Skipper Mark aboard the Canistel
Recent News from Mark: (circa October 2002)
Where I'm living: I'm living in Downtown Sacramento near my 1892 Victorian purchased in 1997. Perhaps I'll acquire another downtown property later in 2002. The Victorian has worked well for me. Living downtown has some advantages. But, I yearn for a few acres I could call my own.
What I'm doing: Officially, I'm consulting to the CA Dept. of Parks & Recreation. This is a 'fun' job. I get a great 10 minute workout each day riding my bike to work right in front of the California Capitol Building. I do database analysis work for Parks. I am currently under contract there through March 2003. One of the databases I administer holds all the content for the Parks's outstanding website, which is one of the most-visited sites in the world..
What I'm really doing: I am resisting evil, promoting goodness, liberty, peace, health, God's grace, and individual responsibility. For 2 1/2 years I have been following the diet of the Essenes. This is the healthiest diet I know of. I'm enjoying my Grandaughter, My Kids, and my 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.
A New Boat: I'm very excited about my new boat shown below. Click on the drawing or photo for more information.
PDQ MV/34 Passagemaker
Profile View of my boat 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 am leaving the boat in Miami for the next year or so. Read more about this cruise here.
PDQ MV/34 Passagemaker
Ensenada Sailing Trip: For the last 2 years I have 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 Family: My Mother continues living in Las Vegas. Mom still works at the Robinson's May Store. My Sister, Kim, has returned from such exotic places as Armenia, Portugal, Yemen, Latvia & Saudi Arabia and is making her home in Atascadero, CA . My Sister, Courtney and Daughter Chelsea, live in Hollister. Courtney has a beau named Bob. Chelsea is 17! My Daughter, Dedie and Husband Chris Lotito live in Foothill Ranch, CA (near Irvine). Their magnificent achievement of 2001 was my beloved Granddaughter, Makayla. They were up for an encore, and on Veteran's Day, 2002, my 2nd Grandchild Ainsley Mae Lotito was born. I hope to have photos of Ainsley very soon. My Son, Christian, 22, lives downstairs from Dad in Sacramento.
My Granddaughter, Makayla at about 9 months.
My Motorcycles: Look, this is a sore subject with me. I've not had a really nice bike in 3 years. With most my savings going towards the new boat, I should totally ignore motorcycles. My doctor wanted to put me immediately on testosterone replacement therapy when he heard I had sold my last motorcycle. 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. Here's Cycle World's Test. 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: I did it. I placed an order for one the day before the special 2002 order deadline. If things continue going well for me in 2002, I will receive my new 145 HP Sport Touring Yamaha sometime in November. 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 suite 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 60 mph without 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).
Mark S. Blackburn, MBA
1310 E Street Victorian
Sacramento, CA 95814
Last Updated: February 14, 2010