08 September 2006

Mark Twain - Dolphins - Sick mushrooms - HYT discussions

As you might recall voters who participated in my impromptu Reader Poll on the day before we left for vacation chose "Roughing It" as the book I should bring with me. It turned out to be a good choice. I have to say that I have liked all of Twain's non-fiction (well, for him non-fiction is a strict definition) that I've come across. He wrote about the American West during the Nevada silver rush days. It was interesting to hear his description of towns that are now large cities, and of his travels into wilderness areas that are now still wilderness, some of which I too have visited, though by car. It's amazing to think that he did the latter on horseback, taking what supplies he could.


The cause for the reader poll was, of course, the 16-foot inflatable dolphin which Wife inserted into my suitcase as filler before I had finished packing. Some anxious readers want to know whether it served only to protect my clothes and such from damage during the flight. In fact, it did get taken to the beach one day, toward the end of our stay. It had to be inflated first (with a pump that had helped to keep the dolphin from shifting around in my suitcase). Then Daughter felt it was unfair that she alone would bear the burden of trying to wrangle this light but cumbersome object through the streets. So Wife (or Mommy from this perspective) agreed to carry it with her side-by-side. The total span of the transport (Wife, left fin, dolphin body, right fin, Daughter) roughly matched the width of the sidewalks, however, which led to both individuals bumping repeatedly into parked cars and lightposts, and resulting in a stream of bickering between the two on our way to the beach. Thus Dolphin was no friend of Daughter by the time we got to the water and was promptly left to itself upon arrival. As always, it was my job to secure Dolphin from being blown away by the strong winds. After a couple of hours the two made up and Dolphin was actually taken into the water, the first time since a summer trip to Concarneau, Brittania a number of summers ago.


Wife appears to have come down with tonsillitis and has had to postpone her mushroom picking. Though thinking of that makes her feel even worse, it will certainly motivate her immune system to get things back in order as quickly as possible.


I was going to compile a list of news sources containing analysis of the function of the Huangyangtan facility, but I see I have run out of time and need to wake up Daughter to take her to school. Please forgive me for the delay; I'll try to remedy that this afternoon.


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