by John "Racehorse" Stubal
Epigraph: "She never drank water, she always drank wine."
On vacation without bandwidth, one can barely post, let alone mine the Internet for material. Thrown back on one's own resources, one soldiers on.
The rental cottage is idyllic. Wonderful cross-ventilation. Very tastefully decorated. The outdoor shower has a wooden enclosure so one can de-sand and de-salt in privacy. The hot water (a) exists, and (b) has reliable anti-scald properties.
The downside is minor (except for intermittent bandwidth). The TV has 1000 channels but nothing good to watch. That's good, because we're not here to watch TV. A new house is being built next door, so there's noise and dirt during business hours. That's okay, too, because we're not much here during business hours.
The local council of churches puts out a brochure listing 37 area church-affiliated thrift shops. Imagine our chagrin at reaching one whose last day for the season was the day before. For bargain-hunters, there's no day like the last day before closing to get lowball offers accepted.
There are also used bookstores to be browsed. I was surprised that they don't have computerized inventory like Linda Bowers's late, lamented Book Bower in the basement of the Main Street Market. One had a round-the-clock honor system outdoor book collection under stiff canopy. All books $1, put the money through the slot in the door after hours.
I got a book intended to teach British civil servants how to write so the public can understand them. It made the point that writing obscurely or unintelligibly (what a nice distinction) is no sin if one can do no better, but to write that way for want of taking pains is no less than rudeness to the reader.
Reminded me of Samuel Johnson: "What is written without trouble is read without pleasure." It's always painful for a blogger to quote Johnson, who wrote: "No one but a blockhead ever wrote except for money."
Judging from prices ($25 for a lobster roll at the dock), lobsters are nearly extinct. If one has the means, one had better chow down before the last of them are gone.
In a New Orleans seafood restaurant years ago, I was assured that crayfish were lobsters. "They just look that way after swimming all the way down from Maine."
At the dock, we saw a few harbor seals. Their heads look like dog heads. The water is so inky the animals disappear the instant they dive.
A fishing boat was unloading what looked like about 50 small sharks (2-3 feet). Are they restaurant food? Cat food? Why all the blood? Are they cleaned on the trip back to dock?
How strange to see dozens of gulls sitting patiently on the water like ducks around the unloading boat.
A hardware store had nifty silicone wine bottle stoppers with a large ring atop the plug, so the stopper could be placed like a collar around the neck of the open bottle when not busy stopping.
I almost sprang for the overpriced item till my better half pointed out that the device added two inches to the height of the bottle, and some bottles already don't fit in our refrigerator door.
After travels and other big deeds, I like to write "after action reports" (term stolen from military). Ideally they inform the next such effort, but they usually get lost. This one will say in part, "Always travel with a small stapler."