Category Archives: blather

Hannah sez

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As I randomly and inexplicably segue from singing a Beatles song that I don’t particularly like to “Can Do” from Guys and Dolls, Hannah sez,

“You know, sometimes the songs that are in your head don’t have to come out of your mouth.”

Hot and blurry

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Summer has just been a hot blur of one thing after another, and not enough of most of them. No camping, very little swimming, not enough paddling or cycling, but too much air conditioning. Probably more potato salad and cole slaw than was strictly necessary, precisely the right amount of homemade mint iced tea and lemonade, and a belated batch of gazpacho that bears repeating. A decent amount of outdoor music (all classical this summer) and dance, a musical thrown in there, a couple of rounds of fireworks. Not enough time gazing contentedly at the stars, but generally less late-night rowdiness from the neighbors. No trips to the drive-in theater, but several to Jumpin’ Jack’s drive-in restaurant. Mix in with it the usual summer run of birthdays, work, doctor’s appointments, dance camps, etc., and it becomes hard to believe all that happened in the last eight weeks, when it felt like we were just inside the house hiding from the sun. Now, it’s nearly over. Elder daughter has already started class, and regular high school starts for both of them next week. Overnight, I’ll switch from having to avoid the noon sun for my rides to having to seek it out; already the evening light is too long and shadowy to be safe riding back home into the setting sun. Soon, my fiftieth summer will be over. It was pretty good.

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Skillz

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Stupidly busy. Not enough biking, but three days of paddling in a row (probably the first time since parenthood that that has happened). Work. But the one thing running through my mind through these hot summer days? This very funny little song:

Beaver rampage!

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Peebles Island

Image by carljohnson via Flickr

Had a splendid evening paddle yesterday out on the confluence of the Mohawk and the Hudson. Put in at Waterford, a village that knows how to exploit its waterfront (something much bigger cities around here don’t seem to be able to figure out), and paddled around the lovely channels, up to the foot of the last little waterfall on the Mohawk, played around in the current for a bit and then headed back. Gliding along, I was surprised to hear what sounded like a bowling ball plunging into the water – far from where anyone could have tossed a rock, and it would have had to have been a hell of a rock. So I hung back for a minute to see if I could figure out what had made that noise, thinking perhaps I had come upon the Carp of the Apocalypse. Then I saw the little head, pointy ears, beady eyes: castor canadensis, Monsieur Beavair. Then the descendant of many splendid hats decided to threaten me again with a splendid thwack. I backed away but, being a man, did not leave. I was trying to figure out where his little house of sticks was. Then the furbearer, whose ancestors were more valuable than money just a few miles south and four centuries back, gave me a third and fourth warning. I decided he’d had enough and I was late for dinner so I had to leave the channel. But let’s be clear: I did not back down.

It happened that I was having dinner with not one but two people who, if they were doing their jobs, would take responsibility for the outrageous threats of this toothed water marmot. One chose to ignore my plight entirely; the other rolled her eyes and said “Peebles Island,” clearly familiar with the transgressions of this threat to our way of life. Did they do anything? They did not.

Monsieur Beavair? I’ll be back.

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Thank you for harmonising with my conclusions

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The comments spam gets more and more erudite, but persists in British spellings:

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Not only New Jersey

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“Parts of New Jersey, as you know, are under water, and other parts are under continual surveillance by the authorities.”
 – F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Dice, Brassknuckles & Guitar”