Chilling in Rockport, some book thoughts

Tuck's Candy is just one of the many pleasures here in Rockport.  Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Tuck's Candy is just one of the many pleasures here in Rockport. Photo courtesy of Flickr.

So … we are here in Rockport after an uneventful flight.

Dear friend, master teacher and Black History Month quiz winner Dave Russell drove us on a very pleasant ride up, conversation, meal and grocery shopping expedition before we arrived at Dad and Diane’s idyllic home near the sea.

Aidan and I got in initial rounds of throwing the lacrosse ball around-he had a stick while I used my baseball glove-and frisbee playing in the surprisingly warm ocean water before I went for a quick run along the coast.

The evening highlights included Aidan’s taking down a THREE-POUND lobster at local fish eatery Roy Moore’s, our first pilgrimage to Tuck’s Candy and a hotly contested game of Rummy 500 that was interspersed with some Facebooking and texting by Dunreith and Aidan, respectively.

I have not yet seen the t-shirt proclaiming the “Rockport triathlon-lobsta, chowda, beeya,” but will keep looking.

In other words, we’re in heaven.

I am looking forward to a relaxing week of recharging, reflecting, reading and running (Please forgive the excessive alliteration.).

I’ve got a couple of book thoughts for the day.

Rockport is right next door to Gloucester, which was the setting for Sebastian Junger’s breakout book The Perfect Storm.  In addition to coining a phrase that has since become at least as much a part of popular expression as Stephen Covey’s “proactive,” Junger spins a compelling yarn chock full of detail about fishing details, deadly storms and the men who brave them.  It’s an ideal summer read.

I read this morning that a lecture by Lynndie England about her biographyby Gary Winkler had been cancelled due to security concerns.

England was the face of the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal that caused outrage throughout the world.

I’ve written earlier about Philip Zimbardo’s The Lucifer Effect

People interested in learning more might want to check out either Seymour Hersh’s collection of groundbreaking reports, Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu GhraibNew Yorker readers will be familiar with the chilling tale of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and their lawyer cronies moving almost inexorably from the September 11 terrorist attacks to attacking Iraq and then setting up the prison where so many abuses happened. 

In addition, Paris Review editor Philip Gourevitch and Academy Award-winning documentarian Errol Morris collaborated on Standard Operating Procedure.  It’s an unusual work in that much of the material comes from interviews that Morris conducted for his film by the same name.  Gourevitch’s work here is not quite up to the standard of his remarkable first book about the Rwandan genocide, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families, but Standard Operating Procedure is still worth a read.

That’s it for today.  I will be back tomorrow and promise to include some lighter fare! 

Then again, I’m planning to write about people’s “Hitlerization” of Obama during the health care reform debate, so hold that promise!


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