April 25, 2019

.comment: Cold Turkey - page 2

Holiday Paradise -- Day One

  • July 5, 2001
  • By Dennis E. Powell

Well, at least there's food here. In my estimation the best television series in the history of that medium was "Northern Exposure." Yes, my favorite character was Adam, though right now I feel more like Fleischman. So when we find a restaurant of that name, Northern Exposure, we stop in for a bite to eat. It is excellent. From what we hear in talking to others, most of the eateries here are both good and inexpensive. I may starve for connection with the outside world, but I'll not go unnourished.

Note to self: Look around -- there is surely an Internet cafe or something of the kind around here someplace.

The horse show this year seems to be two weeks long, but it's actually two horse shows, back-to-back, each a week long and differing chiefly in their sponsorship. Many of the really big names in show jumping are here, and each week is capped by a Grand Prix, the first of which will be televised on July 14 on ESPN. What's cool about it all is that in many classes the amateurs and the professionals compete against each other. This is because many of the pros are, in addition to showing their Grand Prix horses, trying out up-and-coming critters owned by people who want to see how they'll do when shown by a really good rider. In this respect, horse showing is unlike most other sports -- the lone exception that comes to mind is sailboat racing, my sport of choice -- with the top people and the amateurs often competing in the same class. It makes it more interesting and builds a community that is on a first-name basis. (Though heaven help the poor woman who happens to be named Margie, in that that name is now and forever owned by Margie Goldstein Engle, perennial rider of the year and a delightfully nice lady. It would be like a second Miguel joining Gnome development, or a second Stephan or Matthias joining the KDE . . . oops. Never mind that second example.)

Still in withdrawal, I notice that there is a netiquette-like set of informal rules in the horse world: for instance, the comment, "pretty horse," is always welcome -- no one will respond with "are you nuts? I'm taking him up to the Alpo truck right now." However, you need to have watched a horse before you may properly describe it as "cute," and that word is used to describe a particular characteristic, as in "that horse is cute with his knees over the fences." This usage is nearly universal. If you find it hard to imagine John Wayne saying, "Well, pilgrim, your horse is cute on the flat," you're not alone. It takes a little getting used to.

Likewise, there are all sorts of intrigues and whispers in the horse world, all kind of people who are either wound way too tightly or not wound tightly enough. There's more than a little crookedness in the industry, more than a little raising of money for questionable things, often syndicating a horse that may or may not show promise; there have been cases in which horses have mysteriously cast off their mortal lead lines not long after being insured through the roof. In short, the horse world and the computer world have a lot in common.

By day's end, I'm scarcely missing the Internet at all. I'm having a good time using the little Sony camera to photograph my wife and friends as they compete -- more difficult than it is with a regular camera, because one has to set up on a particular jump and then wait for the horse, and the Sony does not capture what's in the finder the instant the shutter is pressed, so one has to anticipate what will happen and hope to capture that instant instead. Weird, but there's a kind of Zen to it, and I'm becoming attuned to that little corner of the Universe. It's neat to be able to see, instantly, the pictures I've taken, and there is an additional computer aspect: getting the email addresses of people so I can send them the pictures. I'll have to remember to include a little text file explaining how to make the picture into a Windows desktop; I'm wearing my Progeny Linux teeshirt in hope of finding a kindred spirit, but I think that most people here suppose that Progeny Linux is a product for treating joint ailments in horses, as are the things advertised on the shirts worn by most other people here.

Most Popular LinuxPlanet Stories