Skip to main content

Posts

Bringing a History Book to Life

Every time it happens, it delights me: how a book becomes more interesting if it overlaps with some observation or experience in real life. For instance, I am nearing the end of David Irving's, "Hitler's War."  Although my interest in the book was waning, it perked up when I talked to a couple tourists in a huge German tourist tank, who had invaded our campground, and rejected it.

Consider Germany's debacle when they invaded Russia in 1941. How could one of the most "advanced" nations of the world fail to conquer a backward, third-world nation like the USSR? It's not that I disagree with the explanations offered by historians, but thinking of that type pulls you away from the reality of how personalities actually think.


Consider the German tourists today who drove in with one of those huge military-like, "Outdoor Expo" RVs that outweigh three Panzer tanks of World War II. I joked that he shouldn't have any trouble crossing the little mou…
Recent posts

The Orogeny of Maturity

Lately I have wanted to write about things I have slowly developed an appreciation for. Many times, the rest of the world has seemingly under-rated these things.

For instance, it is not easy to enjoy books on geology, even if you are in locations where the topography screams at you. Now I have basically finished the book, "Earth," by Richard Fortey.

The book has inspired me to think that Shakespeare was mistaken when he compared the seasons of a man's life to performances on stage. It would be better to compare life to the topography of the earth; to see the drama in the lifting up of the sea into high arid plateaus; and to watch the slow and uneven erosion of its heights.

When we admire topography, we aren't really looking at 'erosion.'  Rather, we are looking at an original 'lifting up,' followed by differential rates of erosion. In geology, this occurs in one direction, because gravity and time run in one direction.

But in a human life, what is to stop…

Unheralded Success Stories

For whatever reason, it has become easier over the years to appreciate success stories of various kinds, such as books, personal behavior under stress, music, independent thinking, etc.

But what is most astounding about these success stories is how quiet and unheralded they are. (And why should that be?)

For instance I usually fail to stay interested in reading geology books. And what a shame!, when a fellow spends so much time around land that exudes geology.

Currently I am reading a popular geology book by Richard Fortey called "Earth." Many times I have marveled at what an interesting writer he is. 
_____________________________________

I have always deplored how uxorious the average American male is, resulting in women who are spoiled beyond reason. My only experience outside America was in Mexico, where the non-slavishness of Mexican men towards their women made a favorable impression on me.

Perhaps that is why it has seemed like a small miracle to watch a character in the o…

Western Nostalgia in A Ruined State

We were doing our morning rounds, riding up through the sagebrush hills, when we saw three horsemen coming our way. I made sure my dog was on the leash. I pulled off the dirt road just so I could relax and admire the horses.

A man, a horse, and a dog. It just doesn't get any better than that, and I told them so.

The music of Victor Young came to mind, and the images of the opening of the classic 1953 movie, Shane. Nostalgia might seem like a result of old age; but strictly speaking, nostalgia results from a consciousness of loss. Of course the more years you have lived, the more you come to appreciate what has been lost.



This is especially poignant in a state like Colorado. No longer a western state in any sense of the word, other than scenery,  the state has become unbelievably expensive and crowded.

But let's not think about any of that. Let's just look at the pretty horses and remember: 
...the man who rode into our little valley out of the heart of the great glowing W…

Plato Wrestles With a Do It Yourself Project

It was high time to improve the shower "stall" in my trailer. The curtain was fine, but I needed a bigger tub to stand in, and hold the water.

The plastic box (tub) was simply too small. I have put up with it for four years. That seems strange doesn't it? Every time you go into a big box store you see plastic boxes of every description. It seemed obvious that if I was just patient enough I would eventually stumble onto a plastic box of the right size and shape. (24" by 24" by 10" high)

Nope.

How could something so simple be so frustrating?! Is it proof of the profound truth of Murphy's Law?  Believe it or not, I think Murphy's Law is over-rated. It is lazy thinking to blame things on Murphy's Law too quickly.

There is a better explanation for why plastic boxes are seldom more than 18" in their smallest dimension: it is the width of most shelves in big box stores!

So what else could I do? Many do-it-yourself type people are more comfortable work…