Not all of my pictures are flowers and landscapes. I actually enjoy taking pictures of folks I meet on my travels. This is a fellow who was enjoying a bottle of pop on the porch of the General Store in Paint Bank, Virginia. I asked him how the town got the name ‘Paint Bank’ and he proceeded to tell me about a guy he knew that came from a town called ‘Cuba’. According to the cashier at the general store, the name derives from the custom of local Cherokees using clay from the bank of the town river for their war paint, a story that I was able to double check on the Internet.
It’s spring so it must be time for a new camera and time for the Butterfly Weed to bloom. The new camera is the Fujifilm X-Pro1, a much improved version of the X100 that I’ve been using for a little over a year. I’m very impressed with this camera, and think it produces the best image quality of any camera I’ve ever personally used.
The plant is a variety of Asclepias tuberose, which attracts Monarch Butterflies, provides food for their beautiful caterpillars, and attracts hummingbirds, bees and other interesting insects.
Show of hands! How many people have been to St. John? Hmmm… Quite a few. I understand that. It’s a beautiful place, largely untouched by commerce and technology. OK, how many have been to Salt Pond? Hmmm… The numbers drop off. I understand that too. It’s on the other side of the island and pretty far from the Westin!
So, you’ve stayed too long at Salt Pond. It’s early afternoon and you should’ve left before the sun turned and it got really hot. But you were diverted by that hike to Drunk Bay where you made a nude coral replica of your wife, and spent too much time in Salt Pond snorkeling for turtles, conch and squid. You make the trek up that hill, jump in the car, crank up the AC, and head for wherever home is for the week.
Big mistake! What you should have done is drive for about 30 seconds (as advertised) and pull into the St. John oasis known as the Tourist Trap.
Run by a New Hampshire expat named Larry, the Trap is a well-decorated shack from which delicious food mysteriously appears, protected by a wooden table laden with the makings for traditional and Trap-inspired island drinks. Customers sit under a pole-tent in front of the bar. The seating area might accommodate 30-40 people, but someone would probably be out in the sun. Pretty laid back, as an island drinking and eating establishment has to be!
Although out of the way, The Tourist Trap was good enough to visit twice. Everything we had is to be recommended, but if you only stop once, you have to try the pulled pork, either as a sandwich or as a topping for the Trap Dog (personal favorite). Fish tacos were the best on the island and the lobster roll was over loaded with very sweet crustacean. Finish the meal with the ice cream, homemade locally using a secret recipe.
If you can’t visit in the near future, you can follow the comings and goings of the Trap on their Facebook page.
There were a lot of things to like about my recent St. John vacation, but I particularly enjoyed the snorkeling, made more fun by my recent purchase of a ‘tough’ digital point-and-shoot and its underwater mode. I’m really not much of a swimmer, and I spent as much time fiddling with my mask as I did with snorkeling. Fortunately, you don’t have to go very far or very deep for some great underwater images. This pictures are from Salt Pond, Francis Bay, Maho Bay, and Hawksnest, although I can’t remember which is which.
My old Mac keyboard was full of crud with sticking and unresponsive keys. I had some real writing to do, so I dug out an old circa 1990 Northgate Omni mechanical keyboard that was stored away.
Couldn’t get it working with the Mac, but the attempt reminded me why I kept this keyboard around for over 20 years. It’s a mechanical keyboard with excellent tactile feedback that makes touch typing so productive – there’s never any doubt when you’ve engaged a key. It’s a very satisfying typing experience that I’ve been missing for a long time. The mechanical switches do make a bit of noise however, but I find that pleasing as well.
After a little research an reviewing the reviews, I found a current generation mechanical keyboard that is built for the Mac! Das Keyboard (for Mac) takes its place in a line of keyboards for typists that includes the IBM Selectric typewriter, The IBM Model M keyboard that came with the original PC and the Northgate Omni that improved on the Model M.
If you’ve in the market for a new keyboard, never used a mechanical one, and if you’re more than a casual writer, do yourself a favor and give Das Keyboard a try. Stop by and try mine if you’re in the neighborhood. I’m a happy typing camper.
P.S. – It’s awfully shiny
It took awhile, but I finally have a porcelain replica black-and-white plate. For those not from Delaware, they’re a bit tricky to get with a reasonably low number unless you know somebody (thanks Terry!). Folks in Delaware are a bit obsessed about these things, with low numbers sometimes going for six figures.
Corn is going to be the death of us. About seven years ago, I was told to change my diet for health reasons. In particular, I was told to significantly reduce my intake of omega-6 fatty acids and increase the omega-3s. Where do these omega-6 fats come from in the American diet? Predominately from corn, which is massively subsidized, making it cheap to feed to all kinds of animals and incorporate into all kinds of food products, thereby passing it along to us.
The solution is to avoid foods from the agribusiness behemoths and opt for small farms producing grass-fed beef and pastured eggs. Which brings me again to the recently opened Whole Foods Market. Until the opening of their new store, it has been near impossible to find a pastured egg in northern Delaware (If you know of another source, let me know). Except for the occasional dozen from down-state friends or buying them while on vacation at the beach, I’ve pretty much avoided eggs. Whole Foods sells pastured eggs from Vital Farms in Texas, a producer that received a top-score five-egg rating from the Cornucopia Institute. Pastured eggs address the omega-6 problem while being a much healthier food choice overall. Bring on the Omelettes!