Bunny and I left at O'dark 30 for our yearly trip to Brevard and we made excellent time. The plan, as was usual, was I drive until the sun comes up, letting Bunny get a bit more sleep, then we switch places where she drives and I sleep.
11½ hours later we arrived at The Red House Inn, our favorite place to stay. We were fortunate in there being a break in the rain to let us unload the car, and it was then when I had the horrible realization that my iPad (which I use as a laptop while on vacations) was 750 miles away, sitting were I left it at Chez Boca.
Obviously I have work arounds, but it's still annoying.
Anyway, we're just relaxing after a long drive and will shortly have dinner at The Square Root.
Bunny and I are taking it easy on the first day of vaction. The weather is nice—sun is out, temperature is mid-70s, and there's the sound of the neighbor mowing his rather sizable lawn.
So I'm sitting on the private porch at The Red House Inn when I attempt to check my email. I can't.
mutt to read my email.
It runs directly on my email server,
but to log into my email server,
I have to first log into my home system due to filtering of
ssh attempts by the hosting company
(which doesn't really bother me all that much).
But I too,
have some filtering going on at home.
I programmed my own syslog daemon to
ssh attempts after five times,
regardless of time between attempts,
as it turns out,
regardless of sucessful attempts!
Because I left my iPad at home, I'm having to type my password. And due to the keyboard I'm using (it's not a Model M keyboard and therefore by default, this keyboard sucks) I incurred a few failed log in attempts.
Well, that sucks! I thought. Wait! I know! I can log into work over The Corporation's VPN to my workstation there, and from there I can log into home and fix the situation. The problem became logging into the VPN.
And now I have two problems.
I called a fellow cow-orker, D, but he did not have the information I needed to configure the VPN, but as I was working on it, the idea came that all I really needed was a different Wi-Fi network to log in from.
And then I noticed my iPhone next to me.
It has a “personal hotspot” feature.
“Oh!” I said.
A few minutes later, and I had no problems.
What? You don't belive me?
Bunny and I drove to Hendersonville to view a street-based art show (Main St. was blocked off to vehicular traffic and artists set up booths along the street). Amid the artist booths were a slew of bears.
The food was quite good and given the location,
the price was very reasonable.
The “stone” refers to Biltmore, the largest private home in the United States.
The “glass” is the works of Dale Chihuly, reknowned glass blower. Bunny and I have had a years-long discussion about Chihuly and his “works.” He doesn't do the actual work, he just signs his name to the works, as well as the paychecks to the artisans who do the actual work of blowing glass. In that regard, he's like Thomas Edison, taking credit for the work of his employees. Edison didn't personally try over 5,000 different materials for light bulb filaments; no, it was an army of unknown engineers who tried over 5,000 different materials for light bulb filaments. And it's the same for Chihuly—his name goes on the works.
Bunny's argument is that Chihuly does the design work, which is the important part. Now, whether he does the work himself, or has an automated computerized glass-blowing machine or an army of artists blowing their lungs out, it's the vision of Chihuly that's important, not how the actual work is carried out. And to a degree I can buy that argument—that the art is more than just the method used to create it.
But regardless of who does the work, we came to Biltmore for the Chihuly At Night exhibit (thus the “light” and “dark” reference to the title). And man, it is impressive.
A small portion of the display was in the main house:
But the majority of the works were outside.
It's unfortunate that these pictures do not do the works justice—the colors are way deeper and more vibrant than what you see here.
Bunny and I were walking along Main Street in Brevard when we came across one of its famous white squirrels:
Near the outskirts of Brevard, is a small store selling unique guitars.
At this time I cannot divulge the location of said store, as there are three Men in Black sitting across the street from me, watching …cows are still there.
We did, however, come across this impressive matal rooster in a stall that might have been open?
It was hard to say since the place appeared devoid of people.
On the way to Cashiers, NC for an art festival, as we passed the The Falls Café and Grill in Lake Toxaway we decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, we needed to turn around as it came up rather suddenly as we were coming around a curve on the two-lane road. I found the first available road to turn onto, hoping to find a spot to turn around. The road I turned on was a twisty, high-grade one-lane road where I had to drive nearly a mile before I found a driveway to turn myself around. On reflection, I'm surprised I never encountered another car going the other direction, as backing up was not an option.
The Falls Café and Grill was good, but the view was fantastic:
The art festival in Cashiers was good—worth the drive, but nothing extreme lept out at me while there.
So I received this wonderful piece of spam today:
- Richard Kalou <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- I am Richard Kalou by Name,I have an important issue to shear with you So get back to me urgently through my email ( email@example.com )
- Sat, 6 Oct 2018 17:28:34 +0000
And tht's it. No explanation. Just the subject line stating that Richard has an important issue involving sheep. Or alpacas, I think you shear those, right?
So Richard has an important issue with alpacas—llamas! You can also shear llamas! So it's an issue involving sheep, alpacas or harmonic llamas that I need to urgently write back to Richard.
The only thing is—I don't know how to shear!.
Sorry, Richard, I can't help you.
In downtown Brevard there's a store called Mantiques:
And in the store they had something I'd thought I'd never see—a TARDIS!
Sure, it may look like a call box, but I know better.
For the past few months, each time Bunny and I have gone to a Buffalo Wing joint, I had decided to try the hottest sauce available just to see how hot they were. Despite having names like “Ghost Habanero Death Flame” or “Last Rights Hot Sauce” about the best I could say was “it has a slight kick.”
But today Bunny and I tried Zaxby's, a chain Buffalo Wing joint that hasn't quite made it down to Chez Boca. As is my wont, I decided to try their hottest sauce, “Insanity.” Our order taker actually said “Good choice!” when I picked it.
I don't think I've ever had my eyes water like that. It wasn't so hot (for me) as to be impossible to eat, but it had a strong hum of heat that came close to being impossible to eat.
What a nice surprise for a change.
We were planning on leaving tomorrow, but tomorrow, Hurriane Michael will be Tropical Storm Michael and will be moving over the very area we would be driving through.
Bunny and I do not want to drive through a Tropical Storm.
So we've extended our stay here in Brevard by one day. On the down side, we can't extend our stay at the The Red House Inn as our room is already booked for the next guest, which saddens me because I am so going to miss siting on this porch.
It doesn't quite seem as elegant as the classical TARDIS console.
AI-generated language shows more of Nakawaza's machine aesthetic. US internet artist Darius Kozemi launched the annual NaNoGenMo contest in 2013 – instead of writing a novel during November (NaNoWriMo) entries of 50,000 words have to be generated by a program. "What I want to see is code that produces alien novels that astound us with their sheer alien-ness," he has said. "Computers writing novels for computers, in a sense."
Past entries include The Psychotherapy of Racter or The Descent into Madness of Dr Eliza, in which two chatbots asked each other questions. Dial "S" for Sudoku's 50,000 words told of "Alice" solving eight Sudoku puzzles at length plus excerpts from her dream diary.
My “novel” of 2015's NaNoGenMo The Psychotherapy of Racter or The Descent into Madness of Dr Eliza was mentioned in The Financial Review. I'm thinking only because of the name, because I certainly didn't finish it.
And this reminds me, I have to think up an idea for this years NaNoGenMo …
Friday was an absolutely beautiful day to drive—clear blue skies as far as the eye could see. Bunny and I checked out of the hotel at 11:00 AM and started the drive to WNC Farmers Market to pick up some fresh produce before driving home. The WNC Farmers Market is right off I-26 so it wasn't like we were going that far out of our way.
Only the traffic to the WNC Farmers Market was slow. Man, it took us much longer to get there than expected, and then we had to muck about with finding an ATM because some of the farmers at the WNC Farmers Market don't accept plastic. So there was some time lost there. Soon after that, we started the drive home.
The first 19 miles took us well over an hour to drive. For some reason we never were keen to, half of I-26 Eastbound was blocked off between Asheville and Hendersonville. It was a portent of things to come.
Our fantastic time of 11½ hours to Brevard was countered by our worst time of 13½ hours from Brevard. Traffic along I-26 was horrendous as much as the weather was wonderful. But we made it back and now we recuperate from our vacation.
The photos I present of Brevard are the ones I tend to find whimsical or surreal, and when not repeating myself, I hope I have done a good job. It's not everyday that one comes across a bear wearing a hat:
I decided against posting that one because, let's be frank, when you come across a bear wearing a wig and a dress, a hat-wearing bear just doesn't cut it anymore, you know?
But during this trip, I took a photo that was so out there, that I hesitated to post it. Mind you, I don't go that much out of my way when I take these pictures—I see these weird and (usually) wonderful things as I'm out and about and take a picture.
It's with this in mind that I found myself in a grocery store in Brevard. I'm not going to name names but be aware that there are at least three different grocery store companies operating in Brevard. So I'm in this grocery store when I come across … well … this:
If you click on the picture, you'll see what this grocery store thinks passes for “General Interest” magazine reading in this part of the country. Had this section been labeled “Hunting” I would have just walked on by without a second thought.
But “General Interest?”
This may be the most surreal picture I took on any trip to Brevard, cross-dressing bear included (even if it's a female bear, I would still consider it “cross-dressing” as it's wearing clothing not native to its species). In fact, I find the cross-dressing bear less disturbing because at least it was an intentional Hallowe'en display. The “General Interest” reading rack? If that's intentional, I'm not sure what it says about the grocery store or the area. And if it's unintentional … I … I'm still not sure what that says about the grocery store or the area.