I flew back from San Antonio Friday morning, jumped in the car with GalwayGuy and drove the 4 hours to Madison for Canoecopia. We rendezvoused with several of the cast of characters in this blog including but not limited to No1 son, the FrugalFisherman, RangerMark, and RonO. As we dined on the traditional Friday night Wisconsin fish fry, a pre VaticanII ritual that we Cheeseheads still embrace, we were approached by a fellow who identified himself as Joshua from the GB Regulators and his wife. Its always great to meet the folks that you've only know as an online presence over the years and he wouldn't be the last. At the Dubside rolling session I sat down next to Derrick and a fellow who looked suspiciously like Silbs. Sure enough! I also met his fellow kayak and Irish whisky afficianado JB at the Door County Symposium booth (closed circuit to JB and Silbs: Bushmills 1608 is out, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Bushmills distilling license; need I say more?). Its amazing how personalities come through in ones writing; I felt like I'd known these folks for years. Here is a shot of DaveO, Derrick, Silbs, and RonO, none of which appear as though they have spent any money yet.
Which brings me to the title of the post. I really didn't need anything. I had shopping explained to me by a world class practitioner, who we shall call "Karen" a few years back after her hubby and I had purchased some sale athletic shoes. If I buy a $100 item on sale for $75, I've just made $25. I could then take that $25 and go out and have a couple beers and maybe dinner. Milton Friedman might quibble with the concept but its worked successfully for Karen for literally decades. I had been commissioned to purchase a Kokotat Tropos paddle jacket for the KingOfIronwoodIsland so I knew the card would have to be unlimbered. As I strolled by the NRS booth I noticed 'brain buckets' for 25% off. Had I had one along at the tip of the Keewenaw last fall I would have attempted some surfing in the swells....OK, I'm in. The Lake Superior room at our home has a watercolor of some petroglyphs and pictographs done by Geri Schrab. So I nabbed 3 8x10 reproductions, a ploy recognized instantly by GalwayGuy when he commented, "At least she won't think all we did was talk kayaks and drink beer". Seriously, we both really enjoy her work. Lastly I was seduced by the Icebreaker booth, the purveyors of fine New Zealand wool. I've been a wool fan for decades. Clothing made from plastic had never intrigued me much. The brands I've supported over the years have been Filson, Bemidji Woolen, Kromer, and SmartWool and they have served me well. Sure, I've had polyprop underlayers once they figured out how to avoid that stench they used to have in the old days, but I've still favored natural fabrics. Unfortunately I've tested the axiom that wool still insulates when wet many times over the years and the wool has come through flawlessly. Once again the lure of 25% off and the "Karen Doctrine" cause the card to come out. I didn't buy any dedicated kayak gear however, although GalwayGuy and I did talk about upgrading the Skerry to a P&H Capella 166.......hmmmm.