My brother and his wife are back, safe and sound, and rather happy overall from the weeklong cruise. They were delivered back to their house by my parents, who stopped in for just a short while, as they were having company over and so would like me to stay up here for another day or so in order that there be room in the guest bed. You know how this goes. They didn't mind me staying longer, and I don't mind either, although it did mean there was that slightly awkward pause after I'd given the report of all the interesting things that happened over the week here -- mostly, that the cat finally stopped meowing regretfully at me and began stepping on me instead -- but before it was a reasonable time for dinner.
The cat did take to staring at my sister-in-law and meowing reproachfully at her, in what my sister-in-law understood to be disapproval at her having gone away without asking permission and for such a long time. She worked on getting back in the cat's good graces by scratching her all around while describing to me quirks like the person at the spa reading the order card wrong and giving her a fifty-minute massage instead of a 25-minute one. In the process she got the cat to make quite a few odd but generally contented expressions on her face.
And we watched the video of my brother and his wife at a dolphin exhibit. The theme of the exhibit was that you'd get into the water with a dolphin, and you would hug the dolphin, or hold out your hands and dance with him, or hold up a little fish and eat with him, and so on. If you didn't stick to the program, the dolphin would splash you. My brother is a great believer in leaving wildlife alone, even if it's been sharply trained to interact with people, so his attempts to give the minimal hug possible resulted in his getting splashed; so did his refusal to feel the dolphin's teeth. I admit I'd be hesitant to feel a dolphin's teeth as well, since I have this thing about putting my hand places where it can, in principle, be bitten off. But my brother was really very funny, above the call of duty, in getting splashed.
Trivia: ``Big Ben'', Joseph Henry's 1833 electromagnet, could lift 3,600 pounds. Source: Joseph Henry, Albert E Moyer.
Currently Reading: Dominant Species, George Warren.