Little Train That Thought It Could Cartoon

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Cartoons & Movies

[Rooting through that box from the liquor store where I toss my writings and doodles, I found a bunch of cartoon sketches from 30 years ago.]

Another nugget from my cynical side even way back then, this cartoon depicts the famous “Little Train That Could” American fairy tale (i.e. the Little Train That Could trying to climb a steep hill). However, in my version of the story the train falls over backwards and says “Aw crap!” and the cartoonist, Yours Truly, says that as an American citizen he resents the lie. At the bottom, it’s identified as part of the great childhood rip off series.
— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

Anejo Tequila (my Austrian nun)

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In the pantry this morning I happened to notice a fancy gift bottle of limited edition anejo tequila.  It was hidden behind the cat food. I’d forgotten it was there. It had been given to me by a client in Dubai. We were setting up to promote a new eco-resort in Romania where Uzi-toting bodyguards were necessary and where bribes had been handed out like Mardi Gras beads.

I find it amazing that, when you consider the situation at Pineapple Hill—the vacationing lifestyle in general and some of our freewheeling guests in particular—that bottle of tequila has remained as tightly sealed up as an Austrian nun, escaping every possible threat: from oyster roasts and birthday parties to New Years Eve and visits from Little Brother. Regardless of our mood swings—from full throttle-wide-open gleeful partying to sullen-deep/dark-hung over introspection—it remains virginal.

It has waited and waited and waited while, all around it, a plethora of rum, bourbon, vodka and gin bottles have rotated through like a hysterical mob of disoriented passengers arriving and departing Miami International Airport on the day before Thanksgiving. Its handsome bottle and stylish crystal storage case (“in case of emergency, break glass”) make it nice enough to be on display out in the open next to other special favorite things: a brass ship’s clock, a rare first edition of French-American ornithologist and painter, John James Audubon’s color-plate book The Birds of America, a WWII era mint condition officer-of-the-deck spy glass in its eye-pleasing wooden case, a larger-than-my-fist prehistoric shark’s tooth, a vintage Tiffany sterling silver tea set and flintlock dueling pistols.

Instead, it’s been in a butler’s closet on a shelf beneath the drinking glasses (tumblers, steins, and stemware) across from the canned soup, peaches and broth, canisters of flour, rice and beans, large cereal boxes and little tins of tea, and the aforementioned crunchy fish-flavored cat food morsels kept for Pineapple Hill’s never ending parade of strays.

My thought was to save that tequila for a special occasion—never remotely thinking it would last so long—but now so many have come and gone that I’m not sure what to do. It has crossed that invisible unspecified line that warrants preservation, much like the amazingly large lobster that makes the news now and then, so old it is pardoned and tossed back into the sea.

I don’t mean to cause a big stir about this bottle. I don’t mean to cultivate a death watch as if it were the oldest woman on the planet or the last living ex-president or the only surviving veteran of a war, but it bears mentioning because it’s on my mind today.

It has not been forgotten.

# # #

–Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

If grapes could talk (Labor vs Management)

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This morning I found this photo of a handsome overhead arbor for grapevines and wondered if it would have been a better approach than stretching cable as I did at Pineapple Hill. My little  “test ” vineyard gets hit by deer every fall.

In business, hindsight isn’t always, as the saying goes, “20/20”. Sometimes hindsight remains blurry. Other times its way better than 20/20.

Creeping out on gravel, driving Pineapple Hill’s old but sadly not vintage Jaguar this morning, it hit home that if the grapes at Pineapple Hill had feelings, my grapes must be pretty miserable.

If my grapes could talk, there’d be a lot of serious “labor vs management” grumbling out at the strands of cable at night…

Firstly, there is the problem of Management’s lack of experience—not a good thing on its own and even worse when paired with totally unreasonably high expectations.

Management being me. Labor being the grapes.

Management demands that a dry wine grape variety succeed where usually only sweet wine varieties are found.

Management demands grapes that grow in bunches versus the native berry-like muscadine and scuppernong.

Management, of course, doesn’t really understand —and appreciate—what Labor is up against because Management has already moved on—mentally, physically and emotionally—to other matters (i.e., to whatever shiny object has next caught Management’s eye.

Management, in small business settings especially, must often address The World through a multi faceted, prism-like perspective of desires and fears.

Management often feels surrounded by snarling frothing rabid hyenas.

Management is tired. Management rewarded itself with too many sessions on the pool lounger this week and is nursing a sore shoulder. Management rewards itself with pool lounger time  because Management needs stress relief and networking and besides, if you can’t slip out away on a pool lounger, why even be in Management?

It’s true that, on Pineapple Hill, Labor faces awful working conditions and is expected to succeed in blazing hot sun with a minimum of water whilst totally exposed to the threats of Pearce’s disease, fire ants and hungry deer.

But Labor is counter positioned (i.e. “at odds with”) the realities of Management’s goal: (i.e., testing several different grape varieties to see which does best with the least amount of effort or expense).

Management’s attitude is one of water seeking “the course of least resistance” as it runs downhill.

Happy grapes, schmappy grapes.

Consequently, I doubt my grapes include Management in their prayers at night (other than to pray that Management someday “gets a clue” or, sweeter, is replaced by better management).

Labor wants the cables tighter.

Labor doesn’t just require more pruning, the pruning must be strategic if  Labor is to deliver greatest ROI.

More than anything, Labor needs Management to be more careful when leveraging the weed wacker and lawn mower. There’s a been a run of terrible on-the-job accidents lately.

And it doesn’t help matters that Management, despite the carnage, passes by Labor in an air conditioned British import, waving to Labor and smiling, eyes all a twinkle, as if to say “keep up the good work fellas”. No condolences or a promise to do better. Nothing.

If grapes had tempers, mine would be rounding up torches and pitch forks.

# # #

I’m going to run the numbers to see which is cheaper: Spending more to help Labor …or buying sturdier door locks for protection against Killer Grapes.

# # #

Management spends too much time on the porch sipping wine and not enough among the vines growing wine.

# # #

Management does not want to be a prisoner in its own home, constantly fearing retribution from Labor. Utopia, Management realizes now, requires a trip to Lowes for fertilizer, some irrigation hose, and more of those ratchet thingies that tighten cable.

# # #

Management  also realizes it can probably do better than saying “ratchet thingy” –I’m sure the tool, whatever it’s called, has a better name.

Management realizes it must “man up” and take more responsibility—perhaps buy a book on grape growing. Perhaps take a class.

# # #

Management hopes to never again have “clueless” and “Management” used together on Pineapple Hill anymore.

# # #

IF grapes had feelings and could talk, of course.

# # #

— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

Jerry The Sniper

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Books & Writing

[I found this short story in the liquor store box where I keep my discarded writings. This snippet was inspired by a real life Miata ride down state to have a barrel threaded for suppression—that’s “silencer” most of the world. I’d have added it to Blue Rubber Pool had I known it was there.]

My beloved CZ 75 Semi Compact was perfectly balanced for suppression according to Jerry The Sniper.

Going with a different platform for 9mm suppression required having another barrel threaded at a time when my regular source for that work was in jail. The Colonel suggested a low-key guy that happened to actually be located in South Carolina, not far from Ft. Jackson. “You’ll like this kid,” the Colonel said. “He’s an innovator. I had him build a couple of specialized machine guns for me and what he came up with was totally evil.” That word, coming from the Colonel, could have any number of meanings, some good, some not. You could never tell at first glance. So I figured, what the hell, check it out, why not? I rang up the kid and, two weeks later, took a high ride in the convertible to check him out and retrieve the barrel he made for my CZ-75 Semi Compact, an usual pistol that would quickly become my new favorite.

The kid’s shop is in an uninteresting metal building that can be seen from the highway but, turns out, can’t be accessed from the highway without untangling a mess of winding, scatter-brained back roads that from the air probably looked like strands of paint slung at the canvas by a retarded artist. “Evil” certainly described the kid’s directions at least. Wicked and brutal worked too. And that was a bad thing, not a good thing at all. I’d been tuned for a no-brainer high ride with speakers blasting reggae and a fistful of marijuana pinners readied for time release perfection. What I got instead was a nightmarish stop/start zig/zag maze of paved and unpaved roads dodging between trees and billboards hiding small town sheriffs. Several times, I had to slow down to barely a crawl because my low-slung convertible kept bottoming out. I was a flippn bundle of nerves by the time I found the kid’s shop.

Still, to his credit, it was right where he said it would be, hiding in plain side along a highway just a hundred yards off as the crow flies yet on a completely different galaxy in terms of getting there by car. The Colonel must come in by chopper, at night, with the lights off, assuming he’s even made the trip (I suspected he never had). The place was totally stealthy …on the radar screen  …yet NOT on the screen …if you know what I mean. It was pretty freaky even by my own standards. I don’t mind trekking through boonies in other countries but for some reason USA boonies (and South Carolina boonies particularly) creep me out. There’s a tendency to let one’s guard down due to the suggestion that one is “at home”.  Deliverance made as big an impression on my generation as Jaws did.

The kid’s shop had green metal sides with a green metal roof and no windows. Just a single, standard-sized door painted the color of dried blood. It was locked. There was an unobtrusive doorbell buzzer button next to it. I pressed it just once, heard the familiar small motor sound of a 1980s vintage surveillance camera stir. Noticed the camera tucked high up in the eave of the building and then heard the “click” of the door lock releasing as, at the same time, I heard a tinny voice say: “enter” through a barely working speaker. At another time or another place I might have leaned into the speaker and ordered a cheeseburger with fries but I wasn’t in the mod for kidding around. My brain was hurting from the ride in and I wasn’t looking forward to the drive our. I just opened the door and stepped in and closed the door behind me. I heard the lock shut tight. “Hope this isn’t a mouse trap,” one half of my brain said to the other. I has certainly stepped in to some sort of cage.

The entry room to the kid’s shop stopped abruptly at a counter. There was just a long thin strip of floor bordered by 10-foot steel walls topped with chain link all the way to the rafters. There was even a chain link ceiling. There was nobody there, just a lot of signed insisting that “Magazines Must Be Removed From All Weapons And Breeched Must Be Open. No exceptions. This means you!” But given the mood I was in, and the fact that I’d just walked into a place much resembling either a jail cell or the towel dispensary at my old high school gym, I chose to ignore them. The tinny voice said “Be with you in a moment” and then the place was client but for some the faint, muffled sound of at least two different voices drifting up from the other side of the steel walls and drifting down to me through the chain link ceiling. I leaned into the speaker and said “I’ve got to take a piss” then, a few seconds later, heard another surveillance camera swivel on an outdated little motor. It was located up in a corner or my cage, on the other side of the counter. “I said I’ve gotta take whiz,” I repeated right away. “Been in the car all flippn afternoon.”

But Tinny Voice was ready for me. “Shitter’s broken,” it said.

“No problem,” I told it. I leaned into the counter to reach through the small opening in the chain link counter. As I did, the camera swiveled for a better view. I grabbed a Maxwell House coffee can full of pens and dumped the pens on counter. “I’ll just piss in this.”

And without waiting for a response, I whipped out Andre The Giant and peed into the can. As I did, a steel door on the other side of the counter opened and in walked the kid wearing a plain gray cotton tee shirt and desert camo pants. He was in his late twenties with that “beyond my years” look of having seen some action. The grin on his lips and in his eyes told me it hadn’t been so much action to have to charred his sense of humor. As I pushed the can over to him through the opening at the counter (piss sloshing around inside), he said: “The Colonel said to expect this sort of thing from you. C’mon back if you don’t mind waiting while I finish up with another client.” Without waiting for an answer, he pressed a button on the wall behind him and I heard the lock click free on the door to my left.

We both stepped into the massive space at the same time but through separate doors. The shop was a combination of workspace and storage lit by just a few strategically located florescent lights hanging from the rafters and small, brighter lights at selected work counters and tool and die machines. In addition to the familiar equipment of a metalworking shop, there were bins of different bits of metal including bins of different steel tubes from which rifle barrels and suppressor would be made. And different counters held different projects in various stages of completion –SBRs, suppressors, and a several odd looking weapons such as the “evil” ones the Colonel had mentioned. It occurred to me that he may have even been making some of them for the Colonel and that some of them may eventually find their way into my possession by way of the Colonel. There was other eye candy too. The kid had a nice collection of posters that, in addition to weapons and accessories for the black ops set, included some vintage Playboy pinups and bright scenes of bikini clad island girls posing on white sugar sand beaches beside nearly transparent turquoise water.

I followed the kid to the back of the shop –zig-zagging through machinery and rows of shelves to get there much like I’d had to zig-zag through his fucked up directions to the shop. Maybe there was something to that. Maybe the kid’s calm under fire exterior presence concealed a clusterfuck of emotions inside. I tucked the thought away for future study as snaked our way through dark aisles and then rounded a corner into an open space with better light.

There was a guy waiting there, wearing full camo with hair high and tight and boots laced and polished as if on his way to or from a “back-in-the-states-temporarily” assignment at Ft. Jackson. I had the feeling he wasn’t on a rotation; had the feeling he only came back for just a few days at a time between long stretches of being in far away, fucked up, radio-silent places. The soldier leaned over a table with his back to us, giving us just a quick look as we approached then returning to focus on the table top –a rifle and various parts arranged on it with great care as if a tricky transplant were underway. The kid went around to the other side and picked up where’d they’d left off before my interruption. There were no introductions, nor would there be. My presence alone was introduction enough, a symbolic “he’s okay” vote of confidence that spoke volumes in this line of work. Names and further details were customarily left out. Everybody around the table just them operated on a “need to know” basis. It was a very efficient and effective way of getting by.

The rifle was a “reach out and touch someone” M14 that snipers often carry and Jerry was having some “personal preference” tweaks made beyond the norm in terms of what Uncle Sam would normally provide. I stood by quietly, trying to offer the professional courtesy of reduce my presence to that of barely a shadow. We all knew the etiquette of our situation. In his late 40s, Jerry was getting up there. Most of the guys he served with were half that – probably too young to notice his spot-on resemblance, in my opinion at least, to The Who’s Roger Daltrey. It was uncanny. He had Daltrey’s high energy eyes the color of blue mountain stream found only near active glaciers. He had Daltrey’s confident but down-turned mouth and square chin and, too, those long thin dimples that gave his face and square jaw line and chin it’s deeply chiseled. Also like Daltry, Jerry carried his compact, medium-sized frame ramrod straight and seemed to be like an engine idling for now …but ready to break off into full throttle on a second’s notice or into an easy jog that could be sustained even in hard terrain with the ease of a mountain goat.

His “high and tight” haircut, hard jaw and firm chin made Jerry’s head as rectangular as a shoe box –a Saturday morning cartoon super hero comes to mind—but what really made an impact on me was his voice: a hoarse, sleep deprived-sounding baritone that he had a way of spitting through his teeth. It sounded to be on the very edge of cracking, straining toward a preference for whispering—as if life depending on not being heard. I easily imagined that for Jerry that was usually the case. His words came out as if having been pushed through clenched teeth with great difficulty under uber levels of chaotic stress.

Jerry was complaining that earlier tweaks to his weapon had given it an unusual fire signature that, last time around, had nearly gotten him killed. “I need to get back to something that sounds less like an AK,” he told the kid. “My own guys were calling in air strikes on me.”  The veins in his neck strained a little as he told the story and of course the kid and I didn’t make a peep listening. Jerry’s voice need total quiet and no interruptions. Jerry’s voice needed all the help it could get. He spit it out through clenched teeth with a ramrod straight spine and rectangular head –yet the eyes were like marbles, like walls built up to create an appearance of calm at all times, under all circumstances. The eyes were the real story. The eyes kept the vibe from throttling too fast and getting away. The eyes kept the air around Jerry steady while his story of a shit storm played out around him.

Jerry’s accounting of what trouble had been caused by the odd sound of his rifle barrel bouncing off the rocky terrain of Afghanistan’s mountainous area near Pakistan was told with one foot on the accelerator and the other on the brake.

And at the end of it, there was a pregnant pause to which Jerry finished by asking us both “How fucked up is that?”

On one level it was a question with too large an answer. Yet on another level, it wasn’t a question at all.

# #  #
— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

Union County. Get Smart.

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Union County, South Carolina, reminds me of Get Smart, the 1960s spy parody television series starring Don Adams.

Remember?.

Each episode opened with Agent Maxwell Smart (aka Agent 86 …”Max”) walking a long narrow hallway through a series of strange doors. One door opens to reveal a stairway. Another, fake prison bars, opens to reveal a simple telephone booth. And the booth, it turns out, is a trap door through which Max drops down into the secret headquarters of his spy agency.

Union County, where Pineapple Hill is in South Carolina, does the same thing …metaphorically.

It has secret entrances only the natives know about. Long winding roads that disappear into trees. You quickly vanish as far as the rest of the world is concerned.

After woods, you follow the path to a lovely meadow at which point the sky opens up on a bright blue sunny day.

All of a sudden you feel safe and at home. This land is for getting away, keeping the rest of the world and its unnecessary chaos at arm’s length. For some, at barrel’s length.

It’s the opposite of malls, movie theaters, crowded sidewalks and traffic jams. I came here because a woman made me. But most are here by choice and would have it no other way.

I get it now.

— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

Blue Rubber Pool: Excerpt 290

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The news from Honduras had not been good. In an early morning raid, soldiers stormed the palace. Mel was tossed out by the seat of his pants–the first military coup in South America since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

It was dusk. I was up in the lifeguard stand again, aiming a Crimson Trace red dot at the early moon. Marianne’s cat was with me on the bench.

She nudged my ribs then whipped around and swaggered to the other end, John Wayne-style, then decided to sit and lick herself.

Something moving in the woods made her stop. She’d been rather skittish lately. Two nights before, there had been a wild crazy ruckus underneath my sailboat, the cat hissing and making kung-fu-fighter sounds, spine arched, ears back, in a Mexican standoff with what–Marianne told me later–was probably a coyote. I went out on deck, firing into the air, and the coyote ran off. I squeezed off a few extra pot shots and got a yelp in response. When I checked the next day, I found nothing: no blood trail, no tracks.

# # #

Buy it here.

# # #

–Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

Funny sailing video from Irish Sailing Olympics

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Tacking to and fro across YouTube for just a minute and just for “kicks” I found this funny sailing video from the Irish Sailing Olympics. The commentator is clueless. The more he yammers on, the more befuddled he gets.

It’s here to wish you a wonderful day. At least compared to his.

 [Warning: some profanity in this one.]

Be sure to watch the end (which is really just the beginning).

–Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple HIll

 

The Story of Bob

Posted on Posted in Notes & Doodles

 

One evening we found a baby bird on our sandy driveway, not far from a large oak tree, flopping around, unable to fly, unable even to stand.

We carefully scooped him up and created a substitute nest for him out of a shoe box.

We named him Bob.

Then we went online to find out what to do next. We found the phone number for a bird rescue person. We called and were told to keep Bob in his shoe box and him up in the oak tree.

So we did.

We punched holes in the shoe box, ran kite string through the holes, then used more string to suspend Bob’s cardboard nest from a low hanging branch (but high enough off the ground so that our outdoor cat, Ellie Mae, couldn’t get to it).

As nightfall came, there was a breeze and, looking out across the lawn to the oak tree and Bob’s swaying shoe box ,we were reminded of the lullaby:

Rock-a-bye baby on the treetops,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.

The wind blew harder and harder. We could feel the heaviness of storm clouds moving in across the darkness. And then came a sprinkling of fat rain drops. Followed, soon, by a slamming downpour.

From time to time through the night we would peer out toward the oak tree and, in between flashes of lightening, would see the Bob’s shoe box swinging wildly in the wind.

And one of us would say “Wonder how Bob is?” or “Hope Bob’s okay.”

 

At first light, we went out to check Bob’s shoe box.

But Bob was gone.

We like to believe he made it back to his momma somehow.

However,  later that afternoon, Ellie May—the original Pineapple Hill mouse cat—showed up with bird parts in her mouth.

Small, Bob-sized bird parts…

We left the shoe box hanging from the tree limb for the longest time.

Eventually it became just a rumpled mass of cardboard and string that barely resembled a shoe box anymore and certainly no longer resembled a bird nest anymore.

Finally, without ceremony, I walked out to the oak tree one day with scissors and took down what was left of Bob’s cradle.

 

We still talk about Bob.

He belongs to this land eternally now and to our lives here as much as we do.

 

# # #

–Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

 

On the Bright Side (Innovation During Crisis)

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“I read the news today O Boy… ”
(Remember that line from the Beatles’ song A Day In The Life?)

While sidelined with an injury, I’ve been following the

Checking out the new Pineapple Hill property with my bud Palmer, a West Coast entrepreneur making a deal on his cell phone, I led us up a hill and over a fence …stepping out in front a bull. Didn’t know if it would charge or not but Palmer never missed a beat on that call.

situations with Ferguson, Isis, Ebola, Mid term elections, IRS scandal, Secret Service screw ups, the up and down stock market, the global water shortage, global warming…

…and all the other things in the gator pile.

I’m not hiding under the bed in the fetal position sucking my thumb because I also remember George Harrison’s “All things must pass”.

I’m a big believer in Mankind’s ability to get out of the messes that seem to always come along on the timeline of history. Trouble rides the rails.

Looking back as the ground we’ve covered

so far you’ll see a connect-the-dots story of “bad things happening to good people” (Have you seen the commercial using that line?)

It may not always be pretty, but somehow “we” (the All Of Us that makes the world go ’round) not only survive but continue to advance the ball.

We figure something out. We break on through to the other side.

I’m not just mimicking Kevin Bacon in Animal House (“All is well!”).

I see evidence of Mankind’s ingenuity all around us.

It can be found in our bodies …and far into deep space.

 It’s so amazing what’s been achieved…

…and will continue to be achieved.

Not only has Mankind brought light to the world in its darkest hours –he continues to innovate better ways of doing so.

But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s a Wall Street Daily article on Innovation During Crisis.

# # #

Although probably not inspired by crisis, you might enjoy this list of 33 Genius Products.

 # # #

Still think it’s the end of the world? …Check out “Fibanacci’s Golden Ratio” sometime.

# # #

— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

 

Why Pineapple Hill?

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The other day I heard from a good friend and, during the

Painting fish on pallet wood cleared writer’s block. I gave this up after the car wreck. It was a hobby that got out of hand.

course of catching up, asked him to check out this website.

He did, asking “what have you gotten yourself into now?” He knew me. Well. Knew about my taking up different interests all the time—sparkly things that caught my eye—such as scuba diving, guns, buying hundreds and hundreds of new and used books, growing grapes, researching the ruins of a Colonial era tavern down my road “because it’s there”. And so on.

Specifically, he mentioned my painting fish on pallet wood phase. At one point I practically had a factory going down in Pineapple Hill’s conference room (which I briefly renamed Board Room). Painting fish on pallet wood cleared writer’s block and got me out of the house at the height of my reclusive Howard Hughes period–a phase I’m still in somewhat.

Thank goodness the car wreck got me out of the pallet art business before I sent the labor-intensive production over to China or down to Mexico.

Anyway, after we got off the phone I decided I better explain this Pineapple Hill web site to my friend and to myself.

HERE’S THE LETTER I SENT OUT LATER:

Great talking to you yesterday. When mentioning Pineapple Hill earlier and asking you to take a look I really only expected a quick glance and perhaps a bit of feedback on colors (glad you like them) and navigation (sorry it moved a little slow for you –I need to check on that).

Wow! Very glad to have you weight in. It got me thinking. Made me decide to flesh out this website’s reason for being so if I have thoughts of moving on to something else—goat yoga, for instance—maybe I won’t.

The PURPOSE OF PINEAPPLE HILL

  • a place to express myself (I write “just for fun” for an hour or so every morning)
  • a way to be more sociable (compensating for my remote location in the boonies)
  • motivates me to finish the next book I’m writing now that Blue Rubber Pool is published.
  • showcases the surrounding community (history, climate, restaurants, attractions, etc)
  • builds relationships with like minded people: sailors, surfers, shooters, grape growers, bamboo and banana tree lovers, corn hole players and other writers too.
  • clear my head of the jetsam and flotsam so that, hopefully, it doesn’t end up in a book with my name on it.

Like I said, this is “just for fun”. Unless I can figure out how to monetize it. Then it’ll be my ticket to umbrella drinks on sugar white sand. More satisfying even than painting fish on pallet wood.

Bottom Line: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

 

Best regards as always,

Tim Bryant
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

 

Pirates: FYI

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  • The earliest documented instances of piracy are the exploits of the Sea Peoples who threatened the Aegean and Mediterranean in the 14th century BC. These pirates were known to wield cutlasses, a type of sword common in that era.
  • On one voyage across the Aegean Sea in 75 BC, Julius Caesar was kidnapped by Cilician pirates and held prisoner in the Dodecanese islet of Pharmacusa.[ He maintained an attitude of superiority and good cheer throughout his captivity. When the pirates decided to demand a ransom of twenty talents of gold, Caesar is said to have insisted that he was worth at least fifty, and the pirates indeed raised the ransom to fifty talents. After the ransom was paid and Caesar was released, he raised a fleet, pursued and captured the pirates, and had them crucified.
  • In the Roman province of Britannia, Saint Patrick was captured and enslaved by Irish pirates
  • The Haida and Tlingit tribes, who lived along the coast of southern Alaska and on islands in northwest British Columbia, were traditionally known as fierce warriors, pirates and slave-traders, raiding as far as California.
  • The most famous pirate utopia is that of the probably fictional Captain Misson and his pirate crew, who allegedly founded the free colony of Libertatia in northern Madagascar in the late 17th century, until it was destroyed in a surprise attack by the island natives in 1694.

    [These tidbits were pirated from one or more places but I’ve forgotten where. T’was the rum, Arrrrrr!]

###

–Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

Blue Rubber Pool: Excerpt #891

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Odd how you miss a thing more when going without. The sea, for instance, jumping into a big fat ocean wearing nothing but a can of beer and perhaps a bright green swim noodle from Big Lots.

I had swum with sharks at night in people-infested waters and clung to buggy logs floating by crocodiles sunning on muddy banks. But I could not relax in the Jonesville Reservoir. Not with those snakes swimming everywhere, making S-shaped wakes in the corner of my eye. Snakes not hanging from trees like I’m used to but actually in the water with me, mean and sneaky.

Just through the woods below my pasture, the water was so tempting. Especially when waking on a boat–regardless that the boat is on jacks beside the barn. I could not resist driving the Jeep across my pasture and through the woods for a little R & R in the town lake.

But mere minutes after wading in, I saw snake wakes and became a wreck of nerves.

Day after day, a heat wave drove me to the water, and then the snakes drove me out.

In.

Out.

In.

Out.

A week later I saw the pool at Big Lots, complete with ladder, filter, pump, and jet for just $200. No-brainer. I brought it home, set it up, and practically lived in the thing. I could not resist–water blue as Turks and Caicos. A real Dream Machine.

And, best of all, no snakes.

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Buy it here.

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–Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill