829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

While We're At It

There may have been more coins on the plate had he
been seated farther from the kitchen.  Or the air
conditioning vent..........


Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Why do I have Budweisers and Hot Dogs in my hands rather
than Po' Boys and Turbo Dogs?

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Two years ago, my first ever post proclaimed this machine to be
"MVP of Winter 2010".  2011 saw record use.  The last time this 
snow-blower was running was in November, when I wheeled it 
out of my shed and into the garage and parked it, facing out, ready 
to plow my way out and down the driveway at the first sign of 
snowfall. The tank is full, just as it has been ever since the patio 
furniture took its place in the shed.  The only snow we were 
around for this winter was easily shoveled by hand in a half hour.  
I don't want to jinx myself, but that furniture is coming out soon.

These daffodils have been pushing through since early January,
and this week I'm going to throw some grass seed on all the tire
marks on the side of my curved driveway.  What did that dang
Punxsutawney Phil say a couple weeks ago?

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Connection Between Food and Sailing

A highly esteemed sail-blogger recently asked,
and I'm paraphrasing it, 'Is there a connection
between food and sailing?'  I say yes.  Well
then how, you ask?  It all began in the city of 
Brotherly Love.  My earliest restaurant memories
were most likely from this place, Kelly's on Mole
Street.  No, it wasn't a Mexican restaurant, but an
old-fashioned oyster house.  My parents would 
bring me and my brother downtown during the 
holidays to have lunch and see the Christmas show.
I don't recall if it was lunch and then the show, or
the other way around.  It doesn't matter.  I
have a very selective memory of both events.  I'd have 
Snapper soup.  I'm sure my parents had the same, but
there were all kinds of other items on the menu, 
including oysters, of which both of them were fond.
I loved the soup, and I remember it being maroon in
color, with chewy pieces of turtle in it.  My Dad always
got the additional sherry to pour into it, and a few years
later, I adopted that habit and opted for the sherry to
add to any given dish with which it was offered.  There
was a huge glass jar with a lid that held fist-sized oyster 
crackers.  That I clearly remember.  When we left and 
went outside, I remember racks of clothes on hangers,
rolling on wheels, being pushed by men rushing around 
like they had to be somewhere quickly.  Garment type
district?  Then as I remember, it was off to Wanamaker's,
where the Christmas (not holiday) show was to be.

My brother and I would climb all over the pedestal,
trying to get up on the eagle.  The Christmas show
was an afterthought.  Apparently they had a great
pipe organ and played grand tunes which my old man
would sing and whistle all the way home and for days
afterward.  Whatever.  I wanted to ride the Wanamaker
Eagle.  This story is going somewhere.  Promise. 
Without getting too informative, John Wanamaker was 
an extremely successful department store magnate.
His son, Rodman, singly inherited his Father's entire
fortune.  Somehow or another, he got to liking sailing.
In turn, a race and trophy managed to be named after
him down Barnegat Bay, although I couldn't find the 
connection after 15 or 20 minutes on the Google, which
means there most likely isn't one.  But the race committee
liked the name, and the trophy is still competed for.
(My Mom told me never to end a sentence in a preposition)
Shit, I did it again.

Look at this crowd!  And we wonder why people think we're
snobs when we say we're sailors!

The Rodman Wanamaker trophy in the lobby? of the
Seaside Park Yacht Club. I don't think it's snobby, 
but that's because I've been around the sweaty crewmembers
of the A-Cats after the races, and heard them curse, 
and seen them pop open the cold PBRs from their 
styrofoam coolers in the trunks of their Ford Pintos,
moments away from exploding in rear-impact collisions.
Where was I?

Oh yeah.  Here's an A-Cat, racing on the Wanamaker course,
south of the Seaside Bridge on the Barnegat Bay.  Philadelphia
oyster house to sailing on Barnegat Bay.  That's the food-to-
sailing connection.  Hey, are you sleeping?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Eye Heart My Wife

And I cooked some of her absolute most favorite food.  We typically
don't go out for dinner on Valentine's Day.  It stems from my having
to work that night for the past 30+ years.  I swore if I ever was off,
we'd spend the night at home, and I'd spend half the money and make
something twice as good.  Seared sea scallops with asparagus,
leeks, and fingerling potatoes enveloped in cream, dill, and lemon.

I did some sesame-crusted seared tuna, sliced and served with 
wasabi and soy to start.  Oh, and a scoop of Guacamole on the 
side.  The tuna could've been a little more rare, but it was super 
fresh and tender so no big deal. There's tuna leftover for my 
wife's lunch tomorrow, as well as scallops and the vegetable 
melange. Co-workers will be craning over to inquire.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


My birthday weekend in Vermont, not unlike dozens
in the past.  At this point, Liv is well familiar with
Grampa's antics and if you could see her eyes, they'd
be looking away as to say, 'you're embarrassing me,
Grampa'.  He's been patrolling at Stratton since the mid-
sixties, and still sees it as a privilege to provide his 
EMT and skiing expertise most winter weekends so 
that the tens of thousands of skiers who visit here every
winter can ski, knowing that he and his fellow ski patrolmen
are there for them in times of need.    

Saturday evening I participated in a charity event, the 
Stratton Foundation's  'Taste of Vermont', held at Stratton 
Mountain's Base Lodge on Saturday night.  I entered as an amateur 
chef, of whom there were 20, and we were to be judged on the taste
and merits of our dishes. I chose two items to serve with which I 
was very comfortable:  Gravlax and Knob Salad.  

They were to open the floodgates at 7:00 p.m., but at 6:45 the 
masses started to appear, and I was in full swing plating dishes
whether I was ready or not. My volunteer assistant Claudia stood by 
my side and helped stem the tide by spooning Knob salad on those
 plates to start the presentation. I couldn't have done it alone. The 
sweat started to bead on my brow, and I turned away several times 
to blot it and keep it from dripping on my already cured Salmon. Not 
something you want the customer to see.  Things didn't slow down 
until about 8:15, which was good because the Gravlax was just about 
gone.  I had a ton of  feedback and lots of genuinely nice 
compliments, and after so many years of not having done something 
quite like this it was really refreshing and a great 
re-introduction to the food show scene.  

Evidently, the presiding highly acclaimed chef/judge, Suvir Saran,
liked the Gravlax enough to honor me with one of the top 
five spots.   I thank him for the opportunity to showcase food 
that's near and dear to me. The anticipation leading up to the 
judging was a little nerve-wracking, but regardless of the 
outcome, it was fun as hell and something I plan on doing for 
years to come.  And ultimately, it was all for a good cause. 
What a great way to wind up my birthday. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Time To Sail

After being behind most of the regatta, like 7 
other regattas this season , Eli and Ahmad 
sailing hull #9, cross the bow of Tom and Wes's
 red #3 boat.  Right before the finish, Bradshaw's
hiking strap unexpectedly loosened and he slid
 halfway into the water, causing their boat to slow.  
Luckily, their momentum carried them across in first.  
In the final race, Brady and Welker were trailing 
Manning on the last leg when they decided to take a 
flyer to the right side of the course.  A Hail Mary of 
sorts, but to no avail. Giselle was heard after the 
regatta responding to a heckling crowd at the trophy
 presentation and saying bitterly, "Tom can't steer 
the f****n boat and crew at the same time!"

Monday, February 6, 2012

Foot Ball

I know it's just a game, but it's my game.  And if watching 
something as silly as large men running around holding a 
pointy-ended ball and knocking each other down 
play after play makes someone happy, then that person
should watch. Beside sailing, this pastime simply makes
me happy.  And being happy is good.  Even when we lose,
I still am happy having had the opportunity to watch my team.
When we win, it's gravy.  And if we win it all, icing on the cake.  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Header Photo

To answer a couple questions:  L to R, Baydog, 
cousins Cahil and Adam, and brother Hans.  
The boat we're sitting on is not anywhere near as
classic as a Sneakbox. 

It was a Scorpion, a Sunfish knockoff that my 
Uncle Gordy rented for that summer.

The Penguin behind us on the dolly was Dad's
'Vapor', 5158.  I'm not sure if it was Beaton-
built, or Wright-built out of Philadelphia.  This 
photo was taken from the dock at 829.  If
you look closely, you can see Metedeconk
River Yacht Club just off the bottom batten.

Now Wassail, 8839, was a Beaton that my Dad
had built for him.  I put in a good amount of time
on this boat until I got too big to be Dad's crew.

As lately as 2010, 8839 was being sailed on the Severn River.
Man would I love to buy her back some day!

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I love this guy like a brother.  He was on the way home tonight 
from Long Island where he got his transmission fixed.
He lives in Virginia.  But he knew somebody who in turn knows
somebody who could do it for cheap.  And I convinced him to stop
and have dinner on his way home.  He's staying over because it 
would not benefit him to sit behind the wheel at this point.  I tried 
that when I was 19 and it didn't work out too well.  
So happy to have you, man. 


"They're kinda close-hauled to be trying to
set that spinnaker, no?"  That may have been
the last instance in which I wore a life jacket.
And take a look at that thing!