Wednesday, October 31, 2001

††††††††††† I got my new portable computer this afternoon.It is the Sony R505JSK Super Slim Pro.I picked this one because it is light.The other portables I have had such as the Sony F390 that Jen has now are just to damn heavy (over 7 lb.) to easily carry around with you when you are going to get a cup of coffee.I got this computer to be an extension of my mind, especially for this winterís adventure.I have come up with quite an involved plan for the coming year.Iím going to need all the help I can get.


Friday, November 02, 2001

††††††††††† It is a beautiful fall day, sunny and warm.I put my laptop in my backpack and rode my bike down to the Chilmark Store for coffee and a bagel.While I had breakfast I sat out on the porch editing video of Sophie painting.It is a fun little eight minute piece of a three and a half year old painting three pictures.It works pretty well on that level because Sophie is a cute little girl to watch and we are dealing with nice primary colors.The more time I spend watching the video the more I see a piece about the process of creating in an artistic way.When I see the way she does the hand prints for the tenth time I realize what she is thinking: how she first holds her paint covered hands up close to the paper and stares at them, then she takes her hands away and looks at the painting and imagines the hand prints

Pretty neat Iíd say.I think this is going to work out pretty well.(Although I did just discover a malfunctioning pixel in the display Ė a small black dot right after the word ďvideoĒ a couple of sentences ago.)


††††††††††† In my thinking I keep coming back to The Journey is the Reward.What is a little strange is to realize that since we live in a four dimensional space time continuum we are always moving along on our journey even when we are staying in the same place.Sitting on a couch youíre still moving through the time dimension.As I get older I am much more conscious of how real time is as a dimension.Iím not the same as I was last year or ten years ago or even yesterday.Not just physically but what I think and feel is different too.

Monday, November 05, 2001

††††††††††† Cloudy with the wind from the North.I am trying to figure out how to get my new laptop to do what I want it to do.So far it hasnít been a cakewalk. A seemingly simple thing like capturing still images off my video. It is something that sounds like it should be easy, but gets a bit more complicated.The first problem is that video is interlaced, so if there is motion you only want one of the two fields.Adobe Premiere, for some strange reason, canít do that when you capture a frame in it.I went to discussion groups on the web and found that the only thing to do is to take the image you get from Premiere and import it into Photoshop and apply a deinterlace filter.

†† Went to get a flu shot at the new West Tisbury Fire House.It was so crowded that I was given a sign in sheet with number 179 on it and told to come back in a couple of hours.

Friday, November 09, 2001

††††††††††† I am getting very frustrated with my new laptop.Iíve been trying to export an eight minute video I made of Sophia painting.It is very simple, just strait cuts with a few fades: no music, no titles, just one still frame.The computer doesnít seem to be able to handle it.It works for a few minutes and then starts getting choppy and speeding up the video for a while and then it may go back to working fine for a while.So this morning I rendered the whole project into a single Microsoft DV avi file and made a new project with the new eight minute clip being the whole project.I was able to export that to tape with no problems that I could see so far.The biggest problem is that it took 45 minutes to render the 8 minute video.

November 11, 2001.

A new grandson and the first real islander in the family. Betzy must be pleased; she wanted Jenny to live in her house after she died and raise a family there.

Welcome to Wild Island Dashiell.

Friday, December 14, 2001

†††††††††† On the ferry coming back from Vermont.Iíve been feeling pretty blah lately.It is hard for me to get going this time of year.This year the weather has been pretty amazing, very warm and almost no rain until this last week.I have been taking some good mountain bike rides around town. Since it gets dark so early I have been using the headlight that Todd fixed me up with a few years ago.It has been fun going out a little before sunset and staying out as it gets totally dark.It is a magical time to be outdoors. A lot of the sunsets have been quite spectacular.


††††††††††† I havenít formalized any plans for this winter.I had been thinking about going to Thailand and making a life sized version of The Dance and getting it cast in bronze and bringing it back for next summer.After talking to Paul Cavanaugh when I was getting some patinas redone Iím not so sure that Iíve thought it out enough to get it done by next summer.There are lots of potential problems with something that big: how so you transport it, do you make it in pieces and if you do then how do they connect, how do you attach it to the base, etc. etc.

††††††††††† So maybe I should do some simpler life sized pieces first before attempting something as complicated at the five figure The Dance.Then lately Iíve started thinking that maybe this year I should work on my music fantasy.I have started developing the idea of going on a ďWorld ďTourĒ.Instead of performing for audiences of people I would record what I do which is to go to beautiful places with my guitar and sing with the birds or surf or whatever the natural sounds are.


I returned the Sony laptop. Even after trying all sorts of things and talking to support people and support web sites I was unable to get the damn thing to be able to handle editing and exporting back to DV tape simple 15 minute videos without dropping frames. It is a bit of bummer because I really liked the light weight of the Sony R505JSK Super Slim Pro, but it just couldn't do the jobs I need it to do.

Next I tried to get Adobe Premiere working on the top of the line HP Pavilion laptop that I picked up at Circuit City. It was almost able to do it but not quite. In doing a half hour video project the problems were with output back to tape. Not only did it screw up the beginning and end (not a real problem since you want to have a black leader and trailer unless you are trying to insert a project into the middle of a previously recorded tape) but it also lost a few frames at random points in the middle. So after a lot of hassle I returned that computer too. My next try is a Dell Inspiron 8100. It didn't arrive until after Marianne and I took off for Hawaii.

1/29/2002 Kona, Hawaii

††††††††††† I picked up my new Dell computer yesterday afternoon at Mailboxes in Kialua Kona.It arrived on the Vineyard after we had left so Todd shipped it out to me here.I should call up the guy I bought if from to see if I can get the 30 days trial period to start now.(I just got to find his number; it should be on one of the CDs I made with backup data.The main problem is to see if I can get Premiere to edit video on this machine without all the problems I have had on the last three laptops I have been trying out.††† The problem is that I donít have my video camera yet since I had to get it fixed.But it is on the way. As of today.So it should arrive Thursday, or Friday at the latest.I also ordered a Ewa Marine underwater housing for the Camcorder so hopefully Iíll be able to get some great footage of swimming with the dolphins, as well as all the pretty reef fish.We shall see.

††††††††††† Iím a bit worried about how well this computer is going to work out.When I first turned it on and took the Windows XP Tour it crashed a couple of time while I tried to take the Tour.Then in Word it froze up and wouldnít let me type, although the mouse seemed to work fine.I donít like the idea of rebooting all the time.

††††††††††† It is a pretty dreary rainy day today.


††††††††††† Up at Volcano in a bed and breakfast.A real bed and a hot shower Ė even if the hot water knob is on the right.Iím about to try capturing some video

Thursday, February 14, 2002 Kona, Hawaii

††††††††††† Happy Valentineís Day!What a beautiful day it has been.Sunny and warm.Iíve been working with my new computer to edit video.Iíve been working on the hike Marianne and I took down to the Captain Cook Monument and our snorkel down there.Itís coming along.Iím about at the point where I need to add music and work on the audio balances.Iíve been playing the guitar quite a bit at Hookena.Quite a few people have said very nice things to me about my playing and singing.It is a nice feeling to get positive feedback.It is especially encouraging since Iíve pretty much decided that one of the first things I want to accomplish this winter is to put together a disk of my music.I feel like I need to get most of the songs I know and have been singing for years down in a finished format so that I can more on to new and different music.Iím feeling pretty good about it.Iíve been feeling the flow.Playing with the surf is relaxing. I havethe idea of playing in all sorts of beautiful places rather than playing to people.It seems to fit with the way I am: I donít really like people all that much and I like playing out of doors with the natural sounds of birds, surf, etc.It also should make for interesting video.A potential problem is the sound quality.It wonít sound like it was recorded in a studio, but thatís not what Iím looking for at this time anyway.Iwant to do it my way.It is different and unprofessional, but that is the way I am.It is sort of like my sculpture: people seem to like it, even if the ďexpertsĒ donít.I donít believe in the ďexpertsĒ and critics so why should I expect them to believe in me?Good question when you look at it that way.

Sunset from our campsite at Hookena after Marianne and I hiked to the Captain Cook Monument.


Saturday, February 16, 2002

††††††††††† Iíve had a truly wonderful day.After a cup of tea I went for a half an hour swim.I am working up to swimming from the beach at Hookena all the way to the point.I made it out to the end of the higher cliff in 11 minutes where I turned around.When I get back to the beach I do a dogleg over to the underwater rock that is somewhere under the sun in the picture above.That way I always turn around well before I have used up half my energy.It always pays to minimize your risk when you are dealing with the sea.

††††††††††† After a breakfast of fresh organic Papaya and banana from the Kona Fruit Stand dolphin fins appeared out in the bay.I swam out but I didnít see any dolphins and I was getting cold without a wetsuit so I came in.The dolphins were out there, however, so after resting up with a cup of tea and a chapter or two in Time Love and Memory I swam back out with my new wetsuit this time.There was only one small pod of nine dolphins and they seemed to be resting, but after a while they came and played with the leaves I had brought out.

The Spinner Dolphins like to catch the Leaves on their fins.

I feel like some of the dolphins are getting to know me.The pod this morning stayed with me for almost a half an hour.For the first time I traded leaves back and fourthwith one of the dolphins.Finally I had to quit, I was getting too exhausted.I was in the water forty five minutes for a total of an hour and a half of swimming that morning.

††††††††††† Later I went into Kailua for the Chinese New Year Block party.A long section of Alii Drive was block off and was full of people, booths, and bands.The thing that interested me the most was a climbing wall about 25í high that was a trailer.It had three climbs, each with there own cable which hooked into the harness they put on you so that there was no way you could fall or get hurt. It reminded me of the Rope Ladder Challenge I made for the Martha's Vineyard Ag Fair years ago. It cost $5 to climb, but only $1 if you are over 50. So how could I resist, even if I was beat from all the swimming earlier in the day. I went up the middle climb. I made it, but it was harder than I thought it was going to be. They offered to let me try the hardest climb, but after the climb my arms felt like jelly. Later I came back to the climbing wall. I wanted to try the hard climb, but I also felt worn out and doubted I could make it. After a while I decided that the real failure would be to not give it a try. So I got in line, the oldest by a long shot. When my turn came I tried the hardest climb. As I got near the top my arms started to shake. I wanted to quit. It was really difficult (at least for me as a non climber) and I didn't see how I could do it. Then somehow I just decided to give it my all and the hell with all my muscles screaming at me that they can't do any more. I made it, rang the buzzer at the top and let out yell of success. Rappelling back down I elated. Todd, one of the people running the Wall, told me I made it one shear will power. He was right. You can see a picture of the Wall on their web site:

I feel like that climb symbolizes my recovery from my back problems. Back pain is a companion that I can do without.

Monday, February 25, 2002

††††††††††† I'm sitting in my pickup truck in the pouring rain.Iím leaving Hookena today and heading up north to Spencer.Unfortunately I didnít get the tent down and packed up before the rain started.Fortunately I did get the sleeping bag and mattress bagged up and in the truck, so they are dry.The dolphins were here again today so after breakfastI headed out and played with them for an hour or so.There were a lot of them and they were quite playful.†† I saw some new behavior too: high speed close in chasing.They are such beautiful swimmers. I do wish I had a housing for my video camera. Well, one of these years Iíll get that worked out.

††††††††††† Yesterday there were more dolphins than I have ever seen here; must have been over a hundred.A lot of times they were all around me, small groups slowly moving in different directions.Diving down among them in the beautiful rippling sunlight made blue and almost tactile by the water I had the feeling of soaring sacred space that I remember from being in a cathedral from the middle ages.A few days before, while swimming with a smaller pod of dolphins, the sound of whales singing their love songs filled the space and was very magical.

7:37 PMKohala, where it is very windy and once I turned the corner the rain was pouring down so hard I had to slow down to 30 mph.

††††††††††† I put up my tent as the sun was going down. The wind was strong but Iím in a very sheltered spot with trees on three sides.The open side faces the ocean and the sun setting directly off shore in the middle of my view.I was too busy tying off the tent to trees and rocks to look for the green flash.

††††††††††† I feel like this is the start of a new phase in this journey.The first part was to have a good time with Marianne and get strong.Iím still fighting a runny nose and sore throat, but I feel like Iíve gotten into pretty good shape.Iím 160 pounds and now I can feel the individual muscles in my arms and legs when I tense them.I can be out for an hour swimming with the dolphins, free diving down to swim with them and playing the leaf game, and not feel wiped out for the rest of the day like I did a month ago.Now I come in and after a shower, a cup of tea and papaya, and some reading Iím ready to go back out, even with my cold.

††††††††††† So now I want to get organized so that I can get to use my new Dell laptop and get my show on the road.During dinner I watched the Captain Cook Monument Hike video that Iím working on.Having been away from it for a while it seems better than I had thought.Which is nice.

There are just so many things that I want to do.One of them is to make a list of them.I also need to make A NECKLACE for SOPHIA WITH THE SEA URCHIN SPINES.

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

††††††††††† It rained and blew last night, but my trusty tent kept me warm and dry.When I got up it was cloudy, gray and still windy so I headed into Hawi and had coffee and a bagel at the Kohala Coffee Mill. Looks like I may have even found a place to plug in my laptop and go online.Iím at the library now, a nice place to be out of the weather and get some work done.Iíd like to get some stuff ready to put up on my website.

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