Thursday, January 7, 2016

Evanston: Chicago Light; rethinking sharks; NOSTROMO; before and after

        Chicago is the first place I’ve lived where boats can’t be kept in the water year round.  This being the case, local sailors start in November counting the days until marinas reopen on May 1, weather or indoor storage permitting perform maintenance or modifications to their boats, have passing hopes for the Cubs, and one, Jay, built the above exemplary  lighthouse out of a tree stump.  The final stage will be to wire it to flash five seconds on, five seconds off, as does Chicago Light.  Or so I’m told.  I’ve never sailed into Chicago after dark.
Here it is lit.
        Well done, Jay.

        From Bill in the UK comes a link to a rethinking sharks video.  I thank him for the smile it brought me.


        I was wrong about Joseph Conrad’s NOSTROMO.  Well, partially wrong.  It is a more interesting novel than I remembered.  Indeed an enjoyable one once you get into it.
        Set in a fictitious South or Central American country, there is a silver mine run by an Englishman, a regime change civil war, two sisters in love with the same man, an unintentional theft of a fortune, and a surprise ending that I foresaw only a few pages before the end.  Or what would have been a few pages had I not been reading on my iPhone.
        Here are two passages I found interesting because I think Conrad was wrong.

        He was well aware of the most dangerous element common to them all:  of the crushing, paralyzing sense of human littleness, which is what really defeats a man struggling with natural forces, far from the eyes of his fellows


        But the truth was that he died from solitude, the enemy known but to few on this earth, and whom only the simplest of us are fit to withstand.

        NOSTROMO is still not my favorite Conrad, but well worth reading.


        In seeking photos to illustrate an article titled, “Raveling GANNET” I found good before and after photos of the cockpit.
        Prizes will not be awarded for determining which is which.