Recent News from Mark: (circa March 2010)
Where I'm living: Dual residency in Sacramento and Honolulu in the Hawaiian Kingdom
What I'm doing: I am the Senior Database Administrator for the largest charity in the USA. On rare occasion I provide database & business consulting services to prior clients primarily in Sacramento, CA.
My Darling Granddaughter, Makayla on Mother's Day 2004 in Las Vegas
What I'm really doing: I am resisting evil, promoting goodness, liberty, peace, health, God's grace, and individual responsibility. For 5 years I have been following the diet of the Essenes. This is the healthiest diet I know of... I am not practicing it like a religion...it is merely to enjoy better health. I'm enjoying my Grandchildren (3), My kids (2), my family and friends. I'm also trying to have some fun. One highlight of 2001 was returning a Catalina 42 sailboat from Ensenada, Mexico to Long Beach (after the Ensenada Race). I also made the same return trip in May of 2002. But, my most magnificent achievement and adventure was my unprecedented 2000 mile inaugural cruise aboard Canistel. In February 2004 I made a 20-day cruise through the 700-island nation 'the Bahamas'.
I owned the US registered vessel 'Canistel' for two years, having just sold it during 2004's hurricanes in Florida to a man from Paris, France. Click on the drawing or photo for more information.
PDQ MV/34 Passagemaker
Profile View of Canistel which I picked up in Toronto, Ontario on October 31, 2002. I left Toronto on November 1, 2002 and brought her 2000 miles down the Eastern Seaboard to Miami Beach, FL. This was an unprecedented cruise for me, and amounted to a considerable 'Shakedown Cruise.' I docked the boat in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale for the last two years. Read more about this cruise here.
In February, 2004, I took a 700 mile cruise through the Bahamas.
Canistel is a PDQ MV/34 Passagemaker with economical twin turbodiesel engines
Ensenada Sailing Trip: During the early 2000s I sailed the Catalina 42 'Ludwig' back from Ensenada, Mexico to it's berth in Long Beach. This is a trip of approximately 150 sea miles. Ludwig races in the Ensenada Race under the direction of it's syndicate head, David Lott. Photos and Story of 2002 voyage.
My Granddaughter, Makayla at about 9 months.
My Motorcycles: On or about December 8, 2002 I took possession of a new Yamaha. I've not had a really nice bike in 3 years. With most my savings going towards my adventures with Canistel, I totally ignored motorcycles. My doctor wanted to put me immediately on testosterone replacement therapy when he heard I had sold my last motorcycle. But, I decided to buy a new bike this year as there were two outstanding new cycles which caught my eye: my most beloved touring machine (the Honda ST1100 now remade as the Honda ST1300) and this new sport-touring Yamaha FJR 1300. . I've owned about 10 Hondas and perhaps 15 Yamahas. Only 2 Suzukis, 1 BMW. In general I prefer V-Twins, but have no use for a beautiful but unreliable Harley Davidson. (That point was for my friend, Ida, who is a stylin' Italian. Recall Italians make cars like Maserati, Lamborghini, and Ferrari. They are fast & sexy, but not too reliable. Harley isn't fast, definitely isn't reliable, but apparently to many IS sexy). I like to be able to go places, not just look good while on my way to a repair shop.
The New Yamaha FJR1300
Update: Here's the FJR Owner's Site. 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds! It's official: In the July 2002 issue of Cycle World, the 'First Full Test' of the Americanized Yamaha FJR 1300, the new machine was clocked in a sub-3-second 0 to 60 mph run. I thought my first car 30 years ago was way fast because it would do 0 to 60 in 12 seconds....substantially faster than a VW Beetle which was what most my buddies were driving. This astronomically fast performance may be in part due to the fact that this bike will accelerate to 62 mph before needing a single gear change! I remember my first beetle would redline at 15 mph in first gear! It required 3 gear changes to achieve 60 mph (and about 37 seconds). A Ferrari will go 0-60mph in about 5 seconds. Dollar for dollar, the FJR offers astounding acceleration for a very modest price.
On one 400 mile ride from Sacramento to my Daughter's in Irvine, I had the opportunity to test the upper limits of my riding ability. There was a clear patch of I-5 for as long as I could see. This was at night, mind you, so I did not want to get too crazy. I ramped up to 155mph for a few seconds. There was a little more power I could have squeezed out, but I was concerned I would overtake traffic at a frightening (to other vehicles) rate, so backed off to 85, which is about what most I-5 traffic moves at. Here's my best photo with the bike.
Mark S. Blackburn, MBA
P.O. Box 186
Honolulu, HI 96810
Last Updated: December 03, 2010