Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Lakehouse Summer

Postcards from a perfect summer's respite...

The scent of Coppertone in the air, the burning feeling of the season's first rays on your skin, the sound of little ones splashing in crashing surf...

The line outside a summertown restaurant at dinnertime, men in bright polos and bad pleated shorts, women in flowy sundresses and rambunctious kiddies, eager to feast without slowing down even one step...

Bacon frying, a cool morning breeze, a simple quiet moment lost in a book, or stacking rocks,or sorting seashells...

The taste of just-picked fruit, the crowd at the farmers' market, a sea of sandals and Crocs as far as the eye can see...

Summertown shops filled with goods you usually don't buy any other time of year. Jams and jellies, dips and salsas, the perfect antique furniture or knick-knack. Funky kitchen gadgets. Cashiers with freshly scrubbed faces, ponytails, and short-shorts. Shopkeepers that seem like lifelong friends. T-shirt shops that smell of patchouli oil. Getting lost in a bookstore that smells like old books. Survival gear and rock candy and magazines of all sorts.

Never looking at your watch once, not all day. Regaining the ability to tell time by the position of the sun.

A perfect evening on the beach before the sun drops below the horizon. Splashing and swimming and the brief moments of not having a care in the world.

The slow pace of a summertown coffee shop. Flyers taped in the window advertising local art fairs, teen gettogethers, concerts by struggling musicians. Dogs, everywhere dogs.

Perfectly manicured lawns with white picket fences. Porch swings. Open doors, window screens, ceiling fans. Chaise lounges and beach blankets. Big woven beach bags. Melted candy. Licorice and Iced Tea.

The smell of charcoal, a crisp, perfectly chilled glass of French white Burgundy, tons of music that will change your life

Spending a few moments listening to stories from people, neighbors you'd never otherwise cross paths with, nor pay much attention to.

Laughter. Lots of laughter.

Appreciating the little things. A cool shower. A perfect flower. A firm blueberry. A stolen kiss. A heartfelt hug. A blanket of stars you usually cannot see where you live because of the light pollution.

The quiet of nighttime solitude on the beach. A flickering fire, then dying embers as the sun begins to rise, and morning birds stir.

The pit in your stomach when you realize it's over. And the warmth you get when you realize that next year isn't all that far away, really...


Like a lot of people, I was pretty psyched about the iPod HiFi. I love my iPod, and reviews on the device were pretty much great across the board. Great, room-filling sound, good bass response, incredibly simple interface, and of course, the ever-important audio input. Seemed perfect for a week at a beach house. No muss, no fuss, just great sound. And as we all know, music is the soundtrack to our lives.

The unit runs on AC (a cord is provided), or 6 D-cell batteries. Well, sort of. It only runs for about 110 minutes at a decent volume on the batteries. Then, there is no distortion (that's the good news), but the volume drops to a very low level (ugh).

I suppose I should've read between the lines when the dang thing came out:
"Apple is re-inventing the home stereo with the new iPod Hi-Fi, the first iPod accessory that adds true high-fidelity sound quality to the iPod," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "iPod Hi-Fi's unrivaled acoustic performance and stunning design is at home in any room in the house."
Operative word there: HOUSE. Not really meant to be portable. Bummer.
Why is it that Apple can design something so aesthetically perfect, that sounds SO good, but
not figure out the battery aspect? Couldn't they just have thrown in a rechargable lithium-ion battery? What the heck?

I guess Steven Wright wasn't too far off back in the eighties when he said:
You can't have everything. Where would you put it?