Insults In The Dark – 2016 – Bennett Lake

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Sunrise on Bennett Lake

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Another year, another fun week of “Insults in the Dark”. The 2016 edition of our annual tradition had us up at a cottage on Bennett Lake, located about 30 minutes NW of Perth, Ontario.

The participants this year were solely Jonathan, Joe, Kevin and I. Poor Kevin, he had no one there to help him vote for a warmer cottage as Joe, Jonathan and I enjoy a very “cool” environment indeed. In one of the hottest summers in recent memory, Kevin had to wear a hoodie while in the cottage.

Once again our annual tradition transformed /evolved a bit (or devolved depending on how you look at it). At the previous year’s cottage, we had a nice 46″ TV and we enjoyed watching a few shows and playing some competitive gaming sessions. We wanted to have that as an option for the following year but didn’t want to limit our cottage choice based on TV size (#TakingItTooFar). Since our previous cottage had poor water access and no yard to toss the football/Frisbee in, we focused on finding a cottage with a large yard and easy water access.

It’s amazing the cottage choices you have if you search a year in advance. After the Bennett Lake cottage came up early in the searches and we all agreed to it (Thanks for finding it Joe), we sat back and waited the twelve months to pass. As the date neared, we started inquiring about internet access, TV and if it had HDMI inputs (you know all the important things for geeks going to a cottage). We were giving the green light on all of those questions but I noticed from the pictures that the “Newly installed TV” was mounted above the fireplace and looked ridiculously small for 2016. I’m talking 32″ small. I made a few quick calls and the risk was mitigated. We were going to bring our own 50″ LG TV and a 300w soundbar.

Cottage Geek Achievement: Complete.


The cottage

You ever hear of the expression “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone?” Well we experience that every year when we rent a cottage. We appreciate some things but miss others that we previously had. This cottage had a great yard – huge in fact. It also had the best cottage lakeside experience you can want: long and well groomed waterfront with chairs to sit and enjoy the summer wind while you are shielded by old growth trees. What we were missing was access to things around the cottage. Like quick access to town / activities, Trails / Biking routes were nowhere to be found either. It was nothing hilly dirt/gravel roads or tight rural highways – so biking was not great but you can’t have it all right?

Worthy Quotes

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


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Hangout lake spot #1

Activity wise, we played a few board games and  watched season 1 of “Stranger Things” over two nights a few days after it was released.  The show was a great throwback to the shows we watched when we were kids but it was also a perfect capture of my younger years (D&D / exploring the woods).  The boys and I also played Frisbee followed soon by “Fish the Frisbee out of the lake” and, much to Kevin’s dismay, we played many games of “Hillside Bocce”.  Apparently, it wasn’t authentic enough for Kev’s Italian ancestry – snobbery I say. We flew/crashed Kevin’s Phantom drone a few times, ate well, hung out on the deck which was pretty damn nice and played some competitive/couch co-op PS4 games (how manly as it to play 4 player co-op game called “Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime”?)  Kev and I managed to get a good canoe ride in one day and I was reminded of my love of dock spiders (not) just as we were launching the canoe.

The cottage itself was well laid out. Jonathan and I shared the loft area while Joe and Kevin, once again, got their own rooms but that came with a price. Joe was off the main area so when I got up at 6am every morning, I would inadvertently wake him up (I promise it was not on purpose) and Kevin was in the basement which I found to be a bit too musty for my liking. Also, Kevin was the one to notice the mouse in the basement and when it disappeared under the couch, we realized it had a little setup under/in there. That couch was pulled from the seating rotation. Fun.


Hangout cottage spot #1

I unapologetically took naps every day, Kev napped intermittently outside in the lounge chair while he read his Kobo, Jonathan got hooked on Factorio and Joe learned the intricacies of Pebble 2. Joe and Jonathan learned/played a few new board games and we made a few trips into Perth.  Jonathan and I even stopped in and toured the eclectic mini-mall setup at the Balderson Cheese Factory. It’s a cheese/ice cream shop. No, it’s a gift store. Not, it’s a country decor shop. No, it’s an Amish furniture store. No, it’s an Italian style bistro deli. Whatever it is, there is a little bit of everything meshed together by doorways and rooms. Totally worth a visit for the cheese alone. Kev and I took a day trip to Murphys Point provincial park and biked the entire park to scout out the good camping spots and did some of its trails. As a park, you can’t go wrong. Great beach front and there are a ton of great camping spots to be had. I believe a summer 2017 reservation is in the works.

After we started noticing mouse droppings on the kitchen counters and had a mouse slowly peruse the counter top while we sat 6 feet away playing a board game one night (Blood Rage), we decided it was time we did something about the mice. Kev did a bit of research online and quickly built a great mouse trap. Bucket of water + coat hanger + pop can + peanut butter = mouse trap.  Kev was very time efficient in his construction of the trap and he quickly caught one mouse (and the only one) – there were more but they never went near the trap afterwards.  It was like they had a hive mind and knew to stay away from the bucket of death.


What a summer. Everyday was awesome.

The week of relaxation was completely unstructured. Nothing was planned and though the days slipped by too quickly it was by far the most relaxing IITD week I’ve ever had. On the last day we were asking ourselves “where did the time go and what did we do?”  Kev and I were the last ones to leave so we just chilled outside for an hour before we locked up.   I watched sun sparkle off the water while enjoying the breeze and Kev read some more of his book up on the deck.  It was a great spot and we considered going back for the following year (something we’ve never done) but we decided to make it a bit more urban next year and to have a structured fun filled week while staying at Jonathan’s in Kingston. As funny as it sounds, the amount of biking/hiking trails that will be near his place will be plentiful and with the money we save on the cottage rental, we plan to eat out, rent a boat, do an escape room + a variety of other activities. Guess you can all it “IITD 2017: Urban Edition”. The fun part is that a few of our past members might be joining us for this one so we are looking forward to that.

  Additional pictures