Second, there's another article about Friendster in the mainstream media today. Today's article can be found in the Seattle Times.
On to the kayaking ...
It was an incredibly pleasant evening. It was in the mid-seventies when I got off work, which left me pretty warm and looking forward to a soaking (especially after putting on the wetsuit) in the bath-tub like water of Lake Union. Once we "put out," the water was like chocolate velvet, and the kayaks scudded across it like leaves blowing down the pavement. Even the semi-industrial shores of the lake seemed kind of romantic and exciting, with bigger boats sailing by and seaplanes landing and taking off. We were only inches from the water, though, which made the horizon a giant plane of shimmering blue and black.
The whole "practice rescue" part wasn't a thrill, actually, since a) I dislike being trapped underneath a boat, pointing head downward, b) I had a really hard time telling which was was up (I let the lifejacket figure it out instead) , and c) I kept getting water up my nose (see A). But it wasn't bad to just be in the water, pushing my boat around or waiting for Worthy Opponent to finish pushing his boat around, and we had a fun water fight with our bilge pumps. And I knew it was great to practice getting dumped, since if I panicked it would no doubt be very hard to remember how to unzip myself from the kayak.
I still feel very enthused and I'm starting to make plans to get my own kayak, which will also require finding a way to transport it. Realistically, I don't think I'd kayak much in the winter, so from now until the "end of the season" I'm guessing I'd get maybe two or three trips in, which wouldn't make a purchase right now worth my time. But next spring I could get the kayak (or during the winter when people are desperate to offload them), and maybe look into a summer purchase of the VW Eurovan camper edition, which would get a lot more use when the weather is good and I'd be able to go on roadtrips. Yosemite, here I come!