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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Remembering Sarah E. Jones

Team SarahLast week, while working on a film in Georgia, Sarah Jones, an incredibly talented, friendly, and sweet camera operator, was killed by a train. Details are trickling out, and I don’t want to speculate, so I won’t. What I will say is that this is such a tragedy and absolutely could have and should have been prevented. The film community is rallying to show their support, posting photos of slates (that’s the black and white clapper you see in movies about movies) with her name on it. They are calling it “Slates for Sarah“…and it’s going global. There’s also a petition being circulated to have Sarah included in the Oscar’s “In Memorial” review. I would be honored if those who read this post would be so kind as to sign the petition. My greatest hope is that we can use this tragedy to improve safety on film sets. We should all be on Team Sarah…Never Forget-Never Again!

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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Favorite Things

 

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Underwear Rant

I don’t understand how, with nearly a century modern “underwear”, it still fits so badly. We all know women complain about bras. No matter how comfortable a bra is at the start of the day, you will be desperate to get it off at the end. My real pet peeve, though, are panties. Why, oh why, must they ride up? It doesn’t matter the cut, boy short, cheekster, granny-panty, or thong, it will be up your butt at some point in the day. It’s such a pain! Do men have this kind of problem? I mean, boxers are just a pair of shorts away from going commando, but, do men who wear tightie whities have the same problem? And, if they don’t, why can’t women’s undies use the same system to keep them in place? Inquiring minds want to know!

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Adrift by Steven Callahan

The Pacific castaway José Salvador Alvarenga was known by fisherman in a Mexican port and his boat was reported missing in late 2012, it has emerged.

A few days ago, this man, José Salvador Alvarenga, was rescued from the Pacific Ocean after what he claims were 13 months adrift. Some people accept his story, many are suspicious:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/04/castaway-story-backing-from-mexican

While I reserve comment on this particular case, I don’t think we have all the facts yet, I don’t find his story completely unbelievable. Why? Because I recently read an amazing book by Steven Callahan.

 Adrift: Seventy-six days lost at Sea is Callahan’s recollection of his time on an emergency life raft after being shipwrecked in the Atlantic. The story is incredible, moving, and uplifting. Callahan, a lifelong sailor, built his own boat, the Napoleon Solo in 1981. It is apparent from his detailed description of this boat that Callahan truly loved this boat. He wasn’t a “D.I.Y.er” either, by 1981, Callahan had been building and designing boats for seven years.

Callahan’s ambition was straightforward, he wanted to test the Napoleon Solo in a trans-Atlantic race called the Mini-Transat, alone. He tested the boat in a solo race from Newport to Bermuda. He then sailed with a friend from Bermuda to England, the plan being to head to Penzance where the race would take him to the Canaries and on to Antigua, thereby circumnavigating the Atlantic Ocean. Callahan claims that he didn’t have any thoughts of being the fastest, only of testing himself and his skills as a boat builder and designer, and as a seaman as well.

After leaving Penzance, Callahan faced a major storm which necessitated major repairs to the Solo. He made the repairs and headed out for the open water of the Atlantic Ocean on January 29th. He experienced smooth sailing at first and anticipated arriving at his destination on February 25th. Then, a major storm in early February, through which he fought to keep his boat safe, ended up causing such major damage that he had to abandon the Solo, managing to remove only the emergency life raft with its standard supplies and a duffle bag with extra emergency supplies he had packed and a survivalist guidebook.

Through a combination of intelligence, planning, luck, and sheet force of will, Callahan managed to survive the treacherous crossing. He had to fight hunger and, more crucially, thirst, storms, sharks, fish, and his own mind.  Callahan’s writing style is spartan. He could be an engineer in the way he focuses on the facts of the situation. Then again, this may have saved his life. With his intelligence he was able to remake his fishing spear each time it was damaged apparently beyond repair. He was even able to repair a massive gash in the side of his life raft, and modify desalination units that were not working properly. In the end, he floated to the island of Guadeloupe and Marie Galante, where he was rescued by fishermen who happened to be in an area they rarely fished. Callahan spent weeks in the hospital recovering and was eventually reunited with his family.

Callahan’s story is fantastic, and this book is an incredible testament to the power of the human will to survive the apparently not survivable. The illustrations drawn by the author are compelling and are used to great effect to illustrate complex rigs that Callahan devised during his journey. He also uses them to show the pathos of his experience, betraying the lack of sentimentality of his words.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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New Paintings

I’ve spent many years pursuing the perfect photo-realistic painting style. I’ve studied undertones and details and have striven for perfection. Recently, though, I threw that all out the window and decided to feel my new paintings. They’re not perfect, but I like them. The colors are a little off because I photographed them on my phone, but you can see the way they flow. It feels really good to paint this way!

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Posted by on February 2, 2014 in Uncategorized