Mooring paranoia

A mooring is a semi-permanent anchor for securing a boat in a harbor. It looks like an iron mushroom, has a long length of chain, and a rope pennant to a float. It is also the one thing that makes me more paranoid than bird flu, an IRS audit, or turning into a collector of Hummel figurines.

Paranoid? I’m not paranoid about my mooring dragging during a storm, I’m paranoid about forgetting to renew my permit some year and finding myself completely hosed. The waiting list for a mooring is something like two hundred names long and turns over at slower-than-a-glacial pace. My cousin Pete was on the list for something like ten years and only just last year got a slot. I’ve got family members who didn’t get their moorings when the town went to a permit system and they are still angry and screwed, especially over out-of-towners having permits when they don’t. I predict acts of maritime violence some day.

Miss the March 30th deadline and you lose your mooring.

That thought keeps me awake for most of February and early March until I do the same annualĀ  ritual. I find the renewal forms, I find the documentation for the boats (I have three moorings), I find the excise tax bills, I find my checkbook, I buy three stamped legal envelopes and self-address them. I drive to town hall and pay my excise tax — in person — and take the receipt on to the Division of Natural Resources where the mooring officer checks off all the required documents, takes my $70 check, and tells me the magic words: “You’re all set. The tags will come in the mail.”

To celebrate I write another $20 check for a new clam license. Instead of 007, my license to kill clams this year is number 0403. I need to check Capetides.com to figure out when the low tides are and sally forth to the super-secret-early-season clam beds that get closed on May 1 and make hay while the tide falls. Spring is upon me and I am positively giddy. Now to just get my taxes out of the way … pay three tuitions … at least the moorings are renewed.

I need to go clamming.

A sucker for a sidebar widget

Chris Murray and Mark Cahill can attest to my propensity for shooting my blog in the foot everytime I decide to “enhance” it with a sidebar widget and end up nuking the cascading style sheets.

From Flickr Galleries to del.icio.us posts, I love to junk myself up with new stuff. Some of them are utterly useless (Plazes comes to mind)
At Las Vegas earlier this week, Lee LeFever from CommonCraft told me over lunch that Twitter was all the rage at SxSW, and that I should give it a try. I didn’t quite get it, but have noticed it showing up in the sidebar of other blogs … so, sheep that I am, I have done it with mine. Sort of like Blog Instant Messaging — apparently (and I haven’t tried it) you can update people on what your current activity/state-of-mind is via text messaging on a phone, or indeed even instant messaging.