Conference Search

Running around looking for a place to hold a conference next year is exhausting. I forgot how far it really was to South Tahoe, and it sure has a lot more traffic than I remember.


The world is full of connections. I was living in the hills of Nevada County just upslope from Grass Valley. I'm now living down here on the coast just south of Hearst Castle, built by William Randolph Hearst, the newspaperman who inspired Citizen Kane.

Today I'm watching Deadwood for the first time. I'm somewhere in the second season and a representative for a Hearst is making noises. So I looked him up. Turns out it's William Randolph Hearst's father. 

And where did George Hearst start making his money?  Grass Valley, California.

I know it's the new car effect, but still. 

Cayucos Whirlpool

At the vacation house I was renting between homes this winter, I saw a Hiroshege print. Actually, I saw a jigsaw puzzle that had been glued together, framed and hung on a wall. I decided that if I ever got back to painting, I'd try to make my own version.

Well, here it is:

I tried to make the rocks look a little more like Whale Rock, though this time of year Whale Rock is almost all white, and the coast is more like the hills on the other side of the pier.  True, the coast would be to the right of this view of Whale Rock, but we have cameras for reality, right?

Here's what it looks like hung on the wall:


Well, I found an app for my iPhone that lets me add posts from the phone. I'm not sure if this will increase my output or not, but it's with a try. 

Looks like I can add pictures, like this one:

but I can't do much formatting. Pretty much, it looks like I can bold text, but I can't change the picture size or provide a link to whatever sea creature I took a picture of. 

There were gobs and gobs of them on the beach this weekend. I like the blue food coloring. 


OK, so I've been slacking a bit and it's time to get back on the horse. I found myself writing a pretty rambling email to a friend this morning and I realized that my writing needs a bit of pruning. The best way to get back into writing habits is to write, and I don't really think it matters what.

I owe a post on the annual state of the Toaties, but I'll get to that later.

Here's what I did today: I dressed up a shed.

The house I bought down here in Cayucos was more expensive than I had hoped back when I was dreaming of finding a shack to improve, so I've not had the budget to dive into home construction projects that I thought I'd have. I haven't really done anything to the house since I ripped out the bathtub sliding doors. (Doesn't look like I made pictures of that. Goodness.)

Back in the yard with all the cactus plants, there is a ragged shed. I suspect it's unfinished because of the fear of permitting or something, but there's a shell of a shed that the former occupant used to store surfboards. It was covered with a tarp, wrapped entirely with black plastic, but underneath has a good frame. Here is what it looked like:

The blue tarp had gotten itself shredded by the wind and there are bits and pieces of blue plastic all over the yard. There isn't a lot of rain here and I'm just using it as a place to paint, but that black plastic is starting to get little rips and the tree from the neighbors yard has a good flail in every breeze, so I was sure it was going to split right open at some point.

In keeping with the not-a-real-structure thing, I decided to cover up the front with the kind of material you can use to reupholster outdoor furniture. Then I put a series of Ondura roofing panels on top. It's corrugated, but not nearly so shiny and cheap looking as plastic, in my humble opinion. And so now my shed looks like this:

I'm pretty happy with it. We'll see how it holds up to the weather.