Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day 13, July 26th, Moon Germs

After returning home, and a day off, Jen, Vince & I took a field trip to the USS Hornet, at the old Navy Base, in Alameda. Just a 5 minute drive from our home, the USS Hornet was celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing. We missed the Saturday event with Dr. Buzz Aldrin (I wish I could be called "Dr. Buzz") but still had a great time. It was my 3rd visit, but this trip had new meaning. Besides the other important chapters in the ship's history, the Hornet had the honor of picking up the astronauts after they returned from the moon, and splashed down in the ocean. Upon their return to Earth, the astronauts were quarantined for 21 days, for fear of spreading "moon germs", in a custom built 1968 Airstream, the same year as ours. Fascinating. It was great to see how similar the amenities were in the Airstream Mobile Quarantine Facility. Same sink, cabinets, curtains, & toilet, plus a few things we didn't have, like the airplane seats and conference table. Pretty cool.
After we returned home we listened to the 1972 CTI recording, Joe Farrell's "Moon Germs"; a quartet featuring heavy hitters Herbie Hancock, Stanley Clarke, and Jack Dejohnette. You know that's good.

Those of you familiar with George Lucas's THX-1138 may recognize the
Posey Tube as one of the underground expressways in the film.
For us it's just how we connect Alameda.

Colonel Vicente Aello and Captain Skidmarks return from Mars

The 1968 Airstream Mobile Quarantine Facility being loaded
onto the Hornet prior to Astronaut recovery

Apollo 12 capsule. The Airstream was used to quarantine astronauts
after this mission, as well.

Vince found ashes in ashtrays of these seats in the Airstream.
Smells like somebody's smoking moon rocks.

The Airstream MQF in some of it's glory.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Beachside Airstream

Still a couple days behind on entries. July 24th Avila Beach. We couldn't take this "thing" home to Berkeley without it seeing a little California sunshine. I took a nap inside while Jen shot photos and Vince sat in the sand.

Able + Baker on Apartment Therapy

Thanks to Apartment Therapy for their recent write-up!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New Desk (Model) Design

Before we left on our Airstream trip, we went to a BBQ over at the Linden St. Brewery, here in the neighborhood. As we were sitting around talking, this design came to me. I quickly sketched it out, and the next day started this model. It took several hours to complete, and is 1/5 scale. It is made from mahogany, poplar, and walnut ply that I found lying around the shop. Clear lacquer finish.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Los Angeles Style

Back in California. Will write more tonight, but have to get back on the road...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Visting the Airstream in Berkeley

A few Bay Area residents have expressed an interest in seeing how the Airstream project evolves. In general, when I'm in work mode, I'm not very social. For those of you who know how to get things done, you know it's the name of the game. Never-the-less, everyone needs a break some time. Without directly divulging the location of the Airstream, I'll invite anyone to stop by and take a look or say "Hi". If you plan on staying more than 3 minutes, make it late in the day, and have a couple extra beers with you. Otherwise, we may have some kind of open house at the end of the deal. Also realize that this isn't going to be a restoration, so much as a re-model. When it's done, it will be a fairly simple office/ studio, and may not end up that interesting. Don't get me wrong; it'll be done well.

4 Corners, Monument Valley, Flagstaff

There are several ways to get from Santa Fe to Berkeley. All of them are beautiful, but none of them are very direct. Since no direction seemed particularly efficient, I decided to travel at least some of the way through places I'd never seen. High on my list was Monument Valley Arizona.
No matter how many amazing photos we took, none of them could do this place justice. Words can't either, so I won't bother, but it's obvious when driving through why Monument Valley has been chosen as the backdrop for so many Western films as well as the surface of many a distant planet. Is that Commander Pike?

Landing in Flagstaff

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Cuba, Farmington

I had a little trouble getting the electrical hooked up from my truck to the trailer. My truck, which previously belonged to PG&E, had a commercial tow hook-up. After changing it to a more common tow plug, I still had no brakes or brake lights on the trailer. I ran some wire from my truck, through the Airstream, and out the back window to operate some temporary brake lights, which would get me out of Las Vegas.
We got to Santa Fe, and I found Hal Burns RV repair. The guy who seemed to be running the place was a little crotchety, and I felt pretty confident he'd just as soon see us drive off a cliff as get help with our trailer brakes. Never-the-less, we arrived early enough that he was able to put Bill, his lead mechanic, on the job.
Bill was kind, sympathetic, and eager to see us up and running. He had things figured out in no time, so we had him check the trailer brakes and bearings while we were there. Once again, everything looked great (though Bill through a little extra grease on the bearings, just for good measure).
We spent a little time in Santa Fe since we'd never been there before, but eventually headed Northwest, through Los Alamos, and eventually landed in Farmington, New Mexico. The trailer handled beautifully the whole way, and the drive was amazing. Everyday since the trip began, we've experienced brief thunderstorms. This made for great temperatures for travelling through the desert, and the most incredible skies and sunsets I've ever seen. Hopefully you can get a good look at what we saw at my travelling companions websites:, and (check out his videos).
By the way, if you ever need a room in Farmington New Mexico, call ahead to make sure that the National High School Rodeo Finals are not in progress. If they are, you may want an Airstream because there may not be any rooms available.

The very capable Bill at Hal Burns RV. (Thanks for your help)

A brief stop at the Senator Clinton P. Anderson Scenic Route vista point.

Still in Las Vegas

It took a couple of days to leave town, but I had allowed for plenty of delays. Las Vegas, New Mexico is a beautiful and fascinating place, so I didn't mind hanging around a while.
Prior to our arrival, I had never met Butch, an Austin transplant and previous owner of the Airstream, who currently had the trailer parked in his backyard. "He's good people", Chris told me. Chris was right. Butch was a great guy, who did everything to help and facilitate our project, and to get this Airstream out of his hair. Being that I'd never met Butch, I was reluctant to get him involved in what I considered our mess, but I took what help he gave.
The first real work day was a matter of cleaning things up. I was hoping that after a thorough cleaning we would not only see what we were dealing with, but we might actually have a place to sleep on the way home. With the exception of torn upholstery and some pretty serious fridge funk, this thing was in terrific shape! Everything seemed to be fully functional, including the lights, fans, original radio, water pump, and everything else we checked out. It even had a full charge on the battery, which was amazing since this thing hadn't seen any use in years.
The only thing that really needed attention were the jalousie windows, which had the operational hardware removed at some point. For the trip home we taped them up with stucco tape (a tape I've found more useful than duct), and added a piece of plexi over the front window which was glass and seemed vulnerable to flying rocks. Vince added the red cross with the stucco tape, perhaps to signify the care and mercy the trailer would receive.
For more information and a different perspective on this journey, check out, as well as the videos at

The trailer, hooked up, still behind Butch's place.

The beautiful and clean interior (notice fully functional command center above counter)

Before taping the windows and adjusting the hitch height.

On the Road

We're on the road home to California...

Stories and Photos for you on Wednesday. Right now it's time for sleep...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Leaving Las Vegas, Airstream in Tow

Vince's Airstream is looking good, and this morning we're leaving Las Vegas, New Mexico, and driving to Santa Fe.

I'll be posting photos of the Airstream tonight, so please check back. In the meantime, check out some of the Vince's videos at

If you're a fan of "No Country for Old Men" you may recognize the Motel in the background. We stayed there last night, three doors down from the room featured in the shootout scene.

Photos tonight...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Vince's Airstream

The history of this project, the people involved, and how it came to be is too much to explain, but in brief: Chris (who's in Austin) gave Vince ( this 1968 Airstream Ambassador, which is located in Las Vegas, New Mexico, in Butch's backyard. Chris asked if I could turn this thing into something, and enlisted me in the task of picking it up and taking back to California. There I'll be parking it at the shop in Berkeley, and Vince & I will tear it apart and put it back together in some kind of new configuration. Eventually the Airstream will end up back in Fresno California as Vince's new office/studio.
The voyage began a few days ago in California with my spouse Jennifer ( and Vince. We're here in Las Vegas now, getting things together, and ready for the trip back home. You can stay posted and get more info on the trip at Jen's website and blog, where she has some great photos (such as these below).

Las Vegas, NM

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I'm putting together a portfolio of my old drawings and illustrations, and came across this one. I drew this is 1999 -- I'm the guy behind the turntables.