Tuesday we again started the day late, sleeping in long and rousing to the day slowly. Also at some point we watched the fiasco of bunny_hugger's brother trying to get his new iPhone set up. He goes through iPhones the way most of us go through ice cream sandwiches, with pieces getting lost or stolen or destroyed or, sometimes, just replaced. He had a new one that a friend of his had somehow gotten surplus and was letting go for $50. So now you know what kind of world he lives in.
He was having trouble setting things up. He somehow needed Internet to complete setting up his new phone that he was breaking out for the first time in the far north of Michigan, a thousand miles from his home of Brooklyn, in a rented house with no Wi-Fi. bunny_hugger and I were sitting quietly trying to avoid directly lying about the availability of house Wi-Fi. We had brought a Mi-Fi device.
We had wanted to bring the somewhat cranky, balky thing we'd used in past years because, you know, we owned it and everything. But Virgin Mobile's web site would not let us log in to buy data on it, and we reflected on this sad truth: the Virgin Mobile Mi-Fi device was god-awful. It was always a bit flaky, it was always a pain to put money on, and it was always a little bit harder to get stuff to use it than it should have been. After a quick search online we had the week before bought a new Mi-Fi device. That one came only in the nick of time: we'd had it shipped to Best Buy and it arrived the morning we set out for Omena. I'd spent some of our precious last minutes at home before leaving on the phone, trying to get it set up despite the ambiguous instructions of the manual.
Still, once we had that set up, we had ... really quite nice service. The thing had a little screen so we could easily look up stuff like the network name and password. We could put five gigabytes of data on it and trust that would probably be enough for us for a week. (It wouldn't, and we'd have to add data to it, and I would develop a compulsion about watching the data reserves dropping as they would in seemingly random chunks.) But if bunny_hugger's brother could, he'd jump on our Wi-Fi and probably exhaust anything we could have inside of minutes, what with his being a smart-phone natural. The best we could do is own up to having the Mi-Fi device and talking vaguely about how if he needed it we'd set him up with the password later. I'd point out that, like, the Tamarack Gallery in town has open Wi-Fi, and they probably also had it at the Knot Just A Bar that used to be the Harbor Bar and that we'd surely eat at sometime soon. And that was in easy walking distance anyway.
We got through the week without giving up our password, and without my ever quite getting straight why he had this phone or the promise of as many more iPhone 7's as he might need.
bunny_hugger, her brother, and I went (separately) into town, specifically, Suttons Bay. We went to lunch at the Chinese-and-Thai place that she and I had quite liked when we visited the area in 2013, and that we'd missed in 2016. We had recommended it to her brother and his girlfriend, but they hadn't gone in owing to doubts about places that serve two kinds of ethnic food at once. He admitted we were right about the place, and lucky that was since who knows what happens to a restaurant when you don't stop in for four years?
Our big plan for the afternoon and evening was to sit on the beach, maybe swim, maybe fly a kite. bunny_hugger had brought her parrot kite and her newly-repaired dragon kite. The long, long tail of it had started to tear off, and she'd read up on suggestions of how to fix that. The answer: the tape that boat-owners use for patching sails. Very lightweight, very transparent, very strong, very much requiring a slow, patient hand to apply successfully. After the first attempt went a little bit off-level she removed the tape and re-did it, and achieved that rarity: a delicate home repair project that worked perfectly. The kite looks great again, and only with knowledge of the repair and a hint where it was could you see it.
And the kite could fly, too! In moves that caught the imagination of many onlookers, including a toddler whose understanding of reality was shattered by this giant translucent dragon-kite, bunny_hugger got to ... wrangle a lot with the question of whether the wind was right for it. It turns out you can tell whether the wind is too slow or too fast for a kite based on whether it falls out of the sky head- or tail-first. If it doesn't fall at all the wind speed is right. I forget which condition we had, but the kite wasn't doing its part in staying up without effort. Between the parrot and the dragon kites bunny_hugger spent maybe 45 minutes trying to ply the skies and there were some great moments in there. Some really gorgeous moments of colorful things against a gorgeous light-cloudy sky. And some great looks of admiration from people who thought her kite gorgeous.
I forget what we did for dinner. I think we might have gone to Knot Just A Bar, or at least all of us but bunny_hugger's mother did. We did go there at least once, bringing back a burger for her. We certainly afterward played Mice and Mystics, bunny_hugger's brother included, which I know since I took some pictures of what, from the expressions on people's faces suggest, a moment of reflection and irritation after we'd failed in an adventure. We would have some good, strikingly successful nights too.
Trivia: The 1976 plan for space shuttle turnaround times was: after the first flight, 29 weeks of inspection and servicing; after the second, 13 weeks; third, 11 weeks; fourth, 9 weeks; fifth, 34 days; sixth, 24 days. The first four were to be the test flights and the fifth on, operational flights. Source: Development of the Space Shuttle, 1972 - 1981, T A Heppenheimer.
Currently Reading: The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution, Alex Storozynski.
PS: some last wandering around Cedar Point's Halloweekends last year.
The ValRavn roller coaster, and some fencing and, on the right, the Cedar Shakes employee dorms. But mostly, the heavy cloud layer made to glow by the park's own lighting.
Blurry, yes, but a still emotive picture of Raptor and a dippin' dots booth and one of the spotlights through the trees in the final night of Cedar Point's season last year.
And here I try being arty again: walking into the Raptor queue while holding the camera as steady as possible. Good idea? Bad idea? Who knows. It's just an idea is all.