Twitter Digest

Twitter Digest

Twitter Digest

Websites I have known and loved, Or…

…The stupid amount of websites I have

Over the years I have, for no particular reason, managed to accumulate a collection of websites that I manage. And don’t get me started on the number of email addresses I have (at last count it was 7 active ones give or take). My hosting package doesn’t put a limit on how many sites I host, so I have never been reluctant to add another…none of them get much traffic in the big scheme of things anyway so why not.

So I thought I would collect all the websites I currently host/manage here and add a brief raison d’être. Chronologically I think. Why? For no particular reason…

It is hard to remember which came site actually first. But the first post on this Blogger website was November 29, 2002 at 4:21 so I guess it must be the winner.

Welcome to the Blog… 
Hopefully this will house the daily diaries of (B)ruce (L)eslie (A)nd (Z)ak’s (E)lectronic (BLAZE) lives. Come back and visit whenever…

I used it for a few months and then abandoned it. Something about trusting a third party to house all my info didn’t sit right. And given the number of web services that have come and gone I think I was right. Blogspot fortunately was purchased by Google and remains a viable service to this day. Abandoned by me, unused by Z, it quickly became L’s home on the web and she posts to it every few months or so. About once every couple of years I come by and screw with the design or logo. It is one of two sites who’s content isn’t under my direct control.

You are here.

The first post I can find is September 1, 2005.

Geek Post

Trials of being an incompetent geek

As you can see I installed Blojsom on the server and am now hosting my own blog. Currently running a Ruby g3 iMac with OS x Server 10.3.9 and hosting this website, some mysql stuff and now the blog.

Installing the Blojsom was as easy as they say on one had and weird on the other. You are supposed to download the WAR file and install it in the Tomcat director and voila.

Easy you say, and it is if that’s all there was to it. To start with the download kept giving me a .jar file which was new to me. Fix: download on the PC and then move the WAR file over to Ruby…

As you can see from the content it wasn’t actually the first iteration of this blog, but it is all that remains. There are also a number of posts on the blog that have dates in the 90s, but that is because one day I sat down and typed in all my bad poetry from over the years and backdated the posts to when they were actually written. Be that as it may, it has been my online home for 15+ years with on again/off again attention being paid to it. 

I initially ran it on my  own home server and eventually moved on to a variety of hosting services. It has gone through a bunch of redesigns and I try to do all the coding myself to keep my hand in. At last glance it was over 3 gig to backup so it is pretty hefty these days. It will remain my online home for pretty much forever I guess.

Oh, and the name? Well as seen in the first entry,(B)ruce (L)eslie (A)nd (Z)ak’s (E)lectronic… was an early online identity. About that time I also started an email account and couldn’t get blaze as the address so decided to use macblaze instead. And it stuck. So since I was hosting this site on my mac, when I started using a dns forwarder, I snagged as the url. In 2009 I finally shelled out and bought and moved it all to that. And here we are.

Eventually I found myself changing jobs and realized I had no place to showcase my professional stuff. I had been working with a few colleagues who were in the same boat and thought maybe we needed someplace where we could show off our fresh start. So I bought

As these things go, a home for our collaboration didn’t emerge as a necessity and so the domain lay dormant until I picked it up and started adding stuff. I think the first big push was when I applied for a design job and realized that I had no portfolio. I quickly stuffed a bunch of stuff into a wordpress template and went off to my interview.

Over time I have played around with the site, adding first stained glass and then my ebook projects, but it really is the neglected child. A complete revamp is on the to do list, but I will need to get one of those elusive ’round tuits.”

And then we went sailing. And if you have a sailboat, you have to have a blog right? As soon as we settled on a name for our new boat, I bought and  started adding content. Of all my websites, it gets the most traffic (nothing major though) and I probably have spent the most effort there over the last 3 or 4 years.

I have a few committed followers and even get some unsolicited comments once in a while. I mainly set out to make a home for all our learning experiences and hope that the readers I do get learn something about noobs buying a boat, and perhaps make their boat-buying experiences easier.

When we returned from cruising a friend of ours proposed starting up a weekly cocktail tradition and boozily working our way through the wonderful world of high-class hooch. How could we say no? So we started whipping up cocktails every week, taking some pictures and writing up our experiences. As of today there are 102 different cocktails ranging back to the 1890s, with recipes, photographs and our impressions. 

Life has gotten busier so we rarely manage to hit our weekly schedule anymore but we are still experimenting, drinking and posting as our schedules allow. Check it out if you are looking for some booze ideas. We also have an Instagram stream: @theboozephiles

In 2015 L wrote a book. It’s great…you should buy it! 

And when it came out we realized she need a home for her professional maundering an authorial web presence. For some reason—I can’t really remember why…maybe tax reasons?—we decided to host it on It is the second website who’s content is out of my direct control, but I have all the original content so I am less paranoid about it. 

And yes, she does read with a pencil (and a pen).

The site hosts L’s bio, links to the book, some of her writings and a whole passel of YA and children’s book reviews. Looking for a good book for your kids? Check it out… And she’s got another book under contract so eventually that one will be added to the site as well. And it is sadly overdue for a complete redesign as well. You can follow Reading with a Pencil on Facebook too!

Speaking of neglected children

I made this site one day after spending the Xmas holidays with the family. My brother has been making and selling woodwork under the Beakerwood brand for a decade. But he had no web presence. So as a gift, I bought the domain and whipped up a site for him. 

It was a bit more content-rich at one point but has fallen into disrepair. I went through and cleaned it up last year and it remains now as not much more than a splash page and contact info. He has gotten a few sales off it but not much. A project for the future…

This is a friend’s site. Again, we were looking to create a more active business with an online presence but reality (and work) got in the way. Still it remains as a contact page for any freelance work that might come up. Looking for an editor? Art director? I can highly recommend you start here.

This last one is currently not much more than a domain name and a placeholder image. I threw it up after a friend said they had  purchased the domain with a unique idea in mind. It turned out it was an idea who’s time has not yet come—but it will… oh yes, it will!


It’s 2019!

Well we are about 20 days out from heading to the coast for another month and a bit on the water. L has a conference in Vancouver starting June 1, so that pretty much gives us a finish date. There is a small chance I will drop her off in False Creek and solo back to Nanaimo for the 3rd or 4th but we will play that by ear.

So I guess it’s time to start making plans.


My brother belongs to the DSAA in Calgary and is an avid racer but he’d never sailed the coast in a keelboat (some excuse about a wheelchair or something). Last year he convinced some friends of his who own a Kelly Peterson 44 to join the Calgary Yacht Club’s annual flotilla and cruise Desolation. He had such a blast he is doing it again this year and invited us to tag along. Since the schedules worked we said we were in.

They are meeting up on May 16 in Comox to pick up a couple of charter boats from Desolation Sound Yacht Charters and then are heading off to Gorge Harbour to enjoy the Seafest festival for the weekend. After that it’s off for a nice jaunt up through the Discovery Islands. At this point the flotilla consist of Rainbows End (36 Dufour), Gloman Magic (Charter Boat—42 Jeanneau), Time Warp (Catalina 32), Sail Away (Charter Boat—45 Jeanneau), Teeka (Kelly Peterson 44) and us.

20-May—Octopus Islands
21-May—Blind Channel
22-May—Big Bay
23-May—Toba Wilderness
24-May—Grace Harbour


It should be fun, and I am keen to see how they get my brother in and out of the cockpit…it sure wouldn’t be easy in our Hunter. The trip is a nice mix of marinas and anchorages so should be a good break for us since we intend to anchor out most of the time.

Before that

Which brings us to our plans. Right now we should be arriving in Nanaimo on April 25th. Given our usual slack-ass schedules, that should put us out and about by the 27th. Tentatively we are going to head north. We’d like to go back to Lasquetti and also to visit (revisit actually) Tribune Bay on Hornby. We’ve only been there once for a quick overnight stop and every other time we have been in the vicinity the winds have been blowing from the south which means it is completely exposed.

Other than that, this years tick list includes Tenedos Bay, Pendrell Sound and Homfray Lodge, and perhaps revisiting Roscoe Bay. I have been following Homfray Lodge on Instagram and it seems like such a cool place that I’d like to drop by and see it in person. So there should be plenty to keep us busy for a few weeks while we wait for the flotilla to gather. And of course, if all else fails, we can hole up in Van Donop because so far, it is our favourite place in Desolation

After that it’s back south we go. We will either hit Nanaimo and clear off the boat around May 31st before taking a seaplane to Vancouver and dropping L off. Or we’ll sail into Vancouver for June 1 and anchor out in False Creek. Then I will solo the boat back to Nanaimo and pack everything away on my own. Mostly I think it will depend on the weather—I’m not up for a solo crossing for the Strait in shitty weather.


Last year the switch on my favourite 12v LED lamp died and despite my whizbang fixit skills I was unable to salvage anything but the lead weights in the stand. So I ordered a new one and will be bringing it out.

We also have to deal with our oar situation. I don’t know what NYCSS did last summer/fall. I suppose they dug up some replacements. But the last time we used some of their oars they were too long and impossible to row with. And since we often would rather row than motor, I might spend some time trying to get new oars.

I just heard that one of our forward Lewmar hatches has cracked and needs to be replaced. I know it was crazy crazed and I’ve contemplated fixing them before. Now I will have one good one and one  crappy one and I know that will really tempt me to fix it as well. We will just have to wait and see. Other than that I don’t think there is much we need to do this season. Fingers crossed.

Other Plans?

We had almost the entire season booked but at the last minute there was a cancellation of a 4-week charter in August. The downside is it’s late to try and find anyone who might be interested…any takers out there? I will throw in a skipper for free 🙂

The upside is that it is now within the realm of possibility that we could get a few weeks in during the warm summer months which would be a new experience for us. For some reason we have never really sailed Never for Ever when it’s warm out—we have been cruising either off-season or up north where it’s much cooler. But that is a matter of money. Money we lose not chartering and money we spend flying back and forth again. Just another reason to buy a lottery ticket some day 🙂

The last time we cruised in really warm weather we were still chartering.

Patience is a virtue

I am psyched to get going. I have been reading blogs and watching youtube videos all winter and I really want to put some miles of my own on. And the carrot of 5 weeks on the water sure helps when its -30°C out. So it’s time to start digging out gear and making some lists.

Hopefully we will see some of you out there!
—Bruce #Cruising

Twitter Digest

It’s a matter of opinion

I haven’t done a Stupid Human Tricks post for a while, but this one really made me cringe. Context: it was a discussion about whether or not politics should be allowed/tolerated on a sailing forum (the rules say no). Discussion was moving along tolerably well until someone came up with this first bit of non-factual “facts.”

this is not about politics this is a FACT America is the ONLY free country in the world because Americans can buy guns. so if American freedom bothers you all I have to say is God bless you and Merry Christmas.

Clearly not part of the topic discussion. This then spawned the second comment which I am giving an A+ rating on the stupid scale. I mean, you don’t have to be a Rhodes Scholar to know this wasn’t going to take the conversation anywhere good. But then again, maybe my politics are showing. Still, less than a page later the thread was closed by Mods because it had gone off the rails.

I’m a recent British refugee, now American citizen ~15 yrs or so. I suspect much of the recent political furor may be due to us electing the most brilliant leader the world has ever seen. I sense that much of the rest of the world is very envious, or hopelessly mental.