Insults In The Dark – 2015 – Charleston Lake

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Continuing with the annual tradition of “Insults In the Dark” (a week long buddy cottage getaway that started as a weekend camping thing), we had decided to rent a cottage about 45 minutes North West of Brockville. Half the adventure is seeing what kind of place we are going to get because cottage rentals are a bit like resumes. On paper, they look perfect but the reality doesn’t always match up to the sales pitch.

The one thing I have to say about this cottage was that it had the best view out of any cottage we’ve been to. You are about a hundred feet up over the water and have a south facing view of the lake which was pretty freakin’ spectacular.

The participants / rogue’s gallery for the 2015 IITD consisted of Jonathan, Joe, Kevin and myself. Chris graced us with his presence for a brief two day visit at the end of the week which was fun to have as it changes up the dynamic (well aside from him wanting the A/C turned off).

Located on Charleston Lake, this cottage had lots of promise as it had pretty much everything we typically look for in a cottage. That list used to be simple but as we grow older, it seems that the list changes / expands. No longer are we happy with just a bed, kitchen and a fan. Things like A/C, BBQ, access to water and internet access play an important role now. The days of all day board game playing are gone and we no longer go biking every day (mainly due to the fact that most of the cottages we have picked have poor access to biking trails).

Our time was quite enjoyable and everything was to our liking. Well almost everything. The hot tub had a constant layer of scum on it (despite someone dropping by to try and clean it up) so we didn’t bother jumping into that. And that access to water? That was true but the beautiful view came with a price in the form of stairs that had 107 steps. It wasn’t so bad going down but coming up was a good reminder that your lungs have limitations. You would make sure that you had everything with you when you went down to the water because return trips to grab that little something were not fun.

Worthy Quotes

Trouble knocked at the door, but, hearing laughter, hurried away
Benjamin Franklin
There are lies, damned lies and statistics.
Mark Twain
I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.
Mark Twain
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
Benjamin Franklin
Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.
Erica Jong
You can do anything, but not everything.
David Allen
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill
It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
Harry Truman
We’ve heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.
Robert Wilensky
Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very'; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.
Mark Twain
If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.
Mark Twain
History is written by the victors.
Winston Churchill
The measure of a life is not what that life accomplishes,but rather the impact that life has on others.
Jackie Robinson
Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.
Benjamin Franklin
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.
Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.
Mark Twain
Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.
Albert Einstein
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
Never ruin an apology with an excuse.
Benjamin Franklin
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.
Robert Frost
When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.
Benjamin Franklin
Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.
Franklin P. Jones
The manager administers, The leader innovates. The manager maintains, the leader develops. The manager relies on systems, the leader relies on people. The manager counts on controls, the leader counts on trust. The manager does things right, the leader does the right thing.
Forbes Magazine
Well begun is half done.
Don’t ever wrestle with a pig. You’ll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.
Cale Yarborough
Whatever is begun in anger, ends in shame.
Benjamin Franklin
The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.
Groucho Marx
Do, or do not. There is no 'try'.
Jedi Master
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
Albert Einstein
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception.
Groucho Marx
Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else’s can shorten it.
Cullen Hightower
We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.
Benjamin Franklin
To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.
Abraham Maslow
To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other.
Jack Handey
If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
Mark Twain
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Eleanor Roosevelt
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
William Arthur Ward
If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake.
Frank Wilczek
He that lieth down with Dogs, shall rise up with Fleas.
Benjamin Franklin
Adam and Eve had an ideal marriage. He didn't have to hear about all the men she could have married, and she didn't have to hear about the way his mother cooked.
Kimberley Broyles
We learn something every day, and lots of times it’s that what we learned the day before was wrong.
Bill Vaughan
The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.
Mark Twain
You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.
Wayne Gretzky
Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Benjamin Franklin
Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened.
Winston Churchill
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
Oscar Wilde
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
Benjamin Franklin
There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.
Steven Wright
When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him.
Thomas Szasz
Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time, to figure out whether you like it or not.
Virgil Garnett Thomson
Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.
Poet (43 BCE - CE 17)
A Man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
Benjamin Franklin
Tis a great confidence in a friend to tell him your faults; greater to tell him his.
Benjamin Franklin
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
Kurt Vonnegut
Well done is better than well said.
Benjamin Franklin
Computer games don't affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.
Kristian Wilson
Nintendo, Inc, 1989
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Mark Twain
Many people die at twenty five and aren't buried until they are seventy five.
Benjamin Franklin
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.
Mark Twain
It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.
Mark Twain
Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.
Benjamin Franklin
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
Mark Twain
Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
Benjamin Franklin
Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.
Will Rogers
History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.
Winston Churchill
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die the world cries and you rejoice.
Native American Proverb
If the lessons of history teach us anything it is that nobody learns the lessons that history teaches us.
Never leave till tomorrow that which you can do today.
Benjamin Franklin
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
Mark Twain
If I only had a little humility, I’d be perfect.
Ted Turner
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
Thomas Jefferson
We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!
Benjamin Franklin
Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
Alfred A. Montapert
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill
Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.
Benjamin Franklin
Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.
A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.
Winston Churchill
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.
Zig Ziglar
The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
Mark Twain


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To sum up the week, we played a smattering of board games, ate some good food, biked a few trails, went to see a movie in Brockville, watched a Netflix series over several nights (called Knights of Sidona – painful for me to watch but enjoyable for others – you know who you are), did several outdoor activites and played some competitive couch games on the PS4. Jonathan introduced me to which had us crying with laughter a few nights. It’s a Next Generation thing. Poor Chief O’Brien.

Once again, we barely touched any alcohol but we dove into the chemical creations of Pepsico and Coca-Cola. We all took our turns cooking for each other and by the time it came to depart, we still had too much food in our coolers. You would think we would have this figured out by now.

We also did two quick outings to Charleston Lake Provincial Park and while the first hike was enjoyable (got the revisit the spot where I proposed to my wife), the second outing was not as enjoyable as we were swarmed by a dozens and dozens of deer flies. The last 25 minutes of the hike turned into a very fast walk indeed.

Booking the following year’s cottage is part of our annual tradition as well. With all of us together, it makes things much easier. Plus it saves me what used to be hours of work coordinating schedules and finding the right cottage that meets everyone’s expectations. So IITD 2016 is to be held near Perth, Ontario.