Archive for January, 2009

Weird Dream

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Hey all this talk of The Gaff reminds me that I had a weird dream last night. I dreamed that there’s a tribe, or region of tribes, with a quirky “traditional culture”. I think it’s somewhere in Minnesota where there are lots of primitive natives. These people have a strange relationship with a species of large sea turtle. It seems that the human women of the tribe(s), as a regular cultural activity, surrender their very young female daughters to the male sea turtles, for the turtles to have their way with them. The turtles do their thing, with tongues lolling out, and then subsequently they waddle over to the ceremonially reclining human mothers and cuddle for a while. That ritual complete, the male turtles are sufficiently primed to be willing and able to fertilize the clutches of eggs laid by the females of the species in the meantime. The turtle eggs are watched by the tribespeople, and towards the point of hatching they’re actually played with by the tribal children. Some scientists speculate that this play activity acts to stimulate the still-developing brains of the unhatched turtles, doing them good and readying them for a long journey out to sea.

When hatching time is nigh, the elder men of the tribe(s) carry the eggs carefully over land, clear across Wisconsin to Lake Michigan. The turtle eggs are placed on a particular holy beach and allowed to hatch on a summer night. The baby turtles wiggle their way across the sand, down to the lake water, and begin their voyage out to the cold North Atlantic. Years later, they return to be greeted by tribal elders on another ritual evening, and are carried back to the village for the cycle to begin anew.

This may seem shocking to us, but it is a working symbiotic relationship between man and para-reptile. Both cultures appear to be nourished by their activities.

Port Aransas

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Another winter, another trip to Port Aransas. I accidentally went through Nixon again this time, but a trip to Nixon is always a pleasure anyway.
Nixon, TX mural

The nice thing about Port Aransas at this time of year is that it’s so empty. The beach is huge and surprisingly clean for a place like this (that is, a dump). There are lots of northern-midwesterner old people around for birds and warm weather and all-you-can-eat pizza buffets, but they’re not at the beach much.
Photo of empty beach

Spent five and a half hours on the Lexington with Christopher. While eating lunch (on the ship) we figured that that was probably at least the fifteenth visit. This time was important because they just recently moved a couple of WWII-era 5″ gun turrets from an old destroyer being junked in Brownsville up the intracoastal waterway to Corpus. During the war (in other words, as originally built) the ship had four such turrets on board. They were removed after the war during a major refit in the early 50’s.
Photo of Christopher on the Lex

There’s a restaurant here called “Shells” that’s about the size of a typical garden shed. We went there for dinner on Wednesday, and the food was surprisingly, almost shockingly in fact, great. It’s like somebody who really knows how to cook went slightly crazy and set up shop cooking for retirees and weirdos like us.

The kids can spend arbitrary amounts of time at the beach. Pat and Allie worked hard to rescue a number if imperiled “beach roaches”, which looked like ordinary roaches to me. The built little habitats for them.
Beach roach rescue

We’re headed for The Gaff today, and I’ll report back on how the place is doing. We’re too early in the year for the belt sander races.

The Gaff update

Well The Gaff does not disappoint. We had to park around back because the city had dug a giant trench across the front parking lot. That meant we got to see the famous Pirate Day Gaff float.
Photo of float

It’s a beautiful day and yet nobody’s eating on the outdoor patio. Warm sun, cool breeze.
Photo of The Gaff

Allie and Pat and Christopher all worked on the ceiling tile we bought.
Photo of kids decorating tile

We were lucky to get a table right in front of the racing belt sanders of The Gaff. The sanders won’t be competing again until April.
Photo of racing belt sanders