Sunday September 30, 2012
Today I was on a mission to find internet. We needed to pick up a few groceries since Between The Sheets had invited us over for another roast that night and we needed to bring a dish to pass. Since Matt was still immersed in boat projects I offered to go myself and let him stay to get things done. With my laptop secured in my backpack I had written down the names of two groceries stores in the area and directions to them so I could leave the phone with Matt and still communicate with him if necessary through my laptop. Making me start the outboard on my own to make sure I could do it myself on the way back as well he chuckled in the cockpit as I had to use all my force and even put my foot on the motor leverage as I yanked back on the cord to start it. On a 3.3 horsepower. I swear it wasn’t this hard before. Finally I got it started and pushed off, weaving through the other anchored boats on my way to shore. Not sure when to put full power behind the motor and then cut it so I would easily coast to shore I stopped a little too soon and had to jump in the water to pull myself up. Yanking with all my might to pull the dinghy up on to dry land with me it didn’t get as far as I’d hoped but our lock was long, so after wrapping it around a bench I knew even if I had to wade back out a little to get it, it wasn’t going very far.
Pulling the hand written directions out of my pocket I followed the streets to the first grocery store listed. I had lucked out since it was only a half mile from the boat and large enough to carry everything I needed. Filling up the backpack I walked out toward a shopping district hoping to find a cafe or restaurant that offered wifi. Walking all the way down the road it was filled with galleries and and little shops but no cafes. Basically ending up where I had started that morning I walked into a Mexican restaurant thinking that I could sit and enjoy a margarita or beer while working at least. As soon as I got in the door I asked if there was wifi service and one of the employees told me they had gotten rid of it because of too many people in the area hacking into it. Okay, did he know anywhere in the vicinity that might carry it? Nope, they all got rid of it for the same reason as well. Looks like I was in for another long walk. On my handwritten map for the other grocery store I knew there was a Starbucks near it and debated if I should walk the two miles that way or search for something closer and possibly come up empty handed.
I was on a time constraint since Matt still had projects for me to do on the boat (as soon as one sewing project ends another one always starts) and I also had to prepare food for dinner and be there by six. Doing my treadmill math in my head I thought if I walked really fast I could get there in thirty minutes, spend an hour there, and then have another thirty minute walk home. Making my way out to the main road I followed another until I came out to the spot where the bus had dropped us off the previous day. Hmmmm, I didn’t remember that being a short walk the first time and according to my map I was only half way there. Walking and walking my thirty minutes had lapsed and I was hot and sweaty. The backpack was heavy and that pesky little pain in my leg was coming back. But the mission was strong and I continued forward with what seemed like no end in sight.
Coming up to the last intersection which would then lead me to the Starbucks on my map I saw there was one on this corner already. Hallelujah, the end was in sight. Almost wiping back tears of joy I hurried toward it when out of the corner of my eye I saw golden arches. The first McDonald’s I had seen in about six miles of walking through this town. If I walked just two blocks further I could enjoy an iced coffee and a sandwich for just the price of the coffee at Starbucks. It was worth it. (Quickly while I’m on the subject, I’m all for the preservation of cute little towns, but you have your first fast food restaurant this far out of my way? Throw a bone to us little guys.) I walked in to find a bunch of students from the Naval Academy sitting around and enjoying a little freedom. Once I had my food in my hands I did the normal ritual of wandering around and looking under each table for an outlet. I was coming up empty and thinking there may still be a Starbucks run in my future when a gentleman sitting at one of the tables eyed me and asked, “You looking for an electrical outlet?”. I’m guessing he had seen a lot of people do this dance before me. I admitted that I was in fact searching for one and he replied that the only ones he knew of were in the ceiling. Not really hearing that one before I asked him to show me and indeed they were embedded in the ceiling tiles. Five feet above my head. Pulling out one of the chairs from the high tops I positioned it under the outlet and hoping I wouldn’t be scolded by one of the employees, stood on it to plug my laptop in.
Logging into everything I was ready to get some real work done. Going to open my Office documents it failed and needed to recover. Starting the recovery process I was getting impatient. The walk had taken a lot longer than I thought and even though I didn’t get a scolding from the McDonald’s employees for climbing on furniture I was pretty sure I was going to get one from Matt if I stayed out all day. Document failed, would you like to recover? Yes…yes I would like to recover that document very much. Each time I got the same message though. Once again I had all my work done and no way to transfer it. Shut down again. I was ready to pull out the tall chair once again just to throw my computer down from it and stomp on it a few times. I think if I shut everything off and started it back again I probably could have recovered my documents but I had already wasted my time and my computer is sooooo slow (Christmas gift mom & dad (in-law)?) that I think I would have spent all afternoon there but I had to pack it in and head home.
Getting back to the boat I saw that Andy and John were visiting and everyone had a beer in their hands. Double plus for me because it was a good excuse to crack open a much needed one for myself and they were also keeping Matt busy enough that he forgot I promised to finish my ‘chores’ before dinner. As soon as they left I got to work preparing food to bring over to their boat in just a few hours. In addition to the (real) salad I was bringing this time I thought I’d also whip up some chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Although the batter looked and tasted great there was an issue while baking where the cookies didn’t really rise and came out a little hard and dry. Messing up a cookie recipe that’s printed right on the bag of chocolate chips? I’m starting to think the issue is with the oven and not the chef. Throwing in some more cooking oil and lowering the temperature for the next batch I pulled them out of the oven just as it was time to head over for dinner. Just as we settled into the cockpit a light drizzle started outside and I was glad I threw on long underwear since the nights have started to become very chilly. Of course we were in the company of Canadians though who probably thought it was good beach weather. (You know I’m just kidding and I love all you Canadians out there). This time it was just the four of us as even though our other friends from before were in town they were in another creek. There would be no Heart of Gold for us to sing along to that night but spirits were lifted when Andy pulled his bacon wrapped roast out of the oven. Nothing like a good meal with great friends to lift ones spirits. Maybe my life is more like a roller coaster than I thought, but at least I’m ending this night on a high.
*While I’m totally kidding about the new computer for Christmas (mostly), if anyone has an old or non-used laptop in their home that they’d like to get rid of, I will gladly take it off your hands.
The things I go through.
Passing the Naval Stadium on my way back.
A fine bottle such as Three Buck Chuck must always be presented before pouring.