MW Mobile Blog

For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600 700 Prē HTC Evo, now serving as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Friday, July 25, 2014

The New York Times weighs in on abalone diving.

And it wasn't a particularly upbeat article. All about dead divers and poachers.
Prized but Perilous Catch
In Hunt for Red Abalone, Divers Face Risks and Poachers Face the Law
JULY 25, 2014
FORT BRAGG, Calif. — Every year, as steady as the tides, lifeless bodies are pulled from the cold, restless water along the rugged coastline north of San Francisco. 
Most of the victims are middle-aged men. They wear black wet suits, usually hooded. They are often found in small coves framed by crescents of jagged rocks. An abandoned float tube sometimes bobs about nearby. Almost without exception, the victims are found wearing weighted belts that help them sink.

Sometimes the bodies are discovered by friends nearby. If the fog is not too thick, the victims might be spotted from the towering bluffs above, where lifeguards patrol dozens of miles of desolate coast and armed game wardens spy for poachers. Many of the bodies are plucked from the swells by a search-and-rescue helicopter crew accustomed to making daring rope rescues and recoveries several times a year. The bodies are those of abalone divers."
 Well. Isn't that special?

On the other hand.  Since "most of the victims are middle-aged men" I guess I don't have anything to worry about. I am outside of that category now.  So no problem. And if you can't trust the New York Times, who can you trust?

I don't know. I like their more upbeat coverage of the sport from  December 4, 2005 a little better:
"So is a warmly shared adventure among old friends, to judge by the experience of Zachary A. Nelson, the chief executive of NetSuite, a software company in San Mateo. Mr. Nelson, 44, loves to go abalone hunting, in which divers, without scuba tanks, face the multiple hazards of drowning, jagged rocks and sharks. But even when he escapes the office to go diving, he said, he doesn't always leave his work behind. A few weeks ago Mr. Nelson spent an afternoon diving off the Sonoma County coast with Michael Wallach, an executive vice president at Citadon, an Internet firm. Not only did Mr. Nelson surface from the kelp beds with a rare mollusk 10 inches in diameter, but also he and Mr. Wallach struck a deal to bundle their companies' software products."
 But Zach and some of my other Ab buddies need to watch it. They're still in that dangerous "middle-age" category.

Season reopens in a week.

Can't wait.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

19th Hole

BK 83
MW 94
AZ 94
RZ 96

Beer, burger, and extra time in the World Cup.

I was not the worst golfer in the group this week

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Traditional 17th Portrait w Golden Gate Bridge

And almost out of juice. Blogging in now restricted for the balance of the round.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Rick hits a nice drive on 15

But about 20 yards short of mine. Adam, on the other hand, out drove me.  I was in a Zwicker sandwich.Very uncomfortable.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Brad shows how it is done...

 ... drawing a long drive around the dogleg on the 14th hole.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Somewhere after the turn...

BK 43
AZ 45
RZ  47
MW 49

Adam is playing out of his mind, with four pars in a row to the 11th tee.

But the streak came to crashing end with a double bogey on 11.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

The golf gods were not pleased.

The sixth hole at Lincoln is usually one of my favorites. The hard dogleg right plays perfectly to my heroic banana ball off the tee.  Today, under the watchful gaze of the golf gods adorning the roof of the Legion of Honor, my slice failed to make an appearance. I drove the ball through the fairway and deep into the dark woods beyond.  Lost ball, and my only snowman on the day.

Adam on 5th tee

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Brad drains his birdie on 4

Yes, the ball is in the hole. Nice recovery after the "other" on 3.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Brad had a little tree trouble on three.

 Actually he had a lot of tree trouble on 3.

And pitching trouble. And putting trouble. The less said about this the better. I think we are bringing him down to our level.  BTW - this was my birdie (missed) and par (made) putts on three.


It's an easy game when you think about it. Get on in regulation. Two putt. How hard can it be?

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Live Blogging Lincoln Park

With Brad, Rick, and Adam on a warm hazy morning.

Rick gave me a sleeve of these pink balls to reinforce my swing thought.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

19th Hole

BP 86
ZN 88
MS 93
MW 98

Even if I was the worst golfer in the group, it was a very good day.

After all, I broke 100 at Sharp. A bad golfer cannot ask for more. 

Oh yeah... Everyone had a  birdie in the round except me. But I am not bitter. 

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Bob brings us home on 18

He is having a good round. So am I.  So say we all.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Zach gets out of the trap on 17...

... eventually.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Beer Hole on par three 15

 Bob and I teamed up against Mike and Zack for the two extra beers. Here I missed my birdie putt but got the par.

 Bob, OTOH, drained his birdie.  We kicked their ass. It was men against boys.

Pay off on the 16th tee. It was a very good beer.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Somewhere after the turn.

ZN 40
BP 44
MS 47
MW 51

This is the problem with playing with golfers who are better than you.

However, despite a very rough start, breaking 100 is still in reach.

It could happen.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Zach's eagle putt on 9...

... missed.
But he got the bird.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Teeing off on the par three 5th.

A tricky tee shot through a gauntlet of pines.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

The original Mike is out of the trap on six

... way, way out.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Other Mike out of the trap on 3...

... and out of the woods on four.

And...who knows where he'll be playing from next?

 Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Live blogging Sharp Park

Bob, Other Mike, and Zach. All better golfers than me. Very poor planning on my part.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Friday, July 4, 2014

EssEff Fourth of July Fireworks from Russian Hill

Some years we get a clear view of the fireworks from our terrace on Russian Hill. Some years we do not. This year a high fog rolled in.  We could see the displays set for low and medium level, but the high blasts were lost. Still, they produced a very nice pastel colored fog bank.

Thought I'd try to capture the event with my new GoPro. The GoPro's wide angle let us pick up both the Pier 39 and Crissy Field displays, as well as the crowd gathering at the corner of Green an Jones to watch the event. I started the time-lapse about a half hour before the display, and unfortunately ran out of storage before the finale. We'll know better next time.

Friday, June 27, 2014

It was another good day to dive.

Yeah, I know. I've used that title before. And I will again.  Deal with it.

The season closes for the month of July, so was getting desperate to put together the combo of good conditions and finding an available dive buddy. I wasn't sure about the dive buddy, but conditions were too good to pass up. While I was deciding whether to go solo, Jeff showed up.

Conditions were great. Not perfect, just great. Some surge, but good visibility - around 8-10 feet. The Olympus was acting up, battery died almost immediately, so not many pics. Fortunately, had the GoPro working, but The Reader will have to wait for video until I get back.  I had a very cool encounter with a seal in the cove, hopefully got some good video.  Net net - limit out - no trophies, but a great day.

This Ab wanted my beer...


... not going to happen.

Limit Out
I'll pop the abs tomorrow.  Tonight - filets.


Will update with GoPro vids when I get back. Probably.

Abalone Calling

Season is closed for the month of July. Conditions look right. Heading North.
What am I forgetting?
Nice and calm


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Monday at McTeagues

Enticed by cousin Sean's innocuous Facebook post, I wandered down to McTeagues for the US vs Ghana match. Yeah. Soccer. I know. But the NBA and NHL seasons are finally, mercifully, completely over. The NFL hasn't started, and the Cubs still suck. So what the heck - USA! USA! USA!

What I didn't realize is that I was heading for the epicenter of San Francisco Soccer Fandom.

My first clue was the lustiest full-throated rendition of the Star Spangled Banner I've ever heard at any sporting event, let alone a sports bar:


 Apparently there is a live video feed of the bar patrons during the game. We are at the bar and in the frame of this video, but lost in the window glare.  Dempsey's early goal got the crowd going:

 This guy was pretty funny - The only Ghana fan in the bar.  He said "I live 2 blocks from here. Usually there's just three old Irish guys sitting in the bar watching the game. I have never seen Americans so excited about futball."

These were taken during the very few minutes in the game when he had something to cheer about - after Ghana evened the match. I e-mailed him these pics so he could send them to his family and friends. Gotta hand it to him, he didn't hesitate to raise his lonely voice in support of his team. His enthusiasm was short lived when Brooks nailed the winner as covered by SFist:

McTeague's Deafening Reaction To The U.S. Win Over Ghana
If you weren't watching yesterday's tense USMNT game at McTeague's then you probably still have your hearing this morning. If you were at the home of the S.F. chapter of the American Outlaws, then you probably know that John Brooks, whose flying header put the U.S. on top 2-1 in the 87th minute, isn't the only one with a bit of a headache this morning. Observe (but maybe go easy on the volume)...

Just goes to show if you concentrate every single EssEff soccer fan in one small bar you can create the illusion that Americans actually like this sport. It made a believer out of me. I imagine Sunday's match against Portugal will be even crazier. Soo.... I was at McTeagues, and the US won on Monday. I kind of feel obligated to be there Sunday. It is the patriotic thing to do.