Shadout Mapes

Went to New Brunswick and Sommerville for dinner with Chris.  Truly crazy times in suburban Jersey.  I’ve been thinking lately that the Dune mythology is all we really need as a framework to understand anything in our lives and this modern world.  Oil, gas, giant Sandworms, the spice Melange, and a never ending war on terrorism and the Middle East – Frank Herbert saw it coming.

For the longest time I just wanted to be the Paul Atreides (Maud’dib) to Chani (as played by Sean Young).  Really you cannot beat Sean Young in the 80’s.  She was a hot cybernetic organism in Bladerunner and the hot Fremen concubine to the Messiah (as played by Kyle MacLachlan) in Dune, it doesn’t get any better than that.  Except that it does, because she was in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street.  As far as my memory of the 80’s, she’s it.  Well that, and the Nike Airmax, I remember when my dad first got Airmaxes and they were cool.

In homage to oil wars and neo-hipster yuppie’ism I thought I’d post some photos of the Volvo 1800 coupe from The Saint fame and also a Toyota Land Cruiser FJ60, as both are quite suitable for Williamsburg and hipster ‘cred in general. And some photos of nouveau luxe condo construction.

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White Toyota FJ Williamsburg Hipster Cruiser Sweetness
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Your word of the evening: moribund, |ˈmôrəˌbənd

moribund : adjective (of a person) at the point of death. • (of a thing) in terminal decline; lacking vitality or vigor

The FLAC  “Best of Cat Stevens” album I’ve recently been listening to reminds me of something that must be nagging at least a few people’s hearts, namely that of a need for change.  How do you go from pop-folk idol to Orthodox Muslim?  On some level I don’t think it’s all that different than dropping out and building a multi-story yurt in the deeps woods of Maine.   Or say growing up in an austere Christian sect, winning the Tour de France,  and then having your title and livelihood taken away.  This stuff happens all the time. Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, born Steven Demetre Georgiou apparently gave up secular guitar playing for a long time.  But one day his son brought a guitar home and he played.  And maybe he needed to play, as almost all his concerts and work benefits world peace and child welfare causes.   But these causes were important to him from the beginning, whatever his name was, it’s just a question of listening for the voice. 

I did get RockBox working on the 3rd generation iPod, so that’s another win for the Open Source camp. DD-WRT is next for the router.  For whatever reason AFP doesn’t work over the router.  Unbuntu 8.04 comes out soon, I think most everyone’s loins are girded for this occasion.


More Ocean State

So we went to a wedding in Newport and we somehow avoided traffic in both directions, perhaps in part due to the off season, perhaps because we left the city at 12:30 on Friday afternoon.  It was beautiful; blue skies, cliffs, mansions, and more nautically themed bars than you can shake a stick at.  Lots of Zoe’s sailing buddies were in attendance. Zoe and I woke early on Saturday to get a few hours of bouldering in at Lincoln Woods Park (not Casino) just north of Providence.  The rock was a rough sharp granite, it was a cloudless 75 degrees, and we met a few New England climbers (they say “cah” not “car”).  There is a large amount of climbing within the small park boundaries and it was free.  In the ‘Gunks we pay at least $15 for the privilege.  To me it felt a bit like Rumney, only without the tall sport climbs and 4 hours closer.

The ceremony was at St. Mary’s and the reception at the Astor’s-Beechwood Mansion. We drank dark and stormies at the Black Pearl on the wharf during the intermission between the church and the mansion.  Lots of men in faded Mt. Gay Rum hats, but it seems the big money won’t come into Newport for another month or two.  The reception was black tie optional and Zoe did her part wearing a slim black spaghetti strapped cocktail dress while I wore a blue pinstriped suit and a silken yellow paisley tie from my father’s collection.  The live band, chosen at random by the planners, was surprisingly good and kept everyone dancing from the first dance onward.  For a party at a mansion that specializes in historical re-enactments, there was quite a bit of dancing.  Also there was a chocolate fountain with marshmallows and strawberries, which was pretty amazing.  I think we went to bed at exactly 00:03 as we were exhausted from both climbing that morning and drinking in the afternoon sun.  Newport is every bit as beautiful and rich as anyone will tell you.  And not a bad place to get married either.

Here’s the link to the NY Times wedding announcement and video from this weekend.

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Natalie and Zoe
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Cliffs aft.

Pawtucket, Central Falls – Ground Round, Larry’s Lounge

So if you ever get asked to rig a “stage” in greater Providence, Rhode Island, chances are you will be rigging a “stage” in an old textile mill from the late 1800’s.  Also, it will be filthy and spooky as you’d imagine a 130 year old factory would be.  We ran a lot of cable and hung many lights, and we had something like four days to do it.  To facilitate this we ended up with a bunch of Stage Hands from Local 23, and there we already a bunch of guys from Local 481, and everyone pretty much talked funny.  Did I mention it was filthy?  It was a screen adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s “A Tell Tale Heart”.  As David said, “Everyone is getting back into Gothic Horror these days”.  True, true.

So yeah.  It was Zoe’s birthday this Saturday, we got a bunch of people together (The Preps versus the Beards) and bowled at “The Gutter” in Greenpoint.  Good beer, bad lanes.  Zoe seemed happy.

WordPress is begging me to upgrade to Version 2.5.  Mostly I’m concerned with the really poor speed of this blog, and I think it’s due in part to the database and Dreamhost, but I’m not sure.  There is some extended Google Apps functionality that might be good too.  The MSN Live Search doesn’t even list this blog.  But I am now the number one “Mark Beattie”on Yahoo Search. So that is sweet.  Maybe some more bouldering at Cat Rock this afternoon?  The sun is shining, 46 degrees.

Candy Factory

Whose woods these are I think I know…

So there we were, hiking in the woods along the Hudson River, right next to Break Neck Ridge, doing our own thing, and next think you know we’re staring at six Jeep Rubicons fully outfitted 4×4’s rolling over just about anything. Except this was a hiking trail on State Forest Land and most of these guys in Jeeps were from Connecticut. The best part was that one of the Jeeps had a small child strapped in the back in a safety seat with a full face helmet on. Now that is love. Except that love would be taking your child into the woods out of doors and walking instead of rolling over it. And surely this is not just an American thing, but I never expected to see such machines so close to the city.

At least the weather was nice. The view from Mt. Beacon was great. The City of Hat Makers was quaint and we were readily fed after our 9 mile walk in the woods at “The Piggy Bank” which as it name implies was a former bank now specializing in pork dishes. Also the dilapidated dairy farm, destroyed incline railroad, and the deserted barns show how little nature cares about man’s efforts. So yes, hopefully the springs of oil will dry up and the men in their off-road Rubicons will have to take again to nature by foot and actually lead their children somewhere noble again.