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For some of you (readers in the United States), this may be an additional day off. If so, you may have time to do some light reading. A few suggestions:

Dave Farquhar may be off-line, but he's still working the sports/religion beat:

You might want to check this out, or even post it. A story on my current fave player, and after reading this you'll know why. http://www.kcstar.com/item/pages/sports.pat,sports/37749446.701,.html

Thanks Dave! That's one of those stories that helps offset the bulk of what the mainstream media serves up for the dinner hour. ...or so I hear. I've pretty much given up on the tube...

...and even if you just really don't give a rat's patootie about what the evil empire and it's associates are doing to your civil liberties, pull your head out of the sand (or wherever you have it placed) and take a moment to read the start of JHR's series on UCITA and .NET. His exploration and exposition of the issues actually started with last Friday's post. There's some serious information there. ...and I recall something about an informed electorate??? Then again, sheep don't vote. ...and usually end up sheared (at best).

...and then there are people who make me feel really good about myself. ...and post things that I can bring up for Shelley to read. ...especially when I've done some geek thing that could set her off. This time it's Frank MrPherson coming to the rescue (scroll down to the Being a Geek heading). Thanks, Frank; that really took the sting off of the handheld radios I brought along for Condo-to-Beach communication!

If you didn't check in yesterday, you missed the west coast equivalent of "Fall on the Mediterranean". The Bilbrey's came down for a day to enjoy the sun, surf and company. Be very careful if Brian brings fresh salsa along... More info on Brian's and Marcia's pages!

...and now back to the sun, surf and shovels.


Happy Fourth of July

For those of us in The States, it's a day of barbecues and fireworks. ..hopefully remembering we're celebrating the birth of this nation.

For others... Well, those upstart colonies did manage to stay together and move forward. (I'll leave the politics out of it for the moment as that entire arena basically disgusts me...)

...and remember your emergency workers today; they're the ones dealing with people's mistakes and misjudgments. ...burns, grass fires, house fires, drunks, and people dying on the roadways. Yep, holidays always bring back memories for me...

Today we'll hang in there for the interminable parade down main street; rub elbows with about ten thousand people who drop by to visit a town of less than one thousand (and wonder why there are not enough parking spaces); and then kick back and watch the fireworks show this evening.

Before the fireworks, the local PBS channel usually runs the Boston Pops concert; that's a treat as the boys love to watch the Real Cannons fire. After the fireworks, I relax and watch those ten thousand people try to drive off toward home. ...from a town with only two access points. ...man, I just love holidays.</curmudgeon mode>

The fireworks are cool though. They shut down the pier early in the evening and set up the mortars and such. The fishing and tour boats come by and anchor as close in-shore as they can get; and all those people try to find a place to sit on the beach. The fireworks show is usually rather good. It's not on par with those barges on the Mississippi or the bridge shows (we also try to find that repeat on TLC in preparation for the local show), but it's more than "good enough".

After the "official" show is over, we move on to the un-official/illegal show on the beach. People have about two hours before the Sheriff moves in and starts enforcing the law (prior to that, the local Gendarmes use the New York approach: containment); until then, we watch the display of Un-Safe and In-Sane fireworks.

Have a happy and sane holiday...


The drums... The incessant pounding of the drums!

That was the day yesterday.

The "powers that be" decided the booth from a local radio station should be located at our end of the local embarcadero. The choices very quickly became:

  • Leave the doors and windows open and listen to songs that I hear from the bar across the street every night I'm here (Wolly Bully being a prime example).
  • Close the doors and windows and listen to the never ending bass beat from the same songs.

We opted for the latter after the parade. It seemed a real good idea at the time. It wasn't until after I woke up from a nap (necessitated by the local IdiotWerks representative who decided 0130 was the ideal time to test his supply of Un-Safe and Un-Sane over-the-border specials) that I realized the error in my ways. ...better to have listened to recycled sixties music. I woke up thinking I was in one of those jungle movies where the explorers... Oh, you know the one.

The fireworks were cool; and the local cools had a field day afterward dealing with the guy from IdiotWerks and his ilk. Seems they were in such a fog they couldn't recognize Sheriff's Department uniforms even when the officers were standing next to their black and whites. ...with the light bars activated. No joke; these fools were challenging the local law enforcement staff on their home turf. ...with plenty of reinforcements.

It turned out to be a quiet night after all...


Well, our brief respite from visitors ended yesterday when Hurricane Lantis blew into town. My sister, her husband, and their three kids showed up for a few days. In honor of their arrival, the weather promptly lowered its temperature about ten degrees and bounced the wind up to about twenty-five miles per hour. The term "relaxing on the beach" lost much of its meaning and took on a new edge: sandblasting exposed skin. Everyone just gritted their teeth (quite literally) and proceeded to enjoy the companionship.

Overheard on the Fourth while viewing the sand castle contest:

From a grandma-sounding voice: "You kids stop hitting or I'm going to smack you." Okay; that'll learn 'em.

From someone who really shouldn't be too near the ocean: "What do you mean the tide's coming in, George? I thought the tide went out every morning and came in every evening????"

...and to cap the humor to start your day, this contribution from Don Armstrong:

Attached is an RTF file on the subject of lawns. It came to me with the serial numbers filed off, and I forward it in the same condition. While the theology is not strictly kosher, or anything else, it does speak to me nevertheless, and I thought you might also appreciate it in view of your efforts in your yard.

Don Armstrong

Thanks, Don! ...and everyone out there:

Have a Smurfy day...


Today should return us to something closer to normal around Manse Oceana. From a peak of nine, we'll drop the micro-population to four. ...which is a much more manageable count for two showers and two bedrooms. ...to say nothing of mealtimes. More than once, I was reminded of a TLC show about the varied preparations for feeding time at the zoo. My sister must have brought along twenty pounds of meat and cheese for three days and I really don't think they have enough left to pack in a sandwich-sized Ziploc® bag for the trip home.

...and I need the break. Too much activity. I come over here to do nothing^3. The math: reading * web work * beach digging = nothing^3. I'll be happy to get back to that grind <G>.

I did run across a couple of interesting items in my browsing yesterday:

From the "A little too politically correct" (and perhaps just slightly out of touch with reality) department, we have local government regulating business names. Thanks Al.

...and from Big Brother (a 1984 production), how to not watch your children but feel good about it. I guess Shelley and I are old-fashioned, but we like to have a visual on our guys when we are out and about. ...hazardous environment or not.

...and with that, I welcome you to the last day of the work week.


How's your weekend starting out? Ours is starting out real quiet. Just a moment... Yes; that is the sound of silence.

'Course, the decibel scale is logarithmic, so if I listen real closely I can hear the sound of a Jedi Knight sending his Lego men off to battle the forces of evil. ...the forces of evil as depicted by his brother's Lego Ninjas. Who evidently weren't expecting the attack...

But all is well; that's still at least 60 dB down from what we've had as ambient for the last three days.

Back to the beach...


Pancakes and beer... No, silly; not for breakfast, that was last night's dinner. ...and no, not as planned by Shelley, rather as supplemented by your congenial host. Shelley agreed that pancakes would be a good carbohydrate-filled dinner after a rather cold afternoon on the beach; I just thought some additional carbs would be helpful<G>.

The boys tried on their cousins' wet suits the other day with mixed results.

Ready for the water; 19kb

Not mixed for them, rather mixed for Shelley and me: now they can stay in the water for hours at a time (great for them), but the "eagle eyes" on the shore cannot relax their vigilance for the same time frame. ...and our book reading has plummeted. I've managed to start Starswarm (worth the price of admission just for the introduction), but progress has slowed considerably in the last two days.

Ah, well; I guess I could rent a wet suit...

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