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JUNE 15, 2009   

Malfunctions, mayflies, meat

The alarm went off at 5:45 a.m.—ten minutes to pull on some clothes, pour a cup of coffee automatically brewed at 5:40, and walk down to the shore to watch the sun rise. I planned to take the first photo of what would be two weeks of sunrises. Last year I got a beautiful sequence of daily sunrises, each similar yet completely different.

As the sun peeked above the horizon I positioned myself where I'd stand every day. I pushed the shutter button. "Memory Full" the camera's LCD replied. I quickly pushed the series of buttons to delete a photo. Nothing. Again. Nothing. Damn! The camera, which a couple of days ago lost its zoom function now lost its "set" function. You could get to a menu that said "Delete" but not choose it. The sun was totally above the horizon by the time I realized I'd have to connect the camera to my laptop and delete images that way. Too late for today's sunrise.

Like the computer HAL in the movie 2001 A Space Odyssey, my camera is losing its functions one by one. What will it be tomorrow?

This little Casio point-and-shoot has literally been at my side everywhere I've gone for close to two years. I had a broken LCD screen replaced, but it probably isn't worth the cost of another repair. I guess it's time for a new one.


Lots of mayflies on light pole at ferry dockThe bugs at the House on the Lake this year are different than in others. There are lots of annoying midges—like big mosquitos that buzz around you but don't bite—but so far no mayflies.

Not exactly.

I was surprised when I drove with Joanne to the ferry this morning to see swarms of them on the light poles at the dock. Apparently the same wind from the northeast that's keeping the water high on our rocky beach is blowing the mayflies away. Chances are, though, that when the wind dies down we'll start to see them everywhere.


Steak sandwich, thick slices on bunI've been eating far less meat recently. I'm sort of a half-vegetarian: usually every other meal I make is meatless, and when I use meat I try to cut the amount in half. The spaghetti sauce that used to include a pound of ground beef or Italian sausage now has a half pound. This works just fine: neither I nor Joanne notice a difference.

Today I had lunch at the Kelleys Island Brewery, not known for its vegetarian fare. The salads choices were dull, so I figured I'd go with meat, expecting they'd do better with it. I ordered the Island Steak Sandwich, thinking it was like a Philly cheesesteak: shaved beef, grilled mushrooms and onions, and cheese. I was amazed when it arrived with slices of beef about 3/4 inch thick stacked on a bun. So much for vegetarian.

Fortunately the beef was tender and pretty tasty, but there was way too much of it. I took half the sandwich home, sliced the meat very thin, and had it on top of a big salad of lettuce and yellow squash. Kind of the best of both worlds.

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