Thursday, August 29, 2019

Evanston: laudable efficiency; Camoes

        In the past two days I have encountered three examples of rare efficiency.

        Some of you will recall that I erroneously bought the wi-fi version of my iPad Pro only to discover at sea to my dismay that it does not include GPS.  I have since bought a Bad Elf Bluetooth GPS which makes my iPad a useful chart plotter, but I have not been satisfied and now spending weeks at a time on GANNET in San Diego would like to have an iPad cellular plan, so when Amazon recently lowered the price of my model of iPad to an all time low I bought one intending to sell the old one.
        I first checked to see what Apple would offer.  The amount was $350.  I then googled and found Klyman, who after a few clicks establishing what I wanted to sell and its condition, offered me $730.  This was all so easy I was skeptical.  I gave them my address.  They sent me a mailing box and a pre-paid one day delivery label.  Carol mailed the iPad for me Saturday.  I got a confirmation email Monday that it was received.  Wednesday the $730 was in my PayPal account.  Totally painless.

        After posting Monday afternoon about the repair kit from Duckworks, I placed an order.  An hour later I got an email it had shipped.  You can’t get much more efficient than that.

        The last comes from of all places a government agency.
        I need to renew my passport, so I go to the Travel. State. Gov. site where I find all the information I need, including a form filler that determines what form you need and fills it out as you respond to questions.  When finished, download, date and sign.  Mail it in with the old passport, a new photo, and a fee which is now $110, and that is it.
        I do not know if I am the only old person who thinks this way, but passports are good for ten years.  I may not need another.

        I am rereading for at least the third time Luis Camoes THE LUSIADS, his epic poem about the voyage of Vasco de Gama.
        I am only a third of the way through, but have already come across words worth sharing.

        “The price of heroic deeds
          Is great effort and endurance;
          To risk life to the point of losing it
          Is the guarantee of glory.
          The man who is not cowed by abject fears,
          Though life be short, his fame survives the years.”

           Rightly acquitted is Fernando
           By those experienced in love;
           While those who are the most disposed to blame
           Were never touched by fantasy or flame.

        At the end of Canto Four there is a remarkable diatribe by an old man on the banks of the Tagus just as De Gama’s ships are due to sail from Lisbon who tells the sailors that they are foolish to seek glory and should stay home.  My favorite line is:

          The devil take the man who first put
          Dry wood on the waves with a sail!