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Showing posts from March, 2014

Partly in Paradise

One of the advantages of writing is that it is deliberate and slow. It gives you a chance to test the clarity of your thinking.  Computers have made it so easy to edit what you've written that there are few excuses to be inaccurate or misunderstood. Despite all those advantages there is still room for improvement, particularly in my recent advertisements for the Good Life in the great outdoors. I haven't been clear: it's living partly outdoors that deserves to be praised to the heavens.

Cycle-Sauntering with Benji and Thoreau in Pata-Goofie, AZ

After a successful winter of deliberately pursuing a lifestyle (in Yuma, AZ) that complements the other three seasons, I thought it would be effortless to get back to the normal lifestyle of traveling, RV dispersed camping, and mountain biking on public lands in the Southwest. Much to my surprise it is taking some deliberate effort. I am not complaining. The sheer momentum of living in any fixed way narrows a person and starts to make them inflexible.  I want to live  deliberately , as Thoreau promised on his way to Walden. For some reason, the modern interpretation of Thoreau ignores the word 'deliberately', and visualizes Thoreau's lifestyle as a solitary hermit, talking to the animals, living on fruits and nuts, and posing as a "nature fakir " by walking around the woods of Concord MA in a polartec loincloth. Thoreau's short essay, "Walking," is worth reading. At least the beginning. Unfortunately he then meanders away from his theme. I hav

A Peek at Picacho

Approaching a small desert peak north of Tucson, I began to understand why it had barely been named -- it's "name" sounds more like a common noun than a proper noun. The atlas had piqued my interest so, just out of curiosity, I came to "Desert Peak." I was a bit frustrated in wasting the gasoline to get here. It looked as uninteresting as it did on the map. I got parked and we immediately started walking towards this lackluster "peak." It was a shock to see how much the vegetation had changed from the desert floor along the Santa Cruz River, just two hundred feet lower than here. How could plants be so local, so particular about where they grow? We were back in sticker and thorn country, especially the nasty chain cholla. Many of the place-names out West are rather colorful. Unlike constellations in the sky, mountain peaks sometimes actually look like the animal, saddle, or portions of Mollie's anatomy that they were named for. Ma

Admit it! You Too Admire Putin

From a BBC article today we have, "The constitution of Ukraine requires that any effort by any entity within Ukraine to secede be done through the constitutional process," Mr Kerry said. Aren't you proud and happy to live under a Washington DC regime/Imperium that understands the constraints of constitutions? (emoticon eyes rolling upwards) And knows everything about how to handle secessions sensibly? I don't follow the news very closely. There's a tendency to get angry, and anger gets wearisome. And yet, this Ukrainian debacle is perversely fascinating in the sense that it has resulted in theoretical maximums. How complacent can the Media be? How hypocritical can the Washington DC regime be? How poodle-like can Europe be? It demonstrates to perfection how nothing of importance will ever be discussed in the establishment Media. Does anyone ever say, "Isn't the Cold War over? Washington and Russia aren't enemies."  Why is NATO trying to e

Lending Wings to Your Stride

There was a time when I seriously feared and hated the onset of Dry Heat in Yuma, usually in March. Experience and old age have turned the experience into what could almost be called 'appreciation' and 'good humor.' It's not that I no longer feel the misery of heat; but now I can see past the temporary misery, and playfully romanticize it as noble suffering . Think of the dramatic religious procession in Bergman's "The Seventh Seal." Besides, what fun can there be in leaving a place unless you really, really , want to leave? And it is getting like that, now. But before I crawl out of winter's chrysalis, and stretch out my new wings of travel, let's think about what was accomplished this winter. It is 1/4 to 1/3 of the year, after all. I realize that most readers have no interest in bicycling, but they might be interested in the general principles that the cycling experience can illustrate. Furthermore I will assume that the reader has

The Indispensable Country, The Exceptional People, The Judge of the World

From a CNN article we have: "President Obama made clear that Russia's continued violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity would negatively impact Russia's standing in the international community," according to a statement released by the White House. Gee, aren't you happy and proud to live in a country, like the USA, which would never seriously consider violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of another country?