Posted on May 30, 2003 Posted by John Scalzi 10 Comments
It’s going to be a “not much updating day” here at the Whatever. Yesterday’s tax rant got linked to by a number of people including Glenn Reynolds, Oliver Willis and Andrew Sullivan (many thanks to them and others who have linked), so I’m sure I’ll be busy playing in the comments thread having fun with the people who think I’m a commie bent on redistributing their wealth at the point of a bayonet. Also, aside from aforementioned play, I really do need to get my ass in gear on a couple of work things. And then there’s quality time with the new kitten, Ghlaghghee, who even as we speak is walking on they keyboard and batting my fingers with his fluffy little paws. So it’s a busy day.
But I thought you might enjoy a couple of pictures from our vacation last week, in which we went to Nag’s Head, North Carolina, with friends of ours. The picture at the top is of Athena frisking along in the waves, ensconced gamely in the flotation device a certain paranoid parent made her wear anytime there was a possibility of her getting near the water. To be clear, the paranoid parent was me, and with good reason, since the waves were fairly hefty this time out. I could tell you the story of how I went out in the waves to body surf and damn near drowned in the process, but that would impugn my manhood. So I won’t. But as it happened Athena was of course just fine in the water, and didn’t go in more than waist-deep, and never without me or Krissy playing along with her. She’s interested in going out further, but suggested herself that perhaps she should learn to swim first. She’s a sensible girl.
Here’s Athena at the local aquarium, along with a shark. Athena had been jonesing for the sharks the entire time we were there; she though the turtles and alligators and sun fish and all the rest were all very nice, but she came to see the cartiliginous eating machines of the deep, and by God, that’s what she was going to do. Well, she did. She thankfully did not make the association that the sharks in the tank might have close relations somewhere offshore in the waves, which is a good thing, since realistically speaking the risk of shark attack is damn low, and also, there’s no fun in playing the ocean when you suspect a significant portion of the residents are lined up and ready to put you on the smörgåsbord.
Okay, that’s all you get for today. I know, I know. Try to make it through the pain.
Sweet! My wife and I usually visit the Outer Banks at least once a year ourselves. We usually stay in Buxton, down by the Hatteras Lighthouse.
I even have a picture of that very same shark, assuming you guys visited the aquarium on Roanoke Island.
I grew up near Nags Head and spent many hours on its beaches as a young man. There is no amount of paranoia which is unjusiftified — the undertow along that area of the Outer Banks is fierce and runs straight out to sea.
I’ve not been up there in over a decade — I really should make some time to get back.
The Outer Banks are lovely; have you tried the North Carolina Blue Ridge, in which region this troll finds his cave? Where do you live?
As for “I’m sure I’ll be busy playing in the comments thread having fun with the people who think I’m a commie bent on redistributing their wealth at the point of a bayonet,” that is exactly what you are doing. The government doesn’t patiently wait for voluntary revenue. I don’t believe all taxation is theft, incidentally, only about 90% of it. The wherefores of my positions take a long time to explicate, involving the demolition of common misconceptions, and I doubt you are interested in them, so I will spare you and myself the trembling outrage. You mean well; almost everybody does. That’s how we get into socialist holes that will one day be stopped or simply stop. Unfortunately, it may take a number of generations, which allows us to believe it actually works.
Should there ever be a last generation, followed by human extinction, it will have worked, as no creditors will remain to call in the debts.
“I don’t believe all taxation is theft, incidentally, only about 90% of it.”
Well, then, Brett, you’re all right by me. The relevant argument (to my mind) is what’s the correct level of taxation, not whether taxes should exist.
Be that as it may, I don’t want to have this subject bleed into this particular comment thread. This comment thread is about the Outer Banks! And vacation! And Sharks! Whoo-hoo!
Re: North Carolina Blue Ridge: Nope, never been, although I hear it’s lovely.
If I understand my Discovery Channel right, sharks don’t favor humans as food. Unfortunately, the only way they can discern this is by taking a bite.
I know it makes little practical difference, but I like to know when I am or am not on the menu.
it is not possible to say that is pronounced “fluffy.” Whatever happened to ghlaghghee?
Heh. It’s a typo. I’ll go back and fix it.
My apologies, John. I was simply responding to a comment you made in this particular post.
Please visit Western North Carolina one day; I believe it to be the most beautiful region in the East, though New Hampshire gives us a run for the money, with its glacial lakes. The Blue Ridge includes the Black Mountains, the highest ground east of the Mississippi, and the most diverse deciduous forest in the world, with over 100 species of trees. A four mile hike, at 1000 feet of elevation gain per mile, takes one through four distinct forest types, ending in the dwindling spruce-fir forest, a relic of the last glaciation which is usually found in Canadian latitudes. It is hot and hazy here in the summer, out most popular tourist season, but I recommend April and October as the most beautiful times to visit. I’m fond of wintertime hikes on those days no snow is on the ground; that is the time of the clearest weather, and the leaflessness opens up views one is unaware of in the long, green, humid, tunnel of summer.
We are sharkless, but a quantity of trout swim in the wild rivers. Indigenous black bear, imported wild boar, and a very few mountain lion, known locally as panthers, pace the forest floor. Glenn Reynolds lives a couple of hours away, on the other side of the Great Smoky Mountains. That should be a draw!
Sharks are one of the reasons I prefer to do my swimming in Minnesota lakes, although I’ve done some scuba and snorkeling in the ocean that I’ve loved.
And I do know someone who was bitten by a Muskie, which is a fresh-water fish somewhat similar to a barracuda. Luckily the worst thing he faced was teasing about being used as future bait.
“Should there ever be a last generation, followed by human extinction, it will have worked, as no creditors will remain to call in the debts.” (Brett.com/tax)
Better copyright that. Fortune cookies are exempt, though, through the fair use clause at Kinkos. Death and taxes. What would life be without those two, not to mention, a few bears and panthers and an occasional shark. I use to swim a mile out to sea and never saw a single shark. Fortunately, as a rule, sharks pass unnoticed, otherwise, more humans would die of fright, rather than by consumption. Take the well known case of “Fish n’ Chips.” It is properly served only if: it’s presented on yesterday’s newspaper to absorb off the excess cooking oil; has malt vinegar, nearby; and is made of shark fillet.