Rachael and I have been soaking up as much beach as possible. Here she is displaying her captives after beating me in beach-chess (which is much like normal chess, except that it later fills your apartment with sand):
A little later on, my favorite cloud came by to get in a picture with us:
After that, we discovered a truly fantastic sandcastle that someone left out on the beach for us, the photo of which I can't seem to upload without it getting messed up:
Later still, we savored the true flavor of Chicago at Mustard's Last Stand:
But the lake isn't all fun and games, it can be formidable and furious:
Kevin told us to look wistful and that's what we managed. Kevin and Rachael and I were going to go sailing on that day (which was yesterday), and I was really excited about the wind forecast. I had seen earlier in the week that it was supposed to be 15-20mph out of the north, and it ended up being more like 25-30. I didn't realize that north and west winds make for really rough seas; the waves were 6-10 feet and coming in fast. As we were walking towards the beach I saw the whitecaps and had a pause, but I was still intent on going out. I talked to the guy at the sailing beach-house, and he advised strongly against it, there being a marine warning in effect (which means that only the coast guard will come rescue you). We saw this other 'cat on the beach; I figured we'd watch and see how they did, and if it looked fun I'd convince Rachael and Kevin to give it a shot.
The sailors were, according to a bystander, fairly experienced. They lasted about five minutes, capsized, turtled, ended up with the boat on the rocks and themselves out to sea getting rescued by the coast guard.
I couldn't initially figure out what the black metal pole hanging from the top of the sail was; I realized only much later that it was the broken top five feet of the mast. At any rate, I let myself be persuaded to forgo sailing that day. In retrospect, looking at the first picture, their travails may have been much less terrible had they had had a mast-float; it seems very silly to sail without one.
Kevin and I went out aboard the Pianissimo the day before, on much gentler seas.
It went very softly indeed, as only a fifteen ton fifty foot yacht can. I don't know what's with my expression in this picture. Looking stern, I suppose.
[added: no, the camera is looking stern.]
Speaking of rough weather, we had a big wind storm a while back, and this car on my street discovered the virtue of parking in a garage:
I saw this on my way to work with the tree on top of it and the owner looking at it agape. Its a lovely neighborhood we've got here, full of mature tree-lined streets and on-street parking.
Here's two more pretty things: Rachael with a Willow crown and some pressed orchids I put in a transparent frame for her:
Sadly this masterpiece didn't last; the color of the flowers faded and it got wet in a rainstorm, making it get all splotchy. I had written "I Love You" in oil on the rice paper in the bottom left corner; the thought was that I wanted to include a message but didn't want to overly distract from the flowers. I used too much oil and it became pretty illegible, but it ended up looking sortof like asian writing if you turn it sideways, which goes with the aesthetic.