1) A friend loaned me Ashley MacIsaac's Hi how are you today? CD, and it surprised and delighted me. I thought I knew what it would sound like because I'd gone to see Ashley MacIsaac play. But in concert he was unaccompanied, so I wasn't prepared for the album's fusion of techno and rock with that spectacular Cape Breton fiddle mastery. It's like nothing I've heard. I turned it up loud, really loud, and was glad for a long moonlit drive to a party on Saturday night.
2) Yesterday I went to an educational seminar. Big room, lots of people. A lot of talk about Rule 11. But it wasn't lawyers, it was sailors. Rule 11 says "When boats are on the same tack and overlapped, a windward boat shall keep clear of a leeward boat." Sounds simple, but there's a lot more nuance than you might think. We also discussed Rule 18 a whole lot, and of course rules 15, 16, 17. We discussed a whole bunch of the Racing Rules of Sailing, which are updated every four years and just changed in January. Dave Perry led the seminar. He's great. He's a fellow graduate of the Yale Sailing Team, and a sailing legend. He helped out the team from time to time when I was there, and I've always been an admirer of his. What's great about him is that he's not only a great sailor but a great sportsman -- warm, encouraging, friendly, helpful, respectful, self-effacing, and easygoing. He's a leader in the sport, not just on the racecourse but as an organizer and a volunteer. I highly recommend Winning in One Designs (need to re-read it myself) and Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing.
3) I learned about this event yesterday. Since I'm busy appreciating my hip flexors today, it would be premature to say that I'm already scheming about finding a partner with a canoe, and borrowing some snowshoes, and thinking about a good costume to wear. But tomorrow I might start such scheming, if my hip flexors permit it.
4) I have decided that today is the last day of the Get-Rid-Of-Disfavored-Tea-By-Drinking-It project. We have done great work. Gone is the dreaded Forest Equinox, the Orange Spice, the Decaf English Breakfast. Gone is the peach-infused Green Tea. Gone is the French Vanilla flavored black tea. The Brassica decaf black tea, the Chinese Restaurant Tea. The damn Tazo passion herbal tea is still around, alas. There's still plentiful jasmine tea, gunpowder green tea, and lapsang souchang, but in fairness all that stuff is pretty good. There will be a tea party tonight or tomorrow, where we throw our unwanted tea into the harbor in a display of independence. And from that day forward we will buy only such tea as we actually wish to drink. I will gently decline gifts of tea from well-meaning friends and family.