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Updated: 06/21/04

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"The Spring of the Ram"
by Dorothy Dunett

make dinner

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Monday, 21 June, 2004

First day of summer! Woo hoo! And it's the longest day of the year! Double woo hoo!

Which means that tomorrow will be a sad day - when the daylight hours make the turn and start heading back the other way. Not that I'll gripe about it too much for the next couple of months, but I know that it will mean one thing: I will have been unsuccessful in my petition to do away with winter.


At least the weather was nice at the shore this weekend, although a touch cool on Sunday. We got down around 7:30 on Friday and went to dinner at a Japanese restaurant. Gary ran into a guy that he was in residency with - hadn't seen him for twenty years, but recognized his voice. Small world.

Saturday we drove up to Atlantic City and met Dan. The guys skated and I managed to keep up on my bicycle. Then back down to Longport and an afternoon reading on the beach. The condo doesn't have cable hooked-up - we were told we needed to have the owner contact Comcast and get us signed up. But after a nice weekend of pretty much reading, talking and listening to the stereo, we decided that we really don't need it. We can get the local stations and we brought a DVD player down so we can watch movies, so we've decided not to go for the intravenous television feed.

[Feels like a dive vacation.]

Apparently it is edamame season. Or at least it was the topic du jour. And I believe that the correct answer is: pop them out of the pod first, rather than eating the hairy, nasty pods that taste like cardboard.

Which made me wonder about the ancient people who were the first ones to eat a certain plant or fruit or nut. I mean, did their friends all sit around and watch them to see if they keeled over? Who was the first one to eat an oyster - and even more to the point - who decided to eat it raw? Or an artichoke? Of course, the bravest souls had to be those in Scotland.

[Haggis, anyone?]

And from the "punishment fitting the crime file", a teacher's aide who forgot to put away her marshmallows and hot chocolate at Yellowstone National Park last year was taken from her cruise ship cabin in handcuffs and hauled before a judge Friday, accused of failing to pay the year-old fine.

Hope Clarke, 32, crying and in leg shackles, told the judge she was rousted at 6:30 a.m. by federal agents after the ship returned to Miami from Mexico. She insisted that she had been required to pay the $50 fine before she could leave Yellowstone, which has strict rules about food storage to prevent wildlife from eating human food.

Customs agents meet all cruise ships arriving from foreign ports and run random checks of passenger lists, and a warrant claiming Clarke had not paid the fine was found in the federal law enforcement database.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John O'Sullivan, who had a copy of a citation indicating the fine had been paid, apologized to Clarke, who spent nearly nine hours in detention, and demanded that the U.S. attorney's office determine what went wrong.

I'll rest easier knowing that our government is on top of flagrant violations of public law and safety like this. Imagine what they could do if they tried to arrest, oh, terrorists, maybe?

[At least Yogi and Boo-Boo are safe.]

Quote du jour:

"I got food poisoning today.
But I don't know when I'm going to use it."

-- Steven Wright (1955 - ____) US comedian

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