I really have no reason to post this picture of two oranges and a red bowl that I noticed on my kitchen counter the other day.
Except that it's half-way through March and I still have my Christmas post up. My wife tells me that Christmas stuff must, by law, be taken down by January 2nd. I don't know what they do to you if you break that law, and my wife's no help because she always follows the law strictly, so has never been prosecuted.
I suppose the usual thing to do in the middle of March is to post a photo of the great weather we've been having here, but out of deference to readers who may live in the world's nether regions, I shall refrain from that.
Lately, health issues (now largely resolved, thanks) and family commitments have left me in a state of mind not much conducive to blogging. But meeting, if only in passing, some of life's more grim realities has allowed me to appreciate a little more what we have - while we still have it. And to look for things of value close to home that we may have overlooked.
Sometimes those may be simple things that are right under our noses, even on the kitchen counter.
One of the great things about Christmas is the wealth of iconic symbols that have come to be associated with the holiday - jolly old Santa, wreaths of holly leaves, the Christmas tree - even a team of smelly reindeer.
It's just not Christmas until plastic recreations of these symbols, painstakenly produced by the thousands in the sweatshops of Asia, start popping up in shop windows and on the front lawns of suburbia all across America. I get weepy and nostalgic just thinking about it.
But none of these symbols says Christmas, of course, more than the bright red Dungeness Crab. You can hang your stockings by the chimney with as much care as you like, but at our house, the Christmas season hasn't really arrived until a couple of two-pounders are in the kitchen sink.
Now, I know what you're thinking. Many prefer the traditional pile of oysters for their yuletide meal. This too has become a staple in many parts of the country at Christmas:
And some eccentrics in places like the midwest even savor a Christmas ham or turkey. I guess there's no accounting for some tastes.
But I hold some traditions dear. In their universal acceptance, I find strength. A plate of sweet Dungeness crab by the Christmas tree
and I feel confident that no matter how this world is wracked by strife and upheaval, that some solid core values will endure.
I know I've hardly blogged at all this past year, so, by now, the sound of crickets chirping is more the norm than percolating posts here at O Dock.
But, in the past month or so, I've also abandoned my usual blogging haunts.
Not only have I stopped reading the blogs of my online friends, but I've ceased leaving those brilliantly annoying, often alliterative, and generally irrelevant comments for which I've been so often taken to task.
I know what you're thinking - finally, we've gotten some peace from this idiot.
Well, true, but I think I owe some explanation to folks who have supported this blog over the years.
Lately, I've been having some health issues which have demanded my focus and which have left me in less than jovial spirits. I still have no idea what's wrong (physically, that is) and am working with some doctors to get the answers.
I've never thought personal health matters to be appropriate subject matter for a sailing blog or even a pseudo-sailing blog like this one, unless they were closely tied to sailing or pseudo-sailing itself, so I'll spare you the tedious details.
Hopefully, I'll be back up and dancing again soon and you'll again be made to endure that endless hailstorm of snide that has left a funny taste in the mouth of so many hapless blog readers over the years.
This one should be a good puzzle. The location where this photo was taken isn't visible via the Google Street View (at least I just checked and I couldn't see it), so you'll have to rely upon something other this time.
Here are your clues:
During the time that this boat made its most notable voyage, the water around it certainly wasn't stagnant.
It's old. Elements of it date back to before the second world war, and its history is richly intertwined with the narrative of its native land. It's one of over 100 vessels known for having plied the same waters, but there's something unique about this one.
Its current location is close to the beaten path but only a few locals know it's there.
The challenge is in three parts:
- What's the boat's name?
- What's it famous for?
- What is its current location?
.....wait a minute. What kind of church is this? They're serving coffee and scones...
This whole town is very confusing.
Look at the goofy architecture...
People leave their bicycles parked everywhere...
They go to dark places like this...
to drink dark beer like this...
and eat strange food like this...
But, most confusing of all are the silly boats scattered everywhere, with no sails and no oars again, just like at that other place I blogged about last week. Everywhere I go in this strange land, there are these silly boats...
Could this be that place almost like heaven, that Tillerman was babbling on about?
If it is, why is everyone bundled up in wool hats and coats and blankets? Maybe he just means this is the place that frostbiting must have been invented.