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Showing posts from September, 2018

The Annual Lump in the Throat

Every year at this time, I think about the same thing: the most important change-of-seasons. It was made more memorable by what my dog and I were doing: having one of our best mountain bike rides of the year, and in one of our favorite places. (How many untouristy areas can still be found in a place like Colorado?!) This summer has made me sick and tired of hot sun, so it was no small miracle that the day seemed glorious despite being sunny!  It was getting on to mid or even late morning, but there was still a chill in the air. She and I pretty much like the same temperatures. I notice the seasonal transitions at other times of the year, but somehow, they don't affect me in the same way that the onset of autumn does. There is no lump in the throat, as there is now. Perhaps that's because it is so great to get rid of another summer. Summer is just a long disease that one must submit to, stoically. Or maybe it's because I start migrating more as cooler weather comes in

'In Harmony with...' Something Better Than Nature

Something unusual happened last night. I was camped in a campground, and yet, felt at peace. My friend and I were sitting at the picnic table and watching the sky show. The heat of the day was hours in the past, but the night-time chill was holding back. To begin with, it is an unusually spacious campground. (With kazillions of acres of public lands, what is the excuse for the urban-RV-park-like congestion of so many public campgrounds?) On top of that, it was half empty, so the neighbors were just at the right distance. You could hear their muffled voices around the campfire, but not the conversations. The campfires flickered at their bodies until it made distant jack-o-lanterns out of them. There was no music coming out of car stereos.  Was there some kind of self-selection taking place? Were the people here specifically because they are disgusted with the crowded and noisy tourist industry in Colorado? Were they exhausted from their mountain biking and rock climbing? 

A Good Gadget Review Website?

Some good news: I actually found a useful site for gadget reviews. But let's set the situation up, so it doesn't look like it was easy. The project was to find better noise-cancelling or masking technology. For instance I installed the MyNoise app on the smartphone. It produces the soothing sounds of nature: Rain, Spring Walk, Temple Bells, Ocean, Waterfalls, etc. But wait, you say, why would I need to generate those sounds electronically when I am in a campground in Colorado, and all I need to do is open the door and listen to the real thing from Mother Nature?  Clearly the reader has never been to a public campground in their life. 'Peace and Quiet' are the last things you should expect in a campground. Basically they are noise ghettoes.  The next step was to experiment with headphones. As usual I ended up wasting my time on reviews that I didn't trust, subjective anecdotal reviews by customers who can't type or spell, and the info-tainment of Yoob Tub

A New Super-pundit?

I never heard of Caitlin Johnstone until a few weeks ago. Perhaps purposely I have avoided trying to find about her, and have simply been content to enjoy her essays. She doesn't overlap with me too much: she seems to be a Green. One advantage of putting up with deviations of any kind is that when they do agree with you, you feel entitled to enjoy it -- after all, you earned it! It will be interesting to see how her career evolves. Recall good ol' Ben Franklin's best friend. As young buckaroos, they went to England together, with the friend hoping to become a poet. He failed. But then he become a pundit who was actually paid to keep quiet by the opposition. That must be the ultimate compliment to any writer. (By the way, google or should be told that I am open to negotiations on that issue...) But they probably don't do that anymore. So Caitlin's career will develop in some other way. Her personal appearance isn't that of a honey-bunny, so

Attitudes Toward Drought

It is strange the way weather reports, especially on television, talk about a "40% chance of rain" as if it were life-threatening. This is so common it is easy to not even notice it. But it is a perfect example of how modern life is separated from nature and even physical reality. I can't help thinking about that as we finally get a spot of light rain here in Colorado, after a dud monsoon season. How tiresome hot sun can get! Sunny mornings are still enjoyable, but in mid-day, the sun simply makes me stay indoors. I can't face it anymore. But the tourist/camper still thinks that rain is the enemy, and that a sunny sky is something to feel happy about. What a fraud the modern citified 'nature lover' is! 'Nature' doesn't mean anything to them other than a chance to gawk at freakish scenery of some kind.  What if they actually had to grow something or hunt something to live?