The Fun Of Float Planes

When we got to the dock on Lake Temagamito unload our gear, we got a treat:  a chance to see a bright yellow, single engine float plane rev up the engine to maximum velocity (and volume) and take off.  It’s the kind of sight a ground-bound flatlander who lives far away from the nearest large lake won’t soon forget.

It was very cool to see the plane sending up spray as it bounced across the surface of the lake, until the pontoons finally cleared the water and the plane then rose up and over the trees on the shoreline.  I found myself consciously pulling for the pilot to make it, even though the plane has probably done so countless times.  Go, baby, go!

I’m not sure I’d want to fly in a float plane as a matter of course — without some form of ear protection, at least — but it was sure was fun to watch it take off.


Listening To The Veep Debate On The Radio

Yesterday, on our drive home, we listened to the C-SPAN rebroadcast of the vice presidential debate.  Being up north and out of TV broadcast range, we hadn’t seen the debate live or heard any of the post-debate spin.

It was odd to hear a political debate rather than to see it, as if we had been hurled 50 years back in time to 1960.  And, as legend says was the case for the first Kennedy-Nixon debate that year, the visual TV medium apparently created a different perception of the Biden-Ryan debate than did the aural radio experience.  Because we were just listening, we didn’t see Vice President Biden’s facial expressions and physical gestures that have been the subject of so much talk.

We could, however, hear the Vice President’s chuckles, ejaculations, and interruptions.  At times the cross-talk made it impossible to understand what anyone was saying.  I’m not sure politicians fully appreciate how annoying it is when they try to talk over each other, whether it’s during a debate or on a Sunday morning talk show.  It’s not persuasive, either; instead, the interjections make it seem like you believe you can’t afford to let your opponent finish his point.  That seems more like weakness than vigorous advocacy.  When lawyers present an oral argument, they argue their case, listen to their opponent’s position, and then present a rebuttal — without interruptions or attempts to monopolize the microphone.  Why can’t politicians show the same courtesy?

Other than the irksome disruptions, incidentally, I thought the debate seemed evenly matched.  Biden showed more passion, Ryan showed more precision, but each side got through their talking points and sounded their themes.  My radio review would score the vice-presidential debate a toss-up.

The Thrill of “A” Victory

Yesterday the Browns Backers of Westerville took their annual bus trip up to Cleveland to see the Browns play the Bengals. The weather was a gorgeous seventy two degrees with wind gusts of up to forty miles per hour.

By my count there was only one Bengal fan on our bus – Karen’s husband Tim who wore Ohio University garb because he didn’t want to call attention to himself.

Westerville Browns Backers (we meet every Sunday at Jimmy V’s Bar and Grill) President Steve Hodge manned the grill which included the standard brats and burgers along with macaroni salad, potato salad and for desert, of course BROWNIES.

We had a great view of the field even though our seats were way up in the end zone which left some of us breathless, no pun intended.

Rita, Karen and I were happy as can be when the Browns broke the game open in second half and brought home a 34 – 24 win.

The highlight of my day was using the complimentary ticket given to each of us Browns backers for a free soda and hot dog. Can’t beat that stadium mustard.

So thankfully we Browns fans no one thing is for sure, we are not going to be winless this year – wooo hoooo !

Absolute, And Satisfying, Silence

Of all of the pleasures I took away from my visit to Lake Temagami, none was more profound than enjoying moments of absolute quiet.

Lake Temagami is a remote location, ringed with trees that start at the water line and extend back to the horizon.  We were visiting long after tourist season had ended.  As a result, it was possible to stand on the shore of our island and hear . . . nothing.  Not a boat motor or a dog barking in the distance.  Not the background noise of traffic or the hum of electrical devices.  And, because it is well out of cell phone range and the place we were staying had no television, not a ringing telephone or the drone of the TV.  You could listen carefully — as carefully as your ears would allow — and detect only the complete absence of any noise.

It was like being present at the dawn of the world, with a silence vast and deep that touched the soul.  I enjoyed walking around our island, sitting on a rock or a fallen tree, and drinking in that awesome stillness. When you look at this picture taken on the island, try to imagine seeing that vista without so much as a breath or whisper of sound.

Sunset On Surprise Bay, Lake Temagami, Ontario, October 10

Thanks to a generous invitation from a friend, I’ve spent the last few days incommunicado at Lake Temagami in Ontario, Canada.  The lake is located a few hundred miles due north of Toronto.  It is a beautiful place, and I have very much appreciated the chance to make the acquaintance of this spectacular little corner of the world.

I’ll be posting some pictures and thoughts about my Lake Temagami adventure over the next few days.