My Musings

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Boat Trip

If you've never driven to Long Island from New England, you might be surprised to find that there is a large body of water between Connecticut and New York that you cannot cross via a bridge. Google Maps makes it look like an undisturbed road gets you from your home in Massachusetts to your cousin's wedding in Montauk, but the inch or so width of Long Island Sound on a map turns out to be almost 18 miles in "real life." That's a bridge too far.

Thankfully, Ferry service exists, shuttling you and your vehicles (I brought a bike as well as a car) across the choppy waters, with views of sailboards and waterfront homes, and evidence that you don't have COVID (the ship's exhaust affirming that I haven't lost my sense of smell). Now on Empire State soil, I am mystified when I see that the last 30 miles of the trip will take nearly two hours, even with little indication that traffic jams are causing delays.

And then I'm in a line of cars being directed onto another ferry – a small barge-like thing. I am unprepared for this second boat, with no reservation in hand. "You pay on the ferry" I'm told by one of the guys directing me onward. "Cash only." This ferry takes 10 minutes to get us onto Shelter Island, and soon I'm on at another dock, and now on my third ferry, another little puddle-jumper, which puts me on solid Long Island terra firma, with lots of towns that have "Hampton" in their name.The two-hours was diminished to just a little over an hour thanks to timing – the second and third ferries that I was entirely unprepared for both left the dock just moments after I drove aboard.

The return trip was managed by avoiding the two smaller ferries and taking a circuitous route back to Orient Point, as I worried that on Sundays the ferry service wouldn't run. Not a chance! What would become of Shelter Island residents who accidently find themselves choking on their brunch? It can't be that paramedics can't ford the waters (note the double negative), just because it's the Lord's day. (Or is the Lord's Day Saturday? I lost track of the Lord's Day many score moons ago).

Turns out that ferry service is essential, just like pharmacies, hardware stores, and cannabis shops (in California). Of course, if you're choking on your wedding steak, a ferry bringing Heimlich experts or this device that I'd like to buy won't help much.

Those Shelter Island residents have a great deal of guts. 

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Patrick The Balding

After I'm dead and gone, how will my reign on earth be described by historians? I'd like to be known as "The Great" but that typically denotes "large" or "tall," which I'm not.

I wouldn't mind if the Wikipedia of the 22nd century referred to me as "Patrick the Brilliant," but, yeah…unlikely.

Another option: Patrick the Scruffy. I think this is apt. I shave a couple times a week, which means twice a week I look good. Otherwise, scruffy. On the other hand, not exactly the moniker I'm looking for.

Of course, it makes no difference what I want. "History will be the judge." Since the future will be inundated by mountains of data about me and my shortcomings, no doubt some rookie at Era-Naming headquarters will find my worst traits and forever tag me with them to describe the current era we're in, which I dominate (admittedly from behind the scenes).

How about "Patrick the Emotionally Exhausted"?


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The Press

I wonder if there is a particular letter that gets pressed harder on a standard computer keyboard, on average, than all the others. Or a punctuation mark. There must be!

For example, does an exclamation point get whacked harder than a period? Or a comma?

What gets more forceful pressure: a semi colon or a colon? Surely, a colon. In a perfect world, a semi-colon would get pressed roughly half as hard as a colon.

And yet I have no data! This is my problem. Data is king, and I lack it in large quantities.

So, it's on to educated guessing: The I is probably hit the hardest of all letters, because we all like to toot our own horns. For punctuation, it's probably the exclamation point, especially when it follows the question mark. Otherwise, if my 35-plus years of watching people use a computer is any indication, the "enter" key is the one that's smacked hardest of all.

Planning to apply for an NEA grant and will call this research "my art." 

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Hurricane Leg Approaching

Thirty years ago today, I became an uncounted casualty of the last hurricane to disturb the Massachusetts coast. It was a blood and guts event, as an airborne pane of glass found the middle of my right calf in mid-flight and nearly did me in.

I was given Last Rites, now called Annointing of the Sick (better messaging, according to a team of Vatican communications professionals), and was nearly pronounced dead. The Pope came to my bedside, declaring me a saint. There is now a hospital wing named after me because during my recovery I entertained sick children by popping wheelies on my wheelchair while juggling stethoscopes.

Some of the aforementioned isn't true, but what is true is that my favored right calf was sliced pretty much in half, and if it weren't for the efforts of drunk street people on Harvard Ave in Allston, I might not have survived. (In truth, the drunks just watched; other passersby helped).

Tourniquet in place, I followed that godforsaken hurricane (named Bob, not Leg) right up into Canada and gave it a piece of my mind, cussing it out while I bled all over the north country.

Hurricane Bob is now dead and gone, but I'm still limping along. How ya like me now?! 

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J'Biden Era Haikuage


People's Arms. That's right!

200 million shots

In 100 days


We are good people

But we still have far to go

Repair. Restore. Heal.


There's nothing new here

The Affordable Care Act

We're restoring it 


America's Day

Democracy is fragile

The world is watching 


Strategy is based

On Science, not politics

Truth, not denial



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