Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Lido 14 Story

The Small Boat Review section in the February issue of Southwinds Magazine (which covers the eight southeastern states) features the story of the Lido 14.

Did I say "southeastern states"? Yes! While most sailors think of the Lido as a California boat, I was surprised to learn that for a time Schock Corp produced them in Bradenton, Florida, and that post-Hurricane Katrina, the Pontchartrain Yacht Club chose the Lido 14 as part of their fleet mix. There are now 16 of them there.

Lido 14s (a Laser, and a Finn*) on Lake Pontchartrain, LA
*Thanks, Baydog

You can download the magazine here: Southwinds Magazine February 2011 (16.1 MB). The Lido article starts on page 39.

Get your own Lido 14 from W.D. Schock or the suppliers listed on the right under "OTHER PORTS OF CALL".

Incidentally, the author of the review, Jabbo Gordon, is a retired submariner in the US Navy and is presently the program director of the Venice (Florida) Youth Boating Association VYBA where he has previously served as summer instructor and chief coach since 1995.

Until next, sweet sailing.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fo' Real, Brah

In the previous post, Fate Yanagi was played by Gayln Kong Akaka. That was in 1981. Here she is in 2008 talking about the experience and who she is "fo' real", on the Hawaiian TV show "NightTime with Andy Bumatai" (Andy is another very funny Hawaiian comedy talent). Good fun.

...And now you know the rest of the story.

Until next, sweet sailing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tell Fate Yanagi I Love Her

Hawaii's Rap Reiplinger became popular in the 1970s after forming a three man comedy troupe called "Booga Booga". He went on to do solo tours across the US Mainland playing in top clubs including 'The Aladdin' in Las Vegas, 'Catch a Rising Star' in New York, and at 'The Improv' in Los Angeles. He also won an Emmy Award in 1982 for his Public Television special 'Rap's Hawaii,' which he both wrote and starred in, and took home a bronze medal from the International Film and Television Festival of New York for "Most Outstanding Television Production". His video and recordings are still available through the Hawaii music label "The Mountain Apple Company".

Tragically, like many talented artists of his generation, he had a problem with drugs and died of a cocaine overdose in January of 1984 at the age of 33. His work lives on though and continues to inspire other Hawaiian actors and comedians as well as to entertain us all.

Until next, sweet sailing.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Rising Sun - As Seen From The Land Of

Sunrise this morning from our hotel room in Oarai, Ibaraki. Oarai is a port town with a fishing boat harbor and a commercial harbor where ferries leave for Hokkaido. It is also where lake Hinuma's waters empty, via the Naka River, into the sea.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

W. D. Schock Memorial Regatta

March 5 & 6, 2011

from: Newport Harbor Yacht Club

The W.D. Schock Memorial Regatta is just a month away, and we are trying a few new things to make the racing fun for all of the boats we are expecting at this year’s event.

The Race Committee plans to have the Harbor 20 fleet begin racing at noon both days and sail two races. After the second race, the Harbor 20s will head to the dock for a break while the Lido 14s & L12s race. If weather conditions permit, the sequence will be repeated. This schedule has been a huge success in other NHYC multi-class one-design events because it allows everyone to enjoy a less congested racecourse.

As an added attraction, the club will be giving each boat a special tracking device. It monitors the boat’s every move and charts the “track” from start to finish. It is the coolest thing! After the racing, each skipper will be able to track his or her progress over the racecourse and compare speed and direction with the rest of the fleet. We used this during the Harbor 20 Domenico De Sole Regatta last year – the data is amazing!

There is an entry fee with this regatta, which includes 1 Saturday night regatta dinner party ticket. If you would like to purchase additional tickets please do so during the entry process. There will be extremely limited tickets available for purchase at check-in and no tickets will be sold at the door. Chef Polly and his staff put out a delicious spread so you won’t want to miss this great chance to mingle with friends during a great weekend of sailing.

Please be sure to read the Notice of Race for all the official details. You can enter today by visiting the W. D. Schock Official Notice Board on our website ( Just go to Racing and then to the Calendar. If you have questions, please contact Charlie Underwood at the NHYC Race Office, or 949-723-6870.

Until next, sweet sailing.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sartorial Correctness

Or Mad Hatter? The post title comes from O Docker, who uses fancy-shmancy lingo that I have to look up most of the time.

O Docker maintains that my Disneyland fedora would have looked better on Peppi's head and has challenged me to post a picture with Peppi in the fedora (which he provided) and throw it open to a vote. Actually, it's more of an Alpine or Tyrolean hat, but I'll not split feathers.

So here is the "O Dock-tored" pic showing the hat on Peppi:

No fair comparing either of us to Jean Gabin in the title role of Pépé le Moko (1937):

I do concede that Peppi (the dog) looked good in a hat. He was French after all. Here he is celebrating his birthday with some lanky kid in short pants:

... and trying on my marching band shako:

Anyway, if anyone bothers to read this blog, let us know your opinion.

Here's your chance to express your "sartorial correctness" opinion on who should have been wearing the fedora. Here at Sweet Bluesette, we wear the hats, you decide.

Update February 12: Since this poll's script messed up the color scheme on the blog, I've decided to close it and concede defeat to Peppi. Here is the final result:

A majority agrees with O Docker. Peppi would have looked better in my hat. (Sigh).

Thanks for voting!

Until next, sweet sailing.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Pandabonium Cave

"Pépé le Moko" (Peppi) and Pandabonium at our hideout in the Santa Monica Mountains.

I'm the one on the right.

No, you can't have this hat.

Until next, sweet sailing.

Floating Through February

After the rain and snow of January it was time to check on Bluesette. I had installed a plastic tarp under the Sunbrella boat cover (which had developed a leak) and I wanted to see if that had solved the problem that patching had not. The minor leaks were not a big concern when the weather was warm and were sailing every week, but with Bluesette sitting through winter, we didn't want water in the boat or on the sails.

Happily, as we peeked inside from the transom, we found the cockpit completely dry.

It has been a bit colder than usual, and though the usual sailors with Lasers and Sea Hoppers had planned to be on the water through winter, they were no where to be seen. I dropped a thermometer off the end of the dock and measured 45º F. The air was 50º - not as cold as it has been, but still too chilly for us. Lots of water fowl, however were on the water, noisily enjoying their respite from the ice of Siberia and Hokkaido.

Meanwhile, Kimie was reading something on her Kindle. Odd name. Seems to me a paper book would be better kindling than an electronic device. She could have used a fire, as the sendai she was seated on was pretty cold.

We had lunched at home, so skipped Mama's Kitchen this trip. We're looking forward to sailing again - after things warm up a bit.

Until next, sweet sailing.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

First Command

Sunk by a sea monster!

Here I am (left) with my best friend Bill as we take water over the transom and the monster (my Standard Poodle, Peppi) circles the boat, waiting to devour us.

Until next, sweet sailing.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pandabonium Revisited

I am sometimes asked where the name Pandabonium comes from. Sometimes people see Pandabonium without the logo - such as in an email - and think it's "x-rated" (which is why I spell it out for people on the sidebar). If you see my logo, obviously I'm supposed to be the panda bear and I play the trombone. But now you're going to read the rest of the story.

Some years back, someone said that I reminded them of a Panda bear. Not a flattering comment on my physique perhaps, but I like the animals and they are cute, calm and rare (hey, that's me!), so I allowed it. At the time I was playing trombone in various groups - Maui Symphony Big Band, Maui Brass Ensemble (at the time a quartet) and the newly founded Maui Community Band. I wanted to start a trombone group with two, three or four trombones to play some older popular and jazz tunes.

Pandabonium playing with the Maui Community Band in 2003.

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Maui Brass Ensemble

I was interested in this project because of two trombone groups that I had listened to as a teenager. I listened to many trombonists of course, but there were two groups which exclusively used a small number of 'bones for their work. In the fifties (no I was not yet a teen in the 50's!), two of the greatest trombonists of the day formed an unusual team from 1952 to 1954. Musically, they were two of the very best trombonists around. The group was just the two trombones backed by piano bass and drums. The trombonists were J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding. Though the two have very different styles, their music was pure magic. Several albums are still available - now on CD. Here they are, reunited in 1982 for a Japanese television gig:

Another group called themselves "Trombones Ulimited" and they played arrangements of pop tunes of the 1960's. They used various musicians and even emphasized the difference between "West coast" and "East coast" musicians on one album. I had a good friend in high school, Ellen, who had perfect pitch. It was, perhaps, genetic as her dad played oboe for the LA Philharmonic and her mom arranged television show music written by the likes of Lalo Shiffrin and Henry Mancini. Another friend, Larry, and I wanted to play trombone duets and Ellen sat down, listened to the record (music was on vinyl in those days), and wrote us arrangements of our favorite tunes off the album. Ellen was awesome. Our performance was less so, but we had a great time rehearsing.

A new group would require some fresh arrangements, but I certainly would not hesitate to borrow from the past to start. I had some interest from fellow trombonists on Maui, so I was encouraged at the prospects. We would need a name. It just came to me out of nowhere. A duet, trio or quartet of trombones playing some fast piece might get kind of crazy - a bit of chaos, of pandemonium. Panda, trombones, pandemonium. Of course: Pandabonium.

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An artist friend of mine, Andrew Shkolnik, was working with me at a bookstore at the time and created the logo for me. I liked it. The panda has claws, slightly learing eyes, and smile that give the character a kind of "edge" - not mean, but not your basic cuddly bear look either.

Well, my group never got off the ground and I left Maui for Japan, Fiji, and the vast Pacific. It was a fellow musician here in Japan, the Moody Minstrel, who's blog gave me the impetus to start my Pacific Islander blog, so I decided to use Pandabonium as my pen name.

And now you know the rest of the story.

Until next, sweet sailing.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winter Is For The Birds

I recently put a birdbath in our front yard. Unlike the bird feeder I hung which only one bird has found so far, the bath was an instant hit. Within an hour, a "Brown Eared Bulbul" - one who likes to hang out in our yard to eat our kumquats - was enjoying the water.

This morning I set up a camera on a tripod near the birdbath and after about 20 minutes caught a "Dusky Thrush" on video. He stayed over five minutes, drinking and preening and checking our mikan (mandarin orange) tree for fruit.

The Dusky Thrush is a Siberian bird that migrates south to east Asia in winter.

It does get down to freezing here at times, but only briefly in the early morning. Days are well above freezing. So I empty the birdbath at night and refill it in the morning.

Note: Sorry about the traffic noise - it was "rush hour", or perhaps "thrush hour". There is an odd electronic noise too - like a data stream sound. The camera was right under the telephone lines, so perhaps the electronics picked up RFI from there.