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Miracles in the Desert

If there were ever any doubt in your mind that the 'medium is the message,' consider the air right now in snowbird Arizona.  We have been experiencing a couple quiet miracles lately. But even somebody who isn't a standard tourist/snowbird must make an effort to appreciate them.

We have had some decent rains. A faint green 'lawn' is appearing across the desert. 



That should take your breath away, right there! But if you need more...this morning there were small droplets of water flocculating on this green lawn. In some parts of the world they belittle this miracle by calling it 'dew'.


The air is moist. It feels so gentle against the skin. Do you know what if feels like for your skin -- the largest organ in the human body -- not to be at war with its environment!

These are small miracles in the desert.  And then people want to show postcards of saguaros or palm trees against a red sunset. (aaarrgh!)


Recent posts

A Tour of the Beginning of Civilization

It was an especially satisfying bicycle ride today, despite the scenery being only moderately interesting. The exercise was less than spectacular, perhaps because of the dog.

The morning started off well when I asked a camper about the land around him. Normally it is unprofitable to ask a camper about the land.  But this was no ordinary snowbird. He gave me some useful information about a road I probably would have missed.

Then we went looking for access to an interesting campsite visible on the other side of the river. And found it. Also I managed to find one of my first camping areas from a zillion years ago. It looked completely different now that motor vehicles were not allowed there anymore. That was quite a nostalgia trip. One thing followed after another. I was drifting or floating on the bike. 

There is so much infrastructure in this area for controlling and using water for agriculture: canals, dams, weirs, watering systems, big tanks, concrete walls, furrow irrigation, and miles…

The Ultimate Natural Experience

I've written before how much I love my new headlamp. But this morning I wallowed in satisfaction. Yesterday's electrical project was still slightly unfinished. It was so satisfying to wake up at 430 a.m., strap on the headlamp, and finish the sucker off!

Talk about a feeling of empowerment! Nobody needs 12 hours of sleep just because winter nights are that long. It is misinterpreting evolution and nature to think that homo sapiens is supposed to be happy about winter evenings just because they are 'natural.' Survival does not mean contentment.


In its own way this experience shows an appreciation of nature far above the usual mooning-and-swooning about pretty this and pretty that. Your experience of nature is most authentic when you conquer her -- when you bend her to your will. And conquering darkness may be the single best example of that.

Real Heroes

No winter is complete without me railing against the Abomination of Desolation, that is, the Pacific Time Zone. But it is too easy to slam. Instead, let's take a moment to appreciate the quiet and real heroes who defy Pacific Time.

Algodones, Baja California Norte, is one of those places, as is the Indian casino on the California side. Other places upriver of Yuma use Yuma time instead of the evil Pacific Time.

They are Freedom-Fighters! I salute them. Let us hope their spirit of rebellion spreads to eastern Oregon and Washington, Nevada (including US395 in so-called California), and the Idaho Panhandle. 

Geezers Galore! in Yuma

No winter is complete unless I take a moment to be astonished by the unmanageable hordes of old people in Yuma, AZ.

But something was different -- and better -- this year. It was pleasantly cool for a change. I have little patience for being warm in January. The relief put me in a good mood for enduring the traffic and overcrowding in the stores.

Strictly speaking it isn't the characteristics of the elderly that is so annoying, it is the fact that there are so many old folks, and they are all in one place, and that place happens to be near me! 

Worst of all, they seem a little less old to me every year!



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But seriously folks, why is this place so popular? Is it really that important to be a couple degrees warmer than some other place in the Southwest? Aren't their houses, cars, and stores heated? Most snowbirds or campers really don't have  an outdoors-oriented lifestyle, so why is the thermometer so important?

And this place is thermally-disgus…