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Showing posts from July, 2019

I've Got HIM on the List...

Give in to the whimsical, and imagine Gilbert and Sullivan working in the tourism industry in Colorado, in summer. What a field day they would have, especially with "I've Got a Little List." [KO-KO] As some day it may happen that a victim must be found I've got a little list — I've got a little list Of society offenders who might well be underground And who never would be missed — who never would be missed! There's the pestilential nuisances who write for autographs — All people who have flabby hands and irritating laughs — All children who are up in dates, and floor you with 'em flat — All persons who in shaking hands, shake hands with you like that — And all third persons who on spoiling tête-á-têtes insist — They'd none of 'em be missed — they'd none of 'em be missed! [Chorus] He's got 'em on the list — he's got 'em on the list; And they'll none of 'em be missed — they'll none of 'em

When a Book is Beautiful

Whenever a certain RV friend visits the area, I feel inspired to simplify my rig. In the past, that urge has had pretty important consequences. So I tried to get in the mood again, this year. It had been awhile since I had made use of the 20 dead-tree books that I carry in my tow vehicle. So it seemed like a good idea to reread them, and try harder to replace them with the eBook version. The first book was "The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth Century Philosophers," by Carl Becker. It is tempting to try to explain why I have always loved this book, but maybe analyzing the book will kill its beauty! Aw hell, I'll do it anyway: the book is about a fundamental topic; it is short; although written by a professor, it is enjoyable to read; it doesn't let the trees get in the way of the forest; and it is full of imaginative warmth.  Therefore it is a good book to practice the consummate skill of trying to 'rip the book's heart out', that is, extractin

The Sky Gods, Incarnate

What pompous fools most intellectuals are! They think they are accomplishing something by cogitating over the Big Questions, and burying everybody under a mountain of vague verbiage. Once again, the afternoon sky had come alive and threatening. What a show it is!...this noisy blustering of the Indo-European male sky gods, strutting across the sky, high over our 'sagebrush sea.' As the Sky built up to its climax, a young man and his dog mountain biked by my campsite. On the ascent the dog finally got the better of the biker, and spurted ahead. My dog ran out to check the dog out. This gave us a chance to talk. We had to communicate quickly because the biker was afraid of cold rain, lightning, or hail. (It was like that scene at the beginning of the "Wizard of Oz", when Dorothy and Toto are on the run, and you wonder if they are going to get home before the twister hits.) The dog had a pair of doggie saddlebags on, which carried water, a collapsible wate

Our Eponymous Wildflower

Many people like to look at wildflowers. Over the years one flower in particular has caught my eye. I see this mostly white flower in high sagebrush or alpine meadows. With all the rain we have had this year, flowers abound, including this mostly white flower. After doing a little homework, I was delighted to find that it is our eponymous "beautiful grass" flower. It is popping out all over, in our 8100 foot sagebrush. The other photos were taken in northern New Mexico. Here is the local product: I love using large camera apertures to photograph flowers, so that the background is blurry. So what is the point to this useless prettiness? It actually gave me great satisfaction to learn that the wildflower was named for the local area and, indeed, grows in the local area. Was this essentially the same satisfaction that ancient pagans got from worshiping their smaller gods, such as hearth gods? Similarly Catholic peasants in the early days loved their smalle

The Big and the Small in the Outdoors

I sat on my rocky ridge and looked down on the main dirt road coming into the recreation area. There was a half dozen runners coming uphill. Tall, tan, and quite fast. Why wasn't it easier to admire them? After all, I had done a little bit of running in my life. That should have made it easier to appreciate these runners. A raven glided by, just about at my altitude. He was playing with ridge lift, to parallel the rocky ridge, without much effort. The human runners were completely forgotten, but I couldn't get my eye off the ridge-running raven. The muscles in my chest started to feel tired. __________________________________________________ Sometimes inanimate objects grab the eye, such as the rocky islands set amidst the 'sagebrush sea,' around here. Y es, I know: the land use agency needs a new prose stylist. 'Sagebrush sea' has become a cliche. But the cliche starts to inspire when I look at the little rocky islands, so forlorn and lonely, set in the

Redemption as a Guest Star

I take my nightly sleeping pill in the form of watching DVDs of old television westerns from the late 1950s up til 1965 or so.  Several times now I have been profoundly affected by seeing a guest give a great performance. Previously I had only known that actor as a regular on some idiot sitcom I remembered from childhood.  As a guest star, they had a real chance to show what they could do as an actor. Of course I remember the actor as the regular on the idiot sitcom. And now, to see that same actor give a great performance as the guest star... Dick York, and shame on you if your first thought was, "Hey isn't that Samantha's husband?"  From . It makes me feel so good to see that actor redeemed. In fact it seems to redeem the entertainment industry and the good sense of my parents' generation. At the time I always wondered how they could produce such a shabby product: sit-coms that never made me laugh; weak, clownish fathers on the sitcoms; intru

America's Last Chance?

I keep wondering whether I will bother to read a single history book in my 'next life.' The reason is that I fear that reading them during my current life has been a big waste of that life. It's not that I expect the reading of history books to make me clairvoyant about the future. But it should at least help me identify fundamentally important issues and structures. If it can do that, then at least I won't waste much time on trivial or superficial things. Consider the Russia-Gate hoax. Many people might think that this is purely a partisan issue or dependent on how much you hate Trump. I hate Trump, but that seems like a secondary matter. There are more important questions. Quoting Paul Craig Roberts: The felonies committed by the CIA, FBI, and Obama Justice (sic) Department constitute no less than a coup against the president of the United States, an act of sedition and treason. Yet, those responsible might never be held accountable. Later he adds

An Old Boondocker Goes Out in a Blaze of Glory

One of the sadder chapters in a traveler's career is when they announce that it is time to 'turn in the keys.' Sometimes an outsider can see them sneak into it before they can: for instance, they buy a lot at one of the Yoostabees RV Club parks (aka, the Escapees). Then they stop kidding themselves and backslide completely into bourgeois normalcy, that is, sticks and bricks, a Sears Kenmore riding lawnmower, a Lazy Boy recliner, and discussions of window treatments. The luckier ones get to -- or choose to -- go out in a 'blaze of glory.' I finally saw on the street today what I knew was coming... That's right, it is the long-promised Jeep pickup truck. Is it even worth reading any of the usual automobile review websites to learn about this model? The only such website I like is, and it has been blacklisted by the Higher Powers at Google. Besides, he hasn't reviewed the Jeep "Gladiator" yet. It took a small miracle,

Let People Have Their "Fun" on the Fourth

It is getting close to peak tourist insanity in Colorado, otherwise known as the Fourth of July. Say, what do you think this guy is trying to do?    That's a full size fifth-wheel trailer. In about 100 feet he is going to encounter a giant mud pit that he probably will get stuck in. Even if he makes it through, he might knock out his black water holding tank. If his luck still holds, there are no campsites where he is headed that will hold his rig. Well maybe one. But it is likely already taken. Then again, his trailer might only be a double axle, instead of a triple axle. And he doesn't have a UTV trailer or boat trailer appending his fifth-wheel trailer. And he came in before sunset. So it's not like he is a dummy or something!   But he is going to have to back out of there... There was a time in my career as a campground host when I would have rushed down there to help the bloody fool. No more. Is that good or bad? There was a time when I would come rushing