Today is actually my Friday, as we’re headed for San Juan Island tomorrow morning. We’re camping, at a county campground arrayed around a body of water ominously named Smallpox Bay on the west side of the island. The Bay got its name in the late 1800s when a passing ship offloaded two sailors who had smallpox, so as not to infect the whole ship. The island natives, of course, had no resistance to the disease, and many died of hypothermia from diving into the icy waters of the bay to try to quell the burning of the sores on their skin.
We’re sharing two campsites with some other couples and their kids, horning in on a trip they’ve been doing for the past several years. We’ve been invited in previous years, but haven’t been able to attend for one reason or another. The weather looks iffy:
Tomorrow night: Rain showers in the evening becoming steady overnight. Low 46F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 90%. Rainfall near a quarter of an inch.
Yikes. That’s taken a turn for the worse since the last time I checked. We’ve got lots of layers packed, but rain of that description could pin us in the tent for long periods of time. We’ve agreed to take nothing sharper than our tongues in with us. We might just have to repair to cafes in Friday Harbor, although that’s probably what everyone else on the island will be doing. We’ve been camping on one other Memorial Day weekend since we’ve been in Seattle, and the most uplifting experience of that outing was huddling at the laundromat watching the dryers labor over our super-saturated clothing. I might have to wear my new drysuit just to leave the tent.
Kayaking is a big reason for the trip. One of the other guys is the fellow who organized and led my trip to Baja a few years ago. Winds look to be moderate - 5-10 knots - so we might get to paddle despite the rain.
Whatever. It’ll be nice just to get out of town and away from work stuff for a few days. I’ve been humping the last week in order to get all my engagements iced, and, unlike a lot of other trips I take, I think I’ve managed to do it this time, and won’t have to haul workpapers along to nip at ineffectually, as I often do.
One of these hectic engagements was with a firm that has a design and advertising group using Macs, while the financial folks use PCs, all mashed together on a Windows network. My luck - one of the Mac users prepares transactions that have to be ported over to the (Windows) accounting system - therein my involvement. The poor thing using the Mac actually has to work with MS Access in a virtual PC session. It would be easier, of course, to have her do this on a real PC, but my predecessors bent over backwards to mollify the Mac people when the network was installed, requiring me to indulge in some smoke-and-mirrors trickery that functions tenuously at times.
I’ve accepted that Mac people are generally right-brained, but this particular Mac user is all the way to the dark side, being left-handed as well. Our training/consulting sessions are a clumsy dance in which the mouse is an oft-kidnapped hostage. While this might be a big problem on a PC, where the button function as well as the physical positioning of the mouse has to be switched, this Mac mouse has only one large button in the middle. WTF!? I’m as baffled when I encounter this thing as Sylvester Stallone was in the bathroom stall in the movie Demolition Man, but no amount of barked swear words brings any relief to my dilemma. Like, how do I right-click anything?
Also, all of my Swiss-Army-Knife extemporaneous ingenuity, which usually garners accolades or just hushed reverence from my PC customers, is met with contempt by the Mac people, if they notice it at all. They’re so used to things working as advertised, just by plugging them in. How can a person make any money in an environment like that?
Anyway, send your thoughts our way for sunshine now & then this weekend. And have a great one yourselves.