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Wandering Through History in the Wee Hours

Audiobooks are helpful at night.  Early this morning, it was a bit bizarre to be listening to a history of the Anglo-Saxon   period in England, while the sound of frogs came through the open windows of my camper. It was a disappointment because the sources are so poor from that era and place.  The Church was the most literate part of Anglo-Saxon society, so most of the documents that have survived pertained to organizational squabbles of the Church.  They squabbled over how to date Easter for a century.  Why was I wasting my time with such nonsense? And yet, this "nonsense" gives you the right perspective in thinking about the European Union of today.  What is it about societies that permits giant, complex, parasitic bureaucracies to rise up in their midst, and take over the society to some extent?  After tolerating the Catholic establishment for 1300 years  -- and 15--20% of the country's land being owned by the church -- it shouldn't surprise anyone that modern Euro

Enjoying Camping Despite Holiday

"Playing" a national holiday well is important to campers.  All you have to do is think about the places that tourists like and why they like those places,  and then you know how to avoid them.  In my case I go towards high BLM land, ranch country, away from lakes or national parks.   There is plenty of scenery at my holiday places, although it isn't exactly the same kind of scenery preferred by tourists.  I like somewhat muted mountains, hills, and cliffs that are mixed with something useful, such as cattle-grazing or gas wells. I like towns that have Feed-n-Tack stores and good hardware stores, rather than boutique-y mountain towns. Look at that sky!  At this time of the year, the Northwest actually has enough moisture to form an occasional cloud.  Nothing is sweeter than relief from oppressive sunlight!  Even your skin feels the relief. The Little Cute One picked up her game.  Instead of ground squirrels and the like, she was chasing quails. We wanted to see what happ

Dawn in the Summer

Last summer I did everything possible to like summer, for a change.  It worked rather well.  Let's keep pushing, to consolidate those gains.  There is something about summer that could go under-appreciated if you don't force yourself to dwell on it a bit: early sunrise. A retirement age person doesn't sleep like a 30-year-old.  In winter, a camper in the desert Southwest might want to wake up at 3 in the morning, but then resists doing so because there are so many hours until dawn.  They think they are doing something wrong.  But actually they might have already had 7 hours of sleep by that time. It isn't easy dealing with all those hours of darkness in winter.  But summer has solved that problem for you.  In the cursed Pacific Time Zone where I am now (central Oregon), dawn is at 0415.  In the summer I notice the birds in the area putting on a little musical performance. For whatever reason, you don't hear that at dawn in the winter, in Arizona.  And dawn isn't

Why Are People Still Moving to Boise?

It was my own fault:  I went through the Boise area on I-84 during the evening rush hour.  I naively thought that Boise wasn't really that big, and the interstate goes around the edge of Boise.  It was stop-and-go from Mountain Home to Ontario, OR.  (Exaggerating a little.) The highway system makes it hard to avoid these gawd-awful metro areas.  I know how to avoid Salt Lake City.  I guess a work-around   for Boise is needed, as well.  At the very least,  I will drive through at a better time of the day.    The Snake River plain is ugly.  Soon it will be hot.  Is a new Phoenix, Las Vegas, or St. George being formed in Idaho?  Soon we will be hearing about "droughts" in southwestern Idaho.  What is it about moving to these giant, hot, metro areas in the western states?  Aren't these people worried about global warming?  Why aren't they moving to Buffalo or Minneapolis? The continuation of growth in these hell-holes is proof that 'reputation is a lagging indicat