Back, sort of

Why would someone automatically suppose that a comment about infrequent/erratic posting and moderating for 10-12 days means a vacation? It could mean a speaking trip, planned surgery, illness, family commitments, computer problems, any number of things.

More to the point, why would someone make such a weblog entry with no referent, no significance, no reason whatsoever? I’m not quite paranoid enough to believe that this particular blogger (I’m not about to provide a link, as the last thing I want is to provide this jerk with added readership) was pointing out that our house might be open to robbery during that period (which, fortunately, was not the case), but otherwise…well, why on earth would you blog that someone who you don’t know and who has never said so is going on an “extended vacation”?


As it happens…well, the series of cruise entries may be a tipoff. All of those entries were composed on or before May 30, postdated, but in a typical one-pass “zeroth draft” mode. We were on our final Crystal Harmony cruise to Alaska, a 12-night round trip out of San Francisco. Final only because the Crystal Harmony disappears in December, taken over by Crystal Cruises’ parent, NYK Shipping, for luxury Japanese cruising under a different name. It’s the third time we’ve done this cruise, the second time we’ve taken the first in the summer series, despite the possibility of inferior weather at the beginning of the season.

I’m not going to write about the whole trip for the moment (too tired–and after today at work, really too tired). I will note that poor weather turned out to be a problem only in one minor sense: When the skies are as clear and sunny as they were in every single port–blue skies in Ketchikan!–you see a lot less wildlife on the wildlife-watching excursions we took. Eagles and others tend to stay in the shade, coming out more on overcast days. So we only saw maybe two or three dozen eagles, maybe 15-20 humpbacks, maybe 20-30 orcas (“killer whales”), possibly two dozen sea otters, a dozen or so sea lions, and three mooses. The mooses were new to us. Otherwise, it’s fair to say that, spectacular as bald eagles always are in flight (and even as “golf balls in trees,” the standard spotting suggestion), this year was nothing compared to the hundreds we encountered two years ago.

Short version: Wonderful cruise. Rain only in Glacier Bay. Tracy Arm, new to us, was spectacular–and our captain, unlike another “big ship” captain, wasn’t about to let some floating ice (lots of floating ice) keep the ship out of the 22-mile fjord. Glorious weather in Skagway (and Haines, where we spent most of that day), Sitka, Juneau–and, to repeat, blue skies in Ketchikan. People who know Alaska will know how odd that is. (The Misty Fjords weren’t misty when we were there…)

Intermittent posting as I catch up with everything–and, of course, there’s ALA in another 11 days. Where I’ll be sans technology as usual.

7 Responses to “Back, sort of”

  1. Hard to know without seeing the post (my choice of Feedster search terms only found me this post, or found me tens of thousands of spam weblogs), but the one non-jerk possibility that occurs to me is using “vacation” to mean “vacation from blogging” – I know I use it that way, without any connection to work or leaving home.

    Literally blue skies? Not just not raining, but actually cloudless? I hope you’re not the superstitious sort who expects to have to pay for your good fortune, or you’ll be looking over your shoulder for months, expecting a meteor or at least a stray ballistic missile coming straight for you.

  2. walt says:

    Literally blue skies. Nearly cloudless. Locals were astonished, seeing mountains they don’t usually see. We’eve encountered similarly astonishingly good weather before–two years ago, actually–but not in Ketchikan.

    In the grump case, I used the term jerk advisedly, based on previous incidents. Which is also why I don’t mention the site. (Encountered via a typical PubSub ego feed.)

  3. Yes, Walt, the series of cruise was something of a tipoff, which I guess is why I linked to the first of them when I made my little comment, and not to the prior post, as you falsely accuse me.

    Thanks for your commitment to pluralism of opinion in American libraries.

  4. walt says:

    Sorry, Jack, but tipoff or no, the post was pointless and egregious. You weren’t saying anything, unless you were implicitly linking me to Michael Gorman by mentioning me in a Gorman-centered post.

    For that matter, “cruising” has been in the banner of the weblog all along, so the fact that I finally started writing about cruising didn’t necessarily mean that’s what I was doing. You get A- for leaping to conclusions, F for appropriateness.

    Okay, I “falsely accused” you regarding WHICH post you linked to. I didn’t check that, since it was entirely irrelevant to my grumpiness about your comment. Guilty as charged. (Wow! “Falsely accused” for an innocent and irrelevant oversight.)

    Commitment to pluralism of opinion? I have never told people not to read any of the right-wing library weblogs. I have never suggested that such weblogs should be shut down, criticized, or anything of the sort. I added a number of “conservative” library-related weblogs to Bloglines, and have kept a couple. And I approved this comment (without having any idea why it triggered the Moderation requirement–I certainly don’t have a blacklist).

    But if “commitment to pluralism of opinion” means I need to explicitly point to or support a weblog that has included assertions that I don’t believe in copyright protection (apparently because I’m insufficiently absolutist on the issue, looking at the Constitution rather than Big Media’s wish list), then I guess I lack such commitment. So be it.

    Addendum: On visiting this particular weblog, I was reminded of Jack’s “commitment to pluralism of opinion”: there’s no comment feature, assuring that no other opinions are voiced on his blog. Bwahahah…

  5. Alane says:

    Walt, I think the plural of moose is…moose. As a long time resident of a moosey place (Alberta) and a short time resident of a moosey place (Fairbanks, Alaska), I never read or heard “mooses” as the plural. Mind you, they are solitary beasts and so are not prone to pluralism.

    I moved to Alaska by taking the Alaska State ferry from Bellingham to Haines. It was small enough that it could get into passages ships such as yours can’t get close to. Most of the passengers got up in the middle of the night to watch the ferry navigate through “Christmas Tree Alley”, so called because the red and green navigation markers in a very narrow channel were close enough to look like decorations on a Christmas tree. We saw a mama whale heading south with her baby here–it was late October.

    Myself, I don’t think of the parts of Alaska you see from cruise ships as the real Alaska…that’s the northern rainforest of Canada. 🙂

  6. On visiting this particular weblog, I was reminded of Jack’s “commitment to pluralism of opinion”: there’s no comment feature, assuring that no other opinions are voiced on his blog. Bwahahah…

    Yeah, well, that’s what the “trackback” feature is for. After a few weeks of angry leftists aping DNC chair Howard Dean’s approach to debate and discussion, I think you’d probably see why I’ve limited comments to those who’ve taken the trouble to create their own blog. And I hasten to add that ur-bloggress JW allows for neither comments nor trackbacks, so…

    In fact, the reason I commented here at all was because I wasn’t able to find a trackback link for this post. I still don’t see it.

  7. walt says:

    Alane: Thanks for the correction. I’ve “deleted” the “s” in “mooses” (but a one-character strikeout is nearly invisible), leaving my illiteracy visible so your comment makes sense… And I suspect most Alaskans don’t think of the Inside Passage as being “real Alaska” either. (I’m reminded of an old comedy routine by Beyond the Fringe, I think, about the “real America” and how many cities aren’t really America…)

    Jack: I didn’t add trackback support (I don’t remember explicitly removing it), and don’t see why my weblog should automatically point to another weblog because someone chooses to comment on something here. I do allow comments (for now), and have only deleted ones that were obvious spam or offensive (as opposed to argumentative: If someone submits a comment calling me an a**le or jerk or idiot, I’ll approve it–but if they choose to use obscenities or offensive language in the process, I’ll reject it and probably blacklist them).