12 June 2012

The Sea Ranch

That's what they call it. Not "Sea Ranch," but The Sea Ranch. It's an upscale community of second homes north of Fort Ross on the California coast. My cousin Chuck has a cabin there. He calls it his "dacha." That's Russian for "superb rural house." See, "cabin" does not have that quality meaning you get in the Russian.

This was the first time I used an iPhone exclusively for the pictures, and that was a mistake. The low light capability sucks, but the screen is so small I did not notice how many duds I was taking. As a result, this picture, the only only I have of Chuck's whole dacha, is all shaky.


I flew out from the Fresno Air Terminal. I hate commercial air transport. You have to get there so damn early, you may as well have taken the train. And then there's the ridiculous security. I wish we did what the Israelis did starting in the seventies—just put a Mossad agent with a gun on every flight. Presto! No more hijacking! Getting ahead of myself, the departure lines at SF are insufferably long, and then my flight was delayed two hours. I actually would have gotten home sooner had I taken the train.

Flying military transport is more fun. The pilots are kinda wild, and there's usually these net seats you can lay on. Also, since they know you, you don't have all those dumb as posts security guys to deal with.


Here's a picture of me in front of this lovely little non-denominational chapel they have there.


And here's an interior shot.


One thing I got from seeing pictures of me is that I need to lose weight. Ick. I'm in the "linebacker" category these days. So consider these some "before" shots!

Here's another of me down by the Gualala River. This is just down the hill from Chuck's dacha.


Chuck's place is really quite magical. We had a great time. Mainly we just talked and talked. We also had fun doing chores around the place. We saw very few people, but everyone is super friendly. One of the problems with Leftist propaganda is that they don't seem to get that far and away most of the upper middle class are quite socially conscious and civically responsible. In the case of The Sea Ranch, this is expressed in a hyper aware environmentalism as well as dignified public manners.

And speaking of such high awareness, here's a picture of cousin Chuck. He hates having his picture taken, but I was able to sneak in a few shots. Chuck has worked for Chevron for many, many years. He's in contracts right now, but he has spent a lot of time overseas in places like Angola and Kazakhstan. He's hyper smart, and he had really good advice about how to turn my wood carving into a viable business.


We were driving back at the time I took that picture. To Chuck's right, you would have seen this view.


After the weekend at The Sea Ranch, Chuck dropped me off at my brother Mike's place in San Francisco. Here's a picture of the view from the street in front of his house.


And this is brother Mike.


We were out walking his dog, Bosco, who is a scrappy little Boston Terrier and also my buddy. I didn't get a picture of Bosco. [Edit, 13 June. Actually, you can see Bosco just behind Mike.]

Mike's wife, Yoko, and his four year old daughter, Haruno, are in Tokyo right now, so Mike has his house to himself. He's using the time to make some boxes designed to fit in the back of his Subaru for camping. Mike's a designer genius guy. He works for Gap Inc. designing displays, mainly.

I was telling him about this idea I had for a retractable wing sail for a sail boat, and he suggested something that would reduce the cost and weight so dramatically, I just about fainted with the simplicity of it. He does that. He sees into things.

It is nice to have people to love.

Except for the damn plane and airport, it was a great trip.


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