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Jun 26 09 6:34 PM

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Love the look of this site, Jay. Great job.

Fisher and I are preparing for our voyage to Mexico, where we will be living aboard for awhile. We certainly have nowhere near the funds of your average "cruiser," so it should get financially interesting after a few months. Maybe we'll be back to the Hilo area to visit again at some point.

Thought folks here might enjoy this quote I found from Steinbeck's Log from the Sea of Cortez:

"It is a rule in paleontology that ornamentation and complication precede extinction."

I'm interested in hearing other's thoughts on that quote...

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#2 [url]

Jul 5 09 12:38 PM

A few months ago I sent Nanette a link for the "Wonder Wash." She bought it and used it and found that the only problem was the time it took to dry the clothes.

If I lived on a bigger boat I might take it along; I HATE washing clothes completely by hand.

We have also looked at a washer/spinner invented by a British guy who plans to publish the building instructions online. It's powered by a bicycle! This is a potentially good idea for use at our seasteading basecamp-to-be in San Carlos, Mexico.

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#3 [url]

Apr 5 10 5:49 PM

We''ve been using the 'wonder wash', and like it, but it's undergoing volume scrutiny. It only barely pays its way, mostly by saving time... but we've got much more of that than space!

The thing I like about it most is the reduction of soap. Some friends gave us their ionic cleaning doohickeys, and we haven't needed soap except for the worst of the worst. Pretty easy on the environment.

And maybe we could brew some wine or beer in it?

An item which DOES pay its way aboard is a wringer. It cuts drying time dramatically, and pays for itself in reduced damage to hand wrung clothes and wrists. Lehmans Non-Electric catalog carries them, tho not sure if at the best price.

Dave Z

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#4 [url]

Apr 5 10 6:24 PM

Interesting rule ("It is a rule in paleontology that ornamentation and complication precede extinction.").

I don't quite agree with the whole rule, though... 'complication', yes; 'ornamentation', no. While ornamentation can become a complication, it seems that, within fairly liberal bounds, it's extremely common and adaptive, even in long lived species (moths, for example).

In human cultures, it seems that ornamentation is a vital and valuable part of our existence. When I picture cultures that have ceased to ornament, those are the ones that strike me as on their way out (lack of time? illness of spirit?). Most indigenous people seem to have worked ornamentation into their every artifact. It's not until urbanization is advanced that there's an attempt to appropriate it for class or state ends.

I'm picturing Bauhaus, corporate art and so many art installations which seem sterile or fetishistic (to me). And I think we're on the way down... other, non-urban cultures were mostly driven to extinction, ours is one of those doing the driving.

Maybe 'industrial revolutionized' needs to qualify in there, somewhere... the turning point strikes me as WWI? No... the twenties roared. WWII? More like it. Third Reich PR/state art. Allied mass git'r'done production. The rise of the Corporation. The suburban nightmare. Now.

Now, I feel like we could use a little more ornamentation in our lives. But I'm probably making it too complicated.

Dave Z

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#5 [url]

Apr 5 10 7:47 PM

Thomas Mann, I believe,  compared periods of great blossoming in the arts to the sunsets at the end of a day, and he thought great families only produced artists in their decline. I too am not sure about this. Arguably England's greatist period of artistic achievement were the the years from queens Elizabeth through Victoria (just in writing you get Shakespeare to Wilde, Conrad, & Carroll, and similar impressiveness in most of art and science) -- also the Great Britain's period of greatist political and military dominance. 
Of course there is ornimentation of the rococo sort, vs. the austerity and formalism of (say) the Doric Order of ancient Greece. 
But I am not sure how far you can push the observations of paleontology and the extinction of species to statements about human culture, though it is certainly fun (and even illuminating at times) to do so! At best such comparisons are allegory or analogy, but that is saying much.  In any case the invention of cinema, jazz, and the electric guitar, if nothing else, give our era as great a claim to artistic profundity as any other. I will grant that perhaps the last 50 years or so have not seen quite the same level of invention, but then again, we may just be to close to the screen to see the big picture...
Even so Steinbeck rocked, and the Sea Of Cortez is a fantastic read. Makes me want to get ito my boat and go there too!

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