Singing on Lake Union (2007-07-03)

Band Plays Lake Union
"If I had $1000000, I'd buy your love."--Barenaked Ladies, "If I Had $1000000"

It was Fourth of July Eve and the evening sun of northern latitudes was fading behind Queen Anne hill as I danced under a disco ball illuminated by a flashlight lashed to the mast. Under my sandaled feet the deck of the sailboat sloped towards port, not heeling in the wind but rather tipping under the weight of skippers and crew gathered there. Like me they had clambered across the rafted sailboats--lashed together (lines around cleats) for the party after sailing--to hear Gertrude's Hearse. Surely this crew of of S/V Distance was the most original in the Duck Dodge?

"If I had a million dollars" I sang in response to the lead singer's call, then listened, as Yusuf Kilgore played an electric guitar solo from a boatswain's chair suspended between mast and forestay of S/V Distance, or Keith Stone played saxophone from the roof of M/V Steel Drum. The movement of dancing, the fresh wind that had powered the earlier race, the red vodka Jell-O shot in my stomach, the enjoyment of the music, and the energy of the crowd all warmed me.


Receiving New T-Mobile MDA® (2007-06-27)

T-Mobile MDA®
T-Mobile shipped me via UPS a new MDA because within the one-year manufacturer warranty period the one I purchased began flickering and failing to find the network. I took pictures of the old MDA to show there were no cracks or water damage and sent it back.

I probably would have procrastinated the return even longer if it didn't irritate friends and significant others that they couldn't call me. I regularly use Skype from anywhere. In fact, I noticed a lot of redundancy among the mobile devices I've mentioned: Canon PowerShot SD600 Digital ELPH, Dell D820, and iPod nano. Out of curiosity, I took an inventory of the activities I can do with each device, and (except for the ELPH) the feature or software available for that activity.

[Updated to link to Google Docs & Spreadsheets instead of embedding table.]


Reading The Bridge of San Luis Rey (2007-06-29/07-02)

Kalin Bridge Painting
"There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning."
--Thornton Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Hanging in our hallway is a painting from Peru of a hanging bridge, bequeathed to me by my maternal grandmother, along with The Bridge of San Luis Rey. I received these after January 2006 when she died in Panorama City Convalescent Center in Lacey after a period of ill health. Thornton Wilder writes, "Even memory is not necessary for love," but both love and memory of her still remain.


Reading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (2007-05-24/06-17)

Thing that got me was not her list of things she hated, since she was obviously crazy as a Cyborg, but fact that always somebody agreed with her prohibitions. Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws— always for other fellow. A murky part of us, something we had before we came down out of trees, and failed to shuck when we stood up. Because not one of those people said: "Please pass this so that I won't be able to do something I know I should stop." Nyet, tovarishchee, was always something they hated to see neighbors doing. Stop them "for their own good"—not because speaker claimed to be harmed by it.
--Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

I recall a time I looked through everything in the school library by Robert A. Heinlein. Although this blog only holds one such book review, I love speculative fiction--especially science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism. Nevertheless, I only really recall reading Stranger in a Strange Land and The Number of the Beast. I don't remember reading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, even though I tend to remember social science fiction I read (e.g., Animal Farm, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, The Left Hand of Darkness, Nineteen Eight-Four).

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress was published in 1967--the year of the Summer of Love--and mentions themes common in the hippie counterculture movement of the 1960s. Its society excites me and inspires my imagination. It appeals to my civil libertarian leanings. I want freedom from conventional careers, freedom to travel, freedom from relationship restrictions, etc.; and I believe in responsibility and the importance of individuals. Luna in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is among the societies in speculative fiction that seem desirable and viable to me. However, I don't know how our current societies would evolve into them.