That’s one of my most favorite words. As a bonus, it’s onomatopoeic. which makes it even more fun. Vastly more fun than a barrel of monkeys, which just sits there uneasily and starts to smell bad after a while.

*****

I bought myself a new toy last week, after being lost for nearly 2 hours. I have a map book, and had been to this customer’s home twice before. But the highways in that neighborhood have been strung like wet crepe paper by a band of drunken monkeys, and I know I went right around it a few times (via a few college campi and several one-way streets). My current location was always 3 pages from my destination, since it was near the edge of the page. I eventually found myself in front of a Sam’s Club, and went in waving my membership badge for to purchase my rescue from eternal lostness.

I whipped out my utility knife and sliced open the 80-lb-test plastic packaging, plugged in the power cord, and waited for it to find the satellites. I punched in the address, and BOING! It told me where to go and when I’d arrive. Turns out I was 4 minutes from the destination.

It’s the most satisfying purchase I’ve made in a long time. I go somewhere different nearly every day, and average 100 miles a day. So I’m sure it’ll pay for itself in lost time and lost gas just for being lost. Or at least, nearly lost – not lost enough to ask for directions, but too lost to drive straight there.

*****

I got to play with my toy extensively last week. There was a vacation to take, my first ‘real’ vacation since my big life-change last year. We drove over 750 miles in a week, only about half of them for getting there and back. The rest were for silly errands and commuting, shopping trips for extra beer and syrup, replacement towable toys (it’s a bad idea to tow a husky-pants man behind a pontoon boat on a tube that’s not quite as large as he is; it could lead to breakage of some sort), and the like. One of my fellow vacationers has a wise philosophy during Lake Week: There is no travel that doesn’t involve floating. His car didn’t move from its spot in seven days. I hope to make that my mantra if I’m lucky enough to go next year.

I got to meet the people that will be family soon if things go according to plan, and was delighted by all of ’em. We floated, boated, played games, talked politics (ghasp), and generally had a blast. I even tried kneeboarding. I failed miserably, what with my inability to get the board under my knees before skimming along the surface. At one point, I was atop the board for a good hundred yards – but a sideways board will not let you get much farther than that. My companions (one 11 years old, one 17, and one adult about my size) all popped out of the water with ease, doing jumps and spins and various expert maneuvers with grace and style. Good thing I don’t stake my ego on my kneeboarding abilities, cuz it’d be shot by now.

*****

Do you know how much fun Waverunners are? I do. Enough fun to stay on one for over 7 straight hours, taking various chirlen on rides and towing tubes, doing loops and jumps, slow speed putts and high speed tear-inducing cruises, and falling over at most unexpected times. I thought ahead and put plenty of sunscreen on most of my bits. But I forgot the top of my feet. ‘Tis a good thing I had water shoes on, or I’d be unable to walk for the pain – as it is, the tops of my ankles turned piggybank pink and hurt pretty good for a cuppa days.

Totally worth it.

A day’s rental, a lifetime’s memories. I might like to buy one (more likely two, because it’s always more fun to be on the water WITH someone), but the math would have to make more sense. A pair of used machines, trailers, and insurance could go for about $8000. Paid monthly, that would be $222 a month for 3 years. Or, I could rent a newish, well maintained machine for a week per year for about $700. Includes insurance, and I don’t have to tow or store it.

There’s very little I do just for fun that justifies $222 per month. Of course, that will change when I get my pilot’s license…

*****

The innernet is down at the homestead again. Came back from holiday to find the cable modem staring at me with brainless, unblinking eyes like a zombie on a game show. The power light is not on, and the twinkle of any activity is missing from the lights that are glowing. Clearly, it has shat the bed.

So, here I am, getting Phantom Ass Syndrome at the coffee house because it is a Sunday and Time Warner Cable is not open for the likes of us on Sunday. Monday, it shall be fixed. Again.

And now, I leave you with my current wallpaper. Have a nice day.

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