Thursday, December 28, 2006

Pier Pressure

Merry Chrismahansaquansicka Friends! Angela and I spent Christmas afternoon strolling the Wharf in SF and checking out the Sea Lions. It was cool- I mean literally, about 45F and damp, which is cold if your blood has attained California regulatory measures, which ours has. Anyways, enjoy the pics and imagine lots of belching and farting noises because that's what seals do....

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Avast me Hearties

Angela and I set sail on Saturday afternoon aboard a 24' Canard with a couple of salty dawgs we'd met on the pier. A Canard is a wooden sailboat with no motor so we even pulled out of the San Francisco Yacht Club under sail which is a bit unnerving when there is nothing but expensive yachts on either side. We made it into the Bay without hitting anyone and enjoyed glorious winds as we sailed across to Belvedere Island and then tacked back under the Golden Gate Bridge and came in just before sunset for cold beers on the dock. Hopefully we'll go out again soon.

Monday, November 13, 2006

John gets a Job

It's amazing what 1 hour in Home Depot and a souped up resume will get you. Tomorrow I start framing a house somewhere in the middle of the city, Mission District actually, famed for it's burritos and drive-by shootings. Hopefully I can keep my tools from getting stolen, at least until I pay them off. Stay tuned, the next post will be filled with the visceral rants of a Bay Area Framer- Lord help me and keep my thumbs from smashing...

Mazzy gets a Haircut

Courtesy of Kate's Dog Grooming a few blocks down the road, Mazzy is now a much smaller and much less fuzzy dog. Observe the before and after. Of course she doesn't have the cute little chunks of fur missing like when I do it, but they did a pretty good job, and they were able to get all the fur out from between her toes which reportedly took most of the staff.

Pretty City

Well it poured down rain today, the kind where you have to jump off the curb to clear the mighty river that courses through the gutter. It was warm though, 57F I think, so not all that bad. The other day Angela and I went to Tiburon for a visit with some old Alaska friends and on the way home we pulled over to enjoy a classic SF lookout. Gorgeous. The super pointy building in the city is known as the "Dunce Cap" by some. No idea why.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Full Moon Rising

The view out the window tonight is stunning, I'm speechless...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Happy Halloween

This was the motley crew for Saturday night. Jean on the left as the widow Terry Irwin, Angela as young Bindi "The Jungle Girl" Irwin, Matt as Steve's "Best Mate" Wes (although seen here with a butt rocker wig which was later discarded, Mike as the late great Steve "The Crocodile Hunter" Irwin, and of course Sara as a flying monkey from the Wizard of Oz. We headed out into the Mission District, hi-jinx and sculduggery ensued.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Life at 80 (mph)

I have made it. I think it cost me a few years off my life but I did it. The last push was brutal.

The drive to Prince George on Thursday was incredible. The road slices through the mountains and it is stunning to see the river down below. I couldn't look around too much though for fear of plummeting to my death. I think I did this part of the trip in 8 or 10 hours with lots of stops to check out the view. I found a decent roach motel as I pulled in around 10 pm, caught up on some Southpark episodes on cable and was soon snoring away. I brought Baptiste into the hotel room for fresh water but he didn't look too good. Floating sideways once again and his eyes were bloodshot and puffy. He kept using his right fin to scratch out a last will and testament in the gravel but he didn't even have the strength for that. Luckily he doesn't own more than a plastic statue and 2 plastic aquatic plants.

I left Prince George, BC at 10am Friday and headed for the good old US of A. I got to the border around 5pm and waited in line for a bit and then was told I didn't have proper documentation to make it through since my birth certificate was just a copy and my passport is expired. I gave the border guard the old Jedi Alaska mind trick and looked him straight in the eye and said, "my documents are in order, you will let me go through sir." And lo and behold that's just what he did. I shall next use the powers on the IRS. It made me chuckle to think he was about to send me back into Canada, talk about creating a terrorist threat- I would have strangled the simpleton before he could so much as reach for his radio. "In the future," he said, "bring more documentation." Whatever. Document this you overpaid pencil holder.

So I put the pedal to the metal and was soon in the bizarre world of freeway life in Seattle. The fog closed in and I found myself doing 80mph with about 10 feet of vis. Crazy. Soon the whole truck began to shake and I realized my lumber rack was trying to make the truck go airborn. I pulled over and yanked off the 4x8 sheet of plywood on top, threw it in the ditch, re-strapped my external gas tanks and continued on. I decided to go all the way to Corvallis, OR where my cousin lives. I grabbed a Wendy's burger and a gallon of coffee and raged on. Around 1 am I could feel the wall of unconsciousness approaching. Soon I saw herds of scorpions scuttling across the highway and all the dials in the truck went out of focus. Not a good sign. Just when I was about to throw in the towel Exit 34 West popped out of the fogged and I swung into Corvallis at 2am and hit the pillow. Here's the route, in kilometers because Google is communist.

I got up at 8am and hit the road by 10am Saturday, rocketing on at 80mph I was soon in Ashland, OR where I met a friend from Fairbanks for coffee. Then on again to SF and I pulled intoSausilito around 10pm to find Angela waiting with fresh Won Ton Soup. It was delicious and I fell into a most blissful sleep. It was one of the smaller mileage days but one of the more puckering drives due to the insane freeway speeds.

This morning we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge to our apartment and unpacked the truck up 3 flights of stairs. Thankfully we stretched out before hand as per Willi Shrinx's video. What a lifesaver. Tonight we shall dine extravagantly and then tomorrow starts the job hunt.

Tune in to find out who thinks my time is worth their money!!


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Prince George

Here's what I did today, the highlight was a little town called Chetwynd where I saw endless piles of logs being turned into lumber and then dried in massive kilns. There was a thick fog of sawdust over the whole town- it was beautiful. Then I went screaming down through the mountains to Prince George which is both bigger and smaller than I thought, but now I must sleep,

In the words of Kim Jong Il, "Tomorrow, America!"

Bears and Bison

All is well, I'm in Fort Nelson now, this is how far I got today.

I started off just outside of Whitehorse after spending the night on top of the truck on a piece of plywood. It wasn't too comfortable so I only slept from about 12-3 am, then drove for a bit, then parked again and fell asleep in the cab until 8am. The problem with doing that is whenever I woke up I thought I had drifted off while driving and I would grab the wheel and start screaming at Mazzy to Hold On! She was not impressed. Then I would calm down, fall back asleep and do it all over again.

I hit Liard Hotsprings around 4pm and had the place all to myself. The hot water definitely helped my encroaching case of "truckers butt" where everything seems to settle and compact as the day wears on. I also have "truckers spine", "truckers elbow" and soon, "truckers gut."

Then I had dinner on the edge of Muncho Lake which was nice in a "Shining" sort of way. Then I drove on to Fort Nelson, which I was told was only 2 hours from the hot springs but it was more like 4. I also encountered scads of Bison, 4 moose, and at least 30 deer. Luckily I have bright fog lights so I saw all the critters well in advance. At 9 pm a grizzly darted out in front of me and ran for the trees. All I need now is a caribou and some Dall Sheep and I'll have the grand slam.

I'm in some little Motor Inn now with Mazzy sleeping happily at my feet. The temperature has dropped outside to about 30F so I brought Baptiste in and added water to the tank. I don't know if it was the Canadian water or the past 2 days of living a white water adventure but he doesn't look too good, unless he's practicing some new sideways float particular to Angel Fish. I'll know more in the morning. I dropped some Alka Selzer in the tank and left out some Pepto, maybe he just doesn't like 2 star accomodations. I'm hoping for the best...

Must sleep now and hope tomorrow goes as well as today,


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

On the Road Again

Here's what I did today and I may keep going once I get some good Klondike beer in my belly, driving at night is fun...

But here's what I have left... yikes... and I think the google computations are a bit off or they take a lot of speed when they drive...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Aerial View

For those who want to see our new pad from the Eye in the Sky:,+san+francisco,+ca+94115&ie=UTF8&z=15&ll=37.776481,-122.439022&spn=0.02327,0.053902&t=k&om=1&iwloc=A

Note our lawn to the southwest- it's called Golden Gate Park and I don't even have to mow it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Movin' on Up

After much debate, insane city driving, $100 in parking tickets and $60 in car rental fees Angela and I have decided on the Edwardian Mansion. Stunning view, immaculate kitchen, and a butler named Fetid who makes a mean espresso as he irons my socks in the mornings.
Incidentally, Edwardian is a time period, not a style, so don't make the foolish mistake I did and complement someone on their Edwardian good looks. You will actually be telling them they were built from 1901-1910 When King Edward VII ruled a whole bunch of white people.
I believe ours was built in 1907 on solid rock so the earthquakes don't touch it. The only drawback is street parking but I have a clever plan to outfit my truck to look like a Power & Gas maintanence vehicle and who would dare tow or ticket such a craft?
Incidentally this is not the actual building, ours is far more grand, but due to technical difficulties in a parallel universe a true and representative image will have to wait.

The Big Decision

Well folks, we decided to live in San Francisco.

We awake each morning to the lively squeels and grunts of the garbage truck and its minions as they descend upon the city around 6am. Shortly thereafter its coffee and showers, a quick stretch and we hit the pavement on our eternal quest for housing. Craigslist has been invaluable (that means really helpful Philip) and we would be nowhere without it. Unfortunately owning a dog means 90% of the housing market wants nothing to do with you and of that left over 10% easily half only wants to deal with dogs up to 25 pounds. This means that Mazzy is now on the Paris Hilton diet- but don't worry PETA fans- it's only until we sign a lease and then we'll put the weight back on.

My current favorite apartment right now is an Edwardian mansion with sweeping views of the city from not one but 2 massive bay windows. The great thing about Edwardian mansions is that no one lives above you, the bad part- they are expensive- about $1700 for 500 square feet- and this one is only 4 blocks from the projects. But this is San Francisco so the projects aren't that bad. The crack dealers wave as you roll by and the pimps and hos only get aggressive when you try to take pictures.

Yesterday Ang and I ran for about 8 miles around the base of the Golden Gate Bridge with our host and personal guide in the city, Matt. We came in from the east side which is generally sunny with throngs of people playing on small bits of sandy beach and out in the bay windsurfers and kitesurfers plyed the water amongst the sailboats. As we ran up to the bridge it disappeared into the fog so rather than run across it in zero visibility we headed back to a waterfront bar and found an establishment with 68 beers on tap. There is nothing like a beer after a good run. From there we jogged to Nan Kings Chinese Restaurant which is basically the Soup Nazi with amazing Chinese food. We got a table right away and then watched the restaurant fill up in a matter of minutes until there was a line of 15 people out the door by the time we left. The kitchen was piled high with produce and the 8 cooks that worked in back had so little room to move they just passed things around when they needed something. It was fast, efficient, delicious service- a stunning change from the sleepy streets of Girdwood.

From there we eased ourselves into some old bar that Jack Kerouac apparently used to get drunk in. The bartender was surly and the atmosphere was great so I ordered an Irish Coffee and it was easily the best I've ever had. Our view from upstairs was out into the red light district where tourists checked out Larry Flint's Hustler Club among others. But at this point we decided to head back to Matt's via a few stunning overlooks of the city.

It was grand.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Seperation Anxiety

Here is our first post on day 9 of leaving Alaska. We are currently in San Diego getting sunburnt, sandy and bloated on cheap, delicious burritos the size of a 3 year old boy. We rented a car to get around the city and have been repeatedly warned about the insane traffic. So far we haven't found it but we avoid rush hour and stick to the beach roads so I haven't had to shoot at anyone yet.

Our rental car is impossibly non-descript but luckily it comes with keyless entry remote which I can press to make the car honk and blink from a distance- truly amazing technology- and that is how we find the car each time. So far we have been to Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, La Jolla, Carlsbad, Mission Beach and Oceanside. Mission Beach had a place called the Wave House which was a bar with a huge wave machine at the end so you could drink beer and watch people surf an endless wave 20 feet in front of you. A very cool concept that kept us mezmerized for hours.

More pictures and postings to come...Enjoy