log (2005/07/01 to 2005/07/07)

Miranda loves many things. Which is good.

I read another book. I didn't love it, particularly, but it wasn't bad.

The Teaching Company has a free lecture about Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Which probably also isn't bad, although I haven't listened to it yet.

The lazyweb produces a set of tools to visualize revision histories on Wikipedia; pretty cool.

From a reader pointing me at this, we find the rather amazing TiddlyWiki, which isn't exactly a Wiki, but sort of is, and is in any case an impressive litle toy by someone who knows more than I do about JavaScript / DHTML / Ajax / etc.

Backlinkage on our modest proposal to replace the Constitution with an identical copy of itself, and see if the Originalists' heads explode.

The Skeptic's Circle.

And since I've now degenerated into single noun phrases, I should probably say goodnight. *8)

Good Night!

Self-service gasoline stations aren't, apparently, allowed in New Jersey. Neither is the serving of alcohol in restaurants in Ocean City, New Jersey.

(In at least one particular restaurant, they additionally "aren't allowed to serve tap water". Although they do allow children over ten to order the Kid's Meals, even though the menu says "ten and under only".)

As you might expect from the first paragraph, there are, on either side of the road just after the bridge from Ocean City New Jersey to the mainland and presumably just outside the town line, two largish places, Yesterday's and Obediah's, which undoubtedly do serve alcohol.

Just past those two there's a smaller place, Pappy's BBQ / Pizza / Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner, where the little boy and I had breakfast this morning. We were served by a heartbreakingly lovely young woman; black hair and pale skin and an imperial profile, her face earnest and friendly. She nodded efficiently, grownup-to-grownup, when I said no thanks I didn't want any more coffee; and she laughed when we asked what the "French Toast Sandwich" was, and said that no one had ever ordered it but it was probably like two scrambled eggs between slices of French toast.

(Not wanting the eggs, the little boy just had French toast and sausage, and I had a short stack of pancakes and two eggs over easy and bacon, and it was all very good especially considering it was a BBQ / Pizza place.)

The holiday weekend weather was lovely and dry and clear from Saturday on. I drove down on Friday night by myself; the little boy was dropped off after a long drive from Space Camp on Saturday morning (at six freaking aye em on Saturday morning). On Friday night I said hi to the other family that was there already, and I drove out to Sea Isle City and had dinner and walked on the beach, which was great and solitary and restful. Sea Isle City is pretty much our traditional beach on these vacations with a nice small boardwalk and not annoyingly touristy, but this year the fourteen of us ended up going to a water park in Wildwood one day and the beach at Ocean City another day just to see what it was like (bigger than Sea Isle City, lots more fancy-looking houses, longer boardwalk, many many more people), so that night was the only time I saw Sea Isle City, so I'm glad I went, just for sentimenal reasons.

(Unlike last year, this year I didn't read all the previous July Fourth log entries, and didn't follow my own wise advice about bringing extra food and sleeping mats, but we had a good time anyway. I'm only slightly bruised and stiff-feeling, and we did have enough random foodstuffs along that we didn't have to mooch food except when it was actively offered.)

All along the causeways between Route 9 and the various seaside towns (Sea Isle City, Avalon, Ocean City) there are broad flat green expanses of salt marsh, or inland waterway, or something broad and flat and green and watery like that. Pretty high on the long list of lives that I'd like to lead sometime is "water person". Not in the wealthy yachts or racing-boats sense (although those are on the list somewhere too), but in the mucking around with small boats in the harbor sense; the going out for groceries with a little 5HP electric motor on the back sense; the sitting on the dock with a drink and watching the sun go down after caulking some seams sense.

That life would, of course, involve being much better with atoms than I am at the moment. But that's okay...

(Oh, and Happy Birthday to the U S and A and all; we'll probably just curl up and watch the fireworks on the teevee tonight, like last year. I'm tired and it's good to be home.)