Issaquah Suzuki Recital
Elizabeth and the Troll
Our visit to Seattle included every kind of activity from an architectural tour of the new downtown library to shopping at Pike's Place Market, taking in the view from the top of the Smith Tower and of course Elliot Bay Books. But nothing topped an evening with the Issaquah Suzuki Violionists. I had predicted (quietly to myself) that the evening might be a bit slow, but the actual event was completely captivating. The recital was studded with sparkling performances of fun and challenging music by many of the great composers. Thomas and John both distinguishing themselves, playing with great confidence, precision and verve. All the hard work and practice paid off. Thanks for including us!
Seattle visit photo album HERE
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Some hunt,others gather!
Somewhere in Northern California where water, woods and god's magic create wonders, there is a happy natural man living off the bounty. Here he is with his good friends the Chanterells, the abalone of the forest. (Until now I thought The Chanterells were a Motown Group)
Neighbor Tim can always be relied upon to tune into the good things that are all around us. Hope he shares with his pals- and I don't mean Roxie the tortoise.
Posted by Steve Knight at 9:23 PM
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
"She was apparelled like any barbaric Ethiopian emperor, her neck heavy with pendents of polished ivory. She was a thing of trophies. A cannibal of a craft, tricking herself forth in the chased bones of her enemies. All round her, her unpanelled, open bulwarks were garnished like one continuous jaw, with the long sharp teeth of a sperm whale, inserted there for pins, to fasten her hempen thews and tendons to. Those thews ran not through base blocks of land wood, but deftly traveled over sheaves of sea - ivory. Scorning a turnstile wheel at her reverend helm she sported there a tiller, and that tiller was in one mass, curiously carved from the long narrow jaw of her hereditary foe... A noble craft, but somehow a most melancholy." Moby Dick, description of the Pequod, Chapter 16
"And they saw one day a pack of vicious looking humans... bearded, barbarous, clad in the skins of animals stitched up in thews and armed with weapons of every description... and the trappings of their horses fashioned out of human skin and the bridals woven up from human hair and decorated with human teeth and the riders wearing scapulars or necklaces of dried and blackened human ears and the horses rawlooking and wild in the eye and their teeth bared like feral dogs...the whole like a visitation from some heathen land where they and others like them fed on human flesh." Blood Meridian, entry of the scalp hunters Chapter VI
Posted by Steve Knight at 10:05 PM
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Worms comprise a significant part of planetary biomass - and of our living room biomass. It was bound to happen sooner or later. UPS recently delivered a 2 lb package at our door. 'O Boy! My worms are here!' exclaimed B on seeing the package. 2 lbs of worms is a lot. When I heard worms were in our future, I lobbied for freeing captives from the bait shop, but low class crawlers wouldn't do for our composting (or whatever they are supposed to be doing for us). Instead, our worms - Red Wigglers- were special ordered from wine country, the Sonoma County Worm Farm. Nothing but the best for our coffee grounds.
But why are the still in the worm growing box --in the living room? And why must they be fed only the best finely chopped garbage? I don't know, but I'm sure that in time I will. Watch this space for breaking worm news.
Posted by Steve Knight at 4:19 PM
Friday, October 23, 2009
Last week's pounding rain and this week's mackin' swell ( shown here breaking at Mavericks) makes it clear even to hard core season change deniers that summer is no more.
But the sun is shining today and it's time to pull out the past season's classic video of Sarah's cousin Andy Haumersen and friend Ricky popping major skim board moves in the Long Beach Island shore dump. Notice - no wet suits! How different the east coast is. This vid is sure to put you back into summer daze- if only for a moment. Good work, boys! The sponserships are sure to come.
Posted by Steve Knight at 11:57 AM
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I've been on a brass craze lately and want to share two great bands I'm particularly grooving on.
The first, The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is an amazing street band from Chicago & New York with loose, swinging progressions and latin echoes. I really enjoy them. Apparently most of the band are sons of the famous Phil Cochran who played with Sun Ra. A piece in the June New Yorker gives the background and a good description of this crew. Read HERE. Even though a street band they have been recording since 2004. Check out their myspace site HERE
The second video is Dave Douglas and Brass Ecstasy. It is sweet and sometimes sad - a more composed jazz virtuosity full of funkiness and humor and old time New Orleans jazz references. It also includes some interview time. The NPR "Tiny Desk concert" shown in the video (about 17 minutes) was my introduction to Brass Ecstasy - I had to get their new album ( from the library of course) called Spirit Moves. They totally grabbed me, jumping out from a bunch of concert podcasts I was surfing through on a long drive. You can download this Tiny Desk concert and other full length live concerts free in the podcast section of the iTunes store under NPR All Songs Considered.
Hope you like!
Posted by Steve Knight at 8:32 PM
Monday, October 12, 2009
Last week an ace team of veteran Yosemite adventurers returned to base camp in Upper Pines Campground to renew friendships, attune with vast glacial spirits and push the most challenging routes into the beyond. The weather was stunning; a sprinkle of snow on day one, clearing to brilliant blue skies and moonlit evenings. Hiking and biking was a blast. Breakfast buffets at Curry Village were staggering, first fueling a successful assault on Glacier Point(both Marty and Kristin summitted)and then a day of bike touring of the valley with an extended hike to the Half Dome rock slide at Mirror Lake. Evenings were filled with gourmet feasting, prescription strength margaritas, a dirty joke contests dominated by those with good memories and bad taste, (Conrad, Dirty Dave and Beverly what a surprize!) Sadly we had to return home, but hardier souls stayed the rest of the week and explored ever farther. I hope we don't have to wait a whole year for our next Yosemite outing. Steve's picture album HERE Marty's album HERE
We missed you Sarah! Thanks John Muir!
Posted by Steve Knight at 9:08 PM
Thursday, October 1, 2009
"Since the dawn of time, man has battled the forces of gravity. We've built gliders, wings and contraptions of all sorts. In the end, all it took was a simple giant water slide down the side of a mountain."
OK - this video isn't family or friends, but the foolishness meter is pegged! Could easily have become Darwin Award material. And it is aqua oriented. That's my excuse for posting. Plus of course a demonstration of the indomitable human search for transcendent experience through stupid stuff.
Thanks to Robert Church for finding this one!
Posted by Steve Knight at 10:39 AM
Monday, September 28, 2009
1) Men's Long Board Finalist - Michael takes 2nd!
2) Sean Rips and Burns
3) A Santa Cruz Jump Start
Photo album HERE Courtesy Duke and Marty
Message from Coach Phelps:
Surfers and Parents,
Yahoo!!! What a fun day!! I’m so proud of our whole team, and all the support from all the friends and families that showed up to cheer our kids on. I want to express a huge thanks to Kaitlyn for being our first alumni to return as an assistant coach. Her commitment to give back to her community is very inspirational to all of us!!
I was so impressed by the sportsmanship displayed by our teammates throughout the day. All of you kids encouraging each other and acknowledging each other’s accomplishments. I was very impressed with our veteran Audrey (our new recruit from MA) and how she took Hannah under her wings. Again, a true display of teamwork! Honorable mentions go to Skylar for taking 4th overall in Men’s Shortboard, and Michael for taking 2nd in Men’s Longboard. This was a great display of our teams depth of talent!! Also to Tom for the fantastic “TomBurgers”…. Hmmm… I think he’s stealing my thunder..As for Hannah….. Wow! Taking 4th place in Women’s shortboard in our very first contest!!! What can I say. We’re all so proud of you!
Core Interscholastic Surf Contest Results: Team Event: HMB 59 over Harbor 54 Skylar 4th Shortboard Finals Michael 2nd Longboard finals Hannah 4th Girls Longboard Finals
Complete Results HERE
Posted by Steve Knight at 2:07 PM
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
A Rosalinde Block painting
A delightful thing happened on the way to my email server - I looked at my Facebook account and there was Roz Block mentioning the completion of a section of her St. Louis memoir. I haven't kept up with Roz but I certainly remembered Block's Books, her dad's great bookstore at Skinker and Millbrook. Many a happy hour of mine was spent there and I remember the shock when it closed down because of repeated hate attacks and vandalism, both against the store and the Blocks themselves.
So, seeing a chance to learn something about Block senior and the story of the store I wrote Roz and asked for a copy. " To the Old Block From His Oldest Chip" is really great as is another piece she sent me on the same period called "The Dog Who Didn't Keep Kosher." In learning about Rosalinde and her current work I discovered she is a one women fountain of creativity - music, writing, art, children's books - you name it! If you have minute take a look at her site HERE and
HERE. Pretty cool!
Posted by Steve Knight at 2:18 PM
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Sarah Facepainting with Mac in the Mirror
The annual labor day weekend Kings Mountain Art Fair is quite an unusual event. This year it was fantastic -again! It is amazing for the art - absolutely. The quality and variety is stunning. None of the junky trinkets & crafts that characterize many art fairs. Year to year there are many artists who return to be enjoyed anew, but there is also usually an infusion of new artists too. Of course the outside setting under the redwoods with all the variability of weather and nature make the experience unusual too. But what really sets the event apart is the community support. It is hard to believe that everything - really everything -is planned organized, staffed and pulled off by neighborhood volunteers. I've never seen the figures, but I'd be willing to bet that 50% or more of the households on the Mountain have a least one family member who volunteer a day. And many show up to work the whole three day fair as well as inputting tremendous levels of sweat both pre and post fair. I challenge anyone to find that level of involvement in a community for a fun raising event, anywhere!
You know where to find me next labor day weekend - bunnin' and baggin in the cookshack! More cookshack oriented pictures HERE
Posted by Steve Knight at 12:00 PM
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Okay. We all -sooner or later- estivate. It's natural. No shame. This is the 21st century, and we live not so very far from Esalen. Even so, to discover (stumble upon would be more accurate) an honored house guest who though an adolescent, is from a (presumably) good family, well brought up by positive role models, abandoned to a biological imperative right there in our ivy like some…some mammal for goodness sake! The air temperature was about 90, but I mean, really! All I can tell you is that it was a quite a shocker. Thank goodness Beverly wasn’t home. Of course I didn’t make a scene that would embarrass our guest (Roxie is her name) but just as though such things happened every day and were in the normal household routine, I calmly approached her without being noticed and in one fluid motion pulled her from the dirt and gently carried her to bed, placing a blanket over her whole body including her head. (I had been instructed by her parents as to the appropriate response, though I never dreamed I would actually be called upon to react to this situation which I had regarded as a highly unlikely contingency.) She then proceeded to sleep the whole night through and was up the next morning as though nothing had happened at all. No mention was made of the previous afternoon and I placed her in the morning light and brought her a breakfast of fresh strawberries and a little left over sweet potato (which she loves and never gets at home.) We’ve never spoken of it to this day although I see her with some regularity since her parent’s live one street over. In every other respect she was an ideal guest and I look forward to her next visit.
Roxie and Her Parents Tim and Katy
Posted by Steve Knight at 12:54 PM
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Wow,what a day! This was our high energy welcome to dorm move-in day and the beginning of Freshman orientation weekend at Mills College last Saturday. Sarah is moved into to her spacious accommodations in Orchard Meadows Hall on the beautiful campus. She has registered successfully for the classes she wanted and tomorrow is the first day of classes. Amazing. Congratulations Sarah! A few more pictures HERE
Posted by Steve Knight at 8:57 PM
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Jon H is at it again! Visiting the Natural History Museum in London he found a late Pleistocene Elasmotherium skull (cross between a rhino and a horse) from Siberia. It was completely peppered with tiny magnetic metallic pellets! Just like the mammoth tusks found earlier. I wonder if this sort of evidence of an ice age apocalypse is lying around lots of museums, but no one has thought of looking for it before.
In the close up photo you can see the pellet impacts with little rust rings around them. The largest, just to the left of center is about 1cm across. The other picture gives you an idea of the structure and size of the skull. Man ,that must have hurt - although just the beginning of what was an undoubtedly rough patch for mega fauna.
Posted by Steve Knight at 3:19 PM
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Saturday, December 13, 2008
It is tough on crabs this time of year. The catch has been poor. But we all want to eat 'em up anyway. I know, usually we don't expend much fellow feeling on bugs and as arthropods, crabs are big bugs. Compound eyes on stalks, shells, lots of legs, scary mandibular mouths. And according to some (UC Berkley) they are the real rulers of the earth,with 3/4 of all living and fossil species in their exalted phylum.
But we got over our crabbie pity to feast TWICE in the last week - the first another incredible Ciopinno Feed at the I.D.E.S. (Irmandade do Divino Espirto Santo Do Estado Da California) Hall in Half Moon Bay. Thanks to Dave for making it all happen. They kept bringing the crab ciopinno, bread, salad, wine and White Russians until we could take no more and fled to the Ritz for a late evening confab around a fire pit on a terrace overlooking the beach. Ferris (our attentive waiter) brought hot coffee in china cups. Warming by the fire in Adirondack chairs wrapped in blankets, we sipped coffee, watched a bright half moon over the breakers and pondered it all.
And last night, another crab slaughter in honor of Erin and Roark who are on their way to a multi yearAustralian Adventure. Man, it was good!! The huge pots were a' boiling out on the deck of the KM Community Center and out came crab for thirty! Magic. What a great party. Good luck Erin and Roark - we will all be visiting you soon.
Poor little crabbie
Thursday, December 11, 2008
This research was published in the December 11 issue of the journal Neuron
"Perceptual experience consists of an enormous number of possible states. Previous MRI studies have predicted a perceptual state by classifying brain activity into prespecified categories. Constraint-free visual image reconstruction is more challenging, as it is impractical to specify brain activity for all possible images. In this study, we reconstructed visual images by combining local image bases of multiple scales, whose contrasts were independently decoded from fMRI activity by automatically selecting relevant voxels and exploiting their correlated patterns. Binary-contrast, 10 10-patch images (2100 possible states) were accurately reconstructed without any image prior on a single trial or volume basis by measuring brain activity only for several hundred random images. Reconstruction was also used to identify the presented image among millions of candidates. The results suggest that our approach provides an effective means to read out complex perceptual states from brain activity while discovering information representation in multivoxel patterns."
Or, as described in the blog Pink Tentacle:
"Researchers from Japan’s ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories have developed new brain analysis technology that can reconstruct the images inside a person’s mind and display them on a computer monitor, it was announced on December 11. According to the researchers, further development of the technology may soon make it possible to view other people’s dreams while they sleep.
The scientists were able to reconstruct various images viewed by a person by analyzing changes in their cerebral blood flow. Using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine, the researchers first mapped the blood flow changes that occurred in the cerebral visual cortex as subjects viewed various images held in front of their eyes. Subjects were shown 400 random 10 x 10 pixel black-and-white images for a period of 12 seconds each. While the fMRI machine monitored the changes in brain activity, a computer crunched the data and learned to associate the various changes in brain activity with the different image designs.
For now, the system is only able to reproduce simple black-and-white images. But Dr. Kang Cheng, a researcher from the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, suggests that improving the measurement accuracy will make it possible to reproduce images in color.
“These results are a breakthrough in terms of understanding brain activity,” says Dr. Cheng. “In as little as 10 years, advances in this field of research may make it possible to read a person’s thoughts with some degree of accuracy.”
The researchers suggest a future version of this technology could be applied in the fields of art and design — particularly if it becomes possible to quickly and accurately access images existing inside an artist’s head. The technology might also lead to new treatments for conditions such as psychiatric disorders involving hallucinations, by providing doctors a direct window into the mind of the patient."
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Emily scores again at the Half Moon Bay Ritz, continuing Gingerbread House dominance!
The Half Moon Bay Ritz Carlton's Annual Gingerbread House contest is over. Gingerbread houses from all categories were featured in a silent auction to benefit Coastside Children’s Programs in Half Moon Bay. Emily's North Pole Surf Board Workshop with Santa's little penguins hard at work won "The People's Choice Prize" as well as 2nd Place for "Home Cooks" and raised over $250 in the silent auction. Wow! Congratulations Emily.
We enjoyed the display last Saturday. After studying the contestants there was no question - Emily blew the competition away. Definitely the first time ever appearance of surfboards and penguins in a Gingerbread house.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Matt forwarded these pictures and the following description of his recent adventures bringing a new sailboat to StL from Chicago... Thanks Matt!
Photo Matt F.
Here's a fun picture of Gibson and I on day 4 delivering my new boat from Chicago to STL. Great trip, on my "new to me" boat a 30' Seidelman. Gretchen and I are excited about next season. Learned alot about river travel fast. Cold, Coal and Corn everywhere. Two really nice days the rest were very cold, total trip of 6 days 335 miles. Until Gibson joined me near Peoria on day 4, It was around 50 miles a day, with his help up to 80 miles a day. Giving me time to cook better food and have a drink.
Photo- Matt F.
Second is a guy we stopped and talked to while waiting for a lock to open. He almost went over a dam in that little rig and was so close an Army Core tug retrieved him, escaping total boat loss and possible death. He was fun to talk with and was so shook up he dropped his phone in the water. He said he was better off with out it anyway. We think he was pretty fatigued and made an slight oversight. It did kinda look like a way through but, you just couldn't miss all the lights and signs of the lock. Barges were filled to the brim with scrape metal, maybe waiting for a better price?
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
View from the Cliff ( 800mm) Photo Credit Agrinberg
Sunday's Action at Mavericks - more the view I had-( Frank Quirarte Photo)
"We are the luckiest organisms in the history of the universe."
Grant Baker after surfing Mavericks last weekend.
A big swell came in Thanksgiving weekend. I managed to paddle out and witness the action as well as catch a few mackin' wild rides (kayak surfing) about midway between Mushroom Rock and the Mav's peak. I found out my adrenal glands are still working, if not my prefrontal cortex.
Some, including Jeff Clark said Sunday was the best day ever for Mavericks.
Saturday night the sound of the ocean was strong,even at up at my house. B and I went out to Montara beach and watched the massive breakers and rips, roaring like freight trains and looking more mysterious and awesome than ever by starlight.
The big news of the weekend was the Robert heroically paddled out into the maelstrom for a first time ever kayak adventure. The picture below shows us getting into the water with Sail Rock beckoning in the background. Even the protected waters of the lagoon were pretty crazy. WAY 2 GO ROBERT!
Beverly, Robert and Sarah came to El Granada for T Day. The combined efforts ( esp Beverly) and appetites made it a bounteous feast day followed by a late afternoon walk at the Fitzgerald Marine Preserve at low tide, and an expedition the next day to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Why didn't I become a marine biologist? The marine/nature theme was carried through on the pumpkin pie decorations created by Robert and Sarah for some artistic eating. Yum!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The Man himself!
Not seen for months due to fearsome surfing injuries, King Neptune Jordan has surfaced and made the scene for Novembers' Bsecret spot trip. Not yet cleared to surf he nonetheless made the hike in fine form and was probably a stabilizing presence in camp when confrontation with locals loomed. (He knows that headlocks [see Jordan bio] aren't the solution to everything, but aggro moves in your repertoire creates some room for diplomacy. Nixon opened China, right?) Looking good, dude!!
Roark - full combat load, ready for anything, belly pack full of Fosters Ale - outside now, inside soon!
It looks to have been a fabulous trip catching the weather and waves just right. Way to go boys! Roark's pictures HERE
Beautiful glow and impressive swell - not sure who is on the wave
Roark on this one?? ( Still goin', still goin', still goin'.....)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Mike and Dan swimming with the iguanas
Elizabeth -thoughtful girl that she is- forwarded an updated set of pictures from the Galapagos Isles. featuring more big reptiles (All right!!) and their friend Mike who recently visited.
Thanks!. Check them out Here.
In other Galapagos related news: evolutionists have been flocking to a Charles Darwin image that has appeared on a wall - a miracle! Being in its presence gives one an overwhelming feeling of logic.
Excerpt: "I brought my baby to touch the wall, so that the power of Darwin can purify her genetic makeup of undesirable inherited traits," said Darlene Freiberg, one among a growing crowd assembled here to see the mysterious stain, which appeared last Monday on one side of the Rhea County Courthouse. The building was also the location of the famed "Scopes Monkey Trial" and is widely considered one of Darwinism's holiest sites. "Forgive me, O Charles, for ever doubting your Divine Evolution. After seeing this miracle of limestone pigmentation with my own eyes, my faith in empirical reasoning will never again be tested." Read the article HERE
(Courtesy "The Onion")
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Bob finds the Lagrange point, unaware his high albedo noggin is causing retina damage to children on the beach. MORE PICS
We now know why the Hawaiian tourist economy is suffering - no one from N CA needs to go because we've got their weather!
The same high pressure system over the Great Basin driving the firestorm winds burning up Southern California created a warm offshore flow for us resulting in killer beach weather. Glassy waves and a small, clean swell made for sweet surf conditions. A few pictures of the beautiful beach afternoon on Sunday HERE. Nice!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Note to Obama: as we traversed the Yosemite trail systemi we enjoyed the benefits of incredibly crafted riprap and stone work of all kinds including eroded patches of pavement . We encountered several crews doing the backbreaking work of splitting and moving rock to maintain the trail. I stopped and talked with one of the guys to thank him and mentioned that his crew was probably repairing work that had been done by the CCC in the '30s. He had never heard of the CCC. After I explained it was part of FDR's effort to put unemployed young men to work during the depression, he said 'Hey, that sounds like a great idea!" Hmmm....
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Yep, that is our Sarah, this weeks' athelete of the week! Check out the article in this week's HMB Reveiw recognizing Sarah's contribution to the tennis team! Pretty cool. Congratulations Sarah! The photo above is from the same edition of the paper for the athlete of the week award. click on the photo for a larger view.
Half Moon Bay Review Oct. 29, 2008
HMB wins tennis title
By Mark Foyer
The first big storm of the season came through yesterday.
And of course my phone was ringing -why not take this wonderful opportunity for a delightful paddle? Why not indeed. This photo shows Marty trying to get past the shore break near the jetty. The specks in the sky are kite surfers on the other side of the break water in the calm harbor. Some of them were catching 30 feet plus of air in the high wind of the storm.
Our plan was to paddle around the breakwater and out to Mushroom rock. We spent a crazy 90 minutes trying to battle our way out, but there was no way, the wind waves were stacked one on the other with no intervals and there was a tremendously strong littoral current washing us toward the breakwater. But we did get to work the paddling muscles,
practice combat rolls, swallow some sea water and enjoy some nice sideways rain.
Marty seemed happy...
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
One for the ladies
Bob, Roark & Eric: The Masters of Big Surf
I don't have any details except Roarks's pictures, but it looks like another successful expedition to a Secret Spot on the North Coast. The adventurers appear to have survived the long, low-tide, in the dark, hike-in and were rewarded with both weather and waves. Way to go! Roark's expedition pictures HERE
Monday, October 27, 2008
Thanks for a great day, Henry, and the update on your amazing projects of natural preservation and restoration, health care, art and good living.