Friday, March 15, 2002

Yesterday on the island, it was sunny and 55 degrees. Today, the temperature is below freezing, and it is snowing.

I am starting to believe that I do not live on an island, but instead live inside a novelty paperweight that is rudely shaken by a ten-year-old bully whenever things start to look too nice and settled.

Thursday, March 14, 2002

Living in a small coastal town means rarely having to contend with the ghastly front-page newspaper stories you'll see in the big cities and more criminally-advanced large towns. In exchange, however, you will be presented with more surreal headlines to interpret, such as this gem from today's Bar Harbor Times:

Dragger stripped to hull after running aground

In Bar Harbor, you can be pretty sure they're talking about a boat. In Boston, this would be a report from the vice squad.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

The rental house has a garage, and mounted to that garage is a basketball hoop. I shoot around with the boys most every day when I get home from work, if the weather cooperates.

Last night while shooting fifteen-foot jumpers under the floodlights, I noticed my reflection in the garage door windows. I thought it would be good to see how much my shooting form has deteriorated over the years, so I kept my eyes on my reflection as I took the shot. Swish.

Not only did my form look okay (well, as okay as it's gonna get at age 30), but I hit the shot. So I kept looking at myself shooting. Swish. Swish. Ten in a row, nothing but net.

And I realized that I might have been better than tenth man on our twelve-player high school varsity team, if only our gym was made entirely of mirrors.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

So I had the TV in the kitchen on this morning during breakfast. There's no cable or satellite hookup on the first floor of the house we're renting, so I left the TV on Channel 5, the Bangor CBS affiliate that gets the best reception with the antenna.

Tom Ridge, the national homeland security chief, was being interviewed by the horrid, horrid Bryant Gumbel. Ridge — who might be a perfectly nice fellow, but has the on-screen presence of bag of laundry — appeared on the show to announce the creation of a new national alert system to respond to future threats by criminal masterminds.

And with this news, I was truly happy. I've always known, ever since I was a little boy, that one day the BatSignal would get federal funding.

Monday, March 11, 2002

There are a lot of deer on Mt. Desert Island, where I live and work. The island is one of the few localities in the state of Maine that prohibits hunting, and I just know the deer are wise to this.

While driving to training classes last week, there were deer — they're really just skinny cows, take a good look the next time you see one — lolling about in the middle of the road, three days in a row. As I slowed down to avoid creating a venison display case on my hood, the damned things just turned their heads and stared at me, not moving an inch, like they knew there wasn't anything I could do about it.

But they're wrong. Next time I see them out in that road, I'm going to stop in front of them, roll down the windows, turn up the stereo, and let this song fly out into the air.

I may not be able to shoot at them, but there's nothing in the Geneva Convention about deer.

(Song link from The Audio Obstacle Course)