Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   Coronado Island
Sunday, September 27 1998
Left to my own devices, it's rare that I do the tourist thing. I've never seen Philadelphia's Liberty Bell. I've never been to the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. And I haven't been back to Monticello (just south of Charlottesville, Virginia) since a 2nd or 3rd grade field trip. Coronado "Island" on the west shore of San Diego Bay is one of the major tourist destinations in this area. Months would have passed and I would have never considered going there, but Kim has a greater inclination to do tourist activities than I ever will and today she wanted to go. Originally she wanted to take the ferry from downtown San Diego, but when we found in her tour guide that the Coronado Bridge has a free car pool lane for cars containing two or more passengers, we elected to go that way. The other free alternative would have been to drive down to Imperial Beach (just north of Mexico) and come north up a narrow isthmus via Route 75. You see, Coronado is actually a peninsula and not an island at all.
The Coronado Bridge is an impressive structure, some two miles long, arching over a hundred feet above the bay and painted sky blue. The view on either side was spectacular, though Kim (who is terrified of heights) was freaking out the whole time, not wanting me to open the window for fear that it would somehow allow either me or Sophie to fall over the edge to our deaths.
Coronado is a tidy little city of curving streets, neat shop fronts and pert young white and Asian mothers and their well-scrubbed, well-behaved offspring. Most of the men have buzz cuts and probably work at the many naval facilities on the "island." We passed one such facility and it claimed to be at THREATCON ALPHA, whatever that is. Military speak has a numbly dumb-headed anti-elegance about it, in a way that provokes my sociological curiosity. I'm sure Arab terrorists know what a THREATCON ALPHA is, but I sure don't.
Kim mostly wanted to see the Hotel Del Coronado, the most famous structure in Coronado. It's a large, rambling Victorian "beach gothic" structure, famous as being the setting for such movies as Some Like it Hot (starring the late Marilyn Monroe). We walked Sophie around the outside and she sociopathically unburdened her bowels under an evergreen in front of the Main Building. Then we put her back in the car and explored the place further without her.
After Sophie's antics, there wasn't any further sociopathy to our adventures. I miss the good old days, when Jessika, Deya, Matthew Hart or Wacky Jen could be counted on to try doors to forbidden places, commandeer unattended machinery, or lead us into ungaurded buffets. Kim's too well-bred for that kind of nonsense. Mostly everything we do together is above-board and legitimate, stiflingly so at times.
We went into the Hotel Del Coronado, made passing note of the intricate gothic woodwork, and continued on through the building's rambling complexity to the Pacific beach. The beach was was wide and shallow, the sand was fine and beige, and the waves were weak. Along the shore the sand was so densely packed that we could barely scrape it with our feet. But we did so anyway, laying out the design of a hypothetical civilization complete with seaweed vegetation. The seaweed diversity here was impressive and it made me hunger for sushi. Whenever the waves would wash over the lower parts of my civilization, I'd squeal "Oh no! Not my civilization!" in a Kirstin the Ecoradical-by-way-of-Oxford accent.
We discovered as we were leaving that the Hotel Del Coronado's parking lot costs $3.50 per hour. Good thing we didn't stay for much over an hour.
In downtown Coronado we ate a cheap vaguely unsatisfactory dinner of microwaved Dairy Queen food and 8 hour old sushi. Considering all the repulsive militarity I'd seen today, I wondered how many people in Coronado had voted for Bill Clinton.

The San Diego skyline viewed from the Coronado Bridge to the south.

A panorama of San Diego and the Coronado Bridge from Coronado "Island." Click for a bigger picture.

A species of yucca tree demonstrating an exceptionally regular order of branching. This is just in front of the Main Building of the Hotel Del Coronado.

Kim along the Coronado Beach with the Hotel Del Coronado in the background.

Shipyards just south of downtown San Diego viewed from the Coronado Bridge, looking southeast.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next