Editor's note: Our apologies to town columnist Patty Keyes and the people of Swanville. Patty emailed us the following column a month ago, about the time Courier Publications, our publisher, switched to a new version of Outlook for email, and Patty's column went astray. Following is what she sent us Aug. 8.


Notes from Independence Day Boat Parade

Submitted by Sharon Michaud:

Swan Lake was once again the scene for its annual boat parade. We were blessed with a glorious day to celebrate our country’s birthday.

Families had gathered for barbecues all along the lake, but took the time to join in the celebration by cheering, clapping, and waving flags as the boats passed by. One enthusiast, along with waving flags, wore an inflatable pink bikini, which brought much delight to those in the boat parade. Also joining in the festivities were the large crowds gathered on the beach of Swan Lake State Park.

There were a number of boats in the parade this year, decorated with fun themes, and the American flag was displayed proudly. The participants were of all ages. It was good to see so many young people participating in the celebration. One boat had a big white inflatable swan, another a jumbo inflatable golden swan, and the first prize boat, with David Michaud and crew, was decorated in recognition of our service men and women with a banner reading, “Thank you for your Service.” Michaud’s family members were dressed in uniforms of each branch of the service, and the service flags were also flown.

The enthusiasm of the spectators this year will hopefully encourage other boat owners to join in this annual fun event of celebrating our country’s birth.

A special thank you to those business who donated gift certificates for prizes. Swan Lake Grocery, Darby’s Restaurant and Viking Lumber.

Congratulations – It's a BOY!

Tristan Peterson and Allyson Ridge welcomed into the world their firstborn beautiful baby, Baxter, this past December!

Dylan Mitchell and Sandra Dock also welcome their firstborn!

Cody and Celeste (Pelletier) Keyes, this month, are the proud new parents of their firstborn son, Levi Keyes, born at home, almost 9 lbs., and more than 20". Both mother and child are happy and healthy. Congratulations!

Swan Lake Association

I owe SLA a huge apology for not getting the monthly schedule of events into this column.

Meetings are Monday nights.

Aug. 12th, 5:30 p.m. at Swan Lake State Park

Cookout with hamburgers, hot dogs, condiments and drinks! Bring a salad or dessert to share.

Speaker Bijorn Streubel, Swanville code enforcement officer, on building and land issues for properties surrounding the lake.

Sept. 9, 6 p.m. at Nickerson School, Pizza Party.

Brain Defragger – Can we get that made with 3-D printing?

Someone needs to create a defragger for my brain. Does anyone else feel this way? If the world, and by the world I mean the 400 contacts in my Facebook, 30 in my contact list on my phone, about 700 customers at my business, all awesome people, including that TV star who must think I'm a total fan girl idiot, as well as all those tantalizing and inflammatory headlines promising what turns out to be less than savory news, expects us to respond immediately and at the drop of a hat, then the Word For Today ought to be "apopolectic," as in Total Brain Fry. Don't get me started on the robofraud calls.

Do you get about 1:23 minutes into a YouTube video, then the phone rings, and it's a robocall, so you go back to the vid, and in 0:18 seconds the ding-dong of a new email shocks you out of the suspended disbelief you were trying to gin up for the vid? As you check the possibly life-changing email, you realize you left your coffee/chai cooling by the Keurig 20 minutes ago, so you run back and grab it, take half a sip, and the email asks that you research something on the interwebs for a new project.

You start a search, but the phone rings again, and 15 minutes later, that video on YouTube is still waiting. But your coffee cup is empty. Gotta have something to sip while you enjoy that video 30 people recommended. So, 10 minutes later, back to the vid, but the search tab starts blinking. The page you needed isn't downloading and an error message is stuttering like a tired broken neon sign outside an aging '60s-style bar and lounge. You thought you'd get that little snippet of information that would jump-start your project, add the hot red lipstick to your project that would set off the rest of your outfit, but instead, you're treated to a dirty ashtray, and some stale bar nuts.

I think we were made to live in this world. As much as I enjoy "world crafting" and exploring the ever-enlarging environments available in leisure gaming, the time it takes to make a virtual world to play in is really a cheat. Have you tried to explore one of these massive gaming environments? It takes as long as it would if you were exploring the entire state of Alaska on a mule (and by mule, I refer to computers). Will you be missing a game character on your death bed? Will they visit you in a hospital, or when you suffer a devastating breakup? They certainly can't help you fix your car or do a real ropes course with you.

We already live in a holographic construct. Why create a new one that is less detailed and artful than the one you live in now? Is it risk avoidance? You can't get better graphics than here and now. And the attention to detail of all the physical objects we see, and the amazing personalities of all the people we meet? Nobody has the time to research and write the totally unanticipated dialog that you can get with a totally random stranger in the real world!

One of my kids just erased her Facebook for good. Sounds like a good idea. But can I hit that final button, too? How to limit it if I must continue to use it?