January 14, 2005

Searching for intellegent life in universe

On most Fridays, I have the luxury of working from home. It is a luxury because, otherwise, I would be spending two hours on the road just to get home. Instead, I can take a leisurely stroll on the beach in the morning before hitting the computer and the phone. I haven't done that recently until today, what with all the rain and cold weather here. Well, cold by Southern California standards. Today, the air was fresh, sun shining and waves extremely calm. It's times like this that makes me glad that I live here, as you can imagine.

Usually, on Friday mornings, the beach is enjoyed mostly by the elderly and stay-at-home women who take brisk walks with their equally stay-at-home friends. I remember, when I first started working at home on Fridays, how surprised I was at the large number of people who seemed not to work at all. If the surf was good today, I'd have seen quite a few more people who apparently don't go to work either. Go figure.

As I was walking toward the pier, I noticed a man who began to take his top off. I thought it odd since it was kinda chilly (I mean, it's January in the northern hemisphere, for heaven's sake) and saw him walk into the water. At first, I thought he was just putting his toes in the water to see how cold it was. The next second, he was floating in water like a fat seal. I stood there with my mouth open because I had noticed earlier the ominous sign posted every 20 feet or so along the beach.

Yeah, this sign. No Nadar. What was this guy thinking? A brave soul or an act of stupidity? I'll imagine that he's a kindhearted soul who was so taken with the beauty of the ocean that he had to experience it, become intimate with it. As I was coming back from the pier, I saw him again. This time, he was a little closer and less poetic.

Later, when I talked to M about this guy, M said that there are two reasons not to swim in the ocean in the winter here. First, water's cold. Second, it rains here in the winter which means that bad things get washed into the ocean. Or, at the least, check beach conditions here or here before touching the water. Words from a fisherman. I'd listen to him.

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