What I did on my summer vacation

summer_vacation.jpgNot blogging obviously.

Eek, it’s been a scandalously long time. In fact I should probably begin today with an explicit announcement that the Natural Patriot is not dead yet (“I don’t want to go on the cart!” — free virtual salute to the first reader that identifies the source of that quote. I know, it’s not that difficult, I’m just blatantly fishing for signs of life in my readership).

So, in the interest of delivering on the title of this post, a few events from the summer that is rapidly drawing to a close, none especially memorable, but for what it’s worth:

1) I finished my sabbatical. I am tempted to say that it ended with a whimper rather than a bang, since I spent most of it sitting around in my sweatpants at the kitchen table editing manuscripts and what not instead of in some intellectual salon in Paris or London. Or even Madison, Wisconsin.  By the end I was actually ready to come back just to talk to real humans again. On the other hand, I did get a few things done, though inevitably not as much as I’d hoped. Made two more field expeditions to the Caribbean, which was cool. But more about that later. If I have time . . .

2) Took the lad to summer camp in the mountains of western North Carolina. Then drove home and hung out as a couple for 2 weeks. It felt pretty strange to be honest, a premonition of the empty nest looming in six short years. On the other hand, we woke up when we wanted and got to go out on dates for a change. That was great.

3) Family vacation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Not somewhere I would normally have thought to spend summer vacation but my sister and her family got a week at this house as part of some charity auction deal. OMG. Perhaps you’re familiar with the Sundance catalog — all this trendy western clothing and jewelry and stuffed leather furniture priced at about an order of magnitude more than any reasonable person would consider it worth? This house could easily have been a set for the catalog — I honestly expected Robert Redford might knock on the door for a cup of sugar, or more likely some single-malt scotch. Fantastic place, loads of large ungulates of several species, clean (albeit thin) mountain air, trout. I may well describe it in more detail in a subsequent post if I’m suddenly seized by a surge of motivation.

4) Returned a few days ago from seeing the Red Sox live in Fenway Park for the first time (we saw the Paw Sox there last year). This was, without exaggeration, one of the principal highlights of the boy’s life as his universe more or less revolves around the Red Sox. Plus they won. I was struck the first time I was in Fenway by how initimate it is — a tiny park by today’s imperial “Chuck E. Cheese-Palukaville Memorial Stadium” standards.

5) My Macbook Air, after ~15 months of constant frustration, finally died. Hard drive damaged. This caused much indigestion until I finally got a new hard drive and was able to restore the files from my time capsule, though it still sounds like its grinding meat at 110 degrees F whenever it’s running. Many hard lessons have been learned along the way. I considered writing a post entitled “My bitter divorce from Apple” but I am giving them another try. Like a battered wife. Plus it’s not Apple at large but that beautiful, stylish, but utterly anemic and substanceless, Air that is the problem. Hence I have a new MacBook Pro on order.

Right. Now that I’ve re-established contact with the virtual world, stand by for something of substance in the not too distant future. And thank you for your attention.

About Emmett Duffy

I am a Natural Patriot and an ecologist with expertise in biodiversity and its importance to human society. My day job is Professor of Marine Science at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
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8 Responses to What I did on my summer vacation

  1. PLR says:

    Oh, the quest for the holy grail – ever elusive, ever green!

  2. Oooo! Emmett! Pick me! Is it from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”? Also, it was great to see you at ESA.

  3. Emmett Duffy says:

    And the prize goes to . . . PLR! (I know who you are but won’t divulge your true identity in this forum). I got other responses via email so not sure who gets the e-salute. No matter — salutes to all!

    Nice to see you also WSM.

  4. Sally says:

    I was there too– didn’t think to look up bloggy folks! Did you go to the natural history session, perchance? It was a highlight, and well attended (~200?) though apparently overlooked by some of the folks who should have known about it.

    Sounds like Black Death time to me, or maybe a French Revolution quote… either would work.

    Sorry about the battered wife bit; know nothing about Macs and, despite PC hurdles, like it that way… Good luck!

  5. JB says:

    Sorry about the Mac death. But when you told me you switched over and that your first born would be an Air, I cringed. I should have told you then I suppose; only newbies and morons buy MB Airs. You will be much happier with your MB Pro. Actually, my main machine is a plain old MacBook and I love it.

    BTW, in addition to backing up w time machine, use SuperSuper too and BU up w that to a firewire 800 1 GB hard drive (not USB).


  6. will says:

    “I can’t take him like that, it’s against regulations”

  7. Lars says:

    Hi Emmett,

    Just had to post a comment that I’m glad you’re back in blog business. And to let you know that you do indeed have readers…


  8. Emmett Duffy says:

    Thanks to all for the support. Yes, I am looking forward to my new life with the MacBook Pro. And I will definitely use SuperDuper, which has been recommended by several people.