Back in South Carolina’s sLowcountry

I’m back in Beaufort, South Carolina, after my new year’s sojourn in DC and Vermont. Lots of fun. Got a chance to catch up with a bunch of friends I hadn’t seen in a while.

And, besides doing some snowboarding at Stowe Mountain, where we rented a condo, I toured (and stuffed myself on samples from) the Vermont Cabot cheese factory store AND the Ben and Jerry’s headquarters. Does life, I ask, really get any better than good company, snowsports, holiday libations, cheese, and ice cream? I surely cannot imagine it does. (Unless you throw in a TiVo.)

The one bad thing about the trip: on Sunday night, not less than 30 minutes after arriving in DC and parking my car streetside at Jack W.‘s apartment on Capitol Hill, someone smashed the back passenger-side window and attempted to steal the stereo. Luckily, some thoughtful citizen called the cops, who swooped in and arrested the thief. The police then towed my car to their station for safekeeping. I got it back that night and thanked the officers involved, but my stereo remains a guest of a nameless DC Metropolitan Police Department property room.

I tried for several hours to get it back, but was sent on a wild goose chase (calling around and trying to track it down) of absurd proportions. At one point, a DC desk cop actually directed the following phrase at me: “Oh, in order to get that radio back you have to put your name on the list with the US attorney general’s office.” Then they told me I needed to talk to the arresting officer, who would be reporting for duty in two hours. So I killed some time and waited around. When I came back at the approprite time, I was informed that, oh, yeah, sorry, he’s not working today.

And I thought Ecuadorian bureaucracies were inefficient.

At any rate, I’ll track down the thing when I return to Washington next week–I’m heading up there to begin some Web consulting work which will last though February. Beginning in March, as I mentioned earlier, I’ll start teaching in East Asia. I’ll write more about that soon.