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Today's Global Curiosity

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Southport is a town at the mouth of the Cape Fear River just east of Oak Island. While on a day trip there during my vacation, I took these question-provoking pictures.

Why would a ship named YM Shanghai homeported in London (which is interesting enough)... flying the French flag?

That Species Is Touristicus Dipshitticus

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The screen door on the house next to us made a sound like a bird being sodomized, so much so that every time it opened, I looked around for the offending bird (not to mention the offended bird). It took me three days to realize there were no birds involved at all.

The Ongoing Saga Of Long Beach Pier

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Back in January, I discussed the sad demise of Long Beach Pier, one of the three fishing piers on Oak Island. At the time, they were planning on subdividing the beachfront property into eight lots for single-family homes:

The business sits on nine oceanfront lots and, at this point, there are eight residences planned, [real estate agent Libba] Motsinger said. One of the lots doesn’t perk, so three lots may be used to build two homes on part of the property, she explained.

Interesting thing: if you pick up a flier from the information box in front of the lots, you will find nine lots listed for sale (at prices from $1.1M to $1.5M).

Gee, I wonder what happened?

And incidentally, there's still nothing stopping one developer from buying all eight nine lots and building condos there.


And speaking of my nephews, they quickly developed a code scheme for discussing women like boats, prompting statements like

Quite a set of pontoons on that boat there.
and (for hot jailbait)
Excellent superstructure, but I don't think she's seen enough seasons on the water yet.
but I claimed first prize with
That is one fine stern - I bet it would stand up to hours of pounding in heavy surf.

My wife's two nephews and the younger nephew's wife shared the house with us the first week (yes, my wife has adult nephews; her two brothers are (I think) 15 and 17 years older than she is). Anyway, Jeff took a deep-sea fishing trip on a headboat, going about 16 miles out. The water, though it looked pretty smooth from shore, featured 8-to-10-foot swells, and some people reacted worse to it than others. For instance, the 60ish guy who spent the entire two hour trip out puking into a bucket thoughtfully provided by one of the ship's mates.

That would have been bad enough, but it seemed that he insisted on a very vocal warmup for each spasm, and of course after the first fifteen minutes it's all dry heaves anyway, so it ended up sounding like "HuuuuuAAAAAAACKKKKKKKchk" about every thirty seconds. Lovely trip, and Jeff didn't even catch anything worth keeping.

So as he's explaining this to us upon his return, his brother Jim pointed out

Hey, you were outside the 12-mile limit. International waters - anything goes! You should have dumped the guy over the side!
and I added
'Ding! The captain has turned off the "U.S. Jurisdiction" light. You may move freely about the cabin and do whatever the hell you want, as long as it doesn't piss off the captain.'

After some more discussion, we came to the conclusion that dumping Sir Pukes-a-lot into the ocean would have been a bad move under the "don't piss off the captain" clause. Something about witnesses and lawsuits.

Update: Ehhhhhh, I guess not.

You're Not Cleared For That

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The following events took place on Thursday, June 14.

I saw the local Coast Guard station's Defender-class boat go flying by the house several times - and the Water Rescue folks too - but I was never able to learn anything about what they were doing (hint: if you want to know what's really going on in a tourist island town, talk to the people who work at the fishing piers - they know everything).

Maybe it's all evil Government/space alien/corporate conspiracy crap, and Surface is really a documentary, and the alien/ancient/cloned/genetically engineered whateverthehellitis just ate somebody else.


Hola Alberto, Madrechinga

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The following post was written on Wednesday, June 14.

At this moment (11:15 AM), we're getting sun showers. Of course, with the wind from the southwest at 45MPH, that sprinkle feels like a thousand hot needles.

Naturally, we're out walking on the beach.

flower_goddess found an honest-to-God sand dollar, virtually unknown outside of its normal habitat of souvenir stands and t-shirt shops. Getting wind-driven sand embedded behind her ears was a small price to pay for such an exquisite find.

The Ocean Always Has The Last Word

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I'll be posting things I wrote - in actual pencil, on actual paper - on vacation. Until they perfect the brain-to-Internet-ultra-WiFi interface, there's really no way around it.

The following post was written on Monday, June 12.

I'm not going to say the ocean kicked my ass while bodyboarding yesterday, but...

  • ...I had one run where I started out riding my board and finished with my board riding me.
  • ...I did my best impersonation of a dredge with my face.
  • ...I did my second-best impersonation with my suit.
  • ...I learned that the ocean does not like it when you give a victory whoop after catching a wave just right, and that it has ways of punishing you immediately (hint: it involves your mouth, still open with the whooping).

I rarely bothered to look at the weather forecast while on vacation (except when Alberto came through) since I was fairly certain it would be

  • Sun: hot
  • Water: warm
  • Breeze: cool
  • Beer: cold
with a chance of afternoon thundershowers.


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Also seen on the drive home yesterday, especially in the first two hours: about fifty minivans with cartop carriers. Of course, they're all headed for my island (in my mind, with apologies to James Taylor), so I have this Public Service Announcement for them:



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