone? (Quantity versus quality)

12 01 2014

Okay, I said I’d blog more regularly. But I didn’t make any promises about the content of those offerings.

So, I have this spinnaker for sail –

Very pretty, but ineffective for our boat

Very pretty, but ineffective for our boat

It’s a North, nylon, tri-radial, symmetric spinnaker originally cut for a Ranger 26 sailboat. The luff and leach are in the neighborhood of 33′ + and the foot is 19′ + and the exact specs are available on the Craigslist ad I’ve placed for it. Asking price is $625.

You may recall my friends and I dropped out of an overnight regatta last spring after we’d been beat up pretty thoroughly in a dusting of weather. I’d rushed to find some kind of used spinnaker so we’d have one for this race.

We’d have been better off without one. Saving the $$$ for the right sail would’ve been a wiser choice.

Right now, as we continue to wait for the new mast from California, we have an opportunity to get the boat back on track in other ways. “Howevah” no sailing since the end of July 2013 is a kind of prison sentence. I mean no disrespect to my incarcerated brothers and sisters. I only intend to generate the feeling that life without sailing is a kind of punishment like that – being trapped on land and deprived of the liberty and joy of freely plying the waters and dancing with the wind & waves.

Resolved: to blog more regularly…

4 01 2014

There’s been too much to blog about during the Autumn.

We lost another manager at North Sarasota Library – a sudden and shocking loss. It flashes back for most of the staff to the loss of Yvette (see “Saint” post).

My colleague Dr. Lonnetta M. Gaines is retiring January 10 – this is a tough loss and will take a while to adapt – she’s among the very best collaborators with whom I’ve ever teamed up. We were very effective together and I loved working with her. But she’s more than earned her retirement and I’m grateful for the time we had. And we all wish her the very, very best from here forward.

So, change is in the air – more people to hire. And “Have You Heard?” continues on WSLR (96.5 LP FM – Community Radio in Sarasota, FL). Our Facebook page for the show will be public shortly. Podcasts of back episodes are available on PodOMatic.

The new mast for our sailboat (old one snapped in late July) is reportedly ready to ship from California – can’t wait to go sailing again.

And we added a great new member to our team. Meet Amanda (Dr. Mo) Morrison:

A coupla librarians sitting around talkin'

A coupla librarians sitting around talkin’










Then, now and looking forward

3 09 2013

On Tuesday, September 10, we’re holding a Civil Rights commemoration at North Sarasota Library starting at 6 PM (with singing of Freedom Songs starting at 5:40 PM while people are arriving).

The impetus to gather people was mainly the upcoming 50th Anniversary of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL, in which Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley and Carol Robertson lost their lives. But with the current attacks on voting rights since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (like the Voter Purges here in Florida), Civil Rights are as immediate and pressing now as they have ever been.

Here’s the flyer –
Sept 10 event poster corrected draft

We’re fortunate that County Commissioner Carolyn Mason will join us to read some of her original poetry, and we have young people from the neighborhood involved, and we’re fortunate that all the available seats have already been reserved (and we’ll be maintaining a waiting list, to fill in spaces for those who can’t make it that night). If you can’t be there, WSLR (96.5 FM Community Radio in Sarasota) is slated to record audio of the event and broadcast it on the actual September 15th Anniversary of the tragedy.

We’re working to join the threads, the generations, and the purpose all together.

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