Trunk Bay Beach

Snorkeler’s Eye-View of Trunk Bay Beach

We hadn’t spoken with the boys, like in forever, when last night we got calls from both of them, after some prompting on our part. They are both doing fine. They had some news to relate, but all of the really good parts, they specifically forbade me from putting on the blog. I find that these things come out in time.

Dan is working hard as a union man. This means getting up at five to answer a 6 AM call. He’s building sets for several different TV shows. Usually as a fill-in for some else who is out sick or something. He doesn’t know from one day to the next where he will be working tomorrow, but other than that fact, the amount of work is pretty steady. He seemed really tired and opened our conversation with a yawn. Those early morning set calls are really not his cup of tea. He did offer me one out. If I could find other corroborating evidence, out on the web, then I could mention something that he said. He is so into protecting the intellectual property of his employers. Well, after clearing my Deep Throat, here we go. One of the shows that he has worked is called Faces.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, this yet to be released Apple TV series will star Julianne Moore and co-star Clive Owen. JJ Abrams is producing it and Stephen King is writing the show’s scripts. They are still looking for a director. King’s involvement certainly hints at the series’ supernatural overtones. The set that Dan was working on was huge. Faces is described as “a deeply personal thriller that follows Lisey (Moore) two years following the death of her husband. The story explores a series of events that causes her to begin facing amazing realities about her husband that she had repressed and forgotten.”

Our other phone conversation was with Dave. He has settled into his new job and it being a job-job, he now has more money. He was thinking about getting a new car, but instead now is looking for a new apartment and leaving his current bohemian digs, in the attic of an East Cambridge house. This hunt is not for the faint of heart. In Boston, landlords usually command three months rent, first month’s, last month’s and a security deposit. And on top of this the frequent need to hire a broker and you are talking about four months rent or about $10K. He does have some friends, who are planning on leaving Boston and if he can snag their apartment, then he shouldn’t need to pay for a broker. It is in West Cambridge, in a more upscale neighborhood. Stay tuned for more news later.

Honey Bees Sipping Water

Honey Bees Sipping Water from an Antebellum Sugar Mill’s Boiling Pot

It is hard to believe that after 150 years that the pictured sugar kettle would still have any sugarcane residue on it and the bees are not just drinking rain water, but I would like to believe that there is still something left from so long ago. These bees are sipping at the lip of one of four big copper boiling pots at the Reef Bay sugar mill, which ceased operations in 1908. The sugar mill began working before the Civil War as part of a slave plantation in 1855. This mill is unique on the islands, in that it was powered by a steam engine. Most mills were powered with animal or human labor. In 2017, the hurricanes blew the mill’s roof off, before that the abandoned mill used to house Fruit bats, but now they don’t roost there anymore.

Reef Bay Sugar Mill’s Sugar Pots

Sugarcane was refined in the mill, but only up to the point. To prevent loss to theft, the sugar was only refined into a brown paste. This paste was then shipped back to Denmark, where the refining process was completed. As part of the mill, there was also a rum distillery. Rum was primarily made for local consumption. On the islands, rum drinks were significantly cheaper than other alcohol forms, even though now, both sugar and rum are imported. 

Today seems far, far away from a week ago when these photos were taken. It snowed overnight and continues to snow this morning. That’s the trouble with tropical getaways, you eventually have to come back and I think that that is harder than never having gone at all. More’s the pity for that.

We Protect You From Yourselves

Democracia – We Protect You From Yourselves, Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt, 2013

We had a home security system installed yesterday. Our appointment had been scheduled between the hours of eight and twelve. What wasn’t made clear is that the appointment would run that entire window, from eight to twelve. It turned into quite the ordeal and was way more involved than I thought that it would be.

Now that I am retired, we travel a lot more than we ever used to and I think that to some extent, we have been living on borrowed time. Don’t get me wrong, Joanie does a bang-up job of looking after the house when we are away, but she can’t be here 24/7. What triggered this project, were the experiences of some nearby friends. Before our Virgin Islands trip, we attended a dinner party. We were alarmed to hear that they their house had been robbed, while they too were out-of-town. Their neighbor’s home surveillance system indicated that the robbers had taken almost an hour to ransack their home. Based upon their cautionary tale, I made the appointment with AT&T the very next day.

Michael the tech was courteous, clean, experienced and everything else you would want in a service representative. We settled on a configuration, which he installed and then he explained its operation. Its day-to-day operation is pretty simple, but all of the what-if situations left me glad that he was there to explain and then later re-explain the processes. He informed us that AT&T will soon be discontinuing its home installation service, in lieu of a dropship, DIY process. We had to “take classes” that is watch half-a-dozen instructional videos that again reexplained how the system worked. This was required by the police, who will be none too pleased at having to answer any false alarms.

Now our front walk is flanked by two signs. The old one welcomes all of our neighbors, in Spanish, English and Arabic. On the other side of the walkway is the new sign that announces presence of the alarm system and basically says go away. Together, they make for an interesting dichotomy, but a necessary one.

In other home news, after taking the weekend and a rainy Monday off, the water company’s plumbers are back at it today. “They’re back,” I plaintively cried when I saw one of their number trundling down the block on some sort of motorized wheelbarrow. To which Anne answered, “Don’t you want them to get done, done?” Which she later revised to, “Done, done, da-done.” Being out-of-town last week, we missed the worse of their onslaught, as they connected our lateral to the new main. Evidence of this work was found in the hammering of our water pipes, when we first ran the faucets after returning, a sure sign that the water had been shutoff. I think that this phase of the job is almost done. Soon, the next and final phase will begin, road repair and after that, they will finally be done, done, da-done and then be gone.