Watching TV is not my thing, news and weather I get online. I don’t do Facebook online though except once daily to post a link to my blog post, and generally not otherwise unless Ray Wishart’s photography catches my eye and I start scrolling down to marvel at his imagination and artistic genius. I like to read but have a psychological problem finishing a book that I like because if I’m enjoying it I don’t want it to end, which I’ve confessed here before. It took me weeks to read “Life Itself: A Memoir” because each essay was so fascinating, and moving, and several I found my own life in and had to keep going back to live in the memories.
But when I want to entertain myself without doing something useful I may pick up my iPad and play my game, which is Spider Solitaire. I reckon it’s “spider” because of the web you can tangle yourself up in, but they could have come up with a better name for it. Fifteen or so years ago I taught my mother how to use a computer, then we bought her one and when she wasn’t browsing eBay and bidding on stuff she’d play solitaire, found spider solitaire and showed it to me, that's how I got into it. There are lots of good games but spider is one that relaxes me and takes my mind off of whatever may be bothering me. I played it this morning for a wasted hour, for example.
Thursday is my day off from the exercise program, but the exercise room on the first floor is free to use so I’ll go down later. They have all the equipment that Chuck has at the BayMed cardiopulmonary center, and the view here is out on the Bay. Well, they have all the equipment except that goofy hand-cranking machine that was made in Sweden or someplace. It isn’t really goofy though: I’m crediting it with greatly diminishing the arthritis and its sharp pain that had taken up residence in the ring finger of my left hand and was causing the finger to lock and my mouth to exclaim foully, not attractive for a priest but then I’m first a sailor and only later well down the line a holy man. So every Tuesday and Friday at Chuck’s I make sure to get in five or six minutes on the crank. The gym downstairs just off the garage doesn’t have one of those.
For entertainment in the blogging arena, sometimes I like to fiddle around and change my font from Helvetica without making it obnoxious and distracting. This font, which may or may not “take” on the blog, is Tahoma. Without an eye for these things, the only difference I notice at the moment is the serif on the capital I.
Wednesday evening at Holy Nativity Episcopal Church is the best time of the week. A really good strange song or two, sort of freewill liturgy, a young person reading the gospel or other Bible lesson, then a dialogue about it, a bunch of kids coming up around the Altar for the Eucharistic Prayer and four of them serving the Bread and Wine, then a delicious meal after, visiting with folks we enjoy but otherwise only see on Sunday mornings. It’s a great evening and in my opinion and experience the best thing we do for ourselves as a church. We have lots of outreach, do many things for others, but this is something we do for ourselves and no joke, it’s the best. Loving ourselves as we love our neighbor.
So where this was going as I wandered off is that last evening after church, the weather was so nice that I was sitting outside on the porch. Total darkness. All of a sudden there’s wave action washing ashore below. I look for a ship passing but see nothing and heard nothing. The waves calm down and the Bay goes silent. A few minutes later it starts all over again. Loud waves washing ashore for a couple minutes or so, then fades to silence. Looking again: still no ship in sight. What happened evidently is that a ship passed silently close by in the near channel right off my balcony on her way out to sea, and when I looked the first time I neglected to look down to the left (east) and see her turn into the far channel; then she sailed the far channel and out the Pass into the Gulf and was gone before the second round of waves came ashore here.
A few of the ships passing close by here are quite noisy, but most pass silently. Out of the Navy and sea duty for more than a third of a century, I’ll have to do a little research to see what kinds of propulsion systems are being used in merchant ships these days.
Of these days, the start of this day: