Saturday, May 29, 2010

On the water

I hiked to the reservoir this morning and rented a kayak from the marina. It has been about 35 years since I did my first kayaking, mostly on drowsy south Texas rivers, and I was curious to see whether I still had any aquatic chops.

The kayak, invented by palindromic Inuit millennia ago, was originally a long and narrow boat constructed of driftwood covered by sealskin. By contrast, my boat this morning was a stubby and wide boat constructed of yellow plastic. It resembled the offspring of a genuine kayak and a child's wading pool and is designed to provide maximum stability for the novice kayaker. (And it offers the further advantage of not smelling like wet seals.)

My watery adventure began awkwardly. When the marina attendant launched me from the sandy beach, I wobbled in the kayak like a four year-old learning to ride a bicycle. After this first rush of panic subsided, I cautiously paddled out past the docks and took a nervous snapshot, flinching with each passing swell.

Happily, my old kayaking abilities soon awakened and by the end of the hour I was bobbing and splashing through speedboat wakes like a frolicsome porpoise. Hooray!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Merrily I Roll Along

I drive a classic Volvo car, a well-built two-ton Swede
Made years before Ford Motor Co. laid hands on the company deed.
Then Ford, near bankruptcy, sold out to Chinese Geely
And Volvo sank from Detroit flash to cut-rate chinoiserie.

I prize my ancient Volvo, even though some call me fusty
(By this is meant I'm fogeyish, and not that I smell musty),
Because materialistic women are repelled by the car.
Though sometimes I fear that all women are.

But nonetheless, I take my motto
From my auto.
As "Volvo" translates from the Latin scroll:
I roll.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Father Thinks about the Music Biz

My cool and dusky basement, perfect habitat for fungia,
Holds fiddles, keyboards, amps, guitars, and speakers from petite to gotterdammerung-ia.
By this I mean my offspring's music studio,
Where all his folk/rock/classical/ambient songs are brewed-io.
Allowing for my bias as his doting daddio,
I still declare his music's not half bad-io.
So, some day soon I'll power up my boombox radio
And thrill to hear his compositions play-io.
Or, better yet, he'll be the headline act at giant football stadia,
Make tons of dough, and never more require financial aid-ia.
As you may guess by now, my boy and I have differing success criteria.
His dream is music mastery – while, philistine though I may be, I dream for him a paid career-ia.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Them Ol' Fragmentation Blues

Them Ol' Fragmentation Blues

My computer's performance had slowed to laborious.
It was time to apply a solution memorious.
And so, last night I watched the defrag program for an hour as my hard drive whirled.
(It's clear my life is insufficiently night club'd, cocktail'd, and chorus girl'd.)
The defrag program left no doubt
My hard drive needed sorting out:
The memory map of blues (contiguous) and whites (vacuous) and reds (ubiquitous) was densely grained.
In short, my drive was scatterbrained.
As the defrag program did its shuttle weaving;
I saw the reds shifting, merging, leaving.
When all of the files had been woven tight,
The memory map was half blue, half white.

And then before I fell asleep,
I pondered something vast and deep.
A homily, it came to me,
On easing painful memory,
A lesson from the defragged drive
To help the weary soul revive.

But I, chagrined, awoke to find
The point of it had slipped my mind.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The duck and I

The top photo is the view from my front door. The townhouse association's swimming pool is framed by gorgeous crab apple blossoms. A small speck on the opposite side of the pool has been magnified in the second photo to reveal a vacationing bachelor duck.

When I came out on the landing to snap some lint off a throw rug, the duck jerked his bill with each snap of the rug. I cut short my snapping to avoid having a stressed out duck on my hands.

When addressing a duck, be clear on your facts.
If the nearer end tickles, the farther end quacks.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day!

I'm back from my May Day morning walk. I passed a construction site and noticed a discarded instrument upon a sandbag. It purports to be a slime meter, a handy device to be sure. What type of slime it measures - biological, financial, or political - I do not know.

I came across a crab apple tree whose red blossoms were highlighted by a splash of light pink blossoms. The eruption of a new crab apple variety perhaps?

I stood beneath another crab apple tree, a tall one with bright pink blossoms, for the final photo. It was a completely relaxing place to stand.