Saturday, May 27, 2017

Kinetic Grand Championship 2017 in Arcata today

Today was a big deal in Arcata, California. I knew about this famous event having seen it in Ferndale on Memorial Day of 2007 so I vowed to see it at it again at some point. The Kinetic Grand Championship has been going continuously for 49 years from Arcata to Ferndale. It is called the "Triathlon of the Art World" because art and engineering are combined with physical endurance during a three-day cross country race that includes sand, mud, pavement, a bay crossing, a river crossing and major hills using human powered works of art. It is quite a spectacle and I really enjoyed my few hours this morning looking at the whole thing and the great people involved. One lady said "happy kinetic day" as I passed her on the sidewalk.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

when you're a palindrome ~ it's what you do

This morning I introduced myself like I sometimes do with

"Yes, my name is Anna. You can't forget it, it's a palindrome."

The response I got from one Evan Stateler was such a pleasant surprise because without hesitation he said "oh, excellent. I have published a couple of palindromes as my claim to fame."

It wasn't the response I usually get and so with great glee I publish Evan's two original works here below with a giant salute of admiration. Thank you Evan.

haiku nine men ogle gnats 
all lit til last angel gone
men in Ukiah

A nut a no name pacific ape man
on a tuna

Monday, May 22, 2017

Inspiration and where you find it ~ a motor and two wheels says Erica

This morning I wrapped episode eight of Lipstick and Dirt with an interview profiling Erica Steimetz. I've only known Erica for a few years now, meeting her just before the motorcycle craze took over. She moved to San Francisco with Tim who worked in my office. Then I started seeing a bunch of instagram posts with motorcycles and the next thing I knew, she was taking overseas motorcycle trips. So to say she jumped in with both feet is an understatement. She is inspirational to talk to about motorcycles though, to say the least.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

God is in a sugar cube

"God is in a sugar cube". I saw this phrase on a pin while walking through "The Summer of Love Experience" at the de Young Museum last Sunday. Summer of Love or better yet, Summer of Drugs. Being the fiftieth anniversary this year, it's an eye opening event and then I searched through my memories to remember I was only three years of age living in Hawaii when this all was happening. But we did move to the Bay Area in 1970. I recall that I was deeply fond of my suede fringe jacket in 1972. I also remember a green bean bag chair in my room. But the rest of it was in "other people's homes" even though we lived in Mill Valley just north of San Francisco from 1970 to 1974. What struck me the most is how some of these fashions from 1967 seem to be revived in some stores today.

me in front of the sign before going through the exhibition

"Captain Trips" hat owned by Jerry Garcia for two years
and it became iconic as an object of the counterculture's patriotic spirit --
both ironic and  hopeful. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Modern day action figures ~ inspiration in the form of Keith and Jalene

“Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” ― Thomas Jefferson

Keith and Jalene are modern day action figures. I met these two people in May 2015 when I stayed at their home in Newport Oregon after discovering them on MotoStays as I traveled south from Portland to home in SF. At that time they had loads of motorcycle traveling gear laid out in their living room in preparation for their trip in August of that year to ride their respective BMW 650 motorcycles down to Patagonia. Well today, I was able to give them hugs in person after following their blog SOUTH ON A BIKE and watching their Facebook posts since August 10, 2015. They are making their way back home to Oregon and we had a lunch today to talk more about where they've been, where they are now and where they plan to go in the immediate future. 

fun with jumping ~ jump for joy!

Jalene and Keith and their fully loaded 650s

Jalene, me (in the middle) and Keith

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Bellinghamsters demonstrating the unofficial motto of their city

Here in Bellingham, Washington I've spent the past five days visiting and trying to get to the bottom of what are some examples of "subdued excitement" ~ where is the evidence of this exactly? One can read various accounts of the origin of this cities informal motto and all kinds of results come up. Then of course there is this descriptive and entertaining song uploaded about six years ago.

There is nothing quite like interviewing the inhabitants directly. The following results are a brief sampling of stories I found that are pretty decent proof that the motto fits. 
  • Hammocking is an activity very popular in "B-ham". Genny, age 16, described how most people her age really enjoy doing this in the warmer months. Either in solo hammocks in a group or a group of two in one hammock and it involves taking in nature views and relaxing. Perhaps this activity wasn't invented in this town but B-hamsters really love doing it.

  • Claw machine excellence is a story I heard from Mr. Zazoo Pitts. Apparently Zazoo had a burning urge to figure out the secrets to how to beat the stuffed animal claw machine. There was one machine in particular in the downtown Ranch Room located inside the Horseshoe Cafe. Zazoo had it pegged and he managed to collect some 90 stuffed animals in the period of two years, spending about $300. He has now gone through claw-machines-anonymous in order to keep away from future claw machines. That is some serious subdued excitement.

  • Music engagement is another example of subdued excitement. No matter what the music, one hand holds the beer while the other goes into the front jean pocket and the head bobs in time to the music just slightly but not enough to spill the local microbrew.  I heard this summary from several people who have seen this firsthand. No dancing here.

  • Booze and books is the last observation. Because the latitude of Bellingham is so far north above the 48th parallel, the winter has quite a few dark hours each day. Therefore many Bellinghamsters admitted to enjoying books and beverages (not always together). But someone mentioned this fantastic soup: Whiskey Crab Soup to soothe the soul. That would take my worries away for awhile.
Finally, a postscript that when walking through Fairhaven ~ don't forget to look down for some history. This little gem presented itself and I had to look up the details as it confused me. This really happened, click here to read more. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Facing the unknown ~ inspiring people

At the Dolphin Club in San Francisco, many people that are both members and guests there never fail to impress me. Swimming and rowing at the club is not only "good clean fun" as my sister Rae would say but also good for the mind and soul.

It is with open mouthed amazement that I listened to Lynne Cox last night talk about her newest book "Swimming in the Sink" to a crowded room like-minded souls who swim in very cold water too. The peaceful sense of heart-based love was definitely in the room as Lynne related the human connection and spirit/community as the key to the mental toughness to carry hope for humanity which is what spurred her on during many of her legendary swims. Her talk brought tears to my eyes (leaky eyes). Then I smiled to see another luminous person in the book signing line, our very own Dolphin Club Kim Chambers who has set a few open water swimming records herself and I asked them to stand for this photo.

Monday, May 23, 2016

A watery parade all the day long

Kelley and I rowed a beautiful wooden boat from The Dolphin Club yesterday from 8am until almost 3pm to be part of a swim and a boat parade.  The Bay Parade is an annual celebration of Baykeeper's successes in making San Francisco Bay safe and enjoyable to recreate in. More than 100 swimmers, kayakers, stand up paddleboarders, and boaters gathered on Sunday, May 22 for a fun and active day on San Francisco Bay.

Third Annual Baykeeper Bay Parade 2016 from Anna MacKinnon on Vimeo.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Lipstick with dirt and some insects mixed in

This past month I've put a lot of hours into motorcycle travel and filming. I have learned a lot so far. From the very basic stuff like always carry a cleaning cloth to clean the camera lens to audio challenges (that I already knew but didn't think about). Then the final piece about taking into consideration the exhaustion from travel mixed with trying to film during the whole thing is unique. The Lipstick and Dirt project is about four women traveling the globe on motorcycles. They are on a quest to meet up and interview other women they've heard about who ride. Along the way though, the series documents how these women relate to people they meet, to one another, to the travel itself as they put the miles behind them. Sometimes they ride together and sometimes on their own but it never fails to be interesting.

The fourth episode is in the edit room as this is being written but here's episode three ...

Lipstick and Dirt episode 3 border from Anna MacKinnon on Vimeo.

Monday, March 21, 2016

When the feet decide that enough is enough

I've been this person before, the one who steps out of a pair of shoes due to discomfort and keeps walking. I did this once on Madison Avenue in New York City in my early 20's and I've never forgotten it.

Thus I can't help but smile when I discover a discarded pair of high-heeled shoes on the sidewalk. This pair seen yesterday on Sacramento Street. I subsequently wonder about the following:
  • what was she (or he for that matter) wearing that matched the purple shoe?
  • what event was she attending before this moment and how many hours were her feet subjected to these shoes?
  • did she walk home barefoot?
  • was she possibly overserved?
  • how tall was this person without the shoes?
  • what was the precipitating event that led to ditching this pair of shoes?
Last but not least... did this person spontaneously combust and all we have left as evidence are the shoes? It might have happened.