The Voyage: Roz Savage
Smoooth Jazz in Napa Valley
20 Aug 2006, Napa Valley, California

Click here to view video

This is what I got up to this weekend - a weekend of jazz, good food, good wine and good fun in the Napa Valley north of San Francisco. We went to the Dave Brubeck concert at the Robert Mondavi vineyard. Mr Brubeck is 84 years young, and still going strong.

At the opposite end of the age spectrum, the talented young pianist featured in the video - just 19 years old - is Troika Hanna from the Bahamas. As the manager in the resort said to him after our impromptu concert in the lobby: 'Your future is bright, and your spirit is strong.' Definitely a name to watch out for in the future.

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An Inconvenient Truth
17 Aug 2006, Redwood City, California

I have just been to see the movie 'An Inconvenient Truth'. Go see it. And act on it. Now. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

Go to the ClimateCrisis website to find out how you can make a difference.

The planet is dying by a thousand million cuts. I was already aware of this, and my Atlantic row was inspired by a desire to find an environmentally low-impact adventure that would showcase sustainable energies.

This movie presents the issues in a compelling way, and makes me lament anew that the eloquent and intelligent Gore didn't win the presidential election.

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The Marathon Man: makes rowing the Atlantic look like childsplay
17 Aug 2006, San Francisco, California

Apologies for radio silence. I can't even blame it on a defective satellite phone this time. Truth is, the problems with my laptop (still ongoing) had me so bummed (I'm learning to speak Californian, note) that I couldn't find the motivation to blog. This is a shame, as a lot of really good stuff has been happening. I intend to make up the backlog and bring you up to date, but right now I don't have time - I'm dashing out to see 'An Inconvenient Truth'. So, to keep you entertained in the meantime, here is a story to amaze and inspire...

Dean Karnazes is going to run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Read more here.

I'm reading his autobiography, Ultra Marathon Man at the moment - I got it for free from the Timex stand at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City at the weekend (of which more later). His feats are incredible. You have to be impressed with a man who can eat a large Round Table pizza (serves 5) plus a whole cheesecake without breaking stride. Ew.

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Blair and Schwarzenegger: Fiddling While Rome Burns?
15 Aug 2006, San Francisco, California

Am I the only one having difficulty imagining this combination of characters having a chinwag round a table? In July Tony Blair made his first visit to San Francisco as prime minister. Richard Branson and others joined him and Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger for a meeting on global warming.

Apparently "They agreed to collaborate on research into cleaner-burning fuels and technologies, and look into the possibility of setting up a system whereby polluters could buy and sell the right to emit greenhouse gases. The idea is to use market forces and market incentives to curb pollution."

I haven't read such a weaselly 'statement' of weak intentions since I read Starbucks' commitment to fair trade coffee.

I believe that Blair, Schwarzenegger et al absolutely meant it when they said it, and that their intentions are good. But the road to a global-warming hell is paved with good intentions.

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