By lex, on Sat – June 18, 2005
It’s what I do. Well, that and fix the TV remote control.
I think it’s why they keep me around.
We’ve got a wireless home network, courtesy of an Apple Airport base station hooked up to my machine. No wires, no muss, no fuss and everyone gets to share the DSL. Except that every once in a while, for no apparent reason, the base station itself petulantly ships the bed. It crabs out, in other words. Goes tips up.
You get the picture.
This seems only to happen when I am at sea for some strange reason. Which makes it hard to do anything about, because you see, once the connection is broken, it’s hard for the clan to get distant support going – no way to email your humble scribe at sea. You see.
And there’s nothing much to do to fix it – pull the power cord and plug it back in again, and after a few moment’s whirring of the somehow reassuring control lights on the front panel, the internet is “fixed.” But it has to wait for me because that’s the way things are in this house. It’s what they do to make me feel wanted. Or needed. I suppose.
That and the remote control.
We don’t have an entertainment system so much as an entertainment accretion, each and every piece of which seems to have been deliberately acquired from different corporations, product lines and even decades. As though we had somehow felt guilty about purchasing a Sony television, and felt thereby committed to a Samsung DVD player, Bose speaker system and Hitachi amplifier. Almost every piece of gear comes with its own “full featured” remote control. So fully featured in fact that the imagination falters before standing stunned and amazed at all the possible combinations of switch positions and settings they are capable of, either singly or in combination. Getting all the competing remotes to agree with one another in order to actually manipulate the entertainment system such that the video channels can be changed with the audio remaining associated requires the nicest sense of personal diplomacy and technological tact – everything lies shivering and trembling in the balance. Which somehow gets routinely thrown off the instant that I am well and truly at sea, usually waiting until the moment after the internet connection is severed. A remote is indelicately shoved behind a couch cushion and then promptly sat upon, and all is changed, changed utterly – a terrible beauty is born.
So after a brief but impassioned welcome home from all the assorted clan Neptuni, I am importuned by fingers thrust in several directions to immediately fix the internet, and heal the breach between the several remotes, with varying degrees of emphasis depending upon the proclivities of the supplicant.
In moments, all is done, and we are treated to the sound of tapping keyboards and the French Chef – all is contentment, sweetness and light. And it’s Father’s Day weekend, in case the point is lost on anyone.
Came home yesterday and was greeted by the Hobbit and the Biscuit of all people, down in Coronado. It was 8th grade graduation day, and the Biscuit was wearing an actual dress. Which so stretched my eyes and caused me to exclaim aloud in surprise and confusion that the female members of my staff were quick to shush! me and tell me not to mention it, not to say a word, for God’s sake not to tease my own daughter, the love of my life and apple of my eye.
The Kat was at the Del Mar fair, which comes around each year at just about this time, ending on the 4th of July and still somehow never ceases to amaze. She called later and left a message on the answering machine, welcoming me home, begging forgiveness for her absence, averring that I’d understand. She’s 11, and that’s life in the 21st century.
Saw her today, though. Briefly. They grow up so fast.
The strike group? Did great. Hardly needed us around at all. Good eggs, all of them. These were the heroes of Banda Aceh , and in that time of sore trial and tribulation, they’d formed a rock solid team – something we couldn’t have predicted back in November, when we’d gone aboard them for en route training. You see, they’d been “emergency surged” to fill a gap in the Global Naval Force Positioning Plan (the forward deployed carrier was in the shipyards, and someone noticed that from that position, getting underway would be… complicated) so they had to leave home seven months early. And doing so, gentle reader, gave the collective lot of them a case of the ass. You’d feel the same way too, I reckon. But it proved we were flexible, by God. Innovative, too. Innovative is good. This time around, they were over all that, and ready to rumble, God bless ’em, and keep ’em strong.
Fun to work with a team at the top of their game.
Ah – I’d brought my camera along, thinking this would maybe be my last time at sea after seven consecutive years of sea duty before heading ashore for at least three years of shore duty. Thought maybe I’d take some happy snaps of airplanes landing and taking off – all the usual madness. And yet the camera stayed in my locker, day after day. It was overcast. I was too busy. Maybe tomorrow. Because if you don’t go up to vulture’s row, and take pictures of the airplanes landing and taking off for the last time, then maybe it isn’t over.
But maybe it is anyway.
So, the last day at sea, and the air wing has flown off. I step outside to catch the morning breeze and realize that I have to take this picture:
Not realizing until I opened it up at home that I’d caught a dolphin leaping from the water – you probably can’t see it in this image, but it’s in the sunlight reflection on the ocean – just to the left.
This is now my desktop image, just so you know.
There’s more of course, but I need some time to get it all into perspective. Have a great weekend!