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Field trip!

Played hooky today. I was supposed to go to a meeting this afternoon, but I made excuses and we sat on the beach and drank beer. Well, I drank beer — Uncle B doesn’t touch the stuff. He took pictures.

We watched this pair come in to shore. That’s a barge laden with boulders being pulled (and, at times, pushed) by a tug. The tide was coming in and they brought the barge *right* up to the beach. Then a great big front-end loader on the deck of the ship took the boulders one by one and splooshed them into the sea, where another front-end loader on the shingle picked them up and arranged them in a sort of wall.

Boulders from France, I guess. They’re building a sea defense. They’re perpetually building a sea defenses here. This part of the shore is constantly moving and eroding and they go to sometimes weirdly heroic lengths to preserve the coastline as it is.

In other places, they are weirdly indifferent about seas and flooding that encroach quite near to houses.

I get the impression from things overheard that there are two warring camps here: sane and competent engineers versus hippies. The environment attracts both kinds. And the hippies, having come up through the academy, are often in the decision-making managerial positions. Which is usually to let nature take back land our ancestors sweated blood to reclaim from the sea.

It’s kind of like the banjo forums: divided between conservative worshippers of the Church of Earl and lefty nutbags from the Church of Pete.


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: September 3, 2014, 9:18 pm

The really inspiring thing was the precision and skill of the tug’s crew. They kept moving round the barge, nudging it this way, pushing it that, working against a strong wind and a running tide. That was real professionalism at work – a tremendously difficult job done without fuss and to perfection.

It’s enjoyable to see a demanding task done well – just as much the finely judged manouevring of a barge laden with rocks as the perfect swing of a tennis racket.

The pics are better in colour and full size. All I had with me was that little pocket Canon SX, which impresses me every time I use it.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: September 3, 2014, 10:11 pm

I wonder what the French word for rip-rap is? It is time to refer once again to the mighty, all knowing Rudyasaurus! http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/dykes.html

Comment from Oceania
Time: September 3, 2014, 10:11 pm

No shortage of hippies where you are Sweasel ..

Comment from Deborah
Time: September 3, 2014, 10:24 pm

Revet, Badger Scott. As in revetments.
If your beach is washing away, and my beach is washing away (Texas gulf coast), where’s all the sand going? Living in San Leon on Galveston Bay certainly raised my awareness. We had a huge rubble riprap, built to withstand was the tide and the wakes from ships passing by in the ship channel. I used to waste an enormous amount of my day, timing how long it took for the ship wakes to hit my dock, and then counting the wakelets as they rippled in.

(Alas, that house and dock were done in by Hurricane Ike. The house foundation sat at 11 feet, and Ike’s hurricane high tide swept in at 17 feet above sea level.)

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: September 3, 2014, 10:34 pm

Thank you, Deborah!

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: September 4, 2014, 12:10 am

Stoaty: I heard peals of laughter coming from Mrs. Tiger’s corner of the house, so I sauntered on over. She was reading an article at a quilting magazine blog where they’re doing a caption contest for an old photograph. Knowing your affinity for old photographs, I had to share: Caption Contest Winners

Caption that got Mrs. Tiger giggling: “Should not have beheaded my seamstress!”

Comment from Deborah
Time: September 4, 2014, 2:42 am

My apologies SCOTTtheBADGER. I dredged up revet from the back of my brain somewhere, but this evening I looked it up. Riprap translated to French is enrochement. A revetment is a more finished work, not a coarse giant rubble stack like a riprap.

Comment from Frit
Time: September 4, 2014, 5:28 am

Argentium G. Tiger: I agree with Mrs. Tiger, that’s the best caption for that pic!

(Side note: How’s everything going with you & the Tiger family? Been a while since I’ve seen you post anything. Hope all is well!) 🙂

Comment from Oceania
Time: September 4, 2014, 11:16 am

Hmmmm talking about Hippy American planes …


Getting cranked up for NATO to get wiped out in Europe? 🙂

Comment from Dan Patterson
Time: September 4, 2014, 1:13 pm

The mention, even as an aside, of the odious son of Mrs. Seeger ruined my breakfast. Just for that, here is a better representation musically and personally of the obverse Earl:


Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: September 4, 2014, 3:58 pm

Amen, Uncle Badger, amen!

Since SCOTTtheBADGER has already kipled–let me add this:

Comment from technochitlin
Time: September 4, 2014, 7:06 pm

And, apropos of nothing at all, Joan Rivers has joined the Choir Invisible…

Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: September 4, 2014, 7:21 pm

Confirmed, of course, by announcement from her daughter that Joan Rivers, aged 81, has Gone On To Glory…or something…

So – time for a new Dead Pool tomorrow?

Comment from harbqll
Time: September 4, 2014, 8:42 pm

Joan’s knockin’ ’em dead in the Hall of Warriors now.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: September 4, 2014, 10:01 pm

Thank you, Can’t Hark – he hits it every time.

Comment from mojo
Time: September 5, 2014, 3:35 am

enrochement = placing roches (rocks)

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: September 5, 2014, 6:25 am

Can’t Hark: OOOH! The Sons of Martha! Well Played, Sir!

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: September 5, 2014, 11:55 am

Sorry, Can’t Hark – that anonymous thank you was me (in disguise, don’tcha know)

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: September 5, 2014, 3:47 pm

Good to know, Uncle B–although an anonymous “thank you” from the universe felt kinda cool.

SCOTTtheBADGER–well, I should really have thanked you first, for making me actually read “The Dykes.” When thumbing through the Definitive Edition it’s easy to focus on the ones I already know well and love, but I do try to read others … but there are only so many hours in the day.

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