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So this Pirate walks into a bar…

And, well, I forget the rest of it, but the punchline had something to do with it’s ‘driving me nuts,’ and I must confess that pirates, in all their inherent sovereignty and dazzling sea legs and their love of rum (all good things come from rum, including, but not limited to, Dark and Stormy’s and White Russians, and the best: the non-alcoholic (but, inspired by rum, indeed) the Calm before the storm: Ginger beer and lime juice) and their confidence in the rough and untelling waters of the ocean, [ insert other pirate myths and occasional lingo here ] really drive me nuts. As in, I, like, love them. Especially Captain Jack Sparrow, but that is another blog for another Depp, I mean, Day.

So, one night a couple weeks ago, my special K (who is not a pirate, unfortunately, but I don’t hold that against him) was watching this Documentary on the TED conference — an invitation only type of thing for presenters of all levels of superior-smartypants, and $$pendy tickets only for audience members who don’t live month to month — that celebrates ideas worth spreading. Now, while we normally watch such conspiratorial and expose films, such as “Who Killed the Electric Car?,” that all too often bring me to tears of frustration and upset my stomach in regards to many governing bodies which shall remain unnamed in this post, this film filled me up with hope and a momentary feeling of inner calm, knowing that if all else went to crap due to the aforementioned governing bodies, and Canada refused to take us all in, all the smart people in Berkeley, CA, have enough smarts and imagination to save us. AND — the best part is, esp. for those of us who live month-to-month but can still afford high-speed internet — all of the TED Conference talks are online! (long live the beauty of the interwebs!) You can check them out here when you need a new way of looking at things, a new perspective, a paradigm shift, a sense of hope, a heartwarming cry, a little 20 minutes of roaring brilliance to light up your life or day: http://www.ted.com/

So, one of the first talks I watched was Dave Eggers TED Wish speach from the ’06 conference(?). It was fabulous, as was he, and he looks a bit like a pirate. His exuberance and passion bubbled through him and all through his speach about his pirate shop/tutorial center in SanFran. I highly recommend watching the vid, but moving on to point of this blog entry, the website for this pirate shop is stupendous, and well, it shivered me timbers: http://www.826valencia.org/store/

Overall, the site is the epitome of the modern day buccaneer, who’s deck shines with the elbow grease of stunning rambunctious creativity. Here, you can buy t-shirts that warn others of the perils of scurvy, or purchase books written by the students that have finished their homework early and contributed to the center’s collected works, or read the FAQ’s, laugh through the gallery of signs and view with wonder on the world of Karl, the blowfish. But perhaps the BEST part of this site, is the store log. Go there. Be Brave. You won’t regret it matey.

To top off the trifecta of sites that celebrate the sailors of the seven seas, and especially for a pirate stamp for your toast (but not available on the inflatable toast, yet), check out Archie McPhee’s online wonder emporium (‘toys, gifts and novelties made by magic pixies’): http://www.mcphee.com/categories/pirate.html. It’s a good place to spend any spare pieces of eight.


Now, Where’s me Ayepod?

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