Rainy days are always good for building something. I have this set at home but won’t be following the instructions — gotta update for new technology. Will show pictures of modified ship later.

Black Seas Barracuda #6285 – gifted to me in 1993.

VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, BC

Designed by Perkins + Will, the Visitor Center achieves net-zero energy by using solar panels, a green roof, using on-site dry wood waste to heat water with a biomass boiler and conserving rainwater. the building is LEED certified and is part of the Living Building Challenge, which is the “most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment”.

I want to visit Vancouver ASAP.


Francis Masse

A French painter and comic – he was very active in the underground press in the 1970s. Many of his drawings are absurd and full of black humor. Unfortunately, the majority of it passes over me because of my gap in late twentieth century French culture.


Savannah, GA

I was in Savannah over a long weekend and I can’t stop thinking about it. The layout of this city, America’s first planned city, is superb for getting around town quickly – especially on a bike. (It was a little rough on the cobblestones but next time I might take a wide, knobby-tread bike instead of my old road bike.)

The downtown area is divided into wards – each intended to be its own self-sustaining urban neighborhood.  The ward was cut into 8 blocks, surrounding a central public square. Today, the square serves as a roundabout making the city bike and pedestrian friendly while keeping stop signs and lights to a minimum. If you lived and worked downtown there would be no need for a car. Forsyth Park lies at the southern end of downtown. I caught a rugby match, had a few beers (open container laws) and read a book while people were playing ultimate frisbee, tennis and basketball.

The main tourist spots are crowded but once you find the way around the squares and onto side streets it quiets down, leaving time to coast and building-watch. I’ve only been in the fall and spring but I can’t imagine it being too hot during the summer because huge gnarled oaks lining the streets and in covering the squares.

*map from