It took me about twenty hours to get back to the USA from Bulgaria. Fortunately, I was on Qatar Airways which is a premier carrier. The only drawback came when I was watching a movie. During crew announcements, the volume was adjusted to an eardrum shattering level, and just about blew me out of my seat upon each interruption. I think this was a special feature restricted to my row. Fortunately, I was spared this painful indignity on my next flight.
Upon arrival in Boston, I secured my treasured bottom bunk and made a beeline to CVS to secure the new shingles vaccine. My last visit to the United States blessed me with a scorching case of chicken pox. Given that shingles are an extremely painful, common byproduct of chicken pox among the senior set, I felt I best get with the program and secure a dose of the new, effective vaccine.
Aside from overcharging us for everything they sell, Big Pharma also miscalculated the demand for the new medicine and have not been able to meet production needs. Or did they? They can also charge more for something scarce in such high demand. They are truly the scum of the Earth, peddling overpriced drugs to desperate geriatrics. Many can’t afford the vaccine ($170 x 2 doses), and vast amounts of people will be unable to find it available at any price. Shingles cause immense suffering, and they will be responsible for the pain and suffering of thousands of vulnerable senior citizens. That way, the bastards can sell more painkillers too!
Through amazing good fortune, and the use of an old home address, I was able to secure a dose at the Walgreens across the street. I will require another $170 shot in four months, but that should pose no problem because I can afford it and will reserve my second vial for my next visit to San Diego. Overall, today was a filled with good fortune, albeit one for which I paid an arm and a leg, but it’s worth avoiding the agony provided by the shingles.
To cap it off, my brother Buell came up with a most intriguing idea for our time after my conference. We both have passions for the sea. His is sailing on top of it, and mine is in diving beneath it. The last time we were in Bermuda, we went diving together, and now he has suggested we sail together to Martha’s Vineyard for two nights and back. It should make for a superior adventure to hanging around Brookline Village for three days. The memories shall be rich, and the blog is thirsting for what will come to pass. Way to go, Bro.
TRAVELCON 2019 – BOSTON
CHERYL STRAYED – Author of “Wild’ which was a bestseller and was made into a major Hollywood film with Reese Witherspoon. Looks like she’s been hitting the donuts herself, lately. Speaking of donuts, I have noticed an incredible amount of obesity here in the USA. The number of people 250-350 pounds at the conference was astounding. My previous destination was Eastern Europe, and they didn’t have this problem. Being here has been terribly jarring. This country has serious issues. There will be further discussion of this later.
This is the last thing I saw before falling asleep during her talk because I came up short on sleep last night. Fortunately, we are all treated to videos of all of the main speakers so I can easily review what was lost to this nap.
ROYALE – FIRST NIGHT PARTY
THE VISUALS WERE MUCH BETTER THAN THE MUSIC
PEOPLE GET LOADED AND PERFORM SOME SORT OF TRIBAL RITUAL
MARK MANSON & NOMADIC MATT
MARK MANSON – AUTHOR OF “THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A FUCK” – NOT GIVING A FUCK
NOMADIC MATT – SIGNING HIS NEW BOOK
SEPHORA – In what universe is this in any way palatable. Accepting yourself is a wonderful thing unless it’s fueling self-destructive denial. This young lady is not healthy and is at risk for diabetes and a host of other ailments. By validating morbid weight gain as this ad does, Sephora is contributing to endemic obesity in the United States. It’s crazy how they went after Michelle Obama for trying to get Americans to eat a more healthy diet.
Now we’re cheering on slow suicide. It’s pure PC, inclusivity, virtue signaling madness. People no longer need to aspire to be healthy, they can just sit on their sofas, stuff their faces, and feel great about themselves. Never mind the fact that many will have their enormous corpses removed from their homes by crane and buried in piano cases.
NEWBURY COMICS – Geek Culture Well Served
PARADISE – SECOND NIGHT PARTY – WTF? – THEY PLAYED FOR LIKE 20 MINUTES
DEANNA TROI ON THE LEFT – HER PARENTS LOVED TREK AND NAMED HER AFTER COUNSELOR TROI
THE TRAVEL ZEALOT & THE TRAVEL WRITER – THOMAS SWICK (New York Times Travel Writer)
BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY – OLDEST PUBLIC LIBRARY IN AMERICA
THIS IS ONE PLACE YOU WON’T FIND OUR ILLITERATE, SHORT-FINGERED, VULGARIAN-IN-CHIEF HANGING ABOUT.
WHAT’S IN HERE?
WHAT KIND OF A LIBRARY HAS A BAR IN IT? – MY KIND OF LIBRARY
BEAUTIFUL COFFERED CEILING
BOSTON – GREAT COLLEGE TOWN
ON MY NEXT VISIT I’LL HAVE TO BRING ALONG A BOOK AND COMPLETE THE EXPERIENCE
NOMADIC MATT WRAPS UP TRAVELCON
He reveals New Orleans as next year’s convention destination. Initially, I was thrilled given the fantastic location, but I slowly realized that the place is almost too much of a distraction for a convention. Add that to the fact that I wasn’t at all that enthused about this year’s showing. PC offerings, hungover speakers, and an overemphasis on alcohol consumption in loud places made me less than eager for a repeat performance. I didn’t even bother with the last keynote speaker since he was a Moroccan talking about some project in Morocco. Everyone has a country to which they will never return. Mine is Morocco. (See Morocco Posts for explanation) That killed that final talk for me. I did, however, have a lot of fun in the Apple Store picking up a couple of new toys that turned my cell phone into a YouTube video-system.
Later I was discussing next year’s get together with some millenial, and she laid a trip on me when I referred to travelers as a tribe. There was a keynote address about “Diversity in the Travel Industry,” and evidently it was conveyed to the audience that it is somehow improper to use the name tribe if you’re not some sort of indigenous person. That quashed the deal for me. No way I was going to New Orleans to endure more of the same. The irony is that they worry about stupid shit like that and completely overlook forget about the shit that will kill us all, like climate change or nuclear war.
There is another travel conference on a cruise ship that a nice Danish fellow from the last symposium told me about. I think perhaps I’ll give that a try next year.
BOSTON PUBLIC GARDEN
SQUIRRELS – RATS OF THE FOREST WITH A GOOD PR MAN
STOP LOOKING AT ME – I HAVE NUTS TO HIDE
THE SWAN BOATS
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
A GIANT RAVEN SPRINGS OUT OF EDGAR ALLEN POE’S VALISE
PADANARAM – WOOD’S HOLE – MARTHA’S VINEYARD
DRIVING DOWN TO PADANARUM IN SOUTH DARTMOUTH
LOADING UP THE GEAR FOR OUR VOYAGE
LAUNCH TO THE GLENMORROW
TOWING THE SKIFF WE STRIKE OUT FOR WOOD’S HOLE
THE BELVEDERE – THIS IS THE FIRST VESSEL TO MAKE THE NORTHWEST PASSAGE
THOMAS G. THOMPSON – WOOD’S HOLE RESEARCH VESSEL
CALAMITY #1 – As we cruised into the harbor, a peaceful reverie was rudely interrupted by the nauseating sound a ship makes when its keel strikes a rock. Buell and I were thrown forward onto the dashboard, after which we anticipated the vessel becoming engulfed in seawater. After inspecting the bilge Buell ascertained that the boat was not drawing any water. This was a relief that helped to offset the dose of adrenaline received during the earlier collision.
GLENCANNON – BUELL’S BOAT – NAMED AFTER A FICTIONAL, SCOTTISH, MARITIME CHIEF ENGINEER
In fiction, it became a tradition to create Scottish chief engineers. This was even carried into space in the late 20th century when Star Trek made “Scottie” the chief engineer of the starship Enterprise.
CALAMITY #2 – After starting towards town, the oarlock snapped off and toppled into the ocean. This curtailed our visit to Wood’s Hole.
We pulled the boat up to the Wood’s Hole Yacht Club’s dock and were summarily dismissed due to the twenty-minute parking limit. There was another public dock where the fishing boats parked their vessels, and it was there we went in search of a berth. We were warned that sometimes the fishermen resent non-commercial vessels on the dock. However, the fisherman I encountered was quite friendly.
TROPICAL & DONNA MARIE
OUR TIGHT PUBLIC-DOCK PARKING SPACE
DAMP NETS FILL THE AIR WITH THE AROMA OF FISH
SHAPES OF THE SEA
THE FRIENDLY FISHERMAN – INCOGNITO CANDID SHOT – DAVID LETTERMAN CHIC
SHAPES OF THE SEA
NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
R/V GLORIA MICHELLE – MY BROTHER SPENT A LOT OF TIME ON THIS RESEARCH VESSEL
SHAPES OF THE SEA
WOOD’S HOLE SUNSET
WOOD’S HOLE SUNSET
WOOD’S HOLE SUNSET
TINY HOME ON THE WATER
BUELL RETURNS FROM PAYING THE MOORING FEE
USING A NEWLY TIGHTENED ALTERNATE PAIR OF OARLOCKS, BUELL ROWS US INTO VINEYARD HAVEN
A GROUP OF MODEL BOAT ENTHUSIASTS ENJOY THEIR TOYS
THE BLACK DOG TAVERN – AN OVER-RATED BUT MUST VISIT PLACE IN VINEYARD HAVEN
FORMER BANK BUILDING
EDGARTOWN MAIN STREET
THIS LAUNCH HAS INCREDIBLY HIGH-TECH SEATING
HIGH-END LAUNCH – IT PROBABLY BELONGS TO A 200+ FOOT MEGA-YACHT
ART & CLASSIC BOAT
GIANT PAGODA TREE – In 1837, Captain Thomas Milton brought this tree from China in a flower pot to grace his new home.
GIANT PAGODA TREE
WE WERE TREATED TO A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN A CLASSIC, NEW ENGLAND ISLAND SETTING
PERHAPS THAT LAUNCH BELONGS TO THE MEGA-YACHT ON THE LEFT
HOUSES DRESSED AND READY FOR THE 4TH OF JULY
HOFNER BASS – PAUL MCCARTNEY’S INSTRUMENT OF CHOICE
PATRIOTIC ASSEMBLAGE OF FRENCH COOKWARE
WE DECIDED TO HEAD BACK TO THE BOAT FOR GRILLED CHEESE, TURKEY, AND HAM SANDWICHES
SUNSET IN VINEYARD HAVEN
EXITING VINEYARD HAVEN
A BEAUTIFUL MORNING GREETED US ON OUR LAST DAY
VINEYARD HAVEN HARBOR