Thursday, December 14, 2006

Awaken, mind...

I've taken to spending more time reading and viewing the eclectic postings of the internet. There's a lot of trash out there, but sorting through it isn't too hard. A sentence or two of any thing will tell you if the writer has anything to say and if he or she can say it well.

I was tantalized today by a writer reviewing a new book on suburbia, Sprawl: A Compact History. Enticed not only by the reviewer's take on the topic, but beguiled by a new word, or at least one I no longer could find in my RAM: casuistry.

Doesn't that roll off the tongue beautifully. You almost want to say it several times. It is so elegant, much better than saying specious argument. And, his problem with Sprawl was precisely because he deems any defense of suburbia to be casuistry. Moreover, I think he is spot on. The notion that because we like our American suburban lifestyle it can and will go on indefinitely is a particularly vacuous idea when we face the ultimate disappearance of the fossil fuels that made this lifestyle possible in the first place.

Of course the review was a bit long and somewhat ponderous, so word choice as a criteria for choosing a well-written piece may not be the only criteria for sorting through the plethora of stuff on the internet. (Well, you know that if you read this far.)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Marina Village lights...

Went to check on Spindrift's refit progress today (see maintenance log), and spent the night on Dog Days. In the evening I went over to the club and played piano for the regular "second Friday" event.

The lights in the marina were lovely, and even in the pouring rain, when I came back to the boat that night, they cheered me.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cruising awards dinner...

We made it through the cruising year, and the Deborah kept her part of the bargain – I did all the work, she took most of the glory. Well, not really. She tried, but in the end had to give me some credit, too. We had our annual cruising awards dinner last weekend, the culmination of fifteen cruises, lots of sailing, and loads of parties.

My son-in-law Matt helped us out by demonstrating the sorts of talents it took to run the cruising program. I couldn’t explain it if you tried, but in just a few minutes Matt was able to demonstrate what I’d had to do all year long. A world champion juggler (Silver Medalist in 2003 and Overall Prop Champion in 2005 at the world competitions) and a Cirque Du Soleil juggling instructor, the Juggling Sensei, he gave a top rate show, which explained everything.

Our two most noteworthy awards include the “Half-Assed Award,” which was particularly hard to determine, since the candidates just seemed to step forward at every turn of the cruising season. It ultimately went to two cruisers whose boat dragged anchor at the Summer Sailstice cruise to Treasure Island. The worst part was that when good Samaritans saved the boat, pulled up anchor, and brought it to the docks and tied it up, our sailors thought it was another boat that looked “just like our’s” – and “look, it’s even got the same name.”

The other to prize for Cruiser of the Year also had a lot of competition, but we finally settled on a particularly active couple, one who had gone on eleven of the fifteen cruises, sponsored one of the most well-attended and complicated cruises, and taken lots of others on their boat during the course of the year.

Now we can look forward to cruises next year without having to do most of the work, which really will be a relief. I can hardly wait!

More photos