Winter Conference VII: Rules of the House

February 1, 2016 by


Welcome to the 7th annual Shipwreckageotology Winter Conference, set in the idyllic Bruce’s house. We hope you enjoy yourself, but please bear in mind that nearly any action you take is likely to result in eviction, arrest, or at least a sizable fee. Please review the following rules, paying particular attention to paragraph 19.


1. While all attempts will be made to make this entry as complete and professional sounding as possible, in reality it’s going to be hastily thrown together. But please carefully read see Chapter 19. It will be strictly enforced.


2. There is a cart around the corner on Meeting House Creek RD across from marina. There is also wood on the farm in back of the house, if you take it he(owner) will have you arrested for larceny and paragraph 19 will apply – he lives 2 houses away.


3. At meals, do not take the last serving for yourself. This food is reserved for frittata making. Also, one should take care to cook breakfast frittatas as slowly as possible to build anticipation.


4. Although the shells of Westhampton are attractive on the outside, they are filled with rotting sea life. Resist the urge to stick your fingers inside them or place them in your pockets. A previous guest did this and it cost nearly 50 cents in soap and water to get the smell off of his hands.


5. Do not allow your chef to prepare lobster using any less than one bottle of ketchup. And under no circumstances should you attempt to prepare lobster casserole without the assistance of a professional.

Dan Rattiner (pronounced /ra teen er/) explains [from his first article on the subject]:

“It’s going to be a dinner for six. I’ve invited two friends I’ve known since the early days and their wives, and my [fourth] wife will be there, of course. And then I thought, fearful of screwing it up (what’s a double boiler?), to show the recipe to Mazzu, the celebrated Brazilian caterer who lives and works out here in the Hamptons.”

What’s a double boiler, indeed.


6. Children’s toys are primarily for the use of adults. If children wish to play, we recommend a swim in the pool next door. (see Chapter 19)


7. TV payperview… the TV’s have open access to pay per view (movies prize fights etc.) after you leave and before I send your deposit back I check it with Cablevision…Please leave a check on the refrigerator if you have any charges. But really, you’re probably better off just using Apple TV. It’s really easy to use and I’m sure you won’t have any trouble setting it up.


8. While heat is on all windows and doors must be kept open. Otherwise it will be difficult to sleep in the upstairs bedrooms. An extra fee will be charged for not complying.

9. The most important late December birthday does not belong to JC. Celebrate accordingly.


10. Have you read Chapter 19? No? Hurry up and read it. I cannot overemphasize the importance of Chapter 19.

11. Be sure to try the shinnecock mussels at Jerry and the Mermaid.


12. Don’t forget that there are men and women risking their lives while you’re relaxing with friends. Actually, this one is probably more important than Chapter 19.


13. There are to be no parties or gatherings of people in excess of the number allowed under the maximum occupancy. There are to be no weddings, rehearsal dinners, Sunday after wedding brunches, pornament making parties, tents, nor parking in the grass. We rent to many people who are in town for weddings but please have large gatherings elsewhere. Any violation of this clause (or of Chapter 19) will result in loss of possession by the renter, immediate eviction and forfeiture of all money paid, with NO exceptions. If you insist on a late night dance party, consider a silent disco.


13A. I should mention my wife. She is the greatest person I have ever met.

14. Woof! Woof!
15. When on the road, make sure to help the driver give voice commands to the car.


16. Don’t trip. Seriously, please be careful – we really hate to see you hurt yourself. Exception: comically falling and breaking a chair is hilarious, as long the chair bears the brunt of the pain.


17. DO NOT remove Ice Tray – the last person who did put it back wrong $200 repair bill. If you need more ice, just go buy it, but try to get a cool looking bag.


18. Maybe go up the other side if you want to check out the front of the Fireboat Fire Fighter. That side’s got enough electricity to ruin your weekend. Also, please don’t bend the fire cat.

19. Throw it. Throw it. KUBB! KUBB! KUBB!


Winter Conference VI: Year of the Schnauzer

January 18, 2015 by

This year’s conference put the zee in schnauzer.

[Note: Thanks to Wieldling and Lin chan for photos. All images are clickable for uncropped full resolution.]

For thiDSC_1598_crops year’s annual meeting, we were magically whisked away to… Delaware.  We met in a lovely Lewes cul-de-sac at a not at all falling apart home adorned with highly functional dormers and filled with schnauzer memorabilia, wetsuits, and more light switches than lights.  We were delighted to welcome a new member to our shipwreckageotology crew – a (super-cute, obviously) baby! He was a joy to have around, and some might even did argue that despite the presence of an infant, there was significantly less whining than last year! We spent the first evening catching up, eating a delicious dinner, searching the house for sheets (after the SLC delegation greedily hoarded what had appeared to be the only usable set), being startled by a mouse in a box (or startling ourselves with baby toys), devouring a fantastic almond cake, and marking the new year with our customary sparkling wine and pot banging. (This was followed by some crabwalky speechifying about settler colonialism and some other poorly documented nonsense.)

What have we gotten ourselves into?

Still wondering what they’ve gotten themselves into.

As many woke up the next day still feeling the effects of New Year’s Eve, it was a relief to find a fresh pot of coffee waiting, thanks to some of the previous evening’s brilliant forethought.  After we’d mostly all dressed, showered, eaten breakfast, etc. we were treated to some fresh motto pankeku.  We then headed out to explore the great city of Lewes.  Our first stop was Lewes beach, which had some interesting sea plants and a parking lot built for shenanigans. It was a lovely day for a walk along the coastline, which led us to the ferry terminal and its toilets.

Everyone at Lewes Beach

Everyone at Lewes Beach

We considered heading on to the nearby Cape Henlopen State Park, but it was already getting a bit late for a proper lunch.  We instead headed into town, parked by the cemetery (where we learned about the unreliability of gravestone rubbings), deposited our parking stone in the meter, aSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESnd headed to the Rose & Crown. When we arrived, we were disheartened to discover that despite the abundance of empty seats inside, there was no room for us. Rather than search for a new place to eat, we sent in our conference negotiator, who managed to get us some seats. It wasn’t a perfect arrangement, but we were happy to get in (like showing up to the theatre to find only upper balcony tickets available – not ideal, but at least you get to see the show). After a few minutes, however, we were upgraded to two booths (like an usher informing you that actually, it appears there are some loge seats available). It was more comfortable there, which was good, because they were in no hurry to bring us our food (if our lunch was an engagement, Sallie would not approve).

Rose and Crown Rose and Crown 2

We somehow managed to finish eating before sunset, which allowed us to take a quick peek at the state park, where we viewed the sunset atop an observation tower, discovered huge pine cones, and learned who our real friends are outside the Biden center.  We spent the rest of the evening relaxing, snacking on chips, cheese, and challah (a jewish braided bread), learning about shipwrecks through games (if you’re ever in a shipwreck, make sure to buy some dew), and having a late but delicious dinner. A faulty chair attacked one of the conference participants, but he fortunately did not seem to suffer any physical injury. We can only hope that there will be no long-term psychological damage.




For our final full day, we got down to some serious shipwreckageotological business and visited the Zwaanendael Museum.  There was some stuff about ships, stuff on ships, and wreckage, and there were some helpful ladies that had lots to say. Oh, and a shrunken monkey head.  After spending a bit more time looking around downtown Lewes, we made the bold decision to save time by heading directly to our next destination.  We of course immediately realized that this wouldn’t work, as it would have left the takin’ care of babies committee locked out, so we headed back to the house to do a surprisingly small amount of dicking around.  We then doffed our usual wigs and fur coats in favor of our man pants and headed to the Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton.  We drank and received extremely enthusiastic descriptions of several beers and lunched on some sausages, but we were unable to talk our way into getting a tour.

At the Dogfish Head Brewery

At the Dogfish Head Brewery

We finished the day with some delicious smoked salmon soup (I’d have paid at least 10 gemstones for some of that fish), grilled veg, and lightly charred sausages, followed by some final socializing, gaming, and other non-destructive activities.

Our final morning was filled with cleaning, eating all of the leftover food in frittata form, and trying to convince a temperamental broiler not to burn the house down.  Overall, it was quite a successful conference – we studied past shipwrecks at the Zwaanendael museum, visited the ocean (where ships have been known to wreck), learned about shipwreck survival through our new shipwreck game, and better understood wreckage through controlled land-based experiments. And welcomed a new shipwreckageotologist!
One thing we did not do during this conference was smoke.  That was pretty awesome. I think we all know who not smoked the best.

crab dance

Winter Conference V: This will be the year when we get everything we want

January 9, 2014 by
This was the only one where everyone was actually looking.

This was the only one where everyone was actually looking.

This year’s winter conference was held on Folly Island in the great state of South Carolina. We met in a really smart house, with televisions that watched over us at night, speakers that talked to our phones using magic, and lamps so sophisticated that they could only be turned off by unplugging them. The shower left a bit to be desired, requiring a bit more priming of the pump than some shipwreckageotologists would have preferred, but we also discovered too late the existence of the outdoor shower, which really could have altered our impression of the Charleston showering experience.

In addition to welcoming a warmer climate than past conferences, we welcomed a new conference attendee, whose avian expertise proved invaluable in our shipwreckageotological discussions. We enthusiastically encourage his participation in future conferences.

The conference kicked off on December 31st with the opening reception, complete with 3 olive oily entrees and tasty Swedish treats. This was a good time for attendees to catch up on important news, such as the imminent installation of farthinders on Dag Hammarskjölds väg. The conference officially began with the traditional wooden spooning of the pot and a toast of ice-cold champagne.

The house was so smart it could play Bill Murray's films and Neil Diamond's music. Hopefully Disney will let you watch this clip.

The first full day of the conference began with the parallel sessions. The medical shipwreckageotology session held several interesting presentations, including “Salty water in his veins: becoming one with the sea” and “Simulated pants-wetting with a well-primed pump.” Meanwhile, attendees of the session on shipwrecks in film discovered that the sea water at Folly beach isn’t especially polar, and that Bill Murray has a more extensive filmography than most realized, including Superman, Pee-Wee Herman, and Curly Sue.

So many Bill Murrays!

So many Bill Murrays!

The shacktacular proper lunch session was held at the crab shack (not to be confused with crab Shaq). This was an experimental session, which, with a small sample size, was able to determine with statistical significance that throwing sea shells into a bucket produces a troubling sound. Also, if you go to the Folly Beach Crab Shack and aren’t into seafood, just get the grilled chicken sandwich. Seriously.

A startling racket waiting to happen.

A startling racket waiting to happen.

The day concluded with a dinner session, which included an extremely brief presentation on shipwreckageotological matrimony and way too much discussion of future employment prospects.


Groins. (Photo from myciandi)

Day 2 kicked off with a morning swim where groins were religiously avoided, followed by a delicious breakfast. Suprisingly, we were able to begin the day’s plenary session in Charleston earlier than expected. We sadly failed to take a ride on the free self gratification trolley, but managed a scenic walk in the rain, a nice lunch at the pig and chicken restaurant, and almost had some of the world famous Charleston doughnuts. We discovered the fine restrooms of the Charleston Visitor Center, though their doors weren’t nearly as impressive as the one at Gaulart & Maliclet.

Charleston in the rain.

Charleston in the rain.

A number of attendees left quite early the next day, but a few of us stuck around to do some housekeeping, flaunt our trash barrels, and finally get our hands on some doughnuts.



We were unfortunately unable to visit the Hunley, but the Ithaca delegation was kind enough to remain an extra day to investigate. We look forward to hearing their conclusions.

Thanks to all the participants for a very successful conference!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! (Click for larger version)



Christmas Tree Decorating Party.gif

December 9, 2013 by

Can you spot all three birds?


Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2013 by

OK, so the poster is just a parody, but it seems that the Yamanote Halloween train party is (or at least was) a real thing.

Valborg: Uppsala’s annual shipwreck celebration

April 30, 2013 by








Flotsam and Jetsam

Flotsam and Jetsam

More pics here, but before we end, an event like this clearly requires an animated GIF:

Valborg Shipwreck GIF



They are ruining everything.

April 25, 2013 by

They are ruining everything.

Going after that shipwreck dollar.  Big dollar.

Big Glide

April 25, 2013 by

Goddamn them all

April 17, 2013 by

Scale of the Shipwreckverse

April 15, 2013 by

This is pretty awesome (and physicsy).


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