Monday, July 28, 2008

New Ammunition for Top-Equality

I found this picture a while back, but haven't been able to add it to a post yet. So, I'll just do a special post about it...

Normally, when debating the whole breast legal/illegal issue, people post pictures. These pictures typically have an attractive naked female torso, and a really fat guy that kinda has man-boobs. When you're trying to convince people that the breasts are the same, it's a horrible comparison. Any man will think the attractive female has attractive breasts, which supposedly promotes sexual interest. The fat man doesn't stand a chance. Well, the one I found stands a chance...

Take a look at this picture on flickr, and lets debate: What makes the breast illegal?

Is it the size? If so, I'd say this person has a lot of women beat in terms of size, including the size of the nipple. If size were an issue, the laws would specify that breasts cannot be shown if they were a specified size or beyond. This clearly isn't the case, because women with "bee-stings" still get arrested.

Is it the attractiveness? If this were the case, it would be highly subjective. Cover up everything except the breast of the picture above, and ask someone if it appears to be attractive. They'd probably be interested. Attractiveness isn't the case, because women who are very unattractive still get arrested.

Is it because it sometimes secretes liquid? Well, that's a strange reason to ban showing it. More often, that's the primary reason why it is legal to show when nursing an infant. If liquids were the issue, we should arrest anyone who cries in public.

Is it the gender? You bet! Most people who see the above picture would say the legality depends on if it's a man or a woman. Are they offended when they see it? They probably can't answer due to a lack of obvious gender. If they need to think that hard about it, then they probably aren't. It's clearly the size and shape of a typical breast, but would certainly draw mixed emotions from those who oppose only the female breast.

So the laws dealing with breasts have nothing to do with the actual physical breasts. If they did, the guy pictured above would certainly be illegal. (I assume it's a guy based on the facial and chest hair... If transgendered, they are probably becoming a man and taking lots of testosterone. It's safe to assume the person is male or mostly male.)

Hopefully this image serves as new ammunition for top-equality... Go ahead and start using it when talking about this issue. It'll certainly confuse the opponents!

Update: I did eventually use this picture in the GoTopless Chicago protest, and pictures of us holding the sign have been circulating. It was one of the favorite signs at the event.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

How To: Improve Any Venue with $10

(Please click for full resolution.)

In terms of performance, markerboards are hard to beat! The materials are cheap, usually $8 for a simple board and $2 for markers, but the payoff is improved organization and better communication between everyone. However, this is only if the board is set up well! A blank board will likely never get used -- but add some sort of framework, give people markers, and something wonderful will happen. I'll show you how to get the best performance out of this simple tool, and point out why every nudist resort (or other venue) should have one.

The philosophy is simple -- anyone can grab a marker and start writing and erasing at will. What prevents someone from messing it up? Well nothing, really. Most nudists are genuinely good, so it's probably not going to happen. They have a right to write, and you have a right to erase, and vice-versa. It all balances out. Good writings will stick, and the not-so-good ones (or out-of-date ones) will be erased.

The image above is created by me and is loosely based on Nudiarist's Paradise Gardens post. It serves as an example for what I'm talking about in this post.


The markerboard that I have was about $8 at Wal-mart. I have two of them at home because they work so well -- we use them all the time. (Note the duct tape holding it together in the picture.) The markers are very cheap, and $2 can get you a 4-pack of small ones. I'd recommend larger sizes so they don't run out as quick. A markerboard with no markers is useless, so make sure you have plenty on hand! If you run out, make it a top priority for your next shopping trip. As long as people cap them properly, they should last for quite a while.

If you want a huge markerboard, use solid white tileboard or showerboard. (See the link for details.) You can get a 4' x 8' slab at Home Depot for only $13. Bigger is always better -- one that size could hold every event and announcement for a year and have plenty of space left over.

The cost of having a markerboard is almost free, even for a resort on a shoe-string budget. If you frequent a resort that doesn't have one, consider this one of the cheapest and best donations you could ever give them. Make sure to print out this post and include it in the gift.


Now that you have a shiny new board, where should it go? You have two priorities in figuring this out:
  1. Keep it away from kids, or it'll become artwork.
  2. Place it in a high-traffic area, such as a lobby, office, or pool area, so everyone sees it often and can contribute.
Mounting options are quite open. For a smaller board, you can hang it or attach it to the wall. For mine, I have it hanging from two door-hangers. (They go over the top of the door and have a hook. I attached rope to the hooks and around the markerboard.) If you end up with the giant slab of showerboard, you can just lean it up against the wall. Remember that if it's on the ground, kids will dominate the sections that they can reach.

It's a good idea to hang the markers next to or above the board to deter kids. If they don't rest well on top, make a loop out of string around the top corner of the board. Then, bend a paperclip into a hook and tape it to the marker. Finally, hang the marker on the loop. Some boards are magnetic, and some markers have magnets. If you have these, simply attach them to the board. This is a bit more expensive though, and uses up valuable markerboard real estate.

Framework Overview

A blank markerboard never gets much use. As board-master, it is your goal to bring organization to this large slab of white. You need to define a framework that promotes contribution, and keeps everyone informed and collaborating smoothly. Follow this guide to start things off, and tweak things or expand as needed later on.

First is to choose your color. On my board, I used black for everything provided by management. The framework is in black, and my notes are also in black. Of course, I make sure to keep all black markers to myself, so everyone else knows that if it's black, it's me. This way it's easy to tell if management added something, or if it was someone else.

If your framework will be permanent, consider drawing it out in permanent marker. That way the lines, etc. cannot be erased. This is good for dividing up the board and dedicating sections to certain things. Any other messages should be erasable. If you really need to make changes, a new board is only another $8-$13.


There are specially designed markerboards that have a 1-month blank calendar on them -- just write in the date numbers and events. Or, make one yourself. If you have a smaller board (like mine), limit yourself to having "this week" and "next week". Make sure to keep this up-to-date! If you have a larger board, do a whole month. Remember to make the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday spaces a little bigger since more events usually happen those days. I chose to use European-style weeks, because I like "weekends" to be at the end, and Monday to be the start of the week.

Encourage other people to add their own events. If Bob and Ann are having a poker tournament, they should add it to the calendar. It's a whole lot easier than trying to tell everyone face-to-face and round them up at the right time. Using the board keeps everyone informed about what's going on, so they can make their own schedules. Bob and Ann could even ask people to RSVP in the "Other Notes" section.


How to you inform everyone about something? Meetings take time, and many don't go. Signs and posters are wasteful. The PA system might be a little annoying, if we can hear it. Face-to-face takes forever and can miss people. Writing it on the public markerboard is a simple and effective solution!

This section is dedicated to what management has to say. Anyone could write in here, but remember that black is the color of management, and they have the means to erase everything else.


This is extremely important, and something that most neglect. I'll drive the point home with my "Future Resort" series later on, but I'll try to summarize it here.

Tasking is the best way to organize what needs work and who is working on it. Traditional resorts are bad at Tasking! They either force members to do stuff, or try to do it all themselves. Owners have a hectic life because everything is broken and everyone is relying on them to fix it. Too often, they forget about the little things. This is a problem, to which I have the solution: Open up!

Having a task list allows people to add things that they find, and to volunteer to fix things when they have extra time. (Nudists seem to have a LOT of extra time, especially the permanent residents.) Also, this lets people voice things instead of just wander away and leave it for the next person.

In my example, Nudiarist stumbled onto a few broken things that people probably forgot about. He generously added these to the board: "Balance pool table" and "Replace [broken] darts". Dan knows how to balance a pool table, and has time this afternoon to work on it, so he added his name to that task. Nobody knows where to get new darts, so it's still open for a volunteer. It's time to mow the lawns again, so the usual guy (Dave) has been assigned to do it. When Dan and Dave finish their tasks, they should erase them.

What does the owner have to do? Not much! The place practically fixes itself, and nothing is forgotten. If the darts task is open for a while, the owner can step in and find/buy some new ones. With this method, the simple things are pointed out and taken care of by the community without much intervention by management.

A problem that may occur is that people never volunteer. A discount for the resort is good incentive -- post the amount by the task. (In black, of course.) I know that I'd volunteer to fix stuff to reduce the cost of my stay!


Things cost money. Anyone can coordinate fundraisers and donate the money to a "community account" at the venue. Then, have people vote for what they think the money should be spent on. Make sure to keep names with the votes, because people should have only one vote. (If they re-vote, consider it a revised one.) If nobody likes the "community bikes" idea, and the owner buys them, it's only going to make people angry and go unused. Let people vote for what they want, and they might be more willing to donate more money towards it. The owner acts to buy what makes the most people happy, and will have the money quicker. (If the "Pool AC System" is something everyone really wants, you can bet they'll be contributing money to get it.)

At most places, I pinch my pennies because I don't know where that money is going. I can only assume it's going to the owner's pocket. Inform people and they'll be more willing to participate and get the funds you need.

Other Notes

This section is for anything else. Consider it a place to fill in all the gaps. See what I have in the bottom corner of my board. Good ideas are classifieds, lost+found, thanks and other feedback. It can also be used to track stuff, like a to-do list for a big event or the status of the all-day volleyball tournaments. It's like a forum where anything goes.


Observe how I took a drab block of white and transformed it into a tool for productivity and organization. It's so simple and so useful that I find it hard to believe that venues choose to operate without one. Also, it's so cheap that any member can donate one. This is a tool that has a huge payoff at an almost-free cost, and I strongly suggest that any member or venue that is reading this should give it a shot. It improves communication between guests and management, and reduces the burden on management to coordinate everything. A better-quality resort will boost revenue and boost member happiness. There's no downside to introducing a markerboard to your resort, so do it!

Shameless Plug

For a high-tech, world-wide nudist markerboard, see the WWNCW. It has the same concept as I've presented above, and is completely free!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mazo Manor - S1E03 - Now That's a Clean Sea-Doo!

My girlfriend and I took the motorcycle to the beach on the July 4th holiday. Upon arrival, I noticed that the beach was a bit more empty than what I was expecting. Over time, it became much more lively. It was mostly middle-aged people and there was a really good gender balance. That's one thing I love about mazo -- most resorts have mostly old men, but the beach has a much better mix.

The Contenders were around this time, and were engaged in their group for the entire time we were at the beach. A few of them swapped out to watch, but no outsider was invited in (that I noticed). They are beyond the skills of most outsiders anyway. I heard a few reports from other people saying that individually they are great to talk to, but together they are somewhat rude. This attitude is primarily caused by a person who I will call Champ. I never approached this group to hear their side of the story. It's a little intimidating, actually.

Here's another intimidating thing: Couples our age. At home, my girlfriend and I have a problem with making friends. None of our hobbies in town are social (aka, we don't drink), so all the friends we have are from work. In other words, we have kinda boring friends. I used to have other friends in town, but they all have graduated and moved away. Our only big social hobby is Mazo Beach, so we are trying to meet new friends there. We'd prefer people our age, and that are somewhat close to our area. People our age are rare, and hard to approach correctly. (Example in the last episode, who weren't around this time like I hoped they would be.) And it seems that the couple is always more attractive then ourselves, which only makes me feel bad for trying to talk to the "hot girl at the party".

There was one other couple on the beach our age, and they apparently were weekenders (or more) that we just hadn't seen yet. I didn't want to approach them directly, and we missed our opportunity to join in when Smokey was talking to them. As we approached, Smokey was leaving, so instead I joined up with him to go check out a boat that we had discussed previously. It was a 1950's sailboat hull that was remade into an electric boat with a canvas top, and looked awesome!

As luck would have it, the couple went for a dip while we were chatting with the Elders. My girlfriend waved them over to us on their return, and they joined since they knew the Elders. Success! We learned that they were from our area and have some common interests with us. We think they're great, and we're looking forward to seeing them more often either at the beach or at other social activities in our area. They have our contact information, and I really hope they contact us. They energetically invited us over to their spot on the beach to chat more -- and I fully intended to visit!

Another thing the female of the couple mentioned is that she was yelled at. She put on a tanktop to go to the porta-potty. Normally she should wear pants too, since the shirt didn't even begin to cover her butt. (My observation is that every other part of the land is closed right now, so it's only nudies in the mini parking lot -- we shouldn't have to wear clothing since there is no possibility for textilers.) Champ yelled at her, something to the effect of "You need to cover up -- this is our beach and we don't want weekenders getting us in trouble!" The Elders later pointed out that the couple visit the beach more often than the Contenders, again calling them rude. They admitted that if encountered, it would really be a DNR judgement call since she was mostly covered. Mostly though, they didn't like Champ calling it their beach. It belongs to the public, not them.

After the couple left the group conversation, I asked Kingpin a burning question that I had: Were the many people on the island supposed to be over there? I've heard from several people that they aren't supposed to be, because it's in another county and outside of the traditional beach area. Kingpin didn't know about where the county line was exactly, but said that he was never told by the DNR or anyone official that people shouldn't be there. My further investigation (at home) is as follows: (click the image for full view)

The county line is highlighted in yellow, and the source for this is the Wisconsin DNR WebView. It's an odd place to draw the line, but the island in question is indeed in a different county. However, does this really matter? The DNR controls the land on both sides and in between, and it's not like they have to call in a different county's DNR person to investigate something on the other side of the river. It seems that the only people who could answer my question is the DNR -- little did I know, I'd have the answer today.

There was fairly heavy canoe traffic today, and for some reason almost ALL came through near the beach. The beach was rockin', so I guess they wanted to sneak a peek. There was one guy that was dressed kinda flashy who zoomed in on a sea-doo. Upon closer inspection, we discovered that this was a DNR warden.

What do we do now? I know they usually peek in, but normally it's from the mini parking lot and not a sea-doo. This guy stopped by some swimmers, who held his sea-doo in place after he shut it off to talk to them. Kingpin, my girlfriend and I wandered out there as well. Kingpin knew him by name already, and I just couldn't pass this up.

The warden asked Kingpin how things have been going. He knew that the Elders and other regulars do a great job at self-policing. Kingpin reported that there haven't been any problems. The warden seemed content, as-if surrounded by friends even though not a beach-goer, and decided to have lunch while chatting. He asked about how far people have been going down the island, and Kingpin (who patrols this occasionally) gave him about how many were there and how far they are going. The warden didn't mind at all -- strongly indicating that the DNR doesn't mind people being on the island as long as they are close to the traditional beach. In other words, the part you can see from the traditional beach is OK by this warden. He never said that people shouldn't be there, and people were currently there. However, people shouldn't test the limits by wandering further.

Update: On a technical note, the island is beyond the traditional area. The beach-side is probably OK for a quick visit, but don't go on the other side. This is the main river channel, and the people on the river will complain. If there are complaints, the DNR will do something about it. Although the DNR warden didn't seem to mind, he may be giving us enough rope to hang ourselves with.

The people of the beach really appreciate the DNR. They offer us safety (the warden fined a textile canoeist for having glass near our beach just before visiting us), and we help them out by self-policing, pulling invasive weeds, cleaning the roads, and whatever we can. The group noticed that the sea-doo was a bit dirty, so a few of them washed it off with river water during the warden's lunch. (I'm sure he was happy that a naked woman was washing his sea-doo.)

This whole encounter proved several things:
  • The DNR really is in good terms with the nudists that use the beach.
  • The nudists are in good terms with the DNR.
  • Kingpin is a primary contact for at least this DNR warden.
  • The island isn't off-limits, but can be if we push further.
  • The DNR is awesome!
My suggestion is that since they are so awesome, you should buy seasonal state park passes for everyone at Christmas. The money goes to the DNR to support all of the public lands, and the recipients are encouraged to enjoy the state parks without having to buy the passes. This is better than putting money in the cards, or gift certificates to China-outlet big-box stores!

Anyway, during the chat I noticed that the couple we had met earlier were leaving. They invited us over, and I felt really bad that I hadn't made it over there. Oh well, we'll have to catch up another day! Despite how badly I wanted to go back on the 5th or 6th, prior commitments and our current sunburns indicated that we probably shouldn't. I'm sure the beach was rockin' even more over the weekend -- sorry that we had to miss it!