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Showing posts from March, 2019

"do svee DAH nyah" to the Democratic Media

So what happens now? Will there be an investigation of collusion between the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign with FBI employees and members of the Obama administration? I predict there won't be a forceful investigation; in part, because of fatigue, and in part because of the mild milquetoast-ness of many Republicans. But there may be a more sinister reason: perhaps they are afraid to investigate the FBI. The FBI's dirty tricks over the years would be brought to light, and besmirch the authority of the Central Government. And perhaps the FBI simply has too much dirt on politicians in both parties. It would be easy for it to get revenge against Congress. The FBI has the same position relative to the American Empire that the Praetorian Guard had to the Roman Empire, or the Janissaries had to the decaying Ottoman Empire. Although I feel no real rage towards the Gullibles (the competitors of the Deplorables) who believed the mainstream media feedi

If Only There Were More Artists!

The title of this post seems facetious, considering I am located in a small town that appears to have too many artists. But what kind of art? It is 'pretty' stuff that is bought by well-heeled matrons from the big city, to cover white spaces on the walls of their new McMansion. Cyootsie-wootsie and useless. And then, by chance, I ran across another type of art that really affected me. Recall Tolstoy's essay, "What is Art?", wherein he defines art as sounds, words, and pictures that transfer emotions from the artist to the viewer/audience. The cartoon was lifted out of I am not sure where he lifted it from, but at least the cartoon is signed. What an under-rated artist a cartoonist can be! Expect to see this cartoon show up again on Fourth of July and Veteran's Day posts.

Individuals Versus Political Stereotypes

It seems as though there are twice as many Arizona Trail walkers as there were last year. It has been cool and rainy, so none of them have had the silver umbrellas strapped to their backpacks that they've had in the past. I loved those para-sols. Taken as an individual thing, a parasol almost makes me sympathetic to what I call 'los peregrinos,' since that is the only way I can visualize somebody being motivated to pursue such a slow, plodding sport through so many miles of ghastly heat. Yes, peregrinos of the Church of the Holy Green. At least they fit in with the town. There is some mine exploration or cleanup of old mining areas in the vicinity. Most of the town dislikes the mining industry, and tried to stop it from reviving in the local mountains. I am the misfit in town, because I was pro-miner. Still, I can't say I enjoy sharing the narrow dirt roads with their big trucks. On the way back from today's ride, I could see a giant red dump truck approaching

Finding a Way to Get Interested in Nature

This part of Arizona is crawling (literally) with caterpillars and poppies. Some moisture in the winter certainly has done this place some good. There seems to be a caterpillar monoculture right now. They are not particularly fun to look at; except for one thing. They crawl surprisingly fast across the roads and driveways. It's a good thing they do: it's a dangerous way to make a living!  Perhaps because of their high speed, dogs notice these caterpillars, and come up to investigate. The dogs do not harm the caterpillars; they just come up slowly and sniff at them. It's odd the way the caterpillar slams on the brakes and becomes completely motionless. In the past I've noticed rabbits playing the same trick on dogs. After 10 minutes or so, the caterpillar shifted into 'Drive' again. It was a close call for this little critter. Humble though they be, there is a drama to the situation. It seems that there must be some sort of drama, or at least motion

Time to Abandon Microsoft?

The other day Microsoft sent me a love letter notifying me of the end of their "support" of Windows 7 in January of 2020. Does that mean I should stop using my Windows 7 computer at that time?  Running to the Google empire is not such an attractive alternative. Google's original scheme with its Chromebooks was to get the user paying them annual rent for cloud storage, but more importantly, running algorithms on your data to find out how to target advertisments at every aspect of your life. Presumably, all of your data would be turned over to Washington DC spy and police agencies. Why would anyone need cloud storage? Have you seen how cheap storage is? You can carry it around in your pocket in the form of a thumbdrive or SD card. (Of course there are people who hoard terabytes of photos and videos. Presumably, they don't read this blog.) And you would need an unlimited data wireless (cellphone) plan if you were doing everything in the cloud. So I'm not sure

Mud Therapy

It is strange that the really great things in nature are never talked about. Nobody praises cold rain and mud. It was finally a good day to go mountain biking. I had to cross two wet streams to get to the 'trailhead.' I didn't even know there were dry washes there. But now enough water was flowing that I was forced to stop and study the situation. Recall the old "Do Not Cross When Flooded" signs. But I did cross because I knew the bottom was gravel. What a glorious thing it is to see water flowing! After the ride we found ourselves at a local coffee shop, unaccustomed as we are to places like that. Normally I would look up at any kind of shade cloth or viney pergola and admire it.   But today I deliberately chose a sunny table!  But exulting is cheap if it is just verbal -- let's do something real to celebrate the occasion, such as putting my anti-postcard policies on vacation, briefly. And one has to break in a new camera somehow.

A Movie That Actually Affects People

The other day I thought it strange to be delighted by a consumer/shopping experience, since that has happened so seldom in life, despite the fact that buying crap is really the only purpose an American serves. Today I was rewatching "A Dog's Purpose." Once again it is strange to think what a big industry movies/television is, and how seldom it really has any effect on us.  Why then do we watch all this crap? I suppose it is because it is an affordable and easy way to kill time. But this movie was one of the rare success stories. Let's think about other success stories over the course of a lifetime. Maybe they have something in common. There have been memorable musical scores for movies that really had an effect on me. Think Bernard Herrman, John Barry, and a half dozen other composers. But "A Dog's Purpose" had no effect on me musically.  It has been true that 'Boy Meets Dog, Boy Loses Dog' type movies have usually had a powerful effect

Liberating Yourself From Amazon

I have never been a big fan of shopping at Amazon. Can't people see what a trap they are falling into when they sign up for Amazon Prime? Paying $100 up-front is a real turn-off at Amazon, as it is at Costco. Even though I am moochdocking on a friend's driveway, I still had problems with getting Amazon to accept the address, despite having a real street address and a real post office box. That did it! I went on the warpath against Amazon. The good news is many other websites offer free shipping once you meet a $35 to $50 minimum order. And their websites work well. And I don't seem to have the problems with addresses, like at Amazon. All I can say is, "It's about time!" You'd think that somebody big like Walmart, Google, or Oracle would make a good website available to any retailer, and then let them disguise the appearance of the website to make it look a little more home-grown. (Thus, there would be no need for each smallish retailer to have in-

Wow Dude, This Was, Like, So Cool!

There was a time not so many generations ago when Americans actually made things for a living. Today we just shop for a living, either online or driving around in heavy traffic to stores. As hard as it is to believe, some people actually enjoy shopping. For my part, I haven't had a wonderful experience shopping more than a couple times in my lifetime. I had one today. It seemed like a good idea to put a metal dog tag on my new camera, since it is the most expensive camera I have ever owned. The machines that make these metal dog tags keep getting better. I made mine at Petsmart. Yes, it had a digital menu. Normally this would put me in an incendiary mood, but this menu was intelligently designed. You just slide the tag into the machine in an unambiguous way, and watch the laser-scribing through a glass window. Fascinating and beautiful! It could even scribe on both sides of the tag, so there was enough room to say, "Text" and then my phone number. I asked the sto

The Glory of Dirt

It has been so many years since I experienced a real winter -- rain, mud, and clouds -- that I have forgotten how dreary it can be. So it is hard to appreciate the desert as much as it deserves. Therefore the mind focuses on getting sick of cholla and rubble. But that is OK actually because it whips up an appetite for dirt again!    Just imagine:  the bike's wheels moving along smoothly, without smashing, bashing, and crashing on that damned desert rubble! Glorious grasslands and soil in southeastern Arizona. Soil really is the best geology.