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Showing posts from February, 2013

A "First" for a Seasonal Migration

OK I admit it: I'm a bit sad to leave Yuma tomorrow. That's probably a "first" during 15 years as a full time RVer. If a place is worth going to, it is worth staying at -- until something goes wrong. Usually the weather becomes uncomfortable, or you've used up your time limit, or you've acquired a noisy neighbor. It's fun to leave when you really want to leave. Otherwise you are just wasting money on frivolous sightseeing -- the thing that some internet-wit or other called "channel surfing with gasoline." Don't think that I've gone soft  in the head. Yuma itself is not interesting. But I hope to long remember how pleasant it was to get back into club road bicycling. The moral of the story is to stay flexible when "lifestyling". Once again the upward and northward migration starts. Once again I yearn for some way to start a loose caravan or club of outdoorsy RV campers -- as opposed to mainstream, sedentary, portable suburba

Different Seasons, Different Lifestyles

Yuma, AZ. Having just finished my best winter in many a year, it's time to ask 'why'. This winter's experience s upport s the notion that it is beneficial to live differently in the winter, compared to summer ; and not just a change of geography either, but a real change in lifestyle. For instance, it's a solitary life when dispersed camping for 9 months of the year. More solitary than is desirable. Why people treat Solitude as a sacred mantra has always been a mystery to me. 'Independence' has positive value, but Solitude doesn't. In contrast this winter in Yuma has been spent bicycling with a club of friendly people. Sometimes we've had as many as 50 people on a ride. It's true that the conversations at food stops are just noisy chatter. But that is all you are likely to get from human beings in the real world. To demand more will just lead to frustration, then to disappointment, and will u ltimately be crowned with unpopularity when ot

Do People Ever Get Better at Conversation? deserves a compliment for choosing a classic essay by Jonathan Swift (of Gulliver's Travels fame) on improving conversation. Actually it is a timely topic for those in snowbird country. It certainly takes some effort to adjust to the prose of the early 1700s, but if you are willing to read his brief essay you are likely to enjoy it. Rather than rehash his essay, let me confine myself to updating it to our times or looking for issues that he overlooked. Most of the schemes for 'solving the world's problems' are difficult, slow, or even doubtful. What is tantalizing about the sorry state of conversation is that improvement is not only feasible, but almost easy! Just about anybody could become a better talker and listener with just a few minutes of thought about some common bad habits, followed by a moderate amount of willpower and practice. Snowbird meccas are great places to observe the maladies of conversation that seem to grow worse with age. Peopl

A "Woman in Combat" at a Coffee Shop

Yuma, AZ. It was a fresh winter day and a brisk ride to the coffee shop. The old boys were feelin' frisky, indeed. Not too many people get to experience this sort of pleasure, a special one, that comes from temporarily defying inevitability and mortality. Seventy-year-old men came into the coffee shop like a horde of Genghis's pony-riding barbarians. Why shouldn't an old man do what it takes to feel young, even if the same behavior would be immoral in ordinary circumstances? Let's sit at the coffee shop and feel macho and over-confident; and imagine ourselves as the sackers of cities and the despoilers of Civilization. Our conversations are never particularly interesting by themselves, and that was true this morning, as well. Then something strange happened: one minute the old boys were enjoying typical banter, and the next minute the mood changed entirely. A cute little lass, about 3, with blue eyes and curly hair, approached my tribe of barbarians, perhaps becau

Wanna' Be the Successor of the Apple Cult?

Please don't think I'm on some kind of vendetta against Apple. I'm not. But the decade-long run that might be ending for their stock and company is quite unique in the history of the gadget industry. Are you likely to see something of the same kind and degree during the rest of your lifetime? If you pay any attention to the gadget industry or the stock market, you might be getting tired of articles about the rise/fall of Apple. I am getting several such articles per day and I haven't even asked for them from . They don't seem badly written. They are the professionals -- I am just an amateur. (Hence, you should never take anything I say about investment s as the basis for buying or selling anything.) So what can an amateur expect to accomplish by writing about stocks, or Apple stock in particular? Some of the professional analysts seem like young whippersnappers who spend too much time playing with a spreadsheet program. They take the publishe