Life at the Lake

a diary of living at a small lowland lake


Early moonrise over Lake Ketchum

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and s-integrator

My beach at normal water height


It is not my lake. It is Everybody's lake, everybody who comes here and makes a connection. And people are always coming and going. With 80 homes on the lake, there are usually a few for sale, and soon new families are moving into the neighborhood.

Bruce King sold his home through Realtor Roy Van Winkle (who also lives on the lake) and bought another, also through Roy. (I grow giddy thinking of the commissions.) And Roy's sister, Barb, and her husband, Jim, moved into Bruce's house. Bruce gave me no specific reasons for his selling and moving, but I have a hunch it had to do with his neighbors. On both sides. But he was too much the gentleman to say specifically.

We each look out our windows and see a different lake. It is not only that the lake looks different; the lake is different. Each of us has a wedge of a view, a different swath to look at daily. The seasons pass. This makes it truly a different lake, all the while, though the lake for each of us has the same name and physical description.

Each of our lakes is at dead-low level. Technically, on the gauge we had installed, more than a decade ago, it measures but five feet. (Another gauge, which measures the height above sea level, it is around 21 feet still, but we ignore this gauge because its reading is meaningless. Who cares how high above sea level it is, once you've been told, because that never changes.

On a normal year the lake would be about sixteen inches higher. Even a foot lower is a whole lot, when it comes to true vertical measurement. People ordinarily measure beachfront by the distance the water is from a fixed marker on shore. This is a horizontal measurement.

On rivers, waterfront owners are always driving a stake into the ground (as though it were into the vampire's heart) at high water, then measuring the distance from the stake to the continually dropping river. This is all wrong. It is data that compares to no other data, and is useless even to your neighbor (who has a different landform), except in a general sense.

On a lake it is imperative for us all to measure in a true vertical manner. Whatever the distance is along the beach is the landowner's problem, or to his benefit. Hence the gauge. And it forms a common reference point for those of us who know about its existence and how it measures the water volume in the lake.

Only a handful of residents are aware of the gauge, though, and have any idea what it indicates. To most of them the number on the gauge is meaningless, because they don't know what it means.

It is much like saying it is eighteen minutes after the hour, when you don't know what the hour is, or whether it is day or night.

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Ha, ha, I have a blog, and you don't. Well, maybe not yet.


This is the presiding dictum of the blog, including this one. Just imagine the tremendous burden of having to find something to say each day, and not only that, but to say it publicly, online. And try to be clever. . . .

There are more than three billion websites today, and they are increasing explosively. Likewise the blog industry (of which we are an obscure member). Not to mention the webcam.

Ah yes, the webcam. It seems that every female college-age student in America has been given one by her randy boy friend, and he eagerly persuaded her to strip for the Cyclops eye atop her computer and publish the result on the Web in groups of four candid snaps, four being the magic number to fill out an online page.

But that is a subject for another day. The Blog is today's. accepts no paid ads and is therefore non-commercial, as are many of the blogs now being published--in-house and ex-.

This has a nice, refreshing presence in an Internet world populated by pop-ups and quieter requests to click on "our" website and perhaps buy something.

For buying something seems to be what America is all about.

There, we've said something for today, and our quotidian blog mission is complete.

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Arnie's Governator.


Ah, California. Welcome, New Governator! Arnold, we're proud of you. You give Know-Nothing a new name. Schwarzenegger. You may "know nothing," but everybody knows you. You will . . . rule.

Will you eliminate anybody who challenges you? Will you . . . Terminate them? How will you rule? Will you have a cabinet? Will Sylvester Stalone be on it? Dirty Harry, aka Clint Eastwood?

Will you form a posse? Will you "ride out?" Or will you stay at home and blast your rivals into smithereens? Today, California. Tommorow the U.S. Day after, the Universe.

I love you, California, I do. You never fail to surprise me with your outlandishness. What comes next? I can't possibly imagine. Truth is strange.

Fiction I can deal with.

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Spider at my window before the storm hit

Rain. At last.

Not sweet, gentle rain, but rain so hard it knocked out satellite transmission to first my TV dish, then to my Internet connection. Bing/bang, and we are back to basics.

Funny thing was, Boston was playing Oakland for the right to face the Yankees, and Oakland was closing a 5-2 deficit, when the picture started breaking up in a series of crystallized, Kaleidoscopic images, seemingly shattering the screen and making the sound a series of loud crackles and gunshot bursts.

Eighth inning a complete loss to us, but we clung to the screen and an occasional image that was clear for a second or two before being shattered again. Bottom of the ninth, the picture began to clear again by heavenly degrees. Derek Lowe was pitching for Boston; he a former Mariner who we got rid of for some stupid reason, and Oakland had two on base, advanced them to second and third, with two outs. Crackle, burst.

Then the noise of Red Sox rejoicing, Catcher Viatek carrying big Lowe around the mound, and cutaway shots of young, excited drunks in a Bean-town tavern celebrating.

The computer still suffering a satellite outage error code, we went to bed amid a drumming rainstorm, the second in nearly four months of record drought. The first, a month ago, brought but an inch to correct the rainfall deficit, this promises to be sizable, and so badly needed.

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Tell me, is their life after high school? For that matter, is there sex after high school?

Quick, I'm waiting. Give me your ideas in the form of comments. (See below.)

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