Summit Up 4.17.09 |

Summit Up 4.17.09

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that, for some time, has been wondering how we got on the e-mail list for the monthly dinghy digest.

Our spam filter blocks out messages with information on important topics like hair restoration and zit-removal, for Pete’s sake. But every month, we get an invitation to peruse the latest in dinghies. So far, we’ve resisted the temptation, seeing as how we’ve never known exactly what a dinghy is.

But each time we get this e-mail, we think to ourselves how wonderful it would be to own a dinghy. What a great conversation starter!

Or, alternately, being a dinghy owner could be a way to get out of some other unwanted obligations, as in, “Gee, I’m sorry, I’d love to attend your lecture on micro-cellular nutrient exchange in Rocky Mountain lichens, but, my dinghy has some dents, and I need to do some repairs.”

We started to wonder if our inflatable kayak might possible qualify as a dinghy, so we did some research. Turns out, a dinghy is the common term for a small boat that is often carried by a larger vessel. As you step up in size, you go to tenders and pinnaces. It appears that the definition is somewhat flexible, so we’re going to go ahead and say that our inflatable kayak qualifies.

And as always at this time of year, we’re going to start bringing it to work with us, so as to be able to get safely across the Summit Up Central Parking Lot Pond from our car to the safe confines of Summit Up World HQ. Hey, it’s either that or hip waders.

Seems that dinghies are big in Australia, where nearly any boat can be identified thusly. We checked out a website out of Sydney and found all sorts of cool little watercraft with names like “Bluefin Barracuda,” and “Bluefin Wildcat,” along with picture of happy-looking blond people skimming across the waves with their tresses blowing in the breeze.

One man’s dinghy is another man’s powerboat, it seems.

Ahhh, the life of a sailor. We could go whale-hunting (oops, that’s been banned, except for the Japanese and Norwegians, who kill a few hundred whales each year for “research” purposes. Ha! As far as we can tell, that “research” is done mostly in restaurants.)

Or, we could use our dinghy to intercede on behalf of the whales, dangerously maneuvering ourselves between the whales and the whaling ships, like that Paul Watson with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Those guys are nuts, but we gotta hand it to ’em ” they’re all about putting themselves on the line where it counts.

And maybe we’d just take our dinghy over to the pond at Officer’s Gulch and drift lazily, with three of our 10 toes dangling in the water, while sipping a frosty beverage and watching the world go by.


On a different note, we see that United Airlines has decided to charge large people for an extra seat if they can’t put down the armrest or if they can’t get the seatbelt closed. We have mixed feelings about this. We’re sure some people will cheer, others will cry, and for people who never fly, it won’t make one iota of difference. We’re not huge fans of obesity, but we’re wondering if this is a fair deal. Where’s the cut-off point?

We’re thinking it might just be more equitable to charge everybody for their ticket by combining their body weight and luggage weight and establishing a per-pound rate.

Any thoughts? Send your feedback to

All this ties in very loosely with the Transportation Security Agency’s move to use full body scanners rather than simple metal detectors. These machines, in case you don’t know, are similar to those X-Ray glasses you can buy of a Bazooka bubblegum wrapper, except they really work, basically seeing through clothes right down to skin level.

As you can imagine, this has unleashed a flood of reaction ” including criticism from people claiming it’s an invasion of privacy ” to acclaim from the folks who want safety at all costs.

We are kind of vacillating on this one. We don’t really have anything to hide, body-wise, and we’re certainly not planning on bringing any illegal contraband aboard a plane anytime soon. On the other hand, we’re not real keen on having a random airport worker taking a close look at our various scars and dimples, but we reckon that they’re too busy looking for more dangerous things. And if we no longer have to take off our shoes and belts in the middle of the airport, we’ll consider it a plus.

We out, shoppin’ for a dinghy


Paddling back over to the dinghy subject. We have a question ror you Summit Uppers out there. A few years back a local politician had a deadly accident on a dinghy. Who remembers this person’s name? Send it to

From dinghies to dingos. What sitcom had the line “Maybe the dingo ate your baby!” If you know that gem, let us know also.


We out, comparing dinghies to dingos.

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