That's just a nonsense heading for this entry, prompted by atrip to Block Island that Nancy and I took on Wednesday plusthe big media hype about that CBS television program.
I'mafraid that my knowledge of that show only comes from what I've seen in my morning newspaper plus some online references;I've never seen the show myself. I did think that maybe I should tune in at some time just to see what seemed to be thishot new pop cultural phenomenon but I didn't know what night (actuallynights, I guess, because apparently it was on more than one nighta week) or time or channel... but now it's over so I guess it doesn't really matter. I still find it difficult to believe thatthis show got the high ratings that it did. It just goes to showyou how feeble the typical the competition is. The tv in the living room hasn't had much use since Sean left for Australia aweek ago. I rented a movie and Nancy and I watched it one night.(Does that count? I think she uses that tv when she works out with Billy Banks Tae Bo videos sometimes) And she watched part of that old Harrison Fordmovie (Witness) on HBO2 last night. Oh, she watched someprogramming on HGTV a few nights ago, but that was on the tv inour bedroom.
Strange... except for Sean's love of channel surfing, we don't watchvery much tv... and even with him, I think the tv is used for playingvideo games and watching movie videos as much as it is for regulartelevision programs)... and yet we have five televisions in this house -- the kids both have their own tv sets in their rooms, Nancy andI also have a tv and there's one in the living room... plus there'san old black and white portable one that's around somewhere. (Oh yeah,there's an old tv stashed away in the basement -- it doesn't workright -- so I suppose we should just get rid of it, right? No, muchbetter to let it take up space for ten years or so and then get ridof it!)
I took Wednesday and Thursday as vacation days. Nancy and I have beenwanting to get over to Block Island all summer... so this was ourchance. Jennifer was going to come over with us but decided thatshe didn't feel up to it (she's had a problem with allergy realated sinuspressure and congestion and coughing that's been bothering her off and onall summer) but she drove us to the Point Judith ferry.
Block Island is about a dozen miles or so off the coast. It has beencalled One of the Last Great Places and it is a delightfulplace. I have been told that it is like a smaller version of Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard (but I've never visited either of them so I can'treally say)... It has a winter population of around 820 or so but manymore in the summer. (Block Islanders, when taking the ferry to the mainland, tend to say that they are going to America.) Much of the islandis still quite rural, although they are having a problem with wealthyvisitors buying up land and building large trophy houses.
We biked up to Southeast Light, an 1870's vintage light house high onMohegan Bluff overlooking the ocean. Seven years ago the entire brickbuilding, including its tower, was jacked up, put on wheels, and movedback a couple hundred feet from the edge of the cliff. The ocean has been reclaiming that end of the island and in a few more years thebluff would have collapsed, dropping the light house down to the rocksand waves below.
A quarter mile or so along the bluff is a wooden staircase, more than 150 steps down to a rocky beach. We climbed down to the beach and saton a large boulder watching the surf, then climbed back up the steepembankment to the beginning of the stairs for the climb back up. Itreminded me somewhat of climbing Diamond Head in Honolulu. We bikedfurther along the winding island roads, stopping at a nature preservearea and then continuing on to the New Harbor area at the Great SaltPond. We noted the marker on the site where in 1661 "sixteen men andone boy" challenged three hundred Block Island Indians... at leastaccording the historical marker. I wonder what the details might be.If the three hundred refers to adult male warriors, that would mean thatthe island had a much larger population then than it does today. (Could the whites have perhaps embellished their story a bit?) What does "challenged" really mean? 1661 would place it after King Philip's War (and The Great Swamp Masacre in my town)... guess I'll have to try to locate some local history references... maybe next time I'm in our local library.
Delightful lunch at a restaurant with a second floor deck with a sea view... buffalo chicken fingers (crunchy and spicy), then Nancy had a chicken burger and I had a pork barbeque sandwich... hmmmm,very tender and tasty... she had a mudslide and I had a Bass Ale (oh, okay, so I had two)... and then we walked around the harbor area, each got a cappuccino and a pastry which we took down by the beach. After finishing our coffee we walked along the beach for almost three quartersof a mile (which was less than halfway, it's a very long beach) before turning back. Stopped in a few shops, then got our bikes and rode down to the ferry landing where we boarded our ferry for the trip back to the mainland. The day had been overcast but the rain held off until we were on the ferry. It was a dark, rainy night by the time we reachedPoint Judith and phoned Jennifer to come and pick us up.
I did take pictures, but not a lot, still have perhaps ten shots left. When I do get them processed, I'll post anything interesting somewhere here on my site. [Pictures are here]
Yesterday's major accomplishment was a trip to the beach. One of Nancy's brothers (and wife and daughter) was in town [Nancy's mom and one of her sisters live in Rhode Island and, since she comes from a large family, there are often visiting brothers and/or sisters "in town" -- actually, it's the next town over from us] I had hoped to get in a run on the beach -- I like running on the hard packed sand at the water'sedge -- but it was very close to high tide when we got there and the tide was still coming in and there just was not enough of that flat packed sand between the waves and the loose dry sand, so I ran along the road leading to the beach. It was pleasantly cool at the beach... a strong breeze driving in large surf, a bit of haze in the air... but just a half mile or so inland the sun was beating down on the hot blacktop... but I got in five miles so I was happy.
I'm going to take Monday as a vacation day so this will be a three dayweekend for me. We're supposed to have some nice summer weather for the next few days and I hope to just relax and enjoy...